Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Laptop Cover

Had to take a break from the quilt top today because my daughter, Erica, asked me to help her make a case for her laptop. She had been thinking and talking about it for a while so it was just time to get it done. We make a pretty good team. She chose the fabric and talked me through the design she wanted. The chair and sofa fabric came from Etsy for a steal.

I figured out the measurements and did the cutting. We both sewed and pressed.

She loves it and so do I. We're going to do a bit more work on the closure. Right now it has a velcro strip to keep it closed. The flap corners stick up a bit too much so we're either going to change the flap so that it angles in more like an envelope or we're going to add an elastic closure that wraps around the entire case.

I have a thing for fabric with chairs on it. Not only did we get the sofa print in red, but in purple, too. There were enough scraps from all of it to make yet another cute something.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Quilt top in progress

Quilt top in progress...and it's going to be a good one. The fabric is Jingle All the Way by Nancy Halvorsen. We are big supporters of all things Nancy Halvorsen at the shop and this year her holiday fabric collection has a bit more of a kick than in previous years. The colors are brighter, the prints more whimsical. As with most of her collection, the prints are small scale or tone on tone. They are perfect for scrappy quilts or quilts with smaller pieces. I haven't made a quilt top with this much detail in a while and I'm enjoying the challenge of precision piecing. It's not the quilt on the cover, but one of the great projects inside the book.

I've made more progress since this picture was taken and am very pleased with the results so far. One of the things I like about this sort of project is that you can never be certain of the end result until the quilt top is completed. My goal is to get the quilt top finished by the time the fabric arrives at the shop, hopefully by the end of this week.

I can't say enough good things about the book 40 Fabulous Quick-Cut Quilts. With most books, there are one or two projects that cause me to purchase it. More than half the projects in this book are on my "to make" list. This is a great book if you love precision piecing.

It's going to be an exciting sewing week. I'll show you the results as soon as I can!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Stash Frustration and A New Project

Why does it take so long to choose fabrics from my stash? I only needed four fabrics. My sewing room was relatively clean when I started and here's what it looked like after I found the fabric I needed. I've really got to come up with a better way to organize my fabric stash.

Here are the four pieces of fabric I selected.

Here's the project at the half way point. I was skeptical at this point because this looked very boring.

And here it is as a finished top. It still needs to be quilted and bound, but I think it turned out quite nice.

This was really easy to make. It only took an afternoon and that includes cleaning up the sewing room. In the next month or two, I'll be adding the Twisted Wreath as a class at the shop.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

New DIY Kits

There are two new DIY kits available in my Etsy store. One of them came about as part of a special customer request. She had purchased both the mousepad making kit and coaster making kit. She was looking for something bigger, say the size of three mousepads, to use under her sewing machine. What a great idea! After a bit of research, I was able to find a 10"x16" base. It works great for most machines. The base is 1/8" thick so it's very flexible and easy to store so if you take your machine to classes, you can take your mat, too. It sure helps minimize the bouncing and vibrating that can happen on some tables.

The other new DIY kit is to make your own fabric covered note cards. I've had finished cards available for a while, and thought it would be fun to make a kit for you to do your own. Each kit comes with four cards, four envelopes, and four pieces of two-sided fusible web. You can choose white or ivory. Use florals, novelty prints, or even orphan blocks to make beautiful cards like these:


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Simply Squares Pattern

I've been thinking a lot about customers who come into the shop and find a fabric they love but don't have a project in mind. For those who always make big quilts, two or three yards seems to be the right amount. Others tend to make more smaller projects. That's who I've been thinking about lately. With so many of us pinching our pennies, less is more. With that in mind, I'm developing designs that can be completed with half a yard or less of each fabric. Here is my latest design, Simply Squares. It is perfect for newer quilters because it is very straight forward. It's also good for those with some experience. It is a fast project to make and also includes instructions for mitered borders. The quilt top finishes at 36" square and requires a half yard or less of five different fabrics.

I was playing around with the design a bit to see how it would work as a big quilt. Here's what happens if you make four of the quilt centers and rotate them to make a symmetrical design.

A bigger size like this would need more substantial borders than the smaller version. If you added six inches to each side in borders, this quilt would measure 68" square. You would need two yards each of the three fabrics for the blocks, a half yard for the inner border, and 1-1/4 yards for an outer border. I like that it's possible to make both a small quilt and a big quilt from the same pattern.

This pattern is available at the shop and in the Etsy store. I'll also be teaching it as a class on Saturday, June 25 or Tuesday, June 28 at 9:00am.
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