Posts Tagged ‘tutorial’


42.2 Making Lanyards for the Guild Show

November 24, 2017

We decided to change the way we were doing our charity project for our upcoming guild show in 2018. We used to make a quilt (or other) and put it up for silent auction to be given to the highest bidder at the end of the show. Instead we are going to make things to “buy it now” – to borrow a phrase from ebay.

Somehow, this flipped a switch in my brain to say – make boutique like items.

Also my old lanyard was starting to look gunky after several years of use, and I decided to make myself some lanyards, at least one for me, and the rest I can make for the guild for the charity portion of the show.

In the meantime, last June, at the Kansas City show, I saw the vendor Project Lydia. I had seen them before.

They are a group of ladies who make colored beads out of very thin strips (triangles) of magazine paper, and then string them into bracelets and necklaces.

From their website:

Project Lydia is an economic development project that lifts women out of the worst of poverty, restores purpose, hope, and dignity. All our paper beaded necklaces, bracelets and jewelry are made out of recycled material.

And I have put my necklace I purchased from them as my own lanyard for the time being. Sorry for the poor quality picture.

I’ll take you through how I am making these lanyards if you decide to make one of your own. I like the Project Lydia piece, but as it is beads and I use this daily, I have had a poor experience where I had a handmade beaded necklace break in the middle of the hallway when using my badge.

Next to the beaded lanyard is a strip. I start my strips for my new lanyards as 2″.

I then fold towards the middle twice. Actually one fold in the middle.

Open the strip up again, and refold to the new middle line that is just pressed in.

I then take some sort of stabilizer. I already had this with the lines on it for a project long ago abandoned.

I cut just under an inch, about 1/8 inch less than an inch, so that would make it 7/8″.

And I slip it into the middle of the opened up strip, trim it up.

I don’t honestly know exactly how necessary it is for the stabilizer. I have chosen batik fabrics for my lanyards as a good chance for the ends not to unravel.

The next part of this, I fold everything back up, press it again and sew it down. Don’t worry, I forgot to take a picture of this part so I decided to slip it under the presser foot so you could see.

And most of my lanyards are at this stage right now!

The next part of this is the tricky bit that gets rid of the cut edges from being exposed.

I unloosen some of the end stitches on each side, and open up the lanyard about half an inch. I decided to reach in with my scissors and cut just a small wedge on ONLY the inside piece.

Repeat on the other side.

I then decided to notch the front folds just a little bit to help reduce the bulk here.

Then, we turn inside out the very end tip, pushing from the back side, and then using fingers to press this all down. A spritz of water helps with this process. If you see below, there is a fold towards the inside of the very little section (maybe a fourth of an inch) of the end piece.

Definitely fiddle with this to get it flat and then sew down the edges.

How they go with the lanyard pieces.

The reason I start with 2 inch strip is that my lanyards have about a 3/4″ flat space. I purchased them on Etsy about 5 or 6 years ago. This size of strip lays flat exactly with this size of lanyard piece.

For the folding of the lanyard, I chose the best looking side to go through the lanyard piece.

Then next to the back side of the lanyard – OUTSIDE the lanyard, I place the other side, making sure the lanyard is flat all the way through the fabric portion. This is folded back toward the main part of the fabric.

The first piece is now folded over to match the previously folded piece.

Be sure to give yourself a large enough “tail” here. You want to be able to have enough space for your presser foot to be able to reach on both pieces of fabric and also NOT hit the metal portion of the lanyard.

Sew many times back and forth as this is going to have a lot of strength on it. Make sure you sew or correct the last part of the tail that was previously un-stitched by one of the previous steps. For the one in my tutorial, I made the full length of the lanyard a “little bit longer” than I normally like.

Here’s the end stitching.

This shows how it looks from the side.

I should have cut this down a little more. This was done at width of fabric from the original piece, so it started as a 40-42″piece. If I had wanted a shorter one, I would have cut it before folding in the ends. I can work with this long of lanyard just fine. I just hope someone else will like this length too.

Since most of the rest of my lanyards haven’t turned in the sides, I can rectify this for the future pieces. I think we need to get this to the proper length, also taking into account that there will be about 3-4 inches taken up by the bottom section folded over.


15.3 Going in Circles

April 30, 2011

I just saw a blog post about sewing perfect circles.

And she’s a ‘math nerd’, and something about the labeling the circle angles really appeal to me!

Image is from Cut to Pieces blog

This image is just a board to create when you may be dealing with making a lot of circles at a time.

The post is long, but so worth it, because it has a high level of accuracy when finished.  At least, it looks like it would produce high levels of accurate results.

