Friends are an excuse to make

You know how there are some friends who are just steady, its-ok-if-we-see-each-other-once-a-year friends? Jaymee is one of those and I was lucky enough to have her visit me just a couple weeks ago. We ate sushi, walked on the beach, visited the desert and made a couple handkerchiefs for her pup.

Using a pattern I found on the Spoonflower blog, I made a small version for little Pablo using some batik and cotton scraps. Then I used my Embrilliance software to design a little embroidery with his name (in a cute, but not cutesy font). We stitched it out and he loved it! Okay, we love it and he tolerated it.

But he tolerated it well enough, we made him another, this time in Essex Linen and it was perfection! For not being an animal person, I really did love it.

No matter what your reason is, just keep making…for you, your friends or your friends’ pets.

Happy sewing!

New Embroidery Designs + the Brumby Pouch

Before work and on the weekends, I’ve been collaborating on embroidery designs with my artist daughter and we finally (finally!) have a couple available! There are two versions: one pincushion with a happy little face and one pincushion with a strawberry. The images are her original artwork that I digitized and I’m pleased as punch with them!

I wanted a way to show off the design and decided I would do it on a bag of some type, so I started looking through patterns and found that I’d bought the Brumby Pouch pattern from Sew Sweetness and it was perfect. It’s part of her Minikins Season 3 package, a fab collection of 12 PDF patterns and videos that show you how to do each.

I have used Sew Sweetness patterns a few times over the years and I’m always impressed with her pattern writing and her attention to detail. There are some patterns that are “quick and easy” and that’s their selling point. The thing I love about Sara’s patterns is the fact that your finished bag is going to be well-crafted and beautifully finished. She gives little details and hints to make the most of the pattern and I have loved every bag I’ve made with her patterns. If you’re new to working with her patterns, read them carefully, watch the video and trust her. It will turn out great!

The pincushion appliqué was made with Cuddle® minky (shocking, I know!) and I love the way it turned out, so textural and fun. It is available now in the Etsy shop in  DST EXP HUS JEF PES and VIP files. If you get it and use it, please tag me! I’d love to see what you do.

Happy sewing!

Oops–a cutting mistake & how to “fix” it

Sometimes I shouldn’t be talking while using a rotary cutter and this was the result recently. I was making a sample for an upcoming Sew Together Tuesday and instead of cutting the square, I kept on cutting into the fabric. Oops! Considering this was nearly two yards of Cuddle® fabric, I wasn’t about to just throw it away and start over. I had to figure out a way to fix it.

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Accuquilt Gallery Spotlight

Last fall the folks at AccuQuilt invited little ol’ me to be a part of their gallery and, of course, I said “Yes, please!” I knew I would send some of my favorites, but also used the invitation as a starting point for the American Travels series I’m working on. You can read the interview on their blog or watch just the gallery tour and conversation below:

Make sure to check out the close-up of Wyatt Wolf–he’s a Luxe Cuddle/faux fur cotton version of Violet Craft‘s Wolf Abstractions pattern and several years later, I still love him.

Thanks, Accuquilt for the spotlight and for the fabulous cutting system. I use their dies often in my personal quilt making as well as for Shannon Fabrics projects and have come to appreciate their ease of use and longevity. I’m sure I’ll be using them plenty more in all my quilt making.

I’m glad I finally got to share it with you.

Happy sewing!

Dignity Quilt {American Travels Quilt Series}

In Chamberlain, South Dakota there is a sculpture of an indigenous woman that stands 50 ft. tall along Interstate 90. For years now I’ve wanted to “someday” see it in-person. She carries one of my favorite quilt designs, a Lone Star quilt, billowing behind her and she towers over the hills and the Missouri River. The pictures I had seen were amazing, but as with most places, the pictures can’t do it justice.

Hawke and I were almost to the end of our week when I realized that our path toward Omaha would take us directly by her. We had to stop.

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How to glue baste and machine stitch quilt binding

Truthfully, I always prefer a hand-sewn binding, but sometimes deadlines get the best of me and I have to take the faster route. I was able to finish four of the six quilt in the American Travels series by hand before I shipped them off to Accuquilt (they’ll be on display through March and April!), there were two more than had to get stitched on by machines. I thought I’d share my method with you since it works pretty well for being second best.

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How to Make the Buddy Bear [Sew Together Tuesday]

This week on Sew Together Tuesday, we tackled stuffed animals again. The first we did was Ellie the Elephant, a pattern from Funky Friends Factory. It’s a pattern I’ve taught quite a few times (and made at least a dozen of them), but it’s more complicated than some beginners might want to take on. The Buddy Bear from Melly & Me, on the other hand, is perfect if you haven’t really sewn stuffies or are new to sewing with Cuddle®.

Continue reading “How to Make the Buddy Bear [Sew Together Tuesday]”

This week on Sew Together Tuesday, we tackled stuffed animals again. The first we did was Ellie the Elephant, a pattern from Funky Friends Factory. It’s a pattern I’ve taught quite a few times (and made at least a dozen of them), but it’s more complicated than some beginners might want to take on. The Buddy Bear from Melly & Me, on the other hand, is perfect if you haven’t really sewn stuffies or are new to sewing with Cuddle®.

Continue reading “How to Make the Buddy Bear [Sew Together Tuesday]”

Studio Re-Organization v2.5

When I moved into this space two years ago, I brought along my Pfaff 130, the big cutting table, my ironing station, and a bookshelf. Since then… well, let’s just say that stuff has accumulated, projects have been started, machines have been brought in. It’s been a doozy of a couple of years!

Soon after settling in, another artist/resident was getting rid of some big grey melamine tables from a graphics design studio. They were the perfect height for standing and sewing (which is my preferred method for most projects) and they perfectly fit the space below my window. It seemed ideal. Until they weren’t.

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Making Pom Poms with Luxe Cuddle fabric

There are lots of tutorials for making pom-poms with yarn, but using plushfabric is a whole other look and is super sweet for all sorts of projects.

For this project, I used Luxe Cuddle Seal Snow, polyester thread, and a little hunk of Fairfield World’s Royal Silk stuffing for this one. I’ve also used Luxe Cuddle Sherpa and Luxe Cuddle Llama with good results. You can watch the video and/or follow the steps below:

  1. Trace a 4″ circle on the wrong side of the fabric using a felt tip pen.
  2. Cut out circle using short blade scissors or a sharp artist knife (such as the OLFA SAC-1).
  3. Shake off the extra Cuddle dust. Give it a flick or two.
  4. Using a long sewing needle and polyester thread, sew a basting stitch around the entire perimeter of the circle. Each stitch should be about 1/4″ long and 1/8″ to 1/4″ away from raw edge.
  5. As you reach the end, pull the thread up a little and push in a handful of stuffing, then pull the thread up tight.
  6. Holding it tightly, knot the end.
  7. Take some big stitches across the end, forming an asterisk and pulling tightly, then knot at least twice. Push needle though the other side of the pom pom and clip thread.

I made three of these for our Sew Together Tuesday project: the Whimsy Winter Bench Pillow from Kimberbell Designs. It turned out pretty damn cute, if I do say so myself.

Give it a shot. Make some for your tree or as a garland–either would be super cute!

Happy sewing,