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,

How I Used Jersey Knit for a Quilt Binding

When I started Allison’s t-shirt quilt, I had no intention of doing a jersey knit binding. I assumed I would back it in Cuddle® minky and probably bind it in Luxe Cuddle® [here’s how that’s done]. But then I got it back from the long-arm quilter and you know about those best laid plans and all…

I decided spontaneously to bind with the jersey knit instead, so then I had to figure out how to do it. I’d done enough binding with Cuddle®, which is a plush knit, that I new some of how it could work, but it was a whole different beast than both cotton binding and Cuddle® binding.

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Not Your Grandma’s T-Shirt Quilt

I’ve been meaning to tackle a t-shirt quilt for a while now, so when Allison asked me if I’d take on a stack of tees from her husband and make them into a quilt, I readily agreed. I figured I’d make the standard style: cut out the logos to a specific size, then add sashing. Seemed simple enough…

But the tees she sent had all sorts of varying sizes of logos and it seemed so wrong to cut them all out the same size and lay them out in a grid.

So out went the old plan and in came the improvising. Ta-dah!

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Get Your Breasts Checked

Every October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, four weeks when we can’t as easily ignore the fact that mammograms are a crucial part of staying healthy. Every year about a quarter of a million women (and an additional 2000 men) are diagnosed with breast cancer. By now we know that the earlier it is found, the better the chances of survival, and the easiest ways to find it are breast self-exams and regular mammograms.

This year I’m teaming up again with Annie and crew over at for their #sewpink initiative to help remind folks about the need to pay attention to their breasts and the changes that happen. There are a variety of designers and educators who have shared projects and I’m thrilled to be part of the group.

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Vote Quilt by Hunter’s Design Studio

This year is the hundredth anniversary of the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution–the amendment that gave white women the right to vote. For most of us, the idea that women, all women, should be able to cast votes in the nation’s elections seems like a no-brainer. It seems so obvious, so ordinary.

Getting here, to this place when all American women can vote, has been a rocky one though. Filled with violent protests, arrests, court cases and Supreme Court challenges, political cartoons and women leading the charge against their own rights as citizens. []

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How to Sew a Cotton Binding on a Cuddle Blanket [Sew Together Tuesday]

This week we got to join forces with my friend Liz from and share a tutorial that she did on their site years ago. The Soft Elegance Big Bound Blanket originally used a fabric that Shannon Fabrics no longer makes, so I substituted in the Buffalo Check Cuddle. Combine that with Luxe Cuddle Sherpa and Carolyn Friedlander cotton… ooohh la la, you got a beaut.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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