{ Happy Sewing } … Embroidered Tooth Pillow

My boy is so excited … his first tooth is wiggling. These little life’s big moments take precedent and should be marked with something special. Ever since his big sister lost her first tooth a few years ago and I had made her a little owl pillow so the tooth fairy would know where to find it, he has been anticipating his turn. This is Emma’s:

Max does the most delightful line drawings of “des bonhommes” (little guys … whether it be super heroes, aliens, monsters, family members … we refer to them all as “des bonhommes”, pronounced “bonom”). So after mulling over various ideas with him (a race car, a fire truck, an airplane with a giant propeller), we decided he would draw a monser and I would translate that to fabric & take care of the rest. In about a minute & a half, this mini masterpiece was whipped up.

I scanned it, enlarged it & printed it to the desired size (about 4″ tall). As I did not have any printable transfer paper, I decided to go the route of a light box to transfer the image to fabric. An iPad with a white screen works wonderfully for this (or any computer monitor, for that matter). Simply adjust the screen’s luminosity to its highest, lay the paper image on the screen and place the desired fabric over top. Trace the image with a pencil & you’re set. A skein of embroidery thread and lots and lots of lovingly done little backstitches later, a few other scraps of fabric and some stuffing, and the project was complete.

I wanted to stay true to his mark making, so I left in all those overlapping bits of lines.

I did the same thing with his signature to embellish the tooth pocket.

Now we wait patiently to have something to put in it.

{ Happy Sewing } … Les Monsieurs Skirt

Posted by on Nov 7, 2013 in { Happy Sewing }, Blog, Les Monsieurs, Tutorials | 4 Comments

I promised this tutorial, and finally, it’s here! So … without further ado … The Les Monsieurs Skirt

What I used:

This was made for a 7-year old. For a younger child, I would just cut the shorter measurement of the 2 main pieces each a few inches shorter, but still use the full 45″ fabric width, as full = fun.

All fabrics used are from my Les Monsieurs collection in the Retro colourway:

A – 13″ x width of fabric (45″) Gentlemen Start Your Engines

B – 45″ long x 16″ wide Tire Treads in Wave (This print runs vertically, hence the direction I cut the fabric. For other horizontal prints, ex, Scribble Cars, simply cut 16″ long x width of fabric)

C – 2 pieces, 6″ wide x 2″ Scribble Cars

D – 2 pieces, 8″ long x 6″ wide Tire Treads in Wave (again, this print runs vertically. If using a horizontal print, switch the dimensions accordingly)

– Approximately 48″ of 3/8″ wide elastic (double the wearer’s waist measurement, plus a few inches extra).

What I did:

First, the pocket: Fold up ¼” to the wrong side along lower long edge of both C pieces. Press. Lay pieces right sides together & using a  ¼” seam allowance, sew around the 2 short edges and the top edge. Clip corners, turn right side out & press.

Lay your 2 main pocket pieces, D right sides together. Using the following diagram #1 as a guide, cut the curved pocket shape. Keeping right sides together, using a ¼” seam allowance, sew the entire way along the long curved edge. Clip curves and turn right side out. Press.

Using #2 in previous diagram as a guide, form a symmetrical box pleat in top edge of pocket so that it fits into the opening of C pieces. Place it all the way to the top of C. Pin in place. Top stitch 1/8″ from folded edge, as in #3.

Locate the horizontal centre of piece A. Measure 3½” from top edge & mark with a pin. Position centre of top edge of finished pocket at this spot. Pin the pocket in place, allowing centre-top of pocket to pucker out from skirt a bit (room for a little hand or a secret treasure to get in easily (so that top corners are about 4 3/4“ apart). Pin in place. Top stitch all the way around pocket, except top edge, 1/8” from edge.

Serge or zigzag raw edges of pieces A & B. Right sides together, fold piece A in half horizontally. Using ½” seam allowance, stitch side edges together to form a tube. Turn right-side out. Repeat with piece B. Insert tube A inside tube B. Right side of A should be against wrong side of B. Using a ½” seam allowance, sew top edges together. Iron seam toward A. Turn right-side-out. Pull A fabric an extra 1/8” to the inside (so that the seam lies 1/8” down on the inside). Press.

Top stitch 1/8” from top edge, all the way around. Form 2 elastic channels by stitching another line ½” below this line, and again ½” lower. Measure your little one’s waist & add 1”. Cut 2 pieces of elastic this length. Open the side seam at each channel to insert elastic with a bodkin or safety pin. For each piece of elastic, overlap the ends by 1” making sure the elastic is not twisted in the channel. Stitch a few zig-zag lines to securely fasten ends together. Finish stitching the channel closed.

