If it could go wrong…

It did! Saturday, I woke up planning on spending the day finishing my Wonky Star sample for Sew Original. I got everything out. And I realized that all the blocks that I had sewn last week needed to ripped out. I had sewn in haste so I could take it to the $5 block meeting and they weren’t up to my standards:( So I ripped out about 30 seams…
I was a bit over it at this point so I wanted to finish something!! My sketchbook needed a cover…I’ve been plotting it in my head for months.

20120730-213407.jpg
I pulled out lots of my favorites! The pieces that I’ve hoarded. Treasured snippets from swaps. All pieces I love. And I started sewing…

20120730-220505.jpg
And tragedy struck! I had one lone complete Heather Ross chihuahua on blue. And I accidentally cut him in half. Sob.

20120730-220914.jpg
I love the HR chihuahua because my dog Mack was could have been the model. Here’s Mackie wearing his Halloween costume (he was a dog being eaten by a shark)…I had trouble finding a picture where he was awake:) You can see the resemblance and his cuteness!

20120730-222528.jpg
And here’s more sewing…including a fix for the tragedy!

20120730-220655.jpg

20120730-222916.jpg
I was sewing along and everything was going great!

20120730-223048.jpg
There is a fish named Heather! Sarah got Heather Ross to sign a fish for me when she took a class from her in NYC.

20120730-223317.jpg
And a fish named Malcolm!! My dear friend Jo-Sue Malcolm was with me when I bought this sketchbook. She is one of my artsiest friends and has supported all my creative endeavors! We spent a day going to all the art museums in DFW and I bought this sketchbook at The Dallas Museum of Art. It was the perfect day. Malcolm is there in honor of Jo-Sue:)

20120730-223928.jpg
I also had an autographed selvage of Tufted Tweets from Laurie Wisbrun herself via my friend Monica (more on that later…). I sewed it all together!

20120730-224252.jpg
And started to quilt. Obviously, the bobbin had to run out with two lines to go! And next to the earlier tragedy!! &$@#!

20120730-224636.jpg
I pressed on. I put all the pieces together. I was plotting a pencil holder/closure, so I needed seams along the edge of both the front and back.

20120730-224945.jpg
But it was too short! $&@%!!

20120730-225058.jpg
I added some Neptune to the spine. I was annoyed it was too small, but happy to add the Neptune that I hadn’t put in yet! It couldn’t be all my favorites without some Neptune:)

20120730-230150.jpg
Still too small! Grrr!!! So I had to nix the pencil closure:( I used a decorative stitch to sew the pieces together flush. It worked!

20120730-225328.jpg
Finally, I was on my way! Then it was too small the other way!! &@$%!!!!! I tried to fix it with sewing an 1/8″ seam and covering it with binding. Just not big enough:( Not working…

20120730-230617.jpg
I didn’t want to lose any of my precious fabrics, so I opted for the decorative top stitch again. Success!!

20120730-230953.jpg
I finally finished late Sunday. That’s right, it took TWO DAYS to make a book cover. I’ve made whole quilts faster. What’s crazy is that I did measure and added 1/2″ seam allowances. It just shrank much more than expected. And I probably should have made a test out of less precious fabrics. BUT I’m thrilled with it! Has anyone ever made something like this? Any tips?
Here are pictures of all the sides…

20120730-231607.jpg

20120730-231652.jpg

20120730-231741.jpg

20120730-231824.jpg
And now my sketchbook is much happier! I’m in love:)
xo LC

Cutting Up

Today I went to Sew Original to meet with one of my students. Sarah is new to sewing- she just got her first machine:) And she wants to make her baby a quilt.
She’s signed up for my Wonky Star class. Sarah is having a boy and wanted to use yellow and grey. I met her and her husband last week for fabric selection and now we needed to get everything cut. She’s using some Joel Dewberry Aviary 2 with an Etchings print and a polka dot print. It’s going to be awesome! Here she is!

20120726-195554.jpg
Obviously I convinced her that fussy cutting birds was a brilliant idea…because it always is!! She fussy cut birds from the sparrow print first. When I showed her standard cutting, she was WAY more into that. She did a great job!

20120726-195933.jpg
Everything cut!

20120726-200443.jpg
Sarah’s baby is due August 18, will we finish??? I think so:)
xo Lee

Neutral & Webby TUTORIAL

Ready to kick off my first tutorial!

We are going to make a spiderweb block! Let the games begin!
1. Prepare the Paper: Use thin copy paper. Cut two 8.5″ squares. Cut these diagonally so you have 4 triangles.

20120725-230423.jpg
2. Mark the Triangles: I use a thin light pencil line. Draw a center line through the triangle.

20120727-094535.jpg
Draw 1/4″ seam allowance along the long edge of the triangle.

20120725-230834.jpg
Mark 2 1/2″ from the corner.

