Today, I’m excited to share a project I made from a brand new Craftsy class called Colorful Patchwork Bags & Baskets! It’s a sturdy patchwork basket that can be used to hold a variety of things, and I think I’ve decided I’m claiming it for my sewing room.
Colorful Patchwork Bags & Baskets (affiliate link) is a taught by Craftsy instructor Caroline Fairbanks-Critchfield, who you know from her popular website and newsletter, Sew Can She. I had the chance to meet Caroline a few years ago at QuiltCon, and she is totally awesome. She’s smart and creative, and very passionate about teaching quick and easy projects that you can make for yourself, as well as sharing the creative work of others.
The class itself focuses on three types of projects, all made using Caroline’s secret weapon: gridded fusible interfacing. By fusing patchwork squares of any size (seriously… 2″ to 10″ squares… whatever is in your stash!), you can make patchwork panels and turn them into a 1) basket, 2) tote bag or 3) zipper pouch. My first project was the basket, but I’m going to have to try the cute tote bag next!
Aside from the gridded fusible interfacing, I used a square of Peltex sturdy sew-in interfacing on the bottom and Pellon Thermolam fusible interfacing on all sides. Instead of making fabric handles, I substituted my own canvas and leather handles salvaged from a thrifted tote.
The basket has these really cute corners which fold out and then over on two of the sides, giving you a peel of 9-10 different fabrics at once, so you can really have fun with your patchwork! Use all of your scraps… mix it up. I had fun picking out some of my favorite fabrics, like Essex linen and those Cotton + Steel apples, and mixing them with my go-to scraps and some neutrals I had on hand. Oh… the bottom is patchwork, too!
Want to learn more? Head over and check out the video to learn a little more about Caroline’s Craftsy class! You’ll learn a lot about interfacing, drafting a custom bag pattern, and customizing your project to any size, from a teeny tiny zipper pouch to a super large beach tote or basket!
My take on the class: It’s great for beginners and perfect for someone who has time to make a small project here and there, but may not want to tackle a whole quilt. You probably have many of these materials in your stash, so what have you got to lose?!
Congrats to Caroline on this new class. I hope you get to check it out! Caroline has provided a special link so you can get the class for 50% off, and best of all, this deal never expires!
Check out the rest of the projects in the blog hop here!
Welcome to our stop on the blog tour for the new book Sew Adorkable by Samarra Khaja (Stash Books). Here’s a peek at a project I made from the book… but more on that in a minute!
Sew Adorkable is a sewing book that’s truly like nothing you’ve ever seen. From fast and fun projects for your home to things to wear and clever quilts, each sewing pattern is infused with author Samarra’s signatures style and humor. One of my favorite projects is the Candy Dots quilt! So cute and clever!
The Braille Alphabet quilt is another favorite of mine. I really enjoy Samarra’s color pairings here! Check out a video trailer of the book here.
I decided to make the TRAWRzers!, a cute project from the beginning of the book (pictured above), for my little boy. With Halloween coming up, I thought it could double as an dino costume that’s easy to make and fun to wear!
By using the templates from the book (there three kinds of spikes!) and some of my son’s own pants, this was a super quick project to sew up while watching TV. And paired with a dino T-shirt, I think we’re ready for trick-or-treating!
If you have a good sense of humor and you love to sew, I highly recommend this book! There is a wide range of projects, from wearables to home decor and quilts, with plenty of options for beginners.
Would you like to win a copy of Samarra’s book Sew Adorkable? To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post telling us something you love that may be considered nerdy, geeky or even embarrassing. We’ll pick one random winner at the close of the blog tour (Oct. 26) to win a copy of the book. Good luck!
Congrats to our winner, Teri!
One book per winner. Open internationally, however if winner lives outside of the U.S., they will receive a promo code to purchase the ebook version free of charge. U.S. winner will receive a hard copy.
