Monday, February 28, 2011


I'm working on a new shape for my reminds me of a mushroom.

I made this bag for my friend Mary from the Franklin Mill. I bought the mushroom fabric there, it's Japanese. I used the measuring stick fabric for one of the pockets knowing she has been using or seeing those all of her life!

I made an I Spy quilt for my cousins new baby boy. There are two of each fabric in the quilt. The black fabric is flannel so the quilt is very soft. I used flannel on the back too, nice and snuggley. There is a mushroom fabric in this quilt, can you find it?

I figure they can play concentration, I Spy and Person, Place or Thing with it...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sketching and sketching.....

Here we are at Sue's new's absolutely marvelous!!! The Sketchbook Challenge was her great idea...our first sketch-in... we all sketched and it was great to work and talk to each other. So many creative and really, really nice people in one room.

I was having a hard time with the theme word opposites until I got to our sketch-in. I grabbed two paint brushes and said I'm going to warm up. I put no pressure on my self I just drew what I saw. I draw in pencil first then I go over it in an India ink pen. I used colored pencils to color them in. Notices it's the area left white that makes them look "real" :)

Sue had a nice pile of apples and oranges (now why didn't I think of that?) and I used water soluble crayons. I outlined my drawing in a thin blue ink before I colored it in.

This is wicked cool!!! That's my sketchbook (wide purple binding close to the center) there on the shelf at the Brooklyn Art Library along with 29,000 others. I found the picture on their facebook page. I would love to see this exhibit...

I've been doing lots of sewing's my new spring bag....
I have to say I love the pockets in my bags....everything has a place. I don't always put it back right away but I know it has a place. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tutorial on making pillows with piping and a zipper

While making some pillows for a client I thought it might be nice to show a visual tutorial of how to make a throw pillow with pipping and a zipper.

I made the piping first. Cut the fabric on the bias, I try to piece the piping in a way so the fabric's colors match up. The width of the Bias strip should be 3 x's the width of the piping.

I use my serger on all edges of the fabric/piping for a nice clean finish. If you don't have a serger you can zig zag or use pinking shears. 

I cut the fabric about an inch larger than the finished pillow.  
Cut one side of the pillow pieces with an extra flap which you will sew the zipper to and create the flange that hides the zipper. It's size of the extra flap is determined by the width of your zipper. I made mine 1" and folded it over at 1".

I cut the corners of the square so that the pillow doesn't have pointy corners.

Sew the zipper to the flange (right side of zipper facing down).

I start with the zipper open and then close it - it's easier....

Sew the piping to the other square of fabric with a zipper foot or a piping foot. Make several small cuts at the corners being careful not to clip past your stitching line.

Pin the front and back together and stitch as close to the piping as possible, you may need to go around the pillow a second of time. You will sew in the other half of the zipper at this time. If you prefer you can sew the back to the front at the zipper first and then stitch the other three sides. 

The flange that hides the zipper

I used down fillers in these pillows which I recommend if you are going to go to the trouble of making a pillow :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

More Murphy Bag Totes...

More new bags ! I'm still maintaining my goal to make one Murphy Bag a day (or so). This bag is for my Aunt Aggie, if you know me you know how special she is to me. She helped me design this tote bag for her as her Christmas gift during her last visit.

13" tall x 22" long by 8" wide with 2 25" handles 

I originally made this MBT (Murphy Bag Tote) for a friend from High School who is getting married. I was given the fabric and loved how romantic it was.

11" tall x14" long x 6" wide with 1 25" handle

I took this to give you an idea of how big it is...nice and roomy!

but there was something about it I didn't love for  her, so that bag is for sale and I made her this bag instead....She loved it ans so did the attendants at the was passed from table to table and lots of cards were handed out. The fabric is denim with a velvet damask pattern, so soft and so cool. 

12" tall x 18" long x 6" wide with 2 25" handles

I used a piece of my hand dyed fabric for the lining and some more fun fabrics that were gifted to me:)

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

studio redo III

I'm lucky that I live near some really cool artists...My friend, Sue Bleiweiss, has been designing and building (along with her husband) a new studio and I got to see it last week. You can see it too because she is documenting her experience in Studios Magazine and on her blog. Sue's studio is everything an artist could ever want and more! I helped her fold her fabrics which I loved and I was lucky enough to come home with a bag of goodies. I wanted to paw through it but knew I had to clean my studio first, it was a mess!!! I wanted to experience what Sue is about to experience ~ the joy of having space and knowing where all your stuff's a fleeting feeling but one worth having.

everything's folded and put in it's place....
found a place to put my ribbons...a group quilt made by my guild in 1996...

refolded my hand dyed fabrics.....
The peg board is organized with my favorite tool ~ my Leaves Galore Templates (orange with curves) designed by another friend Sue Pelland.

Sue B. told me to pass on anything I didn't want or need. I was planning to fill another bundle for the Iraqi Bundles of Love and now I have enough for two bundles. It's a wonderful program a quilters husband started to get sewing supplies to woman in Iraq.
Maybe this post will inspire you to purge/reorganize and send a bundle to?

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