Welcome! If you are interested in seeing what I'm up to in between blog posts, head on over to my Instagram page where I regularly load photos of what I'm working on. You can also find me on Flickr and of course feel free to wander around the blog. Thank you kindly for taking the time to visit!

3.30.2014

easy mitered corner napkins


There are a lot of good online tutorials for making mitered corner napkins.  In the past my go-to was this one over at prudentbaby.  I've used it several times for napkins and even these pretty AMH baby blankets and had no issues.
When the ohsobeautiful Charlie Harper fabric came out I knew I wanted some yardage but also knew it wasn't fabric I was going to quilt with.  What to make what to make....pillowcase?  Towel?  Napkins?

Napkins!

I could just see a table set simply with those charming birds...it had to be.  Not to disappoint those of you who know I love to make multiples, I ended up making 16 napkins and in the process figured out way to make mitered corners just a tad bit simpler than the other tutes I've seen.  Most tutes require lots of folding and and pressing and marking...some of which I found unnecessary.  I figured I would share my simpler methods with you here today.

It's been a loooong time since I've posted a tutorial here so hopefully I'm not too rusty at my instruction!

I started with about a 17 inch square of fabric and ended up with around a 15.5 inch napkin.  The size you want to start with depends on what size you want your finished napkin to be and the measurement of your first fold (step 1) and your miter (step 3).  So the math would be...

(measurement of your fold in step 1) multiplied by  2
plus
(measurement of your finished miter in step 3) multiplied by 2
plus
the size you want your finished napkin to be
equals
the size of the square you want to start with

What?  Yeah, if you aren't into that math..I'd just start with an 18 inch square and roll with it.

Step 1.  Turn and press all edges of your fabric in towards the wrong side about 1/4 of an inch.
You don't have to be crazy accurate, but consistent is good.
The corners will overlap and that is A-OK!

Step 2.  Take a corner and fold it right sides together, matching your recently pressed 1/4 inch edges.
Pin. Repeat for all your corners.
Just another picture of Step 2.

Step 3. Using a ruler and a pencil mark a line perpendicular from the fold you just created to the matched edge you just pinned.  *Be sure you mark perpendicular to the fold - if you mark perpendicular to the ironed edged you won't get a miter*
You will mark the line where it measures 7/8 of an inch from top to bottom.
Using this measurement results in about a 5/8 inch hem.

You can play with the math to get different widths for your specific mitering needs.
Longer line = wider hem.
6/8 line gets you a 1/2 inch hem
7/8 line gets you a 5/8 inch hem
1 inch line gets you a 3/4 inch hem

Step 4.  Sew on top of the lines you drew, taking care to make sure the 1/4 ironed edges are even.  If they are offset your miter will not be perfect.  Gasp!  It's really ok if it's a tad off.  I know I'm not inspecting napkins when enjoying dinner.  I like to back stitch at the beginnings and ends for security.
Trim the little ends off to about 1/8 of an inch.  That is just my preference, a little bigger I think would still be ok, but too much and you won't be able to get a nice point on your turned corner.  

Step 6.  Turn your miter out and use a turning tool to get nice points and press your work.

Step 7. Top stitch about 1/8 of an inch around your pressed mitered hem to hold it all in place.

Step 8.  Admire your handiwork!  You did it!




3.03.2014

new tricks AKA I bought a lot of yarn

I finally got bit by the knitting bug.  It started innocently enough.  About a year ago a friend made a crochet  bobble clutch and I loved it - had to make it.  Bought yarn, bought the pattern, and it sat.  For a year it sat, until late in 2013 I finally decided to give it a go.
It turned out pretty cute!  I liked working with the yarn...it was growing on me.  Add to that I kept seeing sock after amazing sock on Instagram and was really getting the itch to try knitting.  After Christmas my Mom and I went to Knitorious in St. Louis and I found another pretty yarn to try.  I made another bobble clutch (slightly modified the pattern).
Now I was ready to try knitting.  I am lucky in that my Mom is a very experienced knitter and a patient teacher.  She set me up and I started knitting a washcloth pattern from my dear friends Aunt.  I probably started over 10 times or more on that first washcloth but eventually found a rhythm and made a handful. I moved on to a slightly more involved pattern so I could learn yarn overs and purling.  Then I tried the same pattern again only bigger.
This project gave me the confidence boost I needed to start a real project!  I had seen the most beautiful scarf on Instagram and set about recreating it.  It's called the Great Divide Shawl.
I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and already on to new projects!  Knitting is kind of addictive...just one more row you find your self saying.  It's also kinda zen in that repetitive motion kinda way.  The fabric budget is going to take a hit now that I want all the yarn too! 

I'm keeping track of my projects on Ravelry - I'm splendorfalls if you are on Ravelry stop by!


2.28.2014

garden lattice

Just a quick post to share my latest quilt finish.  
The pattern is Garden Lattice by Cindy Lammon and can be found in her book Simply Modern Christmas
The fabric is Briar Rose by Heather Ross. 
The pattern is easy and quick to piece and I think it is one that lets the fabric shine!
I chose to use scraps for the back and a coordinating solid.
Quilting is the same as the quilt in the book, a simple crosshatch which I love.

It was a challenge to photography this quilt as I only had a few hours from when I finished it to when it went to its new home.  These were the best pictures I could get on a windy, dreary, snow covered day.  Winter has been winter this year in the Midwest; I am definitely looking forward to some warmer days!

2.25.2014

handmade holiday

I'm a little (a lot?) late at posting Christmas gifts but better late than never I suppose.  For 2013 I naively thought I might save money making handmade gifts using my stash and creating unique items for my family and friends.  Turns out I spent more than I would have if I'd just bought a gift after all the notions and specialty supplies I needed.  Live and learn!  I don't regret gifting handmade, but I'll have more realistic expectations of cost next time around!

Zippered pouches!  My go-to pattern is Perfect Zip Bags by OhFransson.  I get teased a lot for making multiples.  It really is a bit of a sickness.  In my defense, I will say that sewing something more than once really helps me hone my skills.  How's that for rationalization?

Dopp Kits!  Used this tutorial as a guide.  Outside fabric is waxed canvas, inside is backpack cloth, pulls are leather.  A note if you are planning on sewing a bunch with waxed canvas...the wax does gum up your sewing machine.  I had waxy residue in my hook race and especially on my feed dogs.  I had to go in with a toothpick to get it all out.  Oh and some people have never heard of the term Dopp Kit so I got curious as to why they are called Dopp Kits...wikipedia to the rescue!

Some simple pillow cases in on of my all time favorite Amy Butler fabrics.

Union Jack paper pieced pillows!  I enjoyed making these, though I didn't know the Union flag was such an odd shape.  Rather long and skinny.  I had to make custom pillow forms to fit.  Tried an invisible zipper for the first time with these...wasn't too scary!

Flirting the Issue skirt for my niece.  I love this pattern.  It's so easy to whip up.  
Perfect for a beginner garment!

I used the tree skirt pattern from Simply Modern Christmas to make this quick project.  I've made two projects from Cindy's book now; I highly recommend it!

Hope you had a great 2013 Holiday Season!
I feel like I should start sewing now for 2014...