The Eternal Maker Crafts

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Toilet Roll Holder Tutorial


This project has been lurking in the back of my mind for far too long. I’m usually pretty quick at getting things like this done once the idea is fully formed. I’ve seen a few ‘ancient’ forms of loo roll holder around the world but nothing that would suit the modern bathroom. I found myself really bothered about loo rolls hanging around different bathrooms in baskets on the floor, windowsills and such inappropriate places. So finally, much to my husband’s amusement, I sat in front of the TV set a couple of evenings ago with a loo roll, a tape measure, notepad and pen in hand. Result! Here’s what you need and what you do:

-½ metre of fabric (if you’re using the same fabric for the whole project)
-25cm x 110cm (long quarter) for the front and a fat quarter for the back
-½ metre of medium weight fusible interfacing (Vilene 250/305 or similar

For the back, cut 2 x A (45cm x 14cm) from the main fabric and the same amount of interfacing
For the front, cut 2 x B (94cm x 12.5) from main fabric and 1 x B (94cm x 12.5cm) from interfacing
For the loop, cut 1 x C (15cm x 5cm) from main fabric



Back: Place the fusible interfacing sticky side down on top of the wrong side of the main fabric pieces (A). Iron on as per the manufacturer’s instructions, then pin together, right sides facing. Sew together along the the long edges only, leaving a 5mm seam allowance. Leave it like that while preparing the front piece.

Front: Place the fusible interfacing sticky side down on top of the wrong side of one piece of main fabric (B) and iron on. Pin pieces B on top of one another with right sides facing then sew together the long edges only, leaving again a 5mm seam allowance. Turn it the right way out, finger press and then iron the edges flat.

To join the two pieces, feed front piece B through the back piece A. This should be easy as you’ll note B is a little narrower. Making sure to position it in the middle, pin the two short edges together then sew. Pull the front piece out and use this action to turn the back piece the right way out as well. Finger press its edges and then iron them flat.

To form the loo roll ‘pockets’, lay the pieces flat and starting from the joint between front and back, mark three lines across the back piece, measuring 13cm in between, then three lines across the front piece, measuring 30cm in between. Fold the front on top of the back matching the lines marked earlier. Sew across these points with a tight stitch.

You’ll have about 3cm on the top of the front piece left to tidy. Fold the raw edge under, pin and sew close to the folded edge. 

To create the loop from piece C, fold it in half lengthwise to mark the middle. Open it up, fold the raw edges to the centre, fold in half again and pin then sew. You’ll have ended up with a 15cm strip.

Fold about 5mm of the raw edges on the back piece (A) inwards from all sides and pin the loop at the same time between, placing it 3cm in from each side.

Stitch in place close to the edge and you’ll have ended up with a perfectly formed loo roll holder.

NOTES: I've used a natural linen fabric for the back and a cotton, quilting weight fabric for the front. I kept this as simple as possible just for instruction purposes, but you can use any odd fabric and be as creative as you like. In fact, if you're a quilter and you have scraps you'd like to use,  go ahead - we would love to see what others come up with. 

And last but not least, I've a confession to make: I've been sewing, designing and creating for a very long time, but this is my first blog post for the Eternal Maker since I started working here. I’m more of a maker than a writer, so I hope it all makes sense and you’re happy with the results. Feedback would be wonderful. Enjoy!


Saturday, 16 January 2016

Doll's Bed in a Suitcase Sew Along Part 3 - Sheets, Pillows, Duvets, Quilts

Making Sheets, Pillows, Duvets, Quilts all in Minature

Fitted Sheet 
You will need:
Solid White Fabric:   We used Kona Solids White
Narrow elastic - 1/2 the length of the distance around the flat sheet.

Using the template created when you made your mattress,  cut a piece of white fabric that is the height of your mattress + 1cm larger all around than the template.  For us this meant using a piece of fabric that was 65cm wide.

Make sure all four corners are curves.  You can either do this freehand, or use a compass or small side plate.  Press a 5mm hem all around the edge.  Then press a further 10cm.

You now need to sew your elastic into this hem.  I sewed it by anchoring it in one spot, and then threading it in as I went, but if you wanted to, you could thread it all in afterwards - but to me this seemed overly faffy.  I'm all for getting the job done as quickly as possible.

