Friday, April 27, 2012

Ready for Summer

Now that spring has arrived in New England I'm dreaming of summer.  I picked up this awesome home dec weight Dear Stella sailboat fabric at Quilter's Way and decided it would make the perfect summer beach bag.   This bag is loosely based on Jane's Standard Tote tutorial.  The lining peeking over the top adds the perfect little pop of color! 

I bought these grommets when I was making roman shades years ago but never got around to putting them on. They're super easy to use, just a few taps with a hammer.  I love the nautical touch they add with the rope handles!

I added an inside pocket for my cell phone and a key holder to the front. It's the perfect size for everything I need for a day by the pool:-) Can't wait!
Linking up to:

Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Up Friday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict Can I Get a Whoop Whoop
AmyLouWho Sew and Tell

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

W.i.P Wednesday: More Precious than Rubies


So I'm pretty sure I don't have to tell you about the My Precious QAL 'cause everybody is doing it!  It's actually been my goal this year to finally use my favorite fabrics that I've been hoarding saving.  I'm off to a pretty good start!  I used my beloved Anna Griffin Riley for my ruffled argyle quilt, finally chopped up my Verna jellyroll to make this criss-cross quilt AND pulled some Little Folks voile to make these bound edge napkins.  I've been giving a lot of thought to which of my pretties to use next. 

I'm a huge huge Tula Pink fan!  I still have a Neptune layer cake squirreled away along with some yardage. I have already made two Neptune quilts (someday I'm going to take these out for a decent photo shoot!) but I feel like the best is yet to come.  Hushabye?  I made this with the pink & brown but that aqua is calling to me; )
I also have an idea for this stack of Heather Ross Mendocino I pulled together but it seems like everyone is using this one and I'm holding out in hopes I'll "find" some of the pinks.

I decided to dig a little deeper: Tanya Whalen, Heather Bailey, Sweetwater Sunkissed, more Heather Ross...  Hello my name is Alice and I'm a fabric addict:-)

But then I opened my Sis Boom bin.  Yes, I have an entire bin full of these fabulous Jennifer Paganelli prints spanning many of her collections and I have yet to make a single quilt with any of them.  This is definitely a reason to break into these. 

It's time to get chopping: )  I'm so excited to be starting this one!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, April 23, 2012

For Moi?

So many fun and exciting things have been showing up in my mailbox lately I have to share...

I never win anything so I couldn't believe it when I won this awesome Aurafil thread collection from the unbelievably creative Amy of During Quiet Time.  I don't know how she manages to constantly come up with new, adorable things but I'm pretty sure she doesn't sleep, EVER!  I am a long time lover of Aurafil so this was definitely a welcome addition to my thread collection, especially since I just used up spools of orange and yellow making napkins.  I can't wait to use that pink variegated!!!

Next the mailman brought this wonderful package full of Table Top Swap goodies from the amazingly awesome Sew Peachy.

I was really hoping she was my partner!  These are going to perfectly match my kitchen in Maine but I couldn't wait to use them...  it seems my favorite tea mug matches also.

And then all these Ghastlies lovelies arrived from Hawthorne Threads.  Of course I had to pay for these myself but it was money so well spent.  I've been waiting for these since I saw them at Fall Market!  I'm dying to start cutting;-)

Friday, April 20, 2012


Audrey's been taking sewing lessons again at the awesome Create Sewing Studio.  Even though she already made lounge pants when she spotted this Merry Berry cuddle by the fabulous Ann Kelle she had to make another pair.  These are so incredibly soft I may have to make some for myself! 

She also made this adorable top (Simplicity 2437) with some Pat Bravo Nature Elements she stole from my stash: )

This is school vacation week and Audrey asked if we could make a sewing project together.  Of course she picked out my favorite Flea Market Fancy print which I've been hoarding pondering how to use.  We decided to make skirts based on my favorite flirt skirt tutorial by Growing Home.  I did the cutting but she did all the sewing!

For Audrey's we modified the pattern to have a full elastic waist but she insisted that it had to have pockets!

Here we are, total matchers; )  These work up so quickly we were done in under 2 hours and we still had time to run over to Quilter's Way to show off what we made and pick some more fabrics for next time. 

Little projects are so nice for Friday finish link ups but next week when the kids head back to school I'll be going back to quilting so don't expect another full week of posts;-)

Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Up Friday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict Can I Get a Whoop Whoop
AmyLouWho Sew and Tell

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bound Edge Napkin Tutorial

OK, one last napkin tutorial. Again, these finished napkins look exactly like these awesome linen napkins from Sew Take a Hike but there was all that folding and pressing I didn't want to deal with. Apparently even when I'm just sewing I'm thinking quilting because these are done similarly to how I bind my quilts.  Finished size 18".

