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Spring Bunny Quilt Block

2017 April 11

I am overwhelmed by the amazing comments and emails in response to my last post! Thank you, thank you! It reminds me just how much I am not in my own sewing bubble, and how the DIY community is so lovely and supports it’s people so well. I already feel more energized and excited to begin this new way of thinking and writing along with you.

In the works over the past month or so I’ve written instructions for a Bunny Quilt Block! Cute, cute for Easter, or any spring project. But of course, my mind also thinks it would be perfect to use in a baby quilt – if I only had the patience (#notaquilter) and someone with a baby that needed a quilt!

So I’m popping in today with the block instructions for you. Plus, to let you know I’ll be posting about how I quilted it (on my Janome embroidery machine!) and also with a quick tutorial on how to turn any 12″ block into an 18″ throw pillow. **Update: Find out How to Quilt on an Embroidery Machine.**

Click here to find out how to sew a 12″ Finished Bunny Quilt Block!

 

Where I’ve Been and Where Things are Going.

2017 April 10

Can NOT even believe the last time I wrote here was halfway through March, and now it is already into April and almost Easter. I’ve spent a lot of time on the couch thinking the last few weeks was due to as-yet undiagnosed vertigo and tiredness that doesn’t seem to want to leave. Though I’ve tried (valiantly, even) to send it on its way!

It’s been a battle of my mind as much as my body since I hate not being able to “do”. Despite my lack of ability to sit for long periods of time, it has been a good time to reflect. Things that were happening in the background of my life became a lot more visible and important.

Short story – I think I am finally ready to try to slow down and remember why I started blogging in the first place!

Long story – If you’ve been following this blog for a long time (THANK YOU so much!) you’ve probably noticed the content has changed over the past year or so.

Last year I found I was having trouble keeping up – my self-imposed deadlines loomed and I constantly fell behind. Instead of creating, I spent my time worrying. New things like speaking at conferences took a huge toll on my mind. Anxiety set in and my body started to rebel. Simple tasks felt like huge mountains. And yet, I still imposed crazy deadlines and knocked myself down each time I “failed”.

So I’ve decided (with my husband’s help) that this year I will focus differently. I want to start by taking some of the time spent worrying or working and use it to play with the kids, plan and make healthier meals, clean the house better, finish my quilt tops and sew the projects I have planned that I can’t ever seem to get to. (Some of them have been waiting for years!)

I’m going to try to ignore the impulse to “not miss” an opportunity I could take due to the unknown “good thing” it could do for my business. I’ve started changing my diet to be healthier and trying (again) to add in some exercise.

I started this blog to share my love of sewing and learned along the way that my passion is to help people learn to love sewing. Unfortunately, along the way, I’ve let myself become pressured into making it about gaining readers and doing “that thing” that will grow the blog. It’s exhausting! Plus, I’ve learned I’m not very good at self-promotion (it always feels funny) and that doesn’t help when you need social media promotion to grow.

I will be slowing down. Writing here needs to take a bit of a backseat to other life things right now. I need to detox from the “pressure to post” and remember how it feels to love doing it again.

I will still be blogging though! In fact, I’ve been asked to join some newly-releasing fabric tours, so they are already planned and booked. I’m still working with Janome and have exciting things coming up! Plus I have long-term projects with other people that I really want to finish and patterns I’d still like to release. And, of course, I want to show you my girls’ Easter Dresses! (Still gotta work on those… eeep!)

I will still be teaching workshops. It is refreshing to teach and recharges my love of sewing, plus I think it’s good for me to get out of my house! I’m in the middle of this 4-week series and it’s been so enjoyable to talk with like-minded people.

Thank YOU! I am and have always been amazed at the growth of this blog. I am so, so grateful for each person who comes by and spends time here. I love comments and questions. I love coming up with fun tutorials and projects. This blog could not go on without you and your encouragement.

This summer marks 5 Years in this space! It feels like a good milestone to take time to reset and make sure it stays true to my original intentions.

