Sunday, July 26, 2009

Top Secret Sewing

Are you wondering what I have been working on lately? I have been sewing and binding and writing instructions for several projects... but I can't tell you about them. I could tell you about them, but I can't show them to you. It is like being on double secret probation. Although sometimes the best place to hide something is right under someones nose..... are you curious yet?

In the last few weeks I have finished a project for American Patchwork and Quilting that will be featured in an issue of the magazine sometime next spring or summer. As you can imagine they like each quilt in every issue to be new and fresh looking and they certainly don't want the designers stealing their thunder by posting photos of the projects on their blogs. I will tell you that it was made with a group of navy blue and white batik prints that are absolutely gorgeous and it was delightfully fun to do. This project was so far in the future that the fabrics are not even ready yet, they don't debut until fall Quilt Market. I was working with a limited amount of sample yardage and I will be using the remaining scraps for a second project for Timeless Treasures. I designed and constructed the quilt top and Rebecca Stahl did an amazing job quilting the project for me. If you were in the shop you may have seen it. It was in pieces on the design wall, photographed in the classroom and spent several days draped over my ironing board. Sometime next summer you may pick up a magazine and think to yourself, "hmmm, that looks familiar".

We were also thrilled to receive a pattern order for our "All that Miters" project from... let's call them a "large catalog house". They too don't like to have their selections publicized before the catalog is released. This table runner pattern was a last minute project for my Traditions fabric line for spring Quilt Market. After finishing all of the full size projects for the market booth I realized that I didn't have one that featured the stripe print, so I made this runner using only the stripe. After hours of designing, planning and construction on the theme quilts this last minute project attracted the most attention - go figure. In this case the pattern All That Miters will be featured in the catalog, but it will also be available on our website very shortly and is already available in our store. If you would like to order the pattern now, you can call the shop at 412-487-9532.

As long as I am doing "sneak peeks" I might as well show you the newest Button Pillow in our selection. CookieTime is hot off the needle and the instructions are finished. Kits are underway and we are pre-cutting and pre-fusing the gingerbread men to be included in our kits. As always we will be including the cute embellishments and floss right in the pattern pack so that you have everything you need to finish the project. It takes the staff elves quite a bit of time to put the kits together, but we expect them to be ready very soon. You can call the shop to reserve one and we will gladly set one aside for you. The fun part about this pattern is that you have the option to dress the gingerbread men in aprons or shorts, although I prefer mine wearing nothing but icing trim!
The button people have finally responded to our many requests for sew-through buttons and you can expect to see several new designs featuring snowmen with carrot noses and birthday candles and Hanukkah items and winter trees and lots more very soon!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Now is that cute or what?

There is a reason we named the pattern for this project the "Super Simple Mitered Placemat"! You won't believe how easy it is to do. There is a link to download the full color step-by-step instructions in the post below. You will notice when you print out the pattern it is priced at $2.50 and if you stop by the shop and request a color copy, that is what we charge, but if you print it out yourself, it's FREE!

I made this sample in about 25 minutes this afternoon. It is one of our great litte projects that has a "magic trick" to go along with it. You quilt the focus fabric to the batting and oversized backing. Then you trim and fold the edges. A few simple seams later you flip the backing over the raw edge to the front and TA-DA! The backing forms the border with finished edges and mitered corners in one simple step! A little top stitching and you are done!

The instructions are for one placemat, if you would like to make more, one yard of focal fabric and 1 1/2 yards of backing will make six. When it comes to the quilting, I chose to stitch around each of the bagels instead of marking an alternate design. I also think a row of decorative top stitching around the inside edge of the border would look nice, but I have five more placemats to make first!


Testing, One,Two,Three....

I don't have time to discuss my relationship - or lack of relationship- with technology today. Let's just say that my how-to education as far as uploading, pdf'ing, hot linking, etc. is equivalent to those that learned about sex by reading the graffiti on the back seat of the school bus. There have been lots of mistakes and hands on learning involved.

I do have some tech savvy friends that understand my utter lack of skills and are willing to speak to me in "english". I also have a son-in-law that is an engineer that writes the computer codes that keep airplane engines running in all kinds of stressful situations. He has learned to keep a straight face when I ask a question. All of this is leading up to the fact that I think it is possible to post a free pattern here on the blog. I've been spending some time trying to figure that out, but when it gets right down to it, I just have to try, so here goes:

That link may take you to a free placemat pattern that would be absolutely adorable made out of the new bagel fabric we just received yesterday OR it could just be blue letterning.......

one way or the other, I'm working on it.
P.S. Confession is a good thing, so I must admit that after over an hour of taxing my brain to no avail, I emailed Amy our web guru and ping! In a matter of minutes she emailed the link that works. Now I'm going to go sew and as soon as I have the quilt top I'm working on assembled I am going to start on bagel placemats using black for the border and the self mitering instructions on the handout.