A Very SURMA Summer

I’ve got a great group of sewing pals that get together to sew every few months. This time we headed to the

Ponderosa Quilt Retreat! I traveled handmade of course!

I always love the drive to the mountains!


We stopped in Black Mountain and met up with our friend Sarah from Stash Bash. Patchwork Threads were pretty popular!! This is Chrissy, me & Sarah.


I finished a quilt top! It’s for a secret project, so more on that later! Obviously who it’s for, not what it looks like, is the secret.


I used my new half square rectangle Bloc Loc rulers. Perfect points every time!!


Each of us made nine of something to gift to everyone else! This is the present table. It was pretty amazing!!


These are my little gifties!! I love each and every one!


I made Liberty patchwork pinnies for everyone!


And I finished my last block for my Tula 2.0 quilt. All 101!! There was a minor snafu and I made one of the blocks twice. We celebrated!


Nicole wore her awesome Designer Star patchwork threads while she made chihuahua shirts. She’s my favorite.


The facility is pretty well stocked! Check out the ruler & tool wall!! We played all weekend.


Tessa and I stayed until the last minute. We sewed like mad people!!


Thanks to Kim for having us!!


xo LC

Tessa Visits the TMQG

My friend Tessa did an amazing job presenting to the TMQG. Kim took pictures for me (I was holding quilts.), so that I could share them all here. Her quilting journey made for a great story and she brought plenty of eye candy. Here’s her granny square quilt.


And this gorgeous hexagon log cabin. It’s a tutorial on her blog.


This little beauty is also a tutorial! Tessa writes very detailed instructions for this herringbone.


One of the most interesting parts of Tessa’s program was about her journey to quilting. She had wanted to make a quilt and really embraced, “no time like the present!!” She’s a no regrets girl with a positive attitude! I knew she was awesome before the program, but hearing her share made me really proud to be her friend.


Seeing all her quilts in person was magical. They’re all just so pretty. I love her sense of color on this churn dash. Her piecing is impeccable!


This one is a Cluck Cluck Sew pattern. She’d started it during a retreat we were on together, so I was thrilled to see the result.


I’m plotting to steal this The Birds & The Bees stacked quilt!!


This quilt is so Tessa! The colors are gorgeous!! She arranged these blocks a bunch of different ways before settling on this design.


She also has an Ohio Star tutorial for this beauty!


Liz made an adorable apron as a thanks for coming gift! I think she likes it!!


Thanks so much for coming Tessa! You’re one talented lady!!
xo LC

The Fiver Gets Wider

Did y’all see my new Fiver Tote that I posted a couple weeks ago? It’s fast and easy and uses five fat quarters. Since I’m heading on vacation (technically I’m there and I’m scheduling this to post while I’m away;) ), I wanted to make a little tote with my Cotton + Steel. I also wanted to make a quick present for my sweet friend Holli. Sometimes a surprise for a friend is just fun…no birthdays, holidays…just a “I think you’re awesome and I’m glad we’re buds!”. I selected these fabrics and ribbons.


Because so many fabrics are directional across the lengthwise of a fat quarter (including all the fabrics I chose here), I’d been thinking that The Fiver would be cute made horizontally. All the cuts are the same, except the pocket is 20 x 17″ and you’ll attach it 5″ from the bottom. And you’ll need 20″ of decorative ribbon.


I also set the handles center at 3″ out from the center of the bag. It looked more proportionate. And when I boxed the corners, I measured down only 3″. (Although I failed to take a picture of that!)


Here’s a little trick I learned from The Guru! It’s a garment sewing secret. If you’ve got a seam with outside fabric and lining fabric and you want to be sure that the lining fabric stays where it should be and does not peek out, press the seam open. Then finger press the seam allowance to the lining side and stitch it down. I’ve shared this tip before with step by step pictures, check it out here.


This makes for easier top stitching and a clean edge every time!


Here is my bag!! I love it! It’s currently touring the great white north!


The selvages on Cotton + Steel fabrics are amazingly wonderful. I’m hoarding them. I decided to work them into the design.


I remembered to mark the maker! The lining fabrics are fabulous.


I stitched leather to cotton webbing for the handles.


