Quiltcon 2015! February 17, 2015

I leave for Austin tomorrow and I’m so excited for Quiltcon! I am doing two special events at the show and would love to see you at either (or both!) of them.

Quiltcon

On Thursday, I’m teaching a free sewing demo – making your own sashiko-style hand-stitched Pin-teresting Pincushions, with Denyse Schmidt Modern Solids and Coats & Clark Bold Hand thread. It’s from 2:30-3 pm, the pattern is provided, and you can use the fabric and hand-quilting thread in your Quiltcon goody bag to whip up your own pincushion!

Pin-teresting Pincushions

And on Sunday, I am giving a lecture on Modern Quilt Documentation from 11-11:45 am in Ballroom B! I am so excited about this project. I’m volunteering both with the Oregon Quilt Project, and as the Modern Quilt Guild historian, and I’m passionate about preserving and celebrating our modern quilts’ stories – they are such a unique and lovely part of the venerable quilting tradition. I’ll cover why documenting our quilts is so important – including labeling, photography, and planning and hosting a documentation with your guild – and spotlight six amazing quilts.

Modern Quilt Documentation

I’m also thrilled to be able to give each MQG member who comes to my Modern Quilt Documentation lecture a very special gift – sneak preview coming on my Instagram tomorrow! Please say hello if you’re able to come by, I’d love to meet you. See you in Austin!


happy sewing February 9, 2015

Well, hello, (February) 2015! I’ve been working on a whole bunch of new projects, and pretty swamped with boring track changes, hi-res images, and deadlines, but just wanted to share two things I’ve sewn lately that just make me happy. The colorful part makes all the rest of it worth it. So here are two of the colorful things.

my Pendleton plaid Laurel dress!

I’ve now made five Colette Laurel dresses, and I really think the fourth one is pretty magical. It’s my dream dress, in a vintage reissue Pendleton 49er plaid I bought at the Woolen Mill Store, lined with super-soft and silky rayon lining fabric I bought at Bolt. It is simple and fits me perfectly and I love it! That’s the short and cheerful version.

If you want a little more real-life honesty, let’s just say I learned a lot sewing this dress. It was my first lined dress (I’ve sewn several lined skirts) and maybe you already see where this is going. The quick version is that I assembled the dress, using French seams and very carefully matching the plaids, sewed the lining with French seams too, took extra time with all the nice little details… and then when I joined the dress and lining at neck and arm holes, I realized that I had sewed myself a twisted, sealed tube of uselessness. The fabric was too substantial to turn easily so (sob) I started carefully seam-ripping it apart. All those perfect plaid matches, gone! It was so demoralizing that I set it aside for a couple months.

I picked it back up on New Year’s Day and finished the deconstruction and then joined it at the neck and arm holes before sewing the sides. And this time it was so smooth and easy, and looks amazing lined and finished. I still took the time to match the plaids carefully, of course, but I didn’t bother to sew the lining fabric with French seams again. That’s an unpicking nightmare if you’ve ever messed up a project like this! So, I finished it in time to wear it out to dinner on my birthday. I love how this dress feels on, and the lining is wonderful. So worth the extra time and re-sewing.

West Coast Crafty patchwork collaboration with Anna Joyce!

Then, over the last few weeks, I did a lightning-fast, super fun collaboration project with Anna Joyce! She gave me five of her brand-new hand-painted fabrics and asked me to design and sew a quilt top with them. We agreed on a couple of things: using 7” squares to really capture a nice-sized section of each of the patterns’ details, and keeping it very simple so the fabrics shone. I came up with this diagonal arrangement and we both loved it! I did some quick row assembly and built it into a quilt top, gave it a press and it was all ready for her next steps with her next collaborator. The whole time frame from dropping off the fabric and visiting to cutting squares, texting lots of layout photos, sewing, and then delivering the finished patchwork top was maybe a week and a half, and Anna made it so much fun. I can’t wait to see the finished quilt!!!

Anna’s new book, Stamp Stencil Paint, will be out this fall from STC Craft and I am so excited to make tons of things with it. And I’m getting a little bit of a head start – her beautiful painted fabrics inspired our first-grade classroom auction project that I’ll be working on with Pearl’s class soon. All three of us volunteering to lead the kids just loved her work so much that it was an easy pick! Anna kindly previewed a few tips for us and I’m buying the fabric paint this week so we can get started. Pearl is so excited – I can’t wait to see what six-year-olds do with this joyful and creative technique.

I’m super excited to share more projects on both fronts, sewing with wool and modern quilting, very soon. I hope you’re doing some sewing (or crafting) that makes you happy too!

make it: wool Christmas stockings! December 18, 2014

I sewed these stockings from remnants of some of my favorite Pendleton wools last year but didn’t have a chance to put a tutorial together until now. These are super fast to sew and very beginner-friendly, but you could customize them with any cool applique, needle-felted, or embroidery embellishment, too. Michelle even made me a real downloadable stocking pattern (thank you, Michelle!!!), so here you go… my wool Christmas stockings!

west coast crafty wool stockings 1

You’ll need (for one stocking):

•16” x 24” remnant of wool fabric (I used a variety of wool fabric weights in my four stockings) – or two different 16” x 12″ pieces for a reversible stocking

•8” wool felt binding or ribbon

Downloadable stocking pattern!

