Tuesday, November 18, 2014

La Passacaglia Quilt Pattern

A couple months ago, while I was looking at my instagram feed, I came across the most amazing/crazy/insane quilt pattern I have ever seen. I was so intrigued by it and put it onto my to-do list right away! I love how all of the "cogs" intersect and connect. Amazing!!

After looking into it a bit, I found out that the pattern was the La Passacaglia from the Millefiori Quilts book by Willyne Hammerstein
(featured on the cover of the book)
The book is written in both French and English and it is insanely amazing! I can not believe the 19 quilts in this book. They are machine pieced, but every pattern is adaptable for english paper piecing- which is my favorite! 

The book is super hard to find here in the U.S.- but last month PaperPieces.com remedied that and had 200 copies shipped from France. YAY! They also did all of the hard work for us and they sell pre-cut card stock paper pieces and acrylic templates to cut your fabric... and believe me- with a quilt that has approx 2900 pieces, they are a must! There is no way I could accurately cut out my own pattern pieces, so I am so happy to let them do the job! 
I am not quite done with my first cog yet, but I am loving making this quilt every step of the way... well maybe except for those tiny stars!! It is a lot of work, and a huge time commitment, but I just plan to work at my own pace and enjoy the process! As for my color scheme... I am not sure... I am thinking I may have a bit of every color of the rainbow. I gotta embrace the craziness of the quilt! 

If you are thinking about jumping on the 
"La Passacaglia crazy train", 
be sure to check out the gorgeous quilts and happenings on Instagram!
Just look up these hastags:
#lapassacaglia & #passacagliaquilt
And if you really want to be amazed- check out @alexouq... her Cotton + Steel La Pass is beyond amazing!! And I am pretty much obsessed with everything else she makes too! ;)

Happy Sewing!!
xoxo, Ashley

P.S. Thanks to everyone who entered thePolar Notion Board giveaway on my blog over the weekend.. One winner was chosen at random and the lucky lady is Dixie.
Wow - I have wanted to try out those babies on my stash!!! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Polar Notion Fabric Board Giveaway

When it comes to fabric storage, I love organization and neatness. Nothing worse than shoving your beautiful fabrics in a bin or closet where you have to dig through them every time you need something! Last year, after getting sick of doing just that- digging through bins, I decided to make a sewing shelf dedicated to storing my notions and patterns. 
 I knew that I wanted to have mini "fabric bolts" to store my fabric on and at the time, the only thing I could find that would work were cardboard comic book boards. They worked alright, but since they are made of cardboard, you can imagine that they aren't very sturdy and bend easily- especially if I have more than a yard of fabric on the board/bolt. 

A couple weeks ago, I was contacted by one of my favorite shops- PaperPieces.com and they wondered if I wanted to try out Polar Notion Boards
I was intrigued so I said "yes" and they sent me one 10 pack of the plastic boards to try out. I was skeptical at first because my boards were working fine, but once they arrived I was sold. They are made of a stiff plastic and the fabric wraps around them so nicely! Not only that, but they are acid free... so they aren't going to damage your fabrics over time. I got the original size and they are just the right size- about the same height as my favorite quilting magazine, so they fit perfectly on a book shelf. They do have smaller sizes though if you are looking for fat quarter size bolts. How cute is that!?! I just love them! I can't wait to order more to replace my bent up cardboard bolts. 
I love how you can go from a pile of unruly fabric to your own personal "fabric shop" of neatly organized fabric bolts. It really is the perfect answer to fabric organization! 

