Reversible Placemats

Christmas is less than a week away and we’re on a sewing streak to finish up gifts for all the people on our list! Are you doing a handmade holiday this year? What are you making? Karin Jordan of Leigh Laurel Studios has whipped up an incredibly easy Reversible Placemat tutorial. It’s a terrific project to showcase some of your favorite prints, or perhaps even pull out one of your precious panels. These little mats will get a ton of use and are sure to be a treasured handmade gift.

And now, we’ve gotta run! We have placemats to make!! ;)

reversible placemats 3 - tutorial by karin jordanLOReversible Placemats
It’s a treat to be able to use favorite fabrics for placemats. This is a simple pattern that doesn’t require any hand sewing. It’s a great proejct for a beginning sewist; a set of these can be made in an afternoon. They can easily be made larger or smaller. Finished size is 14″ x 19″. Note: Placemats pictured are a scaled down version: 12″ x 17″.

Materials List
— 1/2 yard fabric for top
— 1/2 yard fabric for bottom
— 1/2 yard Pellon® 987F Fusible Fleece

Tools List
— Sewing machine & related supplies
— Rotary cutter & related supplies

For a free downloadable pdf of this pattern, visit the project page here. We’d love to see what you make, so be sure to post a photo on our Facebook page OR share with our ‘Made with Pellon®‘ flickr group!

reversible placemats 4 - tutorial by karin jordanLO

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karinjordanKarin Jordan blogs at Leigh Laurel Studios. She grew up under her architect father’s drafting table, making mini models out of the cardboard scraps that fell to the floor. At age ten she purchased her first sewing machine from a neighbor who taught her sewing basics. A former magazine editor and antique American folk art gallery director, she now loves being a blogging, stay-at-home-mom. She regularly draws upon her degree in art history for inspiration for her sewing, embroidery, craft patterns and activities with kids. Karin’s husband is remarkably patient while she does her best to balance being a full-time assistant to two children under four with her creative endeavors. Her goal? Do something creative every day.

Find Karin online:
BlogFacebookPinterestTwitterInstagram

 

EZ-Steam® II gets Crafty

If you’ve ever watched a video by Vanessa Vargas Wilson of Crafty Gemini, you know what we know. She is amazing! She has excellent style and a knack for turning any project into something achievable for all skill levels. She is down-to-earth, easy-to-follow, incredibly creative, and, well, we could go on and on! When charged with the task of creating a demo video for our new and improved EZ-Steam® II, we just knew Vanessa was the woman for the job.

What do you think? What would you make with EZ-Steam® II? Perhaps some fabric stickers, or a cute little mug rug as Vanessa showed in her demo? Maybe a wall decal or two? We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Thanks so much to Vanessa for being her wonderful self and for showing just how quick, fun and easy it is to use our EZ-Steam® II! Don’t forget to check out her post all about EZ-Steam® over on her blog today!

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 8.14.44 PMAbout Vanessa:
Vanessa Vargas Wilson is the founder and proprietor of Crafty Gemini, LLC, a sewing, quilting, cooking and crafting video tutorial business that showcases her many talents via her YouTube channel, TheCraftyGemini. After graduating from law school and getting married in 2008, Vanessa (with the help of her husband) decided to turn her passion for creativity and teaching others into a business. She loves teaching practical and functional skills to anyone willing to learn. She is a published quilt pattern designer and long arm quilter. Vanessa has also been featured in the New York Times and on ABC’s 20/20 for her crafting tutorials on YouTube. She credits her clear and concise style of instruction with her success. Vanessa lives with her husband, two children, two dogs, two rabbits and four chickens on a small farm near Gainesville, FL.

Find Vanessa online:
BlogYouTubeFacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram — Online Shop

Resources:
EZ-Steam® Feature Page
EZ-Steam®
EZ-Steam® II
Lite EZ-Steam® II
EZ-Steam® II Tapes

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

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Twice a year, Sew Mama Sew brings bloggers, designers and brands together for one giant collaborative giveaway event. What was once done in a day has become a full week of amazing giveaway opportunities, all conveniently linked up in one place. It’s a tremendous time for new product discoveries, fun connections with your favorite blogs, introductions to a wide range of brand new blogs AND it allows all of us to have a bit of fun with all of you! It’s an exciting time and we’re thrilled to be a part of it this year.

