Thursday, September 27, 2012


Don't you just love granny blocks?!  Good heavens they are fun, scrappy, and so easy to make.  I made a few last weekend ... after I dusted my machine off.

Leanne over at She Can Quilt was the first to be the queen bee in our Modern Stitching Bee last month.  Regretfully, I got a little behind with the start of the school year ... but I am getting back on track and catching up on the stitchy things in life.

I made two granny blocks for Leanne.  One is scrappy with blue and orange and the other made from a few aqua and red charm squares leftover from a charm swap with Kelsey.

Which got me thinking about my Millie's Closet panel ... which ended up looking like this ...

With some pretty scraps, too.

More grannies are in my future for sure!

Hope you're having a wonderful week.

Happy Sewing! :-)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A few things ...

Happy Tuesday, y'all!  :-)

Just wanted to pop in and share about a giveaway we're sponsoring over at Jenelle's blog, Echinops & Aster.  We're her newest sponsor and proud of it.  :-)  She was sweet to share a little some nice compliments about our store.
Echinops and Aster

You can enter to win a gift certificate to our store on this post over at her blog. (But there's only a few hours left to do so ... you have to enter by 10 PM PST tonight.)

And if you missed her most recent project - the September Design Challenge - with us, check it out here.

Also, we have some Marmalade precuts back in stock ... charms and jelly rolls.  Get 'em while we got 'em. ;-)

Happy Sewing!  :-)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tutorial: Mini Charm Mini Quilt

Hi everyone!  I have a quick and easy tutorial to share with you today.  This project tutorial was made especially for a kit that our Moda FQ Club customers got for free this month.  (You can learn more about our Moda FQ Club program here - why we're different and the perks our customers receive.)  I don't always share their exclusive kits & patterns here, but thought I'd share this one with you all.  :-)

For this project, you'll need a mini charm pack, a FQ of a solid, and a 1/4 yard cut of a coordinating print.  I am using a Marmalade mini charm, Bella Porcelain, and Vintage Modern dots.

The first step is to choose 24 prints from the mini charm pack and sew together four 2x3 patch rectangles. Press seams open.

I used a method to the madness, including one square each of pink, red, orange, yellow, green, and aqua prints and kept the placement of the colors the same in all four blocks.

Next, let's cut up your solid.  Use the diagram below for the basic cuts (note - diagram not exactly to scale).

Now, let's start assembling!  Add a 1.5 x 4.5 strip to both ends of two blocks.  Arrange your blocks as shown, alternating the direction. (I chose to keep all my pink blocks in the center.)

Then add a 1.5 x 4.5 strip one side of the remaining two blocks as shown.

Then, add a 1.5 x 8.5 piece to each vertically-oriented block as shown in the photo below.

We'll keep adding strips ... moving on to the 2.5" wide strips.  Start with the 2.5 x 8.5 strips and add to the opposite sides of the vertically-oriented blocks as shown below.

Next, we'll add the 2.5 x 7.5 strips to the horizontally-oriented blocks as shown.

Then join the horizontal blocks to the vertical blocks to make two large rectangles.

Then join to make one large 14.5" square block.

From here, you can either finish as directed or make it into a pillow.  :-)

From the 1/4 yard piece of the dot print, cut two 2.5" x WOF strips.  You'll stitch these together end-to-end to make one long strip for the binding.  Press in half and set aside.

Next from the remaining piece of dot fabric (4" x WOF), cut in half at the fold to get two 4" x 22" pieces.  Take one of the pieces and add the larger pieces of the remaining Bella on either side to create a backing piece with a strip up the middle. Press toward the center strip.

Of course, you could use the leftover mini charm squares to piece the backing strip, but I chose to save them for something else (shown here).

Now, its time to baste.  Place the backing right side down, then batting, then the pieced top right side up.  Baste as desired - I used pins this time.

Then quilt as desired.  I used some straight stitching with a walking foot and a lengthened stitch length.

After you've quilted the piece, remove pins, press and trim.  Mine measured 14.5" square.

Time for the binding.  (I have a binding tutorial here, if you need help.)

