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!!
Hello and happy 2012! It’s been a busy couple months but I’m really excited for some new quilting. I’m so honored to be the incoming president of the Portland Modern Quilt Guild, and my fellow officers and I are planning some fun things with the guild! Hope to see you at our January 19th meeting – 7-9 pm at PNCA, room 205.
I have a new patchwork project to share that I’ll write up and post this week – a little companion/sequel to the Sunshine and Sock Monkeys Quilt.
Everett really loves this one! It was kind of hard to get even a quick snapshot of it.
The seam allowance is incorrect on the first page (says 3/8″, should be 1/4″) – lots more details here on the corrections page. I’m so sorry about the error, but you can make a beautiful, sturdy, slightly smaller bag with the 3/8″ seam allowance, like Mary‘s here on the right (approximately 14″ blocks instead of 16″).
I’ll see you soon with the new project and some of my favorite photos of reader-made projects from the book – thank you to everyone who has added theirs to the MLCQ flickr pool!
I’m super excited to come to Seattle in two weeks for a Modern Log Cabin Quilting book signing and party at the lovely Quilting Loft in Ballard! It’s on Saturday, October 22 from 1-3 pm. I’ll bring book projects to show, along with free log cabin quilt block kits for everyone to sew.
Please stop by if you’re free! I would love to say hello and talk quilting with you, and I will definitely do some fabric shopping while I’m there…
Huge thank-you to Angie at the Quilting Loft, Katie of the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild, Megan, Kristen, and Blair for helping me set up something fun in Seattle. We are making a weekend mini-vacation of it and I can’t wait!
If you go:
MLCQ book party
The Quilting Loft
2601 NW Market St. Seattle, WA 98107
Saturday, 10/22 from 1-3pm
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!
As usual it seems, it’s been a busy few weeks so here’s a catch-up/round-up kind of post… lots of things going on these days and I rarely get a quiet hour in front of the computer now that my eight-month-old, Everett, is really on the move!
Sisters was awesome, a bit of a whirlwind but fantastic. I LOVED the Portland Modern Quilt Guild special exhibit, our area was beautiful – a calm, breezy walkway with 18 guild members’ quilts hanging on both sides. This post has some lovely photos from Michelle, too.
I had my 20-pound baby in the Beco carrier pretty much the whole time I wasn’t at my book signing, so I didn’t get any great pictures myself, but luckily lots of folks in the guild were out in full force and the group flickr pool has a lot of amazing ones! Thanks to Heather for snapping these three photos – here’s my quilt in the mix, Modern Crosses.
I met Valori Wells, Jean Wells, and Kathy Doughty when I headed over for my signing and managed to (hopefully) not be too inarticulate and star-struck. The Quilters of Gee’s Bend were there too – my second overlap with them, after my trip in 2009 (here are four of their gorgeous quilts in front of the shop – how much do I love the second one?!). It was pretty awesome.
Thank you so much to everyone who came to my event at the Stitchin Post! I met so many nice quilters and it was really lovely. I have to admit that it was a challenge co-wrangling a lively three-year-old and a laid-back baby all afternoon in a beautiful, crowded, hot place, but it was a great day.
Meanwhile, Fat Quarterly has posted the second and third installment of the Apron-a-long – the free Block Pocket Apron pattern and tutorial. Week 1 (choosing materials and tips on the pattern) is right here,
There’s a giveaway this week – since so many people have mentioned that they love the patchwork pillowcase I used for my apron-along, I’m offering up the second one in the set! Just leave a comment on the FQ post this week to enter once, or add a photo of your apron in progress or finished) to the FQ flickr pool and the MLCQ flickr pool for a bonus 10 entries.
Next Wednesday is Week 4 – finishing the apron, the giveaway winner, and a new MLCQ announcement… so please stay tuned over there.
I was going to try to write every single July thing up at once, but after this much HTML-ing I’d rather save a few last things for their own special post. So next week I’ll write up the Log Cabin Quilting class I taught at PNCA this month, which was amazing. I was so inspired by my six lovely students. And then this weekend I get to take Denyse Schmidt’s Walking The Line: Working with Improvisation and Structure in Patchwork workshop. I’ve been looking forward to this one for so long.
Here are my current solid fabrics – the five on top are from Cool Cottons, the ones underneath are from my stash. I am excited to do some trading with Rachel, Michelle, Robin, and Jaime at class! I’m bringing the same red scissors as a print option, which I pieced into several of the blocks I made in the 2009 Denyse Schmidt class.
I’m hoping to find some interesting new directions for improvisation and design, but I do like the idea of “cousin” blocks that have a common fabric, a couple years apart… and well, I just love those scissors.
See you on the other side!
PS: If anyone is interested in shorter and more frequent crafty updates, I’m posting more at my FB page + I just finally (finally!) joined Twitter this week. I’m only finding time for longer blog posts here, at my main West Coast Crafty blog, or for World of Geekcraft every few weeks or so, so it’s been nice to write tiny things instantly, too.