Thursday, July 28, 2016

Christmas in July - Holiday Cheer

Welcome to my stop on the Benartex Christmas in July Blog Hop.  Benartex has so many fun collections coming out for the holidays it was hard to choose a favorite.  But when I saw the Holiday Cheer collection, I immediately had the perfect project in mind.

Bright colored candies and cocktail treats....This collection was screaming to be made into party napkins!  They are pretty easy to make so I thought I would include a tutorial in case you want to get started on your holiday sewing.

The first step is to get the fabric pre-washed (to remove shrinkage) and then pressed.  I use either starch or a starch alternative like Best Press to get it really nice and flat.

 You will want to remove the selvages and square up the pressed fabric to the size you desire.  
When cutting your fabric to size, you will need to compensate for the 2.5" you will lose in the finished edging. For my 14" napkins, I cut a 16.5" square.

 At your ironing board, fold down 1/4" and press to the wrong side around all 4 sides of the cloth..  I use a small ruler to help with this.  
You can also mark your fabric with a light pencil line on the wrong side if that is easiest to follow.  
(Using Best Press on this step will help to ensure the fold doesn't open up in handling.)

  Next, with the 1/4" still pressed down, you will fold in and press an additional 1" on all 4 sides of the cloth.  Once again, the use of starch or Best Press will keep the folds from opening up.

On a flat surface, open up the 1" fold but keep the 1/4" fold, down.  In the corners, draw a line at 45 degrees through where the fold marks intersect.  I use the 45 degree mark on my ruler to line up with either the edge of the cloth or the fold mark.  Remember to mark all four corners.

Now fold the corners right side together (keeping the 1/4" folded down).  The outer edge of the cloth should be lined up and come to a point. Sew on the pencil line, remembering to back stitch at the beginning and end of the stitch line.  Sew all four corners.
Trim the corner about 1/4" from the stitched line.  I may also trim away some of the bulk at the corner where the fold is to help keep the points sharp.
 Now just fold in and you will get a nice mitered corner with a sharp point.  I use one of my cutting rulers to slide into the point to push them all the way out.  Give all the edges another press.

At this point, you can choose not to line your napkins and just top stitch around the mitered edge (see below) - or you can get even more festive and line your napkins with a coordinating fabric.

I cut a 13" square and tucked it under the mitered edge.  I then pinned all the layers around the edge to make top stitching a little easier.
In a nice contrasting or complimentary thread (your choice), stitch along the inside fold about 1/16" from the edge.  Remember to backstitch when you start out.  To turn the corners, put the needle down right in the miter, lift the presser foot and turn. I also backstitch at the end.
And there you have it - fun holiday napkins!

Perfect little gifts for that favorite hostess...

 Or put them away for use at your own holiday party.  
Aren't the prints adorable in this Holiday Cheer collection!

So, I am not the only one featuring some great ideas for the new holiday collections by Benartex.  Check out what some of these other bloggers have come up with earlier this week.  You might even find a few giveaways there!

     Chris from made by ChrissieD, featuring Jolly Penguin and Friends
     Debby from Debby Kratovil Quilts, featuring My Little Chickadee
     Alison from Little Bunny Quilts, featuring Sparkle
And if you haven't already visited Benartex's Sew in Love {with Fabric} blog, be sure and head over for more information.

So did your ears perk up at the word giveaway?  Well, I am holding one too!  If you would like your own little fat quarter bundle of the Holiday Cheer collection I used in my napkins, you have two ways to enter.

1.  Just leave a comment below telling me what item you would make with this fabric.

2.  For a second entry, follow my blog through email or a blog reader like Bloglovin.  Just leave me a comment letting me know how you are following along. 

Quilting is more fun than Housework...

This giveaway is only open to US residents (sorry) and closes Monday August 1st 2016 at 12 noon (PST).  A winner will be chosen from the comments by random number generator and contacted through email.  So make sure I can contact you.  If you are not sure if you are set up as no-reply, please leave your email.  Giveaway bundles will be mailed directly from Benartex to the winner.

Good luck!

Linking Up:

Crazy Mom Quilts (Finish it up Friday)
A Quilted Passion 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Summer Solstice QAL - HSTs

So. Many. HSTs.

Our "homework" this week for the Summer Solstice Quilt Along with Happy Quilting is to make all of the Half Square Triangles.  I am making the 9 block layout so there were a lot of HSTs to be sewn and trimmed.

For me, that meant making 216!  I am going to use two different background colors and I am making some of the block components in the same fabrics for all the blocks.

In other words - I am making it much harder on myself!  :)

To see what others are using for fabric choices, you can check them out here.

Linking Up:

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Oh Scrap! : Before I Knew It

Happy Sunday all my Scrap Loving Friends!

I know many of you can appreciate this little story.

I was looking through some bags of fabric trying to find some gray strings I knew I was saving.  I opened one bag and came across a bunch of these leftover strip sets given to me by a client.  I knew I also still had a bunch of teal and brown 2 1/2" fabric strips in a previous bag I had looked in. I started chopping up the strips and sewing up these blocks.

 Before I knew it, I had a scrappy quilt top all finished!

Now, back to looking for those gray strips again!  :)


Now it is time to share your scrap projects, here are the details for linking up:
  • This linky party is for any scrappy project - It can be in-process or a finished piece.
  • You can link up your blog post (not your homepage please) or Instagram photo from the past week that features your use of scraps.
  • If you are linking to a blog post, I ask that you link back to my blog somewhere in your post. So if you are writing about scraps, just get into the habit of including a link as there will be a linky party available every week!
  • If you are using Instagram, please use the hashtag #ohscrap.
  • This is a party so remember to socialize and comment on the posts of others.
  • Following my blog is not necessary but it sure would be great if you do! 
Quilting is more fun than Housework
<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="Quilting is more fun than Housework" width="125" height="125" /></a>

So if you love scrappy projects, feel free to grab my button for your sidebar or posts and get ready to share all your wonderful projects from scraps.  And if you have a great idea for using scraps and would like to be featured, feel free to contact me!

Linking Up:

Love Laugh Quilt (Monday Making)
Patchwork Times (Design Wall Monday)
Cooking Up Quilts (Main Crush Mondays)
Em's ScrapBag (Moving it Forward)

Friday, July 22, 2016

Some Stash Additions

I had sworn off any additions to my stash but sometimes I just cannot help myself!

I have been crushing on these two C & S prints for a really long time.  I finally picked them up during a recent visit to the Stitching Post in Sisters Oregon.  I showed great restraint not walking out with armloads of fabric!

And I have mentioned before that buying fabric in a kit form is a great way to save money.  Recently, I saw the Hailey's Star kit with the backing on Craftsy at a ridiculous price.  It comes with Angela Walter's Fragmental fabric - a collection I really like.  I don't know if I will make the quilt - but the per yard price of the fabric just could not be passed up.


This weekend Craftsy is having their Christmas in July sale and while they are not offering this kit at the same price I got mine, there are a number of great deals happening.

One of the great deals I will be taking advantage of is the price on their Boundless solids.  Over the weekend, their per yard price is under $5.  I have a few colors I need to replenish in my stash.

I am using them to make this colorful quilt.  They are being made from a fat quarter bundle of the Modern Brights.  You can read my review of the fabrics here.

Did you notice the bottom left block on the wall?  Yes, I sewed up an entire block with incorrect color placement.  I could have cried when I saw what I had done!  I am still pouting a bit and haven't picked the project back up.  Maybe next week I can tackle sewing up the last of the blocks.

Enjoy your weekend!

***This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you, I may make a small commission, which I appreciate so much!**

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Custom Wall Organizer

Slowly but surely, I am working away at a few projects that have been stacked in my sewing room for a really long time.  One of them is a custom wall organizer inspired by this one I saw on s.o.t.a.k handmade.  I have some specific size requirements so I knew I would need to make the pattern to my own dimensions - probably why it has been ignored for so long..

I usually have zero confidence in my ability to sew 3D items like this organizer so I decided to just pull some older fabric from my stash - that way if I messed up, I wouldn't be disappointed.

Once I drafted up my dimensions, it was time to start cutting and sewing.  First up was figuring out the curved pockets for the front.  Svetlana provides a template but my organizer is a bit wider and I wanted a bit different shape. 

Thanks to the great tutorial, it went together pretty easily.  I did decide to use fusible fleece rather than the stiff interfacing suggested.  It worked pretty well but I might try the stiffer interfacing in the pockets next time.  Once I finished up the outer binding it was time to cut and install the grommets.

I have to say, this was a nerve wracking process!  I was so afraid I would make a mistake or cut the holes too large.  The template and the instructions for these grommets had been lost ages ago so I was on my own.

But take a look!  I took my time and everything went together perfectly.

As I was finishing up this project, I realized how great this organizer would be for rulers.  I divided the brighter orange pockets in my organizer so the rectangular rulers fit so nicely.

I might just have to make a second one for in my sewing room.  So even though I finished up this project, it looks as though I still have the same number of items on my to-do list!

And here it is on the wall.  I needed something in the area I meet with clients that holds my patterns and magazines.

I am so pleased with the results!

It was sure a nice confidence booster.  Maybe now I can finish up a few other projects I have been dreading...

The weekend is on its way!  I still have one more week of my staycation so I am hoping to get a few more projects checked off my list before I go back to working on client quilts.  Time is flying by!

Linking Up:

Crazy Mom Quilts (Finish it up Friday)
A Quilted Passion 
Sew can she


***This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you, I may make a small commission, which I appreciate so much!***