Welcome, one and all, to my very first tutorial! May I just give a shout out to all you bloggers I love but don't know personally who make posting a tutorial seem so effortless? I applaud you, bloggers. **clap clap clap**
Okay, moving on! What is a thread catcher, you say?? Why, it is an essential for any sewer, scrapbooker, or lover of a place to put stuff. I bought one at a Farmer's Market in Logan many years ago before I truly became a sew-aholic. I thought it would be a good garbage bin for my paper scraps when I scrap booked. Later I threw it on the arm of my couch and placed my remotes in it. When I was commissioned to sew a thousand (okay, 16) skirts for our production of "Crazy For You" in 2005 I pulled out my thread catcher and a love affair ensued. It is a weighted pin cushion and garbage bin in one and it is one of my favorite sidekicks when I am sewing up a storm and I am going to teach you how to make one!!
**WARNING: THIS IS A PICTURE HEAVY POST**
I can't help it- I feel it's the best way to explain the steps and, besides, the fabric was sooo pretty I needed to see it over and over (and over) again!
Readers, meet, the thread catcher:
Kay, what you will need is one 16 1/2 X 8 1/2" (A), two 6 1/2" squares (A1), and two 3 1/2" squares (B) of your main fabric. Then cut two 6 1/2" squares of junk fabric (C) ( you won't see these- they are to line the pin cushion). Finally, you will need another 16 1/2 X 8 1/2" (D) piece of your lining fabric. You will also need wheat, rice, or Polly Fill, as well as 17" of Belting. Now, get your basic sewing supplies (scissors, machine, matching thread etc) together and let's get crackin'!!
First, please allow me to introduce Susan. She's my Brother XL-3750. She's a good girl (mostly) and has served me well. She's no Bernina or Janome, but for the most part she gets the job done!
Your starting lineup of fabric cuts. (My fabric all came from "JoAnn Fabrics")
Start by sewing together your two 3 1/2" (B) squares right sides together down the sides.
Turn and press.
Fold (A) and (D) pieces in half with right sides together and short ends touching and sew down to make side seam. You will now have a stitched 8 1/2 X 8"-ish piece.
Press seam open.
Now sew a bottom seam.
This part is the trickiest part, but it's easy once you've done it. Press the bottom seam open by laying on your ironing board and flattening out the corners. This is how you will make the bag open up on the bottom.
Pin corner and mark a line 1 1/4" from bottom of corner.
Sew Along marked line and cut.
Now you have a lovely bottom!! (he he he- yes, I'm 10). Repeat this process for both A and D sections.
Place (A1) squares right sides together and lay Junk (C) squares on top and bottom. This will line your pin cushion and make it more durable.
In between the four layers center your finished (B) section and leave the end poking out (can you see it in the picture? It turned out a bit fuzzy)
Sew 1/4" around all edges, leaving a gap for turning out.
Turn and press and VOILA! There's your pin cushion!
Now, laying your (A) piece flat with seam on the side and right sides still together, Mark the center (it should be around the 4" mark). Lay remaining edge of (B) strap centered over your mark. so the (A1) pin cushion is on the bottom (as in above picture). Place (A1 and B) unit inside your (A) bin (seen in below picture), matching center dots.
Now turn lining (D) fabric right-side-out and place in your Bin (A) so (A) and (D) are right sides together. Sew around entire opening, leaving about three inches for turning.
Turn and Press.
Holy Cow!! Did we just do THAT??
Now it's time to add your 'Belting'- (Just ask for it at JoAnn's- it's about $2.45/yard)
It is a stiff yet flexible band that you will insert into the top of your thread catcher to hold that puppy open. You will need about 17" for one catcher.
Stitch around the entire cylinder about 1 1/2" from the top
Insert the belting and loop it around. It is stiff enough that it should go all the way around with very little coaxing.
Now sew the two ends overlapping an inch so the belting is a 16" circle.
I know it's hard to imagine what a 'great' seamstress I am when you see that amazing stitch job, but please believe me- my son changed the settings on my machine while I was changing my other son's diaper! LOL
TADA! You now have a nice opening for your bin!
Now, stitch the top closed and run the stitch all around the top about 1/4" from the top.
Do you have much of this in your storage? If so, pull it out now! If not, you may purchase Polly Pellets or use rice.
I put my wheat or whatever I'm using in a 1 liter cleaned out water bottle so it is an easy funnel to use for the small opening in my pin cushion. Fill your cushion with approx. 1 - 1 1/2 cups of your filler and sew the opening closed. (I use my machine because I am lazy, but you can hand sew if you don't want your stitches showing!)
HOORAY!!! Look at the nifty sewing tool you have made. Give yourself a hand!
Please leave a comment and let me know how you find this tutorial. I am relatively new to this and would truly appreciate any constructive feedback. And when you have finished one, please send me a picture so I can see all your beautiful work. Happy Sewing!!~Tabitha