Archive for the ‘Fabric’ Category

Cutting into my Bloomerie challenge fabrics

Ok, I’m planning a longer post about all the fun stuff I have to show for the last week, but in the meantime I thought I’d share this sneak peek at what I’m working on for the Bloomerie Challenge that Rachel is hosting.
Challenge sneak peek

Bloomerie Challenge sneak peek

Can’t wait to share the final project later this week!

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Sometimes sewing just makes me so happy. Actually, most of the time I’m sewing (or looking at fabric, or thinking about fabric or quilts or sewing) I’m pretty darn happy. So, it’s fitting that I’m feeling pretty excited about a few new projects!

First up, I am thrilled that Rachel picked me for the Bloomerie scrap fabric challenge!

Summer Breeze Scrap Challenge!

When Rachel shared the sweet little stack of fabric above, I immediately thought it would be perfect for a baby quilt I just sketched out. I love making baby quilts– they are the perfect size, and come together so much more quickly than full sized quilts. I can’t wait to get to work on this! And I’ll try to share a sneak peek as I get things going.
As for the challenge, I can add in 1 more fabric of your choosing if I’d like to (yup, I’ll be doing that!). Each fabric has to be used, but you don’t have to use all of each one. I also am allowed to add embellishments as needed, though I tend to keep it simple with my quilts, so I’d be surprised if any buttons or ric-rack found its way into my project! I’ll wrap things up and will post about my project by July 8th, and Rachel will feature all the projects on her blog on the 9th. I am excited to see what the other challengers make– I’m sure you will all want to check it out, too!

(Also– if there are any How I Met Your Mother fans out there, you may recognize the reference in the title of my post. And if not, here’s a little video to give you some context:)

which way quilt fabric

I also have been chatting with some other bloggy friends, both new and old, about a quilt we’re all planning to make this summer– the pow-wow quilt (pattern by Allison from Cluck Cluck Sew). Jacey suggested on her blog that she’s going to refer to the pattern as Which Way, and I have to admit I prefer this quilt name, so I’m jumping on board and I’ll be calling it by that name, too. I pulled this stack of fabric for the quilt, and I can’t wait to start cutting it up!

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WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

It’s been a while since I rounded up my works in progress to tally them up, and to link up with Lee’s blog! I’ve found that when I finish a project, I get the “real” camera out to snap some photos. But for my everyday stuff– the real behind-the-scenes work– I tend to catch a photo with my phone and post some of them on instagram. So here’s what I’ve got cooking, in a few snapshots from the last week or so:

Almost done with this one

I finished quilting my fat quarter quilt, and I’ve been leisurely hand sewing the binding in the evenings (Simon was keeping an eye on things, as usual). I decided to branch out and try quilting it using the orange peel quilting pattern from Elizabeth from Oh Fransson. I love how it turned out!

Patriotic WIP

I started working on what I’ve been thinking of as my “4th of July” quilt. Wonky stars in 2 sizes, the small ones scrappy.

Fabric for a new project

I pulled this stack of fabric for a new quilt I’m going to start working on soon! I’m really drawn to all the bright colors.

New pillow covers

And I’ve been working on some new pillow covers for on the couch to go with the new quilt. I’m thinking of it as the living room summer makeover! And– as usual– Simon is testing things out, and I think he approves of this pillow. Once I finish sewing these, I’ll have some before and after pics to share!
piecing my single girl rings

first finished single girl ring

And– last but not least, I’m still S-L-O-W-L-Y working on my single girl. I want to finish the quilt top this summer, and I’m thinking of hand quilting it in the fall! It’s queen sized, so that may be crazy. But, since I haven’t ever really hand quilted anything, I don’t know how crazy it is, so I’m probably just going to go for it! If anyone has any words of wisdom (or caution, ha) let me know!

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*** This Giveaway is Now Closed**

Fabric for my giveaway!

Today is giveaway day at Sew Mama Sew! Twice a year Sew Mama Sew hosts a coordinated giveaway, where anyone who is hosting a giveaway on their blog can link up, creating a huge selection of blogs to visit to enter to win all sorts of good stuff! If you’re visiting from Sew Mama Sew, thanks for stopping by!

Denyse Schmidt charm squares!

