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!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Emma's Garden Blog Tour Finale

I'm so glad you made it to the end of the Tour, I enjoyed reading all the posts myself! If you missed any of the stops,you can find the full listing here

There were a lot of talented ladies involved and most were from my very own Houston Modern Quilt Guild. I thought I'd use this last stop to show some of the projects sewn up by some of the ladies without blogs. They're too darling not to be shown.

I absolutely cannot wait until emma can wear any of the following outfits!.

The sweet purple top on the left is reversible with the cutest pink flower buttons on the other side. Mona Keegan made it using the Lucy Tunic pattern by Shwin and Shwin Designs.

That cuter than cute french-y looking jacket with ascot tie was made by Rebekah, as well as the sweet butterfly skirt dress with peter pan collar on the right. Both patterns are from the book, "Sew Classic Clothes for Girls" by The Cottage Mama.

Rebekah additionally surprised me with this adorable romper she made from her own self-drafted pattern.

Here are emma and I in coordinating colors!

Which brings me to big girl's clothes, or in other words, dresses for me! I was hoping to wear garments made from my collection every day at Market, so I started by making this Simplicity #1419 dress for the first day.

It was super comfortable and had pockets which I love in a dress. I was inspired to make it after my fellow guild member, Julia, wore this dress to our monthly meeting. Another talented quilty friend, Felice made one also, in the cutest kitty fabric by Alyssa Thomas. You can see it here.

The second day, I wore a dress made with my Garden Bouquet fabric in the violet colorway. It uses the same Simplicity pattern, I just left off the peter pan collar. I've always liked a classic bateau neckline, and though this isn't technically a bateau, it was close enough for me. I think I could alter the neckline a bit more the next time to get one even closer.

I fussy cut the pieces for the back of the bodice to try to match up the design on either side of the zipper. And I'm pretty darn proud of how it turned out! I will be savoring this achievement, because I don't expect I'll have that much luck on all my finishes.

The third day's wardrobe was made possible unknowingly by Hilary and the gorgeous sweetheart dress she made for display. I told her to make it to her measurements since she'd be keeping it after Market. But as I eyed it hanging in my bedroom in the days before Market, I just couldn't resist trying it on, and wouldn't ya know, it fit. 

Well, fit might be a stretch, I could get the zipper up and even walk around reasonably comfortably, provided I didn't breath deeply or sit! I chose to wear it on the last and shortest day, which turned out to be a wise decision indeed. You can see it on Hilary's blog here.

If you've been a follower of my blog for awhile you might remember the two cathedral window pillows Robin Woods made for my Les Amis booth at Fall Quilt Market 2012. 

She very graciously offered back then to make me cathedral window pillows for every collection I design... for me to keep! Well, I hadn't seen her in awhile when Spring market rolled around and I wasn't sure if the offer still stood, but lo and behold I got an email from her reminding me that she would make me new pillows. Yes! She whipped these two up in a jif, one for each colorway. They're like little galleries of all the prints in each collection, I love that!

Then came the bags...

Debbie Grosskopf sewed up the wildly popular Noodlehead Cargo Duffel in my Big Blooms and Lovely Lattice yellow with some hot pink for contrast. I love it! Have I mentioned how much I love it? Well, I do. 

It's so bright and happy, and it showcases one of my favorite prints from the collection, Big Blooms. It's a great low volume print with delicately hand drawn blooms.

The inside uses another of my personal faves, Sketchy Stripes. 

Laurel Cull introduced me to a little bag you may have heard of, the Sew Together bag when she offered to make me one for the booth. I'd never seen one, but it sounded interesting so I of course said, yes please. When I finally received it I was blown away... by the ingeniousness of the bag itself. I refer to it as the Mary Poppins roll-up bag, so much stuff fits in there that you can just keep pulling stuff out for ages!

The three interior zippered compartments and webbed inbetween spaces are great for organizing and separating your stuff. Then the whole thing zips up into this tidy little cylindrical bag.

 If you're feeling brave, you can find the pattern on craftsy here. Or, if you're lucky like me maybe you can find someone to make one for you!

In addition to making the three children's garments mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, Rebekah almost made this cool wood-handled carry all bag that she designed herself.

It's plenty roomy with interior pockets (a must). Simple and modern with clean lines, it's so fun!

Okay, I know this has been a looooong post, but I'm glad you're still here, because here come the freebies! I have some free desktop wallpaper downloads for you and a grande final giveaway! 

Download any of the following wallpaper by clicking on "download here" below the graphic and then choosing your size.

download here

download here

download here

download here

And one lucky winner will receive a half yard bundle of the colorway of your choice, Blush or Violet. Simply leave a comment to be entered. If you'd like an additional entry, you may do so by following my blog. I hope you will because I have lots planned for future posts!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Emma's Garden Blog Tour

Hi guys, I'm really excited to announce that  Emma's garden is now shipping to stores! If you want to get inspired by some projects using these fabrics, then you're in luck. My blog tour starts tomorrow and it's full of lots of eye candy, tutorials and free patterns, not to mention a few pics of lil' stinky britches herself.

