Saturday, May 2, 2015

Festive Forest Quilt & Free Pattern

Hello everybody! It's been awhile since my last post (understatement of the year), but I'm really happy to finally be able to share one of the projects I completed during my hiatus.

It's a holiday quilt I designed around the newest collection by my fellow Michael Miller fabric designer, Tamara Kate, called "Festive Forest.

But, first, I have to gush a bit over how cute these fabrics are... don't they make you want to start your Christmas sewing right now?

Of course I love the foxes with their charming striped shirts, but check out the partridges and ornaments hanging from those deer antlers! 

The colors are definitely christmas-y, but with a fresh twist. I've always loved lime green, pink and aqua together, and the forest greens and reds complement them perfectly.

So, what kind of quilt does one make with a fabric collection called "Festive Forest"?

Well, a tree quilt, of course. 

I designed three different paper pieced tree blocks, all the same outer dimension, that you can mix and match how you like. I used a lot of Cotton Couture solids as well, in addition to white on white polka dots which I thought were quite appropriately reminiscent of wintery snowfall .(But, I think this would be adorable in woodland fabrics, too!)

The back was the perfect place to showcase this awesome large scale forest fabric, "Winter Woods", and big chunks of my other favorites, as well.

Besides being made of just about the most darling fabric ever, this quilt is especially dear to me because it's the first example of something I've free motion quilted that was larger than 18" square. And it wasn't horrible, in fact, I quite enjoyed it. I did an overall stipple on the patchwork tree center and a sort of concentric ornament-y shape and waves along the outer borders.

Head on over to Michael Miller's website to download your own free copy of this pattern complete with paper piecing templates! 

To see more crafty goodness made with Festive Forest check out Tamara's blog for links!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Badge Holder Tutorial

I sewed up this badge holder for Quilt Market this weekend and thought I'd share a quick tutorial with you all.

It was inspired by a badge my friend Felice made, who was inspired to make hers based on one our other friend Stephanie made. I love the idea of a protected, zipper compartment for my cash/credit cards, but I also wanted a pocket on the backside to keep my phone for easy access. And as I'm notoriously bad with damaging my phones, I decided to quilt my fabric pieces with layers of batting instead of using interfacing.

Here's what you'll need:
Clear vinyl (mine is from Joann's, in the upholstery fabric section)
6" zipper (or larger and cut it down)
Seam allowance: 3/8"

Here are all the parts:

1. Quilt and cut out your various pieces of fabric and plastic.
You can quilt your fabric before you cut your pieces or after. I quilted mine after and there was a tiny bit of distortion/shrinkage after quilting but these pieces are so small that with a 3/8" seam allowance it didn't really make a difference after all was said and done.

Front top: 5.5" x 1.5" cut 2 fabric, cut 1 batting (quilt these together)
Front base:5.5" x 5.5" cut 2 fabric, cut 1 batting (quilt these together)
Front Pocket binding: 1.5" x 5.5" cut 1 fabric
Clear Vinyl: 5.5" x 4.5"cut 1
Back: 5.5" x 6.5" cut 2 fabric, cut 1 batting (quilt these together)
Back pocket: 5.5" x 5", cut 2 fabric, cut 1 batting (quilt these together)
Back pocket binding: 1.5" x 5.5" cut 1 fabric
Necks strap: 1.5" x 21"

2. Prepare your double fold binding. Take your pocket binding pieces, and wrong sides together, press them in half lengthwise. Now open them up and press each long edge in towards the center line you just pressed.

3. Prepare your double fold neck strap. Follow the same instructions as above, but finish by top stitching close to the edge on both long sides.

4. Attach bindings to front and back pockets. Using the bindings you made in step 2, take the one you want for the front clear pocket and sew it to the top edge of the plastic piece. Make sure to sew close to the edge as shown in the assembly diagram. Do the same thing for the back pocket, sewing the binding to the top edge of the pocket piece.

5. Zipper assembly. I found this to be much easier than sewing a zipper into a pouch. The zipper I used was actually twice as long as necessary, so I just lined up the head of the zipper 3/8" in from one edge of the pouch (just this side of the seam allowance) and let the end trail off the other side. It eventually gets cut off.

Take the top front piece and line it up face down against the edge of the face up zipper. Sew a line as close to the teeth as possible. (I used my regular foot for this and had no problems, but you can obviously use a zipper foot, too.) Press the fabric away from the zipper and top stitch close to the edge. Repeat with the bottom fabric piece.

5. Add neck straps, assemble layers and sew together! Take your neck strap and line up two ends with the top of badge front and tack edges in place by sewing a line of stitches 1/8" from edge. Then layer your clear pocket on top of the zippered piece and make sure the neckstrap is safely away from all seam allowances.

Assemble back pieces and lay face down on top of front pieces. Helpful Hint: make sure your zipper is OPEN, you will be turning your badge holder right side out through this opening, you will be very disappointed if you don't remember this step! :)

Now simply sew along all four sides with a 3/8" seam allowance, clip your corners, zig-zag the edges and turn inside out. Gently poke out your corners with the handle end of a paint brush, a chopstick or any thin but blunt tool and you're done. Now go tackle that trade show!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Finish - Kitty Mini Quilt Swap

I think this might be my favorite swap so far, the Kitty Mini Quilt Swap hosted by my friend, Felice, of SewScatterbrained.

my Puddy posing with the mini quilt top.

My partner, Sue Mariotti, aka suesewcrafty on IG, (who has since received her package, so I can show you all here) said her favorite colors were green blue and yellow and I thought those colors would work well as a  gradient for the background... so why not sew together itty bitty 1" squares, that'll be fun right?

