Today I celebrate my 58th birthday – how that has come to be, I cannot explain. Isn’t time the strangest phenomenon? The older I get, the more quickly it buzzes by. When I was young I would wish for the next age or stage. In seventh grade my mother allowed us to begin shaving our legs and wearing panty hose. At 12 or 13 (?) we were allowed to get our ears pierced. Of course there is driving at 16, a very exciting rite of passage and voting at 18 (are we all voting in the upcoming election??). I married at 20 (to my first husband); graduated college at 21, had my babies at 24, 26, and 30. Married again at 37 and had baby number 4 at age 40. Now I just want it to SLOW DOWN!!!! But it doesn’t, does it?
So, today I am celebrating! It is the 25th of the month so I am holding a site-wide 25% off sale! Not only that, I would like to give a $25 gift certificate to my shop! Please leave me a comment with an age related memory. What comes to mind? I will draw a winner tomorrow morning!
Looking forward to this trip around the sun and feeling so fortunate that all of you are taking it with. me!!
Giveaway now closed. Congratulations Preeti!! You are the winner of the $25 gift certificate to the shop!! Hurray. Thank you everyone for the wonderful birthday wishes and great memories you all shared. They were so much fun to read!
When I was in Vermont in early September, I took along a number of sewing projects to work on. One of those was a piece of pretty voile (designed by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabric) and a blouse pattern. I haven’t used voile before and wanted to try it out. In case you aren’t familiar, voile is a lightweight cotton with a higher thread count making it softer and sort of flowy (is that a word?). It washes well and can be used for garments or quilting. Anyway, I thought I would give it a try. One thing I wanted was a blouse that didn’t have to be ironed after washing and this one doesn’t. If taken out of the dryer right away, it looks lovely.
I chose Simplicity pattern 1589 because of its simple construction. Two pattern pieces, just the front and back. It literally took about an hour and one half to make. I used French seams for the two side seams and the shoulder seams so the inside finish is very clean. The neckline and armholes are finished with blue bias tape. The pattern calls for bias cut strips of the same fabric but I am too frugal for that. Bias strips leave so much waste and I like the pop of color that shows now and then from the coordinated bias tape.
I don’t have a normal set of pictures to show you. My husband had taken some for me but most of them weren’t all that good so I decided to show you the shirt in action, so to speak. I had it on while H was here last week and my son takes about 100 pictures daily of her so the shirt is featured in a number of them!
The pattern is fun because the back is just two overlapping pieces whose center edges are cut on a diagonal. The opening goes all the way up to the neckline but when it blows open, it really only does so at the bottom because of the overlap. Does that make sense?
Tomato picking was a favorite part of H’s morning with Grammy. However she was picking them green, orange and any color between!
It is long enough to wear with leggings which I like. I did lower the front hem as much as possible. It has that hi-low hem feature that is trendy these days but I didn’t want it to be as prevalent as the pattern had called for.
You can see the diagonal cut on the back pieces here. I think it is a fun design.
Falling For You table runner
So, another blouse is done and now I have time to finish up a few other projects that are near completion. I started this table runner before the wedding and should be able to finish it up this afternoon. I am going to make H a Halloween costume so I want to get the sewing table cleaned off before I start it. The pattern is ordered but I haven’t shopped for fabric yet. She is going to be a lion and will be the cutest lion out there!
Finally, if you are in the mood for some fall colors, all of the autumn fabrics in my shop are 25% off today. Come take a look – there are some really pretty pieces and they are a great deal. Precuts, bundles and yardage are all available. Also, hop over to either Instagram or Facebook and enter to win a cute bundle of Halloween fabrics. Today is the last day of the sale and the last day to enter the giveaway! Hope you will come and join in!
I hope you will all click over the Michelle’s blog and check out the link-ups. This week’s linkup just opened this morning so if there aren’t a ton of posts linked yet, come back in a bit. If you are a blogger, please link up with Michelle this week! Let’s get the word out there. You might want to put her button on your side bar too.
You will have two opportunities to enter the giveaway and the prize is a $25 gift certificate to my shop. Who doesn’t love a free shopping spree??? Maybe this is your lucky day! 🙂
Thank you Michelle for creating this fun weekly link up!
