Jan 26

DIY Quick & Easy Quilted Laptop Case

DIY quick & easy laptop case @ wowilikethat.com

I’m one lucky girl. I have the sweetest young man as a son. For Christmas he wanted me to have a little laptop that I could carry around and he got me one as a gift.

I wanted something different. Above is the result.  Other than the embroidery it took about an hour to make include the quilting on the back. Yep that is how I like it, quick and easy.

If you followed along with my “What can you make with a thrifted sheet and 1 fat quarter” projects, this is the last piece of the thrifted sheet.

To make, measure your laptop.  Add 1-1/4″ around all sides.  This is the size you will need to cut for the front.  If you want to add a funky wonky square too, after piecing the finished piece needs to be 1-1/4″ larger than the laptop.

To make a wonky square, stitch together two different  fabrics. Twist the fabric and cut a regular rectangle to the desired size. To make it wonky, place the rectangle on top of the laptop to get an idea of where to place it on the case.  From the placement, figure how much fabric is needed to the right, the left, the top and bottom to make the finished piece which is the size of the laptop plus the 1-1/4″ on each side or 2-1/2″ the size of the laptop.  The right and left sides are stitched first. To make the top of the case, using the measurements determined by the size of the laptop and the size of the rectangle, cut the width needed plus 1″ x the height of the rectangle. Cut both the right and left side.  See below.DIY quick & easy laptop case @ wowilikethat.com

To make the rectangle wonky, starting with one side, place fabric on the rectangle and move the fabric slightly as shown below.  (**The edges look fuzzy because the sheet rips so perfectly straight that I don’t cut, rather I measured and ripped.)

DIY quick & easy laptop case @ wowilikethat.com

Stitch using a 1/4″ seam. Press seam flat then press open. Repeat on other side. Trim even with top and bottom of rectangle and square up the sides to make an even rectangle. That was easy.

DIY Quick & Easy Laptop Case @ wowilikethat.com

Stitch the top and bottom pieces to the block piece again using a 1/4″ seam to make the size of the laptop plus the 1-1/4″ on each side. Trim up sides if needed.

I used a fusible batting and fused to the wrong side the block piece before I embroidered. I embroidered through the batting.  The design I used is from Urban Threads and can be found here.  I bought the design the other day for $1.19 and checking now (1/26/15) it is still on sale. The design is available for both machine and hand embroidery. I machine embroidered and I placed the design so that it would stitch into the block.

For the back of the laptop case and the flap, using my front piece as a guide, cut the same as the front only adding an additional 1-1/2″ to the top.  Again using fusible batting bonded to the back of the backing piece, I quilted a wiggly line at a slight angle. Quick and easy quilting for sure.

DIY Quick & Easy Laptop Case @ wowilikethat.com

Trim up batting and edges and stitch the bottom of the front to the top of the back using a 1/4″ seam. Place flat then press seam open.

To make the lining, measure the stitched together front block piece and back quilted piece, cut out a piece of fabric. I just used a scrap piece of a different color grey I had. I even pieced it to make it fit. Stitch a piece of 3″ or 4″ Velcro to the center of the front embroidered piece 3/4″ down from the edge. Stitch the other side of the Velcro 3/4″ down on the lining side on the quilted side. They will be on opposite sides when you are stitching. Think about it and try it before you stitch it all together.

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Stitch around all edges leaving a 4″ opening for turning. Leave the opening on the embroidered piece to the side of the Velcro. Clip corners, turn and press well. Top stitch both the top above the embroidery and the edge of the flat. Take back to the ironing board and using the seam joining the top and bottom, press on the same determine the bottom of the case. Pin sides in place being sure to reinforce the top and bottom by stitching back and forth a couple of times.  Give a final press, folding down the flap for the Velcro to meet and press well. That is it.  All done. So quick and easy.

DIY Quick & Easy Laptop Case @ wowilikethat.com

As always, if you have any questions, just ask.

