Hooray! I just finished a new pattern for my Etsy shop! I’ve made this quilt about ten times and I really love the design. The design was inspired by a photo I found on Pinterest of some beautiful modern dominoes. It’s so simple and even though there is a lot of white it feels colorful. I’ve found that primary colors work really well, but I’ve also made a pink and green version that is very pretty.
The pattern is great for beginners because it does not require precise piecing. There are only nine pieced blocks and the rest of the quilt is made of large pieces of the background fabric. You can definitely finish this project in a weekend–especially if you machine sew your binding.
Here are some other versions in different palettes. I might make one with a dark color background next–maybe navy? It would also make a really pretty table runner–hmm. I think I may have my next project!
I’ve had this cushion on my to-make list for months. It always takes me a really long time to make design decisions for my own house–lots of sketches and fabric piles are involved. This cushion is in our home office (which is also where I sew), on the couch/guest bed (yep, the room is also our guest bedroom). This room is a busy place so I really wanted the design to be just right. I played around with lots of ideas, but inspiration struck when I ordered some of Carolyn Friedlander‘s new collection Carkai. I almost never buy a collection of prints, but I snatched up a bundle of half yards in Carkai and Doe. I really love subtle palettes of primary colors, if that makes sense. I ended up going with trusty flying geese (after all that thinking and sketching …)–I think they really show off the prints and keep the colors from being overwhelming. The cushion is a whopping 26×26, perfect relaxing and dreaming up my next project!
Want to learn more about this awesome online retreat? Check out this video!
The retreat is led by Vanessa Vargas Wilson (aka the Crafty Gemini), who I was lucky enough to meet through our Gainesville Modern Quilters group. Each month, participants have access to a new class with a quilting expert teaching unique material. You can learn about all 12 instructors (including me!) and their projects in the video. Plus, Vanessa will be doing a live video chat each month. If you’ve ever seen a Crafty Gemini video, then you know that Vanessa is one of the leading online quilting teachers, and so much fun. Participants will also have the opportunity to interact with the instructors and other students, win prizes, and participate in online activities.
Even better if you enter now you can win the entire retreat for free! You have a great chance of winning so enter before the contest ends on Saturday.
Click here to enter!
I’m so excited to share this great chance for you to win an all-inclusive year-long online quilting retreat. I am teaching a class along with a bunch of really great quilting experts and it’s going to be such a fun year–with lots of classes, super projects, and all kinds of opportunities to interact with other students and teachers. The retreat is a great deal–$99 for the full year and all the classes but if you share this post and enter to win, you can get the whole deal for free!
Click here to enter!
I haven’t posted in ages, but I’ve been busy sewing! It was really nice to just make stuff for a few months without thinking about taking pictures or how to try and make it interesting. Do people really want to read about the felted bunny I made to fit into an Altoid box bed?
But, this pillow is just too gorgeous not to share. I can say it’s gorgeous without feeling like a braggart because all credit goes to Carolyn Friedlander‘s creative genius. The pillow was made following her Botanics pattern, using some of her Architextures fabrics, and solids that seem very much in her palette. Even though I really love coming up with my own designs, following Carolyn’s pattern was so much fun. No worrying about how things would come together, no decisions to make, just following steps to make something that is an instant classic. Following this pattern was a great learning experience, too. It seems a little counter intuitive, but following a pattern can be a really creative experience; you learn new techniques and try out different designs and colorways. By working on this project, I feel like I got a tiny dose of Carolyn’s design DNA that will help evolve my own projects–good deal!
One of my goals this year is to expand my repertoire of crafty skills. First on my list? Needle turn applique. My guild is doing a mug rug swap this month, so this was a great opportunity to test my skills on an unsuspecting guild member. (They’re a pretty friendly bunch.) I used a very simple bull’s eye shape adapted from Denyse Schmidt’s Quilts book (hands down my favorite quilting book–it’s really great for beginners). It’s just three irregular circles stacked; aiming for imperfection is a great choice when you are learning a new skill (or improving a rusty one).
When I’ve tried needle-turn in the past, I’ve always cheated and turned the raw edge under with my hand, which can result in an uneven edge. I think I finally got the knack of needle turning by the third circle! You use the point of the needle to push under the next section of edge before you sew–which turns the edge evenly as you move along. If you are working on a precise shape, having a clear line for the seam would be very important. Because my circle did not need to be precise I just winged it. It was so nice to work on a small project by hand that I decided to hand quilt, too. At first I quilted around each circle–not good! The circles poofed up, totally negating all my careful applique. Here’s a picture, before I pulled out the hand quilting:
What else do I want to try this year? Embroidery, making a stuffed animal, and (maybe!) English paper piecing. Look for more Skillful Sunday posts in the coming months!
My first craft fair was not a smashing success financially, but it was a great experience. It was really inspiring to meet other crafters–who really must be the nicest people on the planet. The show had a little bit of a Brooklyn vibe from the Pixies on the radio to the hipster attire. My biggest (OK, more or less only) seller was these super cute bunny ornaments. If I’d made a hundred bunnies, I’d be all set. Of course, they were something I decided to make at the last minute. I had some left over wool felt from a tree skirt I made last year and wool stuffing that I bought ages ago and have used countless times. (I love when a seemingly extravagant purchase turns out to be perfectly practical.) A little embroidery and a blanket stitch around the edge–simple.