Friday, January 28, 2011

Kindle Cover Tutorial

4 pieces of peltex 8" x 5" (you can also use cardboard)
2 pieces of leather 8" x 11.5"
1 strip of leather 2" x 16.5"
masking tape

To begin, we are going to mark the center of the inside leather. We will be straight stitching here at the very end.
Take the piece of leather that you will using for the outside cover, place the 2 inch strip of leather at the center of your cover. I'm using masking tape instead of pins to keep my pieces somewhat in place.
We also don't want to put out leather tabs over to far. Notice that I'm using a "blade" foot. It's also called an edging foot. I use this foot a lot for garment sewing, rarely for quilting.I'm placing the end of the leather strip about 1/2 inch past the edge of the cover edge. This eventually will be placed inside a seam.
I set my tension to the "leather" setting. The stitch length is a 3 and I moved the needle to the left of center so I'm stitching about 1/8 inch from the edge. My edging foot help to keep my stitching straight.

Next up, I need to cut the pieces for the inside of my cover. I cut 2 squares 2 1/8 X 2 1/8". These squares are then cut on the diagonal. I originally was going to make the left pocket beige, then changed it to red.

 Use your masking tape to position your pieces on your inside cover.

Now stitch your pieces in place. Remember, we need to slip the Kindle into the holding tabs and we want to use the left sleeve to hold notes. We do not stitch all the way around these pieces.

Take your outside cover and determine where you are going to place your velcro. Stitch in place.
Now we are ready to stitch up three sides of our cover. With wrong sides together, match up all four edges of your outside cover and inside lining. Stitch both sides and the top using your edging foot. For the time being, we are leaving the bottom of the cover unstitched.

Now, time to switch presser feet. I'm placing my teflon foot on the machine. This is what you should use when you are working with leather. Remember when we marked our center of the inside lining. Now we are going to stitch down that marking and about a 1/4 inch or so on both sides of your first row of stitching.

I forgot to take a picture of the next step. Take two pieces of your peltex and slide it into one side of your cover. Take the other two pieces and slide it into the other side. Now stitch up the bottom of your cover.

We're almost finished. Shape the end of you long, narrow strip of leather. You can leave it rectangular or an oval edge like I used. Add your other piece of velcro to the inside of your strip.
Viola! We're done. The measurements that I've given are fairly accurate. I did have to trim the peltex down somewhat to fit inside the cover. I think you'll find that your cover will do a decent job of protecting your e-reader.

My Kindle Cover

A couple of weeks ago, Taylor and I decided to run to Best Buy and buy a Kindle. I noticed that you can purchase leather covers for your e-readers. There are a couple of tutorials and patterns out there for those wanting to make a cover out of fabric. A co-worker of mine gave me a trash bag full of leather maybe 6-8 months ago. I had a couple of plans for the leather but didn't dive into making anything. Well, now was the time to dive in. I pulled out the smallest pieces of leather that would work. I wouldn't maybe have chose this color but the leather is a gift and I wasn't about to waste it. Wouldn't you know that Cindy shot me an email early one morning, like two days after I cut my leather, asking if I wanted another bag of leather. I still don't want to waste this wonderful score but I know that I'll have enough for projects for the next few years.

I decided to deviate from the posted tutorials. Many of the patterns use elastic to hold your e-reader in. I felt the leather corners would be safer and add more protection to the corners. I took pictures all along the way so I could post a tutorial but I'm not going to post those. I decided to redo the tutorial when I make Taylor's. Mine is the prototype and I know that I can make it better so I'll post the tutorial once I get her cover going.

Remember when I said I didn't want to waste the leather? Because of that, I decided to line the cover with home dec fabric. You can tell by my pictures that that wasn't maybe the best idea. The fabric can stretch and the leather doesn't. I had the lining pressed and lined up almost perfectly but it didn't stitch out that way. The cover is actually kind of a messy job but for now, it will do the trick.

