Crafty Little Things to Sew {Blog Hop and Giveaway}

I am thrilled to be taking my turn on the Crafty Little Things to Sew Blog Hop!! Many, many months ago, I submitted a design to Caroline Critchfield, author of the popular Sew Can She blog, and she accepted it to be in her book. It was totally her baby and as a designer, I had no idea how the finished book would look. I am delighted to say that I love it! It is such a pretty book and the original projects are all written with clear instructions and detailed photographs.

 

 

The idea for my design was born while at a sewing retreat. One of the ladies suffered a rotary cutter injury and nobody had even so much as a band-aid to help her. I thought that it would be great to have a first aid kit for these kinds of emergencies, and of course it had to be cute!  This is the version of the case that appears in the book:

 

 

It is quite simple to make. After the patchwork and quilting, the body of the case is only two pieces. And sewing in the zipper is facilitated by cutting a curve at the corners and notching the zipper tape. The lining is quilted in so the raw edges can be serged or covered with seam binding. At about 4″ x 6″, it is a great little size for keeping close by in your sewing room or when you are sewing on the go.

This is the original version that I made to submit to Caroline. It is very gratifying to see an idea come to life, evolve and then finally appear in print!!

 

 

With 20 fun and easy projects, there is sure to be something you’ll want to make. Here are just a few of them.

 

Giveaway!!!

The book is available now on Amazon (click here), or you can win one from me! Pop on over to my Instagram account, @thesewingchick, and leave me a comment for your chance to win! You can also visit these other bloggers who are also each giving away a copy of the book!


Thank you so much to Caroline for the opportunity to be in her book, and to Lark Publications for a beautiful finished product!

Happy Sewing,

Tessa

Love All Around Block

There is big stuff happening in our country today that a lot of us are not happy about. With all the gloom and doom and hate swirling around, it is important to focus on what is good, loving and kind. My good friend Lee (@maychappell.com) has a great idea to help us do that in what better way than with a quilt! You can read her blog post, here, but the idea is to make blocks throughout the year when you see or feel love, kindness, a helping hand, etc. and by the end of the year, you will have a big beautiful quilt full of hearts and love.

And because Lee is a generous and loving spirit, she has given us a tutorial to get started.

Here is my block, reds and pinks (of course) and neutral background fabrics to show them off. I have decided to quilt my blocks as I go with straight non-parallel lines of varying widths. I used 50wt. Aurifil thread in a light gray.

This is such a fun way to quilt – just start with a few lines criss-crossing each other and then add more where you think you need to.

And then, because I wanted to carry the spirit with me everywhere I go, I made a tiny one to pin to my shirt. This measures barely 2″ square and is just the cutest little pin!! I am thinking about making  more and giving them out to people!!

Thanks for visiting and spread the love!!

Tessa

 

Binge and Stitch

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In anticipation of the Gilmore Girls Revival coming to Netflix on November 25th, I have joined up with some stitching friends to bring you some projects to do during the epic 6-hour marathon. I remember watching the final episode nine years ago and saying to my then 16-year-old daughter, “My life will not be complete if I never find out what happened to Lorelai and Rory.” So, yeah, I’m pretty excited!!

My idea for a project comes from Season 5 when Rory discovers a secret society at Yale University and attends one of their extravagant events. The group is known as the Life and Death Brigade, and their slogan, In Omnia Paratus, which means “ready for anything.”

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I used a simple technique for the stitching – multiple rows of backstitch. It works great for script lettering where the lines vary from thin to thick, just add as many rows of backstitch as you need to fill in the letters. The umbrellas are scraps of some pretty Liberty lawn, kept in place with Wonder Under. I outlined them with more backstitch so they would stand out more, and did an easy chain stitch for the handles.

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I then stretched the linen around an 8×10 artist canvas and hot glued it to the back of the frame. Some pretty vintage ribbon gives it a finished look.

I used Robert Kaufman yarn-dyed linen in “Flax” and stitched with Finca no. 8 perle cotton, color #3319. A #5 crewel needle works great with the perle cotton.

