Tag Archives: Sewing

Tutorial: Matching stripes on your stripy binding tape

Have you ever used stripes for binding a quilt?

I love stripes! and I think they work so well for finishing a quilt, if it’s not on its borders I would definitely use it for the binding if I can.

I am making a custom quilt at the moment and I have been taking a few snap shots in some of the stages so I can share a few tips. Here’s the first one: preparing your stripy binding tape.

I always make my binding tape when I am cutting all the fabric for the piecing, then I have it ready when the quilting is done. I love that stage, that moment when your quilt is nearly finished and you are looking forward to a couple of hours on the sofa and back in the company of your (neglected) family…

So here we go. After you cut all your strips (I always cut 2.5″ wide by WOF and here I am using Funfair Colour Strips by Stof).

Have a good look at how the stripes go. Choose the stripe that is completely full and closer to the edge (I am choosing the pink one with white dots on the vertical strip at the right of the photo)



Now place it onto the strip that lays horizontally, with right sides together (RST), and making sure that the horizontal top sideline of the pink stripe is aligned with the top edge of the bottom binding strip. You will see in the photo below that the edge of the strip on top is also aligned with the sideline of the vertical pink strip on the bottom.

(I don’t mind much about the perforated selvages because this won’t be seen when I sew the binding onto the quilt)


Pin the two strips in place to prevent them from moving and draw a line from the top left angle to the right bottom angle to use as a guide when you are sewing.



Sew along the line, backstitching at the start and the end and cut about 1/4″ along the seam.


Press the seam open and cut the excess tips on the sides.


Now you have a continuous stripy binding tape with matching stripes!




Have you got any tips on stripy binding? Or maybe on how to make binding altogether? You might like to share them, just write in the comment box!




Dancing Squares and busy days

Hello! Not long ago I told you about my new version of the Wonky Squares. I finally bound it! It took me a bit longer than usual. A quilt that small I’d normally bind in an hour sitting in the sofa in front of the TV but the reason for the extra time was that I have been on my own with Hana and Conor for the last 2 weeks. I had planned to finish a few things while I was on my own but as the days went by I could feel my energy levels dropping at a tremendous speed and by the second week I was going to bed straight after them… So I think it’s been a huge achievement to have this finished! In the end I went for a dark red -burgundy colour for the binding. I had a very dark blue and a black but it was a bit too dark.

foto 1 copy 2

Oh Conor… This little Button of mine is pretty busy, I was so used to Hana being so quiet and content (but of course I didn’t have any other child around beside her). I could have lots of things done with her around. But let’s say Conor needs to move about more, he’s into something all the time, although he is really good… He started to walk about 3 weeks ago and now is flying! I suppose he’s just doing what any boy of his age should be doing, and, in fairness, I can’t really ask him to stop acting like a one year old, can I?

He won’t stay still, his new obsession is throwing things down the toilet and climbing onto the sofa to walk from one end to the other… You have to constantly watch him, unlike Hana… so yes… my hands have been really full and we’ve been trying to be out as much as possible and do lots of things while the man of the house was away. And that didn’t involve much sewing, but still I manage to treat myself one day… So what did we do? Here’s my wee man, looking very tiny among these huge trees!

foto copy 2

We have this park nearby, Coole Park, which is amazing and I absolutely love. I don’t know if you’ve heard about Lady Gregory, but maybe you’ve heard about George Bernard Shaw or W.B. Yeats… You can read more about it here. If you ever come to Ireland, to the west of Ireland, I recommend to visit this spot, it’s beautiful any time of the year, whether it rains or it’s foggy or the sun is out. There is this autobiographic book of short stories written by one of Lady Gregory’s grand-daughters, it’s a nice short and easy read that I like: Me & Nu.

