Category Archives: Inspiration

Stylish Hangers for Your Smaller Projects

Looking for a stylish way to hang your smaller wall hangings or advent calendars. We have brought in some very easy to use metal holders. We have them in lengths of 16 inches, 20 inches and 24 inches. Just sew a hanging sleeve onto your project and slip it onto these hangers. They can hold a project larger than 24 inches wide, easily they will hold something 36 to 40 inches wide as well.

Cupcakes and Cake Mixes (of the non-food variety)

This is a new product designed to be used with any 5 inch charm square pack and your ten inch layer cake pack. Who doesn’t have a few of these on your shelf!. Again, all the work has been done for you, you just follow the arrows and before you know it, a fabulous looking project appears.  They have been quite popular, we have done a sample up using a charm pack so you get the idea of what the finished project looks like.

 

Adorable Moose Christmas Panel

This project will be very simple. No need to cut anything or add any borders, just layer the panel on top of your batting and backing and start quilting. The panel is a bit whimsy and showcases a festive Moose.

FRIDAY ! FREEBIES A Selection of Free Valentine’s Day Ideas

What inspired this particular FRIDAY ! FREEBIE was this video from Art Gallery Fabrics. It just looks so fun…and easy. What do you think? It made me want to rush to my sewing machine. I always have a box of Strathmore Creative Cards ready to go. If you don’t have any, use some special paper and cut or fold it to card size.

How to make 3 cute Valentine's Day cards quick! Sew Crafty by …

Since valentines day is around the corner we want to inspire you to make cute and fun things! Check out this DIY tutorial where you will learn how to make cute valentines cardsFeaturing: Wonderful Things fabrics by going home to roost (Bonnie Christine)

Posted by Art Gallery Fabrics on Thursday, February 9, 2017

 

Here are some ideas from the Missouri Start Quilt Company. They use Pellon for the backing. If you’re going to stitch over top the hearts, I’d just use glue. However, if you want to put the pieces on without glue, try using Steam-A-Seam Lite 2. It will work well and allow you to move your pieces around on the card stock until you like what you have. Another tip is to save your left over bits of fabrics that already have Pellon or Steam-A-Seam or Heat n Bond. These projects use small pieces that won’t be useful elsewhere. This way, nothing goes to waste. I particularly like the hearts-tree card which you’ll see about the half-way point in the video.

 

If you want to make a heart-shaped bag, I recommend this video by Debbie Shore. You could make this bag in an hour or so for the little person in your life. Make a small one and fill it with chocolate for Valentine’s Day.

We have all your quilting needs at Sweet Pea Quilting. We look forward to seeing you in the store soon.

Happy Quilting!

 

FRIDAY ! FREEBIES Valentine Themed Projects

Don’t be confused. There are two Friday freebies – one here online EVERY Friday called FRIDAY ! FREEBIES and one monthly in-store. The next in-store pattern give away is Friday, February 17th.

 Now, to today’s online version… I thought I’d have trouble finding Valentine’s projects. Not sure why I thought that but I was very wrong. It seems that free Valentine’s patterns are everywhere. I’ve listed a few you might enjoy. Some will take more time than others but you still have time to do some of the simpler ones before the big day.

Take a look and see which you’d like to try for yourself.

Valentine’s Block
You can download the pattern and the block image at the following links.

http://www.quilterscache.com/V/ValentinesBlock.html
http://www.quilterscache.com/images24/valentinestemp.gif

Emily’s heart block.

 

Emily’s Heart Quilt Block
http://lifestyle.howstuffworks.com/crafts/quilting/blocks/emilys-heart-quilt-block.htm

Log Cabin Heart Quilt
http://www.equilters.com/library/holiday/logcabinheart.html

Valentine’s Day Mug Rug by Jacquelynne Steves
https://www.craftsy.com/quilting/patterns/valentine-s-day-mug-rug/228731

One of nine free patterns from craftsy.com

Nine free Valentine’s patterns from Craftsy.com
https://www.craftsy.com/blog/2016/02/handmade-valentine-gifts/

Nice use of applique

Valentine Clothesline Pillow by Amy Smart
http://www.diaryofaquilter.com/2012/01/valentine-throw-pillow-tutorial.html

Photo courtesy of with-heart-and-hands.com

Michele Bilyeu – a whole range of heart shaped patterns
http://www.with-heart-and-hands.com/2013/02/free-heart-quilt-patterns-and-other.html

Photo courtesy of allpeoplequilt.com


Twisted Hearts by designer Avis Shirer
http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/quilt-patterns/wall-quilts/twisted-hearts

You’ll always find a warm welcome at Sweet Pea Quilting. We have all the supplies you need for the projects listed above. Drop in and see what’s new and pick up your creative needs.

