Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Half-Square Triangle Pincushion Tutorial

Happy Tuesday! I am happy to share another tutorial featuring Curiosities with you today! As you may know, I love pincushions. I also happen to love half-square triangles (HSTs). So when faced with scraps and a need for a quick and easy project, I put those two loves together and made these fun pincushions! The HSTs are small, but not so small that they’re hard to piece. Just tiny enough to be extra cute!

Curiosities Quilt Market Booth
I made two, because why not! The first uses two pink prints from the Sweet Finds colorway. The second uses two prints from the Fresh Encounters color way. I backed both pincushions with coordinating Art Gallery Elements. The small prints and small HSTs give these a sweet vintage feel. As usual, I filled my pincushions with crushed walnut shells (lizard litter). You can find it at most pet stores. This also lets them double as pattern weights, bonus!

Curiosities by Jeni Baker  
Sewing Level: Beginner

- 2 fat eighths for pincushion top (Fabric A and B)
- 6.5" scrap for pincushion backing
- Coordinating thread
- Marking pen/chalk
- Pincushion filling of choice (I use crushed walnut shells)
- Hand sewing needle

From each Fabric A:
Cut (8) 2.5" squares

From each Fabric B:
Cut (8) 2.5" squares

From Backing Fabric:
Cut (1) 6.5" square

Finished Size: 6" square

*Use a 1/4'' seam allowance unless otherwise noted*

1. Make half-square triangles: Using a marking pen, draw a diagonal line across the wrong side of all Fabric A squares. Place one square on top of a Fabric B square right sides together. Sew 1/4” on either side of the marked line. Cut square in half on the line you marked. Press seams open. Repeat with remaining squares. Trim all half-square triangles to 2” square.

2. Arrange half-square triangles in four rows of four as shown in the diagram above. Sew units together in each row. Press seams in one direction, alternating direction every other row. Sew rows together, press seams open.

3. Place pincushion top right sides together with pincushion backing. Sew around all four sides, leaving a small opening in the middle of one side.

4. Turn pincushion right sides out, pushing out the corners with a full pencil or turning tool. Fill pincushion with desired filling. Hand stitch the opening closed.

Voila! You're done!

BONUS: You can make an even tinier version (3" square finished) with just four HSTs like I did for these pincushions! You'll only need two 2.5" squares of each fabric, trim them to 2", and use a 3.5" square for the backing.  

If you make something using this pattern, I hope you'll share it in the In Color Order Flickr Group or using the #jenibaker hashtag on Instagram!

If you're a shop interested in carrying Curiosities, it can be ordered through Art Gallery Fabrics.  Find your sales rep here, call toll-free (888) 420-5399, or visit artgalleryfabrics.com.

Friday, July 24, 2015


1. Rainbow Plus Quilt- large print fabricsTheMakingsOfJoy, 2. Glowing Star Pillow, 3. Charity quilt 2, 4. Totem Quilt, 5. Molehills Complete Top, 6. T-Act II, 7. front of Carousel Too, 8. Riddle and {Whimsy} AMH Charm Along 1, 9. Tuck Everlasting bound and completed. We'll see how she goes through the wash...��

Every two weeks I go through my favorite photos on Flickr, and choose nine sewing/quilting related projects to showcase here. These photos and projects are not my own, you can find the original images and creators by clicking the coordinating links! If for any reason you do not want your project featured here, please email me and I'll remove it!

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Just Today Free Printables

Happy Wednesday! I'll try to keep things short today, but I wanted to share a printable with you! A few months ago I listened to a really interesting TEDx talk by Andie Mitchell about losing weight (video of her talk can be found at the bottom of this post). I don't remember how I came across it, but I really enjoyed it. In particular her experience trying to break old habits and make new ones. She'd find herself easily overwhelmed with the thought of having to make those changes permanent. In relation to her weight loss, imagining never being able to eat a doughnut or pizza again in order to meet her goals. This was overwhelming and in turn caused her to get off track.

I have felt this way a lot when trying to change. I have bit my cuticles since I was a kid and have been trying to break the habit for years. Same with trying to eat healthier. I do okay for a week or a few days and then I fall off the wagon and eat my emotions, or I get overwhelmed thinking about having to eat well everyday.

