Stitch with Style part 2

I was planning on writing this post last week but life got in the way.....
I've been on a Spring cleaning binge which is good....very good : )
I'm thrilled to have two more projects in the "Stitch with Style" issue from Stitch Magazine.
They are fun and easy projects that I hope will inspire you!

The first is an embellished cardigan sweater.  I have several vintage beaded sweaters I adore.  I thought it would be fun to take a new sweater and add bead embellishments!  The possibilities are endless -  you can personalize it in your favorite colors and beads.  Local bead stores have great selections and I also included resources for the beads and gems in the magazine.

The issue includes instructions to make the gem stone version as well!
The second project I designed is a Turquoise pendant necklace.  I love to make jewelry and have taken metalsmithing classes for the past 10 years.  I thought it would be a fun design challenge to make a necklace that  requires no torches or soldering and is made entirely with needle and thread!
I combined turquoise and mother of pearl beads but It would be stunning with other semiprecious beads!


Sewing for myself : )

I was at the dentist office yesterday thumbing through the April issue of Martha Stewart and ran across the most adorable peasant blouse. The pattern is a free download from her site and you can find it here.  I needed a break from a pattern I've been working on and thought this would be a perfect little departure.  Three hours later and I had a new blouse!  I love the ease of the style and I'm sure it will be a "go to" this summer.  The pattern offers a dress style and 3 different sleeve lengths.
I used the long sleeve version and lengthened the body about 4 inches to more of a long shirt, short tunic length.  I measured a favorite woven top of mine to figure out which size I wanted to cut.  I usually wear a size Medium but based on my top I cup a size Small.   It is always a good ideas to sew a muslin - or fitting garment in a similar fabric to make sure you like the size and fit.

I also added another border to my quilt.  I love having the design wall up so I can work on this at my own pace - it happens to be a snails pace these days!!

Have a lovely day!


Stitch With Style - Kimono Sleeve Dress

The new issue of Stitch Magazine's "Stitch With Style" is out now.  
  It is packed with clothing and accessories and is a wonderful issue.
I love the "Mad Men" sets and style of the photos.
Today I'm going to share my Easy Kimono Sleeve Dress. 
The fabric is from Birch Fabrics Elk Grove Knits line and is the Coral Poppies print.  It is such a beautiful "springy" print!  
I based the design on a top I've worn and loved for many years.  It is flattering and easy to wear. 
It is also super easy to sew and a great first knit sewing project. It has just four pattern pieces.  The pattern also includes plus sizes which is so wonderful for curvy gals!!!
***Here are a few tips for sewing with knits:
1) You can finish the seams with a zig zag stitch if you don't own a serger or overlock machine.  Be sure to check your sewing machine manual for other seam finishing stitches.
2)  Check your thread tension on a sample piece of the knit you are using.
You want to be able to pull slightly without the stitches popping!
3) Use a brand new ball point needle - an 80/12 is a good size for this project.
4) Prewash your fabric as you plan on washing the finished garment to prevent shrinkage.

**Here are a few tips for fitting this dress:
1) Do a muslin or fitting garment to make sure the garment fits correctly and the design lines are in the correct place.
2)  Please follow this link for lengthening the bodice if the empire waist line is in the incorrect position.
Stay tuned this week and I will share two more projects I designed for this issue!


Sunday Stash

I thought I would share a few lovely fabrics I recently received!
These beautiful Japanese prints by Atsuko Matsuyama and Fumika Oishi are from Sew Me A Song.  I love the sweet prints and colors!
If you are a regular reader you will probably be surprised to see these.  I never pick orange prints but I adore these.  They are DS Fabric Traditions from Joann fabrics.  The aqua/orange combo is spot on and very 1970's - my era as a kiddo : )
Have a lovely evening!


Consoling myself.....

Yesterday I was planning and scheming ways to get to Quilt Market which just happens to be in Portland Oregon which is just a 3-4 hour drive from Seattle.  I received an email from Becca and another from Amber who both live on the East Coast asking me if I was going to be there. They are both the absolutely loveliest ladies and I was so excited to meet them but I told them I couldn't - kids, scheduled activities, etc - then I spoke with my hubby who said "you should go".  So yesterday after picking up the boys from school I was heading home to send the ladies emails saying "I'm coming to Quilt Market and can't wait to meet you in person!".

When I picked up my youngest son, he said he wasn't feeling well and what do you know  -  he had a temp of 102 degrees.  Plans for quilt market dashed : (

So to console myself today, I, finally, after about a year of owning it, put up a design wall.  It is just a vinyl grid with fuzzy fabric on one side and large grommets on the top -  I think I bought it at Joann Fabrics.  Armed with the drill and some cup hooks I now have a design wall.  I'm pretty darn excited. 

I hope to meet the ladies someday soon, though I'll have to say I feel fortunate to be able to make a little sick guy feel better : )



Quilter's Favorites

Geta from Romania is hosting a “Quilter's Favorites” party on her blog!
I am going to share some of my favorite things for sewing and quilting!