So if you are ready to get organized, right now is the perfect time- all Polar Notions are 20% off until Sunday Nov. 16th. So run over and take advantage of that! You won't be disappointed! :)

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

And SUPER BONUS- They are giving one lucky Mommy by day... Crafter by night reader a 10 pack of either size Polar Notion boards try out!! All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment with your email and I will choose a winner Tuesday November 18. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Little Red Riding Hood Costume

When I was asking my oldest what she wanted to be for Halloween this year, she replied with the answer that I am sure every other 5 year old girl replied when asked the same question: "Elsa". In the event that my youngest would have said she wanted to be Anna, we would have totally gone with the Frozen theme this year... especially since we already had the dress ups in our closet. (I honestly don't care what they choose to be for Halloween. I leave it totally up to them.) But, it wasn't meant to be... The youngest was set on Sheriff Callie. So if you read my last couple posts, you saw that I was forced into handmade Halloween costumes this Halloween. 
It really isn't a big deal. I know so many awesome moms make Halloween costumes every year... and who knows, maybe this was a first of many years of handmade Halloween costumes in our house. (never say never right?) But I was not super excited to do handmade in the beginning... just because it ends up being more expensive to buy the supplies and it takes way more time obviously. 

After I got over the initial feelings of not wanting to be making costumes, I started to enjoy it. My girls were so excited to take part in putting the costumes together. Since our playroom and my studio are in the very same room, they played and would come check on the progress and try on their costumes along the way. It was a lot of fun. 

So since I was making one costume already, I offered to make the other a costume for her to be whatever she wanted. She didn't really have any ideas of what I could make, so I showed her a couple things in the Oliver + S Little Things to Sew book(it really is the greatest book... I love it)

Once she saw the Little Red Riding Hood pattern, she was sold. Little Red is a favorite story in our home. 
I made the hood with red micro corduroy (picked up at hobby lobby) for the outside and a red and white gingham fabric for the inside, which was a poly-blend so it was super lightweight (also hobby lobby). This combo was a dream. I loved that the cord was slightly heavier than reg. quilting cotton and the gingham was so lightweight which made the drape of the cape perfect. Also- since I didn't use quilting cotton, it isn't as prone to wrinkles. I made the smaller version of the two cape patterns for my 5 year old and it works great, especially since she is pretty tiny and my 4 year old also likes to play with it, but I would opt for the large size for 5 years and older definitely. The only modification that I made to the hood was that I left off the button closure and used gingham ribbon (hobby lobby) to make ties.
I decided to pair it with the tutu pattern in the book to make it a bit more frilly. I got all of my tulle at Hobby Lobby. I used a combo of 2 layers dark cranberry red tulle on the bottom of the skirt, then 4 layers of cherry red tulle, and 1 layer of cream tulle. I also picked up my ribbon for the waistband at hobby lobby too. 
The last element for the costume was Little Red's basket. I found the perfect basket at Hobby Lobby and used leftovers of the fabrics and ribbon to make a quick liner and bow to dress things up a bit. It was perfect because she used this basket to hold the treats while trick or treating. I am all for functional props!

The cutest thing about the costume, was how much she loved it and how darling she looked once she was all dressed up. She even took 1st place at our wards trunk or treat. (Little sis was a bit miffed because last year in our old ward big sis also took 1st place for her store bought Doc McStuffins costume, so little sis thought that this was her year to take the prize. Luckily daddy won the award for best cornbread, so there were blue ribbons for both of them to pin to their costumes. ha ha) 

I hope y'all have a wonderful and very safe Halloween! 
xoxo, Ashley

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

DIY Sheriff Callie Costume

Sweet Sassafras! Have y'all heard of Sheriff Callie? Well, my 4 year old daughter LOVES her and decided that she just had to be Sheriff Callie for Halloween this year. 
(If you have no idea what I am talking about, Sheriff Callie's Wild West is cute little show on Disney Jr about a kitty cat that's a sheriff.)
The only problem is that Disney hasn't come out with a costume yet. 
So that meant one thing... CRAP! 
I've never made a halloween costume before... and to be honest, I kinda wanted to keep it that way. "Aint' nobody got time for dat!"

