Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Sewing for littles - Superhero cape and mask tutorial

If you're on the hunt for a sweet project to keep your little super hero busy this summer, pick up some satin and felt and sew up this easy superhero cape and mask.  I used the Janome MC9400 to put this project together, and you can find the full tutorial HERE.

This isn't a difficult project, and you can practice some basic applique skills to put a great finishing touch on it.  Personalize this project with your kiddo's favorite colors to really make this project pop!
This tutorial was made for approximately 3T-5T.  The mask will fit larger children as well.

My best friend allowed me to have her precious little girl model this for me, and you can tell she's ready to take on the world :)  Happy sewing!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Summer Picnic Quilt

Summer Picnic Quilt tutorial


When summer arrives, I always get the itch to make a quilt.  Nevermind the fact that I live in Texas and it is sweltering, to say the least.  Also, disregard the fact that I have quilts coming out of my ears...what is that saying...you can't swing a cat without hitting a quilt?  (Surely that isn't the saying, but I think you catch my drift!)  So when I am thinking about making a new quilt...I need to have a reason for it, aside from just being functional to keep you warm.  I also love to sew with materials that are a little unexpected.  So I teamed up with Janome and American Quilter's Society to bring you a free tutorial for a great summer picnic quilt.

This pattern is great for many reasons.  It's layer cake friendly, which makes it a super quick sew.  The blocks are large enough to feature those great prints you've been holding on to for a special quilt.  The quilt is large enough to accommodate a family picnic at the park.  The backing can be made from laminated cotton (or regular quilting cotton, if you choose), so it won't pick up dirt as easily as standard quilting cotton.  You can just as easily throw it in the wash as you can a regular quilt (line dry to be on the safe side).  So grab two layer cake packs and your favorite sewing and quilting notions and get ready to sew your socks off!  Follow the link to the American Quilter's Society blog to get started on your picnic quilt.  

This is a great quilt to fold up and keep in the back of the car for unexpected outings (and if you have a little one in diapers, you can always use the laminated cotton side as a quick changing station on the go!).  

I quilted this with some large meandering loops on my Janome MC9400, and was done with the quilting in under two hours.  

Since the back of my quilt uses laminated cotton, I slipped a Supreme Slider onto the bed of the sewing machine and it really helped glide the fabric easily under the needle.  This isn't something you have to do, but it certainly makes the task a little easier.  I tend to use one anytime I'm quilting something larger than a mini quilt.  Put on your favorite podcast/Netflix and get ready to sew up a storm!  Happy sewing :) 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Summer fun and a DIY first aid kit

DIY first aid kit
Now that summer is here, many people are planning day outings or vacations with the kiddos.  It's a good idea to have a first aid kit with you in case something happens, and I know I haven't even kept one in my car (I'm learning, though!).  So this pattern has a free zipper pouch tutorial and a free foundation paper piecing tutorial in it.  Two for the price of one! But not really, because they're both free ;)  Head over to the AQS Blog and get your free tutorial HERE!

finished foundation block

If you don't feel like messing around with the band aid block and the paper piecing, you can totally skip that part and just cut two slid pieces of fabric for the front and back.  But those little band aids are so cute!  

I filled my little kit up with band aids, some antiseptic spray and wipes, bandage tape, gauze, and antibiotic ointment.  You can personalize yours however you'd like and maybe sew up an extra one for a friend (or for dad's car).  The little band aids are a great way to use up small scraps of fabric.  I know I have a hard time throwing any fabric away, so I'll keep this block pattern close at hand for teacher gifts or whatever!  Happy sewing until next time!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Quilting on unconventional fabrics - Quilted Notebook bag tutorial

Happy, happy 4th of July!  I hope you're able to enjoy the holiday with your loved ones and make some great memories.  

Today, I'm excited to share a free tutorial that I created with the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9400 for an awesome project bag.  I'm always scouring the house for bags to load up with notebooks, sketch pads, folders, or whatever I'm currently working on to squeeze in a few extra minutes of work on the go, and this bag has a little extra depth to really protect all those items.  It's also reversible, so you can make one side to go with the fall season and the other a little brighter to work with spring and summer!

