Thursday, October 23, 2014

62 days until....

Christmas.

And although I have done absolutely no gift shopping or making or even gift planning, for some reason that doesn't worry me one bit.  Maybe it should?  I'll think about that later.

Meanwhile, I am sneaking in a totally unnecessary project this week, but one that's been on my mind for almost a year.  I'm making Christmas stockings for a friend!  Just because.  And it's been so. much. fun.  Sometimes there's nothing better than making a project that's NOT on the list.  Even better when it'll make someone else smile too!

After browsing about, I've set out to make stockings that look like this or this.  It's a classic style with a cuff.  Since I don't have a similar stocking around to trace, I used the free stocking shape template from Sew Scrumptious; but otherwise I didn't particularly follow her pattern. 

quilted Christmas Stockings

My friend has an eclectic vintage thrifted look that I admire, but don't necessarily channel. So, with the help of some other friends, we commiserated on this collection of fabric. I'm going to use more fabrics than this, as some stockings are going to be pieced, but this sets a the general direction for my project.  Not surprisingly there's some Flea Market Fancy in there and several other Denyse Schmidt prints.  Look no farther than Denyse when you want something retro!

 quilted Christmas Stockings

Out comes my bucket of Warm & Natural batting scraps and away we go!

 quilted Christmas Stockings

I'm quilting both exteriors of the stocking. For the stocking linings, I'm using Essex linen/cotton blends.  My cuffs (which are cut 8" x 12.75" to fit this stocking template) are attached via Cluck, Cluck's tutorial.

quilted Christmas Stockings

The first one came together so quickly earlier this week, that I'm eager to make more.  Happy piles of fabric beckon!

quilted Christmas Stockings

Today I'm working on finishing my first patchworked version. 

quilted Christmas Stockings

Hopefully, this is going in the right direction!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

::Giveaway:: my Texty Sew Modern Bundle!

Sew Modern text bundle giveaway

Morning peeps!  The other day I was browsing at Sew Modern and kept stumbling across one cool text print after another.  Usually a store has one or two, but Sew Modern has a whole passel of them!  I actually had to weed some out to keep things to a manageable size. Miss Lauren let me create a custom text bundle to share with you.  I hope you like it!

Sew Modern text bundle giveaway

A good text collection includes small and large scale prints.  I like to have prints on white, on cream and on black.  Extra credit for interesting additions like math symbols or marked lines.  Also, a romantic script is a must!

Sew Modern text bundle giveaway

I like to add a little dash of text in most everything I create these days.  It's probably my favorite neutral, even more so than solid colors.  Sometimes I get stingy about using my favorite texts, so best to keep replenishing my stores.

Sew Modern text bundle giveaway

My bundle of 9 fat quarters is available now at Sew Modern in very limited quantities.  If they run out before you get yours, here are some of the prints included:

*Pela Studios - I Dream of Paris - Words - Black
*Robert Kaufman - Carolyn Friedlander - Architextures - Ledger - Gray
*Art Gallery - Frances Newcombe - Cherie - Memorandum - Cosmos
*Art Gallery - Frances Newcombe - Cherie - Telegrammes - Nuage
*Sweetwater - Elementry - Equations - Vanilla Black
*Sweetwater - Elementry - Calender - Vanilla Splash
*Robert Kaufman - Sewing Studio - Fashion - White 

*Zen Chic - Figures - Numbers - Linen

You'll also find more text prints at Sew Modern if you take a leisurely look!

::Giveaway:: 

 Sew Modern text bundle giveaway

Want to win this fat quarter bundle?  Throw your name in the hat by commenting on this post. If your email address is not shared via your blogger profile, share it here so I can contact you if you win.  International entries welcome!  I'll draw our random winner on Friday afternoon, eastern time.

Thanks to Sew Modern for sponsoring this giveaway!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

{Tutorial} Repurposed Hooded Towel

Want a large, super absorbent towel for baby?  I love hooded towels made from regular towels.  They're so much thicker than the baby towels sold in stores.  You can even re-purpose extra towels from around the house for this project!  This tutorial adds contrast fabric at the hood and easy-to-make straight grain binding, all with no exposed seams.  Enjoy!

repurposed Hooded Towel tutorial

Supplies
  • 1 large bath towel
  • 1 hand towel
  • Fat Quarter hood contrast fabric
  • 1/2 yard binding fabric

Step 1:  Cutting

Cut the hand towel in half, creating two square-ish sections.  The raw, cut edge should be somewhat longer than the finished edges.  You'll need only half of the hand towel for this project.

repurposed Hooded Towel tutorial

Measure the half-hand towel.  Cut the hood contrast fabric in the same dimensions as the towel.  If possible, as you cut, orient the selvedge to fall along a longer side of the half-hand towel.

repurposed Hooded Towel tutorial

If selvedge is not available, cut the hood contrast fabric a 1/2" larger than the half-hand towel so that you can make a double fold 1/4" hem on one side only, in place of selvedge.  The goal is to have a finished, non-raveling edge along one of the long sides of your contrast fabric.

