Wicked Eve

Check out this vintage-y print.

wicked_eve3Did you do a double-take? I did, when I first saw this fabric. Yep, that’s a skull nestled in the Victorian wallpaper print. Then I saw the rest of the collection, and it made perfect sense.

wicked_eve2Wicked Eve is a Halloween-inspired seasonal selection by Timeless Treasures, featuring spooky skulls, dark bare branches, graveyard scenes, crows, and bats. Ominous dark clouds and a fortune teller print round out the blue-black toned print collection.

I’m not normally a ‘Goth girl’, but this ghoulish collection is just plain fun. Tiny skulls make up the color key along the selvedge! Check out the full collection here.

A Sweet Tweet!

Now, this was fun!

I haven’t quite gotten the hang of Twitter, but it was great fun to open my email and find this notification:
hancocktweetThis was a fun quilt to design and make, with such bright, cheery fabrics!
happy_petals_quiltIt sews up super-fast. Just make strip sets for the staggered sashings, then chain-piece the sashings, two to each block.

happy_petals3If you press the seams open, it gives a nifty little layered look to the seam allowances on the back–and you avoid making any bulky seams that will get in the way of quilting.

happy_petals2

This gives me an idea for another quilt!

Be sure to check out the full pattern–available for free on The Stitch, Hancock Fabric’s blog. Enjoy!

Little tiny bits of fabric

My quilt is featured in Martingale's new book, Fun-Size Quilts! Check back on Thursday, July 24, to learn how you can win an eBook copy of Fun-Size Quilts!

My quilt is featured in Martingale’s new book, Fun-Size Quilts! Check back on Thursday, July 24, to learn how you can win an eBook copy of Fun-Size Quilts!

I think most women who sew can trace their personal textile beginnings back to a very young age. I remember sitting on stiff carpet in front of the hall closet, fingers fumbling to work thick thread through punched holes on a printed sewing card. Then came the era of woven potholders, made from cotton loops stretched across a small metal loom. Eventually, I advanced enough to make crude doll clothes for Tammy and Pepper, my more loved and less glamorous Barbie companions.

That was likely the start of my scrap collecting.

Even the tiniest trimming could be turned into a pocket for Pepper’s latest dress.

No fabric scrap was too small, and all the odd shaped trimmings from my mother’s sewing projects found their way into my fledgling stash. Even today I have trouble letting small snippets fall into the trash. “Waste not, want not” wars with “You can’t keep everything” in my head. I sort the scraps by color, push them into gallon-sized Ziplock bags, and pull them out when I just “need to stitch.”

You see, all those odd-shaped scraps can be sewn together to make larger scraps of fabric that can be cut into patches and pieced into a quilt. It’s called “improvisational piecing” and it’s super-easy to do. It’s also a great way to avoid any guilt over hoarding every little bit of fabric.

Get your improv on

Illustration of easy improvisational piecing.There’s really no right or wrong way to make an improvisational-pieced patch, but here’s what I do:

1. Place two scraps of fabric right sides together on a cutting mat. I find it easier to sew along a straight edge, so I align a rotary ruler along the overlapping edge of both fabric scraps, and trim the excess fabric. Then I sew along the trimmed edge, using a 1/4″ seam allowance. I prefer to press the seam allowances open, when possible, or to one side.

2. Repeat step 1 as many times as needed to make a patch at the desired size, or join several smaller improvisational-pieced patches together to make one large patch.

3. Use a ruler or template to cut the pieced patch to the desired shape and size.

Easy-peasy, eh? I’ve used this technique (or variations of it) in many projects, and I haven’t tired of it yet. Can you pick out the improv patches in my Elongated Triangles quilt (shown at the top of this post). Check back here this Thursday, July 24, to learn how you can win a free eBook copy of Fun-Size Quilts from Martingale Publishing!