•Sewing machine, scissors, thread, pins, pinking shears if you have them

west coast crafty wool stockings 2

1. Download, enlarge, print, & cut out the stocking pattern. I actually freehand-drew mine on newspaper, before Michelle made the beautiful professional version, so for reference the finished stocking is about 14” tall and about 9″ wide at its biggest.

2. Cut the wool fabric into two pieces, approximately 16″ x 12,” and arrange the two layers so any stripes or other fabric designs are aligned. Pin the stocking pattern to both pieces of the wool fabric and cut it out with sharp fabric scissors. Optional, but looks cool: trim both the stocking layers closely with pinking shears all around the sides and bottom, leaving the top plain.

Now is the time to embellish one or both sides any way you like – initials, names, designs, fanciness!

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3. Pin the two layers of the stocking together around the perimeter, again carefully matching any stripes or designs. Double your 8” ribbon or wool felt binding into a loop (I cut my 1.5” wool felt binding in half longways so it was 3/4” wide, but you can use anything you like for your loop) and tuck the raw edges of it in between the stocking layers at the marked spot on the upper right hand side.

4. Using a 3/8” seam allowance (and if your fabric is thick, a longer stitch length), sew around the perimeter of the stocking, back-stitching at the beginning and end of the seam for security. Leave the top section open, of course!

west coast crafty wool stockings 3

That’s it! Let me know if you sew any of these, I would love to see them.

Thanks to everyone who tuned into my episode of American Patchwork & Quilting Radio with the lovely Pat Sloan – it’s now available to listen to in her archives! It’s the December 15, 2014 show, and I’m on 4th – we chatted about Hand-Stitched Home and sewing with wool, and I got to share some of my favorite tips.

Pat Sloan Show


make it: holiday wool wreaths! December 12, 2014

holiday wool wreath 12

I wanted to come up with a quick and easy holiday project in between my bigger ideas (the tree skirt I’ve been hoping to make for the last two years, Christmas pajamas for both kids) and saw a GREAT photo of a holiday wreath on Instagram made with scraps from the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store! I will come back and add a link when I find out the credit, but sadly all I remember right now was that it was made by someone at SCRAP and she used a whole bunch of different colorful jacquard strips all around the circle. I stopped by the WMS a couple days ago and bought 2 pounds ($3.50 worth) of these scrap strips of a few different wools (here’s the bin, yes, they’re just $1.75 a pound), then headed home to try making my own version, inspired by that one!

holiday wool wreath 1

I bought 12” and 14” foam wreaths to experiment with and decided to use these longer, skinnier strips of Pendleton jacquard wool for the bigger one, and shorter, wider red and black jacquard strips for my smaller one. For reference, the 14″ wreath used four 1.5” wide x 70” long strips of the same pattern to wrap around plus one for the rosette, and the 12” wreath used four and a half 2.5” wide x 24” long strips to wrap around (two red, white and black, and two and a half solid black), plus 1 to make the decoration. You can certainly improvise any way that works – cut a larger piece of wool into strips, alternate with multiple patterns if you have lots of different ones, use ribbon, cut strips of quilting cottons or another fabric you love, or you tell me. This is a super-simple flexible project.

holiday wool wreath 2

To begin, I pinned the end of my first long strip (for this width, I used two small straight pins per end) at the back of the 14” wreath and just started wrapping it around, overlapping raw edges and continuing until I reached the opposite end. I pinned that at the back (trim any extra away) and pinned my second strip there to continue wrapping. When I reached the original spot, I pinned the last strip end down at the back the same way.

holiday wool wreath 3

It’s hard to see, but at the 6 o’clock position below, a small wedge of the green foam wreath shows where my last wrap didn’t quite meet the beginning spot; one more wrap would have done it. That’s ok – we’re going to cover it up with a decoration!

holiday wool wreath 4

Here’s the back of my wreath with the pinned ends – this way, you can always take the wreath apart and re-make it if you want to. You could also hot-glue it down for a more permanent version…

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Next, I made a simple rosette based on a vintage ribbon flower corsage I have – I just looked at the way it was looped and tried re-creating something like that. I folded a new strip of wool into six loops, arranged in threes. Holding the end of the long strip in my left hand, I made my first folded loop in front of it/over it, then added a second one directly across from it, bringing the long end under as well to meet the starting spot in the center (this is the one on top of this rosette below). I tilted the angle 60 degrees and made another simple double loop, then tilted another 60 degrees for a third. Essentially, you’re making a looped asterisk with arms at the 12, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 o’clock positions, I made mine in this order: 12/6, 2/8, 4/10, and it curves a bit as you go, making a nice 3D petal effect. Or create your own fun decoration any way you like! I left the longer end dangling to use in my final design (more on that in a second).

