Monday, April 6, 2015

Sewing with Knits

I'm "Cutting Corners" today over at Riley Blake Designs where you'll find some tips for sewing with knits.   They have just wrapped up a "Knit Love" blog tour with some fabulous projects to try, including a 20-minute knit skirt by the gals at Simple Simon.  See the whole list HERE.

Working on the samples for this tutorial brought back sweet memories of sewing for my kids when they were little.  I especially loved making matching outfits for my girls, or the same outfit in three different colors. On these sweet little bubble suits, each girl had her own applique' (a kitty, a lamb and a bunny). You can kinda see the bunny on Nicole's little outfit.  Or is that Chelsea?  That's Lauren in the back.

When I applique on knits, I use freezer paper as a stabilizer.  Just iron the waxy side of freezer-paper to the wrong side of the knit, and use a machine satin-stitch to applique' the motif to the background.  

So, just for the season... here's a sweet little bunny.
Download the free pattern HERE.  
Embroider a french knot for his eye, add a little ribbon bow at his neck, 
and use a pompom for his tail.

Click the button below to see more of my favorite tips for sewing with knits. 
Cutting Corners with Riley Blake Designs

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Tree Bird Blog Hop - my stop!

First off, a big THANKS to Madame Samm @ Sew We Quilt/Sew We Stitch, for organizing this hop featuring "Beautiful Birds" line of fabrics designed by Tracy Lisotte for Elizabeth's Studios, and to Lana at It Seams to be Sew for scheduling and cheering us all along the way!  

When I saw Mdm. Samm's little hop button and learned about the darling fabric we'd be working with, I had to participate - I couldn't help it!
 >>  Little Birdies Free Pincushion Tutorial & Pattern <<
You may have noticed that I have a thing for little birdies... I have a few spruce trees that surround our back deck, with little chickadees, blackbirds, an odd pigeon or magpie, well, a whole menagerie, sometimes.  And nothing says "Spring" like the sound of birdsong through my window.

I had been thinking about"interactive" quilts - fun for me to make, fun for kids (3 and older) to play with and enjoy, and the prints in this line really leant themselves to what I had in mind.

Fused a few of the birds to Pellon Pel-Tex71F heavy-duty fusible stabilizer, then cut out the shapes...

Laid out a few of the birdhouses with a tree panel...

Next, I pieced the top, then with batting in place, I marked where I wanted the little birds to sit in the branches with a Frixion pen.  I marked each spot with a pin, turned the batting over placing 1/2" metal washers in strategic places among the branches and birdhouses...

...then fused some lightweight interfacing to hold them in place so I could do a little freemotion quilting on Ol' Betsy.  

On the front of the quilt, I outlined each washer with a Frixion iron-off pen, then tried to "respect" the markings as I quilted... (it's not a pretty picture if you don't, trust me).

Added a few super-magnets with some heavy-duty E-6000 glue to the back of the birds, which seems to be doing the trick.

Once I iron off the markings and put on a binding it will be ready for hours of interactive fun!  I'm thinking, family tree games, matching games, countdowns, etc.

Last week I needed a little sample for a class on binding curves and scallops at a local guild meeting.  So I woke up that morning, programmed little Mo with a design I liked...

...then pushed the button and quilted a couple of pretty placemats for the demo.

(I'm really enjoying getting to know my new machine... finding "Mo"jo, so to speak!)
Be sure to stop by my other blog sisters today for more fun!  
The Raspberry Rabbits
More Stars In Comanche
Sew Many Yarns
Super Mom - No Cape!
Stitchin By The Lake
Jane's Quilting
Quilting Through Rose Colored-Trifocals
Quiltscapes  << Thanks for visiting!

(See the entire hop lineup HERE, and you may see the entire collection so far on the PINTEREST page.)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Sew Sweet Simplicity - Finale' (& Giveaway)

Here is my final installment on Jacquelynne Steves' free block of the month series.

The quilt center is sewn, but it's still in an evolving and growing status as I decide on borders.

My goal with this quilt was to use ONE layer cake (Adornit Crazy for Daisies), then supplement with a white background and my own scraps.  I also wanted to create each block with an emphasis on the star pattern using the reds in the layer cake.  Another goal was to be able to use the AccuQuilt die-cutting system to prepare my applique' pieces.  Then I made block #4 and didn't love it.  Too much red.

 So I bought a little more fabric and made another block using pattern #1.

Then I made another Block #2 to balance things out.