Reversible Notebook Bag
Plus...we'll take a look at quilting on a thicker fabric than your usual quilting cotton.  I do a lot of quilting and embroidery on leather and faux leather fabrics, and there is a lot of hesitation when it comes to that from some.  When I started sewing, I didn't take a bunch of classes...rather, I just dove in and experimented to find what worked for me.  I didn't have anyone there to tell me I shouldn't try something, or that it wouldn't work, so I think that was a huge benefit.  For this tutorial, break out that walking foot (or your free motion foot) and try your hand at some geometric quilting.  


Janome Dual Feed Foot quilting geometric lines on faux leather
If you haven't tried quilting on leather or faux leather before, I'd recommend getting a few scraps of some cheap faux leather--my local Joann's has lots of remnants on clearance that I grab whenever I can--and do some quick samples.  I usually do my best work on "trash" fabric when there's no pressure to mess up expensive fabrics.  I'll make sure my pieces are big enough to make a little cosmetic bag or something with later on, because 9 times out of 10, I end up wishing I could save my sample!  

This really is a quick sew--and you can easily alter the bag measurements to make the bag any size you like, upgrade it to add some pockets on the interior and exterior, or whatever your needs are.  Check out the full tutorial on the American Quilter's Society Blog and have fun with it!  Go and conquer your fears of quilting on some different fabrics, and happy sewing!




Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Gifts for mom - the generational pillow

A few weeks ago around Mother's Day, I was contemplating what handmade gifts would be truly appreciated by mom.  As a new mom, I was excited to celebrate my first mother's day, but didn't really care about getting any gift (I honestly wanted some house chores done as a gift, and maybe some honey-do's!), so I was thinking about gifts with meaning.  I was seeing lots of advertisements on social media for jewelry and diamonds and just lots of STUFF.  I'm not much of a jewelry person, but the diamonds got me thinking about birthstones and some of the jewelry I had seen a few years ago.  I remembered one of my friends receiving a ring that had her kids' birthstones set in it, and how much she loved it.  How could you translate that representation into a quilt?  And how many people have time to whip up a "quick" quilt, by the time they are pondering mother's day gifts?

I thought a decorative pillow for the couch or bed might be more practical and manageable on a short time frame.  So I teamed up with Janome to create a generational pillow that would be a great design for using the birthstone jewelry idea and making something for the home.  You can view the free tutorial on the Janome Projects Website


I used the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 9400QCP to sew this project, and sewing the curves was a breeze.  I'm completely spoiled by this machine and will be hard pressed to sew on anything else ever again.  It even has an additional light that you can pull out for a better lit area when sewing.  It's extremely helpful, especially if you are sewing dark fabrics and using dark thread.  Another favorite perk from this machine is that when you stop sewing, the needle remains in the down position.  Which is absolute heaven when you are sewing anything tricky that you don't want to shift too much when the presser foot is lifted.  


In the free tutorial, there are three options for the pattern--you can select birthstone colors for 3, 4, or 5 people (or even more-but you'll have to do the math for that on you own ;)

If you have a couple of people with the same birthstone, you can use different tones of that stone for a little variety.  Some months even have multiple birthstones (or so I was told in my reading up on different months...), so you could go that route as well.  Happy sewing, and see you next time!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Lorelei dress: Gemma's first Easter dress

I know I'm getting a little off my usual topic by showing you some recent garment sewing, but I like to mix it up a little bit, and to be honest, a good variety of projects keeps me excited about what I'm doing every day.  This post is ALL about selfish sewing.  I took a little break from my other projects to make this and loved the result. 

I'm not a die hard mom that makes every little thing for the baby, but I did want to make one special occasion dress for Gemma as a baby--her first Easter dress.  I opted for the Lorelei Pattern from E-Beth Designs because I know Elizabeth and love, love, love the dress she made for her adorable little girl.  Plus, I purchased the mommy and me package to make matchy matchy dresses, but I was a little ambitious and didn't leave myself enough time before Easter got here.  One of these days I'll get to it, but I'll make it in a print I love instead of matching my baby girl!  Also, there is a fantastic petticoat under the dress, and the pattern is so well written that there really isn't any chance you can mess it up.  I was so happy with the results.  You can purchase the pattern on Elizabeth's website and sew it up for any special event that you have coming up.  The only suggestion I would make is to use a cotton lining fabric instead of polyester, especially if sewing for a young child.  Our church is kind of hot and Gemma was a sweaty little baby by the end of the service, so a more breathable weave might be a better option if you know you'll be in warmer temperatures.