Have you heard all about The Sewing Party yet? It’s a really fun online sewing conference on November 8, and today you can enter to WIN A FREE TICKET ($40 value, 5 winners)!
Read more to learn all about The Sewing Party and how you can attend more than 30 classes during this super fun event!
The Sewing Party is the first ever online-all-day DIY event in history.
On November 8, 2014, thousands of DIY-ers will gather for a fun-filled day of sewing and crafting classes taught online by leading bloggers and educational experts. It’s all about connecting, crafting and creating.
Attendees will have access to more than 30 online classes available on the day of the event and for an additional 90 days. There is truly something for everyone! Classes include home décor, fashion sewing, quilting and upcycling, crafting, costume design, techniques for turning your craft into an entrepreneurial venture, and more!
So who’s putting on this party?
Some of the biggest names in the industry are behind this super fun day- take a look!
This video sums up what The Sewing Party is all about!
Get your Tickets:
Space is limited and likely to fill up fast. Tickets are just $40, and “The Sewing Party” participants can attend classes; chat with participants from across the country; interact with top bloggers and educational experts who are teaching; and explore the latest crafting and sewing tips, techniques and products in our marketplace.
** This year The Sewing Party is open to US residents only. They hope to expand in the future.**
** As a gift for you… if you go ahead and register between between July 15 and July 31 you’ll receive a free $20 t-shirt! Just be sure to use the promo code: LETSPARTY when you register. You’ll receive a follow-up email requesting size info and all that jazz.
So how about that GIVEAWAY?
How would you like to win a free ticket to The Sewing Party? Craft Buds has 5 free tickets to give away. Just enter via the Rafflecopter form below!
(U.S. only please.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Winners will be announced Monday, July 28th!
To stay on top of the details, be sure to follow The Sewing Party on social media!
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors, and a great summer hat can help keep you cool. Goorin Bros. has a new poolside collection of summer hats, and although I had a really hard time choosing, I chose this beautiful chocolate brown straw hat with red accent as my favorite.
The hat is the called “Mrs. Davis” and although this style is not available on their website, there are several comparable styles of floppy hats like the Mrs. Perfecta and Sun Kissed. I also found some really pretty cloche hats (think The Great Gatsby) and fascinators that, frankly, I’m not sure I could pull off. But they are adorable, nonetheless!
This brown sun hat comes with a pretty red trim and a women’s Goorin Bros. bronze hat pin. The great thing about this hat is that the cap is fitted, so you can measure specifically for the recipient to get a great fitting hat that won’t blow away in the wind.
This hat was a gift for my mother, and I decided to dress it up for her with a pretty fabric flower to coordinate with the ribbon. To make the flower, I used the Accuquilt GO! Baby fabric cutter and a red seersucker twist fabric print from True Blue by Ana Davis for Blend Fabrics.
I tried out the flower die pictured, but ended up switching to the 5″ circles die instead. I then folded 6 fabric circles in the same way I did in this Pretty Petals Pillow tutorial, stitched them together and pinned to the hat ribbon with a safety pin. It was so simple!
If you’re looking for a summer hat, check out the poolside collection from Goorin Bros., and perhaps you can even win one today!
The Poolside Collection from Goorin Bros. on Vimeo.
This is a sponsored post from Goorin Bros. I received a compensation for this post, but all opinion are my own.
Would you like win a summer hat from Goorin Bros.? Enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter form, and we’ll choose one lucky winner on Sunday to receive their choice of a FREE Goorin Brothers hat (men’s and women’s styles available) from the poolside collection.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Be sure to check out the current 50% sale on Goorin Bros. hats! Good luck!
A couple months ago I was ironing some pieces for a quilt. The best place for me to set up our iron has the plug on my left and I iron with my right hand. I’m constantly trying to get the cord out of the way so I don’t accidentally iron and burn up the cord. I needed a break from ironing so I checked my e-mail and had literally just received an e-mail asking if I’d like to try out a Panasonic Cordless Iron. My answer was YES!
