Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fast & Easy Fat Quarter Apron Tutorial

Pat from Old Trinity Schoolhouse Quilt Shop designed the cutest, quickest sewing apron you've ever seen! She's a delightful, energetic red-head whose catch-phrase is "If you are what you quilt, I'm fast & easy". So I'm calling this "Pat's Fast & Easy Fat Quarter Apron".

Here's all you need to make it:

2 coordinating fat quarters
(one print can be directional, but both would make it complicated)
3 yards 1-1/2" wide grosgrain ribbon


Pat, who was wearing her apron, was the only one of us at Quilt Camp (read more about camp here) who could keep track of her cell phone and seam ripper. She was sweet enough to grant me permission to demonstrate it at The Quilting Party meeting Tuesday night. In fact, she told me to teach it to anyone I wanted, so I'm sharing it here with you in case you missed it!

Sandra, Christina, Pam, Me, Laura in our fast & easy aprons!

Here's how you do it:

1. Place 2 coordinating FQ's right-sides-together and press.

2. Square up edges with rotary cutter, making sure to remove the selvedges. The finish dimensions are not important. Mine ended up about 17"x21".

3. Pin together and sew using a 1/4" or 1/2" seam allowance. Leave a space a bit larger than your hand unsewn on one short side for turning (as if you were making a beanbag or pillow cover).

4. Clip corners, turn right-side-out, and press flat.

5. Fold one long edge up about 6" to make one large pocket. Pin and press. Audition both fabrics as the outside pocket along with your ribbon to see how your apron will look best.

6. Edgestitch along each short side to hold pocket in place. It works best to sew both sides  from bottom to top. Some of the brighter quilters in the group used their walking feet, which they say helped. I'm not that smart, so I just used my regular foot.

7. Mark your individual pockets depending on what you wish to put in them. For my first one I just measured 3" from each side and 6" from each side, which gave me four small pockets and one larger middle one. If the pockets are too deep for your phone or other items, you can sew across the bottom of some of the pockets to make them shallower. Any stitch will do for separating the pockets, but I used one of the many neglected decorative stitches on my Bernina.

8. Cut 2-3 yards of grosgrain ribbon, depending on your waist size and the size of bow you want. Tie a bow at your side waist (so it won't get it your way or hurt your back as you sit and sew for hours). Pin or clip the apron on and mark where it lines up.  The ribbon will be shorter on the bow side of the apron.

9. Line up the top edge of the ribbon with the top edge of the apron. Edgestitcth at top and bottom of ribbon, and where the ribbon meets the apron on each side.

10. Model your adorable apron, made in just a few minutes from two fat quarters and a roll of grosgrain ribbon! Yes, those are my jammies...

12. Make more- they're addictive! This apron could be easily adapted as a child's coloring apron (think tiny crayon slots), yard-sale apron (for change, pen, tags), nail/hardware apron (made of canvas), you name it. The possibilities are endless!

Thanks to members of The Quilting Party for their participation, and to Pat for her great idea!

TIP: Instead of pins for this project, I used these Wonder Clips by Clover, actually designed for use as binding clips. They're easier to use than pins in some cases, and you can run them all the way up to your presser foot because the bottom side is flat. Some quilt guild members asked about them last night, so I am including the information here. I got mine at Sew Biz Quilt Camp (about $4 for 10).

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