Few years back we contemplated moving away from California, but I just could not make myself do it. Despite being aware of the risks of earthquakes, I still want to continue living here. Then a big earthquake came last weekend in the middle of the night right where we live and gave us a strong jolt. I cope best by drowning myself in work, so next morning I went into crisis mode and took care of everything methodically. However, I was shaken up nonetheless. Even though it still didn’t make me think of moving away, I needed a strong reminder of how much I love the parks and the land here.
I had been planning on showing this little bear cub made by Pam Brown this week and, strangely enough, the timing could not have been more perfect. Talk about coincidence! Pam made this wall hanging from my bear cub quilt pattern and entered it in the Sonoma County Fair. This darling little bear cub was entered in the theme celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the California State Parks and Smokey The Bear. Her bear won the 1st prize AND the Best of Section!! How amazing is that!!
I told Pam that California Parks are very dear to me and I was thrilled to hear that she entered the bear cub in that theme. I can’t thank her enough for emailing me and reminding me that even though nature shakes us hard now and then, it also offers us a lot of happiness every way it can. The little bear cubs are part of my vivid memories of time spent in the California Parks. I am looking forward once again to enjoying the California outdoors that I love so much!
We moved to this city earlier this year. I am so thankful for the kindness of everyone around here, the unexpected visits from people who came to check on us and the emails from my online friends. This was my sewing room after the quake. The room is put back to normal now and you would never know that the quake hit it this hard. I am actually sitting right inside this room while typing up this post, slowly trying to focus and get back to normalcy.
I am not ready to sit at my sewing machine just yet. I have a few designs and hand sewing projects that I can work on and this wall hanging is amongst them. I still need to finish cleaning up the threads from the circles and then I need to hand sew the binding on it.
I am working on a custom pattern for an extremely brave group of people – the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD)/Bomb Squd, such a special project!
I am also one of the girls lucky enough to get a set of fabrics for the upcoming Black Cat Crossing Blog Hop and I am designing a quilt for my most favourite holiday. Here are a few clues for you – it contains a cat, leaves and seven stars!
One of the many things that made me smile this week was The Sew Cute Tuesday Link Up at Blossom Heart Quilts. This is one of the first Linky Parties I joined and I am thrilled to be one of the guest hosts. Make sure to drop by there to see my Rock Music quilt top and three of my picks from the last week’s link-ups. I promise you will laugh out loud!!
Have a very safe week, everyone!
I love Fair Isle knitting, but my knitting skills are currently not up to par to knit anything as fancy as that. So earlier this year I made a very quick Fair Isle star quilt pattern and made a block with that very shortly after. I wanted to make a fabric basket with it, but unfortunately it sat among a pile of orphan blocks until very recently.
Making a fabric basket with a paper piecing block entails working with four individual side pieces that join to the bottom base piece with corners. I don’t like guesswork, so I was determined to find a formula for creating good, perfect corners every time. In the hope that someone else might find the method helpful as well, I wrote up this tutorial. This is more of a tutorial for sewing perfect corners than a tutorial for a fabric basket. I can definitely see using this method for sewing the pieces of a bag together.
My fabric basket is made with a 10″ square paper pieced block. You can of course mix and match the outer fabrics for the other three sides or even patchwork the sides.
Note - This tutorial uses the example of making a 10″ fabric basket with 0.25″ seam allowance.
Material For The Fabric Basket -
1 x 10.5″ square paper pieced block
4 x 10.5″ squares of outer fabric – for the other three sides and the bottom
5 x 10.5″ squares interfacing
5 x 10.5″ squares of lining fabric
Fabric Marker of your choice
Cut the corners of the interfacing pieces and iron them onto the back of the outer pieces.
Sewing the lining -
Step 1 -
First we are going to sew the two side pieces to the bottom piece. Start sewing 1/4″ from the top and finish with 1/4″ to spare at the bottom. I used 1/4″ on both sides because that’s my seam allowance. I would probably use 3/8″ seam allowance for sewing bags, so I would start and end the seam 3/8″ from the top and the bottom. So match the measurement with your seam allowance.
I marked the start and end points of my piece with red lines in the photo. If you need to, you can use a fabric marker to mark the start and end points before you start sewing. After you finish sewing, iron your pieces. You will have three consecutive stitched pieces. The middle piece is your bottom piece.
Check Point - I pinned the piece back in this photo to show you how I started stitching the pieces together 1/4″ from the top and ended 1/4″ from the bottom.
Step 2 -
Now let’s join the back piece to the bottom piece (the one in the middle). Note the seam line between the bottom(middle) piece and the side piece. We are going to use that seam line as a guide.
Place the side piece on top of the bottom(middle) piece, lining up the top and the corner, right sides facing together. Now feel the seam line from the previous photo and draw a small line right behind the seam using a fabric marker. That’s your start point.
Step 3 -
Fold the side piece down and pin it out of the way. That’s the left side prepared.
Step 4 -
Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the right side – feel the seam between the bottom(middle) piece and the side piece, draw a small line right behind the seam using a fabric marker and pin the side piece back out of the way. Those are our start and end marks for sewing the bottom and the back piece together. Stitch those two pieces together starting at the top mark and ending at the bottom one.
Step 5 -
Repeat steps 2 – 4 to join the front side. Iron them flat. Now you have all four sides sewn to the bottom(middle) piece with open corners.
Check Point - This is what the corners should look like. All the sides should be stitched to each other with 1/4″ opening at the corners.
Step 6 -
Now we are going to start sewing the sides to each other, starting from the bottom corner and sewing toward the top.