Now just the hems. Press to wrong side ¼” all the way around bottom of A, then turn under again 1/2”. Stitch in place. Repeat with the 2nd hemline.

My Quilt Market Booth

Posted by on Nov 4, 2013 in Blog, Helen's Garden, Quiet Time, Quilt Market | 11 Comments

Welcome to my Quilt Market booth!

In comparison to my last booth at Quilt Market, this season’s was simpler, with a greater emphasis on the quilt. I have discovered the wisdom in some of the most rudimentary of quilters’ rules (measure ACCURATELY, press seams, obey the scant 1/4″ seam allowance, etc), and making quilts for this season was less stressful and more rewarding … I am learning.

Once again this time, I was presenting two fabric collections in one tiny space. The collections’ colours play off each other well and they met with a resoundingly positive response.

First up, I present you with Helen’s Garden:

Helen is my Mom. She keeps, and has always kept, a beautiful, inspiring garden. There is occasionally order within, but generally colour and scent abound. Her current garden includes a range of lovely blooms, as well as a forested area that wanders down to the ocean, wherein one can find berries, mushrooms, fiddleheads and other treasures. This collection is a little nod to what she has taught me.

I made some simple pillows that show off some of the collection’s prints in their two colour families. Spy some dragonflies? That’s Garden Dancers. And see those gorgeous bags, they were created by the very talented Jennifer Ladd. She makes the most lovely bags and purses and whipped up these with solid wood handles just for the show.

Here is another quilt I created, based on the traditional log cabin.

I completely lucked out this time to have my baby sister, Tanya join me for a few days. Here she is sporting a Schoolhouse Tunic  (by Sew Liberated) she made with my Pirouette fabric in coral. She had so many compliments on that tunic … she even had someone offer to buy it off her back! I am wearing a peasant-style dress of my own creation (sorry, no pattern yet available) in Enchanted in plum.

My other collection is for young girls … Quiet Time. It has two main prints, the Princess & the Pea (in lavender and robin’s egg) and the Quiet Time print of girls reading in trees.

Those two sweet small quilts you see were created by the wonderful Brooke Sellman of Silly Mama Quilts. Brooke was completely up for the challenge of making pieces to highlight the two focal prints. Stay tuned for a tutorial on each of these shortly.

The dress and short pyjamas came from my head, but I think these pj’s by Marie-Madeline Studio would be equally sweet in the Princess & the Pea fabric.

I made a modern Princess & the Pea bed out of queen-size bed pillows. The majority use Freckled in it’s many colour versions. I had grand ideas of doing a crocheted edge on each pillow, but after the third, I came to terms with the fact that a crochet hook is not my favourite tool, and opted for pompom fringe for the others. The top pillow is edged with a beaded trim I had purchased years ago, that I was happy to finally put to use. Oh, and the “pea” is a wooden ball covered with some Floating Blossoms.

I will be writing up tutorials for both of the Helen’s Garden quilts in the next while. They will be posted when the fabric becomes available in stores. December 15!

Thanks for stopping by and visiting!

Quilt Market – Fall 2014

Posted by on Nov 1, 2013 in Blog, Quilt Market | No Comments

I wanted to share with you all a quick look at a few booths and fabric lines that inspired me at Quilt Market last weekend (while my camera was co-operating, that is). Sadly, there were a few amazing sights that ended up a blurred mess on my camera, so here is an abridged look at Quilt Market through my eyes:

Anna Maria Horner did not fail to leave me in awe with her soulful new collection, Dowry and her True Colors, not-so-solid-solids.

Amy Butler’s Hapi was vibrant, layered & bohemian

I also loved her geometric prints in the line

I am far from being a cat person, but I love the focal print in Lizzie House’s new collection

Jeni Baker had a lovely vintage inspired line, Dreamin’ Vintage

Carolyn Friedlander created an entire wall of gorgeous pieced blocks

as well as a lovely quilt. Her new collection, Botanics is full of beautifully pared down fine line drawings.

My fellow-Michael Miller designer, Sarah Jane introduced her sweet new collection, Wee Wander, full of fireflies, trees and horses.

Loved this new print on organic knit by Monaluna

And a wonderfully creative booth was by Green Bee Patterns. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most effective!

I am trying to salvage enough pictures of my own booth so that I can properly introduce you to my two new collections. That will be next.
Until then, have a fabulous weekend full of inspiration!