As many of you know, embroidery was my first sewing love. My Bijoux fabric line, like Splendor 1920, features hand stitching. The Embroidery's Fortune prints are based on Mexican embroidery and are meant to be stitched on.
I'm thinking some tunics would be just gorgeous. For now, I've started stitching a bit with the intention of incorporating this into my Holiday in London duffle for our sew-along (starts monday!). I used applique foundation (my new favorite go to for stablizing) on the back of this because it can be easily torn off when you are finished. I've used a combination of stitches on this, and you can get quite creative if you'd like. On this piece I've used matching Aurifil floss which is very nice. The colors are super saturated and it comes on a wooden spool containing a double skein. I didn't do a matching set this time, but I did pick out the colors to make it easy for you. Happy stitching!!!
citron green, 1147
emerald green, 2870
mustard yellow, 2140
light blue, 5007
hot pink, 2479
Get your sewing machines ready to sew up something big!
Join me for a sew-along featuring my post popular bag ever... The Holiday in London Duffle.
We will start on August 12 with two blog post a week until September 6, when we will finish the bag. There will be added hints and tips, videos, photos and instructions. You will need the pattern which is currently available on paper in my shop, and will be made available via PDF on August 4. I'm looking forward to sewing with you!!!
Happy Saturday! Are you sewing? Here's a couple easy weekend ideas for you. These are again from my Bijoux fabric quilt market booth.
This big baby (above) is filled with bean bag fill (You can get it at Walmart... I'm loathe to say, but that's the only place I could find it. I hear Bed Bath and Beyond has it too but I didn't check.). I cut all the panels at 18". The seams were pin tucked to give it a little more shape. I used 5/8" seam allowances, and if I had a little more time, I may have serged them for extra secure seams. I would recommend it. If you don't have a serger, you can zig-zag stitch the edges.
Here's a little pillow I made (in the hotel room... I always sew in the hotel room, it's like a "thing" now). It was an extra block I had from my quilt. Do you ever end up with an extra block like I do? Make it into a pillow. This is a millenium block from Judy Hopkins book.
I don't know about you, but I always curve the edges of my pillows. Nothing annoys me more than those pointy corner dog ears you can get. Just put a cup on the corners and trace before you sew. I think it gives it a more polished look.
Have a great weekend, and happy stitching!
Thank you to all the wonderful women who made projects out of my Bijoux and posted for the launch party. It was so much fun to see what you did and it really fills my heart! Thank you a million times!
Sally's Angel Works (That's me on the left and Sally on the right at quilt market in my booth! I'm wearing a Bijoux skirt made by Jona from her book The Essential A-Line which I am going to order today from Amazon... that or march down to her house and steal one!)
Note: The post from Jacqueline is still forthcoming, we had a few hiccups, but it will be up soon, I'm sure!
I hope you all enjoyed the party and found lots of fun projects to make with Bijoux!
Thank you all who visited the sites and entered to win as well! I appreciate your support more than you'll ever know!
This doesn't happen much, but this time it all turned out just like it was in my head... 6 runners to show different ways you can use Bijoux in quilts, and a centerpiece with drama.
Below, you will see that it is true... I have a bugger up my butt about the term "low volume" in reference to color value. I prefer the term "low color value" as it is artistically accurate. Not only that, "Low Volume" hurts my feelings (not really hurts my feelings... more comically hurts my feelings) ... why, I think, would anyone should call color "loud"? I get that ones eyes need a place to rest, but in my little world, color is a vibrant expression of "life" as opposed to "loudness". Yo. I ain't loud. Hrrrmmpppfff. This quilt is my small ode to anti-establishment and rebellion. I must admit, I like the irony of a "low color value" background (all curved pieced strips) with eyepopping, colorful Bijoux text.
Moving along... next to the Value Color quilt is an improved log cabin piece with my hand embroidered caravan in the center.
More closeups tomorrow(ish). And more quilts. And more about market itself.
I have so much to tell you about quilt market and so many pictures to show, but this sweet face wanted a Bijoux maxi dress for the last day of school (tomorrow), and I couldn't resist her charms. Look at that gorgeous smile... she just got her braces off! For those of you who noticed, yes, she has taken over my new purse.
I totally winged this dress... Basically, I hemmed the top using my hem foot. Then I added 1/4" elastic by zig zag stitching it on just under the hem (the elastic is just slightly shorter than her measurement). Then I added the skirt which is simply the width of the fabric gathered just a touch. I did the elastic the same way at the waist. I put one seam all the way down the back after the top and skirt were sewn together. I used half inch seam allowances which was a good thing because we found after she put it on that it needed a slit in the back. So she can actually, you know... walk. I simply opened the seam at the bottom 12", slit the seam allowance to the stitching at the top, and folded the slit in 1/4" twice, and top stitched all the way around the opening. I back stitched several times at the top of the opening so that the stitching in the seam doesn't come out. And, no, I didn't bother matching the print. Don't judge.
Prints used: Bijoux Dancing Harvest in Guava for the skirt and Bijoux Embroidery's Fortune Rose for the top.
Thank you to the first three hostesses for the Bijoux launch party, Melanie, Cristy and Melissa! I loved your projects! Today it's time to go visit Michonne at I'm doing stuff, see what she did with Bijoux and enter to win 10 fat quarters on her blog! Thank you, Michonne!
Meanwhile since you're here... I wanted to talk a little bit about something important to me. I've been thinking about this a lot as I prepare for quilt market. One thing that I've learned over the years, is that it's great to be arty and mindful of design when creating. And, it does truly define what I do. However, I've also found that technique really matters. It matters a lot to do things well. My techniques have definitely improved over the years, but one of the things that I has improved the most is my binding. I've always done good bindings, but recently I found a technique through my good friend Miss Cristy that her mom, Sharon Schamber perfected.
I've watched this video through a minimum of three times. What I've found is, if I skip just one little detail... domino effect... all downhill from there. So, watch carefully. The way she does this has improved my work by miles.
Today it's Melissa's turn to give away a 10 piece fat quarter stack of Bijoux! I'm so excited to see what she's made too!!! Go stop at her place and give her some love.
But before you head to the party, I know you want to know how I made these dimensional flying geese. I am CRAZY over flying geese to begin with, but when I found out that you can make them with just one seam and like little pieces of origami, I about flipped my lid. This quilt was made using Ricky Tim's tutorial below. It's so simple, you won't believe it.
Happy sewing! And go get yourself some Bijoux!!! Please post your creations to the Flickr Group.
What does a Bijoux by Bari J. launch party look like? Well, a little like this...
So get your party skirts on...
... and go see what all of these fantastic bloggers have made with Bijoux! It's in stores starting tomorrow!
Look for the incredible video that Art Gallery Fabrics put together to show you what Bijoux is all about tomorrow as well.
And be sure to post your own Bijoux creations in the Bijoux by Bari J. group on Flickr!
Curved Edge Dresden Plate How To
I made one of these as a pillow for my quilt market booth for Splendor 1920 and have just made an updated version that I'm about to turn into a pillow as well. This time, I used two Art Gallery Elements fabrics for the backgrounds to give the vintage dresden an updated look. Here's how I made my dresden and the background.
8 fabrics for the dresden petals (12" x 12" is plenty), 1 fabric (4") for the center, 2 fabrics (1/3 yard each) for the background
2/3 yard of fusible fleece (this will give you extra)
fat quarter of muslin
Washable Elmer's Glue
Needle and matching thread for applique
Thread conditioner like Thread Heaven (optional)
Download pattern: Download Dresdenplate_templates
Cut 16 Dresden petals and 1 circle center from the attached pattern. I used Splendor 1920 in the "Elegance" colorway for all of the petals and Oval Elements Licorice for the center (note: one of the most important parts of getting the dresden to lay flat will be really accurate cutting. Too much or too little fabric will cause the plate to bow and lay all loopy-ish.)
Cut one piece of fusible fleece 18 1/4" x 18 1/4"
Step by step:
1. Piece the four pieces of elements together in a square for the background. I alternated prints.
2. Lay out your dresden design. I went with a design in color order from darkest to lightest. When I'm satisfied with my layout, bring it over to the sewing machine on a small cutting mat to keep it in order. I've been known to move them around if I don't leave them just so. You can also take a quick phone photo of your layout to remember the order.
2. Place the first two petals right side together, and sew together along one edge using a 1/4" seam allowance. (Note: As I mentioned before, accurate cutting is super important. A super accurate seam allowance is also imperiative.)
3. Keep adding petals until all 16 are attached, then sew the first petal to the last petal.
4. Press all of the seams to one side.
5. Place the dresden right side down on the piece of muslin. Pin it in place.
6. Cut the muslin to the shape of the dresden.
7. With the dresden still pinned to the muslin, bring it to the sewing machine. Set your machine to a slightly shorter stitch. Mine is usually at 2.5, so I bring it to a 2.0. This helps to go around small curves. Starting at a seam, sew around one curve of a petal using a 1/4" seam allowance. When you get to the next seam, stop, pivot at sew to the next seam. Repeat until you've sewn the entire way around the dresden.
