Green Eileen 3rd Annual Chop Challenge

At the end of August a friend of mine sent an email about the Green Eileen Chop Challenge.  I had never heard of it before and was intrigued.  After a little bit of research on the Green Eileen Facebook page I learned that it is a restyle challenge.  

Eileen Fisher takes donations of gently worn Eileen Fischer garments and resells them at their Green Eileen stores.  They just happen to have a store in the Columbia city neighborhood of Seattle.

They challenge local artists to take damaged clothes they aren't able to sell,
 and make them into a new item.

I took a trip to their warehouse and picked out five holey garments.  I wasn't sure exactly what I would make but the grey and turquoise sweaters and knits were calling to me.
The grey textured sweater knit is beautiful and I knew I had to incorporate it into the design.

After lots of pondering I decided to create a handbag.  
My first idea was to do a take on the hobo bag I made a while ago.  
A special trip was in order to find the perfect leather for the handles and tabs on the bag corners.  I had the bag all put together and tried to sew on the tabs at the corners.  I was so close to being done!
It just would not work!  The bag was too thick and the handles tabs refused to be sewn to the bag.
After about six tries I knew I had to come up with another solution.

I decided to add handles to the top edge.  I also added leather tabs to each end of the zipper.
I really like the way it turned out.  Sometimes your fail becomes a success with a little ingenuity and a deadline!!!  

The lining is a 100% cotton knit tee which I fused to batting and quilted in a diamond design.  The inside pocket uses the tubular knit sweater hem as the top edge.

Green Eileen is hosting an auction and gallery exhibition on October 3rd to support SeedArts.  It is a wonderful organization that supports the Arts in South Seattle.

You can find more about the organization {HERE}



Aimee ~ Farmer's Wife Fridays

Happy Friday!
I have decided to share my progress on my Farmer's Wife Quilt on Fridays ~ Farmer's Wife Friday!
I will do my best to share any new blocks I make and a bit of my process.

So far I have made three blocks from the Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt Book.

From Left to Right - Ann, Aimee and Addie.

I decided to add the new blocks to blocks made previously from the first book.
I plan to keep with the same color story but may decide to add in a few more colors.  We will see....

My favorite part of making the blocks is picking out the fabric.
This block includes a text print from Holly Holderman at Lake House Dry Goods, the apple is from Riley Blake and the fun little girl print is a Japanese print that is a reproduction 1930's feed sack.
The blocks also lend themselves well to fussy cutting.
You can see a tip for how I fussy cut my blocks [HERE]

The book is not just a quilting book but also includes letters from 1930's farm wives.

The letter that goes along with Aimee is wonderful.
Here is an excerpt.

"There are those who think that farm women who spend time reading are lazy and "highbrow".  Besides, of what use are storybooks to women who work in the fields and milk cows? All the more reason I say, why a farm woman should escape for a few minutes into a make-believe world where her spirit may be eased."

"And go to bed with backward looks
At my dear land of Storybooks."  


I love this letter.  
When I was a little girl I wanted to be a librarian surrounded by silence and books : )



A Pair ~ and a Pear : )

A few years ago I designed the Apple Orchard hot pad. 
It is a great project to use those precious scraps you have been saving.
Mine includes some of my favorite scraps that I have been saving for just the right project.

I have been planning on creating a pear to go with the apple for a very long time and it is finally done.

It is an easy make and a great way to learn an easy way to apply bias tape.  The same method as I used in my round potholder tutorial you can find [HERE]

It seemed like a perfect time to create the pear as Fall has arrived.
I will be sure and post when the pattern is complete and post a little give away : )

I have been getting into a routine after a lovely but not very structured summer.
My boys are finally in school after a week long teacher's strike.  As frustrating as the strike was, I am a staunch supporter of our teachers and am happy they negotiated a good contract for the next few years.  They deserve it for all their had work and dedication.
As a classroom volunteer, I am always amazed at their grace and composure teaching a classroom of 25 - 30 kids!

