I’m so honored to be part of the third annual Action Kivu fundraiser, which helps women and girls in the Congo through education and sewing! Alissa has been a tireless and wonderful advocate for this amazing nonprofit, and has rounded up a fantastic mix of modern quilting prizes for donors. You must see her post to believe all the cool fabric, books, patterns, and even quilts that people who contribute will win!
If you contribute $10 to the cause, you are automatically entered to win this package of prizes. I’m so thankful to Stitch and Pendleton Woolen Mills for generously adding their contributions to make it really special!
One donor will win:
• a signed copy of Modern Log Cabin Quilting
• the new Winter issue of Stitch, with a nice feature on wool sewing, donated by Stitch, and
• a brand-new set of 8 wool fat quarters, and a baby quilt kit (which includes 2 FQs and 1 full yard of wool), donated by Pendleton Woolen Mills.
If a friend or a blog reader wins I’ll add an extra prize, too!
This blog entry from Pendleton shares more about what makes this winter issue of Stitch so special – I’m so proud to have my feature article on the history of wool in America included alongside some amazing sewing projects, including Michelle‘s midcentury-inspired quilt and Daniela‘s Northwest Modern laptop case!
Did you know that National Quilting Day is March 17? Thanks to CrafterNews for featuring my log cabin patchwork tote bag pattern and book in their NQD feature this week!
To celebrate, I wanted to share a new pattern extra that a few readers have asked about: making a Modern Crosses block with pre-cut jelly roll strips (which are 2.5″ wide) instead of the 2″ strips called for in the original pattern. I wanted to use my PMQG-mate Monica Solario-Snow‘s Happy Mochi Yum Yum fabric – she kindly gave me a jelly roll with all her beautiful prints last year.
For each modified jelly roll Modern Crosses block, you’ll need:
Four 2.5″ square pieces of fabric A (solid or patterned fabric of your choice*)
One 29″ strip of 2.5″-wide contrast fabric, B, for the cross
One 44″ strip of 2.5″-wide fabric A (to match squares) for the surrounding background of the block
Chain-piece the same way as described in the book to create blocks that are approximately 12″ across instead of 9.75″/10″ like the originals. Arrange the cross blocks as shown in the book, or in the order you prefer, to form a quilt top. If you are making a smaller project like a pillow cover or tote, I outline-quilted my crosses and outer squares with a flannel backing, then sewed a button in the center of each cross – to finish as a tote, follow the instructions in the tutorial right over here!
*I have always used solid background and patterned cross fabrics in my blocks, but you can see some lovely, inspiring Modern Crosses that mix prints or reverse the solid/patterned arrangement to beautiful effect. I love this one from Jeni of In Color Order using vintage sheets! Thanks to everyone who’s added project photos to the Modern Log Cabin Quilting and Modern Crosses Get-Together pools – I love seeing them. Happy National Quilting Day, everyone!
I wanted to share a tutorial for making cute, simple patchwork (or patterned fabric) tote bags for kids – perfect for sending to The Littlest Warriors project over at Craft Hope, which is also the PMQG charity quilting opportunity for February. I used two 12” quilt blocks/pieces of fabric for a child’s size bag, but I included some suggestions for sizing them up for sturdier adult-size versions – plus some of my other favorite tote tutorials – at the end of the post. I hope you like them!
A quick note: I sew in a basement room without a whole lot of childcare time, and it’s February in the Pacific Northwest, so be forewarned that these photos aren’t exactly professionally lit or painstakingly staged. It’s a simple tutorial though, so hopefully you can follow along easily – I made these two tote bags in about an hour and a half, counting all the quilt block piecing! If you use stash blocks or just cut solid pieces of fabric, you can fly through these. My goal is to make 5 for the littlest warriors by the March 12 deadline – all the details are here.
-Two quilt blocks (or solid pieces of fabric) in the 11”-12” square range for the outer sides of the bag. I used 12” blocks and fabric squares.
-If using quilt blocks: muslin, the same size as your blocks, or slightly bigger, for reinforcing them
-Lining fabric of your choice, the same size as your outer blocks or fabric
-1.5 yards of webbing for handles
-Thread, rotary cutter, quilt ruler + mat, scissors, iron, sewing machine
1. Cut two pieces of fabric (I used an Alexander Henry zoo print for my blue bag) or piece two quilt blocks of your choice, approximately 12” square. (You can also make them smaller or bigger if you like – 12” makes a nice toddler/preschooler-to-elementary-school size).
