WIP.. What’s In Store Showcase

Gift giving season is just around the corner.  Did you know there are only 64 days until Christmas? Yikes.

I love this time of year. The upcoming weeks are about family, friends and giving thanks to all the great stuff we have in our lives. Plus a few pumpkins here and there.

I thought I would share what’s in store for me over the next few weeks. After an extremely busy few months of blogging and sewing, I’ve ended up in a slight design slump. This sometimes happens to me after a whirlwind of activity and pulling out these products got me excited to get in action again.

Silhouette Pix Scan mat -  My husband and I were both delighted when we read about the Pix Scan mat. Click the link I provided and you can read about their technology..Hello. Amazing, right? I love the idea of taking a picture of something and then sending it off to get cut. Silhouette recently had a 40% sale. I bought the mat and added some colored vinyl while I was at it. My husband wants me to make pillows featuring cars, planes and truck images that he drew. It would make a great gift for the little guy in our life. I’ll keep you posted.

Renaissance Ribbons –  You really need to check out this online shop. I have a few project collaborations that I’m working on and can’t wait to share them.

Art Gallery Fabrics – I love this print. It is from the “Chromatics” collection and designed by the AGF In House Studio. I’ve had this fabric my stash for awhile and it’s time I made a gift out if it. Although, I might have a hard time even cutting this fabric up. Or giving the gift away..

Clover Bias Tape Maker – I already have one of these guys.  While brainstorming ideas for my Art Gallery Fabrics project, I got the urge to make really small bias tape… I was shopping online and couldn’t help it and bought 2 sizes – 1/2″ and 3/4″ bias tape makers. Smile.

That’s it for today. Happy Sewing.

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RBD Flannel Showcase – HST Baby Blanket

Today is my turn on the Riley Blake Designs Flannel Blog Tour. I’m super excited to be sharing my half square triangle baby blanket…

The Riley Blake Designs flannel is unbelieveably soft and cuddly. Once I felt it, I knew I and to sew a baby blanket. When my husband gave my finished blanket a feel he said.. “Wow, NICE fabric”. He can be incredibly picky, so anything that is given his seal of approval must be pretty great.

I added a mini pom pom trim to the edge of the blanket. The pom poms give the blanket that extra sweet feeling. They are so tiny, they look like a strand of pearls. I bought a few yards at JoAnn Fabrics and have been waiting patiently to sew with them. I knew a perfect project was just waiting for these little guys.

Materials:

  1. 4 colors Riley Blake Designs Flannel – 1 yard each
  2. Mini pom pom trim – 4 yards
  3. Quilting ruler, cutting mat and rotary cutter
  4. Sewing supplies – scissors, pins, measuring tape
  5. Sewing machine
  6. Iron and ironing board

I shared my super colorful half square triangle pillow the other week and now I am addicted to sewing triangles!  I love this shape and the modern, geometric pattern that can be created. Plus, with a HST there are so many color combinations that a project can take many different directions.

I couldn’t decide on the size to make for my baby blanket. Initially I wanted to make a small receiving size blanket. Then, late one night I was inspired by my kitchen tiles and decided to use them as a reference for the square size.

Ok, let’s get started.

Step 1: Cut your fabric.  Cut a strip of fabric and then recut it into 16″ x “16 squares. For more information on how to sew a HST, check out this awesome tutorial from Stitchery Dickory Dock.

Step 2: Piece the front and back together. I decided on a different front and back design.

Step4

Step 3 and 4: Cut the mini pom pom trim to the length of each side. Pin the trim along each edge, pom poms facing inwards. Pin at a 1/4″ seam allowance. Place into sew machine and stitch down. Backstitch.  Repeat for the remaining sides. Cross the pom pom trim over each other at each end, however, make sure that 2 pom poms do not sit right on top of each other. Press in place with an iron. Trim the excess pom pom off at each end.

Step 5: Place right sides together. Pin at each side seam. Place into sewing machine and stitch together. Make sure to stitch following the PREVIOUS stitch line. This makes it super easy and very clean. Leave a small opening along one side to turn right side out. Press with an iron.

Step 6 and 7: Turn right side out. Press the seams again with an iron. Topstitch around the outside edge and anywhere else as desired.

