Posted on

Are you ready for some football?

If you love football as much as I do, you ARE ready for some football!  A chill in the air (unless you live in Florida!), cheerleaders, drill teams and school bands…and NFL Fantasy Football!  I love it all – getting together with friends to watch the games, nibbling on not-so-healthy snacks, and maybe sipping on a beer.  There’s just nothing like it!

If you have a favorite team, or have a favorite fan in your life, check out Team Spirit – a really fun quilt pattern or kit that is SO easy to customize.

The pattern is available as download or paper pattern HERE.

Pattern includes templates for the helmet featured, but you don’t have to stop there!  Follow my easy tutorial and create your own logo pattern for the center panel.  Click on this link to view the tutorial.

Show your team or school how much you care.  Create your Team Spirit quilt today!

 

 

Posted on

Tutorial: Purchased Decorative Cord Pillow Finish

A little decorative cord can really dress up a pillow!  There are so many beautiful decorative cords available – visit your local fabric store (home decor and fashion trims) and I’m sure you’ll find the perfect finishing touch for your project.  Follow these simple steps to apply your purchased cord like a pro.  If you’d like to make custom bias covered cord, visit my tutorial (click here) and you’ll find it’s a breeze!

  1. If you’re using purchased decorative cord, stitch around the pillow using desired seam allowance, leaving 5-6” on the bottom edge for stuffing.  Round your corners as shown in this illustration for square (but not too pointy!) finished corners.  NOTE:  If using a pillow form, I suggest you leave an 8-10” opening.
  2. Trim and clip corners.  Turn pillow right side out.  IF corners are too sharp, restitch them.  Stuff with Polyfill to desired fullness or insert pillow form.  Slip-stitch bottom closed, leaving about 1″ open to insert cord end.
  3. Insert starting edge of cord in opening space.
  4. Slip-stitch cording around pillow.
  5. Wrap tape around the end of cord to prevent raveling.  Cut off excess in the middle of tape.
  6. Insert end into opening and finish stitching cord to pillow.  Close opening and connect ends smoothly.

    Purchase the Love You the Most pillow pattern HERE!

Posted on

Tutorial: Easy DIY Bias Covered Cord

Bias covered cording is SO much easier than most people think, and it’s really not scary at all!  DIY cordings allow you to use matching or coordinating fabric to create the perfect accent.  Simply cut the bias strips, fold them around cord filler and stitch.  For a 14″x14″ pillow you will need about 64″ of bias strips, so you’ll need about 5/8 yard of 42″ wide fabric and 1 7/8 yd of 3/8″ cotton piping filler cord. Follow the steps below to make covered cord and add it to a pillow top.  Add custom covered cord to any project – just measure around the piece and visit one of the many guides available online to calculate the yardage you need.

Let’s get started!

      1. Lay your cording fabric wrong side up and flat on your work surface, selvage edges running vertically.  Fold one corner over on a diagonal to create a 45° angle.  (The ruler here just shows the correct angle).
      2. Press along the diagonal fold to crease the fabric.  This provides a guideline for cutting your strips.
      3. Open up fabric to see the ironed crease.  I’ve marked it here to make it easier for you to see.
      4. Cut 1 1/2” wide bias strips with a rotary cutter and quilter’s ruler, or draw parallel lines and cut with scissors.  I’ve switched to a solid fabric for this step.
      5. Stitch the two strips together at a 45° angle to make the seam “disappear”.  Lay one strip on surface, right side up.  Lay second strip on top at a right angle, right side down.
      6. Use a ruler to mark a 45° line from corner to corner.  Pin and stitch strips together along the marked line, using a straight stitch.
      7. Trim seam to 1/4”.
      8. Press seam open.
      9. Center cord filler on top of strip.  Fold strip over firmly, matching raw edges.  Pin in place.  Stitch close to cord filler using a zipper foot and straight stitch, being careful not to catch cord filler.  You’ve just made custom bias cording!
      1. Lay pillow top face up on work surface.
      2. To reduce bulk at seam line, pull back bias strip at starting edge.  Cut about 1″ off the end of cord filler.
      3. Pull bias strip back over, creating a flattened section at starting edge.
      4. Pin covered cord to pillow top, raw edge to the outside, corded edge to the inside.  Pin in place. Leave about 1 1/2” free at starting edge.  Align starting edge with raw edge of pillow top.
      5. Clip into bias binding at each corner to help cording lay flat and curve sweetly around the corners, being careful not to clip into your stitching.
      6. Continue pinning cord to pillow top, leaving about 1 1/2″ at end point.  Stitch close to cord filler using straight stitch and zipper foot.

