'Pretty Handmades' Book Showcase

Today I want to share with you this wonderful new book that's just been published by Tuva Publishing. It's called 'Pretty Handmades' by the lovely Lauren Wright (of Molly & Mama fame). I had the great pleasure to be one of the editors of this book, and I'm so excited to finally share a project from it!


This book is absolutely packed to the brim with the prettiest and sweetest projects you can ever think of. There are so many different techniques to try out: machine and hand sewing, applique, working with felt, English paper piecing, quilting... the list goes on. There is a comprehensive techniques section at the beginning so don't fret if you are a beginner to any of these methods. Whilst editing this book I had to minutely peruse every single project - methods, measurements, templates and the like - and I was so impressed to see the quality of Lauren's work and her attention to detail in putting together this book. The result, my friends, is a truly stellar piece of work that every sewist of pretty things absolutely needs in their craft library!


I made the 'Bloom' cushion in my newest Riley Blake collection, Sweet Prairie (that's just come out!). It was hard to pick a colour palette - I finally settled on a mint and grey cushion front with a bright red backing and teal gingham binding. The large flower on the cushion is sewn together by English paper piecing and then appliqued onto the fabric. 


Sending a big thank you to Lauren for creating such an inspiring book and inviting me to sew along with it! There are lots of talented makers participating in the showcase so pop over to their blogs to check out their projects too. The full schedule is below. Thank you for visiting today!



1 Sept 2017Lauren Wrightwww.mollyandmama.com.au@mollyandmama
2 Sept 2017Jemima Flendtwww.blog.tiedwitharibbon.com@tiedwitharibbon
3 Sept 2017Sharon Burgesswww.lilabellelanecreations.com@lilabellelane
4 Sept 2017Lauren Nashwww.transientart.com@transientart
5 Sept 2017Sarah Edgarwww.alittlehappyplace.blogspot.co.uk@sarahedgarprettyfabrics
6 Sept 2017Ange Hamiltonwww.alittlepatchwork.wordpress.com@alittlepatchwork
7 Sept 2017Elea Lutzwww.elealutzdesign.com@elealutz
8 Sept 2017Sarah Scottwww.piccolostudio.com.au@piccolostudio_sarah
9 Sept 2017Martina Bahrewww.avaandneve.com.au@ava_and_neve
10 Sept 2017Heather Andruswww.quiltstory.blogspot.com@quiltstory
11 Sept 2017Faith Essenburgwww.saranaave.wordpress.com@faithessenburg
12 Sept 2017Alisha Orlandowww.ministryoffabric.com.au@ministryoffabric
13 Sept 2017Bev McCulloughwww.flamingotoes.com@flamingotoes
14 Sept 2017Stacy Olsonwww.stacyolsondesign.com@stacyolsondesign
15 Sept 2017Ali Phillipswww.arabesque-scissors.com@arabesquescissors
16 Sept 2017Mollie Johansonwww.wildolive.blogspot.com@molliejohanson
17 Sept 2017Kristyne Czepurykwww.prettybyhand.com@prettybyhand
18 Sept 2017Xanthe Grundywww.wife-made.com@wifemade
19 Sept 2017Anne Oliverwww.lolliandgrace.com@lolliandgrace
20 Sept 2017Larisa Shurupovwww.stitchingnotes.com@stitchingnotes
21 Sept 2017Sedef Imerwww.downgrapevinelane.com@downgrapevinelane
22 Sept 2017Wynn Tanwww.zakkaArt.blogspot.com@zakkaArt
23 Sept 2017Veronica AMwww.VividFelicity.wordpress.com@vividfelicity
24 Sept 2017Minki Kimwww.minkikim.com@zeriano
25 Sept 2017Elise Baekwww.eliseandemelie.com@eliseandemelie
26 Sept 2017Megan Pricewww.dollyhenry.com.au@dollyhenryau
27 Sept 2017Nadra Ridgewaywww.ellisandhiggs.com@ellisandhiggs
28 Sept 2017Ayda Alginwww.cafenohut.com@cafenohut
29 Sept 2017Jodi Godfreywww.talesofcloth.com@talesofcloth
30 Sept 2017Lauren Wrightwww.mollyandmama.com.au@mollyandmama

Tutorial: Economy Block Playmat

I made this playmat a while back using Elea Lutz' gorgeous fabric collection, 'Strawberry Biscuit' for Penny Rose Fabrics. My playmat appears to have become a hit on Pinterest and I have had a few requests to share the tutorial for it. So here it is - you will find the detailed step by step instructions towards the bottom of this post.


This playmat is based on a classic quilt block: the economy block. I love pairing classic blocks with repro fabrics, and this block is just perfect to showcase fussy cut centres!


