Thursday, January 22, 2015

fabric bookmarks {a tutorial}

I love books. Regular, old fashioned, paper books. I love the way they feel, and smell, I love turning the pages and getting lost in a good story. I also love craft books, and cookbooks, and of course any sewing/ quilting books as well. Which means I usually read quite a few books at a time but somehow I never have any proper bookmarks on hand.

Here are some of the things I used as bookmarks over the last few weeks - tissues (at least they were clean), coasters, old candy wrappers (yeah, I can get very classy), envelopes, and I even started using a BOOK as a bookmark for another book :). At least no one can accuse me of not being innovative, right?

The other day though I finally decided to make myself fabric bookmarks. I looked on Pinterest but could not find a tutorial I really liked so I designed my own super simple scrappy bookmarks.

I love the way they turned out. No more miscellaneous items from around the house for me as bookmarks, at least for a while :).

Now, in case you'd like to make a bookmark (or ten) of your own, here's a quick tutorial for you.


Each bookmark finished at about 2.5" x 8.5" (or 9.5" if counting the leather tag).
*use 1/4" seam allowance unless otherwise noted*

To make one bookmark, you will need: one 3" x 9" strip of patchwork for the front of bookmark
                                                                one 3" x 9" strip of fabric for the back of bookmark
                                                                one 3" x 9" strip of fusible fleece
                                                                one 3" x 9" strip of fusible interfacing (anything you have on 
                                                                                hand will do fine)
                                                                one 1" x 1.25" piece of leather or one 1" x 2.5" ribbon, folded
                                                                                in half

Step 1: following manufacturer's directions attach fusible fleece to the wrong side of bookmark front, and fusible interfacing to the wrong side of bookmark back. Use 1/8" seam allowance to sew the leather tab or ribbon to the top of the bookmark front (as shown in the picture).

Step 2: place bookmark front and bottom right sides together, pin to hold in place.

Step 3: stitch all the way around the bookmark, backstitching at the beginning and end, making sure to leave about 2" opening in one of the sides. Trim the corners and press the seams open.
Step 4: turn the bookmark right side out through the opening from the previous step, push out all the corners and make sure your bookmark looks nice and even on all sides, press. Pin the opening closed and topstitch all the way around the bookmark using 1/8" seam allowance.

Congratulations, your bookmark is now finished. Super easy, wasn't it?

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.
And, as always, if you make a project using any of my tutorials please add it to my Flickr group. I always enjoy seeing all your amazing creations.
Talk to you soon. Svetlana

Monday, January 19, 2015

nine patch placemats {a tutorial}

A few weeks back I made these simple nine patch placemats mostly to practice some new straight line quilting I learned while watching my friend Catherine's DVD.

I adore the combination of this super traditional block and lots of neutral space, I think it makes for such lovely modern placemats. Oh, and using only red and low volume prints for the blocks definitely helps too :).

So, I thought I'd share a quick tutorial in case some of you would like to give these nine patch placemats a try.

Here's how to make four nine patch placemats.
(use 1/4" seam allowance) 

Materials needed:
24 - 1.5" x 5.5" of red fabric
24 - 1.5" x 5.5" of low volume fabric
1/2 yard background fabric
1/2 yard backing fabric
1/2 yard fabric for binding
1/2 yard batting

Cutting fabric:
from background fabric cut: 12 - 1.5" x 3.5" strips
                                               4 - 3.5'" x 15.5" rectangles
                                               4 - 5.5" x 15.5" rectangles
from backing fabric cut: 4 - 13" x 17" rectangles
from batting of your choice cut: 4 - 13" x 17" rectangles
from binding fabric cut: 6 strips 2.25" x width of fabric

24 - 1.5" x 5.5" strips of red fabric
24 - 1.5" x 5.5" strips of low volume fabric

Step 1: Make 16 nine patch blocks following my tutorial for tiny nine patch blocks.

Step 2: Arrange four blocks and three strips of 1.5" x 3" background fabric for each placemat (as shown in the picture below). Stitch together to form one continuous strip of patchwork. Press the seams.

Step 3: Sandwich strip of patchwork between one 3.5" x 15.5" and one 5.5" x 15.5" as pictured, stitch all three parts together and press the seams.

