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Storybook Halloween: Little Red Riding Hood

2014 October 31

I have been waiting for this moment for… well… about two years and a few months (since I started this blog!). I finally convinced one of my daughters to dress up as Little Red Riding Hood – hooray! Amazingly I even managed to do this costume for $0. Of course, not really $0 – but all of it was already around the house. Most of it come from my stash, and the cape fabric came from a very generous friend.

Actually, it was going even better than this a few months ago – I had the little one agreeing to be a wolf, with my oldest as Red Riding Hood. THAT would have been amazing! Either way, I finally got my Little Red Riding Hood and both myself and my youngest are super happy! On to the next goal!

I used two books to make this costume – and I almost never sew from books. It was nice to do something different. The little pinafore came from my “One Yard Wonders” book and was really quick to finish up. The tan fabric came from a box of fabric donated to me, that someone had given my friend Leanne, I’m so glad I kept it! I have no idea what it is, but it’s a synthetic of some kind, because I almost melted it with my iron before I sorted that out! The weave is quite loose, and a bit thin, so I lined the skirt with some stashed broadcloth. And I added a button closure to the back instead of a ribbon tie, since she has to wear it to school. Sashes and toilets can be tricky for a four year old!

The cape came from the Oliver and S book, Little Things to Sew. It’s quick to stitch up and I made a large size so it should fit for a few years and also fit over her winter jacket for Trick-Or-Treating tonight. I got the red velvet from my amazing friend Lisa (who blogs at Lisa in Port Hope). When she came to my place for a test run on the Forest Glen Satchel she mentioned that she had quite a few yards of it she wasn’t using at home. I got busy and forgot to get back to her about it when my doorbell rang and the post dropped off a package. Inside was the most perfect red velvet fabric, along with the book necessary to finish the cape. Amazing! So amazing! Reminds me that the sewing community is so generous and a great place to be a part of.

My daughter’s brown boots still fit, we added a blue headband (her styling), and a white shirt given to us when my oldest was 3. Done! Thankfully it was a nice-ish day for taking photos yesterday, though not so sunny, my favorite nearby forest was running a bit low on leaves, but we made up for that by throwing a few in the air. Which gave us quite a few strange blurry leaf photos that didn’t make it onto the post… ah well!

Tonight has a 40% chance of rain – so we will hold our breaths to see if we will need to use our umbrellas.  Either way I’m sure the kids will have fun, it’s always the best watching them get excited!

Reader Feedback: Do you have kids/grand kids going out tonight? Who are they dressing up as for Halloween?

Star Wars Halloween: Princess Leia

2014 October 30

So my oldest says to me the other day… “Mom, this costume is perfect for us! Daddy likes Star Wars, I like Princesses and you like sewing.” She couldn’t be more right!

My husband is helping my daughter discover the world of Star Wars, with an appropriate amount of editing of course! This new found knowledge, along with my not letting them be Disney Princesses again this year, led her to Princess Leia. I hope you don’t think I’m too hard-hearted, but the commercialization of the whole Disney Princess thing can be a bit crazy. I also appreciate not re-creating another puff-sleeved ball gown every year! Trust me, they get their fill of playing princess at home – we’ve got an entire dress-up box of princess dresses that get used almost every day. Of course, now that Star Wars has been bought by Disney, I am redeemed – since Leia is a Disney Princess too!

This costume was relatively easy to make. It’s made from white knit fabric and a very sparkly silver belt. She even wore her rain boots for the second year in a row – perfect!

I used the tried and true Bimaa pattern. Though, in fairness, this has very little resemblance to the original pattern. I lengthened and widened the bodice, added a gathered skirt and cut straight , instead of tapered, sleeves. The hood was also lengthened, and I didn’t line it – because, it’s a Halloween costume and I ran out of white knit anyhow.

We attempted to make sock buns in her hair. Which (spoiler alert) looks super easy on YouTube – and I’m sure it is if you have done it 100 times. I’ve only made it to about 26 times so far – then we ran out of patience and attempted to wing it. Thankfully that lasted long enough for the photos!

