DIY Quilt Ladder

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Happy Tuesday! I wanted to share a few notes on a quilt ladder that I made last year! This has made a few appearances on the blog already and I've gotten some questions about how I made it.

I followed a tutorial from Apartment Therapy: How to Make a Blanket Ladder

I made some small adjustments to better fit what I wanted. For the two tall supports I used 1 1/2" diameter wood closet rods, 72" long. For the five horizontal bars I used 1" diameter dowels, trimmed to 38" long.

Above you can see the spacing I used for my ladder. The first bar is 13.5" down from the top of the tall supports. There is approximately 9.75" between each bar. The bars hang over the sides by 4".

The process of lashing the bars to the tall supports was pretty straightforward, the video that is linked in the tutorial was really helpful. I used cotton macrame cord, since I already had some on hand. I have primarily used my ladder for photographs, so I don't know how strong the joints are if you have something draped on it all the time. It does feel quite strong!

If I was going to use this for display all the time with heavy quilts I would probably glue the supports in place and add small screws from the back before lashing.
Happy Quilting!

January Monthly Report

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Happy February! It's time for January's monthly report. See past reports here.

First and foremost, a big thank you for your twill tape orders! I have a reorder on it's way and the low/sold out styles will be back on Friday, February 7th. You can find the listing in my shop here: Cotton Twill Tape

Sewing wise this was a light month. Michael took the first week of January off, so it did sort of feel like I was playing catch-up most of the month. Totally worth it though! He works long hours, so I really cherish any extra days we have together.

I did carve out some time to sew up a new drawstring bag. When I was cleaning my sewing room after the new year I realized I had enough cork fabric to make two more drawstring bags! I paired the cork with this lovely canvas print from Ruby Star Society*. This is the bottom accent variation from the expansion pattern in the Project size. The cork fabric from Sew Sweetness.
Lined Drawstring Bag Pattern + Lined Drawstring Bag Expansion Pattern

I finished a small quilt this month! This was an extra quilt top from writing my book, Patchwork Essentials: The Half-Square Triangle*. I basted it in May 2018, yikes! I was tired of having it languishing under my sewing table, so I spent some time getting it finished up in January. What a relief to cross this one off, it was weighing on me!

I shared my scrap project that I made in the form of a tutorial last week, you can find it here: Long Scrappy Pincushion Tutorial. I actually made two, since I didn't take photos of the process while I made the first one. They were fun and quick!

To keep myself accountable for my stash goals, I track my yardage for fabric and yarn each month. Read more about how I track here. Here is how I did in January:

January Fabric
Used up: 9 yards
Brought in: 8 yards
Net: -1 yards
Year to date: -1 yards

January Yarn
Used up: 0 yards
Brought in: 0 yards
Net: 0 yards
Year to date: 0 yards

New Year, new stash tally! I actually didn't buy any fabric this month. All the yardage that came in was given to me by friends. I knew I had to finish that little quilt to help offset it! No yarn movement, but I did start a new cowl for Michael.

I didn't really do much of anything towards my crafty goals this month, but that's okay. I spent most of the month working on behind the scenes business stuff, so a lot of time on the computer. I am looking forward to being more intentional about my sewing in February. Which includes picking up my vintage sheet quilt blocks!

I'm missing my garden, so I treated myself to some flowers this month. First I had a bundle of teeny tiny purple and white carnations that lasted three weeks from Trader Joe's. This weekend I replaced those with these ones shown above. They are my absolute favorite color, such a perfect purple. I love to stretch a single bunch across 4 or 5 small bottles.

George the bunny! He is doing well, and he put on some weight this month. He is very happy about that and so are we. Such a good boy, we love him so.

Have a great month!

*Note: Any links marked with an asterisk in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click through and buy something, I make a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

Shop News: Expansion Printed Pattern, Twill Tape and Wholesale Ordering

Friday, January 31, 2020

Happy Friday! I have some exciting shop related news to share with you today!
First and foremost, you can now find cotton twill tape in my online shop! Twill is one of my favorite materials to use as the drawstrings when making Lined Drawstring Bags. Natural cotton twill is relatively easy to find, but the cute ruler twill tape isn't always. So, I decided to start carrying a small selection of twill tapes in my online shop! To start, you'll find 3/8" and 1/2" natural twill along with 1/2" antique ruler twill and 1/2" yellow measuring tape twill. Find them all here: Cotton Twill Tape.

