Lisa Fulmer – Crafter Extraordinaire & Author of “Craft Your Stash”

Lisa FulmerI met Lisa Fulmer of Lisa Liza Lou Designs through a mutual friend quite a few years back. “You have got to meet Lisa, you two have so much in common,” she told me.  We became Facebook friends long before we actually met, and I finally tracked the busy girl down at one of The Craft and Hobby Association shows to have a face-to-face meeting. I admire her tremendously. She is constantly astounding me, not only her creativity, but with her craft-industry knowledge and savvy social media skills. So, it is no surprise that she has a new book, Craft Your Stash. I attended a book release party last weekend for her fabulous book and took some photos of her always fun and imaginative creations.craft your stash book

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As I come from a graphic design background, I am always excited to see how artists use print materials to express their style. Let’s just say that Lisa totally rocks in this arena.

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Not only does she take full advantage of her crafty skills, she also adds personality to  her projects with her tools! Check out her playful round business cards made from a die cut machine–I want some of my own!!!

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Oh, and did I mention she is witty?

Hoard Your Stash

So now that I have introduced you to Lisa Fulmer, be sure to visit on Friday when we are a stop on the Craft Your Stash Book Tour !

Craft Your Stash Book Cover

See you soon,

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SHWS Guest Kim Buteau Adds Halloween Witch-Craft To Our Quilt-Along

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Zweena, the Zombies and Posies Mascot

I am happy to introduce our guest this week, Kim Buteau. I have known Kim for a few years now. Come to think of it, I believe it was in a class I taught on a Halloween project that I first met Kim. Little did I know what a Halloween fanatic she was! Kim loves, loves, loves, Halloween!!! But her talents run far deeper than spiders and cobwebs. Here is a little more that I know about this creative gal.

Kim started rubber stamping and paper arts in 1990 and then began quilting in 1998. She has always been drawn to bright colors. Each time I see her, she is busy working up a new project in her happy color palette, sometimes paper, sometimes fabric . Her sense of humor tends to peek through her work which I think lands somewhere between whimsical and urban. I am so excited to say she is now sharing these creations in her new Etsy store, ZombieandPosies. But more about that later. Welcome Kim! What have you been working on? – Pati

Hello all in the blog world. I am happy to be the guest blogger for the week here on See How We Sew. My name is Kim and I love Halloween, paper arts, and quilting! When my friend Pati Fried told me about the Quilt-Along, I just had to do something with the theme; but applique just isn’t my thing. So I decided to do something with paper and make it a Halloween theme.

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I used a pine frame mirror I bought at Ikea years ago. I painted it with lime green sparkle paint and then used a darker crackle green paint over the top.

IMG_0541 2I distressed it with black ink along the edges and over the body of the frame.

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I die cut circles and leaves from Halloween themed scrapbook paper and made the flowers. Then I distressed the edges with black ink.

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I adapted the layout of the wreath block to fit onto the square frame format and added a purple spider for some fun!

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Loving Halloween and paper arts has led me to start an Etsy Store called ZombiesandPosies. Join me on Friday and I will show you more of my Halloween creations and a bit about the shop mascot, Zweena Zombie! Link to Etsy Store: ZombiesandPosies.

See you Friday! – Kim Buteau

Blackbirds and Blossoms Oh-La-La!: Embroidery Tips

If you are joining us in making the Quilt-Along, you may find the following tips helpful when attaching the birdhouse opening (circles) and blackbirds to the corner birdhouses.  The template patterns for both shapes are included in the Pattern Pages.  If you are new to our site, it’s not too late to start as you will find all instructions included in the Pattern Pages.

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I used a fusible web product (there are many available) to secure the shape to the background fabric. Then, I stitched around the edges of the shapes and added the details (eyes & wings) with hand embroidery stitches. Either embroidery floss (2 strands) or perle cotton will work well in this application. I opted for perle cotton as I like the heavier look it provides and it also forms a nice edging along the outline of the shapes.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

1/4 yard of fusible web

Embroidery needle

Perle cotton, No. 8 or embroidery floss (I used perle cotton)

Small embroidery scissors

Marking pencil to transfer stitching lines

1. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions that accompany the fusible web to trace, cut, and attach the circles and birds to the Birdhouse blocks.

2. Use a decorative embroidery stitch, such as a blanket stitch, as shown, to secure the edges of the shapes to the background fabric.

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3. Lightly mark the stitching lines onto the right side of the birds. Then stitch along the lines with a decorative stitch such as the stem stitch, as shown here.

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4. The beak, legs, and feather lines were stitched with long basting-type stitches.

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That completes the Birdhouse blocks. Be sure to check back for final assembly instructions.

