Category Archives: Quilting and Sewing

Fabric Favorites 2009

So, over at True Up, there’s been a giveaway running for those who submit their lists of favorite fabrics in 2009.  For some reason I didn’t feel like I had anything intelligent to add to the discussion until AFTER I started reading everyone’s submissions.  While I totally missed the contest, after reading the lists of others, I just have to chime in for the fun of it.

So here goes….

Favorite collection of 2009:
This is a tough one for me.  I  have two.  The first is Rouenneries, by French General for Moda.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this line of fabric.  For the first time in my life, I wanted a piece of EVERY print in a collection.  I already raved about it here.

My second favorite fabric line of the year was Whimsy by Pillow &  Maxfield for Michael Miller Fabrics.  I bought a ton of it in the pink colorway for my baby’s blanket, and designed a quilt for my niece in the emerald blue colorway.  This was just so vibrant, I loved it.  And did you know they just released the large whimsy prints in a new colorway at the beginning of January?  In aqua and chocolate brown?  Hello!  But I digress, for this is 2010, and I’m talking about 2009.

whimsy quilt

Favorite new designer:  I’d have to say Kaari Meng/French General.  I’ve been watching her for a couple of years now, and was super excited to see her first fabric line.

Favorite Solid fabrics:  Kona Cottons by Robert Kaufman.  Love the variety.  Just wish I could find a local shop that carried a good selection of them.

Favorite new trend in quilting:  Ok, some might think this is on the edge, and to some it might be old, but to me it’s new.  Selvage quilting.  You can learn about it here.  I’ve always wished I knew what to do with the cute selvages when I cut them off, and now I wish I had them all back!  I’m collecting mine for some fun after I’ve got a good stash.  I want to make a spiderweb quilt like this one.  At least I discovered this in time for the neatest selvages ever, again from French General.  I LOVE the little design on each one.

Rouenneries selvage

Favorite colors:  I’ve been on this one for a few years now, but I’d still have to say aqua, white, and red.  Oh, how I love these colors together!  Most of my house is painted a shade of aqua.  I never get tired of it.  And if you want to see an adorable blog in all these colors, check out Camille Roskelley’s blog.  You’ll be happy if you do.

red, aqua and white fabric

Favorite go-to fabrics:  Polka dots.  I’m loving them as much today as when I first fell in love with them.

polka dot fabrics

Favorite holiday fabric (that I didn’t buy ANY of):  Spooktacular by Sanae for Moda.  What was I thinking?  Oh yeah, I had a newborn baby then.  I guess that’s a good excuse.

Favorite out-of-the-ordinary collection:  Authentic by Sweetwater.   I was really drawn to bolts of fabric with dictionary type pages printed on them.  I liked how unusual it was.

Favorite random print that I just loved:  Flower Power stripe in Heron blue by Lakehouse.  I went on a huge hunt to find some of this fabric.  Can’t wait to use it!

flower power by lakehouse

Favorite new quilt pattern that made me catch my breath:  Cotton Way’s Life’s Journey (which I haven’t bought yet, but really want to).  I saw it first on True Up’s post here.

Ok, I’ll stop there.  I can’t believe how much I found to love of the 2009 fabrics, even with how out of the loop I felt due to adding baby #8 to my life.  I’m sure 2010 will be just as wonderful!

Jennifer

Faith Sings Quilt

Well, I finished my first quilt for 2010.  I am calling it my Faith Sings quilt.

bird applique quilt

I like how it turned out.  It was one of those projects that sort of evolved as I went along.

I couldn’t find a pattern that I wanted to cut the background fabric for, so I decided to just make a quilt with it alone, and added some borders.

Then I decided to use a little free pattern I’d photocopied at a local quilt shop for a branch, two birds and some leaves.

bird applique quilt

Once I got going on that path, I remembered the quote I’d put on my Christmas cards for 2008, and decided to embroider it onto the quilt.  I lengthened the branch so there would be room, and embroidered it in brown.