I machined it to the front and handstitched it down to the back.

What do you think?!  If you haven't had a chance to play with Marmalade yet, you should.  The colors and prints are so lovely.  :-)  I am looking forward to getting the yardage for the collection next month.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Hope you enjoyed this quick little mini quilt tutorial.  If you have any questions, please let me know.

Happy Sewing!  :-) 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Weekend Sewing: My Leftovers

Hi everyone!  I was so excited to actually get to stitch somethings together this weekend.  I did have to blow the dust off my machine first, though.  LOL!

In about 24 hours I managed to finish 2 bee blocks, a mini quilt (with photos for a tutorial - coming tomorrow!), cut squares for a granny square quilt, and make this fun pouch with leftovers from the tutorial project ...

I love this pattern from Michelle Patterns (formerly Keyka Lou).  It is really easy to follow and I love how nicely it finishes without those bumpy zipper corners.

I modified the pattern slightly ... it is a wee bit shorter and narrower to accommodate for using 8 Marmalade mini charm squares for each side.  The red dot is from Vintage Modern ... love that you can mix Bonnie & Camille's prints from the different collections.  Marmalade arrives in October ... oh, the agony of waiting!  (Side note: we have more Marmalade precuts arriving on Tuesday. :-)

Everything in the pouch except the lining, zipper, and interfacing was left over from my mini quilt project kit.  (I will share the tutorial for the mini quilt tomorrow - stay tuned!)

I think it turned out really cute.  The quilting is faux ... I just stitched through the fabric and interfacing to add a little somethin-somethin. :-)  I made one other version of this pouch in FMF a few months ago - you can see it here.

Looking forward to sharing my tutorial with you tomorrow ... for now I am off to bed.

Happy Sewing! :-)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Stash Builders

Happy Friday!

My new favorite stash builders arrived today ... love this honeycomb print from the Good Morning line from Me & My Sister Designs.

Definitely great to mix-and-match with other prints you have on your shelves.  Bundles, single FQ and yardage can be found here.

I am so glad its Friday ... I haven't sewn anything in 2 weeks and I am going crazy .... but tonight and most of tomorrow I will be stitching away.  Off to blow the dust off my machine!

Happy Sewing!  :-)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mama Said Sew

Just a quick post to share that Mama Said Sew is here!  
Who doesn't love a fun sewing-themed collection with great, stash-building prints?

I love the Sewing Guide text print in this collection.  I definitely need some yardage for my own stash. 

I also love this Hoops print in the cream multi. 

And the Bias in Apple Red, which I think would make an awesome binding.

See all the prints we've chosen for the shop here

Happy Sewing!  :-) 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Hey there!  How's the week going?

One of our customers asked for a comparison of the different Bella neutrals that we carry, specifically the white and porcelain.  So I snapped a photo and thought I'd share here as well.

The snow on the far left is more ivory and yellow-based compared to the porcelain (middle), which is in between the snow (far left) and the white bleached (far right).

The porcelain goes great with a lot of the lines by Bonnie & Camille like Vintage Modern.  It's not as harsh as a bright white but is also not too "warm" either.  We always try to include the coordinating Bellas we carry along with the prints in each collection in the shop so it makes matching easy.

What's your favorite solid to use for sashing and background of blocks?

Happy Sewing! :-)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Design Challenge :: Cross your "T's" Table Runner

Hi there and welcome! I am so very happy that Chrissy asked me to join the Sew Lux Design Challenge Series! I have a fun tutorial for you today that is just perfect for fall and features some gorgeous prints from Denyse Schmidt's newest line, Chicopee

When I first saw this collection, it immediately spoke "back-to-school" for me. I couldn't help but be transported to those crisp end-of-summer days when the excitement of starting a new grade--with a whole new set of things to learn--buzzed in my daily thoughts. So in honor of the new school year, the coming fall season, and all things "reading, writing, and arithmetic" related I am very happy to share my Cross Your "Ts" Table Runner tutorial. :)