8. Press to set the stitches. Snip to but not through the seams all the way around the dresden. It will be especially important to snip at the seams between petals to avoice bulk at the points.
9. Turn the dresden right side out through the hole in the middle. Press well. I use a pin to pull each seam neatly out. It's important to really take your time doing this to avoid puckers and points.
10. Place fabric circle and the muslin circle right sides together, and sew together using a 1/4" seam allowance.
11. Snip to but not through the seams as you did for the dresden.
13. Place the dresden exactly centered on the background. Use elmers glue to hold in place. Press to set the glue. (This washes out.) Do the same for the circle on the top.
14. Fuse the fleece to the wrong side of the base.
15. Using a blind stitch, stitch the dresden to the background. This is how you applique by hand. If you are familiar with hand sewing binding, it's like that, except that I take even smaller stitches.
15a. Start at the top of the fabric and bring the needle through the background taking less than a 1/4" stitch.
15b. Exactly where the needle came up, place the needle into the dresden taking less than 1/4" stitch right in the fold (the edge of the fabric) of the applique (dresden).
15c. Exactly where the needle came out of the edge of the applique fabric, place it back down into the base fabric. Continue until the entire applique is sewn in place.
Note: My Rule of thumb here is, if you can see the needle between stitches, you'll be able to see thread.
You can see below where I've taken about five stitches along.
Once you have the entire dresden and the circle center stitched in place, you are ready to quilt as desired. I did a different design on each petal and then an all over flower for the background. Now I'm ready to make this into a pillow! The instructions for pillow making will be in a separate post.
Splendor 1920 Modern Crazy Quilt
I started this quilt in early December. I decided to make a crazy quilt because the style was extremely popular in the Victorian era. And I also wanted to show how the prints can be used in small bits. To give it a modern twist, I separated the blocks with sashing (Pure Elements in Nocturnal by Art Gallery) and set the blocks on point. It is comprised of 25 - 12 1/2" blocks which are foundation pieced on muslin. I used the stitch and flip method as I did on these string block coasters. They are set on point with 2 1/2" sashing. I then added 14" borders on the left and right and 6 1/2" borders on the top and bottom to make a king size of 110" wide by 98". The fabrics are, of course, all from Splendor 1920.
Because I can never leave well enough alone (as you know, more is more in my world), I added little bits of collage here and there. I simply cut out motifs and free motion quilted them raw edged to the top of the quilt.
Additionally, I used my Aurifil 12wt set to stitch the top of several blocks. I did this using my machine and I had 28 weight in the bobbin. The muslin base stabilized the work nicely. I decided not to do the whole thing with stitching as I didn't want to ruin the modern affect I'd created by going too overboard with details.
November/December Adventures in Quilting and Sewing: Part Three
My two months of non-stop sewing continues...
I also started a crazy quilt with Splendor 1920 this month. I'll need 25 of these blocks to finish, but I'm well on my way with 15. I'm really excited.
This are constructed using muslin as a base. And sewing using the "stitch and flip
method. I simply place a piece of scrap fabric, right side up on top of the muslin. Then a second piece is placed on top right side facing the first piece. I then sew a 1/4" seam allowance, and flip the second piece right side up, and press. I continue until I've filled the entire square. Then I trim to the original block size. Which, in this case is 12 1/2" unfinished.
Obviously each of the blocks end up looking completely different, depending on what scrap I happened to grab...
There are some in which I left the selvedges on... My mom asked me why I "left the tags on"...
And I've decided to decoratively top stitch random blocks with my Aurifil 12 wt Splendor 1920 box of threads. I did these all on the machine! Not by hand.
And there will also be random blocks that I've free motion quilted raw edged motifs to... for little added surprises everywhere.
I plan to make this a king size quilt as I have never actually made a quilt for my own bed, believe it or not. So in the end it will be five rows of five squares set on point with 2 1/2" sashing.
I'm using "Nocturnal" from Art Gallery Pure Elements collection for the sashing.
Still and yet... I had gifts to make this month too. All the crazy quilting and free motion quilting did lead up to that... I'm getting there... see part four for more.
November/December Adventures in Quilting and Sewing: Part Two
After I finished my sister's quilt, I moved on to that table cloth ... you know, the one that I made the mitered border video for? After we got home from our trip to Colorado for Thanksgiving I got to work quilting it. Here are some of the work in progress photos... I'll show more from the back than the front as you can see better. I ended up not using batting but just flannel on the back, because I wanted it to drape well on the table. But now that I've worked so hard quilting it, I'm not sure about that decision. Batting would make the quilting stand out more.
I did swirls all over the center and then for the peacock feather borders, I decided I wanted to do feathers. Of course, I didn't know HOW to do feathers, so I looked it up and found instructions somewhere on the internet... I'm sorry I can't find the original link, but there are a lot of tutorials out there. Here's my practice piece. Oy. Vey.
And here, I got brave and put it on the quilt... I echoed around the feathers and then put swirls next door... to the left.
And on the floral inner borders... flowers.
As of right now, I've got one more inner border left, then I have 4 outer borders. Quilting takes a long time, but it's SO worth it.
I thought I'd add, since I know some will ask... I quilt on a Juki tl2010Q ... It's a straight stitch/quilting machine and I LOVE it!
And the fabric, of course, is Splendor 1920.
November/December Adventures in Sewing and Quilting: Part One
First, I want to remember to tell you something, and I know some of you are going to be disappointed, but I promise in the end you'll be happy. You know that ruffle duvet cover that I said I'd post the pattern for? It turns out I can't. I've been asked to save it for something. It's something really good... So, my apologies. For now, I have to hold on to it. But I will be posting other items from my quilt market booth as tutorials very soon. (Should I open my eyes now? You aren't throwing tomoatoes at the screen are you?). Let's move on?
I've been doing a ton of sewing and quilting as tends to happen in November and December for me. First I really really wanted to finish that hex quilt for my sister before I saw her at Thanksgiving time. But I was handquilting it if you remember. I decided the only way I was ever going to finish that quilt was to machine quilt it.
As many of you know, I've done lots and lots of free motion quilting for fabric collage. And I've always said that fabric collage is a great way to get your free motion quilting feet (or hands as the case may be) wet. But as much FMQ I've done in collage, I've never attempted an organized quilting motif for a quilt. So I ordered both of my friend Angela's books and studied up for a bit. These books truly made things click for me, you guys. I really love them. I ended up finishing the quilt and now I'm totally addicted. You'll see in the next few posts... I can't stop quilting stuff. It it isn't nailed down, I'll quilt it. And let me tell you, it gives things such dimension and texture! I'm in love.
At any rate, for the hexie quilt, I ended up leaving in the hand quilting and machine quilting right on top of it. I was really concerned about that at first, but turns out, it's a look I really like.
Do forgive my quilting as this was my first attempt at a whole quilt like this. I got better as I went along as you'll see in the next few posts. I'm showing lots of the back here because it was easier to see from this side.
I did end up giving the quilt to my sister after binding on the plane,
in the hotel room and in my brother and sister-in-law's living room! All's well that ends well!
PS the fabric is Flower Sugar from Lecien.
After this, I moved on to a table cloth. More to come!
Double Mitered Borders Video How To...
The Tea Delights print from Splendor 1920 whispers to me... "please make me into a table cloth"... She's not sly about it either. She's loud. She wants to be put on a table. Napkins, tea towels, table clothes, runners, place mats... She's screaming at me.
As you know I've obliged with napkins... and I also caved and made a table cloth. I was going to hem it, but I'm thinking I'd like a heavy table cloth, so it's going to get quilted. I'm thinking a flannel back... maybe no batting at all so it hangs nicely without being too thick. I don't want it to look like I threw a quilt on the table. So, the jury is out on that.
However, the point of this post is to show you how to add double (or any multiple) mitered borders to a quilt. Like I did with this table cloth. It's really easy as you'll see in this video. The hardest part is figuring out how long to make your borders.
Once you've got them cut, sew them together and just treat them as one border.
The formula is in the video, but I thought I'd put it in writing here as well.
Decide how wide your borders will be first. Then figure out how wide they will be once sewn together.
To figure out how long each piece should be use this formula:
(finished width of border) x 2 + (unfinished WIDTH of quilt) + 1" = length of border for quilt width side
Do the same for the unfinished LENGTH of the quilt...
(finished width of border) x 2 + (unfinished LENGTH of quilt) = 1" = length of border for quilt length side
And, here's the video explaining the whole process... Happy sewing!