You will need: 4 pieces of white fabric - 20cm x 15cm each. (you'll probably have this leftover from one of the other parts of this project)

Sew two of your fabrics together, right sides facing, leaving a gap for turning in one of the long sides.  Turn the right way out.
Stuff firmly, then sew up the gap.
Repeat for the second pillow.

For each pillow you will need:
1 piece of fabric 20cm x 15cm, 1 piece 25cm x 15cm

Hem the right hand edge of each piece, then, on the hemmed side, fold back the extra 5cm to the wrong side on the larger piece so it is the same size as the smaller piece.  Sew around all edges except for the folded hemmed side.

The duvet makes me so happy.  I don't know why - I think it's just mundane, everyday things look so adorable in miniature.

Firstly, your duvet needs to be a rectangle that measures the width of the mattress, by the width of the mattress + 5cm.  You'll need 2 pieces of fabric that measure this size.  You'll also need stuffing.

Wrong sides together, sew around the edge, leaving a turning gap that's at least 15cm long at the bottom.  Turn the right way out.

Next is a complicated sounding but relatively simple process of stuffing and sewing.  You'll need to divide your mattress up into sections approximately 8cm high each, with the opening at the bottom. 
Using the diagram above, you need to work a process of sewing the first line, stuffing this row lightly, then sew the next row from the other side.  Stuff this next gap, then repeat.  Sew and stuff, sew and stuff.  Once you've got to the bottom, lightly stuff, then sew your turning gap closed.

Duvet Cover
You will need:  Two pieces of fabric the same size as your duvet.  Snap fastener tape the length of one short end. 

Stitch your snap fastener tape on the right side along one of the short edges of each piece of fabric, making sure that the snaps line up with each other.  Fold to the wrong side, and sew into place.
Lay right sides facing (once again making sure snaps match) and sew around all other edges.  Turn the right way out.

Well, every good bed has got to have a quilt, right?  I'm not going to tell you how to make the quilt, but use this as an opportunity to use up your scraps.  I did 9 squares (3x3) and a 2.5" border.  Then made my quilt sandwich and bound it with bias tape.  Just make your quilt to the correct size for your bed.

And that's it!  A doll's bed.    Doesn't it look cute? The doll is from the awesome Kit, Chloe and Louise pattern by Wee Wonderfuls - you can find it here.  I'd love to see all your versions - please show us!

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Wednesday, 13 January 2016

When the only thing you can do is quilt

The following guest post is written by Clare Mansell who is a local blogger and modern quilter

Just before Christmas the parents at my local village primary school were told some devastating news. One of the children had been badly burned in a freak accident and was facing a lengthy stay in hospital. His father who had come to his aid was also injured. Immediately the parents and teachers wanted to do something to help and so started fundraising to ease the financial burden of the lengthy drives to and from the specialist unit where he was being treated, but the parents of his classmates wanted to do something personal too.


When you are struggling to think of a way to help in these kind of situations it always comes back to “what can I do that others can't?”

Having lived in Canada for a couple of years I was very aware of the big charitable drives to make quilts for children and veterans in hospital and I also knew how much comfort they provide to patients facing a long stay in a clinical environment and there is also the added advantage that a quilt was the perfect project for several people to get involved in… even the kids!

The quilt had to be bright and cheerful, a simple design and not too expensive to make so we decided to use mainly Kona solids. The centre of each block was made from a piece of the class’s artwork printed directly (not a transfer) on to sheets of cotton poplin.


Fortunately my sister and I had loads of Kona scraps to create the two inch borders round the squares and I had recently bought an entire bolt of Kona snow from the Eternal Maker (thanks Anna!) so we had enough of that for the sashing, but I am ALWAYS lacking yardage for the backs of quilts so we threw ourselves at the mercy of Anna & Sarah and asked if they might donate enough fabric for the back.

At this point I should advise you that if you are ever popping into the Eternal Maker to buy fabric for the back of a quilt, get one of the lovely staff members to check your calculations! I was convinced I needed 1.7 metres, but when the calculator was brought out the correct figure was 1.9 metres - Ooops!