AurifilPellon and Moda Fabrics have come together to create a one-of-a-kind, over-the-top, you-will-not-believe-your-eyes prize package for the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!  This bundle is a combination of the best of all three brands in one spot: a 1/2 yard bundle of 12 Bella Solid Fabrics in a range of colors, an exclusive Aurifil Bella Solids Collection of thread, and a bundle of seven crib-sized Legacy by Pellon® battings — Natural Cotton, White Cotton, 80/20 Natural Blend, Bamboo Blend, Soy Blend, Wool & Polyester. Excited yet?

This fabulous giveaway closes December 12, 2015 5pm PST. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced on or around December 14. This giveaway is open internationally!

Simply follow the Rafflecopter link below to enter-to-win! Don’t forget to head on over to Sew Mama Sew to check out all of the amazing giveaways featured on some other great blogs and make some new friends!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/715465f713/

Good luck and happy sewing!!

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Handy links:
Sew Mama Sew Supplies Giveaways
Sew Mama Sew Handmade Goods Giveaways
Aurifil Blog
Moda BakeShop

 

Nancy Zieman — Easy Gifts to Sew in Two Evenings or Less!

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We’re loving our ongoing partnership with Nancy Zieman. She’s pretty remarkable! You’ve likely already read all about the Christmas Stocking Sewing Challenge, but have you heard about this weekend’s webcast?

This Saturday, November 22, Nancy will present a live webcast dedicated to handmade gifts for the upcoming holiday season. The webcast will teach viewers how to serge a scarf in an hour, how to use the Dresden Quilt Template to create several decorating ideashow to use specialty fabrics like clear vinyl, chalkboard fabric, quilted iron-quick, and more to create handy projects for the home, how to create gifts for kids using time-saving notions AND how to apply her time-saving tips to sewing and quilting projects. Really… it’s going to be pretty awesome!

The webcast itself is typically $29.95, but Nancy and her amazing team are offering a special deal to all of you. Register today and pay only $19.95. Simply follow this link and complete your registration:

http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/nancy-zieman-live-webcast-p1

SWN-LiveWebcast
Live Webcast — Easy Gifts to Sew in Two Evenings or Less
Details: Join Nancy for a live, interactive webcast on November 22, 2014 — featuring Easy Gifts to Sew in Two Evenings or Less! Watch from the comfort of your own home and interact with Nancy via email. Participants will receive a project sheet PDF and will qualify for prize drawing giveaways.

Reserve your spot today!!!

Looking for some additional inspiration? Here are a few Handmade Gift Ideas from Pellon®:
(Click on the image or follow the links to head to the project pages!)

Handmade Gift Ideas:
SWN-ChristmasPouch SWN-CosmeticsCase
[L to R: HST Triangle Zip Pouch by Emily Lang, Cosmetics Case by Lindsey Rhodes]

SWN-GiftBagTotes SWN-iPadCozy
[L to R: Gift Bag Totes by Vanessa Lynch, iPad Cozy by Kelley Gilbert]

SWN-MiniJewelryRoll SWN-Keyfobs
[L to R: Mini Jewelry Roll by Marni Weaver, Key Fob Wristlet by Karin Jordan]

SWN-SturdyTote
[Simple, Sturdy Tote by Amy Smart]

For more handmade gift ideas, please visit the Pellon® Project Library!

Nancy Zieman’s Christmas Stocking Sewing Challenge

With Christmas just 5 weeks away, we are fully in the Holiday spirit! What are your plans for this Holiday season? Handmade gifts? Handmade decorations? Perhaps a stocking or two?

We are thrilled to have partnered with Nancy Zieman for a Christmas Stocking Sewing Challenge. Why not make stockings for the whole family and enter to win some great prizes in the process?

