Monday, March 28, 2016

Back on Blogger

Well, it has definitely been a long time since my last post; however, now that our website links to the blog and so much of my daily drudgery paperwork at the shop has been decreased with the new POS system, I can be here for all of you on a more regular basis.

visit The Quilted Nest to check out our new site.  All of our classes are viewable & new stock will also be available for purchase as it comes in!  This is an exciting step forward and just another time saver as I will no longer be manning a seperate ETSY site.

Some of the things I will be looking to accomplish here at the blog are thoughts on different sewing/quilting processes.  Maybe a tutorial or two, and general thoughts.

Thanks Like Sew for an amazing transition into a whole new way of doing business and creating more time for me to engage and most importantly....SEW

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Clothesline Carry All Part 2 The Lining

Clothesline Carry All  Part 2  

The Lining

    This is part 2 of the tutorial.  As I mentioned yesterday, the lining instructions for this bag are very vague as each bag turns out slightly differently.  Here is how I handled my lining.  Hope this helps you out!

     You will need the following:  Your bag exterior, lining fabric, freezer paper, tape measure & interfacing.

     Turn your bag right side out and place on a piece of freezer paper large enough to fit the base plus a little extra.  Draw around the base of the bag on the non-waxy side of the freezer paper.   I added 1/2" to my drawn line then cut out the "pattern" for the base.

     Next, using a tape measure, measure the top edge of your bag.  (handles are NOT on bag at this time, I am photographing on finished bag).  Measure from the center of one side across the front to the center of the opposite side.  Add 1" for seam allowance to that measurement.

     Measure the height of your bag from the base to the top edge. Add 1" to that number also.

     Finally measure across the width of your base pattern piece.  No need to add the seam allowance as we already added it to that.  You now have the measurements for the front and back pattern pieces.  You may want to rotary cut these pieces.  My bag measured 18.5" w x 9" h x 11" across the base pattern; therefore I cut my lining pieces 19.5" x where does the 11" base come in?  Once the basic rectangle is cut, you will then taper the top edge (19.5") down to the 11" base size.  My bag is fairly straight up and down so I only had to taper approx 4" from top to bottom.  (divide the taper amount in half so you take and equal amount from each side.)  You definitely need to do this so that the base fits during assembly.  Some bags turn out to be more "fan" shaped so this is the most important step. Cut 2 bag & 1 base piece from pattern.

    Now, as far as interfacing goes....the pattern calls for a heavy duty deco bond.  Because I used a jelly roll (rather than cutting 1.5" or 2" strips as pattern suggests) I had more "backing" fabric behind my rounds.  This made for a very sturdy bag.  If you are using a jelly roll, my suggestion is a lightweight fusible woven interfacing.   Cut out 2 bag & 1 base piece and fuse interfacing to wrong side of lining pieces.

    Before assembling your lining, add pockets if you choose.  I was so excited to be getting done, I forgot all about them.  The pattern has excellent pocket instructions!

  After adding your pockets, sew side seams together, using 1/2" seam allowance.  The add base easing around the curves, clipping if necessary.  

     Turn under top edge about 1/2" and press toward wrong side.  At this point, you will want to drop your lining into the bag to see if you need to turn under more or less at the top edge.  you want the base to sit flat on the bottom and the top edge even with the top of the bag.  Adjust as necessary.  Tuck the handles between the lining and the bag, pin around.  If you are adding a button and strap, tuck the ends of the strap at this time also.

     I kept my machine set to zig zag stitch to top stitch around so that it blended with the exterior stitching.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Correcting a left handed mistake - tutorial

Clothesline Carry-All

Mini-Tutorial & Error Correction!

     Today I would like to share some a-ha moments I had when creating the Clothesline Carry-All tote using the pattern from Indygo Junction.  Many of you may not know that I am left handed...many days I forget it myself as I can rotary cut as well as demo many things right-handed.  Well today was not one of those days.  This past Saturday we had a class on this bag in the shop taught by one of our instructors.  Many times when I am not the instructor, I do not really read the pattern (no surprises there!).

     As the class progressed, I realized I really had to make one of these bags, so I drifted in an out of the classroom thinking I had gotten most of the info and shouldn't really even need the pattern.....NOT!

     Now, I will tell you that I heard Rae mention the phrase "to the right" multiple times.  It did not compute.  This is my mini-tutorial as well as error correction so that you know all is never lost and the end result looks simply fabulous.

