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Granny’s Sewing Basket – Tips & Tricks: Sewing Ribbon!

2014 October 21

I’ve decided to start a new series that has been in the back of my head for a while.  Every so often I am sewing or reading a blog and find a way to make my sewing simpler, easier or faster. I’ve always thought I should write them down, and what better way to do it than to have Granny share them with you.

Within all of the patterns and downloadable pdf’s I design, (+ more coming this week!) I’ve included a “Notes and Tips from Granny’s Sewing Basket”. Granny capitalizes on the story of Little Red Riding and takes a little creative license in proposing that Granny loves to sew! Throughout the patterns, these Notes and Tips are included to make your sewing go more smoothly. I thought it would be fun to continue the series here, and share these ideas as they come up in my personal sewing.

These tips are all graphics, so they can be pinned and are easy to keep around. I’ve also pinned them to my “Sewing Tips & Tricks” Pinterest board if you find it easier to follow them around that way instead.

A while ago I was sewing ribbon on the edge of a couple of pillowcases I made for my girls. I don’t use a lot of ribbon, but I’ve always found it tricky to get a perfect edge when sewing it on. This time though, I discovered that lining the ribbon up with the inside edge of the presser foot kept my seam straight and perfectly even. The trick is to find a presser foot in your supplies that allows the left edge to rest on top of your ribbon and the right edge of the presser foot to rest on your lower fabric. The depth of the presser foot rests beside the ribbon edge and they keep each other in line!

I have had quite a few projects this past week that it is a relief to get another post up for you all! I’ve been working on a few (brand new) patterns that will be available at the Creativ Festival in Toronto happening this weekend!  I’m so excited and I get to share them with you later this week. Hooray! The Quiet Book post is coming up for this week as well, so we’ve got a great few days ahead. See you soon!

Reader Feedback: Do you use a lot of ribbon in your sewing?

on relaxing and hourglass quilt blocks

2014 October 14

It’s been a great relaxing long (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend over here – extra long, if you count the fact that my youngest was home (unplanned) from school last Thursday, and Friday was a PD day so both kids were home. My husband and I spent much of the weekend planning and re-organizing our work space. We’ve both got a bit more counter space and it’s a lot easier to move around in our little 9′ square shared office. When it’s finished I’ll have to share photos and a little review of my new sewing machine with you. I’ve had it for about a month and I’m loving it!

I’ve been enjoying quilting lately, and thought I’d share my progress with this one today. I’m calling it a “proper” quilt – since it’s more than “just pieced squares” this time! Interesting side note – I’ve found that repetitive-block quilts are extremely relaxing. The difference between sewing garments and this type of quilt, is that a garment rarely requires the same instruction to be followed more than twice – once for the outer and once for the lining. And sometimes there is no repetition at all. Because of that, you are constantly checking the instructions, re-reading, sewing, and moving on to the next step. With the blocks in this quilt, you must follow the same steps over and over – creating space in your mind to ponder other things, tasks, life or just the process itself. Ahhhh….. (long pause while I remember relaxing!)

This quilt is a personal project, since it’s made with my blogger bundle from Fabric Spark. When they asked me if I would to create a bundle earlier this year I was over-the-moon excited and I knew it would have to become a very special quilt. This bundle and quilt mean so much, and are such a good reminder and encouragement along my bloggy journey. To be able to choose fabrics that I love and have someone put them up for sale. What an amazing opportunity, and I am still so grateful to have been chosen for it. (The bundle is available for sale here.)

I am making an hourglass quilt with these, using this tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew. She calls it a baby quilt, but I am adding in more squares than she mentions, randomly using up every last scrap of fabric that I have – so we’ll see how big it is in the end! I’ve mostly used some light gray Kona I had around for the background pieces. But since I don’t have enough I’m winging it with a few solids in other colours – I can’t wait to add these in and see how it turns out! I also added two Bonnie Christine “Sweet As Honey” Art Gallery prints to the bundle fabrics to increase the prints, hoping to make this as large as possible!

I’ve yet to decide if I’ll add any borders to this and of course I’m not sure about backing and binding yet. But I think I’m supposed to choose that after the front is finished – so I’m getting ahead of myself! I do have quite a bit of Kona Charcoal from another project – so it might make an appearance later on – I’d love to find a good print for the back though. Makes it seem more cheerful I think! I can’t wait to get to spend some serious time making the little hourglass squares so I can lay them out, that seems like a lot of fun too!