Thanks everyone for playing along and for all of the sweet notes on my 4th Anniversary giveaway. I loved reading all of the comments. If you have a minute go back and read them. What a fun group of people you all are! Can you believe I didn’t mention anything sewing or quilting related when I was talking about the significance of the number 4?? Fat quarters, four patch blocks, four sides to a square? How did I skip over that??
Anyway, winners have been picked. Congrats to Susan S, Jinger, Cedarfork Sarah, and Janna. I have emailed each of you so if you haven’t already, please send me your mailing info. Bundles will go out next week.
Also wanted to let you all know that all fat quarter and 1/2 yard bundles in the shop are on sale today and tomorrow only, for 20% off! Woohoo!! Organic bundles are included and bargain/clearance bundles are excluded. If by chance you want one of the floral bundles, shown in the giveaway post, email me or leave a comment and I am happy to cut you one – I don’t have them listed individually in the shop.
Have a great weekend everyone. You’re the best!
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Today marks four years since I began this blog. I remember starting it and wondering if anyone would find it, read it, enjoy it. It was akin to that feeling of having a party and thinking ‘what if no one shows up’. But people did find it, you guys do read it and it is so much fun!
A bundle of four pretty florals!
I thought about the number four and looked at the significance of it in my life. Turns out it is a pretty cool number.
Florals in pink, orange, and blue. So pretty!
For me personally, I thought of the following:
I have four children.
I am the fourth daughter out of six.
My mother is the fourth daughter in as many children. She was given the name Bernardine (the Italian feminine for Bernard, her father’s name). I am the fourth daughter too and she gave me the name Bernardine.
There are four seasons.
There are four cardinal directions or points on a compass.
Four mathematical rules; addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
Wizard of Oz – the foursome including Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion.
Commonly used 4:4 time in music.
Everyone knows the Fab Four!
There are four suits in a deck of cards.
How many Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Yep, 4!
How many houses in Hogwarts?? You got it – 4!
The Four Corners in the United States is where four states join at a single point; Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
For those who look for meaning in their dreams four is significant. Four is important in that it indicates stability and success. A pattern of fours would say your work and efforts are likely to pay off with success. Whether I believe in dream analysis or not, I like this because I feel like my work to develop my blog and my shop has been really successful and, more importantly, so satisfying!
When celebrating wedding anniversaries, the traditional gift for the fourth anniversary is fruits or flowers.
Love this palette of green, tank, coral and pink.
OK, here is where it gets interesting. This being the fourth anniversary of my blog, I want to give my readers a gift. It seems rather impractical to send you fruit so I want to give flowers. In keeping with the theme of four, I have created four fat quarter bundles, containing four pieces each. The fabrics are all florals. So to mark this fourth blogiversary, I will select four winners, each of whom will win a bundle of four florals!
Soft and feminine florals in pinks, blues and lavender.
To enter to win, tell me what the number four means to you. Does it have any significance? If not, that’s fine too. How long does the giveaway remain open? WellI, four days of course! I will pull names on the 8th of June! Thanks to everyone who reads my blog, sews along with me, shops at Needle & Foot, and extends their friendship and community to me. It’s been a fun four years!!
This year National Quilting Day and St. Patrick’s Day coincide! This is the best for me because I can combine two of my favorites, fabric and all shades of green. To celebrate this momentous occasion, I am hosting two giveaways; one on Instagram and the other on Facebook. If you are interested in throwing your name in the hat to win a fantastic bundle of green fat quarters, head on over there. Also, I have a few bundles of these gorgeous greens listed in my shop – today only, they are $17!
I will draw the winner tomorrow morning. Good luck and Happy St. Patrick’s Day/National Quilting Day!!
In the excitement of the holiday weekend, Black Friday sales activities and other distractions, I forgot to draw the winner of the Make Wall Quilts e-book. This morning, using my scientifically random system of drawing names ( Hey Julia, what is a number between 1 and 42?), Nancy was selected as the winner of the book. Nancy, I hope you enjoy it and make some fun projects with it! Remember, if you want a copy of the book – it is a bargain on Amazon. Truly – only $2.56 for the hard copy of the book. Great gift for yourself or your quilty friends!