foto copy 3

Then, one morning I packed up the children and drove up to Tuam to meet Roisin at The Quilt Shop, in Shop St. I have been following her via Facebook and finally I could get a spot to go and visit the shop. She’s lovely and so helpful, she had been keeping some yardage of flannel for me to make some PJ’s for Hana, and I was low on wadding too, so I had a good excuse for the trip. And oh… when you go in and see all these colours around you… I could contain myself and focus on what I really needed, but it was HAAAAARD… You can see in the photo above a bit of Conor’s rainbow star quilt ( ahem, yes… still in progress,  I want to add a border and something else…but I have the backing now!) Can you spot the stripy fabrics on top and beside it? I was trying to choose which one looked better as a backing and Hana found the right one. I won’t reveal anymore of it and hopefully it won’t be long before it’s finished… Roisin has a great stock of fabric and notions, she also runs classes and I just wished there was a shop like this much closer to where I am. Although I generally get my fabric online, it’s nice to be able to walk into a shop like this… I’m sure I’ll find another excuse to drive up to Tuam. It’s funny though, many Irish people I know here were a bit perplexed when I told them I was going to Tuam…  “Tuam? going to Tuam? what for? there’s nothing there!” well… there is a Quilt Shop!!!

Then, “the quilter’s widow” came back and brought me a few goodies. He’s a musician and works abroad pretty often. He spent some days in the USA, in the East Coast, and then flew to Canada. He spent a whole week in Goderich, Canada, were there was a Celtic Festival he was taking part in, and guess what? He called me saying he had found a quilt shop in the Main Square and if there was anything I needed. Yeeha! anything I needed? mmm… the whole shop maybe? I couldn’t really think of anything there and then and told him I needed some of those stickers for my Omnigrid rulers. Then I sent him an email with a more detailed list of things but it was too late :-(… He got me three random magazines besides what I asked , which was really nice of him.

foto 1 copy 3

And well, no worries… as he’s going back to the States in September and I hope he’ll come across some other quilt shops. If there are any readers here from Tenessee, Virginia, N. Carolina… I might ask you for some tips on quilt shops soon…

foto 2 copy 3



I have an overlocker! but a need a bit of help…

Click HERE to enter a giveaway and win a lovely hand knitted scarf by Nurananu

Entreu AQUI per participar en un sorteig i poder guanyar una bufanda feta a ma per la Nurananu



I’d like to thank you all for your comments on my post about notions a few days ago. It is really helpful to hear about your experiences and tips. Also, I don’t know if you have noticed, but I tend to reply to comments on the same post, it’s easier for me and it all started because one day it didn’t work when I replied via email.  I used to get all those email back… So if you don’t get an email reply to your comments from me, don’t think I’m ignoring you, cause I don’t!

Now, I’m going to tell you about my new friend, an overlocker, yeepee!!!

A couple of days ago I had both my sewing machines serviced. One of them, my Brother (Innov-Is 350SE) , had to be fixed as the thread cutter was not retracting and was constantly catching the bobbin thread. For the last few weeks I had been using my “emergency” machine, the Janome (J3-18), which is great and I love it, even though I have to get used to it since I’m a bit spoiled with the Brother’s extra features.

I’m really lucky to know the best mechanic in the west of Ireland! He’ll come to your house and repair/service your machine. Even if you live in the middle of nowhere like me! (Mind you, he also lives in the middle of the other nowhere) He’s such a lovely man and so helpful. I happened to ask him about overlockers and told him that I’m on the look out for a second hand one, nothing fancy really, just enough to have nice finished hems… Well, he went out to get a tool from his van and he came back with it plus an old Baby Lock overlocker too. I was playing with it while he was working on the other two machines. He showed me how to use it, just the basics. I heard how frustrating it is to thread an overlocker but this one was not that bad (although I’ll see how I get on on my own…). I went online, while he kept working, to see if I could get a manual for it, as it didn’t come with one when he got it. From all the listed models in different sites, I couldn’t see one for this model.

It stitched nicely, smoothly and looked very sturdy. I liked it and I bought it for €70. He gave me 10 needles and it came with the 4 cones for bigger spools. I think it was a good price considering the price for new ones. I did a quick search while he was still there and found out it is advisable that if you get an old Baby Lock you: a. should seek for a Japanese make as opposed to Taiwanese or Korean (Bingo! mine is… ), b. that ideally you want it to use needle style DC x 1F (bingo again!) and c. you should stay away from models BL202, 302, 402. Well, I don’t know if it’s a Bingo, maybe it is because it didn’t mention mine which is BL4-543, but I don’t seem to find any more information about it on the internet!!!