Wednesday Report: Last Friday’s Free Pattern Event

Hi Everyone. Here’s a report on last Friday’s free pattern event and info on the date of the next.

First In-Store Friday Freebie
Well last Friday was our first Friday Freebie in the store. For all of you who stopped in, we enjoyed seeing you. It was a fun day. We gave away lots of free patterns, sold some kits of our sample and sold fabric so overall we would say the day was a success. We helped many of you match fabric and find some new fabric. We hope we inspired you after all, that is the goal of this promotion.

Friday freebie pattern - be ready for Friday, February 17.

Friday freebie pattern – be ready for Friday, February 17.

Our next Pattern giveaway day will be Friday Feb 17th, so mark your calendars.. We have chosen a completely different pattern and colour palette. Never too big or complicated, but the finished quilt looks so nice.

Cheers for Gail!
Gail deserves mentioning here as so far it has fallen on her plate to make the store sample for this promotion. She is doing a terrific job!

What else have we been doing? Making new samples of course.

We have spent the last few months working on some fresh store samples using new products and new fabrics. We have them tucked them away and will now start displaying them. So take a few minutes the next time you are in the store as new samples will be appearing over the next while.  We have placemats, wall hangings, baby quilts, regular quilts and storage ideas and tote bags to name a few. We will start including some photos here as the items are put on display.

New York City Tote - Just received one last bolt of this fabric.

New York City Tote – Just received one last bolt of this fabric.

For those of you who missed out on that fabulous New York Fabric by Hoffman, we have been lucky enough to get our hands on one more bolt. So if you are still desiring some of this fabric, don’t wait too long as it is in stock now!

MONDAY ! REVIEW Art Quilt Design DVD with Carol Taylor

I loved this DVD so much I took it out of my library for a second time. It has had a big impact on my sewing and embellishment of fabric. Carol Taylor is a true fabric artist. The full title of the DVD put out by Quilting Arts TV, is Art Quilt Design, Strategies for Success.

artquilt

You can learn how to work with textured fabrics to create wall hangings while balancing color, size and value to create a cohesive design. If this DVD had another title, I would call it, “Couching Concentric Circles with Carol”. When I looked at Carol’s work, I thought…well, I’ll never be able to do those beautiful, symmetrical spirals. However, with Carol’s detailed instructions, I was soon couching up a storm. In fact, couching has become my favourite technique. I pretty much couch everything I can lay my hands on.

In addition to excellent advice on planning your design, Carol offers finishing techniques using facings rather than bindings.

Who is this DVD for?
I’d say it if for people who have some sewing experience and want to do something pretty spectacular. If you have scraps of exotic fabrics, you will find a use for them here. I know as quilters we’re attracted to fabric so you probably have a lot you can work with right now.

Availability:
I found this DVD in my public library. You can also download a version from http://www.interweave.com/store/art-quilt-design-download for $14.95 (US I think). If you have to have the DVD, not the download you can find it on Amazon but it is much more expensive and ships in “one to two months”. I suggest asking for an interlibrary loan.

 

Okay - not perfect but my very first EVER attempt at couching. Done on fabric made up of scraps.

Okay – not perfect but my very first EVER attempt at couching. Done on fabric made up of scraps.

If you’re interested in the fabric made from small scraps, you might want to check out Friday’s blog post: FRIDAY ! FREEBIES Elegant Evening Bag from Scraps of Fabric.

There is a list of supplies and tools on the back of the DVD. We have many of these at Sweet Pea Quilting, including WonderUnder, Fray Check and batting. You’ll always receive at warm welcome at Sweet Pea Quilting.

FRIDAY ! FREEBIES Elegant Evening Bag from Scraps of Fabric

What can you do with tiny scraps? Today I’ll demonstrate with a free tutorial using scraps, Steam-A-Seam and decorative stitching. You may recognize some of these fabrics from last Friday’s bag.

The end result of all those scraps - an elegant evening bag.

The end result of all those scraps – an elegant evening bag.

Let’s get started.

You’ll need:

  • scraps of fabric that ‘go’ together
  • 12″ X 12″ Steam-A-Seam (you can use iron-on interfacing but you have to create it on the ironing board as pieces will fly as soon as you move them).
  • 12″ X 12″ lining fabric
  • 8″ X 8″ flap fabric, 8″ X 8″ batting, 8″ X 8″ sandwich backing fabric and 8″ X 8″ lining fabric.
  • Coordinating threads
  • Button or pin to embellish, if you want.
Step One: Organize and cut up your scraps.

Step One: Organize and cut up your scraps.

s7

Be careful cutting the scraps. Without a ruler, it’s easy to cut yourself – as I did.

