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QuiltCon Block Challenge – 3

QuiltCon Block Challenge – 3

on Jun 11, 2012 in Blog, contests, quilt, sewing, WMQG | 0 comments

Keeping with the stripes theme from Block 2, I went on to design Block 3. With all that photoshop, illustrator, EQ available… Block 3 was totally sketched out on leftover notebook paper + blue sharpie. The old fashioned way. Block 3 was, by far, the easiest to sew. Tiny bit of chain piecing to add white rectangles in the middles of 2 1/2″ wide strips. Tiny bit of row planning, to decide where the white spots would fall in the overall design. After joining the rows, tiny bit of trimming and volia, Block 3 is done. It finishes up at 12 1/2″ x 7 1/2″ You can read more about my QuiltCon Block Challenge 1 here, Block 2 here, and the QuiltCon...

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QuiltCon Block Entry 2 – How To Make Stripes in Photoshop CS3

QuiltCon Block Entry 2 – How To Make Stripes in Photoshop CS3

on Jun 8, 2012 in Blog, sewing, tutorial, WMQG | 0 comments

The QuiltCon Block Challenge question “Do these fabrics read as the color(s) of the QuiltCon logo?” really set the wheels in motion for the inspiration for my 2nd Block Entry. Here’s the logo, taken from a screen shot: I decided to work in photoshop to really get a good idea of what I wanted to make. I knew I wanted stripes and I wanted them in the order of the actual logo. Here’s what I did…. and if you ever want to make stripes from your favorite photo, this is one way to do it. ((click on the images to see them larger – I’m using CS3 on my PC.)) First, with your inspiration photo open, go to the marquee selection tool and change the shape to “Single Row Marquee Tool” -horizontal-? You can change the tool shape by clicking and holding down the small black triangle in the corner of the tool. Next, place your cursor over the horizontal area you’d like to highlight. Click once to create the single row marquee. With that row highlighted, go to Edit->Define Pattern. Name your pattern whatever you’d like to call it and click OK. You can create lots of striped patterns from just one image, so name the patterns as specifically or vaguely as you wish. Open a new image, any size you like. For this I used 8″ x 3″ at 72 dpi, which is roughly the size of the original logo. Select the Paintbucket tool from the tool bar. Go to the top bar which allows you to change characteristics of your chosen tool. For this, we want to change the fill type from “Foreground” to “Pattern”. Then, in the small box next to the word pattern, click the arrow which will allow you to preview all the pattern choices. Find the horizontal row you created and select that. Hold the paintbucket tool over the new blank image and click. If your horizontal row happened to be lower in the image, where the QuiltCon letters were “fatter” you would get “fatter” stripes: Wanna go really crazy and get totally distracted from the fact that this is supposed to be a sewing blog???? Make PLAID by: Make a new...

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QuiltCon Block Entry

QuiltCon Block Entry

on Jun 2, 2012 in Blog, blogging others, quilt, sewing, WMQG | 5 comments

  I recently finished up my block for the QuiltCon block entry. I wanted to show you how I went about drafting my modern, organic block. Keep in mind, one of the rules was that the block could not be appliqued. Oh man, that would have been SOOOO much easier. Instead, I created a paper pieced ring, and traditional “curve pieced” background and center. First up, I had to draft the design (above). The block is 12 1/2″ x 17 1/2″. I made register dot marks, as in dress making, so I would know where to line up my curves after the pieces were chopped apart. Next up I used basic paper piecing methods to sew little pieces of Bella Solids to this fabric donut. It takes a bit of practice and lots of patience. My block was drafted on freezer paper, so I couldn’t really iron as I went along. The fabric would have been stuck to the waxy side of the paper, which I will ultimately want to remove easily. I just pressed each seam carefully with my fingernail. This is the fabric I purchased from The Fat Quarter Shop, one of the QuiltCon sponsors who sells pre packaged QuiltCon fabric bundles. It dawned on me, that although I had the register marks, my block would be WAY more accurate if I just traced the entire template edge around the inner and outer shapes, for a stitching line. Since it was freezer paper, though, I could iron the large background templates to solid white fabric pieces and trace their edges quite easily. I must have been “in the zone” and forgot to snap pictures of ALL THE PINNING to get those drawn seam lines/curves to line up, when sewing the background fabrics to the paper pieced donut. ((mmmmm…… donuts…..)) Using a drawn line as the stitching guide means not having to be as precise with the seam allowance. This (above) is the big-ole-sloppy-joe seam allowance before I trimmed the block. And the “after” pic is below. –> Next up: A quick bath in Best Press. And then the finished block design, pucker free: And now, the big question, which is posed over on the QuiltCon Challenge info...

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QuiltCon Fabrics

QuiltCon Fabrics

on May 30, 2012 in Blog, blogging others, quilt, sewing, WMQG | 2 comments

I wanted to show you this great fabric bundle from The Fat Quarter Shop. It is ALL the solids for the QuiltCon block challenge, from MODA. I have the design already mapped out in my mind. I just need to sit down and make it before Aug 15th. Ooh, I hope it turns out well. Sometimes things are much better in the imagination than in fabric. We shall...