I would like to ask you for a bit of help… if possible. I’ve been trying to find a manual for this model and it look like it is not listed in any of the sites where they sell old manuals. Maybe there is somebody reading this post, who happen to have an old Baby Lock BL4-543 or maybe have a friend, or a neighbour or an aunt or somebody who may have one… and maaaaaaybe also have a manual for it… I would appreciated it so much if I could have a copy, and if I had more information about the machine itself, how old it is, etc… My mechanic didn’t know it either…

I  found something that lead me towards a possible manual, but it ended up a bit frustrating. On one of my Google searches I came across this Newzealander  forum where one of the members happens to have a copy of the manual. I tried to register so I could contact her, but the registration form is pretty daunting. It kept asking me for security questions to prove you are human. And what was the question?

“what programe is on after the TV3 news during weekdays?”

Right. I’m in a New Zealand site, so I take it they mean TV3 channel from New Zealand. I Google their TV guide and find out that the program after the news during the week is “Home and Away”. Great! Type it in. Nope, not  great. Wrong answer. Oh, they must have “seen” my IP is Irish, so the question might be related to the Irish TV3 channel… ? Again, I Google the TV guide and the program  is “Xposé”. Nope, wrong again.

This is worse than Trivial Pursuit! All I’m looking for is a bloody manual for my overlocker!!!

but by the third attempt they changed the question: who is the leader of the opposition?

So… I chanced it and thought they meant in New Zealand and Wikipedia told me it’s David Shearer. At last! they accepted it, but I’m still waiting for the administrator to accept me. Then I’ll probably be able to contact the lady in question, although I’m not sure if she’ll answer since that last message 2 years old.

Then I found this site where they have a vast list of manuals for machines but unfortunately they don’t have one for my model. I emailed them and I’m also waiting for a response. Fingers crossed!

So this is my new adventure at the moment, I still haven’t got much time to play with it, between work and family there isn’t much time left, but oh, it looks so nice!I’m so happy I’ve waited until the right time made it fall into my hands. So, in the meantime, while I’m waiting for any response, I’d love to hear from any of you, maybe if you have some information about this Baby Lock…?

Thank you!


Gràcies pels comentaris en l’ultim post sobre eines de cosir. És bo saber sobre les vostres experiències i consells. A més, no sé si ho heu notat, que sempre responc als comentaris en el mateix post, és més fàcil per a mi i tot va començar perquè un dia no funcionava el respondre als comentaris via email. Així que si no rebeu un correu  de resposta als vostres comentaris no penseu que us ignoro perquè  no ho faig!
Ara, us parlare sobre una nova amiga, una maquina  overlock, yuhu!

El dimecres passat va venir el mecanic a arriglar una de les maquines de cosir i a mirar-se l’altra. A la Brother (Innov-ís 350SE), li va haver d ‘arreglar el tallador de fil automatic i a la Janome (J3-18),li va fer una repassada, posar greix i oli.  Mentres hi treballava, li vaig preguntar si venia overlock de segona ma. Doncs be, va sortir a buscar una eina de la seva furgoneta i va tornar amb l’eina i a més una  Overlocker Baby Lock! Vaig estar provant-la i de passada vaig intentar buscar informacio per internet, a veure si podia trobar un manual. Sembla que de tots els models que apareixen en diferents llocs, no vaig poder trobar un per aquest model.

Les puntades son perfectes, la tensio tambe, no vaig tenir cap  problema i es veia moltbona maquina. Em va agradar i la vaig comprar per 70 €. Crec que va ser un bon preu tenint en compte el preu d’altres overlocks noves. En una de les receques ràpides, vaig trobar que és recomanable que si tens una Baby Lock de les antigues: a. millor que sigui feta al Japo i no a Taiwan o Korea, (Bingo!la meva es japones …), b. l’ideal seria que utilitzi l’estil d’agulla DC x 1F (bingo de nou!) i c. que no vulguis saber res dels models BL202, 302, 402. Bé, no sé si és un Bingo, potser sí  perquè no esmenta pas el meu model que és BL4-543, però sembla qe tot i així costa trobar informació sobre ella.

