February 27, 2020

Hourglass Quilt Featuring Michael Miller Basics


Today I am posting my last project as a Michael Miller Brand Ambassador. Working with them over the past year has been so much fun. Though I am sad to be letting it go, I am so excited to see what this new batch of talented designers will create in 2020!
For my last project, I took it back to basics. Did you know Michael Miller Fabrics has not only a HUGE collection of solids, but also a great collection of dots, gingham, and blenders as well? They all play so well together and are so fun to mix and match. My favorite project using Michael Miller basics was the Happy Hearts quilt I made for Quiltmaker magazine last fall. I mixed solids, gingham, and fabrics from their Dumb Dot line to create this fun quilt.

I have to admit that "basics" aren't usually my go-to when making a quilt. I tend to gravitate towards fun patterns and florals, but after making my Happy Hearts quilt and this hourglass quilt I'm about to tell you about, I may be changing my mind!
As far as style goes, I would describe mine as traditional and sometimes vintage. However, the more I scroll through Instagram and see the beautiful quilts others are making, the more I want to branch out and try something new. So, when I ordered my fabrics for this last project, I picked colors I don't normally work with or use together but that I see a lot in modern quilts. The colors you see above are:

  • Cream
  • Cameo
  • Dusty Rose
  • Slate
  • Celestial
  • Amber
  • Ochre
  • Jewel

My original intention with these fabrics was to make a 3-D herringbone quilt, which is why I ordered both a dark and light version of the same color. However, once I started cutting and piecing, I realized I did not enjoy the process of making a herringbone pattern, so I abandoned that, discouraged. I couldn't wrap my mind around the ways it was assembled and pieced, and it caused me more stress than joy! I think if I tried a herringbone quilt again, I might make it using the half-square triangle method instead.

So, after stewing on what to do with these beautiful fabrics, I found inspiration in a video from Missouri Star Quilt Company on how to make an  hourglass quilt.
This is a great quilt pattern. Not only does it sew together quickly, but there is NO FABRIC WASTE! No corners to trim off and throw away, no sewing with triangles. It's amazing, and I highly recommend you watch the video!
I cut my fabric into 5" squares and mixed solids with other basics, as well as some other Michael Miller coordinating prints. Once I cut my larger squares into the four smaller ones, I trimmed them down to 6" using a 6" Omnigrid ruler.
I love this ruler for this pattern because it has diagonal lines, so you can perfectly center it on the diagonal lines of your block. Once all my blocks were cut, I squared them up and started laying them out. I made my quilt 11 x 11 (blocks, that is) for a total of 121 blocks. It measures 60.5" square, but I'm thinking of adding some borders to make it a bit bigger. I am planning on using it as a picnic quilt.

So, even though it's still a work in progress, I wanted to share it with you while I was still so excited about it! I think this one is going to be a new favorite.

I want to say a huge thank you to Susan and the Michael Miller team for making me a part of your group this last year. It has been amazing!

Happy Sewing!
-Stephanie-



January 29, 2020

Springtime Apron with Mushroom Fan Club Fabrics


Spring time is my favorite. Hands down. No question about it. Winter time in Indiana seems to drag on forever sometimes, and by the time spring finally rolls around, I am SO READY! My favorite spring time activity is walking around my yard every evening, looking for signs of growth: baby birds growing in their nests, moss growing underfoot, flowers sprouting in my beds. And mushrooms growing in the woods. Yes, Indiana is full of avid mushroom hunters, and while I'm not one of them, my brother and sister in law are, and I enjoy watching their excitement as they post pictures of their finds every spring.


So, when I had the opportunity to work with this fabric, I knew exactly what I wanted to make: a mushroom-picking apron! Fat quarter friendly, it was super easy to sew! It features two large pockets and a sweet appliqued mushroom on the front.


Long ties allow you to wrap it around twice if the load gets heavy. Cute and practical. What more could a mushroom-picking girl want? Not in to mushrooms? Save it for summer time and use it as a harvest apron.


This fabric is so fun, whatever you use it for is bound to be cute!



Happy sewing, and hurry up spring!

-Stephanie-

January 6, 2020

Gingham Farm: Projects for My Little Farmhouse


If there ever was a fabric line that seemed to be made just for me, Gingham Farm for Riley Blake Designs is it! My husband and I bought a little farmhouse last year, and the colors in this fabric line match it perfectly. From the green siding to the cream trim down to the black doors, this house and this fabric line seemed meant for each other!




When I signed up for the blog tour for this fabric line, I knew I wanted to make some things for my  home. I have a black and green theme going throughout my house, so I knew this fabric would fit in perfectly. The first thing I made was two new pillows for my couch. While I miss taking down the Christmas decorations every year, I always enjoy cleaning everything really well and refreshing the home after the holidays are over. And making new pillows are a quick and easy way to do just that!


For these pillows, I used the 12" Simple Star block pattern from Lori Holt's Farm Girl Vintage book. It's so easy, and it turns out great every time. You can find the book at Fat Quarter Shop.


Next, I made a table topper quilt using the same Simple Star block, but I used the 6" blocks instead.




