Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I Want It Wednesdays

How cute is this pattern?

It's from Thimble Blossoms - an adorable website and Etsy store .

I also want to order this one - really unique.

Sorry there hasn't been much on the blogging front. We were out of town this weekend and then my daughter started a new school this week. Looking forward to things settling down. I'm working on several projects that I'm looking forward to sharing with you.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Stippling Revelation

Olivia and I like to lay in bed and watch YouTube quilting tutorials as she is falling asleep. Last night, while searching for machine quilting clips I had a revelation - I can stipple on my Singer by purchasing a little $10 darning foot .

The look stippling gives quilts is so cozy and comfy, and I cannot wait to try it! Here's one I found on Flickr called Lucy's Quilt by Mia BB .

Don't you just love that crinkly look?

Here is the tutorial I watched on YouTube. It's by Pat Slone , who wrote a book about machine quilting.

Now I have to count down the days until my darning foot arrives so I can try stippling myself. I cannot wait!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I Want It! Wednesdays

This fabric has been speaking to me - Moda's Hushabye . It's baby but not baby-baby, you know? I'm very inspired to make a 9 patch with snowball squares flanking it. Simple and sweet pattern, just like the fabric.

Monday, September 21, 2009

On Point, On a Whim

On a whim, I decided to set these squares on point. I've never done this before but knew this quilt needed something. Originally, I had them oriented normally and all the colors blended together, and there was nothing for the eye to rest on. By putting triangles of flirty white polka-dot fabric between each square, the pattern pops and suddenly the quilt feels more special. The overall dimensions will end up being toddler size.

I'm thinking about offering this quilt as a pattern kit. What do you think? Is this something you'd enjoy making?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Can Good Business Strategy and Fun Co Exist?

I've been thinking long and hard about how to turn this love of craft into a business. Even if it's not a full-fledged, bring-home-the-bacon job but rather a way to earn a little mad money, I think it would be very fun to run my own craft business.

The more I think about it, the more I'm led to believe I need to write a business plan. I started the other night using this outline . It's very tedious - and this from a girl who is a few months away from earning her MBA! The value is there, though. Each section of the outline has forced me to think through what I want from the experience for business ownership.

I attended a seminar this past week on good marketing and pr planning. The speaker talked about how the fun (or desert!) is in the execution, but you need to eat your broccoli first and lay out your roadmap for success. The plan should be measurable so you know when you have success. Is success making $20k profit this year? Or is it getting links published on 5 other blogs back to your own? Food for thought...

 I have been sewing. Will publish more of that information in the next few days. Have a great rest of the weekend!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pretty Penny for a Pretty Piece

One of my favorite design blogs - Oh Joy - featured Umbrella Prints . What a fantastic find! This homespun fabric is screen printed down under in Adelaide, Australia.

The fabric is hand printed and so beautiful, I would be afraid to cut into it! Each design is a work of art in and of itself. I'm thinking about ordering some to stretch over canvasses and hang in my living room. Forget snipping into it to make it into something else. This fabric stands alone.

Order it on Etsy here .

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Want It! Wednesdays

Upcycling is a huge trend - taking something that has worn out in its originally intended use and repurposing it for another use. This follows the whole greening wave as well as fits the economic climate spawning new ways to achieve chic thrift.
Twin Fibers on Etsy (founded by twins Jennifer and Jessica) has found an upcycling niche - making charm packs from vintage sheets and pillowcases. What a clever idea! Each pack of 5" squares has an assortment of 32 looks.

If charms aren't your thing, they also cut fat quarters.

Check out their blog here . 

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Good Things in Small Packages

I arrived home from work yesterday to find a package of goodness on my doorstep - my fabric order from Fabric Supplies. Charlie and Lindsey have the best customer service and an amazing mix of lines - every one from Amy Butler to Heather Bailey  to Michael Miller - even Japanese imports.

I ordered Windham's Merry Mushroom collection. How cute is this? Windham is apparently known for their reproduction work. This screams 1970s but with a modern twist.

There are 5 half-yard pieces that will make a super groovy quilt. Now all that's left for me to do is pick what squares to make... Any ideas?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Finished Duvet Cover

I completed the duvet cover for my sister in-law. The pieced top is made out of Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks collection, which I adore. The border and bottom piece are made out of sheets bought at good ole Target.

I made an envelope insert for the duvet that eliminated the need for a button band. This made finishing the project go much faster.

I'm pleased with the finish product - I hope she is too!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pin Up

Whipped up this pin cushion in a sitting. I was feeling totally uninspired by the tomato pin cushion I had been using. This came together in under two hours - a faster sewer could make it, well, faster than that.

Choose three coordinating fabrics and cut three circles. I used a bread plate from my china set for a template.

Then, cut the two pieces you want to use for the top into quarters. The piece for the bottom should remain as a circle.

Piece the four quarters in an alternating pattern.

Sew the top to the bottom piece with right sides together, leaving about 1.5" opening. Turn right side out and stuff with polyfill. Stitch the opening up and voila! 
To add a decorative touch, sew a button in the middle and wrap the pin cushion seams with yarn using an embroidery needle. 
The finished product is a little wonky but it functions like it's supposed to and I kind of think the wonky-ness is endearing. Anyway, give it a try. Minimal investment in fabric and time - you can never have too many pin cushions, right?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I Want It! Wednesdays

By now, you all know I love me some Amy Butler fabric. Come be tortured with me by viewing the Flickr sneak-peak of her upcoming line of fabrics aptly called LOVE .