20120725-231318.jpg
Draw a line from the 2 1/2″ mark to the intersection of the 1/4″ seam allowance and center line.

20120725-231529.jpg
Mark all four triangles.

20120725-231629.jpg
3. Prepare the Fabric: Cut various 1″, 1 1/2″ & 2″ strips for the spiderwebs. Because of the paper foundation, you can use straight of grain or bias cuts. Cut four 5″ charms for the center kite shapes.

20120725-232032.jpg
4. First Seam: Place your center fabric face up on the side of the triangle without writing. Align your first strip 1/4″ from the line you drew. Your fabrics should be right sides together. Align piece two so that once you sew along the line, it will fold back and leave 1/4″ seam allowance. (Most of piece two will be on the kite shape side of the line.) I hold mine in front of a lamp to see the lines and edges. Set your machine to a short stitch length; this will help when removing paper. I use 1-1.5 on my Bernina.

20120725-232336.jpg
Sew along the line.

20120725-232818.jpg
5. Trim & Press: Now trim off the excess fabric from your center fabric. I use the Add-a-Quarter ruler which I LOVE!

20120725-233804.jpg
Press using a dry iron.

20120725-233900.jpg
6. Adding Additional Strips: Align the edge of your next strip with the edge of strip one. Fabrics should be right sides together. I like to mix up the widths of the fabrics:)

20120726-064529.jpg
Sew a 1/4″ seam. Fold back & press. Repeat this step until the triangle is covered.
7. Cover the Second Half: Repeat steps 4-6 until the whole paper is covered.

20120726-065011.jpg
8. Trim: Turn over the piece.

20120726-065147.jpg
Trim off excess fabric following the edge of the paper.

20120726-065248.jpg
9. Make Three More: Repeat Steps 4-8 to make three more.

20120726-070635.jpg
10. Sew the Block Together: Now sew together two triangles. I pin at each end and at the edge of the kite shape.

20120726-071246.jpg
Remove the paper from only the seam allowance.

20120726-071522.jpg
Press seams open.

20120726-071355.jpg
Then sew the two halves together. I recommend NOT removing any of the paper until you have sewn your blocks together. Your block should measure 11 1/4″; it will be 10 3/4″ finished.
You’re done!! Now make many and post a link below:)

20120726-071956.jpg
Please let me know if you have any questions or if you want me to post another picture of something!! I hope y’all enjoyed my first tutorial:) My peeps at the bits and pieces bee are going to make some for me! I CANNOT WAIT!!! They are an über talented bunch!
xo LC

The Theory of Color

I’m teaching Color Theory again this quarter at Studio Stitch! And adding it at Sew Original!! So excited:) I love color SO I love talking about it and teaching it. I just finished up the sample for Studio Stitch. I used solids which gives it a totally different feel!

20120723-223109.jpg
My usual scraptastic version is hanging at Sew Original.

20120723-223951.jpg
The block was designed by Anna of Six White Horses and you can download it here. I set the block on point and made the elements of the block in grey for the four corners.
Which version do y’all prefer?
xo LC

A Needle in Parisville

Earlier this year, I took an appliqué lesson from the fabulous Kathleen Baden. And today I finally finished the needle case! Kathleen designed this pattern so that we would learn all of the key elements to hand appliqué. I enjoy the leaves and the perfect circles, but I’m still perfecting the stems. I had been planning to hand quilt, but I was in the mood to “get her done”, so I went with simple echo machine quilting. I elongated the stitch to make it resemble hand stitching. Hopefully Kathleen will forgive me:)

20120722-213827.jpg
I used Tula Pink Parisville with a hint of Curious Nature by Parson Gray.

20120722-214118.jpg

20120722-214245.jpg
And it folds up so neatly:) I can’t wait to pack it full of my appliqué supplies.

20120722-214347.jpg
And I’ve already planned my next project! The Charlotte Quilt from Material Obsession 2. You only live once, so I’m going for it. I’m thinking ocean blues, turquoises, and aquas with a neutral background. I might use linen, what do y’all think??

20120722-214607.jpg
Keep creating!
xo LC

A Sampling of Samples

For the past few weeks, I’ve been madly sewing samples for my new classes! I’m teaching at Studio Stitch in Greensboro and Sew Original in Winston. This quarter I’m teaching some of my own designs which I’m very excited about.

First I worked on my wonky star baby quilt for Studio Stitch. I fussy cut Lizzy House pearl bracelets. It took quite a bit of fabric, but I’ll be able to use the scraps. I love scraps!!

20120721-125617.jpg
I did simple wonky lines for the quilting which I really think goes well with the design.

20120721-125739.jpg
I’ve been in a lot (A LOT) of charm swaps and I used all my pink and lavender charms to make this extra scrapaliscious!!


