Saturday, March 19, 2011

Koos Mobius Spiral Scarf

by Linda Chang Teufel



This is an really fabulous project. It’s a unique mobius scarf in that it doesn’t have a long straight seam, rather a long spiral seam. It is ingenious construction, as you might expect from Koos. Once you make one, you’ll want to make it again out of different weights of fabrics.

The picture at the top of this post is of the two that Koos made for me. The blue one is made of 4 different widths of silks pieced together on straight grain to form the base rectangle. That is then attached to very thin batting. The black scarf is wool jersey with dotted wool jersey strips and rayon brocade strips on top. There is no batting on this version. Here’s me in one I made for a friend:


Consider the paper tube on the inside of a paper towel roll as you’re putting this together. That’s what I did when I was figuring out the construction. (Who knew cleaning your kitchen could be so useful?) I’m going to walk you through a scarf I made using using Japanese cottons on shantung with no batting.

First, let’s study a humble paper towel roll:


The inner tube is a spiral roll which when twisted becomes a mobius strip. I tried out my construction on muslin first until I figured how to piece this all together.

Width and length measurements are approximate. Use this as a rough guideline:
Width 24-30”
Length 60-70”
For my version I decided on a 25”x70” cut size.


This was another of those projects that had me digging through my stash, visiting my old fabric friends. I chose a number of coordinating fabrics:


Let’s get started!

1. Cut a base fabric of approximately 25”x70”. All seams will be either 1/4” to 1/2”. You decide.

2. Place some strips of coordinating fabric on the base fabric. My strips were 3”-5” wide. Stitch down, close to the edges.

3. Cut, then make some binding. It doesn’t have to be bias since it is a straight line. I used the Clover tape maker to make two different 1/2” bindings.


4. Sew the bindings over the raw edges of the strips, covering the stitches. This is the finished rectangular base. Here’s what you should have so far:


5. Now, place this base wrong side down. Fold up one edge 90 degrees as shown here:


6. Fold the other end (top) down at an angle so that it lines up with the first side:


7. Pin in two places to hold edges in place with cut edges matching and right sides together:


8. Start sewing from that point to the end, making sure cut ends are lined up on top of each other. Stop when you are about 3” from the end.


9.  Turn it around leaving a 5” space unsewn. This will be the “turning opening”. Sew the rest of the length, stopping a few inches from the end again.


10. Press the seam open, then pull it right side out through the ends.

11. Lay the scarf flat on the table and put one 24” end over the top of the other end with right sides together. Pin.


12. Stitch across the ends.


13. Turn this inside out through the turning opening. Resume sewing the rest of the spiral seam through those ends. Pull this right side out through the turning opening.

14. Invisibly hand stitch the opening closed. VOILA! Your own designer scarf.

A quick note: You can piece your fabrics into a base rectangle using slightly wavy lines too. Cut them into slight curves and stitch them down. If you do this you’ll need bias cut tape for the gold edge trim. Good luck!


Monday, March 14, 2011

A visit from Philippa Naylor

Philippa came from England to the States to teach in OK and TX for ten days. She had a 3 day break before teaching in NC so she stopped at her home away from house! She thought she would get some rest and relaxation. No way. I kept her moving. We had a packed schedule, but oh, did we have fun.

First day—jet lag be damned--we got up early to the big gem and jewelry show.  You can find everything at this show, from beads and costume jewelry to antiques and fabulous custom jewelry (way over budget). Philippa was looking for a special piece for her milestone birthday that would be a gift from her husband and boys. We went with a neighbor and spent hours walking and looking at all the pretty, shiny things. We bought nothing major.

Next stop, lunch. Then it was off to our favorite costume jewelry store that is LOADED--I mean LOADED--with vintage items. It's overwhelming: so much packed in showcases! In the end Philippa persevered and found the perfect pin made of grayish 'diamonds' in a bow design. Good retail soldiers, we just had to be sure we didn't miss anything at the new antique jewelry store up the street.

After some extravagance it was only right that we used some coupons. Off we sped to Joann’s Fabrics. Then it was home to rest before dinner.

Is there anything more fun than Korean BBQ with friends? My book designer/graphic designer extraordinaire and some other dear friends joined us. It was delicious and different, a treat for all. We talked and laughed for hours. By the end of the day we were exhausted (and full).


Obviously the next stop on our retail whirlwind tour was Target. We hit Kohl's too for gifts for Philippa’s boys.

If you know me then you know that I ah, collect fabrics (“collect” is an understatement). Philippa and I hit my studio to “shop” my stash of fabrics and patterns. This was my favorite part of the whole weekend. Philippa doesn’t just quilt. She’s an amazing garment sewer. We had a ball bouncing ideas off each other.I picked her brain and good grief, the ideas!

After dinner my husband thought we were going out shopping again. Where would he get that idea? Alas, no, we hit the streets in the morning for in search of the rare and elusive iPad2. I guess we should have planned to camp at the Apple store for a week because we struck out everywhere. I do believe the entire country is sold out, but hope does spring eternal…. Sooner or later I have no doubt Philippa will get her iPad.

Then it was one more lunch and off to the airport. I’ll see Philippa again in Houston in November. It's always great to see her. Next time she comes we'll have to have a dyeing party with friends. And probably more retail.

Next month Noriko Endo is supposed to visit. Given recent events in Japan it will be especially wonderful to see her. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Wildflowers Quilt by Smith Street Designs


Here is the one and only block-of-the-month quilt that I've done...or ever plan to do! 

Every month I received packs of batiks to go with a wildflower embroidery pattern. I loved the idea of combining embroidery applique designs in this beautiful pattern, so I gave it a try. Here are some close-ups of my work.




For a while I was keeping up. I dutifully did my block every month before the next packet arrived. But then this and that happened and next thing I know, a special drawer in my studio (I need to post a picture of the many special drawers in my studio) was devoted to this project for years.

But it’s okay! This winter I decided I was going to get back on that wildflower quilt horse. I pulled it all out and finished the embroideries on several blocks then sewed it all together at my guild's sew-in one weekend.

This week I got more fabric and created the borders with little one inch square colored blocks. Putting this all together became fun, like visiting an old friend.

The hardest part for me is yet to come. How to quilt this top?  I know I'll put it on the Handi-quilter rental at my local store and do something. Next week I have my dear friend and award-winning quilter Philippa Naylor as a houseguest. I’ll pick her brain and get some expert advice before I make another stitch.

I'll post a photo of the finished quilt with close ups of the quilting design. But don't hold your breath.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Giveaway winner

The winner of the Libby Lehman DVD was Robin (RsIslandcrafts). Your DVD is on the way, Robin! Congratulations and thanks to everybody who left a comment.