Inspired By.. Row By Row Experience

I was traveling for work and happened upon a quilting store. I had a few minutes and thought I would drop in and see what they were up to. They had Lotta Jansdotter fabric displayed in their front window.. Agh-ha! Right away I knew this was a fabric shop for me! Work appointments, what?  Work could wait a few minutes while I popped into the quilt shop.

I bought a few fat quarters of Lotta’s fabric and while I was speaking with the owner she told me about the Row by Row Experience.. Wow, have you heard of it? What a great way to get out and take a tour of your local quilt stores!

The Row by Row Experience started in 2011 with 20 stores in the New York state and has grown to over 1200 store across the country [plus Ontario, Canada - yay!].  Each shop in the experience designs a mini quilt/ a row that is inspired by the seasons – this year’s theme. You can travel to each store and get their free “row” pattern. And there are prizes to be won..!  A stash of fat quarters!

If you are traveling this summer, check out the Row by Row website and see if the city/town you are visiting has a participant. They organize the states by license plates and you can purchase a license plate from the store you visit. Of course I bought one from this store – Deborah called her license plate “Seaside Quilter”. You still have time – the Row by Row experience runs July 1 – Sept 2. What a great way to get out, support local shop owners and find new goodies for your stash!  I love this kind of stuff.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend.

Posted in: Inspiration

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A Blog Gift Exchange

A few weeks ago I took part in a blog gift exchange. I was lucky enough to be paired up with Adrianne from Happy Hour Projects.

She requested an apron for her daughter. I had a lot of fun coming up her with her gift and decided to send a matching bag with the apron. Doesn’t every little girl need a pint sized bag? Adrianne’s apron had adjustable straps which is key when you don’t know the exact size of the child. The gift exchange inspired me and I wrote a simple toddler apron tutorial the same week. It’s a perfect gift and you can check it out here.

I received the most amazing gift in return. She made me a necklace with my son’s name on it. Isn’t it adorable?

Head on over to her website to see more of her amazing work!

Happy sewing and I promise to have more sewing tutorials soon.

Posted in: Just for Fun

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DIY.. Beach Bag With Cord Straps

I’m happy to be over at Momtastic today sharing another project.. Do you want to make the perfect summer bag? How about adding cord straps and eyelets? Well, this easy tutorial is for YOU!

A few supplies and you are good to go.. Fabric, rope and an eyelet kit. The eyelet kit is from Dritz. Not only is it super affordable and easy to use, but it is OH SO Fun…

Just a few stitches on your sewing machine, a little pressing with an iron and a few bangs using a hammer. And that’s it. The best part, just size up the rectangle and you can sew the bag into any size. I chose to make a super small tote that will hold my beach essentials – phone, sunscreen, sunglasses, lipgloss and a book. I promise that you can complete this trendy bag in just a few short hours!

Grab a cup of coffee and head on over to the Momtastic blog. You’ll have this bag completed in just a few short hours.

Happy Sewing!

A Little Vacation..

I’ve been on a much needed and very anticipated family vacation. I thought I would blog and write a few posts while I was away, but truthfully it was too peaceful and I couldn’t get myself to even turn on the computer.  My phone connection was sketchy, so it was the perfect opportunity to unplug and just go with the flow.

My family headed to Jasper the first weekend we were home. Beautiful, right?

Just a photo post today. I’m over at Momtastic on Thursday with a beach bag tutorial. I can’t wait to share the post and the images. I love how it turned out.

Ok. One more picture.. This one is funny because Tanner has started resisting having his picture taken.. I think it’s cute anyways.

Have a great week!

Posted in: Just for Fun

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Quick Tip.. Sewing Boxed Corners

Want to learn how to sew perfect boxed corners? I figured out this trick a few years ago and it works like a charm. I have wanted to pass along the information and today is the day!

You can use this trick for fabric bins, tote bags, cosmetic cases..Anything really. Wonky, off kilter bottoms be gone!

Materials needed:

  1. Quilting ruler – I love using the Creative Grids brand
  2. Pins
  3. Disappearing fabric ink pen
  4. Fabric, etc

I’ve used this trick many times. You can see my fabric storage bin tutorials here and here.

Let’s get started…

Step 1 – Place right sides together and pin at side seams. Place into your sewing machine and sew each side seam together. Press.

Step 2 – Finger press along the bottom fold to make a crisp line. Use the disappearing fabric ink pen and make a dashed line. Start at one side seam and continue across the entire bottom fold to the other side seam.

Step 3 – Keep the bottom folded. Starting a few inches in from the side seam, follow the dashed lines and place pins into the fold. Continue placing pins along the entire fold.

Step 4 – Turn so that the item that you are sewing is facing upwards. You should see the pin line across the bottom of the bin. Fold one corner into the bin and MATCH the side seam with the pin line.. It should make a point.

