Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lil' Twister Tutorial

Hello Everyone,

As promised, I wanted to show you how to use the Lil' Twister Template to make the tessellating pinwheels. I hope you enjoy and will give this a try.

First start with your selection of fabrics. I chose silk dupioni. If you use silks, I highly recommend that you back them with a very lightweight fusible interfacing. It helps to prevent fraying and any distortion by stabilizing the fabric.

Then you will cut your fabric into 5" squares (perfect for the pre-cut charm packs) and arrange them in a pleasing manner. I arranged them in a 6 X 4 layout. You can choose less or more if you like, but the size of your finished project will either be smaller or larger.

Then sew all the blocks together in rows and then join the rows.

Now you will add a 3" inch border to all 4 sides. It looks pretty like this, but will look even prettier when complete.

Now you will take your Lil' Twister template tool by CS Designs, (it can be found here in my shop) and align the black lines on the template on the seam lines as shown above.

You should start in the top left corner of your bordered blocks. You will have some of the border and some of the block in the first square. Cut around the template for your first block. Then move to the next seam to the right and so on until you get to the end, then move to the next row.

As you go from seam to seam it is important to keep your blocks in order to make each pinwheel block, as shown above.

Once you are done, you will have something that looks like this above. They now need to be sewn together by rows and then join the rows together.

Your original piece will look like Swiss Cheese (see above). Now all those little squares that you see, cut them into 1.75" squares for the outside border. You will need more from your scraps, so definitely cut more 1.75" squares.

Now that you have joined the blocks, your piece will look like the above, no border. You can stop here or you can now get creative.

I chose to add another 3.5 inch border of black.

Then to the black border I added the 1.75" squares and all the extras to form the outer border. You can really get creative here, maybe a wonky border, flying geese, longer piano keys, the sky is the limit.

Finished size 24 X 30

This is what your final piece will look like if you do what I did. If you do something else, I would love to see your version.

The Lil' Twister is so much fun! There is also a bigger template for use with the 10" Layer cake pre-cuts as well. Currently, I only stock the smaller version. Click here for yours!

I hope you have fun with this, please send me your photos.

Don't forget to enter the fabric GIVEAWAY on this post!!

Oh, and by the way, ALL Westminster Fabrics are marked down to $7.15 per yard through 2/4/11. Find them by clicking here.

Until Next Time...


Friday, January 28, 2011

Art Gallery Fabric GIVEAWAY and Interview

Hello Everyone,

By now many of you are familiar with Art Gallery fabrics. If you aren't, you definitely should be. They are designed beautifully with vibrant colors and are made from a beautifully soft cotton. I have been carrying them in my shop here and love them!

But I would like you to become more familiar with their creator, designer, artist, quilter, sewist, and talented lady. Please take the time to read this wonderful interview, I am sure you will find some things about her and the design process that are enlightening.

Also, at the end there will be a BIG giveaway! So without further adieu, I would like to introduce you to Pat Bravo.

1. Pat, you are a wonderful designer, seamstress, quilter, and crafter, how long have you been sewing and how did you initially become interested in this wonderful craft?

Thanks for the "wonderful" part! Truth is, I was only 9 years old when I threaded my first needle… and couldn't stop since! I've always been into arts and crafts of many sorts (including home improvement, now that's an art!), although I never went for a formal art education. Everything I know today is a result of experimenting and just overall pure passion for sewing, fabrics and design.

2. There are so many aspects of sewing, designing, creating, what aspect of sewing is your favorite?

Sewing is such a wonderful experience! The fact of creating something from scratch is double-rewarding; on one hand, you get to keep the brand-new project for yourself (or maybe use it as a gift for someone special), and, on the other hand, you get that feeling of satisfaction and self-realization that no one can take away from you. So I'd have to say that the actual creation part is my most favorite.

3. When you are designing a project, what is the process that you go through to achieve the final design?

Every single project has a common starting point; I sit down with my team and think "What does the modern woman need and want in a bag/quilt/garment?".

In every project I try to combine both functionality and style to create something that the sewer can find not only useful but also beautiful. For example, if I'm going to create a project for a tote bag, I think "Where is she going with this bag?", "How many pockets will she need?" "What items will she carry?", so by taking this questions as a starting point, I can then decide what fabrics and notions go well with the type of project.