I design paper pieced patterns, small fabric goods and clothing.  I'm excited to share some of my favorite notions, my beloved sewing machine and creative storage solutions with you! 

***Favorite Notions***

Clover Flower Head Pins are my favorite.  They are so useful because I can accurately match seams on paper piecing patterns and if you are very careful, you can stitch over them! 

You can find my tutorial for matching seams here.
Another must have tool for foundation paper piecing is Office Depot Vellum paper.
I LOVE this paper.  It is 100% cotton so you can iron with a dry iron without distorting the pattern.  It is also translucent so you can see where you are placing the pattern on your fabric.  Perfect for fussy cutting as pictured above!
***My Sewing Machine***
A few years ago I treated myself to a Vintage Singer 221 Featherweight sewing machine.  It is exactly the same age as me!
It is my machine of choice for piecing.  It is small and sturdy and so lovely to look at!
I found mine on Ebay for a reasonable price.

My sewing space is shared with my family living space
so I like storage items that are pretty and practical. 
Vintage ball jars and vases add a pretty touch when used as storage vessels.
 Since my projects and notions are in view,
 I try very had to make the table as visually pleasing as possible!
This is my cutting area.  I have my rotary cutters in a vintage Roseville pot I found at a vintage shop.
I love to store my frequently used thread in blue glass Ball jars.  I found these at vintage shops in the Seattle area for about $10. 
This fabric bowl is part of a nested set of three I designed for Stitch magazine.  I put miscellaneous items there to get them off my table!
This 1930's saucer holds pins!
Plastic Bins
Oh how I love them.  Since I store my fabric and projects in my bedroom, it is nice to have everything compartmentalized for easy access and storage. 

I have bins for specific projects like my hexie hot pads here.
My fabric is also stored in plastic bins - mostly by color.
I have found that storing fabrics is best done by the way you use your fabric.  I also store my text fabrics separately and my favorite designer fabrics have their own bins.
Large scrap book storage bins are perfect for storing quilt blocks.
Thank you Geta for hosting this wonderful quilting blog hop!!!


Daisy Pinwheel - Block #7 - Vintage Block Quilt Along

Yay!!!! Thanks for your patience my lovely quilting friends! 
Here is the 7th installment of the Vintage Block Quilt Along!
Daisy Pinwheel
an Alice Brooks Pattern
By Charise Randell
12” finished / 12 ½” unfinished Block

This block was referred to as "Pinwheel #7101" in the original pattern.  I have added Daisy to distinguish it from block #6 in the QAL which is also named "Pinwheel".
 This block is made from 4 identical squares. 
Each individual square is 6 ½”.     There is lots of curved piecing involved in the construction of this block, but I have added matching marks (notches) to make it easier to construct!

Pattern Link Here

                               ~A few tips ~
*Read through all the instructions before proceeding.
*Start with a sharp new sewing machine needle.
* Print the templates onto card stock
*Cut the outside edge of the background fabric 1/8’ – ¼” so you have a little “wiggle room” when truing up your final block.

~ 8 – 3 ¼” x 6 ¼” rectangles assorted print fabric
~ a F8 for the background
~1 – 3 ¼” square print fabric for the center circle

~ Cardstock
~Fine Sewing Pins ~ I like Clover Flower Head Pins Fine (.45) 
~Chalk for marking ~ I like Clover Triangle Tailor’s Chalk
~Freezer Paper
~Spray Starch

Cut 4 each A1 Print fabric
Cut 4 each A2 Background Fabric
Cut 4 each B1 Print fabric
Cut 4 each B2 Background Fabric
Cut 1 each 3" x 3" square for the center circle of the block

1. Stitch A1 to A2 :

With right sides together, match the notch on A1 and A2.  Pin in place.  Gently pull the background fabric edge to match the curved edge of A1.
Pin around the curve.

 2.  With the background piece A2 facing you, stitch with a ¼” seam allowance. Press the seam allowance towards the center of the block.

 3. Repeat #1-#2 for B1 and B2

 4. With the right sides together,  match the notch on A2 to the seam on B2.  Stitch in place.   Press seam open.

 5. Proceed for the other three sections.

 6. With right sides together, match the raw edges and the notch.  Stitch the top right section to the bottom right section.
Repeat for the left side.

7. Stitch the right section to the left section matching seams.

 8. Create the center circle:

a) Iron the freezer paper circle to the center of the back fabric circle.

b) Hand stitch a gathering stitch around the perimeter of the circle.

c) Turn the fabric circle over and pull up the gathering stitch.
Place a q-tip or small brush in the starch. Apply the starch to the seam allowance.
Carefully iron the seam allowance over the edge of the freezer paper circle.

d) Loosen the gathering stitch and remove the freezer paper circle. You should have a perfect circle!
Turn to the right side and press.

e) Position the circle on the center of the block.
Stitch in place with a machine edge stitch or by hand with an invisible stitch.