Gabry Road

Tutorials Archive



January 2014



To ‘leave an opening’ or not?

Written by , Posted in Tutorials

In my experience, if you are creating a bag, sleeve, case or pouch the pattern generally requires you to ‘leave an opening’ for turning the wrong side (lining side) to the right side.
I am for the most part a rule follower. I follow recipes and patterns exactly as required but not when it comes to turning a creation inside out.

I like my seams to line up nicely but find that when I proceed to turn the fabrics inside out, especially if you are using interfacing and batting, the turning opening gets stretched and this makes it more difficult to line up a nice seam. For the most part, no one sees the seam opening because it is hidden in the lining but for opening which will be on the physical front of an item, you probably want the opening to not be visible.

So this is what I do. Perhaps you already do this or have read about this trick elsewhere but I thought to share just the same.

I stay stitch or back stitch at the two points where one would normally leave an opening but then I sew between these points.

Using a seam ripper I then proceed to unstitch the stitches between the two points.



You now have evidence, the stitch marks and little pieces of thread, which shows exactly where you will want to sew after turning the fabrics right side out.



It’s as though the initial stitch between the opening marks almost creates a crease similar to either finger pressing or ironing which makes it real easy to line up the fabrics for top stitching and/or closing the opening.
Here is the difference between trying to create a nice, clean seam without using the ‘stitch between the dots’ method and using the method. The ‘stitch between the dots’ method was not used on the iPad Idea Pouch on the left:

Hoping this idea helps you in creating beautiful pouches, bags and more.

PS: I apologize for the poor quality of the images. I live my studio immensely but unfortunately, I have only artificial fluorescent lighting in the studio.
PSS: this entire post was created on my iPad! This is the first time I attempted this feat and I love it!
Thanks for stoppin’ by!



September 2013



Creating A Hexie Quilt (An Armchair Project)

Written by , Posted in Quilt, quilting, Tutorials

English Paper Piecing (otherwise known as EPP) projects are by far, at least in my opinion, the most versatile type of quilting. You can take this project anywhere with you, you don’t need a lot of fancy dancy tools or machines, and you can leave the project by your armchair to work on while unwinding at the end of the day. EPP’s is simply a technique using a paper stabilizer to create a shape from fabric, typically a hexagon (hexie) but you can also create other straight line shapes.
I like to use freezer paper to create the hexagon templates. Freezer paper has a shiny side which when heated becomes temporarily adhesive. For my current hexagon quilt project, I photocopied 900 hexagon shapes onto freezer paper using my own home printer. I then cut out all the hexies.
I didn’t cut the 900 hexies overnight. I did them when the kids were watching TV and the majority were cut on the way to and from a long road trip. Alternatively, if the thought of cutting out the hexie paper pieces and then re-cutting them once adhered to fabric sounds too daunting, you can purchase pre-cut hexagon shapes from most fabric stores. The Fat Quarter Shop has these available.
You then take the shiny side of the freezer paper shapes and iron them onto the wrong side of the chosen fabric. For my current project, I bought a fat quarter bundle from The Fat Quarter Shop
This particular bundle included 40 fat quarters so I didn’t have to spend any time finding co-ordinating fabrics but having said that, creating hexie quilts is a great way to reduce your fabric stash.
After you have ironed the hexies to the fabric, simply cut about one inch around the hexie.
Ok, so perhaps I didn’t cut out exactly one inch around the hexie but if you are just starting out for first time, one inch is recommended.
After you have cut out all the hexies, you can begin to baste the fabric into the hexie shape.
This is simply done with a needle and thread. You will fold the fabric over the paper hexie and baste. You will repeat this process for all the hexies you have cut.
Once all the hexies are basted, you can then begin to sew the quilt. Notice, every part of the quilt has been done by hand and without a lot of tools. So far, you have only needed a photocopier, an iron, scissors, needle and thread.
To begin, simply take two hexies, wrong sides together and sew the straight edge. Attach another hexie and sew two sides together. Eventually all the hexies will be sewn together.
The finished size of the quilt depends on how many hexies you cut. I am starting with 900 hexies and will see how far that takes the quilt. I am hoping for a large lap quilt.
When you have completed sewing all the hexies, you would then create a backing based on the size of the finished quilt and sandwich a layer of batting in between. I take my quilts to a professional quilter because I don’t have a machine which will accommodate quilting large quilts. Alternatively, you can quilt by hand. I will update this process once I have sewn all the pieces of my current quilt.
Hexies are fun but of course you can choose most any shape with straight side. I choose hexies because I am a bit obsessed with them right now.
Hexie Idea Pouch
The Idea Pouch was created using printed fabric but I love it just the same.
Please do send me a message if you have any questions at all. I am not a professional quilter. This is how I create a hand stitched hexagon quilt. Others may have different methods and formulas. This one works for me and I am happy with it. The process allows me to unwind at the end of the day while the kidlets are watching TV. That and a cup of tea is the perfect way to end a day.
Thanks for stoppin’ by!