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Another look at the rosette.

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I trimmed the bottom edge of the strip at an angle and cut a second one the same way.

holiday wool wreath 8

Next I pinned the rosette securely in place, over the small uncovered area of the wreath, with the two “ribbons” arranged at a nice angle behind the rosette. I picked out a bunch of buttons thinking a couple of them would be pretty, and arranged them a few different ways to decide which ones I wanted to layer over the rosette…

holiday wool wreath 9

Once I picked two I loved, I hand-stitched them together and then sewed the joined buttons to the rosette, stitching through all the layers. For a heavier button embellishment, you might need to hot-glue or secure them more carefully, but stitching worked fine for this set.

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Yay!

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I made a simple Blazers version with my smaller (12″) wreath form and the red and black strips (I didn’t end up using the gray ones in my earlier photo). For this one, I just wrapped strips all around, then wrapped a last strip around at the bottom of the circle, and angled two “ribbons” at the back, pinning them all into place, then trimmed the angles. I also alternated between black and red/black/white strips rather than using the same one throughout!

holiday wool wreath 12

I really like both of them, and they’re going up in the rec room today! Our front door has my little button wreath from Button It Up, which makes me happy every time I see it.

holiday wool wreath 13

I’ll be posting another free Pendleton wool holiday project to make early next week, and I’m very excited to be a guest on Pat Sloan’s American Patchwork & Quilting Podcast this coming Monday (12/15)! It airs live at 4pm Eastern/1pm Pacific. I’ll be talking about two of my favorite things, sewing & quilting with Pendleton wool (and sharing tips from my new book, Hand-Stitched Home) and log cabin quilting. I hope you can listen in – or you can tune in later on the archives on her site!

Pat Sloan Show

PS: Today is the last day to enter my Sew Mama Sew Giveaway drawing for a copy of Hand-Stitched Home & wool Nesting Box kit – good luck!

hand-stitched home in my etsy shop, blog tour, + giveaway! December 8, 2014

I’m so excited that my amazing Hand-Stitched Home contributors have been sharing some peeks at their beautiful book projects on my blog tour this week, and I thought the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day was the perfect time to celebrate!

handstitched home 1

I’ve just listed signed copies of Hand-Stitched Home in my Etsy shop for the first time, which include a little wool fabric kit to make your first small Nesting Box, and I’m donating $5 to the Oregon Food Bank with each sale. I’d love to give one of these same book + fabric sets away to a Sew Mama Sew reader! Just look through all the project photos I’m sharing today, leave a comment on this post with your favorite or the one you’d like to sew first, and I’ll draw a winner December 12 (US addresses only please) & send it right out. On to the pictures!

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Diane Gilleland made this beautiful table runner & shared it on her Instagram,

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Haley Pierson-Cox sewed this beautiful wool binding kitchen rug and shared lots more about its design process (& is offering a giveaway!) on her blog,

handstitched home 4

Lupine Swanson, Michelle Freedman, and Meredith Hobbs wrote up their beautiful projects (this stylish shawl, a serape shoulder bag, and a modern embroidered tote) on the Modern Domestic blog,

handstitched home 5

Amber Corcoran posted some gorgeous new photos of her jacquard ottoman (and a giveaway!) on the Fancy Tiger Crafts blog,

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Anna Joyce shared a bit more about her beautiful chevron pillow on her Facebook page (+ a giveaway!),

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Heather Mann made a video about the book and her darling jacquard backpack,

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and Sandie Holtman shared lots more about her design process and fabrics for her lovely improvisational chevron bolster on her blog.

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Here are a few more book projects I just love… I made these party pennants, modern cross pillow, and improvisational wool quilt. All three are favorites in my house (the quilt is on our bed, perfect for this cold weather) and it makes me so happy to see them every day.

handstitched home 10

And (my version of) Alexia Abegg’s beautiful winter cape, Stacy Spaulding’s picnic blanket, and my memorial quilt for my dad are all on display at the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store! Go pick up some gorgeous fabric (or dig for treasure in the $5/pound bins) and check them out in person.

Please leave a comment with your favorite project from the book you’d like to make by December 12 and I’ll pick a winner then! (And if you don’t happen to win, you can send your secret Santa a link to the book in my Etsy shop.) Thanks so much to my wonderful contributors and everyone who’s had kind words for my book. Happy sewing!!!

scraps, inc. November 25, 2014

scraps inc 1
I’m thrilled to share my Harvest Gold Charm Bracelet quilt from Susanne Woods’ lovely new compilation book, Scraps, Inc., today! Susanne asked fifteen of us to each contribute an original quilt design that uses scraps, and I love the finished book. It’s beautifully designed and organized, and the quilt patterns are gorgeously varied – HSTs, curves, flying geese, paper piecing, stars, improvisational patchwork, chevrons, and my favorite, log cabin. Quilting superstars Alex Ledgerwood, Allison Harris, Amy Ellis, Amy Friend, Amy Smart, April Rosenthal, Beth Vassalo, Camille Roskelley, Faith Jones, Jeni Baker, Kati Spencer, Lee Heinrich, Melissa Lunden, and Sherri McConnell also contributed, so I was excited to be in such good company!

scraps, inc.

