Saturday, August 27, 2011

New duvet cover in progress and a new pressing table

I made the duvet cover I have on my bed when I was living in a postage stamp sized apartment in Brooklyn a few years ago. I called my little apartment there Carb Corner. :) It was 3rd floor walkup above a bagel shop and across the street from a bakery. Every night the bakery would bake bread for the next day, so walking home from the subway after a night out, all you could smell in the air was butter and fresh bread. And then I'd wake to the smell of fresh bagels in the morning. I think the only reason I didn't double my weight was all the walking!  But I digress (and am now craving bread...)..Back to my duvet...I think it's really gorgeous and it's definitely one of my favorite projects.

My duvet with my beautiful Zoe cat who I miss so much... Sniff.

But I've been hankering for a change and have been collecting fabric for the last few months with big plans for a new duvet cover for my bed. It all started with the new collection of Denyse Schmidt fabrics for Joann Fabrics and I've been steadily adding to my pile of fabric with visions for my duvet. Last week I started digging through my collection of quilt books to figure out what pattern I wanted to make. Then I remembered an awesome string quilt from Elizabeth Hartman's book, The Practical Guide to Patchwork. It's a great book with some fantastic patterns and great tips.

As I was working on cutting strips the other night I realized that I needed a few more yellow and a few more red fabrics. (Well, maybe not 'needed' exactly ...) My friend Margaret, who owns Form and Fabric, just moved into a new space and even though her business is online only, she was nice enough to let me come drool over her fabric and pick up a few additions for my duvet. She's got a bunch of new stuff that I was dying to take home with me, but I was very controlled and managed to leave with only a few 1/2 yard cuts.

I'm making good headway on my blocks and have half of them complete. I've never done any foundation piecing and it made the process so easy. And my blocks are so tidy! I can hardly wait to see the whole thing come together. The green blocks are next. :)

One of the things that I quickly realized making a string quilt like this is that there was an awful lot of up and down to the ironing and cutting table. And then I remembered a little pressing table I spied somewhere on Flickr. So I traipsed off to Target and found this great little table for $15. I cut 4 pieces of batting and covered 1/2 the table with some of my Urban Circus fabric. A bit of folding and a staple gun later, voila a pressing and cutting table! I can even slide a tiny cutting mat under the fabric for storage. And the whole table can slide right under my sewing table when not in use. Love it!

So stay tuned for more duvet progress!  What's on your sewing table this weekend??

Monday, August 22, 2011

NEW Holiday Pillow Panels in the store

It's probably because it's still well over 100 degrees here in Austin and I feel as if I'm living on the surface of the sun, I've definitely got winter on the brain!

I love decorating around the house around the holidays and filling it with all my favorite festive goodies. So I printed up some pillow panels on upholstery weight twill using some of my holiday designs. Over the weekend I was able to spend some time sewing and stitched up 4 pillow covers. It was so nice to get some time away from the computer!! (And as an aside...I've fallen in love with using piping on my pillows. Sew easy!)

If you'd like to sew up your own pillows, all 4 new panels are listed in my store here and are ready to ship! The pillow panels each measure 18x18 so they're a great size. Using the piping, I was able to use an 18x18 insert in each cushion cover to make them nice and squishy. They would also make really cute and easy to sew gifts. Ohhh...don't you think the Santa Bear Dots would be really cute to make a garland from or to use as appliques on stockings or tea towels?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Giveaway winner!

What fun giveaway that was! I really loved getting to read all of your comments about your first sewing projects. It's such fun to take a little stroll down memory lane with you. And who knew there were so many of you out there who took Home Ec!?

My first sewing project was sometime in middle school and it was some sort of blouse at the local fabric store and I detested the process. I remember my blouse was a wreck and I could not get the hang of button holes. The next project was a giant orange felt jack-o-lantern pumpkin that I made for Halloween sometime in early high school. I had that costume for years and years and years. I think it finally started to fall apart after 20 years and it must have been given away in one of my moves. I took a long, long break from sewing after that. It wasn't until I was in my 30's and had an icky breakup with a boyfriend that I started sewing again. My mom suggested that I start a project to get my mind off my broken heart and I made my first quilt in less than I week I think. I just cut and sewed and cried non-stop. Pretty sad sight I was.  :) And at the end of the project I have what I like to call 'the break-up quilt'. It lived on my bed for many years and now it resides happily on my guest bed. I still totally love that quilt, which is sort of surprising since it could have turned into one of those things that has bad memories associated with it. But I think it's too pretty not to love! (I'll get some pics of it soon...)

And now on to the winner of the giveaway! The FQ pack + Pillow Panel goes to #24, Hannah. You can see all of her lovely projects on her Flickr stream here.

Hannah said: I think my first sewing project was making cheerleadering skirts for Halloween costumes when I was in 6th grade. I'm sure I had a lot of help from my mom, but I'm pretty certain that I did almost all of the actual sewing by myself. I just finished grad school, and until very recently, still had that skirt. Thanks to an elastic waist, it got lots of use by lots of people for lots of really random stuff over the years!

Hannah: Just email me and let me know which color story you'd like.

Nesting Chairs in Blue and Aqua

Nesting Chairs in Yellow and Grey