Saturday, September 26, 2009

Can you spare an hour? A bit of a tutorial if you can!

Yep! That's our new air conditioning unit, all fixed into the wall where the window used to be!

My husband has worked hard to get it ready for the electrician to come and connect it, and I'm so proud of him! Bad news is that we are in a little country town and the electrician has a lot of jobs to do before he's hoping early next week he'll have a couple of hours free to bring an end to the hot house saga at last. In the meantime the town is still swathed in dust, and we cannot see the mountains just near us. So what is a girl to do?
SEW, of course!

And what have I been making? Well, I need to confess something to you. After the fantastic response to the August Sewing Machine Cover Challenge, I threw you another challenge for September - to make a mat for your sewing machines to sit on, by September 30th, and again I will give a prize to the lucky name drawn from those who blog a photo of their completed sewing machine mat (or email me a photo if they have no blog), and let me know.
So far only TWO of you have done this (check the side bar to the left).
And the worst thing is that even *I* hadn't made one!! Life has been so busy with the new Gum Trees Designers launch, and other sewing commitments that I just couldn't seem to find the time to follow through with my own challenge.
Now what sort of example is that? A bad one, and I apologise. I have not allowed myself a single jam-filled lamington today as punishment.

Today I decided that after the morning chores I was going to make that sewing machine mat, and I would challenge myself even further and place a 60 minute time limit in which to make it! Now, girls, if I can do this - so can you! Here's how it happened....

...I chose a piece of fabric I've had for ages, waiting for the *right* project. It's from Tanya Whelan's Barefoot Roses and it's sooooo beautiful - too beautiful to cut up in my opinion, so this way I didn't have to.

I found some smaller print backing fabric, and some satin ribbon that had once been part of the wrapping on a pair of pyjamas from Target (yes, I keep all sorts of things for trimming!)...

I made an extra strip of the large green floral to be the set of pockets along the bottom of the mat, sewed a strip of the small green floral backing fabric to the back of it, and top-stitched the satin ribbon across the top.
I lay that onto the bottom of the mat front, and stitched seams down to give me 4 pockets.
Then I lay the mat front onto some scrap batting and did a few wandering rows of quilting horizontally to secure the top and the batting.

Next step was to trim the front/batting piece. Once I had lain the mat back (small green floral fabric) right sides together with the quilted mat front, I sewed a 1/4 inch seam all around, leaving a 3 inch opening to pull the mat through - making it all right sides out. I pressed the mat, slipstitched the opening closed, then did 3 vertical lines of quilting down the front to secure and also to reinforce those pockets on the bottom. Last thing was to top-stitch a 1/4 in seam all the way around and press. Done! With about 20 seconds to spare!

And in one of the pockets I have finally gotten what I needed most in a sewing machine mat - a place to hold a pair of small snips, needed to cut random threads when I'm at the machine. I even secured them with a sweet scissor keeper, hand beaded by the lovely Kaaren who sent me a bag of lovely handmade goodies in a little private swap we arranged a while back.

All finished inside an hour. What do you think? Pretty gorgeous I say!

Now what about YOU???
Do you have an hour to spare...
Have a go, and enter the September Sewing Machine Mat Challenge!! I'll promise you, you'll love the prize I'm giving. :-)

Happy days with hugs,

PS: And if you haven't entered fellow Gum Tree Designer Cheryl's giveaway you'd best hurry over and do so - only 4 days left!! She has a STASH of the yummiest presents for the winner!!


  1. Oh that mat and machine cover are so so gorgeous
    I wouldn,t mind sending you some of our cold weather from here in Sth Gippsland Victoria

  2. I've finished mine a couple of weeks ago Jenny, but haven't been able to get my message through to you :0(.

    Your mat is absolutely gorgeous though - you may now go and have your lamington and enjoy :0)

  3. Gorgeous !! Love Barefoot Roses. It's 1/2 time and you are in front by 1 goal :)

  4. Mrs speedy needles! That is a sweet mat Jenny, thanks for the how to.....

  5. I really hope the electrician comes to wire in your air conditioner for you next week! Love your sewing mat too!

  6. Oh my, that's gorgeous! I hadn't seen the challenge before now... must have missed that post... I will have to see what I can do tomorrow!! Thanks for sharing! x

  7. Well don't you have the most elegant sewing machine set up! I pull the ties out of pj bottoms and reuse them. I trimmed a needlebook with some really cute ties that had birdies on it.

  8. Your mat and machine cover are wonderful! Thanks for showing us how to make them.
    I just made a sewing machine cover and they are fun to make.

  9. Well, I am in the middle of it and desperately trying to get it done in time, but other things keep coming in between...

  10. Hi Jenny,
    Oh my goodness, you don't muck around do you! lol
    Your sewing machine will be soo happy sitting on that gorgeous mat.

  11. I might have to take you up on that challenge. At the moment my sewing machine sits on a fabric placemat, which doubles as a cover when I have to move my machine off the table and I'm too lazy to put it back in it's carry bag. It's out today, while the boys are away - I wonder if I can find some fabric???

  12. Jenny, I don't think I've ever seen an a/c unit like that! I hope that electrician gets there quick. Bribe him with some lamingtons. *G*
    I LOVE your mat! I'll see if I can whip one up on Tuesday - it's the first day I'll get to sew. You have such an elegant sewing room now!!!!

  13. You are so generous Jenny!Love all your ideas.The heat must be debilatating! cheers teri

  14. Jenny amiga me gusta tu blog y te he seguido en varios de tus trabajos que son muy bonitos pero no entiendo mucho ,no se inglés y cuando pongo el traductor no lo hace bien.
    Por favor si pudieran hagan un blog en español,vivo en Lima Perú.
    Muchos abrazos a todas,saludooooos.

  15. You'll never guess Jenny, I only just bought some of the same fabric! lol How funny is that? Hope that your ac will be installed and set up soon as you'll be needing it this summer. It's already hot, and I'm desperate for the dryness to end. I hope the rainy season starts soon!

  16. Thanks for your tutorial Jenny. I was give one as part of a swap and I love it. I made a mat today as a gift for my Stitchers angel swap and perhaps it could count in your september challenge. I have posted it on my blog. Hope you are keeping cool
    Thanks heaps.

  17. Wow, I can´t believe you actually managed to do that within an hour.
    Thats really great!

  18. I would love to make one of these and I ahve some caring hearts waiting for a project so I might use those. Themn I have to make the cover to go with it.


  19. Hi Jenny,
    Your carpet pra machine was very beautiful!
    My ready, I'll be very happy if you pass on my blog and leave a comment.

  20. Jenny, make mine today just under the wire and even machine cover one month later...Hugs from France

  21. it is the machine sits on top of the mat? do you have a tutorial for the machine cover?


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