One of my favorite moments at Quilt Market was our Scraps, Inc. book signing in the Lucky Spool/Taunton booth. Taunton published my new book, Hand-Stitched Home, and Lucky Spool has partnered with them and shared the (gorgeous) booth, so it was really cool to see the beautiful book covers, and books, together!

scraps inc

I had just done my Hand-Stitched Home signing a half-hour before, and meeting some of the other contributors (five of us were there, a third of the book’s designers, including all three of the Amys!) to get our first look at the book and celebrate it a little bit was so much fun. Amy Ellis, Amy Friend, Sherri McConnell, Amy Smart, and I set up a little assembly line and signed away, passing each book down to the next person as we went. The last five copies we signed were for us to keep, and that was such a great feeling!

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My quilt is the last one in the book, Harvest Gold Charm Bracelet, and it’s one of my favorites I’ve made. It uses only 16 charm squares of your favorite fabrics, placing them as the centers of oversized weighted log cabin blocks, and spins the blocks around the perimeter of the quilt for a circular, “charm bracelet” feel. I originally made this quilt for my daughter, Pearl, who loves rainbows, using Lizzy House’s Pearl Bracelet charms in color order. (Nancy Stovall quilted both these quilts and I LOVE her work!)

rainbow charm bracelet 1

For this version, I was excited to reinterpret the same “charm bracelet” design in what I think of as 1970s appliance colors – avocado green, burnt orange, and of course harvest gold, which inspired the new name, against serene gray (Michael Miller’s Fog). Here’s another look at the scrap charms I chose – arranging and rearranging them into the circle they’d eventually live in was really fun.

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And of course, I had to include my favorite Tammis Keefe cats fabric – the charm squares are perfect for fussy cutting and spotlighting designs you especially love.

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Scraps, Inc. is on sale now, and Lucky Spool is offering a special discount – 30% off! Use the code SCRAPS30 to get this discount, good through Dec. 1. Yay! Happy sewing!

Laptop Sleeve tutorial on Design*Sponge! November 4, 2014

I was so thrilled to see a lovely review of Hand-Stitched Home on Design*Sponge today – thank you SO much to Grace Bonney for her kind words about Pendleton and my book, and for sharing the beautiful Laptop Sleeve/Zip Clutch designed by Sarai Mitnick of Colette Patterns. It’s such a gorgeous project and totally customizable to fit a device of any size – or just make as a clutch to carry for a quick errand or a night out!

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You can find the beautiful Condensed Black & White fabric Sarai used at the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store here in Portland, or call the store at 503-535-5786 for personal shopping and mail order if you aren’t local – they are so nice!

hand-stitched home signing at Market!

Thanks to everyone who came to my book signings at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, and at Quilt Market! I’ll post more about Market later but it was so much fun to see lots of friends and get a peek at beautiful new projects, books, fabric lines, patterns, and everything else on the show floor. I’m happy to be home and looking forward to sharing more from my book now that my events are winding down!


make it: border print wool tote! September 19, 2014

Do you like sewing with border prints? I do! To celebrate my new wool sewing book, Hand-Stitched Home, I wanted to share a tutorial for this super-simple border print wool tote bag I made this week. I loved how it looked in beautiful Pendleton wool jacquard, with a graphic woven design at the bottom of the bag, and a serene stretch of solid navy floating above it.

Border Print Wool Tote Tutorial 1

I just posted a special feature about sewing for the home with border prints over at Sew Mama Sew (the first one, last month, was a set of Cotton + Steel dresses for me and Pearl!) and shared some tips and ideas for making curtains, tea towels, or tote bags using these pretty designs. I used Pendleton wool fabric* for my tote – though of course you could use denim, corduroy, canvas, or another home dec-weight fabric that you like best! Be sure to stop by the Sew Mama Sew post for a chance to win all the fabrics and supplies I used for mine… Border Print Wool Tote Tutorial 2

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 yard each heavy or medium-weight outer fabric and lightweight lining (I used a Pendleton jacquard in blanket weight from the Woolen Mill Store, and Michael Miller Cotton Couture in chocolate for the lining; note, 1/2 yard of the 64”-wide wool yardage I bought is actually enough for two bags.)
  • Straps of your choice (I used 1 1/2” suede straps from the WMS, 60” total length)
  • Sewing machine, scissors, pins, complementary thread, measuring tape, and basic sewing supplies

A few tips:

  • This project uses all 1/2” seam allowances, and I used a longer stitch length than usual to sew the heavier wool fabric. Test yours on scraps.
  • Press your wool using a steam iron or spray bottle of distilled water, never a dry iron.
  • Match your border print details carefully at the seams, as mentioned in the first step. I like to put a pin through both layers to make sure the stripe edges are perfectly aligned. They will line up beautifully on the sides of your finished bag if you take a few extra minutes while you’re pinning! If they don’t match the first time, simply seam-rip and try again.