This is a great project for stash quilt blocks, or if you need to piece up two quick ones, log cabin is an easy one! I made a random log cabin block in the six yellow fabrics I originally used in my Bright Furrows quilt from MLCQ. To make two 12” blocks like these, cut 6 selvage-to-selvage (44”) strips that are 1.75” wide, in the quilting cottons of your choice. Here’s a short video of how I piece log cabin blocks…
For an approximately 12” block, you’ll start with a 1.75” center square in one of the fabrics and add 4 tiers of logs using different fabrics in any order, piecing clockwise and pressing when each tier is completed. Press front and back and square up your blocks.
2. If you’re using quilt blocks, quilt them with a muslin backing (or use the technique of your choice) to add stability. I quilted a square outline pattern about 1/8” outside the center square and then each tier (you can see this more easily in the photo that precedes step #4). Press again and trim excess so your blocks are square. (This would also be a great project for foundation piecing/quilting as you go!)
4. Pin the two outer pieces together around three sides, right sides facing and leaving the top open, and then repeat the same way with the lining fabrics. Stitch the three sides with a 1/2″ inch seam allowance, back-stitching at the beginning and end to hold the seam. You’ll sew the outer and lining sections together the same way.
5. Make box corners by pressing the corners into flat triangles with the seams pressed open, pinning them, and stitching 1” in from the corner. You’ll do this the same way for the outer and lining bag sections.
6. Trim the extra fabric at each corner, as shown.
This is what your finished box corner will look like from the outside!
7. Now turn the outer bag right side out and tuck the lining in, making sure they fit snugly together. Turn the raw edges of both the bag and lining under and press them evenly (you can turn under 1/4″ to 1/2″, depending on how bulky your quilted outer section is – just keep your bag and lining consistent). Pin the bag and lining together all around the perimeter of the opening.
8. Cut two 18” lengths of webbing for handles and pin each of them in place. I placed mine 2” (patchwork) and 2.5” (wholecloth) in from the side seam – I followed the outer edge of the second tier of my log cabin blocks as a guideline for my patchwork tote, and eyed it with my wholecloth one. Just make sure they’re even with one another and match the handle on the other side, and that the handles aren’t twisted!
9. Edge-stitch around the perimeter of the bag, catching both layers evenly, and then reinforce the four handles with double-stitching.
To make a larger/adult size, try starting with 15” or 16” quilt blocks or fabric squares (and same-size lining) instead of 11”/12”, and reinforcing the blocks with a home dec weight fabric instead of muslin. You can cut your handles to 24” each (instead of 18”), too.
Some other tutorials I like:
-The Purl Bee’s Twenty-Minute Tote (my original inspiration – an adult-sized bag without lining or box corners)
-The Pink Penguin’s Lunch Bag tutorial
-And here are four other tote bags I’ve made for my own kids and their friends in this same style!
So, the March 12 deadline is two weeks from tomorrow… I would love to cheer you on if you are sewing for the littlest warriors too! Please comment or keep me posted on what you’re making, and I will be so excited to share photos of all the finished bags and hats I see. Thank you!!
I mentioned the book party last week, but wanted to share some new peeks at the cool things we’re planning for the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store this Saturday afternoon – I would love to see you over there! The reception is for both Modern Log Cabin Quilting and World of Geekcraft, which I’m really excited about. It’s been fun making up some special craft kits for both books! I’m teaching a new Woolen Cross Pillow class from 12-2 ($45), and then from 2-4 you can stop the (free!) party to sew MLCQ-style quilt blocks in their gorgeous wool fabrics
that look like this,
make comics magnets from WOGC,
and have snacks and lemonade. I was planning to make cupcakes (my favorite book party treat) but changed my mind – now it will be cheesecake brownies, which seem a little more summery! I love those too.
(so picture brownies here instead…)
You can also work on your own crafts, check out lots of projects from both books, and find all kinds of good treasures in the by-the-pound bins and on the tables there. I snapped up all the wool squares to make this patchwork throw from one of those bins, and it’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever made.
