Friday, August 31, 2012

2d Zoo Dream Garden


One of my absolute most favorite sizes of quilts to make are baby quilts.  Its really a great way to try out patterns on a smaller scale, and because they  are so small, they come together super fast!  This baby quilt was no exception, and it was a good thing, as my it was a last minute request from my mom.  I made quick work of turning this stack of fabric into a baby quilt, in just about a weeks time.  


I must say, when my mom showed me the Jungle Jill baby bedding she wanted the quilt to coordinate with, I did a small internal groan.  Those pale muted greens, pinks and browns just are not colors I tend to use now a days, but I dug through my stash, and came up with a few prints that would coordinate well, and surprisingly I was excited about the stack I came up with, mostly centering around the Alexander Henry 2d Zoo in sage I've had stashed for a while now.


I followed the Dream Garden pattern in the Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop book, and really love how the pattern came together.  I have to admit my oops though, I thought I was being all quilt-saavy by cutting those center focus squares on the bias thinking "since its diamonds, then my prints will be straight and square!" of course I hadn't read through the directions, and after piecing the focus diamond units, I should have just left well enough alone and cut the squares like normal, because of the way they are pieced, I ended up with diagonal animals anyways.  Oh well, I'm ok with it, it adds character, right??


As for the binding, I stuck with Crosshatch Sketch in Coral, that went with the color scheme just perfectly.  If I could, I would order yards and yards of every Sketch color they make, I just can't get enough!  Anyways, this little guy is off to its new home, hopefully it blends in with the Jungle Jill nursery!

Quilt Stats
Quilt Name:  2d Zoo Dream Garden
Quilt Size:  40" x 40"
Fabrics Used:  Alexander Henry 2d Zoo in Sage and coordinating prints, Kona White
Quilting:  Overall meandering loops done by me on my home machine

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Extra Extra Read All About It


Eeek!  I have quite exciting news to share, in that one of my very own quilts is featured in the October/November issue of Quilt Magazine!  I may or may not have done a small happy dance when I got the mail the other day and there was an manilla envelope containing two copies of the magazine, but I am over the moon beyond excited!


This quilt may look familiar, as it was my Starburst Cross quilt I made for quilt market using Camille by Melissa White.  Not only was it super thrilling to have one of my quilts on display at market this year, but when the editor of Quilt Magazine contacted me shortly after market to let me know they wanted to print my quilt and pattern in their magazine, my jaw about hit the floor.


I'm still in mild shock that my face is in a magazine, but its super exciting.  Hawthorne Threads has put together a quilt kit which is available for purchase currently sold out back in stock. but there is a place to list your email to be notified when the kits become available again.  Be sure to check out the issue, available on newsstands now, there are lots of great quilts featured!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

WIP Wednesday {8.22.2012}

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Its been a few weeks since I've taken part in WIP Wednesday, and mostly its been because I just either haven't been working on much, or have been working on things that aren't quite ready to share yet.  I decided no time like the present to get back in the saddle, I find myself sort of feeling a little lost/overwhelmed with the scattered projects in various states of completion strewn about my sewing room, and WIP Wednesday is a nice anchor of sorts to take inventory of what exactly I have going in.  Without further ado, here is what's going on:

New Projects

2d Zoo Dream Garden


I posted about this yesterday, but this stack of fabrics is quickly turning itself into a baby quilt.  I'm using a pattern out of the Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop book, and am super happy with how its coming together.  I should have a quilt to share in the next few days!

In Progress

Birds and the Bees Snowglobes

Tula Pink Birds and Bees

After I finished petting and drooling over this beautiful fabric, I decided no time like the present to dig in and make something with it.  I have a tendency to buy fabric collections, and then am almost afraid to use them.  Its like I'm searching for this elusive "perfect project," and I need to stop this madness and use the fabric that I buy, that's what its for, right??  I think I did find the perfect project, and therefore didn't have the usual amount of apprehension when cutting in to the fabric like usual.

Before leaving for vacation, I dug out my Tula Pink Snowglobes pattern, and got to work cutting and sewing.  I had a hard time settling on the background fabric, and ultimately went with Crosshatch Sketch in Cream.


