Fabric Friday: Raspberry bouquet

This lovely bouquet (and pic) was created by the amazingly talented Chelsea Fuss of Frolic! RUN and check out her work. Prepare to get swoony and weak kneed!!!!!

I love this weeks colors! I always love unusual touches in floral bouquets like berries. While digging through my stash to make this weeks stack, I realized that my brown selection is pretty sparse. I’m pretty happy with end result. I could definitely see myself making a quilt in these colors!!! These stacks contain a few of my favorite prints! Some original flea Market Fancy, some Good folks along with some newer stuff from Sweet as Honey, Meadow. I swear, Art Gallery is really knocking it out of the park lately. It seems like I’ve purchased at least a few pieces of every recent collection! I’d love to see your interpretation if you’d like to play along! Post it in the flickr group or hashtag it on instagram with  #fabricstashfriday !!! Don’t forget to stop by Jessie’s to see how she interpreted this weeks color challenge! As always, palette builder made using  the awesome services available at Playcrafts !!!!



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Sweet as Honey Blog Tour


It’s starting to really feel like Spring here in Portland. However, we’re getting to that weird part of the year where our skies go from a pale, smoky blue-gray to just plain on FUGLYGRAY and pretty icky. It’s one of the reasons everything is so lush and day-glow green here, but oh man, sometimes you really just need to be able to walk to the car and stay dry. Fortunately for me, I was sent a little sunshine (in fabric form) by the adorable Bonnie Christine. I fell in love with her first collection  Reminisce when I saw it at quilt market last spring, and this newest collection is, dare I say it, even better! As always, the Art Gallery fabrics have a soft, luscious hand and the most incredible drape to them.

So meet Bonnie’s newest hit, Sweet as honey!  In her words: ” Sweet as Honey is a collection with a story. It’s a woodland themed line full of nestled deer, wildflowers and honey bees. I was inspired to create the line after exploring nature and spending a summer growing a garden that generously allowed for freshly picked flowers. It takes me to a most lovely place, where the sun is always shining, the birds fly free and the honey is extra sweet

I decided that there were a few prints just BEGGING to be Fussy cut. I’d been wanting to try some english paper pieced “Rose Stars, variation 1″ for quite awhile!! I had fun playing around with both the earthy and the sunshiny colorways!! As always, I got my papers from Paper Pieces.

I decided to whip these into a few pillows. I have a feeling I’ll be using this collection quite a bit over the summer. I’m already planning on stashing more!! While writing this, I’ve decided that the hexie print would make an AWESOME binding… so I’ll probably need to buy a few more yards  hehehe!!!

Don’t forget to stop by  Emily’s at Beautiful Hello is up to tomorrow on the next stop of the Sweet As Honey Blog Tour!!!! Thanks for the chance to play with your new collection Bonnie! This gardening girl is totally smitten <3






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Fabric Stash Friday: Mint Cherry Chip

It’s pretty hard to believe that February is at an end.  Even harder to believe, that in a little less than two weeks, I’ll be turning the big 3-0!!!!! I always figured by the time my twenties wound down, I’d feel like an adult inside, but I’m still waiting for that to happen;)In the mean time, to distract myself from my outrageously multiplying gray hairs, I’ve been busy playing with fabric!  I’ll be joined by my  super crafty (long distance) bestie, Jessie of Inside the Paper Box.  In one of many (thousand) conversations about fabric, a concept that has repeatedly risen is Collection Mixing. Specifically, as an aspect of quilting that many people confess to struggling with. It can be difficult when your stash isn’t huge to really feel comfortable mixing as opposed to buying a bundle of a set collection. I believe that only with constant practice and education, can one grow as an artist. Together, we’ve come up with a series of palettes to push ourselves beyond our normal “color comfort zones”. We’ll aim to blend as many collections as possible.  We’ll try to illustrate how one color palette can be interpreted so differently, through our respective styles and stashes!!!!! We would LOVE it if you’d like to play along!!!!! We’ll post palettes in the flickr group ( Fabric Stack Fridays ), at the beginning of the month. Then you can link up in the comments with your interpretation.

I’m really feeling these colors together. Can you ever really go wrong with turquoise?


As always, palette made using the excellent services over at Play Crafts. It automatically generates the Kona colors for you, how awesome is that? I’ve spent a scary number of hours making these.  You should definitely head over and give it a try!






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Crafty Traveler blog hop

     Howdy Blog hoppers! Today is my stop on the Ellison Lane Crafty Traveler Blog hop. I was thrilled when Jennifer asked me to join in on this round and I figured it would be a perfect time to finally blog about the two bags I decided to make at the same time as a personal growth challenge.

                                        The Weekender Bag by Amy Butler  

It’s pretty much a rite of passage on the path of sewing bags. Those in the know usually get that wide-eyed, distant look in their eye, like they’ve caught a glimpse of a Heather Ross unicorn, running in the wild, at the mere mention of its name. “The Weekender” they whisper, as they unconsciously reach out to stroke it.  Now, you might be sitting there thinking, “But Ale, it’s so hard, it has interfacings and Peltex and layers and PIPING. OH MY GAWWWDDD SHE WANTS ME TO MAKE PIPING AND BREAK A MILLION NEEDLES AND MY HOPES AND DREAMS IN THE PROCESS!!!!”

Except, here’s the deal… its really not that bad. The most important “tools” for projects like this are PLANNING, PATIENCE AND TAKING YOUR TIME. And with some help from the online sewing community; you, too, can have your very own unicorn to use everyday of the week!!!!

