Friday, April 27, 2012

Farmer's Wife Friday

Happy Friday!  :-)  Sorry I've been a bit absent this week ... its been busy getting ready for a trip to a national conference in SLC.  But, I did get a chance to sew a Farmer's Wife block this week.

#71 Puss in the Corner

I have a plan for this block along with 3 others that are similar.

Kind of wish I had used a print with better contrast for the corner pieces, but maybe once I finish the project it won't be so bad.... (or at least I will tell myself that for now!)

Back this weekend with a winner to the Stitch & Share Challenge (a little late - I'm sorry!).

Happy Sewing!  :-)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Bookmarks ~ Blogger Challenge Tutorial

I'm so excited to be here today!  For those who don't know me, my name is Jennifer and I blog over at That Girl... That Quilt.  If you want to learn a little more about me, I answered some fun interview questions that you can read here.

For my Blogger's Challenge fat quarter pack, I chose a selection of California Girl prints by Fig Tree Quilts.  I'm a Texas girl but I'm married to a California boy and I love the colors of this line.  So when I got to pick 6 fat quarters to work with, I instantly knew California Girl it.  To me, these colors feel like summer!

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is read which dates back to my school days.  I was that kid who loved getting the summer reading list.  When I was thinking about this project I also had teacher appreciation week on the brain.  It's right around the corner and always seems to sneak up on me!  I typically make something handmade for my daughter's teacher and bookmarks is what kept coming to mind.

From six fat quarters I made a runner that measures 18" x 50" {after washing}.  It's a long runner that would fit perfect on top of a short bookshelf, a long table, the teacher's desk, etc...


- 6 fat quarters of California Girl.  You can find the bundle here...
- rotary cutter
- ruler
- self-healing mat
- coordinating thread
- batting
- backing
- and all the other usual notions...


- seam allowance throughout the project is a scant 1/4"
- RST = right sides together

Let's get started!

From each fat quarter cut 6 strips that measure 3" x  22"

From each set of 6 strips cut 10 4.5" x 3" rectangles & 20 3" x 3" squares

You will also need to cut an additional 4 4.5" x 3 rectangles & 8 3" squares to get a total of 64 bookmark units.  I just picked my favorite two prints to make these 4 extras... :)

Take 10 4.5" x 3" rectangles and pair them with the matching 10 3" squares.  For good contrast, take 10 opposing light or dark 3" squares as shown above.

Take your 3" squares that match your rectangles and cut diagonally from corner to corner of the squares.  You will end up with 20 triangles.

Take your other 3" squares and lay one triangle RST as shown.  This does not have to be exact; I wanted each "bookmark" to look unique.  Stitch the triangle on to the square.

Fold the triangle open to make sure that it covers the corner of the square.  Do the same when you stitch your second triangle.  Once you get the hang of the stitching the triangles, you won't need to do this... just the first few times.

Once you have stitched the first triangle down, trim the excess fabric as shown above.

Press your first triangle open.

Take your second triangle and lay it across the square and overlapping the first triangle and stitch.  Again, trim the excess fabric and then press this triangle open as well.

Square your block up to 3" again by trimming the excess triangle edges.

Take your matching rectangle and stitch as shown.  You now have your first bookmark!

I found it much faster to sew all the triangles to the squares, square up and then chain piece the bookmarks.

Repeat these same steps for your other fabric parings.  Just remember to keep your contrast good by using lights and darks together for the squares/triangles!

Once you have your bookmarks pieced you will lay them out as shown above. 

8 bookmarks across x 8 bookmarks down.

I placed my units {same color} end to end to create a longer bookmark.  I then alternated my rows coral... blue... coral... etc...

Stitch your rows together lengthwise and then together to complete the top of your runner.

Baste, quilt, and bind as desired.  I used a simple stippling quilting pattern and then bound my runner using binding made from a vintage sheet. 

I chose to round my corners to balance the points and lines of the runner.  If you have never bound a quilt with rounded corners, I have a tutorial here that will walk you through it.

Thanks for having me today!  If you have any questions you are welcome to comment on this post or email me directly from my blog.  And again, you can purchase this bundle directly from Sew Lux Fabric & Gifts!

I hope you will visit me soon over at That Girl... That Quilt!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Design Challenge: April's Featured Blogger

Greetings!  We are kicking off our Design Challenge Series this month with Jennifer Jenkinson of That Girl, That Quilt.  We asked Jennifer if she'd answer a few questions for us and she obliged.  Here's our interview with Jennifer.

Jennifer, tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Jennifer and I love quilting and all things fabric. After a series of athletic injuries and surgeries, I needed a relatively safe hobby so I decided to try quilting. As it turned out, I was one of those people who didn't discover the extent of my creativity until I picked out some fabrics, picked up a needle and some thread, and made my first quilt. From then on I was hooked and quilting has become a passion in my life.

