Friday, December 30, 2011

A Quicker Cowl

Cowls are very "in" right now. And I can see why - the comfort of a scarf without the worry of losing it or trailing the end of the scarf into the toilet. Or something.

And there is no denying that you can't beat the sumptuous knitted cowl. See the beautiful one that inspired me at Canoe Ridge Creations.

So I started knitting one. And like... 6 days later it's still not even halfway done. (!) Sewing has made me (even more) impatient. So I set out to make a quicker cowl, and here it is:
don't laugh. it's a bathroom mirror picure.

It took me HALF AN HOUR! Not six days (or more). Do you want to make one too? Great. Go get an old t shirt and a peice of cool fabric. I used corduroy that was laying around. And a t shirt I had laying around. I know you have one laying around too.

The Quicker Cowl

Old T-shirt - with at least 6" upward of the bottom hem intact
at least 6.5" x 40" (20" folded in half) of accent fabric. Something soft.
scissors, coordinating thread, NO PINS :) (unless you feel like you have to)

Gather materials

Cut materials: cut 6" off the bottom of the T-shirt, cut two peices of accent fabric 6.5" x 20":

cut materials

Make a tube out of the accent fabric. Place peices right sides facing, and sew a 3/8" seam along each long side. Turn the tube inside out:

sew right sides together, flip inside out.

Fold in the raw short edges of the tube, press into place:

fold in ends, press.

You should now have a tube with raw edges all tucked in:

Prepare the old t shirt...
Cut the loop in half to make one long peice of jersey:

Now you're going to hem the long raw edge of the jersey. You can use your machine's zigzag (#2 below) or go for something more like a serger would do (#8 below):

Now you have a jersey "scarf" with raw edges only on the short ends:

Shove one end of the jersey scarf into an end of the accent fabric tube, put it in about 1/2", flatten out, and sew it into the tube with a simple straight stitch along the end of the tube. Repeat for the other end of the scarf/tube, being careful not to twist the contraption

Done. Put it on. It is so comfy, yeah? I'm still wearing mine as I write this tute. You'll be so pleased. I think I'll go make some more.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Family Tree Panel

I love it when my friends contact me with ideas. My friend Keren's father is turning 80 next month and she had the idea of a blanket with all the descendants names on it. After a little experimentation with my machine, and a few emails back and forth, we decided on a family tree panel. Keren bought a light quilt from the store, and I sewed the panel on after her approval. It looks amazing. A linen machine embroidered panel on a dark brown sateen blanket.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Blogger's Choice Bundle Contest

There is a pretty awesome contest going on over at Quokka Quilts - pretty ingenious, I think. The challenge is to come up with your own dream bundle of fabric at Fat Quarter Shop, and present it along with everyone else who is entering. I think it's a great idea, and it is so fun to browse the fabric and make a mosaic based on the fabrics that speak to you. This bundle is not neccessarily my dream bundle, because I wanted to make a cohesive group of fabrics that I think will go well together in a beautiful, garden themed, color saturated quilt. Something to bring summer, make you feel good, and warm, and bountiful. It's interesting... I know my favorite color is purple, but you can see from my stash and from this collection I've made that I lean towards the primarys when selecting fabric. Blues and Deep reds seem to dominate, and that's OK by me. Because you see... mixing blues and reds makes... purple! I'm so basic :)

So... you know, go check out the other entries. You're sure to be inspired.

1. Kona-K001-1295-450.jpg
2. PowerPop-PWJM055-STRAW-450.jpg
3. ReadySetGo-P150-122-450.jpg
4. GoingCoastal-DC5155-GRAY-D-450.jpg
5. SafariSweet-Y0777-35-450.jpg
6. Heirloom-JD52-BLUSH-450.jpg
7. HoneyBee-CX4534-Herb-450.jpg
8. Impressions-PWTY014.PURPL-450.jpg
9. Lark-PWAB071-MIDNIGHT-450.jpg
10. CitronGray-CX5181-CTRN-D-450.jpg
11. Kona-K001-1218-450.jpg
12. Terrain-27097-25-450.jpg
13. Terrain-27098-27-450.jpg
14. ParisApt-30347-71-450.jpg
15. EarlyBirds-PWJS035-LEMON-450.jpg

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Year, New Quilt

Hm. I am having a rush of motivation and inspiration for the new year. Namely... I am finally (finally) going to start (and therefore finish) my niece, Alexa's, QUILT.

I went back into my blog archives to discover that is has been almost 6 MONTHS since I first declared I would make her a quilt and I am truly appalled with myself that I have not yet started (and therefore finished) her quilt. She's already in a big-girl bed, although not yet in a twin size (I think!) so it's overdue to her.