For now, I only have shipping set up for the United States. I'm happy to set up a custom listing for international orders, so if you're interested just send me a message here.

I whipped up this quick bag with the yellow measuring tape twill to celebrate! This is the mini accent variation from my Lined Drawstring Bag Expansion Pattern. Fabrics are Noe by Erin McMorris for the main exterior and Girl Friday by Cosmo Cricket (circa 2010) for the accent. I was so tempted to pair the yellow twill with yet another pink or purple print, but stopped myself. That's my go-to for these bags, so I thought this gray was a good change of pace!
Next up, the Lined Drawstring Bag Expansion Pattern is now available in printed form! This was something I was a little unsure about because it is such a long pattern. I didn't want to take anything out of the printed version, or reformat it too heavily, so it's just a big, thick printed pattern!

Find it individually here: Lined Drawstring Bag Expansion PAPER Pattern
Find it as part of a printed bundle here: Lined Drawstring Bag PAPER Pattern Bundle

Your support of this pattern is what made it possible for me to print it, so thank you!

And now, some wholesale ordering news:
The Lined Drawstring Bag Expansion Pattern is now available for wholesale purchase! Because it is a more expensive to print and package this pattern, it is only available ordered directly through me. In an effort to make that easier, I spent the better part of this month completely overhauling my wholesale ordering process.

If you are a quilt or fabric shop (online or brick + mortar) who would be interested in carrying my patterns in your store, you can find all the information and order here: Jeni Baker Patterns Wholesale Order Form

I'm also offering free shipping on domestic orders of 25 patterns or more (+ discounted shipping on international)! Happy Friday!

Long Scrappy Pincushion Tutorial

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Happy Tuesday! Today I have a little tutorial for this long scrappy pincushion to share with you!

I made this long pincushion from scraps last week for the front of my sewing machine. When I sat down to make something, I had no idea what. I knew I needed to make a scrap project and I spent a couple minutes looking around for problems I could solve. I looked down and the gently used needles sticking out of my machine mat were staring me in the face (picture above, ick!). It's not a great spot for them and it collects dust really fast. So, I figured a low-profile pincushion sitting there would look nicer and function better too.

This project was made entirely from scraps, including the batting and interfacing! It's perfect for using up those long skinny batting scraps that you end up with after trimming down a quilt. I made mine using the quilt as you go (QAYG) method, but you can just as easily sew the pieces together in a long strip and then quilt it all at once. Totally up to you!

Have questions about making pincushions? Check out my All About Pincushions post.

Sewing Level: Beginner Friendly
Finished Size: 1.5"x16"

- (8) 2"x2" squares of print fabric
- (2) 2"x2.5" rectangles of print fabric for ends
- (1) 2"x16.5" strip of backing fabric
- (1) 2"x16.5" strip of lightweight interfacing
- 4"x18" batting scrap
- Pincushion filling (I used crushed walnut shells.)

Looking for supplies? Check out my Pattern Supplies and Resources post.

*Use a 1/4" seam allowance unless otherwise noted.*

1. Arrange print squares and rectangles in a single row, with the rectangle pieces at each end.

2. Place the first rectangle piece right sides up on your batting scrap. Using a walking foot, quilt the scrap in place.

3. Place the first square right sides down on top of the quilted rectangle, lining up the short edges. Sew along the matched edge with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Press square away from the quilted rectangle. Quilt in place.

Continue in this way with the remaining squares, ending with the other rectangle piece.

4. Trim the quilted piece down to 2"x16.5". You may find that your piece is a little less than 16.5" long, due to seam allowances being slightly larger or shrinking from the quilting, that's okay! Just trim it down to size and trim the backing/interfacing too.

5. Apply interfacing to the backing piece according to the manufacturer's instructions.

6. Place pincushion top and backing right sides together, clipping or pinning around all four edges.

7. Sew around all four edges, leaving about a 2" opening in the center of one long side. I find this makes turning easier than leaving the opening at one of the ends.

8. Trim the seam allowance to 1/8" at the corners.

9. Press opening seam open, to make closing the opening easier. Turn pincushion right sides out. Use a wooden chopstick or turning tool to help.

10. Fill pincushion with desired filling.

11. Using a hand sewing needle and matching thread, stitch the opening closed.

All done!

 Hope you enjoyed the tutorial! If you make a pincushion, please tag me on Instagram! I'm @jenib320 and my hashtag is #jenibaker.

Happy Sewing!


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