P.S. I recently re-read this post I wrote 2 years ago with practical suggestions I hope to start up again.

P.P.S. These photos are from our day yesterday. My husband had a work project to finish up and so the kids and I went out. First a trip to Ikea, where I discovered the play area was closing early. Thankfully, the kids agreed that “texting funny photos to daddy” would make shopping more fun. It was so nice to be outside, that we stopped by the lake for dinner and had our first trip to a playground this year. Note to self: Must do this more often!

P.P.P.S. The youngest declared her socks “look cool” this way. Her decision, not mine or her sisters – as usual! Love it!

One more photo from church yesterday morning. They’re getting so big!

March Break Madness, Winners and Easter

2017 March 17

Hi there, how is your week going? We’ve had a “week off” for March Break, no school for the kids, and the usual juggling and scrambling for my husband and I!

Lots going on (including these adorable sock bunnies!) and in the middle of it all, I decided to get a migraine for the first time in years. So… my wonderful husband took over Wednesday, and I got some rest Thursday, and now I’m trying to ramp up again slowly and still play catch-up. It’s so nice to have help at home and so good to have older kids that can play on their own. (And draw me “get well” cards and get me water and pillows – they’re so cute!) I’ve been well taken care of.

So, today you get a random mash-up of what’s going on around here…

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner! I emailed the latest winners this morning, one who gets a Fat Quarter Skirt Kit and the other three lucky ladies that get to play with the pattern. You can check out who won in the giveaway post.

I managed to finish up the Reversible Fat Quarter skirt I cut out last week. And finish photos for another #FQSinspiration tutorial on how to add Patch Pockets to a skirt. Hopefully, I can write and post it this coming week – the girls were fighting over who would do the photo-shoot, so you know it’s a good one! Plus I’m preparing for my workshop – there are still a couple more spaces if you want to snatch one up!

Also, it’s apparently only one month until Easter  – so the usual (and all important) new dresses for the girls are in the works. As they get older, it’s getting trickier to sew for them. They have lots more to say about how things should look! I love designing their dresses – but if all the hard work doesn’t get worn it’s not worth it. So… they get their say, and I try to work out a compromise – ie. where the fabrics match as best as my stash and I can work out!

This year my youngest is on a big maxi-dress kick and we are going ahead with a “re-make” of my second favorite dress ever – this Annabelle for my oldest – only with RED! And I mean that in a good way. Many thanks to the Elizabeth Olwen fabric I picked up at Jo-Ann Fabric for incorporating turquoise so I can match it up with this gorgeous Henley Studio yardage from my sponsor Fabric Spark. I’ve had both sitting in my stash for far too long. (P.S. My most favorite dress make ever is this yellow one!)

The oldest is still into florals – big time! (Thus the large-scale florals… #seewhatIdidthere LOL) She wants her dress from fabrics she chose at Country Clothesline during last spring’s Creativ Festival and I’m so excited to finally put them together. They’ll match beautifully with this lace-edge fabric for an underskirt, if I can pull it off with the sample pieces I have. She wants a repeat of last year’s epic tulle extravaganza, thankfully the included “minus the tulle” pattern version!

It’s a little sad the girls won’t match this year – but at least they will still wear what I’m sewing. So #winwin all around I’d say!

What are you up to right now? Hope you have a great weekend planned!

#FQS Blog Tour: Pienkel and Made by Sara

2017 March 10

Woohoo, it’s Fri-Yay! And I’ve got two more skirts for Day 5 of the Fat Quarter Skirt Blog Tour!

First up, Nienke from Pienkel with her daughter’s fairytale-perfect skirt.

Nienke has nailed the fabrics on this one – what is more perfect than a little girl’s skirt than dots? And my girls would LOVE a piece of this fabric, it’s amazing!  Click here to read her pattern review.

You can find Nienke on Pienkel, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

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Sara from Made by Sara is also here today with TWO fat quarter skirts!

I know this drill well, make something twirly for one girl, gotta make one for the other! Ha!