Reader Feedback: Are you quilting anything right now? What project are you working on?

Quiet Book Sew-Along – Tie a Shoe Page Tutorial {week 16}

2014 October 10

Another week, another Quiet Book Tutorial. I love how these are turning out. I got to use my metallic star fabric here and it’s so much fun! My stack of finished pages is growing taller – how’s yours coming along?

You can customize this page with fun shoe laces from the Dollar Store and scraps of your favorite fabrics. As usual, I am always amazed when I break down the steps for these pages and they turn out to be 10 or 12 simple steps. That is the case with this page – quick and easy, not too much work for a great result! This Quiet Book page is found along with other information and tutorials links on the Sew Along page.

As a bonus, here’s a good page for those people looking to make these Quiet Book pages into other projects! It would make a great pillow for a tween or teen – just enlarge everything to about 150 or 200%. The shoe opens up at the top to become a pocket. If you are scared off by the eyelets, consider changing them into button holes.

By way of a “life update”, this week I had a child unexpectedly home from school on Thursday and a holiday today – so the Satchel pattern has been delayed again. Soon… very soon!

Ready to sew?

You will need:

  • Background Fabric: 1 piece quilting cotton exactly 9″x9″ square
  • Page Interfacing: 1 piece exactly 9″x9″ square, medium weight fusible interfacing (you will have this from your Week 1 shopping list)
  • Shoe: fabric scraps
  • 8 eyelets or small grommets
  • Sole: leather or vinyl scrap cut to 3/4″ high by 4 1/4″ wide
  • Ribbon Tab: 3 1/2″ long for the side tab
  • Small Safety Pin
  • Shoe Pattern Pieces -> Click here to download

Before we begin/Important Notes:

  • Print out the pattern piece pdf on letter size (8.5″ x 11″) or A4 paper. Important: Do not select “fit to page” when printing, make sure you print at the original size. Once you have printed the pages, measure the 1″ test square to ensure the pattern is the correct size.
  • When you are sewing this book it is good to remember that some of the edges will be covered after the book is completed and sewn together. 1/2″ on the top edge of your page and 3/4″ on each side edge will not show in the final project.
  • Remember to use your iron liberally when you are sewing this book. It is going to be a work of art when you are done! Since it is thick and some of the pages will not be iron-able once you are finished with them it is advisable to take all of the care you can to remove wrinkles so they are not accidentally permanent in your final book.
  • Fuse the 9″ square fusible onto your 9″ square background fabric.
Here We Go:
  1. Cut out your shoe pieces using the instructions on the pattern pieces. You will have 4 side shoe pieces, two front shoe pieces and two tongue pieces.
  2. Place all of the shoe pieces RST with a matching piece. Stitch around the sides and top of each piece with a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving the bottom open on each. Clip the corners and trim the seam allowance to 1/8″ on each curve.
  3. Turn each shoe piece right side out and press.
  4. Top-stitch the seamed edges of the tongue, and the top and curved side of the shoe side pieces.
  5. Mark your grommet/eyelet placement by placing the shoe sides and front as shown in the photo. Place them evenly on each side of the shoe between the top curve and above where the shoe front is placed.
  6. Attach the grommets/eyelets as marked.
  7. Place the shoe pieces in the centre of your page background as shown in the photo. They all line up at the bottom edge of the shoe.
  8. Baste the bottom edge, holding all pieces in place. Top-stitch the sides and front of the shoe in place on the background.
  9. Place your leather/vinyl sole over the bottom edge of the shoe pieces covering all of the raw edges. Top-stitch into place. (Tip: I like to use a glue stick to hold it while I sew.)
  10. Find the centre of your shoe lace and place it between the bottom two grommets/eyelets on the shoe. Double-stitch across the centre of it well and make sure it is child-safe and very secure.
  11. Lace the shoelace through the eyelets and tie it at the top. For small children, you can double knot the laces for safety and let them use the shoe as a pocket instead.
  12. Fold the 3 1/2″ matching ribbon tab in half and use the small safety pin to attach it to your page so it does not get lost.

And we’re done for another week. See you again soon!

