Category Archives: Home Decor

Easy table cloth

I just made a table cloth that was even easier than I though! Ready to have your mind blown?

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I think it turned out very summery and matches my pictures that were already hanging well. Would you like to see a before?

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I bought this table cloth during Christmas (2009!) and it has been there ever since. It is very pretty, but I wanted to brighten up the place a bit.

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Yes, it actually has poinsettias in ribbon work on the corners, and it is velvet. It was time for a change.

My friend Holly and I made a table cloth for her a few weeks ago. She has a round table, so we sewed two pieces of home decor fabric down the middle and created a circle. I thought I would do the same, but just make a square.

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I started by taking my current table cloth and folding it in half. I laid my new cloth over it and cut it to the same length. I thought the two were pretty close in size, so I laid the new cloth on top of the table and really liked the size of the width for the table cloth.

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I eyeballed it to make the cut edges skim the chairs to match the width. I just cut it from there. I wound up with a pretty even square.

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I took my square cloth to my serger and just serged around all the edges. Holly and I did this on her circle table cloth and it looked very cool and was so much easier than hemming a giant circle. I decided to do the same for mine, and it is so easy! I used a three thread overlock stitch. I love my serger!

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My serger even cut my selvedges and uneven cuts for me! Yay!

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Here is a close up of the final results on my table! You can hardly even see the serged edges.

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And here is my after shot again. I just love it!

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I have some excess fabric left over…

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I think I feel some matching kitchen accessories coming on!

One Million Pillow Case Challenge & Tutorial!

Hey! Hi! Hello!

Whew!  Sorry I’ve been so out of the loop lately, but isn’t Stacie doing a great job?!  She’s a keeper!

I’ve been busy designing and stitching out protoypes for a new bag company with some amazing design concepts that I think are going to ROCK the worlds of all you purse lovers out there!  But, the owner isn’t quite ready to launch her campaign, so it’s still pretty hush, hush.   I’m looking forward to giving you a sneak peak as soon as possible….

Ok, so this post is about that great charitable cause, the “One Million Pillow Case Challenge”.  I’ve made a few of these and taught some ladies how to make them as well, and we all agree, these are very nice pillowcases to give or to keep.

If you’d like to get involved with this project, let me know by posting a comment here.  If enough ladies want to join in, we can set up a  local drop spot for our completed pillowcases and then distribute them to local charities.  (Actually, I would like our group to donate pillowcases to cancer patients – kids & adults.)  What do you think?

Here’s a link to the PDF instructions and also the video tutorial.

PDF Link:  Roll It Up Pillowcase Tutorial 

VIDEO Link:  Roll It Up Video Tutorial

Enjoy!

Jenny Gabriel alter ego:  StitchinJenny

Quick and Easy Kitchen Curtains….

Hello!

I’ve had a busy past few days holding classes for a couple of new sewing students in my home.  It’s always a pleasure to meet new people and especially to help them get started with the love of sewing!

If  you live locally and you’ve never made it to one of my classes, I hope you can make it sometime.  We always have a good time and learn plenty, too.  Here’s a link to my website in case you want to see when my next classes are:  StitchinJenny Class Calendar

Anyway, getting to today’s topic, a while back, my mom gave me some fabric that she thought might go well in my kitchen.  Some of it is becoming an apron for her and some of it has just become curtains for my naked kitchen window.  Yay!

At the end of this post, I’m sharing a link to a free Sewing with Nancy video tutorial that shows how to make these in short order.  Honestly, I spent maybe an hour from start to finish and I think they dress up my window nicely.

See?

Before

(so maybe I should have put up the dishes but, you don’t mind, ‘cuz we’re practically family by now right?)

After

(Hee, hee, my dishes are still there, but a little photo cropping can make me look like super mom!)

Ok, here’s the video tutorial!  The only thing I added that wasn’t in the video, was that I needed to make a couple of tie-backs.  Otherwise, these curtains would have been an overwhelming wall of blue plates.

