Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Esme Tunics in all the fabrics

The Esme Tunic from Lotta Jansdotter's book Everyday Style is now probably my favorite pattern of clothing that I have ever sewn for myself. I've made it long, short, as a shirt, in patterns and solids and I still don't feel like I have tapped into all I love about it.
Here are some versions I have made:

This was the first one that I made, in drapery/bottomweight fabric. I immediately loved it and made a second one in double gauze (more on that one in a separate post).

Then I decided I wanted to make a dressier version in a black cotton with subtle dots woven into it. I don't know what this fabric is called, but I bought it at The Fabric Store, which is a beautiful store near my home. I have a number of fabric stores near my home in Mid-City LA, but The Fabric Store is top notch. They're also super nice in there.

I also made one in a slubbed chambray for my daughter, but after she picked the fabric, oohed and aaaahed at the finished product and promptly stuffed it into her closet for weeks on end, I reclaimed it.

After this, I decided to try something really nuts. What about this pattern in drop cloth fabric? Extra wide seam allowances and serged edges (plus the fabric was washed and dried 3-5 times before I cut into it, making it really soft...) and now I have the more amazingly comfy top. (Next attempt will be to dye with the drop cloth before I sew one up)

Then in the middle of all of this, I went on an amazing trip to South Africa where I picked up some shwe shwe fabric specifically for the purpose of sewing one of these up. Red is my favorite color, but I usually wear black and gray, so this is very bright for me, but I do love it a lot.

I also plan to make a short sleeved version of this and also a cap sleeved maxi dress. I'll post when I do.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Sunny Room Pillow Drive

Last summer I was talking with a friend about her work that she does with teen moms at St. Anne's which is a home for teen moms and at risk mothers and children. I was really inspired by the joy that she was bringing to the young women there and asked her if there was anything I could do.

She told me that the girls had very plain housing arrangements and we devised a plan to bring some sunshine into their world. That was where I came up with the #sunnyroompillowdrive.

I got the LAMQG involved and put the word out to other quilters around the country through Instagram. In the end, we collected over 50 handmade pillows for the young mothers to each get one to have in their rooms with them - to know that they are loved and cared for.

It was an honor to collect these pillows and a huge honor to be there to present them and watch as each girl picked out a pillow that she wanted.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sewing for RJR fabrics

RJR fabrics recently sent me some of a new fabric line called Stitchers Garden Fabric to sew with. It was a line that was a little out of my comfort zone as far as being floral - which I don't often sew with - but I had fun seeing what my patterns would look like in a whole new style.

Here you can see the Still Waters Quilt 

and also the Pucker Up Pillows (which two of my nieces claimed for their rooms in their new house)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Sewing with Grafic Fabric by Latifah Saafir for Hoffman Fabrics

I used to post a lot on here with something to the effect of "I have the coolest friends."  (It's been so long since I have blogged regularly that I have forgotten the tags I used...) What's really great is that I still have the coolest friends. 

One of my dearest friends is someone that I met through quilting. She was one of the founders of the Modern Quilt Guild and her talent never ceases to inspire. Latifah is a creative force unto herself. She is also one of the most loving and faithful friends I have had in my life. 

One day when she was at my house for lunch about a year ago, she mentioned to me that she was going to be launching a fabric line with Hoffman Fabrics, known for their surf fabrics and batiks, but definitely not well known for modern fabrics. I was immediately intrigued by the alliance and couldn't wait to see what they came up with together. (They have since launched the amazing Me + You batik fabric line which is breathtakingly beautiful - simple, clean and modern)

But then Latifah was going to try a whole new thing.... She was going to be their step into modern printed fabric.... and she did not disappoint! Well - here it is. Grafic Fabric has arrived. It is absolutely my favorite fabric line ever and I was so deeply honored that Latifah would ask me to be a part of creating products with her line before it was released so I could participate in her lookbook - see it here, it's amazing.  The thing about these prints is that they are so beautiful - somehow both sophisticated and gritty at the same time - the colors are sublime and I love the patterns so much.  She somehow captured the urban grit of the city and street art and telephone wires and made it into something that is restrained and elegant. 

I have so many more projects that I intend to make with her fabrics, but here are the four that I made for her book. Naturally, I thought that my Still Waters Quilt would really highlight her different prints, so I made two of them. I also made a Pucker Up Pillow for Latifah as a gift and then made a second Pucker Up Panel and used it as the pocket detail for a Super Tote (pattern by Anna Graham of Noodlehead) for a swap partner and friend.  

