Category Archives: rotary cutter case

Tutorial: Scissors Case from First Light Designs

These safe and stylish scissors cases look complicated but they are surprisingly easy to make. Each case is made from a little quilt sandwich that’s bound, folded in half on the diagonal, and stitched with one seam. If you’ve ever bound a quilt using double-fold binding (also known as French binding), you’ll have no trouble making one of these cases. They make wonderful gifts as well as delightful additions to your own sewing basket.

All you need are two squares of contrasting fabric, one square of batting, and a length of 2″-wide binding (straight grain or bias, your choice) in a third fabric:


Bits of ribbon, small pony tail elastic bands, and vintage buttons combine to make charming fasteners. These are completely optional, however. Even though I usually put a loop and button on my scissors cases, I tend to leave the top flap open so I can easily see if the scissors are there when I look into my quilter’s tote.

If you start with 7″ squares, you’ll wind up with a scissors case that measures about 5″ x 10″. This case was made with 6″ squares and measures about 4″ x 8″ opened . . .

. . . and about 4″ x 6¼” closed:

I like this size best for my 5″ Ginghers.

(If you’re not sure what size square you need for the scissors you have in mind, experiment with squares cut from sheets of paper. Fold the paper using the instructions below as a guide. Insert your scissors into your paper “case” and test the fit.)

This tutorial is for the slightly larger case using 7″ squares but can easily be modified for the 6″ size.

Scissors Case from First Light Designs

Finished size: about 5” x 10” (from top point of flap)

Materials
(2) 7” squares of cotton
(1) 7” square of light to medium weight batting
36” of binding fabric cut 2” wide and pressed in half lengthwise
Optional: small ponytail elastic band or 4” length of ⅛” – ¼” wide satin or grosgrain ribbon
Optional: button
Optional: ¼”wide Steam-a-Seam fusible web

Recommendation: use a walking foot for construction

Step 1. Layer the cotton squares and batting as for a quilt and staystitch ⅛” from the outside edges:

In the photo above, the darker print is the outside of the case and the two-toned gold fabric is the lining.

If using a loop and button closure, stitch a loop in one corner on the lining side, keeping stitching inside the seam allowance:

I used a small ponytail elastic on this case but you could also use narrow ribbon as I did in the two cases at the top of this post.

Step 2. Still working on the lining side, position the binding strip halfway down the side from the loop:

Note how the edge of the binding has been folded at a right angle and how I added a few stitches inside the seam allowance to secure the binding to the edge of the quilt sandwich.

Step 3. Leaving enough room to tuck the other binding tail into the fold, begin stitching the binding with a scant ¼” seam, stopping ¼” from the end in order to miter the corner:

When you come to the fourth corner, be careful not to catch the loop in the binding seams when you miter that corner:

Step 4. Tuck the left tail into the fold of the right tail . . .

. . . and finish stitching the seam, starting and ending a few stitches beyond the original stitching.

Step 5. Turn the binding to the right side and stitch by hand or fuse in place using ¼”-wide Steam-a-Seam 2 (not Steam-a-Seam 2 Lite). If using fusible web, take care not to melt ponytail elastic with hot iron!

Step 6. Fold the case in half diagonally and mark a stitching line 1¼” in from the upper right corner, tapering to the bottom as close to the binding at the bottom as you can get. (Note: loop is in the upper left corner). The pins in the photo below show the stitching line:

Stitch, backstitching at both ends:

Note that you stitch through the binding at the top of the seam and taper down toward the corner with the stitching ending right next to the binding. Try using a zipper foot for this line of stitching if the walking foot skips stitches. The stitching will not show when the flaps are folded back. (If using 6″ squares, mark your stitching line 1″ in from the right edge rather than 1¼”.)

Open up the seam and press flat as shown below. Sew button on seam line (test placement by holding top flap down to see where loop is in relation to button).

Voilà! Ready to use:

 

 

Posted in rotary cutter case, tutorial, update | 5 Comments

It’s Party Time!

Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs is hosting a Best of 2017 Linky Party, inviting bloggers to highlight their top five posts of the year. It’s a fun way to look back over the last 12 months and identify some of the high points.

My top five are below, in reverse order. Clicking on the links will take you to the original posts.

5. Dutch Treat. Although I didn’t finish this quilt till June, I started it in January during an epic snowstorm that kept me and many Portlanders indoors for several days.

