Bottle Topper Pattern (and more)

December 17, 2013

Here’s a little gift for you all to say thank you for all the good things that have come my way this year because of my quilting friends.  Thank you, and happy holidays!  R.

Bottle Toppers

Last week I got to attend the Bernina Ambassador Reunion where I was able to play with lots of fun toys! One of my favorites was the Circular Embroidery Attachment, which inspired this little project to create a quick and easy gift any time of year. If you don’t have a Bernina CEA you won’t miss out on the fun – read the instructions at the end.  This isn’t exactly a mandala, but it does relate to my spiromandala quilts because it’s round, and it’s a great excuse to play with all those decorative stitches on your sewing machine that you somehow never get around to using!

The dimensions here are for a standard canning jar, but they can easily be adapted to fit any bottle.

Materials:

1 standard narrow-mouth canning jar with lid and ring (or any jar with a lid)
7” square of fabric
7” square medium- to heavy-weight water soluble stabilizer (See note below)
2 colors of contrasting thread for embroidery
Bobbin thread
1 color of thread that matches ribbon, cord or raffia tie below
Approximately 18” string, 1/8” ribbon, cord or raffia tie
No-Fray (optional)

(I used regular cotton string and unbleached muslin because they are what I had on hand at the time.  They give my bottle toppers a kind of country feel.  Yours will have their own personality, depending on the fabric and tie choices you make.)

Tools:

Bernina Circular Embroidery Attachment (CEA)
Temporary adhesive spray (such as 505 Spray from JT Trading) or pins
#1 sewing machine foot (or any regular sewing foot)
#20 foot or cording foot
Pinking scissors or decorative rotary cutter blade
Erasable fabric marker

A note about stabilizer: I used Sulky Solvy, which is a lightweight water-soluble stabilizer. It was a bit too light, but it was what I had on hand (I’m a night owl). Sulky Super Solvy probably would be a better choice.  If you have to use a lightweight stabilizer, when you sew you may need to use your fingers to stroke gently from the center pin of the CEA toward the edge of the fabric to keep it flat. You could also use a tear-away stabilizer or freezer paper. Bottom line, if it’s 1:00 a.m. and you’ve got to get this gift ready for your kid to take to her teacher at school at 7:30 in the morning, just use whatever you’ve got on hand that will get the job done!

Directions:

Sew a Measuring Grid:

If you are going to make tops for jars in a variety of sizes, begin by sewing a measuring template.  This is also a great way to get familiar with the tool and with your materials before you start working on the real thing.

circular template

Layer a square of white fabric over the square of wash-away stabilizer. The squares should be large enough to fit over the largest bottle topper you want to make. The CEA can fit up to a 6” radius, so the largest square you could use would be 12-1/2”.

Join the layers using spray adhesive, or pin at corners. (A few more pins won’t hurt – just take them out as you work so you don’t accidentally break a needle going over one.)

Attach the CEA to your sewing machine. Position the center point of the fabric/stabilizer on the pin of the CEA. (Slide the pin all the way to the left to give you room to work. Be sure to replace the pin cover immediately so you don’t accidentally prick yourself!)

Thread the machine with dark thread, set the machine for a straight stitch and attach a regular straight-stitch foot.

Begin with the pin carriage of the CEA in the position closest to the sewing machine needle. (This will be Position 0 on the template.) Stitch a circle. Take care to see that the fabric is lying flat and feeding straight under the foot. (If your stabilizer is too light, you may have to gently stroke the fabric from the pin to the edge of the fabric as it feeds under the needle to keep it from going off-center.)

Move the pin carriage away from the needle to the next position without removing the fabric. You will feel a click. Sew a circle. (This will be Line #1 on the template. All positions are 5mm apart except for these first two, which are a little less.)

Continue moving the pin carriage one click out from the needle and sewing circles. When you get to the edge of the fabric remove the fabric from the sewing machine.

With a permanent pen, write the number of the ring on each line of stitching, beginning with zero (0) on the innermost line. This is so that one click away from the sewing machine needle puts you at Line #1 on the template.

Rinse away the stabilizer and press the fabric to dry it.

For each bottle lid you want to make, place this template over the lid. See where the lines fall to measure how large a circle of fabric you need, where you need to place the drawstring, and where to sew lines of stitching so that they will fall on the top of the lid, around the lid or along the edge of the frill.

Now you’re ready to make the real thing:

Set up, test and if possible program the following stitches into your sewing machine:

– Straight stitch 2.0 mm long (about 12 stitches to the inch; shorter if you are using a tear-away stabilizer so the perforations will make it easy to remove)
– Decorative stitch (no more than 5.5 mm wide)
– Wide zigzag stitch (use 5.0 mm width and 2.5 mm stitch length)

Fold the fabric in both directions to find the center point and mark it with the erasable marker. Layer fabric over stabilizer. Hold the layers together with adhesive spray or pin in each corner.

Attach the CEA to your sewing machine. Position the center point of fabric/stabilizer on the pin of the CEA. (Slide the pin all the way to the left to give you room to work. Be sure to replace the pin cover immediately so you don’t accidentally prick yourself!)

Set the machine for the decorative stitch. Thread it with one of the contrasting colors on top and a utility thread in the bobbin.

Outside edge decorative stitch:
Slide CEA carriage to 12th click out from the sewing machine needle (Line #12 on template). Sew 1 line of decorative stitching around the circle.