4. When your fabric company broke into the quilting industry, you had some of the most unique and beautiful fabric out there. The quality, colors, and designs are gorgeous. Can you tell us a little bit about your company and how it came to be as well as the process that goes into making your gorgeous fabrics?

Thanks again for all the compliments! Well as I told you before, I've always been into arts and crafts, so designing fabric for me was a natural process…

My first steps as an entrepreneur though, were into embroidery, believe it or not. I used to do all sorts of home decor, kitchen and bath items and sell them at home parties… it was so much fun! But then I started getting into hand-painting… and what did I paint? Fabric! I started experimenting with different techniques and colors, and a couple of years later, Art Gallery Fabrics was born.

The making of the fabric is such an extensive and fascinating process! Once the print is designed, it is sent to Asia where the printing process begins; screens are made specially for each design, and, once the exact color is achieved (to get to the right color, workers mix tones by hand until reaching perfection), the fabric is painted through the screens, and after some finishes, the fabrics is fresh and ready to go.

5. Personally, I have always wondered how long it takes to make one single fabric design, from its beginning design process to the time it takes to get that design onto fabric and out to the consumer. Can you explain how it all works?

Well, the time it takes always varies. As a designer, I always use a color palette as a starting point for a new collection; until I haven't decided the colors, I can’t really do anything else! Once I have the colors, I then start letting my imagination flow… I can be working on a print for couple of days or… more than a month until I achieve the design I have in mind!! My inspiration is always a balanced mixture between the trends for the season, and my own instinct and likes that drives me to create a new line of fabric. I always think that every print has to work for sewing as well as quilting… hope it's working so far!

6. You also have a line of threads with Signature that coordinate with your fabrics. I own them all and use them on my long arm on customer quilts. They are wonderful colors! What inspired you to come up with a line of threads and can you explain the process?

As you may have noticed by now, I'm a total color-freak! Color is such an important aspect of each and every one of my designs, that I thought it would be a shame not to have the right color of thread to match them… As a fabric designer, quilter and sewer I've found myself very limited as far as the variety of color threads available in the market. I've seen the need for newer and fresher colors to bring my fabric designs to life, and I believe my palette for Signature threads does exactly that.

7. Where do you see yourself as a designer in 10 years from now?

10 years from now… Well, I hope that my designs can translate into other kind of products aside fabrics, and that many people can enjoy them the same way quilters and sewers do today. Oh!... and also hope to be able to get back to my sewing room like the old days!

I hope you all have enjoyed this interview!! Fantastic, thank you Pat for your inspiration!

Now for the giveaway, there will be 2 prizes!! You have seen the wonderful photos throughout the post, right?

Well the first prize consists of a package of:

PURE ELEMENTS: The purest hues meet Art Gallery Fabrics' soft hand and superior quality. The line features 10 tantalizing colors, carefully selected to match most of our collections.

The second prize consists of a package of:

PARADISE: A celebration of florals with a modern interpretation; it has a vintage feel that transports us to the 19th Century French Chateaus. From home dec to fashion accessories, two interchangeable palettes will allow you to create infinite possibilities.

Both beautiful lines of fabric from Art Gallery! So this means TWO winners!!

The rules:
1. Leave a comment on this post (you MUST have a way for me to reach you, i.e. e-mail)
2. Visit Pat's blog and say hello, tell her I sent you. You won't be sorry! Come back and let me know you visited her for your second entry!
3. If you care for a third entry, you may blog, tweet, facebook, etc. If you do come back and leave me a note saying you did.

The giveaway will remain open until Midnight, February 2! Good luck to all!!

If you can't wait for some of this luscious fabric you can find it in my shop and some of her other lines too!

*** The giveaway is now closed. Stay tuned for the BIG winners! Thank you to all who entered***

Until Next Time...


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Winner and Randomness

Hello Everyone,

Remember a little while ago, I had said that I had a new gig? Well, I have another blog post over here. Go ahead and check it out, I'll wait right here for you.

Good you are back, now here is one other place you need to visit too. Check out this blog post, I'll wait for you again.

