Tag Archives: bonnie christine

June Finish {ALYoF}: Baby! & EPP Table Runner Flimsy

It’s hard to believe that less than a month ago, I was still pregnant. Yet in early June when I was setting my goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes (ALYoF), my goal was to have a baby!! I also added in a little hand stitching goal of completing my Summer English Paper Pieced (EPP) table runner top. I’m happy to report that I accomplished both of those goals!

june finish alyof finn epp table runner

june finish alyof finn epp table runnerMany of you have been appropriately introduced to baby Finn, who made his appearance 5 days into the month. Earlier today, I completed the final stitches attaching the EPP pieces to a solid border, finishing the table runner quilt top just in time.

blind ish stitch Lucy Boston applique
I used blind-ish stitch to sew the Lucy Boston blocks to a solid border fabric.

I used Aurifil 1320 – Medium Teal and a blind-ish stitch, which I hear is a highly favored stitch, to attach the EPP Lucy Boston blocks to a solid border fabric, Moda Bella solid in Coastal. I have not yet cut away the fabric behind the blocks, but I most likely will do so before layering, basting, and hand quilting the table runner.

completed table runner top lucy boston eppNow that I’ve grown my Aurifil 12wt thread stash, I’m excited to hand quilt this table runner. I have not yet decided on a quilting pattern, but I probably will go with a simple echo-border pattern. Finn doesn’t seem too interested in the stitching, but that’s ok!

baby finn and table runner quilt top eppI’m linking up with A Lovely Year of Finishes June Finish Party, and already contemplating my goal for July. I’m really enjoying being a part of ALYoF, since it is a little added incentive to focus on one project and actually make visible progress. This is my fourth successful monthly finish, since I missed the goal setting deadline for January and completely missed May. Not too bad!

Summer EPP Table Runner Progress

The fussy cutting fun involved with English Paper piecing (EPP) and Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses blocks hooked me immediately (although I still think it should be called meticulous cutting or assiduous cutting).  I’m still wondering what one is to do with these gorgeous blocks other than make a ton and stitch them into a large quilt, though. With the three I’ve completed, I decided to turn them into a summery table runner to match these placemats. I’ve begun to join them together, slowly planning how I want to border these blocks so that they finish as a table runner.  This is my first time “finishing” an EPP project, so I’m learning as I go (read: making it up as I go), as I do with most everything.
summer epp table runner

With a newborn snoozing in my lap all day and night, and since I still have the help of my visiting mom and paternity-leave-taking husband, I’ve been making steady progress on finishing the center block and making tiny 1″ squares to join the three together. Even since these photos were taken this morning, the third block is joined as well. There’s not much better than resting with a peacefully sleeping newborn on your lap, doing some stitching while watching the milk drunk stupor reflex smiles.

sleeping baby stitching
My view earlier today, shared on Instagram.
summer epp table runner
I’m loving the teeny tiny needle minder gifted to me by Mara of @mara_makes on IG.

Since I made my own 1″ square EPP templates with card stock and my paper-cutting rotary cutter, I’m thinking I may just make my own templates for the entire border. In plotting it out, a combination of squares, rectangles, and trapezoids should do the trick (I think).

Have you joined Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses blocks before? What method/shapes did you use? Please link in the comments if there’s a particular method you like, even if it’s just a general EPP tip! I honestly haven’t asked google yet, but I prefer to hear opinions from you, anyway.

perfectly matching aurifilI had been stitching the pieces together using a neutral thread, but decided that since I’m joining a bunch of blues, I should use matching thread if possible. I was pleased as punch to find a perfectly coordinating blue Aurifil thread in my stash (but not overly surprised, since there ALWAYS seems to be a perfect match!) It’s right in the middle of the darker blues and lighter turquoise, and is the perfect color for tying this whole runner together (literally!)

What do you make out of your EPP creations? I am really itching to do some more fussy cutting, but I need to have a project idea in mind before adding another project to my pile.

I’m linking up with Freshly Pieced’s Work in Progress Wednesday, and then switching my gaze back to the beauty asleep in my lap. Happy stitching!


Bonnie Christine Ribbon Thread Catch & Pin Cushion {Tutorial}

Welcome to my stop on the Bonnie Christine Ribbon Blog Tour. We’re entering the final days of the tour, so be sure to check out the fabulous projects that have already been posted, including Caitlin Topham’s post at Salty Oat from yesterday, and visit the final stop on the tour, Corri Sheff at The Lions Dandy tomorrow to see what gorgeousness she creates.

promo2Bonnie Christine is a surface pattern designer, mother hen of the Roost Tribe and author of Going Home to Roost – a blog dedicated to living an extraordinarily creative life. She is inspired by the great outdoors and is passionate about sharing what she knows and creating community around creativity. Sing it, sister! These ribbons may seem familiar, since the coordinating fabrics in her Sweet as Honey fabric line inspired my very first wine and fabric pairing!

