Friday, December 05, 2014

Snip & Fringe

Hi, Knitters,
A reminder for you: The coupon code for $1 off on the Yowza Weigh It Shawl 2 is still available for a few days. The coupon code is: YOWZA2

Click here to see the pattern info or to purchase the Yowza Weigh It Shawl 2!
Winners have been selected for the Shoe Candy sock pattern giveaway!! Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone for entering!
agileknitter, the designer of Shoe Candy sock pattern has generously upped the ante to 3 winners! agileknitter or Leah will be in touch with the winners to gift them the pattern.
Here are the 3 winners:
From Leah, the designer of Shoe Candy:
A huge thank you to Susan for sharing the news of my new pattern and to this awesome group for your kind words. I so appreciate your feedback.
As a small token of my appreciation, I’m offering a code to this group (you have to be a member of the Itty-Bitty Knits Group) for $1 off any of my patterns. The code is IBK LOVE and is valid today through end of day Sunday, 12/7. You can view my pattern page here.
Happy Knitting, Leah
Another news-type item is that the classes and early registration is open for Yarnover 2015! I am so excited and honored to be teaching at this fun Minneapolis event. I have been hearing about how wonderful and fun it is for years. It is a one day event and from what I hear it is huge.
The event is hosted by the Minnesota Knitters' Guild but it is open for everyone (from anywhere!) but you do have to be a member of the guild.
These are my classes:
Morning: Build-a-Toy Workshop
Afternoon: Fair Isle Fingerless Mitt Design Workshop
You can read all about these in the brochure linked below!
Also new for 2015:  The deadline to join or renew your membership and qualify for early registration is December 16th rather than December 31st.
Here are the Yarnover 2015 details.  Please check back here for updated information as it becomes available: 
  • It will be held on Saturday, April 25, 2015.
  • The Meet the Teachers Dinner will be held at the Marriott Hotel Friday, April 24, 2015.  The keynote speaker is Amy Herzog, author of Fit to Flatter. She is delightful, as you will soon experience for yourselves.
  • Early registration will begin on January 10th, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. CST for anyone who joins or renews membership by December 16, 2014.
  • The 2015 Yarnover brochure is finally here!

Now for the topic at hand. I have been making rag quilt placemats since last weekend. Last Sunday I made 6 rag quilt placemats. I have made quilted placemats for years, the regular kind with the binding on the edges. I love making those bound placemats and these are probably the most used handmade item in my house. They wash and wear like nobody's business. I love them.

By the way, I have seen place mat written as two words and one word. Which is correct? I prefer placemat so that is what I'll use.

The idea for the rag quilt technique came from watching The Knitgirllls Podcast where Leslie shared her gorgeous rag quilt on the episode. She is a beautiful sewer. It seemed like a much quicker technique and with my regular-sized old sewing machine an easier quilt project to maneuver. 

Each square is sandwiched with batting and backing and then quilted separately. Then the squares are sewn together in strips with exposed seam allowances on one side of the quilt. The outside edges are seamed together by just zipping around the quilt. Now all of the exposed edges and seam allowances are clipped to create fringe which just gets better and better with each washing.

Here is the video I used for instruction:

Here are some of the new placemats I have been sewing. I use a favorite placemat as a pattern template for the size. I just lay the old placemat on top of the fabric and cut the fabric. I don't measure (honestly, I have never measured these placemats ~ please don't ask me to measure for you:) and if they are a little different in size I don't care at all. I use straight pins to keep the quilt sandwich together before I sew it together. I don't worry much if my sewing lines are perfectly straight or even. It is all done in the spirit of ease and fun! No worries about perfection at all, I just let it go.

I am using up a few packs of fat quarters that I've had sitting around for years. They are totally mismatched fun. Everyone loves looking at the different fabrics and as I've said so many times I love mismatched handmade items. I mismatch on purpose all of the time. Each side of the placemat is a different fabric. Some of the other sides are solids.

I am having so much fun with this sewing project that I decided to make a Christmas-themed set of placemats. My goal is to get 12 Christmas placemats done for the holiday this year. I have four done so far. TC and I went to JoAnn's last Sunday armed with coupons. She helped me pick out a stack of Christmas fabrics. We had so much fun picking out the pairings. She spotted the Frozen fabric (lower left above), it's of the snowman, and she really wanted it. It was so expensive. I needed a 1/2 yard for two sides of the placemats. The fabric was $23.99 a yard! A Yard!