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Orla Kiely Inspired Block

Orla Kiely Inspired Block

on May 28, 2012 in Blog, recycle, sewing | 0 comments

This is my Orla Kiely inspired block. Of course, when I made the block shapes, I decided to use the idea of “symmetrical leaves on a stem” like Ms. Kiely, but use a more cat-eye shape for each leaf. Honestly, now that I’m looking at it, it seems pretty far from the inspiration concept. I suppose that’s ok though. I used up some stash to make the leaves and stem. The leaves are all Kaffe Fabrics which I got when I lived in Korea. The stem is hem tape from a garage sale “grab baggy”. That tape is soooooooo old…. oh man. The background of the quilt block has a big welt seam running diagonally through it. Strange right?? Well, yes and no. I totally cut up a thrift store linen dress for the project. Yep, the front would be totally missing…. All that wrinkly goodness on a hanger for you to enjoy. I generally cut the background a bit bigger than needed, iron only that piece with starch, then cut it down to size for my block. I see no need to iron a whole dress when I only need a rectangle of it. I used freezer paper templates to press my leaf shapes and machine applique to sew them down to the background. I’m not to sure what I’ll be making with this block next…. but I do like the creative, experimenting process. It might become a pillow, a bag, a quilt, a doll quilt, a UFO, or? who knows. Maybe I’ll just keep this piece small to practice my free motion quilting. Lots of options with a little rectangle of linen. I did totally make too many leaves, so I suppose whatever it turns into, I already have coordinating design motif...

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Starbucks Wallet

Starbucks Wallet

on May 25, 2012 in accessories, Blog, recycle, sewing | 1 comment

Do you remember those Capri Sun purses from about 10 years ago?? They were a popular fad on eBay from what I hear. Along those same lines of sewing with recycled packaging, I give you the Starbucks Wallet. I made this small bifold credit card wallet out of the 1 lb bag of coffee beans. Of course, I had cut the bag shorter while using it for my coffee before I had decided on sewing with it. …planning ahead? what planning ahead?… I think I’ll have to try it again, when I have a “full size” bag to work with. If you like the idea and want to try it out yourself, note that you CANNOT iron this packaging. I did try on a tiny test piece and it curled up quickly. Thank goodness it was a low heat iron and didn’t melt into my ironing board or iron. That would have been a crazy hot mess. Next time I’ll plan the logo positioning a little better and try harder to get that “stay fresh” plastic circle thingy out of the way in a less wasteful manner. All in all, pretty fun idea to make. Who knew a mild coffee addiction would turn out...

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AllFreeSewing.com Cover Girl

AllFreeSewing.com Cover Girl

on May 24, 2012 in accessories, Blog, pattern, quilting, sewing | 0 comments

I’m happy to report that my FREE FREE FREE Beach Bag pattern is an Easy Breezy Cover Girl over at AllFreeSewing.com. They really have a zillion links over there for all sorts of projects. If you haven’t tried it out, you should click on through. And of course, if you are gearing up for the beach, pool or lake- I have a great HUMONGOUS? free bag pattern for...

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Fabric Cord Cover

Fabric Cord Cover

on May 21, 2012 in accessories, Blog, sewing | 0 comments

Moving. Staging. Decorating. It all rolls into one. Anyone selling a house knows about all the little “fix-ups” you do to get the house ready to list… and of course, anyone who has sold a house knows about the “Why didn’t we do this when we lived here?” feeling, once the fix-ups are complete. Well, my friends, this is one of those fix ups. After viewing a dozen homes in San Antonio, preparing for our move this summer, I noticed that some of the sellers had covered their cords for lamps or appliances in the living area. Maybe it is a trend I’m missing. Well… not any more! I have looked at that black crazy cord for about two years now. My wall in the living room is a very pale blue. Thanks to KONA’s amazing color selection, my cord is now enjoying an exact match blue cover. It is like a super fashionable shirt for the cord. Is it perfect, no, but I don’t even notice it any more. Of course, ideally, the plug would be behind the tv, but we are not rewiring the house right before we leave. For now, this is a good fix that isn’t too terribly detracting. The cover was very easy to make. It is a rectangle, 6″ x 22″ – in my case, hemmed on each short end. The rectangle is then sewn right sides together using a 1/4″ seam allowance, along the length. Turn the tube right side out and put the cord through it. If you don’t sew, I think you could still make this project using something like StitchWitchery adhesive to hold the cord cover shape in place. Incidentally, does anyone need a home in the Wichita KS area, near McConnell AFB?? ((wink wink nudge...