This line of ribbons was inspired by a love for nature and sunshine. They represent working in the garden, growing flowers and watching the bees, birds and butterflies take flight. This description embodies so much of what I hold dear, and when I saw that Bonnie Christine was looking for bloggers to help spread the word about her new line of ribbons, I knew I had to be a part of this blog tour.

I decided to create a weighted thread catch and matching detachable pin cushion so that these ribbons and fabrics can brighten up my sewing space forever. The ribbons are silky smooth and coordinate with Bonnie’s fabric lines Winged and Sweet as Honey, but truly they coordinate with many of her fabric lines and look AWESOME paired with coordinating solids.

ribbon thread catch and removable pin cushion

TUTORIAL- Ribbon Thread Catch and Pin Cushion

I’m super happy with how this thread catch turned out, and thought I’d share a tutorial with you so that you can make one, too! Special features of this Ribbon Thread Catch & Pin Cushion are:

  • Pin cushion is removable so that you can tote it from workspace to workspace;
  • Tile weight is removable, meaning you can be creative with what you use to weigh down the thread catch, and/or replace the tile if broken (I have a busy nearly-3 year old, so I’m anticipating at least one broken tile in my future);
  • Since both the pin cushion and tile can be removed, you can position the thread catch base underneath your machine for convenience if you want; and,
  • Double thick interfacing and the half-moon thread catch base create a wide open, but still reasonably sized space in which to toss your threads.

If you want to use Bonnie’s ribbons, too, you can buy them at Renaissance Ribbons or at Bonnie’s mom’s quilt shop A Stitch in Time. Here we go!

TUTORIAL- Ribbon Thread Catch and Pin Cushion

Ribbon Thread Catch and Pin Cushion Tutorial

First, gather your materials. General requirements are listed first; specific materials I used are in parenthesis. You will need:

Cutting Instructions

Please read all of the instructions before cutting. There are some time saving tips for working with interfacing in the “making the base and hanging tab” section.

For pincushion:
(Cut 1) 5.5″ x 5.5″ print
(Cut 1) 2.5″x5.5″ print
(Cut 2) 1.75″x5.5″ coordinating solid
(Cut 2) 5.5″ x 5.5″ batting

For base and hanging tab:
(Cut 2) 14.5″x5.5″ coordinating solid
(Cut 1) 14.5″x5.5″ stiff fusible interfacing (Pellon 808)
(Cut 1) 5.75″ accent ribbon (approximately)

For thread catch:
(Cut 1) 2″x17.5″ coordinating solid
(Cut 1) 4.5″x17.5″ print
(Cut 1) 6″x17.5″ lining fabric
(Cut 4) Ribbon Thread Catch bottom template:
– print fabric
– interfacing Pellon 101
– stiff interfacing Pellon 808
– lining fabric
(Cut 1) 6″x17.5″ stiff fusible interfacing (Pellon 808)
(Cut 1) 6″x17.5″ fusible interfacing (Pellon 101)

Assembly Instructions

Use 1/4″ seam allowances throughout.

Make the pincushion:

Step 1

pin cushion tutorial Sew 1.75″x5.5″ coordinating solid pieces to 2.5″x5.5″ print fabric as shown, pressing seams toward darker fabric. You should now have two 5.5″ squares.

Step 2

pin cushion tutorialLayer each 5.5″ square with a 5.5″ square of batting and quilt as desired (Note: Do not quilt in solid fabric, or keep in mind that the ribbon will be sewn on in the next step). Quilt the bottom (5.5″ print fabric) square fairly densely to help withstand the pull of velcro once in use. The top square needs minimal quilting.

Step 3

pin cushion tutorialTop stitch ribbon to both coordinating solids approximately 3/8″ away from the print fabric. Note: If you use a different width ribbon, you may want to adjust this distance. Keep in mind the 1/4″ seam allowances on the outermost edge.

Step 4

pin cushion tutorialAlign velcro approximately 1.5″ from each corner and top stitch securely. I stitched around each strip twice to ensure that it will withstand a lifetime of use. Note: Use the soft side of the velcro on the pincushion so that it doesn’t pick up thread and fuzz and everything when you move it around your workspace. The hooked side of the velcro will be sewn onto the base.