So, with this picture in mind:

And a 40% off sale at my favorite quilt shop... I'm off to start. I'll set a goal... End of February this quilt needs to be done!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Santa visited us last night, and scored some seriously delicious homemade, kid decorated cookies:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I don't need presents

I took Mira holiday shopping this morning - some last minute items to round out the giving season... it's OK that she saw some of her gifts right? I mean, considering she can't remember what happened yesterday she should be able to maintain surprise on Christmas morning?

I made stockings for the girls - nothing fancy - but it will be a nice surprise, especially to Lili, who really wants Mira to have a stocking. So a few stuffers were needed. Bandaids, Hello Kitty pencils, you know, the usual.

And when we got home, mail for me! This is why I don't need any presents. I tend to buy plenty for myself...

First up was a packet of patterns from Make it Perfect, an Australian company that make some beautiful patterns. I've heard rave reviews of their patterns and I love that I don't have to print them out myself :). I have yet to make anything of theirs, but I did buy the Shearwater Kaftan pattern this summer with the full intent of making it until I chickened out. Apparel is a whole nuther sewing world...
these were my winnings from Celebrate Color...
the Honey Blouse, the Coastal Breeze Dress, Uptown Girl Jacket, and Wonderland Dress

Next was a box from Connecting Threads. One of my sewing friends pointed me toward the site for a deal on cotton thread, and I browsed the fabric while I was there too. I didn't realize until I got the box that Connecting Threads is a sister site to Knit Picks, which I have been familiar with from my time knitting. I've never ordered from either - I was wary of the low prices on Knit Picks, but after reading a fellow blogger's review of Connecting Threads, I decided to give it a go. With prices as low as 1.96$ per yard (clearance) up to 5.96$ per yard you really can't beat it. I wondered about the quality of the fabric (some of the JoAnn's quilting cottons often feel like gauze), but another review reassured me...
And I'm so glad I ordered. The thread seems a bit thick to me but using cotton thread is new to me anyway, so I'll see how it runs through the machine. I'm really happy with the prints that I got - some great basics! Those dots will go so well with my Echino leopard print, and the lollypop print in the back reminds me so much of Moda's SugarPop line. They all have a soft and smooth feel, and are thick enough to be worthy of any Moda, Free Spirit, or major label brand. The only fabric I wasn't too happy with was the house print - it seems stiffer and the print has kind of a plasticy feel, but the blue city scene print behind it doesn't have either of those qualities so it doesn't mean that all prints are no good. In any case, I think Connecting Threads will be my go-to for basics when I have the time to wait for it to ship.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

In Love

with a meme...

It is not possible for you to know me and not laugh hysterically when you find out that I just discovered the Handmade Ryan Gosling meme.

I mean, check it:


It is so true. They don't understand at all!

I love this last one. Except here it would be a kid stepping on a pin in the basement. Which is why I am METICULOUS with my pins.

Friday, December 16, 2011

SMS Giveaway Winners

Whew! What a week of giveaways, huh? I hope you all had time to visit some of the giveaways on the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway day, but if not that's OK. It was fun for the rest of us :)

Winner of giveaway #1 - box of scraps - is comment #41:
Michelle said "I want to make a bottled rainbows quilt eventually, so scraps are great, and this is the holy grail of scraps. I'm really glad you aren't going to organize them because if I win, I am the type of person who sorts them into multiple categories, irons them all, folds them carefully, and stows them in labeled bags in a bin in tidy little rows. Just a bit OCD :)"

I'm totally psyched that Michelle won the scraps because she is actually GLAD that I am not going to sort them!

Winner of giveaway #2 - yardage and pattern - is comment #95:
Kaye said "I can't even remember the first thing I ever sewed since my grandmother taught me when I was four or five years old. We did make a lot of clothes for my Barbies and dolls so I'm sure it was something simple for one of them."

Kaye's site: Miss Print is totally adorable and um BY the way... she gave away some Heather Ross fabric (sigh) for her SMS giveaway and um BY the way I totally wouldn't mind if I won that :)

I'm also picking a special bonus winner for giveaway #2... comment #34 - Sarah - wins an extra copy of the pattern simply because she said "I've had that pattern on my wishlist for the longest time! I think the first thing I ever sewed was a pencil case in school many years ago - I actually just threw it out this year, when it became to tatty to use anymore. When I took up sewing again the first thing I sewed was a bag from Cath Kidston's book 'Sew' - it was a keeper, I use it constantly!".

