What I Sewed Last Summer

Carrie’s post yesterday alluded to going back to school, and one of those things you always had to tell when you returned to the classroom was “What I Did on My Summer Vacation.” Unfortunately, in grown-up land, summer isn’t all vacation time. Still, there’s time for a little sewing, and while I was thinking ahead about National Sewing Month and what I might whip up in September, I also thought  about how I spent my summer sewing time.

While I love to quilt, there’s so much to do outside in summer that smaller projects seem best. I also work one day a week in a fabric and yarn shop—Home Ec Workshop in Iowa City—and we’re always on the lookout for projects that make for good classes, so my small projects sometimes translate into classes. Iowa City is a college town and our busy customers enjoy a quick class that can give them the satisfaction of making something without a big time commitment. (At the same time, we find lots who have sewing machines and can’t wait to use them. Our School of Sewing classes, based on the great book by Shea Henderson, always have a waiting list.)

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At any rate, my summer sewing consisted of just one baby quilt, along with checkbook covers, bags to carry to the Farmer’s Market, and tops. Yup, I delved into the world of garment sewing.

I started sewing garments again a couple of summers ago. (Like many of us, I really started in junior high, but haven’t done much since high school.) Two years ago I took a class at our shop to make the Sorbetto top from the free pattern available here. The popularity of garment sewing is definitely on the rise and this one, with no zippers and no buttons seemed pretty basic and I thought I could handle it. But my body isn’t so basic, and fit is always a challenge. (I think that’s probably why a lot of us who love sewing turn to quilting—no fitting issues!) My first top just didn’t work, so I spent some time perusing YouTube and came upon a fantastic technique classes on Creativebug. Thanks to the bust adjustment class taught by Liesl Gibson, I figured out how to make a top that fit and went on to make three of them. This summer it was the Sailor Top that struck my fancy—floaty, light, and simple-to-sew. I can’t wait for Moda’s new lawns to be available in January. They’ll be the perfect weight for tops like these. (The fabrics below are from Moda’s previous Regent Street Lawn collection.)

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I mentioned my checkbook cover: Check-writing has almost become a thing of the past, but nevertheless I usually write a few each month. I’d hung on to a bit of Janet Clare’s Hearty Good Wishes whale fabric and thought it would be perfect for taking the sting out of paying bills. I lined it with Abi Hall’s On a Wing. It took almost no time at all and makes me happy every time I see it.Version 3Finally, the one quilt I stitched was for a Scottish baby. Little Belle’s parents lived in Iowa City for eighteen months and Belle’s mom, Katie, was fascinated by Iowa quilts. So when I got a bit of Bren Riddle’s Amberside, I knew just what to do with it (along with a few other fabrics from my stash, as I didn’t have quite enough Ambleside). And just for kicks, I decided to use gray sashing, as the baby’s last name is Gray.

Auditioning for Ambleside

 

Ambleside baby quilt

Belle was born just two weeks before moving back to Scotland with her parents and one morning I offered to watch her so her parents could pack. I actually sewed the label on the quilt while I was holding her—can you imagine anything sweeter? Just last week I got a picture from Katie of Belle on her quilt, which made me a happy woman. The colors aren’t very true, but I thought you’d still like to see this sweet babe.

Baby Belle on Ambleside

What did you stitch this summer? Have you tried any clothing, yet? What are looking forward to stitching this month? Let us know!

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Primed and ready to go…

I rather liked school.  Not the homework part of it so much as the social side of things – big surprise, right?

So when an invite to a party blog hop involving a primer, grades, pre-cuts and quilts arrived, I jumped right on the bus!  The timing is perfect – school has been starting!

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We’re having fun with Barb & Mary – Me & My Sister.  (No comment on whether one or both of them ever spent much time in the Principal’s office.)

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This is their latest book – Pre-cut Primer.  It’s been published by Kimberly Jolly and the other nice ladies at It’s Sew Emma – the Fat Quarter Shop.  The “teacher in charge” of this field trip is the Jolly Jabber.

In addition to Barb and Mary, Kimberly and her crew, we’ve got the following quilty-folks in attendance.  (I think it’s going to get a bit rowdy… you’ve been warned.)

