Hello, I hope you all had a lovely couple of days spent with friends and family. Our Christmas was wonderful, full of cooking, baking, eating, playing, resting, and general lazying around - my absolute favorite.
As you may have noticed, there was no sewing included in the activities of the last few days. I do, however, have a big finish to share with you today. I finished my Puzzle quilt a while back but since it was all dark, cold, and windy most of the days I was not able to get any decent pictures done until now.
I must say, this quilt was really hard to photograph. I think all these colors and pattern were just a little overwhelming for my camera.
I started off with these liberated pinwheels. Well, they actually looked a little different when I started as I decided to chop the block up and add that red strip of fabric just for fun.
I then played with lots of HSTs and turned them into different blocks,
while using fabric from my stash to fill in all the empty spaces. I was trying to stick with low volume fabric as my filler, since I didn't want to add to the busyness of the whole quilt.
I made a simple backing and quilted The Puzzle in straight lines about 1 1/2" apart.
I then used red and white polka dotty fabric for the binding - I think it finishes it off so very nicely.
To sum it all up, this was one tricky quilt to make. My design wall proved to be the most useful tool for this project as I kept arranging and re-arranging all the blocks many times. There was lots of Y-seams, chopping off and adding to the blocks, and the seam ripper was my constant companion throughout the process. I've never made a quilt in this way before and I loved every minute of making it very, very much.
If you'd like to read my older posts about making this quilt you can check them out here and here.
Isn't it pretty? I bought this little baby doll bed/ crib a while back and the plan was to make a lovely bedding and give it to Lola, our most amazing kitty, for Christmas. I know, totally going overboard here, but the kids liked the idea a lot so I got to work.
I started off with this yummy stack of fabric. I first made the patchwork of green, pink, and aqua squares you see in the picture, but I simply was not happy with it. I think it was the colors, they were too muted, I needed some brightness.
I decided to start over and made this bright and scrappy doll quilt. Aaaaah, much better. The pattern is by Malka Dubrawski. I love the addition of red to the pink, green, aqua combo and I'm very tempted to start a new lap sized quilt using these colors asap. I used fabric from Tasha's adorable collection The Simple Life for the backing, and I quilted it in circular pattern using my walking foot.
I then whipped up a double sided mat to make the bed nice and cozy. I also made a matching pillow, every cat needs a quilt and a matching pillow, right?
When I put Lola in to try to take a picture of her in her new bed, this is what happened. I'm thinking she's not as excited about this bed as we are.
It will probably end up getting used by some stuffed animals and dolls, which is perfectly fine by me. In fact, Owlie quite enjoys having his own bed, even if it's a little too pink for his boyish tastes.
I came across this lovely pillow made by Amy (nanacompany) a while back and I completely fell in love with it. The pattern is not complicated or intricate, which might be the reason I found this pillow so pretty, and charming, and happy looking.
So, the other day, I just decided to replicate/copy one for myself. Want to see?
Aaaah, I think it's just so sweet and pretty. And Christmas-y, too. I'm finally starting the appreciate the endless possibilities of simple patchwork.
I used fabric from my stash for the backing. Those little Meet the gang guys are so perfect for this pillow, and I installed a zipper closure, just like I always do.
And, since it's pretty safe to say that this will be my last pillow for this year, I thought it would be fun to share a mosaic of the pillows I made in 2012.
Thanks for visiting. Wishing you all a lovely day. Svetlana
Words can't even describe how sad and helpless I felt in the last few days as the details of the horrible shooting in Connecticut kept emerging. Being a mother of three school agers myself, I just could not imagine the horror and despair all those families are going through.
And then I got an email saying that Quilters Corner in Milford, CT is collecting pillow cases to give to the Sandy Hook elementary children when they return to school after winter break. I knew that was something I could do. I went through my stash looking for some pinks and blues and I got to work.
I made three pillow cases using Kerri's wonderful tutorial. They were quick, and fun to make. And, I was really happy I could, in this very small way, show my support and care to this hurting community.
Here's the address where the pillow cases can be sent in case you'd like to make some, too:
Sewing time has been pretty hard to come by these days. So last night, when the kids were finally in bed and laundry put away (well, not all of it, just most of it), I decided to whip up this easy linen tote bag, with leather handles!!! Oooh, I so love the linen + leather combination.
I received this fabric for free form my sponsor Whole Port and as soon as it arrived I knew it was destined to become a tote bag. It's so wonderfully thick and sturdy, and I just love the contrast of all those pretty, dainty flowers against the rough texture of linen.
I did some simple hand stitching to highlight and frame the flowers,
and went with this fun Michael Miller blue polka dot fabric for the lining. I finished the tote by adding 15" leather handles.
I must say, I love how it all came together. I think this flowery linen, happy bright blue polka dot, leather handles, and thick chunky stitches make for a very lovely everyday tote bag.
And, to top it off, this tote only took about an hour from start to finish. Not bad at all, right?
