‘Stack and Whack’ Quilt – guest post by CraftyRoo!


Crafty Roo bringing you this week’s make – a stack and whack play quilt for a baby.

I have been making quilts for some time and wanted to try a new method.  I had a birthday last week and received many crafty books, one of which was Kirstie Allsop’s Craft.  In this book, one of the first projects is a stack and whack quilt.  It looked quite easy and interested and I wanted to see if I could use this technique as opposed to cutting blocks or strips which is how I usually piece my quilts.

Anyway, the book suggested making a template. I didn’t do this and wanted to get straight on with my cutting.  I made a stack of five fabrics.  I then cut two squares through all five layers, each six inches by six inches.  Then I made four cuts into each square, giving five smaller piles of fabric for each square (10 in total).  I labelled these carefully.  Each pile of fabric was cut slighly differently, giving different shapes.

You then leave pile one as it is, take one piece the top of from pile two and put it on the bottom, take two from pile three and put it on the bottom, take three from pile four and put them on the bottom, put four from pile five on the bottom.  Do this carefully and you will end up with five unique squares. Sew these together so you end up with ten complete squares.

Lay these out so that no two of the same  fabrics are next to each other.  You will have one square left over, which you can use on the back, if you like, or to make a matching cushion.

If I was going to do it again, I would cut bigger squares to start off with.  Using only six by six squares made it very fiddly!

That is as far as I’ve got! I’ll try to update this with my next steps.

51. Fabric Bag With Lots of Pockets

I cleared out my fabric stash cupboard this week and found quite a few projects that were started but not finished. Fortunately, not as many as there were at the beginning of the year and not all of them are mine. However, when I tried to give them back to their creators, they were all returned with, ‘oh, you can finish it or make it into something’ Some even denied having anything to do with them. (Could this be next year’s blog?)

This week’s make was a project I started ages ago.  I was going to make a matching cushion for some curtains I had made. You can tell how long ago this project was started by the fact that the curtains were put on freecycle last year and are long gone.

I still like the fabric and as I’d already quilted a huge piece of it, I decided to make it into a bag with lots of pockets.  It might be useful as a diaper/nappy bag or for lugging around crafting bits and pieces. The piece I’ve started with is a rectangle measuring 92cm x 41cm.

So, I finished the quilting off then added a pocket to the inside.  For this I folded a piece of contrasting fabric 25cm x 25cm in half, and sewed it to the inside of the bag along 3 sides. I then made this into 2 pockets by stitching along its height with contrasting thread.

Then I started to make the pockets on the outside.  This turned out to be a bit trial and error as I was making up how to do it as I went along.

For a large front pocket, the yellow one below, I used 2 squares of fabric 25cm x 25cm.  Sewed them right sides together on 3 sides, turned them right side out and sewed the top closed with contrasting stitching.

Then I made a run of pockets around the bottom of the bag using  a strip of the main fabric, 106cm x 40cm. I folded the strip in half lengthwise and placed the open edges along the bottom of the bag.  As this strip is slightly wider than the bag, I pinned it in place so that the pockets stuck out a bit like pouches. Hopefully this will mean that it will hold bulky items. At the front, I made a pleat in the strip in the hope that it might lie flat when nothing is in that pocket.

I then sewed the strip to the main part of the bag attaching it at the sides and bottom.

(The pocket didn’t lie flat so I slipped a piece of elastic into the top fold.)

I made the straps by using two strips of fabric folded over some batting and then stitching along the length.

I also used an old duffle coat toggle to the front and crocheted a strip of yarn as a loop fastening.

I was going to add this to the blog as make number 46 but have decided to give it to one of my lovely daughters so will save this make and publish it after Christmas.  As it is now Friday, I’m going to have to make something very quickly to get it in for this week.

44. Quilt label

This week’s make has been a bit of a mission.  Our good friends, R & A have been made proud grandparents and I wanted to give new baby Samantha a specially made quilt.  The quilt was no problem, after all, you will have seen from previous posts, I’ve made these before.  This time, I decided that I’d like to label it as I’ve read some articles saying that labelling is important so future generations know where and when the quilt was made.  I did some research and found that I could print directly onto fabric from my ink jet printer.  This sounded ideal, I could design a beautiful label, print it and sew it to the back of the quilt and hopefully it would last the life of the quilt.

Some websites suggested that  in order to print successfully on to fabric, the best thing to do is to soak the fabric first in ‘Bubble Jet Set’ .

This I did:

I left the fabric to dry, then ironed it to some printer sized freezer paper. (Common in the US but not so easy to get in the UK – try ebay)

I then designed the label:

Unfortunately, when I tried to print the fabric on the freezer paper, my printer didn’t cooperate. I tried an old printer – still no luck. Very disappointing.

Trying again, I decided to write directly onto the fabric.  Once again, I ironed the fabric onto freezer paper.  This holds it and makes it easier to write on.  I found a fun font and then copied it directly onto the fabric using a Copic Multiliner SP 0.25.

Then I cut it out and sewed it to the back of the quilt.

Not quite what I had intended but it works and I hope it will last as long as the quilt.

24. Scarecrow

This week has been the busiest of the year for me. I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t get to my ‘make’ at all but then I realised that of course I was making something.  Sometime ago I agreed to run a craft morning at our library where we would be making scarecrows for a competition at our July 9 carnival.  We decided that we would make them totally out of recycled materials as this week is Eco-Week in our village.

I’ve been saving basket loads of recycled packaging and old cds for several months.  I really had no idea how I would be putting it all together but knew I’d find a way.

