Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 in pictures {mostly}

Wow, what a year this has been. Lots of quilting and sewing was definitely happening, and just like every year, I tried (sometimes successfully, other times not so much) to juggle my family, work, and this wonderful hobby of mine without getting overwhelmed or too much out of balance in either area. 

I quilted to my heart's content and I'm especially happy about tackling my daughter's Pinkie Pie quilt as well as Single Girl and Marcelle Medallion.

It wasn't all about complicated quilts for me, though. This year I gained a new appreciation for simple patchwork quilts and their old time charm. Would you be surprised if I told you that my Autumn Penny Patch quilt I made as part of Penny Patch quilt along organized by Rachel is my very favorite quilt for this year? 

And then there were pillows, of course. I don't think I will ever get tired of making pillows.

And lots and lots of small projects. I do love to mix things up and alternate between big quilty projects and smaller, almost instant gratification, ones.

Thank you so much to all of you for your support and encouragement. I really appreciate you coming along on this wonderfully crafty journey with me. Here's to a blessed and joyful 2014 filled with new experiences, adventures, friends, and family.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

cargo duffle

Hello friends, happy Thursday to you all!

Did you have a nice Christmas? I sure hope so. We had such a lovely time it's kind of hard to get back to my regular work, clean, cook, ... routine now. At least the kids are still on their winter break so the transition is not that harsh :)

I didn't sew a thing over the last few days and I'm really itching to get back to it tonight. Hopefully I'll make some more blocks for my Tone it Down quilt. Fingers crossed.

Today, though, I wanted to share my version of Noodlehead's Cargo Duffle.

This bag a little smaller than I somehow expected, but that's a good thing. It's a perfect size for an overnight trip, and not that difficult to put together.

I used leather for the pocket flaps (my favorite thing about this duffle) and cotton webbing for the handles which saved me quite a lot of time. If I made this duffel second time, however, I'd wrap the handle webbing in fabric to make it prettier. It will do for now, though :)

I used one of my all time favorite polka dotty fabrics to line the bag. I love the pretty contrast of the muted exterior and this surprising, happy, colorful interior.
Now just to think up a trip and I'm ready to go :)
Talk to you soon. Svetlana

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

merry christmas

Merry Christmas to you and yours!


Monday, December 23, 2013

tone it down {starting a new quilt}

Somehow, in the middle of all the hustle and bustle to get things ready for Christmas, I started a new quilt. How could I not, though?

As soon as I came across Tone it Down quilt pattern by Lisa Alexander (pattern can be found in February 2014 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting magazine) I knew I had to give it a try. This is a low volume quilt with an instant vintage charm which I love very, very much these days.

The blocks are a little time consuming but that's perfectly fine with me as I'm in no rush with this quilt and enjoy working on each block immensely.

There's a quilt along going on in blogland and lots of amazingly talented peeps are making their own versions of Tone it Down. Want to see? Click here.

Off I go, more Christmas prep to be done. Talk to you soon. Svetlana

Saturday, December 21, 2013


I have to start this post by saying how very much I dislike having things around the house that I see no purpose for. One of those things, unfortunately, was this hexie wall hanging. 

I made it way back in June and I loved everything about it except for the fact that it was a wall hanging and I could not find a place for it in our house. As much as I tried, it did not seem to fit anywhere. One of the reasons, I suspect, is the fact that we have pillows and quilts all over the house so adding more quilty goodness to the walls seems a bit too much.

So, after way too much thinking and pondering I decided to chop the wall hanging up and turn it into coasters instead. Ruthless, eh? But it worked beautifully.

I used some gorgeously soft AMH flannel for the backing and voila, I had six perfectly charming hexie coasters all finished. They were already gifted to a friend of mine who loves them and uses them on a regular basis. And that's what it's all about for me.

In case you wonder, this was not the first time I "re-purposed" something I made. You can click here to see how I turned another wall hanging into a pillow, and here to see how a pillow became a pouch. I have issues, I know :)

Hope you all have a very lovely weekend. Svetlana

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

happy sewing

I've come to realize something the other day: the world is not going to collapse just because not every teacher, friend, and family member gets a handmade Christmas present from me this year. What a revelation, right? It might actually be a better world for my closest family and myself as chances are I will be less stressed and thus less irritable :) 
So, I scrapped the rest of my Christmas sewing list and started working on these hexies last night. I have no plan for them right now, I simply worked on them because they made me happy. 