Faith is the bird that feels the light embroidery

I love, love, love this quote.  “Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.”
It was sort of my quote for 2009.  Many times the dawn felt dark, but we tried to sing.  I didn’t sing as much as I should have, but we pressed forward.

At the bottom corner, I embroidered this:

"sing on" embroidered on quilt

Okay, so I realize that it should have been finished in 2009.  I tried, I really tried.  It just didn’t happen, so instead it’s the first completed quilt of 2010.  And I still love the quote, so it’s fine with me.

"Faith is the bird" quilt

Originally I thought this quilt would be for my baby, but with once the embroidery was done I decided it’s mine instead.  If I’d planned for it to be mine, it probably wouldn’t be pink and green, but I like it anyway.

I used a soft minky stripe on the back.  YUM!

back of quilt

Hooray!  One project done, countless to go!  (Could you imagine how bleak life would be without lots of projects to look forward to?)

applique birds on branch

Hope that you’re feeling the light and singing, even if the dawn still feels dark!  Have a great day.

Jennifer

10 Minute Scarf

I discovered something amazing the other day, something I’d never heard of before (but probably should have) and which just opened up a world of possibilities in my brain.

It’s called elastic thread.  I was able to purchase it at a little fabric store in town.  It came on a spool of 30 yards for $1.15.  You can find it with the elastic in your store.  I like it when I can find something I like this much for so little.

Thanks to this tutorial from Hope Studios, I learned how to use it to make a scarf in 10 minutes.

I’m not kidding you.  Ten minutes.  Two seams.

Here’s what you do.  You need elastic thread (I only found it in black and white), matching regular thread, and material.  Your fabric needs to be something that won’t fray or unravel since you won’t be finishing the edges.

I bought this black stretchy fabric that has a lace-like pattern cut all over it.  In the tutorial they used knit fabric.  I liked this better.

The big key is length, because the elastic thread makes it half as long when you’re finished.  I bought everything that was left on the bolt, which was 1 2/3 yards (60 inches).  The first scarf I made with that length was too short.  It now belongs to my 11 year old daughter.  I’ve since made one that was twice as long (I cut 2 lengths and sewed them together end to end for 120 inches in length) and one that was 1 1/2 times that long (90 inches).  I liked both of them.  So, basically you need at least two yards of fabric, but I would probably go for 2 1/2 or 3.

Cut a strip of fabric that is 2 1/2 yards long by 8 or 10 inches wide.  I’ve tried both 10 inches and 8 inches wide and they were both really cute.  (You’ll be able to make several of these scarves, but that’s a good thing because you’ll be so excited that you’ll want to make one for all your friends!)  From my fabric I was able to make 5 scarves.  Not bad for a $10.00 investment.

After you cut your fabric (or piece a couple of strips together if you need to), take one end of your strip, and make a straight cut into the fabric up the middle for about 16 inches.  Do this on each end of the fabric.  This will make kind of a tail on the scarf.

Now for the elastic thread.  You’ll need to wind it onto the bobbin by hand, and then put it in your machine.  Use regular thread on the top.

Now, working from one end of the fabric, pick one of your little tails and start sewing about 1.5 inches in from the cut you made.  BE SURE TO BACK STITCH AT THE BEGINNING AND END OF YOUR SEAM!!!!

Sew down the entire length of your scarf.  See how the elastic thread makes it gather as you sew?

Then you just do the same thing down the other half of the scarf!  Trim your thread and you’re finished.  That’s it.  I also made a long skinny one (4 inches wide) with my last piece of cloth.   It’s really cute as well.

Now you can do what Jennifer at Hope Studios said to do:  “Prance around all giddy-like with your new scarf.”

Super cute, super fun, super cheap, and super fast!  I love it!

Seriously, go make one.  As in, right now.

Hopeful Homemaker

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