I am loving how this pattern shows off the larger scale prints of Birds and the Bees so well.  I'll be working my way back to this one soon, but for now its keeping my design wall fun and bright, and I'm enjoying looking at it every day.

Not Your Grandma's Charm Quilt


Well, in this case it is my grandma's charm quilt.  My grandma recently had to be placed in an assisted living center, and I thought she might like a handmade quilt to put on her bed.  She is 96, and has been living with family members for too many years to count, and has never lived on her own, so this transition hasn't been the easiest for her or my family.  She really is such a special lady, and you would never guess her age by looking at her, we all hope we inherited her genes for aging!  

I'm in the middle of quilting this simple charm quilt using various prints from Denyse Schmidt's fabrics that are found at Joann's that I have accumulated in my stash.  I really love the way the patchwork has come together, and I'm quilting it with my walking foot in a large zig zag pattern.  I'm thinking of adding some hand quilting as well, but we'll see.  

Ripple Afghan

This is an oldie but a goodie.  I have a tendency to start hand projects, and just never finish them.  They sit around my sewing room sort of taunting me to work on them, and I usually just turn a blind eye.  I thought our 8 hour drive to the beach last week would be a great opportunity to pull out my ripple afghan that I started back in January and get to work.  


I'm aiming to really work on this to get it finished for the upcoming winter, as it will make a great snuggle blanket!

Whew!  It feels nice to get that out there, I really must get back into the WIP Wednesday swing of things.  Now that summer is just about over, life should be settling down and I can find my routine again.  Be sure to head over to Freshly Pieced and say hi to Rebecca who is guest hosting WIP Wednesday this week!

Monday, August 20, 2012

back at it

Pardon my absence for the past week or so, but we've been lounging by the beach!  The week went by entirely too quickly, but it was nice to get away.  Me and my newly found tan are back to the real world after a week of surf, sun and sand with good friends.  

We got back into town yesterday afternoon, and I had this stack of happy mail waiting for me at my doorstep.  


I've had The Bag Making Bible and Elizabeth Hartman's two quilting books, The Practical Guide to Patchwork, and Modern Patchwork on my Amazon Wishlist for what seems like eons, and before leaving for vacation, I decided it was time these books came to live with me.  I added the Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop for Quilters for good measure, and am super thrilled with my purchases.

While I was away, my mom asked if I would be able to whip up a baby quilt for a friend of hers, and of course I said yes.  I spent a bit of yesterday flipping through these glossy pages to find a quick and easy baby quilt idea, and settled on this from the Fat Quarterly book:


I'm altering the size to a baby quilt size, and am only using the fussy cut center squares on point and x's.  My mom gave me free reign on the design, but asked that it would coordinate with this Jungle Jill baby bedding:

source link

Now admittedly, browns are a color that I have really gotten away from using, and instead tend to use grey as a neutral, but I rummaged through my stash, and came up with this stack that I think will coordinate well:


I've had the 2d Zoo in Sage in my stash for a long long time, and finally have found just the project to use it for.  I picked out a few coordinating fabrics in a light limey green, pink and lighter brown, which, while out of my normal go to color selection, I'm really excited to work with.  Not to mention the total satisfaction that this came completely from stash!  I spent a little time today cutting everything, and its sitting waiting to be sewn soon.

I have a few projects in various stages of completed-ness scattered across my sewing room, but it feels nice to have an immediate project to jump back into the swing of things with.  I think I need to get back to WIP Wednesday, as I'm feeling a bit in disarray, hopefully this week I'll get my act together!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

travel jewelry clutch: a tutorial


Without further ado, I am back with a tutorial for the jewelry roll  I put together last week!  Just in the nick of  time too, as were frantically trying to get ourselves packed and ready to leave for vacation next week.  My mother in law is thrilled, as she gets to come stay at our house and spend an entire week with her "fur-grandbabies," yes thats right, our two dogs are in for a week of spoiling by grandma while we are gone.  

I just keep thinking of "one more thing" I need to buy or pack, my list is getting a little outrageous at this point. Anyways, I'm really happy I decided to get this tutorial put together before leaving, as the second one turned out even better than the first, and I'm excited to fill it full of my jewelry and take it along to the beach!


