May 16, 2016

Rainbow Happy Sewing Land

It was a true pleasure reading everyone's entries for my giveaway post. What I loved most of all is how many of you made a point to say that you sew when life gets stressful. Of course you do! You read quilting blogs because you love quilting and doing what you love helps you feel good. You are wise.

Sewing helps me feel good too. I can't believe that this feels like an epiphany to say it. But happily I've been doing more lately! And more of my favorite kind of piecing: sewing color coordinated scraps together. This is some secret sewing so I can't show you what I've done just yet. But it's fun enough to keep me up until midnight most nights. 

My daughter recently organized a new box of sidewalk chalk like this. I love that she thinks in color groups too. 

I realize I haven't been around here much and thus haven't shared that I will be teaching in Savannah next spring for QuiltCon. I am really looking forward to that trip! I hope to meet more of you there!

So now for a winner of Lara's great new book Crafted Applique - New Possibilities.  The random number generator chose #164, which was left by Sandra at The Bias Edge. Sandra said "I work full-time but I will always squeeze some time to sew and quilt every night after my children has gone to bed. It can be just half and hour and it makes me happy just before I go to bed. This is my de-stressor". 

I love it! Sandra and I are riding the happy sewing train to the land of good dreams. To Sandra and everyone else: 

May 11, 2016

Crafted Applique, and a ray of giveaway sunshine!

Hooray, I got myself to sit in front of my computer long enough to blog!

Today it's because my blogger friend Lara B. sent me her new book, Crafted Appliqué - New Possibilities.  I've been so curious about it ever since she told me what she was working on. "A new approach to appliqué" she would say. What could it be? I wondered.

Eventually I got a look at the cover and became even more curious. The detail! How does this super cute appliqué look so perfect?

I dove into the book to find out, and I am delighted. Lara has developed a simple approach to appliqué that takes the best of other methods and comes out with a quick, non-toxic solution that gives better results than other raw edge appliqué methods. Three years from now everyone's going to be using this method all the time and we'll hardly remember a time that we bought that other stuff with the paper when we wanted a quick appliqué. Seriously, it's that kind of "aha!".

Lara shows off her method with a ton of cute projects. The structural house sewing machine cover is my favorite (and not because Lara used my selvage fabric on the inside, it's charmingly clever!).

After seeing all Lara did with the projects in the book, I had to try the method myself. I prepared some fabric using Lara's simple and well-documented process, and then cut out a flower. I fused it to the fabric and straight-stitched it down for good measure. This happened at approximately midnight. Did I mention it was fast? That's good because I'm exhausted this year.

Normally with fused appliqué I would zigzag stitch, but Lara promised good results and no need to zigzag, even with washing, and I wanted to see for myself. I'm so glad. All those little petals would have been a nightmare to zigzag around. Here is the appliqué after a machine wash and dry the next morning. The edges held up great, no fraying!

And here's the happy, toothless girl it delighted.

So are you curious? Good! I don't want to spoil Lara's hard work and tell you how it's done, Crafted Appliqué does that so well. And here's a sweet chance to get your hands on it, Lara is letting me pick a lucky reader to send a copy of the book to!

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on the blog post telling me something you do to stay calm when life gets stressful. Don't email me! Comment on the blog! I'll choose a winner this weekend. The giveaway is now closed, thanks everyone!

I'll be sure to show pretty pictures and give a sewing and life update when I come back to announce a winner. I've been missing blogging!