Border Print Wool Tote Tutorial 3

1. Cut two 16” x 16” squares of both your outer fabric and lining fabric. (You can include the narrow woven selvage of your wool if you like – it will disappear into your seam allowance.) Cut your straps to the length you prefer; I used two 30” straps for my tote/shoulder bag. Now press your paired outer and lining fabric square sets and pin each of them together, right sides facing, around three sides of the perimeter. Check to make sure any border print details (like my stripes, for example) line up neatly at each side, so they will match at your finished seams. Leave the top open, and leaving a 7” opening at the bottom of your  lining fabrics.Border Print Wool Tote Tutorial 42. Using a 1/2” seam allowance, stitch around three sides of your outer fabric, backstitching at the beginning and end of the seam to hold it securely. Stitch your lining fabric the same way, but leave the 7” opening unsewn (I used white thread in the photo above so it hopefully shows more clearly!).

Border Print Wool Tote Tutorial 53. Create a box corner at each side of your outer and lining fabrics, pressing the sides flat to create a triangle, marking 2” over from the tip of the triangle, pinning, and stitching in place, backstitching at the beginning and the end to hold the seam.Border Print Wool Tote Tutorial 64. Trim away the excess fabric above your box corner seams, as shown. Gently shake your outer bag and lining sections out so that they both form a 3-dimensional bag shape with structured corners (as seen in the photo below) and press your side seams open. Remember, your lining will still have an opening in the center – this is crucial for turning your bag right side out in a few minutes!Border Print Wool Tote Tutorial 75. Turn your outer bag right side out and mark your strap placement on both sides (as shown below) – I placed my straps 4” from the side seams. Pin your straps at that spot on each side of the bag, with the ends just above the raw edge of the fabric, and check to make sure they are evenly placed, and without a twist in the loop of the straps.

Border Print Wool Tote Tutorial 86. Ease your outer tote bag inside the lining, with right sides facing, and the straps tucked between the two layers. Pin all around the perimeter, matching side seams and checking once more to make sure the straps line up neatly on each side.

Border Print Wool Tote Tutorial 97. Stitch around the perimeter of the tote bag opening, back-stitching to hold the seam at the beginning and end, and using a 1/2” seam allowance. I like to double-stitch the four straps for security, simply reinforcing those areas and back-stitching again each time. Turn your bag right side out through the opening in the lining and shake it out. Press, pin, and machine- or hand-stitch the opening closed.

Border Print Wool Tote Tutorial 10

8. Press the perimeter of the opening of your tote bag and pin the lining and outer layers together as shown, with straps arranged neatly and straight. Top-stitch to add stability and a more tailored look. I like to top-stitch with my lining facing up and outer bag down, so be sure to use a matching thread and bobbin color for your fabrics.

Border Print Wool Tote Tutorial 11

9. Admire your finished tote bag – and be sure to stop by my Sew Mama Sew post to enter to win your own set of Pendleton wool jacquard, Cotton Couture lining fabric, and suede straps for your next project!

Border Print Wool Tote Tutorial 13

Thanks so much to Sew Mama Sew for the chance to write about one of my favorite things, and to everyone who has had kind words for my new book – I am so excited. Powell’s already has it on their author events shelf – yay! Happy weekend and happy sewing!

wool tote

PS – If you’d like to make a quartered log cabin patchwork version of this tote, be sure to check out my Creativebug class – the fourth class in the Log Cabin Quilting series covers both a colorful quilting cotton and luxurious wool version! You can get a free 14-day trial to watch unlimited classes when you sign up with the site.

*During the entire month of September, all the amazing fabric at the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store is on sale – from 30-80% off! You can shop in person here in Portland, look through fabrics on their website, or call 503-535-5786 for mail order.

hand-stitched home – book release day! September 16, 2014

Hand-Stitched Home, my new sewing book in partnership with Pendleton Woolen Mills, is officially out today, and I could not be more excited! I’d love to share some photos and details from the book and a little of what makes it feel so special to me, and invite you to my events coming up this fall and winter, too.

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First, there are over two dozen modern home projects, accessories, quilts, and garments to sew, contributed by me and fourteen wonderful guest designers. There’s also a detailed primer on sewing and working with wool, lots of tips and techniques to try, and a history of Pendleton – illustrated with beautiful photos and ephemera from their vast company archives!

