Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sometimes I just have to play

I spent some time with Stefanie at Charming Lulu a few days ago. I was there to buy one of those cool mechanical chalk pencils with all of the colors for Alice. (affiliate link) As we talked I shared with her some of my ideas for fabrics, and she got a big smile on her face. Showing me one of the big fabric companies catalogs, we agreed great minds think alike. When I put my houndstooth quilt pattern out 4 years ago, I was wishing for more houndstooth fabric - It is coming, big time. Still no one is imagining it as sparkly as Kim at Persimmon Dreams made hers from my pattern with a rainbow of hand dyed fabrics. My dream incorporates prints too. I just wanted to put this out there now, today The 29th of June 2014. It is my idea to put ditsy prints in a houndstooth. I am not going to patent it or anything, but if a fabric company wanted to talk, I am here. This shows the new scale for the pillow top quilt compared to the original from 2010. Also, if you already have the houndstooth quilt pattern from me, I will get an email list together and contact you all to share a slightly easier way to cut it that has no waste, as well as the new sizes to use if you want the pillow top size. The ditsy fabric I used here is from Jeni Baker's new line called Dreamin Vintage. It has a Liberty of London feel to it and Art Gallery Fabrics are so soft, you will become addicted to them.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

My Favorite Quilt

The plan was to post this when the pattern was ready, but I wanted to link up with the SewMamaSew favorite quilt party.  I am working on it, so if you want to make your own version of this quilt, you should see the PDF instructions pop up on Craftsy and at Etsy in the next couple of weeks.
  • Tell us about your favorite quilt. When did you make it? What pattern did you use? What fabrics?
    I made the first version in January and this quilt was completed in March 2014.
    This is original to me, I am still writing the pattern
    The black is Kona, the other 3 are all from Parson Gray: the rust is from World Tour, Mantova in Cloak; the stripe is from Vagabond, Camel Blanket - Scirocco; and the green is from Curious Nature, Dimitry Vines in Pine.

  • Have your shown it at any quilt shows or entered it in any contests?
    No, I never thought of it.
  • What memories or people does the quilt make you think of?
    I made this for my 15 year old son. When I see this quilt,  I think of him.
  • What do you like best about the quilt?
    I love the high contrast of the fabrics and the movement I created.
  • How did you grow as a quilter while making it?
    This started out as a doodle. When I sat down to draw with my daughter over Christmas break, versions of this pattern appeared in all of my drawings. Turning it from a drawing to a quilt was challenging and rewarding. I grew in my confidence about following my creative process.
  • If you could make this quilt again, what (if anything) would you do differently?
    Ha ha. I have made it 3 times. This one is the second. The only thing I would change is the fabrics to come up with another great combo.
  • Where is the quilt now?
    It is in my studio while I write the pattern. My son has been asking for it...better get back to work!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

My favorite tools, part 1

This post contains affiliate links. That means when you buy something I have linked up for you, I get a little percentage of that sale from the seller. It makes sense to me when I am reading a blog in which the blogger has taken time to recommend cool stuff that I want, I don't mind if they get compensated. I hope you feel the same way. I found my mechanical chalk at a local shop called Charming Lulu. And it has become my favorite tool. I found the exact item on Amazon for a reasonable price and that is where the link will take you. You will see me using it a lot in my Craftsy class. I had it with me at Alice's yesterday when I was drawing up a new blouse pattern for her to sew for me. Now she wants one too, so I will be ordering one. Maybe I should get a few for gifts...

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Cutting out piping before slip covering

This little tutorial is the answer a great question I received this morning in my Craftsy Class. The question is
the arm chairs I want to slipcover have existing piping. How do I handle that?
My answer is that you cut it out. I have a chair I want to slip cover, so I will show you on it.


Step one: Clip as close as you can to the attachment point of the piping on both ends of a length of piping. You can pull that length of piping out from one of the ends.

