Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Have you tried the Cricut Maker for sewing?

I received a Cricut Maker Machine to test and review the new rotary blade along with the new fabric cutting mat.  Of course I made a quilt. And this bundle of Up Parasol designed by Heather Bailey was just asking to be something fabulous.
I chose a free pattern from Cricut.  The Half Hexi Quilt pattern.  I changed the pattern just a bit - I matched up the blocks to form a full hexi instead of the stripe pattern design. 

 Instead of a pros and cons list I made a loved and watch out for list.  Note - You can see a bit of the original Half Hexie quilt pattern in the picture below.

What I loved:

  • Syncs up with my iPad.  No toting around a lap top!  There is a groove in which to place your iPad and you can use that screen to direct your fabric cuts.  So easy to use.  Allow time for setting up and syncing your devices.  
  • Accuracy.  Perfect quilt block cuts. Great for those odd shapes!  The hexi blocks I cut had the corners of the triangle trimmed - which if you are a quilter you know is pretty wonderful.  Thank you Cricut designers.  No guessing or overlapping triangle points hoping the seams will match up.  The cut corners matched up perfectly.
  • I can do other tasks while the Cricut Maker machine cut my blocks.  I was pressing the next piece of fabric while my machine was cutting blocks.  Slick!
  • I made my quilt a throw size instead of a baby quilt. So easy.  Just figure out how many more blocks you need and cut more.  Cricut made this easy.  You select which blocks you are cutting, add more fabric, and re-cut that block.  Just a finger press!
  • The pattern has a printable pdf with instructions as well as a step by step on your device/laptop.  Watch for instructions like should the fabric be face up or down.

What to watch out for/Helps:

  • I had one set of blocks that didn't cut correctly.  Make sure that you set the mat in the machine correctly.  I'm guessing this was my error.  Maybe I became a little too confident and wasn't watching.  This wasted a piece of fabric. 
  • You do need to be near the machine to push the buttons and feed it new fabric.  But you will have time to press or stitch a few seams during the cutting process.  
  • The mat had enough fibers on it that it will need to be cleaned after each quilt project since you are cutting so many blocks.  I even had to scrape it down about half way through the project.  If you get too many fibers then your fabric will not adhere.  The cleaning tips can be found on the internet. I also flipped my mat around since I noticed there were grooves from cutting so many of the same images.  This helped. You can see below the outlines of the blocks I cut.  Cleaning should remove these lines.
  • There will be a little fabric waste.  After I cut the first blocks, I knew I could cut my fabric short 1/2" in length to waste less fabric.   Save the scraps though for another scrappy quilt.
  • Also, important!  The fabric can hang off the mat when you cut your pattern.  This will create less waste.  You may need to hold it lightly or let it drape on the table.  See below.
  • Follow the yardage requirements in the pattern.  I had already purchased fat quarters and so I needed to cut fabric squares to fit the mat.  If I had planned ahead, I would have purchased the cuts required.  This would have made the cutting easier and there would have been less waste.  

  • You do need to pay for most of the available patterns.  There are more and more designs appearing in Cricut Design space weekly and also from Simplicity which is great!  I plan to make my granddaughter a romper next.  

I had a great experience with the new Cricut Maker.  My favorite thing was the accuracy of the blocks and (once set up) how easy the machine is to use.  And it makes several wonderful items - go check out the menu!

And the lovely finished quilt!  Quilting was done by Leisha of Quilting It.

click here to purchase or find out more about Cricut Maker
Happy Sewing!
  If anyone has any experiences sewing with the new Cricut Maker, please send us your comments.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Day 2

It's Day 2.... and we have 2 darling cloth doll panels for only $6.50 each.  Panels includes 2 dolls  and their accessories.  just choose between Hansel & Gretel or the Spring Bunnies.

Sew your own Hansel & Gretel Doll - Panel includes fabric for dolls, clothing, quilt, wolf, and pillow by Stacy Iset Hsu for Moda.  We also have some yardage and bundles from the Just Another Walk in the Woods fabric collection to go along with the dolls

Sew your own Spring Bunny Dolls - Panel includes fabric for bunny dolls and clothing by Stacy Iset Hsu for Moda.   Just add batting after you stitch!

