Tuesday, November 26, 2013

southwest salsa: a free pattern

Happy Thanksgiving! I have something exciting to share today! A little thank you gift, if you will. You might remember me showing you my loot from Quilt Festival and how Mr. Relish was so helpful in carrying my bags. Well, in those bags was a receipt for EQ7 and that lovely software came about two weeks ago. One of the first things I designed was a quilt that had been floating around in my head for months. I started to notice a trend coming back and that was the southwest motif look. It is all over the place; clothes, sweaters, tights, bedding, d├ęcor... (check out my Pinterest board to the right). Even at the Chi Omega Christmas Market in Dallas this past weekend, I couldn't get over the amount of southwest inspired clothes and sweaters there. I knew when I got home, that I must finished my quilt! And that I did!
Southwest Salsa Pattern
Sooooo, here it is, my quilt and a FREE pattern!  I made the pattern and instructions before I made the quilt so I was able to be my own little pattern tester. If you have any other issues, please let me know so I can fix it.
Southwest Salsa Pattern
This top is super easy to cut and piece. I did both in one weekend during nap times. It measures 72 x 84 inches finished, so quite big. I decided to just quilt lines because of the size, but tried to outline some of the motif. I really should have just quilted straight lines, because it was a BEAST to quilt on my little machine. It makes me want a wide throat quilting machine more and more every day.
Southwest Salsa Pattern
I picked fabrics exclusively from my stash, which are mostly my Stash Builders from Pink Castle Fabrics. The back is from the front's leftovers and then the two large panels are from Hobby Lobby. They were for dresses for the relishes, but never got around to them. So, luckily I had 1 1/2 yards of each. If you are interested to know what all the fabrics are, I will be happy to research it more. I do know that the middle floral is Hand Drawn Garden by Anna Maria Horner and the background is Crosshatch in black.
Southwest Salsa Pattern
Southwest Salsa Pattern
I promised some of you I would let you know what I thought of EQ7 and..... I love it! Still learning so much, but have to give Moda kudos for having a photo of each fabric by line in easy to download zip files. Makes it super easy to download fabrics onto EQ, especially the Bella Solids, which I used for the pattern design! I have another free pattern in the works that will be shared in the next couple of weeks...and there will be a giveaway! So make sure you follow me!
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Southwest Salsa Pattern
Happy Thanksgiving to my US friends but feel free to stuff your face on Thursday no matter where you are...I won't judge because I will be doing the same! Oh, and please email me if you make the quilt. I would love to see and share them all. myfabricrelish@gmail.com
Melissa


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Starring Piper...

Many many many moons ago, I bought a beautiful fat quarter bundle of Piper by Dear Stella from the Fat Quarter Shop. I just fell in love with this bundle mostly because it had my two favorite colors, purple and green, but because it had such fun prints! I really have no idea why I let this bundle sit so long.

So while this pretty little bundle sat in my stash, I was still day dreaming about Jeni Baker's Giant Star quilt and couldn't get it out of my head. I even made my Giant Star Surround quilt to feed my giant star quilt craving. Guess what? That is like only eating one oreo. Not going to happen! So one day while I was petting my stash and admiring my Piper fabrics, it hit me....make a Giant Star quilt with Piper! And use Linen! And call her....

Starring Piper!

Starring Piper

Starring Piper

I did a very dense swirl quilting pattern and it was super fun, but boy my arms were sore!

Starring Piper

Peek-a-boo from BooBoo Bear!

Starring Piper

I used the remaining FQ's and some quilter's linen for the back. I was thinking I would use that originally for the front but it was too light for my liking and I loved the natural hues in the flax seed linen. I used the last little bit of Piper to make a two print scrappy binding. Big relish thought the print with all the tiny dots were sprinkles! Gotta love her!

Also, if you want to see some more Piper in action, Paula over at The Sassy Quilter is also working on a Piper quilt. I cant wait to see Paula's when it's finished! Go on over there and cheer her on!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Melissa

Linking up with some of my friends on the right and Crazy Mom Quilts!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sewing for Christmas....

Just A quick share today....I made some totes to give as Christmas gifts. The big one is for my mom and smaller one is for my sister. Deja vu? They both loved my Market Tote and asked for one, but I told them they had to wait until Christmas. My sister asked for a smaller one and so I just made the main front panel 10 (instead of 13) inches and the center/base panel 5 (instead of 8 1/2) inches wide. I hope they both like them and I also hope they don't read this post and it will just blend in with all my other posts. haha

Zakka 2.0 Market Tote and mini

I used Annie's Soft and Sable for the first time and I really liked how easy it was to sew with. I think next time I will quilt the fabric on even though you technically don't need to. I got mine at Quilt Festival but I also saw that it's sold on Amazon.

