Earlier this sumer I was asked to contribute a project to the 2015 Janome Institute gathering. The theme was Fall. I could’t get my mind beyond the obvious coloured leaves and pumpkins, which I wasn’t terribly inspired by. I pondered what Fall brings and landed on “back to school”. As last year I had created the Big & Juicy Quilt, I thought a companion piece would work well, and thus I had my colour pallet all worked out for me.
My version of a graphic, modern alphabet quilt seemed like a good balance to the big, bold apple (with a little something extra to keep it young and fun). Michael Miller Fabrics kindly provided me with a generous mountain of black & white and grey fabrics, with the odd hit of metallic thrown in for good measure (and there’s the occasional piece of fabric from my own stash in there too).
I mentioned bits of metallic… Isn’t this fabric great? It’s called Bow Ties and is soon-to-be-available from Michael Miller.
The letters are all paper pieced… yes, I finally focused on a good tutorial and got my head around the technique. Really pretty easy.
I have provided Janome with instructions for the quilt that were given out at Institute and once I get the ok from them, I will post them here as well.
For all you Institute attendees, the alphabet templates are available for download below. Enjoy! And if you have any questions, feel free to ask below.
Quilt Number 2!
When I first received yardage of BIRDS & THE BEES, the Bluejay colour story quickly inspired this quilt.
While I almost always have ideas of what I would like to sew while I am designing fabric, it usually takes having the finished yardage in hand for me to really be able to envision how I would like to use it. For this quilt, it was the intensity of the indigo alongside the jewel tones and soft white grounds that dictated direction. I simply wanted to play with colour in a dramatic way. I incorporated squares of Cotton Couture solids, some complementary, some contrasting, to break up all the pattern a bit and arranged everything in a strong “V” down the centre for impact. Even the simple quilting lines follow the “V” throughout, as does one’s eye, that then darts around catching little glimpses of a butterfly or flower here, a bird’s head or feather there…
For the binding I chose Baby the Stars Shine Bright in Navy which frames the quilt well, with little bright stars adding a happy, confetti-like feel.
There is a free downloadable tutorial on the Michael Miller website for this quilt, should you desire to whip one up yourself. Enjoy!
Something I’ve been meaning to share here are two quilts I recently made with Birds & the Bees fabric. Today, number one… FLIGHT MEDALLION
I didn’t want fabric choices to be perfectly symmetrically placed around the quilt, so it was fun playing with the different values of the coral and teal fabrics to create an effective arrangement. Likewise, the pops of charcoal, green and apricot help keep the quilt dynamic.
A big step for me in my quilting efforts was to finally try a bit of free-motion quilting (most apparent on the dark teal fabric with the stars, Baby The Stars Shine Bright). It went surprisingly well, though of course, most of the praise must go to the fabulous Janome machine I sew on for making it go as smoothly as it did.
At 48″ square, this is a fun wall quilt that will brighten a spot in our home, keeping things light, young and happy.
If you are interested in making one for yourself, I have created a free downloadable tutorial for this project on the Michael Miller website. It’s a fast and fun sew, as all the pieces are quite large. Enjoy!
As a final stop on the BIRDS & THE BEES blog-hop, today is all about pretty and feminine.
Sarah of EmmyLouBeeDoo is a talented sewing pattern designer (remember when I used one of her sweet patterns to make this Origami Oasis tunic?). Today, though she is highlighting her creative sewing skills over on her blog, where she has created a Blue ridge dress for her daughter, using fabrics from Birds & the Bees (her daughter, by the way, picked these fabrics from the collection & I think she did a great job!).
I really love the gentle sloping line to the empire waist on this dress, and the bias tape finishes it off beautifully.
Pop on over to Sarah’s blog to see more details and pictures of this little cutie in her new dress.
Thanks for rounding out the Birds & the Bees blog-hop in such a pretty fashion, Sarah!
The Great Pattern Hack (A truly fun idea dreamed up by Michael Miller Fabrics & A Happy Stitch): A group of bloggers are offered their choice of sewing patterns and Michael Miller Fabrics from a pre-selected assortment. They then get creative with the pattern, adjusting as little or as much as they like to make it uniquely their own, then sew it up and share. Today is my turn.
As I sew mostly for my kids, I decided it was time for a little selfish sewing, and what better item to make than something that doesn’t already exist in my wardrobe… a jumpsuit!
The basis for my project was the Burda Short Sleeve Jumpsuit #115B. Really cute, I thought, but the legs aren’t really my style. I wanted to make it into more of an evening, true relaxation, social, drinks-on-the-terrace kind of jumpsuit. A wider leg was all that was needed, and it was an easy hack too! I simply cut straight down from the pocket area on the outside leg and the same, just below the crotch on the inside leg.
Other than that, the pattern was just right with some cute details:
My fabric of choice is Kuniko from Michael Miller’s new Indigo line, which is soft and cool in feel, with a lovely intense colour.
I really debated between leaving it open or adding some sort of closure on the front and back so that I wouldn’t need to wear a tank top underneath, but in the end opted to keep it open to continue the theme of “not already in my wardrobe” and am thrilled with my choice. I think it adds just another layer of interest.
Want to see more great sewing hacks?
Follow along on the Michael Miller blog daily over the next week and a half for lots more talented bloggers and their inspired hacks.
Do YOU want to get involved?
If you’d like to join the Great Pattern Hack, grab some Michael Miller fabric and show us your skills! Hack a pattern (any pattern) and share your pictures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Make sure to tag your photos so we can find you- @michaelmillerfabrics and @ahappystitch and use the hashtags- #GreatPatternHack #MichaelMillerFabrics #AHappyStitch
Sherri of Thread Riding Hood has made not one, not two or three, but FOUR cute fat-quarter-friendly skirts with Birds & the Bees. And what’s more, she has written a tutorial for how to attach shorts to the inside (for all our cartwheeling hand-stand performing girls).
Mix & match your favourite prints & enjoy the Summer! Hop on over here for all the details.
Really adorable, Sherri! Thanks so much for your fun & generous contribution to the Birds & the Bees blog-hop!
Rachel of Stitched Together whipped up a sweet pair of City Gym Shorts for her daughter, Iris using Love Bug from Birds & the Bees. A little Cotton Couture in Charcoal for the bias trim finishes them off perfectly.
The ladybugs are the hidden surprise in this fabric.
Hop on over here for a closer look. I so love these, I think I’m going to go sew a pair for Em this afternoon. Thanks for the cute inspiration, Rachel!
Yet another fun dress made with Birds & the Bees Fabrics today.
Head on over to her blog for loads of great puddle-jumping pictures.
Thanks for this fun contribution, Hayley. I really love it!
Lovely, precisely pieced chevron work on the bodice brings another dimension to this dress, making it totally original and she just happened to use my very favourite print of the collection, All the Wee Beasts, for the skirt.
Have a closer look at the details and more pictures of gorgeous Emma on Patty’s blog.
Thanks for your creative contribution, Patty. You’ve inspired me to go play with fabric this morning.
Heidi of Elegance & Elephants is a favourite indie children’s clothing designer of mine. She makes the sweetest clothes and her adorable kids model them for her blog.
Today she is sharing her latest creations, made with a few other designers’ patterns and BIRDS & THE BEES fabric.
Swing by her blog for lots of gorgeous pictures of these 2 cuties modelling their new duds.
Thanks so much Heidi. Beautiful work!