By the way, if you aren’t already a Gilmore Girls watcher, I highly recommend it. It’s a great mother-daughter show or just watch it by yourself. All seven seasons are available on Netflix and if you start now, you just might have time to watch them all before the Revival goes live the day after Thanksgiving. Be sure to have a giant cup of coffee and a stitching project on hand!!

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I have made the design for this available as a pdf download so you don’t have to spend hours pouring over fonts and clip art to come up with “just the right ones.” Please tell me I’m not the only one that does that…

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MORE DETAILS AND PRIZE INFO:

This is a pretty simple stitch along. Each day, one of us will post a simple stitching project. Here is the line up!

Monday, November 14: Lee Chappell Monroe of May Chappell
Tuesday, November 15: Corey Yoder of Coriander Quilts
Wednesday, November 16: Tessa Walker of The Sewing Chick
Thursday, November 17: Sarah Lowry of Stitching & Bacon
Friday, November 18: Elizabeth Dackson of Don’t Call Me Betsy
Saturday, November 19: Lee Chappell Monroe of May Chappell

This is a SUPER casual stitch along! Basically, all the designs are free. We’d love for you to stitch them up while binge watching your favorite episodes or even during the second viewing of the revival. The first viewing will require focus. We are having a little giveaway on Instagram. Every time you use the hashtag #stitchingwithlorelai, you get an entry. You can post anything from choosing your floss to your finished product. Unlimited entries. On December 1, we will randomly choose a winner who will receive a SewLux gift card for $50! Special thanks to Chrissy & Linda for donating this awesome prize!

I hope you enjoyed this post and have fun stitching while you reunite with Lorelai, Rory, Luke, Sookie and all the gang!!

xo, Tessa

 

 

Cultivated Tote Bag

Today’s finished project is made with beautiful fabric courtesy of Art Gallery Fabrics.  The line is designed by Bonnie Christine and is called Cultivate. See more about Bonnie and her creative life on her blog, Going Home to Roost, and follow her on Instagram, @goinghometoroost

 

I love books and am often hauling armfuls of them back and forth to the library and taking piles of them on trips with me. I definitely needed a big, square-ish tote bag to make this easier. Enter a gorgeous stack of Art Gallery Fabric and not only would I have a useful tote, but a stylish one too!!

 

cultivated tote bag

 

The bag measures 15 1/2″ wide (including the binding), 14 1/2″ high and 5″ deep.  I didn’t use a pattern, just decided on the measurements and started cutting. The fabrics are so pretty that I didn’t want to cut them into small squares or pieces.  Basic square patchwork seemed the ideal choice, and I cut them 4.5″ and I used a 3/8″ seam allowance.

 

cultivated tote bag

 

Natural cotton canvas and a layer of quilt batting provided the stability the bag needed.  I also used the canvas for the straps, bottom and facings.  The blue roses print is my favorite and is featured on the sides of the bag.

The side seams are sewn with wrong sides together and then bound with fabric.  The reason for this design decision was to not only add an interesting detail, but because it actually helps the bag maintain its shape.

 

cultivated tote bag detail

 

A good tote bag needs some sort of closure so nothing falls out.  I added a zipper with side tabs – the easiest zipper installation ever!  Extending the end beyond the bag and adding another tab to the end allows it to open up to the full width of the bag (and those zipper tabs look so cute!)

 

cultivated tote bag zipper

 

cultivated tote bag zipper

 

More pretty fabric for the lining and an inside pocket with one of my Spoonflower printed labels.

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If you like this bag, I will be making a pattern for it. I don’t want to be that girl that keeps promising patterns and not delivering, (where is that Austin Bag??) but this one is fairly straightforward and within my capabilities. It will be done.

 

My lovely model here gives you the perspective of the bag’s size. It fits nicely on the shoulder with about a 12″ drop. And isn’t she cute?

 

cultivated tote bag and sophie

 

Thank you so much to Art Gallery Fabrics for making the Cultivated Tote Bag possible. To celebrate National Sewing Month (you knew that right?), they are featuring lots of inspiration on their blog and on Instagram (@ArtGalleryFabrics) where they encourage you to share your projects and tag them #AGFsewingmonth.

 

Thank you for visiting today and have a great weekend!!

