Long Arm Quilting

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

The Best Quilted Bucket Tutorial

Hello hello hello!!!! Long time no see right? I probably say that every time I try to post to my blog, I hear there is a resurgence in blogs. Hopefully, that is true, I remember the great days of the blogs and how much fun it was to read about everyone's crafty lives. Well, here we go. I have been making buckets! I hope you want to make some too!

I have been teaching Quilt As You Go both on the longarm and on the domestic machine and I find myself with a bunch of fun little quilted slabs, but I really don't need a lot of quilted slabs unless I turn them into placemats for the table, which is fun, but again I don't need that many. I do however need little containers to put stuff in. This is where my little quilted buckets come in. They are quite simple to make, especially if you have taken one of my classes (please take one of my classes so I can feel justified in filming more). 

I think these little buckets are really cute disguising a nursery pot for a new plant, or on the desk filled with pens. I use mine by my sewing machine and put my favorite machine feet in it. I also have one near my longarm so I can collect all the thread clippings from quilting and removing basting thread. It is fun to see in accumulating in this little bucket instead of on my studio floor or wrapped around the vacuum beater bar. Not only are these little buckets incredibly cute and useful but they are so incredibly fun to make. After you make your first,  I dare you to try to resist making many more. I like to use my Quilt As You Go slabs, but they are so great made out of some of my quilting samples after I have tried some new designs or even my tension tests. Really you can't go wrong.

  • Sewing machine in good working order with a variety of different feet
  • A quilted thing that is at least 9.5x14 inches
  • piece of lining fabric 9.5x14 inches
  • a strip of fabric to bind the bucket 2.5x18.5 inches
  • Fabric marking pen or pencil
  • Rotary cutter and self-healing mat
  • Quilting Ruler
  • Fabric scissors
*All seams are quarter-inch unless otherwise stated.

Step 1)  Cut your pieces

You need to cut your pieces for your bucket

Cut out a 9.5x14 inch rectangle of both the quilted slab and the lining fabric (a lining is not 100% necessary, but I like to add one to disguise the raw seams). 

Step 2)  Mark and Cut out your bottom gusset

Fold your quilted piece in half so the short sides are at the top. Mark a 2 inch square in both bottom corners. Flip it over and do the same thing on the other side. I recommend you use a fabric marker, I used a sharpie so it would show up in these pictures for you.

If done correctly you will have a 4x2 inch rectangle to cut out from both sides. Go ahead and cut them out. 

Step 3) ZigZag Stitch Around Your Quilted Piece

I think it is important to do some sort of Stay Stitch around your quilted piece. This prevents the quilting from coming unraveled at the edges. I use a simple Zig Zag stitch or the stitch that looks like a serger stretch stitch. On my Bernina it is #13

Step 4) Sew Up the Sides and Gussets

After you have stay stitched the quilted piece you can sew up the sides then the gusset bottom of both the quilted piece and the lining. I use my walking foot when sewing up the quilted portion of the bucket. You can see your little bucket coming together now. 

Step 5) Place the Lining inside the Quilted Bucket

Leave your lining inside out, but you will need to turn your quilted part Right Side Out at this point. Stuff your lining inside the quilted bucket. It is helpful to nest up your side seams and either pin or use wonder clips to keep the parts in place. 

Step 6) Sew Lining Inside Quilted Body of Bucket. 

This part is easiest done with the free arm of the sewing machine exposed. I almost always have an extension plate on my sewing machine, but when I have to put in linings I remove it so I can get this part done easily. Sew the lining inside the bucket. Sewing the lining in before adding the binding makes the binding part easier and Easy is good. I use my walking foot for this step and I use a scant quarter-inch seam so it will be hidden when I finish my binding. 

Step 7) Make and Add Binding to Bucket

I failed to take a picture of making the binding. I am sorry. I never like binding for some reason, so I blast through it. You will need a 2.5x18.5 inch piece of binding. I love a black and white stripe for my bindings, but use whatever you like. Press the binding in half down the length. Open the binding up and sew the short ends together with a quarter-inch seam. Finger press this open and fold the binding back in half along the pressed edges. At this point, if my words make sense, you will have a pretty ring of binding. Hooray!

