Bow Tie for a Little Guy, a Tutorial

As you might imagine, with less than four months to go before the first of two big weddings, I find myself knee deep in projects. Please don’t read this as a complaint because I am loving every minute of it. It simply means that, instead of working on new quilt patterns and tutorials to share with you, I am taking this time to share some of the many small projects that are happening here at “Wedding Central” (as my husband refers to it.)

Warren

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We are chipping away at the list one day at a time. However, it seems that just as soon as I cross one item off the list, another one magically appears. How does this happen?

Yesterday I made a bow tie for the little ring bearer. It is so darn cute and super easy that I thought it would be fun to share my process with a tutorial. Perhaps you would like to make one for a special little guy in your life?

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This is what the bow tie hardware looks like; hook, eye and slider.
This is what the bow tie hardware looks like; hook, eye and slider.
Cut pieces needed for one bow tie.
Cut pieces needed for one bow tie.

Instructions:

1. Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew the two 2-1/2″ x 12-1/2″ pieces of main fabric and interfacing together, leaving approximately 2″ open for turning. (Note: ignore those diagonal lines printed on the interfacing.) With right sides together, fold both the neckband and loop pieces in half lengthwise and stitch 1/4″ away from the raw edges, as shown.

Main fabric strips are placed right sides together then place interfacing on top. Stitch around edges.
Main fabric strips are placed right sides together then place interfacing on top. Stitch around edges.

2. Turn the bow piece right side facing out and carefully use a tool or pencil to gently push the corners to a point. Hand stitch the opening closed. Press firmly. Also turn both the neckband and loop pieces right sides facing out, and press.

3. Getting the hardware in the right position on the neckband was a bit tricky for me at first so I will try to make this as clear as possible. Run first the “slider” and then the “eye” onto one end of the neckband, as shown.

Bow Tie 8 4. Next, fold the end (shown on the left side above) to the backside and run it through the center bar of the slider. Turn and finger press approximately 1/2″ of the raw, short end of the neckband onto the backside to secure. It should look like this:

Bow Tie 10 5. Place the “hook” onto the opposite end of the neckband, turning the short end to the backside and hand stitch in place to keep the hook from slipping.

Bow Tie 9 6. Divide the bow piece into thirds (approximately every 4″) and fold back and forth, as shown.

Bow Tie 11 7. Pinch the folded bow together at the center point and then use some heavy thread to hold it secure.

Bow Tie 12 8. Position the completed neckband onto the wrong side of the bow, pin to secure. Then run the loop around the center point of the bow, covering the wrapped threads. Turn under the raw edges and hand stitch to secure.

Note: I did not stitch through to the neckband during this step. However, the neckband will slide and you may want to tack it in place once you have determined the exact needed size for your little guy.

Bow Tie 13With a few modifications, I think this design would also work well as a headband for a sweet little girl . . . just a thought! Friday I’ll share my easy mitered corner napkins. Then stay tuned as the next project will be robes for the bridesmaids. I just purchased this lovely new fabric from Verna Mosquera’s Rosewater line for Free Spirit Fabrics. I’m getting my serger tuned up and ready to roll. This will be fun!

Rosewater by Verna Mosquera for Free Spirit Fabrics.
Rosewater by Verna Mosquera for Free Spirit Fabrics.

Thanks for letting me share this special time with you. As always, sending you my best and hoping you are finding time to fill your souls with creative projects.

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Spring Quilt Market, You Are So Much Fun! (The Scoop From Cyndy Rymer)

Feeling groovy? Welcome to Spring Quilt Market 2013!
Feeling groovy? Welcome to Spring Quilt Market 2013 and Pat Bravo’s new line with Art Gallery Quilts.

I love being part of the quilting universe, especially when I get to visit Spring Quilt Market. Last year, it was Kansas City, the capital of awesome barbecue, and home to great outdoor venues for dancing. Portland hosted this year, and provided plenty of reasons to revisit even without a quilting excuse.

Before you get too jealous, picture this:  three women, seven suitcases, a tiny hotel room where two of us shared a double bed! Marby Bennett, owner of Wooden Gate Quilts, Verna Mosquera, designer/owner of The Vintage Spool and author of A Sewn Vintage Lifestyle, and I had an up-close and personal week and we’re still friends!

Marby Bennett and Verna Mosquera (with her new book) at Westminster's booth.
Marby Bennett and Verna Mosquera (with her new book) at Westminster’s booth.
The "ladies" of Westminster--the Christmas line is from Dena Designs (one of our Bay Area designing women).
The “ladies” of Westminster–the Christmas line is from Dena Designs
(one of our Bay Area designing women).

One of the first people we “met” was the window washer, who perched outside our window on the first morning. Look at that smile!

Well, good morning! What a surprise to see you. Good thing we're dressed!
Well, good morning! What a surprise to see you.
Good thing we’re dressed!