Així que us vull demanar una mica d’ajuda … si és possible. Potser hi ha algú llegint aquest post, que per casualitat  té una Baby Lock BL4-543 o potser coneix alguna amiga, o un veina o una tieta, etc… que pot tenir-ne un … i poooootser fins i tot te el manual d’instruccions!

Vaig trobar una mica d’informacio que em portava cap a un possible manual, però va acabar una mica frustrant. En una de les cerques de Google em vaig trobar amb un fòrum de Nova Zelanda on un dels membres diu que te una maquina com aquesta amb el manual d’instruccions. Vaig mirar de registrar-me per poder contactar amb ella, però la forma de registre és bastant desconcertant. Em va demana la resposta a unes preguntes de seguretat per demostrar que soc humana i no una maquina. I quina era la pregunta?
“Quin programa s’emet despres de les notícies de TV3 durant la setmana?”

Val. Estic en un forum de Nova Zelanda, així que penso que es refereixen al canal TV3 de Nova Zelanda. Busco la guia de TV a Google i descobreixo que el programa és “Home and Away”. Que bé!Doncs no, no ho és. Resposta equivocada. Oh, penso… han d’haver “vist” el meu IP que és irlandès, així que es deu refereir al canal irlandès TV3 … ? aquest cop el programa és “Xpose”. Doncs no. Això és pitjor que el Trivial Pursuit! Nomes busco un manual  per la meva overlock!

Al tercer intent la pregunta es diferent: qui és el líder de l’oposició?
volen dir de Nova Zelanda? Wikipedia em va diu que és David Shearer. Per fi! ho van acceptar, però encara estic esperant que l’administrador m’accepti. A veure si em puc posar en contacte amb la dona en qüestió, encara que no estic segura de si respondrà perque aquell últim missatge te 2 anys.

Tambe he trobat aquest lloc on tenen una gran llista de manuals per a les màquines però per desgràcia no tenen una per el meu model. Els vaig enviar un correu electrònic i també estic esperant una resposta. Creuem els dits!
Així que aquesta és la meva nova aventura de moment, encara no he tingut temps per jugar amb la maquina, entre la feina i la família no queda gaire temps, però, oh, es veu tan maca! Esticcontenta d’haver esperat fins el moment en que ha aparegut aixi a les mans. Així que, mentres espero resposta d’aquests dos llocs, m’encantaria saber si alguna de vosaltres té  informació sobre aquest model de Baby Lock…. gracies!!!



The Wrapped Up Zipper Bag (or Origami Pouch…): Tutorial


I just realised there already was a zipper pouch (one of maaaaaany) that used the name Origami, you’ll find it in Amy Butler’s book Styles Stitches. I wasn’t aware of that so I think I should find a nother name for this zipper bag… It reminds me of a wrapped up present, so Ithink I’ll call it the Wrapped Up Zipper Bag, even though it involves some Origami folding!

If you like Origami and are good at it then you won’t have any problem with this… If you are not good at folding, don’t worry, I’ll teach you how to do it!

Si us agrada l’Origami i domineu la tecnica no tindreu pas problema per fer un estoig com aquest… Pero si no teniu gaire practica, no us preocupeu que ja us ensenyo com es fa!


You can choose whatever size you want, just make sure that your zipper is 2″ longer on either side to make your life easier.

Podeu fer-la de la mida que volgueu, nomes heu de tenir en compte de fer servir una cremallera que sigui 5cm mes llarga a cada extrem per no complicar-vos la vida.