You will be hearing from me a lot more
now that I have dedicated time to work on projects and share them with you : ) 

Happy Sewing


Ann ~ The Farmer's Wife 1930s Quilt Along

Hello and Happy Monday.
Welcome to my stop on the Farmer's Wife 1930s Quilt Along hosted by Kerry at Verykerryberry.  Today I am sharing the block "Ann".
   I picked this block to share because my mom's name is Ann and she was a farm girl.
She spent summers on her grandparent's farm when she was a girl in the late 40's/early 50's.
She often talks about how idyllic those summers were.
Her grandfather was a baker and her grandmother was a homemaker. 
My mother fondly remembers spending time with them tending the animals and the garden.

I joined the First Farmer's Wife quilt along a few years back, and used templates for my blocks.
It was honestly difficult to get accurate blocks - the pieces are small and so are the blocks - just 6".
In the new book, the author, Laurie Aaron Hird has included paper piecing patterns!
I'm thrilled and will be paper piecing all of my blocks.  
I find this the easiest method to get sharp and accurate seams. 

My favorite supplies for paper piecing are:

*Translucent Vellum from Office Depot. It is slight see through so you can see the fabric through the paper which makes it perfect for fussy cutting.  It is also OK to use with a dry iron and doesn't shrink or curl.

*Add a Quarter Ruler - the ruler has a 1/4" lip which makes adding a 1/4" seam allowance around your sections very easy.

*Fabric Glue Stick - I use it to attach the paper pattern to small pieces of fabric.  It comes off easily and is water soluble.  It is also helpful to position the pattern on fabric for perfect fussy cut motifs.

*Fine Pins - I like Clover Brand Flower Head Pins Fine - .45 mm

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  

If you are new to paper piecing, I have a tutorial and free pattern [HERE]
I also have lots of tips for paper piecing [HERE]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


***I prefer to cut the seam allowances off the pattern sections.  I find it is easier to sew the sections together without the added bulk of the pattern seam allowance. 

***Be sure to change your stitch length to 16 - 18 stitches per inch when stitching the sections together.

1]  I wanted all my points to be centered on the plaid, so I started by using a bit of fabric glue to position the D1 portion on the fabric.
The wrong side of the pattern will be facing the wrong side of the fabric.  

2]  Fold back on the stitching line between D1 and D2.
Use your ruler and rotary cutter to add a 1/4" seam allowance.

3] Cut Section D2 at least 1/2" larger that the section.  Place section D1 to D2 the right sides together.
Stitch on the line between D1 and D2.  Start stitching on the inside of the pattern, Back tack, and continue stitching to the end of the stitching line continuing beyond the pattern. Fold the fabric back and press with a dry iron.

Add section D3 as #3 above.

4] When adding section D4 I wanted to fussy cut the motifs.
I turned the pattern over so the right side of the fabric is facing me.
I then positioned the pattern where I wanted the motifs to be.
Trace around the pattern piece with a 1/4" seam allowance to get a perfectly
planned piece of fabric for D4.

Add D4 and D5.

5] When stitching sections L and E to D, I first pinned the corners using fine Clover pins.
Change you stitch length to 10 - 12 stitches per inch and stitch the seam back tacking at the ends.

Follow step #1 - 5 for the remaining three sections.

6] Putting the sections together - My method to match seams ***easy, peasy****

When I first started paper piecing, I swear I spent more time ripping out seams than I did sewing!
Here are my tips for getting your seams to match perfectly.
I find this works best if you cut off the seam allowances from your pattern.

Pin the seams that you want to match.
Baste stitch just where the seams meet, not the entire length of the seam.

Flip over, open the seam and double check that the seams match.
If they don't - no biggie!  Just remove the basting stitches and re-sew!

Once you are happy with the seam matching, stitch the seam with a 10 - 12 stitch length making sure to back tack at each end.  Press the seam open.

I hope these tips are helpful!
Please don't forget the use the has tag #fw1930sqal is you are sharing your blocks on Instagram and/or Twitter.

Happy Stitching!!!


The Farmer's Wife 1930s Quilt Along Starts Today!

Today is the start of the Farmer's Wife 1930s Quilt Along hosted by Kerry at Very Kerry Berry.
Be sure to hop on over to her site to see the first block!
Wynn at ZakkaArt also shares tips for hand piecing your quilt blocks.

I'm really looking forward to join in and share some tips along the way!
You can find me on the tour on September 21st and I will be sharing my version of "Ann".

Here is a sample of some of the fabrics I will be using in my blocks.

Happy Sewing!