me and you


My friend Krista from Thar She Sews! interviewed me for her new series The Sewing Circle.  How fun.  Go ahead and check it out.

And because it's been a while since I shared any of YOUR projects from the flickr pool.  Here's a fun little roundup, and wow, you've been busy!

And more news about you, the winner of the Pooches and Pickups fat quarter set is: Esther who said
"Cinder is beautiful!

I want to participate! I would do ... a bone-shaped pillow with bells inside to play Linda or a bed liner ... I do not know I have many ideas in mind.

Esther ♥"

Congrats, I sent you an email. :)

patchwork bolster pillow tutorial - anthro inspired


So glad Ellen from The Long Thread asked me to join in her HandMAYde series this week.  I haven't done an anthropoligie 'knock off' before, so I thought it might be fun.  Why not make something almost the same for a whole lot less? Although I just looked now and the once 60 some dollar pillow is now on sale for a lot less.  Darn.

Anyway, on with the show...


5" blocks (a charm pack came in handy)
fat quarter
piping (store bought or make it yourself)

Getting started:
Arrange your blocks in this configuration: sew together using a 1/4" seam allowance.

Trim a 19.5" tall by 14" wide rectangle from that patchwork.  Cut two 6.25" diameter circles.  Apply a light weight fusible interfacing to all pieces, not necessary but it helps the pillow keep it's shape a little better.

Sew body of pillow together using a 1/4" seam allowance, but leave a 4-5" opening for stuffing later.

Mark the quarter points on both circles as well as both ends of pillow body with pins or a water soluble marker.

Align pins, slipping the piping in between (all raw edges aligned, so that means the piping facing inward) with RIGHT sides together.  Overlap piping and leave tails hanging outward.  Use additional pins as necessary.  Sew using a 1/4" seam allowance. And try not to curse and tear your hair out at this point.  A few wobbles at this point isn't really going to be that noticeable.  Using a zipper foot and moving your needle position as close to the piping helps for a better fit.  Unlike what I show here, you might want to place the body fabric piece up and circle down while sewing so you can make sure there's not a lot of bunching or wrinkles. Repeat for other end. Turn right side out and stuff.

Sew shut by hand using a ladder stitch.

Larger version note: I also made a larger version and used these measurements:  28.5" tall by 22" wide rectangle for body (aligning the 28.5" side for sewing) 9" diameter circles.  I used a cheater patchwork by Echino for that particular version.

Some hand quilting on this pillow would look fabulous (like the anthro pillow), but I gave up on that after the kids destroyed the play area our house.

pooches and pickups dog bed & a giveaway! [closed]


[Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway!]

I was really excited when Laurie sent me a few fat quarters of her newest line Pooches and Pickups to play with.  My mom and dad have a black lab, so the prints were especially fitting for them.  I hope I didn't take the fabric design too literally - but I made a dog bed for their dog, Cinder.

If you're a dog or cat lover, you know how much they love their beds (or yours).  Cinder was due for a new one to fit inside her dog crate.

I made the body of the bed from black twill and included a zip at the bottom for easy removal for washing.  And a little freezer paper stencil let's everyone know who's bed it really is!

How about some Pooches and Pickups for yourself?  I'm giving away a fat quarter bundle of Laurie's Pooches and Pickups collection (a total of 6 fat quarters in two super cool colorways).  Oh, and if you don't want to wait to win, you can also purchase her fabric at Hawthorne Threads, Fat Quarter Shop, and Pink Chalk Fabrics.

To enter:

  • One entry per person.  Please leave your email address in your comment. You can leave it in a format like this if you wish: anna [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Tell me what you'd make with the fabric if you win, or what the craziest thing you've ever made for your pet?!
  • There will be one winner chosen, loot includes 6 fat quarters from the Pooches and Pickups collection.
  • Open to international entries.
  • Giveaway ends Wednesday, May 25th at 10pm (central time).

And if you're feeling the giveaway frenzy, go check out Rebecca's Blog, Chasing Cottons for her giveaway!

summer madras tote pattern


So honored to join in on the fun of free pattern month today at Grosgrain.  There has been so many awesome patterns already, and hopefully you'll find this one handy for summer.

I scored lots of madras last week for $2 a yard and couldn't think of a better project than a fun and functional summer tote.

There's always room in your collection for another bag, right?!  I hope so.

The best part is that the exterior and lining of the bag is made with 1/2 yard cuts, so I think in total my bag cost me around $8, not to shabby.  Plus I won't feel bad kicking it around at the library, ice cream shop, and around town.

With two exterior front pockets my super important stuff won't ever get lost at the bottom of the bag, and this tote is a big one.