If you know you will be cutting the fabric away, you can make a slit at an easier place to pull from. You will still need those clips at the ends to free the piping.

Step 2: Pull out the piping.

Step 3: I find that the fabric that went around the piping is almost as bulky as the piping itself, so I like to cut it away completely. Just be careful you do not cut the seam. As you can see, the upholstery is still passable with the piping cut out, so if your chair has to be uncovered for a couple of hours while you wash your new cover, it will look okay.
I hope that helps!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sewing Manifesto - Bust that Stash!

Are you finding it hard to tackle the next project? Are you afraid you might be burned out? Sometimes, when you have completed a big project (or 5) you need a boost to get you sewing again. A motivator. A mantra. Words to magically make sense of your mounds of fabric. A reminder of how much and why you love sewing. Start brainstorming. I am talking about building a personal sewing manifesto. Jot down the ideas that inspire you, and post them on the wall. I used GIMP to make mine fun (In my studio, if it's not fun, it doesn't get done) with different sizes and fonts. Feel free to print mine and use it, or find what speaks to you, and make your own. A manifesto may be the encouragement you need to reinvigorate your work.
My latest projects include 3 new sewing patterns for Simplicity, watch for them in upcoming catalogs:
Simplicity #1335 A furniture pattern with 8 projects included.  Shipping June 13th.
Simplicity  #1241 An apron pattern with 3 style options and mother, daughter, doll sizing for each. Shipping October 10th.
Simplicity #1236 A casserole carrier pattern that includes gift baskets and bowl covers. Shipping October 10th.

And an exciting new Slipcovering Class at Craftsy. The class will be available next week.  Enter here for a chance to win the slipcovering class for free. Winner will be announced on the 18th of June.

I hope you will use my sewing manifesto or write your own. If you are looking to bust your stash like I am, check out this amazing quilting class that is available now over at Craftsy.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Big class sale at Craftsy

You know I love Craftsy classes. This is your chance to give them a try at incredibly low prices.

Craftsy's BIG Summer Sale: Save Up to 50% on ALL Online Classes!
Want to learn a new skill or brush up on an old one? Now is your chance! You can save up to 50% off on ALL online classes at Craftsy's BIG Summer Sale! Cooking, cake decorating, sewing, gardening and so much more... all up to 50% off, with some classes starting at just $9.99! This is a sale not to be missed, so make sure you hurry because it ends at 11:59pm MT on Monday, June 9th.
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Before and After Computer Nook Makeover

A quick how-to with links to the materials.  At the new studio, I have a built-in computer nook. My monitor, keyboard, printer and speakers took over the entire desk.  There was no room for a notepad, calculator, phone, etc.  And it was boring. Not allowed! I was going to wallpaper the wall, but I opted for stapling fabric to the wall instead. 2 yards of wide home decor fabric at JoAnn's was less expensive than the paper I wanted (and it will be easier to remove if I move.) To get a nice straight edge at the top, I used a 1/2 inch strip of cardboard (find it in upholstery shops.)  The top edge of fabric is right side to the wall and the cardboard runs along the wall/ceiling edge on the wrong side of fabric. I stapled through the cardboard and fabric to the wall and the fabric comes over the top of that so the staples are hidden.  The sides and bottom are just turned under and stapled. I may get decorative tacks to cover the staples, but I only used a few and they are not noticeable.
The keyboard tray is from Office Depot. You need about a 33" opening to install it according to the instructions. My opening is 30" Just contact me if you have a similar situation and I can tell you how we made it work.  I love it!
The shelves are from Lowes.  You need to cut "x's" in the fabric for installing anchors for the shelf brackets. Move the fabric away from the anchor area to keep your drill from catching on a thread and eating the fabric. (I have no experience with that whatsoever - just guessing that might happen...)
The crate that elevates the printer to give me another storage nook is from Michaels.  I will paint it to match the shelves (in my dreams.)
The chair slipcover is from my easy pattern you can find on Craftsy.