Thursday, March 29, 2012

One Day I Won't Be Able To Run..Today Is Not That Day

Who is that handsome superhero in disguise? His name is Gage. He is about my eldest daughter's age and he's been in the hospital more times in his young lifetime than I ever have. He had a brain tumor and is now recovering from major surgery. I can not for the life of me fathom what this adorable little man is enduring nor the pain & financial hit his parents have had.

I'm not writing this to plead with you to donate money (though if you want to, that is pure awesome). What I am asking you, is if you live in Utah.. come run with me. That's it, come run with me. There is a 5k run on April 28th to raise money for this amazing family. Seriously, is there a better way to start the event season or more beautiful inspiration to get off that couch and move??  I think not.

I will be there. I will be running with all my heart. I will do it because Gage could have been my baby. He could have been yours. Let's show Gage his superhero powers have not gone unnoticed!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fun Easter Projects From 2011

I ended up not being ready to quilt again last night. No, I'm not afraid of my machine - the swelling and pain was just a little too much to try to work around. In the meantime, I am presenting my Easter project tutorials & freebies from last year. I did a ton! Apparently Easter is great inspiration for me!

Hope you enjoy! Many of these projects are on my Tutorial page for future reference.

(A great projects for kids!)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

You Know You're A Die Hard Free Motion Quilter When..

When you free motion in and out of your thumb..twice..
break the needle and then have push it on the other side of the finger.
All the while your toddler screams and is in awe of the ordeal.

In a word.. ouch.

My original post will be delayed a day or so. Have no fear, I'll be back to quilting tonight and will have a fun inspiration piece for you..

In the mean time, want to play my game?

Feel free to finish the line..

"You know you're a die hard free motion quilter when..."

Monday, March 26, 2012

Quilting Gallery - Mini Quilt Exchange

I am a huge fan of the Quilting Gallery. Michele works very hard to promote other quilters, create fun activities that involve the blogging community, and swaps. For this last swap, our task was to create a mini quilt. I have been intrigued by the granny pattern that Blue Elephant Stitches created. I didn't quilt mine following her tutorial, mainly because I created them at my quilt guild Sewing Saturday and my tablet died before I could see the tutorial. I think I may even try to this foundation pieced next time and see if I like that better..

 I desperately wanted to crochet around the colored blocks as a fun spin on the "granny" motif, but I ran out of time. Later this month I am hoping to make this block again and try it with my running stitch crochet technique.
I really like the final mini quilt and was so happy to hear that my swap receiver loved it too. Have you tried the granny block yet? I'd love to see your pics!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Show and Tell

I hope you had fun with the Easter pillow series! This weekend I had time to decorate the house for Easter and enjoy some Cadbury eggs.. Mmm..

Today I invite you to link up to your Easter projects. There are no prizes or promises of fame.. only that I would love to see what you have been creating!

Come on back tomorrow to hear & see pictures from my latest swap on Quilting Gallery.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Eggcellent Series #5 - Crochet Easter Egg

Thank you so much for joining me this week. I hope you have learned some new techniques and have been inspired to create a pillow. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me any time.

Today I will you show you how to crochet on an applique. However today of all days, because that's how it works, neither of my two sweet kids would nap... so I originally planned to do 3 pillows - 2 bunnies and 1 egg.. and I had time to do the one egg..  Gah! Heartbreaking for me, as I was really excited to bring you this technique. I may revisit it again before Easter with all 3 pillows, photographed beautiful with abundant sunlight. Until then..

Materials Needed:
Plain store bought pillow cover
Scrap fabric for applique
Scrap piece of fusible webbing
Perle cotton - cream and pink
US 7 crochet hook
Embroidery needle

 Step One: (Boo.. I know it's the bunny, but I've been working on these all week and thought I would have all three done..) Anywho.. Draw out your applique shape and make sure it will fit on to your pillow cover.
 Step Two: Iron on the fusible webbing to the wrong side of the applique fabric.
 Step Three: Trace and cut out your applique shape; iron on to the pillow cover front.
 Step Four: Straight stitch the applique down to the cover.
 Step Five: Using the perle cotton and embroidery needle, backstitch around the perimeter of the applique. You want to try to keep your stitch as close to 1/4 as possible. It doesn't have to be exactly 1/4", but try to be consistent with the stitch size. It is important that the crochet hook can slide underneath the stitch, but that the stitch is not so large that it sags off the fabric.
 Step Six: With your hook and perle cotton, single crochet in every stitch around the perimeter. Slipstitch the last stitch to the first.
 Step Seven:  Draw out your design on the applique with an erasable pen.
 Step Eight: Backstitch the design with your perle cotton and then single crochet in each stitch.
And there you are! I love this added dimension to quilting & sewn projects. I think this pillow would look awesome with some crayon tinting too.. Hmmm. Another week of pillow projects? Nah.. ;o)
Have some amazing Easter projects of your own? Come on back tomorrow to share!

What's coming next week?
I'll share the highlights of some my past Easter projects and show you how to do another crochet/sewing tutorial for a ruffled diaper cover - perfect for spring photo shoots..

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Eggcellent Series #4 - Bunnies At Church

I can not believe there is only more day left in my pillow series. This week has flown by! I hope that you have been inspired to try a pillow, maybe even one of the tutorials I created. It has been fun and completely fulfilled my crazy desire to create a bunch of Easter pillows.

Today, I present "Bunnies at Church".. isn't it sweet? This is a vintage pattern from Needlecrafter - you can download it by clicking here. There are a ton of awesome vintage patterns to play with.
Materials Needed: 
Fat quarter of white fabric
(2) fat quarters of spring pattern fabric
13" square of fusible batting
Polyfill stuffing
Crayola crayons
hand needle & thread

Step One: Print out the embroidery pattern from the site listed above.
Step Two: Grab your erasable pen and trace the pattern on to the white fabric.
 Step Three: Using your white crayon, color in wherever you plan on tinting with crayons.
 Here is my completed piece; this provides as a surface treatment for your tinting.
 Step Four: Color in and have fun! Now colors may slightly change after you free motion and heat set it. If you compare this to my final pillow, you can see that the colors become more subdued.
 Step Five: Now it's time to free motion! Free motion drawing has a very distinctive look, especially when you are doing it with your conventional sewing machine. I love it, I'm crazy about it..but not everyone is. If it is not your cup of tea, feel free to complete this embroidery by hand. If you like it like me, here are some tips:
* lower your feed dogs, if you can't do it manually on your sewing machine then you can tape a business card over them while you work.
*check to see if your machine has special settings for free motion - mine did and I didn't know for about 6 months..doh!
*some lower the stitch to 0, but I don't
* try to be consistent with your speed on the pedal and moving the fabric.
 Step Six: Now it's time to heat set the crayon and remove the pen marks. Place a sheet of copy paper on top of the embroidery and heat set with a very hot iron. You will know you are done when the crayon has left some color on the paper.

 Step Seven: To complete the cover you will need to cut the following pieces and sew as seen below.
Fabric A - (2) 2"x10"
Fabric B - (2) 2"x13"

 Step Eight: This pillow is just decorative and the cover will not be removable. I didn't use a pillow form and simply stuffed it with polyfill. For this reason I wanted to give the cover more stability. I cut a 13" piece of fusible batting and ironed on to the wrong side of the cover.

Step Nine: Cut a 13" square of one of the spring pattern fabrics. Pin the front and back covers right side together. Sew the around the border with a 1/4" seam allowance and leave a 3" open space on the bottom of the pillow. Clip the corners up to the stitching line and pull right side out.
 Step Ten: Gently fill the pillow with polyfill stuffing to your desired puffiness. With a needle and hand quilting thread, sew up the 3" hole with a ladder stitch.
And there she is! I love that you can enjoy hand embroidery patterns in a fraction of the time. I love free motion sketching and use it lot with raw edge applique as well.

Come on back tomorrow for my final pillow tutorial in the series.. crochet on fabric..mmmm, my favorite!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Eggcellent Series #3 - Are You Good Egg or a Bad Egg Pillows

Are you a good or bad egg? When I started on my Easter egg pillow craze, these came to my mind. I think they are so fun. They are another reverse applique / faux chenille technique like my Shabby Chic egg pillow. This one has a cleaner edge in case you are not a fan of the free motion sketch motif of the other one.

Materials needed for both pillows:
(2) 14" pillow forms
1/2 yard of linen
1/2 yard of spring quilting cotton
1 yard of light weight fusible interfacing
large scraps of fabric for the faux chenille eggs
(2) invisible zippers

Step One: Cut out (2) 14" squares of linen and (2) 14" squares of the cotton fabric.
 Step Two: Create your applique shape template. For this pillow I did a single extra large egg. Now pick out the fabric you will want to use as the applique. Stack four layers of the fabric, making sure the applique shape will easily fit within. Next draw 45 degree angle diagonal marks every 1/2 inch apart (see photo below). The lines are closer in this tutorial and it will make for a fluffier chenille. 
 Step Three: Sew down every marked line. Cut end to end down the middle of each marked line, only through the top three layers. Do NOT cut through all four layers. There is a chenille cutter on the market that is perfect for this task, but it is not necessary for this small project.
 Step Four: Take a chenille brush or unused toothbrush and severely agitate the freshly cut fabric. I find it helps if you squirt a bit of water on the fabric while you agitate. Isn't that fluffy goodness.. love it!

Step Five: With an erasable pen, sketch your applique shape on the front cover. Place the faux chenille behind the front cover. You will have the chenille right side up against the wrong side of the linen.
 Step Six: Pin the faux chenille to keep it in place.
On only the linen, cut out the egg shape. With a satin stitch, sew down the border of the egg shape.
 Step Seven: On the back of the cover, cut away the excess faux chenille fabric.
 Step Eight: Cut out (4) 14" squares of fusible light weight interfacing. Iron on the to the wrong sides of both covers and backs.

Step Nine: Free motion quilt "the good egg" and the "the bad egg" on the pillow covers.

Step Ten: Install the invisible zippers on the bottoms of the covers. Then pin the front & back covers right sides together. With the zipper unzipped about halfway, sew around the perimeter with a 1/4" seam allowance. Cut the corners up to the stitching line and pull it right side out.

That's it! Super easy and so much fun..

If you like the look of free motion sketching, you have to come back tomorrow! I'll show you how to convert a hand embroidery pattern into free motion, crayon tinted fun..

Sharing this tutorial at:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Eggcellent Series #2 - Paper Pieced Cross Pillow

Okay, you got me, this pillow isn't an Easter egg motif..but it is Easter related. I think this pattern would be fabulous as a gift for a Baptism or Christening too.

 Materials needed:
*Travel pillow form
*3 fat quarters
* 1/4 yard of light weight fusible interfacing (optional)
*invisible zipper
*my paper piece pattern - click here to download

Step One: Print out the cross pattern; I gently color the pieces to remind myself which fabrics are to be used. Cut section A from section B (as seen below). You will then paper piece quilt this portion of the pillow. I have a tutorial here if foundation quilting is new territory for you. If you have any questions at all, please email me at

Your finished paper pieced section should measure 6" x 9.5" (for this pattern I did not use a 1/4" seam allowance on the border - I cut it down exactly up to the paper edge)

 Step Two: The remainder of the front cover is completed like Courthouse Steps.

Here are the pieces you will need to cut out.
Pink: (2) 1.75" x 9.5" and (2) 1.75" x 8.25"
White: (2) 2" x 11.75" and (2) 2" x 11"
Print: (2) 1.75" x 14.25" and (2) 1.75 x 13"

Step Three: Pin and sew the long pink strips that measure 9.5" as seen below.
Step Four: Pin and sew the remaining shorter strips that measure 8.25" long.
 Step Five: Repeat this process with the final two groups, sewing the longer strips first on the vertical and then the shorter strips on the horizontal. Your final front cover piece should measure 16.5" x 13".

(Optional): Cut a 16.5"x 13"piece of light weight fusible interfacing and iron on to the wrong side of the front cover. Serge or zig zag borders of cover for a professional finish.
 Step Six: Set aside the front cover for now. You will now need to cut the back cover and attach the invisible zipper. For this pillow, I placed my zipper right smack in the middle of the back.

For the back you will need to cut: (2) 13"x 8.5" pieces of fabric.

(Optional) Cut (2) 13" x 8.5" piece of light weight fusible interfacing and iron on to the wrong sides of the back cover pieces. Serge or zig zag borders as well.

Step Seven: As I mentioned yesterday, I think Sew Katie Did does a phenomenal tutorial on installing invisible zippers. However, I will show you briefly what I did since it is a little different (but not much..)

You are going to open your zipper and place one of the zipper tapes flush with one of the back cover pieces. You want the right side of the zipper tape placed on the right side of the fabric. Pin zipper to fabric and sew on with your invisible zipper foot.

 Here is a picture of my $2 Coats & Clark zipper foot that is awesome! Go slow and be sure that you are not sewing the zipper teeth as well (ahem.. don't ask me why I mention that..)
 Easy Peasy! Press and enjoy how simple that was.. ok, now to sewing the other side.
 You will want to zip your zipper up while aligning the next part. Again, you will want the other zipper tape right side on the right side of the fabric. Pin and then you can gingerly unzip and sew down.
 Step Eight: You can see below I have all kinds of extra zipper tape - no worries. Now you will pin the front & back cover right sides together. I'M GOING TO YELL THIS NEXT PART - UNZIP YOUR ZIPPER ABOUT HALF WAY. Seriously or else you will be throwing this whole thing away, and that will make you very sad.

Once your zipper is partly unzipped, sew around all the edges with 1/4" seam allowance.
 Great! You're almost completely down. Now snip the corners up to the stitching line - this will give you nice sharp edges and clip off any extra zipper tape.

Since your zipper is unzippped (right??) you can then pull your pillow cover right side out.

Step Nine: Stuff your pillow with the form and enjoy!

You can use this cross paper piece template for a number of things. The really great thing about foundation piecing patterns, is that they are easy to scale up or down. All I ask is that you use this pattern for personal or charitable use.

Come on back tomorrow for The Good/Bad Egg pillow tutorial..


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