How to use your Rolled Hem Presser FootAs you may know, when I made the ruffle duvet (tutorial coming, I promise), I made about 3000" of hem. There was not a good way to do this by hand, so I decided to learn how to use that rolled hem foot that came with my machine. I read the instructions and practiced on a couple pieces, but the first couple inches were so difficult to feed, they were coming out totally wonky.
But being that I have friends who totally know their sewing stuff, I decided to text the one I just knew would have an answer... Heather from Fiberosity. She edited the McKenzie coat pattern for me, and knows sewing patterns and machines inside out and upside down. And of course she had an answer... not only that, she made a quick video on her phone and texted it to me.
In getting ready for the holidays I decided to make some napkins. The Tea Delights print from Splendor 1920 (in stores now) is screaming to be napkins, placemats, tea towels, runners and table cloths. So, I cut 16 that I planned on making double sided...Like I did in that LillyBelle tutorial ... here.
I finished all of four of them before I realized I was not up for all that pressing and messing around with miters. Not enough time for starters.
They're cute, right? But more work than I bargained for.
In the end, I cut what would have been backs to the same size as the front and now I have 32 napkins cut which I will simply hem the edges of. Some will go to mom and some to my sister in law who is the hostess for this Thanksgiving. This is a super easy project to do. And napkins always make a great hostess gift... these you can pull off in a matter of a hour!
My napkins are cut at 18 1/2" and finish at 18".
Here's a quick video I made to show you how to get those hems done lick-ity split with your rolled hem foot.
Many of you have asked how to hem a second side... like for napkins... And, yes, it can be difficult. I fiddled with this for some time and this is what I have come up with:
Usually, when I do a hem without a hem foot, I like the corners mitered in order to avoid the very issue we are having with the second side here... bulk. I suggest doing the same when you are using the rolled hem foot.
So, before you get started sewing, fold each corner over 1/4" toward the wrong side of the fabric at a 90 degree angle as pictured below. Use a touch of lapel stick or glue stick to hold it in place. Just pressing it won't work. Without the glue I was finding that the fabric rolled about and got twisted. Just the tiniest dab will keep the fabric in place.
When you finish the first side, don't trim the thread. Just leave the tail and use it for the next side rather than sewing in the inch as you did on the first side. This will again save on unnecessary bulk. Now turn and repeat for the second side as you did the first. While this method did take some practice to get correct, simply turning in those corners and glueing in place really did help quite a bit. The proof is in the pudding below...
I hope this helps. If anyone else has any additional suggestions, let me know.
Fun was had by all... and then... sleep.
Hi there. Long time no see. I feel like I'm "just" back from quilt market, when really, it's been more than a week. The truth is, I'm only now recovering from it. I totally did myself in this time. As fun and exciting as the process is, it is exhausting and stressful too. I was pretty hard on myself getting ready, and didn't get much sleep. I was inevitable... I got sick. And it was of my own doing because I wouldn't relax. Thank goodness for my friend Jona who did much of the job of driving home while I spent much of the time whining. I slept for two days when I got back.
At any rate, you don't want to hear all the poo poo about how tired I am... it was really very fun and super exciting to see how people reacted to the new fabric and patterns... And I met tons of wonderful people.
You may have seen much of this already if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook... but I did manage to take a few pictures of the booth with my good camera as opposed to the phone. So here goes...
Yes, I did drag a bed to quilt market... but if you sat on it you'd have ended up on the floor... air mattresses did the trick. No box spring.
Here's a closer look a the ruffle duvet cover ... yes. there will be a tutorial. But be forewarned, this is not a complicated project... but it's a dosey. I think it's like 12 yards of fabric. I estimated about 3000" of hem and ruffling to do. Yikes. However, IMHO, totally worth it in the end.
I'm a stitckler for always having flowers in my booth... funny story. This time I forgot to order in advance. I hopped in a cab and asked them to take me to the nearest one on the map in my phone... Yeah, ummm... that was a UPS store. The real store was on the other side of town. WHY they put the address of the UPS store on their website, I'll never know. They actually posted store hours. Long story short? The driver took me to another shop which was actually closed for wedding prep, but the really really nice lady opened the door for me anyways (crying works, people) and sold me two bouquets AND had her delivery guy take me back to the convention center. Greenworks in Houston if you are interested.
Here is what I ended up putting the cross stitch into... I think it gives the pillow some oomph.
And here is another view of the pillows... dresden is a classic 1920s pattern. It had to be done.
That's all the photo editing I've gotten through for now. My intent is to to go through each project in the booth over the next couple months and show ya' how I did it. Hold me to that, k?
Instructions for Interfacing on Bags ... the double edged sword.
I have made hundreds, if not more bags, so this is something I really know about. When I made finished bags for sale, I probably tried every product and every combination you can think of. And still, Interfacing is the conundrum of bag pattern writing.
I don't want you to have a mushy, lightly interfaced bag, and on the other hand, I don't want you to struggle with many layers. I've had to make a decision about how to run with this, and I like to err on the side of not making you break you needles by sewing through 12,000 layers or the stiffest products on the market.
On the new duffle bag, for instance, I decided to have you use a layer of interfacing and a layer of fusible fleece OR use a layer of interfacing and a layer of Annie's Soft and Stable. I'd prefer you use the Soft and Stable. It really performs the way it's named. It's soft (easy to sew through) but it's stable (your bag will have body and stand on it's own). If you use the Soft and Stable, it's a sew-in interfacing. Therefore, you have to use a layer of light interfacing underneath it or your fabric could tear. So, do you now want to interface the lining as well? You totally could. But, in my opinion, you don't have to. That additional layer could be the one that breaks the horses back, or you could really like to have it... I'd be guessing there. So, I decided this time, not to have you interface the lining.
Of course, I do want your bag to stand up nicely. The Soft and Stable does this. However, I also have you do a process of top stitching at the end that helps. And it gives the affect of piping without the layers. You'll press together the outer panels/side seams and do a "Pin-Tuck". Pin tucks are when you fold fabric together like a pleat and stitch them together... But on the bag, I'm simply having you tuck the seam together and stitch on top of it. Here's a picture of what it looks like:
In the end, I have to instruct on the back of a pattern to tell you what you should buy for each pattern. But if I could, I'd put all sorts of buts and ifs with the instructions because what I really want is for you to have choices. Below is a list of interfacings I've used and their basic pros and cons. It really is a matter of what you like, what your sewing machine can handle and what you want to sew through. Happy sewing, and I hope this helps a little in your interfacing decisions.
This gives light body and is great for linings, pockets etc. It's also great for underneath sew-in stabilizers such as Annies Soft and Stable.
Cons: It can't be used alone on a bag... just not enough.
Gives extra body and stabilizes.
It's still pretty light to use alone. And it's not stiff. It might be wise to double layer this product.
Light weight and easy to sew through. Will stabilize bag while keeping it soft.
Very high loft
This stuff is tough. It will make your bag thick and stand up. It is fusible.
This stuff is TOUGH. It will make your bag thick. It's not super easy to sew with. It's fusible, but, often causes wrinkles in your fabric. You have to really take your time fusing this on or possibly use a cotton fusible underneath.
Heavy weight duck or canvas:
When I made finished bags for sale, I had full rolls of fabric backed in canvas professionally. It was fused on with heavy machinery. It really helped to make a nice thick bag that stood up. You can acheive this by making your canvas fusible... simply iron fusible web to the back of the canvas, remove the paper, and fuse to the wrong side of your fabric.
Tough to sew through.
This is a very heavy crinolyn product used in hat making. I love this stuff. It's a sew in product. It is thin, but really stiff, so it's easy to sew through.
While it's easy to sew though, it tends to slip a bit. And because it's so stiff, you'll find it a bit difficult to maneuver through the arm of your machine. You will also have to use a layer of fusible fleece to give it more body.
Bari J. Fall 2012 Sewing Patterns
Useful. That was the word that I kept going back to as I planned and designed the sewing patterns for this season. I wanted everything to be something we all could use.
In keeping with my "useful" theme, all of the patterns feature my "Keeping it Real" side bar hints and tips as they have in the past. These tips are things that I have learned along the way, that you don't usually read in sewing patterns. Like, "How do you sew past the zipper pull?", for instance. And, "How do you keep the opening you turn through neat and even?".
One of the things that I've been wanted to make for myself for years now, and an item that I get asked for all the time is a wallet. A wallet is something that you need to be "just so". It has to take a beating and it has to have space for all the things you need space for. The design of this wallet is something I worked really hard on. I wanted lots of pockets for cards, space for checks and for money and of course, a spot for change and of course a driver's license window. It even has a removable zipper pouch in case you don't want to take the whole wallet. In the end, it's exactly what I wanted. It really has it all, and it's a great afternoon sew... perfect for gifts. The fabrics featured here are from my upcoming Splendor 1920 line.