Lastly... giveaway #3: DS quilts FQs - goes to comment #284: "EG" who says "I have a major fabric crush on Joel Dewberry. " Hopefully she crushes a little on Denyse Schmidt too!

OK - all winners will be emailed shortly. Thanks for playing and have a happy and fun holiday season!

Monday, December 12, 2011

SMS Giveaway #3

Post update - winner is #284 - "EG" who loves Joel Dewberry.

looking for my other SMS Giveaways? look no further... giveaway #1 .... giveaway #2

Last but not least is giveaway #3 for Sew Mama Sew's giveaway day...

3 Fat Quarters from Denyse Schmidt's DS Quilts Sugar Creek line of fabrics. I love how Denyse's fabric lines are both traditional and modern at the same time. And this mixture of prints is from my favorite color pallette, so I had to share!

- Leave me ONE comment. It can be whatever you want, but for fun let me know what your favorite fabric line is, or what your favorite color pallette is.
- You don't have to follow my blog to enter, but take a look around - if you like what you see, I'm happy to have new followers.
- This giveaway is open to international participants.
- As per the SMS guidelines, this giveaway will be open until December 16, 2011 8pm EST
- Winner will be announced AND contacted by December 18, and I will ship it out within 24 hours of receiving an address.
- PLEASE leave me a way to contact you if you are a no reply blogger. If I have no way to contact you, I'll choose someone else!

SMS Giveaway day is F.U.N... go check out the other giveaways and have a blast!

SMS Giveaway #2

Post update - winner is #95 - "Kaye Prince" who made Barbie Doll clothes as a kid.
I'm also including a "bonus winner" for this round - #34 - Sarah, who has wanted this pattern forever is going to get one because I have extras!

looking for my other SMS Giveaways? look no further... giveaway #1 .... giveaway #3

I'm going all overboard this year for Sew Mama Sew's giveaway day... Here's giveaway #2:

It's roughly 3 yards of this cute bluebird ditzy print. And a pattern for a very nice little skirt. The fabric will be enough to make 2 of these skirts, so if you are new to the "sewing your own clothes" world, that means you have enough fabric to try once and mess up and then try again and get it right :)

- Leave me ONE comment. It can be whatever you want, but for fun let me know what the first thing you ever sewed was, and if it was a keeper or not.
- You don't have to follow my blog to enter, but take a look around - if you like what you see, I'm happy to have new followers.
- This giveaway is open to international participants.
- As per the SMS guidelines, this giveaway will be open until December 16, 2011 8pm EST
- Winner will be announced AND contacted by December 18, and I will ship it out within 24 hours of receiving an address.
- PLEASE leave me a way to contact you if you are a no reply blogger. If I have no way to contact you, I'll choose someone else!

SMS Giveaway day is F.U.N... go check out the other giveaways and have a blast!

SMS Giveaway #1

Post update - winner is #41 - "Michelle Olsen" who is apparently going to go all OCD on these scraps :)

looking for my other SMS Giveaways? look no further... giveaway #2 .... giveaway #3

Yes! It's that time of year again... time for the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway day! This giveaway day certainly helped me get my stash going - the first time I participated I won a great selection of scraps from Ducks and Rabbits, so in honor of that first fateful SMS win, I am going to give away a (ahem) rather large box of scraps. In all honesty, I got a little overwhelmed with the mess in my sewing space and the scraps just have to go! It's a great selection of prints and some solids, and even a spool of ribbon in there too. Some juvenile prints, some modern, some funky. Mostly quilting cottons but some home dec thrown in there too.

I'm not guaranteeing any sizes in there, though you will find both large and small. Probably not as big as a FQ, but I'm sure there are some quarter yard cuts. I'm also totally not going to organize it. Sorry, but you'll have fun sifting through the goodies, I swear!

What are you going to DO with all these scraps? Well, you could make a few of Noodlehead's zip pouches. Or do one of these cool circle pouches. Or... make a scrappy quilt! Join Rachel over at Stitched in Color for a new year scrappy event. Whatever you do, make sure you have fun with it :)

- Leave me ONE comment. It can be whatever you want, but for fun let me know why you want scraps. Building your stash? Like to have play around fabric? Just a fabric hoarder? I want to know.
- You don't have to follow my blog to enter, but take a look around - if you like what you see, I'm happy to have new followers.
- Due to shipping costs, this giveaway is for US residents only - but check my other giveaways for international chances!
- As per the SMS guidelines, this giveaway will be open until December 16, 2011 8pm EST
- Winner will be announced AND contacted by December 18, and I will ship it out within 24 hours of receiving an address.
- PLEASE leave me a way to contact you if you are a no reply blogger. If I have no way to contact you, I'll choose someone else!

