Tuesday, April 26, 2011

George's Trick

Have you met George?


He's a Netherland Dwarf and the lucky roommate of Jeni Baker, who blogs at In Color Order.  I've been following Jeni's blog for quite awhile now, so I feel like I know George pretty well.  In fact, it doesn't surprise me at all that George has a trick to teach us.

Uh-huh, a sewing trick.  Of course, he's learned a thing or three living with Jeni all these years!  Don't be so skeptical.

Early this month I asked Jeni to be a pattern tester for a little something I'll be releasing tomorrow.  It's something I've had in the works for ages.  And, it's not a quilt!  Well, this mysterious object is made with not 1, but 2 layers of low loft batting for padding.  It's the kind of project where the final step is to sew around the edges right sides together, while leaving an opening for turning.  After turning, you press the seam allowance inside and topstitch closed.  Only try neatly pressing in a 1/4" seam that includes 2 layers of batting.  I had to redo it 3 times to get it neat enough for my liking.  And it still wasn't perfect.

So, I think that while Jeni was working on my project and fighting with that batting (and wondering "why, oh why, did I agree to pattern test!"), George kinda looked over her shoulder and suggested she just get the batting out of the way.  Which Jeni agreed was brilliant.  Suspiciously brilliant, in fact.  Like, where is George getting this stuff?

(I think Jeni's just too modest.  She's clearly his inspiration.)

I'm going to walk you through George's trick.  I tried it myself and it worked perfectly!  "Why do I want to know this," you ask?  Because it would come in handy for other projects like potholders made with thicker batting and who knows what else.  I'll be demonstrating on a bib I made last night solely for the purposes of testing George's trick.

testing "George's Trick"

So, here we are.  I cut an oddly rectangular bib shape (I was working with pre-pieced scraps, folks), cut a matching backing and thick batting all in the same size. 

#1 Trim Batting & Sew Right Sides Together

Since I knew I'd be sewing right sides together with a 1/4" seam, I trimmed 1/4" off the bottom of the bib, where I'd leave an opening for turning the work rightside out. I could have just trimmed 1/4" off the center of the bib bottom, leaving the edges intact so that they'd be caught in the seam. But, that really didn't seam worth the effort on this project.

# 2 Press fabric over batting edge

After turning the work rightside out, this is the opening I now need to close.  Next, I pressed the bottom fabric over the batting edge.  So nice and tidy!

#3 Fold/Press top fabric, Pin & Stitch closed

Then I folded the top fabric in along the seam allowance.  It was easy to make a nice straight line in that fold.  Gosh, just 100 times better than trying to press and fold with the batting too!  I pinned the fold and topstitched with ease.

Ta da.  thanks, George!

Ta da!  It's a pretty nice finish, in my opinion.  Yeah, there is a little messy part at left, but that's because of the piecing in that spot.  Scraps aren't always the easiest thing to work with, ya know?

scrappy bib

If you're looking at my completed bib and thinking that I didn't have to turn this work because I could have left an opening where I put the binding tape up top. Well, you're right. But, hey, I had to see if George was for real.

So, that's it - George's trick!  What do you think? 

I'll be back tomorrow to share my newest pattern.  It's something perfect for Mother's Day... hint, hint!  Thanks to my pattern testers, Jeni Baker, Mary Claire and Alecia Sharp for your feedback on this pattern!


  1. Hehe, this is too fun Rachel! Thanks for sharing it! George sure is one smart bunny, huh? ;)

  2. Cute and clever -- I use that trick when ever I have made a pillow with a layer Of batting behind the front piece. It's just easier to trim it a bit shorter, than to have that extra layer in the way.

    George is adorable!

  3. Aha, I expected it was not really anything new! But it was new to me. All the better to attribute it to George =)

  4. I already knew George was adorable, but Jeni didn't tell me how clever he is! Cute, cute.

  5. Does George have an older brother? Yowza! Ha ha ha.

  6. Pretty gosh darn smart bunny! Thanks for the tip! Can't wait to see the project!

  7. I love Jeni's pictures of George. My brother used to have two rabbits, named Bunny and Clyde. Looking forward to tomorrow!

  8. Great tip! And George is adorable! Seriously!

  9. I must be blind - I don't see a messy spot on the left at all. It looks lovely to me!

  10. OK, George is just adorably cute! ANd clever as well. Looking forward to your new pattern.

  11. Ah :) I need to try that trick. Thanks for sharing - and cute bunny!

  12. Jeni has a nice blog. She has some cute quilts on Flicker. Plus she has a cute bunny. My kids had bunnies when they were growing up. One white (nice) and one black (naughty). Enjoyed reading your blog per usual. Keep up the good work.

  13. I love this! I love Jeni and George, I love this blog post, I love bunnies & I love you, Rachel! This made me laugh and cheered me right up! ;]

  14. George is pretty clever for a bunny without opposable thumbs.

    Thanks so much for the tutorial! I can see where it would be useful in many different projects...

  15. This is a really great tip! Thanks George! And thanks for a fantastic little tutorial on how it works.

  16. I think George's real trick is being way damn to cute. OMG!


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