Step 5
Right sides facing, sew around all edges leaving a 3″ opening in one side. (Leaving the opening in the side will make for much less visible closing stitches after stuffing)

Step 6

pin cushion tutorialpin cushion tutorialTrim corners and turn right-side out.  Stuff to the gills with stuffing of choice (I recommend 100% wool batting–the stuffing kind, not batting like we use between layers of a quilt–or crushed walnut shells to help keep your pins and needles clean and rust-free).

Step 7

pin cushion tutorialFold in edges around opening and pin or finger press closed. Using a blind stitch (or visible whip stitch), hand stitch closed using coordinating thread.

pin cushionAdmire your pincushion! Set aside while you make the rest of the thread catch.

Make the base and hanging tab:

Step 1 *time saving tip*

Thread Catch Base & Hanging Tab Step 1Cut the 14.5″x5.5″ piece of stiff fusible interfacing (Pellon 808). Following the instructions on the interfacing, fuse to wrong side of coordinating fabric (fabric is uncut at this point).

Step 2

2Once interfacing cools, fold fabric in half and use rotary cutter and ruler to cut around the 14.5″x5.5″ interfacing. You will end up with two perfectly sized fabric pieces with the interfacing fused to one of them.

Step 3

step three thread catch tutorial base and hanging tabWith right sides facing (interfacing out), sew along long sides with a 1/4″ seam. Set seams, turn right side out, press.

Step 4

thread catch tutorial base and hanging tab stepFold in 1/4″ from one short edge. Press.

Step 5

thread catch tutorial base and hanging tab stepFold in again, 3/4″. Press.

Step 6

thread catch tutorial base and hanging tab stepFold long end 5″ from pressed edge, over on top of itself. Press.

Step 7

thread catch base and hanging tab directionsWith the folded portion facing away from you, and the unfinished long end facing down, position the velcro strips 1 1/4″ from each top corner. Pin in place.

Step 8

thread catch base and hanging tab directionsTopstitch the velcro in place, being careful to only sew through one layer of fabric (the portion that was pressed under will be folded up out of the way.) I stitched around each velcro strip twice to ensure the velcro stays in place even with frequent use.

Step 9

thread catch base and hanging tab directionsRefold according to directions above. Sew along long edges only, using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

tile pocket imageYou have just created a tile pocket. I have seen some thread catches weighted with completely sewn-in tiles, but decided to design this with an opening where the tile can be inserted or removed as needed. This means that you can use anything you want to weigh down your thread catch, and if you have a little “helper” who happens to smash it to the ground, you can take out the tile shards and replace with a new tile. Once your tile is inserted, you can pull the little lip of fabric over the end of it to hold it in place more securely (like those fancy pillow cases). Don’t insert your tile yet–we’re still sewing! Now you know how the tile pocket will work, and hopefully can visualize where we are going with this a little better.

Step 10

thread catch pin cushion tutorialAlign accent ribbon 1 1/2″ from the unfinished short edge of the top of the base. Note: The ribbon shown is longer than 5.75″ and I trimmed the edges before the next step. Yours should fit well, with a bit over 1/2″ overhang on each side.

Step 11

thread catch pin cushion tutorialFold excess ribbon over the edges twice (Fold so that the cut end meets the edge of the base, and then fold over again). Pin in place.

Step 12

thread catch pin cushion tutorialTopstitch ribbon in place using coordinating thread. Your base is now finished, ready to attach to the thread catch basket. Set it aside while you make the thread catch.

Make the thread catch & Final Assembly:

Step 1

thread catch tutorialGather your cut pieces and interfacing. Normally, I would suggest cutting the interfacing, pressing to fabric, and THEN cutting out the outer fabric pieces around the interfacing, but since we will be sewing the print fabric to the coordinating solid before fusing to the interfacing, I would suggest cutting it all in advance. If you want to take a little shortcut, you can use the Ribbon Thread Catch bottom template to cut out the interfacing bottom, fuse to the print fabric and then cut the fabric once the interfacing is fused.

Step 2

thread catch tutorialSew the 2″x17.5″ coordinating solid to the 4″x17.5″ print fabric, pressing the seam toward the darker fabric. This is the outer panel of the thread catch.

Step 3

thread catch tutorialFollowing the instructions on the fusible interfacing, fuse both layers of interfacing to the wrong side of the outer panel, and to the thread catch bottom. Note that if using Pellon 101 and 808, you should fuse the 101 first since it calls for a damp press cloth and steam. Once fused and cool, then fuse the 808 for added structure. Note: Be sure to use a press cloth or other scrap fabric beneath and above your fabric and interfacing to protect your iron. Interfacing melted onto the iron is no fun!

