Monday, February 22, 2016

Machine Pieced Pojagi

Pojagi is a traditional Korean form of patchwork used to make wrapping clothes and ceremonial items. It is pieced using a special technique than encloses all raw edges so that the finished item is lovely from both sides. This patchwork is not layered with batting and back and is not quilted. When placed against the light, which highlights the seams, this type of patchwork is especially beautiful.
Although traditionally pieced by hand using a variety of stitches and methods, I've tried my hand at machine pieced pojagi in the past. More recently, I've discovered that the use of a flat fell foot speeds up the process quite a bit, eliminating several steps.
 
If you'd like to learn this technique, while exploring improv piecing, join me for a Machine Pieced Pojagi class at the Overland Park Bernina store on March 4th. Contact the store for more details.
For lots of pojagi inspiration, you can peruse my Pojagi Pinterest board.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Introducing the Chromascope Quilt

I'm excited to share a new quilt design and pattern with you today. The Chromascope Quilt is a modern variation on a kaleidoscope block, featuring a rainbow of stars set against a trellised grey and white background. Careful color placement creates a diagonal gradation of color and value. The best part about this quilt, aside from the opportunity for color play and use of scraps, is that it can be pieced from a single foundation template.
The eight page, full color, pattern includes fabric requirements, cutting instructions, piecing directions, foundation template, construction diagram, and coloring page. You can find the pattern for the 50" x 60" Chromascope Quilt for sale in my Craftsy shop.
Nervous about paper piecing or creating all those points? I've created a detailed tutorial for piecing the 10" Chromascope block, with step by step photos. You can find the free tutorial over on one of my favorite sewing sites, Sew Mama Sew. I walk you through the process, give you rough cut sizes for each fabric piece, and share tips for precision piecing.
 
The design is such a fun opportunity to play with scraps and think about color. I used some of my favorite prints. I'd love to see your Chromascope blocks and quilts. Tag your photos #chromascopequilt or #chromascopeblock to share yours with the online sewing community.
The gorgeous cover and pattern layout were put together by my friend and fellow quilter, Trish Koch, a photographer and graphic designer. Local peeps, she's a genius at portrait photography, and fellow quilters, she's available for graphic design work.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Scraps, Inc. Vol. 2 Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Fran who wrote:

"I live near the beach and I take most of my quilt photos there. I also like industrial type backdrops but they're more difficult to get. Love your quilt. Thanks for the chance to win this amazing book!"

I have sent you an email. Send me your information, and I'll forward it to Lucky Spool so you can get your copy of Scraps, Inc. Vol. 2.
Thanks to everyone who kindly left comments. You can still get 30% off the cover price with the code Scraps30. And check out the other stops on the blog tour for more chances to win a copy.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Twirligigs Quilt - Scraps, Inc. Volume 2 Blog Tour

If you've visited my blog more than a couple of times, then you know I *heart* sewing with scraps. It's my favorite way to make quilts. My quilt, Stripes Earned, from Scraps, Inc. Volume 1 featured scraps strips in a very masculine palette in keeping with the military inspiration. When I was asked to contribute to Volume 2, I took the opportunity to make a quilt with feminine curves and a saturated, analogous color palette.
The name Twirligigs came from the hanging, spinning garden ornaments that twirl in the breeze. I made the quilt using freehand arcs, sewn by hand using needle turn applique to strips of natural Essex linen. The improv shapes and offset placement of the curves in the columns creates the effect of spinning, cascading spirals. It's just a lot of fun. The bold, graphic shapes work best with saturated fabrics like I chose, but the quilt could take on an entirely different feel done in low volume prints on a dark background. The contrast is key.
Nydia Kehnle did the photography for Scraps, Inc. Volume 2. The urban setting she chose is such a fun contrast to the softness of the quilts. I often struggle with  photographing my quilts in interesting ways, and Nydia has done a beautiful job. The book has a fresh and hip feel, as do the scrap quilts in it. The book features 15 scrappy quilt patterns, each by a different designer.
Lucky Spool has kindly offered a copy of Scraps, Inc. Volume 2 for me to giveaway. For a chance to win, leave a comment on how you like to photograph your quilts, or the type of photos you enjoy most. I will chose a winner at random on Thursday February 11th at noon. Giveaway now closed, but you can purchase a copy at 30% off the list price here until February 16th. Just use the code Scraps30 for the discount.
Check out more stops on the Scraps, Inc. Volume 2 blog tour for more chances to win! You'll get a sneak peek at all the quilts in the book.
 
