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Coming Soon: School of Sewing!

February 27, 2014

School of Sewing, learn to sew, beginner sewing book

Big news to share today! My first book, School of Sewing: Learn it. Teach it. Sew Together. will come out in September!

Published by Lucky Spool Media, it is a book for the true beginner or those looking to teach a true beginner. There is machine buying advice, the what and why of sewing supplies, a detailed troubleshooting section and it’s filled quotes from actual beginners and I think that is my favorite part. It includes the storyline of my group of eight students who have been learning over the course of the last year!

My greatest hope is that not only will beginners pick up this book, but also experienced sewists looking to teach a friend, neighbor or co-worker to love our craft. The book is designed to tackle one project a month with each building on the skills learned in the previous lesson. The projects are functional, gift-able, and (with the exception of one project) can be made in one class!

This book is packed with info and is beautifully photographed by the ever so talented Lauren Hunt. It’s sophisticated and crazy informative and I can’t wait to show and share more!

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I feel like celebrating! So let’s do just that. Now thru March 9th, all PDF patterns are 20% off in the shop with the code CELEBRATE.

 

And, start thinking about whom you want to teach come September! Have I got the resource for you!

 

Q is for Quilt: an ABC quilt

February 25, 2014

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It’s Q Week in Graham’s preschool class. And that can only mean one thing: it’s time to take our ABC quilt to school!

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As I pulled it out of the cabinet today, I realized that I’ve not blogged about this quilt. It’s a fun story that is worth sharing, I think.

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These blocks were made waaaaay back in May 2010 in one of the bees I belonged to at the time. Each of the 11 other members made two letter blocks from the two fabrics I sent them. For example, one person made the F&S blocks, alternating which fabric was the letter and which was the background. I gave them a few resources online and in print form, but at the time there were not nearly the number of letter patterns out there as there are today. I’ve listed a few at the end of the post for anyone interested in doing something similar.

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I got the blocks back right around the time we were packing up and moving from Kansas City to San Diego for our year long adventure there. I took them with me and finished the quilt top in January 2011 and gave it to my friend Angela Walters, along with a long list of words to quilt into each block.

ABC quilt, letter quilt, how to make a letter from fabric, fabric letters, alphabet quilt

Then I started my pattern business and kept bumping up other quilts of mine in line ahead of this one, so it wasn’t until January 2013 that we got around to the ABCs. Eleanor’s preschool class’ Q Week was looming! I think I actually texted a photo of the preschool class calendar to Angela as my official request to quilt it! Ha!

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Angela did a fantastic job working in all of those words. There are names of family members (cousins, aunts, uncle, grandparent nicknames, etc), cities we lived in at the time (Kansas City and San Diego) and things the kids were into (trucks, swimming). It’s sort of like an I Spy.

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I realize some letter teaching purists might call out the fact that the letters are wonky and many of the words are in cursive- not the type that they see or learn in preschool. But I don’t care. It’s such a fun quilt to share with others. In fact, Graham’s teachers approached me about bringing it before I could even offer! Eleanor’s teachers from the year before had told them about it!

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Like all quilts I make, it’s meant to be USED! I left it with Graham’s teachers this morning with instructions to keep it all week, let them sit, stand, roll and jump around on it (minus shoes!) and I’ll just wash it up at the end of the week. The teachers always come up with great games to use with it.

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Details:

The backing fabric from an old Cosmo Cricket line (called Girl Friday) was the actual inspiration for the quilt. I used a coordinating stripe from the line as the binding. The Kona solids are: jade, primrose, melon, tangerine, buttercup, olive, papaya, peony, canary and aqua.

If you’re looking for letter making resources, you are in luck! Here are a few you could use:

Elizabeth Hartman’s Refrigerator Magnets

Word Play Quilts by Tonya Ricucci

Moda’s Spell it with Fabric blog hop (happening now!)

If you have another letter making resource, please share in the comments!

Modern Applique Workbook: Blog Tour

February 20, 2014

modern appliqué workshop, jenifer dick, book giveaway, modern quilt, stash books

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Modern Appliqué Workshop, a recent Stash Books release by Jenifer Dick!

I’m fortunate to regularly see Jenifer’s work in person, as we are both members of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild. It really is gorgeous work and her craftsmanship shines through in her book. These aren’t raw edges, people! Jenifer uses invisible thread for her invisible zigzag appliqué method and if you’ve never tried it, this is the book for you.

It’s that attention to detail I’ll be talking about today.

Many of the quilts in Jenifer’s book feature unique shapes that include sharp points, v-shapes or curves- shapes that add a lot to the quilt, but might make an inexperienced appliquér nervous.

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That’s the magic of this book! Jenifer’s quilts are beautifully made and her tips will set you up for success, too. The book has a wonderfully detailed section on working with dull points, sharp points, inner and outer curves and deep v-shapes, including nice large, detailed step-by-step photo instructions. Jenifer is an excellent teacher and that comes through loud and clear in her writing.

Giveaway time!

Stash Books has offered up a copy of the book! International winners will receive an e-book, US winners receive a hard copy. To enter, tell me if you’ve ever used invisible thread before. I’ll select a winner on February 26th!  This giveaway is now closed. Sherry VF is the randomly selected winner and has been notified. Thanks to all who entered!

Grab a copy of the book online now or order an autographed copy of Modern Appliqué Workbook  directly from Jenifer. Be sure to enter the drawings at each of the blog hop stops, where each host has a different chance to win a copy:

Feb. 10: Bonnie Hunter @ Quiltville

Feb. 11: Amy Smart @ Diary of a Quilter 

Feb. 12: Angela Walters @ Quilting is My Therapy 

Feb. 13: Debbie Grifka @ Esch House Quilts  

Feb. 14: Tammie Schaffer @ Crafty Tammie 

Feb. 17: Casey York @ Casey York Designs 

Feb. 18: Deb Rowden 

Feb. 19: Melissa Thompson Maher @ Generation Q magazine 

Feb. 20: Shea Henderson – That’s me!

Feb. 21: Diane Harris @ Quiltmaker Magazine

 

 

DIY “I Spy” Valentines!

February 6, 2014

ISpyValentines

It’s Valentine time and my kids are pumped about their Valentine’s Day cards this year. Last year, Eleanor drew up her own and I scanned, scaled, arranged and printed it out. That was fun. But this year, both kids are into I Spy books and I have been storing this idea away for the perfect year. My friend Sarah made one with her daughter once and the image has stuck in my mind since- “I Spy” valentines!

It’s incredibly easy. Here’s what you need:

– a camera (duh)

– approximately 20-2000 teeny tiny little trinkets and toys

– a platform of varied levels (we grabbed books with a pink or red spine)

– fabric or paper for a background

– a kid who loves to arrange, rearrange and re-rearrage

I spy valentine, DIY valentine, valentine ideas for kids, preschool valentine ideas

 

This is one instance where I was actually glad my kids have tons of little trinkets!

The kids came up with some of the items on the list and I added others.  InDesign was used to arrange the photo and some text, but any photo editing program will work. I set the dimensions to print as a 4×6 photo (printed via mpix) and we will put them in A4 envelopes. We printed several extras to mail some to friends and family in addition to passing them out to their classmates.

I spy valentine, DIY valentine, valentine ideas for kids, preschool valentine ideas

An early Happy Valentine’s Day from our family to you! If you make one of these, please share. My kids would love to hunt down items on your list!

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