I added magnetic closures to both with polka-dot lining.
Zakka 2.0 Market Tote and mini

I hope they love them!

I have three quilts basted and ready to be quilted so I hope to have a finished quilt to share this week! Happy Monday!

Melissa

Sunday, November 17, 2013

taking a trip around the world...

First of all, thank you so much for all the love on Mr. Relish's man quilt! I think I replied to over 60 comments! Wowza! That was a fun little blog hop and hope to do more! I have some paper piecing to share with you today...yay!

My sis-in-law and her family moved to India this past spring for a missionary trip and I am just now sending them a care package. I had meant to send one much sooner but got a little side tracked while my dad was in the hospital. I wanted to make something special for the kids (7 & 4) but knew I could risk sending entire quilts there. Packages are known to go missing or "accidently" opened during their journey. So I decided to make them minis that could be used as a pillow or a wall hanging.

R2D2's CastleR2D2's Castle

I used Blossom Heart Quilt's brand spanking new paper piecing pattern Fairy Tale Castle and added adorable princess fussy cuts for the windows. I don't remember where I got this fabric but it was perfect. I tried to go scrappy with the sky but it still turned out a bit boxy. I think the swirl quilting helps alleviate that (for me) and then added raw edge appliqued clouds and FMQ those on. I am so in love with this pattern and need to make another one for my girls. I'm surprised big relish didn't try to claim it as hers. I guess she didn't have a chance because the moment they were finished and photographed, they were pack into the box.

R2D2's Castle
R2D2's Castle
R2D2's Castle

Next up is R2D2! My nephew is a huge Giant GINORMOUS Star Wars fan, so of course I had to do one of Quiet Play's Star Wars paper piecing patterns. Oh, and did you know they are free! It was easy to pick R2D2 and then I asked Mr. Relish to pick out the background fabric. He did a great job, it looks just like outer space! I again raw edge appliqued a moon by FMQ and then did the same swirl effect. There are a few hidden stars in the quilting, too. I wanted to try that FMQ technique on this one but didn't want to make a mess of something that was a gift.

R2D2's Castle
R2D2's Castle

I also put in some fabric baskets for my sis-in-law and then some other little things for the kids. I really hope this package makes it to India safe and sound...wish it luck on its journey!

Melissa

I will be linking up over at Quiet Play, Crazy Mom Quilts and all my other favorite parties to the right!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

for the boys: an anniversary man quilt

Mr. Relish's Quilt

I am participating in my first ever blog hop over at Madam Samm's Sew WE Quilt. This blog hop is just for the boys! I finished Mr. Relish's anniversary quilt back at the beginning of October by waited oh so patiently for my turn in this fun little blog hop. Please be sure to check out all the others hopping today!


November 14th
I like to QuiltBlog
Marjorie's Busy Corner
My Fabric Relish
Feathered Nest Studios
Moose Stash Quilting
QuiltnQueen
Grandmama's Stories
Our Busy Little Bunch
Words and Stitches

I first told y'all about my plans for this quilt here, where I also shared my first Mr. Relish quilts.

Mr. Relish's Quilt

I used Parson Gray's Curious Nature fabric and got a great deal for some 1/2 yard cuts at Hawthorn Threads. I even had leftovers to do the back and then for a little giveaway back in September(closed now) for all those that so humbly linked up their first quilt. Thanks so much for that! I loved reading the epidemiology of the quilting bug! lol

Mr. Relish's Quilt

Mr. Relish's Quilt

I used this plus quilt pattern by For the Love of George, but altered it a bit to accommodate the amount of fabric I had available and also wanted to make sure this quilt was long so it covered his tootsies. Final measurements ended up being 60 x 78 in.

Mr. Relish's Quilt

Mr. Relish's Quilt

I used natural Gutermann thread and just outlined all the seams. Easy enough for me!

Mr. Relish's Quilt

That's all I got. Here's a little David Butler to leave you with (again)...


[meme courtesy of Molli Sparkles]

Happy Anniversary, Mr. Relish!

Melissa

Linking up with all my parties on the right and Crazy Mom Quilts!

Monday, November 11, 2013

what we made in sewing class...

Some of you (maybe only 2 of you) might remember that I teach a sewing class once a month at my local library. Even though this is just for fun and I don't get paid, it's very rewarding to spread the sewing bug! I try to find easy projects to work on for the class and since I taught quilting this summer, it has opened up a whole other realm of sewing projects for my students friends!

Fabric Baskets

I picked Ayumi's from Pink Penguin (and author of Patchwork, Please) fabric basket for our last class. I just love these little baskets and will be making more for Christmas gifts.

