Noel Paper-Pieced Quilt Block

Welcome to visitors from the 12 Days of Christmas Sampler Quilt Along. For those of you who don’t know, Craft Buds is one of 12 stops on a fun blog…

Christmas Ornaments from Wool Sweater

Anyone else out there have a pile of old wool sweaters they don’t wear anymore? I was looking through a box of sweaters and found this sweater that I remember…

Christmas Cookie Favorites

Every holiday season I pull out my stash of recipes that for some reason, I only use at Christmas time. I think it makes these cookies feel extra special. What…

Last-Minute Christmas Gifts for Kids and Adults

Reindeer Food: Kid’s Craft Still looking for a couple last-minute Christmas gift ideas? First up is this “Reindeer Food” craft project for kids. I’ve included a free Christmas printable. You…

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!

Custom Stamps and Stationery with Expressionery

Occasionally Lindsay and I are asked if we’d like to receive products from a company, and we’re usually pretty picky about choosing things that we think our audience would like that we’d buy ourselves. When Expressionery contacted us with an offer to send some of their products I looked at their website for about 3 seconds before saying YES! We received a package containing their handmade stamps, notepads, and thank you cards.

01 Expressionary

Expressionery has a great assortment of stamps, labels, cards and more that can be customized and personalized with a names, photos, and/or addresses. The designs are all fresh and modern and the website is clear and easy to use.

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Everything we received was nicely packaged and great quality. They would make perfect gifts for you or for someone you love! The stamps have a see through base so you can line it up perfectly. They’re also self inking so you can stamp away!

04 Expressionary

We used our stamps to make gift labels, great to include with your handmade items this Christmas. I also really like their custom address stamps, and that you can preview your stamp before you order it.

02 Expressionary

Through Dec. 18 you can use the code use the code SNOWBERRY30 to receive 30% off your order, and get free shipping on orders over $50!

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We recieved these products for free at no obligation. This post was not required by Expressionery and all opinions are our own.

 

Free! Cadet Cap Pattern

I’m guest posting over at the Britex Fabric blog with a pattern and instructions for a child’s cadet style cap! Use this link to head over and check it out. While you’re there, check out the amazing fabrics they carry. The hat below is made from a beautiful herringbone olive and espresso wool from Britex. They’ll be having a 30% off sale in-store for Black Friday and 30% off online for Cyber Monday.

hat options5

The instructions are at the Britex blog and you can download the free cadet cap pattern here from Craftsy. You’ll have to create a free Craftsy account to access the pattern. The free version comes in child size 5 only, but I plan on releasing a paid version with multiple sizes and printable instruction sheets soon. The finished base of the free hat measures 20 7/8″ and fits a head circumference (measured from the middle of the forehead to the widest part of the back of the skull) of 20 1/4″, the average size of a 5 year old.

final compilation

Sewing Projects: Basement Craft Room Makeover

Did you see yesterday’s Big Reveal of my Basement Craft Room Makeover? Here’s a closer look at . . .

The Projects

Because the painting took 2-3 weeks, working on it here and there, my sewing room was a disaster area for much of October. I decided to keep the sewing projects quick and simple, sticking to fabric projects that would help me conceal clutter!

Basement Craft Room Makeover

Fabric Cover for Wire Shelves

Inspired by this pin, I sewed a fabric cover for my open wire shelving, which I used to store large cuts of fabric like minky, quilt backings, and home decor. Although I didn’t follow a pattern, I basically fitted the 108″-wide white muslin fabric around the shelves like I was working on a dress form. I pinned and stitched a bit here and there.

The trim is, of course, Amy Butler Lotus Wall Flower in Cherry. I will never fall out of love with this print!

Basement Craft Room Makeover

Ironing Board Cover

Another easy sewing project was my new ironing board cover! The fabric is Premier Prints Arrow Macon Apache Blue, and I used a couple layers of quilt batting to make it padded. No fancy sewing here. I just cut a piece of fabric about 3 to 4 inches larger than my ironing board and stitched a casing around it for elastic. Then I realized I didn’t have any elastic on hand, so I used baker’s twine! Not ideal, but it only bunches a little at the bottom, and I’m so happy with the fun new print that I hardly notice!

