Modern Quilts, Home Decor, and Handcrafted Clothing

Category — Blog Hop

Stitch Savvy Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop of the Stitch Savvy Blog Tour! I was thrilled last month when author Deborah Moebes (of Whipstitch Fabrics) asked if I would like to review her latest book, Stitch Savvy: 25 Skill-Building Projects to Take Your Sewing Technique to the Next Level. This is Deborah’s second book, and in a way a sequel to Stitch by Stitch: Learning to Sew, One Project at a Time.

When the book arrived and I started flipping through it, I had some initial, non-content related impressions. First, it’s spiral bound – yay! Please tell me I’m not alone when I say I seriously get giddy over spiral bound craft books. I love having a book lay flat when I’m working on a project. Yes, it’s the little things in life. Second, there is a CD at the back of the book full of the patterns. I love this too! No spending time over at the copy shop scanning and enlarging pattern pieces. Third, this is a long book, there is a LOT of content in here. It’s over 200 pages!

The book is broken down into 5 sections – Home Decor, Patchwork and Quilting, Bags, Sewing for Children, and Clothing. That’s a huge variety of projects in one book.

I would say I’m primarily a quilter but I do like to try my hand at other things – sewing for my home, bags, clothing, sewing for my kids. There are lots of project in this book I would make. The above curtains would be great for my house. They are simple, classy and have some light embroidery at the bottom. Definitely something my husband and I could agree on for the house.

I am really drawn to this improvisational wall hanging.

So many bags, but I’m especially excited about the clutch with the metal frame. (The project on the cover of the book.)

I feel like everyone around me is having babies – how cute is this lovey?

And clothing – a knit top! Do I dare? It’s super cute so I just might.

Deborah also dives into a lot of topics that scare and mystify many of us – sewing with knits, buttonholes, installing invisible zippers, working with silks, selecting the right interfacing… These tips are scattered throughout the book like little bits of treasure.

Besides the book being broken down into the obvious sections or chapters, there are also work paths you can take through it. For example, after making the Sashiko Window Treatment I showed above, the book guides you to similarly styled projects such as the A-Line Skirt with Peek-a-Book Pleat (clean lines) or the Everyday Shoulder Bag (adding embroidery embellishments).

If you are looking for a book with a huge variety of projects, I think you will very pleased with Stitch Savvy. Thank you to Deborah and F+W Media for letting me check it out!

January 14, 2013   15 Comments

Ruby Star Wrap-Along

Big welcome today to those of you visiting from the Ruby Star Wrap-Along! Last October at the Sewing Summit, we received a copy of Ruby Star Wrappingby Melody Miller and Allison Tannery. This book is a beautiful collection of handmade ways to wrap and give gifts, as well as other fun surprises like recipes!

When Amy suggested a blog hop for the book, I knew immediately I wanted to feature a project that I could make with my 6 year old daughter. Today I’m happy to share with you The Simple Drawstring Bag.

I let my daughter pick her fabrics from my stash. Naturally she picked these adorable little girls and boys – a fat quarter I had been saving – So Happy Kids by Puti de Pome for Kiyohara Fabrics. That’s ok though, I can’t imagine a better use for it really.

We spent some quality time in the sewing room on Sunday. I cut the fabric and she pinned…

sewed…

and snipped.

The top of the bag is made with elastic thread. I *love* working with elastic thread – feels all magical. I did that part and then added the 6-year-old-required rose embellishment. See more about that on Katie’s blog hop stop.

She was very pleased with the end result and it really is perfect for little gifts.

You can make these easily in any size.

I think a tall skinny one would be awesome for gifting a bottle of wine. Or a Christmas ornament.

You can add a tie using a strip of fabric, ribbon, or baker’s twine. I put a little gift tag on one using plain tags from Office Depot and some Washi Tape. These smaller bags would be great for gift cards!

You can buy a copy of the book at the following shops:

Roostbooks
Sew, Mama, Sew
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Random House

If you make a project from the book, be sure to add it to the Flickr group.

And don’t forget to keep up with the rest of the blog hop!