I’ve had the iron for awhile now and have been able to give it a good test run. I will definitely be using this iron now to replace my old one! It comes in a pretty carrying case with handle that has worked well just for carrying it around the house. It would be especially great for someone taking it to quilting or sewing groups. There’s also a charging base with a retractable cord. The iron has a lot of great features. One of my favorites is that the water tank is detachable so I can just take the tank over to the sink and fill it up. No more trying to pour water into a hot iron! The water tank also has a lid to seal it shut.
There are 3 steam settings to choose from; off, low or high. The steam also works vertically so you can use it to steam a hanging garment. Just push the steam button! I tried to take a photo but it turns out it’s difficult to steam a shirt and take photos at the same time. You’ll have to take my word for it that lots of steam comes out! There’s also a spray mist button which works great on stubborn wrinkles. I found the steam to be nice and steady while ironing and I didn’t get any water spots on my fabric.
The iron is just a few ounces heavier than my old Black and Decker. It heats up using the charging base so there are no batteries or anything to worry about in the iron. It heats up in less than 2 minutes and it’s ready to go. You do have to get used to putting the iron back in the charging base so it can stay hot. After using it once or twice I got used to putting it back in the base rather than setting it down on the side of the ironing board. Every couple minutes I’m moving my fabric or clothing around and putting the iron back in the base to re-charge so for me it works really well. It might be an issue for someone that doesn’t set their iron down for long periods of time.
I’m used to a non-stick sole plate but I was pleasantly surprised with how smoothly the stainless steel sole plate worked. There are 3 temperature settings for high, medium and low. There’s a chart to help you choose the correct setting for each type of fabric.
So to sum it up, you get lots of great features along with no cord to deal with! Ironing is so much easier now that I don’t have a cord in the way. Because the only cord is the base that plugs into the wall, it keeps everything out of reach from my kids so I appreciate the extra safety too.
If you want to get your own Panasonic NI-L70SRW (just in time for Mother’s Day!) you can order it directly from Panasonic for $59.95 with free shipping. You can also use that link to get more details on the iron and see more photos, or visit here to see a 1 minute demo video.
Disclaimer: I was provided with this iron free of charge in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.
Welcome to readers of Amy Smart’s Fabulously Fast Quilts blog hop! I’m happy to visit today to share my favorite quick quilting tip, along with the other bloggers on the tour.
If you are like me, you appreciate shortcuts in quilting, like using pre-cut fabrics and chain piecing blocks. If you are familiar with her blog Diary of a Quilter, you already know that Amy Smart is a talented quilter who loves to teach fast and efficient quilting techniques.
I’m here to share with you my favorite quick quilting technique, which has to do with pinning. Actually, it has to do with not pinning! While I do frequently use sewing pins to piece curves, I tend to ignore them when it comes to many other patchwork shapes.
Tiny Stitches Method
Okay, hear me out. This is my favorite pinning alternative, and I like to call it the “tiny stitches” method.
First off, I press all of my seams open. This is a great way to ensure accuracy when joining patchwork blocks.
Next, sew a few stitches back and forth (think of them as small “tacks”) over just the intersecting seams.
Open up the block, and check your work for accuracy.
See how accurate this is? Once you’re satisfied with your tiny stitches, you can fold the right sides of the fabric back together and sew along the entire length of the seam. And no pins are required!
I like this method for two main reasons:
1. Pinned fabric still shifts. See how the seam is off? I prefer to hold the fabric in place with my fingers when it is directly under the presser foot.
2. I find that these tiny stitches are more accurate than pins, and they save me time in the long run. If I find that the seam doesn’t quite line up just right, it’s easier to pull out just these tiny stitches than to pick apart an entire seam.
If you simply must use sewing pins, an alternative to heavy pinning is to use just a few pins at the seams where patchwork pieces meet. I often use this method if I’m piecing squares, where accuracy is important, but not as critical as when I am trying to achieve precise, triangular points.
