Sewing With Nancy – Sew Simple with Rectangles & Squares, Part 2

Welcome to the second program
of my mini series “Sew Simple
with Rectangles and Squares.” During this
three-part series I’m featuring streamlined,
yet modern projects that take one,
maybe two hours to sew. The hold-it sacks are my first
“Sew Simple” projects. Prop up your cell phone
or electronic tablet in the cradle area
of the fabric sack. Made from laminated fabric it’s ideal to use
throughout your home or office. The unique finished shape appears as if it was made
from a complicated pattern. But not this gadget holder. It’s all made
from rectangular shapes. “Sew Simple with Rectangles
and Squares,” that’s what’s next
onSewing with Nancy.Sewing with NancyTV’s longest-airing
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making a difference in sewing, quilting, crafting,
and needle arts for over 30 years. Amazing Designs
and Klassé needles. The hold-it sacks are made from three
different types of rectangles. Laminated fabric
from the very large one filled with rice and fiberfill so that an electronic tablet
can fit right in the cradle. The cell phone
or the tablet can be held securely
horizontally or vertically. It’s kind of
a conversation piece. They’re funny looking
projects but yet great
for techie projects. Laminated fabric
is my fabric of choice because it’s easy to clean
and has a nice finish to it. It’s 10″ x 12″
for the smaller size 12″ x 18″
for the larger size just one layer
of the rectangle. Then there are
small little pieces that you’re going to be cutting,
smaller rectangles. I’ll show you
what they are. The cording is the cording
that is used for pillows. It’s a fusible cording
and a 3″ rectangle. The little tab
at the top is 2″ x 3″ that has the perforated
strap fabric fused to it. You fold it in half
along the perforations and create the tab,
pretty simple. The base
is much the same. There’s a base here made with a larger strip,
a longer strip with the fusible
strap material for interfacing. Those are some of the pieces
that you’ll need to create this. To make
this unique shape I’d like to show you
how it’s accomplished. The rectangle
is folded in half so that the short edges
are meeting. which is done here. Then, sew the top edge,
but before doing it wrap the corner,
folding it along the seamline. You can “pin”
on laminated fabric using clips
or fabric clips. Then sew across the top,
but leave an opening. This is where the rice
or the bean bag pellets are going to be inserted. Now, if you take
a close-up look at this we left an opening and then stitched
to the cut edge at each opening so when I turn this
right side out that edge
is very easy to turn. You’ll see that
in the very last step of this. So far,
it’s pretty simple. Now we’re
going to fold this. Fold it so that the triangles
are predominant at the corner so that you’re
creating this shape. The seam is stacked,
one on top of the other. You get a triangular shape,
and “pin” across the end. Do the same
on the other side. Now, the other side
only has one seam. It’s straight,
and then the fabric. You take this
to your cutting mat. It doesn’t
have to be exactly 3/4″ although that’s
the measurement I used. Trim off 3/4″
from each corner. I’ll flip this over
and do the same. Trim off 3/4″. In this opening we’re going to be placing
the little tab piece so that
you can easily move your hold-it sack
around the house or wherever
you’d like to put it. Then on the end that
does not have a vertical seam it just has one seam
at the very top put your little
piece of fabric for the tab. Sneak it in there, pin it,
and then sew the seams. Sew both of these little seams
that I am pointing at. On this particular sample,
it’s already been stitched. Now you turn this
right side out. If you’re not working
with laminated fabric just cotton fabric,
I would recommend that you add fusible interfacing
to the back of it to give it
a little extra support. You can see
it’s got that shape now. It looks like some of those
containers that hold sour cream when you order a baked potato
at a restaurant that’s how
we got the shape. Then, align the seam
that’s in the fabric so it’s in the center. It’s starting
to look like a hold-it sack. The base is formed by measuring
3-1/2″ from the cut edge. I’ll just
measure up 3-1/2″. I would pin this base
into place. it’s not going to matter,
just approximately 3-1/2″. My next sample
has this stitched into place. Then I pressed the 3″ fabric
around the piping. This piping
has fusible web around it so that when you press it,
it sticks. We have extra fabric
at the ends that are folded. That’s placed at the base–
let me get some pins– placed at the base
of the little stand. Now, the last stitching
by machine is to stitch the remaining tail
or this section. You fold it once,
you fold it twice so it meets together,
and stitch. Here’s a close up. I’m using the zipper foot
to stitch along the edge. If the foot sticks, you may
want to line the fabric with some tissue paper
to help sew this area. Here’s this funny looking
little project. It doesn’t have
any rice in it yet. But you’d fill the bottom