An Alder for Fall

2014 October 7

A few weeks ago it was warm and I was thinking about summer skirts. Specifically the Alder Skirt from imagine gnats. I’ve been planning to make one since I wrote about it in May, long time ago now – though I am please to have made two out of the three patterns I mention in that post. That’s got to be good for something! I even used one of the fabrics I talk about for this skirt – though it was supposed to be a Wiksten tank. Not sure I would have pulled that off as easily!

The A-line and front pleat give it a nice, comfortable shape. You can’t really see it in these photos, but it has three panels across the front that add a nice detail if you are close up. The sizing was good, it was even the perfect length after hemming. Since I was between sizes I think I could have comfortably gone down a size instead of up one. The back elastic has plenty of room in it, to the point  that the larger size is a bit too gathered. I like the elastic waist, because it is comfortable and easy to make. But I might try removing it, add a few more darts in the back and a side zipper to make the skirt look a bit more tailored.

(please excuse the road trip wrinkles)

As far as construction, this skirt is really simple to sew up and is well thought through. I think it may have taken me 2 hours to make, from cutting to finishing the hem.  I even squeezed it out of a bit less yardage than it calls for, which is always nice! I love how Rachel constructed the pockets. They add a great diagonal detail to the sides of the skirt and allow you to add some fun fabric in if you’d like. I chose to use a bit of black denim, to add contrast to the Rashida Skin from Alexander Henry that I got from Fabric Spark this summer. I think a contrasting waistband would be nice too – maybe next time?

I am really pleased that this has turned into a year-round skirt. And I can see making quite a few of them – since they are such a quick finish. There are quite a few variations included in the pattern. With or without the front pleat and with wide or narrow pockets. The two side panels allow you to play with fabrics and color-blocking as well. So each alder turns out quite different from the others. I’ve seen a few that use piping on the front seams and pocket edges, which is a great way to make those lines stand out.

I was not sure I could pull off an animal print, but now that I have it I love it! I think it will be paired with casual t-shirts next summer. But this fall and winter, scarves, cozy leg warmers and boots are perfect! And I’m loving the light in these photos. My husband and I were on our way to dinner, and since it was getting towards sunset we were looking for a good spot with some fall scenery. The photos are fall perfect and warm-looking, though the actual temperature made me run for my jacket as soon as the shoot was over!

Reader Feedback: How are you feeling about fall? Do you get the urge to sew anything specific? (For some reason I want to make a sweater as soon as it gets remotely chilly every year, one of these years it will actually happen!)

Warp & Weft Sewing Society – Wildwood Blog Hop

2014 October 3

Hi everyone! I’m the last stop on the Warp & Weft Sewing Society Wildwood Blog Hop and I’m so pleased to have been able to work with this Cloud9 Fabrics collection. Wildwood was designed by Elizabeth Olwen, who just happens to live near me in Toronto. I was fortunate to be able to meet her, and “hang out” last weekend during the Warp & Weft Weekends event. I almost don’t know where to start this post, there’s so much to cover – but don’t worry, I’ll do my best to be short – here goes! (Here’s another post about the weekend.)

Photo Courtesy of Cloud9 Fabrics & Elizabeth Olwen

First off – my contribution to the Wildwood Collection projects on this blog hop.  When I first met Elizabeth, she gave me a few design board printouts she’d put together – lots of inspiration behind her ideas for Wildwood. Her designs were inspired by fairy tales, (My blog name being Thread Riding Hood is such a fun coincidence!) Forest walks, nature – and the small details of nature. Princesses and wanderers on adventure (or escape!) through the forest. Knowing all of this, I got to create a satchel pattern. What an amazing opportunity!

The “Forest Glen Satchel” was directly inspired by Elizabeth Olwen’s Wildwood collection and I’m so pleased with how it turned out. I’ve been using one of my prototype bags for the last month or so and it is the perfect size for carrying everything you might need. It’s easy to open and close by way of a front closure strap – perfect for quickly storing things on your way out of the castle! The adjustable cross-body strap allows for multiple carrying options. And the front and side details allow you to show off more lovely fabric – and, if we are being more practical,  keep it from showing the dirt!