For the tie-backs, I cut a long strip of fabric that was 5 to 6 inches wide and was 45 inches long.  I folded the long strip with right sides together and stitched the long edge.  Then I turned my fabric tube right side out, pressed it, and cut it in half so I’d have 2 tie-backs.  I hemmed the raw ends and tied them around my curtains.  Easy-peasy and they are quite functional.

Create quick rod pocket curtains

Donna Fenske shows you step-by-step how to make quick curtains with style. You’ll learn:

  • The 4 simple steps to sewing a rod pocket curtain
  • Easy ways to determine how much fabric you need
  • The supplies to use for professional results every time

I hope you enjoy this short tutorial and perhaps it will help you dress up a window of yours, too!

Let’s Get Sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny

In-the-Hoop Project: Square Coasters – Free Design from StitchinJenny!

Design Option 1:Plain Square 4×4 In-the-Hoop Coaster

Hello!  

I’ve been kind of quiet for a few days because I’ve been busy behind the scenes with creating and testing a new embroidery design that I am giving away….

If you are new to machine embroidery, I just want to take a minute to let you know that no matter what make & model embroidery machine you have, it can sew out this project as long as you have a 4×4 hoop and you download the correct design format for your machine.  (more on design formats later)

Read on to see more pictures, how to make these, and to access the link for your free download….

I recently posted a blog tutorial for a Round In-the-Hoop Coaster.  Since then, a member of my StitchinJenny Yahoo Group has inquired about a Square 4×4 In-the-Hoop Coaster.  Now, she was just seeking a plain square coaster as seen in the photo to the left.  I was able to digitize and create this one in short order and I’m pretty happy with the results.

Design Option 2: Square Deco 4×4 In-the-Hoop Coaster

If you know me, you know that once I get started on something creative, it’s hard for me to stop.  So, I decided to make a few more options for this project.

Here is option #2:  A lovely coaster that is nice as is or would look great with a monogram in the middle.

There are so many fonts to choose from that I’m not including letters a-z this time, but I do provide instructions later in this post so you can know at which step to import your own monogram into this design.

Next is option #3:  If you follow this blog, you may recognize this fun fabric from my Pot Holder Tutorial.

Anyway, option 3 happens to be my personal favorite of the square coasters.  You can use this design to add a diamond applique to middle of your coaster or, you can leave out the applique fabric and just have the nice geometric shape as an accent stitch.

Design Option 3:  Diamond Applique 4×4 In-the-Hoop Coaster

So, I’ve shared the pictures of the three versions of this project along with my happy little roosters…

Now, I get to show you the steps to make yours!

If you are in a hurry and want to skip to the designs download link, just click the link to join my StitchinJenny yahoo group.

Joining is free and once you are a member, you can access and download these free designs!  If you do not see your machine’s format in the designs folder, please email me your machine’s make and model and I will upload the coaster designs in your needed format.

(NOTE: Different brands of machines require embroidery designs in their specified format.  For instance, Janome machines use JEF files. Babylock and Brother machines use PES files and so on and so forth…)

In-the-Hoop Square Coasters Tutorials For Options 2 & 3

Supplies:  

  • Self-adhesive wash-away stabilizer -or- Self-adhesive tear away stabilizer
  • 1 can of temporary spray adhesive
  • for all coaster design options, you will need two 5″x5″ fabric remnants per coaster,  one for coaster front and one for coaster back
  • for all coaster design options, you will need one 5″x5″ scrap of cotton, low-loft batting
  • for the applique option, you will need a 4″x4″ scrap of fabric for the diamond
  • 1 spool of embroidery thread (be sure to use matching embroidery thread in your bobbin)

The first tutorial is for the Option 2 Coaster:  Square Deco Coaster

NOTE:  This design is broken down into 6 thread colors to allow the machine to stop in between steps.  You can stick with one color of thread for the entire project.  (Be sure to use matching thread in your bobbin.)

Step 1: Peel away the protective paper and hoop your self-adhesive stabilizer so that it’s tight like a tambourine and the sticky side is face up in the hoop.

Step2:  Place the hoop on your embroidery machine and stitch color #1.  (This is the coaster outline.)

