Color Burst Quilt

My original quilt pattern featuring bright and beautiful colors.

Grab 'n' Go Wristlet

My original wristlet pattern featuring a charming pleat detail and two sizes.

Double Wedding Ring Quilt Along

Quilt along with me and make your own double wedding ring quilt.

Box Pouch Tutorial

All the details you need to make a cute and functional box pouch.

Whack a Bunny Quilt

A mini quilt created for the Doll Quilt Swap on Flickr.

November 28, 2011

Public Service Announcement

I stumbled across a good sale, and thought I'd share it with you all! One of my favorite pattern-makers, Keyka Lou, has all her patterns on sale for $5/each (which, in my opinion, is a total steal!)

And scouts honor, she didn't ask me to do this - I just enjoy promoting other online crafters (especially ones that are lovely people - she readily donated patterns to various Sewing Summit events, including my Fat Quarter Swap)

If you're not familiar with the name, chances are you've seen some of her stuff floating around the web before...

Go check it out! Now's the time to pick up those patterns you've been eyeballing (cuz that's what I did)

November 27, 2011

Black Friday

So how was everyone's Thanksgiving? I'm still feeling a bit sluggish from all the food I ate - is it possible to have a food hangover?

But more importantly, how was your Black Friday shopping (especially the quilting-related kind)? Are you a rabid shopper that lines up at midnight? Or a sit-back-and-watch-the-mayhem kinda person?

I'm in the latter category - I have more fun wandering around and soaking in the mayhem (by the way - did you all see this crazy story? Hope she enjoys those aggravated assault charges....people are nuts!) The hubby and I had some birthday gift cards to spend, so we woke up at a normal hour and braved the mall to pick up a few items while everything was on sale. We parked far away instead of cruising for hours for a prime spot, and wandered around the mall holding hands and people watching. Then we went home after a few hours, ate Thanksgiving leftovers, and watched Christmas movies. All in all, it was a great day :)

I knew Joann's would be insane on Friday and there was no way I was gonna stand in line at an understaffed cutting table for hours, plus the deal I really wanted didn't start until Saturday ($1.99/yard Quilter's Showcase prints), so I waited until Saturday morning. The place was a graveyard, and I was in and out within 45 minutes. I snagged some seriously good deals:

I had one of those coupons for 25% off your total purchase, so for $40 and some change I got: 2 giant spools of Gutterman thread (buy 1, get 1 free), 2 large buttons (buy 1, get 1 free), 1 24" zipper, 2 yards of gray houndstooth, 4.5 yards of Daisy Mae, and 10 yards of lightweight fusible interfacing.

The houndstooth is for my mom's Christmas present. Love of houndstooth is a genetic trait passed on from parent to child in our family. My grandmothers, mom, dad, sister, and myself all share a robust love of houndstooth.

I had a coupon for 50% off one item, so I grabbed the yardage of the Denyse Scmidt Daisy Mae to use as backing for a new quilt I'm working on....

 ...and in case you all are partial to Denyse's new line for Joann's, from Dec. 1-3 all Premium Quilting Cottons (including all the DS Quilts lines) will be on sale for 40% off. And if you have a VIP Card, you can get another 10% off that price. Score!

I also ordered these ribbons from Stitch Steals early last week, and they arrived on Friday. Once I figured in shipping, I ended up getting them for $0.75 a spool. Can't beat that with a stick!

So what did you all score on Black Friday? Any awesome deals from Joann's/Hancocks/Hobby Lobby/Local quilt shops you wanna share?!

And as per the fabric policy, here's my "out" pile for the shop. I've got some AMH Garden Party, Amy Butler & Denyse Schmidt Home Dec, Heather Ross, and some out of print Alexander Henry Noah's Ark. Most everything's listed at $5/yard, and as always, you can use the coupon PLAIDSCOTTIE10 for 10% off anything in my shop :)

By the way, since I've started my new in/out policy, I've been getting fewer cracks from the hubby about how, "if it were up to you, all of our money would be spent on fabric and I'd be naked in a corner somewhere" LOL! So yeah, I'm using that as my gauge for success on breaking the fabric addiction ;)

November 20, 2011

Goodie Bag Swap

November is always our busiest time of year at work, because most of our clients renew their policies January 1st (which means we're working behind the scenes putting everything in place 2-3 months in advance of that). I worked roughly 8 hours of overtime last week, so it was a real rat race trying to get my swap bag finished and to the post office in time! I really need to reform my procrastinating ways - argh!