I finished my Puzzle quilt top and I'm so happy with the way it turned out. I've never made a quilt this way and I so enjoyed working with many different blocks and trying to figure out how to fit them all together.
These liberated pinwheel blocks are what started this whole quilt (you can read my post here) and they're definitely my most favorite part. I was planning on placing them right in the middle of the quilt, but somehow they ended up on the bottom.
You see, that was the thing with this quilt, the blocks seemed to be "telling me" where they wanted to go. I decided to just listen and let the quilt take its own course. I think it worked.
And, just for fun, here's the picture of Albert, our naughty Elf on the shelf. Our youngest son is really enjoying all the shenanigans this little Elf is getting into.
It took a little longer than I thought, but I'm happy to say that I finally finished a tutorial showing you how I do zipper closures for my throw pillows.
A little disclaimer here: this is just my own way of doing it, I'm definitely not claiming this to be the only, or the best way.
Let's start, shall we? All the instructions are for a 16" square pillow, but they could very easily be adjusted for any other size. I used this same method for my larger square as well as rectangular pillows with great success.
You will need: one fat quarter of fabric of your choice
one 16" or larger zipper (I prefer using an 18" zipper as having a longer zipper makes installing it easier)
From your fabric, cut 1 rectangle measuring 9" x 16", and 1 rectangle measuring 12" x 16".
Take your 9" x 16" rectangle (top part of the backing), and mark a line 1" from the edge on the long (16") side.
Place your fabric right side down on your ironing board, fold on the line drawn in a previous step, and iron in place.
Fold the fabric over again, iron again. Now your rectangle measures 7" x 16". Place aside.
This is what your rectangle will look like if opened after ironing.
Now let's do the same thing with the 12" x 16" rectangle (bottom part of the backing), only this time fold the fabric over 1/2", press, and another 1/2" again - this bottom rectangle now measures 11" x 16". The sides with no raw edges is where the zipper is going to be installed.
This is what your two parts of the backing will look like. Your 1" folded over edge will make a flap to hide the zipper. Your 1/2" folded over edge will be attached the the bottom part of the zipper, this way you'll have no raw edges around the zipper.
Place the bottom part of the backing along the zipper teeth, make sure not to cover those - 16" side of the fabric that you ironed under to get a nice finished edge is overlapping the zipper tape. Mark the points where the fabric backing starts and ends on the zipper
(it will come in handy when attaching the top part of the backing).
Pin in place.
Top stitch the pinned area using the edge of your presser foot as a guide. As you can see, I use my regular presser foot, there's no need for zipper foot in this case. Yay for that, I really dislike changing feet on my machine. Just remember to stitch as close to your zipper teeth as possible since you
want to make sure that your zipper tape gets attached properly.
This is what your zipper attached to the bottom part of the backing will look like.
Now take the top part of your backing, open up the 1" edge that we ironed under twice in the earlier step . Fold over just once and place on top of the zipper tape, as shown in the picture. Right sides of your pillow cover fabrics are touching.
Align the top edge of the zipper tape with the edge of the pillow top (folded down once by 1"). Pay attention to the marks on your zipper tape to keep both the top and bottom parts aligned. Pin.
Stitch in place, using about 1/8" seam allowance, taking the pins out as you go. Again, use the edge of your presser foot as a guide to get your stitching nice and straight.
This is what the pillow cover will look like after attaching the top part of the backing to your zipper.
Flip over the top part of the backing. See how the flap forms all by itself where you ironed the fabric before? Using your ruler, mark 1" line along the flap.
Pin to hold everything nicely in place, use lots of pins at this stage as things tend to get shifty here. Stitch over the drawn line from the previous step.
Very important!!!!! Make sure to open your zipper at this point, as shown in the picture.
Pin the edges where the top part overlaps the bottom one. Stitch over the sides to keep all the parts in place and properly aligned.
Snip off the excess parts of the zipper on both sides. This is where the stitches from the previous step come in handy as they hold both parts together securely.
Yay, congratulations!!! Your pillow back is now finished. Let's attach it to the pillow front now, shall we? As you will notice, I used a different back for the pillow in following pictures. Hope that's not too confusing.
Place the pillow back on the mat, wrong side up. Put a pillow front on top of it, wrong sides are touching. As you can see, the back part is a little larger than the pillow front. I do this on purpose to make sure that I can align both parts without any problems.
Pin your pillow front and back together and cut off the extra fabric on the bottom.
Stitch about 1/8" around the perimeter of the pillow, making sure your pillow front and back are stitched together. It's a good idea to use a walking foot, if you have one, as it will keep everything in its place as you sew around. Press.
This is what the back of your pillow will look like. Now all you need to do it attach the binding. I do it the same way as I would for a quilt, I just cut it about 1/4" thinner.
And, you're done! Put the pillow form in the cover you just made, sit back, and admire.
I hope you find this tutorial useful and enjoyable. Any questions, let me know. I'd love to help.