Tuesday, November 24, 2015

It's Sew Easy Episodes

Quilted Pillows
Happy Tuesday! Today I want to share a project that I worked on back in 2014, that works out to be quite relevant now. I flew home to Cleveland in early 2014 to film two episodes for It's Sew Easy, which airs on PBS. I adapted two of my older tutorials for the episodes, which is fun.

Color Me Retro Half-Square Triangle Pillow
The first episode is 706 and features my Vintage Sheet HST Pillow Tutorial. For the episode, I remade the pillow in Color Me Retro! I wanted to share this because this episode is available to watch on Youtube (here), so if you are still unsure about trying half-square triangles, you can watch me make them on video!

Color Me Retro Half-Square Triangle Pillow Color Me Retro Half-Square Triangle Pillow
It's a cute little pillow, and doesn't take too long to put together. I also brought along a number of other half-square triangle projects for the shoot. My Dreamin' Vintage Half-Square Triangle Sampler quilt, my Warm Cool HST Quilt, my Nordika HST Pillow, and my Quilted Grocery Bag Holder.

Nordika Log Cabin Quilted Coasters
The second episode I taped is 707, featuring my Logcabin Quilted Coasters. For this episode, I remade the coasters in Nordika. These turn out really cute and make a great gift.

Nordika Log Cabin Quilted Coasters Nordika Log Cabin Quilted Coasters Nordika Log Cabin Quilted Coasters Nordika Log Cabin Quilted Coasters
These are a fun way to try out different quilting techniques, I used a different pattern for each coaster. Love making these!

Nordika Logcabin Mini Quilt
I made another sample for the episode, this log cabin mini quilt, also using Nordika. I cut 2.5" strips to make four small log cabin blocks. I really need to plan a full size log cabin quilt, these blocks are really satisfying to make. This mini lives under my sewing machine folded in half, to help muffle the noise from my machine.

Nordika Logcabin Mini Quilt Nordika Logcabin Mini Quilt
I quilted all of these projects with 50wt Aurifil threads from my thread box. I especially enjoyed using the teal thread in my mini quilt!

Part of the reason why I put off sharing this experience and projects is that it wore me out. Even though I was doing smaller projects, the amount of prep work involved in taping these videos was huge. I have at least 7 versions of the pillow (plus enough HSTs to make more) in various stages as step outs for the episode and back-ups in case a part with sewing needs to be shot again. That and I was SO nervous. It was really far outside of my comfort zone to do something like this. I did it, but it showed me that it is not something I enjoy doing. But that's okay! I tried it, and it wasn't a disaster, so all is well.

You can check your local listings for these episodes (if you want!), here.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas

Happy Thursday! This week I finally sat down and started some of the handmade Christmas gifts I have planned. I would have liked to make them sooner, but at least it's not the week of the 25th, so I think I'm in pretty good shape! I am also looking forward to putting up my holiday decorations early this weekend, yay! There is still plenty of time to make handmade gifts this season. While I have it on my mind, I wanted to share a few of my tutorials and patterns that are great for gifts!

Maybe a bit of handmade decor is still your style? Make this easy wrapped wreath

You can't go wrong with a Lined Drawstring Bag (tutorial/pattern) for gift giving. It makes a great gift itself, or as an eco-friendly reusable wrapping! Plus they whip up in no time!

Who doesn't need a few roomy zipper pouches? The Triplizip (pattern) pouches are great for everyone. Fill with soaps, yarn, treats, or cars for your favorite kid. The uses are endless!

Scarves are always an easy gift choice if you ask me, and a handmade one is even better. My favorite combo is voile and flannel, for an extra cozy scarf! See tutorial here.

Looking for a fancier zipper pouch? Try my HST Zipper Pouch Tutorial, plus bonus instructions for making Key FOBs. I love using mine, and actually wore the patchwork one out. Just switched to the twill one!

With more than a month until Christmas, there is still time to make a quilt! I love using big blocks to make a quick quilt, like the Giant Vintage Star Quilt Tutorial. It makes a nice throw size!

The Arithmetic Quilt (tutorial/pattern) is a great universally appealing design. Changing up the fabric and colors completely changes the look. Don't forget the pattern version has a larger square option, for a quick finish!

A handmade Coffee Cozy (tutorial) would make a great gift for any coffee lover along with a cute mug and/or gift card to their favorite coffee shop. Would be a good teacher gift!

Show your appreciation to your host at that holiday party with a set of Fabric Embellished Dish Towels (tutorial). These are a really cost effective gift, and you can tailor them to any style.

Get in the baking season with a Jolly Apron (tutorial). Gift with a jar cookie mix or nice wooden spoons!

Make it easy to recycle plastic bags with a Quilted Grocery Bag Holder (tutorial). Use a special piece of fabric for a plain version, or piece a patchwork one!

Happy Making!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Cabin Sewing Weekend

Happy Tuesday! For my own personal record, I wanted to post about this past summer's cabin weekend. We have made a Wisconsin cabin weekend an annual thing, and this is the third year we've done it. I look forward to it all year, and can't wait for next! This was back in July, hence the pretty green scenery! (Year one and year two recaps.)

We decided to stick with our location from last year, in New Glarus, WI. It's perfect for all the things we want to do and is tucked away from the city which is nice. Plus it has a barn quilt, PLUS it has sheep!

We did our traditional indigo dyeing of course! This year I dyed two pieces of lawn. The top one I resisted with rubberbands in a symmetrical pattern. The bottom piece I stitch resisted. You can see the pre-dyed resisted pieces here and here. I have no idea what I'll use these for, but I am thinking a shirt from the bottom one!

