Thursday, December 17, 2015

'Tis the season

The holidays, for a crafter, are crazy. Crazy busy, crazy creative, crazy fun... and crazy. There are so many lists: handmade gifts, and projects for holiday shows, teachers to make for, yankee swaps, parties... It's manic I tell you!
All the same, this year has been a best ever year. Holiday shows have produced more sales for me than ever before and I am grateful to the community I'm in for all the support. That being said, this past week has been a major frenzy for the last show of the year: BCA's Holiday Artist Market. I love this show for so many reasons, mostly because I get to see all the summer artist market vendors that I miss seeing!
And I love doing these last minute, what-can-I-come-up-with projects:
Bags! New bag designs are my way to stretch my creative muscles and use on-hand fabrics to create some unique piece to sell at market. This bag uses some scraps from a blanket I made for my daughter Mira. It solidified in my mind over a couple of days and came together very quickly. I just love experimenting with these ideas!
Looking forward to slowing down next week and spending time baking cookies, catching up on some TV watching, and visiting with family. Happy Holidays everyone!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Geometric Applique Pillows

Subtitles for this post include "I love a good 14" pillow" and "Easy Beginner Sewing Projects"
I've been teaching at Nido / Sewing and Yarn Shop for almost a year. It's been really fun, really inspiring to work with Phiona and I'm happy to report that I've helped add on class offerings at her shop, including Kids Learn to Sew, a Kids Sewing Camp, and a Me and Mom (or Dad) class. I'm looking forward to working more at the shop, learning what people are interested in making, and of course... keeping up on new fabrics :)
I have noticed since I started teaching that there is a relative dearth of good beginner projects out there. Nido's classes do a great job, but because we are offering even more in the way of learning to sew, I have started doing more and more research on projects we can teach.
As you can imagine, I have criteria.
1. Has to use a reasonable amount of materials (to keep costs down).
2. Has to be pleasing to the eye.
3. Has to be relatively easy to sew (um, duh).
4. Has to be reasonably useful.
5. Has to fit in with my aesthetic and the general aesthetic of the store.
6. Has to incorporate at least 3-4 basic sewing techniques.
So... not so easy. Nido has been teaching a wonderful 1/2 yard tote bag for a long time, and I added some really kid friendly projects over the summer. But, variety is the spice of life, so I just came up with this very simple, unlined, removable pillow cover.
1/2 yard fabric (non-directional preferred but can work with directional)
1 spool thread
1 14"x14" pillow form
one 6.5" square contrasting scrap fabric
one piece of heat n bond fusible interfacing (minimum 6.5" square)
applique with fusible interfacing
straight stitch
zig zag stitch
basic hem
envelope pillow enclosure
Tah Dah! (please ignore poor lighting... it's been cloudy here for days)
I won't go into detail about construction (take a class with me if you're interested!), but I will say this. I love the project. I love throw pillows. I love bold geometry and bright colors (right now). I love that this is a quick sew that is relatively forgiving to new sew-ers. Whether or not I end up teaching it at Nido I'm glad to have experimented with some "easy sewing"!