Sunday, December 30, 2012

Mom's Christmas Dresden Plate Quilt

I decided after I moved in the summer to make Christmas gifts for my immediate family for Christmas - - - an all handmade Christmas! My mom, dad and sis each got a quilt this year, and now I can finally post about them! 

I decided to make my Mom a modern Dresden plate quilt using method and inspiration found at  Geta's Quilting Studio. I saw her quilt on Pinterest, and just had to make my own. This is a pretty easy quilt to make, using strip pieced wedges. The best part is that you turn the circular Dresden plate into an octagon, and then sew on corner triangles to form a square. Then you can sew the blocks together as normal with a minimal amount of appliqué.

The fabrics are all pulled from my stash - and there's a lot of Tula Pink in there, y'all. The background is a white tone-on-tone that I've had lying around for ages and was just right for this.

The grey in the wedges is Kona Coal, and the centers and binding are a grey with white dot. I love me some dots....

I have to say, I'm uber happy with the quilting, too! I did it myself on Mom's long arm while I was home for Thanksgiving. I locked myself away for several hours and cranked this baby out, tackling swirls for the first time! And seriously, my back hurt for about three days after hunching over this bad boy for so many uninterrupted hours.

The backing is some of my favorite from Bonnie and Camille - from the Ruby line. Yum.

I love this guy, and I think Mom loves it too, so mission accomplished! I hope she loves wrapping up in it this winter.

More gift quilts to come so stay tuned!

I hope you all had a lovely holiday, and are looking forward to a happy New Year! Did you get anything handmade for the holidays this year?

Happy Stitching!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dear Jane, Week 9

Not gonna' lie, I just finished these 10 minutes ago. Fell behind a bit, and I'm definitely going to need to remake one of these, but in the interest of complete honesty, this is where I am this week:




I3 (Yeah, definitely need to remake. Too much red.)

I4 (I love this one!!!)
 Bringing the grand total to (wait for it!) 46!

In other news, I'm eagerly looking forward to the holidays with my familia! What are you doing over the holidays?

Happy stitching,


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dear Jane Week 8

Here's the next installment of my Modern Dear Jane Quilt. The blocks are really coming along, but I do have a lot of pretty complicated appliqué blocks that I'm (ahem) putting off just a tad...

That said, I'm making progress so woohoo.

Week 8!






Tuesday, December 11, 2012

We're On Annie's Quilting Stash!

I'm so excited to let you know that Andie and I are interviewed on Annie's Quilting Stash Podcast today! SO FUN (well, it was for me anyway - hopefully you'll think it's fun, too). 

Annie is, to preface this, one of the nicest people ever. I was having some technical difficulties, and she couldn't have been more patient with my frustrating/pathetic technological misfortunes. Plus, she's super supportive, a good interviewer, has cool-girl glasses (like me), and is an amazing quilter. I'm a fan.

Andie and I got the chance to talk a little about our book, Modern Designs for Classic Quilts, and some of our motivation and inspiration behind the book. You'll just have to listen to find out all the deets. Annie's also giving away a copy of the book, so hop over there and check it out!

Here are a few of the quilts we talk about in the podcast for a visual reference:

Pantone Coins

Urban Cabin

Effie's Web

In the Clouds

Thank you for visiting - please stay and look around! I have a Modern Dear Jane Quilt in the works - click on the tab at the top of the page to see my progress so far! Make sure to visit Andie, too! Annie, thank you so much for having us - we had a ball!

Happy stitching,


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Compact Groceries Tote

After reading through A Bag for All Reasons by Lisa Lam, I knew I needed to make the Compact Groceries Tote for myself. I knew I'd be able to get a lot of use out of a grocery tote, especially when I go to the Saturday morning farmer's market here in Charleston. My bag hasn't made an official trip to the Market yet, but I wanted to share the finished project anyway.

