Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Lucky by Lotta (and On Being Lucky)

I was given the opportunity to create something with Lotta Jansdotter's new line, Lucky (yes, yes, I know I am extremely lucky).  These vibrant colors and patterns are right up my alley. I love the jewel tones and those big prints.  I'm not normally an animal-on-my-fabric kind of quilter, but...check out those cats!  

While I think the individual prints are great on their own, I feel like they really sing when they are all next to each other.  So I decided to make a patchwork bag with my Lucky bundle.

I find that I am always in need of a drawstring bag.  Whether to carry my sewing projects on the go, or corral little kid toys or other everyday items, there is always a use for a drawstring bag.  For this project, I used the tutorial by s.o.t.a.k. handmade.  This is the third time I have made a bag with her tutorial.  I used 3 inch squares (2.5 inches finished) and adjusted the lining measurements just a tad to fit the outer panels.  I also used a slightly wider casing for the ribbon (I reused the ribbon from my fabric bundle for this project!).  I highly recommend her tutorial if you haven't already given it a try. I am thrilled with the results. 
Now, on being lucky.  Until recently, I never considered myself a lucky person.  I can count on one hand the number of times I've won something, and I still have a few fingers left.  No, until recently, I have not considered myself lucky at all.  But lately I've started to realize something.  Luck, and maybe happiness, may just be a matter of perspective.  I have a roof over my head, food to eat, healthy and happy children, a creative passion, and good people in my life.  That is only the beginning.   When I think of those things, I realize I am lucky indeed. 

Giveaway!!!  Thanks to the generosity of Windham Fabrics, one lucky person will receive a complete fat quarter bundle of Lucky by Lotta Jansdotter.  To enter, leave a comment here telling me why you are lucky.  Good luck!  

Thank you, friends, for stopping by.  

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Ho Ho Ho Pillow

A friend recently asked for a Christmas patchwork pillow.  She leans towards more modern and bright Christmas fabrics - think red and aqua and pink and green.  I immediately thought of the "Read Between the Lines" patchwork pillow by Kelly Lautenbach in the book, "Pretty in Patchwork: Holidays." I also had the perfect fabrics to work with...

Just look at all those gorgeous colors!  Are these not the perfect stash builders or what?  I pulled the reds, pinks, aquas, and light greens from these two collections for this project and the result was this:

As you can see, I didn't stray too far from the original.  I paired the fabrics with linen and some red accent buttons.

Is it just me, or do those prints in the Shirt & Tie collection look like little snowflakes?  They do when paired with "Ho Ho Ho" anyway.

I am really happy with how this project turned out and hope my friend is as well.  I'm also really excited to have the Palette and Shirt & Tie fabrics in my collection so I can use them in many more projects to come.

If you'd like to make your own "Read Between the Lines Pillow," the pattern is available for free here.  I also recommend the book as well!  Available here.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

No-Sew Christmas Wreath Ornament Tutorial + Easy Fabric Gift Bags + A Giveaway!

Welcome to my stop on the Windham Fabrics Christmas in July blog hop!  I know,  it's hard to think about Christmas when it is so HOT outside, amiright?  But if you're like me, you always have grand plans to make handmade gifts for the holidays and then December is here before you know it and you are thanking your lucky stars for Amazon prime a few days before gift-giving time.  But this year, we're on top of things!  (Pssst...Keep reading to the end of this post to find out how you can win the fabric used on this stop of the blog hop!)

Ok, let's be realistic.  Even if you do wait until the last minute again, I'm sharing a super quick and easy project that you can make with items you already have around your house: a no-sew Christmas wreath ornament.  These are great to use as decorations, or make several to give as gifts!   This project is quick, easy and pretty darn cute. So without further ado...

No-Sew Christmas Wreath Ornament Tutorial

Step 1. Gather supplies and cut your fabric.  You need two things for this project: a small round shape and fabric. I used wide-mouth mason jar lids because they are cheap and I already had some on hand, but you could use a small embroidery hoop or something similar.  [You can also make your own round shapes with pipe cleaners or a wire clothing hanger.]  Cut your fabric into strips measuring about 1 inch by 7 inches long.  It doesn't need to be precise (isn't this project getting better and better?!).  I recommend at least 35 strips for a 3.5 inch mason jar lid.