I thought I’d share some of my *favorite* goodies today. Nothing gets me more excited to sew than a gorgeous pile of fabric, and my absolute favorites are from Denyse Schmidt. She was the first quilt and fabric designer I recognized by name when I took up sewing a couple of years ago, and I love pretty much every fabric she has designed! Today I’m giving away a 2 charm squares of each print pictured here, including fabric from her lines of Flea Market Fancy (the original!), Katie Jump Rope, and Hope Valley. I made sure there were a range of colors so any sort of project or color scheme would be possible with these prints!

DS Charm Squares

One possibility would be to make a quilt like my Flea Market Fancy Colorful Squares. Pairing prints with coordinating or complementary solids can stretch them quite a bit, and can highlight your favorite prints!

FMF detail

Flea Market Fancy quilt

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment! And if you have a favorite fabric designer or line of fabrics you’d recommend, I’d love to know what it is! This giveaway is open to everyone, and I will ship internationally.

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Blogger bundle

A few weeks back I mentioned that I was working on a project with my blogger bundle from Pink Castle Fabric. Sadly it looks like Brenda has sold out of this particular bundle, but she’s got plenty others in her shop!

framed patchwork quilt top

I was drawn to the fabrics for my bundle because of the color. I find color drives a lot of the fabric choices I make! I also like to pay attention to value, and I like when there’s a good blend or light and dark fabrics. With that in mind, I wanted a project that would make these fabrics shine together, so I came up with the framed patchwork quilt.

In order to make this easy, I thought I’d provide instruction on how to quickly cut up 12 fat quarters for this project. The piecing is pretty straightforward, so I won’t go over that here– but if you have any questions just leave a comment and I can help.

cutting instructions

I would stack up 4 fat quarters at a time and would cut them as follows:
1. Trim off selvedge edge
2. Trim along 22 inch edge (for a straight cut)
3. Cut 3 strips that are 22″ by 4.5″, and one strip that is 22″ by 3.5″ (the 3.5″ strips are for the outer border)
4. Cut the 4.5 inch strips into 4.5″ squares (make 4 cuts so that you end up with 12 squares)

In addition, you’ll need 3.5 inch wide strips of a solid for your inner border. For this quilt I used an essex linen/cotton blend. Sew together your squares to make a 12 x 12 patchwork block. Next, add the 3.5 inch wide border strips. Finally, piece together the longer border strips, and add those to the outside of the quilt. You’ll end up with a lovely throw sized quilt top– roughly 60 inches square. And very little left over scraps from your fat quarters– I used mine in the back of the quilt, which I’ll share as soon as I have time to take a good picture!

patchwork detail

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I was over at Pink Castle Headquarters the other day and I got REALLY excited when Brenda said I could pick out my own blogger bundle for her shop!!
Picking out the fabrics for a new project is just about my favorite thing, so I got to work! I love the bold blues and greens in Lizzy House’s new line, Hello Pilgrim. They paired nicely with some Pez prints and some basics. The colors also went really well with a yellow print from Outfoxed (another Lizzy House line), and a few Joel Dewberry prints rounded out the bunch. I love these colors together– they are looking rather scrumptious to me!
So, I couldn’t resist– I have plans to turn a bundle into a new project within the next few weeks, and I’ll keep you all posted on the progress! In fact, I’m planning to share a simple tutorial on how to cut your fat quarters and piece a quilt top like mine, so stay tuned!
Plus, it’s super easy for you to score a bundle for yourself– just visit Pink Castle Fabrics

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Stack for a New Quilt

This week I’ve been making some blocks for a new quilt. It’s very red, pink, white, and grey. I’m loving those colors right now! There’s something so wintery but warm about them.

quilt blocks in progress

quilt blocks in progress

quilt blocks in progress

quilt blocks in progress

quilt blocks in progress
I’m hoping to finish the quilt top by this weekend– I’d love to have it ready to use by Valentines day!

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Threads of Feeling

My stack of Hope Valley arrived!

Usually my “fabric world” consists of following what my favorite new designers are creating and buying my favorite prints and colors to incorporate into my own quilt. To me, fabric is full of possibility– in fact, I’ve noticed that when I get really busy and don’t have time to sew, I tend to want to buy more fabric, because I feel like I’m buying the possibility of having time to sew. Fabric can be an escape– when I want a break from life, I daydream about what I’ll make with my favorite prints of my hoarded stash. I often think about this right before I fall asleep.

flea market fancy!