I had originally intended to turn my economy blocks into a cot quilt, but half way through sewing Alice came into my sewing room to keep me company (as she frequently does), and started stroking the animals and flowers in the centres of my finished blocks. Light bulb moment - a quilted playmat / picnic mat would be a pretty cool addition to our growing quilt collection! So that's what I ended up making.


If my kids were younger, I would have sewn in a layer of crinkle material between the batting and the quilt top, which I think would be a great addition to a playmat such as this. Babies go nuts for that stuff!


I kept the quilting simple and light. Just straight line diagonal quilting in the ditch, with a little hand-quilting around the centre motif of each block. I didn't want to quilt it too heavily as I want it to get that "puffy-vintagey-much used-much loved" look over time.


As a final touch, I added a little applique washi tape detail on each corner of the quilt.


I hope you liked my playmat! If you would like to make one too, here are the steps.

STRAWBERRY BISCUIT PLAYMAT TUTORIAL

Finished size 37" x 37"
All seams are 1/4"
RST = Right sides together

Fabric Requirements

All requirements based on fabric 42" wide (WOF)

- Fat quarter bundle of Strawberry Biscuit
- 12 " x WOF of Riley Blake Swiss Dots - Aqua on cream
- 39" x 39" batting
- 39" x 39" crinkle material (optional)
- 39" x 39" backing (1.25 yard if using Strawberry Biscuit)
- 12" x WOF binding
- Sheet of transparent template plastic (optional)
- DMC Perle cotton no 8 (for hand quilting)
- 5" square piece of fusible web

Cutting














From the Strawberry Biscuit fat quarter bundle
16 - 4 1/2" squares in assorted colours (A) - see fussy cutting tip in step 1 below.
16 - 5 3/8" squares in assorted colours (B)
32 - 5" squares in assorted colours (C)
4 - 1" x 4 1/4" rectangles in assorted colours (applique tape detail)

From Riley Blake swiss dots in aqua on cream
2 - 2 1/2" x 32 1/2" strips (side borders)
2 - 2 1/2" x 37" strips (top and bottom borders)

Binding
4 - 2 1/4" x WOF strips

Fusible web
4 - 1" x 4 1/4" rectangles (applique tape detail)

Construction

1. If you are 'fussy cutting' the central A squares, I highly recommend making a template from a sheet of transparent template plastic. My template measures 4 1/2" square, and I have marked lines 1/4" all the way around (for the seam allowances) so I can see the section that will be visible after the block has been sewn together. Position the template on the fabric and adjust until you are happy. Trace all around the template with a fabric marker, cut along the traced lines, then trim to 4 1/2" exactly using a quilting ruler (tracing around the template typically adds a mm or two to the square which needs to be precisely trimmed back).


2. Cut each B square twice, along both diagonals, to yield 4 triangles.

3. Cut each C square once across one diagonal, to yield 2 triangles.

4. Lay out your A, B, and C squares on the floor and arrange until you are happy with the colour and pattern distribution of your blocks - you need to make a 4x4 grid of economy blocks. Take a quick photo so you don't forget the layout!

5. To make an economy block, sew a B triangle to the top and bottom of an A square, making sure the triangles are centred. Press seams outwards towards the triangles. Trim off the dog ears.


6. Sew the remaining B triangles to the remaining sides. Press seams outwards towards the triangles.


7. A little precision is needed to trim off this unit so only a 1/4" allowance remains all the way around. Place your quilting ruler on top of the block, lining up the 3 1/2" line (shown with arrow) with the two opposite corners of your A square. Trim the edge, leaving a 1/4" allowance from the point of the A square. Repeat for all four sides.


8. Pin a C triangle to one edge of the unit from step 7, RST. I pin on this side (and not on the triangle) so I can make sure my stitches just catch the point where the two stitch lines meet (where the second pin is pointing to). Sew together with 1/4" seam.


Repeat for the other three triangles, following the same process as steps 5 and 6.


9. Time to do the final trim to leave a 1/4" allowance all the way round. This time use the vertical 2 1/4" line as your guide (shown with arrow) - line it up with the right edge of the A square, and that should give you a 1/4" allowance on the right edge of the block. Trim the excess fabric. Repeat for the other three sides.


10. You should have a very precise economy block measuring 8 1/2" square. Make 16.


11. Lay out your economy blocks on the floor in a 4 x 4 grid. Sew the blocks in each row together. Press seams in alternating directions (e.g. first row to the left, second row to the right).

12. Sew rows 1 and 2 together, and rows 3 and 4 together. To make sure the points of your economy blocks all line up perfectly you must check the seams are matching at each intersection. Use lots of pins. Press seams open.

