Thursday, July 20, 2017

Basic Embroidery

After completing my hand embroidered Colorado State Bird & Flower piece there was interest in having a basic hand embroidery class at my shop. So I've started a little piece as a class sample.

My plan is to stitch on the lines which are printed on this fabric. I'm limiting my colors to the three you see above, light gray, charcoal and turquoise. I'm using Eleganza size 8 threads but any embroidery floss will work. 

Students will be able to choose to work on either the Colorado State Bird & Flower block or on a fat quarter of the fabric shown above. The advantage of these is that everything is printed on the fabric so you can just start stitching. The class will start with back stitching and go from there. Should be fun!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Hand Quilting :: Postcard from Sweden

I completed the top of my version of Postcard from Sweden in February 2016. (click the link to see full photos) I dug it out recently and decided to finish it.

I'm hand quilting it just for fun using several different 12 weight Sulky Blendables threads for the quilting. I'll quilt each triangle using an appropriate color from my limited selection of these threads. The brown stitching you see in the ditch are just basting threads. I basted it on my HQ Sweet 16. All of that stitching will come out.

This will take a while but I'm not in a hurry.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Puzzle Quilt 2 :: A Finish

In my last post I shared with you my first Puzzle Quilt finish, here is the second.

For the back I chose this fun print.

This one is also ready to donate to my guild's oncology quilt project.

I did a tutorial for this quilt if you are interested. Click here to go to the tutorial.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Puzzle Quilt 1 :: A Finish

My boys (husband and son) took a quick trip last week which gave me a little time to sew in the evenings. I took the opportunity to finish a couple things.

My first finish is the first Puzzle Quilt I made. The link will take you to the tutorial I did for this quilt.

I just happened to have the perfect backing fabric in my stash.

It's done and labeled and ready to donate to my guild's oncology quilt project.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Zippy Crossbody Bag

I tested a new bag pattern.

This one is a keeper! I made the "full size" version which finishes at 8" by 8".

The front has two outside zippered pockets.

The back has one outside zippered pocket.

The top closure is a fourth zipper and inside there are two more pockets.

At 8" by 8" finished size, this is not a large bag, but it does have lots of pockets and is a great size for carrying the essentials. The strap is long. I had to knot it to get a good photo. The pattern calls for adding a slide to the strap to make it adjustable, but I only had a 1" slide, not the 1/2" slide the strap needs. I can add it later though with minimal ripping.

This one is a shop sample so I'll need to make another one for myself! I'll wait to do that after I get the proper sized slides in stock at the shop though.

Friday, June 30, 2017


Why did I wait so long to make one of these?!

I've had all the stuff for over a year! It only took about 30 minutes to make the first one, which included reading the instructions and practicing putting on the zipper pull. It took about 20 minutes to make a second one.

I'm going to need to add this pattern and the supplies to my next order so I can have these in my shop.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

After the Snow Projects

I've completed another panel design.

This one is more a wall hanging. I thought about adding another border using the border stripe print in the fabric line, but ultimately decided against that. Instead I used the border stripe print and some extra star blocks to make a table runner.

The quilt will be 34" by 54" when finished and the runner will be 25" by 40". The runner does lay flat! I didn't realize how waffly the edges look in the photo. It's just because it is laying on the grass instead of hanging.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Row by Row Experience Begins

The fun began yesterday and goes through September 5th. I got the pattern for this little lady last year but just got around to making her.

This is Bobbin the Robin and she is the official mascot of Row by Row. Isn't she adorable?!

The pattern is easy. I'm not sure why I put off making her.

The shoes are 18" doll shoes (think American Girl Doll). Her legs are BBQ skewers painted white and then I used a Sharpie marker to make the black stripes. There is air-dry clay inside the shoes so she can stand up.

The theme for this year is "On the Go" and this is the row for my shop.

Our row celebrates Alamosa as a town "on the go!" Alamosa was founded as a railroad town. The whole town was transported on flatbed railroad cars from just east of Ft. Garland in the summer of 1878 and set up in just a few days. There is a famous story that the owner of the hotel served his guests breakfast in Ft. Garland and dinner in Alamosa that same day in the same building! Just like last year, our row was designed by Janet Davis exclusively for Alamosa Quilt Company.

If you want a kit you can come in to the shop or call to order one, (719) 937-2555, or email me or leave a comment so I can email you. Please do not send credit card information in an email or comment though! I'll call you for that.

Row by Row rules do not permit shops to mail out any patterns or kits until November 1st. This is so that only folks who actually go into shops are eligible to win the associated quilt contest, which ends October 31st. So if you do call to order a kit, just be aware that we are not allowed to ship it to you until November 1st. Last year we took orders, processed the sales and packaged everything to be ready to ship on November 1st. That way everyone who called was assured to get a kit, since we set one aside specifically for them at the time of purchase. For more information, go to the shop Row by Row page by clicking here.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Just Because

I've had the materials for this bag sitting next to my sewing machine for several weeks. Last weekend I decided to set aside the shop sewing I needed to do and make something for myself. This was handy and quick.

