Archive for the ‘Fabric’ Category

****This giveaway now closed.****
stack of freshcut fabric

This very entry marks my 100th post here at Greenleaf Goods! I’m so thrilled that I made it this far– I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I started blogging, and this really came about because I wanted to share what I was working on with family and friends. Now I’ve found I’m becoming part of an online crafting community, and I couldn’t be happier with all of the inspiration and support I’ve received from you all! As a way of saying thanks, I decided to mark the occasion with my very first giveaway!
When I began sewing about a year ago, one of the first designers I fell in love with was Heather Bailey— I’ve loved nearly everything she’s released, and I stocked up on her Freshcut line of fabric, as it is now out of print! I still love all of these prints, and have used them in a number of quilts and projects. (like this. and this. and this. I also quickly decided that the jellybean print from the freshcut line was perfect for bindings, and so I used it as a binding again and again and again. I wanted to share the love, so I’m offering up a quarter of a yard of the following prints, from the Freshcut and Pop Garden lines:

quarter yards of freshcut

As well as a half yard each of the Jellybean print in green and pink. This should be enough to bind your next quilt (or two), if you choose to use it that way!

freshcut jellybeans

Here’s the catch: I am amazed at how much I’ve been able to learn from tutorials and instructions and advice I’ve found online since beginning to quilt, and I love when people share their own insights! If you’d like to enter the drawing for the fabric, leave me a comment and let me know something you’ve learned lately– it can be about sewing or quilting, or life in general– all information is welcome! And, I plan to follow up with a few posts about things I’ve learned lately, so stay tuned for those!

The giveaway will remain open until Thursday night, and I’ll announce the winner on Friday!

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It has been way too long since I’ve written a post! Sorry for the silence around here– I had a crazy busy week of work, and then seriously needed a break from everything, so I went to visit my parents for a bit! Now I’m back, well rested, and ready to catch up on everything.

new fabric in the mail!

I’m feeling inspired by the fabric mail I’ve received in the last week. First up, I ordered a few basics from Hawthorne Threads. I was really excited to pick up one of the prints from Tula Pink’s Parisville line. I also stocked up on a few more of my faves from Modern Meadow and Innocent Crush.

I was talking to my sister today, and I was asking her what she’d like for her birthday, which is coming up in a few weeks. I was (of course) thrilled when she requested that I sew her something new! This is my favorite way to go for gifts for my friends and family, but I don’t want for it to wear out its welcome. I’ve been brainstorming some ideas about what might be useful for her, and I think I might have to cut into some of this pile of fabric for her gift.

I was also SO lucky to win a fabric giveaway over at Kristie’s blog a little while ago!
Fabric from Kristie
The fabric arrived last week, and is just gorgeous. I was excited to see I had a few coordinating prints in my stash, so I’m already brainstorming ideas for this stack. Thanks so much, Kristie!

I have a few more posts already planned for this week to make up for lost time! Also, I’m quickly coming up on my 100th post, for which I have something special planned– so stay tuned!

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Bee block closeup

Hi everyone! I’ve been mulling over the quilt design for my circle of the Do. Good Stitches for April, and I think I have *finally* settled on what blocks I want the members of the group to make. My initial idea was to make a lattice quilt, and I made some test blocks. But these just seemed a little drab to me, and I’ve really been craving color! So, I decided to modify the plan, and I whipped up this test block to share with members of the circle.

Do Good Stitches scrappy bee block

The block is made using a paper-piecing method, and the tutorial I used can be found here. Instead of using a white strip down the middle of the block, I went for all color. Each big block (which measures 12.5 inches square) is made up of 9 separate 4.5 inch blocks. For each block, I started by cutting 9 squares of paper that were 4.5 inches tall and wide. Next, I used a gluestick to lightly attach the center strip to each piece of paper. I cut these middle strips to be 1.5 inches wide and 7 inches long.

laying the first strip

Next, I raided my scrap bin for all brightly colored, saturated fabrics that I had that are green, yellow, orange, and pink. I attached the scraps to the paper squares until each square was covered, and then pressed with a hot iron. I trimmed the excess fabric, and then peeled the paper off the back of the squares. Finally, I laid them out in a diamond pattern, and sewed the blocks together.