4. NYC and VFW. A trip to New York City with my twin sister in March combined many of the things I love in life: family, travel, theater, museums, and quilting. The quilting part? A visit to the Manhattan shop of Victoria Findlay Wolfe:


Victoria didn’t happen to be there that day but I had the pleasure of meeting her the following month in Paducah, Kentucky during AQS Quilt Week:

3. Terrazzo Tiles and Piccolo Terrazzo Tiles. Using the free pattern Mini Mod Tiles by Sew Kind of Wonderful, I made two versions:

The larger one was made by “supersizing” the original pattern, using the larger of the two curved rulers Sew Kind of Wonderful designed for cutting curves. I wrote a tutorial showing how I did it.

2. Junior Billie Bag. This was the first of two JBBs I made in 2017:

Designed over 20 years ago by Billie Mahorney, it’s a fabulous quilter’s tote personalized by each maker, starting with the design on the front and back panels and ending with the pockets inside and out. Two years ago Billie turned the teaching of her design over to me, and I make a bag every time I teach a class. This may be my favorite of the eight I have made so far.

Without consciously planning to, I wound up making a suite of accessories to go with my Junior Billie Bag:

(See the rotary cutter coat in the lower left corner? I wrote directions for it in 2014 and it remains my most popular tutorial. Every now and then when I see a huge spike in the number of views on my website/blog, I know it’s because someone provided a link to the tutorial.)

1 . Where It’s @. Much to my surprise and delight, this quilt won a second place ribbon at the Northwest Quilting Expo in Portland, Oregon in September:

The design is Rewind by Karla Alexander of Saginaw Street Quilts. I started the quilt in a class with Karla in Sisters, Oregon in July 2016. Getting a ribbon was honor enough but the award came with a check for $500. My first reaction? “Think how many yards of fabric I can buy with that!”

Well, this has been a nice little trip down memory lane. Do you want to join Cheryl’s party, too? The link is open until January 2. Be sure to check out the top five posts of the other quilting/blogging partygoers. And thank you for checking out mine!

 

 

 

Posted in Billie Bag, family, Junior Billie Bag, Northwest Quilting Expo, QCR Mini, Quick Curve Ruler, Quilter's Affair, rotary cutter case, sewing tool caddy, tote bags, tutorial, update, windmill block, wonky Greek key | 5 Comments

Completing the Ensemble

Here are two more accessories I just made to tuck into my Junior Billie Bag when I’m heading out for a class: a case for my 5″ Gingher scissors and a 4″ x 4″ fabric box used primarily as a thread catcher:

The scissors case and fabric box go with the rotary cutter coat and sewing tool caddy made recently from the same fabrics:


Isn’t this a charming group of accessories?


Everything fits inside my Junior Billie Bag with plenty of room to spare:

My quilter’s tote is loaded and ready to go.

 

 

 

Posted in Billie Bag, Junior Billie Bag, rotary cutter case, tote bags, update, windmill block | 6 Comments

An Open and Shut Case

You may recognize the fabrics in this sewing tool caddy, which I made last month at Quilt Camp:

They’re the same fabrics used in the Junior Billie Bag I made earlier this year.

The pattern for the tool caddy is Travel Case by Pearl Pereira of p3designs.com. I’ve made it several times, modifying it the last few times by adding an extra pocket. I keep my tool caddy in an acrylic brochure holder one of my students gave me:

With the flap turned back, all of my smaller tools are right at my fingertips. At the end of a sewing session the tools go back in the caddy. It really does help me keep my sewing room organized.

Having made the caddy, I couldn’t help but make a coordinating rotary cutter coat:

Aren’t those vintage red buttons perfect?

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Billie Bag, Junior Billie Bag, rotary cutter case, sewing tool caddy, tote bags, tutorial, update | 5 Comments

Farewell 2016, Hello 2017

Here’s to 2017! Specifically, here’s to lots of sewing and quilting in 2017. I’m already looking forward to several projects — and not just new ones. There’s a stack of UFOs beckoning that I am actually enthusiastic about tackling. But not today.

On this fresh new day of the year, I’m looking back on what I created in 2016. Rather than going in chronological order, I’m grouping my finishes by categories.

This was the year of the Junior Billie Bag, the quintessential quilter’s tote designed by Billie Mahorney. I made a bag for myself . . .

dawns-jr-billie-bag-2016

. . . and one for my friend Deborah . . .

Debeorah's JBB other sideDeborah's JBB one side
. . . and one for my friend Miriam:

mirs-jbb-1-800mirs-jbb-3-800
Next category: baby quilts. This is the first of two incorporating a charming giraffe-themed fabric panel:

Abe's quilt
Abraham’s Quilt, 40″ x 49″ (2016)

Here’s the second one, using the same fabrics in a slightly different setting:

Malachi's quilt 1.2016
Malachi’s Quilt, 41″ Square (2016)

I didn’t use a pattern for these quilts, preferring to play with simple shapes (squares and rectangles) so that the giraffes on the fabric panels would be the focal point.

