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-


September 15, 2019

Dew and Moss: A Project Evolution


If you would have asked me a year ago what I thought my sewing style was like, I would have quickly said traditional and vintage. Now, I'm not so sure I could answer that question. I have felt an evolution of sorts this year, one that leaves me feeling a bit like a kid going off to college. Part of me wants to stay "home" where it's comfortable, and part of me wants to break free and embrace the new. Sometimes I look at my stash and my unfinished projects and I feel bad for them, wanting to go back to the friends I left behind, but when I turn my head and see all the new things I have, I can't wait to get started creating something new and seeing where new fabrics and ideas might take me.

Part of this (r)evolution has been the direct result of being exposed to so many new opportunities this year. My ambassadorship with Michael Miller Fabrics and becoming a designer for ThermOWeb have both opened so many doors and pushed me creatively. Just by using different fabrics and products, I have been inspired to create projects that I never would have dreamed about before. I am extremely grateful for both of those opportunities that have helped boost my creativity, and my confidence, this year.

Recently I saw another opportunity that really spoke to me. A wonderful new designer for Art Gallery Fabrics, Alexandra Bordallo, posted on Instagram that she was looking for designers to be part of a sewing party for her new fabric line, Dew and Moss. I had been seeing sneak peaks of this fabric before then, and I just loved it. The newly evolving modern designer in me was drawn to the colors and designs, and the traditionalist loved the whimsical illustrations and nod to nature. So, I applied and was accepted to join a team of other wonderful designers to help promote this sweet new fabric. When she asked what I planned to make, I confidently said a cathedral window pillow, just like my Trixie one.
By the time my package arrived from Art Gallery Fabrics, I really didn't have much time to complete my project. And on top of that, my son joined three clubs at school, and I was asked to work 8 days in a row to help cover some empty shifts at two different hospitals. So, by the time I was able to sit down and sew, I was exhausted and feeling a little overwhelmed. I cut out my fabrics one night, and got to sewing the next day.

I followed the Missouri Start Cathedral Window shortcut instructions, sort of. I remembered the process from when I made my Trixie pillow, so I didn't go back and look at the instructions again. I sat down and got to work and sewed two rows of my pillow together in one sitting. I was so proud of myself and feeling pretty good about meeting my deadline. I stood back and admired my work...

 ...and that's when I noticed my mistake.
I forgot to sew my white "windows" to part of my blocks. Where you see a circle above, there should be another fussy cut window. I couldn't fix this mistake without completely undoing everything I had done, because one row is dependent on the other. What I had completed so far was too small to be a pillow cover. I didn't know what I was going to do. I just wanted to cry. I did not want to disappoint Alexandra, or myself. So, I slept on it. And I woke up with an idea.
The next morning I got to work painting some buttons to put on a...bag! Now, I am no bag maker. Bags are hard. Really  hard. But I love this fabric and I thought of how proud I would be to wear a bag full of it. So, I turned my cathedral window panel into a front pocket complete with a zipper, and made a bag out of it. I stitched on my mushroom buttons, added a "handmade" tag to the front, and inserted a magnetic snap on the inside to keep everything nice and contained. I plan to use it to carry my design books and pencils in. These fabrics are inspiring, And so is the story of how this project came to be. It's a nice reminder to not get hung up on perfection but to instead go with the flow.


And there she is! I won't lie, she wasn't easy. I got reacquainted with my seam ripper. More than once. Ok, more than about 5 times. But I stuck with it, and I'm so glad I did!

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...