Photo of the Mommy and Me bundle- from E-Beth Designs website
For the fabrics, I just went with some regular quilting cottons that I had on hand and had already prewashed for another project.  Sometimes I get too excited to sew a new garment pattern and don't want to wait or go through the hassle of making sure the fabrics are pre-shrunk, so I was happy to use something already prepped.  I used a purple gingham for the accent pieces and a very light purple and cream floral fabric that I thought was really sweet.  I usually am not such a reserved person when it comes to fabric selection, but I wanted baby girl to look sweet!

Front

Back
And here is the finished dress-I made the 6 month size, even though Gemma was only 4 months and it worked out well.  I wanted her to be able to wear it for a little bit before she outgrows it completely, and the sizing was pretty spot on.  She's a little over 6 months now and can still fit in it comfortably, which makes this momma extremely happy!  I was pleased at how professionally the dress finished--sometimes in children's clothing patterns, steps are skipped or the patterns aren't very well written, but this dress finishes with a petticoat and is fully lined.  I really enjoyed each step in the pattern and even learned some new things along the way.  Happy sewing until next time!  

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Penelope Dress with Double Dutch by Latifah Saafir

Hey Guys!  I hope your week is treating you well thus far!  Recently, I had the opportunity to sew up the adorable Penelope Dress (pattern by Violette Field Threads) in Latifah Saafir's latest fabric collection, Double Dutch.  The prints are absolutely awesome, and I can't wait to get my hands on the entire line once it's released!  

Latifah had sent me the raspberry waffle cone print and the white ice cream print with some matching tulle to use as the skirt.  The ice cream print is so adorable--and detailed!  I was blown away with the attention to detail of each different kind of ice cream treat.  It took me back to my childhood and thinking about ice cream trucks and summery treats.  This print was perfection in the Penelope dress, but I can't help but think of how amazing it would look after being fussy cut and put into a quilt project.  It's definitely on my to-do list!!

Ice cream print-photo from Hoffman Fabrics website
 Here's an in-progress picture of the skirt from sooooooo much tulle.  And there was a layer of glitter tulle as well.  I will have glitter on me permanently after sewing this, but it was so worth it!  


 And then a finished picture of the front and back of the dress:


The raspberry waffle cone print was used as an accent for the collar and sash, and the ice cream print was used for the bodice, sleeves, and ties.  Latifaah has a picture on her Instagram account of her gorgeous niece modelling the dress, and her adorable nephew modelling some garments embellished with the fabrics.  

The Penelope dress was a pretty straight forward pattern, and I love Violette Field Threads' patterns.  They are always a good choice for little girl outfits and are very well written-even for a beginner sewist.  You can make the dress with tulle, or you can opt for a standard garment fabric (or even quilting cotton).  It is a little bit time consuming, but totally worth it and a great dress for spinning in ;)

Be on the lookout for Latifah's line and make sure to snatch some up before it's gone!  Happy sewing :)

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild Mini Quilt Show

The guild I belong to recently held a mini quilt show/silent auction, where the members were challenged to make modern mini quilts measuring 16" square to show and raise awareness for modern quilting and invite people to ask questions about what our guild does.  The event was graciously hosted by Sew Special Quilts in San Antonio, where they provided space for us to show the quilts and have our meeting after hours.  They were so awesome and have a great selection of quilting and sewing supplies, so if you're in need and in the area, please show them some love!  

I already posted about the mini quilt I made two weeks ago (the double wedding ring mini quilt), but I wanted to share the other two quilts I worked on, in collaboration with Debra--a fellow member of the guild.  

The first quilt I quilted was pieced by Debra from yet another guild member's inaugural fabric line (Leslie Tucker Jenison-Urban Artifacts by RJR Fabrics).  It's a great design and awesome way to showcase a variety of great fabrics.  For this quilt, I just quilted some simple contrasting straight lines.  I think the fabrics and design of the mini are more prone to show better when the quilting design is simple.
Pieced by Debra B, fabric-Urban Artifacts by Leslie Tucker Jenison
pardon the not-square appearing mini.  It really was square, but I forgot to smooth that wrinkle before I snapped this picture.  This was right after quilting and mini was not yet bound. 

The second quilt I quilted was also in collaboration with Debra.  Debra hand cut each charm square from a Grunge charm pack and fused the fabrics to the background.  I thought this was a super cool quilt pattern to use and has the illusion that all the circles are connected.  For this one I wanted to do something to make the circles stand out from the background, so I quilted a smaller grid on the fused circles and then did some straight line quilting on the background fabric.  

