~Inspiration from Across the Pond~

Cath Kidson ~ Covent Garden ~ London

A few weeks  ago my hubs found out he needed to go to London on business.  I haven't been to London in 10 years (I was pregnant with my son Liam on my last trip) and thought how nice it would be to head across the pond for a little vacation and a much needed dose of inspiration.  Well...... after a bit of quick planning, an agreeable grandfather come kid sitter,  and a ticket purchased just 4 days before my flight, I was on my way!
Carnaby Street London ~ Spring Fashion Inspiration

How I have missed traveling to Europe!  When I worked as a fashion designer I would make the trip twice a year.  The travel would start in London and then on to Paris and usually end in Rome or Florence.  The trips consisted of "research" or shopping the stores and streets to find the latest fashion trends that were applicable to the clothing line I was designing for.  London was always a quick stop -  so it was nice to have a full week to explore the city.

Inside Liberty of London ~ a heavenly oasis from the busy streets of London 

My first trip, seriously jet lagged, was Liberty of London.  I swear, I could spend days here.  The store is beautiful and is a manageable size so shopping is a truly lovely experience.  London is quite hectic (makes living in Seattle seem like living in the country) so it was a nice diversion from the crazy streets.

Liberty of London

Bolts of beautiful Liberty Fabrics!

I must have spent at least an hour walking up and down the aisle of Liberty fabrics trying to decide on the right one.  They are all so beautiful it was hard to decide!  I didn't purchase fabric on my first trip but came back a few days later and decided on some beauties.

I was attracted to these lovely pinks and purples.....

And have started a Kaleidoscope quilt - the same pattern as my Kaleidoscope pillow you can find here!

I also purchased a few lengths of fabric that will become my short sleeved Anna Blouse.

Of course I couldn't leave London without coming home with a few items from the Cath Kidson shoppe!!

All in all it was a wonderful trip.  Stay tuned for part two!




My Babies are Home : )

I received my samples from the book "Playful Little Paper Pieced Projects" this week.  It is a nice feeling to have them safe at home: )   They were sent away so long ago, I had forgotten how fresh and cheerful they are!

I think that picking out the fabrics is my favorite part of creating a new project.  This one was particularly fun.  The text print is from Suzuko Koseki and the Floral Print is from Moda's Sweet line.  Both are out of print fabrics.  Check out this blog post for some tips on finding those hard to find fabrics.  The sweet apple zipper pull is from the online shop SuperBuzzy.  They are also a great source for Japanese Suzuko Koseki Fabrics.

This is the second option I submitted for the book for an apple themed project.  It didn't make the cut but I think I'd still like to make the apple tote for myself!!!

The Kite tote will be fun to use this Spring!  I love the way the colors coordinate with my blocks from my Vintage Block Quilt Along!

I used some of my favorite Japanese fabrics including Atsuko Matsuyama prints, Yuwa prints and the kite pinwheels which are from a vintage feed sack.

You can find similar prints on Etsy in these shops: Sew Me a Song, Blije Olifantje, Ayumills and Sew Deerly Loved.

Happy Friday!


A winner -

It is not often that the second person that enters a contest wins!  But this time it is the #2 comment who wins!

Congratulations Monica Guerra who commented:

"wow! thanks I love the patterns!! my first thing in my sewing list is an ipad case."

I will be contacting you today!


Give Away!

Hello and Happy Friday!
I'm going to do a little give-away to celebrate my two newest patterns!

"In the Studio - My Featherweight"

and "In the Kitchen - Grandmother's Apron"

Becca from Sew Me a Song has donated this wonderful FQ stack from Pam Kitty Picnic.
I love this line and can't wait to sew "Grandmother's Apron" with it!

Just leave a comment below telling me what is first on your "to do" list for sewing.

I am working on the pattern for my Anna Blouse.  

I've decided to offer a second version with cap sleeves, so I am working on the details: )

I've also been working on my Jam Jars and Fruit Pattern. I have lots of versions and a few items I'm making with the pattern.  I can't wait to share it with you!

I will pick a winner Wednesday April 3rd.  Comments are open until Tuesday April 2nd at midnight Pacific Standard Time.

Have a lovely evening!


Vintage Block Quilt Along ~ Spring Butterfly ~ Block #11

Happy Spring!  We have had a few sunny days here in Seattle.  I actually spent some much needed time in the garden!  I love this time of year ~ seeing the beginnings of new life and my garden coming to life.

This block is an Alice Brooks pattern that I drafted to make a 12" block for the Vintage Block Quilt Along.  I made four blocks for my quilt - one for each corner.  Two of the blocks are reversed so that all the butterflies are traveling towards the center of the quilt.  
The blocks are fast and easy to put together once you get all the pieces cut out.