Step 3:  Place your coaster front fabric right side up on top of the coaster outline stitches.  Smooth out your fabric so there are no wrinkles and stitch color #2.  (This stitch will tack down your coaster front fabric.)

Step 4:  Remove the hoop from the machine, but do not un-hoop your fabrics.  Using applique scissors or your preferred scissors, trim away the excess fabric, cutting close to the tack down stitches.

Picture of Step 4

Step 5:  Spritz one side of your low-loft cotton batting with temporary spray adhesive. (When spraying, hold the can about 8″ away from your fabric.  The fumes are strong so you may want to do the spraying outdoors.)

Picture of Step 5

Step 6:  Turn your hoop over so that you are looking at the back of the hoop.  Lay the sticky side of your spritzed batting on the back of your hoop.

Step 7:  Place your hoop onto your embroidery machine.  Stitch color #3.  This stitch will tack your batting in place.

Step 8:  Remove your hoop from the machine.  Using applique scissors or your preferred scissors, trim away the excess batting, cutting close to the tack down stitches.

Picture of Step 8

Step 9:  Place the hoop onto your machine.  Stitch color #4.  This is the decorative stitch.  After this stitch is sewn, you could also import a monogram and stitch your preferred letter before moving on to the next step.

Picture of Step 9

Step 10:  Spritz the wrong side of your coaster backing  fabric with temporary spray adhesive.

Step 11:   Remove the hoop from the machine and turn it over so you are looking at the back of the hoop.  Lay the sticky side of your spritzed backing fabric on the back of your hoop.

Picture of Step 11

Step 12:  Place your hoop onto your embroidery machine.  Stitch color #5.  This stitch will tack your coaster’s backing fabric in place.

Step 13:  Remove your hoop from the machine.  Using applique scissors or your preferred scissors, trim away the excess backing fabric, cutting close to the tack down stitches.

Picture of Step 13

Step 14:  Place the hoop on your machine.  Stitch color #6.  This stitch is the border of your coaster.  Once you’ve stitched your coaster’s border, you can remove the hoop from the machine and you can un-hoop your project.

Picture of Step 14

Step 15:  If you used wash away stabilizer, trim away the excess stabilizer and lightly rinse the edges with warm water to dissolve any leftover stabilizer.  -or- If you used the tear away stabilizer, just tear away the excess stabilizer and you are done.

Back View of Deco Coaster

Option 3 Tutorial:  Applique Coaster

See supplies list at the beginning of the option 2 tutorial.

NOTE:  The applique coaster design is broken down into 8 thread colors to allow the machine to stop in between steps.  You can stick with one color of thread for the entire project.  (Be sure to use matching thread in your bobbin.)

Follow steps 1 through 8  from the option 2 tutorial above.

Step 9:  Place the hoop onto your machine.  Stitch color #4 of the applique coaster design.  This is the outline stitch for the diamond applique.

Step 10:  Spritz the wrong side of your coaster applique fabric with temporary spray adhesive.

Picture of Step 10 – Applique Coaster

Step 11:   Lay the sticky side of your spritzed applique fabric on the diamond outline stitch.  Smooth the fabric to remove any wrinkles.

Step 12:  Place the hoop on the machine.  Stitch color #5.  This stitch tacks down your applique fabric.

Step 13:  Remove the hoop from the machine.  Using applique scissors or your preferred scissors, trim away the excess applique fabric, cutting close to the tack down stitches.

Picture of Step 13 – Applique Coaster

Step 14:  Place the hoop on the machine.  Stitch color #6.  This is the satin stitch border around your applique.

Picture of Step 14 – Applique Coaster

Step 15:  Spritz the wrong side of your coaster backing  fabric with temporary spray adhesive.

Picture of Step 15 – Applique Coaster

Step 16:   Remove the hoop from the machine and turn it over so you are looking at the back of the hoop.  Lay the sticky side of your spritzed backing fabric on the back of your hoop.

Step 17:  Place your hoop onto your embroidery machine.  Stitch color #7.  This stitch will tack your coaster’s backing fabric in place.