The Forest Glen Satchel is going to be my very first real pdf pattern – yay! It will be released for sale on my blog in late October. But until then (and as of next week) you will be able to get the satchel pattern directly from Warp & Weft. They will be selling a kit that includes the Forest Glen Satchel pattern along with the Wildwood fabric you need to create it. And, this is a big deal – because Elizabeth Olwen chose the fabric combinations for each of the three variations! I have always liked “the story behind the design”. And this process has been an amazing, eye-opening adventure. I can tell you, I won’t look at another piece of fabric again without thinking of the designer behind it!

The fortunate thing about being the last stop on the Wildwood Blog Hop is that you can see all of the other projects, since they are now all posted! And the fortunate thing about being in Toronto is that I could attend the Warp & Weft Weekends Event last weekend where all of the projects were featured. So I got to see them myself! Let me tell you – the photos are so great, but seeing them all together was something else. The care taken with each seam and detail was evident in each project. The creativity of the Sewing Society produced a gorgeous display. Take a minute and hop over to each of the links below to see what I mean!

September 26 – Carla from “My 1/2 Dozen Daily”
September 27 – Cynthia from “Cynthiaf”
September 28 - Lysa from “Lysa Flower”
September 29 – Cathy from “Blueberry Patch”
September 30 – Esmari from “Warp and Weft”
October 1 – Shannon from “The Finished Garment”
October 2 – Heidi from “Elegance & Elephants”
October 3 – Thread Riding Hood


This Warp & Weft Weekend was hosted by Andrea Ford in the Re:Style Studio Workshop space. Friday night, we walked in the door to a display of Elizabeth Olwen’s surface design products mixed in with the Sewing Society projects. Beautiful! Elizabeth’s Field Crossing quilt, made by Linda Spiridonhad even been sent over from Cloud9 Fabrics – so the real deal was on display. (It’s a free pattern too!) About halfway through the evening, Elizabeth spoke about her design process in an inspiring Maker’s talk. Everything from how she got started in surface design and her current projects to her inspiration and process for designing Wildwood. (and even a sneaky peek of something new!)

My very first workshop ever (eek!) was held on Saturday during the event’s Creative Sewing Afternoon Tea, and I count my self fortunate to have had four of the most amazing student/sewists take the Forest Glen Satchel class. They pressed and sewed and pressed some more and a few hours later – they each were able to leave with a finished satchel! My favorite part was when they added the sides and it “magically” turned 3D. Everyone was grinning and commenting on how “now it was a real bag” – they were so excited to finish them. I think we only broke out the seam rippers on two seams – not bad for 4 bags. Esmari ensured that we would not (ever) go hungry by providing delicious Kusmi tea, sandwiches, scones and cookies – yum! Elizabeth Olwen was even able to take the workshop and will be displaying her satchel at Quilt Market in Houston later this month. (Someone pinch me!)

I would be remiss if I did not again thank Esmari for providing me with this opportunity, Andrea for hosting, and Elizabeth for being so amazing. She worked with me throughout the pattern process – choosing the final design from my sketches, deciding on the colour combinations and allowing me to email her with various other questions along the way! I will be able to include a bit of a bio on her and her Wildwood inspiration within the pattern – which I hope will provide more background for each satchel sewist. Promoting the creative process and intention of the design as well as the finished product!

I am also grateful and cannot forget to thank my husband for allowing me so much freedom over the weekend. He and our girls had a blast with two birthday parties and lots of football watching! It allowed me my first weekend “out” since we had our kids and it felt great to come and go as I needed to without worry.

Thanks for letting me ramble on a bit, and for reading this far down! I suppose you knew (if you follow me often) that my “keeping it short” was going to be a challenge. How do you wrap up an entire amazing weekend all in a few paragraphs? I’m sure there is so much more I could say… but we’ll leave it at that and I’ll be posting about the Forest Glen Satchel Kits as soon as the pattern is ready and they are available from Warp & Weft. And you can purchase all or any of the 12 Wildwood collection fabrics at Warp & Weft – so you can make your own adventure-inspired project! (If you want more of a peek into the weekend’s events you can visit Esmari’s post.)

Quiet Book Sew-Along – Button the Flower Pattern & Tutorial {week 15}

2014 October 1

Quiet Bookers Rejoice! We’re back on track and here is the latest Pattern & Tutorial. If you are new, you can find everything you need to know on the Sew-Along page.