On a more serious note, Sara has a tiny baby at home and talks in her post about having/making time to sew and her experience sewing this pattern. Click here to visit her and find out how it went.

You can find Sara on Made by Sara, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win a Fat Quarter Skirt kit or pattern. (Remember, you can “click to enter” once each day of the tour!)

Plus, get the pattern for only $6 with discount code FQSTour all week, through Sunday, March 12, 2017. Don’t worry, if you win the prize, we’ll refund your payment!

#FQS Blog Tour: Crafty like a Rox & Sew and Tell Project

2017 March 9

Thursday (almost Friday!) and two more great skirts for Day 4 of the Fat Quarter Skirt Blog Tour!

First up, Roxanne from Crafty like a Rox with her daughter’s “recording” skirt.

Roxanne’s post is as hilarious as her skirt (and daughter) are cute! The cassette tape fabric caused a bit of confusion with her kids… you’ll have to read it.  Click here to visit her and find out why!

You can find Roxanne on Crafty like a Rox and Instagram.

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Emily is also joining us today from The Sew and Tell Project with her daughter’s perfect playground skirt.

I love that Emily chose to add shorts to her daughter’s skirt! It’s hands-down my favorite hack for a Fat Quarter skirt. You can find out more in her “playground tested” pattern review.

You can find Emily on The Sew and Tell Project, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win a Fat Quarter Skirt kit or pattern. (Remember, you can “click to enter” once each day of the tour!)

Plus, get the pattern for only $6 with discount code FQSTour all week, through Sunday, March 12, 2017. Don’t worry, if you win the prize, we’ll refund your payment!

#FQS Blog Tour: Will Cook for Shoes and GAAFmachine

2017 March 8

Hooray, it’s Wednesday and today we have two wonderful bloggers bringing us Day 3 of the Fat Quarter Skirt Blog Tour!

First up, Trina from Will Cook for Shoes with her purr-fect skirt… (*hee hee* couldn’t help it!)

I met Trina through Janome, and her blog is a great mix of quilty and garment goodness, along with a healthy dose of baking and her three dogs. (Bassets, SO CUTE!) Plus, bonus, she’s also Canadian! Click here to visit her and find out more.

You can also find Trina on Will Cook for Shoes, InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

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Nelleke is also joining us today from GAAFmachine with a winning skirt, literally! Read on…

Nelleke won the Fat Quarters she used for this skirt in a giveaway, woohoo! And the florals are so cute for her daughter’s skirt. Visit her blog to find out more.

You can also find Nelleke on GAAFmachine, Instagram, and Facebook.

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Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win a Fat Quarter Skirt kit or pattern. (Remember, you can “click to enter” once each day of the tour!)

Plus, get the pattern for only $6 with discount code FQSTour all week, through Sunday, March 12, 2017. Don’t worry, if you win the prize, we’ll refund your payment!

#FQS Blog Tour: Rebel and Malice

2017 March 7

Terrific Tuesday brings us Day 2 of the Fat Quarter Skirt Blog Tour!

Melissa from Rebel & Malice joins us today with her sunny skirt.

This skirt makes me wish summer were here in my part of the world right NOW! I love Melissa’s combination of teal and yellow, and the striped contrast band is perfect. Click here to visit her and find out more.

You can also find Melissa on Rebel & Malice, Instagram, and Facebook.

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Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win a Fat Quarter Skirt kit or pattern. (Remember, you can “click to enter” once each day of the tour!)

Plus, get the pattern for only $6 with discount code FQSTour all week, through Sunday, March 12, 2017.

#FQS Blog Tour: Sewing by Ti

2017 March 6

Happy Monday to you, it’s Day 1 of the Fat Quarter Skirt Blog Tour!

Today we get a unicorn-friendly treat from Sewing by Ti.

She whipped up a quick skirt for her daughter and by the photos in her post – it was a bit hit! Plus, she explains how easy it was to fit the skirt for her “super skinny minny” daughter. Thanks for visiting her to check it out!