This bag is very simple in appearance, and a departure from the bright colors and busy patterns I'm drawn to, but I had a really hard time letting this go at the post office! To date, I think this was my hardest swap item to part with, mostly because I'm madly in love with how the B&W plaid and mustard yellow look together - it's got a cool, retro vibe to it. Plus I'm a sucker for a good wintery plaid, and the Moda Bella Solid I used for the outside was so buttery soft. I just wanted to rub it on my face, lol! (don't worry partner, I didn't actually do that). I love this bag so, so much and feel like it's the most "professional" looking one I've made. Hopefully my partner likes it - I'm worried it might be a little too simple.

As you can see in the photos below, I decided to alter the pattern a bit and add a zipper pocket. I don't know how the rest of you feel, but if I'm going to go to the trouble of making a fancy bag, I'm gonna make it worth the effort by adding hardware that's durable and polished looking - especially if it's for someone else!

I left in the large pocket that was called for in the pattern, and eliminated the smaller pocket that is supposed to lay over it, so now my partner will have storage on both sides of the purse - a zipper pocket on the side closest to her body, and a large pocket with two sections for her phone, keys, etc. opposite that.

I've been wanting to try this pattern for a while, and even bought the fabric used on the cover, but hadn't gotten around to it in the year+ that I've had it. I'm always at the bottom of my To Do list - but I think it's safe to say we're all like that :)

This pattern is a bit tedious with a lot of detail work, but overall I thought it was well-written and easy to follow (I've always had good luck with her patterns). I did find one error though, which I'll pass on so you all don't make the same mistake. When you get to the point where you're supposed to make two gathering seams 1/4" and 3/4" away from the top and bottom of the exterior panels, you should make the second seam only 1/2" away from the edges. The finishing seam when sewing the exterior of the bag together is only 5/8", so if you place the gathering seam 3/4" away (rather than 1/2"), it will show when you turn the bag right side out. I wondered about that while I was making the 3/4" seam (since most of the seams up until that point had been 5/8"), but instead of reading ahead to make sure, I trusted that the directions were correct, and ended up having to rip out both seams. Make a mental note on this, because picking out stitches between a million tiny gathers is not fun!

November 17, 2011

Pouchie Love

I've been a little quiet on the blog front lately (which is pretty much the only area of my life where I'm ever quiet...Angela and Karen can vouch for that *wink*), because I've been frantically sewing Christmas presents for my family and numerous other secret projects that can't be revealed on here. One thing that I did forget to mention, is that I received the most gorgeous Echino pouch from Rebecca last week! She was my secret partner in the Pretty Little Pouch Swap, and she totally nailed my style!

There's a little snap closure pocket on the front (which is incredibly convenient for storing receipts).

And on the inside of my pouch, she tucked in a voile sunglasses case (since I live in the year-round sunshine of New was 70 degrees yesterday), a folding needle case, a Thor card for the hubs (he was SO excited), and some treats for me and Mr. Whiskers which were eaten long ago (some Reese's Cups and doggie treats...just to clarify - I ate the Reese's and Whiskers ate the dog treats).

Here's a better shot of the little origami needle case. LOVE it! It's really gonna come in handy, because I like to carry portable sewing tools with me for wardrobe emergencies at work. I can't tell you how many times I've fixed tears and missing buttons on my coworker's suits. In fact, a month after I was promoted into my new unit this summer, I ended up having to stick my hand down my boss' dress (lol!) and sew the top button back on her shirtdress because it was gaping open and exposing her bra. Did I mention we were also driving down the interstate in my coworker's minivan on our way to a lunch meeting while I was doing this? So yeah. Portable sewing kits are a must-have. And so are bosses with a good sense of humor :)

All of your handmade goodies will be much loved and used. Thanks Rebecca :)

November 14, 2011

Beautiful Beginnings

Here's to weeks that start with giant packages of fabric! Happy Monday to me :)

As you can see, I got some tasty new fabric treats in the mail today - a friend sent me some yardage of these seeds prints from her LQS - yay! Before that I only had one FQ of the yellow print (which I'm now destashing)

And these are some prints I picked up from since they posted a 25% off coupon on their Facebook page last week - whoo hoo! I picked up my favorite Ta Dot, some more Aviary and Heirloom, and the ubercool dots from the new So Sophie line. I'd been eyeballing them online for a while, and I have to say, they're even cuter in person! I love when that happens...and I love My Mind's Eye - some of my favorite prints ever (like the Wishing Flowers) are from them :)

And per the new policy, here's what's going "out" in the Etsy shop!

I have a 1/2 yard bundle of Folksy Flannels (for super cheap!)...

...and some scrap bundles (by color), Riley Blake Wheels, Modern Meadow, Good Folks, and a handful of hard-to-find fabric like the seeds and some Heather Ross.

As always, the code is PLAIDSCOTTIE10 for 10% off

November 8, 2011

True Love

True love isn't Twilight...or Pride and Prejudice...or even The Notebook, because none of those characters have to do "normal people" things like grocery shop, clean up after dogs that barf up their own poo, or scrub toilet seats (seriously? how do men make that big of a mess within a week?)