Fabric Baskets

I used my scrap Nordika fabric (finished quilt coming soon!!) and black linen. I decided on two layers of cotton batting to make it more structured and did two different sizes, one using the dimensions she has in the tutorial then the next one I added 1/2 inch to the patchwork squares and adjusted the base size to accommodate. I meant to write that part down, but I didn't. Doh! Hope you give this tutorial a try...they are about as easy as a zipper pouch minus the zipper! I did have to switch to a denim needle when topstitching the top of the basket at the end.

Fabric Baskets

Have a great Tuesday!

Melissa

Plum and June Photography Challenge: White Balance

They say natural light is best when taking photographs and I couldn't agree more with that mantra. When you look at something in real life, you experience the true colors. Taking pictures of fabrics and especially quilts, capturing those true colors are essential. By simply changing the white balance in your camera's settings, you can ensure that the colors you see in person are the same colors that your audience sees. This is very important to any sort of blogger that uses pictures as a tool to share. To be honest, my favorite part to any blog or quilt book are the pictures. And you don't need to be a pro photographer, you can take spectacular pictures with your phone (I do it all the time)!

So this month's challenge at Plum and June is to play with the white balance (WB) in your camera, be it a DLSR, point and shoot, or phone.

Plum and June

I decided to take my pictures inside because that is where I generally have the hardest time getting the colors just right. I turned off every light in the room and opened up the windows. I prefer to take my pictures in raw and not worry about the colors until I am editing on my computer. This challenge I will not edit any of the pictures and they will all be SOOC (straight out of the camera).

Check your camera manual, but changing the WB can be pretty straight forward. You WILL have to venture out of Auto mode and get in one of the Manual modes. Don't worry, it's not too scary. The WB setting gives you several options depending on your environment: sunlight, shade, cloudy, tungsten light, white fluorescent light, flash, auto, and custom. Custom is where you set your white balance manually. So basically, take the same exact picture and just change the setting each time. For the custom setting, check out this tutorial here at Kitchen Table Quilting if you need help with that! Thanks so much Erica for this tutorial!

Here is what I got:
Plum and June Photo Challenge: White Balance I took this picture first and then went to Menu and set the WB based on the white in this picture.

Plum and June Photo Challenge: White Balance

Plum and June Photo Challenge: White Balance

Plum and June Photo Challenge: White Balance

Plum and June Photo Challenge: White Balance

Plum and June Photo Challenge: White Balance

Plum and June Photo Challenge: White Balance

Plum and June Photo Challenge: White Balance

Plum and June Photo Challenge: White Balance

Plum and June Photo Challenge: White Balance

Conclusion:
The custom really shows the true colors of the fabrics and pretty much looks exactly how I see it from my eyes. The auto looks good too, but feels a bit on the cool side and the custom feels a bit warmer. But, if you look at the white areas, those look really white.

You can do the same thing from the computer after the fact. I use Photoshop Elements and upload my RAW files. I get this screen to do my preliminary edits and one of the first things I do is check to see where I want the WB to be.


I took these pictures outside on my patio in the SHADE. I clicked on shade and auto to see what I got and they were the same thing. I was happy with that and then opened my file to do additional edits and add my watermark.



Hope all that mumbo jumbo made sense! Please tell me what setting you prefer?

Have a great Monday and I'll be blogging about these cute little baskets tomorrow!

Melissa

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Modern Christmas Tree Pillow Tutorial

It was such a pleasure getting to participate with Heather and Megan's Holiday Tutorial Series over at Quilt Story yesterday and now I can share it will all of you today! Oh and there is a free paper piecing pattern included! Be sure to check out all the other tutorials in the next few weeks -- see the schedule below. I am so happy with the way it turned out and hope to you get a chance to make one or just simply use the paper piecing pattern to make something else. I think these little trees would be cute on place mats, table runners, or even a stocking. Let me know if you give it a try.

Modern PP Christmas Tree

Fresh Poppy Design

Lets get started!

1. Gather Supplies:
- Charm Pack - I used In from the Cold by Kate Spain for Moda
- 1 yard of white/grey/low volume (or you can mix and match)
You will need to cut 2 - 13 1/2 x 18 1/2 inch strips; 9 - 5x5 inch squares; and 1 - 13 1/2 in. square.
- scrap fabrics for wood trunk
- embroidery thread for embellishing
- 21 x 21 inch white muslin (backing for inside of pillow)
- 20 x 20 inch batting
- 1 button

Modern PP Christmas Tree

And LOOK! It's reversible!