For the flowery type box:

15″x10″rectangles of outer fabric and lining fabric

100% cotton wadding for quilting the 2 layers

5″x4″ rectangle of outer fabric

2 rectangles of 3″x4″ of outer fabric or any contrasting fabric with the lining

14″ zipper

Per un estoig com el de les flors:

rectangle 25cm x 35cm de de tela exterior

rectangle  25cm x 35cm de tela interior

guata de 100%coto per encoixinar els dos rectangles anteriors

rectangle de 12cm x 10cm

2 rectangles de 7.5cm x 10cm de tela exterior o que contrasti amb la interior

cremallera de 35cm


For the linen type pouch:

11″x10.5″ rectangle of exterior fabric (you can see I used a patchwork panel)

11″x10.5″ rectangle of interior fabric

fusible fleece to quilt both rectangles

5″x4″ rectangle of outer fabric

2 rectangles of 2.5″x4″ of outer fabric or any contrasting fabric with the lining

Per un estoig com el de lli :

rectangle 25cm x 35cm de de tela exterior

rectangle  25cm x 35cm de tela interior

Entretela tipus forro polar per encoixinar els dos rectangles anteriors

rectangle de 12cm x 10cm

2 rectangles de 6cm x 10cm de tela exterior o que contrasti amb la interior

cremallera de 35cm

The process will be the same in any size, I’ve used photos from both pouches for the tutorial.

El proces es el mateix per a qualsevol mida, veureu que hi ha fotos dels dos estoigs en aquest tutorial


1. Sew one side of the zipper on to the 10″ side of the rectangle, FACING DOWN at 1/8″ from the edge.

1. Cosiu un costat de la cremallera CARA AVALL a 0.5mm del costat de 25cm del rectangle. 


2. Trim the excess fabric with shears.

2. Talleu l’exces de tela amb unes tisores zigzag.


3. Press onto the right side and topstitch.

3. Planxeu a la banda del dret i cosiu un repunt.


4. Mark the zipper with a pen at the point where both edges end.

4. Marqueu la cremallera amb boligraf alla on la tela acaba.


5. Sew the other side of the zipper by folding the rectangle over (zipper FACING DOWN onto RIGHT SIDE of fabric).

5. Cosiu l’altre costat de la cremallera, doblegant el rectangle de manera que la cremallera mira cap AVALL sobre la tela del DRET). 


6. Cut the excess fabric again and this time you will need to fully open the zipper to press and topstitch.

6. Talleu l’exces de tela i aquest cop haure d’obrir la cremallera per a poder planxar i fer el repunt.



7. Stich the bottom edge of the zipper

7. Feu unes puntades a la part d’abaix de la cremallera.

IMG_59728. Take the small rectangle and press in half, then press both edges inwards towards the centre crease.

8. Agafeu el rectanlge petit i planxeu-lo per la meitat, torneu a planxar els extrems cap al doblec del centre.


IMG_59749. Sew both edges and sew a tag if you use one.

9. Cosiu els costats i cosiu-hi la vostra etiqueta si voleu.

IMG_597510. Right, now for the Origami session… Turn the pouch inside out and fold it flat with the zipper at the centre.

10. Be, ara comencem amb l’Origami… Gireu l’estoig del reves i el xafeu de manera que la cremallera quedi al centre.


11. Use a pin to mark the centre

11. Col.loqueu una agulla per marcar el centre


12. Tuck in the edge towards the centre where the pin is. Excuse all the frayed threads!!!

12. Col.loqueu el doblec exterior cap endins cap a l’agulla. Perdoneu per els fils desfilats!


13. Do the same on the other side and repeat these last steps for the other edge of the pouch.

13. Feu el mateix amb l’altre costat i repetiu els dos ultims punts amb l’altre extrem de l’estoig.


15. Place the tag strip into one edge.

15. Col.loqueu la tira de l’etiqueta dins d’un extrem.


16. OPEN THE ZIPPER before you sew both edges.

16. OBRIU LA CREMALLERA abans de cosir cada extrem.

IMG_598617. Trim the excess fabric and the zipper.

17. Talleu l’exces de tela i de cremallera.


18. With the 2 small rectangles left, make a binding for each seam by following the instructions in step 8.

18. Amb els dos rectangles petits que us queden feu una veta per cobrir les costures dels extrems seguint les instruccions del punt 8.



20. Turn de pouch and you’re done! I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial. I’d love to see your pouch if you make one so feel free to come back and share your link in a comment below. Thank you!

20. Gireu l’estoig del dret i ja el teniu fet! Espero que us hagi agradat. Magradaria veure el vostre estoig si en feu un, podeu compartir l’enllaç en un comentari per a que tots el veiem. Gracies!