This page is fun and helps with the ever-tricky task of learning how to fasten buttons. The little ladybug buttons both work so the flower can move around as desired. I drew on a few “flying” lines with a fabric marker to make everything more fun and add a bit of movement. This page is a tad feminine. If you need an idea for a boy, I have used rocket-ship fabric for the background in the past and attached the moon instead of a flower, the string was attached near the edge of the page.

Ready to go?

You will need:

  • Background Fabric: 1 piece quilting cotton exactly 9″x9″ square
  • Page Interfacing: 1 piece exactly 9″x9″ square, medium weight fusible interfacing (you will have this from your Week 1 shopping list)
  • Flower: 10″ wide x 5″ high quilting cotton
  • Embellishments: flowers, mushrooms, be creative!
  • Bugs: 2 ladybug/bee/butterfly buttons
  • Stems/Grass: extra-wide rick-rack, about 1/2 yard/metre
  • Leaves: Green 3/8″ wide ribbon, less than 1/2 yard/metre
  • Flower Pot/Dirt: 9″ wide by 4.5″ high brown scrap fabric
  • Ribbon Tab: 3 1/2″ long for the side tab
  • 5″ x 5″ piece of Fusible Fleece/Heavyweight interfacing for the flower
  • Fabric marker (optional)
  • Small Safety Pin
  • Flower Pattern Piece -> Click here to download

Before we begin/Important Notes:

  • Print out the pattern piece pdf on letter size (8.5″ x 11″) or A4 paper. Important: Do not select “fit to page” when printing, make sure you print at the original size. Once you have printed the pages, measure the 1″ test square to ensure the pattern is the correct size.
  • When you are sewing this book it is good to remember that some of the edges will be covered after the book is completed and sewn together. 1/2″ on the top edge of your page and 3/4″ on each side edge will not show in the final project.
  • Remember to use your iron liberally when you are sewing this book. It is going to be a work of art when you are done! Since it is thick and some of the pages will not be iron-able once you are finished with them it is advisable to take all of the care you can to remove wrinkles so they are not accidentally permanent in your final book.
  • Fuse the 9″ square fusible onto your 9″ square background fabric.
Here We Go:
  1. Cut out your flower fabric. Also cut 1 piece of fusible fleece/interfacing and apply it to one flower piece. Place the two flower pieces wrong sides together and insert the rick-rack stem in between the layers at the “bottom” of the flower. Use a wide zig-zag or fancy stitch to sew the flower and stem together while finishing the edges. Double-stitch where the rick-rack is inserted to make sure it is securely attached.
  2. Make a buttonhole large enough for the bug button to fit through easily. When in doubt, make it larger, so it’s not as tricky for little fingers.
  3. Prep your flowerpot/dirt by folding it in half lengthwise and pressing it well.
  4. Lay your leaves/flowers and embellishments out on your background square. Cut several pieces about 4″ long from your 3/8″ ribbon to use as leaves. Also cut appropriate lengths of rick-rack for stems or grass as per your layout. The stems should be long enough to reach the bottom of your page.  Make leaves by twisting and folding the ribbon so the ends meet. Place them under the stems with the ends hidden beneath the rick-rack. You can fray-check or (carefully) burn the ends so they do not fray. (Note: refer to the “Important Information” section to ensure your design is far enough away from all edges.)
  5. Mark the placement of the large flower stem, the flowerpot/dirt and the buttons, set them aside. Stitch all other pieces onto the background using matching thread and decorative stitches if desired. Ensure everything is securely stitched, just in case a child decides to chew on it!
  6. Stitch the leaves to your large flower stem carefully, leaving the bottom few inches free of stitching. These will be hidden underneath the flowerpot/dirt.
  7. Place the flowerpot/dirt over the bottom of your background. Stitch across the top with a tidy/decorative stitch. Stitch the sides and bottom with a basting stitch or use a glue stick to hold all of the raw edges in place.
  8. Attach your buttons very securely. I used embroidery floss and stitched each button at least 4 times, knotting each stitch individually. Again, small children might chew on this!
  9. Draw some “flying” lines with fabric marker near the bugs. Heat set them if possible, being careful not to melt the embellishments!
  10. Fold the 3 1/2″ matching ribbon tab in half and use the small safety pin to attach it to your page so it does not get lost.
See you next week with a new Quiet Book tutorial!