Thankfully, one of the rules of the competition is that the scarecrows are to be less than 2ft tall. I started off by filling a plastic carrier with some shredded paper to make a head.  I tied the head off with string then threaded the handles down the inside of a paper towel cardboard tube. Then, using some old fabric, I cut a circle with pinking shears and covered the head with this, again tying it off.  I used some old wool to make the hair and sewed it to the head.

Then I realised that this could be this week’s make and started taking pictures.

For the next step I added button eyes and nose.

Now for the tricky part..how on earth to make the body?  Then I had a brainwave.  Jiffy bags seem to pile up in my office. They aren’t easy to recycle without either reusing or pulling apart to separate the plastic bubble bit from the paper outer.  So I chose one roughly the same height as the paper towel tube and cut it into the shape of a dress.

I used masking tape to tape the sides and under arms together and then cut two pieces of scrap fabric using it as a pattern.

I machine sewed these together at the sides and under arms and finished the sleeve and neck edges by hand.

I then turned it right side out, slipped it over the jiffy bag and fitted it over the paper towel tube.

Hmmm…how to get her to stand up?

Using one of the old cds, I cut out a same sized piece of card and then glued the card to the cd.

Then I cut several slits upward from the bottom of the cardboard tube and splayed them outwards. I glued these to the cardboard circle attached to the cd. Surprisingly she stood upright!

Ooops…nearly forgot to mention, I made her a hat out of a chocolate pudding container, an old measuring tape and some netting that a toy bat and ball came in.

Here is the final version.  I added some fabric flowers and a bag of sewing and knitting goodies to advertise our Sew, Knit and Natter group at the library.

Several days later, she is still standing so I’ll be taking her down to the competition on Saturday morning. Wish me luck!

7. Quick Quilted Tote Bag

I think I was probably a bit optimistic to think I could get this made in a week but I’ll give it a go.

I started off by choosing the fabric. Actually, if the truth be known, I started the piecing before deciding what it was going to be.

I have had the parrot fabric in my stash for about 20 years and thought it was about time it was put to use.

I’m not going to give any measurements for this (but if you’d like some, add a comment below) as I started with no idea how big the finished bag or whatever it was going to turn into would be.  You can use the same steps to make any size bag.

Start by taking a piece of fabric and folding it so as the selvedges are together. Then fold it again so that the previous fold is also along the selvedge edge.  This will give you a nice straight line.  Next cut some strips.  I nearly said of equal width but on second thoughts, they really don’t have to be.

From the pictures you will see that I use a cutting mat, rotary cutter and long O’lipfa ruler.  If you are making the strips this way then put the selvedge edges (and folded edge) along one of the lines of the cutting mat and you should get pretty straight strips. Or, if you are using scissors, mark the fabric with tailor’s chalk or a light pencil line before you cut.

Do the same with a contrasting piece of fabric so that you end up with about 7 or so long strips of fabric.

Sew them together along the long edges so that you have a piece of fabric like the one above.  This is when I decided it was going to be a bag.

Press the seams.

Next find a piece of lining fabric the same size as the completed strips. I used bump curtain lining, a thick padding that is used to make insulated curtains.  You can use whatever comes to hand, any kind of old wool blanket, soft cotton or you could also use batting from a quilting supplies shop  (this is usually most expensive option).  I’ve pieced the bump (as the off cut I had wasn’t big enough) by butting the edges together and over stitching them.

Place this on the wrong side of your strips of fabric and tack in place.

You will see from this picture that my strips are not exactly even at the ends.  That is ok,  trim them as a next step.  Now cut 2 pieces off the end of the strips and bump that you can use to make the handles.  Mine are about 12cm wide each but make them as wide as you need for the size of bag you are making.  If you are making a small bag you may not even want handles.

Ooops…nearly forgot this piece.  Now do the quilting.  Sew a small running stitch about half a centimetre in from each seam so that there is a rectangle of stitching inside every strip.

Now get another piece of fabric roughly the same size as the strips and bump that will be the lining of the bag. I used the same fabric as one of those I used for strips. Place this right side to the right side of the strips. So in the picture above that shows the bump, the lining would be on the floor right side up with the strips face down on it and the bump on the top.  Stitch around the 2 long sides and one short side but leave 2 gaps on the short side where the handles will fit in. I placed the gaps on mine at the 2nd and 6th strips to make it easy to match them up. Turn right sides out.

I also decided at this point to add an inside pocket as I’m forever losing my phone at the bottom of my bag.  I think with hindsight, it might have been easier to add this before attaching the inside lining but nevermind.

Next step is to make the handles. Fold each strip you cut off earlier so that the long edges are concealed. It doesn’t really matter how you do this. I folded each long edge to the middle and then folded the whole thing in two.  Stitch together along the long edge. Up to this point I’ve done all my stitching by hand but I think to make sure the bag stays together, I’ll machine stitch the rest. (I’ve just had a message from P, who would like to know if she can make the whole thing by hand.  Hmmm…yes, of course.  I think I might run a couple of rows of stitches down the sides to make it v. secure if I was doing it by hand but it depends what size of bag you are planning – one row would probably be enough for a small clutch.)

Put the ends of handle one into the gaps you left on the short edge of the bag that is partially stitched and stitch them firmly into place, closing the gaps as you do so.

On the other short edge of the bag, pin the handle ends in the corresponding position to the first handle and fold over the edges and stitch the opening closed.

Take out any tacking.

Fold the bag so that the handles are together and stitch along both sides.  I machined on the right side so there is a top stitch along both sides.  And here it is: