Custom Liberty Quilt

First, let me start off by saying, yes, I do still blog here. I’ve been crazy busy with custom orders, and I’m showing you one of those today.

One of my very best customers asked me to make her a quilt with the same zoo fabric featured in this quilt. She loved that print, but definitely wanted something unique- something that is very her. Well, thank goodness we were able to track down more of that print!


She wanted purple to be the main color, followed by pink, with some pops of other colors here and there. She also wanted a random layout of squares and rectangles.


Well when you put a small scale print into a random layout it can be difficult to make it really pop. The perfect opportunity to try to bring it into focus is in the quilting. I decided I wanted to make this quilt really special, so I hand stitched around every zoo print.


I also added bits of embroidery like these around the quilt.

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Next I machine quilted in a diagonal grid on the whole quilt except for the zoo prints. To really bring those out, I went back and quilted squares in each of those prints to draw the eye there.

One of my very favorite parts of this quilt is the label. She really wanted me to label my work, so I wanted to make the label awesome. I machine appliqued some of the animals from the zoo print onto voile and embroidered “Handmade for Karen”. I just love that part!


The backing is a scrumptious velveteen from Anna Maria Horner. It feels absolutely divine. Between the voile/lawn front and the velveteen backing, it will be the perfect quilt year round.


She loved the Dear Stella metallic dot I used to frame the zoo print in my other quilt, so I used that for binding. I just adore white binding! It really makes the quilt pop, and the gold dots are just icing on the cake.


Well this quilt is already en route to its destination. I cannot wait for her to receive it! I just love doing custom work!

I hope you are having a wonderful week!


Around the World Blog Hop

I was tagged by Ashley over at Mommy by Day, Crafter by Night to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop. Today I get to answer some questions and tell you a little about myself.

What are you working on?

I’m working on a few things at the moment, but I’ll show you a quilt top I finished this week that I’ll hopefully get to quilt up this weekend.


I’m also making up some Liberty bags for an Instagram sale!

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A dress is also in the works, but I’m saving it for the big reveal day!

How does my work differ from others?

I think this is a difficult question to answer, but I’ll take a whack at it. I do what I love. Nothing more, nothing less. I’m not influenced by this brand or that sponsor. I purchase only what I LOVE and do with it only what I want to. I think that freedom is one thing that differentiates me from others in the crafting community.

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Also, I dabble in a little of everything sewing-wise. I have a passion for garment sewing, but I also love quilting and hand work. They’re all essential pieces in the making up of me as a crafty creature.

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Why do I create? 

I think the answer to this really ties into my last answer. Because I love it! I love the fulfillment I get when I complete a project. I love the process, the colors, the feeling of everything I make. Each project is its own adventure, and I get such joy making things whether they are for myself or others. I love to think that they will become heirloom pieces treasured by future generations. Its so important to me to have the things that my grandmother made. She died when I was 13, and even though I don’t have her around, when I see things of hers, I feel like I’m still getting to know her or that we can at least relate in our love of crafting.

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How does my creative process work?

Oh, goodness! I think I’m influenced both by creative ideas (like what I want to make), and by fabric. Fabric is really just a work of art on cloth. Some of that art is better than others, but I like to think I get the good stuff. :)

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I’ll often find some pattern I want to make, or perhaps find a need that I can meet through sewing. When an idea begins with a project, I often put a lot of thought into what fabric I’ll use and order only what is needed and go from there. When a project begins with fabric, however, I’ll often buy an estimated amount for whatever I think I’ll most likely use it for. For instance, I have a Liberty addiction and I know I love to making clothing with it. So when some print comes out that’s utterly irresistible, I’ll buy 1.5-3 yards and hold onto it until I find the perfect project that will justify using such exquisite fabric.

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And I do like for my projects and fabric to be on an equal playing field. I’m very much a perfectionist in this aspect. If I’m buying and using Liberty, it will be used on a top notch project, and I will do everything possible to ensure that it is perfect from the cutting, to pressing, so finishing every seam that could possibly need finishing. I suppose that’s another part of my creative process. I will take forever on something to make sure its awesome, and I rarely, if ever take a short cut like machine binding. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, I just don’t do it. I appreciate clean finishes, so I’ll prolong the project to make sure I have that.


Thank you for stopping by. It was fun to share a little about myself and my creative process. Have a great weekend!


Opposites Attract + Handcrafted (and a little sale)


I wanted to show you my finished Opposites Attract Quilt in Alison Glass’s Handcrafted line, which will be at Market this weekend in her booth!


I hand quilted this beauty pretty densely with Perle cotton in the same color order as the quilt was pieced. I love that the colors pop without being overwhelming or stealing from the actual design of the quilt.

Quilting was a labor of love, to put it lightly. I think I stitched a little bit of my soul into this quilt! It took weeks to complete, and many nights of not going to bed until 2am.


It was worth every last second of stitching. I mean, I really love this quilt. the labor was not easy, but it was like having a child. The second it was over I was so in love, I’d do it all over again without another thought. That’s why I love what I do. Its terribly fulfilling.


I backed this quilt with a favorite print from Alison’s Field Day collection, which beautifully incorporates all those colors featured in her Handcrafted line (which has just hit stores, by the way).


Anyway, I finished this quilt, took a couple of pictures and ran to the post office without one spot of makeup on my face. It was desperation, so please overlook the fact that these are pictures taken by me and not my uber talented sister. :)

Now I want to share the love. Through this weekend, you can purchase my Opposites Attract Quilt pattern for 25% off in my Etsy shop. Discount has already been taken, so you don’t need a code. A quilt along is coming, so go ahead and pick up your pattern on sale!

Thank you so much for your support.


Sewing with Liberty

I’ve had several requests to do a post about sewing with Liberty of London fabric, so today I’m giving you a rundown of tools and techniques that will make the process easy peasy, and you won’t need to feel nervous about cutting into your precious lawn!


What is lawn anyway?


Liberty tana lawn is a lightweight, tightly woven cotton fabric that often features very detailed and colorful floral motifs. The threads are very fine, and the material is quite supple and flowy. Liberty tana lawn is best friends with Free Spirit solid voile, which makes for a great lining for garments or pairing for a quilt.


You may also combine Liberty with something like double gauze, like I did here with this quilt I made for Layla. While the materials are quite different, they are both lightweight and together they made a beautiful pair! I simply prewashed the double gauze which has a very loose weave in order to avoid any uneven shrinkage between the two.


Liberty also goes well with chambray and even standard quilting weight cotton. Lawn doesn’t have noticeable shrinkage, so if you are using something heavier or with a looser weave, I definitely recommend prewashing.

I use a fine needle when sewing with Liberty so as not to break any of the threads. I’ll often use a 70/10 universal needle, but I’ll move to something larger if I’m pairing my lawn with a heavier fabric. Thread wise, I’m quite particular. In my ordinary sewing, I just use a Coats and Clark mega roll of white all-purpose thread, which I believe is cotton. I do not use this with Lawn, because the thread is thicker than the threads that the lawn is made of and it often causes puckering. I’ve found that 40wt Aurifil is the perfect thread for Liberty. Its similar in weight, and causes zero puckering.



If I am machine quilting, 28wt Aurifil is the way to go. Though 40wt works well for quilting, I like my stitches to stand out a bit more, and the 28wt is heavier, but still will not cause puckering. (above picture is 28wt, and picture below is 40wt).


Anyway, I’m not an “Aurisnob”, or anything like that, I just use Aurifil with Liberty because I think superior fabric calls for superior thread, and together they make for an exceptional combination.


Liberty is the perfect woven fabric for garment sewing. Its my go to brand because of its quality, and the diversity of prints offered means I could have an all Liberty wardrobe and no one would be the wiser.

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As I mentioned before (and a bajillion other times if you’re a regular reader here), Liberty’s perfect match is Free Spirit solid voile. I line every single garment I make with Liberty with Free Spirit solid voile, because they are nearly identical fabrics. When combined, they act as one fabric and there is no weird shifting due to differences in the cloth. Additionally, you still have a lightweight garment when pairing these two.

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I also used Liberty with solid voile to make this quilt.


When piecing tana lawn, I still use 40wt Aurifil. Just because no one sees those stitches doesn’t mean they won’t see puckers, so stick with the good thread throughout your sewing. I press seams to one side, and rotate between rows so that my seams “lock” together. I don’t always do that, but with such a lightweight fabric, you don’t notice extra thickness at the seams when doing this.


Liberty is also very hand quilting friendly! I’ve hand quilted many a quilt with my go to Perle cotton (size 8) with great success.

I should also mention, if I’m sewing a garment or if I’ve made a quilt, I’ll overlock seams that will be exposed, even if they’re only exposed for a while. So if I’m attaching a bodice and skirt that will eventually be covered because I’m hand sewing the lining down, I’ll overlock that seam to avoid any amount of fraying. Liberty doesn’t have a terrible amount of fraying, but why let it unravel at all? Likewise, when I’ve finished a quilt and attached binding to the front but I’m still waiting to hand sew it down in the back, I’ll overlock all the way around the quilt to avoid useless fraying. Many people would say that is overkill, but I just look at it like this: I’m using a really high end, expensive fabric to make this and I very much want it to outlast me, therefore, I’m going to take any precaution I can to ensure the long life of this item.


I’ll also throw in here that I don’t ever use scissors to cut fabric. Anything that needs to be cut can be done with a rotary cutter- even curved pieces. If you feel that you can cut with scissors with zero shifting and total accuracy, go for it. I know I’m not that talented, so I avoid uneven pieces by cutting swiftly with my rotary cutter.

Liberty tana lawn is not at all difficult to sew with. I honestly believe that with the right tools, and patience you can do anything you want to do with it. I think much of the fear and anxiety about sewing with Liberty is due to the cost of it (approx $36yd/mtr), and we just don’t want to mess it up. If you think through your project and come into it prepared, you’ll have great success and a beautiful item to boot! Liberty is so exquisite and refined, but don’t let that scare you away from owning it and adding bits of it to your wardrobe and home!

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If you have any questions, feel free to leave me a comment. I’ll answer it to the best of my abilities. I’d love to hear about your Liberty projects as well! I hope this has been helpful, and more than anything, I hope its given you the gumption to dig into your Liberty stash and make something beautiful.

If you don’t own any Liberty, I highly recommend checking out Jones and Vandermeer. I purchase most of my Liberty from them as they have a wonderful selection of prints, but they also have the best prices. They’re the only company I know of in the states that gives you a whole meter for $36! Go check them out and have fun! :)


Queue for the Zoo Quilt

I had the immense pleasure of working with one of my all time favorite Liberty prints once again over the past couple of weeks. A client requested a custom quilt with this Queue for the Zoo Liberty fabric as the “theme” print, and I went from there.


I paired it with this metallic dot from Dear Stella, some Handcrafted and Sunprint from Alison Glass, some voiles from Anna Maria Horner, and of course, some other coordinating Liberty prints.


I spent much of last week quilting it, and really trying to draw out that bright purple, which is her favorite color.

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Alison Glass’ Bike Path print made for the perfect binding! The color is spot on, and I love that it really pops.

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I’m finishing up another hand quilted quilt for Market next week. Its taking much longer than I initially thought it would because it turns out that I get very little accomplished when Wallace takes two naps a day totaling one hour. I’m praying that changes! I NEED that boy to rest. :)

Anyway, if all goes according to plan, I have lots to share with you this week, including a post on sewing with Liberty. It can be really intimidating to cut into such a beautiful (and expensive) fabric, but with the right notions and careful planning, you’ll do just fine! Then you’ll have to convince yourself to tone down all the Liberty sewing.

Did you have a great long weekend?


Pleated Lawn Dress

I’m beyond thrilled to show off today’s dress! I don’t know if I’ve ever been so excited about a handmade finish.

My sister, Emilee, is my best friend. We understand one another on a level other people don’t want to go. :) We trade off on lunch, shopping, and other things, and I think that’s way more fun than splitting things right down the middle. She does most all of the photography for this here blog of mine, and I’m so grateful to her for that. Emilee has lent me some major talent. I like to get her back when I can, and this time I made her a new dress with some seriously gorgeous Cotton + Steel lawn from Sarah Watts.


I dreamed up this dress months ago, but it was one of those things I wanted to turn out so perfectly, it just stayed in my head. I was afraid to pull the trigger for fear of failing, or at the very least, not meeting my own expectations. When I finally worked up the gumption to begin making the bodice, I was just tickled to see that my idea was working!

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Do you love the pleated top?!

I’m completely obsessed with it! After completing the bodice, I was seriously considering “losing” this dress and making her another one. You can see that didn’t happen, but I would be lying if I told you it was for any reason other than her prodding me to be finished with it now.

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The contrasting waistband gives the dress a nice pop. I love that this print came in two colors. The waistband is regular quilting weight cotton, while the rest of the dress is lawn. I lined it with Free Spirit solid voile. Big surprise!


Because of the structure of the top, I thought the skirt really needed some bounce and movement. I decided to make an *almost* circle skirt like I did on this dress, and it seems to be a perfect fit!

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But look at the hem. Mmhmm. Is that not delicious? What you’re seeing there is some gorgeous Aurifil stitched into a cross stitch by my Janome. My 1997 Janome. So glad they thought to include this beautiful stitch back then. I mean, its a really close race between the pleated top and the embroidered hem as to which one is my favorite feature of this dress.


Isn’t she beautiful? I love my sister so much, and I’m glad she loves her new dress. She certainly deserves it. I’m glad something as special as this gets to live in her closet, which I get to raid from time to time. :)


Handcrafted + Liberty : A New Tunic

I have another Handcrafted project to share with you today! I got the privilege of working with Alison’s upcoming line once again, and this time I paired it with Liberty.


This tunic, which is actually my next pattern, was perfect for showcasing Handcrafted and adding that pop of Liberty.

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These two fabrics play so well together. Perfectly, in fact! The weight is nearly identical, and they are both of such beautiful quality.

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Don’t you think the detailed Liberty complements the minimalist design of Handcrafted so well? I cannot get over how much I love them together!

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I’ll certainly be making a quilt with Handcrafted and Liberty once yardage is available. Did you know you can preorder this new line directly from Alison. It will be out any day. If you’re not quite ready to commit to a whole bundle, she has the whole line available in 10″ cuts. I have a feeling once you see it in person, you’ll want as much of each fabric as you can get!


This fabric is totally new. Alison and Andover really have come up with something special in Handcrafted. The process of making this fabric is entirely by hand, and quite unique. Alison has written up a few posts detailing the process and introducing the fabrics which you can read on her blog.

Thanks for stopping by!


Modified My Belle : Juliana Horner

After making one My Belle with a button down bodice, I just had to have another!


I made this one with two prints from Juliana Horner’s Homestead collection which I absolutely love! In fact, as soon as I laid eyes on this blue print, I knew I needed a few yards just for a dress.

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Wow, that rebellious section of bangs is super annoying. :/


Unlike the other dress I made with a button front, this one has a standard gathered skirt, whereas my last dress had an almost circle skirt. Since this one is regular quilting weight cotton, I thought it would handle this cut better than a skirt that was meant to be flowy.


In case you don’t already know, the My Belle dress is a pattern from Alexia Abegg’s book, Liberty Love. Its my all time favorite craft book because every single project is useful and gorgeous. This is probably the tenth dress I’ve made with this pattern in a year’s time, so if you are looking for a great classic dress pattern, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Liberty Love. You can click here to get a copy from Amazon (where I get a couple of cents toward the purchase of another book), or you can head over to Jones and Vandermeer, and while your there you can load up on fabric and every other kind of crafting goodness! They have the most amazing selection of Liberty at the best price for a whole meter!  20141001-DSC_0033

The other dress I was working on is really something. That Cotton + Steel lawn is utterly gorgeous by itself, but just wait until next week when I get to show you the dress I made for my sister. Its going to be really difficult to hand off! But before I get to share that, I’m excited to show you a top I got to make for Layla that will be making an appearance at Market!

Thanks for stopping by!


Back at it

Thank you guys so much for your kind words of encouragement the other day. I guess we probably all have days of self doubt. The important thing is to just keep going. I started sewing because I thought it would be fun and rewarding to make something with my own hands. I kept sewing because I fell in love with this beautiful skill set, and it quickly became my passion. One day of self doubt, one little pity party, isn’t going to put out that flame.

I worked all weekend on three different garments which I’m excited to show you starting tomorrow, but I thought today I would give you a little peak at what I’m working on this very moment.

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A client of mine requested a custom quilt for her daughter using Liberty’s Queue for the Zoo as the main fabric. Again with this quilt, I got control of the design, and I’ve already gotten started. We worked together on the fabric choices, and I’m so thrilled with what we were able to come up with!

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Tracking down a cut of this fabric was no small feat given its insane popularity, but praise the Lord, I was able to find enough to make this quilt! Queue for the Zoo is one of my all time favorite Liberty prints, and I’m just tickled to be able to work with it again!

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I can’t wait to show you the finished quilt! Pop back in tomorrow to see one of the dresses I made this weekend.


Portrait of my day

I’m so happy to be able to have a day to fit in a little bit of selfish sewing. I thought I was going to lose my sewing mojo after yesterdays Crafters for Courage auction. My quilt went for $250 which after the cost of materials put my hourly rate at a whopping $2. That hurt. Like a lot. I didn’t care that I wasn’t actually making anything. After all, I donated for a reason. But I went big thinking the girls would get a big return from it.

Determined to do something to get my mind off of my feeling of worthlessness, I woke up this morning ready to accomplish something. Because the truth is, most of the world has zero clue what goes into anything that’s handmade. Most of the time when I sell something I don’t make what I could doing a minimum wage job. That’s why I don’t sell many ready made things. I much prefer to do custom work where I get sought out because, presumably, that means whoever it is that wants a handmade item already knows that they like my style and the quality of the work I do.

Anyway, that was a giant rabbit trail, but I’m getting back into what I love today for the purest of reasons: because I love sewing, and I love the result, and I appreciate my own work. That sounds incredibly selfish, but who better to understand the work than the person doing it? I’m finishing up the tunic for Layla that I cut yesterday, and I’m starting on new dresses for me and Emilee.

Emilee’s is a brand new dress style I’m trying out in this gloriously soft Cotton + Steel lawn from Jones and Vandermeer.


Mine will be made with these favorite prints from Juliana Horner. Mine will be similar to this Liberty dress I made a few weeks back.

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What are your thoughts on buying and selling handmade? Do you sell? Do you actually charge for the amount of work you’re doing, or do you tend to sell yourself short? I’d really love to know. I’m struggling to understand how anyone that is willing to undercut themselves can feel good about the work they’re doing. No judgment here. Just want to understand your perspective!

Have an amazing and fulfilling weekend!