Tuesday, February 22, 2011

presenting the tuffet!

** November 2014 Update - The pattern we used to make this tuffet is simply called "The Tuffet" by Myra Mitchell. You can purchase this pattern here from Lorrie at SewModDesigns on etsy.  Vicki at Accio Fabric also wrote a post about our tuffet making party which has a photo of what the tuffet bases look like before we covered them with the colorful pieced tops. You can view that post here. I hope this helps! **

Sunday's project day was a success!! Here's my tuffet in all it's Kaffe glory. What do you think?

The center fabric-covered button...

The lovely stained and polyurethaned feet (thank you dear husband!)...

In it's new home with the Kaffe Crayon Box quilt...

Now I'm not gonna lie to you, this project was very labor intensive. Lots of foundation piecing of the (64)  2 1/2" jelly roll strips to muslin patterns (eight sections just like this one)...

There is a LOT of prep work (thanks Lorrie!) involving cutting the plywood base, hammering in the T-nuts to hold the feet, and cutting the two layers of 3" thick foam. After stapling a layer of Warm and Natural batting over the plywood and foam base, we then centered and 
s - t - r - e - t - c - h - e - d
the foundation-pieced cover over the batting...

Lorrie, Me, and Andrea working as a team!
stapled that layer down, and threaded the upholstery needle through the bottom...

Lorrie and Andrea putting the button on Andrea's tuffet.

then pushed the button in while simultaneously pulling the string out the bottom while simultaneously pushing against the base. Whew!! Do not try this at home by yourself!!

Lorrie, Andrea, and Vicki really putting their muscles into it!
Lorrie over at SewMod organized this entire project and guided us through every step. Thanks for all the motivation, legwork, and assistance, Lorrie - I never would have attempted (let alone finished) this on my own!

In fact, while I was elbow-deep in foundation-piecing, I declared that I would never make another one of these tuffets.  But now that I've had a few days to admire it's loveliness, the memory of the pain is slowly ebbing from my mind... kind of like after birthing a baby - you swear you'll never do it again, but then the baby paralyzes you with it's cuteness and you forget all that pain...

I guess I've been paralyzed by it's cuteness :)

Oops, I almost forgot to show all the finished work!  Clockwise from the bottom left:  Andrea's Fandango tuffet, Lorrie's Soul Blossoms tuffet, and Vicki's Amy Butler assorted tuffet.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

and now for my next trick

I'll be attempting to turn this...
into a tuffet like this...
Workshop day for my SewMod group is this Sunday, and the tuffet is our project.  Check back next week for an update (and hopefully a finished tuffet!)

I hope you are all having a great week.  There is a lot of melting happening here in the Midwest.  It almost makes me believe that spring will soon be upon us!

Monday, February 14, 2011

you'd like to win some Sherbet Pips??

Then head over here to Lily's Quilts

My very talented friend Lynne has just published her first Moda Bake Shop pattern "Hexagon Park" featuring those adorable Sherbet Pips prints.

Leave a lovely comment for Lynne on her blog and get your chance to win your very own layer cake!
You can find this fun new pattern here at Moda Bake Shop!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

the big reveal, part 1

Last night was our swap meeting for the Row Quilt Exchange in my SewMod group - the culmination of a challenge that started last June.

Here's a shot of all the rows I made for the other members...

Each member made one unique row for every other member. I made flying geese for Pattie, flowers for Vicki, log cabins for Kelly, pinwheels for Paige, flying geese (again) for Jennie, Dresdens for Lorrie, and baskets for Andrea.

And these are the rows I received last night! They are up on the design wall, and I just can't get over how wonderful they are all together!

We each provided the other members with a "focus" fabric fat quarter to aid in selecting colors for the rows we were assigned to make. This is my focus... Kaffe (of course) Roman Glass in Red.

Some close-ups of what I brought home:

Log cabins made by Kelly...

Dresdens from Lorrie...

Flying geese made by Pattie...

Paige provided these pinwheels...

A row of flowers (and a bird!) from Vicki...

And baskets from Andrea...

I going to think long and hard about how I'll finish this quilt. Maybe a tiny border of turquoise around each row to separate them? The row I'm supposed to make for myself is stars, so maybe I'll do an all-around border of wonky stars? I really want the showcase to be the superior workmanship and creativity of my friends, but hey - it's Kaffe's fabric - so I don't think anything sedate will do. It's a fine line, and I'm going to need to study these beauties for a while longer before making a plan.

Right now I'm content to just sit in my chair and enjoy the view :)

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all my SewMod friends! I couldn't be happier!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

crafting with SewMod (and a couple of canines)

I spent the day with Lorrie of SewMod making a couple of fun memo boards. This is my version using Amy Butler solids charm squares...


And this is Lorrie's using Moda Origins by Basic Grey charms...

