Sweet Heart Mini Quilt

For Valentine’s Day I designed this little heart mini quilt. Size it up or down for a wall hanging, pillow cover, baby quilt or whatever you feel like!  To make…

Fabric Covered Buttons

I’ve been making a lot of covered buttons lately, to turn into adoption fundraiser earrings. Today I wanted to share with you a basic tutorial on how to make fabric…

Patchwork Scarf Tutorial

Hello, and welcome to visitors of the 12 Gifts of Christmas blog hop! Twelve sewing and quilting bloggers have joined together to share handmade holiday gift tutorials to get you…

Swap With Us! Low Volume Plus Blocks

I thought it was time to host another craft swap! This time, we will be swapping low volume plus blocks.

These quilt blocks are easy and relaxing to sew, especially if you pre-cut your fabrics! Beginners can sew this blocks, and you can choose to sew and swap as many blocks as you’d like. You’ll get back the same number in return. I’m planning to use mine to make a queen-sized bed quilt, so I’m going to make a lot.

Sign up for the swap here!

LowVolumePlusSwap

About the Block

The block is 11 3/4″ unfinished, and it uses charm squares for the corners. The background is made of scrappy low volume fabrics … mostly prints, and a few white, cream or grey solids are fine. Make sure that the background and the plus fabrics read very differently when you lay them out.

The plus features a bright, single-color print, such as this pink herringbone! Any color of the rainbow, including dark neutrals like blacks, dark greys, and browns are okay for the center.

All fabrics should be quilt-shop quality, modern FUN fabrics! (Robert Kaufman, Moda, FreeSpirit, Etc.).

I estimate that you’ll  need this many blocks for each size quilt:

Mini: 9, 12 or 16 blocks

Crib: 24 blocks

Lap: 30 blocks

Twin: 48 blocks

Full: 56 blocks

Queen: 72 blocks

King: 81 blocks
Low volume plus quilt

Photo Credit: Rachel Wooden Spoon on Flickr

I’ve gathered some finished quilts for block inspiration! Check out this rainbow-licious version by Rachel. She used some great pops of color! If you join this swap, you’re most likely to get a rainbow of plus blocks back.

Photo Credit: Wombat Quilts

Imagine a whole quilt with dark blue or black plus blocks!

Photo Credit The Sewing Chick

Look at how warm and cozy this block looks in yellows, oranges and pinks!

Dimensions for low volume charm plus block

Photo Credit: Rachel Wooden Spoon on Flickr

See the rest of Rachel’s blocks and finished quilt HERE!

Here’s how to make the block:

Low Volume Fabric:

- 4 squares 5″ x 5″

- 4 squares 2 3/4″

Plus Fabric (Please Stick to One-Color Prints!):

- 2 squares 2 3/4″

- 1 rectangle 7 1/4″ x 2 3/4″

Step One: Join two of the 2 3/4″ backgrounds to the 2 3/4″ color blocks. Press the seams open.

Step Two: Join the strip you’ve just sewn to the 5″ backgrounds. Press the seams open.

Step Three: Sew the remaining 2 3/4″ backgrounds to the long colored strip. Press the seams open.

Step Four: Join the three rows to make a 11 3/4″ unfinished block. Press the seams open.

If you have to repeat a low volume fabric in the same block, that’s fine! Just make sure all big squares are different and all the small squares are different, and that no matching prints touch. By the time we’ve swapped, everyone will have a good variety of low volume fabrics in their finished quilt!

 

Who wants to swap blocks with us?

1. You will get back the same amount of blocks that you mail in. You can make any number of blocks, but I’m going to recommend sets of 12 blocks (12, 24, 36, or 48)!

2. Ship your blocks to me by May 10th (Mother’s Day), 2015. This will allow you to sew about 1 block a week if you want to swap 12, two blocks for 24, etc. Once you sign up, I’ll e-mail you my address!

3. All blocks must come from a SMOKE FREE home.

4. You must include return postage. Please send a self addressed stamped envelope; it’s much easier for me.

5. We’re going to keep this swap to the U.S. and Canada only! Sorry international friends. This will be my first swap in awhile, and I don’t want to overwhelm myself.

6. Please mail your blocks in a gallon zip-sealed plastic bag. Please put a note inside of a gallon bag with:

A. Your Name
B. Your Mailing Address
C. Your Email
D. How many blocks you sent.
E. Any special requests you have for the blocks you get back. (“I hate orange.” “Anything is great!” “No florals please.” “Masculine prints only.” “Love pink!”) I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to adhere to this, but I’ll try!