Next, I had to do an art portfolio. For one, when my girls were little, I was always looking for spots to store their art work. I have a couple purchased portfolios, but they were never just what I wanted. And for another reason, my now 16 year old daughter drags around a piece of poster paper that is folded and serves as a makeshift portfolio... every. single. day. It's falling apart, and she totally needs a good place for her growing portfolio of work. This portfolio features a heavy duty zipper top, and a clear window pocket on the front. Featured in Splendor 1920.
Another item I've always wanted to make is a duffel bag. It needed lots of pockets, a zipper and it had to conform to carry-on standards... Damn the airlines for making me pay $25 to check my luggage! Now I can carry on a bag on in style. Featured here in Splendor 1920 fabric.
And last, Suzy created an adorable coat (read: coat = useful and stylish) in sizes 2T through 6/8. I'm seriously in love with this piece. It's exactly what I wanted and more... a peter pan collar, 3/4 and full length sleeves, A-line and an adorable yoke at the top adds incredible detail... oh, and what coat would be complete without a ruffle... I love the piping and ruffle detail on the sleeve. And of course, a girl has got to have some pockets. These are lined pockets with a sweet box pleat detail. This is sewn in my LillyBelle line of fabrics.
All of the patterns are currently at the printer and will be available for wholesale purchase after 10/29... and yes, if you will be at quilt market, we will have them on hand for you to take home with you.
14 Days of LillyBelle... Day 14. Fabric File Portfolio
Whew! Wiping the sweat from my brow. The last project is finally done. And 14 projects in 21 days? I'll call that a success.
I hope you have enjoyed this series. I look forward to doing another (um... shorter) series when Splendor 1920 arrives in stores. Here is the 14th project. It was inspired by the loads of paper I picked up today for school registration. Happy Sewing!
1/2 yard of double sided fusible heavy Pellon
1/2 yard each of two contrasting fabrics
1/4 yard each of two constrasting fabrics for binding
1 each ON FOLD - 13" x 9 1/2" - 2 contrasting fabrics and pellon (opens to 13" x 19")
2 - 3" x WOF strips for binding on top and ties
1 - 3" x WOF strip for binding on sides
Step by Step:
1. Press each piece of fabric to opposite sides of the pellon. (wrong side faces the pellon)
2. Make binding and ties (see day 11 curtains for how to make binding except you won't need to attach pieces together for extra length as on the curtains).
3. For the ties, take one WOF piece of binding and cut it in half. Finish the ends by opening the folded binding on one short end. Fold the end in half wrong sides together and sew a 1/4" seam allowance along the short end. Turn the binding back so it is folded properly. Edge stitch the open side of the binding closed. Set aside.
4. With the "portfolio" open, sew binding onto each top edge (again, see curtains day 11 for binding instructions).
5. Sew the ties on. With the "portfolio" open, mark the middle of the top edge of each side of the folder. Place the raw short edge of the tie at the top of the folder at the mid point, just below where you've sewn on the binding. Along the short raw edge of the tie, sew the tie on using a scant 1/4" seam allowance. Flip the tie up, and sew it on (enclosing the raw edge) 1/4" above the fold. Repeat for the other tie.
6. Sew the side binding on. Cut two pieces of binding that are each 10 1/2". Fold the "portfolio" in half. Open the binding, and place it on top of the front of the folder along one raw edge. Leave an extra 1/2" at the top and an extra 1/2" at the bottom. Sew the binding through the two layers of the folder following the pressed fold as you did for the other pieces of binding. Flip the binding to the back, fold in the two raw edges at the top and the bottom, and press in place. Edge stitch the binding from the front as you did before.
14 Days of LillyBelle ... Day 13. French seamed pillowcase.
I love these pillowcases. They take under an hour and are such nice pieces when they are done. The cuff is double sided, and with French seams you have no raw edges anywhere... another great gift!
Watch the video for all of the instructions. You'll need 1/4 yard for the cuff, 3/4 yard for the main fabric and 1/8 yard for the flange.
14 Days of LillyBelle... Day 12. Tube Top.
This was probably the easiest and most fun project so far. I'm beyond excited because my teenager said she would actually WEAR something I made. I fashioned this after a tube top she got at Target, and let her pick the fabric. It was interesting to see what she picked (vintage fence in the cool sunrise palette)... and she said she would buy it if she saw it in a store, so I'm feeling like The Bomb Mom!
Here's how I made this...
3/4 yard fabric
2 yards of 5/8" elastic
This is for a small tube top... Em is probably a size 0-3. It's such a baggy/loose piece, that the only real difference will be in length of the elastics and length at the hem.
Measure your wearer, just under the underarms around the top of the chest. Subtract 1 - 2". Cut elastic to that length, then cut in half.
Cut a second piece of elastic 1 to 2" bigger than the first piece. Cut it in half as well.
Measure the wearer from just above the chest, to the mid hip (or longer depending on how long you'd like the top to be), add 4 to 5". Cut a piece of fabric that is the measured length by the width of the fabric. Cut the fabric in half so you have a piece for the front and a piece for the back of the top.
Step by step:
1. Hem: Fold the top edge in 1/4" toward the wrong side, then an additional 1/4". Edge stitch along the inside folded edge.
2. Sew on the top elastic: Using a zig zag stitch, top stitch the elastic to the wrong side of the fabric, just below the top hem. The elastic is shorter than the fabric, so you'll be pulling as you sew to make the elastic stretch from one end of the fabric to the other. The trick here is to start very slowly. Take a couple stitches so the elastic is held in place, then as the fabric comes behind the foot, use one hand to guide the fabric from behind, and the other to stretch the elastic as you sew along. Repeat for the back of the top.
3. Sew the elastic at the bottom: Measure 3 1/2" from the bottom raw edge, and draw a line across on the wrong side of the fabric (I used a heat erasable pen... you can use chalk or another erasable method... even a press line will work). Use your guideline to sew the second piece of elastic on. Repeat for the back of the top.
4. Place the two pieces of fabric, right sides together and use a 1/2" seam allowance to sew each side together. Zig zag stitch or serge to finish the seam. Turn and press.
5. Hem the bottom edge as you did the top.
14 Days of LillyBelle.. Day 11. It's Curtains for Lara!
My sister just moved into a new home, and she desperately needed curtains. The sliding glass door she has is over 9 feet long, and the former occupants, had an 8 foot rod on the window and some seriously frightening curtain panels that didn't fit. On top of that, her toddler and 1 year old pulled the whole deal down the other day. Lucky for Lara, I'm in the midst of my self-imposed challenge and needed a good project. So off I went on my curtain making adventure.
Now, some of you know, that I have made a huge amount of curtains in the past. So, frankly, I was a little cocky going into this. This is actually the second set of curtains created yesterday. I had originally planned using white fabric where the yellow is. I had about 8 yards of white corduroy left, and I wanted to use it up. I cut everything very carefully, and set the leftover fabric aside. HOWEVER, when I went to put the corduroy panel on the second curtain, I grabbed the leftover fabric unknowingly. And it was 1/4 of the width. It was the end of the day, and I was exhausted, not to mention hungry... I didn't notice. Until we hung it on the window and which point I dissolved into a angry/weepy mess. Low blood sugar + exhaustion = really unhappy Bari.
I had wanted to photograph and get this post up last night. Instead, I spent the remainder of the night (until 12:30PM) remaking the curtains entirely... I had cut into the properly cut piece for another part of the curtain, and didn't have any left to be able to just fix the error.
All of that said, in the end, I like the second set better.
Lara didn't want lining because she wanted the sun to shine through a bit, so I decided to bind the curtains instead of hem the sides and bottom:
By doing this, I think it gave the back a bit of a more fininshed look. Plus, it really frames the whole thing nicely.
A basic how to on curtains:
Lara's window was 112" the entire way across. I made two panels and each is 110" wide finished (nearly the entire width) in order to make them ruffly. i.e. = equation for each panel is 1/2 the window x 2.
Note: I actually used 3 pieces of fabric for each panel width... when you decide on width, take seam allowances between panels into account.
Here's what you need to take into account:
1. Rod pocket. I made a 3" rod pocket plus I finished the top of the rod pocket with a top top stitch that took up 1/4" inch. There for I added 6 1/2" for the rod pocket.
2. Hem. If I was going to do a hem, I'd add 1/2" to the bottom.
3. Height of brackets. Your brackets will be hung above the window. Buy your brackets first and measure them. Then decide where they will hang. Add the amount to the total height of your panels.
equation for panel length:
+ (rod width x 2) + 1/2" for top stitching at top of curtain
+ 1/2" for hem (If you are doing one. I didn't because I used binding.)
+ bracket height
If you are going to bind instead of hem here's the equation for amount of binding needed:
1 side of curtain x 2 + width of the bottom/width of fabric = number of 3" strips needed
Step by step:
Binding (note: you'll be binding the sides and the bottom, not the top)
1. Attach the 3" strips together by mitering.
a. Place strips in a backward "L" shape, right sides together:
b. Sew a 45 degree angle seam from corner to corner.
c. Trim off excess fabric in seam... here's what the miter looks like:
2. Press the binding in half lengthwise and press.
3. Open up and fold each edge into the middle and press.
4. Fold in half lengthwise again and press.
5. Open up the binding, align with the top right hand corner of your curtain, right sides together, raw edges matching. Sew along the first fold line.