Secret Garden Dress Pattern Tour {Giveaway & Discount!}

2014 September 25

When Deborah from Sprouting Jube Jube (pattern made by Allison, EM Patterns) offered a chance to be on this Pattern Tour I couldn’t say no. Even when a sleeveless dress in our September weather is a little risky! The back of this dress is just amazing and I’m so happy I got the chance to sew it. There’s a giveaway and a discount code for you too.

Of course, I could not make just one dress, there had to be one for each of my girls. I was all ready to make two gorgeous bow-backed dresses, when my oldest informed me that she liked the simplified version better. You know how it is when you are almost seven – it is very important to make your own fashion choices!  I’m so glad she did, because I got to make both versions. And, as it turns out – I really like the simplified one as well. It’s very pretty and has the same twirl factor as the more showy version – win, win for everyone!

I am especially excited because I ordered my first yardage of Cotton + Steel especially for these dresses from Fabric Spark! You can see all of the fabrics I ordered in this photo (love, love the arrows!) The pink and blue are from the Basics collection – XOXO in Pink Cheeks and XOXO in Toy Boat Gold. That’s right – the dress has metallic gold X’s all over it – Gorgeous! Definitely my favorite out of the three prints. The underskirt of my youngest’s dress is Hide and Seek  - Lions in Gold and Teal – oh my! My kids each picked the fabric for their dress, and it was so much fun looking through the options with them. I’ve really got to try that again!

I would label this pattern as an intermediate level pattern – mostly for the zipper installation, and partially because I found myself using my prior dress-making knowledge quite a bit throughout. Though, saying that, the simplified version would be great for a confident beginner. The fit is good and follows the sizing chart exactly, it even has a little extra wiggle “they will grow over the winter”-room around the bodice so the dresses should fit next year as well! I also cheated a tad to make the back flounce stay where I wanted by tacking each fold in place underneath where it doesn’t show. Perfect!

Enough from me already. The discount and giveaway are below, and you can visit all of the other lovely bloggers on the tour for more inspiration. There are some amazing dresses out there. (and a top too!)

September 22 ~ SofilantjesFrom a BoxGolden Rippy

September 23 ~ Friends Stitched Together - Project DestashSimple and Trendy

September 24 ~ Call Ajaire - Crooked Whimsy - Giggles & Beans - Sews ‘n Bows

September 25 ~ The Adventures of Captain X and the Gingerbear Princess - Once Upon a Sewing Machine  – and Me!

September 26 ~ Pienkel - Made by Sara - Rebel & Malice - Shaffer Sisters

September 27 ~ Sewing Sober - Lulu & Celeste - Climbing the Willow

Deborah and Allison are providing a discount for the Secret Garden Dress during the tour this week (Ends September 27th, 2014). Use the code “SGTOUR25″ to save 25%! Visit EM Patterns, Etsy or Craftsy to buy the pattern.

Here’s your chance to win the Secret Garden Dress pattern and a whole lot more! Sponsored by:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* The Secret Garden Dress pattern was given to me as part of the tour. As always, all opinions are my own. *

Le Club Bundle Winner!

2014 September 24

This has turned into a very information-based post week. But don’t fear, I get to share a couple of amazing dresses and a new giveaway with you tomorrow! (P.S. Word is they might be made with some of my newly acquired Cotton + Steel!) 

Post No. 2 for this week is all about who won the LE CLUB September Bundle from Fridays Off Fabric Shop. First, though, I’d like to remind you that you can sign up to get a bundle every month from Fridays Off with their new subscription program. Sweet deal!

And, on to the winner… Congratulations to Donna from Calgary, Alberta. (As chosen randomly by the Rafflecopter widget.) She’s going to be the proud new owner of the first Le Club bundle, just as soon as it arrives in the mail. Have fun adding it to your stash Donna!

If you didn’t win, you can help to console yourself by purchasing the bundle from the Fridays Off shop. (And trust me, it helps!) Back tomorrow morning.

 

Quiet Book Sew Along

2014 September 22

So – you thought I’d never get back to the Quiet Book Sew Along? I know, I’m really not being consistent with these posts, I apologize. I seem to have treated it like a lot of other projects I take on – it gets done on time, but generally very close to the deadline! (Taking on too many projects and procrastination much?)

