Archive for the ‘Greenleaf Goods’ Category

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It has been far too long since I’ve restocked my etsy shop, but I finally had a chance to update it, and now it’s filled with some soft and cozy goodies!

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I made a large batch of upcycled scarves last year for craft shows, and I had a few left, ready to be listed for purchase! All scarves are made from sweaters containing only natural fibers that felt when washed (i.e., lambswool, merino, cashmere, etc.), and I always chose sweaters that were both soft and colorful for these projects!

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My prism scarves were always a top seller at the craft fair, I think because people just can’t resist all of that color!

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My latest twist on this last year was when I started working with JUST cashmere– and let me tell you, I am in love with the results! I made a test scarf that I wear nearly every day because it is so so soft and warm. My skin is sensitive to scratchy or itchy fibers, and I never have any problem with the cashmere. Cashmere can be a bit stretchy and slippery when sewing it, so to keep things sturdy and stable I made these scarves double-sided, with all raw seams enclosed on the inside. This makes for a reversible (and extra warm!) color blocked scarf. I try to keep similar colors together, as they tend to blend well and look nice no matter which way the scarf is tied.

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I have a handful of these listed now, so get them while you can! I also have a few new baby quilts listed, which I’ll post about soon!

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And through the end of the month I’m offering a 15% discount for Greenleaf Goods readers– just enter the coupon code GreenleafFan when you check out!

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Finished Quilts

As some of you know, things have been a little quiet on my blog lately because I’ve been working on finishing my Ph.D. I’m so happy to report that yesterday I successfully defended my dissertation, so now it’s official– you can call me Dr. Greenleaf Goods!

Writing a dissertation is such a long and trying process. In many ways, quilting helped me get through it! The elements of quilting actually have a lot in common with doing a big research project. From the first idea about a new project, to selecting the materials to be used, to pulling everything together and finishing things up, there are many steps in the process, and often others can’t see your vision until it is complete. My dissertation took years and years to finish (as most do), and having tangible, finished quilts along the way to show for my work helped! Also, in reflecting on this process, I realized that when I began conceptualizing my research studies and collecting data, I didn’t know how to quilt! Since I learned, I’ve been totally hooked, and have probably finished upwards of 50 quilts in the past couple of years. Just to get an idea of the volume of quilting I’ve done while completing my dissertation, I put together the mosaic above. This only represents a fraction of the quilts and projects I’ve finished– I still have quite a backlog of other quilts and projects I’d like to document on my blog. One thing I like about keeping track of projects this way is the perspective it gives me– I don’t even think I could remember all of these projects if I didn’t have a record of them!

So– stay tuned, because I have quite a few more projects to share in the upcoming weeks!

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summer citrus framed patchwork quilt

Wow, it feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve had time to sit down and write a post! I have a good excuse, though. Over the last month I’ve been putting the final touches on my dissertation, which has taken pretty much all of my time, but means that I’m almost done with graduate school!

summer citrus patchwork closeup

I’m really excited to have time to get back to my sewing machine now, and I recently finished my summer citrus patchwork quilt. I made this quilt using my fat quarter friendly framed patchwork quilt top tutorial. This quilt was so fun to make, and working with such bright colors was exactly what I needed!

framed patchwork closeup

The back is a large scale simple patchwork, using a couple of solids and a couple of my favorite prints. There’s something about simple patchwork that I love so much! I can never get enough.

summer citrus framed patchwork quilt back

Summer citrus framed patchwork quilt

**Since our house is getting filled up with quilts, I decided that this one would head to my etsy shop, where it might find a new home to brighten up! You can find the listing here.