6. When you get 1/2" from the corner, pivot and sew a 45 degree angle to the corner. Cut thread and take out from under foot.
7. To miter the corner. urn the fabric to the right...
8. Miter the other corner in the same manner, and sew to the top left of the curtain.
9. Once the binding is on the front, flip it over to the back, fold the raw edge in toward the wrong side of the binding and press in place on the back of the curtain. You can even use a little glue stick to hold it in place.
10. Top stitch the binding on from the front side (see the photo of the fininshed binding near the top of this post.
1. Measure 3 1/4" from the top of the curtain and mark.
2. Fold the fabric down toward the wrong side 1/4" (so there was no raw edge), and then another 3" (where you just marked) for the rod pocket. Pin in place.
3. Edge stitch along the fold on the wrong side of the fabric to close the rod pocket.
4. At the very top of the fold, top stitched 1/4" away from the edge for a finished look on the top.
Voila! You are finished.
14 days of LillyBelle. Day 10... Drawstring Gift Bag
I think I'll make a bunch of these to have on had as the holidays approach. They are super easy for a lot of impact. Plus, of course, you can make them in any size... great for shoe bags, lingerie bags etc etc... just re-size.
Here's how I made this one...
Fat Quarter of fabric
1/4 yard contrast fabric
Main fabric: 16 1/4" x 14"
Contrast fabric: 4" x WOF
Step by Step:
1. Serge or zig zag stitch all four raw edges of the main fabric.
2. Fold the two 16 1/4" sides and 1 - 14" side in 1/4" toward the wrong side of the fabric. These will be the side seam and the bottom of the bag. Do not fold in the top edge.
3. Edge stitch along the inside edge of the 1/4" folded fabric to hem.
4. Mark 2 1/4" down from the top of the fabric.
5. Fold the top edge toward the wrong side of the fabric along the 2 1/4" mark.
6. Using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew along the top folded edge.
7. Edge stitch along the serged/zig zagged edge. You've just created the casing for your drawstring.
8. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise so the side seams meet, right sides together.
9. Sew the side seam and bottom edge using a 1/4" seam allowance.
10. Turn and press.
Make the drawstring:
1. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise, right sides together and press.
2. Fold each short raw end in toward the long folded edge at a 45 degree angle creating a pointed end.
3. Sew the raw edge and angle closed leaving a 4" -5" opening to turn. Turn and press.
4. Edge stitch the seam edge, closing the opening to finish.
5. Place a safety pin on one end of the drawstring and draw through the casing.
4. Turn the
14 Days of LillyBelle... Day 8. Doggie Bed.
Several weeks ago I went to great lengths getting foam for dog beds at the local big box sewing store. Let's suffice to say, thanks to a coupon ta do, I made two stops back there for the same item only to have a coupon argument at the cutting table when I finally did get the foam. Sheesh.
But I digress... for weeks now, I've had two ugly pieces of foam sitting around, and I hadn't gotten around to sewing covers for them. Lucky me. I commited to sewing with LillyBelle every day for 14 days... so now I had an excuse. I HAD to make the dog beds. And at least I did get one done today. I did this one with the zipper in the side... It's hidden under fabric flaps, and this is my favorite way of doing zipper on pillows of any sort.
How to make your own doggie bed...
1 yard of 5" x 24 1/2" foam
1 1/2 yards of main fabric
3/4 yard of contrast fabric
24" upholstery zipper
2 yards fusible fleece (optional)
Main fabric, fusible fleece – 2 each- 37" x 25 1/2" pieces
Contrast fabric, fusible fleece – 2 each - 3 1/2" x 37" pieces, 1 each - 6" x 37" piece, 2 each - 6" x 25 1/2" pieces
Step by Step:
Install zipper in the side:
1. Place the two 3 1/2" x 37" pieces right sides together.
2. Using a 1/2" seam allowance, BASTE the two pieces together along a long raw edge.
3. Press the seam open and place your zipper on top of the wrong side of the seam, right side of zipper down, centered on top of the seam.
4. Pin the zipper in place alternating the direction from which you put the pin in (see above).
5. From the right side of the basted panel, and with your zipper foot on, top stitch along the side of the seam about 1/4" away from the zipper. The trick here is to feel with your fingers as you sew down next to the seam, and reach under the fabric pulling pins out of the way as you go.
Zipper tip: you'll want to pull the zipper pull open as you start so it's away from the presser foot, then when you get to it, put the presser foot in the up position and wiggle the pull up again past it.
6. Sew back up the other side of the seam, again keeping 1/4" away from the zipper.
7. Use a seam ripper to open the basted seam exposing your zipper.
Note: if you have cut your zipper to length, you'll want to do a tight zig zag stitch in place to work as a tab at the bottom of the zipper so that you can't open the zipper past it (see below).
Sew the contrast fabric sides to the main fabric panels:
Note: For all of the seams, start and stop at the 1/2" point. You might want to mark 1/2" from the ends on all of the pieces.
1. Place the zipper panel on top of one of the large panels (main fabric) along a long side, right sides together. Using a 1/2" seam allowance, and starting/stopping 1/2" inch from each end, sew the two pieces together.
2. Sew the other three contrast pieces of fabric on in the same manner.
4. Repeat for the other side of the dog bed.
5. Starting and stopping at the 1/2" points, and using a 1/2" seam allowance, sew the four corners together... NOTE: Before you sew the last corner, open the zipper so you can turn through it.
6. Serge or zig zag stitch all seams, turn and press.
7. Slip on the piece of foam (read: wrangle onto the piece of foam)
8. Force your dog to pose on her new bed for a photo.
9. Post to Facebook and tell all your friends you made a dog bed all by yourself.
14 Days of LillyBelle... Day 7. Sweet Dreams Sleep Mask.
For some time now, I've taken to sleeping with a sleep mask, and I sleep much better when I do. It's a really pretty picture... me jumping into bed, putting the ritual lotion and sweat socks on, wearing my bite guard and then pulling a mask over my face. It's cute, I'm sure. Aherm. . . Well, at least now I'll be a little cuter, you'll have to agree. Last night the elastic on my old sleep mask busted, so I this became today's project. It makes a great gift too!
Download the pattern here:
14 Days of LillyBelle... Day 5. Fabric Collage Embellished Skirt
You probably already know this... I love fabric collage. I think it works on just about anything. I've done wall hangings, pillows, embellished sweaters, quilt edges, jeans and lots more. For this project, I embellished a jean skirt. If you were at quilt market you might have seen me wearing it. I actually did this in the hotel room the night before the show opened.
This is super easy to do. If you don't have experience with free motion quilting, this is also an easy way to get started practicing because it's just so forgiving. If your stitches appear too long or short, just go over them again. You are simply going to doodle. Watch me do it in the video below.
For this project you'll need about 20 or so raw edged fabric motifs. Mine are from LillyBelle in the both colorways. I used Aurifil 4651 which is a variegated thread for the quilting. And you'll need a sewng machine that has free motion quilting capability (feed dogs can go down and a quilting foot). You'll also need a piece of muslin to go underneath your motifs where they will hang off the edge. Quilting gloves are optional, but really help you grip the fabric to move it.
1. Lay the muslin on top of your jean skirt where you will be putting the motifs. It can hang off the bottom edge.
2. Lay out your motifs in a manner that is pleasing to you. Make sure that if it is going of the edge, they are on top of the muslin which you will use as a base.
3. Pin all motifs in place or use a washable glue stick to hold them down. You don't want them flapping about as you are quilting.
4. Free motion quilt/doodle them all into place.
5. Cut off the excess muslin up to the edges of the motifs.
6. Zig zag stitch the raw edges along the bottom with a tight stitch. You could go around the edge three times making each round a shorter stitch to mimic a satin stitch or you could also serge the edges.
7. Wash the skirt to give the pieces a frayed
Here's a short video in which I show you how to free motion quilt for fabric collage. Happy stitching!
14 Days of LillyBelle
Paper pieced Lily Mug Rug.
Apparently my boss (me) is a tyrant. First she told me that we could just do simple easy projects that would take an hour to develop. And then she told me I was just being lazy, and that I had to step it up a bit... "give people something interesting", she said. So yesterday she decided a little paper piecing project was in order. Nevermind, we don't do that very often around here so we had to brush up our paper piecing skills in order to do it... SHE decided it wouldn't be a problem. Hrrmmppff... she didn't have to execute her evil plan. Oh, wait. Yes she did. And SO, she (I) stayed up past midnight because apparently she can't resist throwing out challenges and I apparently take the bait every time... I can't resist a challenge. Yeah, that's right. Just TRY to tell me I can't do something. Sigh.