7. We’ll share our blocks on Instagram with the hashtag #lowvolumeplusswap

8. Also, please spread the word and invite your friends, because the more participation we get, the more variety of blocks you’ll receive!

 

Sign up for the swap here! Signing up is not a commitment to send blocks; it is the list that I will send my address to.

Winners + Free Craftsy eGuides!

Hello Craft Buds readers! Some quick housekeeping today, and then a few free eGuides from our friends at Craftsy that we know you’ll love:

The winner of the Just For You book giveaway is . . .
#54 Jan W.

The winner of the Paper Pieced Modern book giveaway is . . .
#62 Anita!

 

free Craftsy eGuides

Free eGuides from Craftsy!

Delicious Doughnut Recipes You Can Make at Home

6+ Stash-Busting Paper Craft Projects

Understanding Exposure for Better Photos Now: Beginner Photography Tutorials

‘Paper Pieced Modern’ Blog Hop + Giveaway!

We are so excited to be sharing a guest post from our friend Amy Garro, who blogs at 13 Spools. Amy is an incredibly talented quilter, and she’s also a great mom who inspires us with her honest and real writing!

Blog Hop copy

Amy is here to tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind one of the patterns from the book. She’s also sharing some sneak peeks of photos you won’t see in the book’s pages. Let’s learn more about her quilt, Faceted Jewels I, from the soon-to-be-released book Paper Pieced Modern:

Faceted Jewels I flat shot 1a

{Faceted Jewels I, photo by C&T Publishing}

Faceted Jewels I is actually a simplified version of another quilt in the book, pictured here:

Faceted Jewels II flat shot

{Faceted Jewels II, photo by C&T Publishing} I actually designed the purple quilt first. I had more than one variation of this block drawn up, and wanted to use them both!

Faceted Jewels I 7a

The largest pieces in the blue version are actually white (background) pieces in the purple version. It’s fun to see how different a pattern can look with varying color and fabric placement. I placed the fabrics in a way to make the quilt look like it is sparkling. I explain how to create this look in the book with 3 different values of fabrics. Prints from Tula Pink and Parson Gray work together marvelously in this version of project.

Faceted Jewels I 3a

In comparison to the purple version (which is the most difficult pattern in the book), this version does have fewer pieces per block, and significantly fewer blocks in the entire quilt. I really tried to give a variety of projects in this book – some quilts lots of negative space, and some with none at all, simple blocks accessible to even the beginning quilter, and complex blocks for the more advanced quilter. This project has an intermediate-level block, but all of the negative space gives you a reprieve from tons of piecing. But don’t worry, if you’ve never paper pieced before, I offer step-by-step instructions for how to paper piece! I also go through all the tricky pieces you might run into and how to handle them.

Faceted Jewels I 1b

I was a bit stumped on the quilting for this one. Luckily, it was one I sent to Emily of Emerson Quilting. I also sent her links to a number of different quilts that I liked, and she used it as a jumping point to do her own thing. She really does the most fabulous linear quilting! I had her use some Quilter’s Dream cotton batting in deluxe loft. I must say, it’s one of my softest quilts to touch. It really is amazing how big of a difference the batting brand and loft can make.

Faceted Jewels I flat shot 2a

In addition to this pattern, my book has another 12 paper-pieced quilt patterns. No matter what your skill level, you’ll be able to find something that suits you! Here’s a sneak peek of tomorrow’s quilts:

Jumping Jacks 6

Check out the other links on the hop for more chances to win copies of the book, and to see all of the quilts in the book!

Feb 5th – Lindsay @ Lindsay Sews

Feb 6th – Charlotte @ Displacement Activity

Feb 7th – Molli @ Molli Sparkles

Feb 8th – Elise @ Lovelea Designs

Feb 9th – Amy guest posting @ C&T Publishing

Feb 10th – Darcie @ The Seam Allowance

Feb 11th – Christa @ Christa Quilts

Feb 12th – Amy guest posting @ Craft Buds

Feb 13th – Amy @ 13 Spools

Feb 14th – Chelsea @ Patch the Giraffe

Feb 15th – Amy @ During Quiet Time

Feb 16th – Wrap-up post back at 13 Spools

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Giveaway!

Would you like to win a copy of Amy’s new book, Paper Pieced Modern (Stash Books)? Of course you would! Leave a comment on this post telling us if you’ve ever tried paper piecing or if you’d like to learn. One random winner will be chosen a week from the date of this post. (If outside U.S., winner will receive an e-book rather than printed book.

 

The winner is . . .

#62 Anita!

 

Hollywood Scarf from “Just For You” + Giveaway!