Mini Quilt "pieced" by Debra B. using Grunge fabrics
We had a really great night and the event was so much fun.  It isn't often that everyone in our guild participates in "Sew and Tell", and we had a lot of members participate in this.  Seeing the range of everyone's quilting interests and what their personal specialty is was a treat.  

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Love Patchwork and Quilting Issue 48!


photo provided by Love Patchwork and Quilting
fabric for quilt provided by Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Have any of you ever made a goal so outrageous that you don't ever really even consider it to be a possibility?  You might still work towards that goal, but the hopes that it will come to fruition aren't there.  That's exactly how I feel about this post. I always looked at the quilts and projects in this magazine and was blown away by the talent and variety.  I'm BEYOND excited (so excited I'm yelling in all caps!) to say that this quilt I submitted to Love Patchwork and Quilting Magazine made the cover!  When I started sewing a few years ago, I joined the San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild, and someone mentioned that LP& Q was the only magazine they bought.  So I jumped on that train.  I had never heard of it, because I was very new to quilting, let alone sewing.  I was tired of the traditional color palettes that are represented in other quilting magazines.  It was definitely love at first sight, and I subscribed to it immediately.  (And ask for it for Christmas every year!)

photo provided by Love Patchwork and Quilting
fabric for quilt provided by Robert Kaufman Fabrics

I'm super excited about the photography of this quilt!  I've never had a quilt professionally "shot" before, so it is thrilling to see the results (and know that I have a lot to learn when it comes to my own quilt photography ;)

This quilt is something I worked really hard on, and for a long time.  I am so thankful to the amazing people at Robert Kaufman Fabrics for providing the Kona Cotton Solids that were used to make the cover quilt, and for the opportunity from LP&Q to share my quilt!

I did some custom quilting and a little bit of ruler work on the longarm to finish off the quilt.  I hope you'll check out the quilt in issue 48 of Love Patchwork and Quilting!  Thanks for letting me share my happy news with you :)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

English Paper Piecing - Double wedding ring style!

Good morning!  So many milestones going on in our household this week--our little girl turned 6 months last week (How has it already been half a year???) I celebrated my first mother's day, started the baby on her first solid foods, and it's my husband's birthday this week.  Needless to say, it's been super busy, and I feel like I've been to the grocery store almost every day this week.  Do they give frequent flier miles for multiple grocery store trips in one day?  I should also mention we live 12 miles from the nearest grocery store...  I'm sure you can relate to the feeling that you're flying by the seat of your pants on household chores and checklists.  Laundry, dishes, etc., etc., but I wouldn't trade it for the world!

One of the many reasons I love English Paper Piecing is the opportunity to slow down and enjoy the process of hand sewing.  I also love combining multiple parts of the sewing and design process and planning out a project from start to finish.  There is something so satisfying in making something completely from start to finish...even if it sometimes feels like you're recreating the wheel.  


I started by sitting down with my EQ7 software and designing a mini quilt for our local Modern Quilt Guild.  We recently had our first silent auction event and mini quilt show (SO FUN!).  Then I printed templates onto cardstock for the EPP pieces and started thinking about my fabrics.  I had a great charm pack of Kaufman Kona Cotton Solids that I had been holding onto for over a year, and thought this would be a great opportunity to use it.  I traced and cut out my fabrics, and then had to pause when I selected my background fabric. 

I knew I didn't want white, and I really like the effect black and white patterned fabrics have with solids.  So I auditioned a few different fabric choices--I really thought I wanted to go with a black and white stripe, but I opted for a more solid-reading print instead.  I pieced together a few of the DWR pieces and then placed them on top of my background fabric choices.  Pictured below is what I thought I was going to go with, but I instead selected a Tula Pink True Colors black and white print.  Because...Tula!!!


From the basic design in EQ7 (They already have the blocks drawn up...I just sized them to fit my needs), printing the cardstock, then cutting the fabrics, I got to take a breath and piece in my leisure time.  HA.  Leisure time...You know what I mean.  The semi-quiet moments in the house when my hair wasn't on fire ;)


Then I loaded the mini on my longarm and did some simple stitch in the ditch around the wedding rings and some loopy swirl combos on the black and white background that blend nicely.  It may seem kind of dumb to longarm a mini quilt, since you need a little bit more backing fabric than you would if you were to quilt it on a domestic, but I figured I paid for that huge machine and I'm going to get my money's worth!  Plus, I had just taken a fresh quilt off of the frame, and I had to take advantage of it before I loaded my next quilt.  It made for a slightly quicker finish than if I'd done it on the domestic sewing machine.

