Michelle and I got to check out the NW Quilting Expo today, which was cool! I had never been there before and it was great to get to see all the vendors’ booths and prize-winning quilts on display. I’m teaching a wool baby quilt class for Pendleton there bright and early (8:30 am! lots of coffee for sure!) on Saturday so I was happy to get a chance to visit for fun, too.
By the way – my class (#S300 in the booklet) still has 3 spots open out of 20, so if you happen to be interested you can register at the front desk there. This is the project (above), a very simple elongated coin quilt made from three Pendleton wools, and the class fees include a kit with all the fabrics in either pink or blue color families. I can’t believe I’ll be teaching 17 (possibly more!) students on Saturday and I am super looking forward to it.
Back to the Expo… Michelle and I saw this amazing quilt and both stopped in our tracks to love and admire it. I adored the kids’ book The Hundred Dresses and these beautiful rows of vintage-fabric-pieced dress blocks, each with tiny hand-stitched coat hangers, amazed me. Renee Newstrum (who I would love to meet!) designed, pieced and quilted it:
Oh, the little dresses!!!
We also stopped by the Pendleton booth and among many awesome things, they had a nice display of my books and my Winter Woolens Quilt (made with their wool, I bought everything for it at the Woolen Mill Store). So cool.
And the tempting pick-any-8 wool FQ sets were going fast.
Speaking of books, I was happy to see all three of Terri Thayer‘s quilting mysteries at the Expo! She came to my event at the Bobbin’s Nest in May and brought me a signed copy of her first one in the series, Wild Goose Chase.
I’ve bought the other two at Murder By The Book, my favorite mystery bookstore (right in my neighborhood here in SE Portland). By the way, if you are interested, they have a new Crafty Crimes section with all the knitting, sewing, needlework, and scrapbooking mysteries in one place, which I personally love. I’m going to bring some vintage craft supplies by so they can decorate the shelf, actually!
Anyway, Jean at MBTB recommended a mystery called Quilt as Desired, which is at the top of my stack of books to read next, and I met the author, Arlene Sachitano at Expo this morning! So I bought the second one in the series, Quilter’s Knot, and she signed it to me.
Ok, see you super-early Saturday morning if you’d like to make a wool baby quilt, and if you’re in Seattle please save the date for Saturday, October 22 from 1-3 pm – I’m so happy that we’ve just set up a MLCQ book event at The Quilting Loft in Ballard! More details soon…
Well, I absolutely loved visiting Kansas City – thank you SO much to everyone who was so cool and welcoming! Everett and I had the most awesome time running around with Jaime, Jenny, and the other KCMQG folks, and I wanted to share some photos of my favorite things we did there, from start to finish.
Jaime picked me up from the airport and we started off with a trip to Urban Arts + Crafts as the first stop on my own personal Holiday Shop Hop (two months early in my case – but if you are anywhere near there, mark your calendars for November 5 and 6!).
Urban Arts + Crafts is a super cute and colorful store with beads, yarn, fabric and many other craft treasures (plus lots of books). I love shops like this, since I like to do so many different things myself… but my heart belonged to fabric on this trip.
I ended up with this nice zig-zag print and some Denyse Schmidt Katie Jump Rope and County Fair! Loved seeing these again and getting a second chance to buy some.
Then Jaime took us to lunch at the Bluebird which was lovely, and downtown to visit Hammer Press (no photos of my finds, since there is a secret Father’s Day gift for Andrew in there that has to stay hidden til next June… but I did find this for a certain 3-year-old I know). Loved seeing the TWA building – so beautiful!
She showed us some other beautiful neighborhoods and we crossed from Missouri into Kansas for the first of many times. I hadn’t realized, with my total ignorance of KC geography, that we’d get to hang out on both sides of the state line, a bunch of times even! Very cool and now Everett has been to five states total. After some time to chill at Jaime’s gorgeous 1950 house (same year as mine!), we headed over to Eden’s Alley for dinner with Jacquie and Jenny. It was so great to get to hang out and chat, and Jacquie and I even found out we are both UNC grads (plus, she and my dad went to the same high school – !). Then it was time to head over to the KCMQG meeting…
I was so excited to see my dear friend Rhonda, who came from Lawrence to see me!! We’ve known each other for ten or eleven years through crafty things online and it was awesome to get to give her a hug in person. The meeting was amazing – KCMQG got their 100th and 101st paid members (!!), and the show and tell ended with a teary surprise – Shea organized a beautiful collective gift for beloved outgoing president Jacquie, a quilt called Windy City.