It's one thing if you are saving money to make a costume yourself, but in my experience with handmade costumes this year, I spent twice a much as I would have if I had just bought costumes and let's not even talk about the time I put into it.
(my other daughter is being Little Red Riding Hood- new post about that coming soon.) 
My little gal had her mind made up though... No persuading her. So I started brain storming with her help and we decided that we needed to make a mask. I think it turned out so cute... She loves it!
(It's so funny, because I never even thought about painting my daughters face to make her look like Sheriff Callie- That totally would have been so much easier! ha ha)

In case you were wondering- I make it a priority to not show my kids faces on blog... just for safety reasons. I know it is not as "fun" but it's a choice I made when I started my blog, so I am "sticking to my guns" and you will have to take my word for it- the mask looks darling on her! :)

Here are the details for the costume....

Mask: Made by me
I enlarged a coloring sheet found here and used it as my template for making the mask. I used stiff felt (I got mine at Hobby Lobby) for the white of the mask and then just used cheap felt for the rest of the pieces to create the face. I literally just cut out each of the elements from the coloring page and used them to trace onto felt to create the design so it really looked like Sheriff Callie. I used felt glue to glue the pieces onto the stiff base of the mask and then hand stitched them on to secure. Then I used some elastic and sewed it to each side of the mask using a zig zag stitch with a 0 stitch length and bar tacked the elastic to the mask on each side. That's it... Super easy!
Vest: Made by me
I modified the Oliver + S Explorer Vest pattern found in Little Things to Sew book. I used the smallest size of the pattern because my daughter is a tiny 4 year old and I wanted the vest to be fitted. Then I trimmed the pattern piece for the front of the vest so that it didn't come up so high around the neck and had a more "western" shape. I also left off all of the pockets and buttons on the vest. I used tan faux suede (hobby lobby) for the outside of the vest as well as the bias tape and then used some quilting cotton for the lining. 
Sheriff Badge: Made by me 
 I used the deputy badge coloring page found here as a pattern to cut the yellow felt and then stitched it to the vest.
Belt: I used dark brown faux suede (hobby lobby) and created a belt that velcros in the back with a felt oval belt buckle sewn to the middle front. 

Here are links for the elements of the costume that I bought... 
Boots: Target 
Hat: Amazon
(I used a long sleeved white t-shirt and some jean leggings we had already)

 I hope you all have a wonderful and very safe Halloween!
xoxo, Ashley

P.S. I normally never dress up for Halloween, but just for fun... I will share what my hubby and I wore for his work party this year...
Any Buckeye fans out there?? 
Can I get an OH-IO?!?
We were Coach Urban Meyer and his newest recruit! GO BUCKS! ;)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Quilted Suitcase Tutorial


This post is sponsored by Fabricworm

One of my girls favorite things to do is play "Baby"... which consists of packing every play baby item that they own, loading up their strollers, and going on an adventure with their bitty babies all over the house. They usually use their messenger bags that I made them as diaper bags, but as we have collected more and more baby clothes, the bags aren't quite big enough to hold all of the items. So last year, I made a dolly suitcase for them to share. The only problem was just that... sharing! That little suitcase is very much fought over in our house... and who can blame them?! It is pretty darn cute! 


 So after months and months of promising another suitcase to play with, and having the perfect bundle of Acorn Trail fabric show up at my doorstep from Fabricworm to use, I hunkered down and made a second suitcase.
Since it is such a fun little case, I thought I had better make a tutorial so y'all can make one too! Believe me- this little case is not limited to the use of holding dolly clothes either! It is perfect to hold just about anything! :)

Let me start with a preface. 
I made this case bigger and sturdier than my first case- which resulted in a tougher sewing job to complete, but I really love the result of how shapely it is. I will warn ya- there were brief moments of "Weekender Bag" flashbacks and a short, but very real moment where I wanted to throw it across the room... But all in all its a fairly simple bag to construct- especially if you opt not to do a "super sturdy" version... I'll explain that option in a bit.
For this case, I used a Quilt As You Go method for making my pattern pieces (just like I do in my Weekender Bags). I learned the technique from Elizabeth of Oh Frannson. She has a fabulous tutorial if you are not sure how to do this (just click to the link above). The only thing that I did different for this bag, was I substituted and used fusible peltex instead of quilt batting which resulted in a super stiff panel for my case. I really love the flat stiff panels that I created- but like I said... there were a few moments that I was regretting that choice! Sewing with peltex is a pain, but now that I am all done- I love it!