For someone with quilter’s ADHD and SOD (Shiny Object Disorder), Quilt Market is a very dangerous place. So many temptations, including a “Sample Spree”—a two-hour “shop ‘til you drop” event where you can pick up fabric, threads, trims, and gifts at wholesale prices. My credit cards were melting by evening’s end and, when I got to the airport on Sunday, my suitcase was ten pounds overweight! Not to mention the extra weight I put on dining at some of Portland’s best restaurants:  Jake’s Crawfish (yes, I did eat my entire bucket of crawfish), Henry’s Tavern, and Zeus Cafe. And how could I say no to the See’s chocolate box that waited in our hotel room? It will take me months to Jazzercise my way back to my pre-Market weight. All totally worth it!

Cyndy fawns over her favorite long-arm quilter, Angela Walters.
Cyndy fawns over her favorite long-arm quilter, Angela Walters.

One of the best things about being at Quilt Market was making new friends, and reconnecting with quilters I had met in Kansas City. As a relatively new long-arm quilter, it was a thrill to chat with Angela Walters (author and long-arm quilter extraordinaire). Angela just launched a beautiful new fabric line called Legacy. I especially loved the quilting that Angela did on many of Tula Pink’s new quilts, especially the butterfly quilt.

Detail of Angela's quilting on Tula Pink's butterfly quilt.
Detail of Angela’s quilting on Tula Pink’s butterfly quilt.

I enjoyed the book signing with Jacquie Gehring and Katie Pedersen, authors of one of my latest favorite books, Quilting Modern. Did you know that Jacquie’s quilt, Bang You’re Dead, was featured in a recent Wall Street Journal article about the modern quilt movement? Way to go, Jacquie!

The "Quilting Modern" duo of Jacquie Gehring and Katie Pedersen.
The “Quilting Modern” duo of Jacquie Gehring and Katie Pedersen.

Our former hometown girl, Bari J, who now lives in Arizona, was there to promote her new fabric line, Bijoux.

Bari J. shows off her fashions and fabric.
Bari J. shows off her fashions and fabric.

One of my new friends is Mo Bedell, creator of a very pretty beachy fabric line, Full Moon Lagoon. Check out that mobile made of fabrics she displayed in her booth–kind of like floating jellies.

Mo Bedell at her booth.
Mo Bedell at her booth.

Guest Post-C:  More Mo Bedell

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Jason Dunn of Moda Fabrics is a fun-loving kind of guy! Love the dip-dyed tablecloths and the ombre effect of the garland.

Guest Post-C:  Moda Spring Market

Ooooooh! There’s a new line from Andover Fabric coming up . . . DOWNTON ABBEY, my favorite Masterpiece Theatre series. Loved chatting with David Weinstein, Andover’s president, about his trip to the U.K. to see the “real” Downton Abbey and the set for the series.

Lady Mary's idea board from Andover Fabrics--are you as excited as I am?
Lady Mary’s idea board from Andover Fabrics–are you as excited as I am?

We’re still laughing about our run-in with Yvonne, ladies’ room attendant extraordinaire who had us howling about her experiences delivering room service in a Vegas hotel. What happens in Vegas should definitely stay in Vegas!

So, if you're ever in the A Hall ladies' room at the Portland Convention Center,  do share a giggle with Yvonne.
So, if you’re ever in the A Hall ladies’ room at the Portland Convention Center, do share a giggle with Yvonne.
She’d be a hit on Ellen’s daytime show. She’s that funny!

Do plan a trip to Portland soon, and promise me you’ll visit two places: The Real Mother Goose, with its amazing display of artisan crafts: jewelry, furniture, pottery, paintings, and art-to-wear. Finally, if you’re a bookworm like me, you need to make a pilgrimage to Powell’s Books. I can’t wait to find a long weekend when we can hop a flight back to Portland and get lost for hours in Powell’s, work up an appetite, and maybe go back to Henry’s Tavern to sample one of its 100 “mostly local” brews.

Over and out . . .                                   

“First Quilt, Latest Quilt” — Verna Mosquera (Double Giveaway Today!)

1-Giveaway IconWhenever we attend a quilt show, pick up the current issue of a quilting magazine, or peruse the latest book by a favorite instructor, it’s always with the anticipation of seeing “what’s new.” It’s the rare quilter, however, who springs fully evolved to the quilting scene. There’s one experience that we all share, no matter how novice or experienced: the first quilt.  We thought it would be fun (and encouraging!) to ask an established quilter to share not only the most recent, but also his or her very first quilt. And so we launch a new, “occasional” feature–First Quilt, Latest Quilt–and our first featured quilter is the talented Bay Area quilter, pattern and fabric designer, and soon-to-be author, Verna Mosquera.

Verna in her studio; photo courtesy Gregory Case
Verna in her studio; photo courtesy Gregory Case

Since taking her first quilt class in 1996, Verna–in her own words–was hooked. “I knew it was trouble when I couldn’t wait to get home to take my new fabric purchases out of the bag. Still, to this day, I lay out my fabric along the dashboard of my car and enjoy them during the ride home.”

Verna has come a long way from her days as a newbie quilter. In 1998, she began teaching classes, and in 2004 she established what has become a very successful home-based business called The Vintage Spool: Romantic & Timeless Quilt Design. She designs and markets a pattern line  (including Block of the Month patterns), specially prepared fabric kits, and even offers retreats. To date, she has designed a number of fabric collections for Free Spirit (including voiles and laminated cottons) that reflect her distinctive, romantic aesthetic . . . with more to come.

