Friday, June 20, 2014

Welcome my Guest Blogger - Sandy Fitzpatrick!

Welcome my Guest Blogger - Sandy Fitzpatrick!
Sandy Fitzpatrick of Hissyfitz Designs is an applique quilt pattern designer whose goal is to get as many of the quirky designs, that are spinning around in her head, down on paper for you to enjoy! Her fusible applique patterns are full of whimsy and will certainly bring a smile to your face. Sandy strives to make her full-sized patterns easy to follow and fun to make. Her classes, which focus on machine applique and free-motion quilting, are equally fun! 

Let's give a great big welcome to Sandy!

Hello everyone! I’m so excited to be here with you today as a guest blogger! If we’ve not met before, let me tell you a little about myself. I’ve been sewing for most of my life, making my clothes as I was growing up, even making my wedding gown. When my children were small I made hand smocked dresses for my two girls and even cute little smocked shirts for my son to wear with knickers. The girls loved the attention they got from wearing their hand-made garments, my son, not so much. I loved coordinating their outfits for special occasions such as Easter and Christmas but the year I decided to make coordinating sailor outfits and they ended up looking like the Von Trapp family, my five year old son had had enough! (My husband actually had to pay him $1.00 to wear his Easter outfit to church that year – Argh!)

I continued to sew for my girls, but eventually they, too, outgrew the desire to wear “hand-made” clothing. It was then that I decided to try my hand at quilting and was excited to find this new world for my creativity. I started out making a few traditional pieced quilts but decided to add in a little applique of my own designs. That’s when I realized I had “found my home”. My love of sewing and my love of drawing seemed to “click” and soon friends were asking me to create patterns of my designs. I tried to work a day job and design patterns on the side but soon realized, that if I truly wanted to make it at this designing thing, then something had to give…so I gave up my day job.

People like the fact that my patterns are a little “outside the box”. I recently had someone tell me that I didn’t just think outside the box, I didn’t even know where the box was. That pretty much sums it up.     

I vend at a lot of quilt shows and travel quite a bit teaching workshops so I know how important it is to label my quilts with my contact information. I thought a little tutorial on how I like to label my quilts might help you out as well. Even if you don’t want to put your contact info on your label, it’s still really important to label your quilt with the name of the quilt, who made it, and maybe even the location and date.

I’ve tried all kinds of methods and found this to be a quick and easy way that works for me. I like to use inkjet printable fabric from Printed Treasures or June Tailor. You can also use this printable fabric to print photos to make a memory quilt.

The first thing you need to do is generate a label including your information, on your computer. You can use a simple program such as Microsoft Word or any word program that you are comfortable with. I usually find a font that I like and create the information in a Word document. If you want to jazz it up a little by adding some color to your font which coordinates with your quilt design, even better.

When you are happy with the way your document looks, print it out on the inkjet printable fabric and remove the paper backing.Next, iron a piece of fusible web (my favorite is Heat ‘n Bond Lite) to the back of your label area, making sure that it is slightly larger than your actual label.
Cut out your label using a rotary cutter or scissors, peel the paper backing from the Heat ‘n Bond Lite and using an iron on “silk” setting, iron your label to one corner of your backing fabric, I usually iron it to the bottom left corner.
 Make sure it is in an area that will receive lots of machine quilting and not too close to the edge so that it doesn’t get cut off when you are ready to square up your quilt for binding.

Now you are ready to layer your backing, batting and quilt top to baste it together for quilting. As you add your machine quilting, your quilting stitches will stitch through the label making it a permanent part of your quilt. I’m sure you have heard horror stories of quilts being lost or stolen from quilt shows or even taken out of cars. By using this method to add your label, it will be very difficult for someone to remove your label and claim the quilt as their own. They would have to remove quite a few stitches plus tear the label off the back since it is fused on. Not an easy task.
 Whatever method you choose to use to create your label is a step in the right direction, not only for security’s sake but as a historical account as well. Now, get on out there and do your own little "Jiggity-Jig" as you add this much needed documentation to your quilts! 