 So for the supply list, I'm gonna give the sturdy (peltex) suitcase list and the softer (non-peltex) suitcase list and depending on which version you make, you'll just make adjustments throughout the pattern, but I will do my best to accommodate my instructions for either version. Keep in mind that when I say "softer"- I use that term lightly... Creating a quilt as you go panels for your project results in a very sturdy/stiff case... But using peltex results in a RIGID case.  Make sense?

Please remember that I am an not a professional pattern maker. I just do this for fun. You may find a mistake or two in my instructions/design of the case. My hope is that if you are making this, hopefully you aren't too new to sewing and you've probably made a bag or two and should be able to make any adjustments needed along the way. 
And as always- my patterns are for personal use only... DO NOT MAKE ITEMS USING THIS PATTERN TO SELL


Whew... Enough chit chat- yes? 
Let's get down to business!
I am going to give a few supply lists. The first list will be the supplies you need regardless of whether you are making the stiff or softer case. The other two lists will be specific to whichever case you are making. 
Keep in mind that my case is about 11x15 inches and is 5 inches thick. You can totally make your own size, but the supply list and my instructions will accommodate this size.

One last thing... Please read through the entire tutorial before buying your supplies. There are a couple modifications you can make that are not included in the supply lists. 

SUPPLY LIST
-Various sizes of fabric scraps to created your patchwork panels
-1/2 yard fabric for lining
-3 1/2 yards bias tape (store bought or you can make your own with 1 1/2 inch strips of fabric cut on the bias)  
-36" Robe Zipper (It's a non-separating zipper- I get mine at Joann)
- eight inches of 1.5 or 2 inch wide grosgrain ribbon or twill tape for the suitcase handle
-Regular quilting machine needles as well as heavy duty machine needles to change out throughout the project.


SUPPLY LIST FOR 
STURDY CASE                    SOFTER CASE
1 yd. fusible Peltex           large scraps quilt batting
3/4 yard drill cloth                    3/4 yard duck cloth

(the reason I use drill cloth for the sturdy case is that I haven't had much luck with peltex fusing well to duck cloth since it is a rougher weaved fabric, but it fuses great to the drill cloth. And using duck cloth in the softer case, will give it just a slightly stiffer feel which results in a better shape than if you used the softer drill cloth. You can find both duck cloth and drill cloth in the utility fabric section of Joann or Hobby Lobby.)

Alright... I think we are ready to start!

First we need to do some cutting.
(when we are cutting- be sure to ALWAYS cut your side panel pieces in each fabric and peltex or quilt battting because this panel needs the width of fabric since it's so long and then cut your other panels)
Drill cloth or Duck cloth
side panel= 5 x 36 inches (cut first)
front panel= 11x15 inches
back panel= 11x15 inches
bottom panel= we will cut this panel later on in the pattern

Fusible Peltex (if you are using it):
(we cut these panels slightly smaller to allow for less bulk in seam allowance)
side panel= 4.25 x 35.25 inches (cut first)
front panel= 10.25 x 14.25 inches
back panel= 10.25 x 14.25 inches
bottom panel= we will cut this panel later on in the pattern

Quilt batting (if you are using it):
(we cut these panels slightly smaller to allow for less bulk in seam allowance)
side panel= 4.25 x 35.25 inches (cut first)
front panel= 10.25 x 14.25 inches
back panel= 10.25 x 14.25 inches
bottom panel= we will cut this panel later on in the pattern