Here’s the link

Perfect Circle Tutorial


8.0 Podcast Episode – Gridlock Quilting

September 18, 2010

Podcast Feed

This episode we are going to explore quilting on a grid using techniques I found to create a pixellated image.

The image is a copyrighted image from Nintendo, but the final composed picture will be arranged in the order of my personal decision.  Due to the copyrighted nature of the original image, I would strongly caution in this case against selling the object without checking on copyright laws, which even after reading about, I still feel like I know very little.  This image and project may fall under the fair use laws, in which case the copyright may not be an issue.  When in doubt, consult professional help. (this post may lose some pictures if asked to take them down, I will)

Grid quilting is not equal to watercolor quilting, but close!

Darla’s steps for grid quilting are as follows.

Obtain the image. 

This is hard work when playing video games.

For common images you would like to replicate, you may be able to download specific sprites. 

For my practice piece, I found a site that had many sprites available to download, and saved the sprite images on my computer (right click, save target as). This site has many sprites available to download, and the site defines a sprite as a 2 dimensional image that is integrated into a larger scene.  I want to eventually do an entire scene, but starting with a sprite is a good start.

Sprite Stitch article about sprites and downloading.

If you want to make a pixellated image from a normal picture, there is also this website that can create pixellated images.  It is best to get the smallest images possible and then blow it up.  I have found that this program has limitations on showing adequate resolution, but wouldn’t a pixellated image be a great watercolor quilt background for applique pieces of more details?

Using photoshop 7.0 these are the techniques I used recently to foundation piece an image using a grid.  Similar tactics may be able to be used with similar programs.

Free Image Editing Software Programs

  • Pixlr (browser-based graphic program, nothing to download)
  • Inkscape (free to download, vector graphics)
  • Or go old school and create the image with online graph paper. (downloads as a pdf)


Work with the Image

It helps to be able to see the pixels.  On photoshop, click on edit, preferences, grids, guides and slices.

Then check the grid like so that 1 grid line for every 1 pixel:

It doesn’t matter what color of lines, as long as it will show up on your image, it’s fine.

This will take the image with a grid, if you just opened the small image, it might not show up well.  Go ahead and blow it up by pressing Control and + (the plus sign) to get the maximum amount of size.

If the grid doesn’t show up, go to view/show/grid.

The original image was this:

Image from Nintendo JJW.

And now I have an image like this:

Also notable, I highlighted the blue color and put it behind mario in the project.

Print the Image

To be able to print the grid on paper, I found an easy trick. 

Get the image blown up as much as possible.  I found the maximum amount I could see was 1600%.  Make sure the grid is on. 

Hit print screen.  Then open a new picture (ctrl N) and then paste into the picture (ctrl v).  Surround the area of the picture only, then image/crop.

Printing off of photoshop was easy when I went to file print with preview, and then adjust the scale size of the printed page by changing the 100% to something easier to see on the page.

For the rest of this tutorial, the printout is black and white (I haven’t used color ink in forever), for further color information for the project I referenced the original on the computer. 

The printout does not have the grid printed on the printout.   The grid trick was done for another project after printing this off.  It would have made the next step easier.

If you notice I wrote with pencil across the grid and down the grid, one number for each pixel.  This helps me figure out how wide the grid is a the widest portion and how tall the grid is.  Again easier with a grid superimposed.

Prepare the mockup interfacing

For greater reference, and a step that might not be necessary, I copied this onto some pellon interfacing.

I purchased pellon interfacing with a one inch grid printed on one side of the fabric.  Since I want to make the pixels smaller than one inch, I took my trusty ruler, a pencil, and I drew in every half inch on my grid. (not pictured)

Then I counted down 9 rows and started drawing in the grid with an ultra fine tip sharpie marker, making sure to have some scratch paper behind the marker.  The marker bleeds through this interfacing, so be careful with your fabric.

This step reminds me a lot of counted cross stitch.  I did not distinguish what is what color here.

Along the top and sides of my grid, I marked the numbers from my original drawing.  This makes it easier to do some of the following steps.

I made sure I had plenty more of the half inch marked pellon grid pieces.  This was all done at the same time I was drawing my half inch squares for the diagram above. 

Prepare the strips

Make sure to draw about twice as many half inch squares from what is needed.  Then cut the horizontal strips for each line of the grid.  Cutting half way between the half inch blocks gives you a quarter inch seam allowance and makes things easier in the long run.

I found what helped me in creating the project was to cut and number in groups of five.  My brain can only remember about five things at once, so dealing with groups of five made the project more manageable, less overwhelming, more organized.