Wall Swag of Fabric Strips

For the fabric wall art above, I ripped fabric strips about 1-2″ wide from selvage to selvage. I then cut them into equal lengths and tied them onto another piece of baker’s twine. I used fabrics from my other projects, plus added one of my favorite prints from Carol Friedlander, a simple grey crosshatch.

I think this swag of fabric strips would be a fun accent at a wedding, bridal shower, or baby’s room. Although I’m definitely a minimalist when it comes to home decor (I’m WAY more Target than Pier 1), this little bit of wall art makes me feel like there’s a party in my sewing room!

Basement Craft Room Makeover

Window Curtains

Since the basement is our main entrance into the house, I wanted to make sure I had some good window coverings for the door window. Oftentimes, I’m up late sewing, and it feels kind of weird to have the lights on for anyone to see. I made two simple curtain panels and hung a cafe curtain rod on the door, so it’s easy to slide them to the side and let the daylight in. The fabric is Joel Dewberry’s Modern Meadow Herringbone in Pond.

Basement Craft Room Makeover

Cutting Table Skirt

Since it’s my favorite, I used more of Amy Butler’s Wall Flower print to make a simple table skirt for my cutting table, which is my husband’s old computer desk (from IKEA). After measuring the fabric and hemming each of the sides, I pinned the fabric to table with clear push pins. Since the bottom of the desk is open, it’s great for hiding my rolling plastic storage tubs, filled with more fabric.

 

Basement Craft Room Makeover

Long Drapes + Chair Pillow

To help break up the grey wall and cover another small window, I opted for a single long curtain panel in my favorite colors! For the drapes, I sewed with Premier Prints (an awesome provider of modern and simple home decor fabrics) Suzani Twill in Powder Blue. I want this fabric everywhere.

Since I’m prone to backaches working at the sewing machine (and holding a newborn when I’m not sewing or working), I stitched up a quick pillow cover for lumbar support! This fabric is also a home decor option from Premier Prints called Towers in Coral and White.

Basement Craft Room Makeover

Cover a Card Table in Fabric

Do you have an ugly card table around the house? I did! It was pea green with rips in the top, and I was inspired by this pin to recover the top. I used the rest of the Coral Towers fabric, and it was a lot easier than I expected! If you want a surface that’s easy to clean, you can cover your fabric in vinyl. I think I’ll just try this out and see how it goes. It’ll be great to have this extra table to pull out for an extra workspace.

Basement Craft Room Makeover

Fabric Ruler Sling

This is one of my favorite projects, and it was SO EASY! Inspired by this pin, I used a set of double curtain rod hangers and a long dowel rod (cut in half). I drilled the hardware into the side of the desk to create my little fabric sling for quilting rulers (I’ve collected quite a few), and I love how this keeps my cutting table clean and neat.

Basement Craft Room Makeover

I’m not naturally a person who tidies up after sewing, but having this fabric sling here motivates me to do so. I have another wall pocket I used to hang up my rotary cutters, which is pictured above.

Fabric-Covered Diaper Box

Would you believe this used to be a diaper box? I made two of these boxes and blogged a quick tutorial here. This is probably my second favorite project, right behind the ruler sling!

The fabric is all from Fabric.com, and I used White Burlap and Amy Butler Lotus Full Moon Polka Dot.

Basement Craft Room Makeover

The Sewing . . . Nursery?

See that’s little pop of color in the sewing room? This was my solution to my biggest sewing challenge . . . keeping my baby boy happy and entertained while I prep some projects to sew during nap time! If he’s really interested in a toy, I can sometimes even sew a small project like a pillow cover while he’s crawling around the foam floor. He’s quickly getting across the room to the ironing station (so I keep the iron covered and in my burlap storage box now, when not in use) and found the kitty litter box, so I can’t get into any projects that are TOO involved.

I love how the room arrangement allows me to keep a close eye on him whether I’m sewing or cutting fabric.

Basement Craft Room Makeover

Fun Floor Pillows

When planning a little corner of the room for Elliot, I knew I wanted to sew something with Ann Kelle’s Super Kids fabric. It’s adorable! I stitched up a simple pillow form in muslin, then boxed the corners. I sewed the pillow cover in the same size, but made an envelope-style pillow back so I can wash it.

For the yellow pillow, I used this floor pillow tutorial from Living with Punks and the Yellow Suzani Twill fabric.

The third patchwork pillow is from the Pleated Boxes Pillow Sew Along. Sometimes it’s nice to get out old sewing projects, which have been in a closet for years, and remember them again!