     The basic premise of this bag construction is wrapping your strips of fabric around clothesline and zig zag stitching "in the round".  The wrap on this is a little different than the bags and bowls you have seen in the are simply folding the fabric around the cording instead of wrapping around and around (which leaves frayed raggedy edges).  This is a much cleaner and easier version!

So this is where I was when I realized exactly what "to the right" meant.  Can you see the problem yet??  The problem is the fact that as I am turning and adding the clothesline, my work is turning toward the inside of my machine.  This will not work for much longer!  Your first thought would be to simply turn it over and keep going; however, that won't work because the underside of the piece is where all the raw edges live.  What you are looking at becomes the outside of your bag.  The correction came to me at about 2 am (as all great ideas do) here goes....

      First cut your clothesline approx. 1" in from the end of the strip.  Fold it over the clothesline and continue sewing, tucking the end of the strip (without the clothesline in it) under the work to finish off)

      Take your next strip, start the clothesline approx 1" down from the edge of the strip.  Fold it over.

     Turn your work to the opposite side of your presser foot, beginning at the other end of the oval.  You don't want to have where you finished and where you started in the same spot...this may throw off the balance of the bag.  Tuck the raw edge to the underside of the bag base and begin your zig zag stitching.  NOW you may continue to work through the pattern as though there were never a problem!

     As the bag progresses, you can now see why it was so important to be working "TO THE RIGHT"!  

      My finished bag and lining shot.  Tomorrow I will go over how to construct the lining.  Every bag turns out slightly different so you need to make your own pattern.  I will go over some of the basic principles.

     Indygo Junction pattern & jelly roll Simply Style by V and Co for Moda.   Love, Love Love!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Rainy Days & Fridays

I am sitting here in the shop on a rainy Friday morning and my fingers are itching to sew something.  There is nothing like a rainy or snowy day to make you want to hunker down inside and sew away.  I just received 4 brand new book titles and am torn on which book to sew from.  Add to that the fact that I have so much new stock coming in that I SHOULD wait and make samples from the new collections.....but that itch....

Have any of you picked up any of these new titles yet??  Where should I begin??? Thoughts??

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sewing 101

I get so many calls, practically on a daily basis, regarding interest in learning to sew.  What a tragedy that so many school districts have been forced to take out the arts, including domestic arts, due to budet crunches.  People have always felt the need to create and now are struggling to find their path because they are missing that beginning piece of the puzzle that gives them the foundation of skills on which to build.  As I look around I see more and more start up businesses that focus on filling those gaps.  Right here in Collingswood, NJ there is my shop which features quilting/sewing, an overall education business that focuses on a variety of short, informational and hands on classes, and coming soon a kitchen shop that will also have cooking lessons.  While I am a great fan of small business opportunities it is also a sad reminder of the educational gaps in our school districts.  Hopefully, the birth of these new businesses will fill the gap and not exclude those people who may not be able to afford private classes and counted on learning a basic skill within their formal education classes.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

I Pad Cover

I have spent quite a bit of time recently looking for the perfect I Pad Pattern to carry in the shop.  After much  searching (and ordering duds) I finally came across this pattern.

The girls at Lizzie B Cre8tive have knocked it out of the park with this one.  The pattern makes up so quickly and easily that I actually had to read the pattern 2x to make sure I hadn't missed a step.  Below is the shop sample version.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hexagon Mania

Everywhere I turn lately I seem to see hexagons so it is safe to assume that there is a definate hexagon craze sweeping the sewing/quilting world.  This is my first attempt the English Paper Piecing and I am officially hooked!.  I am alsways looking for hand project to take home (most of my heavy machine stitching is done here at the shop now).  I have recently revisited embroidery (still love it!), and am always stitching bindings at home.  I am not a big hand appliquer so for this to capture my interest as it has is a miracle.  I will be offering this technique on our fall class schedule and think those of you have haven't yet tried it will be happy to add another technique to your repetoire and another great project to take - a -long.

If you have tried this, let me know what you think and what you are working on with them.  We are waiting for the new release by Martingle Quilts from Grandmother's Garden by Jaynette Huff which is what we will be using in class!


Monday, January 9, 2012

Redwork Block of The Month Club

Beginning February 1 the shop will be starting a Redwork Block of the month club.  I can't wait!!  I absolutely love redwork and especially the ones which feature these chubby vintage children.  There will be 10 blocks over 10 months and a finishing kit... visit the website for more details.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy New Year

As part of my new years resolution, I am hoping to post hre more often and have my posts shoot to FB and Twitter rather than posting in 3 places.  Way too much computer time for me!