I’ve come to realize that fabric represent more than its face value, and this point was driven home for me when I came across the Threads of Feeling online exhibit at the Foundling Museum in London. I came across this website because I heard it mentioned on a podcast I regularly listen to, and after viewing it, it stuck with me for quite a while. I thought those of you who read my blog would also be interested in different fabric histories, so I thought I’d share.

The basic story behind this exhibit and the fabric it displays is that in the mid-18th century when women who were unable to keep their children would give them up for adoption, they would often drop them off at the Foundling hospital. The women were instructed to leave a means of identifying the child pinned to their clothing, so often the women would choose a distinct piece of fabric or ribbon and would leave a piece with the baby and keep a piece to prove the baby was hers should the circumstances change and she were able to return for the baby. There are a number of resources on the web with more information, and I would recommend this article from the Guardian.

You can view the online exhibit here.

If you take a moment to check it out, I’d love to know what you think. I was really moved by the photos and notes, and it definitely gave me a new perspective on the many meanings fabric can hold.

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little folks + pastry line

I love fabric. Love love lovelovelovelove it. Even if I have a moment (it’s rare, but it happens) that I don’t feel like sewing, I still want to look at fabric. I love looking at it in person and online, and I love imagining what I’d do with it all!

fabric from Pink Castle

However (believe it or not), I’m on a budget, and so I have to be strategic about my purchases. I have quite a stash, and I like having my favorite fabrics on hand because it helps me think about possible projects.

I often buy fabric on sale, and don’t necessarily bite right away when a new line comes out. I like to wait and see what people are doing with prints before I decide about some of them. In fact, my favorite fabric line (at the moment) is hope valley, however, I didn’t buy any of it for a long time until I had seen it used in other projects and came to love it. I really love how well it plays with so many other fabrics. I’ve been keeping my eye on this line, because I knew I wanted to stock up before it was out of print.

Lucky for me, I have a friend who keeps me posted on these important matters– Brenda runs the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild, and also runs her own fabric shop on esty! Pink Castle Fabric has been one of my favorite places to shop for fabric because I LOVE the lines Brenda orders, and she has really reasonable prices (it also helps that I can pick up my fabric in person!). If you’re thinking about getting some Hope Valley before it’s gone, Brenda’s shop would be a good place to do so– she still has a lot of the prints in stock!

pink castle fabric headquarters

cutting mat

A little while ago I was over at Pink Castle Headquarters (aka, Brenda’s house), and snapped a few photos. Brenda has SO much good stuff in her shop, and will continue to get more… in fact, she’s taking preorders for the Flea Market Fancy re-release this spring! I’m excited to see how it pairs with Hope Valley, I’m imagining a big patchwork quilt.


Brenda also often snaps up fabric as it’s going out of print, like the Anna Maria Horner pastry line voiles and Folksy Flannels. I took the opportunity to stock up! I’m always a sucker for Anna Maria Horner prints, and when I know they’re going out of print and are on sale, it seems crazy not to get some! I had a fat quarter stack of little folks voile prints, and I was really excited to get the pastry line voiles to go with them!

pink castle precuts

1001 Peeps


It’s been really interesting to see the “behind the scenes” at Brenda’s shop, so I thought I’d share it with you all! Plus, if you’re looking for a place to buy some great fabric, you know where I’m going for mine!

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*** This Giveaway is now closed***

Kona color card

As I mentioned yesterday, I had sooo much fun at the sewing summit. One of the great things about it was all of the swag I got to bring home! I’m looking forward to trying some new thread, batting, and using other goodies I got! At the end of Jeni’s class on fabric selection, we were lucky enough to all get Kona color cards. These are so useful when trying to find solids for a project, and I love the one I already have. Now that I have 2, I thought this would be the perfect thing to share with one of you! After all, I can’t talk about how great the sewing summit was without sharing something with you all!

kona color card

I found the Kona color card to be VERY helpful when working on a project such as this:

FMF detail

Matching all of those solid fabrics is SO much easier when you can see an actual swatch in person!
So, if you’d like to enter to win the Kona color card, leave me a comment on this post, and introduce yourself (that is, if I don’t already know you!). Say hi, tell me where you’re from or if you have a blog, or any little thing. I had so much fun meeting up with my bloggy friends this past weekend that I’d like to keep it going and get to know you all a little more!
I’ll leave the comments open until Sunday at 1pm, at which time I’ll pick a winner.

Flea Market Fancy quilt

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