Now that business has been taken care of, want a peak at the quilt I am making? Sarah Goer is a talented quilter, pattern designer, and blogger. We both started our blogs at roughly the same time and became friends at that time. This is the second time I have pattern tested for her and I really enjoy it. Before having children she was a math teacher at the junior high school level. I think this gives her a great background for pattern writing. An affinity for math and puzzles gives her the skills to write a clean, well understood pattern. For now though, this is all I am going to say! Here is a look at what I am working on.
I asked for opinions on color choices on Facebook and Instagram about a week ago and got lots of feedback. This blue and yellow combo was quite popular and I am very happy with the look so far!
Finally, I was reading the news this morning and saw an article about Facebook that caught my eye. Facebook gets a bad reputation from the way fake news is often generated, hysteria builds based on ridiculous, irresponsible posting, the cyber-bullying that occurs etc. Much of this is due to poor decision making on the part of the Facebook user community as well as lack of parental monitoring of the youth that use social media. When Facebook introduced live video options last year some really disturbing videos were posted. In response to this, Facebook hired a large team (3,000+ employees) to monitor the videos for harmful content or intent. For quite a while now, they have monitored text for any disturbing conversation that may indicate children and potentially abusive adults (sexual predators) They will notify authorities when suspicious text is found.
Now Facebook has expanded their use of Artificial Intelligence to scan posts for text that indicates possible suicidal tendencies. When such information is picked up, there is a team of interventionists ready to contact the person posting as well as persons who may have responded to the posts with supportive information such as suicide hot line phone numbers and other resources which may be able to assist. Realizing that this sort of intervention has to happen quickly, Facebook has trained employees available at any hour to speak with authorities in the language of their country if something suspect is found.
Facebook is a powerful social media platform with over two billion users. Many would say Facebook noses around where they shouldn’t. That they push annoying ads targeted at users and monitor conversations to be able to do so. However, it is my belief that people using Facebook are making a decision to be posting on a highly monitored platform and thus making their lives somewhat public. I think it is a good thing to know that the company uses the tools they have to try to protect the safety of the users. I am curious to hear your thoughts on this. To me it shows a very responsible use of the incredibly powerful technology developed by Facebook.
Off to the sewing room! I want to make some good progress on the baby quilt I am making with Sarah’s pattern. Hope everyone is carving out a little creative time in their day.
Note: This post contains affiliate links meaning if a reader clicks a link on my page and makes a purchase, I will be paid a small amount. This payment does not increase the price of the sale to the customer.
Today I would like to share a book review with you. C & T Publishing asked me to review one of their new books, Make Wall Quilts: 11 Little Projects to Sew (Make Series). In a nutshell, I would say I love everything about the book except for the title. The title didn’t grab me and as I clicked on the link to the book, I was going in with a negative attitude. Luckily the actual book is wonderful. I suppose this means one shouldn’t judge a book by its title!
This book is a compilation of eleven different wall, or mini, quilts. Each is from a different, well known quilt designer. There are projects from Camille Roskelly, Kim Schaefer, Rebecca Bryan and Heidi Staples in the book as well as several others. Taking projects from books previously published by the designers is a genius idea as it provides a variety of styles in one book. You probably know just from reading the names above that the book contains modern and traditional projects made with a variety off techniques. I am a fan of reading quilt books (no surprise there!) but each one usually has a particular theme or style to it. With this book, the quilter can try a variety of styles and techniques. The projects are not large which means they are easily accomplished.
Well, all except one! For me the Huckleberry Quilt designed by Rebecca Bryan looks challenging and maybe out of my skill range. But this is a good thing – it further affirms the book has something for everyone from the beginner to the more experienced quilter. The fact that this riff on a color wheel requires 72 different color fabrics is enough to intimidate me. I have enough difficulty choosing color and if I had to choose 72 different solids I might go right over the edge. But while you are here, take a look at the quilting on this piece. Stunning!
The reader might choose to make a modern applique project or a traditional one. I really like the look of this quilt designed by Jennifer Dick, appropriately called Mod. Again just take a look at the quilting here. Gorgeous!
Quilters who favor traditional applique might enjoy this one. Called Outside In, this project was designed by Becky Goldsmith. It is a larger piece, finishing at 30″ x 36″ but very doable. I love the cat at the top. She has attitude.