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18″ Doll Apron Pattern – FREE

18″ Doll Apron Pattern – FREE

on Mar 16, 2012 in accessories, Blog, sewing, tutorial | 3 comments

After working on the Adjustable Aprons pattern samples for Exclusively Quilters, it dawned on me that your Kitchen Helper may have their own Kitchen Helper who would enjoy a matching apron. I’m happy to report a FREE pattern/tutorial is here, just for you! This mini apron will fit 18″ dolls including the American Girl and My Generation Dolls. This pattern includes adownload-able pattern template piece (pdf) and the construction directions in full photo style. Remember, at the end of this post, you can always click the “print this post” option. Ready to go? Adjustable Apron – 18″ Doll Pattern Supplies- Fabric scrap measuring at least 9″ x 12″ Contrasting fabric 1 1/2″ x 12″ 42″ Ribbon which can be between 3/8″ – 7/8″ wide Rolled hem presser foot Seamingly Accurate Seam Guide (optional) Construction- Download the pattern piece in pdf form here. Print. Make sure the 1″ guide square is one inch. Ok, good-cut right on the black lines, all seam allowances are included. Step 1- Hems Switch to the rolled hem presser foot on your sewing machine. Which one is that?? It is the one with a curved arch right at the center. That arch helps guide the narrow 1/4″ of fabric into a tiny 1/8″ (or less) fold under the sewing machine needle. Here are some pictures from google images. Apply the rolled hem to the diagonal edges and the longest, lower edge of the apron. Why Rolled Hem?? Because we are working on a much smaller scale with less fabric. Rolled hems are also less bulky than larger folded hems and look professionally finished. Give ’em a try! On the shortest top edge of the apron, apply a 1/2″ hem. Do this by folding 1/4″ of fabric towards the wrong side, press, then fold it again 1/4″. Stitch the hem from the wrong side. This will make a double folded hem and offer more stability to the neckline.   Step 2- Make/Apply Ribbon(s) Next, press the diagonal, hemmed sides 1″ towards the wrong side. Do NOT sew them yet. We are pressing them in order to give us a guide line as to where they will fall when the garment is finished. This is done so...

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Sew It All TV Season 3

Sew It All TV Season 3

on Mar 12, 2012 in accessories, Blog, sewing, tutorial | 0 comments

Oh my goodness, Sew It All TV Season 3? is in full effect! www.sewnews.com is celebrating Season 3 by hosting 13 days of give aways. You’ll have to click the link and head over to their blog to enter to win. I think each guest sponsored a day on the give-away. My episode is listed above on the screen shot- “Welt of Knowledge”? – LOVE a good pun!!! Who doesn’t??? The featured project showcases a small bag and a welt zipper demonstration. You can actually also down load the free pattern project? on their website, too. The bag requires a little over half a yard of to make. Yardage and other supplies are listed on the pdf how-to page. I hope you enjoy this free tutorial. And what the episode for the demonstration & construction tips....

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Drawstring Backpack and Girl Scouts

Drawstring Backpack and Girl Scouts

on Mar 9, 2012 in accessories, Blog, charity, pattern, sewing, Uncategorized | 0 comments

One of the popular tutorials on this site is the Drawstring Backpack. It is made from a fat quarter of fabric + ribbon. Check out this email I recently received from my friend in New York: “I just thought I would share with you what one of my Girl Scouts did to earn her Gold Award. Using your Fat Quarter Drawstring Backpack tutorial, she had volunteers (including myself, Ann D. and Alison V.) make 60 “Doodle Bags” and stuffed them with goodies. Erika was also working on her high school “Senior Project” and worked Art Therapy into the project, thus killing 2 birds with one stone. The bags were all donated to the Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center for the use of the young patients there. Betty’s Quilting donated all the fat quarters when the store was closing, this past year. And QuiltWoman.com helped subsidize the cost of printing the coloring book Erika designed (you can see it under the purchased coloring book). ” When I asked my friend the age range of the girl scouts she told me: “The sewers ranged from 17 up to their 60’s. Erika had a number of groups sew. Also, the woman’s guild at her grandmother’s church did a lot. Erika had girls in younger troops sew the pencil pouches.” How great is that?? I’m so happy the tutorial was able to help....

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Fabric Choices

Fabric Choices

on Mar 7, 2012 in accessories, Blog, recycle, sewing | 0 comments

I’m working on a project with a magazine, and unfortunately, that is all I can tell you right now. I am making the project out of recycled fabrics. I’m using a men’s sport coat and a woman’s skirt. Pulled out the Benihana chopping blades and voila- the pattern pieces look good and the project is coming together. I cannot wait to tell you what the project is, and where to find it, later this year. Of course, I didn’t pay that price for my fabric pieces. I purchased these items at the thrift store for $3.99 and $6.99. I did have quite a good day at the thrift store because I also found an original Burberry’s Men’s coat as well. I didn’t chop that one up- though I did a search on the internet and the tailored coat may have brought in up to $600 – $1500 retail* at one time, and based on the label, the coat is at least 9 years old. For my price, $6.99, it is still quite lovely. *I'm soooooooo in the wrong...

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