Pendleton has also graciously put together a tote bag of prizes for someone at the party to win! My MLCQ publisher, Potter Craft, sent me this handy canvas satchel for the gift bag. I put copies of both my books and both of the craft kits into it, and handed it over to Pendleton to see what they might want to contribute. So far they’ve added a bunch of colorful carded wool, a spindle, fat quarters of lots of different plaid wool fabrics, buttons and zippers, and it sounds like there’s more on the way!
Also – Aimee of the Woolen Mill Store was nice enough to do a little interview with me about my new craft room, my favorite designers and artists, and how NOT to baste a quilt. Thank you, Aimee!
Saturday, August 20 from 2-4 pm
Pendleton Woolen Mill Store, 8500 SE McLoughlin Blvd, Portland
A few other quilting things…
-I’m working on a post for Quilts for Quake Survivors on our lovely party last weekend (HUGE thank-you to everyone who came to sew with us) and our next steps and final donations. I’ll post a link here when that’s up (we’ll see how long Everett naps) but here’s just one photo for now… Teresa‘s amazing 1954 Pfaff!
-And see you at the Portland Modern Quilt Guild meeting tonight?? They’re also hosting a fabulous all-day sew at Fabric Depot on Saturday. I highly recommend sewing over there, zipping over to the book party mid-afternoon for a quick wool-quilt-block and treat break, and heading back to sew some more. Sounds like the perfect day to me!
Prizes and parties (and quilting) = three things I’m super excited about, coming right up.
First, Alissa’s amazing fabric fundraiser for Action Kivu has just a couple days left to go (it closes Sunday the 14th). They are hoping to raise $15,000 and are at the halfway point now. Awesome!
Action Kivu is a nonprofit that helps women who are victims of the conflict in Eastern Congo by teaching them to sew. The conflict in Congo has taken the lives of over 5.4 million people since 1998. Rape is used as a weapon of war, with estimates putting the number of rapes in the hundreds of thousands. This is truly difficult stuff to think about but together we can really make a difference for some specific women who need our help.
By donating specific amounts, from $10-100, you automatically enter to win some amazing prizes at each level, like a set of 43 fat eighths of Flea Market Fancy, donated by Jacquie and Ashley ($75), and a set of Sugar Creek fabrics (not even in stores yet!) from Denyse Schmidt Quilts ($40).
As of this morning I am so happy to announce that if you donate $20, you can win a set of books – a signed copy of Modern Log Cabin Quilting paired with Alissa’s Block Party!! The fundraiser ends Sunday (8/14) so please jump in when you can. This is such an important cause and I am thankful to be supporting it (I have my fingers crossed for the Flea Market Fancy category). Lots more info on Action Kivu here, and Alissa’s post and prize descriptions here.
Speaking of good causes, Daniela and I are winding down the Quilts for Quake Survivors project for Mercy Corps’ work in Japan with our party on Sunday! We’d love to see past and present supporters (you are so welcome to come sew with us for a bit from 4-6, then hang out and have food, drinks and music from 6-8). Thank you to everyone who has been part of this project.
I’ll be grocery shopping with Alexandra this afternoon – she has generously offered to make some lovely food especially for the QfQ party, so we’re picking out some good things. I can’t wait!
Last, there’s another crafty party next weekend! I’m teaching my Woolen Cross Pillow class at the Woolen Mill Store on Saturday, August 20, from 12-2. It’s $45 and you get all the materials to make one of these cross pillows, plus lots of extra wool to bring home for your second one!
After the class, the Woolen Mill Store is hosting a Modern Log Cabin Quilting reception and book signing from 2-4 (free!). Each person will get a special Pendleton wool kit to make a log cabin block, and there will be refreshments and other surprises (like felt comics magnets kits!) for crafters too. I’ll have all the projects I’ve made with Pendleton wool there (including the Winter Woolens Quilt from MLCQ) to show, and some of my favorite book projects, too. I would love to see you there.
Woolen Cross Pillow class, 12-2
MLCQ reception, 2-4
The Woolen Mill Store, 8500 SE McLoughlin Blvd. Portland, Oregon 97222
So, prizes, parties and quilting… I hope one of these strikes your fancy too, and that I’ll see you at the parties!