Top of lid decorative stitch:
Slide CEA carriage to the first click away from the needle (Line #1 on template). Sew 1 line of decorative stitching around the circle.

Set the machine for the straight stitch. Thread it with the other contrasting color on top and a utility thread in the bobbin.

Outside edge straight stitch:

Slide CEA carriage to 13th click from needle (Line #13 on template). Sew 1 line of straight stitch. If necessary, adjust the needle position to the right to leave space between the decorative stitch and the border stitch.

Slide CEA carriage two clicks toward needle (Line #11 on template). Sew 1 line of straight stitch. If necessary, adjust the needle position to the left to leave space between the decorative stitch and the border stitch.

Top of lid straight stitch:

Slide CEA carriage as close as possible to needle (Line #0 on template). Sew 1 line of straight stitch. If necessary, adjust the needle position to the left to leave space between the decorative stitch and the border stitch.

Slide CEA carriage two clicks away from needle (Line #2 on template). Sew 1 line of straight stitch. If necessary, adjust the needle position to the right to leave space between the decorative stitch and the border stitch.

You can add additional rows of stitching wherever you want, of course. If you’re going to put the canning jar ring over the topper, leave empty the area covered by the ring. Have fun!

Ribbon/string casing:  (Skip this part if you are going to put the topper under the ring on the jar, like the one in the photograph at the top.)

Bottle Topper casing

Put #20 foot or cording foot on the sewing machine.  Switch to the thread color that matches the ribbon.

Move CEA carriage to 8th notch from needle (Line #8 on template).

Set zigzag for 5mm wide.  Set stitch length to 0. Stitch a few stitches to create a bar tack at beginning. Stop with needle down.  Change stitch length to 2.5mm.

Raise the foot and slide the ribbon or string under it, extending about 8” behind the foot. Lower the foot.

Stitch around circle, being careful to stitch OVER, not THROUGH the ribbon or string.

Stop about 1/2” before the starting point, with the needle down.  Lift the foot and move the loose end of the string out from under the needle. Lower the foot.  Change the stitch length to zero (0) and stitch several stitches to create a bar tack. Lock stitch.

Remove topper from sewing machine and trim threads.

Using pinking shears or a decorative blade for a rotary cutter, trim fabric ¼” – 1/8” outside of outer line of stitching. Be careful not to cut the ribbon/string!   You can also use a bit of No-Fray on the edges of the fabric to prevent fraying if you wish.

Rinse away stabilizer, then dry.

(Note:  After writing this I realized that if you rinse first, dry, then cut the edges, you’ll have less fraying.)

wpid-IMAG4365.jpg

Place the topper over the bottle lid. Gently cinch the string to gather it and tie a bow. Trim ends of ribbon/string. Tie ends of string with a knot if necessary to prevent fraying.

wpid-IMAG4367.jpg

Fill the jar with goodies and gift it! (Hint: did you know you can order customized M&M’s? Google “custom M&Ms” to find out how.)

P.S. – If you tie the bow with a square knot instead of a “granny” knot, the bow will lie horizontally.  Click here for a tutorial on YouTube.  By the way, this is the knot you should always use when making a tied quilt.

——————————————————–

If you don’t have a CEA, you can still make these bottle toppers. Just use a drawing compass and an erasable fabric marker to mark concentric circles on your fabric then sew along them, guiding the fabric by hand.  You can make a template by using the compass to mark concentric rings 1/4″ apart on a piece of white fabric.  Actually, you wouldn’t even have to stitch them.

Here are the measurements for a canning jar lid and ring:

Top of lid: 1-3/8” radius (Sew at least 1/8” inside this to clear the edge of the ring.)

Line for ribbon or string sits just below bottom edge of ring: 2-1/8” radius

Border stitching: 3” to 3-1/4” radius.

(Disclaimer: I haven’t actually sewn a topper with these dimensions – they are based on measuring the ring, so you may need to adjust slightly. And of course, for any other size lid you’ll need to make your own measurements.)

Happy Holidays!

RaNae

RaNae Merrill Quilt Designs
http://www.ranaemerrillquilts.com
Want another free pattern? Click here:  http://www.ranaemerrillquilts.com/join
Join me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ranae.merrill

Author of
Magnificent Spiral Mandala Quilts (https://spiromandalas.wordpress.com)
and Simply Amazing Spiral Quilts (http://spiromaniacs.wordpress.com)

BERNINA USA: http://weallsew.com/

P.S.

Here’s something else I made while playing around with that circle tool —
go find your scrap bag and deck the tree!

Christmas ornaments

Can someone send the studio elves to clean up in here?

image

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4 Responses to “Bottle Topper Pattern (and more)”

  1. Ann Says:

    Love this, thank you so much, have a brilliant Christmas and a successful 2014. Ann in sunny Vrecon (Wales,UK)

  2. Patti Larson Says:

    Thank you
    Merry Christmas
    Patti

    PS I was at Lake Havasu

  3. darlene macdonald Says:

    This is absolutely brilliant! I wish I had a nice Bernina. But what I have will work. I love giving women in my life hot cocoa or brownie or cookie mixes. This is gonna be a great way to top it. Maybe I’ll somehow quilt it so it can be a mug rug when done using it? Just another thought! Thanks again!!


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