11.7.12 Anna of noodlehead
11.9.12 Amanda of A Crafty Fox
11.12.12 Elizabeth of Oh, Fransson!
11.14.12 Brooke of Pitter Putter Stitch
11.16.12 Erin of Two More Seconds
11.19.12 Jennifer of BettyCrockerAss
11.21.12 Rochelle of Lucky Lucille
11.23.12 Sukie of Sukie – don’t you know who I am?
11.26.12 Elizabeth of Don’t Call Me Betsy
11.28.12 Gina and crew of Bolt Neighborhood
11.30.12 Ellen of the Long Thread
12.3.12 Katie of Swim, Bike Quilt
12.5.12 Me!
12.7.12 Lee of Freshly Pieced
12.10.12 Maureen of Maureen Cracknell Handmade
12.12.12 Sara of Sew Sweetness
12.14.12 Colleen of The Busy Bean
12.17.12 Amy of Diary of a Quilter
12.19.12 Monica of Happy Zombie

December 5, 2012   11 Comments

Modern Designs for Classic Quilts ~ Review and Giveaway

Modern Designs for Classic Quilts Blog Hop

Today I’m happy to share a new book with you, Modern Designs for Classic Quilts: 12 Traditionally Inspired Patterns Made New (F+W Media) by Kelly Biscopink and Andrea Johnson. I first met coauthor Andie last Spring when I was in Cincinnati for the International Quilt Festival. She is part of the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild and they hosted a party one evening. A couple months later we worked together when organizing my visit to teach one Saturday at their guild. She is just the sweetest, funniest person. When she asked if I wanted to check out her new book, I jumped on the chance.

This book has 12 quilt projects that I think would inspire any modern quilter. You know I love solids…

Modern Designs for Classic Quilts Blog Hop

Scrappy spider web – amazing! Something like this is on my quilt bucket list.

Modern Designs for Classic Quilts Blog Hop

And I really love the minimalistic look of these off centered flying geese. And the dark solid background? It’s really striking.
Modern Designs for Classic Quilts Blog Hop

Kelly and Andie also have a thorough tips and techniques section which is always helpful to those just starting out quilting.

Modern Designs for Classic Quilts Blog Hop

Aren’t they cute?

Modern Designs for Classic Quilts Blog Hop

Kelly, Andie and F+W Media were kind enough to send me an extra book for one of you. If you’d like to try to win the copy, leave a comment and I will pick a winner Friday, 11/9, evening!

And if you’d like to see more about this book – check out the blog hop!

11/5 : AndieJohnsonSews and Stitchy Quilt Stuff
11/6 : CraftBuds
11/7 : Darling Jill Quilts
11/8 : Me!
11/9 : Generation Q
11/10 : Quilting is my Therapy
11/11 : Stitch Craft Create
11/12 : Scarlet Fig
11/13 : KZJo’s Studio
11/14 : A Little Gray
11/15 : The Tulip Patch
11/16 : Whipstitch
11/17 : The Cottage Mama
11/18 : Sew Kind of Wonderful
11/19 : LollyQuiltz
11/20 : Thomas Knauer Sews
11/21 : Pink Castle Fabrics
11/22 : Inspire Me Grey
11/23 : The Last Piece
11/24 : AndieJohnsonSews, Stitchy Quilt Stuff and Cara Quilts

++ Closing comments to pick a winner ++

The lucky winner is Dolly! Dolly said “I’d love a shot at winning that book. I just adore the modern minimalistic designs.”

Congratulations Dolly, I know you will love the book. I will be emailing you for your address.

Thanks for commenting everyone!

November 8, 2012   272 Comments

Glorious Autumn: Autumn Star

Welcome to my stop of Quilting Gallery’s Glorious Autumn Block Hop!

Today I’m very excited to be sharing a new quilt block tutorial with you, the Autumn Star. The Autumn Star is a 12.5″ x 12.5″ (unfinished) quilt square. The background consists of a variety of neutrals, starting from light at the top of the block and working their way darker as you go to the bottom of the block. (Scroll to the bottom of the post to see what I made with my star.) Let’s get started!


