Tuesday, August 23, 2011

a stitch in color :: preview project #5 + baked goods

One of the great things about designing for Moda Fabrics is all the cute ways they package their fabrics. It's a smorgasbord of packaging possibilities: layer cakes, jelly rolls, fat quarter, fat eighth, and charm packs. I think packaging a collection in a variety of ways is more than just a marketing tool; it's a way to re-imagine a group of fabrics in a new and creative way.
The other day I had the opportunity to start re-imagining a project or two when I received yet another lovely box from Moda. 
This time the box was overflowing with my a stitch in color fabrics packaged in Moda's distinctive style. I'm thinking that the pre-cut strips in the jelly rolls would be perfect for a new version of this quilt.
I'm going to have to wait a few days before I really start playing with my Moda pre-cuts as I'm heading off tomorrow to teach my Improvisational Piecing class at CREATE in Chicago. For those playing along in the ever-popular Texas summer game, "how hot are we," I would note that the high in Chicago on Wednesday is predicted to be 90 degrees followed by a high of 80 degrees on Thursday while the highs here tomorrow and Thursday are 103 degrees. I wasn't planning on going running in Chicago, but I don't know if I can pass up a 67 degree low.
Another thing I couldn't pass up was remaking my Tuesday pillow, the featured project in my Improvisational Piecing class, in my a stitch in color fabrics.
That means the the folks in my class on Thursday will be the first to get to see these fabrics in person. I hope they like them.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

a stitch in color :: preview project #4

I actually have two projects to preview, but my skirt model isn't available, so we'll have to go with stuff I can shoot sans human assistance.
Today's project is brought via the amazing bag patterns that Keyka Lou offers. I'd definitely recommend checking out her selection of downloadable PDF patterns for everything from wee little clutches to messenger bags. The patterns are well written and organized and include plenty of illustrations.
I've made her easy envelope clutch in the past, so I thought I'd give it another go this time with some of my a stitch in color cottons.
I made three versions of this clutch, all in about 3 hours.

 My first version was pretty true to the pattern. I chose a focus fabric and a lining fabric, added interfacing and batting as well as a button from my stash and in about 30 minutes it was done.
My second attempt was a bit more complicated. I decided to quilt the exterior fabric and to finish the edges of the clutch with bias binding. it obviously took a little longer and created a slightly larger finished product.

I love the way the button mimics the circular motion of the swirls in the fabric and quilting.
Finally, I made the mini envelope clutch. It's essentially the same pattern, but smaller and therefore all the cuter.
Look closely at the face on the button of the mini clutch. Who could that be, I wonder?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Winners in Macro

Actually, I think the winners will be life size, but all my images, none of which have anything to do with the winners or their winnings are in macro. Why? Because my middle daughter went to San Francisco with her dad, asked to borrow the other DSLR and wanted my go-to lens. So, there you have it, it's magically become a week of macro images. This is especially poignant because I'm heading to the beach this weekend. So, I guess all my images will be really close up. We'll see how that goes.
Anyway, first let's annonce the winners of the Fancy Schmancy Tutorial giveaway.
They are:

Gill. She said:
Some great flowers!
I'd love to make some to decorate my bags!

Karen, who commented:
These flowers would work beautifully in colors to match a bride's colors. Nestled in the fabric of a reception tablescape or adorning shower gifts. They could also be used as favors at a shower.

Spontaneous Threads:
I'd put them on a simple wristlet. Then you could change them depending on how you were feeling or where you were going.

These flowers are super cute! I have five granddaughters that would wear these cute flowers in their hair. What a fabulous giveaway! Thank you!
I also think these would embellish candle stick holders, or maybe smaller ones for flip flops, gosh I ideas are endless!

I was wowed by all your creative suggestions and maybe Jeni will use some of them to style her flowers in the future. If you lucky four would kindly email me (malka@stitchindye.com), I'll pass that info on to Jeni and she will have your tutorials to you way faster than the mercury will dip below 100 degrees in these parts.

As for my images, they're a mishmash of pictures I've taken over the last couple days. I've been steadily working on projects with my new a stitch in color fabrics and, because apparently I don't have enough fiber-related activity in my life finishing up a shawl.
My latest project with the fabrics is a remake of my Tuesday pillow, featured on the cover of the Spring 2009 issue of Stitch.