I quilted this little quilt with my Janome Memory Craft 6700P. I am still learning how to free motion quilt, but I enjoy the process and I am happy with how it turned out. Mini quilts and small projects are great for practicing on! Other tools I used for this project include basting spray by ThermOWeb, silver thread from Aurifil, and my Oliso iron!



Thanks for joining me on my blog tour! I hope you enjoyed it!
Happy Sewing!
-Stephanie-

December 12, 2019

Valentine's Day Sewing with Love Letters Fabric


Hello! Today I am excited to be posting as a new blogger for Riley Blake designs. I love Riley Blake fabrics, they are so beautiful and fun, and I use them in almost every project I make for myself! Today I have the honor of being a part of the Love Letters fabric blog tour, and I'm so excited to share my projects with you!


When I saw this Love Letters fabric by Lindsey, The Cottage Mama, I knew I had to make something with it! I have quite the collection of vintage valentines, and I knew this fabric would fit right in.


The first project I made was a version of my Happy Hearts quilt pattern, which can be found in the current issue of Quiltmaker magazine. This pattern is great for beginners. There is little fabric waste, the techniques are simple, and the quilt sews together very quickly. The finished quilt looks harder than it is, and I'll bet you can't make just one!


I made a throw-sized quilt that finishes at 50" x 60." I tried free-motion quilting with my new Janome Memory Craft 6700p and used 100% wool batting from Hobbs Batting for the first time, and it quilted like a dream! I had no troubles with the quilting, and I love the extra loft this batting has. I am super happy with how it turned out.





The next projects I HAD to make with this fabric were a set of Lovely Letters Pillows for my boys. This pattern is available in my Etsy shop, and it is another quick finish! The pillow looks like an envelope, and it features a pocket on the front, perfect for tucking in sweet notes or treats. The pattern comes with multiple "postage stamp" options, or you can make your own fabric stamps if you would rather do that! I love making my own stamps, but since I know these pillows are going to get used by two little boys, I chose to piece my stamps this time for durability reasons! I even free-motion quilted their names on the address labels. Now that I've started with FMQ, I'm not sure I will ever stop!


I can't wait to gift these to my little guys on Valentine's Day! I hope they let me keep them on my bed, though. I just love the way they look with the quilt!


Thank you for following along with me today, and thank you to Riley Blake designs for allowing me to show off your beautiful fabrics!

Happy Sewing!
-Stephanie-



December 4, 2019

Paris Valentine


Back in July when Michael Miller sent us our fabric choices for the rest of the year, I knew I had to have some of their Paris Valentine fabric. I have a thing for Valentine's Day. It's probably my favorite holiday next to Christmas. I have tons of vintage valentines, pink ruffly dishes, and all sots of pink and green vintage items I love to get out after the first of the year. I don't, however, have much in the way of handmade Valentine items, so I could't wait to get started on making some with this fabric!


The first project I made with this fabric was a Valentine version of my Lovely Letters Pillow pattern. You can find the pattern in my Etsy shop if you want to make one too! The border print that comes with this fabric line was the perfect scale for the pillow front. I even managed to line up the horizontal "ground" line across the bottom of my pillow for a seamless look. I made lots of cute fabric stamps from the other fabrics in the line and added some hand-stitched details as well. Although my hand-stitching is far from perfect, I enjoy adding it to my projects whenever I can. Hopefully with time and practice, my skills will continue to improve!

The second project I made was a cute little Bow Tie quilt. This fabric line comes with a gorgeous bow pattern in both pink and black. That bow print was the inspiration for this Bow Tie quilt. I mixed in some Michael Miller Dumb Dot basics as well and had lots of fun with this 3-D quilt block.



These fabrics were so fun to work with. I saved every little scrap to use for fabric stamps and small projects. I couldn't stand the thought of throwing any of it away! Check out the Michael Miller lookbook for this fabric line for some other great inspiration using these fabrics!


October 14, 2019

Quilty Gifts for Quilty Friends with Little Sewists Fabric


Do you ever have one of those moments when you are staring at your fabric thinking, "I couldn't possibly cut this up, I am going to save it forever so I can just keep looking at it and falling in love with it all over again." Yeah, I had one of those moments with this fabric. From the sweet florals to those cute sewing girls, I did not want to cut it up and lose any of those sweet illustrations. And I knew this was going to be one of those collections that I would be sad to use up. I mean, just look at it!


But, after spending way too many days just starting at it and admiring it, I came up with a solution that would allow me to use it but not lose any of its character. I decided to make a large-scale cathedral window pillow to showcase the fun prints, and I made a matching pincushion to go with it. Wouldn't this little set make the cutest gift for one of your quilty friends? If there's anything I love more than making, it's gifting the things I make. Do you feel the same way? If you do, you're in luck because I'm going to tell you how I made the pillow so you can make one too!!

