Friday, March 26, 2010

Snooping Around!

There is this really cool program "thingy" (that's a technical term) that I found on Google to follow “something or someone”. It’s called Google Alerts. It’s kind of cool and scary at the same time. For instance, if you want to follow the news on George Clooney (and who wouldn’t) you can add his name to Google Alerts and every time there is something on the web about him, you will be notified.

So….I have done that with all of my pattern names, Professional Tote, Kangaroo Tote, Janet’s Jewelry Case, etc. to see if anyone is talking about my patterns out there. I have found a few blogs and web sites that have mentioned my patterns. The scary part is that I can do this at all!! I feel like I am snooping around where I shouldn’t be. I can thankfully say that everything that I have seen have been nice comments.

The word professional from the Professional Tote pattern gets lots of hits so I get things sent to me that have nothing to do with my patterns, and Janet’s Jewelry Case always brings in stories about Janet Jackson. It’s kind of fun snooping around!

Here are a few people and websites that are working on making my patterns.

The Attic Window Quilt Shop in Wenatchee, WA  had a sew in day to make a Professional Tote.

Bev has a picture of her beautiful tote.

A few nice reviews of my patterns from Sewing Pattern Review

Mary has made a few totes and shows one here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"As You Like It" Purse Flap

I promised more flap ideas and this one is super easy and was actually done by one of my students during a class I taught.

She has sewn Rick Rack diagonally across the front of a flap and then interspersed a few buttons in- between. This could be done on a Decor Bond base or a batting base. Put a large scale print or holiday print on the other side of the flap and it will be reversible.

This is so quick and easy that you could make it today and use it tonight for your guild meeting.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Professional Tote Batting Question

Dear Anonymous!
You asked, "I would like to know if any of you have made the Professional Tote using an iron-on light-weight batting instead of decor bond. I would assume I would have to quilt or stipple the two layers together."
The tote would look great with quilted fabric, BUT, make sure you only quilt the main fabric. You can put a muslin backing on it or just quilt together with the fabric and the batting, the lining will cover the back side of your quilting. The bag will be softer when finished then it would be with Decor Bond and it will be like a pair of jeans and get softer with use. Make sure to Decor Bond the contrast fabric and lining fabric as stated in the pattern.   

Happy "Creative" Sewing.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Surprise quilt show

My DH and I took a weekend trip to Charlotte, NC. It is about a 2 1/2 hour driving trip for us and we just wanted to get away. There is a new IKEA store there and I wanted to look around. I had never been to one before and heard great things about it. We started off with breakfast at IKEA's cafeteria, what a bargin. They were having a special, buy one breakfast and get one free. We each had scrambled eggs, 3 pieces of bacon, hash brown potatoes and 3 French toast sticks, coffee, one orange juice and we spilt a 5" round cinnamon bun. The total for all of that was $5.97. Wow, we were impressed and it was delicious, especially the cinnamon bun! I love to organize things almost as much as I like to sew and they have so many things to help you do that. I managed to only spend $42.00, but came home with lots of ideas.

There just happens to be the biggest fabric store near Charlotte in Gastonia. Mary Jo's fabric store. If you live in the tri state area of South Carolina, Tenn and NC and haven't been there, you need to go. This store used to be a large grocery store and is now a fabric store. They have every kind of fabric that you can think of and laces and trims to match. If you watch Project Runway on television, it is NC's version of Mood Fabrics. Anyway, DH let me wander through the aisles of MaryJo's for almost an hour. It's hard looking at fabric when "he" is following you around like a puppy dog, but I did make a few small purchases.

We then went to Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in Belmont, NC (just west of Charlotte) and happened upon a small quilt show. There is a beautiful Orchid Conservatory at the garden and the quilt show was inspired by the Orchids. "Fiber Art Options" is a group of 7 artists in the Charlotte area that work with fabric, paper and thread. These artists took pictures of the orchids and used them as inspiration for their quilts.

Purple Phalaenopsis by Susan Brubaker Knapp

Cymbidium by Linda Stegall

Orchid Pictures by Deborah M. Langsam
This purplish orchid quilt above is made up of 1/2" photo squares, hundreds of them. The picture just above is a close up view of the upper left corner of the quilt. Every picture is an orchid.  SPECTACULAR!!
The quilt below is the black and white version of the same orchid above, with all the same pictures in black and white.

Freckles by Susan Brubaker Knapp

The Daniel Stowe Gardens are beautiful. Last weekend there wasn't much blooming, but the gardens, fountains and walkways were still wonderful. Here are a few pictures that I took in the Orchid Observatory and the grounds. Maybe I will be inspired to make an orchid quilt, too!

It was fun to get away for the weekend, we hope to do it again soon.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

"As You Like It" Purse Flap

Well it's about time I posted some flap ideas for the "As You Like It" Purse. I have procrastinated too long!