I'm also guest posting over on Michael Miller's blog to kick off the Blog Tour for Emma's Garden, so pop on over and check it out!

From there we'll be making lots of stops, including one in France (ooh la la) before ending right back here on my own blog.

Here's a little preview of some of the projects you'll see on the Tour and a list of the blog schedule. It's going to be a lot of fun with a giveaway on every stop!

Sweet reversible wrap top sewn up by Liz Pawlik.

All the talented lovelies participating:

8/7 - Michael Miller's website (that's me!)
8/8 - Hilary - youngtexanmama
8/9 - Karri - karriofberries
8/10 - Felice - sewscatterbrained
8/11 - Sally - sallysangelworks
8/12 - Liz - www.fatchickquilts
8/13 - Julia - starsandsunshine
8/14 - Jacey - jaceycraft.blogspot
8/15 - Sophie of C'est LaVie - lescrapdesoph
8/16 - Pam - pamquiltaholic
8/17 - Patty (yup, that's me again!) beckandlundy

Hope you'll join us, and don't forget to pop back by on the last day for a Grand Finale giveaway!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

HST Needlebook Tutorial and Giveaway!

It's been awhile since I've posted a tutorial so I've decided to do one for this little needle book I made for the Schnitzel and Boo mini quilt swap a couple weeks ago. It's super cute, super fun and would make a sweet gift for someone special.

As a bonus, I'm also giving away the sample I made along with lots of other little goodies including fabric, a watercolor painting and some surprises!

First, pick out some bright fabrics and some low volume or light fabrics. You're going to cut eight 2" squares from each for a total of eight bright and eight low volume.

I like to use a method of making HSTs that yields two at a time. So, pair the fabrics up putting one bright square and one low volume square right sides together and draw a line diagonally from corner to corner. I use a mechanical pencil, but you could use a disappearing or water-soluble pen too.

Sew a parallel line of stitches a scant 1/4" away from either side of your drawn line (I like to sew my seams just under a 1/4" since the pieces are so small and to give me a little more wiggle room when trimming them down). Cut along the drawn line and press open. You now have two matching HSTs!

I made enough for two needle books, aren't they cute all lined up?

They're a little bigger than they need to be so you can trim them down to a perfect 1 1/2" square. Believe me, when you're piecing together something this small having accurate sizes and seams makes a difference.

Trim them and arrange them into two sections of eight, two across by four down. One section will be for the front and the other for the back.

Once you're happy with the placement, sew them together. Next cut out a 2" x 4.5" rectangle for the spine and place it between the two HST sections. This is the time to make sure your directional fabrics are going the right way. As you can see in my finished photos, I failed miserably at this part!

Go ahead and sew the two HST sections to either side of the spine.

Next, cut a piece of batting slightly larger that your needlebook cover, pin them together and quilt however you like. I simply stitched in the ditch on all the vertical seams, but be as creative as you want.

Here's a look at the underside if you're curious...

Next, you'll need to sew the strap. Cut a 2"x 1.5" square of fabric, fold in half longways and sew one short and one long side together using a 1/4" seam allowance. (Keep in mind if you're using directional fabrics which way is going to be up. Again, you'll see I failed at this detail, too!) Clip corner and flip inside out.

Cut two little pieces of velcro about 1/2"or so square and sew to the needlebook front and the strap as shown. I tried to keep my stitching as close to the edge of the velcro as possible without going off. Remember that the stitching on the strap will be showing on the front of the needlebook when it's closed.

At this point, I squared and trimmed my needlebook front, but you could also do it right after you quilt it, not sure why I didn't.

Place the strap velcro side up, centered on the back of the cover as shown and stitch in place 1/8" from the edge. That way it won't show when you sew the front to the back later. Trim off any excess strap hanging over the edge.

We're almost done! Next cut a piece of fabric for the interior of your needlebook that matches the size of the pieced front. It should be approx. 6" x 4.5". Place the front, quilted piece and your interior piece of fabric right sides together.

I'm a big pinner, as you can see. I'm not very good keeping things in place as I sew, so I really like to overdo it. :)

Sew around all 4 edges using a 1/4" seam, leaving a small gap through which to turn it.

Flip inside out and top stitch right next to the outer edge. This not only looks nice but will close the gap you used to turn it inside out.

Your needle book is starting to look like a little book!

Just add a piece of felt (or two) by stitching directly to the interior of your book straight down the center as shown. 

And voilá, you're done!

Now for the Giveaway Part!!!

As I mentioned in the beginning of the post, I'm also giving away this little needle book along with a goodie bag full of fabric scraps from all my collections (Backyard Baby, Bella Butterfly, Les Amis and my most recent one, Emma's Garden.) There will be some other surprises in there as well, including original artwork. It's going to be fabulous!!

Simply leave a comment below and I'll pick a random winner Friday (*edited) morning, the 18th at 11 am CST!

(*edited 7/26) Okay, so I waited over a week, but had to draw a new random winner because I couldn't get in contact with the first winner (I'm sorry, Sheri, I tried!)

... and the new winner is another Sherry... Sherry VF! Congratulations, I am sending you an email as we speak so I can get your address and ship your package out to you ASAP! :)

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