Travel Jewelry Clutch
Finishes at appx 12" x 20" unrolled

What you will need:

(4) pieces of 4 gauge vinyl measuring 5" x 13"
(1) piece 4 gauge vinyl measuring 2" x 13"
(4) zippers at least 11" in length
(1) piece fabric for inner "see through" pockets measuring 12 x 22"
(1) piece fabric for zipper tabs measuring 2" x 12"
(1) piece fabric for outer cover measuring 12" x 22"
(2) pieces fusible fleece measuring 12" x 22"
(1) pack coordinating bias binding for edges (or 1 continuous piece bias binding measuring at least 70" long)
(2) pieces bias binding or ribbon for ties measuring appx 24" each
a few clothes pins or binder clips to hold the vinyl in place while sewing

**Throughout tutorial, the "dull" side of the vinyl is the right side, the "shiny" side of the vinyl is the wrong side.**

1.  First we will fuse the fusible fleece to the wrong side of each piece of fabric measuring 12" x 22".  Set aside

2.  Next we will deal with our zippers.  First, snip off the fabric "zipper tails" that extend beyond the zipper pull end when the zipper is closed.  Next, lay your zipper along your cutting mat, with the zipper closed, and the pull end at 0" and measure down the length of the zipper 11".  Make a small mark on each side of the zipper to show where to cut.


3.  Cut the zipper along your marks from step 2.  Your zipper should measure 11" long.  Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the remaining 3 zippers.


4.  We will next make the fabric "tabs" for the ends of the zipper. Take your 2" x 12" piece of fabric and fold in half lengthwise and press to mark the center.  Open your fabric.


5.  Fold raw edges lengthwise in towards the center line your made in step 4.  Use a little spray starch if you have to get a nice crisp fold.  


6.  Now fold in half along the center line you made in step 4 to enclose the raw edges.  Press.  Cut lengthwise into (8) 1.5" pieces.


6.  Next we will attach our zipper tabs to the zipper ends.  I always start with the end away from the zipper pull.  slide the zipper end in between the two open edges of your zipper tab.  I just use my fingers to hold in place, and sew zipper tab onto zipper end using a 1/8" seam.  Repeat for all 4 zippers.


7.  Next open your zipper to sew the zipper tabs on to the other end.  Again, slip the zipper in between the two open edges of  your zipper tab.  Again use your fingers to hold everything in place and the zipper "together", and sew with a 1/8" seam.  Repeat for all 4 zippers.


8.  Your 4 zippers should now look like this:


9.  Next we will begin attaching our zippers to the 5" x 13" pieces of vinyl.  This is where your binder clips or clothes pins will come in handy.  Do not use pins as the pins will put holes in the vinyl!!  Place one of your 5 x 13" pieces of vinyl with the right side (dull side) facing up.  Next center your zipper along the long edge of the vinyl.  You should have 1" of vinyl extending beyond the zipper on each edge.  Make sure to align the zipper towards the left hand side.  Use your binder clips or clothes pins to hold in place.  


10.  Attach zipper to the piece of vinyl using your zipper foot.  Stitch as close to the zipper teeth as you can.  Finger press the vinyl away from the zipper.  Use a good amount of pressure and your finger nails to press.  Do not use heat as the vinyl will melt!   


11.  Top stitch to hold the vinyl in place.  Begin backstitching at the very end of the vinyl.  I try and top stitch as close to my original line of stitching from step 10, as it does show through the vinyl.  Repeat steps 10 and 11 for remaining 3 zippers.


12.  Next we will begin attaching our 4 zipper compartments.  Choose two vinyl zipper pieces.  Align one piece right side up with zipper away from you.  Next align the second piece wrong side up with the zipper closest to you.  Again making sure to center the zipper along the vinyl, so that 1" inch of vinyl extends beyond the zipper end.  Repeat for remaining two zipper/ vinyl pieces. 


13.  Finger press vinyl away from the zipper.  Do not top stitch yet.


14.  Repeat steps 12 and 13 to attach the two "zipper/vinyl/zipper/vinyl" pieces together.  You should now have all (4) zippers and vinyl attached to one another.