What have you been up to these days? Any fun projects you've been working on?

Hope you're all having a really lovely day. Svetlana

Saturday, December 14, 2013

winner, winner

Hello, happy Saturday to you all!

Thank you so much to everyone who took part in my sew mama sew giveaway. Oh, what a fun week this has been. I so enjoyed reading all your lovely comments. Thank you!

 The winner of my custom charm pack is Little Ella Lu
who said: That hanger fabric is so whimsical!

Again, a big thank you to all of you for making this such a fun and successful giveaway and congratulations to the winner.

Giveaway Day

Wishing you all a wonderfully creative weekend. Svetlana

Friday, December 13, 2013

chopped vegetables {a pillow}

If you've been following my blog for a while you know I love making pillows. They usually don't take too long to make and provide a great opportunity to try some new patterns and techniques.

Last night I decided to give Elizabeth's "chopped vegetables" a try.

I ended up improvising and making things up as I went because I didn't really have the actual pattern for the pillow, but I had instructions for a similar quilt and it seemed to work pretty well. Next time, though, I'm going to make my "vegetables" a little wider.

I decided to finish this pillow off with the same fun button closure as I did on my latest hexie pillow. It does take a little bit extra time, but I think it's totally well worth all the effort.

I might need to restock on my polka dotty buttons soon. They are such perfectly perfect size and shape for the pillows.

Now I just need to finish one quilt and two more pillows and all my Christmas presents will be ready, yay! How is your Christmas sewing going?

Have a lovely evening, everyone. Svetlana

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

simple sixteen patch

Winter is definitely here. It's cold, snowy, and so terribly windy outside, but when child #1 got home from school today I managed to bribe her (chocolate always works with her, always!!!) to snap a few photos of my newest finished quilt.

It's a very simple 16 patch quilt. I love how it has that old time charm without being fussy or complicated.

4" unfinished squares in blue, aqua, black, and gray combined with low volume fabrics. Simple as that. And very quick, too.

I did straight line quilting along both sides of each seam and finished the quilt off with gray binding.

The quilt finished at about 65" x 80" and now that it's been washed and dried it has that wonderfully soft and "want to snuggle in" feel. Oh, I so love a quilt that just came out of the dryer.

Thanks so much for reading. Svetlana

Monday, December 9, 2013

sew, mama sew! {a giveaway}

Welcome to my Sew Mama Sew giveaway! What a fun way to start a week, isn't it?

Would you like to see what I'm giving away?

A custom made charm pack of 40 designer fabrics (low volume and text prints, Denyse Schmidt, Heather Ross, Heather Bailey, Aneela Hoey + many more).

It's a mix of some of my very favorite new as well as older, hard to find prints.

 Giveaway Day

This giveaway is open worldwide (U.S. as well as international entries welcome) and will close on December 13th at 5 p.m. PST. I will announce who the random winner is by Sunday, December 15th.

Thank you for participating everyone. The giveaway is now closed.

Here's how to enter:
 * leave a comment on this post
* to get a second bonus entry let me know that you are my follower, or become one and then let me know

Thank you so much for stopping by. Hope you all have an amazing rest of the day. Svetlana

Thursday, December 5, 2013

tiny trees bunting {a tutorial}

A while back I came across this adorable bunting and I knew right away I had to make something similar this Christmas season. I decided to ignore piles and piles of laundry plus other gazillion things I needed to do last night and whipped up this little bunting.

I love how wonderfully whimsical this little bunting is. So perfectly perfect, just the way I imagined it would be.

This was our dining room table last night. For a few tiny little trees on a string I managed to make quite a mess, I must admit :) It was all well worth is, though.

Would you like to make a sweet little tree bunting of your own? I put this quick tutorial together, hope it will come in handy.  


For each tree you will need two 2.5" x 3" rectangles of fabric, 1.5" ribbon for the trunk, and a bit of polyester fiberfill.

