Thursday, November 29, 2012

Aria Tablecloth, the Pattern!

Today's the day.  My pattern is ready, all tied with a bow, just waiting for you to come play!

The Aria Tablecloth pattern is available now for digital delivery at my Pattern Shop.  Stitch one up in 2 favorite colors and show off your patchwork style at your next party!  Birthdays, holiday fun, family feasts - totally makes for good pictures, I'm just saying.










{Two Tablecloth Sizes}

Medium: Ideal for rectangular tables ranging from 60-63” long (typically seat 6) and 38-39” wide. Finished work measures 56” x 80” finished. Note: If your table is both shorter and narrower (ex. 55” x 31”), the medium cloth will look lovely with patchwork extending proportionally on all sides, creating a longer skirt.

Large: Ideal for rectangular tables ranging from 79-81” long (typically seat 8) and 38-39” wide. Finished work measures 56” x 98”.

celebrations on Patchwork

This simple pattern is perfect for showcasing modern fabrics, and is suitable for a beginner to intermediate sewist. The layout relies on a 2-color scheme, which makes choosing fabrics so easy.  You could also use light vs. dark values to define the pattern, rather than color if you prefer a scrappy look!

two-tone Kona skirt

The Aria Tablecloth pattern includes details on how to sew your tablecloth with or without an overcast stitch function and with or without an overcast presser foot. Both tend to be available with modern sewing machines.  I think you'll be glad to get to know them, so use this opportunity to learn something new!

Thanks so much for supporting my work at Stitched in Color!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Star-weaving

You all, I am so touched by your sweet remarks about our work on our home.  It's a blessing to get to share that here and feel how our journey connects with many of yours and see how you care.  Thanks from my heart!

So, do you remember this color story, created by miss Emma Lamb?


I asked the Love circle quilting bee of do. Good Stitches to make hand-pieced star blocks for our October quilt, with Emma's mosaic as our color guide.  I knew it was a rather loose color scheme, but figured "scrappy" might be the happy result.

Starbright quilt

So, what do you think?  Sometimes I like it. Sometimes I think "meh, the colors are too somber."  It might be that I'm not channeling "fall" at this point.  It feels more like winter today!  Well, fall or winter, I'm going to finish this quilt and do my bestest to make it shine.  It's to be donated to a child through Wrap Them in Love.  Maybe the colors will be just the thing for some sweet boy.

The blocks were individually English paper pieced by hand by my awesome bee mates.  My plan was to join the blocks by machine.  Not that I'd never done that before, but what better way to make myself learn?  Necessity is the mother of...

cut filler pieces

So this is where I've been the past few mornings.  First off, I trimmed all the blocks to one standard size.  Then, I used a trimmed block as a guide to cut some filler pieces out of my border fabric, Kona Espresso.

filling in

See that dark brown shape at the end of the first row?  It's filling the row out so that I don't have to cut any star blocks.

straightening out

I also filled out the edges to create straight sides. 

stop 1/4" short

Next I pieced the star hexagons together into rows with simple straight machine seams.  Using this video tutorial by Lady Harvatine, I made sure to leave the edges of all seams unsewn with a 1/4" gap.  This gap leaves the 1/4" seam allowance free so it's possible to sew the zig-zagging rows together.

Hexagons row by row

Piecing actually turned out to be easier than I thought.  Slow, but easy.  Each edge of each hexagon is sewn individually, matching up sides and pinning carefully.  Always you leave a 1/4" gap at the beginning and end of each line.  After sewing one edge of the hexagon rows, you just rotate the fabrics to match up the next edge and sew another straight line with 1/4" gaps.  All that starting and stopping is slow, but not slower than hand piecing!  And, I'm happy to report that the joins came out nice and flat.

oh, look !  Y-seams.

Last night Brandon came by and said, "I thought you couldn't do that?"  He meant the joins.  I said, "Oh, yeah, those are y-seams, aren't they.  Cool, I learned how!".  Hadn't realized they were y-seams.  I was just "machine-piecing hexagons".  Haha.  Well, there you go!  Next time I want to sew a y-seam, I'm going to do this 1/4" gap method.  It was much neater for me than other methods I've tried.

And, in case you're wondering, I would totally do this kind of quilt with a bee again.  I think everyone enjoyed making a few hand-pieced stars (we even had a guest stitcher).  And, since the stars were so big, it did work up into a nice-sized quilt top.  Now I'm off to add some more Espresso at the edges.  Catch you later!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

a long time coming

In 2007, the same year Liam was born, Brandon and I decided to up and move.  We wanted to raise our little ones somewhere with space, with access to nature's playground and room for more sustainable living.  We lost a lot selling our suburban house at that point in the crash of the U.S. housing market, but it felt 100% right.

 Original house, 2007

This is what our 60's farmhouse looked like in 2007, when we bought it.  That's my Dad in the picture, who advised we'd be better off bulldozing the whole thing and starting from scratch.

original Sewing Room

Honestly, the first time I set foot in this house I felt I could never live here.  It was run down, smelly, and just freakishly textured.

original Living Room

See what I mean?  The house was a disaster.  But, it was nestled on 7 beautiful acres in a nice area.  It was land we would never otherwise be able to afford.  We didn't have the money to rebuild, but we could remodel with our own sweat equity.  In fact, Brandon did most everything (with help from his Dad and mine). We gutted the inside, rented a dumpster, and put in new floors, walls, electric, even some plumbing.  My man is SO handy!

living with patchwork

my new space!