Autumn Star Quilt Block Tutorial

Please note, all seams are 1/4″; Final block size 12.5″ unfinished

Step 1: Cut your fabric. I decided to make my quilt block scrappy which meant cutting extra print fabrics so none of my HST (half square triangles) per size were the same. You don’t have to do this, I just liked the look. The below chart shows the minimum requirements for cut fabric. If you’d like your star to be extra scrappy like mine, you will need to cut extra prints per size.

Pattern Piece Color/Print Size Number to Cut
Background Tan/Neutral 1 4.5″ x 4.5″ 1
3.5″ x 3.5″ 2
Background Tan/Neutral 2 4.5″ x 4.5″ 1
Background Tan/Neutral 3 4.5″ x 4.5″ 1
Background Tan/Neutral 4 4.5″ x 4.5″ 1
3.5″ x 3.5″ 2
Background Cream/Text Print 2.5″ x 2.5″ 4
4.25″ x 4.25″ 4
Center Brown/Crosshatch 2.5″ x 2.5″ 1
Outer Star Points Various Prints 4.5″ x 4.5″ 4
Inner Star Points Various Prints 4.25″ x 4.25″ 4

Step 2: We will first assemble the inner star. Take your (4) 4.25″ x 4.25″ inner star point fabric and your (4) 4.25″ x 4.25″ cream/text print background fabric and cut them diagonally into HSTs. Pair up 1 of each print HST to 1 of the cream/text HSTs.

Step 3: Sew, right sides together, down the long end of the HSTs.

You should now have 8 squares.

Step 4: Trim your (8) squares to 3.5″ x 3.5″.

Step 5: Using your quilting ruler, cut your squares diagonally in the opposite direction as your sewn seam, as shown below. You will now have (16) HSTs. Set aside 8 of these to use, and 8 for the scrap bin.

Step 6: Because I wanted a scrappy look, I decided to lay out my inner star points until I was pleased with the colors.

Once you are happy with the look, sew each of your HSTs together to form hourglasses as shown below.

Step 7: Trim your blocks to 2.5″ x 2.5″.

Step 8: Take your (4) 2.5″ x 2.5″ Cream/Text Print squares, your 2.5″ x 2.5″ Center Square and your (4) Hourglass squares and lay them out like a 9 patch, as shown below.

Step 9: Sew the squares together into rows.

Step 10: Sew the rows together to form a 6.5″ x 6.5″ square.

Step 11: Now we will make the star points for the outer star. Take your (4) 4.5″ x 4.5″ outer star point fabrics and cut them diagonally into HSTs.

Take each of your 4.5″ x 4.5″ tan background fabrics (you should have 1 of each of your shades of tan) and cut them diagonally into HSTs too.

Again, I wanted my block to be scrappy so I laid out my fabrics until they were just right.

If you are doing the varied shades of tan like me, keep in mind that your top row is your lightest fabric and work your way down to the bottom row, your darkest fabric.

Step 12: Sew each of your print HSTs to your tan HSTs, resulting in 8 squares.

Step 13: Trim your squares to 3.5″ x 3.5″.

Step 14: Layout your block using your sewn components and the remaining 3.5″ x 3.5″ tan background squares.

Step 15: Sew the top 4 squares together into a row. Sew the bottom 4 square together into a row. Sew the side 2 squares together into columns.

Step 16: Sew the left and right columns to the inner star you made in the first half of the tutorial.

Step 17: Sew your top and bottom rows to the middle rows.

You’re done! Enjoy your beautiful star!

I decided to add a bit of sashing to my block and turn it into a Fall pillow for my couch.

I free motion quilted the star portion (not the dark sashing) it in a nice meandering design. The backing is a great text print from Sweetwater’s Mama Said Sew line.

I hope you enjoy making your very own Autumn Star. Be sure to check out Quilting Gallery’s Glorious Autumn page for more tutorials, coupons and giveaways!

November 1, 2012   48 Comments