Basement Craft Room Makeover

Cover a Roll-Up Window Shade in Fabric

For Elliot’s play area, I didn’t want any long drapes that he could pull on, so I followed this super easy tutorial to cover a roll-up shade in fabric. I even pulled out the hot glue gun! So easy. This is the Joel Dewberry Herringbone print again.

Under the window, I pinned up a felt flag banner I’d stitched up for a craft show several years ago. The other side of the banners says “Lindsay Sews,” but I chose the blank side for a nice little pop of color.

Thanks for checking out my Basement Craft Room Makeover! Here’s Part 1 of this post, in which I talk about painting the wood paneling and setting up the space.

Disclaimer: I received free fabric from Fabric.com for all of these projects, but was not otherwise compensated. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

The BIG Reveal! Basement Craft Room Makeover

It’s here! It’s finally time to reveal my BIG Basement Craft Room Makeover!

(This is post 1 of 2. See post 2 here.)

Do you remember the BEFORE pictures that I posted last month? Here’s a reminder.

Those wood-paneled walls made a cluttered craft area seem more cramped.

With a little paint and some help from Fabric.com, this room has a FRESH new look!

(I’ll be back tomorrow to share more about the actual sewing projects, but here’s a brief overview.)

After: Basement Craft Room Makeover

Ta-da! Isn’t that better?

Let’s recap this basement craft room makeover!

The Walls

To cover the walls, I envisioned a few options. Since we’re renting our home and don’t own these walls, I thought covering them in fabric might be an option. Either making some loose and billowy muslin drapes or using starch to stick the fabric to the walls like a removable wallpaper. (I found instructions on Pinterest.)

The reasons I opted against the fabric were A) I worried about drapes collecting cat hair, fabric lint and threads, and B) I worried about them covering our vents and being a fire hazard this winter. Bummer. So I researched what it would take to cover these faux wood paneled walls in paint. I hemmed and hawed over the decision for several weeks, and with our landlord’s blessing, I starting priming the walls.
Paint Wood Paneling

I bought 4 cans of Zinsser Cover Stain Primer, and used almost all of it. Two coats on all the walls with special attention to the cracks, and they looked so good I almost considered leaving them primed white. I also primed a big part of the ceiling, because the drop-down vent cover and a pole in the middle of the room was covered in paneling.

I painted three walls with Sherwin Williams HGTV Home in a light grey, and left the ceiling and one accent wall (near the stairs) primed white. I think this will be my favorite spot to set up photo shoots!

Basement Craft Room Makeover

Here’s my new view from the sewing desk! Much brighter, cleaner and more organized. I feel like I actually want to be in the my sewing space, which is a huge improvement!

Basement Craft Room Makeover

I hope this post inspires you (as my new sewing room now inspires me) that you don’t need a lot of money to transform a room in your home! I used all of the furniture and antiques that I already had, and spiffed them up with fabric to make them work in this space!

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I estimate that the paint, primer and brushes cost me a total of $138, and most of the projects (aside from the wire shelving cover) require 2 yards of less of fabric.

Basement Craft Room Makeover
In fact, here’s a wall that’s just screaming for some more fabric! This will be my next area to tackle, as far as adding some bright pops of color. I used to have my fat quarters folded neatly in this cabinet, but I realized that I am just too busy to re-fold my fabrics after I take them out to consider them for a project. So into the color-sorted bins they go! I do like to keep my favorite pre-cuts out on the step ladder or on my big quilt ladder, changing them out from time to time.

DSC_0088

I’m really in love with my workstation, which is an L-shaped desk I got on Craigslist a couple years ago for $30 paired with the IKEA desk turned cutting table. I put up some clipboards on the wall that I plan to use to keep W.I.P.s like blocks and fabric swatches off my desk, yet in plain sight.

Fabric.com Design Wall

The Fabric

You can check out my Pinterest board to see direct links to all of the fabrics I used in this space. One thing I really enjoy about shopping at Fabric.com is the design wall feature, which lets you save all of your favorites to one screen so you can picture them all today!

Disclaimer: I received free fabric from Fabric.com for all of these projects, but was not otherwise compensated. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Thanks for checking out my Craft Room Makeover!

Wanna see details of the sewing and fabric projects I made for the space? Check them out here!

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