Thursday, May 30, 2013


One more short tutorial before I move on to other things (don't worry, there will be more on fabric in the future).  I made these pillows for the Quilt Market booth with 3 of the new Eclectic Elements fabrics.  Follow along with the worlds shortest tutorial and I will show you how.
For each pillow, I cut a 2 layers of fabric 20 x 20".  When I'm making a pillow, I normally cut the fabric the same size as the pillow form.  After sewing the front and back together with 5/8" seam it is the perfect fit for the form.
After I decided on the size pillow I wanted, I had to create the numbers.  Here's how I did it:
1.  At the computer, create a document with the numbers 1-3 using Engravers MT font at 700% (#2 in photo).  The document will be 3 pages long with one number per page.  Print.
2. Once printed, I enlarged each number on my home printer 125% using cardstock.  Now that is the right size for the 20 x 20" pillow!  I printed on cardstock because the weight of the paper helps control the shape of the number once cut out.  If you use plain printer paper the cut number will have a tendency to curl up, making step 4 a bit harder.
4. Cut out the 3 cardstock numbers. 
3.  Iron Heat'n Bond to the number fabric.  I used a felt since these are just for the trade show booth. If you want the pillow covers to be washable please pick your fabric accordingly but remember you want a sturdy fabric, preferable one that does not fray since the letters are top stitched on, not appliqued (where the edges are tuned under).
4.  Once you have the Heat'n Bond ready to go, flip your number over (so it will be right after cutting out) and trace onto paper backing.
 5.  Now just cut out the number with sharp scissors to get a clean cut.
I tested the numbers on different fabric samples to decide which ones I liked.  You can see how the 2 looks on a couple of different choices here.  On one it fades into the background and one the other it is the center of attention.  One is not better than the other, it's just something to be aware of...and definitely personal preference comes into play.

6.  Peel the paper backing off and iron the number onto the center of one panel.
7.  Now's the time where you find a movie you want to watch (I chose Pride and Prejudice), sit in a comfortable chair and stitch around each number.  It takes a bit of time but it was nice to have a moment to just relax and stitch away.
8.  Back at the sewing machine...with right sides together, sew the two panels together.  NOTE: It is up to you at this point whether or not to add piping to the edges or a zipper so the cover can be removed.
9.  Clip corners, turn right side out and stuff. 

A word on pillow forms.  For my home, I always choose a down pillow form (I just like the way it looks and feels), though they can be costly even from the fabric store.  I usually buy them from Pottery Barn since they are the same price as my local fabric store (which do not come in a plastic bag, so they always look hammered).  I say, if I am going to spend the money...I require a certain expectation of "newness" to be present.  Pottery Barn gives that to me.  And really, when can you ever buy something at Pottery Barn that is the same price as another store?....never.

Just to clarify, the pillows I made for the booth are stuffed with a pre-made polyester form that runs $12.99 ($5.88 with my 40% off coupon), perfect for the trade show.  The down alternative would have been $18. 

I'm looking forward to a great is suppose to be warm at the coast (now if only the spring wind would stop, it would be great.  Add in a little antiquing with friends at Remnants of the Past show and my local favorite, Ruby Rose.  Top that off with a barbecue on Saturday with friends and family and it should be a weekend to remember.

cheers that yours is too!
see you next 

Monday, May 27, 2013

In Memory of our Heros

Good Morning Everyone! 
For most of us in the United States, Memorial Day means a day off of work and a barbecue.  In fact we might not even think of those who have gone before to secure our freedom.  You might remember I traveled to France in April.  While I was teaching at the Paris event, my husband Jay and Dave Schuh (yes, Debby's husband) took a train/tour out to the Normandy coast to visit the WWII landing beaches, museum in Caen and the American cemetery.  What a moving experience it was for them to visit these hallowed grounds, hear the stories of sacrifice and courage, and visit the cemeteries of those who did not return home.  So please remember to say a little pray of thanks today for those that have served our country in the past as well as those serving today.
image via Graphics Fairy

And the topic you have all been waiting for....fabric.  My, oh my I think a record was broken for the amounts of comments left on the blog to win the fabric.  So much excitement surrounding the new fabric!
Here are the 3 winners of the fabric:
Barbara Mason: My lampshades are all a quiver cause I have been looking at them and they know something is up!! Great post, giveaway and instructions....

DDWilson: Paula, your tutorials are wonderful! Samples, oh my....just what I was thinking about.....I bet that the fabric is a long time in getting to rural Montana!
Here's hoping, would love to play around with them

Susi in Italy
How fantastic did that lampshade turned out .. and hurray for glue guns! These fabrics are fantastic so if a little bundle by chance made its way to Italy I would be more than pleased. 

Lucky girls, please be sure to contact me at with your name and shipping information so I can get the fabric samples out to you asap.

cheers for a great day!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Eclectic Elements Lampshade

One of the projects I made for the Quilt Market booth was a fabric covered lampshade.  I knew I wanted to use the Eclectic Elements - Melange fabric since it has both ephemera and butterflies, some of my favorite things.
I purchased a small lamp and separate shade from Walmart.  The shade looked pretty straight forward as far as lampshades go.  I have made lampshades before and one thing to remember is that if you pick a round shade, your fabric will have to "roll" around the shade.  Great if your fabric is a floral, but if the fabric has any sort of straight line in the pattern, the "line" could end up heading the wrong way.  I guess that's my way of saying be mindful of not only the shape of shade but of the fabric print as well.
I started by peeling off the fabric tape around both the top and bottom edges.  I decided to leave the tan fabric in place since the creme lining had been wrapped from underneath and onto the outside.
Once the fabric strips were removed, I used a piece of canvas to create a pattern the shape of one side of the shade.  Don't worry, it doesn't have to be perfect.
Once I had my pattern cut out, I pinned it to two layers of fabric.  You will need a total of 4 pieces so cut out one more time.  As you can see, I cut the sides about a 1/2" wider than my pattern to allow for the seams.
Now over to the machine!  With right sides together, stitch all 4 pieces together.  It kinda looks like a little skirt.
Now back to the work table...pull the "skirt" down over the shade and line up your seams.
I used a small, low temp glue gun to adhere the raw edges of fabric to the shade.  Work in very small sections (about 2 - 3" at a time).  A fabric strip will eventually cover the raw edge so don't worry about turning it under.
Little by little I worked my way around the bottom of the shade then moved on to the top.
You will need bias strips to go around the shade to cover the raw edges.  If you are not familiar with bias tape, it is a strip of fabric cut cross-grain so that it has a bit of stretch (just what you need to go around corners or circles).   I used my clear quilting ruler, self healing mat board and rotary cutter to cut the bias strips.  Okay, I use this same set up to cut every piece of paper that crosses my desk.  I admit it, am paper trimmer impaired.
The cutting mat has a bias line right on the board.  I placed a square piece of Dictionary fabric on the board, then lined up the ruler with the yellow diagonal line and cut.  NOTE: The strips have already been cut away from the piece below.
If you want to know more about making your own bias tape there is a very in depth tutorial on Made.
...and if you are not a sewer you can always buy bias tape at any fabric store and skip this step.
Here are my cut strips.
I took the strips to the ironing board and ironed each raw edge toward the center to make about a 1/2" strip.  It doesn't have to be perfect, just do your best (remember, were making a lamp shade not splitting an atom).
The bottom strip is the back side, the top strip is the front.
Now just glue the strip to the shade using the hot glue gun.  I suppose you could use fabric tack, I just like the speed of the glue gun.
When you come to the end, just fold the strip back on itself and add a bit more glue.
That's it.
Super simple (don't let the bias tape part scare you!)
Seriously, how cute is that lamp with the Melange fabric on it?  I admit I was kinda sad when I had to pack it up only a few hours after I made it, to send to the show.
(that's my dad in the Navy uniform, circa 1944)

Now here is the good news!  
I am giving away fabric samples I brought home from Quilt Market!
I have 3 sets of 3 different fabrics so leave me a comment to win.
I will post the 3 winning names on Monday morning (May 27th).
As promised, the names of the fabric winners were posted (here) on Monday the 27th.

Here are the 3 winners of the fabric:
Barbara Mason: My lampshades are all a quiver cause I have been looking at them and they know something is up!! Great post, giveaway and instructions....

DDWilson: Paula, your tutorials are wonderful! Samples, oh my....just what I was thinking about.....I bet that the fabric is a long time in getting to rural Montana!
Here's hoping, would love to play around with them

Susi in Italy
How fantastic did that lampshade turned out .. and hurray for glue guns! These fabrics are fantastic so if a little bundle by chance made its way to Italy I would be more than pleased. 

Lucky girls, please be sure to contact me at with your name and shipping information so I can get the fabric samples out to you asap.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Portland Quilt Market Review

Hi all!  I am home from quilt market.  What an exciting time we had traveling to Portland, setting up the booth, and walking the show.   I was truly amazed at the sheer talent of the those that participated in the show.  So much inspiration, from the colors, patterns, and artistry.
I know much has been said about Tim's new line.  You can read his recap here and also one from my friend Richele Christensen who brought the beautiful quilt she made, helped us set up, and spent about 36 hours with us till she had to fly back home.  Thank you Richele!
Both posts show our booth and projects so I am going to focus my post today on the inspiration I saw at the show.   I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

She was fun and her booth was a burst of color.  What an amazing quilt, right?  The actual quilting is beautiful too, like feathers on all the solid parts of the quilt.  (the quilts above were also in the Tula Pink, love, love all the color). 
sewing patterns newborn - 5T
-you can see I was enamored by the wall display but the clothes for tots were darling...
Love the quilt with the Union Jack pattern called, Victory Garden. 
Oh, and I like that little pink chair too!
This booth was big, with at least eight "windows" showcasing the fabrics.  I thought it was such a clever display idea.

Hugs'n Kisses
Sorry to say I only photographed a portion of this amazing quilt in the Hugs n Kisses booth but I couldn't skip showing it to you.  Absolutely amazing detail work.

 Bari J.
Fun and fresh fabrics and great little "runner" size quilts.  I stopped there twice just because I loved the colors so much mixed with chocolate brown.  Really eye catching.
Tule, the new collection by Leah Duncan is divine.  I can't wait to see it in stores in Aug.  I loved her logo for the collection too!
Loved the selvage dress they had in their booth
don't you like the modern quilt with the bridge design?  a totally different idea and I like that.

 The next 4 quilts were some of my favorites from the designer "showcase".

A World of Many Colors
Georgeta Grama - Romania
Technique: Shadow trapunto, fused applique, wholecloth

"I combined in this quilt the things I love most: color, circular design, and trapunto."
Make You Happy
Techniques: Machine piece and appliqued, free motions machine embroidered, machine quilted.

"One day, I found a box of old family photographs.  One was very special.  It was of my mother when she was 20 years old.  I thought is would be a very nice present to make it into a quilt for her."

Creme de la Creme
Bonnie Keller - Washington
Techniques: Trapunto, boutis, beaded, inked, embroidered, couched, hand quilted

"William Morris' designs inspired me as an interior designer, and his designs continue to inspire me as a quilter.  Pulling elements from his works, I created this design for hand quilting.  I put the vibrant green Morris reproduction backing fabric with the right side facing inward in order for it to shadow through to the front, creating a subtle grayed background."
 The photo above will never be able show the beauty or amazing detail of this quilt.  Bonnie mentions on her blog that the quilt took over 3 years to create and hand quilt.
Natural Wonders
Kathy McNeil - Washington
Techniques: Hand-appliqued, hand embroidered, embellished, piped, machine quilted

"This quilt is about the simple magic of discovery. I hand appliqued 123 different fabrics to create a seascape that existed in my imagination."

Well, how did you like this small selection of inspiration?  I find that no matter if you are a quilter, sewer, painter, scrapbooker, or mixed media artist, inspiration can come from any source.  I will leave you with one last picture of the giant swan paddle boat in the Michael Miller booth.  I believe they won the best booth award.  Wonder where one gets a giant swan paddle boat?  Craigslist?
What an amazing adventure it was.  Thanks go out to all the girls that created projects for us: Sande Krieger, Kerry Lynn Yeary, Allison Kimball, Richele Christensen, and Michelle Crump.  You really rocked it.

Cheers for a great week.
I'll be back soon with more projects!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Eclectic Elements Fabric Bags

Hi everyone!  Glad your here to see some of the things I made using Tim's new fabric, Eclectic Elements.
Today, it's all about bags.
This one is purse size.  I sewed pieces of the new fabric together like I was making a quilt top.  Once the pieces were together I folded the top and bottom under and sewed it to a heavy canvas base.  Do you remember when I made the sewing machine cover?   I made the purse exactly the same's just right side up and smaller in size.  Next, I added the vintage buttons and the lace and trim I purchased at the flea market in France. 
The difference between the purse and the sewing machine cover is that I created a lining piece (exact same way as the bag) and slipped it inside the purse.  Of course the raw edges from the purse and lining needed to be covered so I made my own bias tape to encase them at the top.  Again, just like the sewing machine cover where I used a store-bought red bias tape to finish the bottom edge. 

The second bag is tote bag size.  Same basic principle, but this one has added panels on each side and a store-bought webbing for the handle.  A bag this size can carry a lot of stuff, so I thought the webbing handles would be more practical.

I worked on the pocket as a separate piece, doing all the stitching around the wool flowers that I cut out using the Tattered Floral die.  The steel rule die cuts the flower perfectly, even from wool!
  I finished stitching the flowers, then added the beads before I sewed the pocket to the bag front. 
Hope you are inspired this week by all the projects!  I love sewing so this has been really fun working with all the fabrics.  

For more inspiration visit Sande Krieger's blog tomorrow.  She made some really cute things I think you are going to love...I hope one of them doesn't fly away before you get there (hint, hint).

Tuesday, May 14th - Tammy Tutterow  

Wednesday, May 15th - Richele Christensen

Thursday, May 16th - Chelle Fowler

Friday, May 17th - me!
Saturday, May 18th - Sande Krieger 
Sunday, May 19th - Kerry Lynn Yeary

By the time you read this post I will be in Portland at Quilt Market with Tim and Mario...looking forward to a great weekend!
oh, and ps...there are more projects coming next week...and a tutorial or two, just saying.