QuiltCon Block Challenge

Have you followed the QuiltCon Block Challenge?

The assignment is to create a modern quilt block inspired by the colors of the QuiltCon logo. QuiltCon is the inaugural modern quilting conference of The Modern Quilt Guild, to be held in Austin, Texas this February 2013! Here are just a few of the stunning blocks in the Flickr pool.

SBAMQG QuiltCon blocks July Meeting
Flickr/capitolaquilter (SBA Modern Quilt Guild entries)

QuiltCon Block
Flickr/AQuiltingJewel

Fabric stack and quiltcon challenge
Flickr/Sewmama123

QuiltCon block
Flickr/liveacolorfullife

Elephant Crossing
Flickr/ircabbit


Flickr/ReannaLilyDesigns


Flickr/vardewoman

The 20+ winning blocks selected by Elizabeth Hartman will be included in a quilt to be raffled off to one lucky winner, and the other blocks will be made into charity quilts. Very inspiring! The deadline for entries is August 15, so there’s still time to design your QuiltCon block.

QuiltCon happens February 21-24, 2013 in Austin, Texas. Conference registration opens August 30, 2012, and modern quilters are welcome to submit quilt entries to the show between August 1 and November 30, 2012.

Is anyone going to QuiltCon? Are you making a block for the QuiltCon Block Challenge?

Giveaway! Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop for Quilters

I recently got the chance to review a copy of the book Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop for Quilters (Lark Crafts). The book is written by four members of the Fat Quarterly e-zine team, Katy Jones, Brioni Greenberg, Tacha Bruecher and John Q. Adams, and includes patterns for 60 quilt blocks and 12 complete projects ranging from quilts to home decor.

Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop for Quilters contents

What makes this book unique is that quilt blocks and projects are broken down by shape, starting at the very basic squares and rectangles blocks and progressing through circles, triangles, stars, polygons and diamonds. Once you’ve conquered basic patchwork and the more beginner-friendly “shapes,” you can use those skills to build up to more advanced blocks which use techniques like applique and paper piecing.

Star Block Circles Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop for Quilters

One of my favorite blocks in the book is the clever “Star Pinwheel,” which uses fusible web to adhere sliced stars to half-square triangles for a really dynamic block with positive and negative space. Even if you don’t quilt, this would be a great accent to clothing for kids or adults.

Quilt Circles Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop for Quilters

The “Dream Garden Diamonds Quilt” uses bold piecing and modern fabric choices, for a clean and fresh look! Overall, I think this book would be a welcome addition to any quilter’s library, because the blocks range from beginner to advanced. Some of the paper-pieced patterns are really unique and 60 blocks can be mixed and matched for a sampler quilt or repeated over multiple rows and columns for a DIY patchwork quilt.

My Project

I decided to make a “Bowties & Blooms” quilt blocks from the book in the colors yellow, aqua and gray, which I’m collecting for a modern sampler quilt. The block finishes as 12.5″ square, and stitches up pretty quickly! You can make this block with the free pattern excerpted with permission from Lark Crafts.

Bowties Blooms Quilt Block

Free block patterns from the book:

Bowties + Blooms (pictured)

Courtyard Garden Block

Pentagon Flower Block + template

 

Giveaway!

Would you like to win a copy of this book? Lark Crafts will send a copy to one lucky Craft Buds reader. Enter to win by completing the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How to Shorten a Belt

Shorten-Belt-Craft-Buds

I recently bought a dress and thought, “This would look better with a belt.” The high waistline meant none of my current belts would fit (without a long flap hanging off), so I found a faux leather one for $1 at Goodwill and set out to alter it to fit an empire waist dress. Here’s how I did it.

With non-fabric scissors (so you don’t dull out your good shears), snip into the back of the leather holding the buckle.

Cut completely across, then snip off the excess leather tab as pictured.

Now use your scissors to cut open the remaining flap and release the buckle. Snip through the thread only, not the leather belt.

This is what your belt should look like disassembled.

Use your scissors to widen the hole for the belt prong. I wanted to shorten my belt by about two inches, so I widened the hole by two inches.

With the belt buckle positioned underneath the belt, slip the prong only through your newly created hole to the front side.

Pull the belt buckle through until the prong catches on the end of the long hole you cut earlier. Fold back the end of the belt and hold together with your fingers.

Temporarily hold together the belt ends with the buckle sandwiched between. The tiny leather loop should also catch just inside of the folded leather back. Before sewing, test out your belt to see if you have an ideal fit.

Take your belt to the sewing machine. I removed my presser foot to sew through this thick leather material. Warning: Take extreme caution when sewing without a presser foot, because your fingers can easily slip beneath the needle without the extra protection of the presser foot.

To move the leather through the sewing machine without breaking your needle, turn the sewing machine’s knob with your hand instead of using the foot pedal to create a slow and steady stitch. With matching thread, slowly stitch through both layers to attach the end of your leather flap to the belt. The leather loop should be positioned just inside your stitch line. I like to sew this step with the belt face up for a clean stitch line.

Flip your belt and machine stitch a line across both layers just beneath the buckle. Again, slowly stitch by turning the sewing machine knob with your hand, and trap the buckle inside your stitch line.

Here is the back view of the completed belt. You can see that both the small leather loop and the metal buckle are trapped inside the newly secured and stitched fold. It’s now ready to wear!

Review: Improv Sewing + Giveaway

Improv Sewing book cover

Improv Sewing: A Freeform Approach to Creative Techniques is a new book from Storey Publishing filled with “101 fast, fun and fearless projects” to sew and love. The sheer number of projects is enough to get excited over, but the variety of techniques (from upcycling to reverse applique) is a huge bonus.

Improv Sewing book table of contents

Authors Nicole Blum and Debra Immergut show off 101 sewing projects in the same style of those on their blog that are suited for beginners and intermediate sewists. The freestyle approach to sewing includes appliqued and stitched motifs, based on simple designs, several of which require no pattern pieces. Many also feature recycled and upcycled materials. Projects in the book include embellished dresses, tunics, scarves, skirts, accessories, pillows, curtains and more.

Improv Sewing ruffled dress

The “Ruffled Dressy Dress” is a cute and comfy dress pattern embellished with texture, but there are several variations on this concept, including a simple two-piece shift dress. With clothing for women, men and kids, the book offers a diverse variety of patterns.

Improv Sewing rainbow mobile

Feeling the need for some home decor? The “All-Weather Applique Mobile” pairs bright fabrics with whimsical shapes and machine embroidery, for a darling project that would suit a nursery or creative space.

Improv Sewing fused plastic wallet

The authors of Improv Sewing have a definite bent toward upcycling, and many of their projects show how to use free or inexpensive materials in a new way. This “Fused Plastic Wallet” has decorative stitching and is sized perfectly to slip your cash and a few credit cards inside.

Improv Sewing Reverse Applique Tee

This men’s reverse-applique tee is simple and stylish, with an organic design embellished on the lower front of the shirt. Kids and beginning sewists can learn this technique of reverse applique and hand-stitching to make clothing, accessories and home decor.

Free Projects

Storey Publishing was gracious to share two free projects from the book, including the:

Reverse applique t-shirt

Reverse applique ottoman cover

Giveaway!

Would you like to win a copy of Improv Sewing? Just leave a comment on this post to be entered to win. We’ll choose one random winner on Wednesday, July 4, 2012. Check out the rest of the Improv Sewing blog tour at:

June 29: http://unanimouscraft.com/
July 10: http://www.craftfoxes.com/

Congrats to our giveaway winner, commenter #52 Fenna, who said: “Cool book! I like upcycling stuff–it’s a great way to re-use!”

Favor Boxes with Lifestyle Crafts

This month, Lifestyle Crafts is releasing their Bloom and Grow cutting dies collection just in time for summer! These dies are great for scrapbooking, crafting and decorating. They work in the Epic Six or any similar style of turn handle cutting machine. You can find more information on how the die cutting process works here.

I have bridal and baby showers coming up later this summer so I thought these dies would make perfect boxes for party favors. I’ve combined the dessert box with the flourish and scallop doilies from the Bloom and Grow Collection to make this great box.

I’m just showing one box in my demo above but you can combine 12 boxes to make a full cake like Kami Bigler did in these images below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sale!

Below you can see the full Bloom and Grow collection. If you decide to purchase anything from this collection or Lifestyle Crafts, don’t forget to use our coupon code, CRAFTBUDS, for an additional 20% off!

 

Summer Crafts Linky Party!

Have you started crafting for summertime yet? Whether you are crafting with kids or creating for yourself, the sunshines brings out all kinds of fun possibilities for crafters.

We thought you might need some inspiration for summertime crafting, so we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite projects, and we’d like to invite you to link up your summer craft projects! We’ll close the linky party at the end of June.

11 Great Crafts to Make with Paper Plates, perfect for keeping the kids entertained on the cheap!

summer list jpg Ideas for summer fun from Ellison Lane Quilts, including laundry tub pirate ships and the classic lemonade stand. Don’t forget to link up to her Summer Sewing Contest!

We love these 10 Free Swimwear Sewing Patterns, including this T-Shirt Bikini made from upcycled materials.

Lacey Summer Shorts

Make some lacey summer shorts and 10 Summer Fun Beachwear Patterns for summertime lounging on the sand.

Summer Bag Patterns

Sew Sweetness

Sew yourself a big, summer tote like this beauty by Kim at My Go-Go Life, with inspiration from Sew Sweetness and Purse Palooza 2012! You can enter daily to win patterns and other fun giveaways all month long in June!

Also, keep an eye out for the “Shorts on the Line” Shorts Sew-Along, coming this July!

 

Now it’s your turn to link up! What have you been crafting for summer, or what do you want to make time to make? Link up any and all kids craft tutorials or summer crafting tutorials that adults would love. Let’s get this party started!



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