I was thrilled with the results, and playing with the color gradation and high-contrast background was really a lot of fun.  But mostly, I was able to really enjoy the process and each step along the way.  I don't know about you, but from the day I started sewing, I've always eyed the double wedding ring quilts.  I'm not sure I have the patience at this point in my life to see a full-sized quilt through, so this mini quilt was the perfect opportunity for me to cross a DWR quilt off my quilting bucket list.  I had also never taken the time to hand piece curves before, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be.  Really, I had built it up to be this super scary moment, when all you really need to do is take a little extra time and carefully mark the centers of each EPP piece prior to piecing it, and make sure you line the centers up while adjusting the curves.  

I hope your sewing adventures take you somewhere awesome this week, and try to slow down and enjoy the process behind what you're doing.  I know I really enjoy the projects where I can slow down a bit and take a break from the hustle and bustle of life.  Happy sewing friends!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Select a size iPad Clutch free pattern


Good morning!  Things have been a whirlwind in the last month!  I have some really exciting things that I've been working on at Kustom Kwilts & Designs that I can't wait to share with you in the very near future, and I'm so excited that I can finally share this free tutorial with you that I teamed up with Janome to bring you.  Find the full tutorial HERE- at the AQS blog



There are some specific things I look for when creating a handmade gift for someone.  I like a quick project that looks like it took a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG time.  This is one of those!  The supply list is fairly short, so you can easily grab a few fat quarters from your stash and get this project going today, in time for Mother's Day next week, or whip up several for those really awesome teachers in your child's life.  The tutorial allows for you to select from several sizes of tablets, so you should be able to select the size your person uses and get going right away!  



I've been sewing on the newest Horizon Memory Craft 9400QCP, and this machine is a true workhorse.  I love everything about it, and quilting on this machine has been a lifesaver.  It creates absolutely beautiful stitches and really makes my projects look professional.  




I hope you'll take a minute to check out this free pattern--you'll love the simple style and elegant finish you can achieve with basic or complex quilting.  You can really make this your own and put your special touch on it to brighten someone's day.  I hope you enjoy your weekend!  

XO,
Joanna

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Variety is the spice of life!



Good morning!  Sometimes I think that when people look at my blog or my Etsy shop that they may not see a cohesive product…and I worry about that a little sometimes.  However, I just enjoy doing all the things that I do too much to get rid of any of them.  I know I could maximize my time and efforts if I chose one endeavor and focused only on that, like quilting or bag making or pattern writing.  But I love them all dearly.  And there’s something to that saying, “Variety is the spice of life”, am I right?  In my previous career, I was an agriculture science teacher.  Let me tell you…that is a job where you never have to worry about having the same day twice!  That’s what made it fun and exciting, and that’s why I love being able to create a multitude of things.  The teacher in my wants to share patterns and tutorials to give a love of sewing to others, and the bright color lover in me (I was obsessed with Lisa Frank, growing up in the 90s!!!) loves to translate that love into bags and quilts.  I know that my "creative process" (I really don't take myself too seriously, so don't roll your eyes at that) would suffer if I didn't have all of these things to throw myself into.   





I love making things that last.  I want the things I create to have some sort of impact.  I want to bring happy colors and joy to people, even if it is in some small way.  So today, I’m going to share one part of my creative business with you that I don’t focus on too much on the blog.  I started making my Mamacita Loca bags just a few years ago (I still have the very first one I made and don’t ever plan to get rid of it…kind of like when businesses frame their first dollar they make!).  I loved the idea of the embroidered handbags I was seeing at rodeos and stock shows at different vendor booths.  The aesthetic was loud (which I loved), but I wasn’t crazy about the selection of embroidery designs available on the bags.  I started thinking of how much I would LOVE to see some Calaveras embroidered on the bags and more Dia De Los Muertos themed items.  My love for Halloween runs deep, and I always was obsessed with Day of the Dead when I learned about it in high school.  So I started making some simple bags and adding embroidery to them.  I even offer custom embroidered monograms for the bags.  They look really great (and I feel like you don’t have to worry as much about your purse getting stolen!).