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Each project is rated for difficulty, ranging between one sheep (beginner-friendly) and four sheep (for advanced sewists). Here are some of the page spreads so you can get a sense of the book, or stop by Powell’s, the Woolen Mill Store, or Modern Domestic to flip through it in person!

hand-stitched home 3Square Within a Square quilt, designed by me (using 18 different plaids throughout, featuring the signature 1960s Surf plaid as the heart of each block)

One of my favorite things about the book is the chapter opener pages, which pair a project with a beautifully photographed, generously sized piece of Pendleton fabric, showing all the details and colors of its intricate pattern. We also shared exactly which plaids, solids, and jacquards we used in each of our projects, so you can find exactly the same fabrics, or just use ours as inspiration to choose your own favorites – or, of course, easily reuse new or vintage wool fabrics you already have.

hand-stitched home 4Improvisational Wool Patchwork Quilt, designed by me (using 30 or so different jacquard and solids remnants, including San Miguel and Condensed Black & White)

The Tools, Materials, and Techniques section covers all kinds of details for working with wool – with our favorite tips and tricks on pressing, “cutting,” and hand- and machine-stitching wool fabrics of all types, you won’t believe how easy it is to make beautiful projects in your favorite colors or patterns. My longtime collaborator Alexis Hartman made wonderful, clear illustrations and templates you can see throughout the book, but her work especially shines here.

hand-stitched home 5Jacquard Cube Ottoman designed by Amber Corcoran (in Big Thunder Scarlet)

Each themed chapter includes at least five projects to make, from simple and straightforward to more complex pieces – so you can get started with something quick and fun (like these little pennants) right away, or choose special fabrics and details for a modern heirloom you’ll keep forever… or give away to mark a special occasion.

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Party Pennants, designed by me (using blue, orange, and oatmeal blanket header and wool felt binding in white)

I think pillows are a perfect way to make something gorgeous that’s also economical, only using a FQ or so of a couple of wool fabrics; even the incredible ottoman pictured a couple of photos above only requires a yard of jacquard fabric, so you can create something amazing at a very attainable scale, or invest in something gorgeous that will live on in your family for generations to come.

hand-stitched home 6Wool Cross Pillows designed by me (in olive Umatilla Plaid Flannel, bamboo Eco-Wise, and Pecos Ivory)

Burcu Avsar photographed the book projects last year over four crisp, sunny fall days on a beautiful horse farm. I love this photograph so much – one of my favorite things I’ve ever made, in such a gorgeous setting! That was a pretty amazing surprise to find on the page of the book – it really captured our time together with lots of book projects and Pendleton fabric in this lovely place.

hand-stitched home 7Improvisational Wool Quilt designed by me (using forty or fifty assorted jacquards and solids remnants, including Chief Joseph, San Miguel, and Harding)

The Accessories projects are a huge favorite of mine – the collection includes this simple, stylish backpack with leather details as well as a modern tote, gorgeous shoulder bag, streamlined zip clutch, and a beautifully tailored messenger bag, each spotlighting its fabrics beautifully.

hand-stitched home 8Jacquard Backpack designed by Heather Mann (using aqua Rancho Arroyo)

And the garments chapter includes stylish scarves for men and women, an understated, lovely modern shawl, a striking obi belt, and this wonderful vintage-inspired winter cape. I just got to film a brand-new series of wool sewing classes as a companion to the book, which should launch in the next month or two, and we featured three of these lovely pieces to wear!

hand-stitched home 9Winter Cape designed by Alexia Abegg (using Four Directions jacquard and wool felt binding in black)

There are paper patterns for many of the projects right in the back of the book, along with resources, tips for caring for wool.

hand-stitched home 10Picnic Blanket, designed by Stacy Spaulding (using San Miguel)

I was so honored to share the visual history of Pendleton over the last century and counting… thanks to an amazing week of research in the company archives in downtown Portland, and the chance to reprint some of the most beautiful images I found there.

hand-stitched home 11

I always design projects using a sketchbook and make tons of notes, revisions, and write out details as I go through drafts and see what works really well (and what doesn’t, and gets vehemently crossed out so I don’t try that again!). This book came to life over the last three years, with my ideas, excitement, fabric swatches, and pattern math filling the pages of an Ex Libris Anonymous journal, one of my favorites – I mean, look at that cover! It couldn’t have been a better match for working with the most iconic Oregon company of all.

hand-stitched home 12

Here you can see how my Nesting Boxes project ideal evolved in size, proportion, construction, and fabric choices last summer, to the simple but ultra-useful set of three you see on the page. I loved pairing some of my absolute favorite plaids with the serene, rich Eco-Wise solids, and the calm of blanket-stitching each one together was the perfect way to balance the thick forest of deadlines a book always brings.

hand-stitched home 13

I love the back cover as much as the front. Here you can see Diane Gilleland‘s lovely Leaf Table Runner (in Eco-Wise Wool in Geranium and Reef); Stacy’s Picnic Blanket; Michelle Freedman‘s gorgeous Serape Shoulder Bag (in Stripe Jacquard Blanket fabric) ; and Anna Joyce‘s ultra-stylish Applique Pillow (in Coyote Butte in Black, Solid Reversible Jacquard in Gold, and Eco-Wise Wool in Charcoal).

hand-stitched home 14

You can find Hand-Stitched Home at your local bookstore, or here online or in person:

Powell’s (including signed copies!) • Amazon • Taunton • Barnes & Noble • IndieBound

The Woolen Mill Store • Modern DomesticFabric Depot

All the wool fabrics in the book are available via the Pendleton website, and this month is the huge annual sale at the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store, with 30-80% off every fabric in the entire collection, and Hand-Stitched Home projects on display paired with new fabrics! Shop in person at 8500 SE McLoughlin Blvd, Portland, or call 503-535-5786 for mail order, with sale prices good through Sept. 30.