15.  Next, take the 2" x 13" piece of vinyl, and we will attach it to the remaining exposed end of the top zipper using the method described in steps 9-11.  Top stitch in place.


16.  Breath a sigh of relief, you have successfully sewed with vinyl, and the tough part is over!


17.  If everything lined up perfectly, you should have all your zippers perfectly in line, and exactly 1" of vinyl extending beyond both sides of all four zippers.  Now since this is hardly ever the case (at least for me!) we left a little wiggle room to trim down the vinyl width so that it extends about 1/2" beyond the zipper tabs.  If yours isn't lining up perfectly, thats ok, just do the best you can to square up your piece and trim each edge so that the vinyl extends appx 1/2" beyond the zipper pulls.   


18.  Take your 12" x 22" piece of fabric with fusible fleece attached to the back and lay on cutting mat right side up.  Lay your vinyl/zipper piece right side up on top of your background fabric.  Trim background fabric/vinyl if necessary.  Use clothes pins/binder clips to hold in place.


20.  Next we will stitch the vinyl/zippers to the background fabric to form the separations between the pockets.  Stitch a line of stitching just above the bottom three zippers.  This will serve as the top stitching to secure the vinyl in place and to make separations between the pockets.  On the picture below, the black dashed lines represent where to sew.


21.  I chose to sew dividers in the bottom pocket to give some separation.  Can choose to do this or leave it as is, to do so, decide where you want your lines to be, to mark the line, I used a screwdriver, or a corner turning tool would do the trick to mark a faint line to mark where to sew.  Don't press too hard, you don't want to puncture the vinyl.  Sew along your marked line.


22.  Lay your outer fabric with fusible fleece attached to the back right side down, and lay the vinyl/background fabric on top, right side up.  Trim the outer fabric to the same size as the vinyl/background fabric.  Use the clothes pins/binders clips to hold the two layers together.

23.  I chose to round my corners, you can round them if you like, or leave them square.  If you want to round them, I used a cereal bowl and just rounded them to a size I liked.  I chose to round the bottom  corners more than the top.


24.  Cut two pieces of the ribbon/bias tape you wish to use as the ties to about 24" long.  If you are using bias tape, be sure to sew a line of stitching to close the two folded edges.  Layering one tie on top of the another, baste them to the center of the top short edge (edge with the 2" x 12" piece of vinyl) to hold in place.  Since the ties are fairly long, I pinned them to the front to keep them out of the way like so:


25.  Next we will attach our bias binding.  Instead of reinventing the wheel, I'll refer you to this tutorial which does a great job at showing how to attach prepackaged bias tape.  Tutorial can be found here.  Once you attach the raw edge of the binding, I recommend trimming your seam to a scant 1/4" or so, because of the extra bulk from the fusible fleece it makes it difficult to fit around when stitch the backside down.  You can also choose to hand sew the binding as you would on a quilt.


27.  Fill your new jewelry roll with all your pretty jewelry and admire!


Thanks for stitching along, if you make a travel jewelry clutch, I'd love to see it!  Be sure to add it to the SewCraftyJess flickr group.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

do.Good Stitches Japanese x and + quilt

I am so excited to finally share this quilt!  It seems I have been working on it for eons...or 6 months or so.  While I usually do have a few projects going at the same time, its really unlike me to leave a WIP sitting around for this long before finishing it.  Its been giving me the evil eye lately, likely feeling neglected, so I decided before I started anything new, I'd give this little guy some TLC.

 do. Good Stitches Imagine Circle

This quilt was made with lots of help from the lovely ladies of the Imagine circle of do. Good Stitches.  My first round to be the quilter was back in March, and I asked the ladies to use Badskirt Amy's Japanese x and + block tutorial, and upsized the blocks so that they finished a little larger.  More on the measurements I used here.

do. Good Stitches Imagine Circle

I could not be happier with how this quilt has come together, its my favorite kind, nice and super scrappy.  This quilt is headed to the charity Threading Hope, which gives quilts to kids in underprivileged countries.  If this quilt weren't be donated to such a great cause, they may have to pry it from my hands, I like it so much!