I needed a few setting blocks, so I used pieces from the layer cake:
I cut 10" squares diagonally in half and paired them with 10" background squares cut the same way to make hourglass blocks, and trimmed them to size.  Not my normal way of doing it, since it created all-bias edges, but with a little starch it will work,  and was a great way to grow the quilt.

Then I tried to put the quilt together.  Oops.

There was a time when I did not own a seam ripper.   I confess, it was a matter of arrogance, really.  I mean, after all, I don't really NEED one, right?!   Thank heaven my cute friend Fran gave me one as a gift.  And for this project, the little gadget and I became reacquainted...

Good thing I recently watched this video so I knew how to use it!!

Fixed the setting blocks and started to audition borders.  Colors are great, but, really, it's so busy!  Maybe I'll have to go with a plain border.  Then I spied it - OH, NO!   That center block is lying on it's side... urghghgh!  Time to get "frog-stitching" again... "Rip-it, rip-it, rip-it".

And of course, the bobbin ran out just as I was re-attaching it to the quilt center... sheesh. 

Whew!  Now it's all put back together as you see in the first picture.  I think it will make a great Spring wall hanging, or I could add a couple more borders for a baby quilt.  Maybe more open space for quilting detail.  I'll have to dream about it for a few more weeks while I learn to use my new longarm machine!

Now for the giveaway info:  Jacquelynne is giving away her fabulous digital e-book! Sew cute!

In addition, I'll throw in a new seam ripper, my orphan block #4 as pictured above, 
plus a little stack of fabric.   Leave a comment to tell us about your favorite quilting tool or gadget.  Be sure to include your email address if you are a no-reply blogger.

Giveaway will end next Monday (March 2nd).  

Jacquelynne also has a second special giveaway going on today, with more info on Thursday to kick off her 2015 free Block of the Month!   The free patterns for Sew Sweet Simplicity will only be available for the next month.  See all Jacquelynne's details on her blog ↓↓.  Be sure to stop by each of our Sew Sweet team for more inspiration and giveaways.

Jacquelynne ~ The Art of Home
Snoodles ~ Lily Pad Quilting
Teresa ~ A Quilt and a Prayer
Sandy ~ UpStairs Hobby Room
Deonn ~ Quiltscapes << thanks for the visit!
Barb ~ Bejeweled Quilts
Sandie ~ Crazy ‘Bout Quilts
Deanna ~ Wedding Dress Blue
Barb ~ Garden Path Quilts

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Sewing With Nancy...

So my cute friend Nancy wanted to learn how to paper-piece and came by to spend the day with me in the sewing room.  Yes, I was "Sewing with Nancy"!! *Ü*

Her adorable wonky house  pattern gave instructions for "Template piecing", aargh!!
1)  TRACE all the lines of each of three patterns on to separate papers.
2)  CUT out each individual section for every little piece of three different houses.
3)  ADD 1/4" to each and every side of each and every little template for all 27 pieces.
4)  TRACE around each piece on your fabric, then CUT out each individual section for all eight houses, labeling each of the 72 pieces so as not to get them mixed up...
5)  STITCH the blocks together.

Haha, yeah, right.

Instead, I gave her my basic paper-piecing lesson:
1)  COPY patterns by running them through the printer.
2)  SLAP your fabric on the back side of the paper
3)  STITCH on the lines of the paper.

OK, there is a little more to it than that, but man, if there is an easier way, you know?  You can check out my practically perfect paper-piecing lesson here >> "FooTStePS" (Fold, Trim, Stitch, Press, Smile!).  And just look at the result:  Big Smiles!

REPEAT:  Fold, Trim, Stitch, Press... She's still smiling, I can tell!

 ...more smiles!

Chhek out her directional background print - on grain, and all facing the same direction... YES!  By George, I think she's got it!

Then put a bird on it.

  Look what Nancy did!  Awesome!

And... here's what I did.  Made an owl pincushion and put a faux-piped binding on a mug-rug.  Then I made one measly, teensy little paper-pieced mini.  I used the "Add-an-Eighth" ruler for this one.

She'll be 3/4" square when she's finished.
Maybe I'll finally get that new lanyard done that I've been meaning to get to.

All in all, it was a productive, fun day, "Sewing with Nancy"!  And a bonus?  Chocolate Oreo cookie shakes at our local hangout, the Dairy Keen.  A great reward for a perfectly productive day.  Looking forward to the next Sew Day (Wednesdays, my house)!

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