Lining Fabric
side panel lining= 5 x 36 inches (cut first)
front panel lining= 11x15 inches
back panel lining= 11x15 inches
bottom panel lining= we will cut this panel later on in the pattern

Step 1: We need to make our quilted panels first. This is done by taking your drill/duck cloth panel, layering it with your peltex (and fusing) or quilt batting centered on the panel and then doing your quilt as you go method to cover both layers and make one panel. You will need to do this with your front and back panel as well as your side panel. I like my front and back panels to have a slightly rounded corner, so I used a jar lid as a cutting template and rounded the corners before I started my quilt as you go. If you want, you can leave your corners square, which will result in a more boxy/square case.

One thing to note... if you are using peltex instead of quilt batting, you may need to insert a new needle a couple times throughout your quilt as you go panels... Sewing through the peltex is really easy, but it seemed to dull my needle quicker than usual. 
To cut down on the time, I used one fabric for the side panel instead of doing a scrappy panel- but you can do yours however you like. 

So once you are finished with your quilted panels, you should have your front panel- back panel- side panel (all quilted), and your front, back, and side panels cut for your lining. 
 (now you will notice in my picture that I added fusible peltex to my lining pieces as well- just for added structure... which caused the weekender bag flashback and moment I mentioned above of wanting to chuck this thing across the room! I would not recommend this... which is why I didn't add the extra peltex to the supply list or cutting list. If you want to have a little more support and bulk in the lining, opt for a canvas fabric for your lining fabric, or you could add fusible fleece or stiff fusible interfacing (just remember to cut it slightly smaller than your lining to allow for less bulk in seam allowance). Or if you want full out crazy, get another yard of peltex and line yours like I did... just don't say I didn't warn you!)

Step 2: It's time to add the zipper to your side panel.. Take your quilted side panel and place your zipper face down along the top side of the panel and pin in place. Using a zipper foot and the longest stitch on your machine, baste your zipper to the panel with a 1/8" seam allowance. 
 Step 3: Place your lining side panel wrong side down on top of your quilted side panel and pin. Your zipper should now be sandwiched in between the two layers. Now, using your zipper foot and a regular stitch length, sew as close as you can to your zipper. (if you aren't fusing anything to your lining- just ignore the peltex fused to my lining piece)
 Step 4: Once you have sewn your seam, fold your lining panel to the back and press. Then top or edge stitch along the top of your panel to give it a finished look and also hold your lining in place to allow your zipper to open and shut nicely.
The front of your zipper panel will look like this:
The back of your zipper panel will look like this:
 Step 5: Now it is time to make cut and make your bottom panels. To do this, you need to take a flexible tape measure and measure all the way around your front panel. If you didn't round the corners of your front and back panels, then your measurement will be 52" (15+15+11+11). With the radius of my rounded corners, mine ended up being 50 inches. So you will take that measurement and put it into this equation (just put your measurement in where mine says "50")... 
50 (my measurement) - 36 (length of our zipper/side panel)= 14 inches
Now measure how tall your zipper panel is with your zipper closed. Mine was 5 1/2 inches tall, but yours may be slightly different. 

Take the 2 measurements and that will be the size of your "bottom panel". You will need to cut out your drill/duck cloth and also your lining piece (my panel was 5.5x14 inches) and then cut out your peltex/quilt batting (remember to cut it slightly smaller than your panel to allow for less bulk in seam allowance). 

(Now you are probably wondering why I didn't have you add a seam allowance for your bottom panel, right? Read on to the tip I shared at the bottom of Step 6.)

Once your bottom panels are cut, use the same technique to quilt your bottom panel. Again, I used a solid piece of fabric instead of going for a scrappy look, but you can do whatever you would like.

Now it's time to put your heavy duty needle into the machine.

