Monday, October 19, 2015

Patriot Flower Sugar

Recently I became part of Lecien Corporations new Flower Sugar World Ambassador program.  I have joined a group of designers, around the globe, who get to sew with the new Flower Sugar fabric before it's released to the public.  The first collection is Flower Sugar Fall 2015 which will be unveiled next week at the International Quilt Market in Houston, Texas and will be in stores in May 2016.

I have long wanted to make a patriot shabby chic quilt to go with my style and decor in my home. The red, white and blues from Flower Sugar fit that description perfectly.  The pattern I used for the quilt is "Just Pruned" by Brenda Ratliff, owner of Pink Castle Fabrics. The pattern first debuted in Issue 7 of Quilt Now magazine.  The pillow was made using the pattern, "Patriotic Pillow" from the Summer 2015 issue of Easy Quilts magazine.

I enjoyed every minute of sewing with this gorgeous fabric and I have more projects to show from the remainder of the line.  I have been hoarding collecting all the Flower Sugar fabrics from previous lines and I must say, they compliment each other wonderfully.

Have a great start to your week!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Tiny Box Zippy Nightmare

Can you believe that awesome paper pieced project bag that Gina made me?  Oh my word, when she gave it to me at a recent sewing retreat I about fainted.  That girl has some mad paper piecing skills. She also is one of the nicest people I know.  Gina is one of those people that when you meet her, you feel like you have known her forever.  At this same retreat, I tried to tackle my fear of zippers. Michael Ann gave a wonderful class on her Tiny Box Zippy.  Don't let this little pouch fool you, it was tough as nails for me to make.  I sewed the zipper in wrong and had to rip it out.  I sewed that back yellow panel to the side and had to rip it out.  When I got it all done I saw that I had sewed the pocket on the inside of the lid, upside down.  So, in my frustration I cut it out with scissors.  The rotary cutter is covering up a blood stain from where I pricked my finger, unknowingly, and bled on the fabric.  I'm keeping this pouch, blood stain and all, because in the end the zipper is installed correctly!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The First Four Farmers Wife Blocks

I am back today with the first four blocks in the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Along. Please see yesterday's post for details.  I have been traveling and had to play a bit of catch up.  Here are some tips I found helpful in making these blocks:

1.  Don't be in a hurry.  Make sure when printing the templates from the CD that you click actual size and not print to scale.  Take the time to measure the one inch guide to be sure you are cutting the right size.  Yes, I messed up my first two blocks and had to redo them.

2.  I'm pressing all my seams open.  This gives me a bit of extra wiggle room so that I can trim the blocks to 6.5"  I did not prewash my fabrics, but if you do, starch the life out of them so there is no stretching of fabric.  Bias stretching is not your friend in making these blocks.  Yes, I repeat, I messed up my first two blocks and had to redo them.

3.  There are lots of quilters who want to help make this a pleasant experience for you.  Be sure to go to the FB page for helpful tips and also be sure to visit the scheduled bloggers to see their tutorials as well.

4.  Most of all, have fun!  Be sure to read the letters that accompany the blocks.  It is such a fascinating peek into the lives of the women and how they were feeling during the depression.  We all have family who lived during that time and it allows you to perhaps walk in their footsteps for a moment.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Sew Along

The Fatquarter Shop and Gnome Angel have teamed with Marti Michell to kick off this year long sew along.  They have asked a group of bloggers to join in on the fun and I am happy to be included in this group of talented quilter/bloggers.  Over the course of a year, each blogger will be making blocks and showing a tutorial on their blog.

We are using the book "The Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt" by Laurie Aaron Hird.  The back of the book reads:  " In the 1930s, The Farmer's Wife offered inspiration and positivity in the "Letters from Our Farm Women" column.  Each month, the magazine published letters from readers that offered support and encouragement to each other in an economically challenging time for our country. The Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt shares ninety-nine of these letters from The Farmer's Wife magazine published during the 1930's, and a traditional quilt block inspired by each one."

The blocks can be made in a variety of ways.  The book includes a CD with templates, paper-piecing patterns and rotary cutting instructions.  In addition, Marti Michell has developed a set of templates that can be used to create the blocks as well.  She has a list of the templates you need on her blog.

I am using my Singer Feather Weight Sewing Machine from that era to complete the quilt because I feel that much closer to the women who originally wrote the letters and stitched quilts of their own.

It was fun deciding what fabric to use.  My choice is "Line Dried" by Mama's Cottons for Connecting Threads.  I love the vintage feel to this collection and it's just so pretty!

Here are some important links compiled by Sedef of Down Grapevine Lane (no point in reinventing the wheel, thank you Sedef!):

Official Sew-Along Page:  here

Facebook Group:  Search FarmersWife1930sSamplerQuilt

FAQ's:  You can find answers to common questions here

The list of bloggers can be found here

Book:  The Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 quilt blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W, here

From Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates:  Find information about the templates and a list of templates that you can use to make the blocks here

If you put any of your blocks on Instagram, please use the hashtag #FQS1930FarmersWife so we can see your progress and you can get inspired by other quilters.

I will be back tomorrow to show you my first four blocks.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Zip Top Tote

Happy Monday!  I have been traveling and away from my blog for awhile.  I attended a sewing retreat in North Carolina and will be sharing more about that in the next few days. Today I want to share with you my latest project.  The "Zip Top Tote" pattern from Handmade Style by Anna Graham of Noodlehead.  I've been shying away from zippers for years and this bag not only has a top zipper but also a zippered inside pocket.  One of the things I learned at the retreat was how to install zippers. I still need more practice but am quite pleased with how this turned out.  The nautical print is by Cosmo Textiles and was purchased at Pink Castle Fabrics.  It's a fun and roomy tote, currently holding a quilt I'm working on, a magazine and a book.  I hope you are having a great day!