Sandy, what a great tip you have shared! You have shown us how easy it is to label our quilts which is of course so important for all the reasons you stated. Thank you so much for that and for being a Guest Blogger!

I hope you enjoyed this blog today.  Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter as I offer specials every month. Just add your name to the list

Until next time...


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Let's Get Down To Business making something pretty!

It is time to get down to business and what better way than making a business card holder. Now this just isn't any business card holder – no way!

This business card holder is made with fabrics -  beautiful batiks from Island Batik! I have also added some "bling" as I love shiny things! I have decorated my business card holder with Kreinik's new thread called Facets!

We are quilters! We should have a pretty fabric business card holder – don't you agree?

So let's get started -  (keep reading as you will have an opportunity to win some beautiful batiks).

  You will need three fabrics. Two of mine are from their brand new  Island Batik - Amber Ale collection. Aren't they lovely? They are some of my favorite colors. This collection was just introduced at Spring Market with a quilt I made. (Pattern will be available soon on my website.)


Choose two of the three pieces of fabric and cut them 5 ½" x 6 ½". Choose which will be your outer cover fabric (my choice was the orange) and then let's have some fun adding bling! Decorate before you stitch the covers together.

I am using Kreinik's thread called Facets! It looks like little tiny beads and this is easier and quicker than sewing on one bead at a time. Use your zigzag stitch with a matching thread color. It is like couching. I just did some random stitches following the pine needles on the fabric. But with  practice, I will be able to do some beautifully detailed stitches.


Set the cover aside while you make the inside pockets.
There are two pocket sizes for the holder. Using your third fabric, cut a piece of fabric 6 ½" x 8 ½" for the tall pocket. Fold the 8 ½" side in half and press. For the short pocket, cut a piece of fabric  6" x 6 ½". Fold the 6" side in half and press.

Now place the tall  pocket on the inside piece of fabric, matching the side and bottom edges. Add the short pocket on top of that again matching the side and bottom edges.


                                               Pin in place. 

(Keep reading to see those great fabrics that you will have an opportunity to win!)


Now locate the middle of the pockets and stitch from the bottom to the top of the tall pocket, and back down again. This just gives a little extra strength to the holder. 
Before we sew the inside and outside covers together, we need to make a loop of fabric so we can close the holder and keep our business cards inside. Choose a button that the fabric will loop around first. Then take a piece of your outside fabric and cut a piece approximately 1" x 4" long.The length of the strip will vary depending on the button size you choose for the clasp. Try the loop around the button before stitching the holder together.
Next finger press the strip together so there are no raw edges and then iron. Now stitch it together with a stitch down the middle.

Pin the loop to the right side of the inside business card holder. Note: the loop will go inside over the pockets with the ends in the seam line. Again you may need to trim the edges depending on the size of the button you choose for the clasp. 
Take the outside and the inside of the business card holder and, place the right sides together. Stitch around the holder leaving a couple of inches open on one side for turning.

Turn and either whip stitch or top stitch on your machine to close. Sew the button to the opposite side of the loop.

 Add your business cards and you are good to go! You will be amazed at all the comments and compliments you get when you take out your business cards in their pretty new holder!

This is one of the business card holders I made, but they were so quick and easy I made another one as well! (These will make great last minute gifts!)

Please notice the decorative stitching around the butterfly. I am so pleased!
And here are both of them showing the Kreinik Thread "Facets" that was used.One Facet is very delicate while the other is much thicker and they give two different effects.They are indeed a wonderful compliment to the beautiful Island Batik fabrics!

Now so you can make your own lovely "Island Batik" fabric business card holders, I have some Island Batik fabric to give away to some lucky winner. (This will be for USA residents only due to customs regulations. ) 

Isn't this lovely? For an opportunity to call this yours, all you have to do is leave a comment telling me what you will make with your lovely Island Batik fabrics (after the business card holder of course). You have until midnight  CDT on Monday, June 16 to leave your comment - so start talking!

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to let me know. When you make your business card holder, please share.

And don't forget to sign up for my newsletter as I offer specials every month. Just add your name to the list.

Until next time...