Spring Butterfly
By Charise Randell
12” finished / 12 ½” unfinished Block

The butterfly measures approximately 6 3/4" x 7 1/4"

Download the pattern Here

~A few tips ~ 
*Read through all the instructions before proceeding.
*Start with a sharp new sewing machine needle.
*For best results, print the pattern templates onto card stock 

Fabric for one block:
~ Background Fabric - approximately 1/3 yard
~ Grey Fabric - Large Scrap or F8
~ Print Fabric - Large Scrap or F8
~ Coordinating Print Fabric - Large Scrap or F8

Fabric for four blocks:
~background fabric - approximately 3/4 yard
~Pink Fabric - F8 or large scraps
~Pink Fabric - coordinating print -F8 or large scraps
~Yellow Fabric - F8 or large scraps
~Yellow Fabric - coordinating print -F8 or large scraps
~Blue Fabric - F8 or large scraps
~Blue Fabric - coordinating print -F8 or large scraps
~Red Fabric - F8 or large scraps
~Red Fabric - coordinating print -F8 or large scraps
~Grey Fabric - F8

Other Supplies  
~ Cardstock
~ Fine Sewing Pins ~ my favorites are these from Clover which are .45 mm
~ Chalk for marking ~ I like Clover Triangle Tailor’s Chalk or Clover Chalko liner
~ Matching Thread
~ Black embroidery Floss (optional)
~ Hand sewing embroidery needle (optional)

Cut A1 from Grey text fabric
Cut B1 and D1 from the same print fabric
Cut C1 from a coordinating print fabric
Cut A2, A3, B2, B3, C2, D2 and D3 from background fabric

** If you are making four blocks for your quilt, flip the pattern when marking the fabric for two of the blocks**

~Sewing Instructions~  

***Tip ~ Stitching curves ~ Showing C1 stitched to C2***
 Fold the fabric piece right sides together and mark the center point with a crease.
 Showing the fabric unfolded and the crease marked

Place right sides together matching center crease.  Pin in place.  Place pins at each edge.
Stitch the seams with the concave piece facing you.

1) Stitch A, B, C, and D together separately.

2) Stitch B, C and D together.

3) Stitch A to B/C/D.  True up your block.

4) Stitch a 2 3/4” x 8” strip to each vertical side (sides).  Press. Trim top edges.

5) Stitch a 3” x 12 3/4” strip to each horizontal side (top and bottom). Press.

6) Trim the block to 12 1/2”

7) If desired, embroider the antennae to the block using the artwork as a guide.

Yay! Your block is complete!

For the rest of the blocks in the series, check out the Vintage Block Quilt Along Page.

I would love to see your version of this block or any others in the Quilt Along.  Please share them on my Vintage Block Quilt Along Flickr page!


Spring Butterfly ~ Vintage Block Quilt Along ~ WIP Wednesday

It is a cold and rainy day in Seattle so it has been nice to work on a cheerful project.    Hard to believe that Spring is just one day away!

These butterflies are the 11th block in my Vintage Block Quilt Along.  They are an Alice Brooks pattern and I've decided to make four - one for each corner of the quilt.  They are surprisingly easy to put together!
The pattern is coming soon : )
Find the pattern HERE!

I played around with the quilt layout  and  I'm thinking about adding white sashing with aqua cornerstones.  The quilt needs a bit of order so I thought the butterflies at each corner will be just the ticket.

What are you working on?

Link up over at Freshly Pieced to share your Work(s) in Progress.



Quilty Fun Blog Hop ~ Flowers ~ and a Give Away!

I am so thrilled to be a part of the Quilty Fun Blog Hop.  Quilty Fun is a wonderful book written by the uber talented Lori Holt.  It is filled with wonderful quilts as well as projects including a cushion, table runner and sewing machine cover.
The Sew Along is to make the sampler quilt pictured above using Lori Holt's  first book, Quilty Fun. The Sew Along project uses instructions from Quilty Fun, so you will need a book on hand to participate!  You can get your copy at the Fat Quarter Shop

To help you with cutting, Fat Quarter shop created a handy PDF companion.  You can find right here.

I had so much fun making the flowers for the blog hop!  They are so easy to put together and just what I needed to brighten a gray day ~ I am ready for Spring and these flower blocks are so Springy!  I used Lori Holt's fabric "Bake Sale" for the Blue flower, and the red flower is "Flower Sugar" by Lecien.  The Stems are from Yuwa Fabrics 30's Collection by Atsuko Mastuyama, the leaves are Glamping by Moda and the Background fabric is Essential Dots by Moda ~ my favorite polka dot fabric!

I am also sharing a give away!  Two winners  will win a 2.5” Rolie Polie of Vintage Happy fabric. 

One winner will win a packet of Alphabitties great for marking your cut fabric stacks when quilting.  

The three winners will be chosen from the pool of submissions on the Flickr group and will be announced on the Jolly Jabber on Monday March 25th.

Be sure to post a picture of your Quilty Fun quilt block(s) in the Flickr group for a chance to win!

Good Luck and Happy Sewing!