When it came time for the photo shoot we had a small altercation over the use of props… since it seems that all she has available as a “true to the movies” prop is a blaster. Which led to a parental “Should we allow her to have a gun?” conversation. I’m sure I’ve got some of you on both sides of the argument… but since we had very little time to decide, (the sun and the rain were going down!) we decided we would skip the blaster for now. Her school won’t allow weapons when they wear their costumes on Friday anyhow, so that made the decision a bit easier.

I’m so excited about how it turned out. It definitely wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny from a hard-core Star Wars fan, since it’s in no way authentic – but it’s good enough for one night’s trick-or-treating! I’m excited to show you my youngest’s this week as well – and hint, she’s going to be something related to my blog name! Though, you may have already gotten a hint on Instagram. See you again soon!

Are you making or buying your Halloween costumes this year?

Quiet Book Sew-Along – Puzzle Page Tutorial {week 17}

2014 October 28

Here’s the next Quiet Book Page (for last week!). I should have known I wouldn’t be able to finish it last Saturday while Creativ Festival was going on. Ah – the nievity of thinking everything can be accomplished in minimal time! We’ve talked briefly about this page before, mentioning that it might be a good idea to find an appropriate fabric to work with. This Quiet Book page is found along with other information and tutorials links on the Sew Along page.

This is a favorite page as well – due mostly, I think, to the perfection of the fabric. The matching squares make it perfect for a puzzle. Of course you can match animal heads and tails or the front and back of vehicles. I also think it’s pretty funny that I still have yardage in the blue versions of both fabrics I used over 3 years ago now. Though I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing! Although the puzzle piece size is mentioned in the materials listing, you will need to wait until the instructions to cut anything so it is cut out correctly.

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)
  • Puzzle Pieces - Left Side: enough fabric to fit 3 pieces aprox. 2 3/4″ wide by 2″ high
  • Puzzle Pieces – Right Side: enough fabric to fit 3 front pieces and 3 back pieces aprox. 2 3/4″ wide by 2″ high
  • Fusible Fleece: 1 piece about 9″ by 4″
  • Ribbon to attach puzzle pieces: 3/8″ grosgrain, 3 pieces 7″ long
  • Velcro: Three 1″ pieces of both sides (hook and loop)
  • Ribbon Tab: 3 1/2″ long for the side tab
  • Removable Fabric Marker

Before we begin/Important Notes:

  • 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 before you begin.

Here we go:

  1. Use a removable fabric marker to draw a 5.5″ x 2″ rectangle around the area you will use for BOTH puzzle pieces.
  2. Draw a line down the centre of the rectangle, creating two pieces 2 3/4″ wide by 2″ high.
  3. Draw your notches as desired, I used the number of notches that matched my fabric numbering. You could put one or two notches on all pieces – be creative. Maybe the notches could be curved lines, or other shapes, like rectangles or half circles.
  4. Fuse an over-sized piece of fusible fleece directly behind the puzzle pieces. Cut out the two pieces with the fusible fleece attached.
  5. Cut a small piece of backing fabric for the puzzle piece on the right side. To use the cut puzzle piece as a guide, place it wrong sides together with the backing fabric, then trace and cut.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 for the other pairs of puzzle pieces.
  7. Stitch the soft side of a piece of Velcro onto the centre of each piece of backing fabric. A glue stick is great for holding the small pieces on while you sew.
  8. Place the right side puzzle pieces wrong sides together with their backing fabric. (Another great place to use a glue stick!) Insert about 1″ of ribbon into the side opposite the notches, between the fabric layers.
  9. Stitch around the edges of the puzzle piece with a short zig-zag stitch. Double-stitch over the end where the ribbon is inserted to secure it.
  10. Place the puzzle pieces onto the background fabric as desired – lining up the notches.
  11. Stitch around the left side puzzle pieces to secure them.
  12. Place each right side puzzle piece and mark where the Velcro is located.
  13. Stitch the hook side of the Velcro onto the backing fabric in place as marked in Step 10, so the Velcro will line up when the puzzle pieces are placed correctly.
  14. Baste the three long ribbons side-by-side along the centre-right edge of the background.
  15. 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 you’re finished with another page. Only three more to go! See you back again later this week.

