Thursday, December 29, 2011

BOM block #4...

Here is Block #4 for Jackie"s Blogger of the Month Quilt Along . This one was designed by Pat Sloan and is made up of Kaffe Fassett scraps and yet again more polka dots...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

riley on marketing...

Out of the mouths of babes... Interesting take on gender marketing in the world of toys... Sometimes I wish craft related items marketed to adult women were not so often made pink or purple... What do you think?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

super fast and reversible christmas tree skirt tutorial...

This post is dedicated to all sewers who leave things to the last minute. You can whip this reversible Chistmas tree skirt up super fast.... I made mine in less than an afternoon.

Bought this great retro fabric called "Merry Moderns" by Alexander Henry over a year ago. I used about 3 yards of 2 coordinating prints. You need about a 1 yard or less of a colored solid for the trim. 
Cut a yard off each print and then cut this yard in half lengthwise. Sew these together to make a strip from each print and then add them to the 2 yard  pieces to make 2 larger squares. OR save yourself the hassle of piecing and use 2 yards of 2 home dec fabrics that are already 60" wide.To piece accurately, press a 1/2" seam allowance back and then match the pattern from the right side. Use regular gift wrapping tape to stabilize the fabric from the right side instead of pins. To sew just flip the fabric open and sew in the pressed crease of the seam allowance. You get a perfect pattern match every time!

Fold the 2 squares into quarters. Using a ruler and marking pen in the hole used for hanging (you could also use a string, pin and pen) pivot to mark a quarter circle. Cut off the waste.

To keep the skirt very drapey: instead of using batting, use spray adhesive to attach white flannel to one of the printed layers. 

Restack and fold everything into quarters again. Using a compass mark and cut a hole for the trunk of the tree. In my case, I cut a 5" radius to end up with a 10" hole when opened up.

Using a ruler cut a straight line from the outer edge to the inner opening.

Using a glass round the 4 corners at the top and bottom.

Cut 1" strips from the solid join them and then press them in half. (If I were making this again I might cut them 1 1/4" inch or so as the bias in the fabric made the binding narrow a bit as I pressed it).

Sandwich the solid binding in between the fabric layers leaving a 5" tail. Pin everything together with right sides together for the prints and all the raw edges matching.

Along one of the straight edges and leaving a 5" tail, sew with a 1/4" seam allowance in one continuous seam until you end up back to the beginning. Stop leaving a 6" opening.

The solid fabric looks like piping between the 2 prints. Turn the whole thing through the unsewn opening to the right side and then give the edge a quick press.

Join the solid fabric ends neatly, fold back the seam allowances and then sew the opening closed from the right side. You are finished!

I chose not to quilt the skirt but you can. I may tie mine off with white embroidery floss in little bows after the holidays. Am not sure if it needs it. To those who celebrate the holiday... MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

bloggers BOM Block #3...

Finally sewed the 3rd block of the Bloggers Quilt Along! This one was designed by Stephanie Dunphy from Loft Creations. I've been asked if the colliding dots in all my blocks bother me. I did toy with the idea of fussy cutting so that the patterns matched perfectly but decided against doing so mainly because that level of attention to detail would kill all the fun of making this quilt. Am taking my cue from past decades of quilters who never worried about such things...

Friday, December 2, 2011

what's up next: lilys quilts fresh sewing day and small blog meet...

Lynne of Lilys Quilts has this generous philosophy of introducing small bloggers to a larger audience and in general encouraging people to check out each others projects. Have grabbed her buttons and will introduce myself as a new quilter by saying that I generally like a mix of clean graphic traditional blocks made up in bright and/or modern fabrics. Inspired by this glorious reproduction of a vintage quilt by Laurie Simpson that appeared in Quiltmania magazine and by Kelly at Pinkadot Quilts one of my upcoming projects is going to be a Lone Star. It will be far simpler than the one above and loosely based on the palette in this almost obscenely cheerful fabric. The trick will be sneaking in the time to sew over the next few weeks...