Laura’s Recap of 2016, Looking Ahead and a Giveaway!

calendar“tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

 

 

 

Here we are, folks, it’s January!  Where did it go? In the blink of an eye, another year has passed. I’m ready for the new year, how about you? Are you feeling the same?

Before Pati, Darci and I jump in with new projects for 2017, we thought it would be fun to share with you some of the projects we worked on during 2016. You will be correct if you quickly notice a theme running through my projects. I suppose it was inevitable that when I learned there would be TWO grandbabies arriving in 2017, I would quickly begin making projects for their arrival. Not twins, in case you are wondering, but instead, both daughters are expecting . . . one in March and the other in June.

In no particular order, here are some of my projects. Interesting to note that only a few are quilting related. Looks like I did more knitting in 2016. Hmm, obviously I enjoy both.

socksAfter many attempts, I have finally been able to successfully knit a pair of socks. I’ve tried using both circular and double-pointed needles and find that the double points are easier for me. The best part of using this Heritage Print yarn by Cascade is that the interesting design is naturally formed simply by following your favorite sock pattern.

 

 

 

 

I used a Baby Cashmerino yarn by Debbie Bliss for this knitted blanket. I modified the free Treasured Heirloom Baby blanket a pattern by Lion Brand Yarn.  Since baby’s last name will be Berry I couldn’t resist making a strawberry cap using the “Kids Fruit Cap” pattern by Ann Norling.mollysknitted

 

berry-cap

 

If you are looking for a super quick and easy project for a baby gift, this Stretchy Carseat Cover by seekatesew.com is the perfect choice. A free downloadable pattern is found on the website. I used jersey knit fabric and since it was extra wide, I was able to make two covers. Not only are these covers, adorable fun to make, they also double as nursing aprons. Note: You can use either one or two fabrics, as I have done in my sample.

carseatcover

 

When my girls were young, I bought large pieces of foam, cut them into different shapes and then covered them with brightly colored corduroy fabrics. They played with them for years, stacking, jumping, making forts and just using to rest against while watching movies. This Christmas I decided to make a similar set for two of my favorite little guys. As you can see, they seem to be having a great time playing with them.

foamblocks

All four of my regular classes has an end of the year party. We each bring a yard of wrapped fabric for an exchange. Actually, it’s more like a stealing game as we pass the fabrics around trying to end up with our favorite one. This year I fell in love with these Darling Little Dickens Sheep fabrics by Lydia Nelson for Moda Fabrics. Unfortunately, I was not the lucky winner of the bundle, so I marched myself to my local shop the next day to purchase enough to make a small quilt. I’ll be sure to share photos as soon as it returns from the quilter.

sheepfabric

Here’s a sneak peek at the baby quilt I am working on. I am using both hand and machine piecing techniques, and thoroughly enjoying the process. In my next post, I would like to share with you some tips for drafting, cutting and piecing the shapes for this quilt.

baby-quilt

 

Giveaway

 

Finally, in an attempt to purge some of the way-too-many fabrics taking up space in my stash, I am offering a giveaway to three lucky readers. Note that there are three groups of fabric – left is French General, center is batiks and right is a collection of prints by Benartex fabrics. If you are interested in receiving one, simply leave me a comment by end of day January 15th, telling me which collection you prefer. The winners will be announced in the next post.

giveaway

 

 

Until next time,

Laura Signature

 

 

20 Degrees of Fabric Play

FullblockIt feels like forever since I have checked in with you. I read through all the thoughtful comments from my last post and could not select just one winner, so I randomly picked two. Be sure to read to the end to see who will be receiving my new pattern/ruler pack. If you missed seeing the post, simply click here. I challenged myself with a charm pack, large scale floral fabrics and a 20-degree wedge ruler. It was great fun. I’m still in play mode and don’t see an end in site any time soon.

So much has happened here since the last time I checked in. I have completed my new pattern, the Blooming Wedges Table runner and had some personalized 20-degree wedge rulers made. The two combine perfectly into a neat little pack. I have just shipped my first order to a major distributor so they should be available to shops very soon! In the meantime, if you are interested, I am offering a 50% off special on my website until May 31st. The special price is $12 plus $2.50 shipping. If you don’t use PayPal, just simply leave a request in the Comments and I will be happy to contact you via email.