Quilters without improv piecing experience might like to learn from the Lazy Log Cabin project designed by Laura Wasilowski. The blocks in the piece are six inches with the total quilt finishing at 17″ square. It is Laura’s use of bold color which makes this project stand out to me.
Most of the projects in this book could easily be expanded to a larger size quilt if the reader wanted to make a baby or lap size quilt with the project. This further exemplifies the flexibility of the book. I really give high praise to C & T for curating this great selection of projects and publishing them in one book.
C&T has generously offered a copy of the e-book to give away to one lucky reader. But if you are not the winner, I do recommend purchasing this book, either for your library or as a gift. It is a lovely collection of a variety of projects, truly a something-for-everyone kind of book.
To enter to win a copy, please leave a comment on this post. Tell me what your favorite quilting technique is at the moment. Is it EPP, paper piecing, improv piecing, traditional block piecing, applique? What do you enjoy most? Giveaway will be open until Friday and I will pick a winner on Saturday.
If you would like to purchase the hard copy of the book, it is on sale at Amazon for a steal of a price! (Affiliate Link)
I doubt I will post again this week so let me wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. I do love this time of year. Celebrating gratitude for all we are blessed with feels good and reminds us that even if we are enduring difficulty, we still have much to be thankful for.
Note: Needle & Foot is an Amazon Affiliate meaning if you were to click through and purchase the book, I will receive a small stipend for the purchase.
Today is my day to post a review and host a giveaway of a fun new quilt book. If you are here for the first time via the blog hop, welcome! The book of the day is Angie Wilson’s Fussy Cutter’s Club published by C&T Publishing. You may know Angie as she is the queen of online quilt alongs and swaps. She thrives on leading large groups of quilters through complicated projects such as her current QAL making Jen Kingwell’s Gypsy Wife Quilt – not for the faint of heart for sure. For more info on the events she is currently leading and has done in the past, click here.
It was about two months ago when I was invited by C&T Pubs to review Angie’s upcoming book. Right away I was intrigued by the title of the book and the gorgeous cover. I know we aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, but come on. Look at this cover! It just pulls the reader in at the get go. Angie’s reputation for mad skills with fabric play and use of color assured me the book would be worth the time to read, review and create with.
The premise of the book is to learn to look at your stash with a new perspective – Angie teaches the reader to use your fabric by cutting into it and emphasizing the bits you love the most. The book is well written and the instructions for each of the 14 projects are precise and easy to understand. Angie takes the reader through the design process, how to best use your fabrics, color theory and more, prior to introducing projects. She really did a great job with this book. The projects range from the very simple to quite complex (again, look at the cover!)
For my project, I chose to make the tote bag. Angie rated it as an Intermediate project but with her clearly written instructions, I didn’t have any trouble. Following Angie’s thoughts on color for this project, I chose a limited palette.
My bag is built around a piece of vintage fabric I have from the 1950’s. It is a kitschy print featuring red, brown and black kitchen appliances, clocks and coffee cups. I loved the idea of using vinyl for the bottom of the bag (looks great and gives durability) and found this textured vinyl at Ben Franklin. Once I had my focus fabric and the vinyl, the rest of the fabric was pulled from my scrap bins.
Since the red coffee cup was the primary focus, I decided to use mainly black, brown and white with the occasional pop of red. Most of my fabrics had a vintage look to them except the coffee themed text prints. Those are clearly current and modern but I liked the idea of including the coffee text with the other fabrics, to further the coffee theme of the bag. The main fabrics I fussy cut were the coffee cups and saucers, the text prints, and the tiny black coffee pots on the vintage fabric.
Making the slabs for the outside of the bag was really fun – I have improv pieced in the past, but it has been a long while. Putting these scraps together was very satisfying. I did reduce the size of the bag by a few inches in width and length. I am fairly short and the bag seemed like it would be too big for me at the original size but breaking it down to reduce it was easy.