Find the full pattern and how-to on Grosgrain HERE!

summer shirt


Well, I've been at it again.  I remember drooling over these shirts from katie did when I first started reading blogs.  If you've never been to her site, you should drop in (even though she's currently not blogging).

So it was time that I tried it out myself.  Of course it's pretty easy to jump in when you're making a small top and using $2/yard fabric.

I'm pretty happy with the fit, it's pretty snug, but I'm going to try out another round with some adjustments and see how it goes.

I'll have to put it on hold until later because Friday I'm guest posting on Grosgrain for her fabulous free pattern month, so excited and honored to join in!

collecting and re-decorating


I'm sure excited to read about everyone's experiences at Quilt Market.  Can't wait to see all the cool pics of upcoming stuff.

[work in progress! dog was hoovering for lost snacks in the couch]

I ended up painting our living room this weekend and I love the change.  The color is a really nice light gray.  I had the room a light-ish yellow before and I couldn't stand it anymore!  Now with the gray it'll be fun to incorporate some fun pillows and artwork and blankets.

[how's this for messy?!]

The room is still a major work in progress because the space is actually a combined living dining room, which I love because I think it's quite unusual for a 60 year old home.

[my new-to-me mini credenza]

I was spurred on to doing some redecorating after craigslist got the best of me with some fun mid-century pieces.  Ever since I scored my danish dresser and bench I've been on the hunt to see what else I could find.

[scored two side chairs - to be re-covered]

I just. can't. help. it.

I've also been hitting up a few estate sales and walked away pretty happy with some fun pyrex and vintage hankies.

I'm hoping to incorporate my new japanese stacking mugs into my dining room somehow, I got some off etsy and the rest randomly at a thrift store.

So what are you into collecting?  Besides fabric that is.  :)

ps. paint color is called Gull by Martha Stewart at Home Depot, I had them color match it for the Behr paint/primer combo, love it so much

summer skirts


Wondering what to sew when you want to make something at 11:30 at night?  Why skirts of course!  They didn't take long, but I did have to add some length to Emily's skirt in the morning, I ended up just taking a guess on the length and was a bit off.  It could have passed because they mostly wear shorts or leggings under skirts, but I actually love the way the band at the bottom looks.

I went a little hog wild this week and bought a ton of cute seersucker and madras plaid.  Love those two fabrics for summer clothes.  Natalie's skirt is a seersucker and Emily's is madras.  You'll be seeing more madras in the next week or so because I just couldn't help myself for $2.00 yard!

These skirts and Emily's top were all I could eek out this week for the Kids Clothes Week Challenge.  How about you? Did you sew up kids clothes like a storm?

Here's some awesome skirt tutorials if you haven't already checked them out:

ps. having your little sister run around like a crazy kid helps when you're feeling grumpy

kids clothes week challenge: leah tunic


 Up first on my projects for kids clothes week was a Leah Tunic for Emily.  In case you weren't following along, my friend Jess of Craftiness is Not Optional hosted a fun sew-along for making your very own Leah Tunic.  Her four part series is here, here, here, and here.

I really had fun trying to jump out of my comfort zone and make my own pattern.  You see, always always when I would sew with my mom we would use patterns.  I had no idea that people made up their own patterns at all.  So for me, sewing without a pattern seems kind of like winging it.  But using your kids' existing clothing to make patterns is pretty fun.  And I think this top was pretty successful.

I just love the cute little pockets.  And the voile is so soft and lightweight, it'll make a really great summer shirt - perfect for checking out all the cool bugs outside.

m is for mom


I was hanging out at my mom's the other weekend and I suddenly realized that I've really only made her bags or purses.  And of course mother's day was coming up, so I made an apron for her newly redecorated kitchen. 

I used the patchwork apron pattern from the book I Heart Patchwork (which I just spotted today that she's selling her signed copies of the book for 25% off!).  All of the projects in that book are so fun and it makes it easy to make a personalized gift.

We had recently gotten my mom and dad a new set of dishes, so the apron is the start of a little set of things for her kitchen.  Oh, and the fact that I had to use a Christmas bear potholder to take something out of her oven really called me to action.

I added a little hand stitching along the patchwork border and embroidered a little 'm' on the pocket just in case my dad gets confused and thinks it's his apron, haha.  But really, the 'm' is for either her first or last name since they both begin with 'm'. The only thing that gave me any trouble was the waistband, I think I had to re-sew it about 3 times before getting it to the point where I was satisfied.  Anyway...

Hope you all had a wonderful Mother's day!  Glad you like your apron mom.

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