Blooming Wedges Table Runner - pattern plus wedge ruler
Blooming Wedges Table Runner – pattern plus wedge ruler

 

 

I have also taught Wedge Play workshops at several local guilds and have been so pleased to see the abundance of creativity and willingness to play with fabric and rulers. To say I’m beyond excited, is an understatement.

Although the pattern has specific instructions for making the table runner, there are endless design possibilities using the ruler.

Below are just a few of the projects currently on my design wall.

I’m heading out on a four-day quilting retreat next week with the goal of finishing these quilts. Wish me luck!

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is not a color combination I generally work in, but I'm loving the results.
This is not a color combination I generally work in, but I’m loving the results.

 

I LOVE red and black, with just a bit of an Asian flare.
I LOVE red and black, with just a bit of an Asian flare.

This is my favorite so far . . . made from silk tie samples.

silk quilt

 

I’ll be sure to post updates with my next post. Finally, the lucky winners of the pattern/ruler pack are Jane from MA and Judy White. I will be sending you an email shortly to get your mailing addresses. Please be sure to share your projects.

As always, many thanks for checking in. Until next time, happy creating everyone!

Laura Signature

Visit Me at the Sew Amazing Quilt Show This Weekend!

I have about 4 days left to get ready for the Sew Amazing Quilt Show for the Vallejo Piecemakers. I’m excited, but also nervous. It’s such an honor to be invited as the Guest Artist for the show. This is something new for me and I am working hard to make sure that everything turns out perfect!
VallejoPiecemakers_6x4_Back_v02

For the past few months, I have been methodically checking things off my to-do list. I am so grateful to have Laura around with her experience as a vendor. She has had lots of tips to share with me. Here is a funny turn of events – in a different life (ok, my twenty-somethings), I actually designed trade show booths for a very large corporation. I designed the layout and floor plan, the graphics and tradeshow materials, and then followed it through from set up, to take down. Those were 1000 square foot booths, with truck loads of equipment to ship. But preparing for this show is sooooo much more nervewracking for me. Maybe it’s because I want to share everything I love about quilting, and get others excited too. Or maybe it is because I am not in my twenty somethings anymore.

But back to the to do list – The sleeves are all sewn on to the quilts for the show.  The booth layout has been decided and is currently set up in my garage :). My good friend, and the longarm quilter of all of my quilts, Kerry Reed, will be joining me in the booth and have some of her creative little treasures to purchase. I have my patterns and quilt samples ready to go, including, my new Yardstick Sewing Tote. This is a project that I have taught for years in classes, but I have yet to sell the pattern to the public.

Cover Photo
It will be making its debut at the Vallejo Show, with patterns and yardstick kits to purchase. Speaking of debuts. . .

Braid Trimmer Beauty Shot

I am really excited to be able to demo my brand new ruler, Braid Trimmer©, at the show! If you have ever pieced a braid, you know that the worst part is the nerve wracking step of trimming the points off. Well, that will no longer be an issue if you use the Braid Trimmer©! I will be doing demonstrations all weekend showing how easy it is. I will also have lots of samples to inspire you to incorporate a braid in your next project.

And then, just for fun . . .

Coloring Fabrics

I will be playing with color all weekend at the show. My whole shtick has always been to inspire others to try something new. So, that is going to be the theme of the weekend form me. I will be sharing tips and tricks on how to add color to all of those wonderful black and white prints on the market today, and then show a few samples of what to do with them!

If you are local to Northern California’s Bay Area, I hope you take time to visit me at the Vallejo Quilt Show. I am sure it will be an awesome show, and I would love to see you. Stop by my booth, check out my new stuff, and do a little coloring with me!

If you are not local – no need to fret. I will be posting more about these projects and products throughout the summer. As soon as I catch my breath, I will have them on my Etsy shop to purchase.

Have a great week!