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red and aqua baby quilt

I finally got my act together and listed this Red and Aqua Baby Quilt in my etsy shop. So far I’ve sold my fair share of quilts, though they’ve all been commissioned. I’ve been thinking a bit about putting a few quilts in my etsy shop, and it felt like it was time to take the plunge!

front and back of baby quilt

I made this quilt top up when I was working on my throw sized red and aqua quilt last year. I really love this color combo, and I thought it would look so sweet as a baby quilt. You can find the listing here if you’re interested!

red and aqua baby mixtape on the bridge

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****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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finished goods for the craft show

In the fall, I sent some of my scarves off to be sold in a craft show. Debbie and Helaine, the creators and facilitators of the craft show contacted me to let me know they were gearing up for their spring show, so I took stock of my ready-to-go scarves. They also had seen the tea towels and napkins I made this past Winter, and thought that these might do well at the show, so I made a few more! I used a lot of hope valley and modern meadow prints again. I also made some towels with matching napkins. These are fairly quick and easy to make. It’s nice to have some quick finish projects once in a while!

green tea towels

hope valley tea towels

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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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A little more about me

I recently was tagged by Molly of the blog Bailey Girl Five to share seven things about myself. I’m not usually one to participate in this sort of internet-tag game, but I think there’s something nice about sharing something unexpected. Plus, I tend to focus primarily on crafting activities on my blog (well, that and Simon), so I thought it might be nice to share a few things you might not know about me. Here goes!

flea market fancy
(Also, I added a few of my favorite fabric and quilt photos for those of you who prefer pictures to words!)

1. Ironically, I am usually pretty wary of sharing things on the internet! As my friends know, I’m not a big fan of the facebook– I generally think that if I want to share information with people, I will tell them! I think I’m a little old-fashioned in that I prefer slower forms of communication. I found blogging to be a good way to share my crafting with family and friends in a simple way, though, so here I am!

2. I often say I’m addicted to 2 things: Fabric, and club soda. I daydream about fabric I want to buy and what I’d make out of it. And I drink club soda like it’s going out of style. I gave up “real” pop (or soda, depending on where you are regionally, I’ve learned) years ago, but I can’t get enough of the fizzy stuff sans sugar. For Christmas this year, J’s family gave me a soda stream, and there may or may not be photos of me hugging it. I think if my 2 addictions are A) something functional (like fabric) and B) WATER, I’m doing ok.

Innocent Crush all cut and ready to sew!

3. I was never a great student growing up, and I really didn’t like school very much. I would much rather spend my time doing more creative things than studying. I think part of my problem is that I’ve never been good at memorizing things, and so much of educational success requires such focused thought patterns. That is not my strength!

4. Despite my lack of enthusiasm for school as a youngster (yes, I just said youngster), I have been in school for a very. long. time. After finishing my bachelors degree, I went on to get two masters degrees, and am getting close to finishing my Ph.D. I discovered that graduate school was a good fit for me, because they generally don’t make you memorize stuff, and you get to do research! Ok, the cat is out of the bag– I’m a nerd.

Stack of wedding quilts

5. I started doing research as an undergraduate when I wrote an honors thesis. I won the undergrad research award at my school for my work, and I thought “hey, I might be onto something here!” So I kept on doing research (and teaching) and haven’t stopped yet.

6. I do research on gender, health, and body image. The last few years, I’ve been working on projects examining older women’s experiences of body image, and how feelings about the body relate to health and well-being. I’m very excited about this work, because there’s relatively little research on body image among older women, and I think these things are really important to consider when thinking about quality of life as we age.

7. When I’m not researching or sewing, I love to spend time hiking with J and Simon, and making really yummy homemade food. J has an organic garden that provides us with lots of fresh produce in the summer and fall, and we’re learning more each year about how to preserve our harvest to last us into the winter. Nothing tastes as good as food we grew ourselves!

Well, that’s a sneak peek into the rest of my life! Next time, I’ll be back with something crafty.
Simon helping me take photos

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***Mid-November sale at Greenleaf Goods on Etsy!***

Take advantage of the Mid-November 3 day sale! Friday through Sunday, November 19-21, all scarves in the shop have been marked down 30% off! Give one as a holiday gift, or treat yourself to the warmth and color of an environmentally friendly Greenleaf Goods scarf.

You can find the shop here.

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Updated shop!

This morning I spent a little time updating the greenleaf goods etsy shop, and it now has a larger selection of scarves made from upcycled sweaters. I am planning to have a sale on all scarves this weekend, so if you’re thinking of buying one for yourself or as a holiday gift, check them out and keep this in mind! I’ll make an announcement with the details of the sale a little later this week.

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