Then I gave my log cabin quilting presentation and showed book projects, and people were really wonderful about it – I got a lot of great compliments, and signed some books, thanks to Elaine from Harper’s, who sponsored the meeting with a fantastic mini-shop in the back! What a great evening.
After a lovely end of the night back at Jaime’s, she took me over to the KC Bernina store in the morning and we had to say goodbye. I snapped up this Betz White hat pattern and some handy pre-wound bobbins,
and got to admire their beautiful collection of vintage and antique Bernina sewing machines.
Jenny picked me up (with her adorable 7-week-old son, Carter, who Everett was fascinated with!) and we headed over to Harper’s. I loved seeing the Kaffe Fassett shot cottons in person, and how cute is this orange sewing machine?!
I picked out two of the shot cottons, plus this cute deer print and a tiny rotary cutter I’ve been wanting forever. (The quilting ruler was a gift from Elaine!)
Then we headed to the Nelson-Atkins art museum to meet Kim. I absolutely loved the museum and I wish I could have spent a whole day there (next time for sure). Everett let me see most of a photography exhibit before his baby-timer went off, and then we went outside for a more mellow visit to the completely amazing sculpture garden.
We dodged a hailstorm nicely and went back downtown for lunch with Kim, where I got to set foot on the other end of the Oregon Trail,
and then our last stop was Bon Bon. I was so excited to look through these tempting bins full of rolls of vintage and new fabrics! I picked out a nice selection, including this blue and brown colorway of my favorite vintage sheet pattern (!!!!),
and I got some half-yard cuts of two Cloud 9 fabrics I’ve been wanting.
Here we are at Bon Bon with Jenny and a sleepy little Carter. Jaime and Jenny were the sweetest tour guides ever.
Then we had to head out to the airport again and say goodbye to Missouri (and Kansas)…
and Everett and I were on the way home with a suitcase full of awesome souvenirs! Here is everything I found on my mini-shop hop. Love it all.
Along with everything I bought, Jaime gave me one of Shea‘s quilt patterns (can’t wait to try it!) and Lauren gave me this beautiful stack of vintage fabrics. Thank you so much, ladies.
I just want to thank everyone in KCMQG for welcoming me so warmly and to Jenny and Jaime for showing me your beautiful city. It was a wonderful couple days and I loved it all! I was sad to leave, but I’m excited that we’re doing a log cabin potholder swap with the KC guild – I can’t wait to see what my partner has in store for me… photos of the whole swap coming in November. And if you’re here in Portland, hope to see you tomorrow night at our PMQG meeting, too.
Speaking of, I’ll see you tomorrow for my Sewing For Boys review and giveaway – I had a lot of fun with this one and will be sharing my project then!
So, today I needed to rehearse my log cabin quilting presentation, call a cab to the airport for dark-thirty tomorrow morning, pack, and track down Everett’s birth certificate… what better time to sew a new dress??
This was my recent score at JoAnn – 3 yards of my favorite print from Denyse Schmidt‘s Picnic line earlier this summer. I pre-washed yesterday and then started cutting around noon. I’ll post more about the Continental pattern if anyone’s interested, but it felt like it ran very big on me in my measurement size (18) and I ended up doing various pleats and tucks at the armholes and neckline (front and back), and bringing the sides in substantially. The length was perfect as-is, though.
My favorite change was skipping the tie belt (which is very cute in the pattern envelope photo) and making an improvised 4.5″ wide reversible obi sash instead. I really needed the definition and the wide, graphic sash turned it from billowy and indistinct on me, even after all the streamlining, to a more tailored waist and party-dress silhouette. LOVE the fabric – just love it. I did the sash in half Picnic, half County Fair (her 2007 home dec collection). I really love the contrast side out, and then the matching side is more subtle but also pretty.
Here’s what they look like together closer up… I’m calling the dress Picnic at the County Fair. By the way, I hadn’t had a chance to press it or even trim threads before I started losing the light, so forgive my super quick photos. Today flew past me!
