Friday, February 12, 2016

Five Friday Favorites: Online Fabric Shops

Favorite online fabric shops and quilting shops

Today I thought I'd share with you my favorite online fabric shops!  Normally I prefer to see the fabric in person, but when my local shops don't carry what I need, or when I need the convenience of online shopping (which is happening more and more lately!) then I turn to these five shops.  

As a note, I need to add that these are in no particular order, and I receive no compensation for mentioning them here.  They really are my go-to places for buying fabric online!

(Click on the photo to be taken to their site)

The Fat Quarter Shop has a large selection, and I love the extras they have - the sew alongs, free patterns, tutorials, kits, etc.  They also have a nice selection of notions.  I can usually find what I'm looking for here!

Westwood Acres is known for their fun bundles!  They also have some really cool clubs to join, like the newest one - The Mini Quilt Club!  Join the club and each month you'll receive everything you'll need to make a mini quilt.  Such a fun idea.  

Fort Worth Fabric Studio has a fun way to browse on their site - a color picker.  You can't see it in my screen shot above, but when you go to their site you will see it in the lower left corner.  Simply click on the color you are looking for and a list will be generated.  So quick and super handy!  One of my favorite ways to browse for fabric online.  


I love checking out what Southern Fabric's Daily Deal is.  They also have a fun club called the Sew-lebrity Club.  It's a monthly fat quarter club at a great price.  Read more about and see the schedule here.

Hawthorne Threads has been a favorite of mine for years.  I find their site really easy to navigate, and I appreciate all of the various ways to search for fabrics (by line, by designer, by manufacturer, by color, etc.)  But my favorite thing is that when you are looking at a specific print, the site also shows you the same print in alternate colorways, and below that the ability to search for coordinating prints by color.  Genius! I can spend a long time just perusing fabrics on this site!  

I recommend checking out each site's blogs, and subscribing to each of the shop's newsletters.  I love that each week I get an email that shows the sales and new fabrics.  And a lot of times there's an exclusive coupon code available for newsletter subscribers.  

I'd love to hear your favorite online shops.  Have a favorite?  How about a favorite Etsy seller?  

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A New EPP Project

English Paper Piecing

I was digging through some of my scrap bins the other day and decided to liberate some of them.  I realized that I had some really good red scraps and that they needed to be used and not just stored away.

So I started a new English Paper Piecing (EPP) project to work on while I sit at karate classes, wait in Dr offices, and watch tv in the evenings. 

English Paper Piecing 

My last project was these pink hexdens.  The hexdens have been stitched to a background square and the blocks are just needing to be sewn together into a quilt top.  For this next project I chose to make pentarings.  It's a ring shape made up of 10 pentagons.

These are the pentagon pieces I chose to use (I purchased them here).  

English Paper Piecing

What do you think?  Cute, huh?  I love the little pair of scissors.    

English Paper Piecing

I made a tester one, and decided that I love it.  I've now ordered more papers and cut my favorite red scraps into 2.75" squares - ready for basting!  

Monday, February 8, 2016

Bloom Sew Along

Have you seen the new sew along happening on the Riley Blake blog?  Lori Holt has designed a set of fun applique shapes and has a cute new pattern to go along with it.  (You can find the free pattern here)

I decided to join in on the fun, and try my hand at block #4:

Bloom Sew Along block 4

 In her videos and tutorials, Lori walks you through how to make each applique piece, how to place them on the block, and gives you options for how to baste and stitch them.  And let me tell you - the video tutorials are SO helpful!  I learned some great tips from watching.  On my block, I chose to glue baste, and then machine stitch the pieces down.  

About 95% of the time in my sewing, I am using a straight stitch.  So it was fun for me to play with the blanket and zigzag stitches on my machine for a change. 

Bloom Sew Along block 4

I think this sweet little block (12") is going to live here on my shelf!  All of the fabrics I used in my block are from Lori Holt's Calico Days fabric line.   I just love the cheery red and yellow together!

Bloom Sew Along block 4

Friday, February 5, 2016

Five Friday Favorites: Jelly Roll Quilt Tutorials

Welcome to another installment of my 5 Friday Favorites!  Today I'm sharing my favorite Jelly Roll Quilt Tutorials.

