Sunday, October 26, 2014

Winner of the Cascade fabric bundle is...

Drumroll please.... Billie Kretzschmar (billiemick ) Congrats to Billie! I have forwarded your contact info to Jessica. Windham will be sending you the fabric. Thanks to everyone for participating!

Happy Sewing!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Cascade blog tour and giveaway

It's time for something totally fun!!

A few months ago, Jessica Levitt emailed me to ask if I would be willing to sew up the Itty Bitty basket out of her new fabric line Cascade, debuting at quilt market! How cool is that? Of course I said yes without hesitation!

imageItty Bitty Nesting Baskets in Cascade by Jessica Levitt

Here is Jess' new fabric line Cascade by Windham.

Isn't it pretty? This line is versatile and I can see this working equally well for home decor projects, purses, clothes or quilts. You can see more in the look book here

Itty Bitty Nesting Baskets in Cascade by Jessica Levitt
 I've modified the Itty Bitty Basket tutorial for a triple set of nesting baskets.

You can download the instructions to make this set of baskets here.  It will also be available on my Craftsy page.

Check out Jess' blog page for more fun ideas as well as the other bloggers on the blog tour

Tuesday October 14th - Julie Herman - Jaybird Quilts / Jenn Nevitt -knit ’n lit
Wednesday October 15th - Amanda Kattner - What the Bobbin / Andy Knowlton - a bright corner
Thursday October 16th - Marci Debataz - Marci Girl Designs / Jennifer Auh Chon - Sunny in Cal
Friday October 17th - Angela Walters - Quilting is my Therapy / Rachel Gander - Imagine Gnats
Saturday October 18th - Elizabeth Timmons - and pins / Andrea Taddicken - knitty bitties
Sunday October 19th - Erin Erickson - Dog Under my Desk / Jessica Skultety - Quilty Habit
Monday October 20th  - Caroline Press - Trillium Design / Karin Jordan - Leigh Laurel Studiosd

Itty Bitty Nesting Baskets in Cascade by Jessica Levitt

And here is the best part. Windham fabrics is going to give you a chance to win a little fat quarter bundle of these fabrics for yourself.  All you have to do is enter the giveaway to win. I'll pick the winner on Oct 24th.  Remember to check out all the other blogs as well, you can enter to win a fabric bundle from each blog page! Thanks Windham!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 13, 2014

Around the World Blog hop

Thank-you so much to Soma Acharya (Whims and Fancies) who invited me to this little blog hop around the world.  She was my partner in crime for the Doctor.Who.Along and is a fantastic quilter, artist, photographer, pattern designer and all-around sweetie-pie.  

So here are some answers to questions that I rarely ever get to chat about on this blog (well all except that first one).
 #soakphotochallenge Day 8 ~ WIP. #mybooqal is being quilted

1.       What am I working on?
Currently too many things.  I have Halloween quilt in progress as part of the #mybooqal going on on Instagram.  I have another modern quilt I’ve designed for Quiltcon that needs to have the quilting finished.  About 3 different swaps I need to make items for and probably about  a dozen other things that I’ve forgotten about.  Oh and there is always a knitting project on the needles.  I don't talk about that hobby much on here, but I love to knit! That hobby is even older than my sewing one. Never a dull moment around here.
#mybooqal basted and ready for quilting. #thisquiltneedsaname #sundaysewing 3 weeks later and I'm halfway done with this matchstick quilting. #shootmenow #whatwasithinking Holy moly this is one big shawl. #ashburn is done. Just what a girl needs on a 90+ day.  #plucky #pluckylove #plucktember #yarnporn #blockingcanwait #bello

2.  How does my work differ from others of its genre?  
I’ll let you decide this for the most part.  I think I'm kind of still developing my 'style'. I think my work is creative and  I try to think outside the box when I’m designing something.  I usually start every project design by asking myself, “what haven’t I seen yet?” and go from there.  I think this makes my work more unique but I'm all over the place in terms of what I'll tackle which is pretty much anything.  I do like a fairly modern aesthetic though in anything I make for myself or our family's home.
Retro rubies pattern

3.  Why do I write/create what I do?
Sewing keeps me sane.  I love the creative process of coming up with a new design idea and making it from start to finish.  I love pairing colors and envisioning what I think will work best. I need a small amount of creative time every day just to keep on functioning normally.  My day-job is entirely left-brain activity, so I need some balance to keep me on an even-keel.
In the hoop. #sundaysewing.

4. How does my writing/creating process work?
Usually I see something out there in the world that sparks an idea.  It can be anything from the way the light hits the glass to looking at a building from a unique angle and it can happen at any moment.  Really, anything can spark an idea and from there I usually jot it down on paper to revisit when I have time. I have a whole folder of ‘ideas’ like this in my studio.  Sometimes they make it into a finished sewn object and sometimes they don’t.  

Now that @madewithlove_candice has received her pkg i can show you the clutch I made for her birthday #cakeandmakeclub #cottonandsteel. It was hard to part with.

But enough about me.  Here are some other creative women that inspire me and will share their perspectives with you next.

