Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Technique Tuesday with Debby Kratovil

It's Technique Tuesday with Debby Kratovil from Debby Kratovil Quilts. Debby fell in love with the colorful dinosaurs and coordinates from the 10,000 B.C. collection by Greta Lynn from Kanvas. Read on to see what she did with these fun prints!
10,000 B.C. Collection from Kanvas
Same fabrics in a khaki colorway
What was your first impression when you received this bundle of children's fabrics?
I said "WOW!" These fabulous prints in both flannels and regular quilting cottons are so eye-popping that any child would love to have something to wear or a quilt for nap time made from them. Bright dinosaurs with bold stripes, dinosaur eggs with little baby dino heads peeking out and some fantastic "word" fabric to make these even educational! (Do you think my little grandsons - 3 and 1 - can learn to read?)

What do you do first when you receive new fabrics? Do you wash them?
I never pre-wash my fabric! I like to work with crisp material as it behaves better for me when I cut and stitch. Most of what I make is for class samples and when I am finished with them and gift them, I tell the recipient how to wash the item. When I first take them up to my sewing room, I spread them out and inspect each piece so I can enjoy the designs and marvel at the clever way the artist has put color, texture, and pattern together. Then, I listen to what the fabrics tell me about how they want to be shaped.

What did these fabrics say to you?
Pajama pants for my 3-1/2 year old grandson Miles. I bought a pattern:

These are pajamas, but the pattern says that they are not intended for sleepwear. Huh?
Then I made another pair . . .

Don't you just love those dino eggs hatching?
 And another pair . . .

Miles came to visit and we washed these - the flannel is so soft!
 And another pair . . .

Look at those words! Fabulous
Miles' mother (my daughter) told me that when he received the first pair in the mail, he promptly took off what he was wearing and put them on. Wears them day and night. That's why I had to make a few more pair. He wears them to preschool and then to bed at night. I feel like I hit the jackpot!

Well, it looks like an easy pattern. Did the fabrics ask you to do something else?
Yes, pillow cases for the little boys! I have made almost a dozen pillowcases for them (my daughter has forbid me to make any more - ha  ha, what do I care?) I don't believe you can have too many pillowcases with all sorts of fun novelty prints when you're a little kid trying to go to sleep at night.

Tell us your steps so we can do the same thing for our favorite little people.
I first started with one of those small travel pillows. I measured it . . .

Measure length and width: 12" x 16"
I cut the main print a little larger and eliminated one of the long seams (the single seam will run along the length of the pillowcase bottom): 17" x 26-1/2" (I also had to allow for seams)

Main pillow case print - Just Hatched
Then I cut a 2-1/2" x 26-1/2" strip for the flange:

Jigsaw Stripe for the flange
 Then I cut a 6-1/2" x 26-1/2" strip for the pillowcase hem:

Pillow case hem - Seeing Spots
With these three parts cut, I am ready to sew. The next steps are picture heavy and word light. I think seeing how this is done is easier than a word explanation:

Fold flange material in half and pin to one long side of the main print
 Pin the long edge (26-1/2") of hem fabric to the main print and flange . . .

Add the hem fabric as shown; pin
The following is trickier to explain than to do. You have to roll up the main pillowcase fabric so it fits inside the tube you create by bringing all the raw edges (main print, flange, hem) together into a seam.

Roll/scrunch up the main print so it fits INSIDE the tube created when you pull both long ends of hem fabric together
You can see what it looks like before adding the last edge of the hem fabric. Don't worry! Those baby dinosaurs can still breathe. See? He's smiling!

Don't worry, mom. I can breathe!
 Now it's time to sew the two long edges of the hem (and everything else) with a 1/4" seam. You leave both short ends OPEN (or else how can the dinosaurs breathe?)

Sew the tube together with 1/4" seam
 Now it's time to pull everything out of the tube. See? Those dinosaurs are still smiling!

Pull everything out of the tube.

Main print, flange and hem. Nice and neat. Wait until you see the other side!
 No raw seam showing!! Isn't that fabulous? Not any strings. They're all staying inside that seam you sewed.

Inside of the pillowcase. No raw edges!
 Now we make a French seam (I did not say French Fries!) Sew the long seam of the pillowcase closed, but not from the inside. Use a 1/4" seam and sew the pillowcase together from the outside (no, I'm not crazy). If you've never made a French seam, you will love this trick.

The first step of a French seam: sew 1/4" seam from the fabric outside
 Now turn pillowcase inside out and sew another seam, 3/8" or even 1/2". You are now encasing that first seam and all the raw edges. Trust me. This will have a happy ending.

Now encase the first seam in  wider seam from the pillowcase inside.
This is what it looks like from the outside. No raw edges outside and as you can see in the pic above: NO raw edges on the inside!

Pillowcase outside
One last seam - the bottom. 

Sew 1/4" seam to close pillow case (inside) and then use a zigzag stitch to keep all those threads from fraying

Now, can we see the final pillowcase? Finished size: 12-1/2" x 19-1/2"

Happy, little pillow case to make any child (especially Miles) enjoy nap time.
These are so quick. Once you make one, you want to make more!
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  1. Love the line and the pillow case.

  2. Obviously............happiness is being a grammy!

  3. what cute fabrics - would be fun to make kids stuff for the grands with this.

  4. Loved the fabrics and mostly loved what you did with them!