Handy Handwork

I’ve never been much of a fan of handwork. The guru does most of my hand binding and I avoid embroidery like the plague…until now!! I stopped by Knit One Smock Too a few weeks ago and saw this adorableness made by Martha. It’s from Aneela Hoey’s Little Stitches book.

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So I signed up for her class. She’s a FABULOUS teacher. She’s very clear and knows her stuff! She explains things really well and simplifies the steps. Previously, all my embroidery “skills” were “self-taught” so she was a welcome addition to my skill set. If you’re local, you need to take a class from her:) This is my practice cloth from class.

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After class, I finished my little snow globe. Is it a little more wobbly than Martha’s? Yes, yes it is. Am I cool with that? Yes, yes I am. As Martha would say…it’s a towel!

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Then I decided to use my new (mad) skills for my pincushion swap. My partner loves the beach:) So I did a little starfish.

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It went well. One of the things that Martha taught us were granitos. They’re awesome and I was able to do graduated dots on the starfish legs.

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I finished it off with ric-rac. I’ve loved this look since I saw it in the Liberty Love book.

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I also sent her a one of my Christmas Tree pinnies from my Twelve More Weeks of Christmas series. She seemed pretty happy:) Perfection.

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I got this adorable pinnie from my friend Leona. She always makes the cutest things!!

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I also decided to use my newfound skills for the hoop art swap for my Usual Suspects bee. My partner has not received it yet, so it’s still a surprise!! Sewing is Amazeballs!

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I’ve now organized my floss and bought all new needles under Martha’s direction. I’m very excited about my new car ride activity!

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I’m finding embroidery to be really relaxing. Are you an embroidery fan?
xo LC

Swooning with Sewing Kits

Friday was a big day of teaching at Linderella’s. I love teaching there!! Three reasons: 1. Fun bright shop full of great inspiration. 2. Great students! 3. There’s a candy bowl in the classroom;) I was teaching the swoon block and my new pattern, All Sewn Up Sewing Kit.
An accurate swoon is all about accurate cutting. Linda made everyone labels for all the pieces; they’re pretty helpful.

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Then piecing, piecing and more piecing!

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Benita used beautiful bright fabrics. I love the aqua background.

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Mary Jo chose a lovely floral with pink batik. She did a great job with her 1/4″ seam!

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Sarah is planning on making nine blocks for a full quilt. I love her colors.

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Sue chose gorgeous Kaffe fabrics!

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Then it was time for the sewing kit! Benita used Kaffe fabrics.

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I love the inside!! All the different fabrics look great together.

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Sue also stayed for the afternoon class.

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She used fabulous ruler fabric!

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A good time was had by all!
xo LC

Eye Candy-palooza

Who wants to see some eye candy?? Yesterday I saw my friend Theresa and she told me that she’d been making lots of things from my Twelve More Weeks of Christmas series. Naturally I asked for photos! She’s made a lot of journals.

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I love the little birdie!!

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How fun are these?! She’s a maniac!

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And a little Melody Miller teacup:)

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Here’s her Mod Tree wall hanging! Excellent fabric choices! Theresa is pretty amazing.

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This beauty is from my Animals on Parade pattern. It was made by Paula; she bought her pattern at Linderella’s. I love that she personalized it. So cute!!

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And I spotted this gorgeousness on Instagram. Made by Linda of Linderellas! She used my Designer Star pattern and Denyse Schmidt’s new line Florence. I’m already a lot in love with this line.

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And she already finished it! Quilted and bound. Love! Love!! Love!!!

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I always love to see what folks make with my patterns and tutorials!! Please add pictures to my Made with May Chappell Flickr group!
xo LC

Medallion Along with Me?

Who’s looking for a new project??? If you’re like me, you’re never looking, but they find you;) My friend Chrissy just told me she’s doing a medallion along at her shop. Obviously I asked for a sneak peek and it’s awesome!! Medallion quilts do seem to be all the rage! It’s going to be a six month series kicking off in October. The first month, you’ll make a center star, then each month you make a border. It finishes 64″ square. Perfect throw size!