Supplies Needed

  • Various prints for the scrappy background. This is a great way to use a fat quarter bundle, and when you're done you will still have plenty of fabric leftover!
  • Fabric you can fussy cut for the center of the "windows"
  • 1/2 yard white fabric
  • Fat quarter for pillow backing
  • 1 zipper, at least 18" long
  • 18" square of batting
  • 19" square of lining fabric

Sewing Instructions

  • From your white fabric, cut three 4.5" x WOF strips. Subcut into twenty 4.5" squares.
  • Fold the white squares in half to make triangles and press.
  • From your background prints, cut sixteen 4.5" squares.
  • From your fussy-cuttable prints, cut five 4.5" squares.
    • TIP: use a 4.5" clear ruler so you can make sure what you are wanting to show off will be in the center of your square.
    • TIP: cut these squares "on-point"
  • Arrange your background squares into four rows of four squares.
  • Place the white triangles on the background squares according to the layout below. Pin in place.
    • NOTE: In this image, none of the squares have been sewn together yet.
  • Sew the squares in each row together. Press seams open.
    • TIP: do not remove pins yet!
  • Sew the rows together and press those seams open as well. Now you can remove the pins.
  • Place the fussy cut squares in the center of each of the white squares and pin in place.
  • Prepare your square for quilting. Place your lining fabric right side down on a table. Place the batting square on top. Place the pillow top right side up on top of the batting.
  • Using your finger, gently fold down each side of the white squares. You will notice as you do this, it creates the fun curve that is unique to the cathedral window. Stitching close to the edge, sew along the curve.
  • Repeat this process for all of the sides of each of the squares. When you are done you should have something that looks like this:
  • Trim the pillow front to 16.5" square.
  • Cut the backing fabric into a 16.5" square.
  • Cut two 1" x 4" strips from one of your fabrics. Fold them in half, wrong sides together, and press.
  • Insert zipper along bottom edge of pillow. I like the tutorial from Alli of Woodberry Way. It's the quickest way I have found of inserting a zipper, and it's great for pillows that you don't want to bind.
  • Once your zipper is installed, open the zipper all the way. Place your pillow front and back together, right sides facing, and stitch around the other three sides of the pillow.
  • Turn the pillow right side out and press. Insert an 18" pillow form, and enjoy!
    • (or gift it to someone else to enjoy!)
And the little cathedral window pincushion you see? That's a smaller scale version of the pillow. I have a pattern available in my Etsy shop if you need it!


Thank you Michael Miller fabrics for the opportunity to work with another one of your wonderful fabric lines! See you soon!



September 19, 2019

Fabric Stamps 101


If you have been following my sewing journey for a while, it's no surprise to you that I love making fabric stamps and using them in my projects. From zipper pouches to mug rugs to pillows, I often find a way to incorporate them in to the things I make.


For one thing, they are a great way to use even the smallest of scraps. For another, they add a little extra detail that gives a project a little more interest. And finally, they are super easy! Want to know how to make your own? Follow the tutorial below!!


Supplies

  • HeatnBond Fusible Interfacing
  • Pressing Paper
    • This is optional, but it protects your iron from getting the goo from the HeatnBond all over it. This stuff is my favorite!
  • Cutting Tools:
    • Small ruler (I use a 2.5" x 6")
    • Rotary Cutting Tool
    • Pinking Shears
    • Small Cutting Mat
  • An iron. This is a great project for the Oliso mini iron if you have one!
  • Fabric scraps
  • White fabric



Sewing Instructions

  • Cut your fabric scraps into squares or rectangles. You do not need to be precise at this point. Cut them a little larger than you actually want them to be. We will trim them down later.
  • Cut a piece of HeatnBond large enough for you to place your scraps on.
    • TIP: If using pressing paper (which I highly recommend), cut your HeatnBond to a size that will fit inside the paper. So, no larger than about 8x10. 
  • Arrange your fabric scraps on top of the glue side of the HeatnBond. Place them as close together as you can so there is not too much of the adhesive showing.
  • Place your HeatnBond paper with your fabric scraps on it inside of your pressing paper (the shiny side of the paper is the inside).
  • Close the pressing paper and iron according to the HeatnBond instructions.
  • Open the pressing paper and remove your stamp sheet. 
    • NOTE: Your stamp sheet might stick to the pressing paper. If it does, just peel it off.
  • Using your rotary cutter, cutting mat, and small ruler, cut each stamp down to the size you want it to be. Remove the paper from the back of each stamp. Set them aside for now.
  • Cut a piece of white fabric large enough for you to place your stamps on and leave space in between.
    • I usually leave about 1/2" between each stamp for this part.
  • Cut a piece of HeatnBond the same size as the white fabric.
  • Fuse the HeatnBond to the back of the white fabric. Do Not remove the paper from the white fabric!
  • Arrange the stamps on the white fabric and fuse in place. No need to use pressing paper for this step; none of the adhesive will be exposed.
  • Using your pinking shears, cut the white fabric close to the stamp on all sides.
  • Keep the paper on the back of the stamp until ready to use.
    • TIP: make a bunch at once and place them in a box. That way you will have some when you need them!
I hope this tutorial helps! These stamps look great on my Lovely Letters Pillow pattern. I am hosting a Sew Along from now until October 5, 2019. There is still plenty of time to join!

Happy Sewing!
-Stephanie-


Hourglass Quilt Featuring Michael Miller Basics

Today I am posting my last project as a Michael Miller Brand Ambassador. Working with them over the past year has been so much fun. Thoug...