True love is when your husband walks in the house and catches you singing "And I Am Telling You" at the top of your lungs, jazz hands and all. And after laughing with you for 5 minutes and revealing he could actually hear you from the time he pulled in the driveway, sincerely tells you he thought it sounded good.

True love is when you get a surprise migraine while shopping at Target, and as you're leaned over a bag in the car dry-heaving the whole way home, your husband tries to make you laugh by quoting Bridesmaids "LOOK AWAY! I SAID LOOK AWAY!"..."Are you sure, it wasn't that gray kind of lamb?"..."I'm not sick! In fact, Helen, I'm hungry and I wish I had a snack." (side note: god bless those plastic bags from Target. Don't you just love how sturdy they are? I have a hoard of them under my kitchen sink that I re-use for everything under the sun)

True love is when your hubby agrees to climb into an attic in the middle of a sweltering New Orleans summer because you think one of your sewing accessories might be in a box up there, and upon climbing back down empty-handed and sweaty, only gives you a raised eyebrow instead of a 10 minute lecture.

And true love is most definitely when, upon coming out of the gym your husband works at after a morning workout, you find this note on the seat of your car...

(Me Me is what we sometimes call each's part of a long inside joke)

How did I get so lucky? :)

November 6, 2011

A Family Affair

Maybe it's the impending holiday season, the crisp Fall weather I woke up to this morning, or a combination of the two...but I'm feeling very sentimental today :)

Since I started quilting 5 years ago, I've managed to rope my mother-in-law, and more recently, my future sister-in-law into the quilting world. We love having a hobby that we can all share together, and every so often we'll get together on a Saturday afternoon and having a Telschow women sewing party.

I feel very blessed, because it's a rare and special thing to share a passion with so many people in your family. Not only because it gives you something to talk about and do together, but also because it provides you with a support group. My mom, my mother-in-law, and my future sister-in-law all sew, and it's amazing having a group of women in my life who understand the technical aspects of what I'm doing, who can critique my designs and push me to be better, and who encourage me in my creative passions when I hit a rough patch.

As the years pass, I find myself looking forward to Christmas and birthdays more and more, because it's so much more fun and meaningful to give and receive handmade gifts from one another. After years and years of my mom making me handmade Halloween costumes, Easter dresses, quilts, and lunches with PB&J sandwiches cut into the shape of a heart, it's wonderful to be able to spend time on her and send her something I made with my own two hands - especially since I'm only able to make it up to Kentucky a few times a year to see my parents :(

So. In celebration of the women in my family, I'd like to share with y'all some photos I have of their beautiful handiwork :)

This is my future sister-in-law Katie's very first quilt! Can you believe how good of a job she did?! - it looks a heckuva lot better than my first attempt, that's for sure! She bought a kit at a local quilt shop and my mother-in-law helped her put it together. I popped by her house the other day, and she was snuggled under it watching tv - so cute!

One of the local quilt shops sells a lot of New Orleans-themed fabric, so my mother-in-law Lana made this Saints quilt for her son's birthday (my brother-in-law). She can't wait to give it to him next week! There's a layer of fleece sandwiched in the middle instead of batting, so the thing is super warm. You could probably boil a kettle of water under it, lol! (which works out well, because both my hubby and his brother are polar bears and refuse to turn on the heat in the winter because they like sleeping in an ice cold house)

And this amazing quilt was my mom's wedding present to Ray and I almost 6 years ago (I can't believe it's been that long...time flies when you're having fun *wink*). She told me a while back that in order to find so many different coordinating prints, she drove over to Hancock's of Paducah and spent the better part of an afternoon there picking out fabric with an employee :)

It makes my brain hurt to think about sewing all of these curved pieces...

...and the real kicker? She did every bit of it on a 30 year old Bernina, with arthritis in both hands.

Yikes! Just look at how intricate her free motion is!!! Thanks mom :)

And bonus, look what arrived in the mail yesterday! My friend Kelly from Kelby Sews is a total sweetheart! Neither of my local Joann's carried them, so she grabbed some of the Merry Main Street and 5 more yards of the Sugar Creek Floral print for me (after I used all mine in this quilt).

And since I'm trying to be extra good heading into the holidays, here is my "out" pile. All the prints you see below are now up for grabs in my Etsy shop. Use PLAIDSCOTTIE10 for 10% off.

November 5, 2011

Pretty Little Pouch Swap

I love tiny wee pouches so much, that I broke my "no swaps for a year" rule again *sheepish grin*. I signed up for Kelly and Michelle's Pretty Little Pouch Swap because it's one of my favorites!

