Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Quilt Market Sewing: Handcrafted

The Handcrafted collection by Alison Glass is really as beautiful as they say it is. As a rule, I admit that I'm not so into anything approaching the category of "batiks," but she makes it work by keeping the designs simple and the colors brilliantly saturated. The fabric weight is perfect for garments and quilts, but Alison (who is, by the way, just as lovely as her fabric) asked me to make a few bags for her market booth. I made a Malibu Satchel and two variations on my Nora Clutch. The prints are paired with pieces of chambray by Andover, and I love the way they work so well together. I bought a layer cake of the collection after sewing up these samples, and I'm hoping to make a quilt before the year is out.

I always have mixed emotions when Quilt Market ends. Following all the fun on Instagram is exciting and inspiring, but it's also a relief to wrap things up and settle back into the pleasure of everyday sewing again. After an insanely busy October, I feel a bit like a child who has finished her school work and is ready to play...

Friday, October 24, 2014

Quilt Market Sewing: Birch Fabrics

Birch Fabrics is still one of my favorite companies to sew for, always featuring clever designs, beautiful color schemes, and the nicest people. Most of my Market sewing for them this time was done with the new Charley Harper line, Nurture. This nine patch baby quilt would be perfect for a little boy's nursery.

Here's a close up of those great prints. I love that bottom right block the most. Those colors are just perfect!

I pieced together leftover fabrics and a cheater print for the backing.

There was one extra nine patch block leftover from my original planning stages. I decided that it would make a fun little pillow to go with the quilt.

This owl fabric on the back is adorable, isn't it?

The Nurture canvas is just right for bags. I had a lot of fun fussy cutting this giraffe print for my Malibu Satchel pattern.

The feather prints are fantastic basics. I even cut a little piece of canvas selvage for a makeshift label instead of a pocket on this version of the bag.

They asked me to make one more Malibu Satchel out of prints from the new Serengeti collection by Jay-Cyn Designs. All those colors look so happy together...

I've been absolutely delighted to see the stunning booth that the Birch crew is putting together. Be sure to stop by their Instagram account @birchfabrics to get a peek!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Quilt Market Sewing: Wild & Free

Wild and Free Agave Clutch by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

Getting the opportunity to sew projects for Quilt Market is never something I take lightly. There's no question that it's exciting to work with fabric that hasn't yet been released, but it comes with a strong sense of responsibility too. These projects are part of what designers are using to sell their fabric, and it's important to me that my work makes their work look good. My friend Maureen has a beautiful limited edition collection coming out with Art Gallery Fabrics this fall, and a few weeks back she gave me the challenge of making projects with pieces of her fabric that were approximately 3 x 4" or smaller. She also sent me some coordinating AGF solids to add to the mix. I had a great time seeing how creative I could get with these little scraps. While most market projects are made entirely from large pieces of fabric, I don't think it hurts to show people how a collection looks on a small scale too, especially since scrappy projects are always a popular choice with quilters.

Maureen's Wild & Free collection is a beautiful mix of bohemian and traditional styles, and it made me immediately run for my stack of linen to use as a background for all the projects. The version of my Agave Clutch above has the largest scraps I used on any of the projects. The yarn dyed Essex linen in leather works as a simple backdrop for the prints, and I also love the leather ties I used on the zippers -- something I repeated on all the projects I made with this collection.

Wild and Free Mosaic Bag by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

I made a smaller version of my Mosaic Bag to feature the tiniest scraps. The half square triangles on here finish at one inch, and I adore the way they look. It's almost like having a small modern painting on the front of this piece.

Wild and Free Mosaic Bag by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

Maureen's prints line up nicely along the top of the pocket on the back of the bag. I used Andover's denim colored chambray for the background and braided cream colored cord for the handles.

Wild and Free Hexagon Coin Purse by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

The last thing I made was a little coin purse out of black Brussels washer linen. All these bags are lined in AGF solids, and this pouch has an interior of saturated gold that looks fabulous against the navy zipper and dark linen. Using a more limited color scheme, I made four tiny half-inch hexagons and hand stitched them to the front. It's a small accessory, but I really like the way this pouch turned out.

Definitely check out Maureen's blog to see the amazing things that she and others have been creating with her fabric. I know her booth is going to be drop dread gorgeous when all of these projects come together in one place!

I'll have more Quilt Market sewing to share with you next week, so stay tuned!

Thursday, October 9, 2014


Acorn Trail Softies by Fabric Mutt

My parents left on a road trip before dawn this morning, and the next two weeks are going to be tough on my daughters, who are so used to having Grampa and Nana nearby for a hug at any given moment. So I couldn't have been happier when my latest order from Fabricworm showed up in the mailbox yesterday containing the Acorn Trail panel for these darling cut-and-sew animal softies. I've been swimming in Quilt Market sewing lately (pictures of that to come later this month), but I stayed up late last night to make some cuddly friends for my girls. I knew they would be needing them for comfort today.

I'm being honest here -- this isn't the best example of my sewing skills. It was well past midnight before I was through, and I was getting a little punchy at the end. God bless kids, though...they don't care if all the edges don't match up perfectly or the opening in the side isn't slip stitched closed. They just give you that happy smile and hug their new toy like it's worth a hundred bucks.

"Thank you, Mommy," Bunny said to me quietly as she cuddled her namesake this morning, "for staying up so late to make these for us."

And suddenly getting only five hours of sleep doesn't seem like such a big deal after all.
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