Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Typewriter Quilt (Tutorial Coming Soon!)

Cotton + Steel Typewriter Quilt by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

Way back when I was first designing the projects for my book, I knew that I wanted to make a typewriter quilt. You all know my love for vintage things, and typewriters just seem to be one of those iconic pieces that never go out of style. I had so much material that I wanted to pack into Sew Organized for the Busy Girl that, in the end, the typewriter mini had to be cut from the final draft. Thankfully, though, Stash Books is letting me release it to you as a free tutorial this Monday on the C&T blog. I'll also be doing an Instagram takeover for them next week (Monday through Friday) where I'll be sharing some pictures of all that goes on behind the scenes here at Fabric Mutt, so be sure to tune in!

Cotton + Steel Typewriter Quilt by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

Ever since I sent my mini quilt off to the Stash offices a year ago, I've been thinking about how much fun it would be to make a larger version. When I saw the first pictures of Melody Miller's Playful collection last year, I decided immediately that I wanted to make a lap quilt sized typewriter quilt using only Cotton + Steel Fabric. And the rest, as they say, is history...

Cotton + Steel Typewriter Quilt by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

The keys are a rainbow of prints from all the Cotton + Steel designers. I used my favorite green floral print from Cookie Book for the typewriter (how I would love to have one in real life that looked exactly like this!) and the Playful word find print could not have been more perfect for the sheet of paper. The background is a dark navy XOXO print from the basics collection which is framed in Playful viewmaster reels for the binding. The entire quilt top is traditionally pieced, by the way -- nothing fancy going on here beyond squares, rectangles, and half square triangles. I quilted the entire piece using a wavy stitch on my machine which reminds me of how I used to make "pretend writing" on my pictures back when I was a little girl and didn't know how to make any real letters.

Cotton + Steel Typewriter Quilt by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

This quilt is the first time I've ever used double cotton gauze for backing, and I tell you, it will not be the last! The Cotton + Steel Bespoke collection is unbelievably, gloriously soft, like your favorite t-shirt that's been washed a hundred times until it's the most comfortable thing you own. I can't wait to curl up under this quilt tonight while I watch television with my husband before we go to bed. Out of all the quilts I've made over the years, this may possibly be my very favorite.

Be sure to visit C&T on Monday for the mini typewriter quilt tutorial. I can't wait to share it with you!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Sew the Library: Deluxe Pincushion

Yes, you knew I had to use Sew Organized for the Busy Girl for one of these posts eventually. It's such a strange but wonderful thing to have this book in my hands and to actually be sewing from a pattern inside it!

Choosing a favorite project from your own book is like picking a favorite child. How can you possibly do it? But if I absolutely had to, it might just be the Deluxe Pincushion. This little project embodies everything I wanted the projects in my book to be: simple, quick, and very useful. I love being able to indulge in a bit of patchwork with my tiniest scraps, and I'm always crazy about projects that I can finish in a hurry (I began working on this after the girls started their morning classes today and was finished before lunch!). Most of the prints are from the adorable Milk, Sugar & Flower collection by Elea Lutz for Penny Rose Fabrics. I added a Sweetwater text print and a little dotty fabric too, since I always love to add some black and white to any project. A side loop out of Cotton + Steel twill tape was the finishing touch.

This would be such a fun pincushion to bring to a retreat or sew-in. All your notions tuck neatly into the pocket, and off you go!

I'm linking up with the rest of the Sew the Library crowd at Weekend Doings. You still have a week before February is over. Come join us!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Wiltshire Daisy & Tomorrow's Podcast

February 2015 will always be remembered as the Month of Real Estate in our family. Everyone in my husband's and my immediate family is in the process of purchasing a home even as I type this sentence. I guess we all got the urge to put down roots at the same time. If only we weren't spread out across the country from East to West...

My sister is planning to move into a beautiful house here in Southern California before we drive off for Texas in June, and I wanted to make something pretty for her new home. When my friends at Riley Blake Fabrics were kind enough to send me a package full of the lovely Wiltshire Daisy collection by Carina Gardner, I knew I had the right fabric for the job. These prints are shabby chic perfection, just the sort of thing my sister loves. Her new kitchen has an adorable window seat along one wall, and these pillows will make a cuddly spot for someone to curl up with a good book.

I'm so honored to be appearing on the American Patchwork and Quilting Podcast tomorrow with Pat Sloan, where we'll be chatting about my new book and all things quilty. You can tune in right here tomorrow at 1pm Pacific/4pm Eastern time. Drop by and check it out!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Today I'm...

...planning my next project for Sew the Library. (Don't forget to link up with Martha on February 20th!)

...folding fabric.

...enjoying some much needed chocolate chip cookie therapy.

Happy week!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Summer Tourist Quilt

Summer Tourist Quilt from Sew Organized for the Busy Girl by Heidi Staples
Summer Tourist quilt top, just after I finished it almost exactly a year ago

My new book, Sew Organized for the Busy Girl, is filled with projects that are fairly quick to sew, but I also included a chapter of projects that can be made over a longer period of time. The first project in that section is my Summer Tourist Quilt.