I always have a jelly roll or two (or seven) in my stash and I'm constantly on the look out for great ways to use them!  The five tutorials I'm sharing today are my favorites - and ones I'm hoping to use in the next year to be able to use some of those favorite jelly rolls that are just sitting there on my shelves.

Here they are (in no particular order!)

#1:  Sunny Skies

The Sunny Skies tutorial is actually a video tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Co.  But it was this version (shown above) from Megan Pitz (Canoe Ridge Creations) that caught my eye!  You can watch the video tutorial here and read the blog post about it here.  I'm hoping to make a Christmas version of this sometime soon.

#2:  Positively Perfect

The Positively Perfect quilt is one of my all time favorites from the Moda Bake Shop.  I'm still (and have been for awhile) in love with plus blocks.  April Rosenthal's tutorial makes a great size quilt - 54" x 66".  How sweet would this be in all pinks?  

#3:  Ins and Outs

I love that this quilt was made with a jelly roll and then some low volume scraps.  I definitely have enough low vol scraps to make one of these.  The quilt is designed by Jo Kramer (blogs at Jo's Country Junction)  This is technically not a tutorial, but they do have a free, downloadable / printable pattern that's as easy to follow as a tutorial.   You can read about the quilt here, along with the link to the free pattern. 

#4:  Cross Terrian

This is another Moda Bake Shop tutorial, this time by Lee Heinrich (Freshly Pieced).  It's a clever way to use a Jelly Roll - and I mean every. last. bit.  See that cute little pieced border?  Those are the leftover bits from the Jelly Roll strips.  I love how scrappy this quilt looks too.

#5:  To The Point

I love when Jelly Roll quilts don't look like they're made with a Jelly Roll.  This To The Point tutorial by Amy Gibson (Stitchery Dickory Dock Blog) shows you how to make the blocks, and then gives you SIX other layout options.  So awesome.

Looking for more ideas?  I have a Pinterest board dedicated just to Jelly Roll quilts!  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Mazed Quilt

This is a fun, scrappy quilt made with the Mazed quilt pattern

I came across this pattern last year and immediately knew I would love it.  It's called Mazed, designed by Kristy Daum.  The idea behind it is so clever!  

You can use scraps or jelly roll strips (along with your favorite background) to make the blocks.  Then you arrange and rotate them however you want to create this fun maze look.  There's no WRONG way to lay it out, and you can't mess it up.

This is a fun, scrappy quilt made with the Mazed quilt pattern

I started this quilt at a retreat and actually messed up a few of the blocks but you'd never know it.  This pattern is SO forgiving!  And I love that each time you make the quilt it's a little different depending on how you rotate the blocks.  It was really fun to lay it out and watch how it changed every time I rotated a block.

This is a fun, scrappy quilt made with the Mazed quilt pattern

The finished quilt is 48" x 60" and I put a warm flannel backing on it - perfect for tossing over my lap when I'm reading.  

Friday, January 29, 2016

Five Friday Favorites: Organization

Five Friday Favorites:  Organization

So...let's be honest.  This hobby of ours can get out of control pretty quickly.  We have fabric, projects, tools, pre-cuts, scraps, patterns, rulers, notions, magazines, threads.... How do we contain the chaos??  Today I'm sharing five tools I use to keep somewhat organized.  And I'd love to hear your favorite ways to stay organized!

#1: My WIPs clipboard

Sewing room organization ideas

 A couple of years ago I made this clipboard to help control all of the loose papers floating around.  Over time, it became the home for my WIP lists.  I keep this in my sewing space and it helps me keep track of the status of each of my projects.  

Sewing room organization ideas

The clipboard is just a plain brown clipboard from any ol' office supply store.  I found some fun scrapbook paper, cut them to size and modge podged them on.  Much prettier!

Last year my friend Holly gave me the coolest WIP list to use.  Her husband (the talented artist behind Stately Type) designed it for her and I thought it was SO helpful!  I used it, and filled it up.  Quickly.  He's designed a whole new set of them for this year and you can find them here.  They're available to purchase as an instant download - super handy.  Go check them out!  There are three different sheets:  WIPs to Finish, My Fabric Stash, and Quilts to Make (a wish-list of sorts.)  