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Chrissy has put together two kits or you can just get the pattern and join in the fun with your own stash. This is designed for intermediate quilters, but a confident beginner can do it. I love the hipster colors!

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And the prepster colors are great too!

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I’ll be joining in with my stash, but those kits are tempting:) You can go here for more details or to reserve a kit. And for all the international folks, Chrissy has worked out the shipping so that you can join in the fun without it costing a fortune. I can’t wait to get started!!
xo LC

Studio Spotlight Link Up

I hope everyone enjoyed my studio spotlight! The whole series was hosted by Jennifer of Ellison Lane Quilts and Heather of The Sewing Loft. It was great to see everyone’s space.

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Now it’s time to share your space! (And win prizes!!) You can go here to enter! And don’t worry if you don’t have a blog, you can link to Facebook, Threadbias or Flickr too. Entries open August 16-23. Good luck!!
xo LC

Tree Pinnie TUTORIAL

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Welcome back to Twelve MORE Weeks of Christmas! This tutorial is for a little tree pincushion! I wanted to make a holiday present for my sewing pals.
And away we go!
1. Supplies: This project is very scrap friendly. Gather up some red and green scraps. You need strips that are at least 3/4″ wide and 6″ long. You will also need a small piece of brown (1 x 3/4″).

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You’ll also need 2/3 yard of ric-rac.

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2. Cutting: You’ll need to cut six strips of green. Each strip should be at least 6″ long and the following widths: 3/4″, 1″, two at 1 1/4″, 1 1/2″, 1 3/4″. You will cut the same sizes from the red scraps. Additionally, cut another three 1″ strips in red. And cut the brown scrap to 1 x 3/4″. You will need two pieces for the back, one red and one green, measuring 2 1/2 x 6 1/2″ and 3 x 6 1/2″. You can do either color in either size. (Somehow these were left out of the picture.)

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3. Piecing the Strips: I recommend you lower your stitch length for this whole project. Because you’re going to stuff the pinnie, I like a tighter stitch length so the stitches don’t pull. I lower mine to about 2. (I’m on a Bernina and my standard stitch length is 2.5)

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Sew all the green strips together using a 1/4″ seam.

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Sew the red together as well. Only sew the six original strips. Do NOT sew the additional three 1″ strips. Press.

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4. Cutting the Tree: Lay the pieced strips on top of one another.

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Angle your ruler to cut the tree shape. Use the lines on your cutting mat. You will cut diagonally between two lines that are 2″ apart. Repeat for the other side of the tree as well.

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These two photos clarify the last step.

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5. Piecing the Top & Back: Sew the two red sides with the green tree. (The extra pieces are trash unless you want a red tree version.)

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Sew one of the extra 1″ red strips to the top. Press.

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Cut one of the 1″ red strips in half and piece in the brown trunk. Press.

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Attach the last 1″ red strip to the trunk piece. Press.

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Fold the tree in half and place a pin at the center of the bottom of the tree.

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Place the center of the trunk at the center of the tree using the pin. Press.

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You should have this.

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Piece the back. Trim the top to match the back at 5 x 6 1/2″. (The top is underneath the back in this picture.)

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6. Attaching the Ric-Rac: Lay the ric-rac along the edge of the right side of the top and sew down with a 1/4″ seam.

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When you’re 1/4″ from the edge at the corner, put the needle down and pivot 90 degrees.

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Smooth out the ric-rac and continue attaching.

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This is what you should have.

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7. Finishing: Seam rip open a 1 1/2-2″ section in the middle of the back piece.

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Lay the top on the back right sides together.

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Sew a liberal 1/4″ seam just inside of the ric-rac seam.

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This is what you should have.

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Trim the corners just outside the stitching.

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Turn the pinnie right side out.

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Press. And this is what you should have.