But, have no fear! We have exactly enough weeks left to finish by the end of November, I’m just going to change the format a little.

We’ve gotten through 6 pages (7 tutorials) – halfway there – so we have 6 pages left to make with 2 tutorials on finishing the book. Here’s a list what we have left to finish. Never-mind the names… I’ll come up with something better when I actually post them!

  1. Tie the Shoe
  2. Puzzle Match-Up
  3. Put the Teddy Bear to Bed
  4. Button the Flowers in Place
  5. Fasten the Belt Buckle
  6. Road with Cars
  7. Sew the Pages Together
  8. Sew the Cover & Assemble

The plan is to start next week or the week after with one page/assembly tutorial posted per week until we are done on the last week of November. In early December I am hoping to be able to post a pattern PDF of the entire Quiet Book. The tutorial will still be available, but the PDF will be much easier to follow and will have all pattern pieces and page instructions in one tidy place. Plus, it will look pretty! Bonus!

I hope you’ll forgive my tardiness and come back and sew the last few weeks. I’d love to post some finished projects here in December! Email me and we’ll sort it out.

I Spy Baby Quilt

2014 September 17

Friends of mine had a baby boy a few weeks ago and I found a great “need” to make him a little quilt. Seems that since I have found this new skill of mine I am anxious to spend lots of time quilting, though the faster projects seem to win out. I think I’m going to have to get good at writing progress posts, instead of only posting finished projects!

I also have a great desire to rid myself of my overflowing scrap bin – so, I landed on making an I Spy quilt with over-sized squares. It was really a lot of fun going through my stash and scraps to find the 6″ squares with the most fun boyish prints and kid-friendly designs. I even finally found a good place to use a small piece of my mustache fabric!

The whole thing was inspired by some multi-coloured Origami Sprouts yardage I recently ordered from Double Decker Fabrics and this quilt from Blueberry Patch. The Mixed Bag collection by Studio M for Moda is perfect for kids and works really well in a little boy’s project. I had 1/2 metre, so I used it for the top of the pieced backing. Thankfully I’ve got a little scrap left to stash for another project, it’s so cute! I also had the blue stripey fabric (some Dear Stella from a stashing trip last year). The pieced squares on the back made the other two larger pieces just long enough to fit the length of the quilt.

As I talked about quilts being slow earlier, that’s actually not the case with this one – even though it did take me a month from start to finish. I know this because of the internet (as usual) since I Insta-documented the beginning on August 15th. Sewing the little squares together and piecing the back doesn’t take long, especially on such a small quilt. Even the wonky “graph paper” straight line quilting (does that have a real name?) only took me a few hours. I likely could have finished the whole thing in 6-8 hours had I been able to find one sewing session that long!

I have to admit, that while I was arranging and piecing the front of the quilt I was a bit skeptical and didn’t figure I would like it. Even after straight line quilting it parallel to the long edge it still looked random to me. It was only after I quilted it in the other direction that I started to like it. I think the last lines of quilting brought the whole thing together. I have learned through this process that I like modern “random” quilts (like the amazing ones Cynthia Frenette makes). But I don’t as much like so many random prints and colours pieced together in such large blocks, because they don’t have any semblance of continuity. Even the colourful “scrappy” vibe is hard to find.

Thankfully, with the quilting in place this one has grown on me and I think it will be fun for the baby to lie on and look at – goodness, it’s got enough going on to keep his attention for at least a little while! Anyhow, if the parents hate the busy side, it’s got a lovely toned-down backing that could be used as the front instead.

In other news, some BIG happenings I have neglected to let you know about for tooo long… The results of the Crafting Con Avengers month competition were posted earlier this month and I get to be the proud first place winner! I was so excited when I heard the news and I get to find myself some new patterns from PeekABoo Pattern Shop and something from Fabricworm! Hooray! The kids are still carrying around those bags and there might be a plan to make the little round one into a proper sale-able pattern. (yippee…!) You can see my post about the competition here.

Reader Feedback: What is your favorite new baby sewing project? 

*This is not a sponsored post, though this blog is proud to say that Double Decker Fabric is a current sponsor. I wanted to share where I got the fabric from so you could find it if you need some. And… an unrelated note to self, iron the quilt before photographing it next time!