Summer Tourist Blocks from Sew Organized for the Busy Girl by Heidi Staples

I have to tell you... I loved making this quilt. You all know how much I enjoy seeing things in color order, and these blocks just make my heart sing. There are so many memories in here as I look at all the different prints and remember when I bought them and what I've sewn with them. It's such a simple quilt design, but sometimes I think the simplest things are my favorites.

Summer Tourist Quilt block featuring prints by Anna Maria Horner

I've been wanting to make another (possibly larger) version of this quilt for a while, and last month I finally started working on it. This time I'm making the Summer Tourist Quilt: Designer Edition. Instead of focusing on color, each block will be made from fabrics created by a different designer. The first I made was the one above featuring prints by Anna Maria Horner, and I absolutely adore it. These blocks are so much fun to make! Choosing the prints, watching the rainbow appear as I line up the squares -- every time I sew one of these, I get the same rush of happiness. I'll be posting my designer blocks on Instagram as I finish each one, so stay tuned...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Laguna Beach Mini Tote

Laguna Beach Mini Tote by Fabric Mutt featuring Etno for Art Gallery Fabrics

For our first wedding anniversary eight years ago, my husband took me to Laguna Beach, a beautiful little beach town about halfway between L.A. and San Diego. At the time, I was seven months pregnant with our oldest daughter, so putting on a swimsuit and heading for the sand was not really on my agenda. Instead, James and I spent many peaceful hours drifting through the dozens of shops and galleries that line the sidewalks there. Those memories came flooding back when I saw Pat Bravo's lovely new Etno collection for Art Gallery Fabrics. The collection was originally designed to showcase both ethnic and artistic elements, both of which are so present in Laguna's thriving art community, and the colors immediately reminded me of sand and surf. I had a wonderful time taking the prints that AGF sent me and turning them into a miniature version of a beach tote, just perfect for a day of window shopping at Laguna Beach.

Laguna Beach Mini Tote by Fabric Mutt featuring Etno by Art Gallery Fabrics

For the bag exterior, I paired leather yarn dyed Essex linen with the Looming Love in Pastel, a print which reminds me so much of a wash of watercolors on canvas. The bag is lined with Sauvage Sky in Arctic, and I added an inner pocket from Shore Remains in Trinkets. Cream colored strands of rope make sturdy handles and complement the bag's beach theme.

This little tote turned out even better than I hoped it would, and I think it's going to make a fabulous spring bag. Now I just need to find a way to sneak off to Laguna for some girl time...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Circa 52 Floor Pillow

Rainbow Circa 52 Floor Pillow for Birch Fabrics by Fabric Mutt

When my sweet friends at Birch Fabrics asked me to be a part of their first ever blog hop to celebrate the re-release of the Circa 52 collection by Monaluna, I was so happy to join in. Not only do I remember when these prints came out the first time, but Tree Stripes in Shroom was one of the first designer prints I ever added to my fabric stash as a new quilter. I hoarded it for a while before finally using it to make a bag for Bear, who was then not yet three years old -- and still uses that bag every week, by the way. Just looking at the pictures on this post makes me a little misty as I remember those days when I was trying to balance my new sewing hobby with three tiny little munchkins. How time does fly...

Rainbow Circa 52 Floor Pillow for Birch Fabrics by Fabric Mutt

Birch sent me a lovely stack of prints and coordinating solids to play with for this blog hop, all of which I thought would be perfect for making a giant colorful floor pillow. If you've never made one of these, you should definitely give it a try. Floor pillows are an inexpensive substitute for bean bag chairs, and they fit in just about anywhere: the library corner, the family room, even the patio. Sewing up a pillow cover for these is no harder than making a mini quilt and just as much fun. In this case, I sewed together 14 strips, each 2 1/2" x 28", to make the pillow top. The solid strips are all quilted in coordinating Aurifil thread, 1/8" from each long side. It was really fun to use all those different colors of thread on this project, and I love the way it turned out.

Rainbow Circa 52 Floor Pillow for Birch Fabrics by Fabric Mutt

I used my favorite Woodland Party print for the pillow backing. Everything about this fabric makes me happy, especially those little strings of rainbow bunting.

Rainbow Circa 52 Floor Pillow for Birch Fabrics by Fabric Mutt

If you'd like to win some Circa 52 fabric for yourself, Birch is having a fabulous giveaway on their blog. Visit them here and enter to win a yard of each print in the collection, either poplins or knits. It doesn't get any better than that! Also be sure to visit the other stops on the blog hop:

Monday 1/26: Caroline from Sew Can She
Tuesday 1/27: Heidi from Fabric Mutt
Wednesday 1/28: Anneliese from Aesthetic Nest
Thursday 1/29: Melissa from Lunden Designs
Friday 1/30: Melissa from Brindille & Twig
Monday 2/2: Marte from Companie M.

Have a wonderful week!
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