The two main slabs and the vinyl bottom are assembled here
I learned quite a bit about fussy cutting. Like anything, the more you do it, the better it becomes. Looking back, I feel I should have trimmed the bits I fussy cut closer in. I left too much peripheral pattern and that detracts from the focal point. Note the cup and saucer below. I think if I would have trimmed it down a bit and removed the little bits of coffee pots, it would have been much cleaner. In the picture above, take a look at the text print. Were I to do this again, I would not allow the other words to appear. I really only wanted the word “coffee” to be the focus. But live and learn (or sew and learn?). Next time I will remember these bits and pieces that really make a difference in a project.
When assembling the bag, Angie’s instructions called for me to line the outer pieces with fusible interfacing and then to apply fusible batting. I was skeptical at first but it really makes the structure of the bag a nice combination of crisp and soft (does that make sense?) The addition of the fusible interfacing gave it a nice shape. Once I had those layers assembled, I used simple straight line quilting to hold all three pieces in place.
Her pattern calls for fabric straps but I had plenty of the vinyl so I decided to make the straps with that instead. I like the look of it and was pleasantly surprised that my machine had no issue stitching through several layers of vinyl. (I did use a heavy duty jeans needle.)
My model shows just how cute this tote bag is!
Overall, it was a great project and I felt the book was a great inspiration to look at my fabric with a different perspective. The tote is really fun (as you can see with my always available bag model.) It traveled with me to Vermont last week and when combined with the cross body bag I made, it was the perfect set up.
This is just one example of the projects that Angie designed for her book. There are thirteen others though, including pillows, coasters, minis and zip pouches. To take a look at some of the projects, here is a list of the bloggers celebrating this new book. Check them out for lots of inspiration as well as several chances to win a copy of the Fussy Cutters Club book! As with most book giveaways, if the winner is international, an e-book will be provided. If in the states, you will receive a hard copy of the book.
To enter to win, please leave a comment telling me your current go-to quilt book (I guarantee if you purchase or receive this book, it will be right up there on the list!) I will leave the giveaway open through Saturday, October 28th and will announce a winner on Sunday.
Linking up with lots of my favorites – most are listed at the top of the page, under Link Ups. Also linking to Elm Street Quilts annual Bag It event. Check that out here!
Today I have something really fun to share with you. This week my sister Patti is celebrating the grand opening of her shop, Ferrari Handmade!! She has been working incredibly hard on this for several months now and she is ready to invite you to come and browse her shop.
Let me take a few minutes to introduce you to Patti. Of the six of us sisters, she is number three and I am number four which means…. yes, she is older than me. I will admit this gives me satisfaction in a sort of unhealthy way. It is readily apparent in the photo above. I am the baby and she is to the right of me — even at this age, she is clearly older and wiser than I. (I love this picture – two more girls were born not long after this.)
Patti and I shared a bedroom growing up and we fought constantly. Like, really and truly — all the time. Funny how once you live apart you miss the person that drove you nuts for so long. We would love to live near each other again. We share a love of sewing and we both took sewing classes from Mrs. Handley back in high school. She haunts us somewhat and if we have a sewing mistake or a major project fail, we will say “Mrs. Handley would be so disappointed.” (I wrote about Mrs. Handley a long while back if you want to hear more about our esteemed sewing teacher.) Yes, Patti and I have been sewing a long while now.
We both made lots of our clothes during high school (remember, my father owned a fabric store so we had ‘easy access’.). Not long after high school, Patti moved to Southern California, married and started her family. (Click here for a post about the bridal gown she made for her wedding.)
Once Patti started having children, her sewing changed a bit and she began sewing for her kids. She has a five children, three girls and two boys. One of the things Patti really enjoyed was making costumes for her children. Her girls were very involved in theater when they were in high school and she made costumes for them.
Maria playing the part of Tina Denmark, in the play “Ruthless”
As Patti’s kids grew up and began their own families, she shifted her sewing priorities yet again and began to focus on her grand children. Hers are very lucky grand kids because she has made some really fun costumes for them.
When her first grandson, Jack, was just a baby, his mother, Maria (same girl as the one that played Tina Denmark in the costume above) had to speak at Comic Con in Southern California. She asked Patti to make a costume so she could dress him up as Jack-Jack, from the kids’ movie, The Incredible’s.
Last year, two of her grand daughters wanted to dress up as Princess Lolly and Queen Frostine from the kids’ Candyland game. Grandma came through and the girls were adorable.
