Foundation Pieced Crazy Quilt Block

First one finished.


How to Make a Guitar Amp Cover

Well, my eldest son turned 23 last month and for his birthday he wanted me to make him an amplifier cover for his new guitar amp. I was skeptical but at the same time thought, “How hard can it be?” Once he began giving me his specifications I thought, “Oh boy, what have I gotten myself into?” He wanted it quilted and he wanted an outside pocket as well as some sort of inner protective barrier (he suggested cardboard but I had a better idea). I took careful measurements of his amp.

I purchased some navy blue duck cloth (or canvas). For an inner liner I used plana dark green sheet (the elastic had worn out), cotton batting and “midnight” double fold bias tape to finish off the bottom edge as well as the handle hole.

The first thing I did was to take my measurements and make the front, back and top of the cover one complete piece. I had measured each side of the amp, so I just added my measurements together. I would have 3 main pieces, the two sides and the one big piece for the front, back and top. Then I added 3/4 inch seam allowance around the sides as well as the large piece. I began by cutting out the inside fabric (sheet). I then cut the canvas to match, and finally cut the cotton batting the same size.

I pinned the 3 pieces together and quilted them with diagonal straight line quilting 1.5 inches apart with matching thread (navy blue). I used my 1880’s Domestic treadle for all sewing and quilting as it can handle very thick layers. My next step was to make the handle hole at the center of the top. First I sewed a straight line on each side of the big piece to mark exactly where the top was and did my measurements from those lines for sake of precision.


You can see the chalk lines from the quilting and the measurement for the lines defining the top of the amp cover. I had initially thought “midnight” binding would be black, but it was not. Pinned the binding on and applied.

My son wanted some kind of protective barrier on the inside front and back of the cover. I thought quilting template might work better than cardboard. I didn’t want to use something that might deteriorate if moist. However, the only pieces of quilting template I could find were not big enough for the measurements of the front and back of the amp. I did some searching on the internet and found  “2 Thick Flexible Lightweight 25x23x1/16 Translucent Polyethylene Plastic Stencil Template Sheet” on Amazon. I liked that it was thicker and I could cut each piece down to fit.

Before sewing the sides on, I cut two pockets to slide the plastic into. I used the measurements for the front and back but only went up about 2/3 of the total height of the piece, finished the top of each pocket piece (rolled 1/4 inch down twice and stitched) and pinned each pocket into place on the insides of the large quilted piece. I wanted the plastic to be removable so the cover could be washed if needed.

My son wanted a pocket on one side of the cover to carry the amp cable in. I wasn’t sure about it due to all the thicknesses. But I thought I’d try. I cut a piece of inside fabric and then the canvas to match (6.5 x 10.5 inches). I stitched them together almost all the way around. Trimmed the corners, then turned them right side out and tucked in the open (unsewn) part. Pinned it on and sewed it twice for stability. I did some extra sewing along the top of each side for strength.


Next, I pinned one side in place, wrong sides out. To do this, I matched the top corners of the sides with the horizontal lines I had sewn in to mark the top, pinned each. Then I pinned the sides, matching the bottoms. I stitched the side piece in place, carefully pivoting and easing at the corners so I wouldn’t get any puckers. Stitched again to strengthen the seam. Clip corners. Repeat the process on the second side. (Sorry I don’t have more pictures, I didn’t think of posting this until finished.)

I trimmed down the seams to within 1/4 inch and used double fold bias tape and sewed it over the seams so the cotton batting wouldn’t get fuzzies on the amp and it would look nicer. I trimmed up the bottom  to make it even and sewed the double fold bias tape to finish the bottom. I then machine washed it to get rid of the chalk lines and let it air dry. I cut each plastic piece to fit and tucked them inside each front and back pocket. amp-cover-3

Here is a short video of the outside and another short one of the inside.

Now to take it to the son’s and see if it fits well and he likes it 🙂



Perfect fit and he thinks it “cool.” YAY!

Snap Close Purse

I finished another snap close purse. I was commissioned to make one in blue and brown. I like how it turned out. I used the convergence method for the outside design.



It has 2 inside pockets. I like to do the inside of the purse a light color so you can see the contents better.

Free Motion Quilting Tools

I’ve added 2 great free motion quilting products to my Etsy shop. I have used them both and find them very good products for free motion quilting on any sewing machine, although I’ve only tried them on my treadle sewing machines 🙂

The first are Grip & Stitch quilting disks.


These work great and are a great alternative to wearing quilting gloves. I find it cumbersome sometimes to take the gloves off and on to do things that require my bear fingers, like clipping threads and such. There are 2 sizes of disks in the package and the smaller one is for your right hand (under the arm of the machine) and the larger one is for the left hand. These disks grip the quilt nicely and you use them to move the item you are quilting around. I have made a demonstration video of these here.

The other new item is  Machingers quilting gloves.


Of the different types of quilting gloves these are my favorite. They are very lightweight and fit your hand very well. The tips of each finger have a rubber grip for moving the item you are free motion quilting around.

You can find either of these on my Shop page of this blog or at my Etsy Shop.

Another Convergence Quilt

This is another convergence quilt I did some time ago. I stared with 4 fabrics and cut and converged. I added the butterflies by machine applique. DSCF3934

I really enjoy this style of quilting 🙂

Refinishing a Hand Crank Sewing Machine

Years ago I acquired a hand crank sewing machine. There has been some renewed interest in the “decals” so I thought I’d share the story. I bought this hand crank because it was pre-1900 and that is my main interest in antique sewing machines. It was a Singer manufactured in 1898. With the condition the machine was in when I bought it, it could not be used. There was rust on the bed of the machine. I only have machines in my collection that I can actually sew on. 🙂

Back of the machine

Back of the machine

Front of the machine

Front of the machine

There was enough of the original decal design left on the machine that I could make out what it used to be ~ the Ottoman Carnation. I found a picture of the Ottoman Carnation decal on the internet and printed it out. Then I sanded the machine down to the base metal.





After I removed all the paint I purchased a good high-gloss spray paint and coated the machine twice.





I then put it all back together and gave it to a friend who volunteered to hand paint the decals for me. Armed with the color pictures she did her own beautiful version of the Ottoman Carnation decals. I loved it!





There was one glitch though. When she sprayed the machine after painting it with the clear coat, it crinkled up! She was very despairing of this but when I saw it I told her that it added to the age of the machine and not to worry. I’m not sure why this happened as it was the same brand as the black coat, but again, I thought it just added to the character of the machine.