Thursday, June 22, 2017

Row by Row Experience Begins

The fun began yesterday and goes through September 5th. I got the pattern for this little lady last year but just got around to making her.

This is Bobbin the Robin and she is the official mascot of Row by Row. Isn't she adorable?!

The pattern is easy. I'm not sure why I put off making her.

The shoes are 18" doll shoes (think American Girl Doll). Her legs are BBQ skewers painted white and then I used a Sharpie marker to make the black stripes. There is air-dry clay inside the shoes so she can stand up.

The theme for this year is "On the Go" and this is the row for my shop.

Our row celebrates Alamosa as a town "on the go!" Alamosa was founded as a railroad town. The whole town was transported on flatbed railroad cars from just east of Ft. Garland in the summer of 1878 and set up in just a few days. There is a famous story that the owner of the hotel served his guests breakfast in Ft. Garland and dinner in Alamosa that same day in the same building! Just like last year, our row was designed by Janet Davis exclusively for Alamosa Quilt Company.

If you want a kit you can come in to the shop or call to order one, (719) 937-2555, or email me or leave a comment so I can email you. Please do not send credit card information in an email or comment though! I'll call you for that.

Row by Row rules do not permit shops to mail out any patterns or kits until November 1st. This is so that only folks who actually go into shops are eligible to win the associated quilt contest, which ends October 31st. So if you do call to order a kit, just be aware that we are not allowed to ship it to you until November 1st. Last year we took orders, processed the sales and packaged everything to be ready to ship on November 1st. That way everyone who called was assured to get a kit, since we set one aside specifically for them at the time of purchase. For more information, go to the shop Row by Row page by clicking here.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Just Because

I've had the materials for this bag sitting next to my sewing machine for several weeks. Last weekend I decided to set aside the shop sewing I needed to do and make something for myself. This was handy and quick.

This Moda Man comic print canvas is too funny! It was one of those things that when I saw it I knew I had to have some for my shop. For the lining I used the light blue polka dot print that is also on the straps. 

It's just a simple tote bag. No pockets, zippers, magnetic snaps or anything fancy. I used the same method that I show in my trick or treat bag tutorial. For this one I started with 18" squares and cut a 4" corner out to box the bottom. For the handles I used cotton webbing (two pieces that are 24" long) but I also cut a strip of the lining fabric to dress them up. I stitched the fabric strips to the cotton webbing leaving about an 1/8" of the cotton webbing showing on either side of the fabric strip.

It holds a lot of stuff and has become my main bag for hauling stuff between home and the shop each day.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Funny Farm Quilt Top

I'm in design mode - designing some panel quilts. This is the first one. The fabric line is Funny Farm.

This is a panel we've had in the shop for a few months, but I'm just now getting around to designing a project for it. The quilt will finish at about 40" by 52".

I got a couple of Christmas panels to work on next. I have one of the quilts designed but haven't had a chance to make it. That is high on the list for this week. The other one is still in the planning stage.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Hand Embroidery

I received a fabric in my shop recently that is printed with the Colorado State bird and flower.

I thought these would be perfect souvenirs for tourists traveling through who stop at my shop, especially since they only cost $1.00 each! A local customer purchased one and embroidered it then turned it into a pillow sleeve. It is adorable! So I decided to embroider one.

I'm not sure what I will do with mine, but it sure was fun to do and didn't take very long. I used size 8 Eleganza pearl cotton embroidery thread for my version and it measures about 10" by 10" at the moment.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Allium Spool Sac :: A Finish

I'm so excited to be able to use this bag!

It was easy to finish once I had all the supplies. I ended up having a little bit of cork fabric left over and used it for the bottom. I hope it will be more durable than the wool the pattern called for.

Here is what it looks like opened.

It holds three of the zipper pouches, which each hold 72 spools of thread. As you can see, I have room to grow my thread collection. ;)

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Bugsy Backpack

Another new bag pattern I've tried out.

This one is fabulous! They also sell a hardware kit so you can get all of the rings, clips and slides that coordinate and are designed to be used with the pattern. I will be carrying both the pattern and the hardware kits in my shop soon.

The bag is a great size, not too complicated to make but probably not a beginner bag project. I used another one of the metal "handmade" labels on this one.

There is a key clip on the inside.

The bag is fully lined too. There are no inside pockets but you could add some if you wanted.

I can see myself making this one again! This bag is a shop sample, but I may need to make one for personal use.


The pattern is Bugsy Backpack by Sassafras Lane Designs. The fabrics I used are a Flower Shop Canvas print by Cotton + Steel for the outside, a black batik for the outer pockets and a cream Pixie Dot by Ink & Arrow for the lining.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Show & Tell Bag

I've been testing bag patterns recently. This one is called the Show & Tell bag.

It's a huge bag with an outer pocket on each side. The pattern calls for using leather on the bottom but I used some of the new cork fabric I recently received in my shop. It worked great for this project!

I actually made this bag a few weeks ago and have been using it to haul of my Sue Spargo BOM stuff around until I can get my Allium bag finished.

While I really like the finished bag, I'm not as thrilled with the pattern. The bag is fairly simple and straight forward to make, but the pattern leaves out quite a few things. For example, at one point the pattern tells you to put two pieces right sides together then goes on to the next step without telling you to sew the seam. I caught this right away and sewed the seam before proceeding, but I think a beginner would get confused and possibly discouraged. 