And we have two cute bunny prints and a cheater border print if you want to make a larger quilt.

Day 3 is Monday!  

Happy Shopping!
Kristin and Sandra

Friday, December 1, 2017

12 Days of Christmas Sale

Christmas Layer Cakes only $24.99 for the next 24 hours!  Because every great party should begin with cake.  Our 12 Days of Christmas sale begins today.    Each day we will have a new item on sale.  Follow us on Instagram to get the first notification each day.

Winterberry, The Cookie Exchange, Joyeux Noel, and Snowfall Wovens.

Til tomorrow.........Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Turn Left Overs into an Apron

Leftover Jelly Roll or 2 1/2" strips?  No problem.  Just turn them into fun projects.

Apron pattern is free here until Nov 15th 2017.  After that it will be available for purchase on our website

My favorite apron of all time was a quilted apron.  It has lasted me over 37 years (a wedding shower gift).   It is ready to wear right out of the dryer - no ironing needed!  This apron would make a fun shower gift or birthday gift.  Or use up all those Christmas scraps for a holiday gift.

This Apron uses 7 full 2.5" strips or 14 half strips.   A full strip is 2.5" x the Width of the Fabric (WOF).   A half strip is 2.5" x approx 20/22" wide. 

Read through pattern before sewing.
All seams are 1/4" wide

Finished apron is approx. 20” wide x 29” long

Fabric Requirements:
2.5” x WOF strips of fabric - cut to make 14 strips
Or 14 2.5” x 20/22 strips of fabric
Cotton Batting 21” x 30”
Fabric Backing 22” x 30"
Binding 13" of 44/45” wide fabric  or 5 of the 2.5” x WOF strips for a scrappy binding

Notions:  Thread, Rotary Cutter and Mat, Ruler, Pins for Basting or Temporary Spray Adhesive

Let's get started!

Lay out the 14 strips to determine the order the prints.  The strips should be 20/22" wide.

Cut the first 3 strips down to 9" wide.  Stitch them together pressing all seams down towards the bottom of the apron.  Center the fourth 20/22" strip and stitch to the bottom of the 3 smaller strips, pin and stitch.

Continue to sew the remaining strips, centering each strip.   

There should be 14 strips sewn together.  Press all seams down.  Fold the apron in half lengthwise down the center, right sides together.

Place the fold of the apron on the first 0 line on the Rotary Mat.  Match bib edges and flatten apron. Trim off excess strip ends at the 10" line.  This will make your apron 20" wide at the base if unfolded.

Print out the pattern for the Apron Bib PDF or create your own template with the dimensions shown.  This was made on a 8.5" x11" piece of paper.  If you have trouble, you can download the pattern from  soon.  LINK.   Or email Kristin at and I will forward you the PDF.
Cut out your bib guide on the cutting line only.  Save and set aside the non-pattern piece since we will use that as a guide for the apron’s curved corners. 
Please note the measurements if you print the pattern.  Make sure to choose actual size or 100% when printing.  Adjust your printer to get the pattern the correct size.  

 Pin the Bib Pattern Guide onto folded apron and trim off excess.  Use the rotary cutter moving slowly on the curve.

Open up apron.  Press if needed.  Using the non-pattern piece, trim the bottom corners forming a rounded edge.  Or you can use a small plate.   Or you can leave them square.

Quilting your apron....

Using the apron as a pattern, cut a piece of the cotton batting the same size as the apron.  Be careful not to cut into the apron! Since it is a small project, cut the batting the same size as the apron.  Usually with larger projects like quilts, the batting would be cut a larger to allow for any shifting of the fabric during quilting.

Press the apron backing if needed.  Place it down with the wrong side facing up.  Using the apron as a guide, cut the backing at least 1/2" larger.  This will be needed in case the apron shifts during quilting.

Layer the apron, batting, and back fabric for quilting.  Baste as you usually do for quilting.  I used temporary spray adhesive to keep each layer in place.  Safety pins or hand basting works great too.

Quilt with the design you like best.  I used channeled rows 1" apart.   If you quilt rows, alternate directions so that your fabric doesn't shift.  Use a walking foot if you have one.

