Upcoming Sew Along Schedules

Welp, it’s September already, so let’s get this party going! It’s time for the 2019 Mini Maker Station and Undercover Maker Mat Sew Alongs! More specifics on each will follow soon, but I wanted to get the initial schedule out there so you can start planning. Both of the FREE patterns are available here.

You don’t have to do anything to join in either or both Sew Alongs. There’s no sign up or obligations, you simply sew along with others and have fun! This is a perfect opportunity to make something for yourself that you’ve been putting off or to whip up some holiday gifts! Sew Alongs always give me the motivation I need to get something done and I love being inspired by everyone else along the way.

The SALs will be casual and while I will loosely follow a schedule to share tips and help those who need structure,  you are free to join in at any time and work at your own pace. We will share photos on social media with SAL hashtags as we go and there will be fun prizes and giveaways, too.

First up will be the Mini Maker Station and we will kick things off September 16. Since this project requires hardware, please read through the pattern and source your materials or purchase a hardware kit from my shop here. You will not need the hardware in hand to start the project and can actually get very far on most of it without the hardware, so don’t worry if you don’t have yours by the kickoff.

MINI MAKER STATION SAL SCHEDULE

September 16 – 22: Sew Along Kick Off! Start pulling and share your fabrics. Work on the Maker Station Main Body and Thread Catcher.

September 23 – 29: Blog post with tips about making the fabric basket and pin cushion. Work on basket and pin cushion.

September 30: Share your finished Maker Stations!

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Next, the Undercover Maker Mat Sew Along will kick off on October 7 and run thru October 23. You can find the free pattern here. I will be following the schedule below but again you are welcome to sew at your own pace and join in any time! There are many ways to customize this project and adjust it to your skill level, so please note that many specifics indicated in the schedule are optional. Before the SAL begins, I will share a blog post discussing some of these options, variations and customizations to help  you plan! You can also check out the hashtag #undercovermakermat on social media to oodles of inspiration!

UNDERCOVER MAKER MAT SAL SCHEDULE

October 7: Kick off! Make main body panel

October 11: Make paper pieced butterfly and selvedge pocket panels

October 14: Make full pocket panel, assemble to body

October 18: Make optional thread catcher

October 23: Share your finished projects!

Stay tuned here and on social media for more information to come, but in the meantime, download the patterns and get ready! See you soon!

~ Nicole

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Mini Maker Station SAL Kick Off!

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Good gravy, how is it February?! I still have a Christmas tree in my studio, but hopefully I can get it down this week :)! I’m SO SO excited to kick off the Mini Maker Station Sew Along (SAL) today! This pattern was in the works for SO long, because A) I’m slow, B) I’m busy, and C) it was a ton of computer work, which I loathe! However, it’s a pretty easy sew, even for beginners. If you haven’t downloaded the pattern, you can find it here.

This SAL will run for a bit over two weeks, ending on February 18. In today’s post I’m going to talk just a bit about selecting fabrics and go over some of the other materials you need. I’m also going to share some tutorial links on basic quilting and binding for those who may be new to quilting, and a couple tips about thread catcher placement. This week we’ll be working on the main body of the Maker Station and the thread catcher. Next Monday I’ll have a new blog post with some tips about creating the fabric basket and working with the magnets.

You are free to work at your own pace and in any order you’d like! Share your progress photos on social media with the hashtags #minimakerstationSAL and #minimakerstation to inspire and encourage others, and have a chance to win a couple fun prizes!

If you haven’t picked up a hardware or are waiting for yours to arrive, don’t worry! You can still begin your project as there is plenty you can do without it, especially during the first week. You can create the entire body and just wait to sew the last bit of binding down until you have the metal, and you can create the thread catcher. There is also quite a bit you can do on the pin cushion and basket next week before you need to add the magnets.

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FABRIC & MATERIALS

I want to quickly touch on why I don’t often include “fabric requirement” sections in my patterns, including this one. There are endless ways to layout and customize this project. I never want to lock someone into fabric placements by specifying what you should use where. One person may use three fabrics for the whole project, while another may use thirteen! Also, the cuts on a project like this are all small, so a fabric requirement list would simply be the same as the cutting instructions. The specific sizes of all the pieces you need for each part of the pattern are included at the beginning of each labeled section.

Now, onto materials! If you have not already purchased a hardware kit or sourced your own materials, you can find more information about those materials needed here, including my sources.

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All fabrics used are standard quilting cotton. You could use some lightweight linens or blends, but thicker materials, such as canvas, may be too bulky for the pin cushion, basket and thread catcher, as they’re all pretty small. In addition to your fabrics, you also need a couple different interfacings. Sometimes these can be optional, as they are often used for added durability, but in this project they are required as they hold the magnets in place and create the basket.