So that’s it. What do you think? Are you going to try out the Riley Blake Designs flannel? It’s the perfect time of year to get inspired by this warm cuddly fabric!

Happy Sewing. Make sure  to check out the other amazing bloggers on the tour:

9/5 – Riley Blake Designs

9/9 – Quiltscapes

9/12 – Fishsticks Designs

9/19 – Stitching Scientist

9/23 – Sassy Quilter

9/26 – Simple Simon & Co

9/30 – Fabric Mutt

10/3 – Just Let Me Quilt

10/7 – Jedi Craft Girl

10/10 – Rose and Odin

10/14 – Sew We Quilt

10/17 – It’s my turn

10/21 – Leigh Laurel Studios

10/24 – The Cottage Mama

10/28 – Flannel Queen

10/31 – Lucy Blaire

11/4 – Back to Riley Blake Designs

 

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DIY.. Top 5 Vinyl Sewing Projects

I love sewing with clear vinyl. Have you wanted to give vinyl a try, but don’t know where to start?  From business products to travel accessories to a children’s activity bag.. I’ve got you covered on 5 easy projects. Click on the image or link and it will take you to the tutorial:

Trade Show Badge Holder

Colorful Vinyl Pouches

Business Card Holder

Double Sided Vinyl Pouch

Velcro and Vinyl Kids Activity Bag

Happy sewing!

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DIY.. Reversible 1 Hour Tote

This tote is the perfect size as a grab and go bag.  It is big enough to hold all your essentials, yet small enough for a quick trip to the market.  Not only is it super easy to make and you can sew it in under an hour, but it is reversible!

I love sewing this bag and have made it so many times that I can now do it in my sleep.  I’ve given it to many family members and friends.  My husband uses it as a baby bag, my Mom carries her iPad in it and my Mother-In-Law holds her knitting projects in it.. I travel with it – fold it up and put it in the front pocket of my suitcase. There are so many uses, right?

I’ve been hoarding and waiting for the perfect time to tear open my April Rhode’s “Arizona” fat quarter bundle from The Fat Quarter Shop.  I knew the modern, geometric designs would bring the simplicity of the bag to life. Her pattern literally vibrates and pops off the fabric. I had to check a few times to make sure my pictures weren’t out of focus!!

This is a very basic tote bag project and utilizes 1″ poly webbing wrapped around the raw edges of the bag. You sew a piece to the center front and center back and then sew one continuous piece that becomes the 2 straps.

Materials:

  1. Fabric – 2 colors, 1/2 yard each
  2. Interfacing – I like using Pellon SF101
  3. 1″ Poly webbing – 3 yards. Check out Seattle Fabrics for colors and widths
  4. Disappearing fabric pen
  5. Sewing supplies – thread, pins, scissors
  6. Iron and ironing board

Let’s get sewing:

  1. Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of your fabric. Both main and lining. Place and pin pattern on the fabric. Cut out 2 main and 2 lining pieces.
  2. Place main pieces on top of each other, right sides facing. Pin. Place into sewing machine and stitch side seams and bottom together with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Repeat for lining pieces.Press seams. Open seams and press again.
  3. Create boxed corners at all 4 corners. Wiggle bottom to meat side seam. Sit seams directly on top of one another. Place quilting ruler on top and line up at the 45 degree mark and 1″ up from point. Mark a line with the disappearing fabric ink pen. Repeat for each corner. Place into sewing machine and stitch following the line.
  4. Cut off the tip. Leave a 1/2″ seam allowance. Want to learn more? Check out my quick tip tutorial on sewing boxed corners.
  5. Turn main bag right side facing out. Leave lining right side facing in. Place the lining into the main bag and wiggle corners into place. Pin along top edge.
  6. Lay bag flat on working surface. Hand press wrinkles out. Measure along front along front curve and add 1″ to each side. Cut webbing to the length of the front curve. Cut 2 pieces [ one for back and one for front]
  7. Cover center front raw edge with the webbing. Pin and place into sewing machine. Edgestitch webbing along the center front.  Backstitch. Repeat for center back. Trim the ends off.
  8. Create the continuous strap – start at one side seam and cover the raw edge with webbing. Pin in place. Continue up the side seam towards the front top edge curve. Pin to hold in place. Leave 16″ of webbing free and then pin the webbing in place at the other side, top front edge. Pin. Continue around side seam [ covering raw edges] and repeat for the back. Place into your sewing machine and edgestitch along the webbing. Stitch in one continuos loop, including along the 16″ strap. Backstitch at the end. Note: Use a lighter over the webbing ends if it is fraying.