The finished size is 42.5 square. Of course I had a piece of cute pink polka dot that would be the perfect back and measured exactly 40″. Grrr…. so I pieced the back to fix that issue!! I had actually put the first strip in the back and was quilting away when I realized that I needed a little more on the end. Double grrr… another strip added and I was back in action. I actually think the strips make for an even cuter quilt:)

20120721-131005.jpg

The guru and I took it over to Reynolda for a quick photoshoot in the gardens. I used my grandmother Lulee’s sewing chair as a prop:)

In my spare time, I’ve also been working on my designer quilt samples for both shops. I initially mapped out this design for my Laurie Wisbrun Stacked Chair fabric, but I haven’t brought myself to cut into it…yet! I am working up to that!

For Studio Stitch, I chose Kaffe Fassettprints. Aboriginal Dots is one of my favorite all time prints. I combined a few of these with his Spots- a wonderful staple for any stash! This quilt is going to live with the guru eventually, so she helped with the piecing:) And I did some jagged triangle quilting. This was my second attempt at free motion quilting; I’m quite pleased with the result! I found the jagged shapes to be much more forgiving than swirly shapes.

20120721-132724.jpg

I made a TULA PINK option for Sew Original at the same time! Obviously, this puppy is going to live with me!! I chose my favorite Prince Charming prints for this:)

There are also some cute pictures with a special friend in the chair…Miss Shelby. Check it out!

I quilted it at the same time as the Kaffe version, so it was also my second/third attempt at free motion. I did some straight line quilting first and then came in with some swirly infinity shapes. I mimicked the shapes in the fabric thanks to the guru’s great idea. I am thrilled with this one:) I still need more practice, but it’s coming right along…

20120721-135017.jpg

20120721-135045.jpg
The back print is probably my favorite all time print- Turtle Bay. My aunt lives on the water near Charleston and she has a tree with a swing over the water just like the fabric! Kitty’s front porch is easily in my top ten favorite places in the world-just look at that view. This fabric looks just like it! I LOVE IT:)

20120721-134006.jpg

Since I associate this fabric with her, I did a quickie side project and made her a basket with the Turtle Bay leftovers and a few other great prints. Her birthday is next week:) I still need to sew down the binding, but it’s almost done. Happy Birthday Kit!!

20120721-134402.jpg

The last time I made this basket, I broke FOUR needles. It was really frustrating. BUT I just went to a lecture on needles and thread at Sew Original with Shirley and figured out the problem. I had used top stitch needles last time. They are thick enough for the rigid weave, but they don’t have enough give. I switched to denim/jean needles, which have a little give, and it was smooth sailing!

Hope everyone else is having as productive a July as I have!!
xo LC

To Pin or Not to Pin

I am on a Quilting Retreat with the guru (Mom) and our friend Lisa. Everyone has to teach something! I asked Lisa to teach me English paper piecing with hexagons. I got a lesson on this from Becky at Appliqué Bee last week as well. Both are pros and I like to hear how everyone does it so I can develop my own technique. After Becky’s lesson, I made a perfect little hexie. Just the one:)

20120713-232427.jpg
Tonight after Lisa’s lesson, I made this flower! The hexies are just an inch…this is definitely the only time I plan on working this small!!

20120713-232324.jpg
So I decided to make it a pincushion! A fun night and a finished product (except for some hand sewing by the guru tomorrow…)!! I love it!

20120713-232717.jpg
And fun scissor fabric back!

20120713-232741.jpg
Having so much fun! Wish you were here Sarah:)
UPDATE: Finished! The guru has sewn her up!!

20120714-093018.jpg
xo LC

Pillow Talk Swapped

Today is mail day for PTS8! I finished the pillow late last night. Some nifty quilting, FMF binding and a cute little label:) Here is a close up of the quilted top! I wanted to add a little texture and accent the swirling middle block.
20120707-203642.jpg
Here is my little label made from a green seeds scrap. I love when my swap pieces have labels so I always try to make one. I can only show you half; you can’t see the “to” until she gets it!! I really wanted to use that print for the binding, but all I had was part of a fat quarter:( I made it work, but I used every inch I had! I could only miter 3 seams; one is just straight. But I think this fabric really completes the pillow so it was worth it!
20120707-204008.jpg
And here’s my completed pillow!!
20120707-204155.jpg
This morning, I decided to add some goodies to the package:) Everyone loves extras!! I chose some fun fat quarters! I just got the top print from The Little General. It’s very fresh and art deco-ish; I’m loving it! The Little General is formerly Karen Gray’s shop. Gina is the new owner and it’s just lovely. It’s bright, cheery and full of fabric that I LOVE!! Karen is missed though:)
20120707-204433.jpg
I decided to whip up a little pouch. I only had a 7″ zipper on hand so whatever I did, I needed to use that:) My secret partner had put Melody Miller typewriters in her favorites and I had a scrap half a typewriter. I think it turned out quite well!
20120707-205634.jpg
Fingers crossed that the USPS will safely deliver my little package! I cannot wait to hear what she thinks!!
xo LC