Step 6: 
Attach your bottom panels to your side zipper panel. 
first take your quilted bottom panel and place it right side up . Then take your zipper panel and place it so that the exterior side or quilted side of the panel is facing down with the zipper closed. Then place your bottom lining panel right side down and pin along the end. Sew layers together using a 1/2" seam allowance. Do the same to the other side. Since your zipper side panel is so long, you will need to fold it in between your bottom panels to sew the 1/2" seam on the other side. See below for example.
 Now once both sides are sewn and you flip everything right side out, your zipper side panel and bottom panel should be making a big circle. Press the bottom panels in place on and top stitch using a 1/8" inch seam allowance on both ends of the bottom panel. After topstitching the ends, you can bast your bottom lining panel and quilted bottom panel on each raw edge if you would like just so everything holds together- but not necessary. 

Tip- For some reason after I did this step, even though I measured around the perimeter of my front and back panels and I made my panel without adding any for any seam allowance, the side panel (zipper and bottom panel sewed together) was still a little long.  (I have found that when I am pinning fabric to a curve for a bag, I don't need to add seam allowances, sometimes less fabric through the curve gives a better finish less bulk. and with the peltex being in my side and bottom panel that was even more true.) So when I made this bottom/side panel the length I had calculated (even without adding any fabric for seam allowances), when I went to pin and attach my side/bottom panel to the back panel, it was just a little too much bulk through the curves of the bag and I needed to shorten both the side and bottom panels about a 1/2 inch to make my panels and peltex smooth out and not have a wavy side and bottom of my bag.  So I folded everything back and repeated the above step after removing 1/2 inch from both the side and bottom panel. 
So you are probably wondering why I didn't have you do this to start with right? Well since I made my bag with crazy amounts of peltex, I think that may have a lot to do with why I had to do this. Peltex doesn't gather and ease around a curve super well so it needed to be a perfect fit for my side panel to lay correctly. 
(Sorry that was long and I hope it makes sense...)
So I would suggest after you press your bottom panels, before doing your top stitching on the bottom panels, do a little "test run" of pinning your side/bottom panel circle piece to your back panel just to make sure that your panel is the right length and everything fits well together. Unpin and make any needed adjustments. Then you can top stitch that last edge of the bottom panel. (If for some reason your panel is too short, you can always shorten your seam allowance to 1/4" instead of a 1/2" to make your panel a little longer. 
(look down to step 8 to see how to pin your panels together for your "test run")
Step 7: Attach your handle to the side panel. I did this by using fray check on each end of my ribbon to prevent the ribbon from fraying (if you don't have fray check you can just fold the raw edge under and then sew) and then centered the handle on the zipper side panel, pining in place, and stitched a 1 inch rectangle on each end to secure it. There is no rhyme or reason to how much of a bend you put in  the ribbon when attaching it... It's all personal preference and as long as you center it on the panel properly, the weight of the bag should be evenly distributed. 
Step 8: Now it is time to assemble the case. Do this by marking the center of your bottom panel and the center of your zipper panel (these are attached to each other at this point but just fold the piece in half to find the center). Then mark the center of the top and bottom of your back panel. Now, using your center marks, start pining the bottom (raw edge- not zipper edge) of your zipper/bottom panel around the perimeter of your back piece. Do this by putting the linings right side together and your quilted pieces should be facing out. We are going to have our raw edges left exposed when the case is sewn together. See below.
Tip: You may want to make small clips in your side/bottom panel piece to ease it around the curves of the back panel while you are pinning and sewing. 
Once the zipper/bottom panel is pinned in place to your back panel, use a basting stitch and sew using a 1/8" seam all the way around the back panel. 
(When you are done basting your panels, you should have the bottom of the case and side of the case in place with no raw edges on the lining side- all raw edges should be outside the bag.)
 After your panels are basted together take your bias tape and apply it. The bias tape will conceal the raw edge. I used my machine to sew it to the "side" edge of the case and then hand stitched the bias tape to the back panel. See below. 
(I just did it this way because of how much peltex I had used and there was no way I was getting that bunched up under my machine to stitch the other side of the bias tape to the back panel to finish it- but you are welcome to finish the bias tape however you would like.)
After you have attached the side panel to the back of the case and applied the bias tape, you need to attach the side panel to the front panel. This is so much easier than attaching it to the back panel- so if you are about ready to toss your project across the room- hang in there! 
Ok... Unzip your zipper and pin the zipper and bottom panel around the lining side of the top panel. Make sure you match up the center marks that you marked earlier on your side panel to the center marks on the front panel so that everything lines up correctly. Also-  make sure you have your panels facing the correct way so you don't sew anything upside down! ha ha
Once your two panels are pined together, baste around the edge with 1/8" basting stitch to hold everything in place for while you apply the bias tape. Once they are basted together, apply your bias tape.  
Again, I applied mine to the zipper side with my machine (and a zipper foot) and then hand stitched the other side of the bias tape to the front panel. I don't mind hand sewing- but you can do yours however you would like. I used quilt binding clips to hold it in place and I hand stitched. 


