A Quilter's New Year's Resolution

The holidays are over, and my quilting studio is like a scene from a horror movie!  There are bits and pieces of fabric, batting, and thread strewn across the room from my last minute gift-making done in a hurry.

So for 2010 I am going to be bold and have 2 resolutions.  One is to keep my studio clean, and two is to clean out my stash!  I think I may take the prize for stash overload.  I’ve got stacks and stacks of fabrics that I just HAD to have, and bins and bins of fabrics that were intended for great projects!

I enjoyed making small projects for Christmas so much, that I think this is how I am going to tackle my stash problem going forward.  I want to find more fun, easy, small projects that can be done in an hour or two that make great gifts.  My family and friends enjoyed my handmade gifts so much, and I enjoyed making them.

Mini-PursesOne of our gals in the Sample Room, Jean, made these little purses for Christmas gifts and I just adore them.  I think these could become another addiction for me like the coasters were.  Watch out stash, here I come!  Bit by bit I may be able to make space for more new fabric!

Anyone else have a Quilter’s New Year’s Resolution?  I’d love to hear from you and know I’m not the only messy-studio crazy woman around!

Happy New Year and Happy Quilting!

Easy Holiday Gift #7- Super Quick & Cute Coasters!

I was laying in bed last night going through my holiday gift list in my head and remembered 2 more people I need a little something for.  AHH!  I bet many of you are in the same situation, so I have a quick solution for you!

My coworker, Desiree in the Accounting Department, worked on this project with her children and brought these in for show and tell.   They were made by Tessa (age 13), Gillian (age 9), and Jacob (age 7).  They are super easy and quick.  I became so addicted to these little coasters that not only have I made them for every single person I know, I had to make some for basically every room in my house…

coasters

Unfortunately in all of our holiday craziness at the office, we ran out of time to photograph the steps to this project, so I will try to explain the instructions as best I can.  I hope these instructions make sense; if they don’t email me at brandi@clothworkstextiles.com and I’ll set you straight!

INSTRUCTIONS for one coaster (multiply cutting instructions by 4 to make a 4 piece set of coasters)

CUT:

Six- 5″ squares of fabrics (select contrasting fabrics if you like to add interest)

One- 5″ square of batting

PRESS:

-Select the four fabric squares you want on the top of the coaster, and press each one in half with right sides facing out.  These will now be referred to as “rectangles”.  Set the rectangles aside.

SEW:

-Place one fabric square right side down (wrong side facing you) in front of you.  Place your batting square on top of that, and then another fabric square (this one will become the bottom of the coaster) on top of the batting with the right side facing you.  Take your rectangles, and place one on the bottom of the square, raw edges out.  Place the next rectangle on the left side of the square (and over the previous rectangle), raw edges out.   Place the next one on the top of the square (and over the previous rectangle), raw edges out.  Do the same for the last rectangle, this time tucking the end underneath the first rectangle.

-Make sure everything is lined up and using a scant 1/4″, sew all the way around the edges in a complete square, and backstitch.  Turn inside out and press.

Email me if you have questions, and have fun putting the finishing touches on your holiday.  Happy Quilting!

Fill 'er up! – Easy Holiday gift #5

Door-Organizer

I LOVE to organize. I don’t like doing the dishes, folding the laundry or dusting. But organizing I can handle. I’ll organize anything and everything that comes into my house two or three times over. So when I saw this cute door organizer in the winter 2009-2010 international quilt festival magazine I had to have it for the nursery.  Here is mine made from our Sun Kissed collection by Diane Knott due out to shops in March.

I love it!

Although it states that it’s for your door, I tied mine onto the front of Huckleberry’s crib to hold his night time books and some other things that we are learning to play with. This design from Susan Brubaker Knapp is sure to be a cute and quick (1-2 hours) gift for anyone on your list.

Door-Organizer

Easy Holiday Gift #4: Jewelry Pouch

Check out the Quilting Arts Gifts — Holiday 2009-2010 issue and delve into more fabulously adorable holiday gift projects than you could every possibly imagine!  Holly Knott, daughter of Clothworks fabric designer Diane Knott, was inspired by this wonderful magazine and made this adorable jewelry pouch, designed by Margarete SteinhauerJewelry-Baby-Retro-Romance-

Isn’t this a perfect holiday gift?  Fill the pouch with a cute little pair of earrings, a couple pieces of chocolate, or whatever you can dream up!