You can also follow Sewing by Ti on Facebook.

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Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win a Fat Quarter Skirt kit or pattern.

Plus, get the pattern for only $6 with discount code FQSTour all week, through Sunday, March 12, 2017.

Fat Quarter Skirt Blog Tour!

2017 March 5

Eeep, It’s my first-ever Blog Tour! Finally, I can tell you and (not kidding) I’ve had butterflies while I’ve been pulling it all together. I’ve got some fun stuff to go along with it, so if you like a giveaway and discount (or just looking at cute photos), be sure to keep reading. *yay!*

Today, I’m so happy to introduce the wonderful ladies that we’ll visit this week as they show us their versions of the Fat Quarter Skirt. (From the teaser pics I’ve gotten so far, you won’t want to miss it!)

Fat Quarter Skirt Blog Tour:

March 6: Sewing by Ti ~ March 7: Rebel and Malice ~ March 8: Will Cook for Shoes and GAAFmachine ~ March 9: Crafty Like a Rox and Sew and Tell Project ~ March 10: Pienkel and Made by Sara

I want to share the love, so we are giving away 4 prizes to make the whole week more fun!

Tour Week Grand Prize: 

I dug into my personal Fat Quarter stash and put together a CUTE Fat Quarter Skirt kit. One lucky winner will get the kit (shipped worldwide!) and the PDF pattern, so they can make their own skirt! The main skirt fabric is some Monoluna I’ve been hoarding, the drawings spell out the alphabet (so good!) – you can see more of this fabric in the original pattern post.

PLUS 3 Runner-Up Prizes:

We’re giving away 3 more Fat Quarter Skirt PDF Patterns to 3 more readers as well!

These giveaways are open to everyone, from today until Sunday, March 12, 2017, at midnight EST. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter – and if you don’t have Facebook to sign in with, just use your name and email address. There’s a “click to enter”, non-social media login entry too!

BONUS! You can “click” to enter once each day of the tour for more chances to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Of course, it wouldn’t be fair to show you all of this fun inspiration without a chance to purchase the Fat Quarter Skirt pattern at a discountGo ahead and pick up a copy all week in the shop for only $6! Expires March 12 at midnight EST. (Don’t worry, if you win the giveaway, we’ll refund your purchase price!)

<p style=”text-align: center;”><strong>Fat Quarter Skirt Tour Dates:</strong></p>

<p style=”text-align: center;”><em>March 6:</em> <a href=“http://sewingbyti.blogspot.ca/” target=”_blank”>Sewing by Ti</a> ~ <em>March 7:</em> <a href=“http://rebelandmalice.blogspot.ca/” target=”_blank”>Rebel and Malice</a> ~ <em>March 8:</em> <a href=“http://www.willcookforshoes.ca/” target=”_blank”>Will Cook for Shoes</a>  and <a href=“http://gaafmachine.nl/” target=”_blank”>GAAFmachine</a> ~ <em>March 9:</em> <a href=“http://www.craftylikearox.com” target=”_blank”>Crafty Like a Rox</a>  and <a href=“http://sewandtellproject.com/” target=”_blank”>Sew and Tell Project</a> ~ <em>March 10:</em> <a href=“http://pienkel.com/” target=”_blank”>Pienkel</a> and <a href=“https://made-by-sara.blogspot.ca/” target=”_blank”>Made by Sara</a></p>

How to sew a Reversible Fat Quarter Skirt {#FQSinspiration}

2017 March 3

How is your Friday going so far? The weekend is just around the corner. I’ve booked a fun sewing day with two friends today, lots of quilty finishes I hope!

I am thrilled to introduce a fellow Canadian today. Tori from British Farm Wife in Training! She pattern tested for me and then, while I was working out this series, posted a reversible skirt idea on Instagram and…

…Boom! I asked her if she’d like to guest post the pattern hack here and she accepted. So you are all on my strict orders that you visit her blog as collateral for her hard work. *kidding about the orders, of course!* But you should visit her blog, she has mad sewing and photography skills, so it’s gorgeous, and her little boy is a cutie pie too. I love him in this Roller Coast Tee she made!