So let’s get down to it!!

While I’m a fairly advanced sewer in the areas of quilt and home goods, I’m by no means a bag expert. In fact, the Weekenders were my 2nd & 3rd bags…. ever!! Having heard of this harrowing urban legend, I spent a good hour really reading through the pattern. Visualizing the process and making sure that I understood all of the terms mentioned and familiarizing myself with any rusty techniques called for. Then, I spent a good 3-4 hours searching for blog posts, tips/tricks and modifications. Find my pinboard here: Conquer the Weekender

Here’s a brief rundown on the most modified parts of this bag ( based on my own and and countless inspiration blog post changes). This isn’t a project you can do in a day. Plan to spend at least one evening cutting, ironing and interfacing the pieces. This is a lot of work so just try not to rush through this part. Mistakes can be really expensive!!!

Handles: This is a really BIG bag. As written the handles are too short to be comfortably slung around ones shoulder, and too thin to really support the weight of this bag, packed to capacity. I added 12” of length to the handle and still could’ve added more. Think about where you want the bag to fall on your body and adjust accordingly. Increase width of the handles when cutting to 4”x 60” and the Peltex to 1” x 60”

Also, sew them up high and do a reinforcing X at the top to really anchor them while backstitching like it’s your J-O-B.

Piping: This can technically be skipped, and I’ve seen several bags without it that are still totally gorgeous. However, in my mind, the piping is a touch that elevates this from a homemade looking bag, into a polished finished piece. I couldn’t find the exact 6/32” cotton cording called for, so I chose one slightly larger and it hides mistakes a little better! Rather than sew the binding together, I used ¼” Steam-a-seam tape. This way you don’t have to worry about hiding the original line of stitches. Also following advice of others, I increased the strip width to 2” so it wasn’t as fiddly and prone to shifting while wrestling the layers together. A piping ( or zipper) foot is a great help if you’ve got it!!!! Use the right foot for the job!!

Outer pockets: Added magnetic fasteners between the outer pockets and main body panels for a little added security. I’ve used this as a carry on bag on 3 cross-country flights now, with no issues of stuff falling out in the security line!

Zipper: Got mine here

Step 11: By far the most challenging part of the bag is joining the thick layers together. This is where people report breaking dozens of needles. Switch out your needle at this stage for a really heavy-duty denim needle and go really SLOW. I made two bags without a single needle break!!!!! I also found that using Clover Wonder clips helped A TON when holding the layers together to prevent shifting. Trying to jam needles through all those layers is dangerous! Don’t try to get the stitch line perfect on the first go round. I found that I needed to get the first line of stitching on well enough to join the layers. After that it was a matter of carefully sewing closer and closer to the piping to get a nice tight finish. Remember, this won’t show in the finished bag since it’s lined. So you can get a little freaky with the method to get it sewn nice and snug. Mine resembled a standing lunge with weird arms.  I like to break it out at cocktail parties and serious event.

Lining the bag: Some people managed to machine sew in the lining, but I like to hand sew, so I went that route. My biggest complaint is that, as written, the lining has no internal pockets. I made some really simple pockets and if I were to do it again, I’d put more thought into them. I highly recommend at least one internal pocket, a deep, gathered elastic pocket would be a perfect match

Whew!!!! Thanks for reading that novel!!! I hope this helped a little and that you feel ready to tackle your own beautiful unicorn;)! Thanks again to Jennifer for putting together an awesome blog hop!!!!! To reward you for reading all the way down how about some fabulous prizes???

Crafty Traveler Blog Hop: Feb 3- March 12

Link-up your travel handmade project March 6-12 for a chance to win one of three great prizes! (US only) 
#1: Free Spirit Fabric, Crafty Traveler Tote supplies and Dritz rotary cutter.
#2: Box of 50 Coats Threads
#3: Pellon Prize Pack (Interfacing & Batting)
To enter to win simply link up your project at ellisonlane.com on March 6. Please link from a new blog post but your project can be anything you’ve made to travel handmade within the last 6 months.
You may also link from Flickr or Threadbias.



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Fabric Friday #2

I was first introduced to the art of Friday Kahlo in my junior year of high school. My parents farm backed another that was home to John Ebersberger (or perhaps his parents actually owned it? I can’t recall). There were quite a lot of his students that lived/worked in the area and on the property, so I frequently came across groups of them painting in the woods while I was out exploring (and snapping pictures) on my wretchedly disobedient pony Cece. Seriously,she was pretty much demon spawn, the naughtiest pony that ever lived. She got us terribly lost more than once.

Anyhow, on one such occasion after she decided to bolt for no apparent reason, I came out into a field and happened upon my friend Wendy. She worked part time with me at the coffee shop when she wasn’t making amazing art. Anyhow, she was painting a portrait of woman and drawing strongly from Frida’s style. When I commented on the style, she told me about her and I resolved to go and look her up. Well, a love affair was born. I find so much of Frida’s life extraordinary. She dealt with such pain on a near constant basis, that to have put out even half of her work is rather incredible. Her color palettes are so just rich and diverse and full of life and pain. I won’t lie that this is light years away from my normal color choices but I just LOVE it. I’m determined to make it to the Blue House  the home she shared with Diego Rivera) in Mexico that’s been converted into a museum. Until then, here is a color palette and a fabric stack inspired by Frida Kahlo!!


Palette made with Playcrafts Palette Builder Tool as always with Kona color matches!!!!



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