IMG_3294[Stocking by Sewing with Nancy]

Challenge Announcement
Details: You are invited to participate in Nancy’s Christmas Stocking Sewing Challenge. Use one of the free sewing patterns below and sew a Christmas stocking for yourself, a family member, or as a gift. Then, enter our Christmas Stocking Sewing Challenge. It’s easy!
Entries Due: to info@ziemanproductions.com by December 1
Patterns: use any pattern available via Pellon® or BabyLock
Voting: December 2 – 8 on Nancy’s Blog
Winners: Announced on Tuesday, December 9.

Need a little inspiration? Here are a few of our favorites — simply click the image to head to the project page:

Baby_Lock_Stocking-2[Elf Stocking by Babylock]

iheartpellonstocking[I Heart Pellon Stocking by Rachael Gander for Pellon Projects]

Baby_Lock_Stocking-1
[Velvet Heirloom Christmas Stocking by Babylock]

FallingFlakesStocking
[
Falling Flakes Stocking by Rachael Gander for Pellon Projects]

Happy sewing, good luck, and Happy Holidays!!

Modern Appliqué Illusions Book Tour+ Giveaway!

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We are so thrilled to be a stop along the Modern Appliqué Illusions blog tour! We adore Casey York’s designs, love her use of color and perspective, and of course love how much she loves our Wonder-Under®. We are so thrilled to have a chance to chat with Casey, to learn more about her background, her inspirations behind the book, and some tricks of the trade to help you all in creating your very own illusionistic quilts.

Hi Casey! Thanks so much for joining us today!! To get started, can you give us a little background about yourself? 
Thanks, Erin! I’ve been sewing since childhood so, although I focused on making clothing during that period, fabric and thread have always been a creative outlet for me. I even designed stuffed animals and prom dresses as projects for my independent-study art classes in high school.

In college, I fell in love with art history and decided to pursue a career in that field. However, by the time I had almost finished my degree, it had become apparent that searching for a job as a professor might not be feasible–my husband and I had two children and he had settled into a job that wouldn’t permit me to move around the country the way you normally have to when looking for a tenure-track position. Also, I had really missed having a creative outlet while in grad school–I joke that it should have been clear to me that I was meant to be in a design field when I wanted to spend more time designing posters for lectures than I did doing research.

When did you first start quilting and what inspired you to start?
I started quilting when my first son was born. I wanted to make him a crib set, and after I made that first quilt, I was hooked–I couldn’t wait to make another one. Quilting really shifted from a hobby to a career pursuit about three years ago however. Interestingly enough, that transition was also spurred by designing and making quilts for my sons, which led to publishing stand-alone patterns. I feel so lucky to be working at something that I love so much.

14376887746_563e2de9e4_z[Grand Canal, from Modern Appliqué Illusions by Casey York]

When did you first start working with appliqué in your designs?
From the very beginning–that very first quilt I made when Julian was a baby was an appliqué quilt. I love the design freedom that appliqué offers–if you can draw a shape or silhouette, you can appliqué it! I’m also a bit impatient, and fusible raw-edge appliqué satisfies my need to see a project come together quickly. The stitching and embroidery still take time, but I can get a sense of how the finished product will look fairly early in the process, which I love.

What led you to Wonder-Under® and why is it your top choice for appliqué?
I like to experiment, and I tried many of the products on the market. In my opinion, Wonder-Under® offers the best combination of short fusing time and little to no added stiffness in the appliqué. I also love that the paper backing can be used to transfer my appliqué patterns directly to my fabrics.

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River Bend from Modern Appliqué Illusions by Casey York

Do you have any handy tips or tricks that you could share with readers?
I love the process and flexibility of creating with raw-edge appliqué but I don’t like the fraying that can occur to the fabric edges. I figured out a way to protect them beneath a hand-embroidered outline so that fraying is minimized and less noticeable when it does occur. (More information about this can be found in my book!)

It’s also handy to have tools dedicated to the materials you are using. I have a pair of scissors that I use for cutting the fusible web by itself, and another that is just for cutting fabric and fusible web together. That way, I don’t have to worry that the paper backing is dulling the blades of my fabric-only scissors.