I also have to confess that once I got the yardage home I strayed a teeny bit from my original planned width for the sashing and so (oops again!) the quilt top ended up even bigger than that original 1.9 metres! (second piece of advice, never buy quilt backing until you’ve finished the quilt top!) BUT it did mean that we had an excuse to work in a couple of fantastic patchwork borders on the back which definitely enhanced the whole look of the finished quilt.

I’ll always be grateful to the lovely lady who taught me to quilt 9 years ago for passing on a skill which continues to be so useful.


You can see more of Clare's quilts on her blog

If you're interested in a guest blog spot on our blog - get in touch!  We're always on the look out for fun tutorials and interesting stories.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Doll's Bed in a Suitcase Sew Along Part 2 - Making the Mattress

Making The Mattress To Fit a Vintage Suitcase

You will need:
Main fabric - we used a lovely brushed cotton stripe
Bias binding
Self Cover Buttons 19mm x 6
Long doll needle
Thick thread

Draw around the base of your suitcase.  Then, using this template, cut 2 pieces of fabric this size.   Then cut two strips at that are approximately 2cm shorter than the height of your suitcase.  I endied up using approximately 60cm of 110cm wide fabric.

Join your two strips together along the short side, to create one long strip, but cut two 20cm pieces off the end of this.

Taking one of these pieces, create a handle.  I did this by pressing in the ends, then folding the piece in thirds to create a piece that was approximately 15cm x 5cm.  I sewed several lines along the length of this piece, and all around the edge, and then stitched each end to a central-ish point of the long strip.

Make sure that the handle falls in the centre of one of the long sides of the main pieces, and then, wrong sides facing, I started to sew the top of the mattress to the side.  I did this wrong sides facing because I wanted to bind the edges, but if you don't want to bind, do right sides facing and turn through at the end.
After stitching the top to the side, I then bound the edge using a lovely satin bias binding.  Satin binding is such an old fashioned bed type thing, don't you think?  It's always on mattresses, or around blankets.  I wanted this mattress to have a bit of a vintage style appeal - purely for my aesthetics, but that's as good a reason as any, when you think about it.
I then repeated these steps to join the bottom to the side, and then bound it.
When you get to the join, fold each edge in, and overlap slightly before sewing into place.  Make sure the top and bottom line up nicely, so when it comes to it you have a nice easy to stitch finish.  This hole will be your stuffing hole.
Once all made and bound, it's time to stuff.  I used 2 whole bags, and the leftovers of my duvet and pillow set.  That was probably about 700g of stuffing.  Stuff firmly, making sure your spread is even and not lumpy.
Once you're stuffed, slip stitch the side opening closed.

Buttoning:  I feel like I should say a word of warning about the buttons, in that they are small parts and this is designed predominantly as a small person's play thing.  Make sure, if you use buttons, to use thick thread and sew them tight.  Make sure they're not likely to be pulled off.  If you're too worried about doing these, just don't use buttons.  You can still create the effect but with little crosses of thread, rather than the buttons.

Anyway, back to the making.  Cover your buttons with the remaining 20cm piece of fabric you cut earlier.

If you've never made covered buttons before, here's how:

Cut a circle of fabric approximately 1cm wider on all sides than your button.  Turn your button upside down on the fabric, then using your fingers, push the fabric around to the teeth of the button back so it's gripped into place nicely.  I like to alternate the sides I've pushed from and rotate the button as I go, so I get a nice even finish.  Once your fabric is all gripped nicely into place, push the back on your button.  Make sure you can hear it click into place.  If you don't hear or feel the click, it's not pushed in properly.

Once you've covered your buttons, take out your doll needle.  (It's amazing how something that can look so much like an instrument of torture can have such an innocuous name as a 'doll' needle.)  Thread your thick thread doubled on your needle.  Then finding the middle of the mattress, anchor your thread in the spot firmly.  Then push the needle through the mattress to the centre of the other side.  Come back to the first side, making sure to find the centre point, and repeat back and forth a few times, cinching in the mattress as you go.  Once you've got it cinched in nice and firmly, thread the button on your needle, looping over a couple of times for security, and then thread back through to the other side.  Thread your button on the other side, looping double again, and then secure as firmly as possible.  Tie off, and lose the threads somewhere in the body of your mattress.