My goal was to finish the dress before it got super gray and fall descended and it was time for jeans every day. Well, it was 95 degrees here today and summer is sticking around for now, so I’m hoping for several outings in my new dress! And the first one will be at the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild meeting tomorrow night… huge thank-you to everyone there for inviting me to come visit and speak. I am so excited, and I’m bringing a big stack of PMQG members’ cards for our log cabin potholder swap!
See you next week! Or if you’re in Kansas, tomorrow!
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 wanted to write up a little Modern Log Cabin Quilting-specific guide to which binding tapes I recommend using for the various quilts and patchwork projects in the book, so here goes! I hope this is helpful for everyone who’s new to hand-making their own binding tape, along with people who are choosing from a shelf full of rows and rows of differently labeled + sized possibilities at the fabric store or online, or even vintage versions at an estate sale or thrift store. I know it can get pretty confusing!
The MLCQ projects I designed use either 3/4″, 1″, and 2″ wide binding tape. Here are examples of all three widths for comparison – the Red Cross Bag uses 3/4″ tape on each side of its strap, the Sunshine and Sock Monkeys Baby Quilt uses 1″ tape for its binding, and the Charming Camera Case uses 2″ tape to edge its button/Velcro opening.
First, a little background… the complete written + illustrated instructions for making your own binding tape of any width are on page 38 of the book. For straight-line projects like the edge of a bag strap or coaster, or binding a quilt, you can use straight-cut (selvage to selvage) strips of fabric to make your binding tape, which is a fast and fabric-efficient way of cutting. You can guide the strips through a specially shaped bias tape maker (I recommend Clover brand, but there are many other options) to fold the raw edges to the center while pressing them flat with your iron for a neat, even appearance. The width of this flat tape is what I’m referring to as 3/4″, 1″, 2″, etc. Once you’ve created the flat tape, you press it again lengthwise to fold it into equal halves with the raw edges tucked neatly inside. This method is the one I used to make binding tape for the quilts and projects in the book.
BIAS VS. BINDING TAPE
For curved applications that need to stretch, like clothing or a rounded pocket edging, you’d need to use bias-cut strips of fabric (which is cut on the diagonal) to make your bias tape (see this great Colette Patterns tutorial for more on this approach). As an example (not an original book project, this is a personal sewing project with a vintage dress pattern!), I used 1/2″ bias tape for edging part of my daughter’s Easter dress last year so I didn’t need to add extra armhole facings. Here’s the dress with a few packages of pre-made 1/2″ bias tape and a 1/2″ maker (labeled 12mm).
Most if not all commercially available premade versions of all the tape widths I’ve mentioned are bias tape, which works great for either application – straight or curved. I used store-bought bias tape for several projects (the Block Pocket Apron, Charming Camera Case, and Drawstring Bag), but you can certainly choose to make or buy your own for any of the projects in the book, it’s up to you.
Okay! On to the binding tape sizes + details…
1″ BINDING TAPE
This is the size of binding tape I use for machine-binding my quilts (as well as for a few other patchwork projects). For this very popular size, you can easily find it at a fabric store in solid colors in approximately 3-yard packages, folded or flat (there’s one labeled package of folded 1″ tape as an example in the photo below) – or make your own. To make this one, you’d use a 1″ binding tape maker (which can also be labeled 25mm) and strips of fabric cut to 1 7/8″ or 2″ wide (check your packaging to see what the maker you’re using recommends). When this tape is folded and stitched around a quilt’s or project’s edge, 1/2″ shows on each side – the 1″ refers to how wide the finished tape is when flat (unfolded).
The projects in the book that use 1″ binding tape are:
1″ QUILTS: Sunshine + Sock Monkeys (pictured), Housetop, Modern Crosses, Vintage Linens, Bright Furrows, Northwest Modern, + Anniversary. [The Winter Woolens, T-shirt Memory, and Clouds in the Sky Quilts don't use binding.]
1″ PATCHWORK PROJECTS: Cheerful Potholders + Drawstring Bag.
Can you use another width? For quilts, you could use 2″ wide binding tape (see below for more details on that size) for more of a blanket-style edging, either with straight stitching or zig-zag. I personally prefer 1″ for its streamlined look and neat, clean edge when machine-binding. I wouldn’t recommend going narrower, like 3/4″, especially for a quilt that uses a batting layer. For the two patchwork projects, I’d stick to 1″, especially the drawstring bag which uses a ribbon inside the casing.