We used the free pattern here at Moda Bake Shop. Both frames are open-backed 16" x 20" purchased at our local Michaels store. Foam core measures about 1/4" thick, and we used 18" wide cork on a roll rather than the squares shown in the pattern.

I love the colors of my board, but if I made another I'd definitely use print fabrics rather than solids. It was kind of difficult to get the front pieced section stretched around the foundation smoothly, and I think Lorrie's print fabrics hide any potential bubbles/ripples/puckers better than the solids. I have a stubborn wrinkle in one of my blue squares that is driving me crazy - guess that one will always have something pinned on top of it :)

Another modification I would make next time is to replace one of the fusible fleece layers with a layer (or maybe even two layers) of all cotton mid-loft batting - mine seems like it could use a tad more "puff" or thickness.

It's a good idea to make this project with a friend, because there were times when we needed four hands for stretching and hot-gluing. Another lesson learned: never try to iron your fabrics or fusible fleece while they are on top of the cork. Can you say "moisture absorption", "buckling", and "do-over"?

These were our "helpers" for the day. Mine (on the right) is used to spending her days lounging on the rug in front of the patio door, so the play date really wiped her out. But it cured her cabin fever!

Monday, February 7, 2011

weekend creativity

She finished the wall organizer!  It was a very labor and materials-intensive project so let's just state for the record that no friends or relatives will be receiving one of these as a gift.

A pocket for letters...

one for dry erase markers...

and a couple of extras still unassigned...

And just because she had a few extra moments - an eyeglass case too!

Friday, February 4, 2011

never underestimate the power of a girl with a sewing machine!

No doubt you've heard about the snowmageddon we experienced this week in the Midwest. Two snow days off from school, and here's what my youngest has been up to:

An iPod case... that immediately generated an order for another when my eldest spied it :)

The pattern for the iPod case can be found in Sew with Sara, a book I highly recommend for any pre-teen or teenager that is interested in sewing. The patterns are well written and easy to understand, and the tone is so encouraging! It even inspired my daughter to start her own business making bags - quite the entrepreneur!

The iPod case was a quick finish - a warm-up, so to speak - for the main event... a wall organizer from the February, 2011 Quilter's World magazine:

NEVER underestimate the power of a girl with a sewing machine!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

there's a first time for everything

Lists. I love lists. I can't function without two or three lists daily - inherited that gene from my dear mom :) I'll bets lots of you out there are list-makers, too.

But before January 2011 I had never made a list of planned quilting projects for the year. I was inspired (in this and many other quilty ways) by my friend Lorrie over at SewMod. She makes such a list every year, she is super-organized, and she never seems to have fifteen projects going on simultaneously. I believed a list would help me control my fabric purchases, prevent me from jumping on every quilt-along bandwagon that I came across, and provide the focus I seem to lack for finishing works-in-progress.

What do you know?! It kinda worked! I feel pretty good about what I accomplished...

January projects checked off:
January pillow class sample
New Wave quilt
February pillow class sample
Rows for SewMod exchange

But I did drop the ball on a few things...

January projects that are now February projects:
Italian Tiles quilt
Riley Blake Winter Snowflake quilt
Fresh Modern Bee January block

The list even helped me with that bit about quilt-along bandwagons! So far I've only succumbed to the Little Miss Shabby Birdie Stitches project. But really, how could I walk away from this cuteness (and pass up the chance to learn embroidery?)

Others that have sorely tempted me, but that I've been (barely) able to resist are the Cherry House quilt-along, the Blogger's Block-a-Palooza, and the Amy Butler Style Stitches Sew Along.

Before the list I would have beat myself up about all the things I didn't accomplish in January. But now I can see that I actually did get some pretty big projects finished, and I when tempted with new things I didn't cave every time... yet.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February Blogger's Pillow Party

Okay so you've seen this pillow before, but I'm entering it in the February Blogger's Pillow Party over at Stitched in Color. Each month you can enter one pillow you've made (in the last three months), and a guest celebrity judge will choose a winner! February's judge is the fabulous Rita at Red Pepper Quilts!! Did I mention the winner receives a fantastic prize?

I made this pillow as part of my monthly Pillow Panache class at Quilt in Joy (the LQS where I work and teach). Wonky is really difficult for me. My brain is hard-wired for symmetry and order, as much as I'd like to pretend otherwise :)

My first attempt at wonky last year was less than successful (in my eyes) so my original blocks ended up shoved under my cutting table in a pile of discards...

But when I discovered them while cleaning (acckkkk!) I decided maybe the star wasn't too bad, and maybe I should give it another go.

With the white background and new Amy Butler fabrics, I now have some wonky stars that I really love :) And I discovered that when the photo is viewed as a thumbnail shot, the stars seem to be spinning! Completely unplanned, but what a bonus!

If you've got a favorite pillow to enter, head over here for the details :)

Blogger's Pillow Party


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