Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Teacher/Grandma Gifts :: Sharpie Mug Tutorial


It's that time of year, when I'm always looking for a cute teacher gift or stocking stuffer or something to personalize for the grandmas and I think I've found an awesome idea this year. I wanted to share because I know I'm not alone on this hunt! So here's what you need: a plain white mug (ours came from IKEA) and an OIL based Sharpie paint pen (I found this one at Walmart in the craft section).


Draw your designs on your clean, dry mugs with your paint pen. I let Harper do her own designs on these and write the names - cute right? Then let them dry for 24 hours.


Put the mugs right on the rack in the oven and turn the oven on to 400 degrees - you want to let your mugs heat up and cool down WITH the oven. You're basically using your oven as a kiln to cure the paint and any sudden temperature changes could cause the mug to break, and you to cry. So put the mugs in, turn the oven on and set your timer for 40 minutes. This part didn't smell great but running the fan helped clear it out.


After 40 minutes turn off the oven and DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR until the mugs and oven are completely cool. You could leave them overnight if you bake them in the evening, we waited probably 3 hours before opening the oven. That's it! Pretty easy right? And these have been used, washed and run through the dishwasher and they came out completely fine! Add a cute mug rug and some cocoa or chocolate and you have a great teacher gift (or in our case grandma gifts).


You can also search Pinterest for "sharpie mug tutorial" to see other awesome design ideas. 

Oh and Gnome Angel is hosting a Festive Mug Rug Swap and has links to 10 super cute mug rug tutorials in case you're looking for some :-)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Mini Quilt Monday :: Contrast


It's officially a thing: Mini Quilt Monday. Well it's going to be my thing anyway! I love mini quilts and with the 3rd round of the Schnitzel & Boo mini quilt swap starting up on IG (and flickr) I figure this is a good way to share some inspiration. This quilt measures 21"x24" and uses a mini charm pack that Carolyn Friedlander gave out during her SewDown Nashville classes - it was a gorgeous mix of her fabric and other Robert Kaufman favorites. I loved it but I had no idea what to do with it until I decided to use them to make a mini. 


I pieced the square together first to get the arrangement I liked - I love the contrast that the pop of orange gives. So after the mini charm (2.5") squares were arranged I started pulling other neutrals including some Lotta Jansdotter from my stash and a chambray Essex yarn dyed linen. So I built the rows, measuring as I went, then sewed them together and added the Essex border last. It was kind of like improv but with measuring (go ahead and laugh, I know how ridiculous it sounds). Finally I added the orange binding, which is Kona because I couldn't bear to cut up the actual orange CF print in the quilt for the border! I'm a nut - I know.

So I"m going to start sharing mini quilts maybe not every Monday (I'm not crazy enough to think I can crank one out every week during the holiday season) but I'd like to make it a regular feature. And if you've posted about a mini you've made lately I'd love for you to share a link to it in the comments! Thanks for stopping by - hope you stay warm on this wet chilly Monday.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Finish It Up Friday :: AMH St. Louis 16


Happy Friday! It always feels a bit like crossing the finish line of the marathon doesn't it? And I suspect it will start to feel more like finishing a triathlon by the end of December ;-) Today I have my finished birthday quilt to share! My birthday was back in October and I decided to do a bit of selfish sewing and make myself a quilt. I also cut into a hoarded FQ bundle of AMH linen, which felt quite exhilarating (it doesn't take much around here).


I used one of my favorite patterns, the St. Louis 16 patch and I was thrilled to realize that since the linen is larger than regular quilting cotton I could get enough 4.5"x18" strips for a black and a half out of each FQ. so two FQ's of linen actually made THREE blocks! Sweet.

I used 24 blocks (4x6 layout) in this quilt and it finished at about 56"x 84" (big - for me anyway). I've made a couple of these with 16 blocks (4x4 layout) which are a good size for a couch quilt or picnic in the park but this time I wanted something *really* good for the bed or ling enough to lay under on the couch completely. I'm happy to report that this size is perfect for that!

