Sunday, January 31, 2016

Pin Cushion Thread Catcher Tutorial

pin cushion thread catcher

Usually, when I make these, I make several at at time.  These are very popular at my Family Reunions, with all the stitchers.

Supplies Needed:
1 Fat Quarter for Thread Caddy
1 Fat Quarter for Pin Cushion
1-2 cups Play Sand or Crushed Walnut Shells
19"-20" Package Strapping
Non-Slip Shelf Liner

Cutting Directions:
Thread Catcher Fabric - cut 2 - 9"x18" pieces
Pin Cushion Fabric - cut 2 - 6"x8" pieces, cut 1 - 4"x7" piece for straps
Non-Slip Shelf Liner - cut 1 - 3.5"x6" piece


Walnut Shells
 You can get this at pet stores. 

Package Strapping
Ask at stores if they have any strapping that they haven't thrown away yet.  I usually get mine at Sams, or, hubby brings it home from the office.

Strap Construction:
Fold 4"x7" strap fabric, right sides together, and stitch on the 7" side.

stitch along the 7" side
Turn right side out and press seam along the center.
Cut strap in half, creating two 3.5" straps.  Lay aside.
cut in half
Pin Cushion and Lining Construction:
Layer lining fabric to wrong side of the pin cushion fabric (I use the same color fabric for both parts).
lining fabric against wrong side of pin cushion fabric

Place shelf liner along one 6" end of pin cushion fabric. Place both straps, seam side against top of shelf liner, about 1" from the edges, and baste.
pin shelf liner & straps (seams against shelf liner)

baste along edge (less than 1/4")

Fold straps in half and pin (see picture below).  This will keep them out of the way when you zig zag stitch the other end of the shelf liner to the pin cushion fabric (I use a straight stitch machine, so, I stitch 2 lines of stitching instead of using a zig zag).
Pin shelf liner to fabric in several places, since the shelf liner will want to 'walk' with your sewing foot. *(You can also put a piece of paper over the shelf liner, making sure to tear it off after you have stitched the end.  The paper will only tear easily if you straight stitch, not zig zag).  **Make your stitch length small so that the paper tears away easily.
pin well, since the shelf liner 'grabs' your sewing foot

stitch close to edge of shelf liner

**you can use paper along the edge, so that the shelf liner doesn't 'grip' your sewing foot
Fold pin cushion fabric, right sides together, to measure 4"x6".  The straps will be on the inside.
Sew all three sides, leaving a 3" opening along one 4" side.  This is where you will place the sand at the very end of constructing your project.
leave a 3" opening on the side
Turn right side out.  Set aside.
top of finished pin cushion

bottom of pin cushion
Thread Catcher Construction:
Fold one 9"x18" piece of bag fabric, right sides together, and stitch along the 9" side, creating a tube. 
stitch along 9" side
Press and refold so seam is centered along the back.
seam centered along the back
Sew along the bottom edge.

sew along bottom edge
Square the bottom by bringing the bottom up to the side seam, creating a triangle.  Mark seam line.
bring bottom up to the side seam

measure 1.5" from the point, mark the line to stitch
stitch along line
Trim to 1/4".

trim to 1/4"
Repeat with the other side.
bottom of bag with boxed ends

turn right side out.
Repeat with the bag lining, leaving a 4" opening along the center of the long seam.
leave 4" opening in center of seam

Pin right sides of straps to right side of lining, along the back.  Baste.
right side of straps against right side of lining (piece with open seam)

baste (less than 1/4" from edge)
Place outer fabric inside lining, right sides together, matching and pinning raw edges.  Sew.
pin right sides together, lining up seams

pin well


sewn seam
Turn through opening in lining.  Press seam.
press seam

press seam
Insert package strapping.
insert strapping thru unstitched seam

Pin strapping WELL!
pin well before sewing
Sew as close to the edge of the strapping as you can, starting and stopping at the back seam, by the straps.
stitch close to strapping
Stitch lining closed by hand.

Fill pin cushion with sand.  Sew the opening closed by hand, using small stitches.
*I find it easier to fill if I use a funnel.

You've finished your pin cushion thread catcher.  Enjoy!
finished pin cushion thread catcher

 **I use a straight stitch machine.  I have a 1/4" foot  for my machine.

regular foot, and 1/4" foot
I switch between both feet for this project.  If you look closely at the pictures, you can tell which foot I'm using.  The regular foot is great for basting close to the edge (less than 1/4") and for stitching close to the strapping.


Friday, January 29, 2016

Betty Sue's new accessories

I've been busy sewing on Betty Sue, my new (to me) purple Featherweight.  She and I have been making some accessories for her.
quilting on 1939 Singer Featherweight
Betty Sue has some scratches on the bottom, because of her snug fit in her case.
scratches on bottom of Betty Sue
The first thing I made was a bag, to put Betty Sue in, when she is in her case.  This way, she wouldn't get any more scratches.
Betty Sue in her new bag

Betty Sue, all safe in her new bag

Betty Sue in her bag, inside the case

bag (thread) peaking out of accessory case
The next thing Betty Sue needed was a cover, for her folding table, so that it wouldn't get scratched.
Betty Sue's new folding table cover

Betty Sue's new folding table cover
I did try to put button holes in the bag, for the ribbon.  I attached a Singer button hole maker to the machine, carefully following the directions in the manual.  I've not used a button hole maker before, but, I have several in my collection.  Well.....the feed dog cover, that attaches to the bed of the machine, wouldn't attach properly.  I finally gave up, BUT, when I was putting all the parts away, I saw THIS on the bed of Betty Sue.
paint chipped away in screw holes, on bed of machine
I was in shock!!!!!   Talk about an UN-happy lady!!!!  I'll be looking for some paint to match Betty Sue's purple, so that I can repair this damage.  It may take a while to find the right color paint. 

Next, I started on 2, yes 2 different sewing machine mats for Betty Sue.  One mat, will be for when I take Betty Sue, with out an extension table.  This mat doesn't need to be very big.
smaller sewing machine mat for Betty Sue

up close of the pocket material (pins)
The other mat, is for when I take the extension table with Betty Sue.
large sewing mat, for use with extension table

up close of pocket material (faux selvage)
Of course, those pockets need some sewing items to go in them.  I've been looking for purple items since I knew Betty Sue would be mine.
purple (and other color) pins in a purple box, tape measure & retractable tape measure, scissors, and seam ripper
I'm thinking of adding ties to each mat, so that I can roll them up, with the sewing notions in the pockets.  I wouldn't want to lose the notions, and, I don't want to be taking them in/out, each time I use the machine.  I bought a set for each sewing mat (I love sales).  I do still need one more seam ripper in purple. 

I still need to make a pin cushion thread catcher for Betty Sue.  I also plan on making her a slip resistant pad for the floor (I'm tired of chasing her foot pedal around).  I'll make both of these to match Betty Sue's other accessories.  I already have the pin cushion thread catcher cut out.

I think I'm starting to get my sewing mojo back.