See you next time.

Debbie

 

 

May 20

Quick & Easy Retro Chair Makeover – The Back

Quick & Easy Retro Chair Makeover  – The Back

Quick & Easy Retro Chair Makeover - Seat @ wowilikethat.com

This is the quick and easy way to recover a retro office chair, or any chair with a separate back piece.  I have used this method on modern office chairs and for making outside tablecloths.  The elastic keeps the table cloth from blowing away.

You can read how to cover the seat, the quick and easy way here.

To cover the back, cut a piece of fabric 4″ larger on all side than the back itself.  Add some batting and quilt as desire.  I quilted straight lines down this piece.

Quick & Easy Retro Chair Makeover @ wowilikethat.com

Pin the quilted piece to the back of the seat. Pushing a straight pin or two into the back is enough to hold it in place. (That is just a fake mouse – a cat toy. I have a cat that loves that toy and carries it everywhere.)

Quick & Easy Retro Chair Makeover @ wowilikethat.com

Using chalk, trace around the edge of the back.  Remove pins and take the traced piece to a table and measure 1-1/2″ from the traced edge. Mark and cut out on this newly drawn line.  Turn under and stitch or serge the raw edges to give a clean finish.

Using 1/2″ elastic (Don’t buy elastic at JoAnns. It cost way too much money there. If you are going to be sewing, invest in a spool like below. It comes out to be a faction of the cost. I buy mine from Amazon. You can find it here.)

Quick & Easy Retro Chair Makeover @ wowilikethat.com

Since I don’t know exactly how much I will be using of the elastic, I leave it on the spool and unwind as I go.  The same can be done with a piece from the store. To guess how much is needed, measure the diameter. There will be extra, but more is better than not enough.

Quick & Easy Retro Chair Makeover @ wowilikethat.com

Place the elastic close to the edge of the seat as shown.  Back stitch several times in place to hold. I stitched this with a wide zig zag stitch.  To stitch, grab hold of the fabric behind the sewing machine foot and slightly pull.  Hold the elastic and the fabric in front of the foot with your other hand.  Pull and stretch the elastic as far as it can be stretched when stitching. Go slow and easy. Pull & stitch, pull & stitch the whole distance around the back. To finish, pull & stretch the elastic over the starting piece. Back stitch to hold. Snip elastic close to the ending point.

Quick & Easy Retro Chair Makeover @ wowilikethat.com

It now looks like a shower cap and will slip perfectly over the chair back.

Quick & Easy Retro Chair Makeover - Seat @ wowilikethat.com

Wow that was easy.

If you have any questions, give a holler.

See you next time.

Debbie

 

 

 

Jun 26

Make your own dip mixes – Part 4

Hi All,

Some more dry dip mixes for you to make and make money with.  Or….simply to enjoy some more natural delicious dips.  If you missed them, you can find the other dip mix recipes here: Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3.  I still have more, so be sure to either sign up for emails or check back soon.

Parmesan Herb Dip Mix

  • 2 T Parmesan cheese
  • 1 T dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. minced onion
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper

Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Place in ziplock baggie and seal.

To serve-Mix dip mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup sour cream.  Stir till well blended.  Cover and refrigerate.  Dip is best if you refrigerate up to 8 hours or overnight.  Serve with veggie, crackers or chips.

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Fiesta Dip Mix

  • 1 T chili powder
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. dried cilantro
  • 1/8 heaping tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 heaping tsp. pepper
  • 1/8 heaping tsp. salt

Combine ingredients and mix well.  Place in ziplock baggie and seal.

To serve-Combine dip mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup sour cream.  Cover and refrigerate 8 hours.  Serve with chips, cracker or veggies.

Cheesy Onion Dip Mix

  • 1 tsp. beef bouillon granules
  • 2 T minced onion
  • 2 T Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt

Combine ingredients and mix well.  Place in ziplock baggie and seal.