Step 2. Take one strip of fabric and tie a double knot around your hoop.  Continue adding and tying fabrics until you have filled the hoop.

Step 3. Once you have filled the hoop (I used about 35-40 strips for my mason jar lids), turn the knots so they are all facing the front of the hoop.  The back of your hoop should look like the photo above.  Fluff the fabric, add a ribbon or bow to hang and that's it!  

I think these would look great in classic colors as well as modern colors.  You could use them as decorations for gift wrapping as I've done below,  decorate a tree (but of course), add some bells and use as a festive door hanger, and even use them as napkin rings for an elegant table setting.  The possibilities are endless.

I still had a lot of fabric left over after completing these ornaments so I decided to whip up some quick fabric gift bags.  I simply took squares of fabric measuring about 16 inches.  I hemmed one side of the square. Then I folded the fabric in half and sewed the side and bottom using a french seam for a completed look (Here is a great tutorial on sewing french seams.)  Fill the bags with treats or a bottle of wine, tie with a strip of fabric or ribbon, add a mini wreath ornament and you have a quick, easy and beautiful gift.  

These would make great hostess, white elephant, and teacher gifts.  

For this project, I used Christmas Tidings by Rosemarie Lavin for Windham fabrics.  This is a classic Christmas collection featuring deep greens, reds, and metalic golds.  Would you like to win a fat quarter bundle of this classic collection to make your own ornaments?  Simply comment on this post telling me what your holiday sewing plans are this year.  I'll pick a winner at the end of the week.  Be sure to check out the Windham blog this week for other stops on the Windham Christmas in July blog hop tour!

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

WIP Wednesday - Anna Maria Horner Rocky Mountain Puzzle Quilt

I quilted this beauty this week.

Sewing binding down by hand is slow going, but so worth it.

Details: Rocky Mountain Puzzle Quilt using Anna Maria Horner prints.  I'm kind of in love.

Pssst...Sharing this over at WIP Wednesdays on Freshly Pieced today. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Flora Herringbone Pillows (and a Giveaway!)

Something exciting happened to me this week.  I was asked if I wanted to play with the new Flora fabric by Kelly Ventura for Windham fabrics.  Naturally I said, "Heck yeah!"

I started working on them as soon as they hit my doorstep (I can neither confirm nor deny that I stalked the Fedex truck).  I love the prints and colors in this line.  Kelly Ventura is a surface designer and it shows - each fabric looks like an individual watercolor painting (I just had a lightbulb moment as I was writing this - think of how great they would look wrapped around a canvas and hung on the wall!).  The tealy-sage fabrics really jumped out at me in particular.  And those brush stroke still my heart.

Quilted Flora Herringbone Pillows

I wanted a way to showcase all of the fabrics together and a herringbone pattern immediately came to mind.  I had been wanting to try the quilt-as-you-go herringbone tutorial by Maureen Cracknell for a long time and thought this was the perfect opportunity.  I cut my strips at 2.5 inches wide and randomly layered them as I went.

Quilted Flora Herringbone Pillows

I used Essex linen in black for the backing.  Doesn't the Flora fabric pair perfectly with that linen! It's like they were made for each other.  

Quilted Flora Herringbone Pillows

For the closure, I inserted a zipper using my favorite zipper closure tutorial by s.o.t.a.k.  If you've been afraid of zippers, don't be!  They add such a professional finish to pillows and are not difficult to install.

Quilted Flora Herringbone Pillows

I am so pleased with how these pillows turned out.  I'll be shipping them off to a special friend next week.  As for Flora, I already have another project with this beautiful fabric in the works!  If you'd like a chance to win your own bundle of these lovelies, hop on over to the Windham Fabrics blog today!