You can also use whatever new or vintage wools you like best, and I’ve given suggestions for substitutions as well.

hand-stitched home book on quilt

And I hope you can come to one of my book events coming up! I’ve listed them here, and you can also look on the Events page of my website for more to come.

Thursday, Sept. 18, Portland Modern Quilt Guild meeting, 7-9 pm at St. Andrew’s Church. Presentation on wool sewing and quilting with a show & tell and giveaways! 806 NE Alberta St., Portland.

Friday & Saturday, Sept. 26-27, NW Quilting Expo, more details TBA.

Sunday, Sept. 28, Powell’s City of Books, 4 pm. Reading, Pendleton new and vintage fabric show, book projects and varations, and meeting lots of the guest designers in the NW’s Mightiest Bookstore! 1008 W. Burnside St, Portland.

Friday, Oct. 10, Home Sewn Weekend, Modern Domestic. Wool sewing presentation and trunk show as part of a lovely sewing weekend! 1408 NE Alberta St., Portland.

Saturday, Oct. 11, Hand-Stitched Home book release party at the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store! Book projects, fabrics, giveaways, and meeting lots of the book designers at the huge, beautiful Pendleton fabric flagship store carrying hundreds and hundreds of solids, plaids, and jacquards! 8500 SE McLoughlin Blvd., Portland.

Friday, Oct. 24, “The Thread” Schoolhouse event, 3:45-4:15pm, room 381C, Quilt Market, Houston, Texas.

Saturday, Oct. 25, Hand-Stitched Home book signing, Taunton/Lucky Spool booth, Quilt Market, Houston, Texas. More info TBA!

– – – – – – – – – –

Thanks so much to Pendleton Woolen Mills, my wonderful guest designers, my friends who cheered me on, the lovely people who buy my books or just have something nice to say about them, and of course my family. I really appreciate the support – writing a book is always an adventure, an exhausting, detail-oriented adventure that represents years of your life… but this one was truly a dream project, and to see it come to life today, out in the world, is a huge honor. Thank you all!


sew a modern home! August 15, 2014

I just got back from filming my CreativeLIVE Back to School Crafts class in San Francisco this week, which was awesome… but it’s so nice to be home and thinking about sewing for fun again! My PMQG friend Melissa Lunden has a wonderful new book out this month, Sew a Modern Homeand I’m so pleased to read her lovely book, join her blog tour, and get the chance to dream about what I want to make for us.

sew a modern home

Melissa’s quilts, pillows, and other home projects are all so charming – modern, simple, inviting, and with lovely attention to detail. The book has a thorough and clear techniques section, and paper patterns for many of the projects included, too.  I wanted to share a couple of my favorites of the 19 projects she designed – it’s so hard to choose just three!

table runner

The first project I want to make is Birds of a Feather – Melissa’s gorgeous, streamlined take on the venerable flying geese block, which she adapted to a dining room place mats, napkin, and table runner set. I’m imagining this as a series of mini-quilts hanging together in my hall, in orange, gray, and aqua.

sew a modern home

I was also immediately drawn to the super-striking Chevron Starburst Pillow – through clever cutting and piecing, Melissa created this brand-new design from a single chevron fabric!

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And I definitely want to make her Sharp Turn Quilt, which she designed for a young boy’s room, but would be stunning as a grown-up quilt in a larger size, too. The clean, beautifully understated lines and simplicity are just so good.

Melissa is also doing a couple of Portland events, and the first one is tomorrow! She’ll be at Fabric Depot‘s Quilt! Knit! Stitch! booth, #2302, showing and signing her book, from 10am-1pm on Saturday, August 16. Then, she’s also having a book release party at Modern Domestic – mark your calendar for 4-6 pm on September 6, too!

Melissa and Martingale have generously offered up a free e-copy of Sew a Modern Home to a lucky reader. Please leave a comment here and let me know what you’d most like to sew from this lovely book, and I’ll draw a winner one week from today, August 22!

All images in this post are courtesy of Martingale and Brent Kane.

Follow along with the rest of the blog tour right here!

8/13/2014    www.lundendesigns.com
8/14/2014    www.veryshannon.com
8/15/2014    http://westcoastcrafty.com/
8/16/2014    http://bostonsewer.blogspot.com/
8/17/2014    http://oneshabbychick.typepad.com/
8/18/2014    http://cactus-needle.blogspot.com/
8/19/2014    www.fabricworm.com
8/20/2014    http://generationqmagazine.com/
8/21/2014    http://blog.shopmartingale.com/
8/22/2014    prudentbaby.com
8/23/2014    http://www.stitcherydickorydock.com/
8/24/2014    http://www.favequilts.com/

Congratulations, Melissa!!!

