3.26.2012

how to: string quilt blocks

whenever i have small scraps, i either cut them into a nice strip, put them into my larger scrap basket, or save them for bibs later.  when one of my bins gets too full, i make things with my scraps, like bibs or a string quilt for my etsy shop.
since i've gotten a lot of questions about my latest quilt, i thought i would share a tutorial on how i made it.
i know there are lots of versions on making string quilts, this is just what works for me. 

First, this method is foundation pieced, meaning you have something you are sewing everything to.  I used regular 8 1/2" x 11" scrap paper from our printer because that's what I had, but you can use any size you'd like. 
I cut my paper into an 8 1/2" square.  For every block I make, I use one piece of paper.
I take white fabric and cut it into 1" strips.
Using one swipe of a gluestick, glue the fabric down the diagonal of the square.  It's not perfect, I just eyeball it.  Don't use a lot of glue- just enough to get it to stick because you're going to tear the paper off later.
Take a strip of fabric and lay it on the white strip Right Side Down so one raw edge is lined up with one raw edge of the white strip.
*Set your stitch length on your machine lower than the usual 2.5.  It's not mandatory, but it will help you tear the paper off later.
Sew the two strips and paper together, sewing through all three layers.
Press the fabrics open so it looks like this:
Sew another strip to the other side of the white strip exactly as you did with the first strip and press open.
Continue adding strips on each side and pressing open until you can no longer see the paper under all the fabric.

Flip the block over so the paper is on top and trim the fabrics even with the paper. 
You now have a perfect 8 1/2" square block.
To remove the paper, I start on the outside edge and fold the paper back to the stitching, then tear it out just like I'm tearing a check out of a checkbook.  Be careful not to pull any stitching out.
I make a few blocks whenever I feel like it, or make a whole stack in one sitting.  It's fun to mix and match all my fabrics in different ways.
Now you can sew your blocks together however you want. The diamond pattern is my favorite, but there are lots of designs you can make with these blocks.   This method would also work to make more than just quilts.  It's a great way to use up random scraps to make bigger pieces of fabrics.

3.07.2012

shirt to dress

did you notice it's been a while since i posted about sewing any clothes?
that's cause i haven't sewn many clothes this past year.  mostly just quilting. 
actually, i did sew a bunch of halloween costumes...
anyway, i found this shirt on clearance at the gap a while ago. 
i think i paid $6.99
i knew it wasn't something my husband would ever wear, but i loved the plaid
so... i started cutting into it,  and came up with a dress for my girl.
i thought it would be a cute back to school dress.
and i finished it last week. ha!
it'll still fit her next fall though.
i used the original collar,
just cut it down so it didn't look huge on her little neck
i kept the original button placket in tact
by folding the original shirt and using it as the center front for the dress
 i cut smaller sleeves and cuffed them- my girl hates long sleeves
but can you blamer her? 
 it's hotter than hades here in texas.
 (they even said so on the radio this morning)
i have a couple more shirts i've collected from thrifting and clearance racks. 
i can't wait to start another one!
maybe i should plan on her wearing it a year from now... ha!
belt: h&m
jeggings: the children's place
toms: nordstrom.com

3.02.2012

my new motto

Source: etsy.com via Sara on Pinterest

print available here

2.28.2012

window washing

i love this.  honestly, i think i've been on both sides of the window.  so true. so true.

2.23.2012

dotty dresden

this quilt just makes me happy to look at. so do the polka dots. but then, i have a thing for polka dots. :)

 are you sick of hearing about this quilt?  haha!  i think i have now been talking about it for 2 maybe 3 years?  i completely fell in love with the pattern when the first material obsession book came out and it was on the cover.  anyway, i don't usually take pictures of just quilt tops.  but this one needed to be taken.  i started this quilt last summer and it was a killer.  each dresden piece was cut by hand, sewn together by machine, then hand appliqued to the quilt.  after i stitched all flowers to the the blocks, i sewed the blocks together, then hand appliqued the circles between the flowers to the quilt.  yep.  a killer. and i'm only done with the top.  i think i might have someone professionally quilt it for me.  it's huge. 
so don't worry, this quilt will be making it's way back to my little blog when it's completely finished...someday... 

2.15.2012

a pattern! a real quilt pattern!

i'm so excited to share this!! 
i mentioned earlier that i spent most of january
working on something for my etsy shop, and here it is.
my very first pattern!
it's available here as a PDF, but if enough people want it in paper, i might do that as well.
i very first made this quilt about two years ago inspired by a skirt i had from here. 
i've given it as a baby gift and it was a huge hit! 
not a bad gift either, since it takes minimal fabric
and time as there is no quilt piecing required.
it's my own version of machine applique- i'm probably not the first to think of this, but i've never seen it done so i kinda made up how to do it...
the flowers turn out super soft, and are a fun little pop up since they are on top of the quilt.
the pattern is for a baby/toddler quilt, but could easily be adapted for any size you want. 
Wouldn't it look so pretty all in one color on a bigger bed?
so there you go! 
a pattern of something i made!
 not an easy task- writing a pattern... but so so excited to have it finished!
find it here

2.13.2012

happy v-day

a little valentine love from our chalkboard
(i talked more about the chalkboard here)

this "be" has been pretty handy to have!
you can find one here (such a darling etsy shop!!!)
but we made our own.
we've used it for
thanksgiving (be thankful)
christmas (be merry)
and now valentine's
i'm sure there are words we could think of all year long that we can "be"

the hearts are vintage quilt pieces that i purchased at a quilt show last fall.  my friend and i had plans to sew them into a garland, but i just ended up using mini clothespins on bakers twine and loved it.   
enjoy a happy v-day!

2.08.2012

bibs are back!

 for all you babies out there wanting to be pretty!
i've added bibs to my shop
always a favorite baby shower gift.
wrap these bibs up with some cute baby dishes or spoons
or use a single bib on top of your gift for decoration
find them here

2.06.2012

i spy with my little eye...

a current favorite game in our house
and exactly how i felt when i looked at my sewing table this morning.

2.04.2012

seeing spots

i started quilting this quilt yesterday.
i am so excited to finish it!
it's definitely a new favorite.
i'm also planning to work on a shop update next week.
my little etsy shop has been taking a new direction in my head
and i'm excited to share!
hope you'll check back!