May 2013



String-Tie Closure Envelope – A Tutorial

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I had the pleasure of creating string-tie closure envelopes for wedding invitations. The client had seen the envelopes I have listed in my Etsy boutique and after carefully selecting the perfect paper for her invitations, we created these envies:
Custom Envie

If you have the tools, you can create these yourself! It’s really pretty easy! I had posted the tutorial on a previous blog but in case you didn’t see it way back in the day, I am re-posting here!
First you need to create the template. I use the Big Shot Pro with an envelope die but most people don’t have this monster machine kicking around their studios so the next best thing is creating your own template. Simply carefully take apart an existing envelope and trace the envelope with all wings spread out.
I would though suggest you trace the envelope pattern onto a study and clear plastic material such as Template Plastic.
It’s best to use the clear template plastic in the event you are using a patterned paper which has a distinct direction.
Template 2
Next, gather your tools!
You will need: circle punch, eyelets, eyelet setter and wax string. Well really, you can use any time of string, floss, yarn, etc. but I prefer the wax string which you can find in the jewelry/beading department of most craft stores.
string tie 1
After you have traced and scored the envelope, punch two circles from a co-ordinating piece/scrap of cardstock. Do not use light weight cardstock. Because the string has to wrap under the punched circles, you need a heavy weight cardstock for the closure to last more than for a few opens/closes 🙂 Fold the envelope as it will appear finished and mark the center on both back flaps to indicate where to punch the eyelet size hole.
string tie 4

string tie 5
Because it was difficult to see where the pencil marks were indicating where I would be punching an eyelet hole, I used the eyelets to show about where the holes should be punched.
string tie 7
Either pre-punch the circle or, put the punched circle above and centered on the mark you made and punch an eyelet size hole.
Take the string and feed about 1″ through the opening so the 1″ is on the inside of the envelope. Hold the string to the side and….
string tie 8
…add the punched circle and eyelet (I used 1/8″ eyelets). Use your eyelet setter and secure the eyelet. The eyelet setter will also secure the punched circle and the string.
string tie 9

string tie 10
Repeat the same on the other flap but omit the string. For the opposite flap, you need one punched circle and one eyelet. Presto and voila! you have a string tie closure on an envelope! The same principle can be applied to fabric using real buttons but you would instead sew the string to the area under one button. A shank style button works well but regular buttons will do a great job, especially if the ‘holes’ are towards the center of the button and not near the edge of the button.
string tie 11
string tie 12

string tie 14
If you are planning to use the envelopes in journal pages simply punch the holes or use your binding system on one side of the envelope. Get creative! You can use so many materials to create these envelopes. Think fabric or try using the grocery and store bags, not the flimsy plastic bags but the nice bags you use to get groceries these days.

If creating the envelopes yourself doesn’t work for you, you can simply visit my Etsy boutique where you will find a nice assortment of handmade envelopes with either string tie closures and adhesive strip closures.
Thanks for stoppin’ by!