Monday, August 31, 2015

my patchwork rug in LPQ magazine

I few months ago I was asked to design a round patchwork rug for Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine. Eeeek, I'm sure you can imagine how super excited and honored I felt. So, of course I said yes, and got to work right away.

Look, here it is, my beautifully presented Floor Filler in issue 24 of Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine which has been out in the UK for a while and should be hitting US stores any day now. Totally stalking my Joann store so I can snatch a few copies as soon as they arrive :).

I used some of my very favorite Cotton and Steel fabrics to make the rug and I absolutely adore the way it turned out. I think it would look super cute in little girl's room, don't you? Or used as a sweet little floor mat for a baby to play on.

Oh, the possibilities!!! Isn't sewing the best? I can't stop marveling at the amount of beautiful things we can create using some fabric and thread. And so today, even more than usual, I'm reminded of what a blessing this gift of sewing is to me.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Hope you have a super exciting and happy week ahead of you. My highlights will definitely be taking my middle schooler and her friends to meet some famous YouTube star and teaching my high schooler how to drive. Should be fun :). Wish me luck. Svetlana

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

linen house coasters {tutorial}

Hello friends, I have a fun little project for you today ...

... super simple linen coasters that are quick and easy to whip up. Plus, they are adorable, and charmingly rustic looking, and scrap friendly :), so definitely a win win in my book.

I've always loved the combination of linen and chunky uneven stitches, so I decided to use running stitch (as opposed to using blind stitch) to sew the openings of the coasters closed and made that part of the design element.

I like the use of bright, happy prints on the back of the coasters as they provide a lovely contrast to very minimalist linen side. Or maybe I shouldn't even call them backs as these could definitely pass up as double sided coasters :).

Each coaster finished at 4.5" x 4.75".

And, I wrote up instructions for you in case you'd like to make a set or two of your own. Enjoy!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

To make one coaster you will need:
house template (click here)
6" square of linen
6" square of quilting cotton for backing
7" square of cotton batting
3 strands of embroidery thread or perle cotton
hand sewing supplies
disappearing fabric marker or pen

1. Use provided template to cut out one house shape out of linen and one out of quilting cotton. Make sure to cut out two mirror images as the pattern is not symmetrical.

2. Make a little quilt sandwich by placing batting on a flat surface, then linen house and backing house right sides together on top. Smooth all the layers so there and no puckers and pin all the way around.

3. Use 1/4 seam allowance to stitch around the edges, making sure to leave about 2-3" opening in the bottom seam.

4. Cut the extra batting off, clip the corners. Press the bottom seam open and turn the coaster right side out through the opening in the bottom seam. Push the corners out (don't worry if they are not too pointy as we're going for a more rustic, charming look with this coaster :)). Use a pin to hold opening closed.

5. Hand stitch the opening closed using three strands of embroidery thread (or perle cotton). I used running stitch that's visible on both sides of my coaster as I decided the stitching will be part of my design. If, however, you prefer your stitching to be hidden, use regular sewing thread and blind stitch to close the opening.

6. Mark the placement of your door or window using disappearing fabric marker or pen. Use the same three strand thread and running stitch to add the door or window. (I added windows or doors to some of my coasters, but I also decided to leave some without any stitching).

7. Give your coaster a good press and you're all finished. Congratulations!!!

8. Now go ahead and make three more coasters so you have a lovely set to use around the house.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. 

 And, as always, if you make a project using any of my tutorials please add it to my Flickr group. I love seeing all your amazing creations.

Monday, August 24, 2015


Hello, happy Monday to you all.

I had some super fun, absolutely the best, scrap play time over the weekend :). And, I even discovered something (which I probably knew for quite some time but on Friday night it finally clicked). I really, really like using my scraps for improv piecing. What a discovery, right? I realized I can't just reach into my stash, pull half yard cuts of fabric and simply chop off random pieces of fabric. But, to have some improv fun, one needs random pieces of fabric and that's why I love my scraps so much.

See? I made all these blocks on Friday night, pulling the scraps out of the basket and piecing them into these random sized, random shaped blocks. I did have a certain color palette in mind, so not all scraps got to come out and play, of course :).

And then I used solid scraps to fill in the gaps. Because, once again, it's hard for me to be chopping random pieces off perfectly good yardage.

I think there's certain freedom that comes from using scraps. Because, really, they are just scraps so if things don't work out, well at least I had some fun along the way. No pretty new fabric got harmed :).

Hope you all have a scrappy, happy week.

I'll be adding some borders to my patchwork, digging through my scraps, of course. Svetlana

Thursday, August 20, 2015

sawtooth stars

Sawtooth Star block is my absolute favorite quilting star block ever. Ever!!! Strangely though, I've never made a quilt using this block. I had plans to do so a few times already, but the thought of all the flying geese and points that need to match up put me off every time. Until now, that is.

See, I already managed nine stars (inspired by this beauty) in the last few days and I absolutely, positively adore where this is going . They look quite traditional, don't they? I'm sticking with only red, white, and some black for the blocks and I'm hoping the finished quilt will have that vintage-y kind of vibe. Fingers crossed :).

I'm using a Quilt in a Day Small Flying Geese ruler  to make my geese and I must say, this ruler (and the method that comes with it) is absolutely amazing. I had to read the instructions on how to use it at least two or three times as it's quite different from what I was used to, but once I understood the steps the geese were a breeze to make.

And such precise points. Oh, my!!! My flying geese blocks finish at 3.5" x 6.5" and are perfect building blocks for the 12.5" stars.

Happy looking geese, aren't they?


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

monochrome lunch bag

So, the kids are back at school and it's just me and the cats, and my sewing machine of course :). And I'm really looking forward to having a few hours of uninterrupted sewing each day. Lucky me.

I thought I'd be doing lots of back to school sewing these last few days, but there actually was no need for it. The other day I picked out some super fun boyish fabric, decided on a design (after spending hours on Pinterest), and was about to make my son a new lunchbag, when he suddenly told me he really, really, REALLY!!! didn't want a handmade lunchbag. Whaaat?!?! And he was fine with his old pencil pouch that still looked great, so no pouch needed either. Seriously!

But since I was already all fired up and in lunchbag - making - mood, I decided to change things up and make a girly lunchbag instead. After all, my two girls love using lunchbags I made for them last year so I was sure I'd find takers for this one as well :).

I based the design on Ellen's lovely lunchbag but I changed the dimensions to make it smaller and I added a super handy mesh pocket to hold ice. I think I'll be adding these to every lunchbox from now on.

I used a combination of Essex Linen and Monochrome cotton/linen blend fabric which I absolutely adore. I might have to make myself a tote bag using this fabric combo some day soon.

Hope your day is going great as well. Svetlana

Friday, August 14, 2015

twenty four back to school sewing projects

Hello, happy Friday to you all.

My kids are going back to school next week, which means I'll be doing some serious last minute back to school sewing this weekend, of course :).

And, I've put together this list of 24 free sewing tutorials in case you feel like some back to school sewing as well. Enjoy!

(click on the links below the pictures to be taken to the original posts)

handmade lunch bag, front zipped pencil case, fabric book cover

Have a  great weekend, friends. Svetlana

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

lined notebook cover {a tutorial}

Less than a week and my kids are back to school, yikes. So, of course I'm frantically scrambling to make sure all the supplies are bought, backpacks ready, new clothes (that actually fit) washed, etc. etc. In the midst of this craziness though, I decided to take a little fun break and make new notebook covers for their composition notebooks. 
And, I put together this tutorial for you as well, in case you'd like to make some, too.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This notebook cover fits a regular 9 3/4" x 7 1/2" composition notebook.

Use 1/4" seam allowance unless otherwise noted.

materials needed: 1/2 yard exterior fabric (quilting cotton)
                             1 FQ lining fabric (quilting cotton)
                             one 1 1/2" x 11" strip of contrasting fabric for spine of notebook cover
                             11" x 16" rectangle of SF101 or other medium weight interfacing of choice

cutting: exterior fabric: cut two 11" tall x 14" wide rectangles
             lining fabric: cut one 11" tall x 16" wide rectangle
             interfacing: cut one 11" tall x 28 1/2" wide rectangle

1. Arrange fabric for the exterior of the cover as shown in picture below.  Stitch all three parts together and  press the seams towards the spine. The panel now measures 11" x 28 1/2".

2. Fuse 11" x 28 1/2" interfacing to the wrong side of the main panel following manufacturer's directions. Use 1/8" seam allowance to topstitch along both sides middle strip.

3. Hem both 11" edges of the main panel by folding raw edge 1/4" under, then 1/4" under again. Press well and stitch in place using 1/8" seam allowance.

4. Place the main panel right side up on a flat surface. Form the flaps by folding the main fabric over at 5 1/2" mark from the edges of the main panel (your main panel now measures 11" x 16"). Pin, stitch in place using 1/8" seam allowance. 

5. Place lining fabric right side up on a flat surface. Place main panel right side down on top. Align all the edges and pin together. 

6. Stitch all the way around, making sure to leave a 4" opening in the bottom seam for turning.

7. Clip the corners, press the seams open, and turn the cover right side out through the opening from the previous step. Push the corners out to make them nicely pointy.

8. Press, pin the opening closed, and stitch all the way around the cover using 1/8" seam allowance.

9.  Give it one more quick press and you're all finished!!! 

Wasn't that easy? Now go ahead and make covers for all your notebooks. They make great teacher gifts, too :).

 And, as always, if you make a project using any of my tutorials please add it to my Flickr group. I love seeing all your amazing creations.


Monday, August 10, 2015

gumdrop pouf

Hello, I hope you all had a lovely weekend. Ours was wonderful as we were picking up our #2 from her summer camp. It's so good to have her home again.

Now, before she left for camp I promised to redo her bedroom, mostly because I couldn't stand the light green sponge painted walls in her room (they were there when we moved in last year and I never got around to repainting them).

We decided to go with white walls and we both love the new "clean" look so much more. I, of course, had to make a few new pillows. I can never pass on the opportunity to add some squishy goodness to our rooms :). I made one large floor pillow (the one on the bottom of the pile of pillows) by simply covering a Euro sham, and then I made a pouf.

I used a Gumdrop Pillow pattern by Amy Butler to make this simple, super squishy pouf. This is an 18" size one (pattern also includes a 24" size) and it fits just right in the room, I think :).

The pouf was pretty quick to make, once I decided on fabric, of course. I kept going back and forth on making it all patchworky (mostly because I didn't have enough of any one fabric). And then I came across a brand new curtain I bought a while back to make some bags and I knew this would be just the right fabric. It's thicker than regular quilting cotton, but not as thick as home decor fabric so it holds the shape really well without being too stiff. 

I loved making this fun pouf and my son already "put an order in" for one of his own. I'll be happy to oblige :).

Thanks so much for reading. Svetlana

Thursday, August 6, 2015

mesh beach bag

I've been meaning to make myself a beach bag all summer long but somehow it never got to the top of my list, until now that is. We still have one week of summer break left so I totally count it as a success :).

What really held me back, I think, was that I didn't come across a beach bag I really, really wanted to make. And then, a few days back, I came across this super interesting beach bag made out of window mesh. Yes, you heard right. A bag made out of that mesh thingy that keeps bugs from coming into our houses.

And, there was a free tutorial on how to make this bag. So, of course I had to drop everything, rush to hardware store to buy me some window mesh (I bought this one and it worked great), and start making the bag.

This is such a perfect bag for a sandy beach. I followed the original tutorial and covered all the raw edges in binding and added a fabric covered bottom to help the bag hold its shape. I also added a zipper pouch pocket which I made considerably bigger than suggested as I wanted to make sure my keys, phone, and wallet fit into it.

I do love how unique this bag is. Super fun, isn't it? Who would have thought a window mesh would make such a stylish beach bag?

Good thing we have plans to go to the beach soon :).

Thanks for reading. Svetlana

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

how I organize and store my zippers

I've been in a serious organizing, de-cluttering, re-decorating mood for the last few weeks. It all started with one giant drawer full of zippers. You see, I've been buying zippers (especially metal ones) like there's no tomorrow and every time new zippers arrived they simply got thrown in my "zipper drawer". The only problem with a drawer full of zippers, and full and overflowing it really was, was that it always took ages to find just the right zipper size, or to find out I'm out of certain sizes :(.

So, I decided to group ALL my zippers by size. I then organized all my 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 inch zippers in this silverware tray which fits perfectly into one smallish drawer in my sewing room. Easy peasy,  right? 

The real problem came though, when I tried to organize my longer zippers. They didn't fit nicely in trays like shorter zippers did so I needed to find a different solution.

 Here's what I did. I used binder clips to keep all the zippers of the same size together and wrote their sizes on the clips with Sharpie. This little trick already saved me tons of time when I was looking for a specific size of zipper the other day :).

And then I placed all the zippers on this spinning accessory hook I found sort of by accident at my local Target store. This hook was made for belts and ties but it works great to keep all my zippers contained and super organized.

I'm glad to finally be able to tell very quickly how many and what sizes of zippers I actually have.

Aaaah, feels good :).

So, tell me. How do you keep your zippers and other sewing supplies organized? I'm sure you have some super clever tricks up your sleeves. 


Monday, August 3, 2015

creative maker supply case

When Sara (Sew Sweetness) showed a few pictures of her newest pattern for Creative Maker Supply Case a few weeks back, I knew I had to get my hands on it right away. My middle daughter was about to go to camp (no electronics or phones allowed, writing letters was going to be the only means of communication) so I knew this case would be perfect for her letter writing supplies.

I made a small size of the case and absolutely loved how it all came together. I was originally planning on making a larger size but the longest zipper at my Joann store fit the small size only so the small size it is :). Plus, there's always next time. I do hope to give this pattern a try again.

I like that mesh pocket so much, it's perfect to hold adorable stationery. And then there are these clever elastic pen holders, ♥♥♥. This case reminds me of school supply cases I used to have when growing up. Funny how one can get nostalgic over a simple pen case :).

All in all, this was a super fun and well written pattern (you can buy it here) and both my daughter and I adore the finished case. Now just to wait for her letters to arrive. I hope we'll receive one today. Fingers crossed :).

Have a super lovely day, friends. Svetlana
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