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

Binge and Stitch

stitchingwithlorelai300

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.”

inomniaparatus

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.

inomniaparatusdetail

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!!

inomniaparatuscoffee

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…

pdflink

 

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

 

 

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,

signature

 

 

 

Zipper Pouch Tutorial

banner

 

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:

014edit

019edit

021edit

023edit

025edit

SEWING THE POUCH:

026edit

029edit

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.

030edit

031edit

 

BINDING THE RAW EDGES:

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

033edit

034edit

 

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

 

054edit

 

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

Happy Sewing,

Tessa

Liberty Zipper Pouch

I don’t make  zipper pouches. It’s not that I don’t like them – I do! So cute and so useful for toting and storing all the bits and bobs I am so good at acquiring. The problem for me is that I haven’t been able to find a pattern that I like because I have issues with the corners! I want a nice square corner with no smooshing of the zipper and boxed corners at the bottom. There has to be a way to get what I want without being too difficult or fiddly (I despise fiddly!), so I studied some ready made bags and then made this:

liberty-zipper-pouch.jpg

liberty-zipper-pouch-open.jpg

liberty-zipper-pouch-top.jpg

liberty-zipper-pouch-tab.jpg

liberty-zipper-pouch-corner

 

I pretty much love it! The secret is zipper tabs and seam binding for a perfect zipper insertion and square corners.  It measures about 7″ x 9″, big enough to stash my stuff, yet small enough to tuck into a purse.

Liberty of London Tana lawn has been a favorite of mine since I made dresses for my girls when they were small, but the cost can leave you in tears! I bought a fat sixteenth bundle from Duckadilly.com that has 25 prints in a rainbow of colors for a reasonable price (just don’t do the math to see what you are paying per yard). It is perfect for small projects like this and I believe that a little bit of Liberty goes a long way!!

The linen in Robert Kaufmann Essex in natural which I think pairs beautifully with the Liberty prints.

Oh, and the little zipper pull? I had the charm and then blinged it up a little with some silver beads and a Swarovski crystal. This was totally fiddly, but I think worth it!

zipper-pull.jpg

I thought I might write up a pattern or tutorial for the pouch, but then I thought that the sewing world does not need one more zipper pouch tutorial!  It’s such a great method, though and I would be happy to if there is interest, just leave me a comment.

♥UPDATE: THANK YOU FOR YOUR POSITIVE RESPONSES AND CHEERING ME ON! A TUTORIAL IS IN THE WORKS AND SCHEDULED FOR NEXT WEEK!! ♥

Hope you are having a great week and are fitting in some creative time!

Happy Sewing,

signature

 

Cat Weave Mini Quilt

Not long ago, I bought a $2 book at the Goodwill book store called Baby Patchwork (Gianna Valli Berti; Sterling Publishing Co.) It was written twenty years ago, but I could see that the projects could easily be adapted to today’s styles. One that I especially liked was this cat quilt. With all the crazy cat ladies I know (you know who you are!), I was sure the opportunity to make it would present itself!

 

cats

 

As luck would have it, I got a swap partner at the Stash Bash who is just one of those cat ladies and she asked for a mini quilt! Score!!

Unfortunately, when I opened up the book, I discovered that it doesn’t give the instructions for making the cat quilt, just a picture! Huh? So I had to figure it out, which was fairly easy except for determining how to avoid partial seams. One cat may have had his head separated from his body!

 

cat weave mini quilt

 

I decided not to have any partial cats falling off the sides. Floating cat heads are not pretty.

I get the biggest kick that this is a cat quilt made from cat fabric. It is Cats from the Henley Studio for Makower uk. Quilted with straight, vertical lines, it measures 21″ square.

 

cat weave mini quilt with back

 

More cats on the back and the stripe is perfect for the binding. The background is white Kona cotton, Robert Kaufman Fabrics.

It was super fun to make and my partner loved it. A win-win!! I would be happy to write a tutorial if anyone is interested!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Up Friday and Confessions of a Fabric Addict – Whoop Whoop!

 

Thanks so much for visiting and Happy Sewing,

signature