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Friday, August 31, 2012

Foundation Paper piecing tutorial...

               Today I am going to do my best at giving you a tutorial on paper piecing. There are a ton out there, but I remember when I was first looking, I couldn't find a tutorial that made it crystal clear to me. Hopefully at least I can answer those questions that I had, for you here today.

Fresh Poppy Design

We have had a our block of the month series, and for September we are doing paper piecing. So here goes...

First, you will need a template. There are a million online. I chose The Lone Starburst from Six White Horses. You will need to download the template and print it. For this block, I had to print 4 copies. 

Start with segment A, each segment will be numbered through 7. (or different for what you choose to make)

The basic idea here, is that you are sewing the finished block to the back of the template.  One numbered space at a time.You need a scrap of fabric that is at least 1/4" bigger than space 1, on each side of all the black lines. (including the left bottom that isn't covered in the photo.) Place wrong side of fabric to the back of the template covering space 1.  Now you need a scrap of fabric for space 2. (that will cover space 3 and 4 by at least 1/4" too) . You place fabric for space 2 right sides together with space 1 fabric, stitch, then fold space 2 fabric over space 2. See below.

(if that seemed wordy and confusing, hopefully the photos will clear it up)

By putting your scraps up to a window, you will be able to see that both the scraps of fabric go into space 2 by at least 1/4". After you stitch the line, you will fold and space 2 fabric (white) over space 2. See below.

 Here is the back of the template now (finished side of quilt block). Now trim 1/4" from stitch line, fold over and iron into the next space.  You will do this for all numbered template spaces.

If you are doing this at night, or don't like holding it up to the window, you can fold along the line you will be stitching. This lets you see where you need to place your next fabric scrap. (be sure place scrap at least 1/4" over the fold)

Continue for all numbered spaces. You are ready for the last step.

When you are done, it will look like this. Trim 1/4" from template edge. This pattern  has the 1/4" seam allowance grayed out. Not all patterns to this, so make sure you leave that allowance for when you sew the whole block together.

Looking nice and sharp. Do this for all segments of your block. This one has 8 segments.

Getting pretty? Now arrange them, and sew together with 1/4" seam. 

This is what your back looks like. Now you get to tear off all your papers. Be careful, you don't want to stretch your block, or tear out stitches. I never have too hard of a time doing this, the lines are already torn a bit by your stitches.

 You are finished! Let me know if you have any questions. 


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Simple Baby Blankets

More projects to share!  When I got my hands on Sarah Jane's new line, Out to Sea, my brain went crazy.  I mean nuts.  Combine that with my brain being on baby baby baby I wanted to make several blankets for my sweet baby girl.  

As I was thinking and looking for inspiration I had several styles of receiving-type baby blankets that I wanted to make for her.  Trims, prairie points, rounded corners and mitered corner...even a super simple patchwork quilt.  

Ultimately I decided to make them a pattern!  Four different styles, with two different sizes to make each one.  I've got them backed in minky and flannel.  I am so pleased with how they turned out!  The patchwork map blanket and mitered corners blanket are car seat size, perfect for new baby (30" x 30").  The Prairie Points blanket and sweet mermaids with the ruffle trim (isn't it fabulous?? I love that trim, Joanns!) are crib size, 35" x 40".

There you have it!  This baby girl has more stuff than anyone else in our house I think!  She is going to be so fancy everywhere she goes :)

Simplel Baby Blankets Pattern can be found in our shop.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by! :)