For each napkin cut the following:

(1) 18" square of linen
(2) 4" x WOF strips of printed fabric

Cut the ends of your 4" strips at a 45° angle.  Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew strips together end to end.  You will need to offset the edges by 1/4" inch.

Press open your seam allowance.  Press your strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together.  Press one side in half again bringing the raw edge up to the first fold line.

Place the end of your 4" strip at about the midpoint of your square with the folded edge away from your sewing edge.  Start sewing about 3" above the bottom of the square with a 1" seam allowance

Sew until you are 1" from the edge of the napkin. Turn your napkin 90° and sew in reverse off the edge of the napkin.

Miter the corner by folding the strip up at a 45° angle.  Fold the strip back down even with both edges of your napkin.  Sew down the side with a 1" seam allowance.  Repeat for all 4 sides.  Stop sewing about 3" below the last corner. 

Fold and press the ends of your strips so they just barely meet in the middle of your napkin.

On the right side, cut your strip directly in the fold.  Unfold the piece you just cut from the right side and line it up on the left with the edge directly on the fold.  Cut the left side even with the outer edge of your cutoff piece.  In this case that will be 4" from the fold line.  Be careful to only cut through the top strip. 

Fold and press the right side strip down at a 45° angle.  Line up the cut edge of the right side with bottom edge of the right hand strip and sew directly on the fold line. 

Check that you now have a perfectly fitting continuous strip of binding to stitch down on the final side.  If so, trim 1/4" from the sewn line and press your seam open.  Sew the remaining binding down with a 1" seam allowance slightly overlapping the end points of your previous seams. 

Fold your binding over the edge of the square to the back of your napkin.  Your square should tuck right into your folds.  Miter your corners and pin in place. 

From the front topstitch around the edges of your napkin just inside the edge of the binding. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wavy Applique Napkin Tutorial

These napkins are part of a set I've been making with scraps from my Keeping It Together watercolor quilt and Robert Kaufman Waterford Linen.  Check out my tips for sewing with linen before you get started.  Finished size 12".

For each napkin cut the following:

(2) 12 1/2" squares of linen
assorted random width strips of at least 3" in length
(1) 3" x 13" strip of fusible interfacing (I used Pellon 808 Craft Fuse)

Seam allowance 1/4"

Begin by assembling your patchwork strip set. Layout your fabric strips in a pleasing arrangement and sew them together until your patchwork is 13" wide.  Press all of your seams in the same direction.  The longer the strips the more napkins you can make from a single strip set. 

Place the strip of fusible on top of the strip set with the fusible side against the right side of the strip set.  Cut both pieces using a freeform wavy pattern with gentle waves.  Try not to make your wave too narrow.

With the fusible and wave still layered as you cut them stitch down both sides following the curves.

Carefully turn your wave right side out so the fusible glue is now on the outside back. Finger press along the edges and poke out your curves.  Fuse your wave to one of your linen squares and topstitch along the top and bottom edges. I offset mine on the bottom third of the napkin.

Trim the edges of your wave flush with the napkin.  Place the second linen square on top so the wave is in the middle. Sew around the square leaving a hole for turning. Trim the corners, turn and press.

Topstitch around the outside edges to close the opening and your napkin is finished: )

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Self Binding Napkin Tutorial

One of the suggested tutorials for the Table Top swap was for these lovely Linen Thanksgiving napkins at the Purl Bee.  I loved the look but wasn't up for the burned fingers I knew I'd end up with after all that folding.  Instead, I decided to make mine like a mini self binding blanket.  For more details on this technique check out this fabulous Magic Binding Blanket tutorial at Fabric, Family, Fun.  You can also check out my tips for sewing with linen before you get started.  Finished size 15 1/2".

For each napkin cut the following:

(1) 14" square of linen
(1) 18" square of printed fabric 

Seam allowance 1/4"

Fold each of your squares in to quarters to find the center points of each side.  Starting on 1 side with right sides together match the center points and pin.  Stitch along the side.  On the first side I don't bother starting 1/4" from the edge.  I stitch along the full length of the linen.

Repeat matching the center points and stitching for the remaining 3 sides leaving a small hole on the last side for turning.  I start sewing/stop directly at the previously sewn seam if there is one already.  Otherwise, I sew to the end of the linen.  You will get something lumpy looking like this where the excess fabric is puffed up in the corners.

Miter the corners by lining up the sewn seams of a corner and pressing it flat.  Place a line on your ruler on the folded edge and draw a line from the edge to the end of your sewn seam line.   Repeat on all 4 corners.

Sew along the drawn line and trim the corner for all 4 sides. 

Turn your napkin right side out through the hole you left.  Push out your corners with a chopstick and press your napkin flat.  Topstich along the inside edge of your printed fabric close to the seam line making sure you've closed the hole you left for turning.