One of the things that Andi discusses in her talk that really made sense to me is the idea of "Just Today". It urges you to think about one day at a time. Can I eat healthy "just today"? Can I stop biting my cuticles "just today"? It's so much easier to think about doing something for one day. If you've watched the Netflix comedy The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (if you haven't, you should, it's hilarious), take things 10 seconds at a time. Can I handle this for 10 seconds? Yes, I can!

Anyways, the sentiment really stuck with me and I just think it's a nice thing to think about. Just for today, be the best you can be. Worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. To remind myself of this idea everyday, I made a pretty printable poster using the Firefly Jar prints from Curiosities. I wanted to share those with you too!

Just Today in Orange.

Just Today in Yellow.

Just Today in Blue.

Just Today in Navy.

Download all four here! Enjoy!

 Have a great day!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Emmy Grace Magic Stars Quilt

Happy Monday! I am excited to share a recent quilt finish with you all today! I started this quilt last summer, so I am glad that it’s finally done!

I have loved Aneela Hoey’s Magic Stars quilt (pattern here!) ever since she released it. When Bari J and I swapped some fabric last summer, I knew I had found the perfect match! The top stitched up so quickly, but then I let it sit for a while. I sent it along with some other tops to Melissa of Sew Shabby Quilting to be quilted in the Fall. Then it sat waiting to be bound until last month! I had shown the quilt top to my Mom last year, and she really liked it. So, I finished it up last month for her Birthday! She has a nice quilt ladder that needs filling up with pretty quilts!

I added one extra row (six extra blocks) to this quilt to make it just a tad bigger. It was fun laying out all the pieces before piecing to make sure I had a good variety in my blocks. I’m sure I spent way more time on that than was needed, haha. I tend to get a little obsessive about that part. Oh well!

I used the Autumn’s Sigh colorway from Emmy Grace plus a few additional Art Gallery Elements for this quilt. The backing and binding are both from Coquette by Art Gallery In-House. I've been saving both prints for a while! Melissa quilted it with this fun clamshell design. I think it pairs well with Bari’s style!

My Mom (and Blackie), were happy with the finished quilt! I loved stitching it up, and I know I’ll make another one at some point. This was a great just-for-fun project. I need to start another quilt just because!

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Abundance Free Quilt Pattern

Today I'm happy to share the free quilt pattern I designed for Curiosities, Abundance! The AGF team stitched it up in the Sweet Finds colorway! It uses just ten fat quarters and a little over two yards of solid fabric. I paired Curiosities with Pure Element White Linen for this quilt along with Nocturnal for the binding!

The blocks go together with a bit of strip piecing fun! I love making these kinds of blocks, I hope you enjoy it too!

Quilt photos by Art Gallery Fabrics.

You can find the instructions to make this quilt below, or if you'd rather you can find it as a PDF here. For all the Art Gallery Fabrics free quilt patterns, check this page.

Sewing Level: Intermediate

- 10 fat quarters of print fabrics*
- 2 1/4 yards solid fabric
- 68"x83" piece of batting
- 4 yards of backing fabric
- 1/2 yard of binding fabric
- Coordinating thread

*Minimum amount needed. Feel free to use additional fabrics for more variety. Piece totals are included below for cutting from scraps. Be sure to use pairs of strips to achieve block design.

Finished size: 60"x75"
Finished block size: 7.5"
Width of Fabric (WOF) = 42" assumed
Fat Quarter =  18"x21"

From each print fat quarter*:
- Cut (12) 3"x6" strips
- Cut (4) 3"x8" strips

*Refer to above diagram for cutting layout.

From background fabric:
 - Cut (26) 3"xWOF strips
- Subcut (18) strips into a total of (120) 3"x6" strips
- Subcut (8) strips into a total of (40) 3"x8" strips

Total print 3"x6" strips: 120
Total print 3"x8" strips: 40
Total solid 3"x6" strips: 120
Total solid 3"x8" strips: 40

Block A Construction:

*Use a 1/4" seam allowance throughout.*

1. Layout two print 3"x6" strips and one background 3"x6" strip as shown in the diagram, with the background strip in the middle.