A couple of comments:

  • Take caution to not twist the webbing when sewing the straps. You don’t want to sew the webbing in place, only to find that it is twisted around. While you are wrapping the raw edges, make sure it lays nice and flat.
  • Are the ends of your webbing frayed and gross? Use a lighter and gently melt the ends of the webbing. Just a tad. This technique is perfect for anywhere the webbing is not enclosed or under another seam. Works like a charm.
  • You can determine your own strap length. Each strap in this tutorial is 16″ long. Change the strap length to suit your armhole. However, remember to cut enough at the beginning and before you attach to your bag.

I love this bag so much that I named it the “Jolly” bag a few years ago. It brings back fond memories.  I’ve used my pattern a gazillion times and it now has some serious wear and tear. I need to trace it off and make a new one. On that pattern note. Did I miss something?? Yes and No… I promise to share the pattern soon. I will keep you posted on when it goes up.

Happy sewing.

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DIY.. Mini Jewelry Roll Now Available as Tear Sheet

I’ve got great news.. Especially for those of you who live in Australia. Pellon just launched its new line of interfacing products in the Spotlight Stores – under the Legacy brand.. I love and use Pellon interfacing ALL THE TIME.. And now you can too!  So how does the good news pertain to me..? My mini jewelry roll is now available as a project tear sheet in the Spotlight Stores and online. Yay!

Legacy-MiniJewelleryRoll

This jewelry roll is near and dear to my heart and is a project that just keeps going and going and going… I created the project last year as a part of a Pellon Projects team member.  To date, I’ve sewn about 15 of them. And with gift giving season around the corner, you might want to check it out.. This roll makes a great gift. Hint hint. I love the peacock print and purple/fuschia colors used on this roll – wow do they pop!! Here are a few images to get you inspired.

The roll is small is size – folds up to be the size of a small clutch or wallet.  Finished/folded size is approximately 8 3/4″L x 4″W . Two ties are inserted into the top edge and wrap around the roll to keep the contents secure.

Main Jewelry Roll 3

The roll has 3 interior pockets. All pockets have zippers to keep your jewelry neat and safe. Clear vinyl was used so you can easily see your goodies inside.

Main Jewelry Roll 5 close up

Main Jewelry Roll 5

You can see my full tutorial on the jewelry roll here. Let me know if you have any questions. Happy Sewing.

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September Round up

Good-bye September and Hello October! I love the fall and especially COLD weather. I know I’m weird, but I’m a Canadian living in Florida.. So, while the rest of the country starts complaining about the chilly weather.. I anxiously await for the heat and humidity to break and for pumpkin season to officially begin!

September was a busy month. I had a blast sewing my butt off and taking part in a few events for National Sewing Month.  Here are 2 collaborations that really had me put on my thinking cap and up my game:

Half Square Triangle Pillow - Participation with The Fat Quarter Shop’s “I Love sewing and Quilting” blog tour:

A-Frame Fabric Organizer – Participation with the Jo-Ann Fabrics and Pellon Projects contest called #SewYourStyle:

How about you? Did you sew anything fun? I’d love to hear from you and what you are up to. These days, I’m finding Instagram such a great tool and easy way to connect on projects and daily inspiration. While I try to not be on my phone too much around my son, it sure is a fun way to see what people sew and do around the globe!

Well, That’s it for today. I will get back with a sewing tutorial very soon.

Happy Sewing.

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DIY.. Half Square Triangle Pillow

Quilting isn’t one of my strong suits. So when I decided to jump on board the Fat Quarter Shop’s “I Love Sewing and Quilting” blog tour, I knew I had to try something outside my comfort zone. I have wanted to sew a half square triangle pillow FOREVER.. So as usual, this was the perfect opportunity to get working on something new.