Monday, February 8 Amy Smart, Diary of a Quilter Nydia Kehnle, Nydia Kehnle Design + Photography
Tuesday, February 9 Amy Friend, During Quiet Time Alexandra Ledgerwood, Teaginny Designs Wednesday, February 10 April Rosenthal, April Rosenthal - The {Studio} Blog Dorie Schwarz, Tumbling Blocks
Thursday, February 11 Erin Harris, House on Hill Road Janice Ryan, Better Off Thread
Friday, February 12 John Adams, Quilt Dad Kari Vojtechovsky, Craft Happy
Saturday, February 13 Katie Blakesley, Swim Bike Quilt Kati Spencer, From the Blue Chair
Sunday, February 14 Melissa Lunden, Lunden Designs Allison Harris, Cluck Cluck Sew Sherri McConnell, A Quilting Life  

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Beyond Cotton - Book Review

I've admired the work of Krista Fleckenstein for several years now through her blog Spotted Stones. I particularly enjoy her improv style and color sense. When I heard she was writing a book for Lucky Spool, I immediately reached out to share my eagerness to learn some of the techniques she planned to cover. Krista was kind enough to send me a copy of Beyond Cotton: Making by Hand: Stamp, Print, Dye and Paint 18 Modern Mixed-Media Sewing Projects.
Each project in the book features Krista's impeccable aesthetic showcased by clean, beautiful photography. These book teaches so many techniques I've been curious to learn more about like hand-carved stamps and screen printed designs used to create your own fabrics. Krista includes step-by-step photographs of each technique and lists not only the materials required for each project but exactly where to find them.
a page spread from Beyond Cotton
 
Stamping fabrics is actually a skill I already had on my goals for 2016, so the book arrived at the perfect time. The Block Printed Tea Towel is a great entry-level project for learning the technique at the same time as creating a beautiful, useful object. As I pondered how to carve my stamp, I thought about shapes that don't lend themselves well to quilting but might make interesting carved shapes, which led me to gingko leaves. I thought this technique would be a good was to explore their delicate variation of shapes.
After carving the stamps, I mounted them on plexiglass, as the book suggests for more complex shapes. I reinforced the slender stems with some extra bits to keep the stems from turning when pressed into the ink pad, and the shapes stamped beautifully. The plexiglass is such a great tip. It keeps your fingers clear of ink, allows for even pressure on each part of the shape, and makes the existing design visible so stamp placement is a breeze.
Krista recommends stamping on a slightly padded surface. She suggests a simple towel or a stamping surface constructed from basic materials as described in detail in the book. I found that the pressing surface of a portable cutting mat/ironing surface combo, as seen here, works really well in a pinch.
I want to try more ink colors and more stamp shapes. I love the chalkboard effect I got from using white ink on black fabric.
Beyond Cotton is a great resource for sewists of all stripes, covering specialized skills from working with leather and rivets to hand painting fabric. It is definitely worth adding to your library not only for reference but for inspiration.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Perfect Pillowcases

With Christmas around the corner, I realized I hadn't made anything for my boys. These pillowcases were the perfect quick project to fit into my holiday to do list. 
I followed the pattern from School of Sewing. The pattern is really well written and features a self-lined border, optional flange, and all French seams. I'm confident they will withstanding frequent washings because all the raw edges are enclosed and all the seams reinforced.
I found the fun Star Wars print at my local fabric store, Modern Makers (there is still some available, local peeps!), and I paired it with a dot and text print from my stash.
I know my boys are going to love finding these in their stockings. If you've got part of an afternoon or evening free, you've still got time to make a couple for someone on your list.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Quilted Pillow Times Four

I had so much fun making these quilted pillow covers. I chose some of my favorite shots cottons to create simple square in a square pillow tops. Then I went to town trying new free motion quilting designs from Christina Cameli's Step-By-Step Free-Motion Quilting book. The designs are called Portholes, Leafy, Flourish, and Spectrum.  This is Flourish, a fluid variation on a simple paisley design.
I think I've found my favorite methods of pillow backing this time. I used fusible fleece to interface the backing and closed the pillow with a lapped zipper. The result is sturdy and polished.
I've listed the pillow covers in my etsy shop. Here's a tip for puffy, full pillows. Use a pillow form, feather preferably, that is slightly larger than your cover. These covers are 18", and I used a 20" form.