Becky of SolarThreads ~ I've never met Becky in person but we share the same home state.  She's a fantastic and productive quilter. Always quilting up a storm with a cool twist and sewing all kind of unique things, like her fabric postcards and her Growler bags made with Pendleton wool.  She'll be my roommate next month at Sewtopia and I'm looking forward to meeting her in person.  Plus we have kids the same age and she's a scientist like me. No wonder she's my friend.

Jennifer of SunnyinCal ~ I can't wait to see her again at Sewtopia.  Jenn is a powerhouse sewer and quilter.  She churns out a new quilt every other day or so it seems.  She is super creative and all her stuff is really gorgeous!  Plus she's a super nice person as well. 

Lisa of Lisa Lisa and the quilt jam
 ~ Lisa is the Vice Prez of the Corvallis Modern Quilt Guild, my local guild and a sewing buddy of mine.  She is super bubbly and fun and can quilt up a storm.  She always has many irons in the fire.

Go check out these lovely ladies.

Until next time, Happy sewing!
xoxo Caroline

Thursday, July 31, 2014

College Blog Hop ~ 50 yard line

It's time for the last pattern of the College Blog Hop organized by Soma of Whims and Fancies blog.  Soma is a star for organizing all these fantastic foundation piecing pattern QALs.  This time around the theme is College and everything that reminds you of  college.  For me, that's football! (USA style).  I do love going to watch a college football game in the crisp cool air of fall. 

So here is my 50 yard line block.  The finished block is 10" square.

You can download the pattern and instructions here or on Craftsy

Would also work for any football related quilts or projects you might be wanting to make.  Use it as a center block, add your favorite college licensed fabric around the border and make yourself a cute tote bag to carry the blanket, snacks and water bottle to the game or for tailgating.

Go Team!  Happy Sewing!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Itty Bitty basket tutorial

Many of you have been asking me for a tutorial on making my storage boxes.  I have put together a little tute here. This is a basic version of the storage bucket and can be adapted to any size.

For now i'm going to keep it small and simple.  I will post back later and explain how to change up the basket to make it bigger and add holes for carrying.

This basket is about 5.5" x  5" finished.

To start, you need a piece of paper to make a pattern. Any kind or type of paper will work but it needs to be at least 9" square. You are going to cut a 9" square out of your paper.

Next, you are going to fold you paper in half

and then fold it in half again, so you have a smaller square. Now, you are going to cut a 1.5 square corner out of it on the open sides (don't cut on the folded side or you'll just end up with a hole in the center of your square).  It should look like this

And when you unfold it
Ok now you have your first pattern piece.  Place it onto your fabric. You'll need at  minimum a 9" square piece of fabric. I'm using part of a layer cake, so my fabric is 10" square.

Cut out around the pattern piece so it looks like this:

Now you are going to attach your side pieces.  You'll need 4 scraps of fabric that are 4" x 6".  I've used different fabrics for mine but you can use all the same fabrics if you like or anything you choose.
Lay them out alongside your bottom piece like this:
Flip over the pieces and sew along cut edge using a 1/4" seam allowance like this;

Fold the fabric sides out and press the seams upwards toward the side pieces.  Topstitch using a scant 1/8" seam.

Optional - for a stiffer more sturdy basket, you'll want to interface this entire piece with Decor Bond/Craft bond or some other interfacing material.  

Now you'll sew up the side seams on all four sides, with right sides of the fabric facing each other.  It should look like this when it's done. 
Turn it right side out and poke out the corners.

Next you'll make another square using lining fabric. This time your square will be 16"

Fold in half and then into quarters as you did for the paper piece.  Then cut out a square from the corner that is 5".  It should look like this.
(Interface this piece if you like)
Sew up the sides as you did for the outer basket, but leave it inside out. 

Next you'll place the basket lining inside the outer basket with the wrong sides facing. Poke the corners in so that it's nice and square and all the seams align, then using a basting stitch, you'll baste along the top raw edge of the basket.  

Cut 2" strip of fabric that is at least 28" long.  Make a double-folded tape using a bias-tape maker if you have one, or just use your iron (turn the steam off so you don't burn your fingers  ~ ask me how I know?)

Open up the folded tape and pin it to the top edge of the basket.  Sew along the fold line (this should be about 1/2" SA).  It should look like this when you are done. 
 Next fold down the tape over the raw edge and use pins or clips to hold it in place.  I hand-sewed down the tape to the inside of my basket, but you could also machine sew it if you have walking foot.

And when you are done you'll have a handy little storage basket to use in your home.

Mine is full of my ever growing stash of washi tape.  Yep, I love me some washi!
Everyone needs a little itty bitty basket in their home.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Done and done!!

Doctor who along quilt is complete!

Doctor Who is finished! The quilt that is.  And I'm so relieved to finally be done with this one. It's really been a labor of love. Emphasis on labor.

Here is the happy recipient!


It was quilted by none other than Christina Lane (sometimescrafter) and she did a fantastic job! Check out the custom Gallifreyan quilt pattern she designed! What a perfect finishing touch for this quilt.

