Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Purge and A Book Review

My friend Shirley of SimpleSew gave me the Sew & Stitch Embroidery book a few months ago, and I started working on the fold over feather clutch pattern inside the book (page 111).  I finished the feather over a month ago and then it sat, you see I wasn't that happy with it.  2 issues:
  • I used a jean like material and it was very stretchy, so there ended up being some fabric distortions.
  • Said jean material is dark in color so I used tear away stabilizer to get the pattern onto the fabric.
Here is how I played with the fabric distortion:
I added a little pleat to cover up the stretch and to make it a design element, I added 3 pleats to the back of the pouch.
The second problem was a little more harder to fix, I couldn't get the stabilizer out, I tried my best and got most of it out, just little bits of white here and there.
I used Vera of Negligent Style's Tutorial to add the strap and she also recommended to go to a hardware store for snap hook and D-ring, which is fantastic since I am all out of those things in my sewing room.  So this is the best my hardware store could do,
It's not the fanciest hook, but I think it will work.
The book is pretty nice, but this is my favorite pattern from it, I think I will make a few more, just not on dark fabrics.
I'm linking up to The Purge, first linky party, cause I am sending this to a new home and it won't sit lonely in my house, I look forward to doing some more purging in the next weeks, you should join too!
and also The Craft Book Sew Along.
buttons on the right side of this blog.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Celestial Star QAL

Diane of "From Blank Pages" is hosting a QAL with the foundation paper piecing quilt "Celestial Star".  I am a sucker for stars, but not a big fan of foundation paper piecing, lol.  So I am hoping to learn some tricks and tips about that type of sewing.  Already she is a fountain of information, her post about Color Theory and Fabric choosing is mind blowing, well at least my mind was blown a little too much, I think I read over the post about 3 times, so much to learn!
First I picked a block I liked from her examples of black and white with value added.  This is my favorite, there are so many different variations of what you can do with one block pattern, it is so cool!
My fabrics have already been chosen, :), I want to continue my "Textures fabric, by Angela Walters" star pillow theme.
I made the picture in black and white just to make sure there is that value scale.
Here's my drawing, I do better if I have the colors written down, and will do the same to my paper pieces otherwise I will have wrong colors all over the place.
I will be making the 18" block to make a pillow.
The interior will switch between the stripes and the dots and the exterior ring will have the swirls.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Friday Night Sewin Swaps.

I did some sewing Friday night for the (FNSI) Friday Night Sew In.  I generally don't like to sew at night it bothers my eyes, so this is a great excuse to get some extra sewing done that I wouldn't normally do.  I finished up my Win a Singer quilt block.
I added some more buttons in the jar.
and what I think is a cute little pin cushion.
the bottom part says SEW, but it also said PIN, but I accidentally cut the P
I worked on my Big Stitch Swap.
What do you think, should I do some hand quilting in the front of the bird?  should I take out the straight stitches on the back of the tail, any comments or suggestions will be helpful.  I was going to leave the front of the bird plain, but now I am unsure.

I am also linking up to Drowning in Fabric, Saturday Swaps
Swaps that are still open:
Text Fabric Swap (hosted by me and there is a giveaway :)
Super Swaps/August, zipper pouch or basket -deadline to enter is July 30th

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Win a Singer Sewing Machine!

By making a "small" 12" square quilt block and incorporating a full circle in your design.
Oh not on my blog, but you can go here, to read the rules and to enter.  The contest dates are from July 15th to August 31st.
I think I will add a few more buttons.
I used American Made Brand Solids (from bottom to top) dark turquoise, aqua, white, and light cream for the jar.
Totally hoping that the white fabric looks like subway tiles in the background and the jar is sitting on a counter.
I didn't realize how long it takes to add buttons, but I am making sure that they are holding on tight.
I sew on my Singer Simple, what do you sew on?
2 more buttons on the button tag, only the middle part of the tag is sewed down.
I used the beautiful Aurifil thread, 2024 white, 2026, and 4670 Variegated grey for the jar lid made out of Moda Cross Weave Gray.
Linking up to Le Challenge "small" this last month.
and WIP at Freshly Pieced.
I will be participating in this Friday's Night Sew In over at Sugarlane Quilts.

Some other fun things happening in blog land:
Orange Peel QAL
Celestial Star QAL
Free Motion Quilting QAL
another monthly block QAL, at Sew Can She.
and Christmas in July with Sew Lux
I wrote about a whole bunch of swaps on Saturday and don't forget to read about my giveaway and the new 8² Fabric Swap going on here at my blog.
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8² Giveaway!

Let's get the show on the Road!  I am excited about hosting my first swap and I need a little help getting the word out.  So let's have a little giveaway.
The person to get the most people to join the swap gets a 8² bundle FOR FREE!
If you join you need to send in either something like the picture above
or something like the picture below.

The winner will receive 8 different prints of Fat Eights and their choice of either 2 more Fat Eights or 8 brick charms.  If the winner is also in the swap I will do my best to give you different fabrics, but I can not guarantee it.
The winner doesn't even have to sign up, but if you get a whole bunch of other people to sign up, then you can win!
You can read more here on my blog, about the swap, some more clarification and sponsor shops, and cutting guidelines.
Or hop on over to Flickr to get the rules, you will need to say that you are signing up when you get to Flickr, don't have a flickr account, no problem, just send me an e-mail.  grecomara (at) gmail (dot) com

The official, official sign up page can be found here.
On the form there is a question at the bottom about where you heard about the 8² swap group, this is where you would put in a person's name that recommended you or perhaps you heard about it on a blog.
I even have an option on the form for if you don't want to do this round which is Text fabrics, but perhaps you would be interested in another swap, then you can still fill out the form and when another swap comes along I will send you an e-mail.