The older grand daughter (Queen Frostine) had a recent obsession of Veruca Salt, the character in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie. She was thrilled with this costume from her Grandma.
Am I getting the idea across? She loves to sew and she sews a lot! It came time to think of another way to put her sewing to work for her. Now that her children are out of the house, she has a lot more time. I have written before about how helpful she has been by working the quilt shows with me. As we spent time together preparing for and working the shows, the more she thought about having her own business. She loves creating these wonderful outfits for her kids and wanted to expand on this hobby of hers.
And so it began. Ferrari Handmade came to fruition just days after she decided to open a shop. Once Patti decides to do something, there is no going back. She epitomizes the phrase, “Go big or go home”. She commits and dives in. Patti began researching fabrics and selecting designs and creating dresses. She had a soft opening at the last quilt show we worked and she was quite successful. She sold a number of dresses and little tote bags and took home orders for custom work.
She has been sewing fiend over the past weeks.
She is lucky to have a great studio to work in. I may be a wee bit envious. Ok, yes, I am envious – it is a lovely space. (Real life crafting comment though…. she made me promise to tell you it never looks this clean. She wasn’t ready to go public with a picture of a messy space just yet.) 😉
Her inventory grows daily as does her selection in her Etsy shop. Right now she is focused on creating a dress in each of the fabrics she has on the shelf. She is making sizes 2T through girl’s size 8. I really like the system she utilizes for stocking her shop. She lists at least one finished dress which the customer is welcome to order, or the customer can place an order for that dress in a size that works for her child. Patti will take the order and ship the dress within five business days (though she is usually faster than that– she does not seem to require very much sleep.)
I think one factor setting Patti’s product apart from others, is her use of trim work and unique accents. Most of her dresses have piping accents at the sleeve, bodice or neckline and many have ruffles or under skirts in coordinating fabric.
Her fabric selections are the perfect combination of pretty and practical. She uses quality cottons which are easily washed, so her dresses are beautiful but also practical for children; ready to be worn and played in.
Of all she has made for this season, this is my favorite.
I love the dark blue celestial pattern with that bit of gold trim peeking out at the sleeve and from the hem of the lining.
How about these snowmen on blue – it is great for the holidays but could easily be worn all through the winter months.
This dress features snowflakes on a deep red background. I should note that Patti uses a very generous hem so these can be worn for a long while before the child out grows the dress.
This sweet holiday dress has a rustic feel to it. Patti chose a print featuring Christmas ornaments decorating a background of pine. I love the bias strip of plaid she used to accent the bottom of the dress.
Handmade doll dresses to match your little one’s dress.
One more thing I have to show you. Patti also makes doll dresses that fit American Girl Dolls, or other dolls that are 18 inches tall. I love this!! How fun to surprise your little one with a matching dress for her doll. If you are shopping and select a dress for your special girl, you can also order a matching dress. She has some in stock but will happily take orders for others to match the dress you are purchasing.
Hopefully you now have an idea of the style and excellent quality of the items made by Ferrari Handmade. Because so many of you either have children or grandchildren, or a special child in your life, I know you will be happy to hear Patti is offering a custom dress to one lucky winner. To enter the giveaway, you need to do two things. First hop over to her shop and take a peek at the dresses she has listed so far. Come back and comment here to tell us which dress is your favorite. (Hoping this will provide some input on the fabric choices she is using and then she can plan accordingly.) The other requirement is to either like her Etsy shop so you can keep track of what she is offering, or to follow @ferrarihandmade on Instagram. Either way, you will then be able to hear about any promotions or new product that might be available in her shop. So, you have two simple tasks to complete and you may win a lovely handmade dress for your special girl.
Additionally, readers can use the coupon code GRANDOPENING20 to receive 20% off any orders at Ferrari Handmade. This coupon is valid through the end of day on October 10th. Definitely a great deal on a gorgeous gift for a little one.
Thank you for taking part in this celebration of Ferrari Handmade. I am so proud of my sister and the work she has done to get this up and running. If you feel so inclined, please share the news of her shop with any of your friends who might appreciate Patti’s work. It takes a village and I love the way our community supports each other! Good luck with the giveaway!