Like any endeavor that is started from the ground up, there were lots of things that needed to be improved on.  For one, I had zero background in bag making, aside from some free patterns I had gotten online for some VERY simple quilted bags.  I didn’t really know anything about stabilizers or interfacing.  Luckily, I knew I needed to refine all these things before I offered these bags to my customers.  I am pretty proud of how far they’ve come, and that I still make these bags 100% myself.  No one else touches them, start to finish.  I feel like I’m able to offer a really great, handmade product that can offer a sense of personalized style. 


One of my first Mamacita Loca handbags

This bag was one of my earliest bags (as you can tell from the lighting and poor photography!).  I get most of my skull embroidery designs from Urban Threads Embroidery, and I absolutely love their site.  I was a little disillusioned when I first started embroidering before I found them, and was disappointed in how “traditional” most of the embroidery websites were.  I wanted something that felt young and fresh, and they were the answer! 



I’ve moved away a little from the blatant DDLM themes and have started moving towards the boho scene with colorful arrows and a little southwestern influence.  I have always loved Mexican style saddle blankets and started using the serape-fabric with the faux leather for a really bold look. 


Anyway, I don’t plan on editing out bag making anytime soon, and I just wanted to share this part of my creative process with you.  I really love the entire process, from selecting the fabrics and then choosing an embroidery design, selecting threads to coordinate with the design and the fabrics, and then putting the whole bag together.  These are available in my Etsy shop under the Mamacita Loca listings, so go have a look HERE!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Working with baby :)

Good morning!  I'm going to take a brief pause from the regularly scheduled program to be real for a minute...and fair warning...there is not much sewing talk in this blog post.  I want to talk about running a business while taking care of a baby.  

My husband and I are both SO extremely blessed to be able to work from home.  However, he does have to travel some.  Which means our usual schedule of passing the baby off to one another takes a break and I'm full time care giver for a short period of time.  Which is AWESOME.  There's some sarcasm in that comment, but there is also 100% truth.  As I type this, I can hear my little girl baby talking through the baby monitor that's perched a foot from me at all times when she isn't on me.  I never thought I would say this, but it is music to my ears.  And while I may not get all 50 tasks on my daily to do list completed in 24 hours, I'm fine with dragging the incomplete tasks to the top of my list for the next day.  

I was very naive in thinking running a quilting business AND being daycare manager to my little one would be a piece of cake.  There are times when it's trying and I'm not sure I'm going to make the deadlines I set for myself, but it always seems to work out.  I'm no expert in time management, but I'd like to share some of the things I've implemented to still be able to work a minimum of a 40 hour work week.

1.  Wake up at 3:30-4:00 AM...Luckily, (for now, anyway) baby girl sleeps in until 9:30.  That gives me about 5 hours of UNINTERUPTED work time.  Granted, I can't always leave the house and walk out to the studio, but I can brainstorm and plan for upcoming projects, write invoices, and calculate estimates for customers.  

2.  NEVER sleep when the baby sleeps...If I got one piece of advice over and over again before and after I had this sweet baby, it was "Sleep when the baby sleeps".  I will say, I don't enjoy naps.  I lay there, thinking about how much time I am wasting not falling asleep and run through my list of things I could be getting done, instead of getting some shut-eye.  I try to make the most of every tiny nap she takes and bust my hump to get some quality work done.  And I can honestly say that was the worst advice I was given (that's saying something!)

3.  Basically, it's just more of one and two.  Early bed time for baby means more work time for me.  For some reason, I thought I had all these great tips on how to run a business and be a stay at home mom, but all it boils down to is making the most of your time while the baby doesn't need you.  Also, don't waste time on inconsequential tasks (IE makeup ;) .  Unless there are appointments with real people that day.  Then, don't skimp!

And finally, what do I really know???  My sweet little angel is only 4 months old.  I'm sure someone is reading this, shaking their head, and saying...well wait another week and we'll see how that works out for you.  

So I'm going to end with...this parenting gig is much harder than anyone could ever explain.  And the hard work really hasn't started for us.  So here's to muscling through...and why do I want to add an emoji to every sentence I type (insert eye rolling emoji here)...?  Have a great week and hopefully I'll have some sewing goodness to share next week!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Chevron Table Runner free tutorial with foundation paper piecing

So St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner--let's face it--everything is right around the corner!  I feel like I blink and the week is over ;)--anyway, you probably need some greenery in the kitchen to avoid getting pinched, right?  Well, you're in luck (like what I did there??), because I've teamed up with Janome to bring you a super simple tutorial for a table runner.  If St. Patty's Day isn't your thing, you can easily swap out the colors for something more suiting and make it your own.  