More closeups of the quilting! I'm smitten can you tell?
Doctor who along quilt is complete!

And of course the back had to have a little extra finishing touch so I added the words and the Doctor
Who logo.
 Doctor who along quilt is complete!  The back. Fantastic quilting by Christina Lane

The kids had a hard time holding this one up because it was so big - even up there on the wall. I resorted to pinning it to the house gutters in the end and it still hit the patio on the bottom.

 Doctor who along quilt is complete! 

I promise those Whovian letter patterns will be up on the Craftsy site eventually.  I have to take a little break from paper piecing to focus on some other priorities and then I'll be back. 

How is your Whovian quilt coming along?  If you haven't started yet or are just now hearing about this project, you can find all the quilt block patterns for this quilt on this blog or through my pattern store on the Craftsy website.  In addition, you can find a ton of inspiration pictures of other DoctorWhoAlong participants and their quilts on the Flickr QAL site. 

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Rainbow storage solutions

Hello, hello.
 Is this thing on?
 tap. tap. tap.
 Er hmm. Yes I'm still here. Yes i'm still sewing. No i'm not blogging about it. I will admit that Instagram aka IG has taken over much of the online posting I do about my sewing. But I thought a blog post would be in order. If you don't already have instagram I highly recommend it. I prefer it over other online venues and while Bill Maher might think it's twitter for people who can't read! er hmm (I love you Bill but really you are being short-sighted!), Instagram works marvelously well for a medium which is primarily visual, like quilting or sewing or other art forms. You can't tweet about that nearly as effectively. A picture is worth a thousand words and all that.
Ok so here's what I have been working on...
I'm still trying to get my sewing room put together and really done, done! Ya know what i mean? It'll always be a work in progress but i'm trying to get a few more bits and pieces organized. To that end I've been stitching up a bunch of storage baskets. No one ever said they had too much storage. Am I right? So here are my newest sewing buckets.

I wanted a rainbow feel so i dug into my precious Henna garden stash and put these baskets together. They are big, 8"x12"x12" so they'll hold a lot. Again, the more the better right? They are deceptively easy to sew up.
And before you ask, I know you guys want a tutorial.
 As soon as I figure out how to do that effectively, I'll put one together.
 In the meantime you'll just have to appreciate the photos. The bottoms are all Essex yarn dyed linen (Kaufman) which works super well with the rainbow of henna garden.
Some of these will go to yarn storage but the rest? Who knows. They'll fill up sooner than I'ld like I'm sure. This storage ought to keep me for awhile. Let's hope.

Happy sewing!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The great sewing room reno

Right after the Christmas holidays my husband and work-for-free contractor started working on my sewing space.   I have been perching on this makeshift sewing surface for years and it wasn't really working well for me. If it was left up to me, I would've perched, makeshift-style, for decades because I'm a go-with-the-flow kind of chick. He decided that I needed a new desk.  Who was I to refuse?  I'll sacrifice.  Ha!

So I gave him my list of must-have features, and he started a design.  We decided that it sometimes needed to be a large work surface for when I'm quilting those really big quilts.  But since it's a small room we wanted it to be retractable because there isn't room for an 8 ft table most of the time.  I also wanted to stow away the machines when not in use.  I used to do a lot of garment sewing, so I have a several different kinds of machines, most of those don't get used daily, so they don't need to be around collecting dust.  So he built a huge set of drawers to contain the machines and provide storage for other things as well.

Since I was getting new furniture, I decided that a new wall color was in order. I had been wanting to update to blue anyway, so this was the motivation I needed. Change the trim out from brown to white and voila!  I love this shade of deep teal blue.
Sewing Room Reno

The table itself is pretty cool. The retractable desktop pulls out when needed to a full length of over 8'  but is tucked away when not in use! Handy no?

Sewing Room Reno

Those 2 giant drawers are actually big enough and strong enough to hold my machines when not in use.
Sewing Room Reno

And the upper cabinet holds all my supplies. I'm not big on clutter, so I like to have everything neatly stored away when not in used.
Sewing Room Reno

The new surface is fantastic to work at! I'm so pleased with my new space. The hubs is pretty handy with the tools which makes me one lucky lady indeed. He even added an handy little notions drawer for all my machine feet and oft-used notions all stowed away neatly. Sewing Room Reno

 Here's an iPhone pano of the whole space. It definitely still needs some work, but it's getting there. I feel so much more productive already.
Sewing room pano

The room used to be an office and reading space. So we had these handy drawers for CD storage.  Well let's face it, since the invention of the iPod who uses CD's anymore? We packed them off to storage and low-and-behold the drawers work perfectly for fat quarters! Woot!  Bonus! And best part is that they are out of the light and packed away when not needed. Love that.

Handy Fat Quarter drawers

The new space still needs some tweaks.  I need to tackle some big piles that need to be destashed and relocated.  It needs some sewing baskets, some new wall art (that poor old Matisse print is faded beyond recognition) and I need to redo my sewing chair.  All in good time. Well, I'm off to tackle that gigantic pile of knits I need to destash.

Happy Sewing!
  Favorite cozy corner - done!  getting there