Whew, hope you enjoyed that little cyber hop!

New fabrics from Art Gallery in the shop!! Above is Paradise, simply gorgeous.

Oval Elements are wonderful blenders and can be found here.

You probably wonder why I am showing you these, other than it is a shameless plug for my shop? Well, come back here on Friday and there may be a BIG giveaway of fabric, maybe Art Gallery, maybe BIG... I am just saying!

Now onto the what you really want to know about...

Who is the big winner of this wonderful book?

Mr. Random Generator and I picked #81!! That would be...

Hannah! Congrats! I have sent you an e-mail just send me your snail mail address and the book will be on its way!

See you all on Friday!

Until Next Time....

***Remember only 3 days left... 1930s repros are marked down to $6.95 per yard***


Monday, January 24, 2011

Twisting the Weekend Away

Hello Everyone,

Whew, what a great weekend I had!! My friend Victoria (a.k.a. Bumble Beans) came for the weekend with her daughter... B. We had a wonderful time sewing and chatting. I am looking forward to seeing her again in just a few short weeks!

Anyway, here is a sneak peek at what I worked on...

Yes, I finally got to play with all those silks that I bought a while back, a little twisting project. And I just love them. I think I need more.

Here is Victoria working. Look at how fast she is sewing, you can barely see her one hand it is a blur. Wow!

Guess who else stopped by? I bet you may have seen this quilt here. We wish she could have stayed longer, but it was oh so good to see her.

Here is Victoria laying out her design on my very handy design floor. By the way, she didn't work on what she had planned on working on, I kind of messed that up for her by giving her a significant part of this design.

Here is how my project started. Beautiful silk squares bordered by black silk. But wait that doesn't look like pinwheels... keep on reading...

Ooops, another curious visitor. My Pavi needed to see what we were doing. I think we had his cat seal of approval.

Here Victoria's beautiful creation. Now what got her started was the circular wagon wheel behind the Virgin Mary. That was my fault. But I just knew that she would transform it into something wonderful. She isn't done yet either. Looking forward to seeing more of this.

This was my creation. All silk dupioni and I just love it!! There will be a tutorial on this one coming very, very soon to this blog!! Also, the tool that I used can be found in my shop, here.

By the way, thank you all so much for you input on my last post. Victoria had to throw a monkey wrench in that and told me she really liked Kona Mango with it... I guess that was only fair, as I messed up her original sewing plans for the weekend.

*** This week's special in the shop... All 1930s repros are marked to $6.95 per yard***

Until Next Time...


Friday, January 21, 2011

Choosing Asparagus or Denim??

Hello Everyone,

I am planning a new project. With all the projects that I have in the works, why not pile one more into the mix, right? In reality, I have been wanting to make this particular project for some time now. So I thought that I would start gathering my fabrics.

Here is what I have together so far. I love all the different colors and the sweet prints which are true to the 1930s reproductions. Many of you know how much I love these sweet little prints, even though I am a big brights fan!

This is the project from a Fons and Porters magazine. I really like the design, but better yet it is all strip pieced!! Although, I am most likely going to alter the border. The design of it hasn't been decided just yet though.

Here is my dilemma, you can see in the pattern that the 1930s prints are set in white and then with a solid colored triangle. In the magazine, you can see they used blue. I am not much of a blue person, but I still like it. My thinking was that I might swap it out for green.

So on the left is Kona Cotton Asparagus, on the right is Kona Cotton Denim.

Here are my fabrics laid out on the Asparagus.

Here they are on the Denim.

I would love your thoughts and am curious how many of you prefer green over blue and vice versa. So please leave a comment to let me know your thoughts.

Oh, and don't forget to enter my giveaway here.

Until Next Time...

***Don't forget today is the last day of the batik sale $7.25 per yard***


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway!

Hello Everyone,

I was recently asked to review a brand new book that was created specifically for making quilts with your AccuQuilt Go!! Of course, I jumped at the chance being an owner of the Go! and the Studio Cutter.

The book is entitled Mix & Match Quilts with the AccuQuilt Go! You can purchase this book by clicking here. It is quite comprehensive and has 12 quilts that can be made using your GO!