Optional:  If you'd like, cut off some of the bath towel so that it is not quite so wide.  I took about 8" off the short side of my bath towel, making it a slightly less elongated rectangle.  If your towel is for a toddler, not a baby, probably best to leave the bath towel full-sized.

Cut binding fabric into 2.5" wide strips, using the full length of the fabric to make strips as long as possible.  You'll need 4 to 5 strips to bind your towel, depending on towel size.

repurposed Hooded Towel tutorial

Step 2:  Create Hood

Layer the hood contrast fabric on the half-hand towel, right side out.    Be sure to match the long, finished edge of the contrast fabric to a long, finished edge of the half-hand towel.  Pin all the way around.

repurposed Hooded Towel tutorial

Then, stitch all 4 sides of the contrast fabric to the hand towel with a 1/4" seam.

repurposed Hooded Towel tutorial

Use a zigzag stitch to overcast finish the cut, raw edge of the hand towel, stitching through the unfinished contrast fabric as well. 

repurposed Hooded Towel tutorial

Fold the hood, matching right sides together.  The zigzag finished edge of the hood should be folded and matched, zigzag edge facing zigzag edge.  Place pins along the zigzag edges.

repurposed Hooded Towel tutorial

Sew to close this side of the hood, being sure to backstitch at start and finish of your stitch line.  Curve the stitch line slightly as you near the fold of the fabric, to give the hood a more rounded finish.

repurposed Hooded Towel tutorial

Turn the hood right side out!

repurposed Hooded Towel tutorial

Step 3:  Finish

Review my zigzag binding tutorial to learn how to make and attach binding.  We'll be attaching binding in the same way here!  See tutorial for extra binding pictures and details if you're not familiar with attaching quilt binding.

First, use a 2.5" binding strip to bind the hood.  Attach the binding to the right side edges of the hood (raw edge of folded binding strip matches the raw edges of the contrast fabric).  Cut off excess binding.

repurposed Hooded Towel tutorial

Fold and press binding around the hood edges. The folded edge of the binding will fall on the wrong side of the hood.  Pin in place.  Attach with a zigzag stitch.

repurposed Hooded Towel tutorial

Center hood on a long edge of the bath towel.  The long edge is finished, as is the long edge of the hood so we'll have only finished seams exposed at this join.  Pin and join hood to bath towel with a 1/2" seam.  Be sure to backstitch at start and finish, maybe even more than usual!

repurposed Hooded Towel tutorial

Follow the binding tutorial to join remaining binding strips as one long strip.

repurposed Hooded Towel tutorial

Press raw short ends under at one end and allow binding strip to fold closed again.

repurposed Hooded Towel tutorial

Attach binding to the bath towel. Begin by lifting the hood slightly to start attachment just inside the hood/bath towel seam for a neat appearance.

repurposed Hooded Towel tutorial

Attach binding just as if binding a quilt, mitering the corners.

repurposed Hooded Towel tutorial

When you come around to the hood again, cut off extra binding, leaving about a 1" overlap with hood.

repurposed Hooded Towel tutorial

Fold and press under the short raw edge of the just-cut binding. Then attach as before, sandwiching the binding in the hood/bath towel seam allowance.  Now the binding is attached to the right side of the towel all the way around.

repurposed Hooded Towel tutorial

Finish attaching the binding as usual, with a zigzag finish.  As a final touch, sew to attach the hood binding to the bath towel binding.  I used a straight stitch on my Juki sewing machine, sewing very close to the raw edge of the hood binding.  If your machine cannot sew through such thick layers, try hand stitching to finish.  If you like, add a little fray check to reinforce the stitched down, raw edge of the hood ends.

repurposed Hooded Towel tutorial

Ta da!  A lovely, large hooded towel made from bright pink towels we no longer need.  Can't wait to snuggle my babe in it and snap some pictures for you sometime next year!

repurposed Hooded Towel tutorial

Always love seeing your photos of Stitched in Color makes at our flickr group.  Happy making! 


Monday, October 20, 2014

creamy pink Delicious

creamy pink Starbright for do. Good Stitches

At last!  Bits and pieces of this Starbright quilt have been floating around my sewing room, teasing me, inviting me, testing my patience.  When the final package arrived from my quilting bee friend this weekend, I couldn't wait to arrange all those triangles into creamy, pink stars.

creamy pink Starbright for do. Good Stitches

I have to admit, I was the littlest bit cautious about asking Love circle to make these triangular blocks.  But, I'm so glad I decided to trust their considerable skills!  The blocks have been a breeze to join together.  We're all in rows now.  Thanks, ladies!

creamy pink Starbright for do. Good Stitches

Because I'm a little crazy, I didn't just throw together the blocks willy nilly, as I had at first planned. No, I was charmed by all the different shades of pink: spicy hot pink, whisper rose, warm peach and almost-purple magenta.  How could I resist spinning triangles to match those pinky shades?  I do so love patchwork.

creamy pink Starbright for do. Good Stitches

This is bound to become one of my favorites I've led for do. Good Stitches.  I'll be so glad to see it go to some special little one through Wrap them in Love!