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Stuff your pinnie. I use crushed walnut shells and a funnel. Hand stitch closed.

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And you’re done!

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Please add pictures to my Made with May Chappell Flickr group! I love to see what you make!!
xo LC

Inside the Sewing Studio

Where do you sew? It’s a pretty common question in the quilty world. But when Jennifer first asked me to participate in the Studio Spotlight Series, I had a moment of panic! Does she know my “studio” is the corner of my bedroom?! I’m sure a lot of folks are in the same boat, so I am embracing it.
My bedroom is a large L shape, so the “studio” is on one end as you enter. I have a small sewing table with a card table to make a L shaped workspace. I covered the card table with fabric to make it prettier; I switch out the fabric occasionally just for kicks.

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To the right of my machine is a bookcase packed with my loot! (Said bookcase was snagged off the side of the road; I do love a bargain.) On top are two large glass cookie jars- one for selvages and one for scraps. The scraps just live here until they get sorted by color. And there are two smaller glass jars- one for binding scraps and one for strips.

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I keep a lot of things in glass jars…embroidery thread, ribbons, washi tape, twill tape and even my empty aurifil spools. Jars are great storage! These jars originally housed scraps sorted by color, but I quickly outgrew them. I try not to use any plastic storage; it’s better for textiles to breathe. I leave the lids loose so air flows.

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Immediately around my space are lots of fun little trinkets from friends. These not only make the space much nicer, but many are useful! One of the most treasured is my button jar; it belonged to my best friend’s grandmother. I think of her and her family every time I sit down to sew.

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Above my machine are lots of great mini quilts and this picture from my students (thanks Gail & Peggy;). It’s a great sentiment.

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My machine is a Bernina 350. I love it! Love!! I piece and quilt on it. (Typically for anything larger than a throw, I head over to use the Guru’s Bernina 830.)

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Most of my notions are in this box. Since I travel around to teach, it’s nice to have everything contained. My thread is in the bottom; I don’t have much, but I am a hoarder of Sulky thread. I usually just buy when I’m about to quilt a quilt.

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Under the card table are three baskets for works in progress. In theory, they’re organized by priority, but in reality, it’s a free for all.

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My fabric trash can is a vintage coal can. I love unique finds that I can repurpose. This little man makes me laugh.

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Around the corner is a bookshelf with (most of) my stash and books. These bookcases are skandia from The Container Store. And a design wall. My design wall gets slipped under the bed when not in use.

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The baskets house fat quarters. I organize by color! Shocking, I know;)

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The folded pieces are half yards to yards. I typically buy half yards or yards of most fabrics. It’s enough if you’re not sure how you’re going to use it and gives you the option of large squares or strips. These are also organized by color, except Art Gallery ovals, Moda dots and shot cottons are grouped together.

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When I love something, I buy two to five yards. I keep these folded in baskets. There are three baskets- warm colors, cool colors and neutrals.

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The orange boxes house special stash. I separate out certain favorite designers, as well as precuts and sets.

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I sort my scraps and charms by color. I made these little mesh bags to store them. I put binding with the coordinating color on each bag. I’ve found I use a lot more scraps and charms since I started this!!

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I keep all my interfacing and bolts of solids in the bottom of my linen closet:) There’s no picture of that awesomeness. I keep a notebook of all the directions that come with these things and then I write on a selvage with a permanent fabric marker; I just label it every 10-15″ so I don’t have to play guess the interfacing. I label solids the same way.

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I use this little tv stand ironing board (tutorial from Oh Fransson) most of the time with my amazing iron! I have a large ironing board for when I need it, but space is at a premium.

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That’s my space! I definitely cleaned up a bit before photos, but with limited space (and so much fabric), organization is key! One thing I dream of is better lighting…
I hope you enjoyed the tour!! Thanks to Jennifer of Ellison Lane Quilts and Heather of The Sewing Loft for organizing this great studio tour. It’s really nice to see the creative space of creative folk! There’s going to be a linky party (with loads of prizes) from August 16-23.

