Since it’s Christmas-tree season, I thought it might be the perfect time to leave a gentle reminder that not all trees like to wear skirts. I live in the Pacific Northwest, surrounded by big, tall majestic trees - so I know this to be true. That’s why I have a tutorial at Sew,Mama,Sew! for “Christmas Tree Pants - because not all trees like to wear skirts“. My tutorial is from 2011 but is of course good year after year. Tree pants never go out of style.
My scrappy version as modeled by Violet Craft.
Blam-O, tree pants!
Sometimes I wonder what it’s like to be one of those artists who paints on a piece of rice. I wonder how much equipment they have to lug around, how many supplies they need, what they use to haul around their goodies. And then I slap myself and think how much I love every piece of equipment and fabric that fills my trunk to the brim for a few glorious days of quilting and sewing with friends. I bet a rice artist doesn’t get to make cool handmade gear for travel, either.
The downside to being a quilter and a sewist is that we have an S ton of stuff to haul. The upside is that we can make really kick-ass things to haul our stuff in and adorn ourselves in. There’s no better way to travel than to travelhandmade. If anyone is headed to Sewtopia in November (or any retreat or communal sewing adventure), there’s a super-fly list of #travelhandmade patterns and tutorials featured on the Sewtopia blog. One of the patterns featured is my ID/Badger Holder:
At work, at play, at anywhere you want someone (or anyone) to know your name. My PDF pattern is available here.
My little ID/Badge Holder pattern was made and spotted in the wild at the Spring Quilt Market in Pittsburgh, PA this last May. Loving all the people who made it and all the yummy fabric combos used. Such a thrill to see all these super-fly, beautiful people wearing the ID/Badge Holders!
I recently found out about a do-something-good quilt making event for the new NICU at Providence Portland Medical Center through my guild (the Portland Modern Quilt Guild), so on the fly I wanted to jump into action and make a quilt. Problem was I didn’t know what to make. So I came up with a simple plan and whipped up an itty bitty quilt. I wanted my quilt to be meaningful and full of effort, but I also wanted it to be quick as well.
Seems like every time there’s a do-something-good quilt making opportunity there’s not a whole lot of time involved, so I thought I’d share my cutting instructions. Patchwork hundreds of fabric pieces together and you snuggle one baby. Share a baby-quilt pattern and hundreds of babies get snuggled. Tiz my hope. It’s not a rocket-science pattern by any means, but hopefully it’ll be a project that others will want to do as well. Fast and yet meaningful, and stitched with love. I came up with the itty bitty quilt, and I also wanted to make fabric gathering a simple task, too. Two 2½” strips of print fabric + one 5″ strip of background fabric = four 8″ finished blocks.
What’s also nice about this pattern is that each block can be alternated in direction so no seams need to be met on the blocks when joining them into rows (and then joining all the rows). Perfect for beginner and young quilters. I think it would be fun for youth groups (any groups, for that matter) to make itty bitty quilts for some nice do-something-good project.
CUTTING FOR EVERY 4 BLOCKS:
From two 2½” strips of print, cut each:
2) 2½”x 8½”
2) 2½” x 4½”
4) 2½” x 2½”
From one 5” strip of white/background:
2) 4½” x 4½”
4) 2½” x 4½”
4) 2½” x 8½”
I mocked up some different size quilt tops and the fabric needed:
4 x 4 grid | 32” square
8) 2½” strips of assorted prints
4) 5” strips of white (⅝ yard)
4 x 5 grid | 32” x 40”
10) 2½” strips of assorted prints
5) 5” strips of white (¾ yard)
4 x 6 grid | 32” x 48”
12) 2½” strips of assorted prints
6) 5” strips of white (⅞ yard)
I have a cutting chart/alternate sizes in PDF format available here. My intention is to provide a free, simple, and meaningful option for anyone who wants to make a do-something-good charity quilt or just make an itty bitty quilt for a teenie weenie person you love.