Now all that said, and despite the challenge I had in developing this pattern... it is really quite easy to actually make! My loss, your gain, you see. Ok, plus also my gain... I love how it turned out and I might officially be addicted to paper piecing. Too fun.
For this project you will need some scraps, batting and backing that is 10 x 13 plus 1/4 yard for binding. I used LillyBelle in both colorways... to show you how nicely the colorways can be mixed and matched, don't ya' know. For piecing and quilting I used Aurifil threads from Pat Bravo's set, Quilting Heart. The blue is 4182, and I used it on the dark pieces. The pink is 2420 and I used it on the lighter pieces plus the bobbing for the quilting.
The mug rug finishes at 8 x 10 1/2" Print it out by using the link below...
14 days of LillyBelle... Day Three. Skill Builder Fat Quarter Tote. (making darts)
lily bouquet fabric and vintage fence from LillyBelle... warm sunset palette.
If you haven't done much clothing sewing then you may not have ever sewn a dart before. Darts are really useful in clothing to add shape... around the hips and the bust are some of the most common places you'll see darts. In this project I added darts to a very simple tote to give it shape around the bottom edges. It gave it a bit more fullness where otherwise the bag would have just been flat. The other nice thing about this bag is that it took all of 1 fat quarter, half yard of interfacing (22" wide) and an eighth of a yard for handles. It finishes at approximately 10 x 10
Here's how you make it:
1. True up the edges of your fat quarter. (i.e.: The top should be the same measurement as the bottom, the sides should be equal and each corner should be 90 degrees.)
2. Fold the fat quarter in quarters... in half the long way and then again the short way. Press it so that you will clearly see the press lines when you unfold it.
3. Unfold and cut into four pieces along the pressed lines... 2 pieces will be the outside of the bag and 2 pieces will be the lining.
4. Cut interfacing to the size of each of the four pieces and press on the wrong side of the fabric.
5. Make darts in each of the bottom corners... for each bottom corner of each of the four pieces of fabric do the following:
• Fold the top corner down so that the side raw edge matches the bottom raw edge, right sides together.
• Mark 1/2" in from the corner and 3" up. See the photo below.
• Stitch from the 3" mark down to the 1/2" mark... do not back stitch at the top (3" mark) because it will cause puckers. Rather, leave a long thread tail and tie a knot to keep the thread from coming loose.
• Press each dart to one side.
6. Make the handles:
• Cut 1 - 4" strip x Width of the Fabric, and cut the strip in two pieces for the two handles.
• Cut 2 pieces of interfacing the same size of the handles and press onto the wrong side of the fabric.
• Fold each handle piece in half lengthwise, right sides together and sew along the raw edge using a 1/4" seam allowance.
• Turn each handle tube using a safety pin or tube turner.
• Press flat with the seam centered down the back of the handle.
• Fold each handle in half lengthwise and mark three inches from each end.
• Along the edge that is open, and starting and finishing at the 3" marks, edge stitch the folded handle together. (Each end will be open.)
7. Sew the bag panels together:
• Place the out side of the bag right sides together and match the darts on each side. Pin in place.
• Using a 1/4" seam allowance start at the top right corner, sew down to the bottom right corner, pivot, sew across the bottom and up the other side, leaving the top of the bag open.
• Repeat the first two steps for the lining pieces except leave a 4" opening on the bottom of the bag to turn through later.
8. Attach the handles (see illustration below):
• On the outside of the bag, mark the top center of each side (you can find it by folding in half with the seams together.
• Mark 2" to each side of center on each side of the bag.
• For each handle on opposite sides of the bag: With the seam side up place a raw edge of a handle end aligned to the outside of the 2" line. Without twisting the handle, place the other edge on the other 2" line. Use a scant 1/4" seam allowance to stitch each end of the handle in place.
9. Turn the outside of the lining so it is wrong side out. Place the outside of the bag into the lining so that the right sides are facing together.
10. At the top opening, pin the side seams together, then pin along the rest of the top.
11. Sew all the way around the top of the bag opening using a 1/4" seam allowance.
12. Turn the bag through the opening in the lining and press well.
13. Top/edge stitch around the entire top edge of the bag.
14. Press the opening in the lining toward the wrong side of the fabric, then edge stitch the opening closed.
14 Days of LillyBelle... Day two. Double sided napkins
I have to laugh at myself. This morning I decided I'd do an easy project. And oh, it WAS easy. Until I decided to video it. And edit it. And add music. And make what could have taken 2 hours take... all. day. long. Anyways, I hope you enjoy. And if you don't, please just say you do anyways. XO, b
Challenging myself... 14 Days of LillyBelle
A note for myself so I can later confirm that I was right about my sanity... Dear Bari, sometimes you do stuff that's crazy just to prove you could do it. I don't know who you are proving this to. It may just be that you have issues. I am certain that all said and done, you will agree with me that this is one of those things. I'm telling you this now so that I can tell you, "I told you so!" later... and because I love you. I know you'd do the same for me. XO, Bari
Aherm... Now that that's out of the way...
For the next 14 days I have challenged myself to make and post a project from LillyBelle each day. Today I made this braided runner. I'll have you know that my sanity may have been in question this morning when I thought it was going to be a full size quilt and that I was going to quilt it myself before the day was over... I came to my senses at about 9am. You can rest assured I will send it to someone else for quilting too.
Makes a runner for a 6' table
In this runner I used the 10 prints from LillyBelle's Cool Sunrise Colorway.... it was nice how they divide up evenly with 5 light and 5 dark fabrics. You can get a pre-cut roll of LillyBelle strips here. It comes with two strips for each of the 20 pieces in LillyBelle... you will need three... so if you are going this route, then get two packs. You will have both colorways to use in other projects.
Otherwise... here's what you'll need...
1/4 yard each of 5 light fabrics
1/4 yard each of 5 dark fabrics
Coordinating Thread (I used Aurifil 5006 from Pat Bravo's new set)
Cut all of the fabric into 2 1/2" x Width of Fabric strips
Subcut 6" pieces in pairs of dark and light, right sides facing (for a braided quilt you need mirrored images). Cut one end of each pair at a 45 degree angle. (see the diagram below)
If you are using the Creative Grids ruler, cutting instructions for using it are included with the ruler. But basically, it is a trapezoid template. You can watch a video here.
Join one and one dark trapezoid together and press. Then add anotehr light trapezod to the light size of this section. Press. Then add a dark trapezoid to the dark side of the section. Your row is finished when you have 35 pairs.
Create 2 addtional rows. Piece the rows together carefully matching the points. Trim the ends making sure your corners are trued up.
Quilt and bind as you wish.
Art Gallery Fabric's Fat Quarter Gang!
Fer-shizzle! This has to be the best gang evah! I can't wait to see what they do with LillyBelle!
Check out the details about Art Gallery Fabric's Fat Quarter Gang and get involoved here.
Bari J. + Suzy-Homemaker = Kid Pattern Yumminess!
About a year ago I mentioned to my friend Suzy of Suzy-Homemaker if she'd like to do a project with me. I adore Suzy. She's not only an incredible designer, she's also one of the best friends a girl could ask for.
It's been a long time coming... please welcome Suzy as the first licensed pattern designer for Bari J.! I love what she's done with the first two girls clothing patterns. Both are available this June. Retailers, please contact me for ordering information at Bari at BariJonline dot com.
Also coming in June... two bag patterns by yours truly...
All of the fabrics featured are from my LillyBelle line for Art Gallery Fabrics.
Making projects look professional... pillow details and a zipper how-to.
Today was the start of pillow making for my quilt market booth. If there's anything I've come to really understand in the past few years, it's the details that really count in making projects look professional. For pillows in particular there are a couple details that I think make things really have polish.
On this pillow, you'll note several things. First, the corners are rounded. After I cut, I always take a bowl from the kitchen and draw rounded lines at the corners. This way, I don't have those dog-eared corners where there's no fluff.
Second, I always cut my fabric an inch shorter than the pillow size. If I have a 24" pillow, I cut at 23". When I pop the pillow form in the cover, it really fills it up nice and fluffy. Love that.
Another thing that I'm really loving these days in the way of detail is adding things like piping and ruffles... and fringe. And pom poms. Here, there's piping outlining the mid-section of this pillow. I think adding a detail like this gives added punch and definition. For the ruffle I used a solid from Art Gallery Pure Elements to frame the pillow very nicely. The Pure Elements colors are uber-rich. If you are interested in an easy way to do piping, I love using Nancy's Zieman's Wrap and Fuse piping which made by Clover. It makes piping super easy. It is cording covered with fusible web, so you simply cut your fabric, wrap it around and fuse it together, saving you a sewing step... and pins. I adore it. Also, it comes in several sizes.
I additionally think that a pillow should be fluffy. I always use fusible fleece as interfacing to give it some added oompf.