So...what is on your work table???  This is the newest shop sample using the LaBelle Collection by Northcott!!  Now off to the longarmer to turn it from fabulous to spectacular!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Sorry for the extreme delay on what was promised to be a weekly post....I guess the "one man show" shop ownership is getting to me.  Fingers crossed that I can afford some additional help in the new year!!

On to Part 2.....


We all love the inspiration we find in purchasing new patterns and books.  (and shop owners love selling them to you)!  However, in these economic tough times, think about all of the free and reduced price places where you can find that same inspiration and instruction.

1.  First and foremost is the internet.  Google the type of pattern you are looking for and add the words free pattern to the search and see what you come up with.  i.e. - you are looking for a christmas tree skirt pattern type "free christmas tree skirt pattern" into your search engine and spend a few minutes looking through what's out there.  BE AWARE!!! Most free patterns have not been tested so you may well find that the patterns are not always 100% reliable.  An experienced sewer can usually spot a glaring boo read thru the instructions carefully prior to cutting into your beloved fabric.

2.  Revisit your personal (or public) library.  If you are like me you cannot part with any of your back issue magazines or books.  Sit down with your favorite beverage and page through some of those old issues.  The fabrics may come and go, but the patterns remain timeless.

3.  Check the class schedules at your LQS.  I have started adding in some classes that make use of "free" patterns...I would rather have my customer save a few bucks on a pattern and still be able to come in to take the class and purchase a higher quality fabric from me.

4.  Sale! Sale! Sale!  Every LQS has a sale area whether it's patterns, fabric or notions,  check through those carefully so that you can add something new at a reduced may give up a stamp on your loyalty/reward card but the savings are worth it!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

QUILTONOMICS 101 - Part 1 The Quilting of it All

Before I begin, I feel that I must point out several important things.  In NO WAY am I discouraging anyone from frequenting quilt shops (after all I am a shop owner)...or patronizing their longarmer or any other venue.  This is simply a way to save if you find you must and for those of you fortunate enough to not be feeling the money crunch..PLEASE  SPEND SPEND SPEND !!!

The first area in which you can save is your quilting.  Many of us have gotten into the habit of sending every single quilt top out to a longarm service.  While this is great and the longarmers thank you for it..this might just be one way to trim a little cash.  Ask yourself several very important questions before you ship off your next top:
  1. How large is the top?  If it is a throw size or smaller you may very well be able to machine quilt it yourself.
  2. What is the intent of the quilt??  If it is a quilt that is intended to be loved to pieces, i.e. a baby quilt, a charity quilt, or a quilt for a teenager...these are the perfect tops to machine quilt yourself and at the same time get in some really good quilting practice.  If a quilt is intended to be an heirloom, please consider hand quilting where size is never an issue and the time spent is worth the end result.
  3. Am I ready to learn a new skill?  Now might be the perfect time to take a machine/hand quilting course at your local shop.  The investment in the class fee will more than pay off with your first finished project.  Hand quilting is becoming less and less prevelant but can be a relaxing and fulfilling way to finish those quilts which are intended as heirlooms.
  4. Will my longarmer be insulted?  As many of you know, whenever you send a quilt out to your favorite longarmer they have no less than a 6-8 week turn around time.  There is plenty of business out there for them and like every artist they encourage new learning processes!!
Let me know what you think of these tips and if you have any to add!!  I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this particular subject!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Quiltonomics 101

Good Morning Bloggers:

I am going to spend the next few posts (hopefully 1 per week) going over some of the ways that we can continue to pursue our passion during this economic crunch that doesn't seem to want to end!   I am calling this mini-course

QUILTONOMICS 101 - The Basics of Quilting thru a bad Economy!

As some of you are aware, I recently opened my own Quilt Shop.  (Who does this in an economic crisis??).  There are many ways that you can still follow your quilting passion, still support your local shops and get your "fix", all while saving money!!

.  This is my first savings gift to you...visiting my blog and picking up these little short cuts and tips is free rather than having to purchase a book magazine to gain some of this insight!

Some of you may already be using alot of these tricks; but for some it might just set off that little lightbulb that makes you say.....YES, I can continue to quilt through this!!  Follow my ramblings on this subject and please comment and spread the word about this blog and mini-course!