This first idea is a Western theme, but could be used with any fabrics or trim to change the look.  Below is one I made with Western fabrics a concha and fringe. The directions below with make a reversible flap. Two, two flaps in one!! Two for the price of one... you get the idea!

Click on the orange Menu Tab on the left side of the document and choose Print.

AYLI Yoke Template 2

The purple flap shown below has a beaded trim instead of the fringe.
 Step 1. Pick three fabrics for your flap. 1 for the front, 1 for the yoke and 1 for the back and a piece of batting the same size as the flap, using the measurements included in the pattern as a guide, I rough cut out all of the pieces so I have some room to play with.  I used a large print for the back and fussy cut it to show the design.
I also traced my yoke pattern onto a piece of template plastic so I could see through it, but paper is fine.  Trace around the pattern onto your yoke fabric, but do not cut it out yet.

Back of flap - rough cut around the edges.

Step 2. Take the traced yoke fabric and sew 1/4" away from your traced line along the curved edge only. Now you can cut out the yoke along the traced line.

With a hot iron, turn under 1/4" seam allowance right along the line of stitches you just made. I actually press the stitches to the underside of the yoke. The stitches allow you to turn a very precise edge and no clipping of curves is needed.

Step 3. Stack your fabrics together with the Backing fabric face down on the table, then add the batting on top of that and the Flap fabric (purple on mine) face up. I spray basted the layers together.  Place pressed yoke fabric on top of the flap positioned where you would like it. The yoke pattern piece is sized for the large bag, and needs to be centered left to right on your flap. The edges will hang over if you are making a smaller purse. All of my pieces so far are rough cut so you don't have to worry about matching anything except the center (left to right) and make sure the yoke fabric goes close to the top of your flap fabric. The center point of my yoke is about 1/2" to an 1" above the center of the flap (top to bottom).
Pin any trim that you want to add under the folded edge of the yoke.

Step 4. Stitch the yoke through all of the fabric layers in place very close to the folded edge of the yoke with your zipper foot. Position the zipper foot to the right of your needle as shown below.

I sewed a second row of stitches along the folded edge of the yoke.

Below the beaded trim, I added some echo quilting following the curved edge of the yoke. Draw a chalk line down the center of the front flap and that will help you know when to pivot your stitching.

Step 5. Use the Flap template from the pattern for the size purse you are making and cut your flap down to the finished size. Follow the steps in the pattern on page 12, Step 15 for making the buttonholes. Finish your flap with bias binding following Step 12 in the pattern. Make sure you use bias binding so you can sew around the corners of the flap.
Note: I sewed my bias binding on the back side of the flap and then turned it to the front side and machine stitched the binding in place from the front.

Bias tape sewn to back side of flap. 

Completed back of flap

Front of flap before sewing binding in place.

Completed Flap - Front View

I look forward to adding more designs in the NEAR future! Promises, promises!:)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival

My friend Carol R.(not to be confused with my daughter Carol who is also my friend) and I went to Hampton Roads, VA to see the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival last week.
We stayed 2 nights and were able to take our time and see all the beautiful quilts and visit all the great vendors. I bought a few goodies to play with and took lots of pictures of the quilts.
I will post a few of the ribbon winners and a few of my personal favorites.

"ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS NIGHT"  made by Sieglinde Schoen Smith in Carlisle, PA
An old fashioned advent calendar.

The detail on this hand appliqued quilt is amazing. It won in the innovative category.

"INCOMMUNICATO" made by Esterita Austin, Port Jefferson Station, NY
This quilt made me laugh because it reminded me of my husband and I at dinner. A husband and wife at dinner, she is putting on her lipstick while he is looking at his camera and his IPhone sits on the table right in front of him. Even though my husband and I swore that we would never be like those "young rude kids" texting and talking on the phone all the time, we have become them. Right now we are both addicted to the game "Boggle" on our IPhones and will sit and play while we wait for dinner. It's just not right!!

"CIRCLES OF LIFE" made by Linda French, Centerville, OH

This beautiful quilt was Machine Pieced, Hand Appliqued, Machine Quilted and an Original Design

"CHRISTMAS EVE ABC'S" made by Cathy Wiggins in Macon, NC

 I thought this quilt was so adorable. It looks like a cartoon here, but in person it is so cute. The building blocks on the lower left corner of the quilt read "Find things starting with each letter of the alphabet" If you look hard enough you will find all 26 letters there. Cathy has a list of them on the back of the quilt.

"HEY! DID I TELLYOU ABOUT THE FAMILY REUNION?" made by Pat Doyle Mikrot in Palos Park, IL

This one cracked me up too! I thought right away that is was my husband's family reunion (sorry Fennells), but Pat beat me to it and said that it was a quilt of her family reunion last summer, but of course it was her husband's side of the family! Too cute!

I'll post a few more later in the week.