Thursday, March 12, 2015

I'm Cuckoo For You Beginner Tutorial

Welcome to the tutorial for I'm Cuckoo For You! My sewing machine cover featured in Fat Quarterly Issue 20: Paper Piecing. Woo!

 Front Door View

Back of House View

Side of House View

This tutorial accompanies the pattern, which can be purchased as part of Issue 20. This tutorial adds photos and recommendations for beginner paper piecers. I hope that you will take your time with, and enjoy, the process of paper piecing this sewing machine cover!! 

I often see online comments from beginners, stating that they are afraid to paper piece. So I designed this pattern to gently lead the confident beginner through intermediate paper piecing. If your sewing machine is larger or smaller than the dimensions of the pattern, you can easily adjust the pattern by adding onto the SKY portions of the pattern (to make it bigger), or by increasing or decreasing the blank portions of the walls that I left for you to decorate. You can also make any of the sides of the house into mug rugs and placemats! Or you can make a house box by making the roof into a floor. Make a Community of houses to store your stash in! Woohoo!

Fabric:
See Pattern. I was given a fat quarter bundle of the delightful Dashwood Studios line, Cuckoos Calling. Just look at all of those cuckoo clocks!! This sewing machine cover was made using the entire line, plus coordinating solids. You could change it up anyway you like :)

Cutting:
Cut as you go. Cut all fabric pieces AT LEAST 1/2" larger than necessary to COVER seam allowances.  This way you will enjoy the process, and will always have success when placing your fabrics.

Embellishment:
Have a BLAST!! Woo! I added some fussy cut Cats, some funky flowers, and a heart shaped button for the doorknob. 
You could add whimsical cuties anywhere you like, Fill the yard with flowers, and the sky with Sunshine!
Hey! How about making it a red firehouse with black and white Dalmation dogs?! Fun!!

What you will need
Fabric:
I used Cuckoos Calling by Dashwood Studios
1/2 Yard main fabric for House, if directional. Slightly more than a Fat Quarter if using a solid
Fat Quarter for Top and Roofs, combined
Fat 1/8th fabric for Sky
Fat 1/8th for Door and Window Sills
Fat 1/8th for Garden if using a solid, more if using a directional print
Fabrics to fussy cut for Window and Garden inserts
Scraps for Walkway, Buntings, Curtains, Chimney and Sun
Ric Rac for Trim
Button for door knob
1/2 yard One-sided fusible stabilizer or batting
Hemming tape for finishing

Materials:
Fabric glue stick
Add a Quarter ruler, or long quilting ruler with 1/4” measurement
Recycled copy paper or paper piecing paper
A piece of cardstock or a sturdy post card
Scissors for cutting paper
Rotary cutter

Things to Remember
 Remember to read the pattern in full before starting
 Seam allowances are 1/4” unless stated otherwise
 Always press your fabrics before starting
 Press all seams as you go along

Finished Size: 8 1/2” Wide x 16 1/2 “ Long x 12 1/2" Tall

Beginners:
Begin by piecing the Side Sections of the House. Pay special attention to the “Tips”.
You will learn:
 - Piecing in a series, A-B-C
 - Fussy cutting
 - Gentle Angles – Roof
 - Acute Angles – Bunting, window curtains

  <<Tip>> Clip all threads as you go. This will keep your final project from looking like a hedge hog, lol!

Intermediates:
Review instructions for assembling Sides of the House. Begin sewing with whichever side you like. You will make two house sides, a front and a back. Kick it up a notch and frame your fussy cuts, put curtains in all of the windows, or add fussy cuts to the garden or sky. How about making special house for a Cat Lady?! Have fun!!

Step One:
Prepare pattern pieces:
Print on recycled or paper piecing paper in Landscape mode. Be sure your printer is NOT set to ‘scale to fit’.
Color in or label each section of the pattern so that you can tell the sections apart as you are paper piecing.
Cut out ONLY the pattern pieces you are currently using. This will help you to stay organized and not accidentally mix up pattern pieces. Lay them out so that they represent the finished part of the house. Keep them in this format for reference. Don’t forget that the pattern is the reverse of the finished product!
Color in and Label the parts!

