Spring is fighting for a foothold today year. Not only did March come in like a lion... it also left like a lion in many places across the US (there was a blizzard in Fargo, North Dakota this year on April 1st!). But we know those clear, sunny days must be just around the corner. Soon you'll be able to open up your windows, raise up the storm glass in the screen doors, and let the fresh air blow through. In our house, this sets up an amazing wind tunnel effect that slams doors shut upstairs and down. We needed a stylish way to keep the doors open and the air circulating. ScrapBusters to the rescue! Today's door stop is a simple cube made with standard cottons stiffened with ultra firm fusible interfacing.
A Velcro® opening along the bottom is where you insert polyester fiberfill at the top, to fill the void, and a plastic bag of inexpensive dried beans at the bottom for weight. A wide twill tape handle makes it easy to place and move the door stop anywhere the wind blows.
When winter's chills come back around and doors need to again stay shut, simply open the Velcro® and remove the fiberfill and bag o' beans. The empty cube is super lightweight and can be easily stored for use next season. And, come to think of it, when it's time to put everything away, the weather should be just about perfect to open that bag of dried beans and whip up a yummy pot of soup. Now that's recycling!
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 8900 QCP)
- Quarter Inch Seam foot (optional, but helpful to keep all the topstitching super straight - it's standard on the MC8900)
- Walking foot (optional, we did not actually use one for this project -- the MC8900QCP has the built-in AcuFeed Flex™ feeding system rather than a separate Walking foot -- but if you are having any trouble working with the thick layers, it's a good option)
Fabric and Other Supplies
Our door stop finishes as an 8" cube.
- Scrap or ½ yard of quilt weight fabric for the main exterior panels; we used a scrap of 45" wide Super Fly Jane in Mustard by Jennifer Paganelli for FreeSpirit Fabrics - originally used in two holiday projects: Re-imagine & Renovate Holiday Style: Happy Pom Pom Pillows and Re-imagine & Renovate Holiday Style: Elf Stockings
- Scrap or ½ yard of decorator weight fabric for the bottom panels and base; we used a scrap of 55" wide Home Dec Solid in Taupe from the Designer Essentials collection from FreeSpirit Fabrics - originally used in our project: FreeSpirit-Rowan 10&10 Series: Fabric Box-Baskets in Jenean Morrison/In My Room
- Scrap or ¾ yard of 1" wide soft twill tape; we used a scrap for which we've completely forgotten its original purpose
- Scrap or ¾ yard of heavyweight fusible interfacing; we used 20" wide Pellon 71F Peltex® Ultra-Firm One-Sided Fusible
- Scrap or ¼ yard of ¾" wide Velcro®: we used tan
- All purpose thread to match fabrics
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Tape measure
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
- Several handfuls of polyester fiberfill
- 2-3 cups of dried beans in a flexible plastic bag (Don't use a rigid "Ziploc®" type of bag; a regular produce type bag is easier to insert through the bottom opening and sits better, settling flush against the floor of the cube.)
- From the fabric for the main exterior panels (Super Fly Jane in our sample), cut the following:
ONE 9" x 9" square
FOUR 9" x 7" rectangles
- From the fabric for the bottom panels and base (Taupe solid in our sample), cut the following:
TWO 9" x 6" rectangles
FOUR 9" x 3" rectangles
- From the interfacing, cut the following:
ONE 8" x 8" square
FOUR 8" x 6" rectangles
TWO 8" x 4" rectangles
FOUR 8" x 2" rectangles
- From the twill tape, cut ONE 22" length.
- From the Velcro®, cut ONE 5" length.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Gather all the main fabric panels and interfacing. Set aside the TWO 9" x 6" base panels and the TWO 8" x 4" base interfacing pieces for now. Match up the remaining fabric panels with their coordinating interfacing pieces. Each interfacing piece should be centered on the wrong side of the fabric panel so there is ½" of fabric extending beyond the interfacing on all side.
- Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric panels. It's best to use a pressing cloth as this interfacing takes some consistent heat to properly fuse.
Joining the first set of panels (two sides and the top) and attaching the handle
- Find the 9" x 9" top panel and two of the 9" x 7" side panels.
- Pin one side panel, right sides together, to either side of the top panel.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch both seams.
- Press the seam allowances toward the side panels.
- Topstitch ¼" from the seam within the side panels. We used our Janome Quarter Inch Seam foot.
- Place the three-part sewn panel right side up and flat on your work surface. Find the 22" length of twill tape.
- Center the tape across the three-part panel. The raw ends of the tape should be flush with the raw edges of the panel and the outer edges of the tape should be 3¾" in from each side. There will be excess tape in the middle; this is correct as it will be what forms the handle. Make sure the tape is not twisted at any point. Pin the handle in place.
- On each end, measure 5" up from the bottom raw edge of the panel and draw a horizontal line or place a pin across the handle. This is where you will stop sewing and turn to go across and back down the opposite side.
- We again used our Janome Quarter Inch seam foot.
- Topstitch each side of the handle in place, staying close to the edge. We also lengthened our stitch. Start at the bottom, stitch up one side, stop at the 5" mark, pivot, stitch across, pivot, and stitch down the opposite edge to complete.