with about two cups of rice then add the remaining
stuffing or Fiberfil and hand sew the hold-it sack
closed at this end. Put it on your counter,
on your desk charge your cell phone,
view your electronic tablet and you have a clever home decor
item made with rectangles. Toss them in a game or use them
to hold down pattern pieces these mini sacks can be
both fun and functional. You can easily make three
mini sacks in an hour or less. This has to be
the simplest technique I’ve ever shown
onSewing with Nancy.But I’m sitting
at the sewing machine. I can sew one for you. I like to use them
as pattern weights. Just to give you some ideas on how to work
with laminated fabric it’s not
very difficult at all. You’ll use
a traditional needle, maybe change to a sharp needle
to go through the layers. It’s cotton fabric
covered with a light coating the laminated coating. This piece of fabric
is a rectangle, 4″ x 6″. Fold it in half,
meeting the short ends and kind of do
a finger press or crease This is the same size tab
as I used earlier a 3″ strip,
folded in half. Then “pin” or clip. With laminated fabrics,
you’re going to want to use some clips
for positioning. Fold this in half. I’m going to center that
a little bit better. Fold this in half and clip again
to hold it in place. Now we’re going to do
the stitching. A 1/4″ seam allowance
is all that’s needed for this
particular technique. If you go
over the center it’s easy, easy
to sew that seam. Then we’re
going to wrap the seam. When working with vinyl,
it’s hard to turn the corner so wrapping the seam
makes it so much easier. Just fold the fabric
along the seamline. Then I’ll start to sew, tacking
down the seam allowance holding down
that seam allowance. So it’s two seams
at the sewing machine. I’ll lower
the presser foot. And really,
I’m not pinning right now I’m just holding that down,
kind of finger pinning it. That’s two
of the three seams. Then you can turn this
right side out. It’s slightly tacky,
so I’m going to show you one I’ve already turned
right side out. Get the corners pointy fill it with a little rice
or some pellets. This point is where you
center the remaining seam. Oops, I’ve got
a little rice coming out. Fold under
the seam allowances. Now, move your needle on your presser foot
all the way over to the left side. I have the seam allowances
pressed under finger pressed under. I have a few rice pellets
moving out! Then stitch the seam. Now, you may find,
I’m not finding it right now but if you find that the foot
does not glide along the edge you can place down
some tissue paper. But because I’m sewing
half on the fabric and half off the fabric,
it really doesn’t matter. Maybe a bar tack
at the end. In that short of time,
you’ve created a sack to use to hold down
your pattern pieces and you’ve learned how
to work with laminated fabric. Don’t settle for tan
or black bins for your shelf. Customize fabric bins
to accent your home decor by selecting
coordinating fabrics. Made, you guessed it,
from rectangles and squares. The sewing is enjoyable
and the end result is as fresh in appearance
as it is functional. We chose a coordinating
fabric group to make
our three sizes of the fabric bins
with grommets. You can see the fun
lining color that we chose for all the designs,
to carry the look through. The grommets
are small to large and are inserted
in the side ends. They’re really speedy
to put together. I love the fabric options
that you have because you get to
choose fabrics. The square and rectangle sizes
are on the table. First, the rectangles. This small rectangle
is 12″ x 8″. Then you see a line
across the top. One inch from the top,
you place a line because that’s going to be
the line to cut. There’s a craft interfacing and a lining
that’s cut one inch shorter. The square portion comes from cutting out squares
in the lower corners. From the small one,
a two-inch square. For each bin, you’ll need
two pieces, two sides. And for the medium size,
we have a 16″ x 9-1/2″. Remember, all the dimensions
are given in the book that accompanies
this program. Then the three-inch corners
are cut out. The third one has
a 21″ x 13-1/2″ rectangle with a four-inch corner
removed from each area. You possibly can see, as you’ve
been looking at these pieces that we basted the craft
interfacing to the outer fabric. You just have to
baste it quickly along so it stays in place. The lining is cut out
the same size as the craft interfacing,
shorter. We’re not going to be doing
a lot of sewing. If you look inside,
that one inch the reason
to have that extra one inch is it’s folded over
and pressed into place. This edge is cut
with a pinking shears or a decorative blade
of your rotary cutter. Sew the lower seam first. Meet right sides
together with 1/2″ seam allowances
is what I’m recommending. You sew
that lower seam. This is a pretty springy seam
and has a lot of bulk. So, to hold that seam flat Stitch with
a multiple step zigzag design I’m doing right now. Just sew across that seam
to hold all the layers flat. If you want to give
the bottom of your bin some extra support you could cut a small rectangle
of that craft interfacing 1/2″ shorter than
from each side than the base. Just topstitch that in or even use double sided
basting tape to hold it. This is a bin. This is not something
you’re going to be wearing. Now, the top, to make this
really fast and easy use paperbacked fusible web,
1/2″ wide. Place it
or fuse it to each end. This happens to be
pressure sensitive. You don’t have to fuse it
the first time around just press it down firmly
with your finger. At this point,
do some trimming. With a decorative blade, just
trim off the excess fabric. Now you have
the edge finished. I told you, this is a program
called “Sew Simple.” Then some sewing
of the side seams. In this particular sample
the side seams have been sewn. You see
they’re kind of springy. To press it,
use a dowel or a seam stick
that is flat on one side. It is rounded so that you can
press open along the curve. It helps
with the shaping. Give plenty of steam
along this area to press open the seams. Then to sew the corners
is what’s left. The corners
really shape by themselves. The side seam
is met to the lower edge. Sew across that end,
simple as that. You may want to trim off
the excess seam allowances with a decorative blade just to get rid of
some of the bulk in this area. Then you can turn this
right side out and make
your lining piece. Rather than using
1/2″ seam allowance make it just a little deeper,
5/8″ would do the trick. Let me
get my pieces. Here’s
the lining piece meet wrong sides together,
tuck it in. Take some time
to pin the lining and the craft interfacing
together. I’ve already removed
the paper backing. Then just wrap it around. You’re going to take more time
than I’m doing right now. Make it smooth and then press
all these layers together. Press them on the inside
and here you go. That’s all that’s to it. Now, you’d finish
all the way around the edge but that gives you
the general idea. The finishing point
for the bags and bins– These aren’t bags,
these are bins– are the grommets
at each end. I recommend
to make sample before putting
a grommet in your bin. Piece some fabric
so that it has seam just the way your fabric
in your bin has a seam. Truthfully,
the larger grommets are easier to put in
than the smaller grommets. In the packaging,
there will be a template. You’ll measure down the distance
that you’ll like the grommet and trace the opening. You can see I’ve already
cut the opening. Take some time and trim off
the raft interfacing. Trim that out
a little further. Then place the grommet on the
right side and the wrong side. Kind of wait until
you hear them nap together or kind of click. Then press it down
and click. You’ll hear
the two going together. Then you can see how much
pressure you have to apply to put it into place. Add a grommet
at each end, large or small the choice is yours. What’s good for the shelf
is good for the wall. With a little tweaking
of the instructions fabric bins
turn into wall pockets that provide organization
and style to any home or office. Again, I’ve chosen
some fabric coordinates to create the three sizes
of the wall pockets. These sizes
were just kind of determined by what we thought
looked good. plus some trim. Then, two grommets in the back
so they can be hung by the mountable clips
that you can place on your wall. The sewing is identical to the construction
of the bins with the addition
of the trim and a number of different
grommets that we put into place. The sizes
of the bins. You can really make these
any size you’d like. The small the pattern rectangle
started out 9″ x 10″ with one-inch
corners cut out. All three wall pockets
have one-inch corners cut out. The medium
is 11″ x 15″. And the large that I have
right here is 15″ x 14″. Like before,
the craft interfacing and the lining
is cut one inch shorter for all three sizes
at the top. Just mark one inch
and fold it down. That’s the size that you cut
the craft interfacing. If you’d like
to add some trim, which I thought
tied the three fabrics together you can use
the pressure sensitive adhesive or fusible web and place
the trim for the large size 2-1/2 inches
down from the top. You stitch this on first
before you sew the side seams. Then construct
the wall pockets just as the bins,
simple as that. So, once you learn a technique,
you have several options. In working
with the grommets I want to spend a little time
talking about this. The front grommet is totally
a decorative accent. The small grommet has to go
through many layers of fabric. Make certain
that you trim away that inside layer,
that craft interfacing before you
snap the layers together. Then align two grommets
on the back so that you can
hang them on the wall. So, whether it’s fabric bins
or wall pockets the sewing is simple
with rectangles and squares. African communities are rich
with artistic traditions. We may be familiar
with their history and artistry of African people
in the Americas but we know
little or nothing about Africans in other parts
of the world. We share
the fascinating story of Siddi Women’s
Quilting Cooperative of India with Henry Drewal. Welcome, Henry,