Hello! In the spirit of Craft Book Month, I’m here today to show off a recent finish from the lovely sewing book from some of my favorite bloggers.

The book is “Just for You: Selfish Sewing Projects from Your Favorite Sew Can She Bloggers: 24 Simply Stylish Projects” by Caroline Fairbanks-Critchfield and Sarah Markos (Stash Books). If you haven’t seen this book, it’s a beautiful collection of sewing projects that you can make for YOU! There are clothing patterns and accessory projects including tops, skirts, bags and more. Each project comes with tutorial-style photos and pattern pieces so you can easily follow along and treat yo’ self!

DSC_0561

The project I made is the “Hollywood Scarf” by Venus Perez of the blog Suburbia Soup. (Lots of great contributors to this book!) The original project was designed in pretty Anna Maria Horner rayon, but I chose some coordinating AMH voile prints from my stash. The scarf is assembled with a pretty hood that is attached in a really clever way. This makes the whole project reversible, so you can pick two totally different prints. I love how the outer hood is designed to feature both fabrics.

DSC_0571

The lovely model in these photos is Ella, my friend Veronica’s daughter. Let me tell you… this girl is a pro! She frequently poses for Veronica’s blog, sewVery, and I’m a little jealous of the awesome handmade wardrobe she’s collected over the years. :)

DSC_0597

Let’s say you’re not feeling the hood one day. No problem! Just flip it down and toss the scarf around your shoulders for a more simple look. If the wind picks up, you can pull the hood up to save yourself from that windblown look. Each section of the hood and scarf are topstitched, which gives this project a nice finish that will hold up well as you wash and wear it.

DSC_0580

From cutting out the pattern pieces to sewing up the last stitch, I think this project came together in less than 2 hours. I appreciate that the projects in “Just For You” are quick to sew, because it’s easier to carve out that time to sew something for yourself if you know you can finish it in the same day.

I had the pleasure of meeting the “Just For You” authors, Caroline and Sarah, at a quilting event a little over a year ago, and they are just lovely. They are hosting a sew along all this year with the book where everyone wins!

Just For Your Sewlebrity Sew Along

Thank you Caroline and Sarah for inviting me to be part of the Sewlebrity Sewalong!
Join in and enter your project
and you might be featured at SewCanShe!

Giveaway!

Enter the giveaway to win a copy of “Just For You” by commenting on this post with something you like to do for yourself, when you get a little bit of free time. :) One winner will be chosen at random a week from the date of this post. (U.S. winner will receive a hard copy and non-U.S. winner an eBook.)

Gift Wrap 101: 5 Ways to Tie a Bow

Do you struggle with creative gift wrapping ideas? When time is limited, I often resort to reusing the same gift bags that have been passed back and forth between family members for the last several years. But when I have a little extra time, I like to wrap gifts in kraft paper with handmade touches like stamps, baker’s twine and decorative ribbon.

Tying the perfect bow is not difficult, but it does take the right technique. Our friends at HairBow Center were kind enough to share this infographic with tips for tying ribbons on Christmas gifts and holiday presents. Learn how to make 5 different types of gift wrap bows, from the puffy bow to the classic present bow!

How To Tie the Perfect Holiday Bow (Infographic)

How to Tie the Perfect Holiday Bow Infographic Presented By HairBow Center

 

Thanks for that expert tutorial! Now we’d love to hear about your favorite way to wrap holiday gifts. Do you use store-bought wrapping paper, gift bags or your own handmade gift wrap?

Cultural Fusion Quilts: Q&A with Sujata Shah + Giveaway!

It’s been a little while since Craft Book Month, but throughout the year, we like to keep in touch with authors who are celebrating new releases! This time, we are here with Sujata Shah, author of the new book Cultural Fusion Quilts: A Melting Pot of Piecing Traditions 15 Free-Form Block Projects (C&T Publishing).

Let’s take a look at how Sujata came to write this inspiring book, and learn more about what she’s got up her sleeve next! Don’t forget to leave a comment at the end for your chance to win a copy of her new book.

Sujata Shah

Sujata, can you tell us the story of how your decided to take your ideas on world-culture-inspired quilts and write a book?

Up until 2002, I made quilts with traditional blocks. They were precise, perfect and different than what I knew as quilts. Back in India we called them Godharis. When I saw the quilts of Gee’s bend, my focus shifted from making every quilt perfect to “just make quilts.” For the first time, I connected my roots and quilting. The Quilts of Gee’s Bend were simple, utilitarian quilts made for everyday life, from everyday materials, the same as Godharis from India. I discovered a connection between the two cultures.

