Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Woven Star Ornaments

Thank you to everyone who commented and said they loved my projects from Rachel's Holiday Challenge...I'm flattered that y'all like what I stitched up!

Several of you wondered how I made the woven star ornaments...as in, could I write a tutorial?  First let me say that these stars are an old, traditional design, possibly originating in Germany and/or Scandinavia (my research couldn't pinpoint an exact origin...see?  They're so old that no one even knows where they came from!).  I've seen them referred to as Finnish Stars, Swedish Stars, Scandinavian Stars, or even simply woven stars or window stars.  What I'm saying is I didn't make it up - people have been making these (and MANY variations on these) for a long, long time!


Well, I do have a tutorial post in the works for another day, but there are already at least a few great woven star tutorials in blogland.  So, how about I share some links with you?

How to Make a Star by Homemade Gifts Made Easy

Finnish Star by A Cherry on Top

Make a Woven Star by House Revivals (if you search Amanda's blog she has posted several variations, too!)

Woven Star Tree Topper by Two Girls Being Crafty (a super-sized version!)

Now, all of these tutorials show you how to make your ornaments with paper.  Why don't I at least share how I made mine with fabric!?  It's super-easy.  You just need two 6.5" squares of fabric (size doesn't have to be exact, but they need to be at least 6") and one 6.5" square of Heat n' Bond or other fusible interfacing.  You can use 2 squares of the same fabric (like my star on the right) or 2 different fabrics (like my star on the left).

Fuse your fabrics together with the fusible interfacing to make "2 sided fabric" and trim your square to 6"x 6".  Then, use your rotary cutter and ruler to slice the square into twelve 1/2" x 6" strips.  Then, just follow the directions in one of the tutorials.  I told you this was easy!

Here's a star I made last year using Kate Spain's Flurry fabrics:


I used Diamond Glaze to glue the strips together, but I'm sure you could use any fabric glue...I just happened to have it on hand and it's super-strong and dries pretty quickly (and did I mention I already had it on hand?).  And, I used teeny tiny clothspins to hold the ends together while the glue dried.  Most anything would work - just make sure whatever you use isn't TOO "grabby" (like Wonder Clips) or it might leave dents in your fabric (ask me how I know).

The only other thing I should mention is if you use 2 different fabrics, put the fabric that you want on the OUTSIDE of your ornament facing UP during assembly.  Oh, and if you change up the length and/or width of your strips you can make your stars any size you want.

This is a really fun project that you can certainly embellish and fancy-up in a million ways.  It's quick, too...and sometimes you just need a quick Finnish (haha!), right?

Let me know if you make one - I'd love to see it!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Tree Skirt Up!

Good golly...has it been over a YEAR since I've posted here in blogland?  Yes, indeed-y it has...yikes!  But today I've got a project (or 3) that merits an honest-to-goodness blog post.

A few weeks ago, Rachel of Stitched in Color announced that she was hosting a Holiday Challenge from Sew Love Fabrics featuring fabrics from Josephine Kimberling's uber-cute Hip Holiday line. 

 
Challenge, you say?  With the cutest Christmas fabric possibly ever, you say?  Well, I think the answer is YES!  The deal is that Rachel posts about a stack of fabric and you tell her what you would do with it if it were yours.  She picks three winners...they get the fabric and are tasked to create the project they proposed.  Fun, right?  The best part is that this time around she picked me!

I said that I'd love to make a new Christmas tree skirt and that this stack of fabric was perfect.  We've been in the market for a new one for, oh, 5 or 6 years...but it's just one of those projects that I keep saying "I can just MAKE one"...and then other things come up and I never get to it and we're still using the sad, sad old one.  Truth be told I kind of love the old one.  It's not my style or anything I'd pick, but Paul's Aunt Maggie made it for us shortly after we got married.  Awwww, right?  She's an amazing quilter/seamstress/crafter and I just felt so grateful (and still do!) that she spent time making that for us.  We've used it every year since, but it has seen better days and it's time to rejuvenate the bottom of the tree...lest she go nekkid and I'm not into that ;)

I received my gorgeous stack of 7 fat quarters from Ruth at Sew Love Fabrics, and I quickly got down to business because I had already picked out my tree skirt pattern.  It's from the new book Simply Modern Christmas: Fresh Quilting Patterns for the Holidays (fun book if you're looking for holiday projects!).  Then I got cold feet and started to panic that I may have bitten off a little more than I could chew.  But, it turns out I was up for the challenge and deadlines are just what I need to pull it off.  Here's our new tree skirt:

 
 
Isn't it just de-lovely?  I am over.the.moon for it!  I used 3 of the Hip Holiday fabrics (Star Bursts in green, Ornament Glam in red, and Reindeer Stroll in green) and mixed in a few of my own.  I had thought I would just use the other 4 fat quarters on the back of the tree skirt, but then I just couldn't cover up the cuteness.  I mean, have you see the Tree Shopping print?
 