And here’s Holli’s bag! I used some precious Tula Pink owl ribbon for her bag.


I used selvage for this bag too!


And more fun lining!!


Happy bag making!
xo LC

Epic GIVEAWAY Winner

I am thrilled with all the excitement over my Blogoversary giveaway!! I took great care to choose my favorite things to share with you. And without further delay, the winners are…


Bel will receive a $50 gift certificate to Sewlux Fabric! You’ll find fifty ways to spend your $50!

And the winner of the ginormous box of awesome is…breezy barkley!


A whole lot of awesome is coming your way!! Mack the chihuahua was napping on the job, so my sweet friend Tessa did the honors! I’m already excited to top this giveaway next year!!
xo LC

Terrific Tip Tuesday: Thread Pull


I’m back with another thread related tip. This one is for the preservation of your machine. When you’re going to rethread your machine, clip the thread at the top and pull from the bottom so that the thread moves through the machine in the direction that it’s designed to travel.


The discs that the thread travels through control your tension. Repeatedly pulling thread backwards through them causes damage. This is bad.


Be kind to your machine!
xo LC

The Sewing Chick Visits The TMQG

As you might know, I’m active with the Triad Modern Quilt Guild. (I’m President.) I’m thrilled that our program this Tuesday is Tessa Walker aka The Sewing Chick! She’s an uber talented quilter and sewist. And I’m lucky that she’s also one of my dearest friends!!


Her skills are all around amazing! Check out this weekender!!


She writes excellent tutorials! This kit has been on my to do list for quite some time! She did it for Benartex and you can link to it from here.


Tessa has a lovely sense of color. Her projects are fresh feeling. I love this quilt!


Her patchwork is so homey. I want to curl up with this beauty.


TMQG meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month at Southfork Community Center on Country Club at 6:30. Visitors and new members always welcome!
xo LC

Fantastically Fussy and More

Saturday was my Fantastically Fussy wonky star class at Thimble Pleasures. It’s always a pleasure to teach there. (See what I did there? It was intentional.) I had a great group!! Asha is adorable. She’s making this cute two color version for her son. Love!!


Kelly was a total workhorse! She cruised through almost 1/4 of her blocks!!


She made hers look like sunflowers! They’re so cheerful!! She had planned on using floral fabric and couldn’t find just the right set of fabric so she made flowers. It’s awesome!


Mia’s organization was something to behold!! She had a whole system. It was impressive. I think she even embraced wonkiness. ;)


Her blocks are gorgeous!! She used some Kaffe and great vibrant intense colors. It’s amazing!


Inge’s owls are absolutely adorable too! She went outside her comfort zone and they’re just fabulous! The colors really focus on the owls.


I also had the second session of Designer Star at Sewingly Yours. Bonnie finished two rows!! Her colors are wonderful and really show off the pattern.


Sue pieced some rows!! Hers look superb! This is going to be such a serene quilt.


And we had the second session of a voile string quilt class at The Little General. We had a blast!! Debbie is always wonderful to have in class. She’s got a great sense of color and a positive attitude!!


Debbie’s blocks are so bright and cheerful. We played around with different arrangements…chevrons, squares, stripes and more.


Lori is working away on hers! She’s been collecting voile for years. And this quilt will be gorgeous!


Paula’s blocks are also bright! She and Debbie used a lot of the same fabrics, but they’re blocks are remarkably different!!


Diana made hers using quilters’ cotton. She had an overflowing scrap bin and the result is beautiful!!


Nancy took my voile class at Studio Stitch! And she finished her quilt top!! It’s gorgeous!!! (Sorry for the odd color; I think I had a filter on.)


Julie took my star class at Linderellas and just sent me a photo of this beauty! She added her own border design which accents the quilt nicely. Love!!


It makes me so proud to show off my student’s work. Don’t forget to enter my blogoversary giveaway! It’s pretty epic!!
xo LC

Terrific Tip Tuesday: Mark the Maker


Today’s tip is labels!! They not only offer a polished finish to your project, but also mark the maker. One of my resolutions this year was to be better about labeling my projects. There are lots of options to order custom labels, but here’s what I do! I order from Spoonflower. They’re a great company right here in North Carolina. I just uploaded my logo and set it to repeat. For my pouches and other small projects, I order a fat quarter of twill. My logo is approximately 1 1/4″ wide with plenty of white space above and below.


