Friday, 14 November 2014

Present for a Special Person

There is a special teacher at my sons school who has been helping him in the last few months and I wanted to make her a present.  I thought about buying flowers but just wanted to do something more personal.  So I decided to make her a cushion cover.
This is it finished.  It is Amy Butler fabric mostly.  The solid is kona ash.  The dots are ta dot sea.  I love those dots!
Here it is pieced.  I used an amy butler charm pack and so the squares were 2.5" when cut and the finished squares are 2" finished.  The side strips were cut 3" wide.
I quilted it with simple lines 0.25" from the seams.  I always use a lining for my cushions. Here I used a white fabric that is quite thick and I ended up using that for the back too.
Here is the back.  I used a zip.
I finished the edges by sewing the back to front right sides together and then I cut off the excess batting etc and turned it the right way.  I then do a line of stitching about 0.25" from the edge.  I like this way and it is easy.
This gift was hand delivered today by my son and I think the recipient was happy.
The chair is not finished but that is another post.

Friday, 7 November 2014

How to make a Kids Teepee

Long time no see!  How are you?  My christmas break sort of turned into a sabbatical.
I want to get back into blogging regularly and see if my readers are still out there!
I have been making stuff and repurposing stuff so I do have some material to tell you about.

I have been trying to make a teepee that is easy to put up and doesn't just sag for a very long time.
I looked up in blogland and there were no specifics really about how to get one that can be put up fast by one person.  I found at first the teepee just slid down the sticks and was a pain.  So I have an answer to how to fix that.

I have looked back at my photos and found that I started the teepee last October - not as long ago as I thought!
The first thing I did was buy 6 x 14mm wooden poles which were about 2.4m long.  I think 5 poles might have been easier but I wanted the teepee to be nice and big - not convinced now that that made any difference.  Then I cut out 6 triangles from a pair of curtains and thought about how to keep the poles in position.  I used tabs at first like on curtains.  I quickly decided this would lead to a saggy teepee so made tubes the length of the teepee for the poles to slide into.  Here are the tabs.
See?  Saggy.
Don't do it like this.
So, once I had taken it apart and made tubes for the poles it looked like this
I am not going to give dimensions.  It will depend on how long your poles are, how many you want (4, 5 or 6 basically) and how much fabric you have.
I went for having a hole for a door.
Then I did a denim applique surround for the door.
Once I had got the teepee to this point it basically worked.  I wanted to put denim around the bottom and top to finish off the edges and work out how to make it so it didn't slip down the poles and would go up more easily.  It just took me ages to put it up each time and keep adjusting it until all the sides were straight and taut.  The children played with it like this and enjoyed it for a long time.  I couldn't work out how to finish it professionally.  I don't expect they cared.
It occurred to me that they would be too old for it by the time I finished it.  Have you had that feeling?

Then a friend found a broken one beside the road (which mostly worked) so I was able to have a good look at it.  I had looked at some in shops before but they relied on having rods of wood around the bottom... and I couldn't work out how to do these and be able to still wash it occasionally.  Plus I didn't like the idea anyway as cjildren would sit on them and roll on them and it would hurt.
The one she found had the the poles in tubes but they weren't open at the bottom, so I closed up mine.  I then worked out where I needed holes in the poles to tie string through (I had already had these but as the poles could move through it was always took ages to get it set up).  I also cut the poles shorter as at 2.4m they were too long.  Then I used other holes further down the poles to anchor the pole to a spot in the tube.  This kept the teepee from falling down the poles.
the denim feet.

There are holes near the top of the poles for the string but also holes further down in the tubes.  I threaded some yarn through these and tied them which keeps the teepee from sliding down the poles and wrinkling up.

Tada!  With bunting obviously.
Totes amazeballs right?
I know it looks wonky but it is just the angle - honestly (or photographer).

So, to recap:

  • I found that I needed to sew up the ends of the tubes so the poles stop at the bottom of the teepee.
  • Sew or tie the poles into the tubes using the hole in the pole near the top so that the the teepee doesn't slide down and wrinkle up.
  • Make holes for string at the point near the top of the poles when you have worked out how high it needs to be to make the sides taut.

This should give you a nice looking teepee which is easy to put up and down!
Good luck!