Pre order your fabric at Material Gal's store on Etsy. Orders will ship in October.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ooh La La: Tummy Time Four-Patch Quilt in Michael Miller Fabric

Finished this quilt in less than 24 hours - a lot of laboring on Labor Day! It is my first piece made to sell. The mitered corners turned out perfectly, and the hand-binding really made a huge improvement in how the finished piece looks.

It will be posted later today on LivvySue Boutique. Would love your feedback on what you think!

Product Information
::Size is 29.5”W x 29.5”H
::100% heirloom-quality cotton fabric
::Fabric design by Michael Miller  
::Front features red and pink polka dot squares set off by red and turquoise Eiffel Tower prints.
::Back features red and turquoise in a wide stripe.
::Binding done in the red and pink polka dot fabric.
::4.5” squares in a Four Patch design.
::Machine quilted in a crosshatch pattern to set off the squares.
::Binding was machine-stitched to the front and stitched by hand to the back.
::Filled with hypoallergenic poly batting for ease of use and longevity.
::Machine wash on cold. Tumble dry on low.
::Made with love and care in a smoke-free home 

Monday, September 7, 2009

Pinwheel Pillow Tutorial, Part 2

For the second part of this tutorial, I'll share with you how I quilted and made the pocket for the back of the pillow.

First, for the quilting, I was inspired by a Pottery Barn quilt in their most recent catalog. I love the effect of the multiple straight lines of quilting in a simple square patchwork top. I decided to try this technique on the pinwheel pillow.

Instead of taping off 1/4" spacing between each line, I used my presser foot as a guide. This worked just fine. In each square, I quilted opposite of the direction of the seams.

I learned a very important lesson which was to start in the middle and work my way out. The fabric bunched up because I did not do this, and it was unfixable by the time I caught my error. Ugh!

The finished effect was just how I wanted it to be, though. I'm pleased with how it looks overall and will definitely do this quilting technique again, maybe even just on plain old squares?

Next, it was time to make the back of the pillow. I like to make the pillow covers removable so they can be thrown in the wash occasionally. My mom taught me how to make this back - it's so easy!

Basically, all you do is take the length measurements and add about 3-4 inches. Cut the width as you normally would, adding 1/2" seam allowance (1/4" for each side).

Then, cut the back in half. Add a hem to the top of one piece and the bottom of the other. Now, pin the back two pieces to the pillow top - RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER! There should be a significant overlap of the hemmed edges of the back. This will create a nice, deep pocket so your pillow won't bulge out - not an attractive look.

Finally, pin the back to the top and carefully sew a 1/4" seam all the way around the perimeter of the pillow. Unfortunately, I did not capture a photo of this step as my camera battery decided to die. Perfect timing, right?

All that is left to do is remove your pins and turn the pillow right side out. Then, you're ready to stuff your pillow insert inside your beautiful new pillow case.

I'm very happy with how my pinwheel pillowcase turned out. I hope you are happy with yours too. Happy sewing!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Fabric I Fancy

Had a lovely surprise on my doorstep this morning. Inside the FedEx envelope was a delectable stack of Anna Maria Horner fat quarters from her Good Folks  collection. I purchased it from A Fabric Outlet, one of my favorite online fabric stores.

I intend to make a very simple patchwork top for a duvet cover. The plan is to make the top big enough for a queen-sized duvet. Then, I'll buy a sheet in a coordinating color (chocolate brown?) for the bottom. I'll flip right sides together and sew most of the way around leaving several feet open at the bottom. The unsewn edges will be hemmed, and then I'll add either buttons (if I'm brave enough to make button holes!) or add snaps. Voila! A duvet cover.

I'm making this for my sister in-law who is getting her degree in graphic design. We're doing a swap; she's going to a logo and banner for this blog (the title in grey type at the top of the blog is pretty boring now, I admit).

Watch for more details as I figure out this duvet cover and for the banner and logo to come!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I Want It! Wednesdays

I've never joined an "of the month" club. For some reason, I can't get past the Griswold Family Christmas outburst about the jelly-of-the-month club. But an online quilt shop from Rhode Island may be offering a product adorable and desirable enough to remove the tacky stigma I associate with the clubs.

The Calico Cottage Quilt Shop created a membership for Moda Layer Cake, Charm Pack, Turnover, Honey Bun, Jelly Roll, and Fat Quarters. For a nominal one-time $5 membership fee, members receive a the cut of their choice shipped and charged for mid-month. To boot, a 10% discount on the product is offered to members, which is probably enough to cover any shipping charges.

Each month, a different Moda collection is sent out to members. For instance, in August for the Layer Cake Club they featured Vine Creek by Kansas Trouble Quilters. Coming up in September, they will send members Mill House Inn by Fig Tree Quilts. Imagine the delight of each recipient as they get their happy little package each month!

There are endless possibilities for cutting them up these pre-snipped collections and making unique quilt tops, pillow covers, table runners, wall hangings, and more. This one is probably my favorite - love that vintage feel.

Now the question is, which club to join... it's going to be a tough choice!