Just a reminder that Quilting in the Garden at Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore, CA is coming up in just a few short weeks. If you are in the area, sure hope to see you there!

Dates & Places-J:  Quilting in the Garden 2014

Happy stitching everyone!

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Blackbirds and Blossoms Oh-La-La! Quilt-Along: The Birdhouse Blocks

This week it’s my turn to share my contribution to our Quilt-Along project, Blackbirds and Blossoms, Oh-La-La! If you have been following along with us, these pieces will complete the center of the quilt top. If you are newcomer to this fun group project, it’s certainly not too late to start. All of the instructions can be found in our Pattern Pages. Please join the fun!

Birdhouses complete our Quilt-Along.
The Birdhouses to complete our Quilt-Along.

I was given the task of designing a block for the corners of the quilt. The center floral designs seemed to call for the addition of birds. With this in mind, the idea of creating birdhouses to fit into the corners provided the perfect setting for a quartet of simple, whimsical birds. This is a super-easy-to-construct birdhouse block and it adds a nice corner element to the center floral medallion.

Here’s what you will need to make four Birdhouses:

House front: Four 6-1/2″ x 10-1/2″ pieces

House top: One 11-1/4″ square. Cut the square twice into quarters diagonally to yield four triangles.

Roof: Two 1-3/4″ x 42″ strips. Cut the strips to make four 1-3/4″ x 9-1/4″ pieces and four 1-3/4″ x 10-1/4″ pieces.

Background: Two 13″ squares. Cut each square twice into quarters diagonally to yield eight triangles.

Cut pieces for Birdhouses.
Cut pieces for Birdhouses.

Construction:

1. Sew a Background triangle to each short side of the House Front pieces, aligning the bottom edges.

2. Use your cutting tools to remove the excess Background and straighten the top edge, as shown.

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3. Sew a 1-3/4″ x 9-1/4″ piece  of Roof fabric to one short side of the House Top triangle. Then use the 45-degree angle marking on the ruler to cut the excess fabric even with the bottom edge of the House Top.

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4. Sew a 1-3/4″ x 10-1/4″ piece of Roof fabric to the adjoining short side of the House Top triangle. Then use the 45-degree angle marking on the ruler to cut the excess fabric, as shown. This completes the top half of the Birdhouse.

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5. Join the top and bottom sections together, matching seams where the House Front and House Top pieces intersect.

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6. Press the seam in the direction of the bottom half of the birdhouse.

Easy enough? Yes, of course! Please join me on Friday as I give instructions and hints for adding the Birdhouse opening as well as the birds.

Until next time, enjoy!

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Under Wraps: A Peek at a Summertime Fabric Fling

Fabric-J:  Gelato ombre Schenck
A lovely pink ombre from the Gelato series offered by E.E. Schenck.

Like last week’s guest blogger Christine Barnes, I too have a strong liking for ombre fabric. While I absolutely love Christine’s deft hand with color and value play as she builds her blocks, my typical take on ombre is to use it to make flower petals for dimensional applique.

Project-J:  Blossom made of color-changing fabric
I cannot remember where I bought this perfect flower-making print, but I wish I had a bolt!

Clever cuts of fabric can yield petals kissed by sunlight at the tips and darker shadows where the petals grow from the flower stems (or the reverse as shown above). Or, also beguiling, bi-color petals which can be folded and shaped to form realistic flower buds.

Project-J:  Rosebud
Although hard to discern the value differences, this rosebud is made from one ombre fabric.

That’s been my recurring task for much of the summer:  cutting and sewing petals and leaves. No, not 90 days of flower making 24/7–I’m not that insane–a few hours here and there over three months preparing to make a dimensional appliqué floral still life.

Project-J:  Using ombre fabric to make blossoms
Blossoms made from red and pink ombre fabrics–the same pink featured in the rosebud.

Some quilting projects are piecing extravaganzas:  pedal to the metal, innumerable passes of a rotary cutter through fabric, and sweating over a steaming iron. That’s not my way with dimensional appliqué quilts. The grueling part is the preparation–composing the still life is almost anti-climactic. Gotta say I’m about to take on that challenge; after weeks of labor I’m ready to roll.  (But not ready to share yet–stay tuned!)

Congratulations to Monica, the winner of the giveaway goodies from Christine Barnes.

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An Indie Modern Quilt Group Takes on a Color Challenge

As promised in Tuesday’s post, here are the fruits of the recent creative labor of Indie Modern Quilters, Danville, CA. You’ll recall that the group explores modern quilting. Meetings take place every first Thursday of the month at Wooden Gate Quilts to chat about projects, take on challenges, and share a love of quilting.

