Thursday, September 30, 2010

pinnie swapping [round 2]...

Well, my pincushion for the scrappy pincushion swap is officially on its way! As with every swap I participate in, I was overwhelmed with all the options and want to make just the right thing for my partner. I got the book Pretty Little Pincushions from the library - and it was too wonderful, ack! even more options! Recently I have been drawn to the simple 'tomato' style pincushion. They are great for showcasing pretty pins and gorgeous fabric. I focused in on making a little sewing kit!

Fro those who sew alot on the go, this little tube is perfect! The pincushion is attached to the underside of the cap.

Contents: tiny fold-up metal scissors, thimble, white/black thread for repairs, a variety of safety pins, some needles in a scrap of pinked wool, a needle threader in its own little case, a tape measure, and a sampling of white buttons. I made one for myself and it is wonderful for perle cotton or a skein of embroidery floss!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

summer swappin'...

[can you hear the Grease music?] summer swappin' had me a blast, summer swappin' happened so fast... Those of us in the Block Swap 2 are headed into the final stretch, the bee started in January and will end in December. I have really enjoyed tackling new challenges and learning loads of new techniques! My month was August and I fell in love with the New York Beauty blocks that Jennie was making! [check her beauties out here! The tutorials are here] [more details on my blocks when I receive them all]

For July, Cindy wanted to make a color wheel quilt using the Pieced Scrap Border Quilt tutorial over on Red Pepper Quilts. It went together really easy and I love the final look - this will be great once the rainbow of colors is set together!

In September, I got to refine my curved piecing skills with a drunkards path block for Frieda. She sent us over to the Sometimes Crafter tutorial and all the pictures made it super easy to follow.

I love stalking all of the wonderful swaps over on flickr, but am hesitant to commit to 'one more thing' - what swaps do you just love?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

in search of + a winner...

Have you seen this fabric? I am in process with a quilt and am nearing the end of my stash. I have scoured the web and only come up with one site that has it listed. I am not sure that they are in business any more as they have not responded to my emails. So here is my plea: do you know of any Kaffe Fassett Bubbles in Grey GP15?? I am looking for at least a yard - email me if you have some to sell or if you have a source.

Also: I drew a winner for the pillow giveaway! Congrats Nannette, the pillow will soon be traveling to you!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

pillow basics: three...

If you've just tuned in, I have been laying out a few ground rules for making fab pillows and cushions in the Pillow Basics Series. Today will be the final installment [Hurrah!]. I typically finish my pillows with either piping or a traditional quilt binding.

If you are binding your pillow...
Take your 2.5" strips and press it in half so that you have a long 1.25" strip. Layer your pillow with wrong sides together and the binding on top of the front. Sew the strip around the edge of the pillow using a 1/4" seam allowance. [Here is a great tutorial for mitered corners] flip the folded edge of the binding over to the back of the pillow and handstitch in place - yes, handstitching does take a while, but you have a very pro looking end result!

If you want to use piping...
First we are going to make our own piping using the 1.5" strips you cut. I generally use 3/8" cording from JoAnns, but you can choose the thickness you like best. Lay the cording in the center of your fabric strip.

Fold the strip in half around the cording, pin.

I have an ab-fab foot that is made for sewing piping - it has a groove in the center that holds the cording in place. You can make piping this way with a zipper foot as well. I like to set the needle position to as far right as it will go and the stitch length as long as it will go. Begin stitching 1" from the 'start end' [rember when we talked about the selvage in lesson two?]; stitch.

Pin the cording in place along the edge of the top of the pillow. Ease the corners by snipping into the piping. Tuck the end under the 'start end'

Using a wide zig-zag stitch [with the regular sewing foot], sew along the edge of the piping to secure it into place.

Layer the pillow back over the pillow front with right sides together, pin. With the zipper or cording foot attached, move the needle position all the way to the right and then move it back to the left one click. [This will ensure that none of those basting stitches show on your finished pillow] Stitch tightly along the edge of the piping. If you are using a thick fabric for your piping, you may want to switch to a denim needle in this step.

Trim the corners, rounding them to match the piping. Turn. VOILA! You're pillow is finished and ready to spice up your sofa!