Speaking of do. Good Stitches, I've been brainstorming for our annual Celebrate do. Good year-end event.  If you have any suggestions for me, do share!  Meanwhile, be finishing those quilts so you can donate them and share them in our big link-up!  Can't wait to see them!!!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Folksy Fall winners!

Good morning!  I apologize for the delay in sharing our winners.  We had a few hiccups to work out behind the scenes.  Because our 2nd and 3rd place winners were neck and neck, Julie at Intrepid Thread has offered to send fat quarter bundles to all three top-voted mosaics.  Isn't that nice! 

And so our winners are...

Adrianne, Simply Me and Jenelle!

Since the start of our contest, many of the fabrics in the winning mosaics have actually sold out.  So, Julie made bundles to list in her shop that feature a combined version of all three bundles. 

There's the Mini Folksy Fall Bundle featuring 12 prints...


The Midi Folksy Fall bundle, with 18...


And the Max Folksy Fall bundle which has all of 24 fabrics!


Any of them would make a lovely fall quilt!  Thanks, Julie, for putting these together for those of us feeling inspired.  And thanks, everyone, for your contributions in mosaics and voting. 

Wishing everyone a weekend filled with good fun, good makes and good folks!

xo,

Rachel

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Getting Stitchy

With the hand stitched arts, I love variety.  A little hand quilting here, some English Paper Piecing there, embroidery when the chance arises.  It has been so long since I worked an embroidered or cross stitched piece, so I've seized on the idea to stitch letters to collage on a nursery wall.

 first stitches

Starting with "e".  This pretty piece came together all in one night!  I had the chance to stitch this up over some nice conversations with my girlfriends.  Hand stitching is so portable and social.  Love that!

first stitches

My concept is to do a random assortment of letters, in various fonts and sizes, all on black cloth.  Most will be in white or cream thread, I think.  This one is pink as a point of emphasis.  The pattern comes from Anna Maria's Needleworks Notebook, where a full suite of lowercase letters beckon.

Finding black aida cloth was no easy thing.  None of my local haunts had it, so I ordered 14 count via Amazon as a test piece.  Now that I know I love the look of cross stitching on black and have not found it difficult working with the dark color, I've ordered this set of 11 count cloth and also made an excursion to Hobby Lobby for a big, economical piece of 14 count.

The "e" was made double size from Anna's pattern by skipping every other hole.  It's only about 4" tall.  I used pearl cotton size 8 rather than embroidery floss.  The pearl has a more glossy, substantial look.

first stitches

My next piece is a large, cursive "H" worked in embroidery on Kona black, again in pearl cotton 8.  It's hard to resist using that nicer thread!

first stitches

Returning to slow stitches reminds me to savor.  The world outside is shining this morning, freshly washed from the storms with mists rising across the pastures.  See the dogwood tree, just beginning to turn? 

I am so grateful for these beautiful moments.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Baby Make: Moses Basket bedding

Once upon a time...

Moses Basket bedding

These fairytale fabrics from Heather Ross' Far Far Away couldn't be more sweet for baby.  Especially for moses basket sheets, I wanted to use soft, creamy fabrics that wouldn't distract from a sweetly swaddled baby within.  Windham fabrics kindly sent these cuts, some for this project and some for projects to come.

Moses Basket bedding

I've never made sheets before, so I was happy to find that the process is super simple.  For this rounded mattress, I traced and cut fabrics at 4" larger than the mattress all the way around.

Moses Basket bedding

Then I pressed the sides under twice to hem and once more about 1/2" wide to accommodate the elastic.    At the rounded edges you have to let the hem fold and gather, which can be a bit frustrating to sew.  But, happily it all ends up on the underside of the mattress anyways.  No need to fuss!

Moses Basket bedding

Just thread through the elastic, gather and voila!

Moses Basket bedding

As I was working on the sheets, I gradually realized that the mattress that came with the moses basket set is much more soft and squishy than seemed safe.  

Moses Basket bedding

The simple solution?  Quilt it!  Quilting will compact it to reduce loft.  You can see just how much loft there was at this stage, when I've just quilted sparsely in one direction.

Moses Basket bedding

After quilting both ways the mattress is nicely dense and flat.  Yay, sewing to the rescue!

Moses Basket bedding

I had also bought a large wool puddle pad, which I converted into 3 right-sized waterproof mattress pads. 

Moses Basket bedding

Feeling very productive and thankful for my sewing skills!  My goal is to sew one project per week from my Baby Makes list.  Crossing fingers!

Moses Basket bedding

I finished 3 sheets!  Two frog prince Far Far Away prints and one of this cursive text print from my stash.

Moses Basket bedding

I think it makes a dreamy bassinet sheet!

Moses Basket bedding

Moses Basket bedding

When I was done, I had this happy little notion that it's already enough.  A safe place for baby to sleep and mama - that's all that baby really needs!

OK... and diapers.
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