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In the first challenge each member created small quilts with a modern twist using a limited color palette. The variety of interpretations was really interesting and a lot of fun to see. They are on display at Wooden Gate Quilts, but we’ve got photos here at SHWS for you to enjoy.

Kerry Reed          Patty Flynn

Sandra Chan Brown (2) (1)   Sandra Chan Brown (2)

Catherine Jarett    Gina Chang

Kim ButterworthKim Buteau

Linda Harding    Carol Roach

Judy Miller     Tracy Allen

H.J. Martin      Pati Fried

Teresa Zaste     Mary Tigert

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Status Update:  Indie Modern Quilters Stretch Their Wings—Maybe You’d Like to As Well?

Some months ago, blogging sis Pati sent out query to quilters in our geographic area to gauge interest in forming an Indie Modern quilting group. As luck would have it, there was an enthusiastic response plus a quilt-shop owner who wanted to host regular get-togethers. We thought it would be a good time to update our readers about their activities—you might find a good model for a starting your own Indie Modern group in your own area.  ♥ Jennifer ♥

Setting Up an Indie Modern Group:  One Group’s Adventure

I have been a member of the East Bay Modern Quilt Guild of the San Francisco Bay Area for a few years now, and one of the things that repeatedly caught my attention was the curiosity and interest in the Modern Quilting movement in its neighboring county, but no resulting push to establish another guild.  Each time someone asked me about my guild, they lost interest when considering traveling to Berkeley or the Peninsula for regular meetings. That all changed once I spoke to Gina Chang, the new owner of Wooden Gate Quilts in Danville, CA.  We decided to create an opportunity to gather enthusiasts once a month and to see where our efforts would lead us. I opted to call the gathering Indie Modern Quilters because I didn’t want to limit the group in any way and to encourage independent thinking and out-of-the-box-creativity.

The turnout was great for that first meeting and for each since! Typically, we start with a social hour/shopping, move on to a member’s tips-and-tricks segment, and then finish with Show-and-Tell.  As a new group, we are having fun creating something that fits everyone’s hopes and interests—and getting to know each other as well. After discussing our preferences, we decided that we don’t want to be a guild or a drop-in, but we would like to meet monthly as a group of like-minded quilters. We are slowly defining what we would like an Indie Modern Quilt Group to be!

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I am excited to announce that Wooden Gate Quilts has scheduled some dates this Fall for Indie Modern Sew Day drop-ins. Other items on our Wish List are field trips and weekend retreat getaways.  And of course, more challenges and projects to explore. Feeling independent? Give our group a spin! – Pati

The first group challenge was to create a small quilt in a modern style using only the colors in a selected paint chip sample, along with one tint + white, as a color palette.

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The little quilts are beautiful! Wooden Gate Quilts graciously offered to host a mini quilt show of the work–they look wonderful hanging together!

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Don’t live in the area? No worries! Stop by SHWS on Friday and we will share all the wonderful quilts from the Indie Modern Color Challenge. For locals, Gina’ll give you a sneak peek if you stop by!

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He’s Here, He’s Here (Again): It’s Christmas in July at SHWS!

Pattern-J:  Santa Smiles by JenniferSeriously, Jennifer? Christmas in July?  It’s +90º outside!

Yes! It’s time to get started. As I was super late delivering the Santa Smiles Tree Skirt pattern last year, I thought I’d throw this out to you well before the holidays.

Available in Print Today: Santa Smiles!

I’ve finally got the print version of the pattern instructions ready for industrious Christmas elves!  Yeah!

You’ll be delighted to know that the instructions come with a full set of the paper-piecing patterns:  3 Santas + 3 trees!  FYI:  I’ve priced Santa Smiles to include shipping to the U.S., to Canada, and to international quilters wherever you may be.

Click the image below or visit our Pattern Library to learn more.

Pattern-J:  Santa Smiles announcementCheck it Out:  Santa Goes Mod & Shakes Up Christmas Decor

Pattern-J:  Santa Smiles by MarnieLast Christmas, I had an opportunity to teach Santa Smiles at my local quilt shop, Wooden Gate Quilts in Danville, California. It’s always a treat to see how quilters take on one of my patterns and how they express their aesthetic through their fabric choices. Imagine my surprise when an intrepid novice quilt maker flashed an array of charcoals, silvery tones, icy blues, and whites.

Wow! Why didn’t I think of that? I was seriously intrigued by Marnie Durbin’s choices and by Marnie herself. She’d only made one enormous quilt, a minimalist design that she machine pieced and quilted on a smallish sewing machine, before tackling the tree skirt. I tell ya, I was awed by her derring-do, and seriously impressed by her speed, tenacity, and workmanship.

Pattern-J:  Santa Smiles by Marnie

Then, when you put all the silvery blue and gray blocks together, you get a rather fabulous and daring tree skirt.

Pattern-J:  Santa Smiles by Marnie

Can you believe it’s only the second quilted project Marnie’s sewn and machine quilted?Yowza!

I’m throwing in my version below so you can see that Santa Smiles tree skirt can be interpreted in classic and novel ways.

Pattern-J:  Santa Smiles by Jennifer

Giveaway Results Here

Definitely, keep Kleenex handy when you read the comments from my Tuesday post. You are all generous, loving, wonderful quilters and I sniffled my way through all your stories. Do you suppose we could create a peaceful world if we gave handmade quilts to everyone? “Here ya go, wrap up in this beautiful quilt and take it down a notch or three!”

Congratulations to Annette R., Diane Linker, and Sheila at License to Quilt, the winners of the Heart Strings pattern.

Add a stitch for a better world . . . Peace Out! Image-J:  Peace Out

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Wool Blossom Pillow – Taking a Side Trip with Wool Applique & an Accent Pillow

While working on the original design for our Quilt-Along, Blackbirds & Blossom, Oh-La-La! we got excited about all the possibilities for small projects utilizing the quilt’s design elements. Laura thought a little wool project would be wonderful to try. I’ve been collecting wool scraps and thought this would be an ideal opportunity for me to explore wool applique. I volunteered and I’m so glad I did!

Jennifer showed a fabulous way of showcasing the center wreath in a mini project last month.  Here is my chance to utilize the design motif of the side panels in a wool applique accent pillow that I call “Wool Blossoms Pillow”.

Wool Blossom Pillow - Choose your fabrics

The first step was to sketch my design and choose a color palette and fabrics. I discovered a yummy raw silk that was screaming to be the canvas for all my wool. Since I really didn’t know what I was doing, it seemed less daunting for me to tackle the vine first, then move on to the flowers.

Wool Blossom Pillow - Draw out vine shape

I sketched out the vine design directly onto freezer paper, matte side up.

Wool Blossom Pillow - Draw in Sweeping Motions

Here is a hint:  when drawing curves, do it in a sweeping motion. I like to think of my arm as a giant compass, with the stationary point being my elbow for large circles, and my wrist for small circles.

Wool Blossom Pillow - Mark where your can splice

Since the flowers will be covering many portions of the vine, I gave myself hash marks to break the vine into smaller sections. This is especially helpful when working with small amounts of wool that you don’t want to waste.

Wool Blossom Pillow - Cut your pieces

Iron the shiny side of the paper to the wool. Being a wool newbie, I was a little nervous about taking an iron to it. I used a very quick press and no steam, just enough heat to adhere the freezer paper. In retrospect, a pressing sheet would be useful, but it seemed to work fine without one.

Wool Blossom Pillow - Iron onto wool

Trim out the vine shapes. Another helpful hint: mark your shapes and the direction they will meet up to each other. I didn’t–ugh!

Wool Blossom Pillow - Cut Panel

Trim your canvas panel–oh goody, back to that raw silk!!! I cut my panel over-sized and will trim it afterwards. My final pillow is to be 10 x 14 inches and so I added a few inches to each side.

Wool Blossom Pillow - Glue baste

If you are a pinner, now is your time to shine. Use tiny pins and pin often. Since I am not a pinner, I got out my trusty bottle of Roxanne’s Baste it Glue and dabbed just enough to adhere my pieces. It’s best to keep the edges free of glue. You will thank me when you whip stitch your pieces into place. 

Wool Blossom Pillow - Layout

Back to the freezer paper to create blossoms and leaves. In keeping with the improvisational process of our Quilt-Along project, I simply cut out a variety of circles and leaves  and “played” with where to place them on my vine. As we mentioned in the Quilt-Along instructions, layering, variety, and balance are the keys to a interesting design.

Wool Blossom Pillow - Audition fabrics

After deciding on a layout, I auditioned different colors of wool. My leaves were mostly the same green as the vine, with a few yellow and dark greens thrown in. The flowers were a dark red, orange, rose, purple, teal, very light green, yellow,  and ivory. Don’t ask how I came up with that. I just rummaged through my stash!

Wool Blossom Pillow - Glue baste flowers in placeI loved my design!!!

Wool Blossom Pillow whip stitch

Next, I whip stitched it into place with a matching, fine embroidery thread.

Oodles of thread

Then pulled out my crazy collection of threads that I use for Big Stitch projects and started choosing colors and weights that would work for some hand embroidery work.

Wool Blossom Pillow - add some embroidery

Did I mention I don’t normally do embroidery? Well hop over to my personal blog, Pati Fried’s Blog in a few days and see what I came up with for finishing this Wool Blossom Pillow!

Have a wonderful week and happy stitching!

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