The first is Pellon brand SF101, also known as ShapeFlex. You can find this at any fabric store or Walmart with a craft section. You can also order it online. This can be substituted with another featherweight or lightweight fusible interfacing if you wish, but the SF101 is my preference.

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The second interfacing you need is Pellon brand Peltex 71F, ultra firm single sided fusible interfacing. I do not recommend substituting this with anything else as it creates the main structure of your fabric basket. Be sure that you get the 71F and not the 70 (sew in) or 72 (double sided fusible). This interfacing is very thick, it should look and feel similar to a piece of cardboard. It should not fold without “creasing” itself. You can also find this interfacing at fabric stores, Walmart (or the like), or online. Next week I’ll share some helpful tips for keeping the basket edges nice and crisp!

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For filling the pincushion, I like to use ground walnut shells because I love the weight and feel, especially with the square shape. It’s like an adorable little bean bag! I purchase mine at a local quit shop, but Plum Easy (the brand I get) also sells online here. If you’re making this for a gift, just avoid the shells if someone has a nut allergy! I have also used polyester stuffing in the cushion, which works perfectly fine!

The last little “extras” you need are some thin ribbon or trim and buttons to hang your thread catcher (which is optional!).

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CREATING THE BODY & THREAD CATCHER

If you’re a sewist, but new to quilting, don’t fear! The body of the Maker Station is a great first project to dip your toes into the world of quilting!

To create the main body of the Maker Station, you will need basic knowledge of how to layer your top, batting and backing and how to do the quilting stitches. This tutorial from Suzy Quilts covers all the basics. It applies to a large quilt, so working with your main mat body will simply be a smaller and simpler version! Straight line quilting is a great design for beginners, or a crosshatch is a always a nice option, too. I’m not sure its mentioned in the tutorial, but I love using a Herra Marker (a bone folder or scoring tool also works similarly) to mark my quilting lines, especially for something like a crosshatch. Here is a video on using a Herra Marker.

Another quilting technique you will need to know comes at the end of the body and thatt is binding. This is the little edge “wrap” that goes around the entire piece and seals everything up. Here is a helpful tutorial from Craftsy.

The body and thread catcher are fairly straight forward and the pattern includes detailed instructions and diagrams on creating these pieces, but if you have questions at any point, feel free to email me through my website or contact me on social media. I’m always happy to help!

When it’s time to sew the buttons for hanging your thread catcher, think about where you will be using your Maker Station. I prefer to hang my thread catcher on the side farthest away from me so my leg doesn’t hit it and it’s not in the way of my pockets, so this placement will vary if you place the station to your right or your left. Also keep in mind it’s “reversible” in a sense, you can place either set of pockets on the inside of your seat or the outside. I sew at least two buttons on my body, but you can sew four buttons (one on every outer edge) so you’re fully versatile!

As I mentioned, this little thread catcher is an optional piece, but I love it. If you don’t use it for scraps, you can use it for extra storage. It’s also a handy design to use elsewhere, like on your sewing machine!

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So those are all the basics for this week as we create our main body and thread catcher. I will be posting photos of my progress on Instagram through the week, so I hope you follow along! I’ll also be sharing the prizes.

Remember to use the tags #minimakerstationSAL and #minimakerstation, and share with a friend!

Mini Maker Station Sew Along Schedule

I’m really excited to get the Mini Maker Station SAL going and can’t wait to see all your projects! I will officially kick things off on Monday, February 4 and it will run for two weeks (plus a weekend) through February 18. I’m going to keep it very casual, like the Maker Mat SAL, but I will be following a loose schedule and will be sharing some tips along the way about materials and working with the magnets. I encourage you to share your progress photos along the way with the hashtags #minimakerstationSAL and #minimakerstation!

If you’re just joining in, you can find the required hardware list in the pattern (download it here!) or in more detail two blog posts back, and I also have kits available in my Etsy shop here. Don’t worry if you’re still waiting on a kit or sourcing your materials when the SAL begins, as there is quite a bit you can do on the project without it.

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SCHEDULE

February 4: Sew Along Kick Off! Blog post about selecting fabrics and the proper interfacing materials needed, as well as notes about measuring and customizing your station.

February 4 – 10: Start pulling and share your fabrics. Work on the Maker Station Main Body and Thread Catcher.

February 11: Blog post with tips about making the fabric basket and pin cushion.

February 11 – 17: Work on basket and pin cushion.

February 18: Share your finished Maker Stations!