The twill is recommended for dry clean only, so I limit it to projects that aren’t often washed. I fuse wonder under to the back. And trim them up!


I cut some tight with just the logo.


But I love that I’ve got the option to write labels as well.


For my quilts, I ordered the Kona cotton base cloth. It’s machine washable. My logo is about 2 1/2″ and I added three faint grey lines for my additional information. I label my quilts with the name, recipient, piecer, quilter and date.


Remember to mark the maker!
xo LC

My Favorite Things GIVEAWAY

Today’s my blogoversary! Obviously I had to plot a giant giveaway!! I decided to focus on my favorite things. One lucky winner will get all this loot!!! You read that right…all this!!


Now I want to highlight some of my favorites. I love my AccuQuilt! It makes cutting strips and odd sizes so much more fun!! AccuQuilt gave me a GO! Baby and die to giveaway. So exciting!! This little machine will change your quilting. It cuts things perfectly and so fast! I chose the equilateral triangle die to include in the prize. This die is great because there are three sizes. I use the GO! a lot for odd shapes…the shapes that are a hassle to rotary cut. Trust me, you’ll love it!


There’s no greater notion than the Bloc Loc. Seriously, it’s freaking genius! I wrote a whole post about it’s awesomeness. I’m not usually keen on specialty rulers; I tend to stick with just my usual ruler. But these are brilliant! There’s a ridge that the seam fits in so you can properly trim the HST. Did I mention that it’s genius?!


Carolyn Friedlander sent some of her amazing patterns! Shirts is my favorite!! I host the All Shirts Swap which is great fun. Round Two is wrapping up and Round Three will start soon. This is a great little foundation piecing pattern!! Plus she included her two newest patterns! They’re gorgeous; I can’t wait to make them.


My favorite ruler is not a toss up. It’s the 6 1/2 x 12 1/2″ from Creative Grids. It measures 1/2″ in one direction and full inch in the other. Plus the grippiness of Creative Grids cannot be beat. I use it about 95% of the time.


And for the rotary cutter, look no further than Olfa. This is the one I use. It’s really heavy duty. Plus you can open just one side of it which protects everything in front of the blade. Flimsy rotary cutters are dangerous. It’s a tool that we use a lot, so invest in a good one that does the job. I’m not sure how long I’ve had this one, but it’s definitely many years old. Rotary cutters are a very personal choice, but choose a sturdy one!


When it comes to thread, my top choice is Aurifil. It’s my favorite. I piece with 50wt. I use 40wt to construct bags, topstitch and for quilting. Aurifloss is a yummy embroidery floss! Aurifil is fabulous and about 90% of the time, it’s my pick!! Included is a set of various weights as well as a large spool of 50wt!


I love this nail polish!! Soak partners with fabric designers to bring the most delicious sets of colors together. The Denyse Schmidt set is the best!! Love.


As for batting, I almost always choose the same thing! I LOVE Quilters Dream Select. It’s mid loft and 100% cotton. And perfect for every quilt! I’m including a cut off my roll that’s approximately 90 x 90″. Try this batting and you’ll never look back. It’s dreamy. Instead of including a picture of batting (that’s not very interesting), here’s some yummy quilting.


I literally cannot say enough about my love of Clover Wonderclips. If you don’t have them, go buy them immediately! You cannot have too many. I’ve got a box of 50 and a bag of 100. I use them for everything!!


And what’s my most favorite…FABRIC! I’m always a lover of rainbow fabrics (that become rainbow quilts)! Dear Stella does a fabulous job of the rainbow pack! These gorgeous chevrons come in every color under the sun. And these are really usable. Some chevrons have so much contrast that they’re difficult to quilt with; these are perfect!!


Violet Craft gave me some sample fabric to share with y’all! She’s one of the nicest people and the metallics in her new line are gorgeous and subtle!! No one has this fabric…it’s the scraps from her market samples! So pretty!


The amazingly sweet Bonnie Christine bundled up some of her gorgeous Sweet as Honey prints. The corals and yellows in this line are among my favorites!


