Monday, July 30, 2012

Design Challenge :: Bedside Trio

Hi everyone!  I'm really excited to be sharing these projects as part of the Sew Lux Design Challenge.  When Chrissy first asked me if I'd be interested in making something, I immediately thought it must include Vintage Modern and embroidery.  A short time later, I was out shopping and looking for more canvas baskets for the kid's dressers, only to find the ones I liked were no longer available.  It seemed like the perfect opportunity to make my own.

I then thought that a smaller, nesting basket would be nice, but enough smaller that it doubles as a divider instead of just a smaller basket.  I chose a couple favorite Vintage Modern prints, added a few others I loved, picked out some coordinating threads, and made a fun bedside set.

For the large basket, from each printed fat quarter, cut 2 - 3 1/2" x 18" strips.  Cut the strips into 10 - 3 1/2" squares from each fabric.  From the porcelain fat quarter cut 2 - 7" x 18" strips.  From each strip cut one 6 1/2" x 9 1/2" rectangle {bottom of large basket} and 4 - 3 1/2" squares.

Note: the outside of the baskets are sewing with 1/4" seam allowance, for the inside to fit and not be bunched up {like my large basket!}, sew the bottom seams and the side construction seams with a 3/8" seam allowance.

Large Basket

From the 3 1/2" squares piece 4 - 5 squares x 2 squares pieces for the basket - two for the body and two for the lining {note, I used three porcelain pieces on the basket body, none on the lining}.

Use the two outside panels and one porcelain 6 1/2" x 9 1/2" rectangle and sew together to form an "I" shape:

Then, place the outside of basket on batting and trim batting to fit {if using fusbile batting, follow manufacturer's directions and fuse in place}, then quilt as desired {I quilted in the ditch of all the seams and then quilted a large "X" across all the print square.

Embroider the squares as shown.  If you're new to embroidery, you can find my Embroidery 101 tutorials here.

Sew the short patchwork side seams, press open {I also top stitched my side seams to keep the fabrics in place}.  Please note: if using Fusible Thermolam - only press the fabric or use a press cloth, it will melt if touched with the iron, I know this from experience!  Turn your basket right side out and press all the corners.

Make the lining using the same method but, instead of batting, use the heavy interfacing.  I omitted the quilting on my lining.  Place the lining inside the basket and top stitch 1/8" from the raw edge.  Set aside.

Small Basket

To make the small basket, cut one 5 " x 18" strip from each printed fat quarter, from each strip cut 2 - 5" squares.  Assemble the basket in the same manner as the large basket, using heavy interfacing for both the outside and the lining.  Use a 1/4" seam allowance for the outer basket, and 3/8" for the inner.  Place the inner basket inside the outer, wrong sides together, and top stitch them together.

Bind the Baskets

Then, from each printed fat quarter, cut one 2 1/2" x 18" strip, cut one extra 2 1/2" strip {for added interest, I also cut one of the remaining 5" wide pieces into two 2 1/2" strips and sewed one of them to my binding strip}.  Sew the strips together to make one long length of scrappy binding.  Fold the binding in half, wrong sides together, and press.

Place binding, fold down, around the outside edge of basket.  Stitch 1/4" from raw edge, leaving 4" of unstitched binding.  Join seam and finish stitching the binding around the basket.  Fold over raw edge.

Machine stitch binding in place {I like to use pins when machine stitching to make sure the bindings are nice and even}, and you're finished!  Bind the larger basket the same way, using the scrappy binding.

Embroidered Mini Quilt

And, since every dresser or nightstand needs a mini quilt, I used the 16 of remaining 3 1/2" squares to do a matching embroidery quilt.  After piecing the squares in the same manner as the large basket, I fused a square of batting to the back and then stitched my embroideries in the same manner as the large basket.

I used the remaining 5" pieces to do a scrappy backing, and the two leftover 3 1/2" squares to make corner pockets, so I can hang it on the wall if I chose!

Thanks so much for having me today, and I hope you enjoy making this as much as I have, it would make a perfect baby gift too {hint, hint!}.  And the fat quarter bundles and perle cotton samplers are on a special sale until August 4th, so get one while they're available.  Enjoy!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Design Challenge: July's Featured Blogger

It's time for the next installment of our Design Challenge!  This is the second month of ourDesign 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're welcoming our friend Jennie from Clover & Violet!  She was kind enough to answer a few questions for us... 