Required Materials:
- One September Sew Lux Design Challenge fat quarter bundle (or 6 coordinating fat quarters)
- One (16" x 32") piece of batting (I used 100% cotton batting)
- Neutral thread for piecing
- Coordinating thread for quilting 

Chicopee Bundle
Fabrics shown above in order from left to right:
Chicopee Ladder Dot Black / Chicopee Ziggy Medallion Red / Chicopee Ladder Dot Fushia
Chicopee Paisley Red / Chicopee Simple Plaid Red / Chicopee Cross Square Red

Cutting Instructions:
Make sure to read through the tutorial at least once before starting cutting. For the interior blocks you will need to cut the following from your fat quarters:
Cross Your "T's" Table Runner Tutorial

And for the border and binding tape you will also need to cut the following pieces:

Cross Your "T's" Table Runner

*Make sure when cutting all of the fabric pieces from the Ladder Dot Fushia and Cross Square Red to cut along the short grain of the fat quarter (18" side) rather than along the longer side. This will allow you to have enough fabric width for the required backing pieces.* 

Piecing Instructions:
Taking all of the (1.5" x 3.5") pieces, organize them into groups of three strips based on the diagram below:
Cross Your "T's" Table Runner Tutorial
Then start to chain-piece your strips together to form the 12 (3.5" x 3.5") blocks as shown. Press seams open. 

Cross Your "T's" Table Runner Tutorial

Taking the pieced (3.5" x 3.5") blocks, lay them out using the diagram below as a guide to form the three larger blocks. Then sew these larger blocks together, stitching together the top and bottom blocks first and then the right and left sides, pressing the seams as desired. I prefer to press my seams open, but you may feel more comfortable alternating pressing side-to-side to "nest" the seams. Either is fine. Use pins along the seam lines to make sure everything lines up, regardless of which method you use.

Cross Your "T's" Table Runner Tutorial

Then grab the 6 (2.5" x 6.5") strips and sew these to the top and bottom of each of the three blocks as indicated in the diagram below. Press the seams open. Next grab the 4 (2.5" x 10.5") strips. Starting with the first block on the left; sew one strip to the left side of the block, then one strip each to the right and left sides of the middle block, and finally one strip to the right side of the last block. Press seams open.

Cross Your "T's" Table Runner Tutorial

Then, to finish the interior pieced portion of the table runner, sew the left and right hand pieces to the middle block and press open.

Cross Your "T's" Table Runner Tutorial 

Finally, to create the pieced border around the sides of the joined interior blocks, grab all of the prepared border fabric pieces (from the second cutting diagram) and lay them out as show in the diagram above. Using chain-piecing again, sew these smaller units together to form the pieced strips as shown. Then sew the longer pieced strips to the joined interior blocks, top and bottom sides, and press open. Lastly, sew on the shorter pieced strips to the left and right sides and press open. The pieced table runner top is now finished! Next, the backing.

Preparing the Backing:
Note that the backing should be around 1-2 inches wider on all sides than the pieced top. Taking the Paisley Red fat quarter, trim the edges slightly if needed to square it up. Then cutting across the shorter grain (18"), cut from the non-selvedge end one (7" x 18") piece. It's ok if your piece ends up slightly shorter than 18", especially if you happened to have trimmed off a little more than 18" during the process of squaring up your fat quarter. The important thing to keep in mind is #1 to make sure all of your backing pieces are square and #2 that you have least one inch of extra fabric all around your finished backing. Same goes for the measurements below.

Next, cut one (9" x 18") piece from the remaining Ladder Dot Fushia fabric and one (4" x 18") piece from the remaining Cross Square Red fabric. Then sew together the larger Paisley piece, the (4" x 18") Cross Square piece, the (9" x 18") Ladder Dot piece, and the (7" x 18") Paisley piece in this order, according to the diagram below. Press all seams open.

Cross Your "T's" Table Runner Tutorial

Taking the pieced top, batting, and pieced backing; make a quilt sandwich. You'll want to make sure everything is nice and square before proceeding to baste all of the layers together. Quilt however you wish. I used a fuchsia-colored thread and straight-line quilting in concentric boxes to echo the shape of the blocks and border (see photo below).