September 2nd – Pat Sloan & April Rosenthal

September 3rd – Corey Yoder

September 4th –  Amy Ellis

September 7thJane Davidson & Heidi Grohs

September 8th – Sherri McConnell

September 9th – Melissa Corry & Lissa Alexander

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What you need to know about the book is simple – it’s perfect if you’re looking for an assortment of cute quilts – big and small – that use pre-cuts.  The quilts work in almost every Moda collection you might have in your stash or will buy in the future – traditional and modern.  The projects range in difficulty level from “easy peasy” – 1st Grade – to a little more “time-consuming” – 12th Grade.  But even the “high school” quilts are put together with basic units that you’re familiar with.  Beginning quilters and experienced quilters will enjoy making the quilts – and making them more than once.  (Which makes this very unlike “real school”… who’d ever want to do that again?)

Now this is when I should probably ‘fess up to not having been one of those “model students” who was always getting gold stars for doing things like following directions.  That’s why I made a project without asking – or without seeing if someone else was already doing that one.  (If I’d known I was going to be copying April, I would have switched.)

Or maybe I should be back in 2nd Grade to learn “good citizenship”.  (Is that still taught in elementary school?)

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This is the 2nd Grade quilt.  It’s made with Mini Charm packs – which is part of the reason I picked it, I had a couple of those that I really wanted to use to make something.  (It is National Sewing Month after all!)

Barb & Mary’s quilt is made with Hi-De-Ho – their cute collection that just shipped to stores a month or so ago.

I used 30s Playtime 2015 by Chloe’s Closet and one of the woven-solids from the new Pure & Simple collection of brushed wovens.

That “gold star” thing is now going to make even more sense… I sort of changed the pattern just a tiny bit.

I made twenty-five blocks instead of twenty, and I used a 1/2″ finished sashing instead of a 1″.  I wanted to make a pillow.  With borders and after a trip through the washer and dryer, it measures about 23″ square.

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I think I might need to make another one… if for no other reason than to see if I can make it following the directions.

You’re thinking about “old dogs”, aren’t you?

One last thing… this wouldn’t be a blog hop without one.  This wouldn’t be a Moda blog hop without a couple.

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Prizes.  Every blog hop needs them.  They’re like recess.

Leave a comment by midnight on Monday, September 7th – Labor Day – telling us who your favorite teacher was in school.  Or class.  Or grade.  Any one of those will do – or all three.  (No extra credit for doing twice the homework.)

If you’re lucky, you might find a little Dot. Dot. Dash-! in your mailbox – those little bundles are Layer Cakes.  I think there’s a Jelly Roll involved too.

Happy Hopping!

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RULER WINNERS!!!

National Sewing Month 2013

A BIG Thank You to EVERYONE who joined in our 
“Measure Twice, Cut Once” Ruler Extravaganza! 

We hope you discovered some wonderful new rulers that will make your quilting world more fun and easy! 

We are now happy to announce the following lucky WINNERS!
Each winner has already been notified via email. 

Blog Post 

Winner
The Cutting Edge with Pat Sloan Christine Slaughter
Tacony Ruler Gadgets Linda
An all-in-one ruler for quilters? It exists! Michele
Potluck Lisa
The Triangler Booklogged
Hex N More and Sidekick Rulers GO STARS!
TrueCut Keeps You Cutting Straight! MahSistersQuiltTrunk
 Sew Easy Ruler Cutter Happy Cottage Quilter
fit to be quarter 6.5 &companion Sallie
back to basix Aimee
easy dresden ruler Cloud 9
PeelnStick with our Therm O Web Ruler Tape PK Sews
Rulers or templates Kim M
The binding tool & mini LeAnne
June tailors tools for Tees Michelle B.
Draft Patterns & Templates w/ ease-fast2mark Quilter’s Rulers LJ
Let’s get ready to Crumble! Abbigail
folded-corner-clipper Karen
Two Tricks for Perfect Log Cabin Blocks Cecilia
Let’s talk about rulers! Linda E in AZ
Time to twist ( Twister ruler) Lisas Mom
The Strip Tube Ruler.. My favorite ruler ever! BlondeNana
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The Strip Tube Ruler.. My favorite ruler ever!