The set up of the book is great and they have a Fabric Reference Chart. This chart is a very handy reference which shows you how to get the most out of your fabric with minimal waste.

This book focuses on 11 different dies for the GO! cutter.

The project that I was asked to review is the Garden Trellis designed by Julie Weaver.

I like this quilt for several reasons...

1. It is big, I generally do big as they tend to be the most useful quilts.
2. It is easily pieced with simple shapes.
3. Looks great scrappy.
4. The sashing gives you a secondary design... a star.
5. It is fat quarter friendly.
6. If need be, you can rotary cut the entire quilt if you don't own a GO!
7. Plus, you really can adjust this quilt to make it any size you desire smaller or larger.

A few notes: Make sure you visit the other blogs to see which quilts have already been reviewed (you can really get a glimpse of the entire book).
Visit with:

Then make sure you visit tomorrow's blogs...

Now, if you would love to have your own copy... I am giving away the one that I have. You ask me why, because I will be purchasing another one for myself.

This is my way of paying forward all the kindness my readers have given me over the years.

So if you would like to be considered for the drawing, just leave one comment on this post (please make sure you have a way for me to contact you) and I will draw the winner on Monday. The drawing will close midnight on Sunday.

***The giveaway is now closed***

Good luck!

Until Next Time...


Sunday, January 16, 2011


Hello Everyone,

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend. Last year, I mentioned that I have quite and extensive collection of African fabrics. You can read about it in this post, this post, and this post.

I actually have much more than that, but I just never took photos of them. I am hoping to do that soon. But in the meantime, I wanted to tell you about these...

these fabrics are authentic African fabrics, straight from West Africa. Bold and bright prints. Because, I love African fabrics so much, I wanted to be able to share these with you. That is why when I went to Quilt Market, I decided to purchase some for the shop.

Now you can begin your own African fabric stash too!! They are priced at $7.50 per yard, a good price point to b
egin your stash. You can find them here.

If you decide to purchase some or already have your own stash, I would love to hear what your plans are for them. So please leave a comment letting me know! Thank you for sharing.

Podcast Episode 21 is now available in iTunes and by clicking here to listen from your computer. During this episode, I had the opportunity to interview Dan Purcell of Websites for Quilters. They made my website and are great to work with. If you have been thinking of having your own website, this is a must listen to podcast.

Also, this week ALL batiks are marked down to $7.25 per yard!!

Until Next Time...


Friday, January 14, 2011

2010 Project Finishes

Hello Everyone,

I really wanted to see for myself how many projects, that I actually completed this past year. And to my surprise, it was quite a few!! So, I wanted to show you the recap...

First up, the diaper bag for my nephew. This was made with Kaffe fabrics and an Izzy and Ivy pattern.

My Ramblin Rose BOM quilt was finally complete and on my bed. It was promptly tested by my sweet Rolo, whom I miss immensely.

If you remember, Stephanie had a No Strings Attached Challenge. I completed this little string bag. I really like it.

Being one of Stephanie's Supremes, she had asked me to test the Oak Park Bag. I loved making this one. I used the Sugar line of fabric from Art Gallery.

Then another string quilt was made for my cute 7 year old nephew, who wondered, "when is Aunt Jackie going to make a quilt for my bed?" He loved it!

This one was a fun one. The Kaffe Bordered Diamonds quilt. I used my AccuQuilt Studio to cut all the diamonds and of course Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

Pop Squares was my first design to be published in Quick Quilts Magazine!! So this was a fun one as well and very thrilling for me.

Fabulous had been quilted for about a year or so but not bound. Last year, I finally got the binding on and was very excited about its completion.

My Weathervane quilt had also been quilted for a while, but not bound. This was a fun one to finish.

Even though I posted about this just last week, I had made the Loft Tote last year. Stephanie did a great job designing this bag.

And last but not least, Hot Flash was finished and gifted to my daughter. I think that I had a pretty productive year. Plus, I didn't count all the new projects that I started. Hmmm... that would be a very long list.

So how many projects have you finished in 2010? I would love to know.

Don't forget... Today is the last day that Art Gallery fabrics are marked down to $7.25 per yard.

Until Next Time...

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