SMS Giveaway day is F.U.N... go check out the other giveaways and have a blast!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


I just got a package of Voile (Joel Dewberry) from Hawthorne Threads. Isn't it pretty?

Part of my Stitched in Color Celebrate color winnings. It's so soft and pretty - it will be nice to make some summer clothes for the girls. Too bad there's SNOW outside now :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mise en Place

the Sewing room was getting out of control. And then I got a free on the side of the road bookshelf. It was really nice, I just finished it with a coat of poly and then it was ready to be used:

It's really nice to organize. I hope it can stay neat for at least a little while.

Sorting like this helps me to see.. I don't have a ton of yellows or purples. Which is funny, because purple is my favorite color.

This is the other stuff I'm working on - a few Go Anywhere bags for the upcoming craft show.... This black and yellow print is really not very "me", but it just was yelling at me to make it into a bag, so I bought it. I like it - very honey bee.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Almost time for...

It's almost time for Sew Mama Sew's biannual GIVEAWAY DAY! I plan to do maybe even a few giveaways that day so make sure you check back... And go to Sew Mama Sew for more info - maybe you want to host a giveaway too!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Run Santa Run

This weekend I did something a little crazy. Dressed up like Santa and ran a 5k with my sisterinlaw and about 1200 other people. Living on the edge, I know!

Anyway, when I'm not sewing (or watching Glee) I pretend to be a runner. I've been pretending this kind of poorly lately, but it was still hilarious and fun to run this Santa race, and it was the first race that my girls got to see me run in. It was cold, but sunny, and very much worth it.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Mail Call!

You know it's a great (GREAT) day when you not only win a contest, but you also get four (4!) packages in the mail.

First up... A Dear Stella Anchors Away FQ set from Pink Chalk Fabrics. By the way, Pink Chalk is awesome. Superfast shipping. Amazing selection of modern fabrics.

Next up is a custom made wallet that I ordered from L&B Accessories. I can sew, but not like Patty! I saw her work at the Queen City Craft Bazaar, and was blown away by her workmanship and attention to detail. No wonder she's done so well with her Etsy shop. After the craft show I couldn't stop thinking about her wallets, so I ordered one with custom fabric choices from her shop. Totally cool.

And I also got a wonderful swap package from Amy. This is the second time Amy and I have been partnered for the A little fabric A little chocolate swap, and she really spoiled me again this time. Some great basic colors to round out my rainbow of fabrics, and some amazing japanese fabric scraps, many which I've never seen before. She also thinks of the girls and added some treats for them as well as a nifty origami style pouch. I really love to see the world of sewing through other people's ideas and this swap is great for that.

Finally, a mystery package! I knew it must be from the Goodie bag swap, since those packages have been mailed out recently. Little did I know I'd be getting such a perfect bag - literally, it's the perfect size for me, and incorporates my favorite fabric line!
Goodie bag recd front

Included in the bag were some really to-die-for rare scraps from my favorite fabric designer. These fabrics are so cute and whimsical - I'm really lucky to have had such a great swap partner.
Goodie Bag recd scraps

And that is the mail for today! It's a good thing we're setting up more fabric storage for me :)

Um... Wow!


I'll admit. I really wanted to win. And you know that moment, you're scrolling down to see the winners... and I saw my bag!

And I did a little happy dance, which 2 year old Mira was happy to join in. And I sighed a contented sigh.

And now I say Thank YOU to everyone who voted for me, and for Rachel at Stitched in Color for hosting such fun and inspiring contests, and all the other participants who really help to push me to be a better sew-ist.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Please go vote for me!

My Emily Knitting Bag is a finalist for the final month of Stitched in Color's Celebrate Color event. So I need your help! I got close with my red riding hood pouch last month, but this time I really think I deserve to win. Why???

The Emily Bag is purely of my own pattern, made specifically for a good friend. That means that I put a lot of heart and soul into it and I gave it away when I was done! And was happy to do so because Em loves it. I put lots of care into the details and I'm really proud of what I created.

So, if you agree, please go vote for me (please please?) at:

Stitched in Color, under the "wearables" category - look for Junebug's Emily Knitting Bag!

Thanks everybody!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


thankful for...

Big family sleepovers: Four generations, 15 people, one roof.

95th birthdays, and being able to celebrate them with the important ones.

Two girls, 21 hours in the car, and no DVD player. They are troupers!

Turkey. Cherry Pie. Asian Pears.

New babies.

And a hug that feels like it came from the whole world.