Teje's Baby Stars Quilt

Teje from Nero's Post and Patch is always posting and sharing such fabulous things, we constantly feature her on Fabric Tuesdays :)  And with a backdrop like Greece she always get great pictures.  Make sure to see Teje's shop, her finishes and some great tutorials too!
Hello my Dear Friends! I have a great day at home! Even lots of works are waiting still it’s so nice  not to go anywhere! Long time I was waiting to show you my latest quilt, but it was a secret so it had to wait till the little baby was born.
'Baby Stars' quilt
My dear friend is now grandmother for a sweet baby boy and when I returned from Finland with beautiful fabrics, I began this quilt. Still I had to wait if it’s a girl or a boy. For the girl I would have made orange binding and for the boy this green.
Because we didn’t know if it’s going to be a girl or a boy, I chose colours to be nice for both. I new that mom likes orange and green and they had used yellow for the baby-room. I saw that I do need more yellow fabrics for my stash!
baby quilt
I have seen so many beautiful quilts with different kind of star patterns and I really love these wonky stars! I had made few just to try these happy fabrics and then I realized they would be nice for this quilt. I have had in my  ‘to do list’ a quilt with this kind of squares so here they are now.
patchwork stars
When I made these stars, I cut first stripes and then squares from them. There was some stripes left, so first time I used a little  colour also for the backing …
Now I understand better how you enjoy making the backing also like an other quilt. I only wish my fabric stash could be big enough for that! By the way, did you know that you can click photos to see them bigger.
Quilting by hand is one of the best parts! And again I was able to use different colours – even more fun! I have always loved stitching – every where – in bags, shoes, cloths any where!
Now the new born baby boy, my dear friends first grand child, has this quilt and all the family were happy and liked ‘Baby Stars’! And … I have a custom order for an other baby quilt … for a girl! I think I shall make it similar with this but perhaps not stars …
I think I could use few butterflies for the girly quilt! I have been also very lucky to sell the blue baby quilt ‘Ripples’ and two pillows from my etsy shop, ‘Jumping Dog’ and the ‘Pic Nic’ pillow! Thank you so much for the wonderful buyers!
'Baby Stars' quilt
Lucky Lucky Lucky me … again I have win! I won a jewellery from Emma’s give away! Emma is very talented artist and writes a beautiful blog ‘silverpebble’!She has etsy shop full of the most cute and beautiful creations! Thank you so much Emma! Emma was also featured in the latest ‘Country Living’ – the magazine we all enjoy so much!
Also I like to say big thank you for Maureen, who is one my favourite bloggers! She makes so unique,happy and colourful crafts! Her blog is ‘Maureen Cracknell Handmade’ and I won fabrics from her give away! Thank you Maureen! Only thing is that I won them just when I was shopping fabrics in Finland and still they haven’t arrived here … I’m so affraid that they have got lost! But I hope the best and perhaps they still come because Nero got also once his Christmas present from Ronja (from Finland) after 2 months!
Summer is the most busy time here in Crete! It’s the hot holiday season and fortunately we have lots of lots of tourists even the economical situation is difficult for us who live here. Some people say that they are affraid to come here, but everything is like it used to be. There are no difficulties for tourists, everything is working like always and Crete and Greece is one of the best holiday places! Beautiful beaches, friendly people, the most delicious food, lovely nature, warm (hot) weather and so much sunshine!
So you can guess that I am also very busy and unfortunately can’t see you so often. I don’t want to say that I shall take a brake from blogging, because I miss you a lot. So I do my best and now and then I hop here … or I think it’s better I’ll ask Nero to do that! He has again ‘adventure’ – now he has an infection between two toes. I think something has scratch there and then it got worse. No we have ‘therapy’ moment every morning and evening. Washing, betadine, bactroban, clean white cloth, clean sock, some tape to hold them, lots of ‘nami nami’ (Nero’s sweets) and antibiot. He is such a good boy when I have to take care of him, but in the vet he tries to eat his vet!
surprised cat
I leave you with Nelli’s surprised face, because this really describes my latest weeks!So many things has happened … oh I miss my slow boring (why I said boring, it’s never boring here with 3 dogs and a cat and so much sewing) winter life!
Could you guess from this link, who was eating from Nero’s plate last Sunday afternoon?! Yach!!!
Thank you so much for being the most wonderful friends and readers! I wish you the best ever summer and happy holidays! I shall visit you often … perhaps too tired to comment every time … but I’m there some where …



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fabric Tuesday and Oh Baby!