Pati

 

 

 

My One Hour Challenge – Part 1

When I got up this morning, my plan was to write a post about all the happenings in my life over the past 6 weeks. It’s been extremely busy with lots of traveling and teaching. As I started to write, I could feel the need to put on the brakes and shift gears. What can I do NOW to support my creativity? With only about 1 hour of free time today, I decided to give myself a challenge. I quickly looked around my sewing room. There sitting on my cutting table was a charm pack which had been tucked into the goodie bag I received at the recent Craftsy Summit, a training camp for instructors.

Charm pack of Kona cotton solids by Robert Kaufman.
Charm pack of Kona cotton solids by Robert Kaufman.

The pack contains forty-two 5″ squares of solid fabrics. My plan is to use all 42 pieces in a new design . . . the clock is ticking ; ). Funny thing is, I found this to be fun. I know I work best under pressure!

As much as I enjoy working with solids, I think my first love is prints. I have a nice collection of Kaffe Fasset, Phillip Jacobs and Brandon Mabley prints, so I pull out of my stash.

Prints1

I begin sorting through the charm squares and pairing them with the print fabrics. I narrowed it down to 7 prints combined with 6 of the solid squares. Here are six of the combinations I came up with. I will show you the seventh combination in a bit.

6combos

The next step is deciding what to do with the combos. I have enjoyed playing with wedge rulers recently and want to continue experimenting with new designs. So, I took 5 of the 6 squares from each combo and cut them into wedges. You will note that I am only going to use 9 of the 10 wedges that I was able to cut from the 5 squares ( only used 1 of the pink wedges as only 9 are necessary to make a half-circle.

Wedges

Here’s what it looked like after I sewed the 9 wedges together, trimmed the edges and then used the 6th fabric from the combo to form the side triangles. I looks like a basket bottom to me.

Basketbottom

These solids were combined with this Kaffe Fassett fabric as my 7th combination.

Combo1

I’m happy to see that this plan seems to work and I will be able to use all 42 of the solid squares. My time is up for the today but I will definitely be working more on this design and give you an update in my next post. Please let me know if you find this interesting as I will be happy to add more instructions and tutorials for cutting and sewing.

Speaking of updates, my third class with Craftsy, “Quilting with Confidence: Your Questions Answered” has recently gone live. I am excited about this class as it covers everything from selecting patterns to the final binding. It is perfect for beginning quilters and those wanting to take a leap into the creative world of quilt making. This  link will take you to all of my classes. While on the Craftsy site, feel free to look around. There are many wonderful course offerings. Also, if you are interested in learning more about designing with wedge rulers, you might consider Debbie Caffrey’s new class “Smart Techniques for Working with Wedges“. There is always so much to learn!

Until my next post, I wish you all a Happy Spring!

My best,

Laura Signature

 

 

 

giveaway2Our winner for  The Applique Book Blog Tour is Shasta, from highroadquilter.blogspot.com. All the tips shared were wonderful, but this one really stood out!

“I am not sure I have any tips either, except to stop worrying about the “rules” and what other people think, and do what comes naturally to you. If you strive for order, make a quilt that fits your style. If you like freedom and chaos, then make that type of quilt. Also, don’t expect perfection the first time you do something.”

Congratulations, Shasta! We will be contacting you to get your address for your book delivery! And thank you to everyone that entered. Be sure to take time to read through the comments for some very useful tips.

Good Hair Day, Followed by a Pretty Pajama Night and a Giveaway

 GHD_BlogHop002We are so excited to be part of the Good Hair Day Blog Hop Tour today. The tour is celebrating the release of KimAndersson’s new line of fabric with Windham Fabrics, appropriately named, Good Hair Day.

See How We Sew Giveaway

If you are new to our blog, welcome! We are so happy you found us. If you are one of our loyal followers, then you know what a blog hop tour means here at See How We Sew. . . 

But first, let’s talk about this fabulous collection! Good Hair Day quickly fell into the SHWS favorite-stash category. I’ve known Kim for quite some time. She has popped up on our blog many times over the past few years. She has been featured in a guest post with us, and we were fortunate enough to participate in her first blog hop for the Tidal Lace collection. If you remember these posts, you would agree
that she is a pretty talented gal. With that in mind, I can safely say that Kim’s new line is a perfect combination of her humor and wit, sprinkled with a generous amount of graphic sensibility.
  iapfront_ghdThe colors for this collection are downright awesome. This is not just any ordinary color palette. Receiving our sample pack was like opening up a brand new box of crayons. And just look at those bobby pins and hair combs! They are brilliant! Who wouldn’t love to play with this fabric?