I bought a new travel-iron, so first my order of business was to make a cozy, protective bag for it. Pretty much the iron was an opportunity to make something cute and useful. There are 18 gazillion patterns and tutorials for box bags, but the tutorial (by Stacy Schlyer) I found most helpful is from the PBS show “Sew It All“. The tutorial is short and to the point, and the illustrations are clear and easy to understand (huge thumbs up to the illustrator!). I read by illustration so this tutorial was perfect for me. I used my own measurements and made a jumbo, super-sized me bag. I measured around the box the iron came in and then tinkered with muslin-ish fabric to yeild a just-the-right-size bag.
I made my outer bag by serendipitously/making-it-up-as-I-went-along into a small quilt top. I then sandwiched it with batting and a muslin backing and machine quilted it. I trimmed it to 16″ x 20″ (and also cut a matching piece of fabric for the liner).
I used a 20″ zipper for the 16″ edge (that I bought at zipit - the best zipper source ever) which gave me lots of room for trimming. Probably overkill, but I always am in need of wiggle room. Always. After some sewing (and un-sewing and re-sewing), I finished my bag. It’s a perfect fit for my travel iron and it’s box. Of note, I LOVE my Hamilton Beach travel iron. It was an impulse buy as I was totally glamored by the shiny sole-plate and the low price (under $20 USD). This iron is so good I’ve been using it at home as an everyday iron this week. My Oliso is jealous.
For everyone who’s asked, here’s the resource info for my bag:
– Robert Kaufman Essex yarn dyed in black
– Hamilton Beach
– Sew It All ep 704
I made an iPhone/iPod holder “necklace” to wear so I can listen to podcasts and music while I sew/FMQ, vacuum, cook (read take-out menus), etc. I often, ok, always, put my phone in my bra. I’m trying to break that habit, at least while I’m sewing. I made an iPhone “necklace” holder complete with pockets for iPhone accessories and for credit cards, cash, keys and punch cards for on the go.
My pattern can be found in the Summer 2014 issue of Better Home’s and Gardens Quilts & More.
NOTE: My pattern was reworked in the magazine article for the iPhone/iPad holder to be more like a “clutch” bag, but my original instructions as a “necklace” were written into a “Ask The Designer” blurb at the end of the article (just look for my mug).
I made one iPhone holder in Violet Craft’s gorgeous Waterfront Park and one in Mo Bedell’s beautiful Full Moon Lagoon. I made these projects a very long time ago, so Google is another option for searching for these beautiful OOP collections.
Lots of awesome projects (and their designers!) in this issue of Quilts & More!
A ways back I made a little iPhone bag slash ID & badge holder for the 2011 Summer issue of Quilts & More. I’ve since revised my pattern and it’s now available in my shop. A superfly little badge holder & wallet PDF sewing pattern for fashionable neckwear.
The BADGE HOLDER is for everyone and great for retreats, guild meetings, kids’ field trips, trade shows, work ID’s and people who like having their chest looked at. The front of the badge holder has a clear vinyl window pocket, and the back has a fabric pocket. Business in the front, party in the back. Vinyl ID window is sourced from a clear vinyl show curtain (available for under $4 USD at stores like IKEA, Target and Fred Meyer).
Big, roomy center for all kinds of little goodies like business cards, hotel key cards, transit passes, credit cards, candy, gum, keys, lipstick, stickers, coffee punch-cards, love notes, coupons, ear buds, tissues, mints, iPhone/cell charger cable, mad money, happy money, drivers license, blood donor card, “I voted” sticker, ICE - in case of emergency card, hair barrettes, rogue gummi bears, work ID card, movie tickets, etc.
Super yummy in all kinds of fabrics, especially fabrics from Cloud9 Fabrics.
My family and I are huge fans of the Olympics. HUGE fans. Especially the Winter Olympics. The Olympics transcend sports and competition, but through sports the world comes together. In peace. In awesomeness. Global conflicts are set aside (for the most part), and people represent countries - not the politicians, or monarchies, or leaders, or dictators, or rebels, or evil doers… but people like you and me — our kids, our siblings, our parents, and our friends. Global happy. I get really irritated with the Internets dogging the Olympics (I’m talking to you AV Club), and I feel bad when the magnitude of the Olympics is just. not. got. Go, happy, go!