That's it! You're all done! Now you have a darling case to hold anything your heart desires! :) 
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and I hope everything makes sense!

I love seeing everything you guys make following tutorials on my blog so be sure to tag me on instagram (@crafterbynight) or email me a picture of your cute projects along the way and after you finish!
Have a great week!
xoxo, Ashley

P.S. Fabricworm sent me the fabric for this project. I used various prints from the Acorn Trail collection by Teagan White for Birch Fabrics to do the patchwork panels. I used Tonal Floral Shell for the bias tape, Birds and Branches Coral for the side panel, and I used Peonies Mint for the lining. LOVE this collection! So gorgeous!

Paper Pieces Giveaway Winner


Thanks to everyone who entered the PaperPieces.com giveaway last week! I had planned to announce the winner Friday but the dreaded stomach bug hit our house this weekend and threw me off my game a bit! Sorry about that!

So the winner is.........
Elaine!!


Love your quilt Ashley (and everything you do)! I would buy one of the acrylic templates and some paper pieces. I have cut my own before, but would love to have "perfect" ones. 



And for those of us that didn't win the giveaway but are still interested in placing an order - Paper Pieces has offered 20% off to all Mommy By Day Crafter By Night readers for any orders! !
Just add the voucher code: DayNight20 at checkout (don't forget to hit the 'OK') for 20% off your entire cart! Expires October 31, 2014.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Hey Everyone! I got invited by my dear friend Rach to join in the Around the World Blog Hop. So today I get to share a little bit about me and my story by answering 4 questions! 

So here goes...

1. What are you working on? 
Hmmm... The question should probably be "What am I not working on?"- because I am working on about 5 projects right now! I usually work on one or two projects and commit myself to finishing one before starting another, but I just couldn't help myself!
-At this moment, I am working on a new tutorial using some gorgeous new Acorn Trail Fabric from Fabricworm
I'm not gonna say what it is just quite yet, but here is a little sneak peek:
Stay tuned for the new tutorial coming soon on the blog... 
-I am also working on (binding one and quilting the other) a couple of mini quilts for the wall in my studio. More to come on these projects soon!
  ....But since I know one person is bound to ask- the pattern I used for the lettering on the quilt above is called My First Alphabet by Diane Bohn. And the pattern for the Swedish Bloom quilt block below is by the very talented Ayumi in her book called Patchwork Please.
-I am ever working on my Grandmother's Garden Quilt... Just hit the two year mark with this project! You can read more about it here
And lastly...
-I just finished up my kids halloween costumes... Hallelujah! One is being Sheriff Callie and the other is being Little Red Riding Hood... Stay tuned for those on the blog soon too!! 