I just finished my pouch for my partner, and I'm proud of myself because I actually finished two whole days ahead of the mailing deadline. That's gotta be some kinda record for me :)

I love playing with texture and odd techniques, and I've been wanting to try my hand at finding a way to "weave" fabric without having a bunch of raw seams. My solution was buttonholes! I made a total of 42 buttonholes on each side of the pouch so that I could weave fabric strips in and out....I kinda screwed the pooch on the placement of the buttonholes on the alternating rows, because I off-set them instead of directly lining them up with the previous row. Oh well. Things still turned out okay (I think) - hopefully my partner likes it because I saw a lot of linen and rainbow colors in her mosaic and photostream :)

November 1, 2011

12 Days of Christmas

Morning everyone! Today is my designated day for the 12 Days of Christmas Sampler Quilt Along, and I designed a sweet little fireplace with festive stockings ready to be filled with goodies :)

I moved from Chicago to New Orleans a few years ago, and while I absolutely love New Orleans, I really start to miss Chicago at Christmas-time every year. I miss the cold, the lights, the ice skating at Grant Park, the Marshall Field's window displays, and eating roasted cinnamon almonds at the Christkindlmarket. I thought making a warm and toasty block would help satisfy my cold weather craving for the time being :)

The block itself is very simple, and most of the detail work is in the appliqueing. Here is a "naked" diagram of what the block looks like...

Here is a list of what you'll need to complete this block:
  • Fusible Web (I use Heat n' Bond) 
  • Background fabric
    • (1) 5.5" x 12.5" piece
    • (1) 2.5" x 12.5" piece
    • (2) 3.5" x 4.5" pieces
    • (2) 1.5" x 3.5" pieces
  • Fireplace fabric
    • (1) 1.5" x 8.5" piece
    • (1) 2.5" x 6.5" piece
    • (2) 1.5" x 2.5" pieces
  • Fireplace interior
    • (1) 2.5" x 4.5" piece
  • Wreath
    • (1) 4.5" x 4.5" green solid
    • Red and mustard yellow scraps (for ornaments)
  • Stockings
    • (3) 2.5" x 2.5" scraps
  • Fire
    • (1) 2.5" x 3.5" mustard yellow solid
To help with placement, I labeled all the block pieces in the diagram so you'll know what goes where.

You will start by assembling pieces 1 thru 6 in numerical order. Start with piece 1, attach pieces 2 and 3 to the sides, and continue working in order until you've attached piece 6.

Grab pieces 7-9. Rather than attaching pieces 8 and 9 at the ends with a straight stitch, you will attach them to piece 7 by mitering the corners. If you need instructions on how to do this, you can find step-by-step instructions with photos on page 4 of this pattern.

Once you've finished sewing together pieces 7-9 in a long, skinny strip, attach it to the top of pieces 1-6. The bottom of your mantle will line up perfectly with the rest of the fireplace, but I stretched mine a hair to give it a little bit of overhang. I thought it would look a little more realistic that way, but it really doesn't matter either way - it's totally a preference thing.

Attach your top 5.5" x 12.5" piece, and then trim up your block on the sides (I had you cut pieces 8 and 9 a little longer than necessary to give you extra fabric to play with when mitering the corners, so once you've sewn together the first three sections, you'll probably have a bit of excess fabric hanging out at the middle section).

Before you attach the final 2.5" x 12.5" bottom piece of the block, you'll need to applique on the fire. Below is a pdf you can print out, and you'll need to cut out the three applique templates to finish the block. For this step, trace Template A onto your 2.5" x 3.5" piece of orange/yellow solid, iron onto fusible web, and then iron onto the correct spot on your block. Find some coordinating thread, and free motion around the edges of the fire to secure in place.

Christmas Block Templates

Once you're finished stitching, sew the remaining 2.5" x 12.5" block piece to the bottom.

Trace the remaining templates (B and C) onto their respective fabrics and iron to your fusible web.

To position the wreath, fold your block in half across the width and finger press the center crease along the top half of your block.

Center the wreath using the crease you just made as a guide. Iron in place, and free motion around the inside and outside edge to secure in place.

To make the ornaments, I ironed my red and mustard scraps to the fusible web, and then cut small circles of different sizes out of them with a fine pair of scissors. Once you've got your ornaments cut out, arrange them how you'd like, iron in place, and stitch to secure.

Repeat the same process to applique your three stockings. Cut, fuse, arrange on your block, iron, and stitch in place.

I plan to try my hand at using free motion to make letters on the stockings later. I didn't want to attempt it before posting this block because I was afraid I'd mess up and mangle it before I had a chance to take pictures, lol!

My goal is to write our family's initials on the three stockings ( a "K", "R", and "W") when I have some free time this weekend :)

(I'm going to see if I can talk the hubs into watching Elf tonight!)

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