Step 18:  Remove your hoop from the machine.  Using applique scissors or your preferred scissors, trim away the excess backing fabric, cutting close to the tack down stitches.

Step 19:  Place the hoop on your machine.  Stitch color #8.  This stitch is the border of your coaster.  Once you’ve stitched your coaster’s border, you can remove the hoop from the machine and you can un-hoop your project.

Step 20:  If you used wash away stabilizer, trim away the excess stabilizer and lightly rinse the edges with warm water to dissolve any leftover stabilizer.  -or- If you used the tear away stabilizer, just tear away the excess stabilizer and you are done.

Back View of Applique Coaster

Thanks for reading!  If you would like to download these free embroidery designs, just click the link to join my StitchinJenny yahoo group.  My group is a place where members can download my free designs, share their creations, and network with other crafty people.

Blessings!

Jenny Gabriel alter ego:  StitchinJenny

Easy Potholder for Newbie Sewers! Crafty Fun for All!

I have loved this chicken fabric since the first day I “laid” eyes on it.  And, at last, it has become something wonderful!

A potholder!  Yay!  (You can click on the image to see a closer view.) Anyway, if you’d like to make this quick and easy project yourself, then read the illustrated tutorial I’ve provided here.  This is a great project for the new & experienced sewer alike.

Potholder Tutorial (Finished Size is 7″x7″)

Supplies:

  • 6″ piece of 3/8″ wide grosgrain ribbon
  • 3 coordinating fabrics 1/4 yard of each – or you could use 3 coordinating fat quarters or even scraps
  • one 8″x8″ piece of Insul Bright (this is found at local fabric stores and also online:  insul bright)
  • one 8″x8″ piece of low loft batting
  • coordinating thread
  • masking tape or painters tape

Instructions:

  1. You’ll have 3 fabrics.  We’ll call them fabrics A, B, and C.
  2. Cut two 8″x8″ squares from fabric A.  Repeat for fabrics B & C.
  3. Fabric A will be the back of the potholder.
  4. Lay one 8″ square of fabric A in front of you with wrong side up.  Next, lay your 8″ square of insul bright on top of fabric A.  Then, lay your 8″ square of batting on top of the insul bright.  Last, lay your remaining square of fabric A on top of your stack with right side facing up.  It should look like this:

5.  Next, take your piece of 6″ ribbon and fold it in half.  Tape it to one of the corners of your stack.

6.  Now it time to use fabrics B & C.  These will become the front of your potholder.

7.  Fold one square of fabric B diagonally.  Press it with your iron.  It should look like a triangle.  Repeat for the rest of your fabric B & C squares.

8.  Place the corner of a fabric B triangle on top of your stack, aligning with the corner that has the ribbon.  Like this:

The raw edges of the triangle should be aligned with the raw edges of your fabric stack.

9.  Working counter clock-wise, lay the corner of a fabric C triangle on top of your stack, aligning with the corner to the left of the ribbon corner.  Like this:

Again, the raw edges of the triangle are aligned with the raw edges of your stack.

10.  Still working counter clock-wise, lay the corner of your remaining fabric B triangle on top of your stack.  (My finger is pointing to your third corner.)

11.  Now we want to put our last piece of fabric C on our 4th corner, but first, we have to peel back part of our very first triangle that we laid down.  The 4th corner is a red/black split.  Like this:

I peeled back the tip of the first triangle I laid down. See the ribbon in the corner?

I laid the last fabric C triangle on top of the red/black split, keeping the raw edges aligned with the raw edges of my stack.

Now I can lay the fabric A triangle back down on top of the 4th corner.

12.  Pin through all the layers to keep fabric from shifting.  Stitch all four edges with a 1/2″ seam allowance.  It was thick, so I decided to back stitch at the beginning and end of each edge.  You could also try the pivot and turn method as well.


13.  Clip the corners diagonally. Be careful not to cut through your stitches.

14.  Turn the pot holder right side out by opening up the area where all the triangles intersect.

Turn this potholder right side out. That black fabric you see in the middle is going to become the back of your potholder.