Back to School Crafts on creativeLIVE! August 6, 2014

It’s been a busy summer of birthdays, trips, camp, popsicle-making, cocktail-mixing, gardening, breaking up LEGO battles between small children playing with LEGOs, and reading (I’m nearly through Team of Rivals and sad to see the end approaching). And after lots of pattern math and secret sewing, I’m very excited for my new Back to School Crafts workshop on creativeLIVE! We still have nearly a month before Pearl starts first grade (!) and Everett is officially in big-kid preschool, but it’s been nice to get a head start on making them some special things. Shopping for colorful oilcloth, pretty fabrics, and super cool printable fabric at Fabric Depot has been great, and I’m really looking forward to teaching these fun projects next week…back to school crafts on creativeLIVE

My workshops are totally free to watch, and airs Monday and Tuesday 8/11 and 12 from 9 to 4 Pacific time. Please RSVP here to get all the details, or leave a comment on this post with any questions you might have!

In the two days of class, we’ll make appliqued t-shirts,

Easter t-shirts - West Coast Craftyrainbow backpacks, skirts,

skirts for Back to School Crafts on creativeLIVE

capes, lunch totes,

Back to School Crafts lunch totecloth napkins,

cloth napkins for Back to School Crafts on creativeLIVEart totes, and oilcloth homework folders!

art tote for CreativeLIVE Back to School CraftsI hope you’ll check it out and make some things with me! I love that the class doesn’t cost anything to take, so you can watch it live the whole way through, or dip in when you have time during the day. You’ll be able to buy it later, but it’s totally free to see it when it premieres – which I think is so cool.

Happy end of the summer, and happy crafting!

Sew Mama Sew giveaway day – my log cabin quilting class + YOUR favorite supplies! May 12, 2014

I’m super excited to join the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day this year – I’ve put together a crafty package with a 3-month Creativebug subscription (so the winner can take my Log Cabin Quilting class any time, plus any others that catch your eye!), plus you can pick out some of my fabric and supplies to get you started on your favorite of the four projects from the class series! If you already have a subscription, this will add on three more free months, and I’m happy to ship fabric and supplies internationally too. So far, I’ve chatted with students in the US, Australia, Brazil and the UK who are sharing their work and it’s been so fun to see these pretty log cabin pillows from all around the world! Here are my projects from the four classes…

Log Cabin Quilting on Creativebug

This first week’s class, the square within a square pillows, has been awesome. I have LOVED seeing people’s projects over in the Log Cabin Quilting class Facebook group (feel free to join up) and on Instagram (just look up #cbuglogcabin!). I wanted to share a few more fun things before tomorrow’s class, the baby quilt, launches to add a whole new long-form workshop!

a whole bunch of log cabin pillows

I wrote a guest post for Sew Mama Sew this weekend about designing blocks with the Threadbias Quilt Design Tool, and also shared a bit about my sketchbook (where I keep the math, sketches, and fabric swatches for all my many, many rough drafts when I’m working on a new project) – in other words, LOTS of pillows. From changing fabrics and colors to widths and layouts, there are so many ways to make a patchwork project your own!

anna maria horner log cabin pillows for creativebug

I’d love to share one more spin-off project today, which is a favorite of my daughter Pearl’s in particular: a rectangular version of my pillow, mixing two lovely favorite prints by Anna Maria Horner and Heather Ross! I fussy-cut a rose from Anna Maria’s Hand-Drawn Garden collection, and framed it with a sweet little print from Heather Ross’s Briar Rose line (which you’ll see lots more of in tomorrow’s baby quilt class).

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Here’s my sketchbook page reflecting the final version – I went through a few variations before landing on this block arrangement, including mixing in some darker green Denyse Schmidt from Florence that picked up the roses’ stems and leaves, but I really like the ultra-simple back-and-forth I ended up with after editing the dark fabric back out. I did a little machine-quilting around each of the tiers, and then hand-quilted it too, echoing those simple lines, using soft golden brown and light pink shades of Anna Maria’s lovely Anchor pearl cotton.

For those in Portland: Heather Ross will be at Powell’s Books tonight, signing her new (wonderful) book!

Log Cabin Quilting with Susan Beal - Creativebug

To enter my giveaway: Just leave a comment here telling me your favorite log cabin quilt or project – one you’ve made or seen, or one you really want to make, and I’ll draw a winner on May 16. I’ll set you up with a 3-month Creativebug subscription (which includes unlimited classes for you to take!) and put together a custom fabric and supplies package for you to sew with, based on your favorite Log Cabin Quilting class project, and the colors and patterns you love. Hope to see you in one of my classes soon, and happy quilting! Thanks, Sew Mama Sew!