Next find the spot between this centre button and the left hand edge and repeat.  Then repeat for the right hand edge.

Phew!  That's one mattress done.  I made a pretty fat mattress, and at this point I looked at it in the suitcase and thought to myself that it would make a really awesome bed for a cat or a little dog.  So unbelievably, there are other uses for this mattress.  Would you believe it?
The next installment will be on the 16th January, and we'll start making the bed!

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Saturday, 2 January 2016

Doll's Bed in a Suitcase Sew Along Part 1 - Covering The Suitcase

 Covering a Vintage Suitcase with Fabric!
I'm going to start this with a bit of a disclaimer.  Suitcases come in all shapes and sizes, and they have all sorts of different fittings, handles, hinges.   They're made from various different materials, and no two will ever be the same - even if they look totally similar!  So here's a few tips and techniques to get you started, in the hope that you'll be able to figure out the rest yourself.  Of course, if you come up against any problems, let me know and I can see if I can explain a little further, but for now, here's how:

You will need two contrasting fabrics - one outer, and one lining.  I used around 75cm of each fabric for my size case.  To help see what you need, I'd measure the top, and the height.  You'll need two tops and two strips of height for both the lining and the main fabric, and that should do it.
Glue - we used Cartonnage Glue (an awesome glue that is quite similar to Mod Podge)
A craft knife; scissors that you don't mind messing up (no dressmaking shears here, please).

 Cut the your outer fabric to the same size as your suitcase, with 2cm extra all around.  Then cover the base of your suitcase with the glue, spreading it thick and evenly.  Lay the fabric over the glue, centrally, and smooth it so there are no creases or bubbles.

Cut snips at approximately 2cm intervals around the edge.
 Cover with glue around the edge 2-3cm up, and stick up the flaps you've cut.  The slits cut should help you go neatly around the corners.  Be prepared to get a little messy - think back to primary school and covering your hands with PVA type messy, and you're on the right track.
It should start to look something like this.
 Measure the side of your suitcase, then add about 4cm to the width.  Cut a strip of outer fabric to this size.  You'll need one or two strips to go around the edges, depending on the size of your suitcase.
 Spread glue over the side of your suitcase.  Lay the fabric face down, lining up 1-2cm in from the base edge of the case.  Then spread a bit of extra glue on the 1-2cm fabric that is touching the case.
 Fold the fabric up, and smooth down on the side of the case.  The last step gives you a nice neat folded edge. 
 Carry on in this method around the edge of the case, until you get to the hardware at the front.
 Carry on gluing as normal, sticking your fabric over the top of your locks etc. 
 With your knife, cut a cross over the metal parts to allow you to get to them later.  Then leave for the time being.  Cut extra space around your handle and any other hardware.
 Cut slits and the excess fabric over the top edge just as you did for the base.  Then repeat this entire process for the top of the case.  Then put aside to dry.
 Once your glue is all dry, return to the hardware, and using your craft knife, trim all around the edges as neatly as possible.  You may find that the fabric is stuck slightly to the metal, but give it a tug and it should all come free.  The fabric will have hardened so you can get a nice clean cut with your knife.
 Spread some extra glue all around the cut edges of your hardware.  It'll dry clear and seal any raw edges so they won't come undone over time.
Cover the handle the best way you can manage.  If the handle doesn't need covering, don't bother, as it can be one of the trickier bits.
Cover any hinge on both the inside and the outside before starting covering the inside.  Once this is done, start covering the inside using the same techniques you used on the outside.
Cover the sides first, folding a neat edge along the top, and overlapping the bottom.
I actually made a bit of a mess of the bottom of this one - but luckily managed to save it with the use of some handy apron tape...  It is worth pointing out that you need to keep the area around the rim of the main case and the lid as finely covered as possible, as if the fabrics are too thick, you'll have trouble closing it.   With this case, I actually over did it.  With a few taps of a hammer to slightly soften and curve the rim on the base I got it back in to fit - but it is tight.  I'm hoping it will loosen up with use.  On the last one I made, a slight sanding helped.
Don't worry about leaving too much glue on your outside - it'll dry clear and you shouldn't see it.  Put it to one side to dry while getting on with the contents of your case.

The next installment will be on the 9th January, when we'll make a mattress to perfectly fit your case!

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