laying out the bee blocks

Here are a few tips I have for those making these blocks:
1. BE SURE to reduce your stitch length when sewing scraps to the paper block. This will really help when trying to pull the paper off the back!
2. I found it easiest to press my seams to the side. This did make it a little bulky when I joined up my squares, but my machine could handle it just fine, so I am not worried about a few bulky seams. It also seemed like it helped hold things together well to iron to the side.
3. Make sure your scraps are large enough to fully cover your square. A few times I thought I was all set, but needed one last small scrap to cover the very end of the block. This is not a big deal, but it can be frustrating.
4. For this particular quilt, I tried to mix up the colors evenly, so I didn’t have any blocks that were mostly one color.
5. I made the middle strip 1.5 inches wide on each square, but I allowed the rest of the strips and scraps that I attached to vary in width and size (and placement– I think the “wonky” look works well with all the color!)
6. Have fun! Hopefully the bright colors and freedom to piece wonky scraps will make these enjoyable blocks to make!

scraps for my bee blocks

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first finished single girl ring

Finally, some pictures of my first finished single girl ring! 1 down, 15 more to go (I’m aiming for the queen sized quilt). Luckily, I don’t think it will be too bad– I’ve been systematically sewing together all my curved pieces for a while, so I really have more than just one ring done– just not fully assembled yet. I’m a little behind the quilt along, but I’m hoping to make up some ground this weekend.

single girl ring closeup

I used a mix of fabric from modern meadow, hope valley, and a few Amy Butler prints. For the background, I’m using Essex cotton/linen blend in natural. I really like how the natural look of the linen works with the color palate I opted for. I can’t *wait* to get this quilt put together!

first finished single girl ring

In other sewing news, I cut some fabrics for a new baby quilt I’m working on. I’m really liking these colors together lately– the baby quilt seems to match my single girl rings!

Squares for new baby quilt

Last but not least, I’m working to finish putting together my sample blocks for April’s do. Good Stitches quilting bee. I’m still deciding on a final color scheme, but I’m aiming for something Springy, and I’ll be back later this weekend with a post about the blocks.

I hope everyone is excited for the weekend! I know I am!

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almost done with my single girl rings!

Ok, ok, so I don’t think I keep up with posting things as fast as I work on them. But I realize this is because I have been spending my time at my sewing machine, and not as much in front of my computer. Anyway, as a result I have a bunch of stuff to share!

piecing my single girl rings

First up, I have an update on my single girl quilt. I set out to make a queen sized quilt for our bed (yikes! Biggest quilt I’ve attempted yet!). I’ve been following along with the Single Girl Quilt Along, and I’ve found all the tips to be VERY helpful.
I am *almost* done piecing my rings (hoping to finish this today!) and then I need to cut out the background fabric and start piecing those curves!

Second, a friend of the family commissioned a baby quilt made from Heather Bailey’s Nicey Jane fabric. I pulled out this stack, which I quickly cut into 5 inch squares.

Nicey Jane stack for a baby quilt

Now that I have the layout finalized, I’m going to try to finish this quilt top soon!

Nicey Jane on the design wall

nicey jane layout closeup

Also– a quick note here on keeping all these pieces straight– I once read somewhere (unfortunately, I can’t remember where, but if I could I’d give full credit!!) that using small stickers to label rows (or even pieces) of a quilt can help keep things straight when moving between the design board and the sewing machine. I use file folder labels that I cut down to size, and label the top square of each row, and sew the pieces together moving down the rows from there. It helps SO MUCH when I chain piece squares and cut them apart and can’t otherwise remember what goes where!

how I keep from confusing my rows

On a different note, I’ve also been working on organizing my stash. I had kept things sorted by fabric line, but then I also had some stacks organized by color… and everything was starting to look like a mess. So, following Jeni’s recommendations from her “The art of choosing” series, I have been re-folding and stacking by color. I probably shouldn’t admit that this is just part of my stash, but I’m well on my way to having this done, and I love looking at this stack of fabric on the shelf in my living room! Sometimes the fabric and I just look lovingly at each other. Is that weird?

working on organizing my stash

Last up, another dose of Simon! This time, he had curled up on the couch with his little stuffed dog friend, and was using his stuffed dog as a pillow. As usual, I couldn’t resist snapping a few photos of him.

Simon with his chin on T

Look how he has his little paw under the dog, like he’s giving him a hug! Ahhh, the cuteness just kills me!

Simon sleeping on T

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

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My Jane Market Bag

Last weekend I went to visit my parents in Ohio (along with my friend Laura), and we planned to have some sewing time so we could try a new project– the Jane Market Bag. I had seen these all over the internet, and it seemed like a straightforward pattern, so we decided to give it a go.

Jane Market Bags
(My mom’s bag is the lemon-lime one).

I used Joel Dewberry’s ginseng print home dec weight fabric for the side panels, and Denyse Schmidt’s county fair for the pocket and handle. I like how the heavier fabric gave the bag a little body, and I think next time I might also add some interfacing for structural support.