do. Good Stitches Imagine Circle

As for the quilting, I decided to try something new (to me anyways) that I had seen on one of Lee's quilts way back when and just never got around to trying.  I used one of the decorative wavy stitches on my machine, and set the width and length to the widest settings and used my walking foot to quilt along the width of the quilt.  I sort of used the seams as my guides to keep the lines straight and spaced my lines about an inch or so apart.

do. Good Stitches Imagine Circle

I usually don't wash my quilts before photographing them because I find I get better pictures of all the quilt detail pre-washing, but I thought the scrappiness of this quilt, and the wavy quilting was just begging to be all snuggly and crinkled.  I'm super happy I washed this one before snapping pics, because the crinkled goodness really does add to this quilt.

do. Good Stitches Imagine Circle

This quilt will be off to its new home I believe in Indonesia this week, hopefully its new owner loves it as much as I do!

Quilt Stats

Name:  do. Good Stitches Scrappy Japanese x and + quilt
Size:  55" x 66"
Fabric:  Scrappy assorted fabrics
Quilting:  Quilted using wavy decorative stitch by me on my home machine

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Technicolor Twist block tutorial

I'm popping in today with a block tutorial to share.  August is my month to be the quilter for the Imagine circle of do. Good Stitches.  I hymmed and hawed about what block I wanted everyone to make, and just couldn't decide.  I wanted something that I could get a decent size quilt out of, without having to add lots of extra blocks myself (our little secret-I'm still working on November's do. Good Stitches Quilt!  It'll be done soon, I promise)  Anyways, I started playing around on TouchDraw for iPad, and lo and behold, a quilt block was born!  


This block finishes quite large, at 20" square, but comes together pretty quickly.  Don't let the size scare you, it actually works out nicely, as it would only take 12 blocks to result in a generous size lap quilt.  I'm calling it Technicolor Twist, mostly for the bright electric colors, and sort of "twisting" squares, and also because I am horrible at naming quilts and blocks, and its the first name that came to mind.  


Technicolor Twist block
20.5" unfinished block

You'll need:

(1) 5.5" square- Fabric A
(2) 5.5" x 3" - Fabric B
(2) 10.5" x 3" - Fabric B
(2) 5.25" square- Fabric C
(2) 5.25" square- Fabric D
(4) 5.5" square- Fabric D
(4) 3" square- Grey
(6) 5.25" square- Grey
(6) 5.25" square- White


use scant 1/4" seam throughout

1.  Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the (4) 3" grey squares


2.  Align one 3" grey square in one corner of your 5.5" Fabric D square as shown below, and stitch along the marked diagonal line on the grey square.  Repeat for remaining (3) 5.5" Fabric D squares and (3) 3" grey squares.


3.  Trim to 1/4" inseam and press



4.  Pair (2) Fabric D 5.25" squares with (2) grey 5.25" squares, right sides together


5.  Stitch around all 4 edges using scant 1/4" seam.  


6.  Using a rotary cutter, cut each square in half diagonally from corner to corner, and then again diagonally from the remaining two corners as shown below:


7.  Press resulting HSTs open and trim to 3" square


8.  Pair (2) white 5.25" squares with (2) Fabric C 5.25" squares.  Make 8 HSTs using process described in steps 5-7


9.  Pair (4) white 5.25" squares with (4) grey 5.25" squares.  Make 16 HSTs using process described in steps 5-7


10.  Sew (2) 5.5 x 3" Fabric B rectangles to opposite sides of Fabric A 5.5" square


11.  Sew (2) 10.5" x 3" Fabric B rectangles to remaining two sides of Fabric A square


12.  Next we will make our middle HST units in the block.  Arrange 8 HSTs in the arrangement shown below.  Repeat to result in (4) 10.5" x 5.5" HST sections as shown below:


13.  Sew (1) Fabric D/grey square from step 3 onto each end of (2) HST sections from step 12 as shown below:


14.  Sew remaining (2) HST sections from step 12 onto opposite sides of Fabric A/Fabric B square from steps 10 and 11 as shown below


15.  Sew 3 resulting rows together as shown below, stand back and admire your work!


I hope you enjoyed the tutorial, if you make a Technicolor Twist block I'd love to see it in the Stitching with SewCraftyJess flickr group!