Step 5 – Finger press any wrinkles out. Double check that the side sit at a 45 degree line. Place the ruler at the point, the 45 degree angle on the ruler should be aligned with the fabric that makes the point. Mark your corner and you are good to go! Repeat for the other side.

It’s thats simple.  Awesome right?

DIY.. The Perfect Scarf Tutorial

I’ve been thinking of doing a 3 in 1 scarf tutorial for awhile.. With summer here, it’s the perfect opportunity to share it with you all…

Summer means needing an evening shawl, a light throw blanket or even a simple table runner for that cocktail party you are hosting. Add the most adorable trim pom poms and voila… The perfect scarf!

I’m sharing my tutorial over at the Momtastic blog today.. Grab a cup of coffee and head on over for the full tutorial. This scarf can be cut and sewn by the time dinner is on the table.

Fabric Stash.. Arizona Fabric Collection by April Rhodes

I’ve been drooling over this collection for months!

I love the Arizona fabric collection from April Rhodes and Art Gallery Fabrics.. The colors are amazing and the prints perfectly on trend.

I’ve been wanting to share more handbag tutorials on my blog. There was a time in my life when I was obsessed with handbags and wanted to be a handbag designer. It was during the time I lived in NYC, but somehow I ended up working in the footwear industry instead.. Go Figure.

Well, great news. I have a super easy handbag tutorial in the works and plan to use this wonderful collection! I can’t wait to sure it with you. Make sure to swing back late July. I should have the tutorial up and running but then.. Maybe a pattern as well..Nothing like putting something out there to be held accountable, right?

That’s it for today. Happy Sewing and Happy 4th of July!

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June Round Up

I can’t believe it is July. Happy Canada Day! I am a Canadian living in the US.. So I get to celebrate twice in the first week of July.

June was a busy month. I’m super happy to say that readership is up and I have had a few companies reach out to collaborate.. Woo-hoo. Thank you.

My 3 favorite projects for the month:

Easy Toddler Apron – I’m not much of a cook, so I never expected to sew a toddler’s apron. Or anything for the kitchen, really.. This turned out to be a delightful project. I loved picked the fabric and coming up with the tutorial. The best part was staging the photos.. I think they turned out great.

Riley Blake Quilted Cotton Mini Back Pack – I was fortunate to be on the Quilted Cotton Blog Tour for Riley Blake Designs.. I spent way to long dreaming about my mini back pack and luckily all that humming and hawing worked out. I have another yard of this glorious fabric so stay tuned for more tutorials! If you haven’t seen the fabric yet, head on over to Riley Blake Designs.

Fabric Storage Bin with Handles -  We all need extra storage, right?  Well, I love making bins, so expect to see more of this handy guy. I still have a few tricks up my sleeve.

Well – that’s it. Have a great holiday week and happy sewing..

Fabric Stash..

Hello summer.. And Hello bold patterns. I thought it would be fun to photograph my goodies in hopes to mentally prepare for what’s coming down the line..

Great fabric right? Simple, colorful and cost effective.  I bought it at JoAnn Fabrics.  I didn’t realize when I was buying the fabric, but there is definitely a pattern theme..

I’m not going to tell what I’m making, but both can be used on the beach and/or for travel.  In early July, head on over to Momtastic for my step by step tutorials.  I’ll keep you posted on when the tutorials are up. And I know it’s only Thursday, but have a great weekend!

Riley Blake Designs Blog Tour.. Quilted Cotton Mini Back Pack

Today is my turn on the Riley Blake Designs Quilted Cotton Blog Tour.. I’m super excited to be sharing a mini back pack tutorial. The bag was sewn from their new quilted cotton collection.

I’ve wanted to make a mini back pack for awhile. The Riley Blake Designs Blog Tour turned out to be the perfect opportunity to try one out. And drive myself a little bonkers at the same time..

Because the fabric was 2 sided, I decided to bind the seams with a pop of color. I went back and forth on whether to have a zipper or not. At the last minute I chose to use a colorful drawstring at the top. I love how the lime green jumps out from the navy dots.

Finished size  - 8″L x 4.5″W x 13″H

Materials:

  1. Riley Blake Quilted Cotton – 1 yard
  2. Solid cotton fabric
  3. Bias tape – store bought or home made
  4. Webbing – optional. You can also make your own straps
  5. Cord stopper
  6. Cording – at least 1 yard
  7. Disappearing fabric ink pen
  8. Rotary cutter, cutting mat and ruler
  9. Sewing machine and related supplies
  10. Iron and ironing board

Before we get started you will need to do the following:

  1. Cut your fabric – From the quilted cotton fabric, cut a rectangle measuring 26″L x 16″W. From the solid cotton fabric, cut a rectangle measuring 27″L x 6″W [casing].
  2. Cut your straps – Cut the webbing into 2 long strips. Determine the strap length desired and measure on yourself or child. For this mini back pack tutorial I chose a 23″ strap length. Cut another piece of webbing measuring 10″ long [back tab].
  3. Bias tape –  You will need bias tape to cover the seams. Either cut your bias tape or use store bought bias tape [I used store bought to save time].