My third baby quilt of the year was this one using the pattern Just Can’t Cut It from All Washed Up Quilts:

stefans-quilt
Stefan’s Quilt, 46″ Square (2016)

All three were quilted by longarmer Sherry Wadley.

All by itself in the mini quilt category is Ring Toss, based on the pattern Mini Rings by Sew Kind of Wonderful:

Coco's quilt
Ring Toss, 32″ Square (2016)

Mini Rings was quilted by Karlee Sandell of SewInspired2Day. Oh, and that’s our new rescue kitty Princess Cordelia (Coco for short).

Lap quilts is the next category. Once again I used a Sew Kind of Wonderful design, adapting the pattern Chic Diamonds into this quilt I named Dragonfly Kisses:

dragonfly-kisses-dh-aug-2016

It was quilted by Sherry Wadley.

The next quilt, Where It’s @, was started in July in a class with Karla Alexander of Saginaw Street Quilts. It’s based on her pattern Rewind. I really stepped outside my comfort zone with this quilt, and I absolutely love the result:

where-its-recropped
Where It’s @, 57″ x 72″ (2016)

The last quilt in this category is Stella by Starlight, a “kaleido-spinner” using the Spinners block by Heather Peterson of Anka’s Treasures:

stella-bound-front
Stella by Starlight, 51½” x 71″ (2016)

I call it a “kaleido-spinner” because the six equilateral triangles in each block were cut from identical repeats of the focus fabric, creating a kaleidoscope effect of sorts. The four small hexagon blocks are true kaleidoscope blocks.

Both Where It’s @ and Stella by Starlight were quilted by Karlee Sandell.

The next category is runners, both bed and table. I made one of each, using the same focus fabric in each (Wander by Joel Dewberry) and the same block design (Spinners by Anka’s Treasures) with completely different outcomes. Here is WanderLust I, the king size bed runner made with five blocks:

WanderLust complete
WanderLust I, 20″ x 88″ (2016)

I liked the focus fabric so much I made the bed runner reversible:

WanderLust back and front

It was quilted by Coleen Barnhardt of the Quilted Thistle.

Here is the same focus fabric made into WanderLust II, a “kaleido-spinner” runner converted into a wall hanging:

wanderlust-2
WanderLust II, 20″ x 53″ (2016)

This was quilted by Debbie Scroggy of All Quilted LLC.

The final category is a bit of a hodgepodge. I made a quilted cover for my stepmother’s new iPad Pro . . .

ipad-pro-cover-with-straps-from-back-to-front

. . . and a cardholder for her bridge hands:

2016-09-28-14-43-32
For my friend and fellow Quister (Quilt Sister) Vickie I made an iron caddy that doubles as a pressing mat . . .

iron-caddy-3
iron-caddy-2
. . . plus a matching 4″ x 4″ fabric box that she can use as a threadcatcher:

4x4-fabric-box
For myself I made some accessories to match my Junior Billie Bag: a rotary cutter coat made from my tutorial . . .

rotary cutter cut

. . . and a scissors case . . .

scissors-case-3
. . . and a sewing caddy that sits upright in a Lucite stand:

caddy-open
A 4″ x 4″ fabric box (yes, it’s a threadcatcher) completes the ensemble:

ensemble-2

dawns-jr-billie-bag-2016

As you have surmised, I’m crazy in love with that fabric line (Paradise by Alisse Coulter for Camelot Cottons). I expect you’ll see more of it in 2017, as I bought a lot when it was released a couple years ago.

I’m sending a shout out to the talented longarm quilters who transformed my 2016 quilt tops into beautiful quilts — Coleen Barnhardt, Karlee Sandell, Debbie Scroggy, and Sherry Wadley — and to you, my loyal blog readers, for your continuing interest and support of First Light Designs.

A toast to you all on this first day of 2017!

 

 

 

Posted in 4-Patch Wonder, baby quilt, bed runners, Billie Bag, cats, faux-kaleido quilts, hexagons, iPad cover, iron caddy, Junior Billie Bag, kaleido-spinner, kaleidoscope quilts, QCR Mini, Quick Curve Ruler, Quilter's Affair, Quisters (Quilt Sisters), rotary cutter case, sewing tool caddy, tote bags, update, wall hanging, wonky Greek key | 7 Comments

How Suite It Is!

I started with this . . .

scissors-case-1

. . . and ended with this:

scissors-case-2
Any idea what it is? I won’t keep you in suspense: it’s a scissors case made to hold the 5″ Gingher scissors I take with me to quilt classes.

