If you haven’t picked up a copy of School of Sewing, you should. Even if you are an advanced quilter or sewist, the book is fabulous. It’s especially fabulous if you do any teaching at all. Everything I’ve ever wanted to tell somebody I’ve been teaching to quilt or sew is in that book. It’s genius, which is no surprise if you know who wrote it: Shea.

Shea is encouraging other quilters and sewists to teach others to quilt and sew using her book. So I was asked by my local quilt shop to teach a class and I said yes. I’m teaching the Pleated Purse class at Modern Makers on Sunday, April 19th.

Here are the samples I made up.

 

Pleated Purse

 

 

Modern Makers has a better picture of this if you click on the link and scroll through their class list.

 

Pleated Purse

 

I used Cotton & Steel fabrics for the entire purse.

 

Pleated Purse

 

I can’t say enough great things about this book and these patterns. This purse went together SOOOO well. I loved every single minute of making it.

 

Pleated Purse

 

 

The other great thing about the book is that it has “extra credit.” The extra credit for this project was more of a tote bag. The pattern is just lengthened, a contrast top is added, and a second strap is added.

 

Pleated Purse

 

Pleated Purse

 

 

I dug through my stash for these fabrics. I love the color combo with such rich and saturated colors. Plus, the Melody Miller Kokka is fabulous and i was waiting for the perfect moment to use it. I still have quite a bit left. :)

I’ve made a few other things recently, too.

 

Bow Ties

 

In one of my Man Made classes, somebody made a bow tie using this Cotton and Steel fabric. I fell in love with it. So I made a bunch of them.

 

Bow Tie

 

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with all of them. One will definitely go to Andrew. We gave two of our friends once each. But that still leaves me with three. I’m sure they’ll make great gifts if we ever need them. Even if we never find a place for them, though, I’m pretty happy just looking at them. :)

Another random project is onesies.

 

Onesies

 

 

I had a few left over from the baby shower that I threw. I don’t know anybody who is having a baby girl right now, but when somebody does, I’ll be prepared. :)

Finally, my sister asked for a pillow to match the ones I gave my dad, grandpa, and uncle a few Christmases ago.

 

Pillow

 

This was my prototype and I had it lying around in a box. I pulled it out, added a back, made a pillow form, and stuffed it. Done!

 

Pillow

 

 

I went on a crafting retreat last week and had the best time! I was also super productive and I can’t wait to show you all of the cool stuff I made. :)

So I made some inappropriate things for a swap, which means I also received some inappropriate things. :)

 

Package

 

This is how it all started. I was SOOOO excited.

 

Stuff

 

TONS of goodies!!! Lip balm, washi tape, mini charms, CHOCOLATE!, and then the inappropriateness. I’m thinking the wall hanging will hang above my treadle in our living room. :)

 

STFU

 

This pouch is awesome. I love bags. It’s boxed on the bottom and holds tons of stuff!

 

Pincushion

 

This embroidered pincushion is genius!!! The linen used on this and the bag is kind of sparkly and I’m in love with it. I must find some.

So I got a home run with this stuff. Jaime (@jmzblond) is absolutely amazing. Great swap!!!

I’ve made a Fractal Radiance quilt before, but I’m going to be teaching a class on it for a quilt guild, so I wanted to make another. I also made a couple of pillows.

 

Fractal Radiance

 

 

This is such a great quilt. The cutting takes a bit, but the quilt goes together so quickly. I did very simple quilting on it. Also, I used fabrics just from my stash. I didn’t have to buy anything for this.

 

Fractal Radiance

 

 

I like the facing finish. I was skeptical about it on the first one I did, but I like it.

 

Fractal Radiance

 

Fractal Radiance

 

I used the scraps from the quilt to make the pillows.

 

Fractal Radiance

 

Fractal Radiance

 

I only had enough of the aqua fabric for one pillow back, so I mixed it up with another Feathers print. I love the Feathers prints and I’m almost out of them. It doesn’t help that I used two in this quilt, but they were perfect for it.

If you didn’t notice, a lot of these prints also show up in the place mats that I made. :)

I like these Wiksten Tanks. Obviously.

 

Tanks

 

I’ve just about perfected the pattern for me. I can actually wear the pattern without any modifications, but what’s the fun in that? I’ve slimmed down the sides to make it less boxy. I’ve added a pleat in the back to confront gaping with heavier fabrics. I’ve lowered the armholes because they ride pretty high. I’ve lengthened the shirt/shortened the dress version to have a perfect length for me. And the last thing I need to do is mess around with the bottom. It flares out just a bit and it doesn’t really bother me, but it could be better. Oh, I also didn’t add the pocket after my first one. I’m not a big pocket gal even though I like the way it looks on the first one. The poly-cotton blend isn’t modified AT ALL. It was my first one. Also, the two tunic lengths aren’t modified (except one is lined) either. I didn’t slim those because they would likely need a belt either way. Or at least I’m going to wear a belt with them.

 

Pleat

 

Pleat

 

 

I’ve experimented with a bunch of different fabrics. From top left: double gauze, poly/cotton blend, chambray, voile, quilting cotton, chiffon, jersey, rayon challis backed with voile, and rayon challis again. The voile, double gauze, and quilting cotton all require the pleat in the back neck. The jersey was interesting because I was already using the smallest pattern size (with it slimmed even more). It’s actually a little big, but I’m OK with that. It’s more tunic-like. I used a stretch stitch, but no walking foot. I normally use a walking foot on jersey. Also, I obviously had to use shorter bindings to accommodate the stretch. I kind of just guessed (with a bit of help from my grandmothers) how much shorter to make them and it worked out OK. They could maybe be a bit shorter, but meh. I don’t even remember what they ended up being. Everything else was easy to work with, even the chiffon. I used a variety of bindings. Knit, on the knit, obviously. There’s some voile on some of them. There’s rayon challis on one. There’s a shot cotton on one and a quilting cotton on another. And there’s cheap lining fabric on a few. For the chambray one, I actually fully lined it with a voile, which means I didn’t have to bind the neckline or armholes. I like that, but it does add a lot of weight to the garment, which is why I haven’t done it again.

Another thing: I used french seams like the pattern suggests on most of these, but there are a couple (the knit one, obviously) where I finished the seams using my serger instead. It’s faster and I have no preference, really.

I color blocked the rayon one and backed it with a voile. I have a color blocked skirt using those fabrics and there was just enough left over for this top.

Well, I think that’s plenty of information about these tops. There’s a picture of each below if you want to see them individually. I’ve also included the fabric information.

I highly recommend you get this pattern and make some tanks.

 

Cotton and Steel double gauze for tank and quilting cotton for bindings

Cotton and Steel double gauze for tank and quilting cotton for bindings

Tank and bindings from Novella rayon challis by Valori Wells for Free Spirit

Tank and bindings from Novella rayon challis by Valori Wells for Free Spirit

Robert Kaufman chambray with Free Spirit voile lining

Robert Kaufman chambray with Free Spirit voile lining

Free Spirit voile with bindings from Joann's lining fabric

Free Spirit voile with bindings from Joann’s lining fabric

Tank

Arizona quilting cotton by April Rhodes for Art Gallery and bound with lining fabric from Joann’s

Tank

Color-blocked rayon challis from Fabric.com and backed and bound with Free Spirit voile

Tank

Jersey Knit from Fabric.com

Tank

Poly/Cotton blend from Pick Your Plum with shot cotton for bindings and pocket

Tank

Chiffon from Pick Your Plum with bindings from lining fabric from Joann’s

We have two weddings in January. How odd is that? Wedding season is usually in the summer, but our friends are getting married in January. Actually, we had a December and a January wedding last year, too. I’m not complaining; just commenting on how unique I think it is.

Anyway, I’m bad at planning wedding gifts. I know registries are the easy way to go and probably the way I should go, but I want to make something if I can. I usually end up going the registry way because I either can’t come up with what to make or I don’t have time to make what I come up with.

This time was different, though! Check out these invitations.

 

Invitation

 

Invitation

 

 

 

Pretty, right? Both of these invitations immediately reminded me of fabric in my stash, so I knew I wanted to use those fabrics. I thought place mats would be a good wedding gift, so I went that route. I used the Mod Stack Placement tutorial from Fresh Lemon Quilts that came out of Art Gallery’s Fat Quarter Gang.

I made four for each couple.

 

Place Mats

 

 

I’m on a green and teal/aqua kick lately. I have a lot of it in my stash. I actually used these prints to make a quilt and the leftovers were used to make these place mats and matching pillows for the quilt. Those pictures will come later.

Anyway, here are the prints that reminded me of the invitations. The first one is from Denyse Schmidt’s Ansonia line. The second one is from Cotton and Steel’s Basics collection.

 

Place Mats

 

 

Place Mats

 

 

I didn’t quilt these, but instead just sewed 1/8″ and 1/4″ inch around all of the sides. I don’t think they needed the quilting. I also didn’t bind them, but just turned them.

I didn’t have these completed for the weddings, but I had them done shortly after. It’s the thought that counts, right?

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