GHD 1

GHD 2

Which is why, when Laura and I were asked to create something out of this line to share in the blog hop, we jumped at the chance. What a perfect opportunity to embrace our girly side. Hmmm, combs, blowdryers, ribbons and curls – how about a girl’s pajama night?

Laura chose a Butterick #B6225 pattern to make a pair of pajamas. I chose Modern Robe by The Modern Robe Company.

Butterick Pattern        Modern Robe pattern

And off we went, measuring, cutting, and sewing up this cheery fabric!

Good Hair DayIt was pretty easy to get caught up in adding trim, ruffles, and sashes, when a collections plays so well together. This was a really fun project to complete!

SHWS pajama party crop

Then it was off for a photo shoot for the Good Hair Day Look Book.
GHD_pajamas2
GHD_Robe
GHD_pajamas
And on to the Windham booth at Houston International Quilt Market last fall to play with all the other amazing creations made by all the talented people on this blog hop.
IQM GHD

Our pajamas and robe made it home just in time to show them off at one of Laura’s Pajama Night Sew-ins at Wooden Gate Quilts. Here we are sporting our pretty pajama party clothes.

Laura and Pati - Pajama night

Thanks so much for joining us today. We happen to be one of the last days of this blog tour, but be sure to go back and read all of the blog posts that have been involved in the Good Hair Day Release. There are some really talented sewists, quilters, and designers on this list. So much creativity and inspiration is shared in their posts.
GHD_BlogHop002Good Hair Day Blog Hop
January 2016
Mon 11th:
Tue 12th:
Wed 13th:
Thursday 14th:
Friday 15th
Sat 16th:
Darci Alexishttp://darcisews.com
Sun 17th:
Mon 18th:
Pati Fried & Laura Nowneshttps://seehowwesew.wordpress.com
Tues 19th:
Nicole Daksiewiczhttp://modernhandcraft.com/blog/

And now, on to THE GIVEAWAYS!Giveaway

Everyone loves giveaways! Just for fun, leave a comment at the bottom of our post, telling us about the craziest hair style you have ever tried. We will pick a lucky winner to recieve a 5.5 inch charm pack of the this great collection. (If you have trouble finding the comment box, scroll up and click on the title of this post, that should get your where you need to be.)

cac797e3-6034-4eab-8b3d-2ab137cdec93

And there’s more giveaways!

Fat quarter bundles are being given away on the Windham Fabrics’ blog, Snip-its and Kim Andersson’s blog, I Adore Patterns. These giveaways will be open throughout whole blog hop schedule, which ends tomorrow, so be sure to hop over and leave a comment for your chance to win.

GHDFQB

Hope you enjoyed our stop of the tour. Be sure to look for this line in your local quilt shop. Thanks for joining us today!
Laura & Pati

100 Quilt Blocks in 50 Days!

Janome and Michael Miller Fabrics have teamed up with a really fun project we would like to share with you. 100 Blocks in 50 Days.
100quilt-blocks-1

Laura and I were asked to design some blocks for this project a few months ago. The blocks were to be made from a selection of 10 scrumptious colors from one of my favorite fabric lines, Cotton Couture by Micheal Miller. 100 blocks total, were created by quilters from 40 different states and 5 different countries. The blocks were then assembled and presented at Quilt Market in Houston last week in this stunning quilt. Isn’t it amazing?

100qb So, this is where you come in . . .

All of these wonderful blocks are now being released, two at a time, on Janome’s blog, along with FREE downloadable instructions for each block! There is also a link for you to check out who the designer is.  Every weekeday beginning on October 19th going through December 25th  two new blocks have, and will, be released. How cool is that? It’s not too late to sign up to have the remaining blocks delivered to your email box every morning – Sign up here100quilt-blocks-3

If you want to catch up on the blocks already released, you can find them at 100 Quilt Blocks Downloads or follow along on Michael Miller’s Pinterest Board – 100 Blocks in 50 Days. Laura and my blocks will be released on November 9th, December 16th, 17th and 22nd. We will post a little info on how we created these blocks  on the days they are released. So, stay tuned!

