Tuesday, March 21, 2017
We are so ready for spring at my house. With deer frolicking in the front yard and wildflowers blooming everywhere, it seems like it's finally here to stay. I love it when my sewing is a perfect match for the season, and these pouches made with the Lily collection by Sue Penn for Penny Rose Fabrics feel exactly right for this time of year.
Over spring break, I had the chance to fly back to California to visit my sister and her family. It was a lovely trip, full of sweet visits with family and friends. I brought these pouches along as gifts for a few special people. Whenever I need a quick gift, I almost always go with a pouch. They're simple, fast, and useful for just about everyone.
These came together in just two afternoons of sewing. I sewed small strips together and quilted on either side of each seam. I usually like to mix up my prints, but this time I decided to stick with a separate colorway for each pouch. Going with a more cohesive color scheme for each piece was a nice change, and I will definitely do it again in the future.
At about 4 x 6", these are just the right size to tuck into a bag. As always, I added leather ties as zipper pulls and twill tape loops to the sides of each pouch.
Happy sewing, friends -- and happy spring!
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
I'm guest posting at the Fat Quarter Shop blog today for a new series called Pattern Makeover where I'm sharing these pieced gingham coasters that I made by adapting a pattern from Farm Girl Vintage by Lori Holt. Head over there to take a peek!
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
My dear friend Julie of The Intrepid Thread asked me to come up with another fun tutorial for this year's Quilt Non event (for all of us who can't make it to Quilt Con East), following in the footsteps of last year's Pixie Basket tutorial. So I wrote up a quick little patchwork pennant with a landing spot for pins and needles that I'm calling the Pinnie Pennant. This little project takes 30 minutes or less to sew, and it's tiny enough that you can even hang it on the hand wheel of your sewing machine. I think this would make a cute little extra for swaps too!
If you make one of these, please share it on Instagram and use the hashtag #pinniepennant (and #quiltnon2017 if you're making it for the weekend challenge!). Be sure to tag me too @fabricmutt!
Happy sewing, friends!
Pinnie Pennant Tutorial
by Heidi StaplesFinished size: 3 1/2 x 4 1/2”
Charm square of linen
1 rectangle, 3 3/4 x 4”
7 print scraps, each at least 2” square
1 rectangle, 1 x 2”, from each print
Mini charm square of gold stripe print
Needle landing spot backing
1 rectangle, 2 x 2 3/4”, edges cut with pinking shears
Mini charm square of cream felt
Needle landing spot
1 rectangle, 1 1/2 x 2 1/4”
Charm square of batting
1 square, 5 x 5”
String or baking twine
1 piece, 7” long
Charm square of floral print
1 square 5 x 5”
Adhesive basting spray
Twill tape (optional) for decorative loop
Pins & needles
All seams 1/4” unless otherwise stated.
RST = right sides together
Press seams open wherever possible.
1. On the linen square, use a pencil to mark 1” up on the left and right edges (the 3 3/4” long sides) and mark the midpoint on the lower edge (a 4” side). Use your rotary cutter to trim a straight line from the midpoint to the left 1” marking. Do the same from the midpoint to the the right 1” marking. (See photo above.)
2. Sew the 1 x 2” patchwork border rectangles together in a row, sewing along the 2” edges.
3. Sew the patchwork row to the top straight 4” long edge of the linen piece. Use adhesive basting spray to fuse the wrong side of the pennant to the batting square. Quilt as desired and then trim off the excess batting. (I stitched on either side of each seam on the patchwork as well as on the seam joining the patchwork to the linen piece.)
4. Place the ends of your string on the top edge of the pennant, lined up with the first patchwork seam from each side with the loop pointing down. Stitch in place 1/8” from the top edge.
5. Use the front panel of the pennant as a guide to trace and cut out the pennant backing piece. Place the front and back pieces RST, secure them with pins or basting clips, and stitch all the way around the pennant, leaving a 2-3” gap on the right or left edge. Be sure to backstitch when you start and stop.
6. Trim the corners and then turn the pennant right side out through the gap, gently pushing out the corners with a chopstick or turning tool. Tuck the raw edges inside the gap, press the pennant, and then sew 1/8 - 1/16” from the edge all the way around the outside of the pennant.
7. Use adhesive basting spray to fuse the felt rectangle to the right side of the needle landing spot backing piece, making sure that it’s centered. If you like, tuck in a decorative twill tape loop centered at the bottom between the felt and the backing piece.Then use adhesive basting spray to fuse that piece to the center of the linen part of the pennant. Stitch around the felt piece, just inside the edge of the rectangle, to secure in place.