-Cut out and tape together Roof and Garden sections of house sides, AFTER you have assembled the Center section of each of the sides of the house, in case your seams are greater or lesser than 1/4”.

Step Two:
Prepare Materials:
- Lower your ironing board, and place it adjacent to your work space. Heat your iron.
- Cut pieces of fabric AS YOU GO. Please follow the cutting guidelines for each section. Doing so will make placement of the pieces easier, and ensure overlap of fabric into seam allowances.

<<Tip>> If you use solid fabrics, except for fussy cuts, it will be easier to cut for this project, and use less fabric. 

Step Three:
Piece House Side
Section B, House Side:
B1 – Fussy Cut Window, cut 5” Wide x 5” Tall
<<Tip>> Cut a piece of freezer paper to this dimension. Use it to choose your fussy cut, then lightly iron in place, then cut 
B2 - House, 4” Wide x 2” Tall
B3 – Window Sill, 4”Wide x 1 1/2” Tall (cut a strip 1 1/2" Tall by 15” Wide and cut into sections for all window sills on this side)
B4 – House, 4” Wide by 4 1/4” Tall
B5 – House, 1 1/2” Wide x 9” Tall
B6 – Sky, 1 1/2” Wide x 9” Tall
B7 – House, 2” Wide x 9” Tall

Assemble Section B:
-Choose a fabric to fussy cut for your window (B1). Cut. Dot a dab of glue onto the back of the B1 Section of your pattern. Place the fussy cut fabric, wrong side towards the glue. Holding the pattern and fabric up to a strong light, arrange the fussy cut so that it is centered in the window, and overlaps all seam allowances. Press fabric to glue to adhere in place.
<<Tip>> Practice. Slide the fussy cut up and down and around! Are all of the seam allowances adjacent to that piece, covered? If not, adjust until they are, or cut a larger piece of fabric 
-  Place on a cutting mat, fold the paper piece pattern towards you along the line between B1 and B2 so you can see the fabric underneath, and then crease using the card stock as an edge.

 - Using the Add a Quarter ruler, trim fabric 1/4” from the paper fold.

  - Unfold paper pattern and flatten. Align edge of B2 with edge of B1, RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER. Practice by flipping B2 up into its finished positon. Does it cover all seam allowances? Is it upside right?
  - Return B2 so that it is right sides together with B1. Smooth edges of fabric so that they adhere to each other. Sew along the B1/B2 line, making sure stitch length is set to 1.8.

<<Tip>> Slide from the Side! Insert your fabric under the presser foot by sliding from the side, rather than sliding over the feed dogs. This will keep your top and bottom fabrics from slipping apart or folding back. 

  -  Flip B2 fabric into place and gently press. Be careful not to slide the iron as this may warp your piece. Celebrate!! You’ve done the hardest part!!

  -  Using card stock, fold paper pattern along line B1/B3, trim. Unfold paper pattern and flatten. Align piece B3 right sides together with the edge of B1, smooth together, and Sew.

- Flip B3 into finished position, press.

 -  Using card stock, fold paper pattern along line B3/B4, trim. Unfold paper pattern and flatten. Align piece B4 right sides together with the edge of B3, smooth together, and Sew.
-Flip B4 into finished position and gently press. You may wish to add a dot of glue to hold it in place

  -  Using card stock, fold paper pattern along line B1234/B5, trim. Unfold paper pattern and flatten. Align piece B5 right sides together with the edge of B1234, smooth together, and Sew.
  - Flip B5 into finished position and gently press.
- - Using card stock, fold paper pattern along line B5/B6, trim. Unfold paper pattern and flatten. Align piece B6 right sides together with the edge of B5, smooth together, and Sew.
  - Flip B6 into finished position and gently press.
  - Using card stock, fold paper pattern along line B1234/B7, trim. Unfold paper pattern and flatten. Align piece B7 right sides together with the edge of B1234, smooth together, and Sew.
   - Flip B7 into finished position and gently press.  -  You have completed the first section of your house side! It should look like this:
-  Trim completed section, trimming slightly outside of the seam allowance lines.