Compact Groceries Tote

You can buy this kit from the Martha Pullen online shop. They have the kit available in the green I used, or in an equally gorgeous red version. They give you 3 different fabrics (outside, lining, handles), as well as the trigger hook hardware and the snaps. I'll say this, though - you may want to use your own sew on snaps if you don't have the crimper tool to insert the snaps; the kit doesn't come with it.
The kit also includes quite a bit of extra fabric because the Tilda fabric that's in the kit (which I'm a little in love with, btw), is extra wide, not the standard 42" wide. So, bonus scraps!

Kit from Martha Pullen online

Here's my new favorite market bag all finished . . .

And the other side (yep, it's reversible!):

AND, it rolls up and can clip to the inside of your purse for easy storage . . .

All in all, this was a very fast bag to make with great instructions from A Bag For All Reasons. I think the hardware and snaps make it look really polished, but it was super easy to put together. This would be a great holiday gift to make for friends or family, or a great kit to give as a gift to your crafty friends who'd rather make it themselves!

(Check out my review of A Bag for all Reasons here.)

Happy stitching!


Friday, December 7, 2012

Review: A Bag for All Reasons

I'm here today with a very enthusiastic review of A Bag for All Reasons, a new book by Lisa Lam (bag designer and sewist extraordinaire). The publisher generously sent me a copy to review for all of you fab people, so here we go!

Let me start by saying this: As a former editor of craft/sew/quilt books, there are definitely features that I love to see in new books. To be clear, not every book that hits the shelves needs all of these features, but sometimes there's a book that really does need the super-special treatment, and this is one of those books.

Some features I love about this book:
  • Spiral-o, lay-flat binding: Here's the deal. Spiral binding is fab, but it's really not always necessary. If a book features a lot of projects that have larger, longer steps (like in quilting, one step might take a week!), it's not so crucial to refer to your book constantly while working. But with bag making, there are a lot of steps that each may only take a few minutes. Who wants to keep flipping the book open and closed? No one. Cuz it'd be super annoying. 

  • Full-sized, single-sided, bound-in pattern sheets: A few great things here. Number 1: No enlarging your pattern pieces - they're already at the size you need them. Number 2: If you want to, you can cut the patterns out directly from the sheet because there's nothing printed on the other side of the paper to destroy. Number 3: Because they're bound into the book, the patterns are less likely to get lost, pulled out, or destroyed in between the printer and your house. Just make sure that once you use them, you find a way to keep them with the book.

  • Step-by-Step photography: A picture's worth a thousand words, and when it comes to "how-to" books, it might be worth more. Lisa's written instructions are really clear, but a good double-check with the photo is great to avoid unnecessary re-dos. Love it.

  • Beauty photography: A great photo can make or break a project, and your desire to want to do it. Seriously, every project in this book is photographed beautifully, and you can imagine how that bag would look in your own life. For example, the cover project (the double-pannier bag) is so dawgone cool that I want to buy a bicycle to justify making one for myself. Same thing with the laundry bag. I've never wanted to go do laundry before now...

  • Professional finishing: Lisa's addition of hardware (like snaps and clips), zippers (and other closures), pockets and contrasting fabrics give these bags a really polished, professional look. When it comes to wearables, we want them to look handmade-chic, not handmade-messy. And these bags really do look chic.

I made the Compact Groceries Tote to take with me to the Saturday Farmer's Market to carry home my loot. I'm going to post a little more about my new bag in a few days, so keep an eye out for that, but here's a sneak peak of the fabric I used.

I really enjoyed this book, and I know you'll want a copy for your library. Let me know if you have any questions I can try to help answer. In the meantime...

Happy stitching,


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dear Jane, Week 7

Whew, this week was a squeaker! I totally busted up my leg a week ago, so I couldn't bash around my sewing room like I normally do. (excuses, excuses) But I finished my blocks, and my leg's almost better, so double score!

Here's Week 7 - up to 36 blocks made!






What have y'all been working on?

Happy stitching!