Tag Archives: diy

To Upholster…Or Not?

{If you’re here for the Classic Modern Quilts blog tour, hop down to this post}
VMQ-fall-patterns-1I have this cute vintage stool. My great grandmother had a similar one that is now at my great-aunt’s home (Cosco brand – they still make it! Vintage-y looking and all!) I love the bright yellow vinyl but I’ve also been toying with the idea of changing it out. I have bits of this Dwell Studio print throughout our living and dining areas (which are open to the kitchen where the stool main resides).

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Dwell Studio Vintage Blossom

Too formal?

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Dwell Studio Bella Porte

The same color and same fabric collection in a more casual print

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Ellen Luckett Baker Tulips

Something totally different with a sweet vintage feel – yet still timeless, right?

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Denyse Schmidt County Fair

And this would be a new look entirely…but I’d keep the yellow vinyl piping for contrast. For all of these options, the plan is to add Pellon vinyl fuse to laminate the fabrics for practical reasons.  Should I even bother, though? Is the stool perfect as is?

So You Want to Be a Quilter?

This  post is part of my Learn to Quilt series. You can find all related posts {here}.

Solids chosen...now to add prints! #quilting #orlakielyPressing a mountain of quilts and making backs today #vintagemodernquilts #quiltingNew fabric goodies. Too bad you can't buy time to quilt, too.Getting organized #quilting

When I tell people that I am a quilter, almost without fail, they tell me that they’ve always wanted to learn to quilt. They usually say it wistfully while glancing off in the distance, as if learning to quilt is a monumental task like, say, flying to the moon. I’m here to tell you, it’s not. All we do is cut fabric into small pieces and sew it right back together. Anyone can do it. You can do it. And you should do it. Quilting is fun, therapeutic, creative, relaxing, challenging,,,and maybe most surprisingly of all, it’s a social activity.

I am a 100% self-taught quilter.  I’ve learned some things the hard way and I still have others to learn, but I’ve gotten pretty good at the basics. I want to share all that I’ve learned with you. If you want to learn to quilt, need to brush up your skills, or just want to hear what I have to say, join me every Monday and Thursday for my Learn to Quilt series. It is geared towards the total novice quilter, but there will definitely be some tips for those of you who are already quilting. Here are the topics I’m going to cover:

See you on Monday for Lesson 1 – Learn to Quilt: Basic Skills.

Tutorial: Creating Quilt Labels

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I’ve gotten a lot of questions about my quilt labels. I created the design in Photoshop and then had them printed by Spoonflower. I know that most people don’t have access to Photoshop  but you can still create something custom and stylish using software you probably do have – Microsoft PowerPoint. It’s a surprisingly versatile tool for graphics. This tutorial will show you how to create a simple black and white graphic that you can upload to Spoonflower for printing. (I chose black and white for my quilt labels because it goes with everything and it makes a modern graphic statement.

)My quilt labels for 2013

1. Open up PowerPoint and draw a box the size of the label you want (remember that you’ll need 1/4″ for piecing or needle turn applique).

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To specify the exact size of the box, right click on the one you drew, and select “Size and Position.” Enter the dimensions of your label and then hit the “Close” button.

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2. This box is your trim guide for the label so set the line and fill style to something light. Once again, right click on the box and this time select “Format Shape.”

For the first option, “Fill,” select None. For the second option, “Line Color,” choose one of the lighter gray tones from the drop-down menu.

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For the third option, “Line Style,” set your options to your preference. Mine are shown below:

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3. Now click on the box you’ve just created and formatted, and hit the CTRL+D buttons. This will create a duplicate of your box. Re-size this second box so it’s 1/4″ smaller on each side than your original box. This is your text guide that shows you where the seam allowance is.  I’ve made mine red so it stands out.

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Group these two boxes together by selecting them both with your mouse and hitting the CTRL+G buttons.

4. Now it’s time to add text to the label. Insert a text box using the icon from the Drawing toolbar.

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Use a separate text box for each line of text on your label (unless you are writing a paragraph) because it’s easier to toggle the lines into place in a later step. You can see my three separate lines of text below:

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5. If you are happy with a text-only label, skip down to step 6. I’m going to add some simple graphics to mine. The easiest way to do this is using wingdings style fonts on my computer.  I type out the alphabet and then change the font to various ones I have installed on my computer, The fonts shown below in order are Charms BV, Cut Outs for 3D FX 2, PizzaDude Bullets, and Talk. They are all free fonts available on the web. (The alphabet font is Oswald.)

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Play around with your design a bit. Use the up and down arrows on your keyboard to toggle the elements into place. Once you’ve made a design you like, select all of the parts and duplicate it (CTRL+D). Then change up some of the elements. I made three different ones in just a few minutes:

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6. Now it’s time to save your file. Un-group the image and delete the second box you created to show the seam allowance (the red box in my images).  Select all of the elements of your label with your cursor and right click. Select Save as Picture.

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Spoonflower accepts several different image types, including .jpeg, .gif., and .png. Choose one and then name and save your document. You should also save the PowerPoint file on your computer so you can make adjustments if you want to down the road.

You could also have all of your options printed on the same yardage from Spoonflower. Just make sure you line your outer boxes up so you get maximum usage out of the fabric.

Now you’re ready to upload to Spoonflower!

A Stash Pact

I am a fabric addict. My sewing room is literally bursting at the seams with fabric and since my son was born, scrapbooking supplies. My friend Lucia and I have shared our fabric/scrapping obsession over the years, and we both came to a conclusion earlier this year. We no longer enjoy adding to the fabric (or scrapping) stash. Both of us easily have enough fabric to quilt for the next 10 years (backs, binding, and everything!) and never buy another yard.  I probably wouldn’t even run out of thread or batting for the first 2 or 3 years. My sewing room is so crowded with supplies, quilt tops, projects, and the chaos of a crawling/cruising/active baby boy that I can hardly even move around in it, much less sew productively. And I really want to sew again every day, obsessively, like I used to. I have so many ideas and the energy to create again.

So Lucia and I made a stash pact. Anything we sew or scrap this year should come from our own stash. We each made a short list of “cheats” – things we can buy without feeling guilty. It’s actually been pretty liberating. I’ve already been piecing scrappy blocks, making bibs, and rag quilts for my son.  It has given me the freedom to cut into some precious fabrics that have been folded up and saved for “The Right Project.”

Including this beautiful stack:

It’s the original Flower Sugar from Lecien (circa 2009, I think?) plus some black and white prints. I omitted the mostly white Flower Sugar prints because they are too light for the quilt I have in mind. I’m also thinking about adding in some solids. You can never go wrong with solids…though Ben seemed to like the fabric combination as is:

-Lisa