So I don't know if I will order this pattern to sell in my shop or not. If I do, I'll need to make sure all of my staff are aware of the shortcomings of this pattern so we can warn folks before they buy it.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Allium Bag :: Progress

Well that didn't take very long! I have finished the embroidery on the front of my Allium bag and now I'm ready to put it together.

I love the before and after embroidery on these projects!

There is some velcro that goes inside this bag at the bottom to hold the zipper pouches in place. I've ordered it but at the time of writing this it isn't here. I haven't read through the assembly instructions yet so I don't know how far I can get with the bag assembly before I need to add the velcro. I'm anxious to get it finished so I can start using it!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Allium Bag :: A Start

I'm starting a new project. I'm making an Allium bag for all of my Sue Spargo threads. Well ... as much of my Sue Spargo thread as I can fit in the bag.

So far I have the front of the bag pieced and the appliques sewn down. I need to add the embroidery stitches before I can complete the bag.

The bag holds three specially designed thread pouches. I have the pouches but didn't get a photo of them yet.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mother's Day Sewing

I made myself a new purse over the weekend.

This is my Nancy Tote pattern with a few adjustments. The bottom is cork! It's a new product which I ordered months ago but just recently arrived at the shop. I've been anxious to try it out. It is very easy to use! I tested it with the iron. You can iron it but it doesn't seem to do much. I had best success with firmly finger pressing and then stitching the seam allowance down with topstitching. 

I also tried out another new product.

I found these metal "handmade" labels to order for the shop and couldn't resist purchasing a few for myself to use. I think it adds a nice professional touch.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Merrily Gift Bag

Recently I shared with you the Merrily fabric line along with a few small quilts I've made using it. The link will take you to that post. 

In that post I said I was working on some projects that would use the smallest animal prints. I finished the first one, this adorable gift bag.

Next on my list is to get the kit quilt made. You can see the kits along the right hand side in the photo above.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Another Puzzle Quilt

In the process of demoing the quilt at my shop over the weekend, I made up another Puzzle Quilt. The link will take you to the free tutorial.

The gray bias strip print along the right hand side is the binding fabric I have chosen.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

1st Saturday Demo :: Puzzle Quilt

The demo for today in my shop is for this quilt. It finishes at approximately 40" by 50".

Here is what you'll need to make one:

One Frivols Tin of (42) 7" squares or (42) 7" squares of scraps;
1/2 yard of an accent fabric for a few blocks and the inner border;
2/3 yard of outer border fabric.

Cutting: From the accent fabric, cut (1) 3.5" by WOF (Width Of Fabric) strip; subcut this into (6) 3.5" by 5" rectangles. Cut (5) 2" by WOF strips; subcut one of the strips into (18) 2" squares.

From the Frivols squares (7" squares) cut (1) 3.5" by 7" rectangle; subctu into (1) 3.5" by 5" rectangle. Cut (1) 2" by 7" strip; subcut into (3) 2" squares.

From the border fabric, cut (4) 5" by WOF strips.

Sewing: Stack your fabric for the blocks into 48 piles. Each pile should contain (1) 3.5" by 5" rectangle and (3) 2" squares of the same fabric. Note that you will have (6) piles of pieces cut from your accent fabric; the other (42) piles of pieces are cut from the squares.

Pick four piles that look good together. If you are using Frivols this is easy because the fabrics all look good together! Layout your pieces as in the photo below:

Look at the lower right section in the photo above, the large white rectangle with the two small white squares and one blue square above the large white rectangle. Sew the two white squares to either side of the blue square. Press your seams away from the center blue square. Repeat this for the other groups of three small squares.

The photo below shows how the seams need to be pressed.

Sew the three square units to the long side of the appropriate 3.5" by 5" rectangles. 

Press seams toward the 3.5" by 5" rectangle.

Sew these units together in pairs.

Press toward the side with fewer seams. In photo above, the top row seam is pressed toward the left and the bottom row seam is pressed toward the right. Photo below shows the pressing for the bottom row.

Sew these units together to completed the block.

Spinning your center seam will allow for all of the blocks to nest nicely together when assembling to center. See photo below.

The blocks should measure 9.5" by 9.5" at this point and will be 9" by 9" in the finished quilt.

Sew the blocks together in a 3 block by 4 block layout. Sew (2) of the 2" by WOF inner border strips to the sides of the center. Sew the remaining (2) 2" by WOF inner border strips to the top and bottom of the center. Repeat these steps with the outer border strips. Quilt as desired and bind.

Here is a photo of the completed top again.

You could easily resize this block. To have a 12" by 12" finished block you need to cut your squares (3 of them per fabric) at 2.5" and your rectangle needs to be 4.5" by 6.5".

Friday, May 5, 2017


I'm good at starting things! Not always so good at finishing, but ...

The first start is this pattern that I recently got in at the shop.

Here are the two blocks I've made thus far.

I'm having a grand time sorting through my stash of 5" squares for this one. One of the scrap groups at my shop will be starting on this quilt soon as their project.

The second start is this block.

The above block finishes at 12" square and is made from my scrap bin. I've been looking for a pattern to use up my 7" Frivols squares and this one is it! I resized the block so that it will finish at 9" square so that I can cut all the pieces from my 7" squares from my Frivols tins. I don't have a picture of these yet but I will be sharing it with you soon along with the measurements so you can make one too if you want.