Turn your bucket inside out and slide the binding onto the bucket with the raw edges together. Pin or wonder clip the binding in place paying attention to where the seams line up. I don't like all the seams to wind up in the same place. The bulk makes me crazy. Now use your walking foot and sew the binding to the bucket with a quarter-inch seam.

Step 8) Finish Binding your Bucket

You are so close to finished! Yay! Now you just need to flip your bucket right side out, fold your binding down over the edge and stitch it down. This is a great time to get creative if you feel like it. Slide some rickrack or Prairie points up under the fold and make an exciting binding, or hand stitch the binding down with fat embroidery thread, maybe add some wool felt to park your hand needles so it can become a sewing bucket. You are really only limited by your imagination. Go for it! Make heaps and give them to your friends and family! If you do make some and post them on IG please use the hashtag #tiacurtisquilts so I can see your fine work. Below are some that I have made and remembered to get a picture of before sending them off to their new homes.

Here are some that normally hold baby plants. 

One holds my binder clips the others will hold baby plants

This one is from a test quilting piece and holds my wonder clips

This was a QAYG piece and holds my thread clippings. That's a lot of thread folks.

This is my applique bucket. It normally lives by my seat on the sofa or in the car. I added some felt so I could park my needles

This one lives by my Sewing machine. It holds all my favorite notions. I would be lost without it.

OK, go forth and make buckets for yourself and all the folks you love. The world needs more quilted buckets! Also, leave a comment. Let me know you are here!

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Cat bags and Octopi bags are coming soon!!!!

Hey there folks!!!

What do you know? I am typing a blog post. How wild. It is rather dusty around here. It has been so long since I have posted that the entire platform seems to have changed. Oh well onward and upward, right?

So, how has Covid19 been treating you? I hope you are doing well and are healthy and happy and have found some good things to keep your mind and body busy.

For those of you who have been long time followers, HI!!!!! I miss you all so much! For the newbies HI!!!! I am so happy to meet you. From 2006 to about 2013 I made bags. Camp Follower Bags. That was my gig. I made bags out of peoples uniforms and they were pretty cool if I do say so myself. I hear from folks every so often about how they still carry their bag after x amount of years and that they still love them. Those tales make me so happy.

Well, during this pandemic I have found myself going back to what I know. I have been making bags again. I have made some rather large and complicated ones and I have made some smaller ones that are absolutely charming. I  have been able to focus long enough to knock out a bag here or there and it is the little victories that have made me feel like I am getting things done. It makes me feel rooted. I first started sewing to feel like I had some control while my husband was deployed. I obviously need to feel some control again now that it seems like the world has turned itself inside out.

Well, I have quite a few ready to go onto their new homes. I have about 40 zipper bags of varying complexity and detail. Every single bag is a one of a kind. You will be the only human on the planet with that particular bag. Each one is a piece of art in its own right.

I know there has been alot of excitement and questions about when they will be available. Soon!!! I took so many pictures over the past couple days, but I need to edit them and upload each individual listing. as well as measure each bag so you will know what you are getting. 

The cats above are going to be available. They are so cute. I think there are 12 cat bags, maybe more? I painted all the ones above with fabric dye, washed and set the dye then used my long arm to do some free hand thread sketching of some cute little cat faces and quilted the backgrouds. The bags are quilted all the way through and with the exception of 2 bags all have metal zippers. 

My daughter Emma and I coolaborated on several bags. She painted pieces that I quilted and then I made them into bags. Notably the Octopus bags which I have not yet photographed. Yikes! I need to do that tomorrow I hope. Needless to say they are awesome and I kinda want to keep them all, but that is stupid, also She will be getting the money from the sale of her bags. College isn't free, and she wanted a creative job. I hear you kiddo. Me too!

I also made a TON of these Trixie Zipper bags. I cant tell you how much I love the design and individuality of these bags. If you sew, and have not made one yet, stop everything and go buy the pattern from  Sewing Illustration and make a couple. I have had alot of fun during this pandemic making these bags out of little quilts and samples I have made over the years. Seriously they are so satisfyling and her zipper technique is kinda brilliant.

I hope you enjoied a bit behind the scenes here on the Curtis homefront. I am sewing like crazy. Still quilting everyday and dabbling in painting. If you have not signed up for my newletter please do. That is where the first announcement will go as to when the bags will be available in my shop. you can sign up over on the right hand sidebar or right as you open my blog a really annoying popup pops up. I swear I will never bombard you with spammy emails or nonsense. I don't have time for that.