We almost put it back on the shelf but then I saw that all fabric was 50% off so that dropped the price way down. It was still outrageously expensive but more palatable for half a yard. It is not 100% cotton either. I don't know what the fabric content is exactly but it has a more polyester feel to it. It won't ever fringe as well I am sure but TC loves it. How can I say no to a high school teenager who still loves Disney musical movies? I'm with her.

Leslie from The Knit Girllls recommended that I get these Fiskar spring action snips made for making rag quilts. She said it would save my hands. I ordered them from Amazon, click here! Even for the smaller sized placemats these snips are nothing short of a miracle. I never would have thought that there was a tool for clipping a rag quilt but here it is. The clipping is the most tedious part but I don't mind it. The smaller the snipping the better the fringe will be (like an 1/8-inch is better than a 1/4 inch is better than a 1/2 inch for the fringes).

Next up I am going to make a big huge rag quilt. I want to make a quilt to fit on my bed and this rag style is going to be it. 

You can see the stack of freshly washed fabric I am using by clicking right here! It is a gorgeous selection of fabrics from Heather Ross. I have more of her fabrics ready to add in as I get there.

Okay, off into the weekend we go! Have a good one. Are any of you sewing right now? I'd love to hear about your projects, knitting too.
xo ~ susan


Unknown said...

I have had plans to make placemats that are pieced forever. Maybe I'll try some of these, I've done a small rag quilt and it is fun--and those type of scissors are necessary!

I am sewing some potholders and a couple little teatowels with that hanging thing made out of fabric, also planning a wallhanging for a gift. Have to get the Christmas sewing done so I play with a couple quilts I want to make.

Oh, and I'm making some shorts for an upcoming trip to Africa, maybe some little dresses too! I need more time!

wrena said...

I've been sewing zippered project bags using up fabric that's been around for years! I'm knitting waiting for winter mittens in the stripes, Hudson bay and kinetic colorway varieties (latter 2 inspired by socks on your blog).

chris m said...

Your placemats are really fun! I love this idea and have tons of Christmas fat quarters from years past. I think I know what I might be doing this rainy weekend! Thanks for the inspiration!

zenitude said...

The Frozen fabric is a treat for sure! But it will bring back memories every time someone places their dinner plate on it. I love it!

Jaxie985 said...

I like that technique a lot! I was planning to weave some "mug rugs" to package with sipping chocolate and cinnamon sticks for some of my gifts, but now I'm thinking rag quilt "rugs" instead!

Susan B. Anderson said...

That is such a cute gift idea. I may do that, too, now. You've inspired me:)

Idiosyncratic Eye said...

Craft supplies over here are usually the same 'price' as in the US but with the currency difference, it's twice the ouch! The price of quilting fabrics, it makes my eyes water! ;)

debsnubs said...

Hi Susan,
This is amazing I am a quilter and have never seen this I love it. I have a new grandchild coming in April and they would like a quilt made for on the flour for playing and this is perfect cant wait to get started thank you so much.

Amaris said...

I am a highschool teenager who still loves Disney musical movies... :D

steph said...

i knew it. i just knew it. our christmas tree had to go up in front of the yarn/craft closet this year....and while i rescued a ridiculous amount of yarn from it, i knew that by leaving the sewing machine secure behind those doors someone would come up with a project that i'd drop everything to start---using the machine. grrrrrrrr. and i can't. i guess the real test will be if i still love this idea in january!!! (I think I will!!! Thanks for sharing)

suzanne said...

I have made quite a few Rag quilts, and I have actually found that the spring loaded snips gave my hand a blister. Fons & Porter actually make a pair of little red handled snips ( that work beautifully. I did NOT pay this amazon price, rather got them at Joann with a coupon. But, fun quilts to make!

Anonymous said...

These placemats are so cute! Thanks for the inspiration! My daughter & I plan to make some for gifts.
connknits on ravelry

karen green said...

Just wanted you to know I made eight rag placemats last night. Loved the idea. bought the scissors at Joanns. What a difference they make. Thanks for the idea.