Step 4

thread catch tutorialAlign the ribbon 3/8″ from the print fabric and topstitch in place. Note: If you are using a different width of ribbon, you may want to adjust this distance. Keep in mind the 1/4″ seam allowance at the top of the thread catch! You can use either coordinating or contrasting thread depending on the look you’d like to achieve. I opted to use Aurifil 50wt 2015 – Aluminum for the entire project. It seems to go with everything, in my opinion!

Step 5

thread catch tutorialFind the center of the outer panel (8.75″ from an edge) and pin. Note that in the photo, I pinned the top of the panel. You should pin the bottom of the panel instead. (Oops)

Step 6

thread catch tutorialRight sides together, sew short ends of the outer panel together. Be sure to line up the ribbon and seams, pinning right next to the join for accuracy. Press seam open.

Step 7

thread catch tutorialMark the center of your interfaced thread catch bottom (folding in half and creasing lightly to find the center point works wonderfully). Align the center of the bottom to the bottom seam of your outer panel. Be sure that right sides are facing away from you (you should be looking at a whole lot of interfacing) and also be sure that you are attaching your bottom to the bottom of the thread catch body (the ribbon is on the top).

thread catch tutorialPin right sides together.

Step 8

thread catch tutorialUsing the bottom of the thread catch as your reference and making sure it is lined up with the outer panel, sew along the straight edge of the bottom. Be sure to start and stop 1/4″ from both corners, backstitching at the beginning and end of your stitches.

Step 9

ribbon thread catch tutorialHere’s where that center-marking pin comes in handy! First, clip the curves on the bottom. Then, align the center of the bottom with the pin marking the center of your thread catch body, right sides together. Pin.

Step 10

ribbon thread catch tutorialContinue to pin the bottom to the thread catch body, working from the center out, aligning the edges as best you can.

ribbon thread catch tutorialFor the corners, fold as if you were turning a corner while binding, and pin securely. Sew together, beginning in the center and working out toward the corners. To keep the corners crisp, I stopped about 1″ short of each corner, backstitched, cut my thread, and began again starting in the corner, sewing out to meet the spot where I left off. If you’re a pro at curves and 3D sewing, feel free to do what works for you! Press seams toward thread catch body if possible.

Repeat steps 6-10 for thread catch lining, disregarding the ribbon-specific bits.

ribbon thread catch tutorialYou will now have the fully sewn outer body and liner for the thread catch! On to the final assembly!

Step 11

Turn outer thread catch body right side out. Slip the lining over the outer thread catch body, aligning raw edges, right sides together. Line up the center seams and back panels.

Step 12

ribbon thread catch tutorialPin in place and sew along top open edge, leaving an opening at least 5.5″ wide along the back panel (you can use your thread catch base and hanging tab to make sure there is enough space, but remove it before sewing. I found that it was easiest to sew together with the outside facing up.) Backstitch at the start and finish of your stitching to hold stitches during turning.

Step 13

Turn right side out through the opening in the top. Push lining down into the outer body. Press top edge, tucking in raw edges of the opening and pressing well.

ribbon thread catch tutorialribbon thread catch tutorialYou now will have the thread catch body fully assembled, with an opening along the back top, flat edge.

Step 14

ribbon thread catch tutorialInsert the raw edge of the thread catch base and hanging tab into the space left open in the thread catch body. It should be inserted 1/2″ into the body, leaving 1″ between the thread catch and the accent ribbon on the hanging tab. Pin.

ribbon thread catch tutorialTip: Check the back to make sure that the back raw edge is properly tucked in before sewing.

Step 15

Sew along top edge, sewing the hanging tab into the thread catch body. I sewed the opening closed (with the hanging tab inside) first, with the thread catch body & lining facing up so that my top stitches show and I could control the seam distance better.

Thread Catch Step 15Next, top stitch along the entire top of the thread catch opening using a scant 1/4″ seam. Once the hanging tab was securely sewn in, I backstitched and cut my thread, again flipping the thread catch the other way (outside of the thread catch facing up) so that I could ensure that my top stitches are even since they are the ones that show.

You’re finished!!

Go ahead and put your pile of threads accumulated during the making of this project into your gorgeous new thread catch!

thread catch tutorial

TUTORIAL- Ribbon Thread Catch and Pin Cushion

Phew! Congratulations, you made it! I sure hope that this tutorial/pattern is clear, and please let me know if you have any questions or comments. I would love to see if you make this, too. Please tag me @nightquilter if you post on Instagram or Twitter.

