Quilting, Sewing, & Fabrics

The Fat Quarter Pop-Up


I’m getting ready to head to Indianapolis this weekend to take Heather Jones’ Improv Half Log Cabin workshop at Crimson Tate. While visiting The Material Girls to pick up some new fabrics for the class, I spotted The Fat Quarter Pop-Up kit from The Fat Quarter Gypsy. The small pop-up bin on display on the shop and was intrigued. I bought a kit and put it together last night; I’m so glad I did. (more…)

How-To: My $5 Everyday Tote


Making a simple tote bag is one of the easiest sewing projects out there. And depending on what kind of supplies you use, it can be a cost effective way to give your accessory collection a makeover without breaking the bank. I make all kinds of totes: some with linings, some without, some for friends and even some for myself with a monthly theme.

If you’re newer to sewing and think making a tote sounds like a great project to try, it is! Purl Soho has a wonderful collection of easiest, easier and easy tutorials that will guide you through a variety of tote constructing. My everyday tote is similar to Purl Soho’s easiest tote – it’s basically one long piece of fabric folded in half. No lining, no boxed corners. Just a simple bag to carry what you need. But with my bags, I add some different finishing techniques. Where does the $5 come from? I tend to choose less expensive utility fabrics and trims for my totes. By using sale fabrics or shopping with coupons at some of the well-known craft store chains out there, my everyday tote clocks in just under $5 per bag to make. (more…)

Locker Hooking


“Locker hooking. Say what?” That was my reaction as I stood inside of Sew Memphis looking over a locker hooking kit that was for sale. The finished product looked like familiar craft projects I’d seen before, but none of my friends were proficient in locker hooking skills and I’d never seen the technique in action.

I purchased the kit at Sew Memphis and found myself ripping strips of fabric late at night at my cousin’s house just a few hours later. I tried working on the small practice rug while on vacation in Memphis, but found I needed to watch some tutorials and try again once I was back at home. (more…)

How-To: Make Vintage-Inspired Bar Towels


Years ago I used to sell appliqued towels at the Detroit Urban Craft Fair. The towels were always a hit because it was a practical gift to give to someone or to keep for yourself. While I made all the appliques, I used vintage-looking towels that were ready made by ACS Home & Work (a Michigan company) as I could never find toweling fabric that I liked to make the actual towels myself. That was then. (more…)

Modifying the Martha Stewart Bow Tie Template to Create a Custom Fit


When I first started dating my husband, I promised I would make him a bow tie for Christmas. I tried several patterns but nothing was just the right fit. Then I found Aaron Caramanis’ template and tutorial, both featured on The Martha Stewart Show, and I thought I’d hit the jackpot. I made several awful attempts at DIY bow ties and they were all a mess. I just couldn’t get the finished product the way I wanted it. So instead of a custom bow tie he received a coupon “good for a bow tie of your choosing, to be made at a later date.” That was five years ago. (more…)

Improv Quilt Design with Heather Jones


It goes without saying that the “biggest” thing I did when it comes to quilting this year was to travel to Austin and attend the 2015 QuiltCon. But in second place, and very close to first place, was my visit to Dayton, Ohio, to attend Heather Jones’ Improvisational Patchwork Workshop this past April. Her approach to quilt design, construction and piecing opened my eyes and my senses to a whole new sense of how I quilt.


Our class took place at the Front Street Studio in Dayton. The artist’s studio we were using had beautiful whitewashed floors that quickly became a great backdrop for snapping photos of the blocks we made throughout the day. Heather started out the morning with an overview of what we would be working on before diving into our first blog assignment. (more…)

Memphis’ Modern Quilt Shops

I love this scrap-busting strand of garland found at Bumbletees Sewing Studio!

I love this scrap-busting strand of garland found at Bumbletees Sewing Studio!

Earlier this month I was in Memphis celebrating my youngest nephew’s first birthday. Just with any trip to a new city and/or state, I made sure to set some time aside to explore a new-to-me quilt shop. Thanks to the great folks in the Memphis Area Modern Quilt Guild, I received some amazing recommendations for modern-minded quilt shops to check out. I’m so glad I did – they’re fantastic! (more…)