I have been quilting for almost 5 years.  I got my first quilting fabric and notions for Mother's Day and I was off!  I doubt my husband knew what kind of monster he was creating when he helped our 3 year old buy that Mother's Day present.  I made my first 3 quilts completely by hand... even the binding... because I was scared to death of using a sewing machine.   I now enjoy machine piecing and quilting but my first love is still to hand piece and hand quilt my quilts and I typically always have one sort of hand sewing project always going on.  I enjoy modern quilting but I really find it quite interesting to take more modern fabrics and work them in to traditional patterns

I enjoy other types of sewing projects, crochet, embroidery and drawing too.  I have dabbled in learning to knit but each time I try I end up thinking that knit rhymes with another certain word that I may or may not say when other people aren't around...

I have a wonderful and supportive husband, Steve and a fabulous 8 year old daughter, Chaney. My daughter is smart, funny, and super creative. She and I spend many hours together creating and sewing in my  studio. My husband is my sewing machine "fixer", a creative second eye, occasional quilt baster, my best friend, and the one I fall in love with over and over. We have two beagles, Buddy & Gus, who combined with the 8 year old, keep us on our toes all the time!

I work full time in the high pressure world of finance. I'm a softball coach {& mom}to one athletic little girl and I have a date night with my husband once a week.  What spare time I have left in the evenings and on weekends I escape and spend creating, piecing, quilting, and rolling around in my beloved fabric stash.

I am a native Texan and yes, my fabric stash is big just like everything else is in Texas.  I live in the Dallas area, specifically in a town named Argyle which thrills me to live someplace named after a textile pattern!

What is your favorite quilt block of all time?
My favorite quilt block of all time is probably any type of hourglass block.  I love the simplicity combined with strong lines.  It's so versatile too!
Check out this fun quilt featuring hour glass blocks that Jennifer made with Reunion and Pezzy Prints
Photo by Jennifer Jenkinson.

What kind of machine do you use?
I sew on my brand new Juki 2010 Qi.  I. Love. It!  I started out sewing on a Shark sewing machine from Target that I burned up within 9 months.  I upgraded to a Singer HD110 that I really did love sewing on and still use for other projects.  But as I have grown as a quilter, I realized that I was missing some features... like being able to lower the feed dogs or a larger throat for more room while quilting.  I started saving my money from my pattern sales and I stumbled on a great deal for my Juki.  I've had for about a month and I am in sewing heaven.  I had no idea how much easier sewing would be with little features like an automatic thread cutter!  (Jennifer raved about her new Juki here.)

Where do you find inspiration for your sewing/quilting projects?
I find most of my inspiration from my surroundings.  Carpet designs and architecture frequently morph into quilt patterns.  I find my color inspiration in a lot of my surroundings too.  I am constantly taking pictures of random scenes that have beautiful color combinations.  I also love Design Seeds ... if I need color inspiration that is one of my first stops online!

What is your favorite sewing supply/room organization tip?
My favorite sewing room organization tip is definitely comic book boards for folding and organizing my fabric.  It's like having miniature fabric bolts on my shelves and my own little fabric store... I love it when I get a new shipment of fabric to turn into mini-bolts!  I have a tutorial here that works well for anything from a fat quarter up to 3 or 4 yards.
Jennifer's "fabric store."  I loved this method so much, I used it too!
Photo by Jennifer Jenkinson

Jennifer, thanks so much for sharing a little about yourself!  We can't wait to see what you've come up with for this month's challenge!

Jennifer selected the beautiful prints below from the California Girl by Fig Tree Quilts collection for her challenge.

Stop by the blog tomorrow to see her project. :-)

Happy Sewing!  :-)

New Series: Design Challenge

Hello there!  :-)  I am so excited to share that we are kicking off a new series here on the Sew Lux blog entitled "Sew Lux Design Challenge!"

So what is the Sew Lux Design Challenge?  Well, each month we will task our featured blogger with the challenge of creating a project from just SIX fat quarters.  They may add any notions they choose, but can use only the fabric from their FQ bundle and must incorporate all the fabrics in the bundle.

We are very excited to kick this series off today!  Check out the interview with our first featured blogger, Jennifer Jenkinson of That Girl, That Quilt. And stop by tomorrow to see her project!

And special thanks to Jennie of Clover & Violet for collaborating with us on our series buttons.

Happy Sewing!  :-)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Scrap Attack Strings Winner

Hey y'all!  I wanted to announce the winner of the random drawing for the Scrap Attack Strings Show & Tell #3 post.  Congratulations to ....

Maree!  You can check out her blocks here.  I love how scrappy her quilt is going to be!