2. How does my work differ from others?
That's a hard one!
I would have to say that one of the biggest compliments that anyone has ever given me, when it comes to sewing, was back when I taught my very first sewing class at Sew to Speak...
One of my students had been scrolling through the collection of Weekender Bags on Flickr for inspiration and she told me "I can always pick out which weekenders are yours before I even click on them because of the way they look."
 That was huge for me! Two of the people that inspire me most when it comes to sewing are  Amy of nanaCompany and Mary of Molly Flanders Makerie. I can pick their projects out a mile away because of their style, fabric choice, and workmanship. Anytime I scroll through Pinterest and see a project by either of them, I know it before I even click to follow the link! 
So when I heard someone say that of me, I was so flattered! 
Though I can't quite pinpoint what makes me different than anyone else, I do know this:
-I am a HUGE perfectionist! If I am going to take the time to create something, I want to do it right. I like to be very neat in my sewing. I love my seams to be straight, my corners to match up, and my points to be pointy- But every once in a blue moon- I toss caution to the wind and let myself get sloppy. ;)   
-I try to stay true to me and only use fabrics that I love (unless I am sewing for someone else with a different taste).  I love stripes, polkadots, nautical, primary colors, and usually work with bright fabrics... But I have a very big scale as far as my taste goes, so sometimes you'll see me using funky, boho prints and other times you'll see me using delicate florals! I'm flexible that way. I definitely know what I like and what I don't like but it seems to be ever evolving! ha ha

3. Why do I create?
I guess that's an easier one for me to answer. I create because it's my passion. From the time I was a little girl, I was always "creating". I loved to cross stitch, tried my hand at crochet, and was constantly transforming junk into "treasure" as a kid. 
As I got older, I focused my creativity on scrapbooking. Once I had kids and motherhood set in, my creative flow had an abrupt halt due to the new found craziness of feeding babies, changing diapers, and lack of sleep that was my life now. It wasn't until 3 years ago that I decided to try out a new hobby: Sewing. 
Holy cow... If someone would have told me, even 5 minutes before I turned that machine on for the first time, where I would be now- I would have laughed in their face! I would have never pegged myself for someone who loved to sew, quilt, and work with fabric! I always rolled my eyes at the people who sewed their own clothes and thought what a waste of time it all was. Well, I am eating crow now, because I have officially turned into my Grandma and you can find me in front of my sewing machine most nights! 

Sewing is my happy place! I feel totally at home with a fresh blade on my rotary cutter and a stack of fabric to cut for a project! And if you ever see me day dreaming- you can bet that I have some crazy project on the brain! I love love love to sew! 

4. How does my creative process work?
I would have to say that the fabric I use is the driving force behind everything I make. Sometimes I have a project in mind for the fabric I buy, and sometimes I just buy things that I love on a whim- knowing it will be put to good use. I just love to shop for fabric! 
I love it when I find a fun pattern to make or quilt along to follow, but a lot of times, I create my own patterns.
Marcelle Medallion Pillow
 Since I myself, learned to sew following tutorials online, I love to create tutorials to help others out.
Quilted Ukelele Case Tutorial
So if I am making my own pattern, I roughly sketch my project (and by roughly, I mean roughly... I am not an artist!) and write down some preliminary measurements. Most of the time, the sketch and measurements change along the way. I am not one to cut all my fabric out in the beginning and then start to sew- I like to cut a little, sew a little, and then cut a little and sew a little more. 

Little House Needle Book Tutorial

I would say 9 times out of 10- in the end, my project works like I hoped it would, but that 1 out of 10 project is a royal disaster, but I just toss it in the scrap pile and live to sew another day!! Such is life, right?;)

Well, I hope you have enjoyed getting to know a little bit about me and what makes me tick with this post! Be sure to check out the talented gal that I have tagged to join in on the fun next week: Meredith of Olivia Jane Handcrafted.  She is constantly inspiring me with the things she makes!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
xoxo, Ashley

P.S.- I don't say this often enough, but I have to say thank you to anyone that reads my blog- especially those select few of you that read and have been with me from the beginning! Y'all are so sweet with your encouraging comments on my blog or on Facebook or Instagram. Nothing makes my day more than a nice comment from one of you.  So thank you for that! Mwah!