My pal, Hollie, and I snapped a photo of the big Still Waters Quilt by the Cabazon dinosaurs recently when we were on a road trip, but Latifah took the rest of the pics and I can't believe how fun all the projects look.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Pucker Up Pillow

Here's another pattern that I recently launched in my craftsy store.... the Pucker Up Pillow.

I had seen smocking a few years ago on a quilt and though I had no idea how to do it, I made up my own way and began to make these pillows for our home.

People have asked me for a while to write a pattern for these and I finally have. It's kind of addicting to make actually.... I bet if you make one, you can't help but to make more. Seriously.


There are also some really fun ways to make use of the Pucker Up panel itself... I've used it as the front panel for a bag, but here are some images from of of my pattern testers who got really creative!

made by Veronica at @vividfelicity

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Daydream Drifter Quilt

I've been working on the most delicious quilt lately.... and I was asked to post about it over at the Shannon Fabrics blog. Click here for the real post - which includes my tips for quilting with double gauze...

What's fun is that the minute I was on their website looking at what they had available in their new double gauze line, this quilt design popped into my head.

I  loved making the quilt so much that I wrote a free pattern for it.

You can find it here.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Still Waters Quilt Pattern

A few years ago, I sketched up a quilt design that made me think of a surfer type image... I drew it up, measured it out, and then sewed nothing of it. Then my quilt guild, the LAMQG, had a solids challenge with a deadline this past March and I knew it was finally time to make this thing.
I've never been one for small quilts, I can't help but to think, "if I'm making this out
of fabric, someone should at least be able to cuddle up under it if they ever wanted to..." - so I made it big. (I kind of end up doing that with every quilt I make)

Here are pics of my original #stillwatersquilt with both of my boys for scale

I finished it in time for our challenge and then two days later I broke my femur falling down the stairs. That was not fun. What was actually pretty great about the 8 weeks that I spent on the couch was that it gave me time to create - time to draw, take some online classes and eventually even sew a little. But this was my favorite part of that - I finally had the time to sit down and write a quilt pattern. One that was not for a company to use and then call their own, but for me to release myself and then launch on craftsy. I had been so encouraged by the success of free downloads by the Flip Flop Quilt Block - which was basically a little sister to this quilt idea, that I knew I had to try to make a pattern that I could sell.  I simplified the shapes and measurements to make it even more user-friendly and now it has launched. I'm so happy every time someone downloads a copy. It makes me thrilled to know that I am a part of someone else's creative process.

You can find the pattern on craftsy, by clicking here.

 Here are some of my favorite images of the #stillwatersquilt as made by my pattern testers. Almost all of them ended up making more than one of the quilt - they were so excited about how fast it came together. The pattern has sizes from crib sized to king sized included and the simplicity makes it a great quilt to give as a gift.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Flip Flop Quilt Block

This past February, I was asked by my fellow board members at the LAMQG to fill in for a Block of the Month Pattern for our guild.  Someone else had backed out and there was no one to finish off the 12th month of the project. It wasn't something that I thought I had the confidence to try, but I am so glad I was asked, because it pushed me to try something new. As you will see over the next few posts, this little block has changed a lot for me!

I went back to my sketches and found that I had a quilt design that had never come to fruition. It seemed a little bit clever to me, so I decided it might work and chose to simplify it and make a little sister version to it that could be a simple block design for my fellow guild members.

Thus the Flip Flop Quilt Block was born. 


My guild seemed to like it so I opened up a little craftsy pattern store and uploaded it. What I didn't expect was for it to downloaded every single day by multiple people. I couldn't believe that it was that popular!

The block is simple - even a beginner can have a fun time making it and there are a lot of cool ways to lay it out.

 It's also really kind of a fun one to modify. I've seen a few really cool versions already - here are some of them...
made by @modernmanson for the @ocmqg block swap

made by @cookbakequilt who also sized the blocks down a little too

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Twin girl quilts

It's pretty great to get photos back of the quilts (or art) I send out into the world. Today's photo is of the quilts that a co-designer friend from my days as a textile designer commissioned for twin girls she knows. They are a beautiful addition to this very modern nursery. Thanks, Lauren, for thinking of me!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Dave's Quilt

It can be tough to make a quilt for a man. There are entire books devoted to what to sew for a guy... My brother in law was turning 40 last year and I wanted to make something special for him. So I used two of the most masculine fabric lines I knew to create something for him - I used a charm pack of Architextures and a strip roll of World Tour by David Butler for his Parson Grey line. The end result was so beautiful. I made simple improv log cabin blocks which are a real favorite for me and on the back I used my leftovers to make one giant Log Mansion. In the end, I couldn't decide if I liked the back even more than the front.



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