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Urban Scandinavian Sewing Book Tour & Giveaway

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Today is my stop on the Urban Scandinavian Sewing Bloggers Book Tour! and I am delighted to be sharing this refreshing new book from Kirstyn Cogan. The tour began last week and runs through Monday, August 31.  I am joining five other talented sewing bloggers who are sharing their projects  and reviews of the book. Urban Scandinavian Sewing is available now at C&T Publishing and Amazon.

Book Tour Schedule:

WEEK OF AUGUST 17

Nicole from Modern Handcraft

Hilary from Young Texan Mama

Nicole from Snips Snippets

WEEK OF AUGUST 24

Jennie from Clover & Violet

Tessa from The Sewing Chick (that’s me!)

Alli from More Please Thank You

 

I have always admired the Scandinavian style for its light colors, simple lines and organic nature. With a Scandinavian heritage, Kirstyn exemplifies the style beautifully in her projects for the home, fashion and baby.The instructions are well written and every photograph is a breath of fresh air.

Naturally, I wanted to make one of the quilty projects, and chose the Quilted Bed Scarf. Measuring 80″ long, it fits across up to a queen size bed nicely, but I knew from the beginning that I would hang it on the wall. I have a pesky, tall narrow wall in my living room that was crying out for something handmade!

 

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I have recently redecorated the living room (oh, let’s be real, I am still in the process of redecorating the living room) in a soft, coastal color scheme. The natural and white linens paired with a blue/green cotton evoke the elegant yet rustic, sand and sea feel I am going for.

 

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All the quilting is done with a 30-weight natural thread that blends well with the linen as well as the blue fabric. I spaced the rows apart at random widths to give it a bit more interest. I find the best way to keep my rows straight is to use the edge of my presser foot as a guide and move the needle position to get varying widths.

 

linen_and_blue_wall_hanging_detail

 

The accent hand stitching is done with three strands of DMC cotton floss, color #3766. To get the stitches straight, I first drew lines with a Frixion pen – oh, I do love the Frixion pen!! Below is a little extra detail, just for fun!

 

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Wood buttons add to the organic feel…

 

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The back is a fun print – an older Dena Designs fabric that I just adore!  Nobody can see it, but I know it is there and that makes me happy!

 

back-detail

 

It’s not easy getting a good photo of something so long and thin, so I had to take it outside…

 

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And, if I change my mind, it can still go on the bed…

 

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Did I say something about a giveaway?? 

As part of the book tour, Kirstyn is giving away copy of her book and a FQ bundle of her new fabric line, Urban Scandinavian, that is shipping to fabric stores near you next month, to two lucky winners! Enter below in the rafflecopter giveaway, open through midnight, August 30.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to also visit Kirstyn’s blog, http://www.kirstyncogan.com/blog/ for more inspiration and a round up of all the bloggers on the tour!

Thanks to Kirstyn for her beautiful book and thanks for stopping by,

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Hourglass Baby Quilt – A Finished Quilt

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THE QUILT PROFILE:

finished size: 36″ x 45″

80 hourglass blocks, an 8 x 10 grid of 4 1/2″ squares made from ten prints and Bella cotton in Bleached White

quilted with an allover freehand combination of flowers and leaves

tutorial at Cluck Cluck Sew (with variations)

all fabrics 100% cotton

batting is Warm and Natural Cotton

pieced with Aurifil 50wt. cotton thread and quilted with Superior Sew Fine 50wt. poly thread

 

hourglass baby quilt - the sewing chick

 

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed making this quilt knowing who it was going to be gifted to. From choosing the fabrics to cutting, sewing and quilting was a true act of love, and I thought about little baby Anna and her sweet mama the whole time!

 

hourglass baby quilt - the sewing chick

 

The quilting design was chosen to lend a softness to the angular piecing, and flowers are so sweet and girly!  I used this tutorial as a reference, but of course mine doesn’t look exactly like hers. This may be a new favorite design for me – the leaves are perfect to fill in the areas that are too small to add another flower. I have found my Tiara quilting machine likes Superior’s Sew Fine 50wt. poly thread the best. I have tried to use cotton thread, but the speed of the machine leads to too much breakage. There was not one broken thread in the quilting of this!