toSewing with Nancy.Thank you, Nancy. I saw your exhibit from
the Women’s Cooperative Quilt on display
at a quilt show. I was drawn to them
by color. You have created
exhibits from these. Share with our viewers
how you became interested in working
with this group of women. Well, my career
has been on learning about and studying
the history of arts
of African peoples, both in Africa
and in Diaspora in the places where African
people have found themselves. My wife was going to do
some research in India and she said if you want to
spend some time with me you might want to
get a grant to come. So, I followed her
and went to India and got a grant and began to research African
communities in India people who had lived there
for centuries and now and these
are their descendants. The quilts that are made
in India by the women there you’ll see a close up
right now of the quilt that I’m holding,
it has great color. Tell us how they begin
creating the quilt. Well, in these communities,
they are relatively poor. These are independent
communities that live in the forest areas,
the Western Ghatts. They’ll use their clothing
until it can no longer be worn. So they take remnants from the clothing
of their family members. Then there are periodic markets
of secondhand clothing that they’ll also
purchase things from. They’ll get a sari that they put
as the backing for the quilt. Once they have enough remnants
and the sari backing they begin
to make the quilt. It’s a kind of
visual documentation of the fashions
of family members over a period
of two or three years. I’m specifically holding this
corner to remind myself for you to tell the story
about how they begin quilting. Right, okay. Well, actually,
they begin the quilting by going from a corner
all the way around with a continuous
running stitch until they reach the center
to finish these quilts that you’re
looking at now. The center motif is just that,
it’s a show stopper, usually. Yes it is,
usually. I like to think of it
as a kind of design flourish where the woman
is coming to the conclusion of this wonderful work and will put
extra time and effort into the pattern
at the very center. The maker of this quilt,
we need to recognize her. Yes, her name
is Khatumbi Musawar. She lives in the village
of Mainalli. This is where the quilting
cooperative began. The second quilt that
you brought along with us has a great focal point
in the middle that purple frame area. But in the corners,
there’s interest. Talk about the motif
that’s in most corners as in this quilt. Oh, right, yes. In most quilts, there are two
motifs that usually occur. A series
of shapes multiplied and in the very corner
of the quilt, as you have here three of them,
these are phulas, they’re called phulas,
which means flower. It’s a piece usually
with a distinctive color that is folded two or three
times and then sewn. Now, this is where the quilt
begins, at the corner. This is
also where it ends because as I asked
the quilters, I said, why do you put these
phulas or flowers in the corner because this is
the final thing that is done. They said, huh, you know,
if we didn’t put the flowers in the corners of the quilt,
either one or multiple ones, like here,
the quilt would be naked. That is, unfinished. Well, maybe we have to start
doing that in this country. I think so. Adding flowers to the corner
adds a nice detail to it. You bring these quilts
to this country. They are sold. They help support
the people who make them. Right. I’ve done two, actually several
exhibitions of the quilts. One in New York
at the Schomburg Center. Another one was held at the Museum of the African
Diaspora in San Francisco. I’ve held an exhibition
of the quilts here at UW-Madison then you saw them
at the Quilt Expo. Yes,
they’re stunning. Thank you for sharing this great
program with us, Henry and for bringing
this information to us. There’s something we can learn
from every culture. Thanks
for being with us. Thanks, Nancy. If you’d like to have
more information about the Siddi
Women’s Cooperative you can go
to where you’ll find all
thingsSewing with Nancy.You can re-watch
my interview with Henry re-watch
the program of today. Go to Nancy’s Corner and click on Henry’s name
for more information. Thanks for joining me.
Bye for now. Nancy has written a
fully-illustrated book entitled “Sew Simple
with Rectangles and Squares” that includes
all the information from this
three-part series. It’s $14.99,
plus shipping and handling. To order the book,
call 1-800-336-8373 or visit our website at: Order
Item Number BK2801 “Sew Simple
with Rectangles and Squares.” To pay by check
or money order call the number
on the screen for details. Visit Nancy’s website
at to see additional episodes,
Nancy’s blog, and more.Sewing with NancyTV’s longest airing
sewing and quilting program
with Nancy Zieman has been
brought to you by Baby Lock; Madeira Threads; Koala Studios; Clover; Amazing Designs
and Klassé Needles. Closed captioning funding
provided by Pellon.Sewing with Nancy
is a co-production
of Nancy Zieman Productions
and Wisconsin Public Television.

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