Creativ Festival (& new pattern peeks!)

2014 October 22

It’s time to head to Creativ Festival again! This will be my fourth time going, the others are blogged here: Spring & Fall 2013 and Spring 2014. I’ll be on InstagramFacebook and Twitter a lot this weekend, I’m sure. So if you can’t be there I’ll try my best to share it with you.

I love being able to see my favorite online shops in person, buying fabric, and browsing fabric, talking to some of my local shops that have booths… buying fabric… ummm…. more fabric?! This year, though, I’m going to concentrate on talking to people, (instead of the fabric!) I am feeling that my stash is a tad overwhelming. While I’m sure I will buy more than fabric than I “need”, I’m going to do my best to keep the total down!

My friend Laura (Seams Sew Laura) and I are taking my brand new postcards down to Creativ early Friday afternoon. Side note… As I think of the number of amazing blog related things happening during the next little while I’m reminded how grateful I am to be working with so many amazing people – and especially for all of you reading! Thank you all so much.

Once we get to Creativ, I’m going to abandon my usual methodical (start at row 1) way of shopping and make a beeline straight for the centre booths. I’ve got two very exciting things to see right away. I’m super happy to say that I’ve been working with Fabric Spark (booth 525) and Warp & Weft (booth 624) behind the scenes to kit my new patterns and sell them during Creativ!

Here’s a sneak peek of two new patterns I’ll be releasing as pdf patterns here next week. (I’ll save the proper introductions, and just write about the kits today.) Daryl from Fabric Spark and I have been working together to produce The Reusable Lunch Bag and Fabric Gift Bag Patterns specifically for the Creativ Festival! They are super beginner friendly and super-fast and fun advanced sewist projects! I was over at Daryl’s shop Monday of this week kitting them with her. It was a treat to see her stash of fabric and get to mix and match bolts together for the kits. (Wow!)

The Fabric Gift Bags are kitted in several different combinations (including the amazing one above!) – everything from gorgeous pinks and yellows to masculine gray and blue to Christmas-themed (… yes.. it’s coming!). The Lunch Bag Kit will be available in 4 different laminated cottons – Tula Pink (x2), AMH and Amy Butler.  These two patterns will be available for sale un-kitted as well, and the Gift Bags are especially made to fit in exactly 1 yard of fabric – so you can mix and match whatever colour scheme your holiday season fits into!

The Forest Glen Satchel pattern is finished and I’ll be releasing it as a pdf download here in the next few weeks. In the meantime, it is available as a paper pattern, exclusively from Warp and Weft during Creativ Festival. The satchel was designed with Elizabeth Olwen’s Cloud9 collection, Wildwood, and kits of all three Wildwood fabric combinations chosen by Elizabeth will be available. It was also fun to collect six of my Warp & Weft-related projects from around my house and deliver them to Esmari today. It’s a shame I didn’t think to take a photo! They are all related to free tutorials that I’ve written for use with Warp & Weft fabrics and will be on display over the weekend, so you can see them up close and in person.

On a seriously amazing other note! The Forest Glen Satchel is photographed in Elizabeth Olwen’s Wildwood Look Book and I’m fairly certain the Satchel Elizabeth made at the workshop is on its way to Quilt Market in Houston to live at her booth. (Eeeeekkkk!) I am so re-gramming any photos it shows up in this weekend!

I’ve got a list of other booths to visit at Creativ and I’m hoping to be surprised by a more modern fabric selection. Every year it seems to increase – lucky us! There are also a few sponsor shops and some I’ve interviewed that I can visit as well. Fabric Spot (booth 327) always has a huge selection – and I picked up the Cotton & Steel tigers (above) from her last week, along with a Lush Uptown charm pack. I’m excited to see Sylvia from Country Clothesline (booth 323) and Alanna from Fridays Off (booth 118) again as well.

Wow – I guess that’s “it” for now. What a lot of stuff to fit in with such a small word! Most of all I’d love to meet you. I’ll be there Friday and Saturday if you’re in the area. The most fun part of my job is connecting with all the fabric lovers I’m surrounded with!

Will you be at Creativ this weekend? What are you most looking forward to doing there?

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!