This Moda Man comic print canvas is too funny! It was one of those things that when I saw it I knew I had to have some for my shop. For the lining I used the light blue polka dot print that is also on the straps. 

It's just a simple tote bag. No pockets, zippers, magnetic snaps or anything fancy. I used the same method that I show in my trick or treat bag tutorial. For this one I started with 18" squares and cut a 4" corner out to box the bottom. For the handles I used cotton webbing (two pieces that are 24" long) but I also cut a strip of the lining fabric to dress them up. I stitched the fabric strips to the cotton webbing leaving about an 1/8" of the cotton webbing showing on either side of the fabric strip.

It holds a lot of stuff and has become my main bag for hauling stuff between home and the shop each day.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Funny Farm Quilt Top

I'm in design mode - designing some panel quilts. This is the first one. The fabric line is Funny Farm.

This is a panel we've had in the shop for a few months, but I'm just now getting around to designing a project for it. The quilt will finish at about 40" by 52".

I got a couple of Christmas panels to work on next. I have one of the quilts designed but haven't had a chance to make it. That is high on the list for this week. The other one is still in the planning stage.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Hand Embroidery

I received a fabric in my shop recently that is printed with the Colorado State bird and flower.

I thought these would be perfect souvenirs for tourists traveling through who stop at my shop, especially since they only cost $1.00 each! A local customer purchased one and embroidered it then turned it into a pillow sleeve. It is adorable! So I decided to embroider one.

I'm not sure what I will do with mine, but it sure was fun to do and didn't take very long. I used size 8 Eleganza pearl cotton embroidery thread for my version and it measures about 10" by 10" at the moment.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Allium Spool Sac :: A Finish

I'm so excited to be able to use this bag!

It was easy to finish once I had all the supplies. I ended up having a little bit of cork fabric left over and used it for the bottom. I hope it will be more durable than the wool the pattern called for.

Here is what it looks like opened.

It holds three of the zipper pouches, which each hold 72 spools of thread. As you can see, I have room to grow my thread collection. ;)

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Bugsy Backpack

Another new bag pattern I've tried out.

This one is fabulous! They also sell a hardware kit so you can get all of the rings, clips and slides that coordinate and are designed to be used with the pattern. I will be carrying both the pattern and the hardware kits in my shop soon.

The bag is a great size, not too complicated to make but probably not a beginner bag project. I used another one of the metal "handmade" labels on this one.

There is a key clip on the inside.

The bag is fully lined too. There are no inside pockets but you could add some if you wanted.

I can see myself making this one again! This bag is a shop sample, but I may need to make one for personal use.


The pattern is Bugsy Backpack by Sassafras Lane Designs. The fabrics I used are a Flower Shop Canvas print by Cotton + Steel for the outside, a black batik for the outer pockets and a cream Pixie Dot by Ink & Arrow for the lining.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Show & Tell Bag

I've been testing bag patterns recently. This one is called the Show & Tell bag.

It's a huge bag with an outer pocket on each side. The pattern calls for using leather on the bottom but I used some of the new cork fabric I recently received in my shop. It worked great for this project!

I actually made this bag a few weeks ago and have been using it to haul of my Sue Spargo BOM stuff around until I can get my Allium bag finished.

While I really like the finished bag, I'm not as thrilled with the pattern. The bag is fairly simple and straight forward to make, but the pattern leaves out quite a few things. For example, at one point the pattern tells you to put two pieces right sides together then goes on to the next step without telling you to sew the seam. I caught this right away and sewed the seam before proceeding, but I think a beginner would get confused and possibly discouraged. 

So I don't know if I will order this pattern to sell in my shop or not. If I do, I'll need to make sure all of my staff are aware of the shortcomings of this pattern so we can warn folks before they buy it.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Allium Bag :: Progress

Well that didn't take very long! I have finished the embroidery on the front of my Allium bag and now I'm ready to put it together.

I love the before and after embroidery on these projects!

There is some velcro that goes inside this bag at the bottom to hold the zipper pouches in place. I've ordered it but at the time of writing this it isn't here. I haven't read through the assembly instructions yet so I don't know how far I can get with the bag assembly before I need to add the velcro. I'm anxious to get it finished so I can start using it!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Allium Bag :: A Start

I'm starting a new project. I'm making an Allium bag for all of my Sue Spargo threads. Well ... as much of my Sue Spargo thread as I can fit in the bag.

So far I have the front of the bag pieced and the appliques sewn down. I need to add the embroidery stitches before I can complete the bag.

The bag holds three specially designed thread pouches. I have the pouches but didn't get a photo of them yet.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mother's Day Sewing

I made myself a new purse over the weekend.

This is my Nancy Tote pattern with a few adjustments. The bottom is cork! It's a new product which I ordered months ago but just recently arrived at the shop. I've been anxious to try it out. It is very easy to use! I tested it with the iron. You can iron it but it doesn't seem to do much. I had best success with firmly finger pressing and then stitching the seam allowance down with topstitching. 

I also tried out another new product.

I found these metal "handmade" labels to order for the shop and couldn't resist purchasing a few for myself to use. I think it adds a nice professional touch.