It was a nice holiday this year!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Best Friend Tote (a tutorial)

I'd say it's been a long time since I did a tutorial. So here is a great one for the holiday season. This tute is called the "Best Friend Tote" because it is just that - a very nice tote you can make for your best friend in just a couple of hours. It will utilize her (or his!) favorite colors and a bit of linen to make just the best bag ever.

1/2 yard of linen (if you buy 54" linen, you will get exactly two bags out of it!)
1/2 yard lining fabric
scraps that will equal up to a 3 1/2 x 15" strip, in your best friend's favorite colors (what?! you don't know your BFF's fave colors? Go find out.)
37" of 20" wide interfacing, lightweight
1/4 inch seams unless otherwise noted

Okay, now do the fun part first! Piece together those fun pretty wonderfully colorful scraps together... press your seams outward... and then trim it up so that it measures 3.5" x 15"... Fun. Admire it. Set it aside.

And go ahead and cut all your other materials. You'll need:
For the main body of the bag:
3 x 15" linen
24 x 15" linen
3 1/2 x 15" scrap piece (yay you, you just did that!)
For the strap:
3 x 27" linen
2 3/4 x 27" lining fabric (just slightly less wide than the linen strip)
For the lining
30 x 15" fabric that coordinates with your scraps
30 x 15" for the body of the bag

Cutting note: If you buy 1/2 yard of 54" linen, cut it along the fold line. You should now have 2 pieces that are 18" x 27"... Cut 3" off the long side - that will be your strap piece. Then cut 3" off the remaining short side - that will be the "top" of your bag above your scrap piece. No waste!

Okay. Got all your pieces? Good. Now onto the strap...

Take the 3 x 27" linen and lining strips, and iron them down the middle. Then iron each side into the middle - just like making bias tape, but you'll end up opening the center and ironing it flat. You've just ironed the two edges toward the center of the strip:

Put the two folded sides together (aka - put the wrong sides together), and topstitch along each side to form the strap. Use a nice contrasting thread to make it look special! And look at that, no need for turning it right side out - it already is! Note that I use a walking foot to do this step - it keeps all the layers together without buckling and twisting the material, and no need for pinning this way.

Now we'll assemble the outside of the bag.
Take the scrap strip that you've pieced and trimmed... sew on the 3 x 15" piece, and then the 27 x 15" piece... press your seams toward the linen... and then topstitch on the linen side:

Iron on the interfacing, fold in half, wrong sides together, and iron across the bottom:

Now fold in right sides together, and sew up each side. This will give you a basic tote shape. With the bag still inside out, we'll box the bottom by pinching the corners - push the side seam so that it rests along the bottom ironed center fold, and sew a line 1.5" in from the corner:

Trim the corners you just sewed, flip the thing right side out, press the side seams, and you should have this:

The lining part is easy - just take your 30 x 15" piece of lining fabric, fold in half, press the bottom fold, sew up the sides, box and sew the corners - all just like the outside shell! You should now have an inner lining piece that looks exactly like the bag above, except it is in lining fabric.

Assemble your bag:
Place the outer bag (right side out) inside the lining (which is wrong side out). You're essentially putting the bags together right sides facing. Tuck the strap inbetween the outer and the lining, taking care to put the linen side of the strap toward the linen outer, and the lining side of the strap toward the lining: (don't twist the strap!)

Pin along the top edge, placing each end of the strap centered on either side of the bag, the strap should be inbetween the linen and the lining layers:
looking from here, bag lining, lining side of strap, linen side of strap, linen bag...

back side of pinning

pinned top edge - ignore the hardware and pocket sticking out of this pic. i added them to my bag but not to this tute!

Sew all the way around the top edge with a 1/2" seam. All the way around! Good job.

Now? Go get your seam ripper and rip a 2-3" section of one of the side seams, near the bottom of the bag, so that you can flip the whole assembly inside out. Like this:
yup. your bag is being birthed through that hole.

it should look like this once you've flipped it all the way through that little seam ripped hole

Once you've confirmed that everything is where it should be, sew the seam-ripped hole closed from the right side, with a very small seam allowance:

Push the lining into the outer linen bag, and press along the top seam:

Topstitch along the top of the bag:

And you're done! Go give that nifty bag to your bff - they'll love it!

** Please use this tutorial for personal use only, gifting to friends and family, etc. Please give credit back to me (Junebug!) when showing off the bag/tute online. Thanks for respecting my work :) **

Linking up to Pink Chalk, Sew Modern Monday, Inspire me Monday, Just Something I whipped up, Made by you Monday, Take a Look Tuesday, Handmade Tuesdays, Sew Cute Tuesday, Tute in Tuesday, and Fabric Tuesday...