This swap is open to anyone in the world!
Use the buttons in the gray box to spread the word, let's get the party started!

How I cut my Fat Eights of Fabric!

I have already done a tutorial on how I like to cut my brick charm squares (5"x10"), now I want to show you how I like to cut my Fat Eights also.
1 yard or 1 metre of fabric will yield 8 Fat Eights.

First you need a yard of fabric, or if purchasing through a non-USA fabric store then get a meter of fabric.  A meter of fabric is about 3" more (or 8cm), I will leave it up to you if you trim the 3" off and keep for yourself or if you want to spread the joy of  a larger piece, then I know I will be happy as I am sure other swappers will too!
  • Do Not Pre-Wash
  • Do Iron
  • Trim the selvage on both sides
I trim my selvage by folding the fabric in half right sides facing, so your fabric looks like a 1/2 yard, make the edges/selvages even, now you might see your top look like this.

See the selvage edge is straight and even, but the cut sides of the fabric are not, this uneven cutting will be different with each piece of fabric, it depends on how the shop cuts it, or even the person of the day, so this top side is a little smaller than the bottom portion of fabric, I took my ruler to make sure that it at least measured 18".
measuring the short cut top down to the folded edge.
Okay we are alright, this shortened cut side is still at 18.5" so let's trim that selvage off.
This one was wonky cut on the sides and in the middle, but measured over 18"

Make sure to cut any little holes off, like the above picture, or cut all of the white off if the print doesn't start right away like the below picture.
  • Now with both sides of the selvage off, let's fold the fabric in half again, so fold "selvage" to "selvage" (your recently cutted (new word) edges together).
This would be the size of a FQ (Fat Quarter) but since we are making F8ths (Fat Eights) we will take the number (above picture) of 21.25" and divide that by 2, this is the measurement we will be cutting the Fat Eights, unfold the fold you just made.
  • Cut that fabric at 10 5/8, making 3 cuts.  
Then you unfold (the cut fabric should be somewhere around 10-11" x 36") and measure the length, mine were all more than 36", one was 38" so I divided that in half and cut the crossword fabric at 19".
  • Measure and cut the "long" yard side, stacking all 4 strips on top of each other to make 1 cut and creating 8 Fat Eight pieces.
All 4 10.5" rows cut and stacked, now I measure and cut it in the middle once, creating 8 pieces.
 The crosswords ended up being cut at 10.5"x 19" and the Winterfall light blue words was cut at 10 5/8" x 18.5".  Neither of my fabrics came out to 11" but they are bigger than 18".  You see shops know that they cut wonky and so they normally give you .5 - 1" in extra fabric, I just left that on and you can square it up if you want to, otherwise, every piece ended up being about the same size.
Will you join me for the 8² Text Fabric Swap, Read the Rules and sign up here.


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8² Fabric Clarifications

A couple of questions have come up about the new Fabric swap 8² - What is 8²-  First we will be swapping 8 Fat Eights,   If you cut them your self you will need to send in all 8 pieces and you will get back 1 of your pieces and 7 others.  I have written a tutorial on how I like to cut my F8ths
This is where the squared part comes in,

  1. You send in an additional 2 Fat eighths (different from the 8 pieces above and they can be different from each other as well), or 
  2. 8 brick charms, no more than 2 charms of the same fabric.

So let's say you have 2 FQ's of text prints, you can just cut those in half and send them in, I will swap them with 2 different ones.   Don't have enough text fabric, send in 8 brick sized charms, no more than 2 charms of the same print, Please send in fabric that you yourself would like to receive, maybe more text fabric, low volume, or small prints, NO big prints, please.  You will get 8 different brick charms than what you sent in.

Why? You ask, am I doing it that way, so glad you asked, this is the perfect amount to keep the weight under 200 grams.  The shipping cost of 200 grams is 3.30euro, so only about $5.  So even if you are American or any other International person interested in the swap, it won't cost you any more than it would if it was an American swap.  I'll PayPal you for the shipping.

The Fabric Shops:
As an added bonus, I have arranged for us to get discounts to 2 on-line shops. I will send you the discount code once you have signed up so you can get to shopping. If you still prefer to order only 1 yard of fabric, then we can pool our orders together and I will have it all sent to my house, cut it here and then send your package to you.The shops:

Pink Castle Fabrics is offering a 10% discount: they are right now running their Golden Ticket deal, www.pinkcastleblog.com/2014/06/goldenticket.html
text fabrics can be found here, www.pinkcastlefabrics.com/collections/common-searches-text

Lark Cottons is offering a 15% discount for this swap: they have a gorgeous array of text and low volume prints www.larkcottons.com/themes/text
they have a discounted International Shipping at $21.50, that is at least $3.00 cheaper than other shops.

Just some extra options for you, you of course can purchase quality quilting cotton from whatever store you desire, and if you already have some in your stash, even better!

Sign up by using this form
and then head over to flickr to say you are going to join the Text Swap Round.