*Also I can't find spellcheck on the new platform. I am going to go re-read this post. Hopefully it wont look like it was written by a bot. If it is filled with typos, sorry. Do not feel like you need to let me know.

I am so happy you came here to ready my blog. I miss you guys! Let me know in comments if you would be interested in a Zoom class on how to make your own cat bag?



Sunday, April 5, 2020

Make Protective Fabric Face masks with your Long Arm quilting machine.

Use your digital quilting machine to stitch out protective face masks. The digital pattern I designed is for use with the pleated Deaconess.com mask. It has reinforced 1/2 inch gaps in each of the four corners to insert either elastic or Cotton ties depending on availability and preference.

You can find my FREE digital patter HERE

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Friday, February 21, 2020

"A Lesson on Improv Curves" quilt pattern

Hi There!

I know it has been ages since I wrote an actual blog post. I like the idea of blogging, but finding the time is another story.

I showed up here today to tell you about my newest pattern. I have been playing with improv curved blocks for several years and I finally have it down to a fun technique that I can almost do blindfolded. 

This pattern is written like one of my classes. It is full of color pictures of step by step instructions to make both simple and complicated blocks. I love making curves so very much. Please give this pattern a look if you feel like it might be a technique you would like to add to your quilt making tool box.

I'm excited to present this pattern to you in PDF form on my website. And happily enough I am also running a Studio Sale to celebrate the reboot of my website shop. You can get 20% off orders of $25 or more, so you can pick up some lovely fabric and a pattern or two. Use coupon code STUDIOSALE at checkout.

I made the cover quilt with Wonder fabric by Katie Larson and PBStudios solids. I love this collection so much. The large scale prints are perfect for simple curves and the solids make such great companions.

I made this version with the Harriet companion prints that go with Carolyn Friedlander's recent collection. I love how calm this version is compared to the one above.

Now, this version was one of my first dabbles into curved piecing. I made these quilt blocks from the small inside curve out to the lager curves. I also cut my pieced curves in half and inserted narrow stripe strips before finally nestling the curves into their silver backgrounds.

This version had both large curves and small curves. I felt it needed more, so I inserted charcoal crosses.

This last version was made a couple days before the first time I taught this quilt at my LQS. I felt I needed at least one more sample. I wanted to work on a rather chaotic layout so after trimming up all the blocks I shoved them into a paper bag and sewed them together as I took them out of the bag. It made for really making a fun layout. 

I loaded the quilt up onto my Gammill long arm initially intending to quilt it very simply with an edge to edge design, but I lost control and filled the quilt up with custom quilting. My husband decided it should be named "Cruising Altitude" because it kinda looks like farm land when seen from above. These fabrics are almost all hand dyed by me from a dying jag I had a couple years ago. I like how soft and faded the quilt it. The back is a Silver Cotton Sateen that makes the quilt have such a lovely soft feel. This is the last thing I am going to say about the quilt before signing off. I used Bamboo batting from Winline. The batting is so soft and wonderful. I have wanted to add a good Bamboo batting to the battings I offer clients for some time. This one is just perfect. It is thick enough show off pretty quilting, but the drape is elegant.

Happy Quilting Folks!!!


Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Making Bias with the Oliso Travel Iron and Clover Bias makers

Hey there! I hope you have all been well. Autumn has descended on Eastern Kansas. It is absolutely beautiful outside with all the leaves changing colors. I have ben busy, but aren't we all? I have several blog posts in various states of editing going on about all the awesome trips I made this year to teach my love of quilting both with Gammill and on my own, but I start them and just can't finish for some reason.

Here is a quick video of how I make Bias strips for use in Appliqué. I keep saying Oliso incorrectly....Olisio...nope. And I couldn't remember that Soak makes Flatter spray starch. Dangit. Oh well, I am sure you know.

I know I will be asked, so here is the width you need to cut your strips

1/3 inch Clover Bias Maker cut 7/8 inch strips

1/4 inch Clover Bias Maker Cut 5/8 inch strips

If you are reading this I would love to know what your favorite notions are. I am planning to do a series of notion reviews and I am curious if we like the same thing.