Hey everybody!  I've got another baby project to share.  One of our best selling patterns is Oh Baby! it's appliqued burp cloth, toys and a car seat canopy.  Selfishly I remade the cover so I could have one for my baby girl!

The fabric line is oh deer! by Momo for Moda Fabrics.  I love that pink fabric with the tiny deer!  And the main print is really cool, it has all sorts of flowers, trees and creatures.  Obviously I chose the girl colorways but the line works for boy and girl.

My LQS has fabulous ruffled trims, the tulle one I added in the canopy and the flowers were super simple, already ruffled just some gathering and hot glue.

I always always hang onto minky/cuddle/chenille scraps.  They work so perfectly in these toys, it's nice to have the extra texture.  There you have it!  A new cover (and new goodies for my baby!).

Pattern can be found in our shop.

What have you been crafting this week?

Fabric Tuesday #101
click here for more info

Let's see!!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Monkey Ladders Quilt from Sweet Dreams by Sarah

Love this darling quilt from Sweet Dream by Sarah...and it's a tutorial!  Yay!  I definitely love a pattern that lends itself to showing off your favorite prints, and that's what she did here.  Super sweet and simple, great variation on a coin quilt.  Make sure to check out Sarah's shop, her finished projects and some more great tutorials.  Thanks Sarah for sharing!

These little monkeys had me at hello!  I had no idea what I was going to do with this charm pack when I first spotted it, but I had to have it. 

I wanted to do something simple, that would show off the cute prints in the line, but still feel fun and whimsical.  I've made coin stack quilts before, but I wanted to do something a bit different... 

So here we have, monkey ladders!  The "coins" reminded me of rungs of a ladder for some reason, and the name just stuck in my head.  This is a very versatile pattern that you can make using really any charm pack you might have, and finishes up as the perfect size for a baby or crib quilt!  Here's what you need... 


1 Charm Pack (I used Grow with Me by Deb Strain & Daughters by Moda) (note: you only need 40 of the charms, so pick out two, and add them to your stash, or save them for the back) 
1 1/4 yards background (I used Kona White) (the cutting instructions require exactly 36 inches of cut strips, so you will want a bit extra for squaring up when you cut, etc.) 
1 1/4 yards backing (I used the white monkey print from the Grow with Me line)
3/4 yards for binding and to piece the backing (I used the green solid from the Grow with Me line) 
Cotton batting, approx. 45" x 45", to give you a little room while quilting. 

All measurements assume you use a 1/4 inch seam! 


Charm pack:  
  • Take the 40 charms that you'll be using, and cut them in half, so that you have 80 strips that are 2.5" by 5". 

  • Don't worry about keeping them in any particular order, since you'll actually want them to be randomized in your quilt.  

  • Cut 8 strips from your background fabric that are 3.25" wide by WOF (width of fabric from selvage to selvage - assumed to be 42" - you will need to make adjustments if yours is different!).  
    • Subcut these strips into 10.5 inch lengths, so that you have 32 pieces that are 3.25" x 10.5".  
  • Cut an additional 5 strips that are 2" by WOF. 

  • Cut your backing piece along the fold so that you have two pieces that are half the WOF by 1 1/4 yds long.  

  • Cut two strips 5" by WOF for inserting in the backing (alternatively, you can cut one 5" strip, and attach those two leftover charms to either end!) 
  • Cut 5 strips 2.5" by WOF for binding strips.  

Piecing the top 

Your goal is to make 16 sets composed of 5 strips each.  Pair up the strips and sew along the long edge. 

I recommend pressing after each seam, but the great thing about the way that this quilt is pieced is that it doesn't matter which way you press the seams - there won't be any matching up of corners or points here!  Press the seams toward darker fabrics where necessary.

Keep sewing the strips together, picking out the strips to use so that the colors and patterns are fairly randomized and distributed.  You should end up with 16 strip sets that look like these: 

Next, we add the white 3.25" by 10.5" strips on the sides to finish out the blocks.  