Step 2: Cut out a piece of Steam-A-Seam in 12″ X 12″. Fortunately, it comes in 12″ widths.

Step 3: Cut a backing fabric of 12″ X 12″

Step 4: Lay Steam-A-Seam on top of the backing fabric with the grid side up. Press lightly (important!). If you press too long you will destroy the second sticking effect of the Steam-A-Seam.

Press Steam-A-Seam Lite 2 on the wrong side of the backing fabric.

Press Steam-A-Seam Lite 2 on the wrong side of the backing fabric.

Step 5: Peel off the grid layer and you’ll feel that the top of your backing fabric is now sticky. Begin placing your scraps at random onto the backing fabric. One of the advantages of Steam-A-Seam is that you can reposition the pieces as you wish since it will stick again.

s10234Step Five: Once you’re satisfied with your layout, iron the fabric scraps on the backing fabric with a more thorough ironing.

5Step Six: Head to the sewing machine. Here’s your chance to practice your free-motion skills. You’ll see that mine aren’t yet that good but with all the fabrics, the lines won’t show too much….fortunately!

6

I used shiny gold thread to create a spiral on top of the free motion squiggles (the only word that can describe my messy free motion.)

I used shiny gold thread (on the front) to create a spiral on top of the free motion squiggles (the only word that can describe my messy free motion.)

Step 7: Prepare your flap. The flap measures approximately 8″ X 8″. Cut also batting and a backing fabric in the same size. Also, cut a lining fabric in the same size. To start, quilt the top of the flap. I used some straight lines in green and then did some decorative stitching in gold.

Under side of decorative stitching.

Under side of decorative stitching.

Continue step seven by placing the flap and lining, right sides together and sewing around three sides leave open the side that will attach to the back of the bag.

10

Turn and press the flap and do an overcast stitch on the raw edge. I placed the flap about 3" down the back and in the center from right to left. Stitch, press and turn over. Then top stitch.

Turn and press the flap and do an overcast stitch on the raw edge. I placed the flap about 3″ down the back and in the center from right to left.

Stitch, press and turn over. Then top stitch. Don't top stitch all the way up or you'll not be able to apply the lining.

Stitch, press and turn over. Then top stitch. Don’t top stitch all the way up or you’ll not be able to apply the lining.

Step 8: Prepare the lining and, if you want, a pocket. Cut the lining the same size as the bag fabric, 12″ X 12″. If you want a pocket, create one now and sew it to the right side of the lining. Be sure to put it far enough down so it doesn’t conflict with the seam sewing the bag to the lining.

13Step 9: Create a strap for the bag. I couldn’t find a nice metal one so made one from a braid using two strands of necklace leather and one strand of white and gold ribbon. Mine is about 30″ long.

Tip for braiding without help - stick one end under your sewing machine needle and braid from there.

Tip for braiding without help – stick one end under your sewing machine needle and braid from there.

Step 10: Assemble the bag. Sew the side seams on the main fabric and on the lining. I left about 3″ open on one side of the lining so I could turn it inside out later. Attach the straps to the outside of the main fabric at the seams. Now, put the right side of the bag in the pocket made by the lining. The lining will be right side inside and wrong side (seams showing) outside. Be sure the strap, flap and everything is stuffed inside. Now, match the seams of the lining and main fabric all the way around. Sew.

Step 11: Finishing. Turn the bag right side out. Press and then top stitch all the way around the top of the bag. I broke at least one needle sewing over my straps so be careful.

Step 12: Embellish. I started out using a pretty button from my favourite button supplier, Mission Clay Works, but then wasn’t sure if I liked it. Here are some options using various sparkly pins. See which you like best…nothing is also an option since the flap is nicely decorated already.

16back

Another view of the finished back of the bag.

17 18 19 20

Sweet Pea Quilting carries everything you’ll need for this project. I used Steam-A-Seam Lite 2 which provides the stickiness without the bulk. You’ll always receive a warm welcome at Sweet Pea Quilting.

FRIDAY ! FREEBIES – Cross body bag with quilted chevrons.

After last weekend’s bag making activity I got the idea to look for interesting bag patterns for our FRIDAY ! FREEBIES. I found quite a few excellent free online tutorials. I thought, for this week, that I’d focus on “How to Make a Cross-Body Bag | with Jennifer Bosworth of Shabby Fabrics.”

Screenshot from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MGQvjet_Io&feature=youtu.be

Screenshot from https://www.youtube.com

You can view this tutorial for yourself here. I can’t recommend this highly enough. Jennifer’s instructions are clear and very carefully illustrated. You can download a PDF file of all the measurements for the bag from Jennifer’s website here.

