Saturday, July 8, 2017

Sewing and Quick Gifts

Sewing and Quick Gifts
8.5 x 8.5 Squares

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart."~ Helen Keller.
A gift created with one's talents and creativity, and given with love is one of those times when the gift given is "felt with the heart."

Talented artists who sew certainly can sew elaborate gifts for those they know well but at times we want to give a small gift to friends as an acknowledgement of our friendship, and our pleasure at having them in our life.
Here are a few gifts a person who sews might consider creating for those friends: birthdays, holidays, new year, special occasion, or just because.  Each of these gifts have at its beginning a magic square - 8.5 inches x 8.5 inches.

Omnigrip by Omnigrid - The Quilt Department
Fiskar Ruler -
Invest in a template to enable you to quickly cut the 8.5 inch squares from remnant fabric, scraps, or purchased especially for the project.  This Omnigrip quilter's acrylic ruler template (with neon colored line markings) may be purchased from most major fabric / craft sellers such as Jo-Ann's, even Walmart and K Mart, and online at The Quilt Department.  Fiskar also offers an 8.5 x 8.5 quilters ruler which is available from sources such as Dick Blick's and others on the web such as  Price for either will be approximately $12.00 - $15.00 depending on source.

An Eye Glass Case

THREE magic squares
1. Some type of inner fabric that is soft and which will protect the lenses of the glasses - flannel or minky fabric, or anything soft to the touch. 
2. Bondable batting - Batting with an adhesive on one side seems to work best.
3. Top fabric - choose something fun and unique for the recipient.  Sports fabric for a preschool boy; a vibrant purple for a special friend who loves purple.

Most cases can be made as a slip in model, but for young children you may wish to sew in an elastic tab to go over a button.  (A tab with a button hole makes the case more elegant but it is also more cumbersome to open.  I much prefer the elastic loop and button closure.

 Step 1:
The construction is simple: First fuse the bondable batting to the top fabric.

Step 2:
Wrong sides together - sew the top seam and turn down the sides about 3/4 to 1 inch.  (If you are going to use the elastic or tab enclosure this is the time to sew that into the seam. Place between the layers and sew into the seam.) Turn the fabrics to conceal the seam. Press and top stitch.

Step 3:
Add any embellishments desired to the outside of the case.  (This is also the time to sew on the button if you have decided to create a closure to the eye glass case.)

Step 4:
Fold square in half, right side (or top fabric) inside and seam the bottom edge and side up to the point where the top seam has been sewn.  Turn case right side out.

Caution: If the glasses are wide you may wish to use a wider piece of fabric so the finished product is ample for the glasses.  For example: One toddler had a wide head and needed an adult width in glasses.  Those would have fit but since the bows were very long, and the child didn't need the length the bows were adjusted downward and necessitated a wider case to accommodate the bend of the bows.

Making these cases personal is as simple as selecting fabric that reflects the personality or interests of the recipient.  For the quilter you might even quilt fabric to create the 8.5 inch square, others might be simply a selection of fabric from your scrap stash that might be just the perfect selection.


Travel Sewing Kit 

Every traveler needs an emergency travel kit and this one is simple to put together and serves the need to fix those simple tears, lost buttons, a hem pulled loose, and so forth.  The case is small enough to fit into a purse or a cosmetic or toiletry bag.

The fabric will reflect the personality of the recipient.  A more masculine fabric would make this a suitable gift that would fit easily into a toiletry bag.

Materials Needed:
  • Two Magic Squares - same or contrasting fabric.
  • 1/2 Magic Square - fusible bonding (4.25 in. x 8.5 in)
  • Button and either elastic tie, or tab w/button hold made from fabric.
Step 1:
Cut off a strip of 3 inches from one Magic Square (Piece A).

Step 2: Using the 3 inch strip, cut off 2.5 inches from the length making the piece 3 in. x 6 in. - fold with right sides together, sew side seams (leave bottom unseamed) to make a 3 x 3 inch pocket.
Step 3: The remaining piece is 5.5 x 8.5 (Piece B) - fold and press.

Step 4: Sew the 3 inch pocket to the longer folded Piece B.

Step 5:
  • Iron the fusible batting to the inside of one-half of the fabric.
  • Line up the Piece B pocket to the front of the bottom of the full magic square (the 1/2 that has the fused batting.)
  • Fold the right side of the unfused portion over and line up the bottom edges. 
  • Before sewing the three sides, place the elastic or the tab for closure in the center of the end furthest away from the small 3 inch pocket.
  • Sew the three sides leaving an opening us use to turn the kit right side out.

Step 6:
  • Top stitch all around
  • Sew vertically to help the item fold 1.5 inches from the elastic tab; and 3 inches from the other end.  
  • Making two stitching lines (for each vertical stitching) with only a fraction of a space between will help the kit to fold neatly.
Contents to be added:
  1. Scissors
  2. Sewing needles (could thread some of them with a light and a dark thread)
  3. Selection of thread
  4. Safety pins 
  5. Buttons
If you are making several kits you may wish to purchase the mini-scissors, thread packets, pins, buttons, etc. in bulk. 

Otherwise select inexpensive items that will fit into the kit. Make your own thread packets by cutting notches into a piece of cardboard - and wrap various basic threads around the cardboard.
If you are making your own it is always nice to thread some of the sewing needles to make the use handier.
The fusible batting that was included in the kit helps to simply stick the needles to the kit, pin the safety pins to the kit etc.  The scissors will fit nicely into the 3 inch pocket.  Loose buttons can be wrapped into a waxed paper "envelope" and tucked into a pocket.

If you want to purchase in bulk - follow these links:

Mini-scissors (50 in a pack) - Amazon $18.99

Contains: thread, needles, buttons, threader 

Travel Sewing Kit 

Every traveler needs an emergency travel kit and this one is simple to put together and serves the need to fix those simple tears, lost buttons, a hem pulled loose, and so forth.  The case is small enough to fit into a purse or a cosmetic or toiletry bag.

Button Button - Who has the Button

Visit Greenfroggifts on Etsy for the latest choices. 

Order cookie cutters, aprons, and baker's cloths from Green Frog Gifts -- unique gifts -- many $10.00 or under.


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