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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Last fall my daughter asked if I could get her some fabric so she could make a faux fur coat. I’ve made coats before and knew this was no small task and not exactly beginner-friendly. So I said, “Hey, let me make it for you.” She didn’t have much say because I was already holdingthe fabrichostage. 😉
I started by tracing the pattern onto the back of the fabric (Shannon Fabric’s Tibetan Sand Fox in Pewter/White). This was a pretty obnoxious task because it was SO MUCH FABRIC. Thankfully my work table is pretty big, so I managed. If I didn’t have this table, I would have just laid it out on the floor. The faux fur is so heavy, trying to do it on a smaller table would be super frustrating. I’m a big believer in not fighting with the fabric, if at all possible!
If you look closely you can see that I’m using big bolts as pattern weights. I prefer them over the washers that many people use. I find that they are just as heavy and so much easier to pick up.
Registration opens today for the Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, Washington. This will be my third time teaching at Sew Expo and I’m excited to be revisiting some classes that have been popular in the past.
If you haven’t been to Sew Expo and you are interested in sewing apparel as well as quilting, you are in for a treat. It started as an apparel-sewing event and has a definite lean toward garment- and bag-making, which is exactly how I started, too.
I hope you’ll make the drive and come visit. I’ll be teaching classes and spending time at the Dutch Quilter booth, as well as wandering the show to find all the new goodies I’ve just got to have.