To serve-Combine dip mix with 2 cups sour cream.  Stir till well blended.  Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.  Serve with chips, crackers or veggies.

I still have more recipes so please check back.

See you next time.

Debbie

 

Jun 22

Make your own dip mix – Part 3

Hi All,

Here are some more tried and true dip mix recipes.  Dip mixes are big sellers at craft fairs and shows, are easy to make and cost very little to put together.  They also make great little gifts for neighbors and teachers.  The mixes are also perfect to keep on hand when you want dip.  The premixed dip at the grocery store  is expensive and doesn’t taste good and have you ever looked at the ingredients?  Even if you mix your own with Hidden Valley Ranch dip mix – which I think tastes good, the ingredients in the mix containing things I can’t pronounce. You can see the ingredients here. Plus the Hidden Valley Ranch Dip is so expensive.  Below is a copycat version of Hidden Valley Ranch Dip that I have made.  It makes a lot, but I like it a lot so it works for me.

CopyCat Hidden Valley Ranch Dip

  • 15 saltines
  • 2 cups dry parsley flakes, minced
  • 1/2 cup instant minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons dry dill weed
  • 1/4 cup onion salt
  • 1/4 cup garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup onion powder
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder

Directions:Dump all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until completely powdered.

To Use: combine 1 tablespoons dry mix, 1 cup of may & 1 cup of buttermilk.

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Ranch Dip Mix

This is another ranch dip recipe.  Not as close to the Hidden Valley Ranch as the one above, but I like this one too.

  • 3/4 T dried parsley
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. dried chives
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
  • 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp. lemon pepper

Combine ingredients and mix well.  Place in a ziplock baggie and seal.

To serve-combine dip mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup sour cream.  Stir until well blended.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.  Serve with veggies, chips or crackers.

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Chive & Garlic Dip Mix

  • 4 tsp. dried chives
  • 2 tsp.minced ionion
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. celery seed
  • Pinch of pepper

Combine ingredients and stir well.  Put in ziplock baggie and seal.

To serve-Combine mix with 3 cups sour cream.  Stir till well blended.  Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.  Serve with chips, crackers or veggies.

I have many more recipes for dip mixes so be sure to check back often.  Happy Saturday to all.

See you next time

Debbie

 

Jun 20

Thrifty Thursday – Make your own dip mixes for gifts or sale.

Make your own dip mixes. Part 1

The last craft fair I attended had 4 different dip mix vendors.  Every booth selling dip mix was crowded. It may be that their tables were lined with dip and pretzels or crackers for sampling.  People do get hungry and free is free. Sometimes even if you aren’t hungry and it is free, you take some.  At least I do and I am sure you do too.  Not everyone bought but they all had lines of people waiting to pay so enough were buying.  Even I bought some.  They were $4.00 a pack or 3 for $10.00.  I bought 3.  They were delicious.  You mix sour cream with the mix and poof – creamy deliciousness.

Try doing a search for dip mix recipes. There aren’t many recipes out there.  These people are hoarding their secret recipes from us.  Way I see it, there are lots of craft fairs and lots of people to buy the mixes and not sharing isn’t right.  I have spent hours looking through every recipe website, went to the library looking for recipes and finally charmed threatened a vendor to share some beginning recipes.

Below is the collection of my efforts.  It is a starting point.  All recipes are tried and true and all can be tweaked to be made into “your special recipe”.  For those who aren’t graphically inclined, I will be posting some pretty labels to put with the mixes.  Be sure to sign up for email notifications of my posts so you don’t miss anything.

Shop around for spices.  You can get many at the dollar store.  My local grocery store also has a $1.00 spice section.  The dip mixes are easy, cheap and they sell.  If you are already selling at the craft fairs and need something to pull people to your booth, sell some booth magnets (aka dip mixes). They also make great gifts.