This wonky star pillow is up for a new home in my shop!
THERE'S STILL TIME! Don't forget to sign up for the pillow giveaway!! Comment on this post...
ps: If you are enjoying these tutorials, feel free to add my button to your blog :]

Sunday, September 12, 2010

beachy keen...

I am an unabashed purse junkie - all colors, all sizes, all shapes, but never any money to keep inside :D I have been needing [read wanting] a new beach tote for a while now. Pleated bags have been showing up everywhere and I am definitely on the bandwagon! I really liked the Birdie Sling, but that was a bit more bag than I needed and I'm a slacker - Amy Butler patterns are extremely well written, but make me tired around step 37 [she has loads of details and lots of steps in her patterns!]

I modified a tutorial I found on the Warehouse Fabrics website. I changed the pleating pattern and slightly altered the shape. I also wanted to use a big button with a loop - I find that having some type of closure prevents me from accidentally dumping the contents of my purse out at inconvenient times [i.e. in a restaurant, grabbing it out of the backseat of my car, in the movie theater, etc.]

With all the accessories that I carry around - cell phone, ipod, journal, pens, keys - pockets are a must! The tutorial included pockets, but these are my own design [easier when you don't have to follow instructions :]. I used duck cloth for the lining, it gave the bag alot of support and structure.

Sadly, I have no use for a beach bag as we are quickly heading into fall! There are, however, things to rejoice in: football games, chili, baked goods with cinnamon, fresh apples, brisk mornings snuggled in a quilt, and beautiful new colors for the trees.

THERE'S STILL TIME! Don't forget to sign up for the pillow giveaway!! Comment on this post...

Friday, September 10, 2010

the long lost giveaway...

Don't pass out... the giveaway that I have been telling you about for months now is FINALLY here! What else would I give away on my blog but my current obsession?! Up for grabs is a handmade [of course] pillow.

I used Blush [Basic Gray for Moda] to make a bunch of half square triangles and then set them out in a zig-zag pattern. The pillow is machine quilted for extra durability and has an envelope style back [complete with a handmade pillow form!]. It measures approximately 12.5" square, the perfect size for the back of a chair or front row on your bed! I drew inspiration for this pillow from some previous projects - my snow trails pillow and my pillow talk swap pillow.

Here's the deal:
* Leave a comment [1 entry]
* Become a follower, leave another comment that says that you are following me [1 entry]
* Blog about my giveaway, leave another comment with your blog address [4 entries]

Sweet and simple! I will draw a winner next Saturday, September 18th...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

crabby pinnie {the tutorial}...

[note: I have had a couple of people have trouble accessing the tutorial on google docs. I am happy to 'share' the file with your google docs account, just choose that option after logging into your account. I have also uploaded the tutorial as a photo onto flickr.]

Scrappy. Pincushion. Swap. My new favorite
swap! I really enjoyed round 1 so I have signed up for round 2 - I think the hardest part is deciding what to make. Last round I made 3 or 4 different pinnies before ending up with crabby {who I think turned out quite nicely}. He is happily living in his new home across the pond. Perhaps you would like a crabby to call your own? Here is a link to his tutorial {I put the pdf up on google docs - PLEASE let me know if you have any trouble accessing it!}.

I would love to see a picture if you make one :D

Thursday, September 2, 2010

ties that bind...

This handy little potholder is just one of the many things I have been binding lately! This was a fun little foray into the world of potholders [I have been seeing them everywhere and had to try my hand at it]. The main panel is a piece of osnaburg that I drew on with a pigma pen, colored with crayons, and then heat set. This has been hanging around the UFO bin for no less than 7 years [yikes!] I actually liked working with the InsulBright batting - I am always a little scared to sew through something that appears to contain metal, but the needle cruised through it! I backed it with a scrap of Arcadia and added a handy little hanger on to the back. [Does anyone how to make the binding loops like on the store bought potholders?]

So lots of binding going on around here - which means lots of finished projects to show you soon! And I haven't forgotten about my promised giveaway - it will be a handmade little number and it is ready for finishing as well!