Friday, December 25, 2015

My Spirit Quilt

Merry Christmas! I am so excited to be sharing my latest quilt. It totally embodies my sense of quilting style. Star shaped patterns are my absolute favorite and the colors deeply resonate for me. The fabric is entirely from Leah Duncan's Gramercy line by Art Gallery Fabrics. The pattern is from Jaybird Quilts and it is called Daybreak. I used Angela Walter's latest book, Shape by Shape, to help design the free motion quilting that I incorporated into all of the stars. I highly recommend this book, and anything else by Angela Walters, for that matter. She is very talented and has a passion for sharing her techniques with others.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Fall Floral Dress

I can't believe October is almost at a close. I bought this fabric and started this dress back in September. I put it to the side originally because I was trying to finish it before the American Sewing Expo and I ended up having tension problems on my serger. I was in a really frustrated state of mind so I ended up tossing this in my craft closet and didn't get it out again until last week. Since I thought this fabric represented the colors of fall well I was determined to get it finished to wear in its proper season.

This is an Art Gallery Knit. It is from Jeni Baker's line, Curiosities. I absolutely adore her design. It is hard to find a floral in these sort of fall colors, most floral prints come in more of a spring colorway (understandably). I really like the Art Gallery knit fabrics. They are soft and warm, perfect for the colder season approaching! I have grown fond of sewing knits because I love to wear knits. And even though I wasn't too happy with my serger when I first picked up this project, I love sewing knits on the serger. But honestly, I think the reason why I (and many others) get so frustrated with their sergers is because they don't take the time to read their manual or any other sort of training. Something goes wrong and then they just randomly adjust the dials, praying for a miracle (at least that's my own experience!LOL). I actually downloaded the Craftsy class, Serger Solutions: Troubleshooting Techniques and it really helped me to understand how my serger works. I was able to fix my tension problem on the first try after watching a couple of the instructor's lessons. I would definitely recommend the class!

The pattern for this dress is Butterick 6096. The instructions were clear and simple. The only technique that I did differently was  the finishing of the neckline. The pattern wanted me to just turn the edge in and sew. I did that on another knit top and it made the neckline really droopy. So I used a tutorial off of Threads:

It is a interesting technique, and I loved the way my neckline turned out! I like this pattern. It comes in many different variations, including short sleeved. I can see myself making more clothes from this one!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Wonderland Fabrics Blog Tour: Down the Rabbit Hole quilt

Can I just start out by saying that I am over the moon to be taking part in Katarina Roccella's blog tour for her new line, Wonderland? I fell in love with her work from the very start of her career with Art Gallery Fabrics. I used her first line, Indelible, for quilted panels that are now hanging in my dad's clock workshop. Her illustrations and layering of textures add to her unique and mesmerizing artistic style. And can I just say, her color palettes are always on point!

Whenever I saw her new line, Wonderland, debut at Quilt Market, I was completely head-over-heels in love! In fact, I plan on buying  some more of this line for safe keeping. I dream about maybe having a little girl one day and decorating her nursery with this line. Although, I am sure Katarina will have many more collections before I will even have to think about that (did I just jinx myself?). Which poses even more of a dilemma because then I will want to decorate the nursery with them all!

But back to the original subject matter, this quilt. The pattern is one in which I designed myself, and I appropriately named it "Down the Rabbit Hole". The quilt top is made entirely of fabric from the Wonderland line, while the backing and binding are AGF blenders. I free motion quilted this quilt myself on my Brother 1500S industrial sewing machine. OH! And an important note to add-this is the first project that I used Aurifil thread for the quilting design and I was thoroughly pleased with the results!

I am extremely grateful to be able to work with these fabrics for the blog hop and all of my thanks and love go to Katarina Roccella and Art Gallery Fabrics for making this girl's dream come true! I also want to give a special thanks to my husband who spent a whole evening photographing my quilt and to his parents for allowing us to use their beautiful farmhouse and land in Southeast, Ohio as a stage for my design.