And the adorable Sara Lawson will send the winner a fat quarter bundle of her new Jungle Ave line for Art Gallery! It’s bright and fun and I have a pattern coming out soon that features it.


I, along with the rest of the sewing community, am obsessed with Cotton + Steel! I would love to say that I got bundles of it to giveaway. But I didn’t. You’ll want the full line when it comes out though. So yummy. But Melody did pull from her stash for y’all! A half yard of her awesome grandmother print and some typewriters!! She’s the best!!! And I pulled an Alexia and Rashida print from the C + S bundles I got.


I also raided my stash for more! Here are 75 cuts of fabric (from fat eighth to half yard). This is 15+ yards of fabric!! Included are some of my favorites…Tula Pink, Laurie Wisbrun, Denyse Schmidt & Emily Herrick. There are lots of gems in here!


One of my favorite things is shopping local!! I’m blessed to have so many awesome shops nearby. My heart will always belong to Sew Original. Going there is like going home and Shirley Bailey, the owner, is Guru 2! You’ll always learn something by going to your local shop. You’ll see something new and be inspired. For my modern hipster fix, I love The Little General and Gina, the owner is a total sweetheart! And Sewingly Yours offers a lovely mix of modern, traditional and batik. Plus Theresa, Juanita and their whole staff are so great! Knit One Smock Too offers both fabric and yarn, as well as tons of smocking and embroidery supplies. Every needle craft need can be met there! Shirley and Martha are fabulous people. I’m lucky enough to travel the state teaching and shopping. Favorite love to Studio Stitch in Greensboro, Linderellas in Southern Pines, Thimble Pleasures in Chapel Hill, Stitch in Time in Franklin and Carolina Foam in Black Mountain as well!! Remember to shop local and support your shops!

I love to shop online too! My friend Chrissy and her mom Linda run Sewlux Fabric! They’ve got a great offering with lots of Moda and other quilt shop quality brands. They ship quickly and have great customer service to boot! And they’re offering a FIFTY DOLLAR GIFT CERTIFICATE to an international winner for this giveaway!!

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty!! There will be one winner of all of the loot!! And one winner of the gift certificate!! The favorites prize is only open to US addresses and the International prize is only open to International folk! As always, there are lots of ways to enter!
1. Leave a comment about what your favorite post on maychappell.com is.
2. Follow my blog with Bloglovin or RSS feed.
3. Like me on Facebook.
4. Follow me on twitter.
5. Follow me on Instagram.
6. Follow me on Pinterest.
7. Subscribe to my blog via email.
8. Post, tweet or blog about the giveaway for extra entries. (One for each time you do it!)
There are lots of ways to get an entry; you can do just one or all of them. If you’re already a follower, that’s great! It counts as an entry!! Please post a separate comment here for each entry! Your comment here is the entry. If you’re international, please write INTERNATIONAL in your comment. Entries open through 5 pm est on Monday, June 23. Mack the Chihuahua will select both winners; he tends to use the random number generator. Don’t send bribes; I watch him like a hawk.
Let me know if you’ve got any questions!! Good luck!!
xo LC

Camp Stitchalot: Part 3

I’m back with the final installment of Camp Stitchalot! This is the sewing room! I basically camped out here and sewed through the weekend.


Katy brought each of us a kit to make this adorable pinnie! That’s Cotton + Steel fabric my friends!


Kim made me this awesome shirt!! I LOVE IT! She’s participating in the All Shirts Swap and I was super excited to meet her in person.


This is Sarah and me. She was one of the many many fun folks I met at camp!!


Jacqueline (the amazing gal behind Soak) came down and sewed with us! She joined our table. She’s making the GORGEOUS quilt with Liberty! We had a blast!!


I made Katy a pinnie with a chihuahua on it! She has a cat dog named Snoop who is Mack the chihuahua’s long lost cousin.


I made pinnies for all the counselors and hostesses! Plus one for Ginny! John and Deborah were great fun!! I cannot believe I took zero photos of them. I can assure you it was because they were so hilarious and entertaining that I failed to get out my camera.


Camp Stitchalot was just all around an amazing experience. The counselors were amazing! The other campers were great!! And I learned so much!!! Watching Tula English paper piece blew my mind. A grand time was had by all!
xo LC