When the last Winter O’s were in Vancouver, BC, we drove up there just to be there. No events. Just to be there. My blog post about our trip Vancouver is here. I heart Canada people. Go, Canada, Go!
One of my favorite things about the Vancouver Olympics was the Norwegian Curling team’s uniforms. Pretty much my MOST FAVORITE THING EVER, Olympics or not. And the Norwegians are at it again (and some other teams, too). My head exploded and little bubbles of joy floated out of my skull’s cracks when I eyed this on google images today:
I got all nostalgic thinking about Vancouver, and I how I want to celebrate with fabric, needle and thread again. So for now, I’m revisiting my Norwegian Curling Pants Market Bag project. I heart curling people. Go, curling, go!
In other Olympic awesomeness, this story made my heart swell - and I bet even the anti-olympicite Internets would experience some heart swelling from this, too.
I’m so excited to post that I have a tutorial and guest-blog post at Liberty of London’s craft blog. Liberty of London. That’s so thrilling for me to type, I think I’ll type it a third time. Liberty of London. Holy Coke Zero, I’m all Ja’mie-like super crazy excited over that!
I’ve made a really nifty needlebook based off one of my smaller needlebooks. The Liberty needlbook has a real book feel… like a storybook, but for sewests. A story-time needlebook. You can read my guest-post and see my tutorial here.
And then I got cheeky and decided to mix things up. My friend Elizabeth has passed on many of her scraps to me, and I lovingly use the Elizascraps when ever I can. I think I think up things to make for the sole purpose of using her yummy scraps. Note: the center cat fabric is Cocoland Cats by Kokka which I got from Pink Castle Fabrics.
And then there were more, plus the addition of Robert Kaufman Essex Yarn Dyed linen in Steel and in Olive. I’m mad crushing over these new Essex colors. I also found some seriously yummy sparlke cotton at my local JoAnn’s.
If you make one, please consider submitting your finished project to my Happy Zombie flickr group, as well as tagging it #sewliberty, @happy_zombie and @libertylifestyle if you post on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
- Liberty Craft Blog - Needlebook tutorial and guest-post
- Liberty Craft Blog
- Liberty of London
- Liberty Lifestyle Twitter
- Liberty Lifestyle Instagram
- Tag your fabrics and projects with #sewliberty, @happy_zombie and @libertylifestyle
My ears always perk up when I hear the word kawaii (thank you Gwen Stefani!), and recently my eyes perked up when I read that Pink Castle Fabrics started a Kawaii Fabric Club. Like getting a monthly prescription for a wonderous addiction.
When my bundle of 8 fat eighths came, I had no real plans for the fabric other than for stash building (can I get an amen?). But I did want to use it, too. It’s just to damn cute to put in the cupboard. And then I had the bright idea to make my Small Treat Totes pattern that was in Quilts & More magazine a few years ago.
I often wonder what it would be like to be that really cool person who bakes trays of cookies or barrels of Chex Mix for the holidays. I’m lucky if I can crank out 5 cookies and a leftover bag of Alaska Airlines snack mix. Perfect to fit in the 2″ x 4″ x 4″ tiny tote.
To use a little fabric with big impact, I modified my Treat Totes pattern a little bit, and I used some white solid sparkly cotton fabric from JoAnn’s to complement the kawaii fabric. Here are the cutting measurements for the Tiny Kawaii Tote with solid handles.
Assembly instructions are here at AllPeopleQuilt.com.
Pink Castle Fabrics is generously going to give a Kawaii Fabric Club fat eighth bundle to one lucky winner on my blog. Just leave a comment (what would you put in the tiny tote?) by noon ish PST, Saturday Dec. 14th, 2013. I’ll draw one lucky winner via random.org and Brenda at Pink Castle will send you your bounty of kawaii awesomeness.
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