Here’s what the case looks like closed:

scissors-case-3
It’s part of a set that includes a rotary cutter coat made in June, a sewing tool caddy made over Thanksgiving, and a fabric box made somewhere in between that  serves as a threadcatcher:

ensemble-2
With the exception of the fuchsia and white dot, the fabrics in these pieces come from the same line used in the Junior Billie Bag I made at the beginning of this year:

Dawn's Jr Billie Bag 2016

The fabric line is “Paradise,” designed by Alisse Courter for Camelot Fabrics. I am as charmed by these fabrics now as when I first saw them last year. I didn’t really plan it but I wound up with a matched set.

 

 

 

Posted in Billie Bag, Junior Billie Bag, rotary cutter case, sewing tool caddy, update | 4 Comments

Back at the Wheel

It’s Thanksgiving Day and I am thankful to be here in Georgia at the home of my twin sister, Diane, celebrating with her family and my own DH. After six days away from my sewing machine, however, I am eager to get back behind the wheel. (A sewing machine has a flywheel, after all.)

Many years ago I brought my old Elna sewing machine (purchased in 1975) to Diane’s home, and I have worked on many a quilt and home dec project since then. This year I brought a few small projects from home to work on, including a new sewing tool caddy using some favorite fabrics I have used on other quilting accessories:

img_5059

The pattern (Travel Case by Pearl P. Pereira of p3designs.com) calls for three pockets on the inside to hold tools but I am adding a fourth pocket:

img_5060
My fabrics are cut and ready to sew but I am putting everything away for now to help Diane with Thanksgiving Dinner. The air is already redolent with the smell of pumpkin pie, which just came out of the oven. The turkey goes in next!

For those of you who celebrate American Thanksgiving, I hope the same good smells are permeating your home and that you too are spending the day with loved ones.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Billie Bag, family, home dec, Junior Billie Bag, rotary cutter case, tote bags, update | 2 Comments

A New Coat for my Rotary Cutter

I’m heading off shortly to Hood Canal in Washington State for a quilt retreat organized by the Pine Needle, the quilt shop where I teach. On one evening I’m going to show my students how to make a rotary cutter coat based on my free pattern (tutorial here).

As I was gathering my materials yesterday, I realized I didn’t have a rotary cutter coat of my own. All the ones I have made were given away.

I fixed that in short order. Here is my (new) rotary cutter coat:

rotary cutter cut

The fabric? Two prints from the Paradise line designed by Alisse Courter for Camelot Cottons. I bought a lot of this line when it came out last year. You may recognize it, because it goes with the Junior Billie Bag I made a few months ago. These are the front and back panels of my bag:

Jr Billie Bag front and back

Now my Billie Bag is packed for the retreat, including my new rotary cutter coat:

billie bag and cutter coat
I’m good to go!

 

 

 

Posted in Billie Bag, Junior Billie Bag, rotary cutter case, update | 5 Comments

And the Winners Are . . .

Time to announce the winners of my Rotary Cutter Case giveaway. First, here’s a look at what’s up for grabs:

Rotary Cutter Cases
Rotary Cutter Coats: Free to Good Homes!

 

I used a Random Number Generator to draw three names. And the winners are:

          Bill Volckening

          Janet Boundy

          Jayne Emsdem

Congratulations, folks!

In their comments, Bill said he liked the rotary cutter coat in the middle best, Janet liked the one on the left, and Jayne said she would be happy with any one of them, so she will get the one on the right. How perfectly providential! Winners, please email me your mailing addresses and I will get them in the mail to you this week.

Didn’t win? Sorry! But you can make a rotary cutter coat for yourself or perhaps one for a friend. Directions are available as a one-page handout or as a full step-by-step tutorial with lots of pictures.

Thanks to everyone who checked out my Giveaway post and to those who left comments. Have a great week!

 

 

 

Posted in Giveaway, rotary cutter case, update | 3 Comments

Rotary Cutter Case Giveaway

Rotary Cutter Cases
One of These Could Be Yours!

 

Would you like to win one of these rotary cutter coats? I’m hosting a Giveaway and will send one of these cases to three lucky winners. To enter all you need to do is add a comment at the bottom of this post answering one of two questions:

1) which case do you like the best and why (fabric? buttons? color combo? something else)?

or

2) how did you find out about my website/blog?

The Giveaway will remain open through this week. I’ll draw three names using a random number generator and announce the winners early next week. I will mail anywhere in the world so international readers are welcome to enter.

A tutorial for making one of these rotary cutter coats can be found here.

Good luck, everyone, and thank you so much for visiting First Light Designs!

 

 

 

Posted in Giveaway, rotary cutter case, update | 29 Comments