Hi!  I'm Jennie, and I blog with my mom over at Clover & Violet.  I'm supposed to tell you a little bit about myself, so here goes...I grew up in Washington State, but currently find myself living in California via New York and Virginia {thanks to the US Army!}.  I've been sewing since I was a little girl, and quilting and sewing seriously for about the last five years.  I'm so fortunate that my mom taught me to sew, and now we are business partners doing one of our favorite things together.

When I was young my mom sewed many of mine and my sister's clothes and things like bedspreads, curtains, and pillow covers.  That handmade home is something I want my own children to remember as part of their childhood too.  Not to mention, sewing stuff for kids is just too much fun!

What's your most favorite quilt block of all time?
I think star blocks are my favorite, all different kinds.  Though, lately I seem to be making everything in some or another version of a log cabin, so maybe that's a close second.

Photo courtesy of Clover & Violet.

What is on your quilt bucket list?
To make bed quilts for all the beds in my home.  Especially some kind of sampler quilt for my bed out of the massive amount of Simple Abundance that I've been hoarding.

What is your favorite sewing tool or notion?
A variety of disappearing markers.  Not only are they fabulous for embroidery, but they're great for matching things up, setting snaps, sewing buttons, quilting lines, and more!

What was your first quilt project?
A quilt for my college dorm room, you can see it here.

Where do you find inspiration for your quilting/sewing projects?
I find a lot of inspiration in the fabric itself.  If it is something I love, I need to figure out a clever way to use it so I can have it in my home or on my person.  I also love reading blogs, looking at craft books, and things like the Pottery Barn Catalog.

What is your favorite color combination?
Currently, pink and aqua!
Photo courtesy of Clover & Violet.

What is your favorite sewing supply/room organizational tip?
Well, just to find a method of organization that works for you, and then try to keep things put away.  I am always the least productive when I cannot find anything in the piles of fabric that often take over my sewing tables (constantly trying to keep things away from a toddler and a baby doesn't help either!).

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Jennie!  We're looking forward to seeing what you'll do with this fun bundle of prints ...
Photo courtesy of Clover & Violet.

Stop by again tomorrow for Jennie's tutorial - she has something wonderful to share with you! 

Happy Sewing!  :-) 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Scrap Attack Strings Winners #5 & 6

Happy Friday!

Dropping in to share the winners from the Scrap Attack Strings Show-and-Tell #5 & #6 post. So, without further ado congrats to ...

Thanks for stitching away at your blocks and sharing them with us ladies!  I will be emailing you to get your address so I can send you a special package!  :-)

Happy Sewing! :-)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tutorial: Textured Tree with Pleats

Hello, hello again!  Earlier this week, I shared the first of two textured tree tutorials and I am back today with  the second installment in this little mini series of fast and fun blocks to piece.  Ready?

This tree is all about pleats!  I've been playing with pleats for a few weeks now and I think they are so fun.  For this tree, you'll start with a 6" x 18" strip of green fabric. I am using Ornament Malabar Green from Tradewinds from our shop.

Pleat the fabric by creating some folds, ironing along the way.

When you finish, it should look like this.

Now, grab a piece of interfacing (about 6 x 8) and fold it in half and cut a diagonal line to make a triangle.

Fuse the triangle to the wrong side of your pleated strip, being careful not to disturb the pleats.  Then trim the edges off using your ruler and rotary cutter.

Stitch along both sides using a 1/8" seam to hold everything in place before we move to the next step.

Now, grab a 10" square of white (or other background).

Slice the square in half with a off-center diagonal cut.

Flip the left side over, so that we can piece around the tree.

Piece each side to the tree, one side at a time, leaving overhang at the top and bottom.

Press toward the background.

Trim the background in line with the bottom of the tree.  And prepare a trunk strip by cutting a 3" x 10" wide strip of white in half and inserting a 1.5" wide strip of a brown scrap.

Piece the trunk strip, pressing toward the trunk.

Attach the trunk strip to the tree block.  And for the next step you'll need a red rectangle about 4" x 8".

Make two diagonal pleats in the red fabric, starting at the outer edges. Press.

Then add a center pleat and press.

Take a scrap of interfacing and rough out a tree skirt shape.

Adhere the interfacing to the wrong side of the pleated red piece, taking care not to disturb the pleats.

Cut out the tree skirt and Fray Check the edges.