I kind of hate to say it but I feel like we're at that point no matter how hard I try to deny it: this is a wonderful pattern for gift giving. GAH! The holidays! I know, I know, sorry. But anyway, this comes together quickly and always makes a great looking quilt. Just sayin.


I used some AMH flannel from Stash Fabrics on the back which is just decadent. Between the linen and the flannel this turned out to be a heavy quilt which makes me so happy. I'm pretty sure the weight helps me sleep better (teehee). I quilted this one using a zigzag stitch on my old machine, just quilting right over each seam. I felt like it kind of gave it a crazy quilt look that went well with all the fabrics and colors mixed together.

I felt so satisfying to make something for myself that I love so ridiculously much.
Thanks for stopping by!



Thursday, November 13, 2014

Scrappy Patchwork Ornaments



Next week is our annual ornament swap at the West Atlanta Modern Quilt Guild meeting and I found this adorable patchwork ornament tutorial over at Stumbles & Stitches. They're quick, easy and cute - I figured what could be better for a bunch of quilters?! Done with red and now onto green...and then maybe some pink ones and and and...

It seems that the holiday sewing spirit has arrived!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Panel Tote Bag Tutorial


Happy Saturday! I had fun making samples for Quilt Market with some of the new collections from Blend Fabrics and I thought I'd share the way I made this owl tote. It was one of those simple projects that I thought turned out looking like a million bucks and the panel is what makes it. I pretty much love everything Cori Dantini does though, so I know I'm biased.  You could also cut a center square from any fabric that you want to feature!


Supplies for Pieced Front:
Panel Fabric - you could probably get by with a half yard, you just want to make sure you have one complete repeat to cut out
Contrast fabric (same as back exterior) again a half yard should do

1 Exterior piece (16.5" tall x 17" wide)
2 Lining pieces (each 16.5" x 17") 
2 pieces fusible fleece (each 16.5" x 17")

Strap: cut 1 WOF x 4"
note: I chose not to interface the strap but if you'd like to you can cut another piece same size and fuse to fabric before the other steps


I always like to line up the middle lines before I cut to try and get cuts as straight as possible.


This particular panel has a border around it which you can include or remove. I had already cut the border off the top so I trimmed it off the bottom and sides as well.


Just FYI: panels are always wonky. No biggie.


So your goal is to get a piece cut with straight edges. My owl measured 11.375" tall x 10" wide. Your piece might be slightly larger or smaller than mine. If it is SMALLER you need to increase the size of the border pieces slightly. If your piece is larger than mine you can just trim a bit more off when you trim.


Make strap: Fold in half and iron, then fold sides into middle and iron again.


Topstitch along the sides of strap and then fold in half and finger press at the middle. Cut in half to make two equal size strap pieces.

NOTE: This makes a 1" wide strap, if you'd like a bigger strap just cut your initial strap piece wider. 
WOF x 6" = 1.5" wide finished strap
WOF x 8" = 2" wide finished strap


Assemble front panel: Sew borders on top and then add side pieces.
Top borders: 4" x 10"
Side borders: 4.5" x 17"

SEAM ALLOWANCE for piecing is 1/4"


Trim front panel: I take any extra off the top to get the height to be 16.5" (this gives the impression of symmetry once the bottom of the bag is boxed).


Fold the panel in half and finger press at the middle. Line the middle up at 8.5" (center of 17").


Trim any excess off the edges to get 17" total width.


Fuse fleece to the exterior panels.
After you've fused the fleece to the panels you can do some quilting on your exterior panels if you'd like to - I did a little stitching in the ditch around the owl and added a "frame" around it and that was it, I wanted to focus on the fabric so I didn't do much quilting.


Cut 2" square from each panel (will be used to create the gussets or "box" the bag).


Sew around all three side of exterior pieces with 1/2" SEAM ALLOWANCE (all remaining seams sewn with 1/2" allowance).


Sew two sides of lining panels together. Leave an opening in the bottom of the lining (sew about 2" on each side) to turn bag through at the end.


Pinch bag sides and bottom together - I like to nest seams to make sure they line up.


Sew along the edge, making sure to backstitch at front and end.


Turn bag exterior right side out.
Center straps on front and back and pin. I pinned 6" apart.