Can you believe these are pictures of the same two rooms in our house?
 
I love our home.  Hope we never move!  But, well, we still hadn't done anything for the outside when I first mentioned the idea of getting it painted this summer.  That's why I wanted to use the money from the craft show combined with my birthday gift to cover those dirty beige bricks with some respectable fresh paint.

the Porch before

Though, if we're painting, maybe we should get rid of those dated shutters?  Hmm... what about gray paint and black shutters?  (I really wanted gray paint and bright yellow shutters, or anything with some color, but men are so color-shy.)  No matter what we dreamed up, the annoying brown windows spoiled the look.  And then there was that rusty, iron porch.  How come you can't just improve one thing on a house?  It's always the snowball effect.

the Porch after

When I received an very unexpected and generous gift for my birthday we decided to go all in.  New porch, new paint, new windows.  White windows!  And all fully functional!  Like normal people. Yay! 

the new look

Brandon built it!

My favorite part of the exterior remodel is the porch.  I never realized how much the old one truly sucked.  Brandon and his Dad (both experienced woodworkers) built the new porch in 2 weeks, just in time for the painting crew.  I think it turned out fabulous!  And, it was the cheapest part of the remodel.  Score!

our home, 2012

So, this is our humble home.  A friend said it looks like "us" on the outside now.  I say it's finally respectable.  Ok, I admit, I think it looks nice.  And "nice" has been a long time coming.

a long time coming

Thanks for stopping by and being part of this journey!  Who would have ever thought that sewing would be instrumental in bringing us home?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Plenty

I'm finding our regular routine a bit rusty today.  Our four-day holiday weekend was so very full (with feasts, traditions, carols, Christmas trees, sales, shutters and sewing), that it seems ages have gone by since we had a regular school day at home.  But here we are back to our projects and back to the blog, convinced now more than ever that there is plenty of good in our lives just as they are.

Plenty, n.  A full or completely adequate amount or supply (source). 

1502sm


The day before Thanksgiving I awoke eager to stitch this word of gratitude.  I had been reflecting on what one thing I am most thankful for this year.  In lots of areas we've been so blessed in 2012, most dear to me in the realm of friendships.  I can't think of a time in my life when I've truly known so many soul friends.  And they are all SO different!  It's incredible.  It's beautiful!  Yes, there's been plenty this year - in friends, in creative opportunities, in homechool momentum, even in finances.  So I'll mark 2012 as a year of plenty.

1506sm

It would be the easiest thing to stitch one word of thanks each year.  Maybe someday I'll be the Thanksgiving host and will make up the words into a runner or wall art of sorts.  I love the idea of bringing together years of tradition that way.  And so this year I'll begin.  Hey, my first stitchy tradition!

1497sm

I picked out a cross stitch font from this book, A Rainbow of Stitches, which features lots of embroidery and cross stitch motifs and alphabets, all very modern.

1495sm

Now that I do cross stitch, I see more of this book in my future.  It's so nice that with cross stitch you don't have to transfer the pattern!  That, and it's more like crochet or knitting, very methodical.  So easy on the brain.  My word came together in a few hours of stitching, picked up throughout the day.

2038sm

How did you like that stack of solids in the first two photos?  I'm off to work on a new all-solids quilt.  More details soon!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Serious Sales!

In America, the Thanksgiving holiday is closely followed (or rather immediately followed!) by one fantastic shopping weekend. Beginning on Friday morning, most shops have pretty awesome sales.  Sooo... this is the time to get your fabric, people.   Go shop in your bunny slippers:

Canadian shop, Mad About Patchwork, is in on the fun with 20% off all recent arrivals with the coupon BLACKFRIDAY20 through November 30th. That includes Winterkist, Chicopee, Bella, Valdani perle cotton sets and more.


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Sew Modern has 20% off all regular priced fabric with coupon FATTURKEY through November 26th.  Checkout the new Ruby Star Sparkle!





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There's a lot going on at Contemporary Cloth:  A giveaway, Free U.S. Shipping + 50% off International Shipping for orders over $35 and 20% off storewide with the code "save" through November 27th.
Treat yourself!

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At Canton Village Quilt Works, save 15% off storewide, except for classes and gift certificates with code "blackfriday15".  Through November 26th.





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Find some amazing deals at Fabricworm, where all Sale Fabrics are an additional 30% off through morning November 27th!















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At Sew Love Fabrics get 20% off storewide through November 26th!  No coupon ecessary.  Check out Notting Hill by Joel Dewberry.






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 JAQS is offering a Charm Pack gift with purchase of $75 or more while supplies last.  Just mention "FREE CHARM PACK" and you'll receive either Simply Color from V and Co, Marmalade from Bonnie and Camille or The Simple Life from Riley Blake


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Lots to choose from at Stash Modern Fabrics.  Save 15% on all bundles including preorders for Salt Water from Tula Pink and Architextures from Carolyn Friedlander. All sale fabric $5/yard.  20% off all Kokka fabric.  Free shipping on orders over $50 in the US with discounts internationally.  Good through November 26th.


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Everything at Whipstitch is 40% off! Plus, visit the blog today for a discount code for her Craftsy class. 

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Lark Cottons has 30% off storewide with code "Holiday" through November 26th. Code is case sensitive and gets entered on the shopping cart page.

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Visit Pink Chalk Fabrics for plentiful deals, a free Infinity Scarf Pattern and a 20% off coupon to use during the month of December.


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Ok, I've got a few shopping carts open now.  Best get to work narrowing this down.  Happy Stashing, friends!
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