Section C:
C1 – Window, Fussy Cut 6 1/4”Wide x 5 1/2” Tall
C2 – House, 6 1/4" Wide x 1” Tall
C3 – Window Sill, 6 1/4" Wide x 1 1/2" Tall, use strip from section B
C4 – House, 6 1/4" Wide x 4” Tall

<<tip>> Cut a strip 6 1/4" x 5”, cut 1” across width for C2, use the remainder for C4

Assemble in the same manner as Section B.

Section D:
D1 - Fussy Cut Window, 5” Tall x 5” Wide
D2 – House, 1 1/4” Tall x 4” Wide
D3 – Window Sill, 1 1/2" tall x 4” Wide, use strip cut in Section B
D4 – House, 3 1/2" Tall x 4” Wide
D5 – House, 9” Tall x 1 1/4" Wide
D6 – House, 9” Tall x 1 1/4"Wide
D7 – Sky, 9” Tall x 1 1/4" Wide

<<tip>> Cut house fabric strip 9” Tall by 2 1 /2” Wide, and subcut into D5 and D6. If using a print, be careful of the direction!
Assemble in the same manner as Section B.

Assemble BCD Section of house
-  Right sides together, Sew section C to section D
- Check to see that you like your results. Trim seams. Press
- Sew Unit CD to section B
- Trim around outside of BCD unit, slightly outside of the seam allowance line. Press. Do not remove papers.
<<Tip>> Beginners: Do not trim outside seams (sky and garden) until ready to assemble the entire project. You will have plenty of seam allowance to work with in assembly. Then trim the seams after sewing. 

- Add Ric Rac to top of BCD Section. Insert Ric Rac into seam between B5 and B6 sections, and sections B1234 and B7, by unpicking seam 1/4". Pin in place. Sew in place using a seam less than 1/4". Press.

   
 Do not remove papers. The papers will help keep your sections from stretching or wrinkling as you work.

Section E:
Measure your actual assembled house BCD section. Tape E sections together to equal this amount as illustrated below.

  

Cut: 
E1 - Roof, 3” Tall x length of your BCD section
E2 & E3 - Sky, 4” Tall x 4” Wide. This may seem like a large piece of fabric, but if using directional prints, it will allow you to align them as you like, and still cover seam allowances once flipped into place.
<<tip>> Cut a strip 4” Tall by 8” Wide. Then subcut into two equal E2 and E3 pieces

Assemble Section E, Roof: 
- Sew E1/E2 intersection
Sew E2/E3 intersection
Press. Trim around the outside of the completed section, slightly outside of seam allowance line
Sew Section E, Roof to Section ABCD, House. Press.

Section A, Garden:
Measure your actual assembled house BCD section. Tape A sections together to equal this amount as illustrated above.
Section A:
A4 – Garden, 2 1/2" Tall x your length plus 1/2" extra
A1 – Fussy Cut, 2 1/2" Wide x 2 1/2" Tall
A2 – Garden, 1” Wide x 2 1/2" Tall
A3 – Garden, 2” Wide x 2 1/2" Tall

Assemble Section A:
- Sew A1/A2 border.
    - Sew A1-2 to A3
    - Sew A123 to A4
    - Press. Trim to same length as section BCD.

    - Sew to Section BCD. Press.
    - Remove papers, GENTLY. Try not to stretch the sections. Woohoo!! Looking Good!
    - Make second House side. Enjoy the process!

Step 4:
Piece Front Entrance of House:
Section A, Front of House:
A1 – Walkway, 5” Wide x 3 1/2" Tall
A2 – Garden, 5” Wide x 4” Tall
A3 – Garden, 3” Wide x 4” Tall

Assemble Section A, Front of House:
Sew A1 to A2, Press.
Sew A 1-2 to A3, Press.
- Trim around perimeter, trimming slightly outside of seam lines.