Take one strip and align with one of the sides of your strip set.  

You can pin this, if needed, but if your seams are ironed nice and flat, it shouldn't move around on you too much.  Stitch these pieces together.  

Hint:  chain piecing here can make this step go by very quickly! 

Once one side is sewn on, flip the block around, and sew the strip on the other side.  I would recommend NOT pressing before this step!  Keeping the first strip right where you sewed it will help you to get the second strip aligned and will help to keep the block nicely square. 

Once both sides are sewn on, go ahead and press those strips out!  

Now you've got your 16 blocks ready to go! 

Note: this picture of the block was taken after the others were sewn together! That white strip on top is actually from the adjacent block. 

Lay them out in alternating direction, keeping an eye out again for the randomness of the fabric placement.  Arrange the blocks in a 4 by 4 arrangement.    

Once you've got your blocks set out in the arrangement you like, start stitching them together.  I'm not a fan of long seams, so I usually sew the blocks together in quadrants, and then sew the 4 quarters of the block together.  

Once the 16 blocks are sewn together, it's time to add the border.  Take the 2" background strips that you cut earlier, and snip off the selvage ends.  Sew one strip to the edge of the quilt, and then use a ruler to trim off the edges, to keep the quilt top square.  Do the same on the opposite side of the quilt.  
You'll need your border strips a bit longer on the other two edges - approx. 45".  If your WOF is long enough, just sew those on the two remaining edges, and trim to square up.  If your WOF isn't quite long enough (mine wasn't!), take one of those 2" strips and cut it in half.  Sew one half of that strip to each of the two remaining strips to make it longer.  Then go ahead and sew the border strips on the remaining edges of the quilt.  (I'm so sorry, I don't have pictures of this step!) 

That finishes up the quilt top!

To prepare the backing, we're going to insert that strip that you cut from the binding fabric into the backing fabric so that it's wide enough.  You can either sew 2 5" strips from the binding fabric together  to make one longer strip, or you can sew the two leftover charms on either end of one 5" strip to make a longer strip.  Sew this strip along the cut edges of the backing fabric, so that it's inserted right in the middle.  Press the seams out, and make sure your backing fabric is well pressed for pucker and crease free quilting!  This is how my quilt back looked, on the finished product: 

Sandwich up your quilt - backing, batting, and quilt top.  Baste, and quilt as desired!  I used an all over meander on mine.  Stitch together your binding strips, and bind the quilt using whichever method you prefer, and you've got yourself a quilt!  


As a side note, my version of this quilt is currently for sale over at my Etsy shop!  


Friday, August 24, 2012

Sewing goats quilt finish from Patchwork in Paris...

Sewing goats quilt finish from Patchwork in Paris! Ahh, those goats make me smile! Jennifer is a quilting mama,of a darling little boy (born on my birthday I just noticed)  look at this darling quilt she is working on with a bee for him! Love it! Be sure to visit Patchwork in Paris  for more inspiration!

I haven't posted in months and months and my unfinished stack of quilts continues to taunt me daily, but I just haven't found the time or energy to tackle it quite yet.  I am determined to somehow stay awake long enough after Louis goes to bed and after we have managed to eat dinner to finish up the star quilt I started for him before he was born.  I have (had) elaborate plans of hand quilting most of it, and could potentially make some progress over the holidays in August if I could assemble the blocks and back before then...

I did manage to finish this sewing goat quilt just before he was born in December but then never got around to photographing it and posting the final results.  I just love the color combinations of green, orange blue and yellow. I've included several different colors of Robert Kaufman Essex linen throughout the top and the back in an effort to tone down the mix of colors and patterns a bit. 

I did manage to finish this sewing goat quilt just before he was born in December but then never got around to photographing it and posting the final results.  I just love the color combinations of green, orange blue and yellow. I've included several different colors of Robert Kaufman Essex linen throughout the top and the back in an effort to tone down the mix of colors and patterns a bit. 

The back is a men's dress shirt fabric and an orange flowered seersucker.