The bag you see in the background – turquoise with chevrons – is the one she is demonstrating here. I admit I was pretty surprised at how small it was. I made one error (maybe I made more) and cut the body a half inch short but the overall bag size is about 10″ tall and  8″ wide. That was much smaller than I expected. However, as an evening bag or fun light-weight summer bag, it would be perfect.

The chevron pattern uses a quilt-as-you-go method. You piece directly onto the fusible batting. I used fusible medium-weight interfacing in mine. You have to be very careful about matching the sides of the chevron.

Here’s the bag I made. I’ll explain a few modifications I made below.

My version of the bag

My version of the bag

I was lucky enough to receive some wonderful batiks (probably Hoffman since they came originally from Sweet Pea Quilting) from my sister-in-law at Christmas and decided to use them, and a fabric I created (mauve with flower stamps) to make this bag.  I made a few alterations. First, I accidentally cut the bag 1/2″ less tall. Secondly, Jennifer calls for a much wider straps. She cuts hers 6″ and I cut mine 4″. I like the size of strap I made as it fits with the ‘dainty’ character of the bag.

There is a pocket on the front of the bag but I also added one to the lining. To do that, after cutting the lining, I cut, interfaced and sewed a rectangle and then sewed it onto the lining about 2″ from the top of the back of the lining. I think every bag needs more than one pocket.

As you can see, once again I used a decorative button to finish the project. I like this bag much better than I thought I would. Measuring takes a bit of time but it was worth it.

A few more photos of the bag and fabric.

Back of Bag

Back of Bag

front_pocket

Front Pocket

insidepocket

Simple inside pocket. You could add two if you wanted.

My hand-printed fabric.

My hand-printed fabric.

 

What to do with Steam-A-Seam

I recently took an online course in Landscape Quilting by Gloria Loughman – see review of her book here. She is Australian so when she mentioned Steam-A-Seam, I thought perhaps it was an Australian product. Imagine my delight to find that Alvina had it in stock and knew exactly what it was. I asked her about using Steam-A-Seam and below you’ll find her answer.

Sweet Pea Quilting sells Steam-A-Seam by the meter.

Sweet Pea Quilting sells Steam-A-Seam by the meter.

There are numerous types of this product available. Some work better than others.

I prefer Steam-A-Seam Lite 2 for two specific reasons.

  1. You can temporarily affix it to your project, put your project up on a display wall and the pieces will not fall off. That is not the case for a few other varieties on the market, they do not temporarily stick to your project.
  2. Steam A Seam Lite 2  is also very thin. So if your project has numerous layers of fusible webbing in one section, it does not become too stiff. So for example if you were appliqueing a bird, you would have numerous colours or shades of colours and some would overlap the other. Other products are thicker so your project gets bulkier and then does not lay flat. Too bulky making quilting it a bit difficult too as the threads will break if you are going through too many layers.
By Gloria Loughman - The layers and contours are made possible by the use of Steam-A-Seam.

By Gloria Loughman – The layers and contours are made possible by the use of Steam-A-Seam.

A tip from Alvina:
Since all Fusible Webbing does not apply the same , have the same shelf life or are the same thickness, keep a label that identifies which brand and type you are using. That way, when you go to use it, your entire project will finish the same. If you mix and match with scraps you have at home you never know what the end result will be.

I decided to try this product last weekend. A friend had received a new-to-her Pfaff sewing machine for Christmas and needed a refresher course in using it. It was several steps up from her last machine. After introducing her to various functions of the machine, we decided to make some tote bags.  You can imagine the fun – us sitting side by side with our machines, cutting, ironing and sewing these bags.

Never content to do something simple when something decorative is possible and because the fabric was just a bit short, I decided to do a special appliqued pocket. I cut a section of the paisley form from the fabric, using Steam-A-Seam to apply it to the pocket, ironed it in place and then sewed around it. To make it further complicated, I did two rows of couching with coordinated fabric around the outside, a decorative metallic stitch pattern in between and then added a bit of metallic thread to the paisley form.

Close-up of applique using Steam-A-Seam

Close-up of applique using Steam-A-Seam

We lined our bags in whatever was available in my stash – orange for me and beige for my friend and added buttons. I’ve mentioned these buttons before – they are hand-made ceramic buttons from ceramic artist, Molly Magid (www.missionclayworks.com). Each year when she sells at the Christmas market, I stock up.

Somewhat the worse for wear after a long day of sewing and tea drinking, I hold bags for both of us.

Somewhat the worse for wear after a long day of sewing and tea drinking, I hold bags for both of us.

You’ll always receive a warm welcome at Sweet Pea Quilting. Come in and ask Alvina about your project and how you can incorporate Steam-A-Seam.