One last thing... it's easy to make a pillow back where you overlap two pieces, insert the pillow between and use ribbon or trim to tie it, but I think a zipper makes it have a professional polish you really can't get with the overlapping method. A couple years ago, I learned an extra easy way to do this... here's how...
I hope that helps, and if you want, on the next pillow I'll videotape as I go along... I have at least two more to go before market!
Details on the fabric here: The maing fabrics are LillyBelle, of course... the center is Lily Bouquet and the sides are Flower Pop. The piping is Art Gallery's lace elements, and like I said before, the ruffle is an Art Gallery Pure Elements.
i love zippers, why you must buy this pattern, and please don't sew your fingers.
Sometimes we suffer for our art. But we probably shouldn't sew our fingers for it. However, that's exactly what I did in the making of this pattern. I should say before I start that the actual injury didn't turn out nearly as bad as it looked and is healing well. It just hurt like hell at the time.
Earlier this week, I was installing a very simple zipper for this new pattern. However, I made the hole for the zipper just a tiny bit too short. The metal part of the zipper was in the way. So... I decided to cheat. I made the stitch slightly longer and was going to push past the metal part. Which is something you shouldn't do. I should have made the hole slightly bigger and avoided the metal. And if I really didn't want to do that I could have made the stitch slightly longer and manually turned the needle past the metal. And if I really HAD to use the petal to sew through, I could have used a "Purple Thang" to push the fabric through instead of my hands.
But no. Never you mind that I knew all the various ways to cheat without sewing my hand, I went ahead and did it anyways.
The noise of the machine hitting my finger was ... unusual. I didn't know what had happened for a second. Except that there was searing pain for some reason. I must have looked away. And then I looked down. The needle had broken. It was in my finger nail and I could see a tiny bit of it sticking out the other fleshy side of my finger.
Very quickly, I pulled the needle out. This happened in a matter of seconds after the collision.
And then, my brain apparently started to digest what just happened. I wandered into the bathroom to wash my hand (hub came in after me), when suddenly I thought I was going to vomit. My head started spinning, I started sweating, the blood rushed out of my face and blammo. I passed out.
Talk about a drama queen. Jeezy pa-leesy! I'm telling you. While the nail is cracked, what this injury looks like is that I had a tiny shot in my nail. It feels at the most, bruised. But in my defense, I swear, there was really a tip of a sewing machine needle in my nail.
All this said. I believe this may have happened for a reason. You see, the good news its, you will benefit greatly for my suffering. I now know that if the zipper is 7" I should write the pattern to say the hole should be 7 1/4" which will put the metal pieces out of the way of any cantankorous needles. Go ahead. Thank me for saving your fingers.
The other good news: I totally adore this bag. (Warning: Here comes the sales pitch sounding stuff... but really I'm just excited! Ok. I also believe that this pattern better darn well sell to make the finger sewing episode worth it. You know what I'm sayin'.)
I think it feels part sporty and part sweet. It has pockets out the ying yang for convenience and ruffles for the girly me. The vertical zipper pocket is a great spot for my phone. Plus, inside there are two other pockets: A divided patch pocket and another (horizontal) zippered pocket. This kind of zipper, while it looks complicated is shockingly easy to install. I would say, even easier than a little zipper pouch. Really. I'm not kidding. I've been a fan of zippers for a long time, but I've fallen in love with this installation, and I'm putting them everywhere. Love love.
The other feature I'm crazy over is the strap. It actually can be used as both a hand strap, and be worn longer to go cross body or over the shoulder. You'll see in the photo at the top the strap is doubled. Below is the long strap. I think the hardware makes it look super professional too. And it's all hardware and zippers that you can get at the big box store... you know the one.
Below you can see how the strap hooks onto itself to make a shorter handle.
For the magnet, I did something extra special. I have long had a battle with magnetic closures because after much use on fabric they wear and eventually tear your bag. Here I've created a reinforcement that adds detail and a punch of color. I've noticed this on some of my store bought bags, and I love the feature.
This pattern and LillyBelle will be available in early June.
Sewing Pattern Sneak Peek
I'm super happy about this new pattern. I had been working on a prototype for nearly a year or more on and off knowing I needed a cover myself. I finally perfected it with a zipper, an adorable pocket with piping for your headphones and contrasting fabrics. Super thrilled to see it in my new LillyBelle collection.
Coming, May 2012
(not final cover)
"Quilts Take You Home" ...
Between sewing samples and designing patterns for quilt market from my limited LillyBelle strike-off stash, designing a new line which will debut at market, and house hunting (we are still waiting on the short sale) just one of the many things I've worked on in the past couple weeks is this fun pattern cover for Road Home Quilting.
Now I'll be immersed in the new line plus a special little project for Miss Kay at Serendipity Studio until at least Friday... I've promised myself I'll finish two prints a day. Then it's sewing sewing sewing sewing sewing sewing... If I don't surface before May 14, please send reinforcements.
My first line with Art Gallery Fabrics will be released soon... for now I'm so excited to tell you a little about it and share a bit of the world of LillyBelle with you! Please watch the video below. Also, please join Pat Bravo and me for a live twitter chat tomorrow at 1PM EST ... details here.
Good Lord, My Sewing Machine is SMOKING!
This is not the way I planned for her to go.
I bought my sweet and lovely Pfaff about eight years ago used and she worked extremely hard for me for those eight years. And she was well taken care of. She had yearly/bi-yearly spa dates over at the sewing machine shop. She has had her circuit board replaced.
But despite all her tender loving care, when it's time, it's time. And you know it's time to replace your beloved sewing machine when certain things happen. One of them is she starts to smoke.
No. I'm not kidding. There was actual smoke coming from the top of my sewing machine. Now granted, I let her cool off for an hour and then sewed two king size pillowcases with her and she seemed just fine. But the truth was undeniable. She'd been on fire. Somewhere within the mechanisms of her sweet little frame, there had been an actual fire. Or was about to be a fire.
I could no longer be in denial. I needed a new sewing machine. And considering what happened to her sister, Babylock Grace, when I opened the rear gate on my SUV (she may or may not have fallen out), I knew I needed a work horse that would not be in need of a backup for at least a little while. (Have no fear. Grace is currently undergoing a series of treatments at the spa. I will need her and all of her stitches very much.)
I ended up buying the above sewing machine, a Juki T2010. I am totally in love. Of course there are a few things I'm not totally in love with, but let me tell you, this baby is a speed demon work horse.
Made of steel, the Juki T2010, has some incredible industrial like features. She's a straight stitching/quilting machine. No fancy schmancy stitches or functions that can break.
Here are the things I love about her:
• Has a built in cutter in the foot pedal. You just step back with your heel and the thread is cut. Love that!
• Great LED lighting.
• Doesn't make any clicking or crazy sounds when you turn her on.
• Has a handsfree knee-lifter lever for the presser foot. This is key when you are fiddling and fuddling with pieces of fabric trying to keep them straight while putting under the presser foot. In fact, I had no idea what I was missing. This thing is the bomb.
• This sucker is FAST and has three speed settings.
• I haven't witnessed it myself yet, but I hear tell she sews through multiple layers flawlessly.
• Has a needle down and feed dogs down position.
• Came with an extension table that has legs that pop up for easy storage. My last table's legs we stationary or screwed in, which made it very difficult to store.
• The stitches look impeccable.
What I don't love:
• The bobbin case is to the side, and it's a little goofy to reach in that way to put it in.
• You have to screw off the presser feet, which is inconvenient.
Overall, I am crazy about this machine so far.
Now, let's get sewing, right? Last night I finally finished my sister Ilisa's 40th birthday quilt using my down and dirty new sewing machine ... It is *slightly* overdue. Her birthday was in April.
But alas, the top is finished and I'm sending it out for quilting!
This quilt is made from Flower Sugar by Lecien and was started last winter. You might want to check out the post. There are links to videos on how to machine stitch a hexie quilt.
I have to admit to procrastinating on this quilt. Once I got to the white hexies it became quite boring and tedius. I'm thrilled it's finished. And I really can't wait to give it to my sister, who I adore. Happy (um, belated) birthday, Ilisa!
There once was a very fickle decorator...
Super Husband doesn't really take well to "knocking holes in the wall" because I need to take a photo for a single pattern cover. He also doesn't take well to rearranging furniture and stuff like that ... This is what he says, "If I knock holes in the walls every time you have take a photo there would be thousands of nail holes in every wall of this house.".
To which I say, "But how am I supposed to stage this quilt and get a beautiful pattern cover? I NEED you to hang a curtain rod over the buffet!". Or "I need you to hang this coat rail in the living room!"
The bottom line here is, the rod over the buffet in the kitchen? And the coat rail in the living room? They are "permanant". Super Husband is "Not. Moving. Them. Again.".
