I’m so excited to introduce you to my newest sewing pattern, the Lovely Long Skirt. You can find it in your favorite quilt shop and book store … in a book written by my friends, Caroline Critchfield of Sew Can She and Sarah Markos of Blue Susan Makes. The book is called Just for You – Selfish Sewing with Your Favorite SewCanShe Bloggers, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it! (Keep reading to the bottom to find out about the giveaway … actually two giveaways!)This new book is filled to the brim with great patterns designed by some of your favorite bloggers, and they’re all patterns for you to sew for you!
The maxi skirt pattern that I designed for the book works perfectly with all of the lovely designer jersey knits on the market. I absolutely love sewing with knits, and I’m a big fan of knit skirts with yoga-style waistbands. When you wear them, you look stylish and pulled together, but you feel like you’re wearing your PJs! The Lovely Long Skirt is a gored skirt that has a slim fit at the waist and through the hips with a flattering flare at the bottom.The rolled hem takes advantage of that roll-y nature of jersey knits. You just leave the hem unfinished, then wash and dry it! Easy peasy!My pink skirt is sewn with a Michael Miller jersey.
Samantha’s dotted skirt is made with Riley Blake jerseys. I love how a simple change in fabric completely changes the look of the skirt. Mine is sophisticated. Samantha’s is fun! (I adore the extra splash of color in the yellow waistband.) Now for the giveaways! First, I get to giveaway a copy of the book! US winners will receive their very own paperback copy, including full-size paper patterns, courtesy of Stash Books. International winners will receive the eBook version with patterns that you print from your home computer. To enter, just leave a comment on this post, then come back up to the Rafflecopter and register your entry. (Don’t forget to do the second part, or you won’t actually be entered!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Second, Caroline is giving away a prize package which includes a copy of the book AND fabric to sew the Chevron Shrug, the Lace Infinity Scarf, the Bella Pouch and my Lovely Long Skirt! To find out how to enter Caroline’s giveaway, just click the collage below: Finally, don’t miss the rest of the blog tour! Each designer will be introducing and sharing a bit about her project from the book and giving away a copy. There’s plenty of inspiration and more chances to win coming up! The link list below will fill up as the posts and giveaways go live.
One of my goals this year is to improve my quilting skills … and to actually finish a quilt-along! I’m excited about the new round robin quilt-along that started yesterday at Patchwork Posse, not only because some amazing quilter/bloggers are offering tutorials of their favorite blocks, but also because I get to do my first quilt block tutorial as part of it! (My block is scheduled for next month.) “Pop Rox”, the first block in the Around the Block Round Robin, was designed by my friend, Caroline, from Sew Can She. It’s a fun one that has just enough complexity that there’s a little bit of a challenge in it, but I was able to finish it easily after dinner last night. I struggled a little with getting my points to line up, but I found that increasing my seam allowance to right at 1/4″, rather than the suggested scant 1/4″, when attaching the triangles solved that problem for me. I think that may have been a cutting issue, rather than a problem with the pattern, though. Quilting requires much more exact cutting than sewing clothing!
A new block tutorial will be posted at Patchwork Posse every Wednesday through April. Once all 12 blocks are finished, Becky will walk everyone through adding borders, machine quilting and binding. Oh, and there are prizes! Every week, a great new prize will be given away to one of the participants who posts their quilt block pictures to Becky’s Flickr group. If you’re ready to give quilting a try or looking to build your quilting skills, come join in the fun!
I am so excited to share my finished It’s a New Year Sew-along pillow. I adore it! This is definitely one of those projects that I needed the motivation of a sew-along to finish, though. I am so not one to tackle sewing anything that requires lots of tiny pieces. There was a bit of grumbling in my sewing studio over how teeny these finished blocks were, but I am so glad to have done it. I’m in awe of the ladies in this sew-along who made whole quilts!
Once I had all of my blocks finished, I started playing around with the layout, and I was amazed at how much the whole look changed when the blocks were arranged differently.Isn’t that cool? In the end, I went with the top right layout.Once my blocks were all pieced together, I added a piece of cotton batting and quilted down the middles of the outside strip in each block.After spending so much time on the front of the pillow, I felt like I had to do something exciting with the back, so I went hunting on Pinterest where I found this tutorial from Pile o’ Fabric: Adding a Zipper to a Quilted Pillow Sham. I generally just do cross-over sham-style closings, but this seemed easy enough to try out, and I loved the finished look that it gave the pillow.Seriously? This was so simple, I feel a little foolish that I haven’t been making pillow shams this way all along! (Feel free to ignore the fact that my top row does not line up with the rows under the zipper.)Here’s my finished mini-log cabin pillow doing a beautiful job of decorating the loveseat in my sewing studio.She has a few friends that I was inspired to stitch up, too! I’ll be sharing more about them next week.
Sorry it’s been so quiet here this week! My oldest two children and our granddaughter are here from California and Georgia to celebrate a late Christmas with us. I managed to sneak away for a few minutes to make sure that I met this week’s goal in the It’s a New Year Sew-along, though!
Here’s a quick preview of my mini log cabin blocks. I’m making 20 blocks total — 16 for a toss pillow and four for a mug rug — I think. As you can see above, I have four more to go, but those last ones are going to have to wait until our family visitors have gone home on Monday. In spite of their tiny size and the fact that I’m not generally one to sew projects that involve itty-bitty pieces, I’m really enjoying sewing these! (I’m not sure I could muster the patience for a whole quilt made from blocks this small, but these small projects are just fine.) You do really have to be super careful to square up each side as you’re piecing these, though. Because they’re so small, every little wiggle shows up! Caroline has some great tips for beautiful finished blocks over on the Sew Can She Blog: Week 3 – Sewing.
If you’re sewing along with the It’s a New Year Sew-along at Sew Can She, this week’s assignment is to show off your cut mini log cabin strips. This part is really easy with a unique sort of satisfaction. I grabbed my cutting mat, ruler and rotary cutter, heated up the iron, put an episode of Eureka on the Roku and started cutting! I’m sure I cut way too many strips for the project that I’m doing, but I tend to like having too many rather too few. I’m sure that I’ll use the leftover strips for another project . . . someday.
You can see from the picture that I opted not to use the first fabric that I’d chosen for the center squares of my log cabin blocks. The pictures were just too big to fussy cut for a 1″ finished square. 1″ is really small! Since I’m not planning to sew all of my blocks at one time, I piled all of my strips into a basket. This way, I can grab them out as I need them while I’m sewing, and put them up out of the way once I’m done for the day. This basket looks really cute sitting on a shelf, too! (I actually do this often with all sorts of sewing projects. I like to do all my cutting at once, then toss everything for a certain project into a bin or basket so I can pull it out and work on it as I have time. It makes cleaning up my space a breeze!)
I mentioned in my 2013 Year in Review post that I’ve been working on a whole new re-design of my sewing studio. I’m so anxious to get it all done so I can share it with you, but I don’t want to share it until it’s really finished! The project that I’m doing for the sew-along is for my studio, though, so you’ll get a little peek at the colors in the room when you see the fabrics that I’ve chosen.What do you think? I’m planning to use the If She Sews, She Knows fabric from Michael Miller for the center squares of my log cabin blocks, but I’m not totally sure that I’m going to love it. I guess I’ll have to sew up a block or two and see what I think then!
So, are you ready to sew along? I can’t wait to see what you make!