I also discovered that it can be tricky to photograph bags, particularly when people are holding them! I forgot to take my tripod home with me, so it was hard to get a good shot– plus my mom was trying to help by holding hers higher, right as I was taking the picture 🙂

Trying to get a good shot of the Jane Market Bags

While we were there, we stopped by Chagrin Falls, and I was really surprised to see that the falls were nearly completely frozen!

Frozen Chagrin Falls

Frozen Waterfalls

Closeup of the Frozen Falls

It’s likely that a bunch of that has melted by now, but it was a lot of ice!
Now I’m back to working on cutting out all the pieces for my single girl quilt. It’s a lot of tracing and cutting of small squares, but I’m still really excited to get them put together, so that is good motivation to keep me going through this project. I hope everyone is having a good weekend!

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Quilt blocks ready to be sashed

I finished making all of the blocks for my red and aqua mixtape quilt. I’m so glad– I love how bright the colors look, and I’m really feeling the urge to be cozy and quilt this week, especially with a big snowstorm on the way!

Lately Simon’s been sleeping on all the quilts. He’s a smart dog, it’s been cold around here!

Simon sleeping on my quilt

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Liv's jewelry holder

Yesterday I revealed the framed jewelry holder I made for my little sis. I thought I’d share how I went about making this so that anyone else who wants one can make one, too!

1 frame (this can be any size you want)
Poster board or cardboard the size of the frame (if the frame has a cardboard insert that fits into the frame, generally to hold photos or art in place, great! You can use that. If not, you’ll need to cut one that will fit in the frame)
Cork board (enough to cover the cardboard that fits in the frame)
Screw-in hooks (the number of hooks you need will vary based on the size of your frame)
Fabric or linen to cover the cork backing (I used an upcycled linen tablecloth, but any basic fabric would work)
Fabric scraps to create the distinct areas for hooks (again, how much you need will depend on how big your frame is and how you want to lay things out)
Appliqué material (I used Heat n’ Bond)
Spraypaint (optional, for repainting hooks or frame)
Pencil (for marking)
Hot glue gun (for holding things in place)
Newspaper (for covering and protecting your work surface, particularly from the hot glue)

This project can vary depending on the size and type of frame you use, and how you decide to lay things out. I chose a fairly large and square frame, because I wanted necklaces to be able to hang but not surpass the bottom edge of the frame, and I wanted to create smaller sections for bracelets, rings, and anything else. I bought my frame from Home Goods (it originally framed some shiny seashell art), though this would be a great project to use as motivation to refinish an old frame you already have or to hit the flea market to find a cool vintage frame to rehab.

1. The first step is to take your frame apart. You don’t need the glass from the front of the frame (it’d be a good idea to recycle this if you don’t have another use for it). If your frame has a cardboard or card stock insert, be sure to save this– we’ll use it in the next step. If it doesn’t have this layer, you’ll want to make one out of cardboard or poster board. Make sure it fits into the frame– after we cover it with the cork board and fabric, we’ll stick it in the frame.

Outlining the section of the jewelry holder

2. Next, lay your frame over your card board or cardstock and sketch out where you’ll want your fabric scraps to be lined up. I decided to do a longer, wider piece of fabric on the left side (for necklaces), with a short strip above it (for rings or smaller jewelry), and 3 medium sized sections on the right size for bracelets or medium sized jewelry. Figuring out the layout at this step helps, because it allows you to decide on how many hooks you want and where you want them. It also lets you know how large to cut each of those scraps of fabric that will define the sections within the frame.

3. Cut a piece of your background fabric, making sure it will cover your card board backing and will have a few extra inches on each side (which we’ll use to secure to the back once everything is sewn). I used a linen from a tablecloth I upcycled. I found the tablecloth for a very good price at an estate sale, but it wasn’t in great condition, so I washed it and then strategically cut it up to use the parts that looked like new. Next, cut your fabric scraps to be the size you sketched out in the last step, and appliqué them to your piece of linen or background fabric. I used my see-through, gridded ruler to make sure I had things straight and the correct distances apart. After ironing the fabric scraps to the linen, I used a zigzag stitch around all the edges to keep them secured and give them a finished look.
*Note: I decided to appliqué the fabrics rather than piecing the linen and fabric scraps together because I wanted it to have a smooth finished look, and didn’t want to have to worry about the bulkiness of seams.*

4. Next, you want to take your card board backing and glue your cork board to it. I bought cork squares, and cut them down to size and used the hot glue gun to get them right up next to each other and secured into place.

Assembling the background for the jewelry holder

I was worried about the gaps between the pieces being noticeable, but I was careful to hold them very close together when gluing them, and once the fabric was covering this piece you couldn’t tell where I had joined them.