Maree, if you will send me an email I will get your prize (the fun charm pattern and charm pack below) on the way to you.  :)

Thanks to everyone who participated this month ... I will post the next linky on May 5.  And if you haven't jumped in yet, join the fun!

Happy Sewing!  :-)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Farmer's Wife Friday

Whew!  It's Friday again ... already ... its been a wild week with lots of to-dos!  Did you have a busy week too?  I am certainly thankful for the weekend.  :-)

Despite the busy week, I do have a Farmer's Wife Friday update for you all.  Well, sort of.  ;-) I finished up my blocks for the 4x5 Modern Block Swap on Flickr last weekend and I ended up using a Farmer's Wife block for my inspiration. 

I decided to give the #54 Kitchen Woodbox a whirl.  Easy enough (no Y-seams or crazy angles) and I could figure it out without the paper piecing.  I made mine a little bigger - starting with a 3.5" unfinished square for the center.  This gave me a 9" block which I added a 1.5" border to so that it would be 12" when added to my fellow swappers' quilts.

I really love this one with the Half Moon Modern Scissors and aqua and green combo.

Then the all red and white (gotta love Ruby) turned out fun too.

I, of course, love pink and green.  So this might be my favorite just because.

The blue and gray turned out nice as well.  A little less in-your-face girly from the pink and green one above.

And finally a red and green with gray version ... this would be fun for a Christmas quilt, I think!

This was a fun block and they came together quite quickly.  Fussy cutting the centers would be fun to do with this block as well.  I hope my fellow bees will enjoy the blocks I made for them.  :-)

I hope to make some more FW blocks this weekend. Thanks for stopping by today!

Happy Sewing!  :-)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

New ...

Hi there!  :-)  Just popping in to share what's new at Sew Lux ...
We've got new markdowns on Terrain, Sophie, Circa 1934, Summer House and Etchings.  And save up to 40% on all patternsShop now for best selection.

And some new fabric ...

Happy Sewing!  :-)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Charm Pack Mini Quilt Tutorial #2

Hi again friends!  A few weeks ago, I shared the first tutorial in this mini series where we'll make TWO mini quilts from just ONE charm pack and a little batting.  You can see the first tutorial here.  Today I've got the tutorial for this one ...

Step 1: Grab the leftovers from your charm pack (or 17 charms).  I am using my leftovers from Hello Luscious.

You'll need 13 for the front and 4 for the back.

Step 2:  Select 9 squares (I am using 9 pink ones) and cut a 2.25" x 5" rectangle off of each one.  Set the remaining 2.75" x 5" rectangles aside.

Step 3:  Stitch the 2.25" x 5" rectangles together to form a panel.

Trim the panel to 4.5" wide.

Step 4: Stitch four aqua charms together to make an additional panel.

Once you have pressed the seams, cut the panel in half to make two 2.5" wide strips.

Step 5: Attach the aqua borders to the pink center panel.

It should look something like this ...

Step 6: Arrange the four leftover charms and the leftover pink rectangles to form a backing like shown.

Stitch together in rows and then attach the rows. Press seams open.

Step 7:  Sandwich your mini quilt.  I chose to keep my batting trimmed very close the size of the top so that I could try and center the top on the back since we'll be using the back to self-bind the quilt.

Step 8: Quilt around the main center panel as shown.  Important - since we will be doing a self-binding, you don't want to use a quilt design that goes all the way to the edge of the top.

Then, mark your quilt using a ruler to create a criss-cross pattern.  I used a FriXion pen because it will disappear when I iron over it later.  (Love that!)

Stitch over the lines.  (I used a walking foot and lengthened my stitch.)

Step 9:  Press your quilt.  Then fold back the backing so it is out of the way as shown.

Trim the edges to 1.75" from the border seam all the way around the mini quilt. You are NOT trimming the backing!!!

Then bring the backing back behind the edges.

Trim the backing so that it is 0.75" wider than the top and batting.

Step 10: Prepare the self-binding by folding the backing over and pressing it.  Start with the two long sides.

Then fold the sides up over the top and pin. Stitch carefully just along the edge of each long side to secure the binding.

Then fold the corners over as shown.

Fold the sides up over the short ends and pin.

Stitch as before to secure the binding on the short sides.  Backstitch at the beginning and end.

That's it!  You're all finished.  The front ...

The back ...

I kind of like this skinny rectangle size ... great for a shelf or entry way or even on a mantle.  Or next to your sewing machine, where mine is currently living.  :-)

I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial.  One note about it ... in the first one, I did all of the binding in one session.  I tried doing the two long sides and then the short ones and I think I like it better this way.  Of course, its your preference!  If you make a little mini with this tutorial, I'd love to see it.  Please link it up in the comments or for this month's Stitch & Share Linky/Giveaway post.  :-)

If you have any questions, just leave them in the comments or send me an email.

Happy Sewing!  :-)