Tag: bari j.

Patchwork Duffle

I don’t have PS on my laptop. I use my iPhone for maybe 99 percent of the photos I take these days. I’m waving the white flag and giving up on any pretense of polished perfection in favor of actually writing more than one blog post a year. So if less-than-perfect pictures offend you, you probably want to stop reading my blog.

Life happens. A lot. So here I am, seven months since my last blog post, trying to start anew. So how about I just dive back in?

At Quilt Market in Portland this past spring, I snagged a copy of Bari J‘s Holiday in London Duffle Bag. Bari is one of my favoritest people ever and I really love her aesthetic, so I pretty much had to pick up one of her awesome bag patterns, especially one that had the potential to become my go-to travel bag.

I was itching to make something with a gorgeous range of Michael Miller fabrics we had at the shop. Norwegian Wood plus a bunch of other gorgeous, graphic brights. Elizabeth Hartman’s patchwork Weekender came to mind but I didn’t want to make the Weekender so the patchwork Holiday in London Duffle came into being.

Holiday in L

I picked up 10 fat quarters plus extra cuts for the handles, strap and binding. Oh and separate lining fabric. Yeah, not doing twice the patchwork. As it was, the patchwork, quilt-as-you-go method probably added about eight hours to this project. Why? Because I’m slow and sometimes mess things up and have to figure out a fix midstream.

Holiday in L

I did an easy piecing job by using strips of different widths to fill the space. If you do this, you’ll want to cut the Soft n Stable at least an inch larger all the way around to compensate for how much it pulls in during the quilting process. I forgot this on a couple of pieces and so my bag turned out a wee bit smaller because I had to trim things up to get them to fit together properly. Whoops!

Holiday in L

I tinkered with the straps and handles (and tabs) and just made them into casings to slip cotton canvas webbing through. I really like using webbing for the durability factor and having them covered with fabric pulls together the whole look. I also used my favorite, favorite, favorite Fuse n Wrap piping because it is one of the best inventions ever. Seriously. (Soft n Stable falls under that category, too.)

The instructions were easy to follow and I like how the seams are all encased. If I make this again (and I probably will because I think it will be a great graduation gift), I will attach the bag bottom a little differently because I’m too lazy to do the hand sewing. (What? Have you not met me?)

Holiday in L

I skipped the “faux piping” step at the end because it’s a little on the bulky side and I just wanted to be done with it and start using it. I immediately took it upstairs to show off to Miss L and my Honey because nothing says “I’m done!” quite like show and tell. Ok, I really wanted someone who was not me to ooh and aah over it because it is FABULOUS. I love, love, love it and am so glad I put in the extra effort to do all that piecing and quilting. If you’re thinking about making this bag, I highly recommend checking out Bari’s fantastic sew along.

Get Inspired

inspired to sew

I’m honored to kick off Bari J.‘s Inspired to Sew blog tour today. Her new book is a beautiful work filled with her signature style and projects I can’t wait to make (and I think you’ll want to sew them, too). Bari’s asked each blog tour host to share what inspires us to sew. Here’s my story:

My mother and daughter share a dimpled chin, a love of crafting and a huge part of my heart — and credit for inspiring me to sew. They have never met — can never meet — but I like to think my sewing brings them a little closer together.

I remember growing up and thinking my mom could make anything. Time and again she’d prove it by turning piles of fabric into my favorite outfits. I’ve combed through family photos again and again, trying to find ones that showed the skirts, the tees, the dresses, the Halloween costumes she made but it seems my memories are really all I have.

After I became a mom, my mother turned her talents to sewing for her grandsons, happily creating blankets and costumes for the boys who stole her heart. She satisfied her desire for a granddaughter by sewing for my much-younger female cousins, whipping up doll clothes and dresses.

And then she was gone.

Which led to me convincing Honey our family might not be complete after all. And three years later we brought home the sweetest, silliest, most amazing baby girl, who fills our home and our lives with so much joy. How could I not give her the same kind of love my own mother showed me? I bought a new sewing machine and began to sew for the first time in years — and the first time ever that I could not call my mom and have her talk me through a problem.

I’ve sewn countless yards of fabric in the past six years, enough clothes to fill a closet (or three) and even written a book — all inspired by my mother and daughter. I sew with love, the way my mother taught me, and the way I hope to teach my daughter, too.

Are you Inspired to Sew? I hope so — and I hope you’ll comment on this post so you can win your very own copy of Bari’s book. Tell me why you’re inspired to sew between now and noon Thursday, Feb. 3. I’ll draw a winner from the comments and announce it here on the blog and probably over on my Twitter, too. And be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour, too:

Feb 1, Jennifer Paganelli: Sis Boom!