2. Print 3 copies of the tree template, which equals two pages per tree and six pages all together.

Christmas Tree Template 1 of 2
Christmas Tree Template 2 of 2

3. Tape the pattern together along the red line. Make sure your 1 inch test square is in fact 1 inch.


4. Choosing and cutting fabrics.
- Choose 5-6 of the charm squares and cut in half on the diagonal. These will be your trees.
- For the tree surrounding you will need 9, 5 inch squares. You can pick some low volume from your charm pack or from your yardage. I wanted these to look like falling snow. You will also cut each of these on the diagonal. Now you have a total of 18, 1/2 squares.
- Choose 6 charms from your pack for under the tree. I picked ones that I thought represented things you find under a Christmas tree. :)



5. Now it's time to piece! Yay! If you are new to foundation paper piecing (FPP), there are many tutorials on the web and videos on YouTube. If you are looking for a bit of guidance, check out my blog post here.

IMPORTANT TIP: Since the fabric triangles for the trees are exactly the right size needed, make sure you line up your fabrics along the line no more that 1/4 inch.



6. Now it's time to trim your blocks. Be sure to add a 1/4 seam allowance to each of the blocks (not included in the pattern). See picture below...



7. Once you have made all three, remove the paper, piece together and press seams open.



8. Add your 3 1/2 x 18 1/2 inch borders to the top and bottom and press.

9. Now it's time to make your quilt sandwich. When making pillows, I prefer to using muslin for the backing since no one will see it and it's much cheaper. You can now quilt as you wish. I went for wavy lines on the top and bottom borders to look like snow and then pebbles in between the trees to look like snow falling. I stitched in the ditch around the trees and trunk.

10. Embellish! Once you are happy with the quilting, you can embellish with some hand embroidery or even add beads to the tree to look like lights. I added stars above each of the trees and then "Believe" at the bottom (kind of hard to see when the pillow is sitting up...oh well). I used my disappearing ink marker, but just be sure to test it on your fabric first (which I NEVER do...shame on me!) and spell check your word, too. Oops! Don't worry, I fixed it! haha This will be a good time to trim down your top to 18 x 18 inches. You shouldn't need to trim the sides, just the top and bottom. You need to keep a 1/4 inch on the sides of the trees so you don't loose your points.



Modern PP Christmas Tree

11. Making the back: Now set the top aside and it's time to start on the back. Take 16 of the remaining charms and make a 4x4 block. Make a 1/4 hem at the top of the block. If you would rather quilt this portion, you can add binding to just the top and omit the hemming part. I probably should have quilted this part as well, but I was a tad bit short on time.



12. Time to make the envelope lip! Take a 13 1/2 inch square piece of fabric and slice in 1/2 on the diagonal. Put right sides together and sew a 1/4 inch seam along the short, 90 degree sides of the triangle or the "L". Trim the corner, turn inside out, press, and topstitch the "L".



13. Now it's time to make the pillow sandwich! Lay front (trees) of pillow right side up, then envelope lip on the top with the tip pointed towards the bottom (pin a few times here so it doesn't shift), then lastly the back 4x4 block right side down with hem at the top. Pin the heck out of this layer and even use some Clover Wonder Clips if you have them.



14. Sew the pillow together: Sew a 1/4 inch seam around the pillow using a small stitch length (about 2.0) being sure you only catch the front and envelope layer on the top. Hope that makes sense? In other words, you do NOT sew the hemmed end of the back to the envelope and front OR you will stitch the whole thing together!



15. Getting close! Trim the corners on the inside and finish the exposed edges with either a serger or zigzag stitch. Or you can just leave it be. Totally up to you! Turn inside out and start getting excited!

16. Almost done! Time to add your button hole to the back of the pillow at the bottom of the envelope lip. I just took the fabric covered button I made and marked my button hole line and then let my machine work it's magic. If you are scared of button holes or need a refresher, my go to button hole tutorial can be found here by Prudent Baby, but now called Pretty Prudent.

17. EEK! Now stuff that bad boy with a pillow form or make your own and send me a picture ASAP! myfabricrelish {at} gmail {dot} com

Modern PP Christmas Tree

Modern PP Christmas Tree

Thanks so much!
Melissa @ my fabric relish
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Oh, and I almost forgot...please be sure to vote for your favorite quilts for the Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side! I am entered here (#33) and here (#5)!

AmysCreativeSide

Quilt Story

Wednesday 11/6 Melissa from My Fabric Relish ME!
Friday 11/8 Kelly from My Quilt Infatuation
Thursday 11/14 Lindsey from Inspiring Creations
Wednesday 11/20 Jennie & Clara from Clover and Violet
Friday 11/22 Teje from Nero's Post and Patch
Monday 12/2 Tessa from The Sewing Chick
Wednesday 12/4 Bev from Flamingo Toes
Monday 12/9 Stacy from Freshly Handmade
Wednesday 12/11 Christa from Christa Quilts
Friday 12/13 Erin from Why Not Sew?

Linking up with all my friends on the right and Crazy Mom Quilts!


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