Monday, February 28, 2011

Tutorial Roundup: Spring Skirts

Last week's tutorial roundup was all about winter lingering. Let us turn our thoughts to warmer weather and spring skirts, shall we? Maybe if we collectively sew for spring - for you or a little one in your life - it will get here sooner? We can only hope...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

episode 25: necessary indulgences

Let's celebrate episode 25 with a give away! Win a Schnibbles pattern of your choice from my shop, Swell Cloth. Leave a comment on which Schnibbles pattern you'd like to make. Deadline to enter is Tuesday, March 8. Winner will be chosen via Random Number Generator later that week and announced on the blog. Good luck!

Life Update
Dancing Ewe Yarns
Never Not Knitting Podcast
Cincinnati International Quilt Show

What I'm Working On
Bullseye Quilt in Tanya Whelan's Delilah
2010 Designer Mystery Block of the Month from Fat Quarter Shop
Diamond in the Ruff Quilt in Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow
Helena Baby Sweater
Itty Bitty Book Series

Bad Stitches Happen to Good People: Math mishap

Review: Quilts & More Spring 2011 Issue
Sandi Henderson

Download episodes of Stash Resolution for free on iTunes.

Friday, February 25, 2011


My daughter, Olivia, has an Olivia the Pig quilt and pillow at day care. This set was one of my first projects as a new quilter about two years ago when Olivia was just 2-years-old. Now 3-1/2, she has recently told me her feet stick out of the quilt. Well, we can't have that, can we?

I set to work finding the perfect pattern that would come together quickly and show off nice pink fabric, color per her request. Oh, and the pattern had to be big enough to cover her head to toe. The spring 2011 issue of Quilts and More magazine had just the pattern - Diamond in the Ruff.

I really like the extra texture of the ruffles on the preppy argyle piecing. Little kids love to run their hands over things to see what it will feel like - at least my daughter does. I can just imagine her being comforted at nap time by the warmth of the quilt and the feel of the ruffles under her little fingers.

The fabric I chose is Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow. It's girlie yet sophisticated.

Using strip pieces cut on angles, the main part of the quilt comes together quickly - once I figured out the cutting method. The directions are pretty clear, but it still took some problem solving skills to think through it. A more experienced quilter may have an easier time.

If you decide to make this quilt too, I recommend getting 2 yards of the solid and main print fabrics because I found that 1-5/8 yards was not enough to make the required blocks. Even with careful trimming, I ran short by about 1/4 yard. Better to have a little extra for a scrappy backing or matching pillow than have heartbreak over running out of fabric.

Tomorrow at the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild sew-in, I will piece the top together - including the borders - and work on the ruffles. Not sure how I will quilt it yet - but probably will end up doing stippling between the ruffles.

What do you plan to sew this weekend? Please share in the comments!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Now, I must honest and tell you that I rarely cook. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of meals that have been made by me in the last, oh, say, two years. My husband loves to cook and is actually pretty good at it - lucky me! - so gladly I stay out of his way and let him have at it.

However, on the off chance I do have an occasion to cook, I should look cute doing it, right? Here's where the Heather Bailey Daily Spice Apron comes in.

This pattern was very fun to make. I'm a novice garment sewer and was able to follow the instructions successfully. They are straightforward and easy-to-understand with graphics to illustrate the more complicated steps.

Sizing ranges as described on the pattern envelope proved true for me. Plus, you can adjust with the two different ties - halter and waist - to custom fit to your exact shape.

The waist band gives the apron a very flattering fit - especially for pear shapes like me. The bodice is lined with a contrasting fabric (somehow I failed to photograph this - sorry!), and the overall look is uber vintage. Love!

Finally, the pocket just might be my favorite part. I love the clever construction of sewing it into the apron skirt seam. The angle at the top gives it some flare without adding any layer of complication to the pattern.

Overall, I highly recommend trying out this pattern. Make it for yourself or as a gift for a loved one who loves to cook - or at least likes to look swanky in the kitchen! Pattern is available in my Etsy shop, and shipping to US address is free.

Hope you're having a great week! Will be back soon with more project updates. In the meantime, please leave a comment and tell us what you've been working on.

Oh, and don't forget that you can follow me on Twitter as @SwellCloth.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tutorial Roundup: Patchwork Scarves

Last week's warmer weather (and by warmer, I mean high-40s) was only a tease. Winter is still here in Ohio - and will be around for a little while yet. Sadly, there's still plenty of time to enjoy these pieced scarves. Scrappy or not, they'll surly bring a little joy and brightness to the last of these dreary Midwest days... or where ever you find your self hibernating this February.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Quiet weekend = a lot of sewing and knitting. I decided there's no better time than now to start tackling the Short List I blogged about earlier this week and cut fabric for the Bullseye quilt.

Using fabric from Tanya Whelan Delilah, I cut 9 fat quarters and 1 yard of Moda Bella Solid in Bleached White. Amazingly, this is plenty of fabric to complete the quilt top as the pattern is written in the tutorial!

I tried to stay organized by color and by block type (there are two different blocks) by using labeled copier paper and fabric stacks. Still, I managed to mess up the math (ugh!) and had to do a little additional cutting once I started sewing and realized some pieces were missing (bad stitches happen to good people?).

Making the best use of time, I chain pieced. This block requires A LOT of ironing, and eliminating the up-and-down from the sewing machine overtime will make this a faster project.

Chain piecing meant I also chain ironed. I got a steam facial this weekend without stepping foot in a spa!

And here' s an early look of the quilt. I'm about half way though the blocks (30 are needed).

Taking a break from sewing, I decided to take my yarn out of the plastic storage bins and display them in my studio. This is far more inspiring! And a wake up call that I really need to improve my stash - there isn't much of anything here. This calls for a little fiber shopping...