13. Sew the two halves of the quilt from the previous step together. Press seam open.

14. Sew the two side borders to the right and left. Press seams towards the borders.

15. Sew the top and bottom borders. Press seams towards the borders.

Finishing

16. Make a quilt sandwich with your quilt top, batting, and backing, pin or baste together well. You may want to add a layer of crinkle material between the quilt top and the batting if you would like the playmat to make that cute crinkly sound!

17. Machine quilt in the ditch along all the diagonal seams (continuing the stitch line into the borders).

18. Hand quilt around each central motif using DMC Perle Cotton No:8.

19. Apply fusible web to the wrong side of your applique rectangles. Trim each rectangle down to 3/4" x 4". Peel off the backing papers, position on the corners of the quilt at a diagonal angle, and fuse in place with hot dry iron. With a short stitch length stitch as close to the edge as you can, all the way round.

20. Join the binding strips with diagonal seams. Press the entire binding in half lengthwise, wrong sides facing. Starting half way down one side of the quilt, place the binding strip on the quilt, raw edge to raw edge. Sew it onto the quilt, mitreing the corners. Join the ends of the binding with a diagonal seam, fold it over to the back of the quilt, and slip stitch it by hand along the back edge of the binding.

And your playmat is ready!

Sweet Prairie Blog Tour & Stockists


I'm so excited to announce the blog tour for my new collection Sweet Prairie for Riley Blake Designs, which is kicking off this week! This collection was inspired by my love for all things floral, and to balance all that flowery sweetness I added in some of my all time favourite blenders: bias gingham and random dots. The colour palette is a mix of sweet pinks, mint, sunny yellows and earthy greys, with scope for so many great colour combinations. I hope you love it as much as I do!


Here are all the talented makers whose projects we will be showcasing in the blog tour:

14 September - Allison Jensen - Woodberry Way - @woodberry_way
21 September - Minki Kim - Minki's Work Table - @zeriano
28 September - Keera Job - Live.Love.Sew Pattern Co - @keera.job
5 October - Alexis Wright - My Sweet Sunshine Studio - @mysweetsunshine
12 October - Emily Dennis - Quilty Love - @emily_dennis_

The tour kicks off in just a few days, so please join us on Instagram and Facebook to see everyone's projects! Also,  please do join in with your own Sweet Prairie projects using the hashtag #sweetprairieblogtour and #sweetprairiefabric. I can't wait to see everyone's makes!


If you would like to get your hands on a bundle of Sweet Prairie, I have compiled a list of shops who are (or will soon be) stocking it. I will keep updating this list, so if you know of any other shops who have this collection please do let me know.

       SWEET  PRAIRIE  STOCKISTS       

United States
Fat Quarter Shop
Missouri Star Quilt Co.
Southern Fabric
Sew Stitching Happy
Simply Love Fabrics
Quilter's Lodge
Huckleberry Quilting Co.
Lou Lou's Fabric Shop
Stitches'n Giggles
Sewcial Stitch
Kimmie Anne Fabrics
My Timeless Day
Four Peaches Fabric

Australia
Kornacraft Sewing
The Stitchers Cupboard
Ministry of Fabric
Patchwork with Busyfingers
Sewers Delight
Micky Mae
The Art and Craft Cottage
Love that Fabric
... and of course, my own Etsy shop!

Europe
Pretty Fabrics & Trims

'Linen & Lawn' Pom Pom Cushion + Giveaway !

'Linen & Lawn' by Sue Daley Designs for Penny Rose Fabrics is a dreamy collection of the sweetest colours, printed on super fine lawn fabric with a lovely drape. Perfect for quilting, English paper piecing, and dress making!


I used a selection of the soft pastel prints from this pretty collection to make a pom pom cushion (which was promptly claimed by my daughter Alice of course). The classic block I used in the pattern is called a woven ribbon star.


For the cushion backing I used the pink dotty print from my Sweet Orchard collection, and the medium size pom poms are by Riley Blake Designs. I machine quilted the cushion with a long wavy stitch, and also hand quilted around the star in pink variegated DMC perle cotton.


I love projects that are quick to sew and this cushion was pieced, quilted and assembled in just a few hours. Alice adores it - I hope you liked it too!


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***** GIVEAWAY!! *****

You may remember a while ago I was raving about my new wood watch by Jord Watches. Well, the lovely folks there have not only sent me one of their other watches that I have been coveting (The 'Cora' in Koa wood & rose gold) they also offered a watch to one of my followers! To enter the draw just click this link and select the watch you would like to receive. Competition closes 24 September - good luck!


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