During the past 29 years of life in this country, I have had many opportunities to live in different cities and meet people from around the world. Many trips to import stores and arts and crafts fairs also led to my fascinations with distant places. It is easy to find the same geometric patterns in woven baskets as well as in prints and patterns seen in textiles and quilts. Basic traditional quilt blocks are not limited to quilts, but they are also found on walls and windows of forts and palaces in India. Although, there are several books written based on the influence of specific cultures on quilting, my ideas changed from time to time with each piece of inspiration. Objects that had nothing to do with my background or heritage would remind me of places and things from home.

My process became more about the shapes, forms and textures than fabric and traditional patterns. Although not new, I felt there was a place for this concept in modern quilting.

Cultural Fusion Quilts

How does your childhood growing up in India influence your quilting designs today? What about your family’s current home in Pennsylvania?

It is next to impossible to escape colors when you are in India. If you were born and raised there like me, colors are going to stay with you for rest of your life. At least that is how I see it. Whether it is the kite festival with thousands of colorful kites in the sky or the festival of colors celebrated in early spring, or the festival of lights to celebrate the new year with bright and colorful new clothes, Indians know how to live in colors. Whether it was six yards of beautiful print in a sari or the streamers made from fabrics over the walkway to a temple, woven fabrics or beautiful silks, colors and prints were part of my daily life. I think it has everything to do with how I design my quilts. I generally shy away from defining myself as one kind of quilter and move from scrap quilts to simple and bold quilts. But it would be very difficult to limit myself with choices. I love experimenting with colors. I find the best color inspirations and accidental surprises from the floor of my messy sewing room.

My current home in Pennsylvania is painted with neutral tones. I believe that the grey tones gives the best background for my colorful quilts. I have quilts hanging in every room, hallway and nook of the house. The oldest quilts and a few textiles from India adorn the walls of my home. I also like to decorate with arts and crafts from India and some from around the world. Some are bought from import chain stores. I surround myself with things that inspire me. Sometimes they are as simple as rocks, pebbles and plants.

Cultural Fusion Quilts

What do you love about piecing a quilt from free-form techniques?

With traditional quilting, most of the times during the design process, I start seeing the final result way before the quilt is made. Once that happens, I lose interest in finishing that project.

I am usually drawn to textures, patterns, imperfections and irregularities of handmade crafts. As much as I like traditional quilts, the accuracy required in cutting and piecing a quilt top is unappealing. After seeing the quilts of Gee’s bend and experimenting with free-form blocks, every step of the quilt-making process has been exciting. To me, free-form blocks are like ever-changing colors of sunrise or sunset. They keep me engaged till the last stitch.

Cultural Fusion Quilts

What was the most surprising or challenging part of the book-writing process for you? The most rewarding part?

Well, I realized writing a book is not as easy as making the quilts. I could come up with 10 different ideas while I was working on one quilt. To break down every step that comes naturally to you is a very difficult process. To learn the technical aspect of writing a book was hard. Having said that, I knew I had something different to offer to the quilting world. I wanted my blog readers and other quilters to feel same excitement as I was feeling when making the quilts.

For a girl who never wanted to sew, who learned English as fourth language in school, publishing a book at age 51 is a great sense of accomplishment. Hearing all the quilters from around the world and how excited they are to read the book makes up for all those challenging times.

 

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Tuesday December 2 Sujata Shah @ C&T Publishing
Wednesday December 3 LeeAnn Decker @ Nifty Quilts
Thursday December 4 Victoria Gertenbach @ The Silly Boodilly
Friday December 5 Rachaeldaisy @ Blue Mountain Daisy
Saturday December 6 Lori Dejarnett @ Humble Quilts
Sunday December 7 Casey York @ The Studiolo
Monday December 8 Malka Dubrawsky @ A Stitch in Dye
Tuesday December 9 Sherri Lynn Wood @ daintytime
Wednesday December10 Bonnie Hunter @ Quiltville’s Quips and Snips
Thursday December 11 Jake Finch @ Generation Q
Friday December 12 Jan Burgwinkle @ Be*mused
Saturday December 13 Janet Treen @ Quiltsalott
Sunday December 14 Lindsay Conner @ Craft Buds

Giveaway!

Would you like to win a copy of the book Cultural Fusion Quilts? For your chance to win, leave a comment on this post and tell us what country or world culture inspires you, or just somewhere you dream of visiting! We’ll pick a winner one week from the date of this post. (U.S. winner will receive a hard copy of the book and non-U.S. winner will receive an e-book.) Good luck!

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