Don't miss any of the other blog tour stops!
 Click on the following link for a list of participants and their blogs!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Summer Dress

I've learned not to try and sew a garment on a deadline. I always get these wild ideas in my head that I'm going to make this dress for this wedding or event and well, it NEVER gets done :) Most of the time I decide too close to the event and don't have the proper time to complete it or I start doubting what I'm sewing and drop the project for awhile. I have a little bit of sewing (and crafting) ADD...I have so many ideas and start and quit projects on a whim. 

So the story of this dress, of course, was that it was meant for a wedding I was going to attend back in May. And actually, I finished this one in time but I didn't have the proper undergarments to wear it out in public! The skirt was somewhat transparent ( it's a light green cotton voile). And even though I bought a slip the day of the wedding, it ended up not looking right with the dress. So, I was forced to wear something else...that something else was also me-made and I have yet to share it here on this I might as well introduce that dress also:

This is made from April Rhode's Date Night Dress pattern:

This dress is also made from cotton voile, but evidently it is not transparent. 

Here is the dress I was SUPPOSE to wear :)

This dress is made from fabric from April Rhode's first fabric line with AGF, called Arizona. The top part is quilting cotton and was cut from Version 2 of Collete Pattern's Dahlia dress. The bottom is a nice, drapey cotton voile in which I drafted from my own circle skirt pattern. This is the first thing that I have drafted myself, and I am hoping to be able to design and draft more clothes! I am currently learning pattern-making so I hope to come up with some more self-designed garments later this year :)

I hope to update soon on the whole learning process that I've gone through while attempting pattern-making. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tops for Gracie :)

Let's start out with a background story...
I met my friend, Michelle, our first semester of college. I was finally out of high school and embarking on my first life journey sans the parental units. High school was full of insecurity and introversion and I was determined to make some new friends in college. Enter, Michelle...she sat next to me in one of my classes the first week of class. I introduced myself and shook her hand (haha, pretty sure this is the only time in my life that I not only took the initiative but added a nice, awkward handshake to top it off). We talked and the rest was history! Between all of the Leslie Ludy podcasts and jam sessions going on in my dorm room (when we should have been studying) we formed a bond that has lasted for almost 8 years.

Even though Michelle moved to North Carolina after that first semester, we stayed in contact and she and her husband eventually moved back to Ohio after college.  Fast forward to this past spring and she and her husband welcomed their sweet baby Gracie into their family! I got to meet this precious babe last week, and I am absolutely smitten with this mini human full of dimples and dark, wild hair. I knew I would love her way before I even met her. Michelle and I started really conversing again the moment I found out she was pregnant. So between all of our conversations and all of Michelle's beautifully, completely hilarious blog posts about her pregnancy and motherhood, I felt like Gracie already held a very special place in my heart.

Once I could not stand it any longer, I texted Michelle and said that I had to come see her and Gracie! So, of course after the details were worked out, I had my heart set on making this little cutie some tops!

I chose Made By Rae's Geranium dress/top pattern and made her a couple of tops ;) I love this pattern and plan on making more of these mini garments. I'm sure my husband was trying to avoid the "aw...cute little clothes...I need a baby" sparkle in my eyes while making these because the whole process made me a little giddy/nurturing/feverish.

Anyways, Gracie is the cutest little model and I wish I could reach through these pictures and pinch her little cheeks (I am sure she is appreciative that sort of technology has not come into existence yet because that is all that I would ever get done).

On a separate side note, if you are looking for a blog created by an absolutely amazing writer full of wisdom and hilarious anecdotes,  you can visit Michelle's blog at:

I go to her blog quite often to check for any new posts (can I admit to daily? Okay, call me a Mich Mash groupie). When I realize that there is a new one, I drop what I am doing and read that soul candy because I know it will instantly make my day better :)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Quilty Finish

Let me introduce my latest quilty finish...

I made this quilt for my cousin! She just got married in New York at the end of May. She is a creative/artistic genius and I knew it would mean a lot to her if I gave her something handmade :)
The pattern is Red Letter Day by Thimble Blossoms and is mainly made up of fabric from her Miss Kate collection, with some Day Sail fabric as well.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

1st Quilting Basics Video Tutorial is now uploaded!