I’ve been looking forward to our trip to California for months and it’s finally here… I’m very excited for my first out-of-town book event for MLCQ at The Bobbin’s Nest in Santa Clara, this Thursday, May 19 from 5-8 pm!
They’ve also sewn some gorgeous versions of my projects from the book, which I can’t wait to see in person. This is Amy’s baby quilt-sized Modern Crosses!
They’re all in the MLCQ flickr pool but here are a few I wanted to spotlight…
After everyone sews a quilt block, I’ll be signing books for anyone who wants one – and the Bobbin’s Nest is offering the book on a special sale, 20% off, until Wednesday. And I’ll be showing the log cabin quilting presentation I did for the Portland Modern Quilt Guild last month, too!
(love the button fabric! I’m definitely snapping some up when I get to the shop!)
Thank you so much to Erin, Amy, and everyone at the Bobbin’s Nest!
Modern Log Cabin Quilting book signing and sewing party!
Bobbin’s Nest Studio
1171 Homestead Road, Suite 130
Santa Clara, California 95050
Sewing, shopping and book signing, Thursday, May 19, from 5-8 pm
Then, on Saturday, I’ll be at Maker Faire with my other book, World of Geekcraft! Come make a POW! ZAP! Magnet with me at 2:00 if you’re going – all the details are here.
You can browse or buy our first six fundraiser quilts, pick up a Surprise Bag to piece your own log cabin quilt top, or buy a $5 raffle ticket to win the Hello Gorgeous quilt in the Modern Domestic shop, online or in person in Portland at the shop! Each individual listing has lots of information on the quilt’s donors, makers, and details, and tons more photos are in the QfQ flickr pool too.
Huge thank-you to everyone who’s helped so much for the relief effort!
I’ll be at the Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Spring Sale tomorrow with both my books and craft kits for anyone who wants to pick up a copy of either one (or brings a copy you already have for me to sign!). I’m bringing lots of book projects to show everyone, too. Thanks so much to Torie and Cathy for inviting me to be part of the whole extravaganza!
You can get a brand-new POW! ZAP! Magnet kit with World of Geekcraft,
or a quilt block kit with Modern Log Cabin Quilting.
Also this weekend is the Quilts for Quake Survivors back-to-back bee at Modern Domestic – Saturday 2-6 pm and Sunday 11-2:30. Daniela and I have a lovely group of quilts in the final stages, so if you’re up for basting, tying, quilting or binding we’d LOVE your help getting them ready for the upcoming Mercy Corps fundraiser. Huge thank-you to everyone who has already pitched in, we appreciate the help so much!!
Daniela and I have gathered 27 quilts (and counting!) to ship to Japan for Quilts for Quake Survivors via Seven Winds’ drive for comfort quilts partnering with Patchwork Tsushin. She just took these lovely photos (the batch below is from the last two hours) and it’s a marvel to see them all!
They will go out tomorrow afternoon, and Dani and I each have one or two left that we’re hoping to bind in time to add to the boxes – maybe we’ll get to 30 by the UPS deadline. HUGE thank-you to everyone who has donated fabric, pieced blocks, sashed blocks, made backs, tied, quilted, or bound one or many of these beautiful pieces!!!
The next wave of QfQ quilts will go into our Etsy shop – 100% of the price of each quilt will go straight to Mercy Corps/Peace Winds Japan. Details coming soon!
Thanks so much to everyone who wrote about Modern Log Cabin Quilting this week – I’m so appreciative of the support! I was hoping to post more myself this week too, but after the unexpected curveball of my little girl suddenly getting sick and needing Mama, everything else went on hold. But here’s a round-up of the book posts + giveaways so far so you can check any of them out, and enter to win one of the prizes, if you’re interested…
First, Alyssa of Cool Cottons wrote a whole week’s worth of posts on log cabin quilting, including some great ones about the book, like a review of my Block Pocket Apron pattern, and posted some beautiful photographs of antique log cabin quilts too.
You can also win one of two signed copies of the book by commenting on any Cool Cottons blog post from 3/21 to 3/31! From the full book review post:
The first thing that we have to say is that the book is beautiful. Exceptional photography, and crisp graphic design deeply enhance the content of the book–and what wonderful content it is. Susan covers everything from the history of log cabin quilting, to the basics of cutting and piecing fabric so that even the greenest beginner can follow along.