5. Next, you want to take your fabric and position it over your cork covered background so that the fabric scraps are positioned where you originally laid them out. You have to eyeball this part, and I found that holding the empty frame over the fabric helped me make sure I had the fabric positioned correctly. Once you have this in place, carefully flip everything over and use the hot glue gun to secure all of the edges of the linen to the back of the cardboard. Be careful not to pull on the linen too much, because you don’t want the front to shift. However, you do want it to be taut. There’s a little trial and error in this step, so just take your time to make sure things are still lined up on the front, and secured on the back.
*Note: to give the back a finished look once I had these edges all glued down, I cut brown craft paper and glued a square of that over the back. If I were making this for myself, I may have skipped this step, since this side will be facing the wall. But, as this was a gift I wanted it to have a finished look, and I liked that this kept all raw edges concealed.*

6. Carefully fit the fabric covered cork into the frame. Mine just popped back in like it would as if I were changing out a photo in a frame. However, once I fit it back into place, I used a dab of hot glue on each of the corners to make sure it wasn’t going anywhere. This will be frame specific, because if your fabric-cork square fits snugly into the frame, you can probably skip this step.

7. Last, you need to screw in your screw hooks! I will say, finding the right hooks was probably the most challenging part of this project, so I’ll share how I found mine– and the key is trial and error, so again, see what works for your frame and aesthetic.

I went to the local hardware store, and found the section of small screw hooks (they were all meant to be screwed into wood). I bought one of each kind and brought them home, so I could test them all out and see which one worked best. Some were larger than others, and some had longer threads to screw into wood. I took a scrap piece of cork and cardboard, so I’d get the same effect as screwing them into the finished framed board, and I screwed them all in. I was looking to see how far they would stick out the back of the frame (if at all), how far they would stick out in the front, and how firmly they seemed to hold in the cork. I wanted them to be really steady and firm, without sticking out in the back. Luckily, one little hook (one of the smallest ones I tried) fit the bill, so I calculated how many I wanted for each section of my jewelry holder, I went back to the hardware store and returned all the rest, and bought all the small ones I needed. I also picked up a can of satin white krylon spray paint to change the color of the hooks. Originally, the hooks I chose were gold, but that didn’t fit with my vision for the project, so I applied 2 coats of spray paint (waiting for it to dry after each coat). It would be really fun to paint these bright colors, too!

Closeup of Liv's jewelry holder

8. Last, screw each hook directly through the fabric and cork until it is secure. On mine, they just barely poked through the cardboard, and I knew they were completely screwed in. I also would give each one a test “wiggle” to make sure it was secure.

That’s it! Now, hang it on your wall, fill with gorgeous jewelry, and enjoy! Happy weekend everyone!

Jewelry Holder

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Liv's jewelry holder

I made this jewelry holder for my little sister for Christmas this year. I know she had been looking for a way to organize her jewelry, so I cooked up this idea to make a scrappy, framed holder for her that could go right on the wall.

Closeup of Liv's jewelry holder

I used some recycled materials and fabric scraps to pull this together, and I plan on posting a tutorial soon to explain the steps it took to make this. I’m so happy with how it came out (it looks just like it did in my head when I thought of it, and sometimes that can be hard to accomplish!), I have plans to have a craft weekend with my mom soon so we can both make them for ourselves.

I also have to send a thanks out to Jolene from Blue Elephant Stitches for the shout out on her blog today– I love seeing what she’s working on (she has some gorgeous quilts I have been known to drool over), and I really appreciate her kind words about greenleaf goods! She totally made my day, and if you haven’t seen her blog you should check it out!

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It’s been a little while since I’ve found time to post, as things have been a bit busy lately. However, I have been finding time to sew some stuff up! I finished cutting up fabric for the red and aqua mixtape quilt I’m working on.

red and aqua fabric all cut up

I also have been piecing a few squares here and there, and have a some up on my design wall. (Thanks, Laura, for the extra red and aqua fabric! As you can see, I’ve already sewn it up into some squares.)

red and aqua squares

Also, I’m almost done with my innocent crush quilt!

Quilting my Innocent Crush quilt

I feel like I’ve been working on and writing about innocent crush quilts for a while now. I’m very excited to almost be done with this one, because A) I’m keeping it for myself, and B) I backed it with flannel, making it super cozy. Like many other areas, the temperatures here have been close to (and sometimes below!) zero, so my need for more quilts has intensified! I just have to hand finish the binding, so I think this one will be done within the next day or two. Plus, I can curl up underneath it while I finish it. I think there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing right now!

Almost done with my Innocent Crush Quilt!

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