Quilted Flora Herringbone Pillows

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Garden Gate Vignette Quilt

A few weeks ago, I received some lovely fabrics from Laura Gunn's latest collection, Vignette. Her collection features two colorways. I chose some fabrics from the Orchid colorway. The purples, blues, greens, and greys are so vivid and beautiful. I love how Laura's line features big prints, (the flowers in vases are my favorite!), and blenders. If you are in search of a great blender for your stash, you must check out her "Painter's Canvas" fabrics.

  Check out these new lovelies from @lauragunnstudio.  Don't they just shout, Hello Spring!  What perfect timing - really excited to make up something special with these soon.  Vignette is available in stores this month! #vignettelauragunn

This year I resolved to make a quilt for all the special people in my life - I won't accomplish this in a year but it's a good lifetime goal. I knew I wanted to use these fabrics to make my mom a quilt. I thought a lot about a quilt pattern that would show off the large prints. I just so happened to be attending Sewtopia in Chicago where the fabulous Rita of Red Pepper Quilts fame was teaching the Kansas Dugout Quilt. Light bulb!

Working on my #KansasDugout quilt today.  I think I may have mastered Y-seams thanks to @redpepperquilts.  #Sewtopia #vignettelauragunn

The Kansas Dugout pattern uses a lot of Y-seams. While they were not hard to sew, they were fiddly. I paired the Vignette fabrics with other prints from my stash. They played nicely with one another! I backed the quilt in Kona Cotton Cerise.

  Garden Gate quilt

I finished just in time to gift the quilt to my Mom on Mother's Day. I think she was pleased.


Monday, April 27, 2015

Little Houses

I was asked last year to take part in a traveling quilt bee with some pretty talented ladies. Amber (@simplelovequilts) chose a house theme for her quilt.  She wanted scrappy houses with fussy cut scenes and lots of cool colors on a low volume background.  I loved this assignment. Each member of the traveling quilt bee starts by sending one block to the next member on the list. The second person adds her own touch to the quilt and sends it on to the next person in the bee, and so on and so on. At the end, each person will get a completed quilt top. Amber sent me a six inch house and tree tops to start her quilt.

The Secret Life of Traveling Quilts - First Assignment

I thought a lot (probably too much!) about what I would add to this house. I was more nervous than I thought I would be - what if I completely missed Amber's vision!? After more thinking, I put my fears aside and jumped in. This house block has long been one of my favorite house blocks and I decided to use this as my inspiration. I used Quiet Play's Little Houses paper piecing pattern to make eight, tiny houses.

So @simplelovequilts, I hope you really meant it when you said wonky! #measuredonce #oops #upsidedown #saturdaynightcraftalong #thesecretlifeoftravelingquilts
This was my first time doing paper piecing and I found I really enjoyed it! Cutting accurately is not my favorite part of quilting. Paper piecing takes out that step and results in accurate seams, but you will need to get over the extra fabric waste involved.

  A little Saturday morning sewing.  House number 4 for @simplelovequilts.  #thesecretlifeoftravelingquilts

I centered my houses around a Heather Ross, paper-pieced heart.


At this point I could have stopped. But on the very day I meant to ship the house blocks on to the next bee member, I was inspired to create another scene incorporating the purple house Amber originally sent. Wouldn't it look great in a valley with an improv sky and a tiny, patchwork sun shining down upon it? I had to get this idea into fabric form immediately.

I wasn't going to make this today, but inspiration struck and I just had to make it, like now.  #thesecretlifeoftravelingquilts #yestheresachickeninthesky

As a final touch, I added a sawtooth star for a later bee member to incorporate into a starry sky scene (as requested by Amber).

  It was such a fun experience creating this city and country scene.  Amber (@simplelovequilts) chose a house theme for #thesecretlifeoftravelingquilts bee and sent me the six inch house and van on the right.  At first I wasn't sure where to begin, but once

I am so pleased with how this turned out and excited to see how the other bee members will add to it. I loved this theme and want to make my own scrappy house quilt now. Just another quilt idea to add to the bucket list!