I ended up combining a few of my fave older Christmas prints for the back, which I think turned out fabulous:
 
 
I decided that I really needed to make some other things to go along with the tree skirt so that each of the fabrics could be featured prominently.  So, the tree skirt has a few friends... an adorable drawstring bag using the Tree Shopping and the Hip Forest in red prints on the outside:
 

 
And Hip Forest in white for the lining:
 
 
 
I also made 2 Finnish Star ornaments with the last fat quarter, Start Bursts in white:
 
 
This challenge was a lot of fun and I'm so glad Rachel chose me to be a part of it - thanks, Rachel!
 
 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

For Double The Fun...

Here's my 2nd bundle for the Guest Curator Contest at Sew Lux Fabrics!

Just humor me, would ya?  I don't always know what I'm doing when I'm pulling fabric together for a project, but I sure do love to try!

I give you Fanciful Pheasant -

 
Get it?  Peacocks...they're pheasants...and pretty fancy ones at that!  I almost named it Phanciful Pheasant, but I thought that might be a little much.  So, enjoy.  Pretty blues and golds and purple-y pinks.  Oh so pretty, if I do say so myself!
 
If you're not inspired to join in on the contest, at least go check out the Sew Lux Fabric shop!  It's run by a mother/daughter team and they are stellar.  I've ordered from them on more than one occasion and they have never let me down.  On top of excellent customer service and a great selection, they have wonderful deals and post lots of fun stuff on their blog.  (btw, no one asked me to say these things...I just love their shop!)
 
Stay tuned...I've got another post up my sleever...I actually made a couple of things!!  Go me!

Have Ya Heard?

Sew Lux Fabrics, one of my fave little fabric shops, is having a Guest Curator Contest!  Go ahead and visit their blog for more details, but the quickie version is that you can pick 8 prints/solids from their shop, make a mosaic, post it on their blog, and be entered to win your bundle AND have your bundle for sale in their shop?  I know, right?  AWESOME!

And, for TWICE the fun, you can enter two bundles!!  Feeling sassy and serious?  Cool and warm?  Wintery and summery?  Well, go for it...make two bundles to satisfy BOTH halves of your personality.  The only downside is that today is the last day to enter...so get over there and get curating!!

My first bundle is a little something I call Beauty Berry:

 
This time of year I'm always drawn to luscious gold, deep berry, and warm grays.  I was drawn to the floral Ladies Stitching Club print and built my bundle from there, with accents of purple-y pinks, grays, and yellows.  It's cozy and fall-like to me.  I hope you like it!
 
So go...check out the contest...and link up your own bundle if you're so inclined!  Stay tuned...I'll be posting about my 2nd bundle very shortly!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fave Finishes

I'm super-excited to announce that the Mo-Stash Bee is now full!  If you're bummed that you didn't make it in (or are just reading about this A-MAZING bee for the first time), please feel free to join the group...you can still hang out, see what we're up to, and be 1st in line for our next round of sign-ups.  Granted, we won't be starting round 2 until July, but that gives you plenty of time to figure out all of the details of the quilt you want to make.  Who knows...maybe the most fabulous tutorial for the most beautiful quilt block will be posted in June, and if you're in the bee already, you won't be able to use it.  So there ya go.

I thought I'd share a couple of projects that I completed during my "blogging break"...I say that in jest because it wasn't a planned break...it just kinda happened!

Here's my absolute favorite finish - it's a quilt I made (with the help of the 9 other awesome ladies)  for the Love Circle of do. Good Stitches.  If you haven't heard of do. Good Stitches, go check it out.  It is a gigantic charity sewing bee that is the brainchild of Rachel of Stitched in Color (she may be a bit of an idol of mine...just sayin').  DGS is made up of several circles and each circle makes a quilt a month to donate to a charity.  I've been part of do. Good Stitches for about a year, making blocks for others to make into quilts, but this is the first quilt that I made and donated.  And, I just LOVE how it turned out, don't you?


During our move I ended up taking a quick leave of absence from DGS, so I had to leave the Love Circle, but I'm back in the swing of things and am now part of the Bliss Circle.  It's another amazing group of ladies and I'm so proud and honored to be able to be part of this special bee.

I used Elizabeth's Patchwork Wheel Block tutorial to make the quilt above, as well as this table runner...another of my fave finishes over the summer:


My sister is a 7th and 8th grade Language Arts teacher in a teeny town in New Hampshire.  This was an end-of-the-year gift for her classroom para-professional.  Her favorite color is orange and my sister told me she cried when she opened it...so, I think it did the trick!

I'll be back to share some of the things I'm working on now...and, I just might do a quick post about Sewing Summit.  I can't believe I haven't even mentioned that I went to Sewing Summit last month.  Uber-fun!!