Create a simple, one-piece back pillow using the pillow top, or learn how to make an envelope-back pillow here!

Purchase the Love You the Most pillow pattern HERE!

Posted on

Tutorial: Envelope Back Pillow

An envelope pillow cover is designed to be removed and used as an easily changed decor accent.  Use one pillow form (or an existing square pillow) and switch out covers depending on the season, your decor, or a whim.  Easily remove the cover for cleaning.  Follow these easy steps to create an envelope back for your next pillow project!

This tutorial is for a 14″ square pillow.

  1. Cut two pieces of selected fabric 14 1/2”w x 9”l
  2. Fold over 1/4” on one long edge of each piece and press, then fold over another 3/4” on the same edges and press.
  3. Stitch close to Inner Fold using a straight stitch.
  4. Measure 2” down on one piece and mark across.
  5. Place one piece over the other, aligning outside edge of top piece with marked line on bottom piece.
  6. Baste to hold pieces together.  I’ve used different patterns to help you see the pieces.
  7. I recommend attaching a few snaps or Velcro to the envelope opening.  This will help keep the pillow closed if you’re using a firmly stuffed pillow form or pillow.
  8. You are now ready to complete your pillow!

Purchase the Love You the Most pillow pattern HERE!

Posted on

Quilt Design Process

Interested in designing your own quilt, or just curious about how quilt designers come up with their ideas and create quilts?  I’m sure that different designers have different processes, but I’m also pretty sure that they’re not much different from my own.  Follow along with me as I walk you through my process in my next several posts.  The steps aren’t always in the same order.  Sometimes color or fabric is my inspiration, but however it works, it works for me!  If you switch out the quilting-specific steps for painting, sewing, and so on, it’s really the same process.  I hope my experiences will help you with all of your creative projects!

For me, the quilt design and creation process is:

  • Inspiration
  • Design
  • Layout
  • Color
  • Fabric Selection
  • Quilt top construction
  • Quilting
  • Finishing

Inspiration

Inspiration can come from anywhere – you just have to be open to everyone and everything around you.  Here’s a definition from Merriam-Webster:

  • something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create : a force or influence that inspires someone
  • a person, place, experience,etc., that makes someone want to do or create something
  • a good idea

Some great ways to spark inspiration are:

  • Music – rock, country or the blues, listening to music is a great way to generate a flash of genius.  If you’re going through a creative block, crank it up and dance!  Give Pachelbel a try while you’re doing creative work for a change of pace.
  • Flexible brainstorming – this is totally my made up term for just letting go and playing around with ideas and techniques.  It’s sometimes tough to let yourself go and just let the creative ideas come out with no plan in mind.  I find that random sketching, painting and throwing ideas on paper can really get you going!
  • Exercise – as mentioned above, dancing  (in the living room, office, anywhere!) can help you loosen up.  A long walk is another great way to clear your mind and spur creativity.
  • Art – wandering through a museum or art festival is a super way to generate your own ideas.  The colors and textures, even the creative atmosphere are truly motivational!
  • Nature – the beach, mountains, even your own back yard can crank up your creativity.  Look around and see the big picture, as well as the details.  Take some pics and post them in your studio to keep the inspiration coming!

Sometimes inspiration strikes and I act on it right away, and sometimes I ‘file it away’ for future use.  Be sure to write ideas down when they hit so that you don’t forget them!

There are times when an idea comes from a request, like this modern Alabama quilt (below left) for a Crimson Tide fan.  Nature, my favorite things and my favorite people yield some great creative ideas, as well.  Sun in the Morning (below middle) was inspired by the song of the same name, and Wildflower Garden (below right) from a combination of spring gardens and a love of all things Anthropologie.

inspiration-group2I know that every inspiration and idea that pops in my head comes from the good Lord above.  I am so blessed to experience fun, creative ideas that just show up at the perfect time, and I hope that I do them justice.  I find that the spark for inspiration can come from just about anywhere, and the more open I am to possibilities, the more inspired I am to create – whether I’m sewing, quilting, painting, paper crafting, or some other form of creative expression!

What inspires you? 

Visit my pattern stores on Craftsy and Etsy for more of my designs, ready to buy or DIY!

Next installment – Design