Finally - I finished my Mother Bear project and am so excited to put it in the mail tomorrow to the good folks who will distribute it to the kiddos in need.

So, that a weekend makes (along with walks, trips to the park, cleaning out the attic, errand running, ballet class... you know, the usual). How was your weekend? What did you make?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Delilah 6-Fat Quarter Give Away Winner

Wow! What a great response to the give away! Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter and promote the contest.

Now, with out further ado, the winner of the Tanya Whelan Delilah 6 Fat Quarter Bundle give away (according to the mystical, all-knowing True Random Number Generator) is...

Number 76! Which, according to my little spreadsheet here is Carla! who said, "I am now a follower of your blog. Thanks for a great giveaway!" Congratulations, Carla! I'll be in touch to arrange mailing your prize.

In the meantime, everyone have a great rest of the week! I'll be back soon with a project update.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The "Short" List

Like many of you, I am inspired by quilt projects seen on other people's blogs. Lately, there is no shortage of "ooh - I have to make that." Please tell me I'm not the only one. My quilt queue is growing by the day. Here are a few of my recent inspirations - as well as some oldies but goodies I haven't gotten around to yet.

First, I saw this beauty over the weekend by Lilly Quilts on Moda Bake Shop. How gorgeous is this quilt? It takes a layer cake and a couple yards of Bella Solid. Easy peasy. This is definitely on my short list of quilts to make.

And then there's this lovely by Ashley of Film in the Fridge. The quilt is called Rectangle Squared. I love how complex the quilt looks even though the block itself is incredibly simple. 

I recently saw a Stacked Coins quilt live and in person at the February Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild meeting, and now I can't get it off my mind. This tutorial by Crazy Mom Quilts for Moda Bake Shop is one I've often clicked to but have never put rotary cutter to fabric to make. It's time. 

While I've already blogged about my wish to make a flying geese quilt, I came across this pattern by the fabulous Red Pepper Quilts. The quilting lines are so charming - it's exactly how I will quilt my flying geese quilt... when I finally get around to making it, that is!

Finally, I really want to make a square-in-a-square quilt and have had my eye on this tutorial on Cluck Cluck Sew for some time now. Designer Kersten of Frozen Knickers chose to vary the print fabric vs. the solid fabric on the outer square ring, giving the quilt a lot of dimension. And it's Honey Bun friendly, to boot!

So that's my quilt-pattern short list. What's on yours? Please share links in the comments block. After all, the never-ending queue of quilts is half the fun of being a quilter, right?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

episode 24: 40-degree heat wave

Download the Stash Resolution podcast for free on iTunes.

Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild


Portabello Pixie Ruffle Pants

New podcast! The History Quilter

Daily Spice Apron by Heather Bailey (pic coming soon!)

Fat Quarter Shop 2010 Designer Mystery Quilt 

Textural Crosses Pattern from Fat Quarterly Issue 4

Mother Bear Project

CogKNITive Ravelry group for Mother Bear knit-along

Never Not Knitting Cream and Sugar Cowl

Socks that Rock

French General Rural Jargin Jelly Roll

Two from One Jelly Roll Quilts book by Pam Lintott

Book Review: Sew and Stow by Betty Oppenheimer

Don't forget to sign up for the Tanya Whelan Delilah fat quarter give away!

Leave me a comment about intro and transition music - should I  or shouldn't I?

Have a great week, and thanks for listening!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Delilah - Give Away!

I found a new line of fabric that just has me giddy - Tanya Whelan's Delilah. The combination of vintage floral designs in fresh, modern colors is irresistible. I knew I had to get some for the shop.

The fabric arrived earlier this week - and it is even more beautiful in person. The feel of the cotton is decadent - so soft. It will be perfect for baby projects, spring skirts, summer sun dresses, and, of course, quilting!

I found a few projects out on the designer's website - Grand Revival Designs - that I had to share with you.

Beautiful pillows...

Perfect for the kitchen...

Check out Tanya Whelan's blog for even more photos and project ideas. 

To celebrate this new line, let's have a give away! 

Enter to win a 6 Fat Quarter Bundle. Here's how:

1) Follow my blog
2) Link from your blog to mine
3) Tweet/Facebook/etc. about the give away

Leave me a comment in this post to tell me what you did. Deadline to enter is Wednesday, February 16 midnight EST. Winner will be selected (via random number generator) the next day. Good luck!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Winter Knitting

I have several knitting projects in the works. There's nothing like snuggling under a quilt with a warm mug of tea, a knitting project, and a romantic comedy. It's what you'll find me doing most weekend nights... I'm such a party girl. :-)

My best friend is expecting her first baby and requested a baby blanket in green - because they have enough willpower to not find out what they're having! I chose Debbie Bliss's Cabled Baby Blanket from her Simply Baby book, one of my favorites.

The yarn is decadent - Rowan Pure Wool, an aran weight. Incredibly soft and squishy, the 100% wool marking on the label is hardly believable. Using size 9 circular needles is making this project go relatively quickly - I'm almost 1/4 of the way there.

Also on the needles are a pair of socks out of novelty yarn received as a Christmas gift. The yarn is called Flat Feet by Conjoined Creations. The gist is you unravel the scarf to knit socks. The crinkly yarn makes an interesting texture on the knit sock. Using size 3 4" sock needles, this project is moving a little slower than I'd like. But, hey, what's the rush?

In sewing news, I am catching up on the Designer Mystery Block of the Month from the Fat Quarter Shop, sewing up the November block. Yes, three months behind. Sigh.

I'm determined to finish the December and January blocks before the February one arrives in the next week or so. Wish me luck!