Then I took my drawn grid with the printout, hid all the rows but the top one, then copied all my data onto the strip.  I wrote the grid number on the left and then drew the left border two inches in, and then drew a vertical line every time I change colors. 

For example the first row has 7 blue blocks, 4 black blocks, and 5 blue blocks, so on my strip I drew a number 1, a left vertical line, then 7 blocks over drew another vertical line, then 4 blocks over drew another vertical line with the symbol I made up for black (slash diagonal lines), then 5 blocks over, drew the last vertical line on the right side. 

Pictured below is my 6th line with 2 blue, 1 black, 1 red, 1 black, 6 peach, 2 black, and then 2 blue (off screen).  I later learned it was better to write the color code in the seam allowance on the top or bottom rather than on the block itself.

For optimum coverage, I cut out 1 inch strips of fabric to start with.  Easy peasy.  Taking my one inch strip, I cut adequate amounts of fabric lengths for the sections of my quilt strips for each color and put them in order just above my interfacing strip.

Start foundation piecing

Now I get to start paper piecing!

Take the first two fabrics.  Put the first fabric just behind the interfacing so that it covers the area to be quilted, and then put the next piece of fabric directly behind it.  In the following picture, I have blue directly behind the interfacing and black directly behind that piece.

I love this because I can see through the interfacing very well, and so I can waste very little fabric by giving myself a quarter inch seam allowance here.  You can see that my markings are on the top of the interfacing, and this is where I am going to stitch.

Then as in true paper piecing form, I sew on the line, going just above and just below my piece.  A nice, easy, short, straight line.  Sew and line  up on the line between first fabric and second fabric.

Now time to turn it over, cut any extra long seam allowances if necessary …

… and finger press.

Now turn over the piece to see the lines and line up the next fabric with the next sewing line between blocks 2 and 3 … and sew on and sew on …

And after a while, you’ll see a pattern emerge.

Now these are strips just waiting to be sewn together.  Before sewing, press these strips on the fabric side.

Sew the strips together 

Using the numbered pieces, line up the first strip with the second strip, fabric side together, interfacing side outward.

Line up the interfacing grid several points on each strip.  You can see through the interfacing a little bit, and this helps things to line up vertically and horizontally.

Things that make this step easier

  • Have an outside border on each strip to line up. 
  • Stick the pin right along the gridline itself.
  • Make sure your strips are numbered and the numbers are all on the same side of the quilt.  This keeps you from having to figure out which direction the strip is supposed to be.
  • Make sure your strips are the same size.
  • Pin, pin, pin the strips together.

This picture is rows 1 & 2 sewn with row 3 pinned.

And here is what I have ‘finished’ at 10 rows.

I do not plan to remove any of the interfacing in this quilt.

I stopped here once I became evident of three things. 

  1. I knew what I was doing and I was liking the result.  It’s going to work.
  2. The red and skin tone are not correct and I can’t yet find the correct skin tone.  At this stage mario needs a tan.
  3. He’s facing backwards because i did not REVERSE the image.  GO DO THIS before you print the image and save a lot of heartache.

Quilting plans are simple.  To preserve the pixel nature of this quilt, I plan to quilt every half inch vertically and horizontally.  This may change to just stitching in the ditch with time however, it’s going to take several hours/days/months/years to get to the quilting phase of this project.  I want to make this quilt big!

Quilting on a grid folks.  Now you can get over the grid lock. Welcome to pixel perfection.

Let’s see your pixelated pictures.  Feel free to share computer designs on the Scientific Quilter Design group on flickr.


Additional Resources

Creating a paper pieced pattern in photoshop You Tube Video Part 1 & Part 2

Strip Pieced Watercolor Magic by Deanna Spingola

Create a Quilt Block with Illustrator

Additional Music by

Mario wave files The Mushroom Kingdom


From Mevio


Thanks for comments from Nonnie, Jen, Jill, Robin, Sandi


4.2 How to add audio to a podcast using Mevio and Audacity

February 8, 2010

Recently a fledgling quilting podcaster was asking about how to create music files for her podcast, and I took the time to do some screen shots and sent them to her.

I realized in the process of writing the e-mail that this could be a helpful blog post to dispel some of the confusion in using music in a future quilting podcast (if that’s what’s stopping you from doing a podcast). Okay it’s not all that confusing, but if you’ve never done it before, this could be a good way to start.

This is the way I have done the music portion of my podcast.  This tutorial uses Mevio’s Music Alley and Audacity because that’s what I use.  Both are free to use, and be sure to read the guidelines they have for each site – particularly Mevio’s Music Alley.