Applique the tree skirt using a zig zag stitch to secure it to the larger block.

Press your block and move it to your cutting mat.  Trim the block to 8" x 10".

Trim a piece of white card stock to 8" x 10".

Use double sided tape or clear scrapbooking tape to line the edges of the cards stock.

Align the tree block on top of the card stock, gently pressing the edges to secure it to the card stock. And place it in an 8 x 10 frame.

Of course, you could piece these into a quilt or pillow if you'd rather not make it as wall art.  Also, I would recommend adding any embellishments (buttons, beads etc), before adhering to the card stock.

Please let me know if you have any questions!  If you make a pleated tree, I'd love to see it - so link it up in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Happy Sewing!  :-)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Christmas in July Sale!

Orders of $25 or more (after discounts and before shipping) will automatically receive a Joy Mini Quilt Kit!

Other shop updates of note:  Swatch Buddies Refills are here!  Tiger Tape arrives Friday, 7/27/12.

Happy Sewing!  :-)

Tutorial: Textured Tree with Ruffles

Happy hellos to you all!  We're celebrating Christmas in July this week and today is the first of two tree tutorials ... this one is a textured tree with ruffles!  Both of the trees I'll be showing you this week will become wall art ... I will show you more about that on Thursday.  Let's get started!

Grab a sheet of computer paper and mark off an 8 x 10 rectangle (or whatever size frame you might like this to fit into.  And then rough out a sketch like I've done here.

Then, measure the two background pieces.  Just a ballpark ... we'll trim this down a little so if its a little big its ok.  :-)

Piece your background with two prints.  I am using a tonal floral from Etchings as my "wallpaper" and Bella Weathered Teak as my "ground."

Next, you'll trace the tree, trunk, and the tree skirt onto some fusible interfacing. Fuse your pieces to the wrong side of your chosen fabrics.

Trim the pieces and Fray Check the edges and allow them to dry.

Then, grab a pair of pinking sheers (or if you have a pinking rotary cutter that works too!) and cut some strips of green prints.  I am using two different prints from my stash.  My strips are about 1.5" wide ... no such thing as perfect here ... just cut some strips!  :-)

Grab your tree and a strip.  Stitch along the center of the strip and smush some ruffles under the foot as you stitch.  I like to use a clear foot and keep the needle in the down position and every few stitches, lift the presser foot and smush some more fabric underneath the foot to make some fun and casual ruffles.

When you're done it will look something like this.

Now, for the next row, flip the first ruffle up and hold it in place with a pin.  Position the next strip so there will be a little bit of overlap, but not too much and repeat the process.

Looking cute, right?!

Keep going ... alternating green prints and moving the top row out of the way as you stitch.  Be sure you are backstitching at the beginning and end of the ruffle.

Here's how to add more fabric on the fly if your strip is too short.  Grab another piece.

Fold both ends under about 1/4" and tuck the new one under the first one and keep on going.  Notice the overlap in the photo below.  (Hope this makes sense!)

Keep on going until your tree is covered.  (I ended up trimming the bottom of my tree shape a little since it was longer, but not long enough for another strip.)

Trim your tree from the back with your pinking sheers. Perfect isn't important on this ... just give it a haircut!

Now, lay all your pieces on your background and arrange as you'd like.  Use some Stitch Witchery to tack all the pieces down.  (Note: in this photo, I've placed the Stitch Witchery on top to show you placement, but it will go under the pieces and stick the tree, trunk, and skirt to the background.)

Stitch the pieces down with a zig zag stitch (I shorten the stitch length and the stitch width when I do this for a tighter stitch) using a coordinating thread starting with the trunk.  Move the tree and skirt back a little to stitch the trunk.

Then stitch the skirt down.

And finally the tree.  Because of the ruffles, I couldn't go all the way around, so I just held the ruffles back and stitched in between them.

I did get all the way around the bottom corners and along the bottom in one stitching session.

Here's my tree .... I haven't decided whether or not I want to add buttons ... so here's a picture auditioning a few ... maybe all the same color?  Or a different shape or buttons with shanks tucked between ruffles?  Beads?  Or just plain?

Decisions, decisions.  :-)

On Thursday, come back for another textured tree tutorial and I will show you how to turn these into wall art or a fun framed gift.

If you have any questions about the tutorial, please feel free to ask.  If you make a ruffled tree, I'd love to see it - link it up in the comments. :-)

Happy Sewing!  :-)