Detail of the quilting.  Not perfect but that's OK.  Projects like this are great practice for those quilting skills.

Any trims or ric rac could be added now.

Let's finish up with the binding....

From the yardage cut 5 binding strips to 2 1/2" wide x WOF.  Or use 5 left over 2 1/2" strips.  Join strips together.  Fold in half lengthwise and press.  All binding will be stitched to the back of the apron first.
For the top of the bib, cut a 9" piece of binding.  I used a leftover scrap to create a fun little stripe of color at the top.  I love how it turned out.  Stitch the binding using 1/4" seam, raw edges together to the BACK of the apron. 

Fold the binding over the raw edge towards the front of the apron.  Pin in place just covering the stitching line.  Using the sewing machine presser foot as a guide, top-stitch just inside the edge of the binding about 1/16".    Look at the stitching on the back and adjust the seam if you need to - the top-stitching should be pretty even on the back of the apron as well.  Sew the binding around the bottom of the apron next in the same fashion.  Begin at one side, stitching down around the bottom of the apron and up the other side.   Ease in the curved edges.

Lastly the apron strings, binding, and neck loop for the bib....all in one loop!

Making the ties and Neck Loop.  Notice these in the first picture above.

Measure off the first 23" of the binding strip and pin.   Beginning at the 23" pin marker, pin the binding to the back side of the apron, raw edges together, and stitch the binding until you reach the top of the apron bib.  When you reach the top edge of the bib back-stitch ending sewing.  Then measure off 20" of the binding for the neck loop and mark that point.  Make sure not to twist the binding.  Pin the binding to the opposite side of the bib at the 20" mark. Stitch the binding to back apron bib side, attaching the binding to the opposite curved edge of the bib.  There will be excess binding for the other tie.  Cut the two ties the same length of 23".
Bring the binding to the front edge of the apron bib overlapping the stitching line and pin in place.  Do the same to the opposite side.  Do not sew yet.

Next, fold in the two raw edges of the binding ties 1/4" and press until you reach the apron edge. Do the same to the neck loop and opposite tie.  See above for detail.  The 1/4" is the same as the seam allowance.  Click on the image if you need to see a larger picture. 

Fold in the raw edges of the ends of the binding strip creating a finished end. Press.  No raw edges should be showing.
Now fold the binding in half over the pressed seam and press.  See picture above.  We are creating the apron ties.  Top stitch the pressed ties where the folded edges come together, beginning with the end of the tie.  Top stitch down the end of the tie, pivot with the needle down at the corner, and stitch along the edges of the ties.  Sew just over the edge the same 1/16" seam.  When you get to the apron just keep stitching the binding down to the apron bib front.  Sew the neck loop together in the same manner as the ties.  This could be one long seam.   If you have to stop and start again remember to back stitch.

Go slow and ease in the curves.   Finish off the tie ends in the same manner as directed above.

Happy Sewing!  
Kristin & Sandra

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

New Quilt Kits

A perfect gift idea for those fun tropical shirt wearing Dads and Granpas!  Collections Sunshine Quilt Kit by Howard Marcus Dunn for Moda.  Boxed Kit includes all fabrics for quilt top and binding.  Picture 2 is a close up of the collection prints.  20% off retail.    Only $76.80.  We only have 2 left.  Link click here

Or there is the Beachcomber Quilt Kit with Sugar Pie Fabric Collection designed by Lella Boutique for Moda.  Your kit includes the pattern, jelly roll and fabrics to complete the quilt top and binding.  Link click here

For those of you making quilts for Quilts of Valor, we have a new red, white, blue bundle or Layer Cakes from the Liberty Gatherings Collection by Primitive Gatherings for Moda.  Link click here

Snowflake Hazelwood Boxed Quilt Kit 36010 by One Canoe Two for Moda is a bright gorgeous quilt 92" x 115" finished.  Your boxed kit will include the pattern, fabrics for quilt top,  and binding.  Link Click Here

And we love this Manderley Crashing Waves Boxed Quilt Kit by Frankie & Jane for Moda.  Kit will include the pattern, fabrics for quilt top, and binding.  Click here 

For those of you who still wanted to make the Modern Building Blocks Sampler Quilt.  We have more pattern cards in stock.  Link Click Here