Jewelry-Bag-Retro-RomanceThanks for sharing, Holly!  We just love your creation, and we’re having fun exploring all of the lovely gifts in the Quilt Arts Gifts issue!

Two New Magazine Features–Millie's Garden and Poppies!

Check out the latest issues of Fons and Porter and Fabric Trends and you will see two of our lovely collections featured!  The first is the Millie’s Garden collection by Joined at the Hip, quilt by Rochelle Martin.  This quilt is featured in the January/February 2010 issue of Fons and Porter.

Millies-Garden

The second is the Poppies collection–fabric and quilt designed by Pamela Mostek!  You can find this feature in the Winter 2010 Fabric Trends.

Poppy-Fields-20001

Le Petite Chef Apron and Potholders: Easy Holiday Gift #3

Do you need a quick and easy, super cute project for a super cute kid?  We have just the thing!  Our fabric designer, Ellen Crimi-Trent designed this adorable childrens’ apron and potholder set for her Woodland Friends collection.  Pair it with a mixing bowl, measuring cups, and some brownie mix for an instant hit this holiday season!

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Emma’s Quilt Cupboard in Franklin, MA. is kitting this project for their customers as a great holiday gift project (see details at the end of this post).  I had a chance to ask Cyndi Rich, owner of the shop, some questions about carrying this fun new line in her shop.

Brandi: What attracted you to the Woodland Friends collection?

Ellen Crimi-Trent lives in Abington, MA, and since we are a Massachusetts shop having a local designer’s fabric in the shop was appealing.  Quilting is all about relationship and connection.  What better way to foster that then supporting our local quilters in every way possible.

ApronPotholders1

Brandi: Tell us about your customers and what kinds of projects they like to do.

Cyndi: At Emma’s Quilt Cupboard we have many different quilters — traditional piecers who love our Thimbleberries, reproduction, thirties, and large collection of floral fabrics; young mothers who like the brights, childrens fabrics, and more contemporary prints; and some who are looking for something different to work with. Bags are always popular; and with our wide selection of patterns and samples, we sell loads. Quilts are our most popular project, but take along redwork, embroidery, and wool items have become very popular.


ApronPotholders2

Brandi: Is this project different from what you normally do, and how do you think your customers will like it?

Cyndi: First, the fabric is whimsicial and a bit more edgy than we are used to, which lends itself to children’s quilts, aprons, wall hangings and bags. It makes you smile just looking at it. We have never had a specific project with children in mind, and we are sure the young moms and grandmothers will love to see their children/grandchildren wearing it.
ApronPotholders3
Brandi: What kinds of holiday projects are your customers looking for this season?

Cyndi: Tablerunners and wall hangings around the holidays are always popular.
Anything that can be put together quickly and has that wow factor is always perfect. Pattern booklets with lots of project ideas to make are also fun and popular. Who won’t like their favorite red christmas mug wrapped in a happy snowman cozy!
Brandi: What do you like about this project?

Cyndi: The fabric in particular is really cool.  Everyone loves hedgehogs!  The fabric reflects the current design trend toward small, Japanese collectible motifs such as gnomes, mushrooms, bears, fish, etc. which is quite popular right now.

You can purchase the kit (fabric and pattern included) to make this fun project from Emma’s Quilt Cupboard by calling 508-520-0234 or email your order to CyndiRich@emmasquiltcupboard.

November Project Winner of the Month!

Congratulations to a very talented young lady, Cayla, for winning our November Project of the Month!  Cayla is 16 years old, and looking very stylish in this lovely skirt she made from our Delilah collection by Johnny Karwan.

s-Dress-003

s-Dress-004Congratulations, Cayla—we all love your skirt!  We’ll be sending Cayla the Woodland Friends free pattern kit, so have fun, and Happy Quilting!!

If you’d like to be considered for our December Project of the Month, send a photo of your project to blog@clothworkstextiles.com.

Too Hot to Handle–Easy Holiday Gift #2

We’re going hotpad crazy here around the office!  Check out these fun hotpads we’ve been making for holiday gifts.  They’re quick, easy, and super cute–our ideal holiday gift project!

DSC_5810DSC_5773DSC_5780DSC_5787The hotpads on the left and right were made by our wonderfully talented Sample Room Assistant, Leslie.  The hotpad in the center was made by Susan, one of Leslie’s many sewing students in the office.  Susan is one of our fabulous Customer Service Representatives.  Thanks for sharing and passing along your fantastic sewing secrets, Leslie!

Stay tuned for instructions to a similar, super quick and easy coaster pattern this week, and Happy Quilting!