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.)
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?
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.
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.
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:
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.
6. Divide the bow piece into thirds (approximately every 4″) and fold back and forth, as shown.
7. Pinch the folded bow together at the center point and then use some heavy thread to hold it secure.
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.
With 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’sRosewater line for Free Spirit Fabrics. I’m getting my serger tuned up and ready to roll. This will be fun!
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.
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.
One of the first people we “met” was the window washer, who perched outside our window on the first morning. Look at that smile!
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!
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.
Our former hometown girl, Bari J, who now lives in Arizona, was there to promote her new fabric line, Bijoux.
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.
Jason Dunn of Moda Fabrics is a fun-loving kind of guy! Love the dip-dyed tablecloths and the ombre effect of the garland.
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.
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!
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.
Whenever 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.
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.”
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thanks to Verna also for providing us with goodies for two wonderfulgiveaways. 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.