Feb 2, Jona Giammalava: Stop Staring and Start Sewing

Feb 3, Rashida Coleman Hale: I Heart Linen

Feb 4, Sarah Fielke: The Last Piece

Feb 5, Jenny Doh: Crescendoh

Feb 6, Cara Wilson: Cara Quilts

Feb 7, Deborah Moebes: Whipstitch Fabrics

Feb 8, Monica Solorio-Snow: The Happy Zombie

Feb 9, Susanne Woods: Stash Books (giving away a stack of Bari’s Full Bloom fabric!)

P.S. That cool I’m Inspired to Sew blog badge is available on Bari’s blog. Go get one for yourself!

I Get Around

This weekend kicks off something of a mini book tour for Little Girls, Big Style. While it’s not on the level of a World Domination Tour, maybe I can consider it an Atlanta+Alabama Introduction Tour.

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited (and nervous!) I am. It’s kind of the next step in this whole writing-a-book gig but it’s still a little surreal. Fortunately, I’ll get to see some friends and family along the way, which is sure to make the whole thing even more fun. And of course I’d love to see you, too! Here’s where and when you can find me:

I’m also incredibly excited to have my blog book tour coincide with my mini signing tour. An awesome group of folks agreed to take part and it’s shaping up to be a really cool 10 days of reviews, Q&As and giveaways. You can check out all the details on the Stash Books blog but here’s the tour schedule

• December 6th The Domestic Diva’s Disasters
• December 7th Blue Moon River
• December 8th Juicy Bits
• December 9th Sew Take a Hike
• December 10th Boutique Café
• December 11th I Heart Linen
• December 12th Sew, Mama, Sew
• December 13th Stop Staring and Start Sewing
• December 14th True Up
• December 15th Bari J

I hope you can join the fun, whether in person or online!

Houston Round-Up: Fabrics

You can’t turn around at Quilt Market in Houston without seeing new fabric. It is everywhere. Hanging from rods as decoration in booths, cut and pieced for quilts, worn as dresses, tops and skirts by the designers. If it can be covered or sewn with fabric, it’s there for you to see and touch.

It wasn’t until I attended my first Market last year that I had even an inkling of how much fabric is produced for the retail market. Sarah carries such a huge volume at her shop and that inventory is a teeny tiny fraction of what’s out there.

I know everyone follows the big name fabric designers and has already seen and heard all about their new fabrics by now, so instead I’m going to hit on a few you may not know — but I think you should.

I met Jenean Morrison in Houston last year and thought she was just one of the sweetest Southern girls I’ve ever met. And so talented! Her next line is California Dreamin’ and it is just a joy. One of my favorite things about it, though, is that the colors and prints work so well with her current line, Picnic Parade. It’s like giving a little extra boost. Also? Jenean made the dress she’s wearing, which tickles me to no end because my first sewing project certainly did not turn out so nicely. Super, super cute and she wears it so well!

Given my happiness with expanding fabric options, it’s not surprising that I was excited to see Quilt Soup‘s new line (Simply Sweet) coordinates so nicely with Bubblegum Basics. I really loved the colors and prints in the first line and can’t wait to play with the new prints.

I’m completely in love with Rosie‘s upcoming line for Japanese fabric company Lecien. Grandmother’s Flower Garden is so sweet and feminine and very reflective of her style. The line also includes some of the prettiest laminated cotton I’ve ever seen. *swoon*

Have you heard of Riley Blake Designs? I fell in love with this year’s Christmas line — Be Merry — as soon as I laid eyes on it and my visit to their booth was just as fun. Next year’s Christmas and Halloween make me just as happy, and the non-holiday lines between now and then are just as cute.

The Windham Fabrics booth has become a must visit for me. How could I not want to see gals as cool as Genevieve Gail, Bari J. and Jessica Levitt and their respective fabric lines? Loved the skirt Jessica made from her debut line, too. I’m so glad she was a willing model because I think she’ll like this picture better than one I would have snuck from behind. LOL!

There was one line of fabric all four of us in the IQ group loved: The Gerta Collection by Marcia Derse for Troy. Seriously. Photos do not do it justice. It was just so cool and different and I absolutely fell in love with it. It was great to have the chance to talk with Marcia about her fabric and design process, too.

Note: My apologies for the total lack of pictures. I had a major camera malfunction on Saturday. As in, the lens I just had repaired before Spring Market died again. So all the pictures I was planning to take? Didn’t happen. Grrrrrr. And whiiiiinnneeeee.