Quilted Sewing Mat

This past weekend I had a lot of laundry and cleaning to do. I have a few fur things that run around the house and I am always finding their hair within 5 minutes of sweeping or vacuuming while they are shedding their winter coats. It looked like I hadn’t cleaned in weeks.

I reasoned with myself and decided what I had to achieve in order to allow myself any free time for sewing. I also needed to make sure what I wanted to make I could complete in that day as I have too many unfinished projects that I am currently working on. It finally hit me after thinking about it for a few… I had been wanting/meaning to make myself a sewing mat. I needed something handy to go anywhere with me and my sewing machine, whether room to room or somewhere adventurous with electrical outlets. And yes, I had to decide all of this before cleaning.

After the success of cleaning and having laundry done to the point that I could take myself off of time-out from sewing, I decided it was time to cut my fabric. I selected the fabric below because it is bright and cheery, I also had the teal with sewn-in lined dots that fit perfectly with it also. The teal dots is also much more durable which I thought would be perfect for underneath as well as where the sewing machine would sit, it would wear and tear with more grace than cotton.

For the size I made, it was approximately 18 1/2” x 20”. I measured the width of my sewing machine and added 2 inches so that it gave extra space as well as allowed for any little ”oops” in sewing that perfect quarter inch. 
I decided on doing the full back in the teal and half and half for the front (teal being the part where the sewing machine would sit on). After I cut the fabric and sewed the front halves together, I then sandwiched it and cut the basting to size. 
I then cut a piece of fabric (flowers) to the height I wanted and the length of the sandwiched fabric, as this will become my pockets. I honestly wanted this as painless as possible, there are a few ways to do this but this was simple enough for me. To make a simple edge for the top of the pockets, I simply finger pressed a 1/2” seam along the top of the pocket fabric just cut and sewed it down. 
I then sewed all 4 pieces along the right side to lock it in place. Now remember earlier when I spoke about allowing for some ”oops” on that perfect quarter inch seam? This is where I ”oops-ed”. I had forgotten to change my sewing foot when I did the first sew down the right side and ended up sewing a 1/2” seam instead of 1/4”. No biggie… I just trimmed it down. 

I decided to draw the lines with a washable fabric pen, for the width sizes of the pockets.

 I also created a mini pocket for my seam ripper that I am always loosing (hence why it is also not featured in this picture, I could not find it once again).

I continued sewing down the lines I had drawn, going over the original hem stitch on the top of the pockets by about 1/8”, but that is completely a personal decision.

I ended up using my new Simplicity Rotary Cutter Machine to cut the binding strips into 2 1/2” strips. By the way, I am absolutely satisfied and happy I ordered the Rotary Cutter Machine, it is a dream and much quicker for creating strips of fabric. I have not written about the success of it yet as this was my first shot at it… but that shall be another blog.  

I decided to use the teal to wrap it up. The flower pattern was busy enough.

Once it was binded… I ended up with a result that was Sew Stitching Cute such as this!

Tell me what you think or what your ideas were/are for something you made or would like to make? I’m always up for more perfection tips! 

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Rotary Cutting Machine

As I am doing more and more quilts, designs and have my mind full of more things than I know what to do with, I am some who likes a clean, organized mess. It is an oxy moron, I know; however it is kind of like what my husband calls my “Megan Lingo”… I consistently use words that don’t describe the meaning of what I am trying to say, yet somehow when I say it, it makes sense. In either case, I am used to being qwerky. I like it.

Another small OCD thing about me is that I love odd numbers/placement and I look to always find the more sufficient way to do something without cutting corners. I found that I love yards of fabric but I love the use of Jelly Rolls because of their pre-cut form of 2 1/2” with all of the uses that it provides for almost any design of quilt. Cutting away strips and strips of fabric is timely and quite honestly, the other part of me dislikes the lines I put in my cutting mat, all over strips of fabric I need. I knew that there had to be something or some other way that was more efficient. I almost refused to cut any further fabric manually until I resolved this issue of mine.

Yes, I shop at Wal-Mart. Whenever I am there for any reason, I must stop by the sewing/fabric section even though I know everything that is there… you just never know. I had seen the Simplicity Rotary Cutting Machine for $60 in Wal-Mart. Every time I am in the sewing/fabric section, I always pick the box up with the intent to go ahead and make the buy and give it a shot, at the worst I can return it, right? Each time, I put it back. I could not reason with myself the money when I had two viable hands to do it myself, yet I knew I wanted to produce more rather than spend most of my time cutting just the simple strips, I will cut everything else but the strips.

 

I needed help, and I needed back up… so I spoke to my husband about my issue and what I thought could be a possible resolution. I gave him all of my reasoning that I was giving myself on how I can justify spending the money. I have such a hard time reasoning to spend money on myself or for anything that I may want/need as I hate taking from others or other things. He did not hesitate once. He found some way to make it to where he was getting it for me, even if ‘just because’. He was going to be sure I got it. He is so patient and never once denies me of anything I may need on any hobby or dream I have. I explained to him my reasoning of why I felt it would help cut back time and I found that I still was trying to justify everything. He finally had to just tell me to quit rambosque (rambling) and get it. That was that. 
I still hadn’t gotten it about a week after that conversation and he never asked either, probably assuming I had already gotten it or ordered it. For some reason, I could not justify the $60 and would not allow myself. I decided to really search deep on the internet and to my beholding, I found it online with Wal-Mart but it was only $40!!! The bummer was now, all the reviews I read were horrible. The more and more I read, I was saddened. Yet I didn’t find another machine out there at a decent price for this nature. I saw other comments on other sites and everything was so up and down. I went to Simplicity’s site and saw them stating that many times it is not adjusted correctly and/or all the way even when some believe it is. I watched and searched for videos everywhere and decided… well – at the worst I will return it and no big deal. I am the ultimate optimist and hope that if anything, I can get it to work! :o) I did not waste another moment, ok that is half a lie – right before I submitted my order I made sure I was justifying myself. I ordered it and now it is on its way. I should get it some time next week and I intend to update on the status, maybe a short video of how it worked for me if I get a good one or get it to work. I’m going to for optimism and hopefully you’re cheering me on! Until then…