Thank you so much to Bonnie Christine for including me in this blog tour, and be sure to check out Caitlin Topham’s post at Salty Oat from yesterday, and visit the final stop on the tour, Corri Sheff at The Lions Dandy tomorrow to see what gorgeousness she creates.

I’m linking up with Late Night Quilter’s Tips & Tutorials Tuesday & Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.


Work in Progress: Vacation English Paper Piecing

It feels like I’ve been on vacation for most of July, which is not a bad thing! While traveling and away from my sewing machine, I have taken the opportunity to try my hand at English Paper Piecing (EPP) for the first time, delving into stitching my first and second Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses blocks. I was inspired by Jan at Sew and Sow Farm blog to try the Patchwork of the Crosses as my first EPP.Lake Erie EPP Patchwork of the CrossesI completed my first block (left) during the car ride from Maine to Ohio, and have almost completed my second block (right) since I’ve been here at our rental house on Lake Erie. I have had a lot of fun finding the perfect little peeks of fabric for each of the pieces, called “fussy cutting” by the quilting community, and decidedly meticulous but perhaps not so fussy, per a discussion I recently had with my artist brother (more on that in a later post).

The coast of Lake Erie is gorgeous and very different than the coast of Maine. I had a good shot of my EPP wips on the rocks earlier today, and here are the results:

EPP work in progress

paper piecing wip on the rocks

Playing with depth of field in photographs is so much fun. I love the difference a little camera setting adjustment can make with the photo outcome.
Playing with depth of field in photographs is so much fun. I love the difference a little change of focus can make with the photo outcome.
Beautiful rocks with a gorgeous backdrop.
Beautiful rocks with a gorgeous backdrop.
Lark by Amy Butler lends itself well to "fussy cutting".
Lark by Amy Butler lends itself well to “fussy cutting”.

I have not yet removed the papers from either of the blocks, except the four center bee pieces more as a test to make sure I could get the paper out than anything else, and I love the way the backs look. Every little basting stitch, the crisp folds, the tiny hand stitches holding them all together: beauty.

back of epp

I think I have decided that these blocks will be turned into a table runner or centerpiece. My plan is to make another block the same as my first with the four bees in the center, and use the new Lark-heavy block as the center with the two bee blocks on either end, joined and bordered by some other background fabric. I still have to decide what color to use in the outermost border for the center block, but I’m leaning toward yellow.

auditioning fabric

I then might add one more outer edge of some other color, to make the center block larger than the outer ones. I am really enjoying the process of English Paper Piecing, specifically how portable it is and how it is so easy to pick up and put down for even just a five minute sewing stint. I’m looking forward to exploring other EPP template shapes. So far I’ve found hexagon, diamond, and triangle templates, but it looks like there are no rules; any shape or combination of shapes can be made into templates. Let the pattern creation begin! Well, after I finish these blocks of course.

What is your favorite EPP template or pattern?

A Perfect Pair: Wine and Fabric

Sometimes, after a long, hot day on vacation, you open up the perfect bottle of wine to help refresh the evening. And sometimes, when you open up that perfect bottle of wine, something serendipitous happens: you realize that it’s also the perfect bottle of wine to pair with your current handwork project.

pairing wine and fabric

Who knew that wine and fabric could pair so well? There’s no debate that this is the perfect pair, though. Birds & Bees Sweet White wine is a refreshing and crisply sweet wine perfect for cooling off on a hot summer’s evening.  Properly chilled, this wine is smooth and has the perfect balance of sweetness to make it pleasant and refreshing. I love that the back label says “Birds and Bees Sweet White evokes sunshine and laughter, passion and romance.” What’s not to love?

As I enjoyed this lovely wine, I worked on my Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses, my first ever foray into English Paper Piecing. The feature fabric fussy cut for the center cross is none other than the Bee Sweet Fabric from Bonnie Christine‘s Sweet as Honey line. Talk about the perfect fabric to pair with Birds & Bees Sweet White!

english paper piecing at the ocean

This serendipitous encounter on the coast of Maine got me thinking about pairing wine and fabric more often. For those of us who love stitching, and love a glass of wine at the end of a long day, why can’t there be a perfect pairing of the two? You would pair the “right” wine with your dinner, so why not pair the “right” wine with your stitching? I admit, this idea of pairing wine and fabric had me giggling and laughing into the next day (or was it the wine?), so it is decidedly something I must try to do again.

The perfect pair:

Fabric: Bee Sweet in Sunset
Collection: Sweet as Honey
Designer: Bonnie Christine
Manufacturer: Art Gallery Fabrics

Wine: Birds & Bees Sweet White
Producer: Trivento

What is your favorite wine? Favorite fabric? Maybe I’ll try to find its perfect pair!