Line the corners of two sides together at the bottom, moving and pinning the bottom(middle) piece out of the way. You can see how I moved the bottom(middle) piece out of the way at the top corner. Make a small line with the fabric marker on the top piece perpendicular to the stitching line of your bottom and side pieces. You can see that in the picture here. I made that mark so that I know not to stitch behind the start point of that stitching line. You want to sew your seam to the immediate right of that line, and take care not to cross it. That creates a really perfect corner. So once you have that marked, make sure the bottom piece is out of the way and stitch the two side pieces together all the way to the top opening.
Check Point - This is what the corner should look like once you line the two side pieces together, moving and pinning the bottom piece out of the way.
Here’s your perfect corner! Repeat this step for the other three sides of the lining.
Sewing The Basket -
Repeat steps 1-6 to make the outside of the basket.
Sewing The Pieces Together -
Now put the lining inside the basket with the right sides facing each other. You will see the wrong sides of both pieces. Line up the corners of the two pieces and then start with pinning the corners together. Then pin rest of the top together. Sew all the way around leaving a 4″ gap. Turn the pieces inside out through the gap. Put the lining back inside the basket and iron along the top seam. Then run a 1/8″ stop stitch all around the top, that will close the gap as well.
Here is my finished fabric basket which is already filled with yarn. I had always wanted to make a fabric basket using one of my paper piecing blocks. Now that I have formulated a method for sewing corners, I am pretty sure I will be making more! I hope you found this tutorial helpful!
I find knitting scarfs to be the perfect way to learn new techniques for a novice knitter like me. Since the knitting pattern uses exclusively SSK and K2TOG, I have mastered them with this scarf. I even learned how to figure out the stitching order of the next row based on what the stitches looked like in the previous row. You can’t believe how excited I got when I figured that out!! I was making a lot of mistakes before then, but after that it became super easy to knit this scarf with the help of a few stitch markers.
During my search for a generally easy pattern, I came across the Sock of Kindness pattern on Flickr. I fell in love with the pattern and I thought this yarn would complement it very well. It’s a sock weight yarn I got last year during our visit to Bergen, Norway (it’s a beautiful city, by the way). I love the transition of the warm and cool colours along with the simple addition of the design in the scarf. I used 4.00mm (US 6) knitting needles and 40 stitches to make this scarf. Now I am on the hunt for my next knitting project; I love keeping my hands busy!
Craftsy and Etsy
Recently I also sorted a bunch of my orphan quilt blocks and the fair isle star was among them. I always wanted to make a fabric basket using one of my paper piecing blocks. Since the day I made the fair isle star quilt pattern, I knew that’s the block I wanted to use for a fabric basket to store some of my knitting supplies. It couldn’t be more perfect. I love it so much! I also learned how to make perfect corners with this project. I am writing up a tutorial on that which I am hoping to share with you next week.
I also have the giveaway winners from college days blog hop – Mary, Kathleen, and Makatrin. Congratulations! I will contact you soon, so we can mail you the prizes!!
Until next time,
I have the final piece done for my Rock Music mini quilt. The lyrics of a song are very important to me. Now matter how great the accompanying music is, I really can’t listen to a song if the lyrics don’t measure up. Words have such power, they can really excite you and get you all fired up or make you extremely sad. Set them to music and they really touch your heart. I find myself humming at the oddest of times. So I made a Vintage Microphone quilt pattern as an ode to the talented song writers and singers. Do you have a favourite song?
The biggest challenge in drawing this pattern was adhering to the rounded shape of the microphone without making it too complicated. The four sets of grills are made with exactly four sections and they are very straight forward to sew. However, because of the number of bars on the grill, each section has quite a few pieces to sew. Other than that, it comes together pretty quickly. The pattern can be found on my Etsy and Craftsy shops.
I finally have all three blocks that I am going to use for my Rock Music mini quilt. I am excited to put this together.
I really love creating pictures with paper piecing, I treat paper piecing as a form of drawing with fabric. Actually this is how I got into quilting. I also love writing about how I come about my ideas for each piece I create. Both paper piecing and writing got me to meet and make new friends. I would love to extend that and create a space for everyone to share same love I feel about paper piecing. So I created a Facebook group called Pictures With Paper Piecing. I would love for you to join me there.
This brings the College Days Blog Hop to a close. It was a lot of fun to see the variety of detailed blocks each designer created, inspired by their personal history. I can’t thank them enough for such a creative and smooth blog hop this time.
A very special thanks to all of you for leaving lovely comments. I know it brought back some wonderful memories for a lot of you. As a thank you, I have a few giveaways. I know summer is busy for all of us, so I will make it very easy. There are a total of three giveaways:
Make sure you subscribe to this blog and leave a comment at the end of this post. I will pick two of you for two of the giveaways.
To be eligible for the third prize, post a picture of anything you made from this blog hop on the Flickr group below.
Since this post is picture-heavy already, I am not posting the photos of the giveaways here anymore. All of them are a combination of charm-packs and pattern sets. The Flickr group also contains details of the prizes.
I will pick the winners Thursday, August 14th.
Lets look at the showcase of these beautiful college-themed quilt patterns. These blocks really make college look like a place for fun experience! Each picture is a link to the blog post where the pattern file can be downloaded from. Enjoy!
Sponsors for this blog hop
I love promoting my fellow designers. Some of them have been very gracious with their contributions, making it possible for me to give away some really nice packages. I can’t thank them enough. Please make sure to visit their shops for more wonderful quilting patterns and supplies -
Good Luck with the giveaway and Happy Sewing!