I'm not sure if fun is exactly the right word, but it definitely was satisfying to finish it and see all those squares come together just the way I imagined it.

There were moments when I was piecing it together where I second guessed my choices. Was the cat going to stand out enough or would it look like a jumbled mess?? I've worked on projects before where I changed course halfway through, to mixed results. I decided to just follow through with my original plan and if it didn't turn out the way I expected I could make a new one. Luckily, I loved the end result!

It's just how I pictured it and if I hadn't already embroidered Sue's cat's name onto the banner I might be tempted to keep it. :)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Holiday Fractal Block Wreath

If you follow me on instagram or my facebook artist's page, beckandlundy, you'll know I've put a few quilt block patterns for sale on Craftsy recently. One of them is called "Fractal Block" and I originally envisioned it with multi-colored scrappy tones. Well, the other day I was looking at it and thought, that kinda' looks like a wreath. If I made it out of scrappy greens and added a red bow it would totally be a Christmas Wreath! And as someone who is frequently behind, especially when it comes to the holidays, I thought I'd better get a jump start, so here it is!

If you'd like to make one, too, here's what I did.

Basically, I just made up the 16in version of my Fractal block and added a 1.75 in. border along all four sides to give the wreath a little visual breathing room. I chose the same scrappy whites I used in the background of the block for visual consistency. See my quick (and not quite square) illustration showing the dimensions below.

I made the bow out of fabric, but you could also just use ribbon. Wire ribbon would work especially well because you could shape the bow exactly how you want it and it would stay that way.

I cut a piece of fabric 5.5 in by 34 in, then folded and pressed it in half longways with right sides together. I then sewed along the three open sides leaving a 3-4 in opening on the long side. Use this gap to turn the fabric right side out, give a good pressing and either top stitch close to the edge along both long sides or simply hand stitch the opening closed.

Now simply tie your length of fabric into a bow, pin on with a safety pin (or sew it on permanently) and voila! You've just made a gorgeous Christmas wreath!

Some alternate color versions.

If you'd like to see the original, non-holiday version of my Fractal Block you can view it here.

...and my second block pattern, "Engagement Ring".

I've seen a few photo of my blocks sewn up on instagram and would love to see yours. Tag me or send me a pic of yours because I'm planning a special blog post showcasing them!

Happy Sewing!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Reversible Box Tote Finish

A while ago I decided that the ginormous tote I was using for emma's diaper bag just wasn't cutting it anymore and decided to make something a little more suited to my needs. I really needed something smaller and more open, something where I could access the interior easily with one hand and not have to unzip or unsnap anything to get in.

I also have this things with handles and straps... I don't like too many of them, they're always getting in the way when I'm trying to get inside the bag, or they fall in and I have to pull them out and they get caught on whatever's inside.

When I stumbled across the Reversible Box Tote by veryshannon I knew it was perfect, and bonus of bonuses... free! I first saw it on Julie's blog (Intrepid Thread). It's just the right size and has a single central handle so there's easy access on either side. And the handle stands up on it's own and doesn't fall into the bag, yay.

It's very easy to make, with just one pattern piece for the bag/lining and rectangles for the pockets. I made mine with a patchwork pocket using some of my new emma's garden fabrics against white canvas for the exterior. 

I used one of my favorite fabrics from the line, bee damask as the interior, and honey hive in lime for the pockets.

A couple of emma's teachers even asked me where I got it (big smile) and were interested in how to get one of their own. Which makes me think, wouldn't these make great gifts? They're pretty quick and could look pretty different depending on which fabrics you used and whether or not you incorporate patchwork or piecing into them. I think a monogrammed pocket would be a nice touch!

goofy pic of me modeling my new tote

Here's to a fabulous weekend, it's supposed to be really rainy here in the Houston area, but I find that sometimes that makes for a more productive weekend!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Fractal Quilt Block

I hope you're all having a lovely Labor Day weekend! Mine's been pretty productive so far, I finished and posted my first pattern on Craftsy yesterday. It's a large-ish foundation paper pieced quilt block called Fractal, and includes templates for both 12 in and 16 in versions. It all came about from a mini quilt I made for a mini quilt swap for my local Houston Modern Quilt Guild. I posted some pics on instagram and got a lot of feedback requesting the pattern, so voila.... I made one!

you can find the pattern here.

I am so bad at remembering to take pictures before I ship them off, but here's a rather grainy pic I took of it on my mini quilt wall before I gave it away.

One of my pattern testers, karriofberries, made it up into a super sweet rainbow pillow.

This is my original sketch which I posted on IG back in July.

One of the comments I received was from Mary Claire (@splendorfalls on IG) who rather astutely observed that it looked like facets on a gemstone (yes!), so I mocked one up... 

hello sparkly emerald!

My husband has been bugging me to make him a quilt that's big enough to fit under on the couch (I tend to make a lot of lap and baby sized quilts unless it's for Quilt Market because the little ones don't seem so daunting), but all the ones I've already made are really girly and sweet. So, I mocked it up how it might look as a quilt and dang if I don't think it would be perfect for him; geometric, clean, non-floral and non-pink! In fact, I've been itching to make an all solid quilt for awhile, so this just might be the one. 

What are some favorite masculine, or at least not-ultra-feminine quilts you've made or seen?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Half Yard Bundle Winner!

And the Blog Tour finale winner is...

I've sent you an email, Jessica, to find out which colorway you'd like to receive and will pop it in the mail to you as soon as I get your address. :)

Thanks so much to everyone who followed along, I hope you enjoyed seeing all the projects and are inspired to make some of your own!
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