June 22, 2020

Beauty and the Beast: A Ruffled Pillow


Hello, and welcome back to my quilty space! Today I am sharing a pillow I made from the new Beauty and the Beast fabric by Jill Howarth for Riley Blake Designs. This fabric line features dreamy blues and creams, as well as pink, plum, and mustard prints as well! When I chose fabrics for this projects, I went with the softer colored prints. I thought they would just make the dreamiest pillow!
I have to admit, pillows are probably my favorite quilty project. They allow you to explore new ideas, blocks, techniques, quilting patterns, etc. without requiring a huge investment of time or supplies. And I tend to get bored when making larger quilts as I am too excited to move on to the next project or fabric collection to finish the one I am currently in the middle of!
For this project, I decided to make the pillow fit a 16" x 26" feather pillow form I had from Ikea. If you have never used a feather pillow insert, I highly recommend you do! They hold their shape much better than poly filled pillows, and they fill out the pillow form nicely. As you can see from the picture above, I also incorporated ruffles and ties for this pillow cover. Keep scrolling to see how it turned out!
And notice my cute vintage chalkboard as well...I decorated it to go with the theme of the pillow!

I love hot this cute pillow turned out, and I hope you like it too!
Happy Sewing!
-Stephanie-

June 15, 2020

Santa Claus Lane: A Quilt, a Pillow, and a Binding Tutorial


I love Christmas quilts. I have several, but it never seems like enough. We love to snuggle up and watch Christmas movies or read Christmas stories, and we each must have our own Christmas quilt! One inevitably gets taken to someone's room, or left downstairs when we need it upstairs, so I have decided I need to make lots so we can always find one when we need it!


When I saw this cute retro Santa Claus Lane fabric by Melissa Mortenson of Polka Dot Chair, I was immediately inspired to make my Christmas quilt for this year. I wanted something different than what I already had, and I wanted something that would be fairly quick and easy to make. I already have a Christmas quilt with a low volume background, one with a mint green background, and red generally scares me, so this time I decided to use pink! I used Riley Blake Swiss Dots in Baby Pink, and I just love how it turned out.


I made a traditional Irish Chain pattern, and it was so easy! I strip-pieced my 9 patch blocks, so no sewing lots of little squares. And I love that there is no fabric waste with this pattern and no triangles to trim off. It went together so easily, and the borders really set off the pink.


And, as a treat to myself, I decided to have my quilt quilted by my long-arm quilting friend, Heather from Material Girls Quilting. She always does such a great job and puts up with my quick turn around time and short deadlines! I used a white flannel backing fabric, and I'm so glad I did. It shows off that beautiful quilting (with pink thread!) perfectly!



Along with the beautiful quilting, my favorite part of this quilt is probably the binding. I tried something new this time, and I love how it turned out! I used two fabrics to make a little 3-D flange and to give it some contrast, and I'm going to show you how to do it too! Just scroll to the bottom of this post for instructions!


I also made a matching pillow, using my Cathedral Window Pillow Pattern, which I hope to have ready soon. I love how this pattern can show off the cutest fussy cuts. And let's face it, this Santa fabric was made for fussy cutting!




Flanged Binding Instructions

  • You will need 2 different fabrics. 
  • Cut the main binding print into 1.5" x WOF strips, and the contrasting flange fabric into 2" x WOF strips.
  • Sew the two strips together and press toward the 1.5" strip.
  • Sew all of your WOF strips together, then fold binding strip in half, wrong sides together, and press. 
  • Sew the binding to the BACK of your quilt.
  • Fold over, clip in place, then machine stitch in the ditch on the top side of the binding.

So easy, but what an impact it makes!

I can't wait to snuggle up with my new Christmas quilt and pillow this winter! In fact I may not wait.
I feel a Christmas in July movie marathon coming on...

Happy Sewing!
Stephanie

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!


Beauty and the Beast: A Ruffled Pillow

Hello, and welcome back to my quilty space! Today I am sharing a pillow I made from the new Beauty and the Beast fabric by Jill Howarth...