I use that project as the one of the foundation projects for my Improvisational Piecing class and I'm off to Chicago in a couple weeks to teach that workshop, so voila, more sewing with my fabric combined with demo item for my class. I so love efficiency.

 The shawl I made is the Homin Shawl by Gudrun Johnston. I made it in a Shibui sock weight merino . The color way was called wasabi(great name and even better condiment). I can't say enough good things about this pattern. It wasn't easy to make, but not because of lack of clarity in the instructions. They really guided you every step of the way. It's just that this type of knitting requires your absolute attention, but the finished product is so worth it.
OK, that's it for now. I'll be back next week, hopefully with some finished beach knitting, sans the sand and full views of finished projects.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sponsor Intro and Giveaway::Fancy Schmancy Tutorials

As promised I'm back today with a new sponsor and fabulous giveaway.
Jeni is the proprietress of Fancy Schmancy Tutorials, a terrific little Etsy store where she sells oodles of amazing, no-sew tutorials for all manner of flower embellishments.
Her inspiration for creating these tutorials came from a desire for more different kinds of hair accessories and bows for her own little girls.
 Though I love the idea of these as accents in a little girl's hair, I can also definitely envision these little fabric gems as terrific embellishments for a cardigan or dress and a way to use a small amount of a much-loved fabric.
Jeni has sent me several of these tutorials and they are super thorough, well-illustrated, and include suggestions for using your beautiful fabric creation. Plus she's got loads of different tutorials, so there's something for almost any occasion. Did I also mention that many of the finished flowers are modeled on some seriously cute kids? That alone is worth browsing her store.
Are you psyched to check out Fancy Schmancy Tutorials? Here's a wee bit more enticement. Jeni is giving away 4 tutorials to 4 lucky readers. All you have to do is leave a comment here. Tell me about what you could envision embellishing with a lovely, handcrafted flower or who you might make one these petaled beauties for. I'll take comments through the weekend and announce the winner on Monday.
Have a great and hopefully crafty weekend!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

a stitch in color :: preview project #3

OK, not the preview project and giveaway I'd promised on Tuesday. That will most definitely be happening tomorrow, but I got swept away with excitement and had to post about this. One caveat though: I'm not showing any full views because the pattern for the project will be available, for free, via the Moda site later in the fall.
Perhaps a little back story is in order. I have a looming deadline for a project and instructions to be available for you fine folks to make with my fabric line come this fall. The deadline is this coming Monday, August 8. The quilt is now finished and ready to go to Moda world headquarters in lovely and sweltering Dallas, Texas, but I can't help myself, I have to share even a bit of it with you.

As often happens to me when I design a pattern, I have several alternate ideas that I'd like to play with. This quilt is baby quilt sized, but, in my head, I see at as full sized bed quilt. Also, I can imagine playing with the striped fabrics differently to accentuate or draw out some different shapes. I love that idea of a multiplicity of patterns, some overt and others subtle, appearing on the same surface. So, for those of you coming to Quilt Market, don't be surprised if, alongside this little quilt, you see at least one other larger one that utilizes many of the same fabrics, but (hopefully) reads very differently. And, if you don't come to market, no worries, everything will make its way here to my little corner of the internet.
See you tomorrow for the sponsor intro and giveaway!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

a stitch in color :: preview project #2

How long did you think it was going to take me to make a garment with my new fabric? I love sewing clothes, especially for myself, so making something to wear with these fabrics was definitely on the short list of to-dos.
Like the Shoo-Fly pillow, I used a tried and true pattern and I am super happy with the results.
That's not me modeling the dress, but my 17-year old. She's pretty cute, huh? 
There are four women/teenagers living at my house and we all wear the same size, but I'm the shortest of the bunch, so this dress isn't quite as mini on my 5' 3" frame as it is on her 5' 9" frame.
I'm planning on making a fabric flower to adorn this dress using a tutorial from my newest sponsor, Fancy Schmancy Tutorials. Look for that this Thursday and get your fingers ready to comment on that post as Jeni is giving away four tutorials to four lucky winners.