Opposites Attract

I’m thrilled beyond words to introduce to you my brand new quilt pattern today. For the next few weeks while I polish up the pattern, I’ll be previewing several different versions and sizes of the pattern right here. You’ll want to drop in and see the many, many possibilities there are with the Opposites Attract Quilt.

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I sketched up this quilt a few years ago. I loved it immediately, and made up this baby sized version in a top. It hung on my wall for far too long, and I would just look at it adoringly. I loved its crisp points and bold, sharp colors, and I didn’t want to ruin it with quilting. (Yes, it did take me two years to decide on circular quilting!) I knew from the time I finished drawing it out that I wanted to put it’s pattern into the hands of the quilting community, but fearing no one would like it, it remained on my wall.

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No more! I love this quilt. I love the pattern. And I want to tell you a little about it!

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Why Opposites Attract? It paints a picture in my head of girl and boy, one shy, the other outgoing. They are so different, but balance each other perfectly. Opposites Attract is made up of what I call Introvert and Extrovert blocks, representing this idea of one extreme complementing another. Together they work in perfect harmony.

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This particular version of the quilt is the Baby sized version. The pattern will cover five sizes all the way up to King. Its a very detailed pattern that will be available mid September in PDF format. Opposites Attract is a great beginner pattern, but I think the design is very sophisticated. As I said before, over the coming weeks I’ll be showing off multiple versions of this pattern, showcasing the various ways that color play affects the look of the quilt. I hope you’ll join me!

20140817-DSC_0081Thanks for stopping by! I’d love to hear your thoughts on Opposite Attract!

-Meredith

A New Quilt + Pattern Giveaway

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I can’t believe I never blogged about this, but last year I got the privilege of working with Alison Glass on one of her new quilt patterns. Well, she wrote the pattern and all that, but she let me make the quilt on the cover of the paper pattern! (And Angela Walters quilted it! How amazing is that?!) This is her Color Plus Quilt, and it is such a fun pattern. The geese and center are paper pieced, making those triangles gloriously pointy and perfect, and the four corners of the quilt are put together log cabin style. The pattern is super quick to sew (given that you are not an incredibly slow paper piecer like myself), and there are really a lot of possibilities with color arrangement on this one.

I’m using the pattern now to work on a new Queen size quilt for my bed. It will be altered, of course, since the pattern is for a 60″ x 60″ quilt, but I’m excited to see where it goes. I’m an enormous fan of the perfect geese you can sew all in a row with the pattern pieces included with the Color Plus Quilt, so I’m starting there. What fun it will be to replace my beloved AMH Spinning Stars with Juliana Horner’s Rosette + Alison’s pattern in a few months when I finish this one.

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I’m giving away a copy of the Color Plus Quilt pattern! To enter, simply tell me, do you keep one quilt on your bed until its begging to be replaced, or do you switch them out with the seasons or otherwise? I’m looking to have a few I can change up when I’d like, so I’m really curious to know what you do! I’ll announce the winner on Friday! :)

-Meredith

Hexie Update

I’ve been working with Liberty quite a bit these days which has given me many beautiful scraps to cut up and sew into hexagons. I picked up my little shoe box of them a few weeks ago, and I’ve been steadily adding more and more EPP hexagons to my collection. Here’s a group of them I completed recently.

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One particular project that’s given me some good hexie pieces is a quilt that I’m working on for my upcoming pattern release. I cannot wait to show you!!!

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I’m working my way through this beautiful rainbow! I love being able to work with this big variety on such a non-committal project. I fully intend on building up my collection of these for a few years before I begin stitching them into a quilt. What a reward it will be to be able to put it to use one day!

-Meredith

 

I have a 3 month old

Today marks three months since Wallace was born.

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I really have no idea how it has been three months already, but another part of me feels like he’s been a part of me forever. I’m so happy that he’s finally here and I’ve gotten to spend the past few months just getting to know him. He has such a happy, bubbly personality. He’s been smiling for a while now, and we are just eating that up because his sister made us wait FIVE months before she cracked her first smile (she is not easily amused).

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Wallace spends his time watching both his human and dog sisters, and chatting it up with me (who he loves most!).

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He’s still a big boy. At over 16 lb, most people in public think he’s anywhere from five to seven months old. He’s heavy to tote around for sure, but I’m so glad he’s not a delicate, tiny thing. I do love a baby with abundant rolls!

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Wallace loves his hands! He doesn’t take a pacifier, and he’s never quite gotten his thumb to poke out and go in his mouth, so he just plays with his hands. He drools like nobody’s business, so he’s often wearing a bib and shoving as much of that into his mouth as he can. Its so funny how different children can be about these things. Layla loved her pacifier, but Wallace prefers hands and clothing.

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He’s doing great sleeping through the night, and for the most part sticks to the same schedule every day.

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We just love him to pieces! He has us ‘oh-ing’ and ‘ah-ing’ all day long.

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Happy 3 months, Wallace!

 

In the works

I wanted to pop in today to let you know that I’m working on some exciting new stuff!

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In the next couple of months, I’ll be releasing an all new quilt pattern and my first garment pattern. I’ll be previewing each of them here showcasing the many ways they can be customized, and when its time for them to debut I’ll be doing some giveaways. So you’ll want to stay tuned for that!

Both patterns are simple, but have a big impact and lots of possibilities for making them your own. I’m extremely excited about both, and I’ve been working quite hard to be able to get them in your hands and onto your craft table.

Have an awesome weekend!

-Meredith

Cotton + Steel Tunic

Today I’m showing you the latest addition to Layla’s wardrobe, a tunic style tank made with some brand new Cotton + Steel fabric! Remember this top? Well its such a great style I decided to make another one, and I’m happy to say that Layla loves it.

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She’s a big time horse lover like her Aunt Emilee, and the moment I saw this fabric, I just knew she had to have it.

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The thing I love most about this top is that its insanely simple and quick to cut and sew. There are only three pattern pieces, and I had it cut and sewn in about two hours- that’s with a newborn occupying my time!

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I’m sure you’ve seen Cotton + Steel by now. After all, it seems to be lighting up the world of quilting and garment sewing. This print is from the great Melody Miller. Some of the fabrics have metallic bits on them, but this sheeting weight print does not. I remedied this, of course, with some gold bias tape I had on hand.

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That pop of metallic goodness really gets me. I love it! So much so, that I needed to add it to the button closure in the back.

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The yoke of this top is lined with another quilting weight cotton, and the back and bottom portions are unlined. The sides are finished with french seams, and the back of the neckline and armholes are enclosed with more of that gold bias tape.

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So what do you think? Is this a top that you would be interested in sewing? I’m seriously considering releasing this as a pattern. It’s an awesome one for beginners, and great for seasoned sewists as well. Do let me know what you think and if you have interest in sewing a top like this!

I’ll leave you with this goofy outtake which perfectly captures the real Layla.

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-Meredith

Purl Bee City Gym Shorts in Liberty

Last Thursday, I was finishing up trimming the bazillion half square triangles for my Field Day Churn Dash quilt, really focusing on completing the task at hand. But as it often does, Instagram stole my attention. Purl Soho posted a brand new project on their blog, the City Gym Shorts for young girls and women, and my goodness did I speed through the rest of my trimming so I could make not one, but four pairs of these shorts right away! I had them nearly completed just five hours later.

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Let me tell you about these shorts. Are you a female? Do you have legs? Do you have a yard of fabric laying around that needs a purpose? Oh. Well you are in luck! These shorts are for you! Seriously, I made two pairs for me, and two for Layla. They are such a quick and easy project. Each pair is made with Robert Kaufman chambray (both the plain, and chambray dot), and Liberty tana lawn.

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This first pair for me was made using Kaufman Chambray and a super gorgeous Liberty print, Edenham in purple. I’m so, so glad those girls at Purl used a print on the front and solid on the back. Because you know what? I’m boring. Its true. You see, I would have spiced up a pattern like this by using the same print on the front and back, and then added in my pop of color with a contrasting bias tape. But I’m so thrilled that they made the pattern the way they did, because it said to me, “Hey, you! Yes you. You get out that Liberty and you go crazy. And after you’re done, you’ll have some shorts that make a big statement, and you’ll still have plenty of Liberty left in your stash.” Win. Win. Win. 

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The pair that Layla is sporting here was made with the same chambray, and Daniel DJ, which is a very favorite print of mine. Are they darling, or what? I secretly love that we coordinate, and yet still have different prints on the front of our shorts.

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My second pair is made using Kaufman’s new Chambray Dot, which is slightly heavier than the plain chambray, and so perfect for these shorts. The Liberty print is Betsy. And this print has a white background, which reminds me- I lined only the front sections of all of these with my trusty Free Spirit solid voile. If you plan to make any of these with either lawn or voile, I highly recommend lining those sections! It requires only a small amount of fabric to do so, and you’ll be so glad you did!

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And finally, Layla’s second pair is made with that same red Chambray Dot, and the print featured on hers is Poppy and Daisy.

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This pattern filled a need that I had, but it far exceeded it. My mom and I started walking several weeks ago to prepare ourselves for a fitness plan. Unfortunately, I only have two pairs of shorts that would be suitable for such activity, and I hate to admit this, but they’re a bit small. But in an effort to save money (and possibly because I didn’t want to admit that my booty had gotten so out of control that I needed to size up in order to work out), I’ve been wearing those too-small shorts anyway, hoping that somehow I would miraculously fit back into them because of all my hard work. Not so. Just when I was about to break down and get some proper gym shorts, the Purl Bee put out this fabulous pattern, and I got to make shorts that not only serve my purposes, but they make me feel good at the same time. They fit right, and they’re darn cute. And quite frankly, I love that even when I’m sweaty and gross, I can still sport my favorite fabrics.

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Next up, I may just try my “boring” pair. All chambray, or some other solid, paired with one of these bias tapes. I think a pair like this would be acceptable since I would have more variety in choices for a top. Also, I’m scheming about a pair or two in Anna Maria’s new knit fabric. Those would be awesome, right?

If you are new to garment sewing, shorts are a great first or second project. This particular pattern is free, and has only three pattern pieces – a front, back, and band. That’s all! The most complicated part of making these is making and attaching bias the bias tape, which actually, if you just go slow and take care in what you’re doing, is really not complicated at all. It just takes patience and some careful pinning! The City Gym Shorts pattern can be found here.

I’d love to see what you’re making right now! If you’ve made these or anything else lately, post a comment with a link to your project. Thanks for stopping by!

-Meredith

Field Day Blog Tour : A Churn Dash Quilt

Hey there! I’m so excited to show you my latest quilt top! Alison Glass sent me some Field Day fabric and some of Andover’s textured solids to play around with. I knew I wanted to use them together, and quickly decided they must become a churn dash quilt. The decision happened a little faster than the assembly, but thankfully this design can be streamlined very easily since almost everything can be done with chain piecing.

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I do love the way the solids play with the vibrant and bold colors in Field Day. The line looks cool in pictures (like the ones from Market you’ve no doubt seen!), but let me tell you, in person the colors are absolutely stunning. If you don’t have this line, you need it.

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Anyway, about those solids…. Had I been pairing solids with this quilt based on my own choices, I certainly would not have been drawn to browns. I’m never drawn to browns. But I really think they do well with this line. Also, they’re called Textured Solids because they really are heavily textured. In fact, I would not have ever thought to pair them with quilting cotton had they not both been sent to me together. The threads that are woven into the fabric vary in thickness, and that’s what give the fabric its texture. Also, its not tightly woven, so the fabric has quite a bit of fluidity. It does pair nicely with the quilting weight, but I would certainly suggest careful and accurate cutting, and keeping an eye on it as you’re sewing to keep in line.

And speaking of keeping fabric in line, the one part of this project that I wasn’t a fan of (though I am a big fan of the result), was the trimming of all those half square triangles. My word is that a tedious step. But its so rewarding to have perfectly even pieces to work with!

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See this print? Isn’t that mint color good enough to eat? I think it might be my most favorite print just because the color is so delicious.

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But this print… the design is so amazing. I think when I quilt this one, this is the fabric I’ll use for the back. But I do so love the minty one. Decisions, decisions.

I don’t really know what I was thinking when I chose this Timeless Treasures Crosshatch Sketch for the background fabric. I still don’t know what I think of it, but I don’t dislike it. I guess I’m deciding if its possibly a bit harsh for the pretty colors in Field Day. Or maybe its because I have black touching brown. I really don’t know. I like it. But it feels sort of rebellious.

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I’m thinking of circular quilting for this baby. Its actually not a baby, though. I want to machine quilt it, and if I go through with it, it will be the largest quilt I’ve ever [properly] machine quilted at 72″ x 90″ (twin size). I might have to take baby steps and spiral it rather than doing concentric circles so I don’t lose my mind. I’m pretty sure it would take like two weeks worth of Wallace nap times to do concentric circles without the quilt warping like crazy. And if you have circular quilting suggestions, throw them at me. Please. Also, wouldn’t it be amazing done up with the colors from Alison’s Aurifil set (by the way, its on sale right now)? I love the colors so much, and I need to expand my teensy collection, but I really want them in the 28 wt for quilting. I think it would be sooo gorgeous quilted in those pretty colors.

Anyway, if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand time. Alison Glass is amazing. Inside and out, everything she does is just beautiful. It would be so great to support such a talented and genuine artist. So if you don’t have any of her new stuff, please go browse her shop. She has all sorts of goodies, and not only that, she has a big giveaway going on on her blog right now. You can head over there to check it out and hopefully win some awesome stuff! Good luck!

-Meredith

Blueprints

I started drafting my pattern for my Perfect shirt the other day. It was a rather tedious process, not only because of what is required to actually draw out the pattern, but also because I have a now ten-week-old who was extremely insistent on being held and entertained that whole day. Nonetheless, I took advantage of those brief moments when I was able to put him down, and got a decent amount accomplished. I still have to draw out the pattern for the sleeve and sleeve cuff, but I expect that will be child’s play after having done the front and back pieces which have darts. Hopefully it will be smoother sailing on a day that I’m not so flustered.

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Every time I begin a new sort of project, I get so taken with the process. Beginning to end, quality work is a time consuming thing. Whether its a small project that takes an hour or a more involved one that takes days or even weeks, I really don’t think people who don’t sew have a clue what goes into making what they purchase ready-made. Ah! Its so important to support those people who make things themselves, and who pay their employees fair wages. Truly! I don’t buy very many articles of clothing from stores since I’ve been able to make a variety of things myself. Sure there are things that I love, and that I want and will indulge, such as this Perfect shirt I’m attempting to remake. I don’t have a clue what different corporations pay their various employees, so perhaps I’m fooling myself thinking that if I shop somewhere a little higher end, maybe the person who actually made the garment is able to feed their family. But those people who are here in the US are likely making far better wages, and what a treat to be able to hand the money right over to someone who used their hands and their time to produce a usable good! I do hope we see industry and manufacturing make a comeback here. What a revolution that would be!

Aaaand what a tangent that was…. Can you tell I get a little passionate about things? I guess I just so love the thrill of putting to use something that I’ve worked really hard on, that its hard to understand how we ever gave away these fulfilling jobs. I just think its amazing to make something for another person, and then have them say how much they love that thing. To know that I’ve made something that will possibly last a few generations.

Anyway, I have a few things on my handmade agenda. I’m using a Cotton + Steel lawn and sheeting to make a designed-by-me dress for my sister. Seeing that one come to life is going to be so exciting!

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I picked up the horse print from Melody Miller to make a little something for Layla. Perhaps another one of these tops? The Nani Iro floral print will also become a top for Layla, but I’m thinking a really darling little buttondown. The Liberty is for my stash, and the tiger print canvas from Alexia Abegg will become a bag.

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These Anna Maria Horner knits are also destined to become garments. I’m thinking the green will be a cute romper for Layla, and the purple will be a skirt for me.

Now hopefully I can focus on one thing at a time and get all the things accomplished! I think that will be the hardest part!

-Meredith

Shop Sale

Hey everyone. I’m just popping in to let you know that I’m having a big sale in my shop. I’m hoping to sell everything I currently have listed, so I have coupon code to take 30% off your purchase! Use code SUMMER at checkout.

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As always, thank you so much for your support!

-Meredith