Step 4: Assemble all four placemat tops, they each should finish at 11.5" x 15.5".

Step 5: Make four quilt sandwiches by placing backing fabric (wrong side up) on  a flat surface, place batting on top and then placemat top (right side up). Baste together using either pins or basting spray.

Step 6: Quilt as desired.

Step 7: Square and trim the placemats. Make binding the way you would for a quilt, attach to each placemat.

Step 8: Trim all the stray threads and you're finished. 

Hope you find this tutorial useful.

And, as always, if you make a project using any of my tutorials please add it to my Flickr group. I always enjoy seeing all your amazing creations.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

one more baby comforter

I definitely did not procrastinate and as soon as my first baby comforter was finished I started making a boy version of this super simple cozy little quilt.

This time I combined three different prints in blue with Kona Lime. Don't they look gorgeous together? I just love how super saturated and bold looking this color combo is.

I once again used beautifully soft flannel for the backing and decided to forgo binding (tutorial on how to make this quilt here). 

And I tied it using some pretty blue yarn I had on hand. I think it adds just the right touch of whimsy and playfulness to this little quilt.

All in all, this was a super quick, wonderfully satisfying project and I definitely see myself making many more of these in the near future.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

baby comforter

It's all about basic shapes and simple color palettes with me lately.  So, when I needed to make a baby quilt the other day, I raided my stash for pretty green prints, cut them into 5" squares, and combined them with polka dots. Because, really, you can never go wrong with polka dots, right? :)

I even decided to forgo a binding and instead of quilting I did just a few back and forth small stitches where the squares meet. I followed this tutorial I wrote recently, but I used Warm and White cotton batting instead of the more poofy polyester one since that was the only thing I had on hand.

I love how beautifully soft it feels, especially thanks to this lovely fox flannel that was sitting in my stash for ages, waiting for just the right project.

And now I think I'm about to raid my stash once again as I simply have to make another version of this little comforter, this time in blue.

Thanks for reading friends, Svetlana.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

half rectangle triangles

I think I found my new favorite patchwork shape - half rectangle triangles. They are a little bit more finicky to work with than their well known cousins haft square triangles, but I think all the extra effort is totally worth it.

I followed this wonderful tutorial for making my blocks. I made them bigger though - I started with two 7" x 10" rectangles of fabric and ended up with two 6" x 9" blocks after trimming.

I love how these blocks look, especially in this color combo (which is probably my all time absolute favorite ever). Now just to decide what the next step will be. I'm thinking of adding a wide border in Kona Snow. And then I'd like to do some fun quilting. Let's just hope I won't run out of steam :).

Hope you all had a lovely and creative weekend. Svetlana

Thursday, January 8, 2015

b-r-o-w-n {a finished quilt}

b-r-o-w-n is finished!! And to my great surprise I don't hate it. In fact, I quite like it ;). I like its simplicity and that sort of old - timey feel.

I did simple straight line quilting along each seam line and through the middle of the blocks in hopes that it will draw the eye to the whole chain pattern rather than pinpoint separate 9-patches. I think it worked :)

Funny, last time I talked about not liking brown and orange together in a project and then I went ahead and pieced this backing. Which I like very, very much. I probably like the back even more thank the front :)

Finished size of this quilt is 50" x 61". I think this is a great size for a lap quilt and can't wait to gift it to a very special lady.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

two in one pouches

Yesterday was a dark and blustery, altogether pretty dreary day. And days like that are just perfect for staying at home and sewing, won't you agree? So that's exactly what I did. The result - three totally adorable Two In One pouches:).

I decided to make a smaller (coin pouch) version and I just love how pretty they turned out.

I'm usually not a fan of heart fabric, but for some reason I can't stop admiring these fantastic red and pink hearts I got at Joann the other day. I think the addition of a little text print and polka dots make them look even prettier.

I used my own pattern to make these pouches. If you'd like to give this pouch a try you can find a buy now button on the right side bar of my blog.

Now, thanks to the new  EU VAT law, and all the uncertainty and confusion it brought with it, I'm able to sell my patterns within US only at this time (please know I'm trying very hard to find other ways of selling my patterns to the rest of the world).

Hope you all have a very lovely rest of the weekend. Svetlana
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