Section B, Front of House:
B1 – Fussy Cut Window, 4 1/2” Wide x 4 1/2" Tall
B2 – House, 4” Wide x 1 1/2" Tall
B3 – Window Sill, 4” Wide x 1” Tall
B4 – House, 4” Wide x 4” Tall
B5 – House, 1 1/4" Wide x 9” Tall
B6 – Sky, 1” Wide x 9” Tall
B7 – House, 1 1/2" Wide x 9” Tall
 <<tip>> B5 and B7 can be cut from a single 2 3/4” Wide x 9” Tall piece, then subcut into B5 and B7 

Assemble Section B, Front of House:
- SEW B1 to B2, Press, Trim.
SEW B1-2 to B3, Press, Trim.
- SEW B123 to B4, Press, Trim.
SEW B1234 to B5, Press, Trim.
SEW B12345 to B6, Press, Trim.
- SEW B123456 to B7, Press.
Trim around perimeter, trimming slightly outside of seam lines.

Section C, Front Door of House:
C1 – Fussy Cut Door Window, 2 1/2" Wide x 2 1/2” Tall
C2 & C3 – Window Curtains, 3” Wide x 3” Tall, Cut 2
C4 & C5 – Door Frame, 1” Wide x 2 1/2" Tall, Cut 2
C6 – Front Door, 3 1/2" Wide x 1” Tall
C7 – House, 3 1/2" Wide x 2” Tall
C8 – Front Door, 3 1/2" Wide x 4 1/2" Tall
C9 – House, 1 1/4" Wide x 8” Tall
C10 – Sky, 1” Wide x 8” Tall
Assemble as for Section A.

Section D, Roof, Front of House:
D1 – 9 1/2" Wide x 3” Tall
D2 & D3 – Sky, 3 1/2" Wide x 3 1/2" Tall
Assemble as for Section A.

Section E, Sun and Sky, Front of House:
E1 – Sky, Scrap
E2 – Sun, 1 1/2" Wide x 1/1/2” Tall
E3 – Sky, Scrap
E4 – Sky, 3 1/2" Wide x 1 1/2" Tall
Assemble as for Section A.

Section F, Chimney, Front of House:
F1 – Chimney, 1 1/2" Wide x 1 1/2" Tall
F2 – Sky, Scrap
F3 – Sky, 3 1/2" Wide x 1 1/2" Tall
Assemble as for Section A.

Assemble Front of House:
Sew Section E to Section F at E4 and F1-2. Press.
Sew EF Unit to Section D. Press.
Sew Section B to Section C. Press.
Sew Ric Rac to BC, following directions from House Sides. Press. Trim Ric Rac back so that it doesn’t intrude into seam allowances at outside edges of BC.
Sew DEF to BC. Press.
- Sew A to BCDEF, matching pathway to doorway. Press. Trim around perimeter, trimming slightly outside of seam lines.
   -  Remove papers
  




Step 5:
Piece Bunting Back of House:

<<Tip>>Beginners: Assemble Section A, then H, then Buntings

Cut Buntings:
Color or label pattern pieces prior to cutting them out, and prior to assembly.
Buntings are symmetrical, so cut 2 for C/F sections, 2 for B/G sections, and 2 for D/E sections.
C1, F1 – Bunting Flag, 1 1/2" Wide x 3 1/2" Tall
C2, F2 – House, 1 1/2" Wide x 2 1/2" Tall
C3, F3 – House, 3/4" Wide x 3 1/2" Tall
C4, F4 – House, 4” wide x 4” Tall
C5, F5 – House, 11/2” Wide x 2 1/2" Tall
C6, F6 – House, 1” Wide x 8” Tall