The color combination is pretty crazy, right? Normally, pink is not a color choice for me. I was a tomboy growing up and hated pink. I resisted wearing it all all occasions.  Maybe it is because of “Radiant Orchid” being Pantone’s color of the year “, but I have been drawn to pink this last year more than ever before.

So where does this combination come from? My sneakers of course!

Every time I look down at my pink my pink Brooks sneakers, I’m reminded about how much I love them. I’ve been drawn to the colors in my shoes for months and knew at some point I had to use them in a project. A half square pillow was the perfect testing ground because I could play with the combinations. The colors are so vibrant and I love the pink meet fuchsia meet orange with a touch of blue scheme.

I’m not going to bore you with a tutorial. Look up “half square triangles ” on Pinterest and you will find a bunch of amazing quilters sharing their best practices. I didn’t have a lot of time to make my pillow and love the HST tutorial Amy Gibson of Stitchery Dickory Dock shares on her blog.

As part of the Fat Quarter Shop’s “I Love Sewing and Quilting” blog tour, we were asked to share a little about ourselves.  I’m not that big on talking about myself, but here goes:

1. How did you start sewing/quilting?

Growing up, I resisted all my Mom’s attempts to teach me to sew. At 18, I wanted to make harem style pants and took a few local classes. A few years later I was fortunate to study abroad in Uppsala, Sweden. I caught the design bug and upon my return decided I wanted to become a fashion designer. At that point, I still knew next to nothing about sewing, patterns and design. I busted my butt and learnt as much as I could, put a portfolio together and got into Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario.. That was the start of a long journey.

2. When was the first time you knew you were a sewer/quilter?

It took me a long time to feel like I knew what I was doing. I’m a recovering PERFECTIONIST. I started to feel like I was a real sewer a few years ago. This was when I lived in New York City and was working in the fashion industry. I was teaching a friend to alter a pattern and sew a skirt and realized.. Holy Crap, I know what I am talking about!

3. Do you have any sewing horror sewing stories or faux pas?

Think twice and then cut. Just last night I set in a zipper, perfectly and then cut off the end that had the zipper pull still on it. Duh.

4. What advice would you give to someone just starting in quilting/sewing?

Just start and don’t compare yourself to others!  Comparison is the kiss of death. Take classes. I love taking classes and think this is the best way to improve and learn new techniques. Plus you can meet some pretty cool people in the sewing world.

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DIY.. Chalkboard Fabric Placemats

Can you imagine a dinner party with these fun placemats? How about a birthday party?

These placemats were inspired by my messy, marker wielding toddler.. They combine oilcloth for cleaning ease and chalkboard fabric for pre-dinner entertainment. However, the placemats would work for any age group.  Imagine the interesting comments after a few glasses of wine at an adults only dinner party? I have a few ideas on what people might write and do.. but I’ll leave it up to your imagination.

I love how you can just wipe the chalkboard fabric clean..

This is a super easy tutorial. Just a few straight cuts and a few stitches on your sewing machine and you are good to go. Have fun with this project – check out the assortment of patterns, prints and colors on Oilcloth By the Yard. Mix and match for fun placemats. I used a simple placemat for size reference and the finished size is 18″L x 13″W

Let get started on the tutorial.

Materials Needed:

  1. Oilcloth –  1 – 2 yards
  2. Chalkboard fabric – 1 yard
  3. Rotary cutter, cutting mat and ruler
  4. Sewing machine
  5. Sewing supplies
  6. Small cup to trace a corner
  7. Chalk

Cut the pieces for ONE placemat:

  1. Placemat front – Cut 1 rectangle measuring 14″L x 2″W [ top], cut 1 rectangle measuring 14″L x 10″W [ bottom]
  2. Placemat back -Cut 1 rectangle measuring 19″L x 14″W
  3. Chalkboard fabric – Cut 1 rectangle measuring 14″L x 4″W

Note: I cut my placemat back pieces out of the oilcloth fabric. While I love the mix and match feel, it was difficult to sew. Try cutting the placemat back pieces out of cotton. Trust me, it will be easier gliding the placemats through your sewing machine.