The total cost of my cover was $0.00. The leather was free. The lining fabric was free. I grabbed it off the free table at quilt camp. The peltex was free. I spent a huge amount of money down at Long Creek Mills last year on thread and stabilizers. The store is located in Gastonia, North Carolina. So I plunked down a lot of cash since it's not everyday I can shop at the store. I left there with stabilizer samples, free buttons, a large roll of peltex. I can't even remember what else I got free. You can see pictures of the store here.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Fun Stuff at the Bunkhouse

I have two treasures that I've been meaning to show you. The first one, a vintage pajama pattern, I scored off of Ebay a couple of months ago. If this isn't the cutest little thing. Sure the clowns are cute but I bought this solely for the cowboy view. This will be great for either boy or girl pajamas. The copyright date is 1950. I can't wait to sew this up some day. Which reminds me, I need to purchase more Swedish tracing paper. When working with vintage patterns, it's best to trace them and use your copies instead of the original. I also need to quit stalling and order the sleeves to protect my patterns.

The second item that I want to show you is this sweet cowboy and cowgirl flannel. I don't have a clue what I'm going to make with it yet. My friend Barb B. gifted this to me. I had dropped her off at her house after quilt camp. Neither one of us noticed that her coat was still in the back of my truck. I told her that I could swing it by on my day off. I drove over to her house and knocked on the door. Her husband answered and said to wait a minute. He brought this fabric over to me. I was taken aback. What I did was an easy favor for Barb and here she gave this to me for the favor. I told her husband that the gift wasn't necessary, but boy did I clutch that fabric tightly as I walked back to my car.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Christmas 2010 Recap

Here's a little belated Christmas post. Our Christmas was very low key and quiet this year. We stuck with our traditions. Only, this year, it was just Jeff and I venturing out into the tree farm. No arguments over the perfect tree. I had the only say in the matter.
We went to Christmas Eve mass. Just three of us, Jeff, Taylor and I. Then headed over to our favorite German restaurant. Ever since the girls were little, we would take them for a drive around town to see all the Christmas lights. We needed to have something to occupy their time while we waited for Santa to come. This year, I told the family that we should head home after dinner and change clothes then head out to see the lights. As I entered the house, I could hear Jeff and Taylor both say "Oh no". I knew it had to be the tree.
This was the second time in 32 years that our tree had fallen over. I stood there looking at all the glass on the floor. I knew that treasured ornaments had been shattered. I looked at the glass ornaments that had belonged to my parents. Ornaments that I had hung on the tree as a child. I wanted to cry. You see, I think we humans want to have something tangible to hold onto to remind us of loved ones. My father is gone and my mother is not in optimum health. As I stood there looking at all the glass, I heard Boris Karloff going off in my head.

Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without any presents at all!
He hadn't stopped Christmas from coming!
It Came!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And the Grinch, with his grinch-fee ice-cold int he snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?
"It came without packages, boxes or bags!"
 And he puzzles three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.
"Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"
 Christmas would come to the Polenske house tree or no tree. Being able to hold a belonging from a loved one who is no longer with us is comforting to us. However, the memories that we store and hold in our hearts cannot be broken or taken away. They are there forever. Christmas is not about the packages or bags. It's about what we believe and what's in our hearts.

January and February Pillowcases

Here are two more installments of the Pillowcase of the month club. The alphabets that I used where Let it Snow from Jolson's and Valentine Curlz from 8 Claws and a Paw. I loved the fabrics for the snowman pillowcase but I fell short on the thread color. I wanted her name in purple. With so many spools of thread, how does one not have the perfect purple?

Happy New Year

Well with another year comes another set of resolutions. This year I hope to:
 Finish this pathetic looking sock monkey. He's been faceless and earless for too long.

Finish these two quilts.
 Sew a Feliz Party Dress for someone special.
 Think about others more often like my friends think about me. Thanks Pat B.!
 Make at least one garment from a vintage pattern.
 Make this coat for Kayla.
 Clean the Sewing room.

I'm sure if I opened cabinets, looked under beds and opened drawers, I could easily add a couple years worth of projects to my 2011 list. I think I'll start with what I have listed for right now.

Hope you all had a great New Year's. Wishing everyone a great year ahead.