Use two, four or six pins. Pin as much as you’d like, and if you are still not getting the accuracy that you desire, you may wish to try this next method.
Another pinning alternative is to use basting glue instead of pins. My friend Alyssa of Pile O’ Fabric has a great video tutorial sharing her glue basting technique, which will save you from having to stick yourself with pins ever again!
For more time-saving quilting tips, make sure to check out the rest of the posts on the Fabulously Fast Quilts and Quilting Tips blog hop!
Monday, April 28
Tuesday, April 29
Wednesday, April 30
Thursday, May 1
Friday, May 2
I was so excited when Rachael of Imagine Gnats e-mailed us this pattern as a “thank you” for Craft Book Month back in September. It looked really cute and flattering on any size, and it comes in sizes 2-20! And this week, Rachael is hosting Selfish Sewing Week so it’s a great time to make something for yourself!
I decided that my knit tops are the ones I wear the most, so even though this pattern isn’t technically meant for knits I went for it and I’m so glad I did! Here’s the final product and I’m so happy with how it turned out. Now I’ve got a flattering, comfortable, and stretchy shirt.
Because I was using a stretch fabric, I went down a size from what the size chart recommended. If you’re not sure on size, line up a favorite knit shirt on the pattern and mentally add a 1/2″ seam allowance to determine size. If I were making a non-knit shirt I would have gone with the size recommended. The pattern was awesome and the way the sleeves are incorporated is genius, the pattern is just two pieces! There’s a front piece and back piece that has the sleeves incorporated that wrap around to the front. I made mine a colorblock version so it was 3 pieces, plus some strips of knit to finish off the neck, arms, and hem. The instructions and accompanying photos were easy to follow and this was a relatively fast project to sew.
As for sewing with knits, there’s definitely some things you can do to make it easier when using a sewing machine rather than a serger. First of all, make sure to pre-wash your fabric! When sewing, I used a ballpoint needle and my Janome even feed foot to ensure that the top and bottom fabrics didn’t get stretched at different rates.You can check out this YouTube video to see the even feed foot in action (video is by Ken’s Sewing Center). When feeding in the knit fabric, I let it have just a little slack so the machine was pulling the fabric through all on it’s own without me pushing or pulling at all.
I also set my machine to use a special stretch stitch (button #6). The icon looks like a lightening bolt on my Janome QDC4120. For each seam, I started and ended with a regular straight stitch so I could reverse and lock the stitch in place. Then I switched to the stretch stitch for the length of the seam. I wanted this shirt to be durable so I did each seam at least twice (first the recommended 1/2″ seam allowance, then again at 3/8″) and then topstitched most seams. If you don’t have the lightening bolt stitch, a narrow zigzag will give you similar results.
The only thing I did that wasn’t in the pattern was to topstitch the neckline a second time closer to the neck opening after doing the intial 1/2″ seam. It helped the neck look smoother with the knit fabric, but I think it would have been fine with a single seam on a non-knit version. The method for finishing the shirt was new to me (basically sew a strip of knit fabric to the outside of the shirt with a 1/2″ seam allowance, then fold it to the inside and topstitch down) and turned out great.
And as for the fabric, I used this reversible knit from JoAnn’s in black (what I used in this post) and stocked up on orange (also shown below). One side is a tiny stripe and the other side is solid with a very subtle (almost nonexistent) sparkle effect. It looks a lot different on the JoAnn’s website so I can’t guarantee it’s a match but the item numbers match up to what’s on my receipt. After this top turned out so well I’m excited to make a few more!
If you have a serger (hopefully I’ll get one someday), this knit shirt could be made in no time! But even without the serger, it was a fast sew with the right techniques and I’d definitely recommend this pattern in a knit fabric, or woven fabric as recommended in the pattern. Happy sewing!