2″ BINDING TAPE
This is the size I use for intentionally wider edging, like a waist sash on an apron or the rim of the camera case. To make this, you can use a 2″ binding tape maker (also labeled 50mm) and strips of fabric cut to 3 7/8″ or 4″ wide (again, check the packaging to be sure what your maker suggests).
You can also buy 2″ tape at the store, which I did for these projects – here are two labeled options for similar versions (1 7/8″ – 2″) of this very wide bias tape, one folded (the one labeled quilt binding) and one flat (the one labeled hem facing). Since this size is less common than the 1″ tape, I wanted to show a few more details so you can track it down more easily.
When the 2″ tape is folded and stitched around the apron waistband or camera case, 1″ shows on each side – so it’s twice as wide as the standard 1″ tape would look. The 2″ measurement refers to the flat (unfolded) width of the finished tape. Note: the description given in the materials list for the camera case and apron projects is 2″ (extra wide) binding tape, but since narrower-width tapes can also be labeled ‘extra wide’ depending on brand, etc. – the 2″ is the important detail here. Sorry for any confusion!
2″ PATCHWORK PROJECTS: Block Pocket Apron and Charming Camera Case (pictured).
Can you use another width? Yes, you can use 1″ tape for either the apron or camera case projects. The case uses a double layer of batting so just make sure you can fit all four layers (lining, batting x 2, and outer fabric) inside the narrower tape before binding. For the apron, a 1″ sash will obviously be much narrower as a finished element of the garment, so it may fold or crease on itself like a ribbon instead of keeping its flat, smooth appearance while you’re wearing it. I wouldn’t recommend going narrower than 1″ for either of these projects.
3/4″ BINDING TAPE
For a slightly narrower edging, like the strap of a bag or the edge of a tea towel, or binding a smaller coaster, this is the size I use. To make this, you use a 3/4″ binding tape maker (also labeled 18mm) and strips of fabric cut to 1 3/8″ or 1 1/2″ wide (check packaging). When this tape is folded and stitched around a bag strap or coaster edge, 3/8″ shows on each side – the 3/4″ measurement refers to the flat (unfolded) tape.
3/4″ PATCHWORK PROJECTS: Roundabout Coasters (pictured), Color Block Tea Towels, + Red Cross Bag (pictured).
Can you use another width? For the bag and tea towel projects, a 1″ tape would be an easy substitution. Personally, I liked the look of the narrower tape on these two, but if all you have handy is a 1″ maker or package of tape, that’s a good choice too. For the coaster, since it’s such a small piece, binding with 1″ tape is a little trickier. I’m sure it can be done but I liked using the streamlined 3/4″ tape, especially at the corners.
This is just a quick photo post for now, but I’m hoping to make a short video showing how I make binding tape soon, which would go with the full written + illustrated instructions on page 38 of the book. Any questions? Please comment and I’ll do my best to answer them and update with any helpful details!
Just wanted to announce a few things to celebrate the official book release day – thank you to everyone who’s been in touch to say nice things about the book! I really appreciate it!
First – I’m giving away a fun prize, thanks to Bolt Fabric Boutique: a set of eight fat quarters I picked out to celebrate the book release! I’m pairing the fabrics with a signed copy of the book. To enter, just leave a comment on this West Coast Crafty post by midnight Pacific time Thursday, March 31, letting me know your favorite thing about Log Cabin quilting. I’ll draw a winner on Friday, April 1! [Note: Sorry if this was confusing, I've emailed everyone who's commented here - please leave a comment over there to enter. Thanks so much for the lovely comments on log cabin!]
And here’s the list of everyone on the blog tour, which started up yesterday with two lovely posts from Cool Cottons, a giveaway and review – thank you so much to the wonderful crafters and quilters who are writing about the book. I am so appreciative of the support!!
M 3/21 Alyssa + Marie – Cool Cottons (plus a series of posts all week on log cabin!)
T 3/22 Book release day – me!
W 3/23 Daniela – Tangerine Samurai (who designed two projects for the book!)
Th 3/24 Melissa – All Buttoned Up and Bolt
F 3/25 Lupine + Meredith – Modern Domestic
Portland Modern Quilt Guild rock block!
4/18 – Christina – A Few Scraps
4/19 – Christina – Sometimes Crafter
4/20 – Megan – Megs Monkeybeans
4/21 – Jen – Betty Crocker Ass
Also 4/21 – my Log Cabin presentation at the PMQG meeting!