- Repeat to stitch the opposite end of the handle in place.
Attaching the bottom panels
- Find the four 9" x 3" bottom panels.
- Pin one panel to each end of the three-part panel you've been working with, sandwiching the handle ends between the layers. This seam will enclose the raw edges of the handle ends.
- Pin the two remaining bottom panels to the two un-sewn 9" x 7" side panels.
- Stitch all four seams, using a ½" seam allowance.
- Press the seam allowances toward the bottom panels.
- On each of the four panels, topstitch ¼" from each seam within the bottom panel.
- Then topstitch a second seam ¼" from the first.
Attaching the second set of side panels to the first set and the top
- Pin one side panel to each remaining raw edge of the top panel. Since the first two side panels are already sewn in place, you will need to mark ½" in from both edges (use a seam gauge as well as the edge of the interfacing to help with your measurements). These marks are where you should start and stop sewing your seam, giving you a free edge to use to accomplish the final corner matching.
- Pin each side panel in place, then sew together, using a ½" seam allowance.
- Remember, start and stop at those ½" marks,
- Press the seam allowance down towards the side and topstitch ¼" from the seam within the side panel. We switched back to our Janome Quarter Inch Seam foot. Start and stop your topstitching ½" from each end as well.
- You now have a large cross of pretty panels.
Final side seams
- Fold down the sides of the "cross" down to form a cube (well... a bottomless cube at this point). Align the raw edges of each pair of sides, placing them right sides together. Pin in place. At the top corner, the seam will form a kind of triangle, simply folding together on itself. This is just what you want it to do.
- Carefully align the topstitching on all the bottom sections.
- Using a ½" seams allowance, stitch each side seam. Start each seam ½" from the bottom raw edge (the bottom panel). Backstitch several times to reinforce the stitching at this point.
- Here's a view looking down into the cube from the open bottom with all the side seams sewn.
- Find the two 9" x 6" base panels and the two 8" x 4" interfacing pieces.
- Along one 9" raw edge of each base panel, make a simple hem. To do this, fold back the raw edge ¼" and press. Fold an additional ¾" and press again, concealing the raw edge within the two folds. Pin in place.
- Place an interfacing piece against the wrong side of each fabric panel. There should be 1½" of fabric extending beyond the interfacing along both sides and the 9" raw edge. Once these measurements are correct, the final edge of the interfacing should slip just under the folded hem.
- Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse in place. We again used a pressing cloth.
- Find the 5" Velcro® strip and separate it into two pieces.
- Find one hemmed panel. Flip it over so the right side is facing up. Unfold the hem one fold. Place the loop side of the Velcro® along this edge, centering it side to side and placing the outer edge just in from the folded edge of the fabric. Lightly pin in place.
NOTE: Our apologies; in our photos we inadvertently show the hook side of the Velcro® in both photos. Please follow along with the steps in the instructions: first apply the loop side to the back of one panel, then - as outlined below - apply the hook side to the top of the other panel.
- Re-fold the hem, which will bring the Velcro® to the back.
- Edgestitch right along the folded edge. Then, topstitch ½" from the first seam. These two seams secure the hem and attach the first half of Velcro® in place.
- Find the remaining hemmed panel. Do NOT unfold the hem on this piece. You will apply the Velcro® to the top so the two pieces will adhere correctly when the panels overlap.
- Center the hook side of the Velcro® in the same position (to match the opposite side) and edgestitch and topstitch as above, again securing both the hem itself as well as the Velcro®.
- Overlap the two base panels so the Velcro® strips match up and adhere. The base should now measure as a 9" x 9" square.
- In each corner mark a ½" square. Don't cut out the square, you will simply use the lines as a guide for pinning and knowing where to start and stop your seams.
- Find the upper part of the cube. It should be wrong side out - as shown in the photo above.
- Flip over the base panel so the wrong side is facing up and set it down into the cube, aligning the corners. Match up the sides of the base with the bottom edges of the cube, right sides together. Pin in place along all four sides.
- As you remember from above, you left the bottom ½" of each cube side seam unsewn. These seams should flare out at the bottom, allowing you to match them right sides together with the corners of the base panel. Use that ½" drawn square as an alignment guide.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch each side seam.
- Stop and start ½" from each corner. Stop and lock your seam. Pivot to reposition for the next side. Drop your needle back in at the exact end of the previous seam and stitch the new seam.
- Turn the cube right side out through the bottom opening and gently push out the corners with your finger.
Fillers to weight the door stop
- We added a few handfuls of polyester fiberfill to take up some volume at the top of the cube. This is totally optional.
- For weight, we put about 2½ - 3 cups of dried navy beans into a plastic produce bag and secured it with a twist tie.
- The bag easily slips in through the opening in the base.
- Flip over the cube and and just gently tug across the Velcro® to help it seal shut.
- The beans settle nicely against the base. As we mentioned in the supply list above, using a flexible produce bag is better than a stiff zippered bag. You want the beans to shift and flatten against the base of the cube.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild