How to Sew a Minky Binding [Sew Together Tuesday]

There are lots of things that intimidate sewists about working with Cuddle® minky, but I think the task that freaks people out the most is using it for quilt binding. It seems like a crazy idea at first, then you do it and see how great it looks and feels. Sorta like using it for quilt backings; once you try it, you’ll want to do with most of your quilts.

A few weeks ago, we tackled Cuddle® binding for our Sew Together Tuesday and if you’re thinking about doing it yourself, this is a good place to start. I show different Luxe Cuddle® fabrics and which work best for bindings, which stitches you might want to try and give some tool tips that can be helpful.

Continue reading “How to Sew a Minky Binding [Sew Together Tuesday]”

Happy Anniversary, Fairfield!

You know the good ol’ Poly-Fil stuffing, I’m sure, but did you know there’s a whole lot that Fairfield makes, beyond this basic stuffing?!

One of my favorite products is their Poly-Fil Royal Silk, a softer, silkier version of the standard Poly-Fil. I’ve used it in a variety of projects and I love how soft it makes stuffed animals without getting clumpy. Stuffing seems like something so basic that there can’t be much variety in the quality, but I’m here to tell you there is and it is totally worth the extra cost.

Continue reading “Happy Anniversary, Fairfield!”

Something old made new again

One of the things I love best about quiltmaking is the love and care that goes into the process. Sometimes though, despite the love, the design just doesn’t suit the receiver. This was the situation with my friend Jeremy’s quilt.

His great-grandmother had made it and given it to him, but it wasn’t a particularly handsome quilt in his eyes, so it had stayed folded up in the closet for years.

One night he asked if I’d be willing to remodel the quilt, taking out the periwinkle sashing that wasn’t in his color palette and taking down the amount of negative space. I said yes and started cutting up his quilt.

Continue reading “Something old made new again”

Color, Thread & Free-Motion Quilting {book review}

I’ve long been a collector of sewing and quilting books and I’m always adding to my library. Recently, I bought a stack of vintage quilting and quilt history book from an industry friend’s destash, but my newest addition is Color, Thread & Free-Motion Quilting: Learn to Stitch with Reckless Abandon by Teri Lucas.

Cover of Color, Thread & Free-Motion Quilting by Teri Lucas

Teri and I have known each other in the quilting industry for years now and I love her take on the quilt world as well as her way with words. Her book, published by C&T makes the most of both. Color, Thread & Free-Motion Quilting is a fresh take on learning how to use all three in your projects, but with a heavy emphasis on doing it all with some freedom and bravery.

I bought myself a Grace Company Q’Nique 15R with a Hoop Frame earlier this year, when I thought not traveling would give me time to really learn how to long arm. I’ve since learned I’m just as busy while staying at home, but I have been able to take time to learn a little about free-motion quilting. I think the biggest takeaway so far has been: longarm quilting is totally different from piecing quilts! There’s a whole other skill set to be learned and Teri’s book has been a great addition to my library as I learn more about color theory, designs, thread, needles, all the things that make quilt making a skill.

Continue reading “Color, Thread & Free-Motion Quilting {book review}”

Sew Together Tuesday: Quilt Cadets

This week we did a whole series of patterns (rather than just one project for the week) and focused on Quilt Cadets patterns, an offshoot of Latifah Saafir Studios. They are super cute patterns written with kids in mind, so there’s no fancy lexicon and easy step-by-steps to help kids of all ages complete these projects.

Whether you’re new to sewing or new to sewing with Cuddle, these are fab patterns to add your collection. Plus she offers some super cute little badges that you’ll earn as you progress through the patterns.

The first day, we made the Enchanted Travel Pillow, a pattern designed in conjunction with Little Pincushion Studio. Who doesn’t love unicorns? Okay, some don’t, but for them they can take off the horn and make a horse or just do the dragon version. Any way you do it, it was super simple and ridiculously cute.

Make a Unicorn Travel Pillow with me!
Continue reading “Sew Together Tuesday: Quilt Cadets”

Desert Days

Living in the middle of Los Angles during this coronavirus pandemic has been, for lack of a better word: interesting. We are surrounded by millions of other people, yet our apartment faces a cement wall that abuts the Interstate 5 freeway. Through fences and gates, I can see another road, but it hasn’t been busy in months. Two months ago, hardly anyone crossed in front of our space, but now it’s become a walkway to the climbing gym next door. It’s been lonely, then weirdly busy.

It’s quieter than it was last year at this time, but with the freeway right there and a train yard within throwing distance, there’s always noise. Always. I hadn’t realized how much it was wearing on me until my partner Hawke and I took off for a desert weekend.

Continue reading “Desert Days”

DIY Style Cutting System

I’ve been using and loving the DIY Style Cutting System for a year now and it’s one of my favorite finds. Created by a fashion designer for working with slick activewear and swimwear fabrics, the system also works great for minky fabrics, as well as quilting cottons.

If you do a wide variety of sewing and quilting, this new patented system from DIY Style will make an enormous difference in how quickly and easily you can get work done. The magnets make it easy to tackle slippery and stretchy fabrics and hold stronger than pattern weights for easy cutting or tracing.  The rulers are designed to work with the magnets making it easy to get accurate and consistent cuts.   Sold exclusively by DIY Style, the system includes:

  • DIYStyle® Magnetic Pattern and Cutting System Base Set
  • Set of 12 Powerful FabricMagnets™
  • 36″ Pro T-square ruler and fabric alignment tool
  • NEW! 24″ Pro T-Square (Add-On Accessory)

Buy it directly from DIYStyle (affiliate link): http://bit.ly/TCoatesDIYStylePCS

Sew Together Tuesday: Sleep Mask

Teresa wearing the sleep mask she designed

This week’s Sew Together Tuesday class we finally got to do a sleep mask. This is one of those ‘duh’ projects–of course you’d use Cuddle® minky for it–but I just hadn’t gotten around to designing one yet.

I drew up the pattern and made a second version where I added some cute eyelash appliqués, though that isn’t required to be effective. I just like adding a touch of cute when I can.

Happy sewing!

How to Sew a Little Chick Pillow [Sew Together Tuesday]

This week’s Sew Together Tuesday for Shannon Fabrics is the Chick version of the Barnyard Buddies Jelly Bean Pillow pattern. The pattern is from McKay Manor Musers and it’s a favorite. All the designs are super cute and they have a wide variety: cow, chick, Yeti, unicorn, dog, werewolf, etc. You can see them and download your own preferred pattern on their site.

If you want to make your own Chick pillow, you’ll need:
* 1/2 yd. Luxe Cuddle Rose White
* Scraps of Cuddle 3 in Black, Scarlet and Canary
* McKay Manor Musers’ Barnyard Buddies Jelly Bean pattern
* Poly-Fil from Fairfield

You’ll notice a few tools that I really love: the Precision Stiletto from ByAnnie.com, flower-head pins from Clover and the BabyLock Crescendo sewing machine with a Schmetz 90/14 stretch needle.

Happy sewing,

Road to California 2020 Recap

This marked my third year teaching at Road to California and it was the best by far. I had four classes, Thursday through Sunday, focusing on fabrics that many are intimidated by: minky, double gauze and knits. I’d spent hours and hours over the last few weeks prepping kits and samples for the classes and it was all worth it.

On Thursday, we made Ellie Elephants using the pattern from Funky Friends Factory and Luxe Cuddle Heather Fog from Shannon Fabrics, along with a couple of solid Cuddle minky fabrics.  They turned out so well and everyone was so happy with their elephants! I saw a couple of students walking the show floor with them later and it was adorable.  Look how pleased they were!

Road2CA students with their stuffed elephants

Continue reading “Road to California 2020 Recap”