Verna's Autumn Sunset quilt, made using her October Skies collection; fabric kit and pattern available on The Vintage Spool website; photo courtesy Gregory Case
Verna’s Autumn Sunset quilt, made using her October Skies collection; fabric kit and pattern available on The Vintage Spool website; photo courtesy Gregory Case

Here are Verna’s first and latest quilts, and what she has to say about them. (Be sure to read to the end for info on today’s DOUBLE giveaway and the announcement of a special June debut.)

Verna’s First Quilt

In 1996, I decided to take a quilting class as a New Year’s resolution to continue to be more creative. I never in a million years knew how that decision would change my life. I was so fortunate to have had the sweetest, most knowledgable teacher in Laura Nownes. The project was a sampler quilt, one I’m certain that many of your readers have made–if not one very much like it. I learned about choosing an inspiration fabric to set the color palette. Then, with each week, I approached a new block and/or technique. Those 12 weeks gave me an incredible foundation on which to build. I was able to learn the simple rules of quilting which have served me so well.

Verna's first quilt, made in 1996 in a class taught by our own Laura Nownes
Verna’s first quilt, made in 1996 in a class taught by our own Laura Nownes

It has been such a long time since I looked at that first quilt. Today, as I pulled it out to take a photo, I truly realized how far I’d come from those imperfect stitches, cut-off points, and horrific applique!

Verna's early attempts at applique; photo courtesy Verna Mosquera
Verna’s early attempts at applique; photo courtesy Verna Mosquera

While I am my worst critic, I still could see a foreshadowing in the quilt of what was to come: my ability to group fabrics and color combinations, my need to use many fabrics in one quilt, and my creativity within each block–almost as if each one told a little story.

Note the angel in the window; photo courtesy Verna Mosquera
Note the angel in the window; photo courtesy Verna Mosquera

My most vivid memory of working on that quilt was how I just couldn’t stop working on it. I would spend hours and hours quilting, and today that has not changed.

Fast Forward to Today

One of the things I love about being an artist is that inspiration comes from everywhere, and I never know when it will spark. Last January, I was vending at a Southern California show and realized that my “neighbor” was one of my favorite booths for vintage buttons, ribbons, and trim. Knowing it would be a danger zone for me, I resisted the urge to step next door until the final hours of the show. It wasn’t minutes into my visit before I shifted from vendor into artist mode. One bit of trim led me to a wonderful button, and on to a gorgeous piece of delicate lace. I had a wonderful time gathering my vintage treasures. As I collected the bits, I ran next door and asked my assistant for a cellophane bag to put my gathered goodies in. As the color palette grew, it reminded me of a painting I had seen years ago on a visit to Paris. The painting was Ballerina Dancers In Pink by Edgar Degas; the wonderful taupes, pinks, and ivories were just stunning together.

Ballerina Dancers in Pink by Edgar Degas
Ballerina Dancers in Pink by Edgar Degas

When I got home from the show, I pulled the image of the painting up on my computer. I was amazed to see the colors in my bag were spot on the colors in the Degas painting. Stunned that I could remember the beauty of the colors in the painting so clearly, I knew I had the starting point for my newest fabric collection, Pirouette. When I received the first of those fabrics from Free Spirit, it seemed only fitting to design a quilt to showcase them. The result was Prima Ballerina.

The latest from Verna Mosquera: Prima Ballerina, made using the fabrics from her Pirouette collection for Free Spirit; pattern available on The Vintage Spool website; photo courtesy Gregory Case
The latest from Verna Mosquera: Prima Ballerina, made using the fabrics from her Pirouette collection for Free Spirit; pattern available on The Vintage Spool website; photo courtesy Gregory Case
Detail of Prima Ballerina; photo courtesy Gregory Case
Detail of Prima Ballerina; photo courtesy Gregory Case

Thank you, Verna, for sharing your story with us, and for sharing the photo below, which demonstrates how those lovely Pirouette fabrics can grace a “real-life” ballerina as well.

How cute is this? Ensemble (including tote) made with fabrics from Verna's Pirouette collection; photo courtesy Tara Molles Photography
How cute is this? Ensemble (including tote) made with fabrics from Verna’s Pirouette collection; photo courtesy Tara Molles Photography

Thanks to Verna also for providing us with goodies for two wonderful giveaways. Readers, leave us a comment by end of day Wednesday, May 8, telling us a tidbit about your first or most recent quilt, and you’ll be entered into a drawing to receive a Prima Ballerina pattern and a packet of 8 fat-quarters from Verna’s Pirouette fabric line OR a charm pack of  5″ squares from the Pirouette collection. Darra will announce the winners in her Friday, May 10 post.

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Finally, we would be remiss if we didn’t tell you that Verna’s first book (published by F&W Media) will be coming out on June 30. It’s called A Sewn Vintage Lifestyle: 20 Pieced and Appliqued Projects for Quilts, Bags and More. Be sure to watch for it!

A Sewn Vintage Lifestyle

That’s it for now. ‘Til next time, happy stitching!

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