8. Tuck your pins and needles into the felt, hang up your pennant, and enjoy!
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
I was sorting through all the possibilities of what to make with this fabric when my sister suggested the perfect idea while we were chatting by phone between Texas and California: a table set. "It's fitting, right?" she added, referring to the porridge incident in the Goldilocks storyline. I couldn't have agreed more.
I've been trying to add to our collection of place mats and table runners for the breakfast nook this year. It's fun to change things up with the seasons, and it's a sewing project that takes far less time than a quilt. I used simple rectangles for my daughters' place mats, and the small runner is a quilt-as-you-go herringbone pattern inspired by my friend Maureen's tutorial, which I've used before to make some of my favorite pillow covers.
I tried to add some fun details like twill tape labels and crocheted lace to the set. There's also a "story" on each place mat for the girls to look at while eating their cereal in the morning. It's all very sweet and simple, but full of personality. I love having handmade items like this in our home, welcoming us as we come down to breakfast. It just seems like such a great way to start the day.
And everyone lived happily ever after.
Monday, February 13, 2017
When I signed up to be on the Sweetie Pie Sew Along tour a few months back, I decided to go with the pear block because a) it looked simple and b) my husband (who loves to work on his vegetable garden and small fruit orchard in his spare time) has been informed that our part of Texas is pear country. It just seemed like the way to go...
Lori has a such a genius for themes in her books and patterns. I love the way she took a traditional Dresden plate block and put her own spin on things: i.e. the Dresden circles are "pies" which we "fill" with the fruit applique...so clever. We were asked to use Riley Blake/Penny Rose fabrics for our block, and I had a ball picking out a rainbow of prints for mine. It was so hard to narrow it down to what you see here!
I never would have guessed that a Dresden would turn out to be one of my favorite quilt blocks. It always looked too complicated to me in the past, but I've been surprised by how forgiving it is. There's really no stress over matching up seams, and since I do all my embroidery and applique by machine, it comes together pretty quickly. Using a cream colored thread works so well on light colored fabrics because it easily blends into the print and reflects the background color, looking as though you took the time to match the color of your thread to each fabric. I stitched everything down onto a linen square -- patchwork and linen are ALWAYS a match made in heaven -- and it makes another fun pillow to add to my growing stash.
I couldn't resist adding a little apple tag to the right side of the pillow to keep the fruit theme going.
You can get the whole scoop on the Sweetie Pie Quilt at Lori's blog right here as well, along with a peek at the bazillion amazing projects she always seems to have in the works.
Happy sewing, friends!
Monday, February 6, 2017
Thursday, February 2, 2017
When I was a little girl, my grandmother collected dolls. She had them on stands all over her living room, and my sister and I were fascinated by them. She bought them from shops or by mail order from the catalogs that came to her home every month. Then one day she showed me a catalog from a new business called Pleasant Company, the forerunner of what's known today as American Girl. I remember poring over those pages for hours, studying the details and stories about each of the dolls they offered (only Kirsten, Samantha & Molly in those early days). I made lists of which items I wanted and how much each would cost, reworking those figures over and over again. Sadly back then, a doll just wasn't in our family budget. It was disappointing, but I managed to wring plenty of enjoyment out of the catalogs alone, so it wasn't the end of the world.
Over the past few years, my girls were each able to get their own American Girl doll from grandparents on both sides of our family for their birthdays. It's given me so much pleasure to see them enjoying a treat that I only dreamed of when I was young. We were surprised when a temporary AG shop came to San Antonio for the holidays last fall, and my daughters visited it any chance they could get before it closed at the end of January. On our very last trip to the store last Thursday, my husband insisted that I get a doll for myself as part of my Valentine present, so that I could finally have one of my own. I felt like a child again as I picked out Rebecca Rubin to take home with me. My mom purchased some clothes and even Rebecca's little kittens to go along with her. So here I am, feeling spoiled to pieces by my lovely family and having so much fun playing pretend with my daughters as they hold their weekly sister sleepovers and tea parties.
When my mom presented me yesterday with a sweet pair of pajamas that she bought for Rebecca on eBay, I suddenly thought how fun it would be to make her a pair of patchwork slippers to complete the outfit. I traced her shoes for a pattern and used a few of my smallest Liberty scraps along with some pale blue Essex linen. It was tricky working with such tiny pieces -- I've never bound anything so small! -- but I'm so thrilled with how they turned out.
It's true -- I love my new doll. But mostly I adore my precious family who surrounds me with love in such thoughtful, sentimental ways.