National Sewing Month 2013




Daniela StoutHello!  My name is Daniela Stout and I am thrilled to be part of this month long cutting event with Moda. I own Cozy Quilt Shop (which is outside San Diego, CA) and Cozy Quilt Designs (a pattern, book and ruler publishing company.) And I love strips! Today I want to show you the most brilliantly simple invention that makes quick work of strips, turning them into gorgeous blocks in no time at all.

We call it the Strip Tube Ruler and my mom made me do it.

Quick sidebar: It’s true… my mom made me do this. When we started writing patterns for 2½” strips we used this tube technique with a square up ruler. Then one day my mom (and then primary sample maker) said we should create a ruler to make it easier. Naturally, I ignored her. (Just like your kid, huh?) But then a customer said the same thing! Then my husband made us a prototype, found a company here in the States to make it, and a best-selling item was born.

And if you don’t mind a shameless plug.. this mom of mine is Georgette Dell’Orco and she is way talented in her own right, creating some of our best-selling patterns. She even digitizes quilting patterns for the terrific computerized quilting machines out there. Check her out at QuiltersNiche.com

Now.. back to the ruler. How does it work, you ask? It’s easy.. .and sooo versatile!  Today, I am going to quickly show you just one way to use it.

First. Sew two 2½” print strips together (a “print strip” is a strip from a bundle like a Jelly Roll). Press the seam in one direction. Next sew a print strip to a 2½” background strip to make another set. Again, press in one direction, preferably to the dark.


Place the two sets right sides together and sew a tube by stitching a ¼” seam on the top and a ¼” seam on the bottom. A tube? Yes. Trust the process. 🙂

Place the 5½” line of the Strip Tube Ruler on the bottom STITCHING line. Cut up and down to cut out a triangle.


Now pull the triangle away from your tube and open to reveal a diagonally pieced square that measures 5½” square. BRILLIANT!

Next time you cut, place the ruler on the top stitching line (make fresh cuts) to reveal another triangle that opens to a perfect 5½” square! 
You see how this goes… continue down your strip to cut out a bunch of triangles that open to perfect squares… making fresh cuts, now.
Notice the fabrics are the same but in different placements? Sort them into two piles as pictured.
Arrange your fabrics as you desire and sew the four blocks together. Below is my very favorite block (which I regretfully named the Daniela Block. Why did I do that again?)
Now… let’s see how it looks when you put 40 strips, some background and the tube technique all together using this technique.

Do you love it?  Do you want the pattern? Well! I invite you to subscribe to my eNewsletter and you can have this pattern I call Strip It Tube It for FREE!  Click here to subscribe.
So in this sample we used the 4½” measurement, but The Strip Tube Ruler goes up to 9½”… so you can just imagine the possibilities are endless.
And for more ideas check out these other patterns by Cozy Quilt Designs that use the tube technique with 2½” strips.








Tradewinds
Tradewinds










Intertwined









Transitions










Parallel Universe
Parallel Universe









Lotus Blossom
Lotus Blossom










Paradise Found









Tropics









Festivities









Timber










Multifaceted



Need more inspiration? Come visit our Strip Tubing feature page and meet the baby brother, Strip Tube Junior.
Now if you are still reading this, you get bonus information! On our Strip Tubing feature page is a link to “The Chart”… this handy pdf will tell you how you can use this technique to cut out regular half square triangles!! Sweet stuff. And if you want to make your own designs, it will tell you what size tube to make!
So hey, one more thing… if you like videos, visit our YouTube Channel to see me in action. I debut a Strip Pattern a month… And many of them use the tube technique!
So that’s me and the Strip Tube technique. Hope you love it as much as I do…
I will be giving away one of these wonderful rulers to one lucky winner! To enter please leave a comment telling me your favorite Cozy Quilt Designs pattern. Feel free to use one I mentioned or pictured in this post or maybe you even have a favorite in your own library.

You will have until September 30th (That’s TODAY!) at midnight to comment. All winners will be randomly selected and announced on Moda…The Cutting Table Blog on October 2nd.



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