Category Archives: Techniques

Pattern Walkthrough – BurdaStyle Princess Seam Pencil Skirt

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I needed a sharp looking skirt that would work for winter, and I turned to some handwoven fabric I received as a present and this chic Burda Style Pattern.

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If you are interested in learning how to put a vent into a slim-cut dress or skirt, how to add a lining, or tips on working with handwoven fabrics, read on!

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Archicoop! Quilt Top

Architextures by Carolyn Friedlander is the first line of fabric where I needed every.single.piece.  So wasn’t I a lucky duck to get a 1/2 yard bundle of the entire line for Christmas?! (Thanks, hubs!)

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The colors shout “Spring!” and ever since I saw Rossie’s Pebble Quilt, I’ve been hankering to make an egg blanket.

The pattern on this fabric is so geometric and linear, could it work for this design?  I needed to do a Photoshop mock-up!  (Check out this STUPID EASY tutorial for how to make something like this – I was shocked at the ease!)

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I looked good to me, so I went ahead and started making my egg blocks using Rossie’s Applique tutorial.  If you’ve seen the Famous Porthole Quilt by Lucie Summers I think this is the method!

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I verged from Rossie’s tutorial in a couple of places.  For one, I didn’t trim the seam allowances before flipping the facing to the back.  I found that the facing would flip easier if I had more fabric to convince it to go with the flow.  And instead of top-stitching the layers together, I opted to pull out my fabric glue stick and do the Six Minute Circle method.    Just a couple dabs of water-soluble glue on the flipped fabric and stick it to your egg.  Then you sew along the same line from when you sewed your flipping fabric into place.  Essentially, you are sewing the seam allowance from the foreground piece to the egg background piece.  Go slow.  You can do it.

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No top-stitching! No hand-sewing!

After I sewed my facing to the egg fabric, I clipped the seam allowances.

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Pretty quilt top!  Ready for backing and batting and basting and quilting and binding.

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Sew and Turn Applique

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Do you love the look of needle-turn applique, but don’t have the skills or the patience to pull-off the technique? Then this style of applique is for YOU! No needle-turning, no raw-edges, no cutting of precise shapes; Yes gorgeous, and polished appliques in ANY SHAPE YOU CAN IMAGINE.

I’ve used this technique for a boat-load of projects, such as…
This red tree quilt and its leaves:

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These clouds:

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And this quilt top I’ve had in the works:

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Read on for a full tutorial!

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Panama Wave Pillows

My sister-in-law had a bunch of leftover fabric after re-upholstering some chairs, so she asked me to make some pillow covers!

I took this as the perfect opportunity to learn how to install invisible zippers.  I used this tutorial and it was totally painless!

The fabric is Panama Wave by Waverly.

Oldest son photobomb

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Photoshop’s Content Awareness – A love letter.

Dear Photoshop with your awesome Content Aware feature,

From the first moment I watched your promotional youtube video, it’s been love.  I love you.

Thanks to you I was able to take this picture (a quilt, with legs, and fingers, on a stand)…


… and turn it into this picture.  And it only took 60 seconds.

Magic quilt floats magically.

If you, reader, think I am fancy enough to be sponsored by Adobe – thanks!  But I’m sad to report I am not  : ( 

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Scallop Shorts Tutorial

On Pinterest (of course) I saw these adorable scalloped shorts from J.Crew.  But the price tag ($100?!)  and the pleated front made them unlikely to ever be purchased.  So I decided to alter a pair of shorts and make my own!

Find a pair of shorts or pants

Draw a scallop pattern.

You want to have a whole number of scallops – no half scallops – cover the bottom hem of your new shorts.  So take the circumference measurement of the leg from where you want the tip of the scallop to hit.  On mine it was 20 inches around – divided by 6 scallops gave me 3 1/3 inches.  It takes a little guessing.  I made my scallops be 2 1/4 inch long and sketched my curve.  Once it looked right, I folded the scallop in half and cut out the shape.

Trace the scallop shapes on a rectangle of lining fabric and pin it to the RIGHT side of the shorts fabric.

Start in the inside thigh seam of the shorts – that way if things don’t end up lining up perfectly, it’ll be in an inconspicuous place.

Sew **on** the trace line, using a very tight straight stitch.

When you’re done sewing, cut off the excess fabric leaving a very scant (less than 1/8″) seam allowance. Clip into the valleys between the scallops. Be careful not to clip the threads.

Flip the lining fabric into the shorts. The valleys between the scallops may look a little funky. Use your seam ripper to knock out a couple of these threads and things will lay flat.

After ripping out a couple of stitches in the valleys, things look great! If you are going to top-stitch your shorts, no worries here. If you are not planning on top-stitching, you will want to blind stitch the valley where you snipped the stitches so things don’t fall apart.

Top stitch the scallops for a finished look.  You can also blind stitch a folded over edge of the lining material to the inside of your shorts.  This will keep everything laying nice and smooth even after washing.

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Reverse Appliqued Snowflake Table Runner

Here is a reverse-appliqued table runner I made for my house for the winter.

Shown here on a bench because my table is a disaster.

To make this start with a piece of your main fabric (mine was a duponi silk in grey/silver).  Back it with Wonder-Under (a double-sided fusible interfacing that is paper-backed so you can fuse one side at a time).  On the Wonder-Under, draw your snowflake shapes and then cut them out with sharp scissors.

Remove the paper backing.  Carefully place the main fabric on top of your accent fabric (both fabrics have right-side-up.  You are fusing the right side of the accent fabric to the back side of the main fabric).  Iron to fuse.

Next I sewed a backing fabric on to the runner.  I placed my backing fabric on top of the runner, right-sides of my backing fabric touching right-sides of the main fabric.  I sewed all the way around, leaving a gap to turn the runner right-side out.  I did not include batting, but you could if you wanted a thicker runner.

Once it was right-side out, I did a quilted stippling design.

Yay!  I have to say I really love this one.

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