B1, G1 – Bunting Flag, 1 1/2" Wide x 4 1/2" Tall
B2, G2 – House, 1 1/4" Wide x 2 1/2" Tall
B3, G3 – House, 1” Wide x 4 1/2" Tall
B4, G4 – House, 1 1/2" Wide x 3” Tall
B5, G5 – House, 1 1/2" Wide x 4” Tall
B6, G6 – House, 1” Wide x 8” Tall
B7, G7 – Sky, 1” Wide x 8” Tall

D1, E1 – Bunting Flag, 1 1/2" Wide x 3” Tall
D2, E2 & D3, E3 – House, 1 1/4" Wide x 3” Tall
D4, E4 – House, 1 1/2" Wide x 4” Tall
D5, E5 – House, 1 1/2" Wide x 2’ Tall
D6, E6 – House, 1” Wide x 8” Tall

Assemble Buntings:
<< Tip>> If you are using a directional print: As you sew the buntings, be aware that the point of the bunting is always facing down, and section B4 is always at the TOP. Arrange your fabric so that when it is flipped and pressed, it is upright. 

- Dot a dab of glue onto the back of B1.
- Using a strong light, arrange B1 wrong side against glue, so that all sides overlap into the surrounding sections by at least 1/4". Press to hold B1 in place.

- Fold back paper at B1/B2 intersection, crease over card stock.

- Using an Add a Quarter ruler, trim overhang to 1/4".

    - Fold paper back into place, and arrange B2 with right sides together against edge of B1. Holding fabric in place, flip B2 overtop of section B2 to ensure that you have all seam allowances covered. Adjust as needed.


    - Flip B2 back to right sides together, and Sew B1/B2 seam.
    - Fold back paper at B2/B3 intersection, crease over card stock. 
    - Using an Add a Quarter ruler, trim overhang to 1/4".
    - Fold paper back into place, and arrange B3 with right sides together against edge of B1. Holding fabric in place, flip B3 overtop of section B3 to ensure that you have all seam allowances covered. Adjust as needed.
    -  Flip B3 back to right sides together, and Sew B1/B3 seam. 
    -  Fold pattern back at B123/B4 line. Crease, and using an Add a Quarter ruler, trim seam fabric to 1/4".
    - Fold pattern back into place, and arrange fabric B4 so that edges are even with B123 seam edge, right sides are together, and it covers all of section B4, when flipped into place.
1   - Flip B4 back to right sides together, and Sew B123/B4 seam. Flip B4 fabric into place and press carefully.

<<Tip>> Dot a dab of glue to hold longer pieces of fabric in place, so that they do not flop around and inadvertently get sewn into adjacent seams.

    - Fold pattern back at B1234 /B5 line. Crease paper, and using an Add a Quarter ruler, trim seam fabric to 1/4".
    - Arrange fabric B5 so that it is right sides together, even with B1234. Flip to ensure that it covers all seams by at least 1/4".
    - Flip back to right sides together, and Sew B1234/B5 seam.
1  - Flip open and press. Dot with glue to hold in place as necessary.
    - Fold pattern back at B12345 /B6 line. Crease, trim seam fabric to 1/4" using an Add a Quarter ruler.
1   - Fold pattern back into place, arrange B6 fabric right sides together, and long edge even with B12345 edge. Sew B12345/B6 seam. Flip B6 into place, and Press.


 Celebrate!!! You’ve completed your first paper pieced bunting!!

   - Continue to assemble remaining Bunting sections, C, D, E, F, and G, as per instructions, above. Press carefully. Trim all interior seams to 1/4”. Trim Sky seam sections to 1/2" if you wish to have a little extra wiggle room for assembly. Otherwise, trim to 1/4".

Assemble Bunting Section:
Sew B to C.
SEW BC to D
SEW BCD to E
SEW BCDE to F
Sew BCDEF to G
Press all seams in one direction.
Do not remove papers.

Section A, Garden, Bunting:
A1 – Fussy Cut Flowers, 2 1/2" Wide x 2 1/2" Tall
A2 – Grass, 2” Wide x 2” Tall
A3 – Grass, 5” Wide x 3” Tall
A4 – Fussy Cut Flowers, 2 1/2" Wide x 3” Tall
A5 – Grass, 1 1/2" Wide x 3” Tall

Assemble Section A, Garden, Bunting:
- Assemble as per House Side garden instructions. Press.
- Trim to fit Unit BCDEFG.
- Sew Section A to Unit BCDEFG. Press.