#2:  Pattern Binder

Sewing room organization ideas

Yep this is super fancy, high-tech and state of the art.  Not really.  It's a $3 binder from Target.  In it, I keep several things.  I keep those free patterns / tutorials from blogs and websites.  They stay in here while I'm working on the project.  Then they get filed into a permanent file.  While in this notebook, they're handy and easy to refer to.  

Sewing room organization ideas

I also keep my new patterns that I've sketched up but need to be tested and worked on.  I also have a section where I keep info for upcoming sew-a-longs, or quilt block swaps that I'm a part of.  

Pretty much any info that is needed for my current and near-future projects.   This notebook is kept in a convenient spot on a shelf.  You can see it on the bottom shelf in the photo below.

#3:  Pattern & Manual Organizers

Using magazine organizers to store quilt patterns

I have four of these white cardboard magazine files.  At least they're made for magazines.  But that's not what I do with them.  I store quilt patterns in two of them.  All of my sewing machine manuals are in another.  Another keeps miscelaneous papers.  They hide a lot of visual clutter.  I love that.  

#4:  Project Bins

ArtBin quilting project storage

I have just a couple of these bins that I keep to-go projects in.  They're about 13" x 13", so they're perfect for those 12" blocks that are waiting to be made into a quilt top.  There are some different variations of these bins, but I love the ones with handles - so much easier to transport.  When I go to sew with friends I load one of these bins up with everything I'll need - my pinbowl, rotary cutter, small cutting mat and the fabric I'll need for the day.  You can find them at JoAnn (wait for a sale or use your coupon) and here on Amazon.  

#5:  Todoist

Lastly, is my favorite app / website, called Todoist.  I keep my to-do lists (family, sewing, church, etc) there and I can access them from either my phone or the computer.  I love that I can break down a larger project - say for spring cleaning the house, or writing a new pattern - into smaller, more approachable tasks.  And I can put things into categories such as "sewing & piecing" and "family errands."  I check my todoist first thing in the morning to get an idea of what needs to be tackled that day.  

So there's my top 5 tools for organizing.  What are yours?  I'm always on the lookout for great ideas! 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Pixelated Hearts

Pixelated Heart Mini Quilt - with a link to the tutorial!

A couple of weeks ago I shared a link to a pixelated heart project - and now I've finally made my own!  You can find the original tutorial here on the Sew Mama Sew blog.

But since mine is a little different from the original tutorial I thought I'd show you how I made mine.  First of all, I didn't have any of that nifty pre-printed grid interfacing.  If you have it, that's great.  If not, it is easy to make your own!  I used the lightest weight fusible interfacing that I had.  

Pixelated Heart Mini Quilt - with a link to the tutorial!

Decide how big you want to cut your squares (mine were 1.5").  Lay the interfacing over your cutting mat and using the lines on your mat and a ruler, just trace the grid.  You'll want to trace onto the smooth (non-fusible) side!  I used any ol' pen I had laying around.  

If you want to make a different sized mini, here's the math for you!

Pixelated Heart Mini Quilt - the math and diagram to make your own

Pixelated Heart Mini Quilt - with a link to the tutorial!

Now that you have figured out what size to make, and how many fabric squares you'll need, time to start cutting!  Cut the fabric squares the SAME SIZE as the grid you traced onto the interfacing. 

I went with a blue/green/aqua combo so it could stay on my wall all year 'round.  You'll need the most of the low-volume (or background) squares.  I did end up removing the outer row of background squares so I only needed 50.  And I tried to use each print only once, but I think a couple of duplicates slipped in there.

Use the diagram above to lay out your fabric squares in the shape of a heart.  Now just follow the original tutorial (here) to fuse everything down and then to sew your rows and columns together!

Pixelated Heart Mini Quilt - with a link to the tutorial!

I quilted mine with some simple straight lines- nice and fast!  My new pixelated heart is up on my mini wall!  And my collection is growing - slowly.  What mini should I make next?  Do you have a favorite?

Wall of mini quilts

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