I will have a couple prize bundles up for grabs at the end of the Sew Along that I will share next week. One will be awarded to one winner chosen at random from all the posts in the #minimakerstationSAL hashtag and the other will be awarded to one winner drawn at random from all the completed maker stations posted by February 18.

If you have any questions now or along the way, feel free to email me anytime through the contact button here on my website or through social media.

I’ll see you back here next Monday!

Sonata Fabrics Showcase + Mini Maker Station

I first met Amy Sinibaldi right before her debut fabric line came out and I can’t believe she now has seven amazing collections under her belt! I always love playing with her new designs, so I was excited to join the Sonata Fabrics Showcase along with a handful of really really talented ladies!

Amy has always made THE cutest little, functional items for organization and storage, so I knew that this blog tour and her Sonata fabrics were perfect for the release of my Mini Maker Station pattern!

I had so much fun creating this pattern and am really proud of it. I can’t wait to see how you all customize your own maker stations! You can download the free pattern here. The hardware list is included in the pattern and kits are available in my Etsy shop here.

Shown above is the large 9″ version of the Maker Station using primarily the Ludwig color way of Sonata. That hot pink floral is TO DIE FOR!! The balance of lights, darks, focals, and blenders in this line is perfection. The touches of Navy and the red in the Beethoven color way make it so rich and striking.

If you’re seeing my Mini Maker Station pattern for the first time, it’s like an armchair caddy with a twist! There is a piece of thin sheet metal in the body and magnets sewn into the interchangeable accessories, including a small fabric basket and a pincushion, so that everything stays put! The optional scrap bag can also be used for additional storage. There is a smaller 7″ version of the maker station that will be included in the pattern.

I’ll be hosting a sew along starting in February and will post more details about that soon!

You can also use other magnetic accessories with the maker station, such as magnetic bowls, shown below. There is a lot of room for customization with this pattern and I hope you love it as much as I do! It’s perfect for any type of handcraft from sewing to cross stitch to embroidery and more.

I can’t wait for the sew along and to show you more beautiful Sonata fabrics as I sew up the smaller version of the pattern with you.

Stay tuned for more on the upcoming sew along and be sure to check out the rest of the Sonata Fabrics showcase with the hashtag #sonatashowcase on Instagram and in Amy’s feed!

p.s. Don’t miss the adorable Sonata strawberry pin collaboration that Amy did with Maker Pin Co. – check them out here!

Mini Maker Station Hardware List

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I’m so excited to be releasing my long overdue Mini Maker Station pattern on January 9! Did I mention it’ll be FREE because I love you? I will also be hosting a little sew-a-long starting later in January with the date still to be determined.

If you’ve missed my previous blog or social media posts about this pattern, it does require a few bits of “hardware”. The main concept of the design is that there is a thin piece of sheet metal centered in the body of the piece and magnets sewn into the interchangeable accessories (mini basket & pin cushion). You can also then use any other accessories with magnets, such as magnetic pin bowls, on the piece as well.

I have a limited number of hardware kits available for $11.00 each in my Etsy shop here and I’ll try to keep them stocked as best I can, but below I’m also sharing the hardware specifics if you’d like to source them yourself.

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The Mini Maker Station pattern includes two station sizes depending on how much you’d like to store in it and, more importantly, what size your arm rest is! The larger of the two finishes at 9″ wide (shown above), while the smaller of the two finishes at 7″ wide (shown below). The pincushion and pin bowl in the photos are the same size for reference.

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Each Mini Maker Station requires one piece of sheet metal and four magnets to make it as shown with the pincushion and basket.

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Hardware list:

• One piece 26 gauge Zinc Plated Sheet Metal: cut 2″x8.25″ for the larger 9″ station, cut 2″x6.25″ for the smaller 7″ station

• Three round disc magnets for the basket: N45 Neodymium 1″ x 1/32″

• One round disc magnet for the pincushion: N45 Neodymium 1″ x 1/16″

I purchase the magnets from CMS Magnetics and the sheet metal from Home Depot. I cut it to size with tin snips and file the edges smooth.

A FEW NOTES:

I tried various other sizes, shapes, and strengths of magnets for this project and found the ones specified above work best, so I highly recommend you use exactly what is specified. If you choose to use other types of magnets in your project, I’m not well versed enough in magnets to answer questions about them and can’t specify if your station will “function” properly.

I purchase my “pin bowls” from Harbor Freight. They are actually magnetic parts holders and are available in 4″ or 6″. I prefer the 4″ bowls and I spray paint them to match my fabrics.

I don’t have fabric requirements together yet, but it is a small project requiring small cuts and is fat quarter friendly. The largest piece needed for the main body is 9″x17″.

Stay tuned here and on social media for the pattern release on January 9! Who’s excited? 😀

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