Which means there must always be a quilt hanging above the buffet and in the living room. And the problem with this is that not every quilt I need to take a photo of is always going to look fantabulous with my decor at any given moment. Know what I mean?
Especially since I may or may not be prone to changing curtains and pillows every five to ten minutes... Um. I mean months. It *apparently* *seems* as though I change curtains and pillows every five to ten minutes. Apparently I am very fickle with the decor in this house.
When there's new fabric, there's new pillows. And there are new curtains. Duh.
The only obvious solution is I also need to keep making new quilts to go in these places that go with the curtains and pillows and all the other changes I make every five to ten minutes.
Which is a very long story to tell you the reason for my presto-chango-quilt-o-rama this weekend. Here's the latest "over the buffet" quilt rendition... I'm loving this new one. If you are wondering, the fabric is my Paris Apartment mixed with Atsuko Matusuyama's Fruit Flower Garden printed by YUMA (the seed packets and the border prints). I am thrilled with it's off-centered-ness and somewhat planned scrappy look. And you may or may not notice... I was extremely reserved with color/pattern here... Um. For me, that is.
It took every single ounce of will power I had not to add in one more print or one more color. I was like crazy uber disciplined.
My Loss of Brain Cells? Your Gain!
I wanted to give-away one of these Springtime in Paris Pocketbook kits during the Sewing Summit, and wouldn't you know it, I totally forgot. I'm 42 years old, and apparently my brain has reached it's capacity, thus anything extraeous spills over. It's problematic, really.
The good news is, because I didn't give away a kit when I meant to, and I love to give stuff away (always better than winning), I'm thinking I'll give the kit to a blog reader. I'm sure you agree this is a good idea.
The kit holds about 3/4 yards of fabric combined, interfacings, a zipper, a magnetic closure, ribbon, plastic canvas and a Springtime in Paris Pocketbook sewing pattern. I'm offering up the kit in the orange Paris Apartment fabric colorway in the 14" size.
(This cover was the alternate that didn't get printed... in case you are wondering.)
What you need to do to win is simply leave a comment here. Your comments are numbered. I'll be picking a winner using random.org on Friday, no later than 8PM PST.
Thanks for entering!
And now, for your viewing pleasure, a silly little video I made for Sewing Summit. This video played prior to class starting as people walked in. I wanted to get the party started, you know. I also plied students with chocolate. That's the secret to a good class. Silly songs and chocolate.
The song on this video is called My Pocketbook ... iTunes. I think they have a bunch of great kid's music.
UPDATE: OCTOBER 14, 2011 8:10PM PST
AND THE WINNER IS...
If this is you, hit contact at the top of this page to send me your address!
COMMENTS ARE NOW CLOSED. PLEASE DO NOT COMMENT ON THIS POST.
Sewing Summit and a Bag Handle How-to Video
Warning: I'm about to be somewhat corny. The reason is that I'm still feeling all warm and fuzzy inside from Sewing Summit. As the event approached, I have to admit, was nervous. Would people like my presentation? Will I live up to who people think I may be? Will they be disappointed? How am I going to teach a whole handbag in one hour without the use of any sewing machines?
But in the end, all that anxiety was for nothing. Sewing Summit was filled with down to earth people. There was lots of learning and sewing and it was a low key, accepting atmosphere. All of which we have two wonderful, passionate women to thank, Erin and Amy. The most wonderful part of the weekend was truly meeting all of the "friends in my phone" from Twitter.
While there, I taught Handbags 101. Because I knew I only had an hour (and no one would be sewing) I made a ton of how-to videos for my class. And in the spirit of Sewing Summit (which in the end sorta' felt like it was about sharing and sisterhood as much as sewing), I'd like to share one of them with you. This video is about how to make a cute trendy handle. In it I am referring to my Springtime in Paris Pocketbook pattern (there's a kit here) which I taught in it's entirety. But, of course, these handles can be made for any bag. Happy stitching!
I can't tell you the number of times I've been asked for a how-to video on fabric collage. This technique, which I use for many of my sewing patterns and in Inspired to Sew, is among my favorites. It involves free motion quilting raw edged fabric motifs to create a lovely shabby design. Here are a couple extra helpful hints: A question I get asked a lot is "do you turn your edges under?". The answer is no. Another question I get is "should I glue the motifs down?". The answer to this is also no. First off, it tends to gunk up the needle. Second, when you use glue or iron on materials such as fusible web the collage doesn't get the frayed edge and scrunchy look we are going for. Enjoy the video and let me know if you have any questions!
For a brand new, FREE, project that uses fabric collage head to today's post on Gen Q. I've created a zipper wristlet pattern that will get you started. For other fun projects, please see my book, Inspired to Sew, as well as my sewing patterns which you can find here. Kitchen Art is among my most popular patterns.
Free Project and Kit Giveaway at Sew4Home
I was away when this project made it's appearance on Sew4Home so I'm sorta' late to the party, but if you make your way over there, you can still download it and comment to win a kit. Good luck!
I thought I'd get more done this summer than I did. In the end, I ususally over estimate my get it done prowess. I know some of you've been waiting on the Beachside Holiday pattern... it will be back from the quilter soon, and I promise I will bind it FAST and take photos. The pattern is done. I'm just waiting on a good photo for the cover. So, if I'm not overestimating my binding skills (ahem) it really will be done shortly.
Also, I did say I'd have the Fall Quilts and More in my shop and it is now there. (Wipes sweat off brow. Marks one thing off The List.)
And now I'm wondering... What else have I promised? Seems like I'm working my tushy off here. Although ... just thinking aloud here... the tushy seems rather large for having worked it off... and on the other hand, the juicing has really been helping... if you wondered.
On the sewing front, I made my little 2 year old nephew a t-shirt. The guy is obsessed with clocks for some reason. My sister has a photo of him sleeping with his wall clock. So for his birthday party he will be wearing this hand embroidered T-shirt. I'll post the pattern over on We Love French Knots for any of you who want a cute simple clock pattern. I hear toddlers love them. Apparently it's not just our little man.
I will admit that I did make curtains for our kitchen again this weekend. I say I'm "admitting it" because I might have a small problem with changing curtains in that same spot...this is the fourth curtain rendition for the area. Can you tell that this is one of my favorite prints from Paris Apartment? (hint: the background on this blog)
I blame it on being a fabric designer (and mind you I am not whining ... I am SO lucky). But you want to use your fabric for everything. And you really shouldn't have four million different fabrics in one room. So I'm trying to go more one tone... I didn't get too far on one tone, but this fabric does have a cream background. And I went and made pillows to go with them. I'm thinking I brought it together by mixing white and cream, no? We are getting closer to matching or something of the sort.
I have a couple projects that have got to get done... stuff for other people's blogs and such and then I swear to the heavens above I will finish that hex quilt that was for my sister, Ilisa's 40th birthday which was in April. I am SUCH a slacker bad sister!!!
Ah, well, as I write, The List, it is a-growing. So have a super day, and happy sewing to you!
I finished several projects this week, not the least of which is the Beachside Holiday quilt top. Hallelujah! Now it just needs quilting and binding and it can become the pattern cover. I'm almost done with the writing and graphics on it... so that's the last task.
Next up is my sister's hexagon quilt. It was for her 40th birthday, and at the rate I'm finishing stuff it may be for her 50th. (Just kidding, Ilisa, it really is next on the list.)
Hey all. I'm working on the Beachside Holiday quillt today. I expect to have this pattern done by the end next week, the latest. Also, I need to know what you think... I'd like to make some videos for this blog... I plan on working on a fabric collage video first... what other tips, techniques etc would you like to see demonstrated?
In the meantime, I've just created a "handbag supplies and KITS" page on my website to kick off my very first magazine kit, Strip Ease.
I hope you'll check it out... Quilts and More Fall '11 hits stands today! And I will have a supply of them on my site by next week as well.
In the way of really cute handbag supplies, I just got these last week... I think they'd be perfect on this bag, don't you? They come in lime green, red and light blue.
Were you wondering where you could get some Paris Apartment Fabric? Cause I know you want to make a Bari J. Green Living Market Bag in it, yo. (snort. I said, "yo" and it wasn't in a sentence with yo-yo.)
Whoa... sidetracked again. My point was ... I was getting to ... I'm making a list of all who carry Paris Apartment Fabric. Below is who I know has it so far. I know there are more stores that have it cause I hear a whole bunch of it sold, so if you are a store who has it, be sure to let me know and I'll add it to the list that I'm about to put on the sidebar. And thank you, btw, for stocking it in your stores. I can't tell you how thrilled I am that you are happy with this line.
In other news, I've started posting embroidery stitch videos on We Love French Knots, so it's time to high tail it over there and get you a look! The big old Grand Launch is about to happen, and you are going to need to know the stitches to win goodies.
View my line of licensed fabric designs at
Art Gallery Fabrics
Ships to stores May 2013...
In stores now...
In stores now...