Note:  The baggies I use aren’t from my local grocery store.  They aren’t your regular baggies although you could use them.  I use small ones that I got from Amazon. (I posted a link to these at the bottom of this page.)  They are the perfect size and look cute too.

If you have other recipes you would like the share, please email me and I will make this a continuing growing list.

All the recipes are for 1 package of mix for testing and trying.

Plate of Red Chili Peppers

Cajun Dip Mix (Spicy)

  • 1 T. paprika
  • 3/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 3/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar

Combine ingredients and stir.  Place in ziplock baggie and seal.

To serve – combine the dip mix with 2 cups sour cream.  Stir till well blended.  Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.   Serve with veggies, chips or crackers.

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Garlic Onion Mix

  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 1-1/2 T dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt-free seasoning blend
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients and stir till well blended.  Place in a ziplock baggie and seal.

To serve-combine dip mix with 2 cups sour cream.  Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.  It is best if refrigerated at least 8 hours but it still delicious after sitting only 1 hour if you are rushed (or really hungry).  Serve with veggies, chips or crackers.

PS.  For the salt-free seasoning blend I used Mrs. Dash.

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Onion Dip Mix

  • 4 tsp. beef bouillon granules  (You can find this right next to the bouillon cubes at the store)
  • 2 T. dried minced onion
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried chives
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. powdered onion

Combine all ingredients and stir until well blended.  Place in ziplock baggie and seal.

To serve-combine dip mix with 2 cups sour cream.  Stir until well blended.  Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.  Serve with chips, crackers or veggies.

I have run out of time today.  Check back tomorrow as I will be posting more.  Be sure to sign up for email notification.

See you next time.

Debbie

 

Jun 06

Thrifty Thursday – Sewing can be expensive. How I save money when I sew.

Thrifty Thursdays – Sewing can be expensive.  How I save money when I sew.  

I apologize to anyone who looked at this post and found nothing.  I had the post written and somehow deleted it even after I hit the publish button.  Lesson to be learned with this thing called blogging.  Again, I apologize.

purse1

I have been sewing for over 35 years.  Gosh that makes me sound old and I’m not, I just started sewing early.  That works, right?  When I started sewing, it was economical to make your own clothes.  I got a higher quality of clothing for a lower cost.  Now days that isn’t the case.  Everything about sewing is expensive.  Fabric is outrageously expensive. Notions cost too much as do sewing patterns.  It isn’t that I no longer want to make my own clothing, it is simply not economical to do so.  Clothing now is manufactured to be throw away.  Styles change too readily and manufactured at a cost that the home sewer can’t compete with.  Therefore, I rarely sewing clothing for myself.

skirt

Last week I bought a jersey knit skirt at Old Navy.  It was on clearance and cost  $3.00.   It would take a minimum of 1 yard of fabric to make. This week jersey knit is on sale at JoAnn fabrics for $6.49 a yard.  Luckily thread is also on sale for $4.19 a spool.  If I don’t already have a pattern, patterns range between $9.00 and $14.00 a piece and that is with the JoAnn discount.   I’m now up to $19.68.   If you consider your time to be of any value, you  would add that in too.   It is a quick and easy skirt so if I consider my time to be worth $10.00 a hour, I’m up to $29.68 for the same skirt I just paid $3.00 for.  Personally it isn’t worth my time.

purse1 close

These days I quilt, sew smaller items such as purses, wallets and totes, make gifts and household things.

pillowcase

Because fabric is so expensive, I rarely buy fabric at JoAnn’s.  That is the only fabric store other than a few quilt shops that we have in the Pittsburgh area.  I do occasionally purchase fabric online but usually I pick up fabric from the thrift stores, garage sales and from craigslist.  My local thrift store does not have a huge amount of fabric but they do have bargain Saturdays where all one color tags are only $.99.  I start in the plus size racks.  I look at clothing not as what it is, but rather what could it be.  Obviously plus size clothing yields more fabric than a size 0 in juniors.  I then head to the linens. You would never find me passing up a solid color sheet for $.99.  Sheets give you lots of yardage and can be used for 100 different things.  You can not buy a fat quarter these days for $.99.  Never pass up a sheet set at the thrift store or garage sale.  Pillow cases are great too.  The above pillow cases I got 6 sets of beautifully laced vintage pillow cases for $2.00 at a garage sale.  I gave all but this one set away as gifts last Christmas.  I did the applique and embroidery and everyone who received a set loved them.

purse2

I make a lot of wristlets.  All the wristlets shown are made from recycled clothing.  (Stay tuned, I will be doing a tutorial on how to make the wristlets .) Wristlets require zippers and I do not take the time to tear out a zipper – although I do cut off all buttons and reuse.  Zippers at JoAnn’s cost $2.29 for a 8″ zipper.  I buy my zippers from Ebay.  You can get 50 different color zippers for around $10.00.  5 zippers at JoAnn’s is over $11 plus tax.  Getting them on Ebay is like getting 45 free zippers.

purse4

Sewing machine needles are expensive too.  Schmidt’s needles at JoAnn’s are $4.99 for 5 needles.  I would never pay that.  I have sewn for over 35 years, I have owned my own embroidery shop and I always use Organ needles.  They work perfectly.  I buy Organ needles on Ebay too.  They average about $12 for 100 needles.

purse5

Buying thread at the store would make me hyperventilate.  The spools continuously shrink and if you are quilting, you could easily eat up several spools in the course of one project.  I simply do not have it in me to spend money on little spools of thread.  Never buy thread at a garage sale or thrift store though.  Thread goes bad. It dry rots and you can’t tell this by looking at it.  If you are working on a project and the thread keeps breaking even after you have checked everything 3 times, your thread is probably old.  I buy Isacord thread for all my quilting. Leah Day, the free motion quilting queen also uses only Isacord too.   You can read about Leah’s thread choice here.  General all purpose thread at JoAnn fabrics is $2.99 for 250 yards.  Isacord is about $13.00 for 5000 meters.  250 yards is 750 feet.  5000 meters is about 16404.20 feet. Cost wise,  you would need almost 4-1/2  spools of regular thread to match the cost of the Isacord.  4-1/s spools would yield 3375 feet of thread compared to 16404.20 feet of Isacord for the same price.

Thanks for stopping by. See you next time.

Debbie

Jun 01

Sewing On Saturday – Easy Headband

I followed Happy Together’s instructions for making this easy two side headband.

Free Headband Pattern

I ended up making 12 in an afternoon.  I, however, found that they were a bit too wide for my head and I simply used a wider seam allowance. The wider seam allowance worked perfectly.  I trimmed off the excess before I turned.  I also used what I had around.  I used old clothing for fabric, an old pillowcase, some vintage double knit and some old bandannas.

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Old ugly thrift store dress

The hardest part of the project was the turning.  I couldn’t whip up one in 5 minutes if it took me 15 minutes to get the darn thing turned inside out.  Since I am a notion addict, I got out my notion box and low and behold I had these.

If you don’t have this notion, get one if you can.  It consists of a tube and a stick.  You slide the tube though the headband, use the stick to push the fabric through and in 5 second it is turned and ready to press.  You would also use this on the piece for the elastic.

See ugly thrift store dress on the far right?

Thanks Happy Together for a great easy and useful project.

Debbie

May 29

Wow Me Wednesday – Drab to Fab Sewing Machine Redo’s

Is your sewing machine white and boring?

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have the fanciest sewing machine on the block. With a couple of standard craft supplies and a little creativity,  you will have the grandest machine on the block, neighborhood, state, country, maybe the world!!!  :)

Here is some inspiration and how-to-fancy-up-your-boring-white-machine instructions.

The button machine makes me smile. :)  Hop over to the Quilted Cupcake for her tutorial for decorating the machine. This is an old second-hand machine that she isn’t going to use, it is more for show but I don’t see why you couldn’t use it.  You would have to stay clear of openings and  levers but still doable.

Fabric on a machine!!!!  Like two peas in a pod. Fabric decorating a sewing machine is the ultimate decorating idea.  Stop by Dee Construction for her low down on how to make your own machine this lovely.

If you make a machine like that, do NOT drink any water if you take this with you to a guild meeting or quilt outing.  If you drink anything you will most likely get up to go to the bathroom and when you come back, someone would have stolen this baby for sure, for sure. :) Go to 33 Stitches to see her instructions for making your machine as cute too.

Crafty Confessions used vinyl stickers to add snap crackle pop to her dull white machine.  Lovin the dots for sure.

A Little Off Color did a great job restyling her machine with Mod Podge.

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Another creative crafter with Mod Podge in their hands.  I love the old prints and little bit of paint highlights. Beautiful! Stop over Cynthia Shaffer and see how she did it.

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What a different a little bit of scrapbooking vinyl makes.  Very elegant indeed. You can read more about it here.

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A member on QuiltingBoards.com posted a picture of her charming machine.  (You have to scroll a good bit down the page to find it)

Hmmm?  Not sure which one I like better.  Just kidding, love….love…love the red.  Stitch Nerd does a fabulous job detailing how she painted her old vintage machine.

Another snazzy makeover from drab to fab.  She used vinyl that she cut from her own vinyl cutter but you could just as easily buy some precut letters. Visit Sumo’s Sweet Stuff to read more about it.

 

May 10

Quilt Binding

I have made 2 quilts.  Considering I’m in my 50’s that isn’t anything to jump for joy about.  I used the “Quilt in a Day” technique from Eleanor Burns.  The quilts were log cabin quilts. (Pssst they took longer than one day too. Quick but not one day. )   I thought they were beautiful.  I gave one to my mother and the other I put on my bed.  Completely unrelated to  the quilt, but within days of finishing the quilt I got a puppy.  Loved that puppy.  Let puppy sleep with me.  Puppy chewed a three-foot hole in the quilt.  I remember waking up and not singing “Walking on Sunshine” when I saw the hole in my quilt.  Really, the quilt was nice and I was proud of it but I loved that puppy and could not be angry.  I thought “I’ll make another quilt”.  Best I can guess that was 26 years ago.

I have made quilted bags, placements and smaller things but no quilts.   A month ago I made my friend a baby quilt using my mid arm machine and that was the first quilt in 26 years.  It was spectacular but I didn’t take any pictures of it. I was so excited to finish it and give it away.  This blog will help me document and take pictures (however crummy I am at taking pictures – I’m gonna work on improving that skill).

Although I have sewed my whole life, I’m not a quilting professional.  This week I made a little throw to put outside to cover the cushions on the patio furniture.  The cushions are dark blue and I feed feral cats and let them live wherever they want —- therefore I have furry dark blue cushions.  Cost is always an issue with me so I made the throw out of an old flat sheet and the yellow binding is another old flat sheet.  Cost was zero – the batting was from a huge roll I got from Craigslist months ago. I paid $10 for it and used 3 times it’s value already so I consider what I used now as free.

Free motion flowers

I free motion quilted some meandering flowers on the quilt and did the binding following this video.  I did not want to hand stitch the binding – really this is for feral cats and not that they don’t deserve nice but they have life right – live and let live.  Again I haven’t quilted in 26 years and I wasn’t sure how perfectly I would get the stitching if I machined stitched the binding so I ……zig zagged it.  I love it.  I’ll do this again.  It looked as pretty on the back as it did on the front.  I used the edge of my foot as my guide and zig zagged along.  It also made the binding a bit stiff, which I love.  Try it if you are in a rush.

flower

Instructions  for meandering free motion flowers can be seen here.

Debbie