Use a point turner or your finger tips to shape each corner as your turn the potholder right side out.  Press potholder to help it lay flat.

Pot Holder Front View

Pot Holder Back View

Thanks for reading!  Send me pictures of your potholders!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego: StitchinJenny

Embellish Towels with the Ruffler Foot and Flower Stitch Foot

As Christmas draws near, I am steadily working on those last few gifts that are not quite finished….  If you are looking for something special to give a friend or family member this year, but you are feeling short on time, why not try making some embellished towels?

In this video clip from Nancy Zieman, you will see how to use the Flower Stitch Foot and also the Ruffler Foot to make some beautiful transformations to an ordinary kitchen towel.

Nancy’s so sweet, she even provides us with free instructions!  Embellished & Ruffle Trimmed Huck Towel

Isn’t Nancy awesome?

Well, I’ve got to get back to those unfinished gifts…..  I’m still in the process of making about 4 pairs of slippers, 4 more in-the-hoop wallets, some key fobs, embroidered mugs, 2 or 3 aprons, a couple of monogrammed towels, and a pair of tie-dyed looking batik bell bottom pants for my 14 year old….    (This list just needs a partridge in a pear tree and it could be a song!)

COFFEE!!!  I NEED MORE COFFEE!!!

By the way, take a look at these slippers!

These are a downloadable PDF pattern I found online. Click the image to go there and purchase. The pattern is half price for the holidays!

Let’s get sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny

In the Hoop Coasters

Coaster Front (Matches those Place Mats from the video tutorial…)

Coaster Back 

If some of you are new to machine embroidery and the term “In-the-Hoop” is a mystery to you, here’s a brief explanation and a photographic tutorial/demo of an “in-the-hoop” project.

“In the hoop” is a phrase that usually means the entire project is done within the embroidery hoop and does not require any sewing machine steps at all.  However, sometimes, the majority of an “in the hoop” project will be done in the hoop and just the last steps will be done with your sewing machine.  Either way, I think these types of projects are FUN!

Coaster Tutorial:

Supplies:

  • front & back coaster fabrics
  • embroidery thread (use matching embroidery thread in bobbin, too)
  • Fusible Stabilizer
  • Self-Adhesive Wash Away Stabilizer
  • 1 Can of Temporary Spray Adhesive

Cut a piece of fusible stabilizer to fit your hoop and fuse it to the wrong side of front coaster fabric.

Hoop the stabilized fabric. Attach hoop to embroidery machine. Stitch the coaster outline onto fabric.

Un-hoop the fabric and cut out the circle. Use this template to cut our your remaining coaster pieces – fronts & backs.

Peel off paper backing and then hoop the adhesive sew & wash stabilizer with the sticky side face up. Attach the hoop to the machine and stitch the coaster outline just as you did before.

Place your pre-cut coaster front onto the coaster outline that you just stitched. Press gently with fingertips to stick in place.

Stitch the next step of your coaster. It will be a zigzag outline around the coaster. Next it will stitch your monogram or any design you choose to insert in the coaster.

I chose to stitch out our family monogram for this one.

Spray the wrong side of your coaster backing fabric with temporary spray adhesive. Remove the hoop from the machine.

Don’t un-hoop your coaster! Turn the hoop over and lay your sprayed coaster backing onto the back of your hooped coaster.

Make sure the coaster backing is aligned with coaster’s front and gently finger press into place.

Then, you’ll put the hoop onto your machine again and finish stitching out the design.

First it will be a zig zag outline.  Last it will be a satin stitch border around the entire coaster.

Once the stitching is completed, remove coaster from the hoop. Trim away excess stabilizer. Lightly rinse the edges of the coaster to dissolve the wash away stabilizer. Let dry and enjoy!

If you would like to try this project, I have digitized the coasters with a single letter from A-Z on each.  I have uploaded the files to my StitchinJenny Yahoo group.  All you have to do to access the designs is click the link and  join the group.  Once you’ve joined the group you will be able to access and download the files.

Thanks for reading!

Let’s get Sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny