Category Archives: Sewing

Small Patchwork Projects

Some weeks, when life gets busy, all I have the time or motivation for are small patchwork projects, which can be equally as satisfying as larger, more complicated projects.

I recently make this silly pin cushion tube with a strip of leftover scraps. It fits perfectly right in front of my sewing machine so I can just pull out the pins, stab them into the pin cushion and keep going without missing a beat!

pin cushion tube

I made this Good Neighbors fabric patchwork over a recent weekend retreat, and then…

Good Neighbors patchwork… I turned it into a fun thread catcher basket, which is fast and easy to whip up.Good Neighbors thread catcher basket Good Neighbors thread catcher basketI have a growing list of new, larger patchwork projects in the works, from new tote bags to quilts, so it’s nice to work on smaller projects in between. Happy sewing!

Terri

 

Happies

Every year, my friends and I exchange gifts at our annual retreat, which we call “happies” because it makes us happy to give gifts. This year a few people went overboard in making their happies.

Grubers Happies 2015

  • Cindy made us the 1 hour basket with the cool license plate fabric, which we all used to throw our scraps in over the weekend.
  • Rene’ gave us a custom coffee mug with the logo I designed for our quilting bee, a stack of 2-1/2″ squares of fabric and a patchwork mug rug/mini quilt.
  • Michelle made us a catch-all fabric basket.
  • Amanda Jean made us her work in progress bag, included the pattern and gave us a stack of 2-1/2″ squares from her upcoming fabric collection, Good Neighbors. She also gave me an autographed postcard from Sarah Watts, since I love her illustrations and fabric.
  • Doris gave us charm packs and a cute scissors key chain.
  • Mary gave us a pin cushion with the tiniest hexagon flower. Sew cute!
  • We’re all in the same quilting bee together so Stephanie used the logo I designed to create custom embroidered totes for us. She threw in a jar of honey from her very own bee hives.

happies from StephanieShelly made us perpetual calendars, with each index card date-stamped, as a way for us to track happy moments.happy from ShellyI made a dresden color wheel mug rug for everyone. Click here to see my tutorial on how to make your own.dresden color wheel mug rugsIt was better than gift-exchanging at Christmas!

Terri

A Weekend Retreat With Friends

I spent the weekend with my friends at our 6th annual retreat at Gruber’s Quilt Shop in St. Cloud, MN. As usual, we had the BEST time together, sewing, shopping, eating, drinking coffee, talking, laughing, teaching, watching a movie, sharing and staying up way too late!

Grubers Retreat 2015

From left to right: Amanda Jean, Rene’, Doris, Mary, Michelle, me, Cindy, Shelly and Stephanie

grubers retreat grubers retreat

scrap pile

star blocks Good Neighbors patchwork

Doris' micro quiltThey are the best friends anyone could ask for. Each one of them is kind, generous, loving, loyal, ambitious, creative and talented. They make me laugh until I can’t breath, and they make me cry with joy. They have touched my heart, and I cherish the friendship they extend to me. They took good care of me all weekend!

Terri

It’s fun to look back at posts from previous years:

2014

2013 – I couldn’t make it due to a couple internships ;(

2012

2011

2010

Dresden Color Wheel Mug Rug Tutorial

I had a lot of fun making mini dresden color wheels this past week, so I wanted to share a quick tutorial on how to make your own. I backed this one with felt to use as a mug rug, which really brightens up my work space and makes me happy!

dresden color wheel mug rug

dresden color wheel mug rugs

After choosing fabrics from your stash, cut about 20-21 wedges (I used 20 wedges in the sample above and 21 in the sample below – use your own judgment to see what you can make work), using one of the smaller measurements on the Easy Dresden Template designed by Darlene Zimmerman (got mine from Joann’s). For the examples pictured here, I used the 1-1/2″ and the 2″ positions to cut my 20 wedges.

cutting dresdens

Fold each wedge in half the long way and stitch along the top, using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Turn right side out to form a point at the top.

turning dresden plate right side out

This is a great step to chain-stitch the pieces together.chain stitchingLay each wedge right side together, and stitch all the wedges together to form a ring, using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press seams open.

sewing dresden plates together

dresden plates sewn into a circleMeasure the inner circle and add 1/2″ to 3/4″ to each side for the seam allowance. Cut a circle from paper or plastic to use as a template; cut 2 circles from your center fabric.

measuring inner circle

For these smaller dresdens, I cut circles that measured 4″ to 4-3/8″. With right sides together, stitch the two circles together using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Cut notches in the seam allowance to reduce bulk. Pinch the fabric on one side of the circle and cut a small slit. Pull the fabrics through that slit to turn the circles right side out. Press.

circles right sides together

cut notches in seam allowancecut slit in circle for turning

circles sewn togetherLay the fabric circles on top of dresden ring, pin if necessary, and top-stitch to attach to ring of the wedges. I top-stitched twice to make sure it was secure.

dresden color wheel mug rug

Lay the dresden on a piece of felt for backing and top-stitch 1/8″ in around the points and valleys. Trim the felt close to the points and valleys.

felt backing for dresden color wheel mug rug

Stitch in the ditch around the circle to fasten more securely to the felt backing.

dresden color wheel mug rug

Happy sewing, my friends!

Terri

PS – Note: Because I create with human hands, my cutting is never perfect. My sewing is never perfectly straight. My circles aren’t perfectly symmetrical or even. And I always have threads to trim. Please forgive me for that 😉 This is just a fun project I was excited to share. I’m sure there are many ways to make this; I’m just sharing my concept and process here.

Patchwork Projects: Garden Party Quilt

I am so excited to show you my finished Garden Party quilt!

garden party quilt

A former quilting bee I used to belong to helped make some of the blocks using this tutorial for a “2.5 Times Around the Block” quilt block. I wish I could have made it a little bigger but my stash of the red mingling and ice mingling prints from the Garden Party fabrics designed by Anna Maria Horner was quite limited.

garden party quilt top

The backing is all about the turquoise centerpiece print!garden party quilt back

My friend Julie, a professional long-arm quilter, did a beautiful job quilting it.

garden party quilting

garden party quilt

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am with this quilt! I started making it about three years ago with a quilting bee I belonged to at the time, and it’s one of the few quilt finishes I’ve had in a looong time. Projects like this are one of the many reasons I love sewing and wanted to learn how to design fabric, sewing patterns and surface patterns.

Terri

Stats:
Block: 2.5 Times Around the Block
Size: 42″ wide x 55″ high
Fabrics: Garden Party fabrics designed by Anna Maria Horner  

My Sewing Friends

These are my sewing friends. They are quite awesome!Grubers Retreat 2014

Front row: Cindy, Amanda
Back row left to right: Rene’, Doris, Toni, Mary, me, Stephanie

I can’t remember the last time I sat at my sewing machine, especially since going to art school and starting my own business. Life gets busy, especially when you have so many interests and hobbies. So it was a treat to spend an extended weekend with my sewing buddies at a retreat center. This was our fifth year together, although I couldn’t make it last year because I was working at two design internships and a freelance job.

I managed to make this cool new bag using the new Pretty Potent fabrics which I love because they are bold, bright and beautiful. I also adore the illustrations that make up the repeating patterns on these prints.

Pretty Potent sew together bag

my sew together bag using Pretty Potent fabrics

The pattern seemed complicated, especially since I haven’t sewn anything in a long time, so I enlisted help from a few of my friends who already made this pattern and ended up making another bag with me. It’s the Sew Together Bag designed by Michelle of the Sew Demented blog, and it was actually very easy to follow. I called it the magic bag because it’s magical how everything comes together to make three zippered pouches on the inside that also form four additional inside pockets with one long zipper closure that doubles as a handle. I envision using this bag to hold sewing notions, but I need another one to hold drawing tools and another one to hold makeup, so I definitely need to make more of these. I really love her design and the pattern.

Sew Together Bagsfrom left to right: Stephanie’s bag using Kaffe Fassett fabrics, my bag using Anna Maria Horner’s Pretty Potent fabrics, Cindy’s bag using Kaffe fabrics

I worked on some more patchwork using leftover squares, but no finishes to show yet. It was just fun to cut fabric and sew with friends.

patchwork

Everyone brought wonderful gifts to exchange, which was like Christmas: a giant pincushion, a patchwork notebook cover including a composition notebook, a tea towel and hotpad set, a mini boxy pouch with a bar of soap, a patchwork zipper pouch filled with homemade caramels, and a spool of  Aurifil thread and “happy” sign.

happy gifts

When you connect with a group of like-minded people who share similar interests, cherish them!

Terri

 

 

Sunday Stash, Large-Scale Prints

I added a few new pieces of fabric to my stash recently for the first time in months. How could I resist when there was a shop quilt with over 10,000 bolts across the street from our retreat center, complete with a sale section, and coupons.

(my sewing friends confirmed that those prints above are definitely me!)

I like to make bags. I know, there’s a surprise! I’ve been making bigger bags these days, so I started to buy larger cuts of large-scale prints. I love the artsy, hand-drawn look of Alexander Henry fabrics.

It’s a whole new way of fabric shopping.

We stopped at a craft shop that had some great fabrics on sale ($3.00 a yard! 62 cents for 1/4-yard cuts!) I think some of these will make great sketchbook covers and shopping totes, especially if I decide to do a craft fair or two.

Now I need to save as many pennies as possible to stock up on the upcoming Field Study collection.

Hope you’re enjoying your weekend. Thanks for stopping by!

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