Jul 31, 2014

Senna Review

I went down to Miami last week to see my family and hold a very cute new baby. But hours before leaving I had a dilemma. I was going down with a rolling suitcase (full of presents) and large duffle, but coming back with just the duffle. I needed an extra bag that I could fill up with goodies to bring home.

Hello Senna!


Kelly tested this pattern for Vanessa when she was here last month and took the sample home. Grumble grumble. I loved it. I had to have one.

I think that picking the fabrics took just as long as making the bag since I was being so indecisive. I ended up piecing 3.5" strips of Cotton and Steel basic with a natural canvas bottom, Melody Miller pocket, and cotton webbing straps. The lining is Michael Miller Chartreuse with a small Heather Bailey pocket inside.


This bag is such a great size. I used it as my daily purse and while big for just my wallet and sunglasses, it never felt too big. And when I needed to fill it up with mangoes and a sweater too for the trip home it all went in easily.


- 40" cotton webbing straps
- Omitted the big outside pocket
- Omitted the inner pocket in favor of something smaller. I wish I had size the pockets to my kindle though. :( I did size them for my phone though.
- Denim interlining instead of canvas (it's what I had on hand)
- Wish I had clipped the zipper before installing it (like on the Michelle Patterns Dumpling)
- Wish I had interfaced the canvas bottom to give it more structure

Overall I think that the bag is an adorable style and perfect for everyday use or for trips. There will probably be more in my future!

Jun 30, 2014

ball and {key}chain tutorial

This weekend Kelly and I went to a craft fair and were totally inspired to make ourselves new keychains. They were super simple and I put together a tutorial as we did it.

Ball and Keychain Tutorial by a.squared.w

The supplies were all from Hobby Lobby.

Ball and Keychain Tutorial by a.squared.w
- wooden beads (the kind that weren't already varnished)
- leather
- key rings
- acrylic paint (and some gold!!)
- bamboo skewer
- Spray coating

Make it!
1. Paint the beads. I found that it was easier to paint the ends, skewer them, then paint the middles. And some colors take 2 coats.

Ball and Keychain Tutorial by a.squared.w

Ball and Keychain Tutorial by a.squared.w
We almost forgot to varnish them!
2. When they are dry, leave them on the skewer and spray them with glossy acrylic coating.

3. Cut the leather to 13". Fold it around the key ring, then feed it through the beads doubled. String on 3 beads, then tie a knot.

Ball and Keychain Tutorial by a.squared.w


Ball and Keychain Tutorial by a.squared.w

Jun 9, 2014

Bestie Baby Quilt

Last night one of my best friends had her first baby! He's super adorable and I can't wait until I can hold him!!

A group of quilty friends and I got together to make him this quilt. It was delivered to her mere hours before she went into labor - just in time! Perhaps he was waiting for the quilt?

M4 quilt-1

His nursery is nautical themed in aqua, yellow, and gray. We were selective and decided to only add bright blue to the scheme for the quilt. Most of these blocks are paper pieced from a Japanese book.

M4 quilt-2

I made the nighttime lighthouse (top left) and the sailboat two blocks below it. And assembled all the blocks. And spent way too long straight line quilting it! If you look closely you'll see a lot of HTF coveted fabrics in there. You have to use the good stuff when making quilts that will be cherished forever!

M4 quilt-3

I used all of my Simpatico on the back. I thought it would make a cute background for his monthly growth pictures is she decides to go that route. On the bottom you can see the signature block that I wrote our names on. On the top I included pockets so that it could be hung on the wall. 

Jun 2, 2014

Pillow Fight

You know what I'll be doing a lot of for the next 2 months? Sewing. And sleeping. The only logical way to combine the two is to dream about sewing, right?

Pillow Party-1

Or make pillow cases! As you may recall, I posted a tutorial just about a year ago for enclosed pillow cases. They prevented my hubby's pillows from (magically) coming out of their cases overnight. But because I must constantly be making I decided to try another version of pillowcases with an inner pocket.

Years ago I bought some pillowcases from PBKids that had a flap on the inside to keep the pillow in. Genius! Combining that with the best pillowcase method ever - the hot dog - I have lots of cute pillows for my bed.

To make this, instead of 1 big piece for the body, you'll use a front piece and back piece. And I prefer a thinner decorative band.

My favorite pillowcase is the one that is bleached (intentionally!) with the white edge. I had a lot of fun playing with a spray bottle full of bleach. And you'll see that along the edge instead of a straight top stitch I used one of my decorative stitches.

I opted for the Pinnable tutorial, so here it is in one long photo.

Pillow Pocket

I'm sorry, Flickr turned this photo neon when it uploaded!

Where is the finished photo of this pillowcase? Well, the room it goes in is still under construction...There should be pictures next week though!

May 28, 2014

Quilt Lab BONUS!!

If you check out page 16 you'll see an inspiration board. Just some fun bits and pieces...

But my friend Angela fell in love with one of the designs. See it there on the far right? It happened to fit in perfectly with her new book, A Quilter's Mixology, which is all about sewing curves and using the Drunkard's Path block. She even made up a special cocktail and glass to hand out at Quilt Market. She's uber clever.

But I digress. When she saw this design she asked if we could do something together. Since she's the curve expert, she's even put together a quick tutorial for you!! So go check her out!


This was the last of my book projects. I hope you enjoyed getting a look at everything. I have big plans for this summer! So much sewing to do!!!

May 23, 2014

Quilt Lab - Aperture Science

This is the LAST quilt in Quilt Lab. I hope you have enjoyed seeing everyone's variations as much as I have!

Aperture Science 

This week Amanda worked her magic on Aperture Science and made a stunning quilt. I used mostly solids in the book version, but Amanda shows how great this quilt can look in prints (dare I say better than my solids???).

While not really a mistake, I think I could have been clearer. C&T is revising the directions for the digital version. On the camera block instructions, step 6, the measurements are taken from the top (long side). 

Don't forget that next week Angela will be sharing her take on an inspiration photo in the book. ;) And a free tutorial too.

May 16, 2014

A new adventure

new name, same place
Quilt Market is this weekend and I'm going partially to promote my book and partially to see a lot of my besties. While I was planning for my book signing I came up with a design for some Quilt Labels. I thought it was a cute play on Quilt Lab, plus I talk about them in the book.

Then I loved the designs so much (as did my Instagram friends!) that I thought maybe a shirt would be cute...

And it snowballed from there. Right now I have 3 shirt designs that will soon be available through my new Etsy shop, Creative Science. I'm also listing a few signed copies of my book and the quilt labels. As more designs come to me, I'll keep adding designs!

I had a few samples made to wear at Quilt Market. They aren't perfect yet, but I know what needs to be tweaked!

Want to be alerted when the shirts are available? Join my (very seldomly used) mailing list. :)

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