Cross Your "T's" Table Runner

Once you have finished quilting, trim the excess batting and backing flush with the quilt top. Then join your plaid binding strips together (I like to sew them on the diagonal) and press in half to create a long piece of quilt binding tape. Sew your binding tape to the finished quilt sandwich, making mitered corners as you go. Once you have sewn all the way around, join your binding ends together. Then fold over the binding tape toward the back of the table runner and press. Either finish sewing your binding on by hand or machine stitch it in place to the back. If you are new to quilting and/or would like step-by-step instructions for how to attach binding tape to a quilt, Chrissy has written an excellent tutorial here.
Cross Your "T's" Table Runner

Cross Your "T's" Table Runner

I hope you enjoy this tutorial as much as I did making it! If you have any questions, feel free to leave me a comment here or send me an e-mail directly. And if you would like to see more of my projects and tutorials, feel free to stop by Echinops & Aster and say "Hi!"

Finally, I just wanted to remind you that all of the beautiful prints I used in this tutorial are now available to purchase at the Sew Lux shop in a special fat quarter bundle and it's on sale now through 9/22/12! Pick one up while they last. :)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Design Challenge : September's Featured Blogger

It's time for the next installment of our Design Challenge!  This is the second month of our Design Challenge Series, in which we ask a blogger to come up with a tutorial using 6 FQs.  Check out the previous posts here 

This month, we welcome Jenelle from Echinops & Aster to our blog. Here's a little about her ...

Hi! I'm Jenelle and I live in Seattle with my husband and our kitty, Cleo. I blog about my creative adventures over at Echinops & Aster. I've been quilting for almost a year and a half. When I originally started sewing several years ago, I made lots of bags and other home goods, but I was always curious about quilting. I decided to take the plunge after my friend Jennie (at Clover and Violet) started a quilt and stitch along. I've been hand stitching my whole life, so it seemed like the perfect project for me. And it was! I have been quilting ever since. :)

What is on your "quilt bucket list?"

I love to English paper piece, so I would really like to try making a entire quilt top using this technique alone. I think it would be one of those long term projects, but very relaxing to work on.

What is your most favorite quilt block of all time?

I really enjoy trying new blocks and techniques, but my favorite type of traditional block is probably the string block. You can make them as scrappy and improvised as you like and they always turn out beautifully.

String Block - Photo courtesy of Jenelle

What is your favorite sewing tool or notion?

The one tool that I use all the time that has really improved my piecing has to be plain old starch. Whenever I have a tricky seam to sew or something that doesn't want to lay quite flat I just starch it like no tomorrow, press, and voila! much better. :) It seems so simple, but it really is a fantastic tool to have around.

What is your favorite sewing supply/room organizational tip?

In my sewing space, I have installed a kitchen-type railing system that really helps to keep me organized. I can hang freshly pressed fabric and keep it creaseless for as long as I need, organize quilt blocks using hangers, and even keep bundles of fabric together and off of my cutting table while still having them out and in view. It's pretty versatile!

Rail System Organization - Photo courtesy of Jenelle

Thanks so much for joining us this month, Jenelle!  We're so thrilled to have you and to share your project with our readers.  :-) 

If you follow Jenelle's blog you know she loves an "indian summer" color palette, so you won't be surprised at Jenelle's picks for her Design Challenge bundle ... 

The September Design Challenge bundle features six prints from Chicopee by Denyse Schmidt.  Bundles are now available and will be on sale through 9/22/12 - no coupon code needed.

Come on by here on Monday, 9/17 to see Jenelle's tutorial.

Happy Sewing!  :-)

Friday, September 14, 2012


Hi everyone!  It's been a lonnnnng week and I am so glad its finally Friday!  I already fell asleep on the couch about 7:30!  LOL

You know you need to catch up on things in blogland when you log in to your reader and see this ...

Oh goodness!  :-)

I have some fun things to share in the coming days ... new Design Challenge interview & project, some stitchy mail that I've gotten this week, and another tutorial.

What are you working on this weekend?

Happy Sewing! :-)