Hello! For all of you out there that are wanting to give quilting a try and have little to no experience, I have started making tutorials just FOR YOU! :)

This is the first video that I have completed. It goes over the general guideline of cutting out your pattern pieces. This is very general in the hopes that it can be applied to any basic/beginner quilting pattern you choose to work with. As always, if you have any questions or comments I would love to hear from you!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Dreiecke Hat

Ever since the beginning of fall, I've been seeing girls that look cute with their beanies on and I knew that I needed one! Seeing as I know how to knit, I refused to buy one (that and I didn't see any that I really liked.) So last week I decided to pull the ole knitting needles out. I am so excited about this project finish! I feel like knitting is getting a little easier for me. This is the second beanie that I've made (first one was for my husband). And this is the first knitted item I've actually completed for myself.

A couple of months ago I saw some other people's creations of Very Shannon's Dreiecke Hat on Instagram and I knew this is the one that I wanted to make. It has a slight slouch to it, and it has my love for triangles in it :) It actually was a fairly simple pattern to follow. If you know how to cast on in the round, knit, purl, and knit two together/purl two together, you are set!

Here is a link to the pattern:

And, seeing as I am a Buckeyes fan and knitted part of this during the game (and the fact that they are the CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!) it only seemed fitting that I wore my Buckeye apparel while modeling this project :)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

April Rhode's Staple Dress Pattern Video Tutorials

Hello! I have three new videos uploaded to my YouTube channel (Sew Illuminated). My desire for these videos was to put together a series of tutorials for people wanting to get into garment sewing. I thought that April Rhode's Staple Dress pattern was a great starting point for anyone wanting to make a cute dress that was versatile for any weather or occasion. I hope these tutorials give you the confidence that you need to started. As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to drop me a line!

And THANK YOU SO MUCH April for allowing me to use your design!!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year :)

Current Quilting WIP: Memory block using Leah Duncan's Tule fabric and Michael Miller Fairy Frost as background fabric

Hello my fellow creators! It's hard to believe another year has come and gone and now I am inspired to share my dreams for this new one. I am not going to call them resolutions because that sounds too wearisome-sewing isn't anything like dieting or vowing to stay organized/keep up with the housework. These are things that I would like to work towards, they can of course change over time, and I'm not going to consider myself a failure if not they are not accomplished. Life has a way of changing your path and growth can reveal deeper and different desires, so I am open to what 2015 wants to bring my way :)

With that being said, here are some things I am interested in working towards this year (in the way of sewing):

1) Keep making video tutorials. I have made two so far since beginning this past month. Not very much, but it is a start! My passion is sewing and I LOVE sharing it with other people. It has been a very different experience just doing the two that we have made so far (my husband handles the technical side of it all). I think it will become easier with time and practice. Some of my ideas for tutorials that I would like to make are:
               * My current work in progress is a three part series on techniques you need to make April                       Rhode's Staple Dress pattern. I have one of the tutorials up on my YouTube channel (Sew                   Illuminated) and I hope that since the holiday festivities will be done by this week we will                   be settled enough to make the last two soon.
               * I would also like to do a series on basic quilt making techniques- the skills needed to                           complete a beginner's level quilt from start to finish.

2) I have downloaded a couple of Craftsy classes on basic pattern drafting. I have been sewing garments since I was 10, and I think it's time to challenge myself more in that area. My idea is sort of start from the ground up and to really refine my skills.

3) Lots of quilting therapy for 2015! My challenge in this area is to make up my own designs for any of the quilts that I start in 2015 and maybe turn them into patterns for other people to use as well.
Some of the fabric collections that I'm thinking about adding to my fabric stash this year are:

4) Sew some more garments out of knit material. I'm still in love with the techniques I learned from Colette's Guide to Sewing Knits. Knits are so comfy and low maintenance and there are so many cute designs, how can I resist? Flowy tops, drapey dresses, t-shirts, yoga pants, need I say more?

5) Make my bathing suit for our vacation at the beach this year. I hate shopping for bathing suits, so I've decided on making my own so I can work on the fit and know it's something I will be comfortable with. I am thinking maybe this pattern (because I love Gertie's designs and her mad sewing skills!):

6) Learn more about the technical side of blogging/photographing/video editing (because without my husband, I would have no website presence what-so-ever! lol).

7)Accumulate more content on my blog and start to get it organized for things such as a section on completed projects and a page listing my completed tutorials with links.

What are your crafty goals?