Let’s get sewing:

  1. Right sides together, lay the the placemat top rectangle onto the chalkboard rectangle. Place into sewing machine and stitch together with a 1/2″ seam allowance. If you need to pin the pieces together, make sure t0 pin in the seam allowance.
  2. Finger press the seam to lay flat. Place into sewing machine and edgstitch along the oilcloth.
  3. Right sides together, lay the the placemat bottom rectangle onto the chalkboard rectangle. Repeat as #1 and sew together. Repeat as #2 and finger press and edgstitch.
  4. Place 1 placemat onto working surface, right side facing down. Measure inwards 1/2″ at each edge and make an cross at each corner. Place the cup on the cross and trace to round the corner. Repeat for all corners – front and back placemat pieces. Be as precise as possible. This will help your corners be consistent and smooth.
  5. Place into sewing machine and stitch together with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Leave a large opening along the bottom edge. Trim and notch the corners.
  6. Turn right side out. Use your fingers to help round each corner into place.
  7. Finger press along the outside seam to lay flat. Turn the bottom opening seam allowance under 1/2″. Place into sewing machine and topstitch around the outside edge.

I’ll leave you with a few fun sayings..

That’s it! Happy sewing.

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Inspired By.. OilCloth!

Agh.. I’m always searching for new materials to sew with and found another website that sells awesome stuff.

Have you heard about Oilcloth By The Yard?  I was googling “oilcloth” and came upon their website. They sell oilcloth in all kinds of prints and patterns…Ginghams, plaids, dots, stripes.. How about toile?  Whatever suits your fancy, the’ve got you covered.

So.. They even sell chalkboard fabric. The chalkboard trend just keeps humming along. You can get a yard of fabric for around $8.00.  Think of all the fun stuff you can make. I bought a fat quarter from Purl Bee a year ago and shoved it under my bed for one of those “someday sewing projects”.. The fabric got ruined so it was perfect timing to buy more.

I ordered a couple of yards and have a few tutorials in the works. Come back Thursday, I’m combining the oilcloth and chalkboard fabric into placemats. Can’t wait to share the fun!

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Around The World Blog Hop

Today is my turn on the Around the World Blog Hop. I was tagged by Karin Jordan of Leigh Laurel Studios. Karin and I met a few years ago in blogland. She was my first blog friend and I love running into her on blog hops and other fun events we take part in. She comes up with awesome projects and the images she posts are always fantastic. Check out her Fruit Ninja quilt. A pattern is in the works and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!  She shares adorable pictures of day to day life with her kids. Her photos always bring a smile to my face.

1) What am I working on?

I am in the mix of way too many things right now, with no real outcomes.. Most are kid related tutorials. I never thought I would want to sew “kid stuff”, but I’m really inspired by toddlers right now. My little one has decided to stop taking his naps, so my schedule has turned up side down! I’m working double time getting my projects completed and photographed.

2) How does my work differ from other in its genre?

That’s a tough one. I think everyone loves to sew for the simple love of sewing. I like to sew things that are unexpected and to also try out new materials. Right now I love sewing with vinyl and working it into projects in unique ways.

3) Why do I write/create what I do?

I studied fashion design at the Ryerson University in Toronto. After graduation I moved to New York and worked in the fashion industry.  A few years ago, my husband had a business opportunity that brought us to Florida. While I’m enjoying a quieter life, I miss NYC and the excitement and inspiration from living in that city. Having a blog is the perfect mesh of inspiration and creating results. It’s an awesome outlet for the ideas that run through my head.

Ok.. I’ve tagged 2 awesome people for next week.. Here they are:

Agnes Hsu  of Hello Wonderful. Agnes is an amazing photographer.  Check out the images of her kids and projects on her blog and you can see why she has been featured in print and online.. Better Homes and Garden, Buzzfeed and Babble to name a few. She is the curator of “wonderful” tutorials, but the ones featuring her kids are truly amazing.

Palak Shah of Sewistry. I love the motto behind Palak’s blog “Sew to Save Money and Save Money Sewing”. I find that sewing can be very expensive, so I love the inspiration and budget friendly projects shared on Palak’s blog.

Thanks Karin for the tag. Have a great week and happy sewing.

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