We adore your use of white or dark space in contrast with the appliqués in your quilts. Can you tell us a little more about how a design comes together?
I start my designs at my computer. I use Adobe Illustrator to hand trace the silhouettes that will become the appliqués, and then I can lay them out on a background that is the size I want the finished quilt to be. This allows me to scale everything so that it fills the space just right. Then, I can simply print the silhouettes at that scale and they are ready for me to trace and transfer to my appliqué fabric. I also use my Illustrator drawing to guide the placement of the appliqués on the background fabric. The most exciting step in any project, in my opinion, is laying out and fusing the appliqués to the background–that moment when the idea moves from a sketch to an actual quilt top is magical.

CaseyYork_ChickenScratch
Chicken Scratch, from Modern Appliqué Illusions by Casey York

What role does the quilting play in the design of the quilt? Does it always play a role, or is it only with particular designs, like with ‘Tunnel Vision’?
I love to incorporate the quilting into the overall design of the quilt, and the quilting is integral to many of the projects in the book. For example, in Ripples, the quilting forms concentric circles that look as if they are on the surface of water, with the koi swimming beneath them. In many of the quilts, I use a technique I call “Receding Quilting”–spacing horizontal lines of quilting progressively farther apart as they approach the lower edge of the quilt. This enhances the three-dimensional effect of the quilt, because our brains interpret the spacing of the lines as an indication that they are moving farther away.

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[Ripples, from Modern Appliqué Illusions by Casey York]

Quilting doesn’t always play such an important role in my quilts, although I do like to match the concept of the quilting to the underlying concept of the quilt. For example, I quilted my son’s bumble bee quilt with a hexagon pattern to match the honeycomb/beehive theme of the quilt, and I quilted my other son’s shark quilt with an ocean wave pattern.

Any final words of encouragement to our readers? 
Go slowly, and don’t be afraid to experiment!

As I mentioned, I tend to be impatient, so I always try to remind myself that quilting is an activity that is meant to be enjoyable. Slowing down and enjoying the process always yields better results, and helps me avoid frustration and burnout.

At the same time, don’t be afraid to try new things and break some rules if you have to. You might end up discovering a new technique or process that improves upon how we do things now! Some of my best work has stemmed from the question “what if?” Yes you run the risk of a project not turning out the way you want, but if it *does* turn out the way you envision, that’s a wonderful thing, and you learn something either way!

CaseyYork_TunnelVision
Tunnel Vision, from Modern Appliqué Illusions by Casey York

Casey has been kind enough to offer a copy of one of her books to one lucky reader! We’ll through in a package of Wonder-Under® and a crib-sized packaged batting to help get you started on one of the patterns in Modern Appliqué Illusions:).

To enter-to-win, simple leave a comment and let us know what interests you most about creating an appliquéd quilt.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.

Congratulations to our winner, selected with the help of random.org:

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Don’t miss the rest of the stops along the Modern Appliqué Blog Tour! See below for the schedule and don’t forget to stop by Casey’s blog daily to learn more about the inspiration behind each quilt and enter-to-win a package of Wonder-Under®. For many of them she’ll also be giving away a package of scraps from the making of that particular quilt.

11/10: C&T Publishing
11/11: Jenifer Dick/42 Quilts
11/12: Debbie Grifka/Esch House Quilts
11/13: Pink Chalk Studio
11/14: Shannon Brinkley/Bottle Tree
11/15: Pellon
11/16: Kevin Kosbab/Feed Dog Designs                  
11/17: Generation Q Magazine                                  
11/18: Krista Robbins/Sew What’s Cooking?            
11/19: Violet Craft
11/20: Fat Quarter Shop/Jolly Jabber
11/21: Kristy Daum/St. Louis Folk Victorian
11/22: Cindy Lammon/Hyacinth Quilt Designs
11/23: Modern Quilts Unlimited

The Sewing Party + Giveaway

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In honor of The Sewing Party, we’re excited to offer a giveaway today! Simply leave a comment on this post to enter-to-win a fabulous Pellon prize pack:

1 Queen-Sized pkg Pellon® Nature’s Touch 100% Natural Cotton Batting
1 pkg SF101 Shape-Flex®
1 pkg 200 Tack-N-Fuse™
1 pkg EZ-Steam® II Sheets
1 pkg Perfect Loft® Cluster Fiber Fill

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW OVER

Congratulations to Jackie, entrant #21 out of 90!! (Thanks to random.org for helping us find her;))

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