2. Sew together along the long edges to form a single strip set. Press seams open.

3. Cut strip set in half into two 3"x8" pieces.

4. Arrange pieces with a 3"x8" background strip in the middle.

5. Sew together along the long edges to complete block. Press seams open.

Repeat steps 1-5 to create a total of 40 blocks, four from each print.

Block B Construction:

*Use a 1/4" seam allowance throughout.*

1. Layout two background 3"x6" strips and one print 3"x6" strip as shown in the diagram, with the print strip in the middle.

2. Sew together along the long edges to form a single strip set. Press seams open.

3. Cut strip set in half into two 3"x8" pieces.

4. Arrange pieces with a 3"x8" print strip in the middle.

5. Sew together along the long edges to complete block. Press seams open.

Repeat steps 1-5 to create a total of 40 blocks, four from each print.

Quilt Top Construction:

*Use a 1/4" seam allowance throughout.*

1. Arrange blocks in ten rows of eight blocks each. Alternate A and B blocks in each row (refer to the quilt diagram if necessary).

2. Sew blocks in each row together, press seams to one side, alternating direction every other row.

3. Sew rows together to complete quilt top, press seams open.

*Use a 1/4" seam allowance throughout.*

1. Prepare Backing: It’s good practice to cut your backing and batting at least 4” larger than your top on all four sides. I’ve included this overage in the backing yardage requirements. Cut your backing yardage in half. Press. Trim off the selvedges and sew your pieces together lengthwise. Press seam open.

2. Basting: Using masking or painter’s tape, tape the backing to a clean, hard surface, right side down. Spread out your batting on top of the backing. Smooth out any wrinkles. Carefully spread out your quilt top on top of the batting, right side up. Pin your top, I like to use curved safety pins, spacing the pins a few inches apart. Make sure that your pins are going through all three layers.

3. Quilting: Quilt as desired, by machine or by hand. Trim away excess batting and backing fabric.

4. Binding: Cut yardage listed for binding into 2.5” strips. Trim off selvedges and sew your strips together to form one long strip, press seams open. Fold in half lengthwise, pressing with your iron as you fold. Attach binding using your preferred method. For a detailed tutorial on attaching your binding to both sides by machine, see here.

Abundance looks pretty in the Fresh Encounters colorway too!

If you make a quilt using this pattern, I hope you'll share it in the In Color Order Flickr Group or using the #jenibaker hashtag on Instagram!

If you're a shop interested in carrying Curiosities, it can be ordered through Art Gallery Fabrics.  Find your sales rep here, call toll-free (888) 420-5399, or visit artgalleryfabrics.com.

Monday, July 13, 2015


Sweet Finds colorway of Curiosities.

I can't believe Summer is already almost halfway over. Thankfully it hasn't been too miserably hot or humid for long this year. We seem to get a couple days of it and then get a little break. It's been especially pleasant at night, which is a good change from the last few years. I'm glad that we really haven't had to run our A/C too much, and I've actually been able to sew some in the back this year. I haven't been getting to a ton of sewing. I thought I was planning my summer out to include quite a bit of free time, but alas, not so much. It has been a bit more easy going, but not quite as relaxing as I was trying for. I'm hoping to tackle some more personal projects in the second half.

Tiny Wide Open Pouch
Micro open-wide pouch, made with a 3" zipper and sized down proportionately.

My patterns were picked up by another wholesale distributor last month (Checker), so that's been keeping me busy. Restocking my inventory, lots of folding stuffing and plastic bag closing. I can only store so much here in our little apartment, so it's a constant shuffle and reorder process over here. I ended up sacrificing about 1/3 of my clothes closet to make room for my Curiosities rolls! I need to take a big pile of things to donate pretty soon. I'm still mulling over having a sample sale, we'll see if I actually do it! I may revive my Etsy shop for it.

Stitch Block Cowl Progress
Making steady progress on my Stitch Block Cowl.

I'm looking forward to a sewing weekend with friends at the end of the month, it will be really nice to get away for a couple days! We've got lots of dyeing, sewing, and eating planned, so it should be fun! I haven't thought too much yet about what I want to work on. I have the hardest time deciding. I'm much more likely to just sit and talk rather than work. I never seem to get much done at retreats! That's okay though, I don't mind.