Slide bag exterior into lining, right sides together and pin around the top. Sew all the way around the top and then turn out through opening in the bottom of the lining. Hand-stitch or machine sew lining closed. Press bag around the top and then topstitch to finish.


Voila! The world's cutest tote bag!
I already said I was biased right?!

If you have any questions or need help as you make one of these please let me know. You can check out all the cute fabrics Blend has on their website. I know that you can find this fabric at Hawthorne Threads. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Liberty of London Swap


I was really pleased to join the Liberty of London Swap that my friend Melissa started on Instagram last month. Who doesn't love Liberty? My goal was to make some high quality swap items without breaking the bank so everything you see was made from ONE Liberty scrap pack from Westwood Acres (which are a crazy good value when they pop up in stock) and a half yard of yarn dyed Essex Linen from Cuts of Cotton. I did have a piece of Liberty to use to line the pouch but I could have used Kona or some other solid and it would have looked just as nice. Lucky for me my partner wanted things to organize her sewing notions which is right up my alley. I was thrilled with how everything turned out and I wanted to share the details.


I saw a tutorial for these fabric bowls over on Ellison Lane many moons ago and just fell in love with them You can see Jennifer's original post here. I just changed to sizes to make a 6", 9' and 12" bowl set. I created a patchwork piece for each bowl interior using 3.5" - 5" - 6.5" squares of Liberty joined to make a large square. I used the Essex linen with decor bond interfacing for the exterior.


This is the open wide zipper pouch from Anna at Noodlehead in the medium size. Again I used a patchwork panel for the front top piece and used fusible fleece for the interfacing. I added a little quilting for detail.


Finally the back with a teeny tiny strip of Liberty - I super love how easy these pouches are and this one was no different, I think the Liberty really makes it something special (Christmas gifts anyone?). 

If you're on IG you can look for round two of the Liberty of London swap to start up again in January. Melissa is ohhowsweetco on IG if you'd like to follow her for the details :-)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Finish It Up Friday :: Gathered Clutch



Another Friday, another finish - I don't know about you guys but even having an imaginary deadline (like Finish It Up Friday) actually motivates me to get stuff done. And since I seem to start waaaay more than I finish anything that helps me get stuff checked off the list is a good thing.

So this week I have a sweet little finish to share: a Gathered Clutch, one of my favorite patterns from Anna Graham over at Noodlehead. Anna is updating this pattern and I was lucky enough to get to proof-read it for her and so of course I needed to make one. Since I've been in love with this pattern for a while and made it before I had the right zipper and hardware already on hand.


I also had, quite by accident these gorgeous fabrics piled near each and other and voila - the happiest kind of accident. The exterior is Avant Garden for MoMo by Moda and it turned out to be a lovely linen/cotton blend (think Echino) which I didn't realize when I bought it but was quite delighted with, and some Lucky Penny by Alison Glass. Don't you love it when things just work out?

Anna's pattern uses Fusible Fleece on the exterior pieces but I think with a heavier linen blend (or home dec weight fabric) I would probably just use Shape Flex on the exterior pieces next time - the fleece makes for a bag that feels padded and substantial but created enough bulk in the layers that not all machines would love sewing through it.


The pattern also has options for a card holder, small pocket and divider - of course I made them all. I changed the pattern just a bit by sewing the card holder to the divider (instead of directly to the lining) which made a nice sized pocket for paper money and left plenty of room for phone, chapstick and key in the middle. I added the small pocket to the other lining piece for extra bit of organization. 

This pattern is great for gifts and you know with the holidays fast approaching I'm already thinking that way. It took me a couple hours start to finish and I'm slow. It's also written well enough for beginners to feel good about trying their hand at it - don't fear the zipper people, you can do it! Oh and if you ARE a new sew-er just know that the cutting and interfacing is always about 75% of getting any bag done, once you get all the parts cut, sewn and interfaced the actual bag comes together in a snap (in my humble experience anyway). So don't get overwhelmed if you feel like the "prep" is taking forever - it'll pay off in the end :-)

So there you go, a quick and satisfying finish for the win.