(me and my quilting bestie, Whit, at Sewing Summt!)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Introducing: The Mo-Stash Bee!

Hello to all of you beautiful modern fabric stashionistas!!  The year is winding down a bit and we KNOW you're starting to think about which bees and/or swaps you're interested in committing to for 2013.  And, ya know what would be better than signing up for any ol' bee?  Being part of a brand new bee that my uber-awesome friend, Whitney, and I started...that's what!!

Whitney (you may know her as The Peacock Tree) and I were talking about how tough it is to commit to a year-long bee.  People go MIA...people lose their mojo...people feel like doing other stuff.  So, we (well, SHE, and she was gracious enough to ask me to join) thought it'd be super-cool to get a bunch of gals together who love modern fabric and start a stash bee that lasts just 6 short months.  It's your typical stash bee...every month starting in January someone will host and choose a block...the other folks in the bee with make 2 blocks with fantabulous fabric from their stash and send them of to the host...easy peasy, right?  I present to you the Modern Stash Quilting Bee...better known as the:


Sounds peachy, right?  And when Tom Selleck is involved, you just gotta join!  Ok, so I may have embellished the Tom Selleck bit in my last post.  The bee isn't exactly about him or really have anything to do with him other than he's our mascot, but that 'stache!!  How long can you resist that 'stache?  Not long, I bet!

And better yet, we've dubbed all of you Stashionistas - how cool is that?  You covet your stash...you love modern fabric...you can't wait for the best new lines to be released...you probably even hoard some of your best stuff...you know who you are!

OK, Stashionistas...RUN over to the group and join.  We'll have an official registration form to fill out soon if you want to commit.  For now, at least join the group and follow along.  We can't wait to start!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Back By Popular Demand!

Ok, ok, that's exaggerating just a bit...well, a lot.  BUT, when I was off spending time with my tribe (as another lovely attendee, Suzy, put it) at the Sewing Summit, one of my fans (hahaha!) did ask me when/if I was ever going to post to my blog again.  So, to oblige Julie and all of my other adoring public, I have decided to blog again!!  Aren't y'all excited?

I can't promise out-of-this-world posts, or even semi-frequent ramblings, but I do hope to continue to share my sewing adventures with you...no matter how mundane or sporadic.

So what have you been up to since March?  Well, we moved to VA...that's the biggest news, I guess.  We rented out our house in New Hampshire and made our way down to the outskirts of DC in July.  It was a rough adjustment for some of us (mostly me!) but now that the boys are all settled into school and activities, all is well.  We're renting a house a couple of miles away from Paul's office, which is really nice, since he tends to work long hours.  We've committed to try to make the most of our stint here by seeing/doing as much as we can.  It's fab to be so close to "The District" (as it's called around here) - so many fun things to do in DC!  Did you know they have a Postal Museum?  Me neither, but I plan on checking that out one of these days!

Sewing-wise I've been stitching here and there, making bee blocks, doing swaps, etc.  Basically all of the stuff I was doing before and then some...just not posting about it!  How sneaky am I?  If you want to see what I've made lately, you can check out my flickr photostream HERE.  It's not everything, but it'll give you a good snapshot.

The nice thing about our new house is that I still have a dedicated sewing space...and it's NOT in the laundry room!  Our basement is actually a walk-out/daylight basement, so there are windows down there...MUCH better for sewing!  It doesn't feel like a dungeon.  I can't say much about what you can get for your money in this area (it's not much, in case you were wondering), but I am grateful for my corner of the finished basement to do my sewing.

One of my best finishes lately is a little number I put together for one of my very favorite swaps - the Little Quilt - Sew, Vote, Send Group.  Here's what I made:

 
I personally love it and I hope the gal I sent it to does, too!  The funny thing about this mini is it was the start of my very first quilting project.  Around March or April of 2011, I came across the Blogger's Pillow Party, which was hosted by the lovely Rachel of Stitched In Color.  I'm certain y'all know Rachel, but if you dont, RUN to her blog right now...she's fantastic!  So, I run across the party and was inspired by a pillow I saw there - it's excellent, right?  I thought "maybe I could do something like that"...so I chopped up nine charm squares from the gorgeous Nouveau line by Sentimental Studios for Moda. 
 
And, well, long story short, those little squares got put in a drawer so I could try other things.  I finally pulled them out when I got back from the Sewing Summit.  Instead of making a pillow, it is now a mini, but it feels good to have completed a project I started so long ago.  And, it probably looks 1,000 times better than it would have looked had I actually finished it back in 2011...I've learned a ton since then!
 
It's great to be back in the swing of things...let me know what you've been up to these last several months.  I'll be back to share some of the other projects I've completed and other things in the works.
 
PLUS, I will have a very cool announcement on Monday...right here on this little ol' blog!  If you like modern fabric, Tom Selleck, and dipping into your stash, this might be right up your alley...stay tuned!