 

hourglass baby quilt - the sewing chick

 

The back is one of the many colors from Studio M’s Quattro collection (Studio M is Moda’s in-house design team) and the binding is Art Gallery Squared Elements in a lovely raspberry to complement the pinks in the hourglass blocks. As per usual, the binding is machine stitched in the ditch from the front of the quilt, catching the edge on the back.

 

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Is there anything sweeter than pink for a baby girl? Combining various shades of pink with gray and white gives the traditional block a modern feel, which is my favorite style!!

 

hourglass baby quilt - the sewing chick

 

Folded up and on its way to its new home!

 

Hourglass Baby Quilt - the Sewing Chick

 

Linking up today with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts. Thanks so much for stopping by!!

Happy Sewing,

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A Finished Quilt – Jumbler

Jumbler quilt finished

 

 

Hello friends!!

Today I am sharing a finished quilt! Oh it is so gratifying to be able to say that! I made the top a couple of months ago and wrote a tutorial on the technique I used (see it HERE).

To complete it, I used some backing fabric that has been in my stash for several years now. It is called Casey Scroll and is from one of Jennifer Paganelli’s earlier lines, Bell Bottoms. It is to this day, one of my favorite fabrics ever!! I have it in several colorways, but this was my last big piece. It is hard to see it go, but ultimately that is what fabric is for, right?!?

jumbler quilt finished with back

 

The quilt is busy with all the various prints, so an allover medium stipple was my quilting of choice. It gives it a nice texture without competing with the fabrics.

 

jumbler quilt finished folded

 

The binding is a Lotta Jansdotter check from her “Echo” line. It is machine stitched from the front, catching the back in the stitches – my favorite method!

 

jumbler quilt finished binding

 

 

Measuring 50″ x 60″, it is the perfect size for a throw quilt. We love to have a stack of them next to the sofa so everyone can have their own when watching tv or a movie.

 

jumbler quilt on sofa

 

You can see I didn’t quite have enough of the Casey Scroll and added some leftover fabric from the front to make the back big enough. I love doing this as it enables me to use a smaller piece of a favorite fabric that I already have in my stash.

 

jumbler quilt outside back

 

I has some good helpers with today’s photo shoot. Well, one of them didn’t help much…

 

Sophie with Jumbler quilt

 

 

Oliver

 

 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and as always,

Happy Sewing!

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Hourglass Baby Quilt — In Progress

My sewing of late has been interrupted by summer travels and some much needed redecorating of my house. A trip to the Ponderosa Quilt Retreat with some dear friends was just what I needed to refresh my creativity and get some sewing done.

First on the agenda was a baby quilt for a new grand-niece. It’s been many years since there has been a baby in the family – this is the first of the next generation – and it is the first since I have been quilting. Naturally, I was very excited to be making baby Anna her very own quilt.

Wanting a style that was classic, simple and pretty, I chose an hourglass design and used Cluck Cluck Sew’s tutorial for the inspiration and the measurements.

hour glass baby quilt

 

I increased the size by adding one more row and one more column – a total of 8 x 10 or 80 squares that finish at 4 1/2″ each. I used ten different fabrics and cut 8 squares of each, plus 80 white squares to create the blocks.

hour glass baby quilt

 

 

I spread out the grays and darker pinks as best I could, but didn’t get too strict about the placement. It is after all a baby quilt and not a quilt show exhibit!!  I am thrilled I finally used the pink elephants from my stash and don’t even get me started on the Heather Ross strawberries!!

hour glass baby quilt

 

 

For the back, I am using this gray Moda print. This may be the first time I purchased backing fabric before I made the quilt top!

hourglass baby quilt

 

Little Anna is two weeks old already so I better get this quilted up and in the mail. I hope she likes it!!

 

Happy Sewing,

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Zipper Pouch Tutorial

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It seems the most unsatisfactory thing about zipper pouches is those pesky corners and ill-fitting linings. This method eliminates both!! The zipper is not actually sewn into the side seam – the tab encases the ends of the zipper. Then the sides are sewn with the lining in place – there’s no stuffing the lining inside the pouch. Seam binding covers the raw edges for a neat finish.

