Friday, July 29, 2011

a stitch in color :: preview project #1

I'd like to dedicate this post to the concept that everything takes twice as long to finish as you think it will. It always seems to work that way, yet I'm strangely also always astounded that whatever the task was took longer to accomplish than I thought it would.
In my own defense or rather in defense of my sense that I work quickly, I did change my mind three times regarding what my first project with my new fabrics would be. So, maybe I'm not that slow, just terribly fickle.
Anyway, personal quirks aside, I have finished my first project using my a stitch in color fabrics.
I decided to revisit a favorite pattern that I've made in the past using my hand dyed fabrics.
What amazes me about these fabrics is how much they look like the hand dyed originals I used as my "sketches".
I don't know how other fabric companies work, but I came to my meeting with Moda with a whole bunch of hand dyed cottons as my designs and that's what they sent off for the mill to work from.
Maybe having the original fabrics as a guide helped, maybe not, but these fabrics look amazingly like the originals.
Proof positive is that my first project using a stitch in color, the Shoo-fly Pillow, looks right at home with some of the projects I made for Fresh Quilting which include several of my hand dyes.
I like that pillow there. Maybe it should live there until it's Quilt Market time?

Monday, July 25, 2011

a stitch in color :: preview

Guess what came to my house last Friday? In two BIG boxes. Boxes so heavy I had to get help bringing them in from the porch.
This is my soon-to-be-released fabric line, a stitch in color. People, we're talking 34 different prints and 6 coordinating solids.

Moda Fabrics sent me 5 yards of each solid and print so that I can start making samples for Quilt Market this fall. I'll be there, along with my samples, some of which may be of the wearing variety, to help promote a stitch in color.
I'm also planning to craft several quilts, new designs as well as  remakes of previous designs, and various home dec and accessories all to highlight this beautiful fabric.
For you super-enthusiastic people who will ask me, "Where can I buy these fabrics?" I must respond with, "Hold your presser feet, the fabrics aren't out in stores...yet." They'll preview at Quilt Market in Houston at the end of October and be available in stores and online early in 2012. Until then though, I have been given the go-ahead to preview some of my a stitch in color creations here on my humble, little blog. So, if you want to see what I'm making with this totally fab fabric, check back here, especially this Thursday for my first project.
Any guesses as to what I'll make first? 
Also, can you imagine how fabulous it is for a sewer to have this much fabric delivered in one swoop to her house? Could I possibly be a little fabric inebriated?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Winner and More

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner:
Sheetal said...what a fun cozy and a great tutorial Malka! I think this is going to make a great hostess gift for my coffee loving friends...
Sheetal, if you would please email me, I'll pass your info onto Tammy and we'll get your gift certificate to you faster than you can fry an egg on your dashboard here in Texas where it has been over 100 degrees almost everyday for 6 weeks. That's pretty darn fast.
As for the more, how about some new little lovelies for my store.

Here's wishing you a super-fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Keeping it Warm

I've had to take a day off from my usual fare of French Press coffee because I drove to Huntsville, Texas yesterday to speak to the Tall Pines Quilt Guild. I'd never driven down some of the smaller country roads that lead to Huntsville and I totally loved it. It made the drive so much more fun. Who knew that there was a monastery outside of Navasota or that old town Brenham was so charming? Not me, but I know now and I'm recommending the sights along Highway 105 and Highway 30 to my fellow Texans.
I'm back now and ready for the coffee cozie/fabric giveaway extravaganza, so let's get started.
French Press Coffee Cozie:
Finished size: 12 1/2" x 5 1/2"

5 fat eighths of cotton solids and prints for top
1 fat eighth of cotton solid or print for backing

Other Supplies:
Rotary cutter
Self-healing mat
3 1/4" triangle template (found here) Edited to add: I've fixed the link for the template.
Paper scissors
Coordinating machine sewing thread
Quilter's clear acrylic ruler
Covered elastic ponytail holder
Cotton batting at measuring 12 1/2" x 5 1/2"
Sewing scissors
2 large buttons (about 1")
Hand sewing needle
Coordinating hand sewing thread
Fabric marker or pencil

Creating the Patchwork:
Note: All seam allowances are 1/4". Unless otherwise noted, press all seams to one side, alternating sides where seams intersect.
1. Print paper template.
2. Using paper scissors, cut out paper template.
3. Using template, cut 22 triangles from prints and solids intended for top.
4. Working with one pair of triangles, pin triangles right sides together, along one long edge.
5. Sew together. Press seam.
6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 to create 5 pairs of sewn triangles.
7. Pin and sew pairs together, one at a time, to create a sewn row of 10 triangles.
8. Pin and sew an additional triangle to one end of triangle row.
9. Repeat steps 4-8 to create a second row of sewn triangles.
10. Pin rows, right sides together, along common edge.
11. Sew together. Press seam open.
12. Using a quilter's clear ruler, square short edges.

Finishing the Cozie:
1. Cut ponytail holder in half.
2. Machine baste ponytail holders so that raw edges of holders are flush and evenly spaced along one short edge of patchwork.
3. Cut backing fabric to top measurements.
4. Working on a flat surface, layer batting, top, right side facing up, and backing, wrong side facing up.
5. Pin together.
6. Maintaining a 1/4" seam allowance, stitch around perimeter of cozie, leaving a 6" unsewn gap. Trim corners.

7. Turn cozie right side out so that batting is sandwiched by top and backing and right side of backing faces out.
8. Turn under 1/4" seam allowance at gap and hand sew gap closed.
9. Mark placement of buttons and hand sew in place.
There you have it. Keep your coffee or hot water warm in style.
If you read my previous post then you know that Tammy of Marmalade Fabrics provided the beautiful material for my version of the French Press Cozie and because she's a lovely person and a terrific online vendor, she wants to provide one of you with the fabric needed to make this cozie. To that end, she's giving away a $20 gift certificate good for any of the luscious fabrics available at Marmalade. I think y'all know what needs to be done, but, just in case you don't, leave a comment and I'll put your name in the pot for the gift certificate drawing.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

In Praise of Coffee

Can you smell those coffee beans? No? Take a deeper whiff and try again.
I fancy myself a bit of a coffee aficionado. I love a good cup, am an avid fan of the way coffee smells and even think the beans are kinda, sorta pretty. I'm not as bad as a local coffeehouse I go to where the "expert" behind the counter can wax on and on about the subtle, fruity notes of the latest Bosnian shade grown blend, but I love coffee.
Lately, I've been loving it in a new way. I purchased a French Press and I am smitten. I adore the flavor, the small quantities you can make so there's no waste, and the anticipation of waiting until the coffee has steeped and I can depress the plunger/filter. I even like the action and sound of plunging the filter.
Me being me, one of my first thoughts about my new French press was what could I craft to adorn it?
How about a sweet, little cozie to keep my precious java warm to the last drop?
And what makes a newly crafted item all the more enjoyable? Sharing it with friends, of course. So, to facilitate that I'm brewing up(cute, huh?) a tutorial and giveaway for this cozie. Check back here in a couple days for all the details and a chance to win some fabric courtesy of the, I'm sure, coffee-loving Tammy at Marmalade Fabrics.