So pictured below are a few great supplies to have on hand for foundation paper piecing.  I absolutely love my add-a-quarter ruler.  It has a little lip that you butt up against the edge of your fabric for easy trimming.  I'm also a big fan of Cristy Fincher's glue basting tips that you can get HERE.  They screw onto the top of a regular bottle of Elmer's school glue and are fantastic for distributing just the right amount of glue to the fabric.  And some 8.5" x 11" newsprint paper--you can use standard printing paper if you don't have this on hand and don't want to make a special trip for it.  The newsprint tears away a little easier than the heavier weight printer paper, so that's why I prefer it.  And a glue stick!  The rest of the supplies are pretty standard sewing supplies.  


Foundation Paper Piecing Supplies

When you foundation paper piece, you sew on the printed side of the paper.  The fabric is secured by using a little glue from the glue stick to adhere it to the opposite side, and the elmer's glue to add another piece of fabric.  Be sure you shorten your stitch length--a good rule of thumb is to shorten your stitch length to 1.5 or smaller.  This perforates the paper enough to easily tear away later.  If you don't shorten the stitch length, you could play tug of war trying to tear the paper away once your blocks are complete!


Use a ruler to trim away the excess fabric and paper (you may want to use a rotary cutter that you designate for paper use for this), making sure you leave the 1/4" seam allowance in tact!


Visit the Janome Website for the full instructions on how to finish this sweet project!

Enjoy the rest of your week!  I know I will--as I type this, my husband has taken our 3 month old for a walk so I can have a little break :)  I love her to pieces, but my lanta--sometimes it's nice to have a minute for yourself!  Happy sewing!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Red Heart Quilt - client quilt

I recently had the privilege of quilting this gorgeous quilt for one of my clients.  The piecing is just gorgeous and the quilt was donated to a charity event/fundraiser.  I quilted the quilt with free motion hearts all over the top.  

Quilt Pieced by Debra B.
 This was such a joy to quilt--check out the close up of the free motion hearts :)



Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Quilted Oven Mitt Tutorial (Free project)

Yikes!!  So I'm a little late on sharing this, but it will be here for future reference ;)


Do you love a fun (and quick) project for Valentine's sewing?  Check out this sweet tutorial I teamed up with Janome to create HERE .  

This is a great project to incorporate some low volumes with a great print that you've been saving (I used Liberty of London), but you might now have a lot of! 


The oven mitt tutorial can also be customized--you can leave out the reverse applique option for a simpler finish and enjoy your new oven mitt quicker.

Happy belated Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Embrace the Chaos Workshop with Libs Elliott :)

Libs Elliott was the guest speaker for the San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild Meeting!  It was so awesome to have her lecture at our meeting and present a workshop the following day.  She was such a fun guest speaker (and even did her workshop for us on her birthday!)  

Libs delivering lecture at SAMQG meeting
The workshop Libs presented for our guild was "Embrace the Chaos" and was a great way to discover some planned improv piecing.  I know I have a lot of trouble just winging it and creating something without any planning.  Libs' workshop was a really unique presentation on how to create something similar to her code method without the use of electronics.  

This is the quilt top that I ended up with (after I enlarged the blocks quite a bit)...these are 12" blocks, so it's roughly 60" x 60".


I'm waiting for a small break in my work load until I can quilt this for myself, so I'll post an update as soon as I get it finished!  

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Graffiti Quilting my Karlee Porter Panel


I know I already posted about attending the Karlee Porter workshop that SAMQG hosted a few months ago--but I really need to post about this as well!  Karlee has some really awesome panels that she designed, and if you haven't felt them in person, they are buttery soft.  This one is called "Explosion" (picture is from Karlee Porter's website), and if you want one, click HERE to order your own!  And FYI, this one is ginormous!  
"Explosion" printed tapestry designed by Karlee Porter (picture from Karlee's website)




I love sewing and piecing and constructing quilt tops as much as the next person, but seriously...it is so awesome to load a quilt top and not worry about the hours, days, weeks it took to piece it.  Especially when you get to skip that part entirely.  There's nothing better that just mindlessly losing yourself in a quilt while quilting.  This is my ultimate stress reliever.







The back of the quilt (Tula Pink wide back)


I haven't hung this one yet, as I haven't bound the edges, but I will update this blog post once it's finally finished.