Ok, let’s start sewing..

Step 1 – Place the quilted fabric rectangle on your work surface, wrong side facing up. Fold in half to find the centre [ CF] and then place a pin at the top and bottom edge. Turn and fold the top edge 1/4″. Note – only fold the top edge over about 1 1/2″ in length. Press. Turn and fold another 1/4″. Pin. Place into sewing machine and stitch down.

Step 2 – Fold the rectangle in half. It should now measure 13″L x 16W”. Pin along the edge. Place into your sewing machine and stitch together with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press. Cut enough bias tape to cover the seam allowance. Cover seam allowance with the bias tape.

Step 3 – You will now have the first part of your bag complete. Turn the fabric so that the bound seam is aligned with the pins you placed at CF top and bottom. Note – this seam is now the center back seam. Press the seam in place. Trim any bias tape that hangs over the ends.

Step 4 – Turn the bag right side out with the CB seam facing upwards. Measure out 1″ from the CB seam top edge. Repeat for the other side and mark with pin or fabric marker. Pin each 20″ length strap in place. Raw edges should match raw edges.

Step 5 – Now lay the 10″ strap on top. There should be a loop and this forms the back tab.  Pin. Place into your sewing machine and stitch down with a scant 1/4″ stitch.

Step 6 – Fold the 6″ W solid cotton rectangle in half, it should now measure 27″L x 3″W. Press. This becomes the casing.

Step 7 - Mark a 1″ line at the end of the casing. Finger press a fold at the line.

Step 8 – Measure 1/2″ outwards from CF and mark each side with a pin. This is where the casing stops at CF. Next lay the casing along the top edge, match raw edges to raw edges. The fold should sit at the 1/2″ pin mark. Pin around the entire top edge. Pin OVER top the straps on the backside. When you get to CF again, stop at the 1/2″ mark. Make sure to fold the casing back at a 1″ mark. You may need to trim excess fabric. Place into your sewing machine and stitch the casing down with a 3/4″ – 7/8″ seam allowance. Note – before you start sewing, double check where the CF top edge is rolled/sewn down. You want to sew the casing in place and have the stitch EVEN around the top edge. The bottom of the rolled edge is the stitch line. Press with an iron. Do not touch the webbing with the iron.

Step 9 –  Turn the bag so it is wrong side out. Now turn and fold the casing towards the wrong side/inside. Pin. Place into your sewing machine and stitch in place and/or stitch in the ditch.

Step 10 – You are on the home stretch! Turn the bag to face right side out again. At the bottom edge, measure out 2-3″ from the CB seam. Repeat for the other side. At each mark, pin the bottom of each 23″ length strap in place. Raw edges match raw edges.

Step 11 –  Turn the bag wrong side out again. Pin the bottom seam together. Place into your sewing machine and stitch together with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Before you bind the seam, make sure that your straps sit straight. If you like the strap placement, it’s ok to move forward and bind the bottom seam. Now it’s time to sew those boxed corners! Wiggle the bag around and have the bottom lay flat. You want to make points as in the image above. Double check that the sides sit at a 45 degree angle.  Finger press any wrinkles out.  Measure 2″ upwards from the tip and mark a line with a disappearing ink pen. Pin. Place into sewing machine and stitch following the dashed line. Repeat for the other side.  Place the quilting ruler onto the corner. Lay the ruler so you have a 1/4″ seam allowance. Cut along the ruler edge using a rotary cutter and cut the tip off.  Repeat for the other side.  Bind the seams.

Step 12 – Turn the bag right side out again.. Place a pin at the end of your cord and insert into the casing. Pull the pin/cord through until it comes out the other side. Insert into the cord stopper. If you are having trouble, try placing tape on the ends of the cord. You may need to jiggle it around a bit. Don’t get frustrated.. Test out that the drawstring works and then cut the cord to a desired length. If you don’t like how the cord ends fray, use a lighter and burn the ends just a tad.

That’s it!  If you want to get super fancy, you could add a D Ring and a slider to each strap and make them adjustable..

Head on over to the Riley Blake Designs website and check out the entire collection. Not only are the prints for the quilted cotton fun, but the fabric is amazing to sew with.

Make sure to check out the rest of the blog tour. I’m pretty honored to be on the same tour with these amazing blogs:

6/5 – Jedi Craft Girl

6/10 – Nancy Zieman

6/ 12 - The Sassy Quilter

6/17 - Just Let Me Quilt

6/19 – Simple Simon and Company

6/26 - Sew We Quilt

7/1 – Jina Barney Designz

7/3 – Leigh Laurel Studio

7/7 – Riley Blake Designs

Happy Sewing!

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