Section H, Roof, Bunting:
H1 – Roof, 9” Wide x 3” Tall
H2 & H3 – Sky, 4” Wide x 4’ Tall (Cut 2)

Assemble Section H Roof, Bunting:
- Assemble as per House Side roof instructions. Press.
- Trim to fit Unit ABCDEFG
- Sew Bunting hanging line. I used Ric Rac. Use whatever strikes your fancy!

<<Tip>> If using Ric Rac, cut slightly longer than needed and tuck under roofline Ric Rac. Do not cut Ric Rac exactly to size as it will fray.

- Sew Ric Rac along top of UNIT ABCDEFG using a seam less than 1/4".
- Trim Ric Rac back so that it does not infringe on seam allowance at outside edges of pattern.
- Sew Section H to Unit ABCDEFG. Press. Trim around perimeter, trimming slightly outside of seam lines.
 Remove papers.



Step 6:
Stabilize Sewing Machine Cover Components:
- Cut batting or stabilizer to 1/2” Less Wide and 1/2" Tall, than your House Side. I used one sided fusible stabilizer on my Sewing Machine Cover.
- If using fusible stabilizer, fuse onto wrong side on House Side, following manufacturer’s instructions. If using batting, quilt as you like, being sure to sew around entire perimeter of batting with an 1/8” seam. Use thread to match your fabric. Press.
- Continue to fuse or sew stabilizer/batting onto the wrong side of the remaining House Side, the House Front, and the House Bunting.

Step 7:
Assemble Sewing Machine Cover:
- Sew House Front to a House Side, right sides together, being sure they are both oriented upright. Use a 1/4" seam. The remaining seam allowance will be taken up by the stabilizer when you turn your cover right side out.
- Sew House Bunting to your House Front+Side Unit, right sides together, maintaining a 1/4" seam.
- Sew Final House Side to your House Front+Side+Bunting Unit, right sides together, maintaining a 1/4" seam.
- Sew ends together, right sides together, completing a rectangular unit.
- Measure the length of your final sewn House Side. Add a 1/4". Measure the length of your final House Front, add 1/4". Cut a rectangle of this length and height to become the top of your sewing machine cover.

<<tip>> Use the fabric you made the sky from, or another fun material! The top of your cover doesn’t have to match your House Roof. Have fun with it! 

- Stabilize your sewing machine cover top in the same manner you did the rest of your units.
- Sew the Top to the sewing machine cover, right sides together. It’s easier than it looks! Just start with a long side, place right sides together as usual, and sew along that side to 1/4" from the end, turn the corner, tug on the fabric of the top until it will smoothly align with the next side, and sew. Continue around the remaining sides. Back tack at the end of the final seam.
- Turn the cover right sides out. Press.
- Turn bottom edge of sewing machine cover under 1/4" into the interior of the cover. Edge stitch in place or fuse in place with hemming tape.
- Sew button onto front door as a door knob. Add additional embellishments as you wish.

 Woot Woot!! I am so psyched you’ve learned so much about paper piecing and made such a great sewing machine cover!


Please share pictures of your finished projects on Flikr: https://www.flickr.com/groups/2749277@N21/

8 comments:

  1. This is adorable! Thanks for sharing all this great information. I love all the little details you added.

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  2. This is gorgeous! I have just discovered Dashwood Studio fabrics and ordered some of the Fern in Navy print. The fabric is soft and such a distinct and pretty print. I was looking at the Cuckoo Clocks in Black last night - very tempting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am really loving the quality of the Dashwood Studios fabrics, Karen. So soft, such nice drape, and such nice quality weave!

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  3. What a fun idea to make a house for your machine. Maybe one of these days I'll make one for mine.

    ReplyDelete