Interested in making the quilt? I sure am!

janome cc

This Cotton Couture fabric bundle just happens to be the right amount of each color to make all 100 of the blocks. It is available to purchase at any Authorized Janome Dealer.

And – there are some opportunities to win some cool prizes.

Submit photos for a chance to win a Horizon Memory Craft 8900QCP Special Edition

Share on Instagram with #100quiltblocks

I feel like an infomercial, but . . . Wait! there’s more!

asm_Janome600pxhead_2

Whew! I am exhausted – that’s a lot of info!

I am going to finish up by mentioning that Carol Van Zandt has been busy photographing the beautiful quilts at Houston Quilt Market last week. I think I will take a little time to enjoy her wonderful photos here. You should too!

Have a great week!Pati

Tips for Constructing a Tumbling Diamonds Quilt Block – Part 2

FinaleditIn my last post, I shared some tips for drafting and cutting pieces for a Tumbling Diamonds quilt block. As some of you suggested in the comments, it may have been easier to paper-piece this pattern. This may certainly be the case, for those of you who enjoy paper piecing. You will however, need to start with the drafted pattern and then cut into sections required for paper piecing. For those of you, like myself, who like traditional piecing, I am including some tips for construction of this block. the more I work and play with it, the more I just love it. I can see it in many fabric and design options.

Here’s the block, now let’s get started.

Tumbling Diamonds quilt block
Tumbling Diamonds quilt block.

If you missed my previous post and would like to follow along, click here to get all of the cutting instructions.

Step One: Sew the A-1 and A-2 strips together lengthwise. To avoid waste when cutting, offset the strips 2″, as shown.

Offset Fabric strips A-1 & A-2.
Offset Fabric strips A-1 & A-2.

Step 2: Use the 45-degree angle marking on your ruler to cut diamond units. The cut width of the units is the same measurement used to cut the individual strips. The photo shows a 2″ wide cut.

diamonds1

diamonds2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3: Place the diamond units exactly as shown, and then use pins to secure at the center and near the ends. Be consistent with the placement of the fabrics in all four pieced diamond units. In my sample, the navy fabric is always at the ends. Sew two units together. It is important to note that the stitching line begins and ends where the two units touch. Press the seam first on the wrong and then right side to complete the pieced diamond.

 

diamonds6JPG

 

Step 4: Sew the pieced diamonds to the fabric B triangles. Note the exact placement of the pieces when stitching, as there should be extensions on both ends.

diamonds5

 

Step 5: Sew the new units to the fabric C center square. It is important to begin and end the stitching line 1/4″ from the edge of the C square, as shown and indicated by the pencil line on the fabric. Take a few backstitches at the beginning and end to secure the stitches. Repeat with all four sides.

Centersquare

 

Step 6: The final block construction joins the side pieces at the corners….yeah, y-seams!! The most important thing to remember in this construction is to never stitch beyond the 1/4″ lines, as shown.

yseam2

 

Step 7: Give your completed block a final press, first on the wrong and then right side.

Let’s look at some design options for this block. 

Without having to make multiple blocks, you can preview what four will look like together. Often times, the secondary designs formed where blocks are joined can be just as interesting or perhaps even more so that the original block. I used two mirror squares that are taped together to form a hinge. I am just loving this block and plan to play with more colors and fabric options.

 

Two mirrors joined together.
Two mirrors joined together.

 

4block mirror

 

Here’s what the block looks like if side triangles are added. An alternate block is created joining them together. I think it would be fun to use a variety of fabrics for the corner triangles.

Side triangles form the look of alternate blocks.
Side triangles form the look of alternate blocks.

 

I think I need to play more with this block. I hope you might feel the same. Up next, Pati will share her interpretation of this blocks, using the same fabrics. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with. Be sure to join us.

In the meantime, happy creating everyone!