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For those of you that got the James Lipton reference in my title, here are my ten answers…
What is your favorite word?
Onomatopoeia. I mean it just sounds cool.
What is your least favorite word?
Moist. It sounds icky and is really never a good thing…except with cake:)
What turns you on?
A witty sense of humor. Does that surprise anyone?
What turns you off?
Snobbery or rudeness. Or worst of all, a combination of the two.
What sound do you love?
Laughter. Life’s always better if you’re laughing.
What sound do you hate?
The opening sequence of Dexter. It’s multiple sounds and I dislike them all; I have to mute the TV.
What is your favorite curse word?
Fluck. When my brother and I were teenagers, he started saying “fluck you” or “fluck”. I am the younger sister, so naturally I followed suit. It wasn’t mean spirited, just funny to us. It’s a running joke and every time I hear someone say “f*ck”, I mentally change it to “fluck”.
What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Travel guide. I love to travel and I’m a total nerd learning all about where I am visiting. And the more off the beaten path, the better:)
What profession would you not like to do?
Window washer. Bridge builder. Ladder climber. I don’t do heights so anything above ground level does not appeal to me.
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
Welcome!! Your Bernina 830 is right here!
See you tomorrow for the next installment of Twelve More Weeks of Christmas!
xo LC

A New (GENIUS!) Toy

A few weeks ago, a bunch of my friends from Sew South met up for a weekend of sewing! There was lots of sewing, talking, eating, drinking, laughing and of course…the passing along of tips and ideas!! Chrissy brought a bloc loc ruler! It’s the greatest invention for trimming HST’s (half square triangles). Seriously. Greatest. Invention. Ever.
Here’s how it works…
You sew your HST. I use the method where you make two HST’s at once.

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Cut them apart.

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Press the seam.

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And this is where the magic begins!! Place the bloc loc ruler on the HST. There’s a groove in the ruler for the 1/4″ seam. Trim.

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Slide the ruler to the other edge and align the HST with the desired size of your HST.

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Voila! It’s brilliant!! And makes trimming HST’s so much faster!

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The ruler I got will trim sizes up to 6 1/2″. I’m going to be honest, if I’m making larger HST’s, I just trim off the flags, I don’t trim the edges:) But there is a larger bloc loc ruler available if you need it!

Chrissy and her mom have an awesome little online shop, Sew Lux where you can get the bloc loc! They have wonderful customer service and tons of other cool things that you’re going to want. Consider yourself warned;)
xo LC

Festive Bunting TUTORIAL

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I’m back with Twelve MORE Weeks of Christmas! Today, we are making some festive bunting. I’m using holiday fabrics and planning on decking the halls, but this would also be a great project for a nursery or special party!

And away we go!
1. Fabric & Supplies: You need 1/4 yard of two fabrics, an 8 x 44″ piece of batting and 4 yards of ribbon. If you’re a quilter, this is a great use for those long strips of batting leftover from a quilt. If you’re not a quilter, ask your quilty friends for scraps!

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SIDENOTE: I chose two holiday fabrics that I love, not necessarily two fabrics that look great together. I chose a ticking for an old fashioned look and happy snowman for a more mod festive look. This makes the bunting more versatile as I can flip to the other side next year or for a party:)

You will also need a pinking blade for your rotary cutter and a marking pen. I use Frixion.

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2. Cutting: Cut both your fabrics to 8″ x wof (width of fabric).

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Trim your batting to exactly 8″ as well. The length should be about 44″, but is not as important.

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3. Ironing: Press one of your fabrics to the batting.

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Now press the other fabric to the other side of the batting. You will have created a sandwich with batting in the middle and each fabric right side facing out.

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SIDENOTE: I’ve found that ironing the fabrics to the batting keeps them together well enough for me to sew. However, if you like, you could spray baste or pin.

