Monday, January 14, 2019
It's not an exaggeration to say that I mark my calendar whenever I see that my dear friend Elea Lutz is releasing a new fabric collection. I've been collecting her prints for years now, and they're some of my favorites in my entire stash.
Her latest release is called Bluebirds on Roses, and it's absolutely beautiful.
See what I mean? It makes me SO happy just looking at it!
I've been going through a hexagon phase lately, so I decided to make EPP hexagon flowers which I appliqued to small round placemats that my girls can use underneath their breakfast cereal bowls in the morning. Won't these beautiful prints be a lovely way to start the day?!
I love to do hand sewing in the evenings while my husband and I relax in front of the television after a long day, and these hexagons were such fun to work on as we laughed together over a favorite show.
The colors are just perfect, and I especially love the tiny details that Elea has sprinkled throughout each print: bluebirds, kitty cats, strawberries, cherries, and of course, flowers galore. Her designs are such a beautiful cross between traditional and modern, and they always make me smile.
Bluebirds on Roses is appearing in stores everywhere now, but I have a feeling that it won't be around for long. I've already bought a little extra to have on hand...you know, just in case...
Friday, January 11, 2019
|All images in this post used with permission from Quilts & More™ magazine. ©2019 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.|
The latest issue of Quilts & More magazine is in stores today, and I'm thrilled to have a pattern inside its pages! Of all the patterns I've written over the years, this Stash & Carry patchwork basket is definitely on the list of my top ten favorites.
This sweet fabric caddy is perfect for using your favorite tiny scraps, making it a burst of scrappy, happy color on your sewing shelf! Leather handles (which can easily be substituted with fabric or webbing ones) and an inside pocket for tools or notions are handy additions. The dimensions make it the perfect size for stashing charm packs or folded fat quarters.
I am so honored be a part of this amazing magazine in some small way. Be sure to pick up a copy at your local store. If you make one please share a photo on social media! Use the hashtag #stashandcarrybasket and be sure to tag me @fabricmutt so I can see what you're making. I'd love to see a picture of how you're using your basket too. This caddy can hold anything -- yarn skeins and crochet hooks, building blocks and legos, office or scrapbooking supplies, even bags of after school snacks or special goodies for your guest room. Use your imagination and share your ideas with all of us! I can't wait to see what you make...
Thursday, January 10, 2019
|All photos in this post by Page + Pixel for Lucky Spool Media|
It was all the way back in 2014, before my first book Sew Organized for the Busy Girl even hit the shelves, that I started writing a second book. I had all kinds of ideas for what I wanted it to be: colorful, vintage inspired, full of approachable projects that would make thoughtful gifts and keepsakes. More than anything, though, it was going to be a love letter to my favorite kind of sewing -- simple, happy patchwork.
It's taken me a long time to bring this book into being, but I couldn't be more thrilled with the results. Patchwork USA is everything I wanted it to be and more.
When I first began working on the table of contents, I looked for a theme to pull everything together. Because I so often think of my adventures in sewing as a creative journey, I thought it would be fun to arrange my ideas around the metaphor of a road trip. Not only would this allow me to use beautiful retro photo props (Hello, vintage postcards!), but it would also give me a fun new way to frame the sewing process. So instead of talking about small, medium, and large projects, we have a chapter each on Daytrips, Weekend Getaways, and Summer Vacations. You can get a refresher on basic sewing techniques at the Visitor's Center, learn why I chose the fabrics and colors I did for every project by studying the Scenic Route, and get the story behind each pattern by reading the Historical Marker.
For me, this is a very personal book. So many of these projects came out of lovely memories from the past when I was a child, a single teacher, a new bride, and a young mother. It's also a book that was written very much with you, my readers, in mind. I wanted this to be a resource for each of you -- no matter what level of sewing ability you might have -- that would be useful, inspiring, and a pleasure to read. For those of you who have been so patiently requesting patterns for projects that you've seen on my blog, here you will finally find directions for the Big Bear Cabin Quilt and the Floss Mini Quilt. You'll also find the six projects which were first released as a special Fast Fabric Gifts booklet by Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine along with Issue 41, which many people have been asking me for since then. I'm so happy to have these projects together in one book as I always hoped they would be, with a grand total of twenty-four patterns in all!
|Big Bear Cabin Quilt|
So many people ask me how I put together fabric combinations in my patchwork projects, so I've included an introductory section with tips, guidelines, and checklists for choosing prints and helping them play together nicely to get the look you want, with additional advice for specific design questions. I also hope that this will become a go-to book for handmade giving, whether you're sewing by yourself or with a group of friends at a retreat or sew-in. There's a section in the book full of ideas for creative gifting, personalizing projects, and sewing activities for a crowd that will hopefully spark ideas for fun events and meaningful sharing.
You can get a sneak peek at the book on the Lucky Spool website here and preorder the book on Amazon here. The publication date is set for the end of April, and I'm counting the days until then!
|Road Trip Pillow|
I can't say enough about the guidance of my friend Susanne, head of Lucky Spool, who has believed in this project from the beginning and encouraged me every step of the way. And I'm in awe of Kristy and Nissa, the amazing women behind Page + Pixel, whose graphic design artistry and stunning photography have given Patchwork USA the vintage look of my dreams, all wrapped up inside a beautiful hard cover. When the first round of sample pages came across my computer screen last month, I was on the phone with my husband. As I started scrolling through the incredible photographs and retro design, framing the projects that have been part of my own creative journey for nearly five years, I couldn't stop the tears from coming. "This," I cried to my husband, "is the book I've always wanted to write."
Dear friends, it gives me so much joy to finally share Patchwork USA with you. And as it goes out into the world this spring, I hope that you'll be inspired to take a creative journey of your own and, most importantly, to share it with the people you love most. This book has been the adventure of a lifetime for me, and I'm so grateful to have friends like you along for the ride.
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
My friend Amy Smart has released another adorable collection. This one is called Gretel, and it was just the breath of spring air I needed after Christmas.
Rather than making a quilt or pillow with these prints, I decided to make a string of bunting to decorate the vintage Hoosier cabinet we keep in our family room. For those of you who aren't familiar with them, these cabinets are baking workstations that were popular in the early 1900's. This one belonged to my great grandfather, and I can still remember him mixing up a recipe at the counter, cranking the wheel to get flour from the bin and sprinkling it onto his dough. It all looked like magic to me when I was a little girl!
Amy has a wonderful post on her blog giving the background to the collection, the German influences in her artwork, and the adorable Fraulein quilt she designed to go with it. Being part German myself, I thought this was all so much fun to read about. She added pale pink and low volume designs to her usual favorite primary colors for this collection, and I love the way it makes the whole set of prints look so light and happy. Between the flowers and hearts, these designs make a lovely crossroads between Valentine's Day and Easter.
A quick note on the bears in the earlier photo -- my mother made them both by hand. The smaller one was a gift to my father and the larger one was for me. I still can't get over how beautifully she sewed these together, and I treasure them dearly!
Gretel is already in shops, so be on the lookout. I really do believe it's the perfect spring collection!