Laura Signature

A New Quilt Pattern and a Giveaway

File Sep 11, 8 14 52 AMCalifornia is in the middle of a heat wave this week. The timing seems really odd to be announcing a new quilt pattern called Winter Brrrd Houses. But that is what I am doing! Winter Brrrd Houses is here, and now available through my Etsy shop and will be on our SHWS Pattern Page. And to celebrate, we are giving away a free pattern today!

WinterBrrrd Houses Pattern by Pati Fried
Winter Brrrd Houses has something for everyone. The pattern mixes piecing, improvisational curves, applique and a little bit of embroidery. Trust me, you will not get bored from making the same block over and over again with this project. I made 30 birdhouses from the start of the quilt to the completion of the pattern. Each one had its own personality. It was so much fun choosing the fabrics and sizes, that I could just keep on going!

The pattern is designed to give you oodles of options to add your own unique spin on the project. The quilt and the pattern have my name on it, but I will be the first to tell you – Laura was a huge part of writing this pattern. We all know that writing a pattern with solid technical instructions is tough. Choosing to include improvisational design options made it twice the challenge. I am so grateful to have had Laura’s expertise along the way.

Winter Brrrd Houses by Pati Fried

Last week, I gave a peek of the sample that Laura and I put together at our sew day. I’m excited to say I just received a few photos from Kerry Reed, who has been busy quilting for me and sent some teasers while working away. This is the Spring version of the quilt. Same technique, just different fabric choices and layout. Remember, I mentioned oodles of design options? Spring Bird Houses by See How We Sew

Laura and I are teaching a birdhouse workshop to the Piece by Piece Quilters of Morgan Hill, Ca. next week. It will be fun to team teach this project now, after working so hard together to complete the pattern.
Indigo Bird Houses close up by Pati FriedAbout a week ago, I tried making two more versions. The first time, I followed the pattern exactly, with not a stitch of improv in sight. I even omitted the curve piecing. Ok, I did decide to change the birdhouse doors a bit. I also used some of my cherished indigo fabrics to punch it up. Simple, quick and still lots of fun to make.Indigo Bird Houses by Pati Fried

In the second version, I threw all the rules out the window except for the cutting instructions for the roofs. I wanted to see what would happen if I sized the houses differently. How would it look if my points were off?

french-house-close-up

I also over sized the background sections, to give me a chance to play with the layout. The curve piecing was a natural fit at this point – I was just filling in the blanks. At some point it became a little French city, not a flurry of birdhouses. And can we just take a moment to notice the quilting?
French Houses by Pati FriedSo there you have it. Four versions of what can be done with one pattern. My hope is that a few of our readers will take my lead and create their own unique designs, using the tips and techniques shared in the pattern. In fact . . .

Web

leave a comment on what your version might be like – and I will choose a winner to receive a free pattern!

Have a great weekend!

Pati

Sneak a Peek at a New Birdhouse Quilt from Laura and Pati’s Sew Day

Today was a sew day for Laura and I. We are teaching a guild workshop in September on the Winter Brrrd Houses quilt. We thought it would be fun to experiment with making a different version of the quilt.

Laura brought some Kaffe Fasset fabrics and this wonderful white-on-white background fabric. I’m not sure if it was the white against the saturated color, or the strong graphics against the organic florals – but something really popped between this fabric combination. I had a stash of Moda Grunge, along with Robert Kaufman Quilters’ Linen that were just begging to be added into the mix. And so, with no preconceived notions in mind, we decided to start by making two houses each.

houses

Winter Brrrd Houses – Pattern Available Soon!

The houses were oh-so-cute, but we were a bit befuddled about what fabrics to add into the background plan. As you can see in the original quilt, the background represented a winter scene with drifts of snow. As much as we liked the background we chose, it just didn’t look right with any of the grays in my stash.

So we simply switched seasons!

Striped posts against a spring green hillside – now that works!

And so we’re off and running. It’s funny how things work out. Neither of us knew where we were headed with this quilt, but we just kept sewing until the ideas surfaced. It’s so fun to collaborate on quilts!

If you are interested in watching the progress on this quilt, I will put some photos up on Facebook Page and Instagram as it develops. If you’re not connected with us – now is a good time to do so.

See you Friday!

Pati