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Testing Patterns

When someone creates a new pattern they like to have people test that pattern before it goes public. The testers look for not only errors in the pattern itself but things like grammar errors, measurement errors and everything else that could trip someone up making the pattern. 

I was simply elated to be chosen to test out a pattern for the Tiny Zippy Box by Michael Ann. This isn't her first pattern and she has some really cute baby stuff on her website too MichaelAnnMade

I was sent the pattern and was given a week to complete the Tiny Zippy Box and then send in my results as well as any recommendations.

I chose to use a line of fabric by Art Gallery called Maker. Since this is a little box that would be great for toting around your hand sewing items, I felt that this fabric choice was perfect for this project. 

I have to say the project was an overall success. I had a few issues here and there, but most of that is because I'm a beginner sewer and I'm still learning how to read patterns and learn the lingo. 

While my first run is by no means perfect, it photographs really well- which is what is important :). I learned a few new tricks for sewing around corners and using various types of interfacing. I put in the binding by hand which I think saved me a lot of grief trying to get the bulk to go through my sewing machine. I was quite happy with the way the fussy cutting turned out. It was really my first time trying to line up fabric and make it directional and intentionally placed. 
Michael Ann is planning to release the pattern for sale later this week. So check her website to purchase. If you're an instagrammer check out #tinyzippybox to see how the other test pattern people completed theirs. 

Sewing Level: Intermediate
Cost: $12
Time: 6 hours


One Hour Baskets

 One Hour?! Great!! I could make like three of these while my 2 year old naps. Well, truth be told, the first one took me about 2 hours. Someone told me it's kind of like those 30-minute recipes you make for dinner that take 2 hours....

But since then I've made 3 more baskets and the last one took about 45 minutes.

Here's the front and back of the baskets. They are pretty sturdy! The finished basket is 10" L x 6"W x 7" H

It's a great project to use up your scraps because it lends itself to being constructed in so many ways. You can quilt it, scrap it, and even embroider it. 

They are great for sitting on my selves to collect my salvage pieces, scraps and other catch all items.

I think I need to commit to a fabric and make three matching or at least coordinating baskets though! I might have to de-stash these...

I used the same pattern and added ears for a cute little bunny basket for Moses for Easter. Let's just say a 2 year old boy does not appreciate the cuteness factor of the basket- but it does hold up well as it get thrown under the couch, down the stairs and dragged under his radio flyer! 

A few others I've made....

And one my friend made while she and I spent a morning sewing together! 

The pattern is free so head over to Crafty website and download it today. It'll only take you an hour to make ;) 

If you Instagram, you can make yours and hashtag #hourbasket or check it out for style inspiration!

Sewing Level: Beginner
Cost: $10
Time: 1 hour


My First Quilt

It's definitely going to be a WORK IN PROGRESS! I thought I'd start blogging about the process and just update as I get more done :)

Here's my inspiration: 

My goal is for it to be throw size for our living room. I've calculated I'll need about 72 blocks... so far I've completed 20 and then ran out of fabric. 

Step 1: The fabric pull

I choose Cotton and Steel's August Line by Sarah Watts

The dark blue fabric in the middle is from the same line but I'm going to use it consistently throughout my quilt. It will be the green from my inspiration quilt above. 

Here's a few tutorials I'm using: 

Both offer just about the same methods but include different photos.

Step Two: Size of Blocks

To make this quilt you will need some form of paper backing. I've chosen to use notebook paper and recycled computer paper. It really doesn't matter what you use, just don't use anything think like card stock. Trim your paper to the size block you want to make. My block was determined by my fabric. I am using a 10" charm pack and when I cut my fabric into strips the largest block I could use and still get the fabric to cover was a 6 1/2" block. Trim your paper to determined square size. I will need 72 blocks for my throw size quilt 54"x 72" or there about.

Step 3: Cutting your fabric

For my main piece I decided to make strips 1" wide. All of the other fabrics I've made in 1.5" and 2"  and 2.5". 

Step 4: Glue... yes glue. 

You'll need a basic glue stick or two. If you want to copy my quilt and have a consistent color running though your quilt (mine's blue) then you will want to glue all of the same color and size fabric at this point. If you want the quilt to be more random then just glue any piece and any size.  

Glue your pieces of fabric directly to the middle of the paper on the diagonal. 

Step 5: Sew

This is where you'll need to refer to one of those tutorials I mentioned above. I didn't take any photos of this part. But basically you will alternate sewing right sides together, press, repeat, until your paper is covered. There isn't really a wrong way to do this. 
You'll end up with something like this: 

Step 6: Trim
Using your rotary cutter flip you fabric over so you can see the paper. Trim off the excess... you can save these scraps to use on your next piece- especially as you get to the corners and you only need a little piece. 

There will be more steps on assembling the quilt. Like I said I'm still making my blocks, and I hope you will join me too! 
Here's my WIP (Work in Progress) laid out. 

I also joined a quilt block swap and used the same style to make this 12" quilt block. It's all sewn together. 

I finished the quilt top in December 2015. I hemmed and hawed about the lay out for quite a while. In the end I went with the one Marvin liked best as it will likely be a quilt that staying in our living room. 

I went with layout #4. It is all sew together now and I'm going to try spray basting it. The spray baste I got was from JoAnn Fabric. 

The backing fabric is a double gauze from Cotton & Steel. It is mustard color. Gauze is a sheer light wait fabric but when it's double (hence double gauze) it is not transparent and is incredibly soft. I'm hoping it will give my quilt a cuddly feel. Here is what one blogger says about Double Gauze

My binding will be the same blue speckle that is creating the diamond style in the quilt. 

Sewing Level: Beginner
Cost to make: WIP... so far about $60
Time: 6 hours