I also re-dyed the t-shirt I dyed last time. It had faded from washing, so I did a little resisting on it and now it has a really subtle pattern. Yay!

We dyed yarn again too! I tried out kettle dyeing this time around and dyed two skeins of DK. I'm calling this color "Gruple" part gray, part purple. Perfect! See more photos of my skeins on Ravelry here.

There were so many delicious treats all weekend, these are chocolate rolls made by Deedrie! YUM! We did lots of good eating, including at the Grumpy Troll in Mt. Horeb (tradition!), and at the New Glarus Hotel Restaurant.

This year there was a sheep that actually liked me! I was so happy! I may have given him a few treats of outside grass!!

The sweet ladies pulled off a major surprise and threw me a bridal shower! I had absolutely no idea, it was awesome! Amanda sneakily asked what my most wanted Pyrex was, and they surprise me with my most lusted after set!! I had never seen yellow Butterprint in person until I opened it up. :)

Speaking of gifts, I made everyone a half-square triangle pincushion (tutorial). It was fun to make a little something and use up some of my solid scraps!

As per my usual, I didn't do much sewing! I primarily worked on the bunting I made for our wedding. Plus a little knitting. Mostly talking!

We didn't get a big group photo this year, but I did have Michael take some photos of Amanda, Jacey and I. We haven't been in the same place since 2011, it was so nice to reunite at last! Our full group this year: Amanda, Anna, Brianne, Deedrie, Emily, Faith, Holly, Jacey, Lee and myself! Can't wait for next summer!

Thursday, November 5, 2015


Work in Progress
Happy Thursday! I realized that I haven't done a catch-up post since before the wedding, so it seemed like a good time to go ahead and do one! I'm slowly working on putting together a new quilt pattern. It's been in my head for a couple years, and I'm finally making it. This shot is from a few weeks back when I was early in the process.

Michael + Jeni
Our wedding photos came in on Monday, so I didn't want to keep you all waiting for a shot! We had a really special day and wonderful trip to Disney!

Photo by Dennis Crider for Imagen Photography.

Lined Drawstring Bag
A lined drawstring bag I stitched up! I love the main print. I used it for a quilt back and was able to use some of the leftovers for this bag!

Glamp Stitchalot Fabric Pull
Glamp Stitchalot is right around the corner! I've been working away on my sample quilt top, but remembered to take a photo of my fabric pull before starting.

Visible Mending
Did a little visible mending on a pair of jeans with a few tears. I have been waiting for the opportunity since receiving a Cannonball Collective Revival kit! It was full of inspiration and all the tools I needed to do a bit of fun mending.

Gourmet Pyrex Casserole
Bought a piece of Pyrex for the first time in a while! I finally found a Gourmet Casserole. I've had my eye out for this one for a while. The entire thing is blue delphite, and the outside design (white and gold) are painted on. Pretty cool!

Apple Pie
Baked my once a year apple pie last weekend, yum! I use this recipe for the crust and filling, but I subbed in Cortland apples.

George bunny!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Patchwork Essentials: The Extras

Quilts from the Block Party Chapter: Convergence, Getaway, and Perspective.

Happy Tuesday! I mentioned in my last post about my book, Patchwork Essentials: The Half-Square Triangle, that it was going to take a few posts to get through chatting about it. Today I want to take some time to talk about all of the "extra" goodies we've packed into the book.

As I mentioned, it was important to me that this was more than a project book. I wanted there to be added value beyond the quilts. One of the ways that we were able to include extra information was in each of the first three project chapters through a workshop. The workshops relate to the chapter theme and projects giving each chapter added punch!

A rainbow of half-square triangles, I couldn't help myself!

The first workshop is Creative Fabric Selection. I talk about selection process and you learn to analyze fabrics and build your own custom color schemes!

The math isn't scary, I promise!

The second workshop is Resizing a Quilt Pattern. Ever wanted to make a quilt pattern larger or smaller? I walk you through the math to do it.

Who doesn't love fabric and Pyrex together?

The final workshop is Scrap Quilting. I share my methods and tricks for storing and work with scraps, including using them for half-square triangles

© 2015 Lauren Hunt for Lucky Spool Media. 

Another fun extra we included in the book is a Coloring Book section in the back. There are blank diagrams for each quilt, so that you can try out your color scheme without having to cut into your fabric!

Woven, from the Relative Scale chapter. Quilted by Melissa!

With each project I've explained both my fabric/color selection as well as the quilting I chose. I am always curious about the why behind the choices, so I knew I wanted to include this information for you. This helps drive home the information found in the Color Theory chapter! I have also stitched up an alternative block/quilt top for each project, so that you can see the project in another way.

If you're looking for a signed copy of Patchwork Essentials, they're in the shop! Find them here.

Happy Quilting!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!! This year my sweet George bunny is a chocolate covered strawberry! Michael and I were brainstorming ideas that would be easy to make (I'd given up on finding something ready made), and that George wouldn't hate too much! He came up with chocolate covered strawberry after I ordered George a strawberry house/bed!

A little felt, embroidery floss and a tiny bit of stuffing went a long way!

Want to see some super cute outtakes? :)

Oh, hi!

Can I go out there?

This is my house!

Are we done yet?


Maybe I can wash this thing off!

Do I smell carrots?

Hmm, maybe I should go into my house.

I love my house.