Check out her clever reversible skirt hack below.

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Fat Quarter Skirt Pattern Inspiration Series (#FQSPinspiration)

I’ll be posting a tutorial or some tips every couple of weeks. ‘Specially made to work with the Fat Quarter Skirt pattern – but of course, to be used as inspiration with your own skirt patterns as well. 

Week 1: Sew a Fleece Fat Quarter Skirt ~ Week 2:  Sew a Reversible Fat Quarter Skirt (this post!)

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Big round of applause for Sherri and this AWESOME pattern!! And thank you for having me here to share my hack on it!

Firstly, a short blurb about myself – My name is Tori, also referred to as the BritishFarmWifeInTraining. I am a Canadian gal who married the love of her life – let’s call him….. theBritishFarmer. We live in the middle of nowhere Manitoba, Canada (smack dab in the middle of the country) where we are raising our son,#britishfarmboyintraining (or Little Mister A). You can follow my adventures and misadventures over here. (When I have time to breath and write about them!)

Now, after I made my first two Fat Quarter Skirts from the Thread Riding Hood pattern for my nieces I had a brilliant idea….

REVERSIBLE!

So you get not only ONE cute skirt but TWO!

How hard could that be?

Well firstly, you need to go get yourself a copy of the pattern over here.

Secondly, instead of getting two coordinating fat quarters, grab a third! (Disclaimer: to make this skirt I used 1 fat quarter and 2 normal 1/4 cuts)

NOTE: When picking a fabric for your contrasting bands, pick a non-directional fabric (or one that looks okay upside down)

Now, granted, I haven’t been sewing that long, and honestly, I don’t think I have ever sewed anything to be reversible yet… So there MAY be a better way to do this!

This is just what I came up with (the gist of it at any rate – you should still need the original pattern for the full instructions!). Always remember to press your seams and finish your edges as per the original pattern. And as always, read the whole hack before starting!

Cut four main pieces – 2 from color A and 2 from color B (if you do not want the original length of the skirt to change then cut the fabric 1inch shorter in height). And cut your contrasting bands.

Eight pieces total! (Okay… I actually cheated a little bit because some of the fabric I used was a 1/4 cut, but not an actual fat quarter so my contrasting pieces on my color A are already one continuous strip… only 5 pieces for me…)

Stitch matching fabrics together only along one side (instead of both like suggested in the pattern).

Down to four pieces total! (Now we have the same number of pieces!)

Stitch main fabric color A strip to bottom contrasting band (right sides together) followed by stitching main fabric color B strip to the other side of the band (right sides together).

Down to two pieces total!

Fold the fabric right sides together to color A matches color A, etc. Stitch the edges together to form a tube. Repeat with the elastic casing as well.

Fold the tube in on itself (wrong sides together). Be careful to match up the seams. Top stitch around the contrasting band.

OPTION 1 for elastic casing: Iron the elastic casing in half width wise and iron the main fabrics approximately 1/4inch under all the way around (towards the inside of the skirt). Top stitch the elastic casing into place leaving a 2inch opening to feed the elastic through. Insert elastic and close the opening.

OPTION 2 for elastic casing: Alternately, you can follow the original direction for attaching the elastic casing. This way it will be visible on one side of the skirt but not the other. If you are doing this then you should keep the height of the main fabrics the same as the original pattern.

TA. DA!

A cute little skirt made even cuter (since now it is a two-in-one)!

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Wow, thank you so much Tori! The cutest fabric and what a brilliant way to put it all together. I’m going to have to cut one out and finish it up asap, my youngest would love the idea of a reversible skirt!

Plus, if you’ve read this far – congratulations! You are the first to know my fun news, you can win the Fat Quarter Skirt next week during my first-ever Blog Tour! Lots of great fun blogs to visit and prizes to win – check it out starting Sunday, March 5th!

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