First cut your main triangle shapes by placing your fabric rectangles on top of each other on the cutting mat and finding the middle of the top 2.5" side. Put a little mark there and cut along both sides as shown in the picture. Triangle in the middle is your tree body. 

Place both your triangles right sides together and stitch all the way around, leaving about 1" opening on the bottom for turning. (See the two purple marks? that's where the opening is)

Press, trim the corners, turn right side out through the hole in the bottom, push all the corners out to make them nice and pointy (I used crochet hook to help with this step), and stuff with fiberfill.

Fold the ribbon in half and insert inside the opening. Make sure your "trunk" is straight, pin in place and stitch the opening closed.

Easy peasy, wasn't it? Once you make as many trees as you like ( I made 7 for my bunting) attach them to bakers twine using tiny stitches, placing your trees about 3" apart from each other.

 All you need to do now is find a perfect place for your new bunting, put your feet up and admire :)

 Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.
Please let me know if you have any questions and thank you for stopping by. Svetlana

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

christmas patchwork table runner {a tutorial}

You know how I was planning on making a small Christmas bunting the other day? No, did not happen :( Time seems to be getting away from me way too fast these days.

I did, however, manage to pull out most of our Christmas decorations and "deck the halls". And, I came across this patchwork table runner I made last year for Ellison Lane Quilts' Deck the Halls. Somehow, I totally forgot to share this tutorial on my blog before, so here it goes now. Enjoy.

Supplies needed:
1/2 yard solid fabric for the top of your runner
Christmas colored scraps of fabric, enough to cut out 56 - 2" squares
1/2 yard fabric for the backing
19" x 45" piece of batting
1/8 yard fabric for the binding

Finished size of the runner is 15 3/4" x 41".

Step 1 - cutting
~ From your solid fabric cut out:
          2- 4.5" x 15 3/4" strips
          1- 2.5" x 15 3/4" strip
          4- 3.5" x 16" strips
          2- 6 3/4" x 13" rectangles
~ You also need to cut out 56- 2" squares from your colored scraps.

Step 2 - assembling a patchwork block 

 Take 28 - 2" squares, and arrange then into 4 rows (2 rows of 8, 2 rows of 6).

Stitch the rows together using a scant 1/4" seam allowance, press the seams.

 Now that all 4 rows of patchwork squares are stitched together, let's assemble the block. Take your
6 3/4"x 13" solid rectangle and arrange your patchwork rows around the solid fabric as shown in the picture. You can play around until you find the way that pleases you the most, I made all my directional prints pointing towards the center.

Start with the longer rows first, pin (I had to use lots of pins since I was working with a very shifty linen),  and stitch in place.

Press the seams, I pressed mine towards the solid fabric. If, however, you're using a white or other light colored fabric for the middle, you might want to press the seams towards the patchwork.

Now attach the shorter rows, using the same technique.

Press, and voila!!! One patchwork block is finished.

Step 3 - assembling second patchwork block

Repeat step 2 to make a second patchwork block using remaining 28 - 2" squares and  a 6 3/4" x 13" solid rectangle.

Step 4 - assembling the table runner

Take one 3.5" x 16" strip of solid fabric and attach it to the 16" side of your patchwork block. It's a good idea to use lots of pins to make sure everything lines up nicely.

 Attach the second 3.5" x 16" solid rectangle to the other 16" side of your patchwork block.

This is what your block will look like. Take the other patchwork block and the two remaining 3.5" x 16" strips of solid fabric and attach them together the same way you did with the first block.

Sew the two main patchwork blocks together using the 2.5" x 15 3/4" strip of solid fabric. Once you have your two patchwork blocks joint together, sew the two 4.5" x 15 3/4" rectangles to the sides of the patchwork blocks and your table runner top is all finished. This is what it will look like.

Step 5 - basting and quilting

 Make a quilt sandwich using your table runner top, batting, and backing. Quilt any way you like,  I quilted mine with straight lines about 1/4" apart.

Step 6 - attach the binding on

Cut your binding at 2 1/4" wide, fold in half and bind your table runner the same way you would a quilt.

Step 7 - admire your lovely Christmas table runner

Congratulations, you're done. Now, wasn't that easy? I hope you'll enjoy making your own table runner.

Wishing you all a very lovely day. Svetlana

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