For more detailed info on how to start up a podcast from a quilting podcaster’s perspective see Allison Rosen Episode 53 and show notes.  I also said something about creating a podcast in a previous post.

Using Mevio

Using Mevio’s Music Alley for Podcast Safe music first requires you to have an e-mail address, website, and a feed address for your podcast hosting site.

Let’s assume you’ve done all of this already.

Addressing the guidelines:

Mevio wants you to:

  1. Saying during your show “Some of the music provided tonight from Mevio’s Music Alley. Check it out at ‘'”
  2. Playing one of our bumpers during your show. (Coming soon!!)

We also ask that you link back to Mevio’s Music Alley in your show notes for those shows that include music from this site.

I have a permanent link in my sidebar with the Music Alley link and I state in my podcast outro that the music is from mevio’s music alley.  So make sure you plan to do this as well so that the artists can get credit for their work.

If you’re starting a podcast, you’re considered a producer, so if you don’t have an account you have to register.  Otherwise use the producer login button.

View of the registration form.  Check the guidelines here first as well.  You may have to go check your e-mail and come back at this step.  I’ll wait.

You need to build your playlist to find your songs you want to use.  Click build playlist.

You can do a search in the search function, or look at genres of music.

The Listen here button is where you can play songs.  The blue background is the amount of the song downloaded, take time searching & browsing and find a good song for you.

If you’re logged in you have an add to playlist option.  Click here to get the song available for download.

You’ll get a popup and you want to add to the playlist.

When you’re ready, go to my page for downloading.

Then go to the My Playlist button. Click on the download mp3 and save the file on your computer somewhere.

Using Audacity for Music for the introduction

How do you incorporate this music into Audacity for making music fit for your introduction?  Let’s see.

Import Audio option in Audacity.  Chose your file.

Highlight the beginning of your music.  A few seconds will usually do.  The shorter time highlighted the more sharply the music will fade in.  How much you highlight will depend on your own style preference and music type.

Choose the fade in option under effect and the audio will go from zero to the current volume.  Neet huh?  What if you want to record over a section and the current volume is too loud?

Highlight the section you want to record over, then chose effect amplify, and then put in a negative number.  There’s a handy preview button in the corner for you to critique yourself.

Start your cursor in the faded section and start recording.  You can always adjust the time your audio clip starts by clicking on the double arrow tool and dragging your audio around.

Delete the part of the audio in the back you don’t want (highlight and delete) and don’t forget to go to effect fade out at the end.

Once everything is set in place, export your file as a wav file instead of an mp3.  In my opinion, mp3s compress things too much to get good sound quality on something you use over and over in your show.

Don’t forget to save changes to the project file in case you want to make changes later.

Then when you need the intro in your show, before you start recording, just go to project/import audio and start recording new stuff at the back.

Listen to several different podcasts to see what style of music and music choices work best for you.  Some quilting podcast examples below:

Brye starts her intro with her own voice and then fades into music, as well as Allison LeeJennifer and Allison Rosen start with music first, Kelley doesn’t have any music and that works well for her, Michele starts with her kids’ recording, very cute.

How do you setup Bumper music?

What about my bumper music?  How did I achieve that?  My bumper music is still part of the song Science vs. Romance by Rilo Kiley.  I was very fortunate enough to pick a song I liked as well as a song that has a lot of instrumental parts (yes there are words to the song) in addition to the amazing title and how it fits my entire blog theme.

Here is a picture of the audacity bumper music project file.  I don’t have pictures of the entire process of how I got to this place step-by-step but I can outline steps below.

  1. Open up the song (import music) I want to include for bumper music.
  2. Delete the singing part I don’t want as bumper music. (but please listen to the song in its entirety on Mevio – it’s pretty good)
  3. Highlight a 5 second section of the music and go to the option Edit/split.
  4. Repeat for all the 5 second sections I may want to have in the show.
  5. Grab the first 1 second of the clip.
  6. Go to Effect/Fade In.
  7. Repeat for the last 1 second of the clip – Effect / Fade Out
  8. Repeat for all the bumper music sections.

Save the project at this point as something so you can go back and make changes.

Export as a wav file (see above).

I just have the entire bumper music file saved and import the entire file each time and delete the part I don’t want.  If you desire, it may be easier to save each individual blip separately.

So that’s what I do in a nutshell (Hey look, I’m in a nutshell!  What am I doing in a nutshell?)

Any questions please ask.  Glad to be of help.

Could I ask someone to help me and tell me if episodes 1 & 2 are showing up in iTunes for you?  I already have the episodes downloaded and so I want to know what this “archive thing” on podbean does.  Thanks a bunch!