Before you start, you will need:

  • fabric for outside of pouch – one fat quarter or assorted scraps at least 10″ wide
  • fabric for lining – one fat quarter or scraps at least 10″ x 8″
  • interfacing – 10″ x 16″
  • nylon coil zipper 11″ or longer
  • basic sewing supplies

interfacing

Preparation:

Cut all of the following 7 ¼” x 9½”:

  • (2) outer pouch fabric ∗
  • (2) lining fabric
  • (4) interfacing

Cut two squares 2″ x 2″ for the zipper tabs

For seam binding, cut from lining fabric a strip 1 1/8″ x 18″

Fuse interfacing to the outer pouch pieces and the lining pieces.

 

∗FOR THE PATCHWORK VERSION, cut the following and sew together with ¼” seam allowances. Then fuse the interfacing to the pieced section.

patchwork layout

Now you are ready to sew. I thought a picture-tutorial would be useful for this so that you can see every step:

 

ATTACHING THE ZIPPER:

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SEWING THE POUCH:

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BEFORE THE NEXT STEP, OPEN UP THE ZIPPER ABOUT ONE INCH. THIS ENSURES THAT YOU CAN OPEN THE ZIPPER AFTER SEWING THE SIDE SEAMS.  ALSO, CHECK TO BE SURE THAT YOUR PATCHWORK SEAMS ALIGN IN THE SIDE SEAMS.

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BINDING THE RAW EDGES:

Cut the seam binding pieces from the 1 1/8″ x 18″ strip you cut from the lining fabric.

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Turn the pouch right side out. Push the corners out with your fingers and gently roll seams to press. You are done!!

 

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I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial, feel free to contact me with any questions!

Happy Sewing,

Tessa

Friday Feature & a Free Download

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It is my pleasure to introduce you to Emily Taylor, a fabric designer at Riley Blake Fabrics and creator of the new PatternJam.com. Take it away, Emily…

Thank you so much, Tessa, for giving me the opportunity to introduce myself & my new company to your readers!  I’ve had the privelege of designing quilt fabric for Riley Blake for about 6 years now~ I’ve designed over a dozen fabric collections for them and I absolutely LOVE my job!  My most recent fabric collection, Floribella, arrived in stores in March (it’s featured in the MacKenzie quilt below).  I have two more collections coming out later this year~ Chatsworth and Zombie Love.  Here’s a sneak peak of those collections…

Emily Taylor Design~ Upcoming Fabric Collections

So, I really love beautiful fabric, I love quilts and I love sewing.  I’m also a bit of an entrepreneur!  I’m excite to share with you my new startup company and I’m pretty confident that anyone who has dabbled in sewing or quilting is going to be interested to learn about PatternJam.com.  Who out there among us has NOT made a mistake when choosing fabric for a project at one time or another?    — crickets–    That’s what I thought!  All of us who have sewn a pattern of any kind have discovered that the real trick in the creative process is being able to visualize what our finished project will look like with the fabric we’ve chosen, right?

It’s this universal problem that I set out to tackle when I created PatternJam.com.  On PatternJam.com, you can design a great quilt pattern or select a designer pattern and then audition or preview new & upcoming fabric from the major manufacturers in that pattern!  No more guessing or assuming what your project will look like, because with PatternJam.com you can SEE what it will look like!

The best thing about PatternJam.com is that it is FREE to use and it’s really simple…

How PatternJam Works

It’s amazing the difference fabric makes in a pattern!  Here is one of my favorite quilt patterns on PatternJam, called the WhereAbouts Quilt:

Whereabouts with watermark

Whereabouts Pattern on PatternJam.com

Now, if you need a little incentive to check out PatternJam.com for yourself,  the pattern featured above is a FREE download!  Click here to go there now:  Whereabouts Pattern

After you’ve had a chance to play with PatternJam.com a bit, I would love your feedback about how I can make PatternJam a better tool for all of us!  I am launching version 2 of PatternJam.com within a couple of weeks with a brand-new interface and new features– so now is the time to let me know what you’d like to see on the website.   I hope that you’ll share your suggestions with me at [email protected].

 

Happy sewing to all my quilting pals out there… Emily Taylor

 Emily Taylor

Thanks so much for sharing about your talents and endeavors here today, Emily! I am definitely signing up at PatternJam.com and looking forward to the release of Chatsworth – so pretty!!

Happy Weekend to all,

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