Olive Cathrineholm Platter
Added a second Cathrineholm platter to my collection!

Michael and I went on an antiquing adventure the other day, it was really fun. We picked up an old TLR camera that didn't work (which we didn't realize at the time, whoops.). We ended up taking the entire thing apart to try to figure out the issue. Turns out it wasn't working because of wear, not any particular thing out of place. It was cool figuring out how exactly it worked and tinkering around with the settings. We're hoping to pick up a working or perhaps more easily fixable one soon!

Black Raspberries
Wild black raspberries. One of my absolute favorite foods.

I love all the fruits we can get this time of year. We just got a Sur La Table here in Madison, and we didn't hesitate to sign up for a class. I had taken classes at one in Ohio when I was a kid and knew they had some cool offerings. We took a Spectacular Summer Pies class on the 4th of July, which was great! We made all butter crust for hand pies, a crostata, and a custard pie. They were delicious and it was fun to make a mess in someone elses' kitchen. I also tried baking angel food cake for the first time, and it was a grand success! I used my friend Deedrie's recipe and tips.

Milkweed, good for Monarchs!

We've been trying to get outside more and go on walks. It's been fun exploring the neighbor hood and enjoying the nature preserve here. Michael has started been getting back into film photography, so we've been going out taking pictures too. All thanks to the bursts of mild weather.

Isn't he just the cutest?

George bunny is finally done with his big shedding, now he is extra super soft. He has been getting to run around a lot. We got a new rug in the kitchen that covers more of the floor, so now he can easily get over to it without touching the linoleum. He bolts over to the kitchen when we go there, always thinking he needs a treat. He usually gets something because we can't resist him.

Have a great week!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Lined Drawstring Bag Swap

Happy Thursday! Every time I see a new swap pop up on Instagram (which is quite often these days!), I think how fun it would be to have a Lined Drawstring Bag Swap! So, the time is here!

UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who signed up for the swap! We are now full! If you didn’t make it in this time around, my apologies. Since I’ve never run a swap before I wanted to keep it small so that I can get my feet wet, and host an enjoyable swap. If there is interest for another round when this one wraps up, we’ll chat round 2. Thanks for understanding! Happy Making!

If you'd like to be notified about sign-ups for a possible round 2, please fill out this form. Thanks!

Geometric Bliss Lined Drawstring Bags  
The Details:
- This is an Instagram swap, so you need an Instagram account to participate.

- Due date to send your package by is August 15th. Please evaluate whether or not you have enough time to complete your bag before signing up.

- This is a secret swap! Partners will be assigned randomly. Feel free to share peeks and even a full shot of your bag, but don't reveal your partner!

- Let's have fun! Please give your partner plenty of information about what you like, but be open to receiving something that you may not make for yourself!

- The swap will be limited to 100 participants to keep the administrative side manageable. (Thanks for understanding!)

- Use the hashtag #drawstringbagswap to share your progress and see what others are making. Don't forget to post a photo of your bag when you receive it, and thank your partner.

- If for any reason throughout the swap you realize you will be unable to finish the swap or meet the deadline, please email me (Jeni, jenib320@gmail.com) as soon as you can. Things happen, just let me know your plans.

Diagonal Stripes Drawstring Bag
What to include in your package:
- A Lined Drawstring Bag, made using the tutorial or pattern. Everything size or larger!

- Goodies to stick inside. A few ideas: fat quarters, notions, matching pincushion or pouch, candy, etc. Let's keep the goodies to under $15.

- A note with your name and Instagram username!

Ready to swap? Sign up using this google form!

Patchwork Drawstring Bag How To
Below you'll find lots of ideas and tutorials to make a unique bag for your partner!

- Lined Drawstring Bag Tutorial (Everything size)
- Lined Drawstring Bag Pattern (8 sizes + custom sizing option)
- Add-on Exterior Pocket Tutorial
- Add-on Interior Zipper Pocket Tutorial
- Patchwork Drawstring Bag Tutorial
- Striped Drawstring Bag Tutorial (three ways!)
- Knit Drawstring Bag Tutorial
- How to Put a Gusset in a Bag Video