4. Marking: Using a Frixion pen or similar, you will now mark the bunting. Mark on whichever side is easier to see the lines; for me, this is the ticking. You will lay the fabric sandwich on your cutting mat and draw lines diagonally 2″ apart. Look at all three images and it should make sense!

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Also mark 1 1/4″ from the edge along the full wof (44″) on both edges.

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This is what you should have.

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5. Sewing: Read through all of Step Five before starting to sew. Sew 1/4″ from the angled lines drawn starting 1 1/4″ from the edge.

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Back stitch at the beginning and end.

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Pivot at the point along the 1 1/4″ line.

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Start here with back stitching.

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Sew to here and pivot.

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Finishing here with back stitching.

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All the flags should be sewn like this.

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6. Pinking the Flags: Cut along the angled lines separating the flags using a pinking rotary blade.

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You should have 20-21 flags.

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7. Attaching the Ribbon & Finishing: Leave a 24″ tail to tie up the bunting. Pin the first flag by sliding the ribbon behind the fabric and positioning it at the 1 1/4″ line.

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Place the ribbon behind both the fabric and the batting on the second flag. Leave 1/4″ between flags.

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Continue on alternating between putting the ribbon behind just the fabric and both fabric and batting. Attach all flags.

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Trim the top of each flag with the pinking rotary blade 1/4″ above the ribbon.

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Press to remove the Frixion marks.

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Hang your bunting & enjoy!

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And remember to enjoy both sides!

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Please add pictures to my Made with May Chappell Flickr group! I love to see what you make!!
xo LC

Classes, Classes & More Classes

I’ve had lots of fun classes lately! My first class at Papanana in King was the Designer Star. We had a blast at the first session; the guru was a guest assistant! And Jill brought her daughter:)

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Janie was an expert at marking her HST’s.

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Melanie put lots of thought into her fabric choices.

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They had two weeks to finish their blocks! Janie’s pink and black version is gorgeous!!

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Jill made a scrappy version with a layer cake. So cheery!!

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She loved making it so much that she started another one! I love those Riley Blake prints!!

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Melanie’s is beautiful!! Melanie owns Papanana and she’s amazing! If you’re local, it’s worth the trip:) She has a heart of gold and is just an all around wonderful person!

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And Kim’s!! Her designer star is holiday fabric! I’m a little jealous; I really want a holiday quilt!! And her intersections all align perfectly:) Lock those stitches!

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The next night, I taught an Introduction to Paper Piecing. We used this pattern from Six White Horses. Kim got the hang of it pretty quickly! Love the add-a-quarter ruler:)

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Melanie did a great job despite barely getting to sit down!

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It was a pretty fun night!

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Janie did wonderfully! Her fabric choices are wonderful- all Bonnie & Camille!

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Kim is making her block with lovely oranges and corals!

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And Pam made hers with some Riley Blake!

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I love Karen’s! It’s going to be so calm:)

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Melanie did a great job with beautiful metallic black and white prints.

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Yesterday was day two of Color Theory and Modern Crosses at Linderella’s.

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Week two of color theory is learning to paper piece! Lots of color discussion. This is Sue’s and it’s gorgeous…pure prints with coordinating solids!

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A fun lunch break at The Lunch Box!

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And the Modern Crosses class started! Wendy’s blocks are bright and cheerful. She did an awesome job; her piecing is getting pretty perfect:)

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And Donna’s. She is mixing the new line Edges with some coordinating prints. I’m really loving Edges; it’s very happy!

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And Sue’s Kaffe version. She’s using lots of different Kaffe prints with a dogwood background. I’m loving it!

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The Linderella’s classroom is awesome! Tons of natural light. I always enjoy my days with Linda & Carl.

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And a quick update on a very popular post…Elisabeth of Lee & Thee fame is back!! She’s gotten a sewing machine for her birthday! A perfect little starter Bernette in case you’re wondering. And she is sewing up a storm. She made a pouch on her own. I could not be more proud!!

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She’s amazing! And just so adorable!!

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xo LC