On Wednesday, Daniela posted a thoughtful (and hilarious) look at the impromptu quilting bees we teamed up for to sew some of the book projects together, along with her design process for the Northwest Modern Quilt, which unbelievably was the very first quilt she ever made. I loved her kind words:
If you are an experienced quilter, you might get lots of lovely little ideas you want to whip up with some leftovers in your stash. If you are a beginner – she’ll teach you in no time. Just like she taught me.
Daniela is offering a signed book plus some specially chosen fabric from her collection – all you have to do to enter is upload a photo of some fabric or blocks you’re donating to Quilts for Quake Survivors to our flickr pool by April 1!
Melissa did a sweet mini-interview for the Bolt Neighborhood blog about stashing fabric and quilting heroes – I got to share a few fabric-organizing tips and mention a few quilters whose work really amazes me. Bolt is offering a signed copy of the book if you comment on the post saying who your quilting hero is, too.
I love that the finished projects in this book already feel like heirlooms rich with personal meaning. That’s just how I want to look at putting a quilt together– I want them to be labours of love.
On Friday, Meredith posted a lovely interview with me over at Modern Domestic about how I learned to sew, what inspires me and what I can’t work without (among many other crafty and chatty topics). From her review:
This is a stellar compilation of quilts, projects, history, inspiration, and instruction. Certainly a little something for every quilter or sewist with a desire to explore the timeless art of quilting.
Thanks so much to MD for hosting the very first book event this coming Saturday! I’m also so thrilled that they’re generously offering up my favorite notion, a Sidewinder bobbin winder, with a signed copy of the book – just comment over there to enter and the winner will be chosen April 2.
And today, Linda wrote a really lovely post about how we met ten years ago, and worked together on many fun projects for JoAnn Crafts + Adorn magazines (those were the days!). I just love Linda’s work and was so happy to include the very first flower I ever crocheted, patiently coached by Linda herself on her Crochet Adorned book tour, as an embellishment on my Drawstring Bag. She also chose a diverse mix of favorite projects to share photos and details about:
One of my favorite projects is the cover quilt–where Susan shows us that how to rotate one simple block to create a striking cross design. I would never have guessed that the Northwest Modern Quilt, contributed by Daniela Caine, was made from log cabin blocks, but a crystal-clear layout diagram makes it easy to see just how those simple blocks form this seemingly random design. I also love the textural play of the Red Cross Bag, which employs both sides of corduroy fabric, producing an almost woven effect. This is a project that makes me want to sit at my sewing machine again!
I’m really looking forward to the posts this coming week from local friends and crafters, leading up to my Modern Domestic + Powell’s events. My fellow PMQG member (and quilting hero!) Elizabeth is posting first thing tomorrow, and I’m very excited to get to see the project she made that she’ll be sharing…
Thanks to everyone who’s been so warm and supportive of the new book. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it!
Last thing – we’ve just added a new and super awesome Quilts for Quake Survivors back-to-back event – a long-arm quilting party! I can’t wait. It will be both April 14 + 15 at Sew On Studio, and all the details are right over here. Hope to see you for some QfQ cutting, piecing, and long-arm mega-quilting – with snacks! All our QfQ events (from this week through early May) are right here on the site if you’re interested in teaming up – we would love that.
Beginner quilters sometimes ask me to recommend a starter book, and this is the book I am going to recommend from now on. The basic quilting instructions at the beginning of the book are clear. Everything you need is covered, with great tips.
The designs are fresh and beautiful. The author’s taste is wonderful. This is the first album/scrapbook type quilt I’ve seen, that I would want to make. And of course, for me, this is a knitting book. I am in love with the “crosses” quilt on the cover; the construction of a knitted version sprang into my head immediately and won’t let me go.
…but she designed and knitted an exquisite Mitered Crosses blanket version of the Modern Crosses quilt, and posted the pattern on Ravelry to benefit Mercy Corps’ earthquake relief efforts in Japan! As of March 22, just a few days in, she’s donated $2,250 from the sale of the pattern! I am amazed and grateful at this wonderful fundraiser celebrating my favorite pieced quilt’s lovely knitted cousin. Thank you to Kay doesn’t even come close to covering it. I’m in tears.