Friday, August 26, 2016

Heading for the farmer's market!

There's not much better than a farmer's market in the summer. Fresh fruits, fresh veggies...delicious! Our new Fresh Harvest collection keeps that fresh feeling all year long. 

The collection also includes a panel of fresh fruits--perfect for fussy cutting! 

Pine Tree Country Quilts designed a free quilt pattern featuring Fresh Harvest. It's cool, refreshing, and showcases the panel blocks beautifully! 
Find the free quilt pattern here.

See the entire Fresh Harvest collection here and ask for it at your local quilt shop.
Find the free quilt pattern here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Summer of Sewing: Pillowcases!

Welcome back to our Summer of Sewing tutorials here at Inspired by Fabric! 

We've been featuring regular tutorials as part of our Summer of Sewing series, all using our newest fabric lines that you can find at your local quilt shop! Our tutorials include a chance to win a bundle of the fabric line being used, so make sure to enter each time! 
(p.s. Next week will be our last Summer of Sewing tutorial for 2016!)


For our second-last Summer of Sewing tutorial, we've joined the American Patchwork & Quilting 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge Blog Hop! 


The Pillowcase Challenge is gearing up for their annual 24-Hour Sew-a-Thon (see more details below the tutorial) and we're excited to help spread the word! We've used prints from our Sports collection to make four pillowcases which we'll be donating to a local charity, helping to push the current count (689,000+) closer to 1,000,000. 



We love to make pillowcases using the burrito (or Roll-It-Up) method--it's quick, easy, and fun! We've demonstrated how to do it below.

The prints we chose from our Sports collection:


Let's get started!

You'll Need:
7/8 yard main fabric
1/3 yard cuff fabric
1/8 yard accent fabric

Cutting:
From the main fabric: 
(1) 27" x 41" piece

From the cuff fabric:
(1) 11" x 41" piece

From the accent fabric:
(1) 2-1/2" x 41" strip

Make the Pillowcase 
1. Press the 2-1/2" x 41" accent strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. 
2. Lay out the cuff fabric lengthwise in front of you, right side facing up. Pin the folded strip to the top edge, raw edges matching. 



3. Lay the main fabric piece on top, right side down, aligning the raw edges along the top edge. Pin in place. Fold or roll the main fabric piece up so it is all contained inside the cuff strip as shown. 

4. Fold the bottom long edge of the cuff strip up over the main fabric and pin in place. You'll be creating a tube with all of the fabric tucked within the cuff strip. 

5. Stitch along the long pinned edge, catching both cuff edges, the folded accent strip, and the main fabric edge. Be careful that the rest of the folded over main fabric strip doesn't get caught in your stitching. 
6. Pull the fabric inside the tube out, as shown in progress below.

7. Your pillowcase in progress will look like this now, with all seams encased inside the fabric cuff. 

8. Fold the pillowcase in half, matching raw edges of the cuff and accent strip. Square up the two raw edges (top and right in photo below). Pin raw edges and stitch, backstitching at both ends. 

9. Turn the pillowcase right side out, stuff with a pillow, and enjoy!




Want to learn more about the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge? Check out the details here.

Find more pillowcase patterns (AllPeopleQuilt has 59 different designs, including many pieced cuff variations to add something special!) on their website here.

Want to be part of the 24-Hour Pillowcase Sew-a-Thon? Find details here
Last year participants in Des Moines made 1,480 pillowcases! 

Visit the other participants of today's hop:


See our entire Sports collection here.

For a chance to win All Sports fabric to make two pillowcases, make sure you follow our blog! Leave a comment below letting us know that you do, as well as telling us if you've ever made a pillowcase. The giveaway is open through Sunday, August 28th at 11:59 pm EST. We'll draw a winner and share it next week. 

Congratulations to the winner from last week's Vintage 30s Ruby's Treasures bundle and thread box: Greebly Greebly



Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Summer of Sewing: Embroidered Drawstring Bag

Welcome back to our Summer of Sewing tutorials here at Inspired by Fabric! 

We'll be featuring regular tutorials as part of our Summer of Sewing series, all using our newest fabric lines that you can find at your local quilt shop! Our tutorials will include a chance to win a bundle of the fabric line being used, so make sure to enter each time!


Today's tutorial once again uses Barbara J. Eikmeier's Vintage 30's Ruby's Treasures collection and is once again a drawstring bag (see our previous patchwork drawstring bag tutorial here). But...it's totally different! We've embroidered a flower block from the collection's Flower Garden panel and used it as the centerpiece for a sweet (and slightly smaller) drawstring bag. We've also shared a different casing technique for creating the bag closure itself. And, if as you read this, you're thinking that hand embroidery is not for you, we urge you to give it a try! Much like hand stitching a binding to a quilt, it's a relaxing and satisfying activity, and the results are gorgeous! 

By the way, did you know that Barb has a collection of Aurifloss (that would be embroidery floss from Aurifil!) that coordinates with the Vintage 30's Ruby's Treasures fabric line? Find it here!

Let's get started!

You'll Need:
1 Flower Garden panel
5 Vintage 30's fat quarters (one for the backing; from the remainder you'll just need a strip each--we used two blue print and three pink print)
1/2 yard solid white for lining
1/4 yard solid blue for drawstrings
12" square of muslin
Coordinating embroidery floss and needle
Embroidery hoop

Cutting:
From each of two blue print fat quarters:
(1) 2-1/2" x 8" strip

From one pink print fat quarter:
(1) 2-1/2" x 12" strip

From a second pink print fat quarter:
(1) 5" x 12" strip

From the last pink print fat quarter:
(1) 12" x 14-1/2" piece (for backing)

From the solid white: 
(2) 12" x 14-1/2" pieces

From the solid blue: 
(2) 2" x 42" strips

From the panel:
Choose one embroidery design and cut out a 12" square (this leaves room for the hoop)

Make the Bag:
1. Layer the embroidery square with the muslin square and secure in your hoop, centering the design. 

2. Using coordinating embroidery floss and your stitches of choice, embroider the flower design. 

3. Remove the embroidery from the hoop and trim to measure 8" square, centering the design. 

 4. Sew the (2) 2-1/2" x 8" blue print strips to the sides of the embroidery square. Sew the 2-1/2" x 12" pink print strip to the bottom edge and the 5" x 12" pink print strip to the top edge.

5. Sew the bag front to the 12" x 14-1/2" pink print bag back along the bottom short edge. Sew (1) 12" x 14-1/2" solid white piece to the opposite short edge of both the bag front and back as shown. 

6. Fold the pieced strip in half right sides together along the seam between the bag back and front, aligning the edges. The raw edges of the two lining pieces should match up as well. Pin edges to secure. Using a fabric marking pen, measure 2" from the top edge of the embroidered square and mark a line as shown. Measure and mark a second line 1" from the first line.

7. Stitch around the three open sides, leaving a 4" opening for turning on the short edge of the lining pieces. DO NOT stitch between the marked lines on either side of the bag front. Backstitch as you approach the line to secure, skip over that 1", and then backstitch as you start again. 

8. Turn the bag right side out through the lining opening. Stitch the lining opening shut. Tuck the lining into the bag and press the top seam. Poke bottom corners out as needed. 

9. Using the existing marked lines on the bag front (re-measure and redraw if you can't see them--ours bled through the fabric enough that we could see them), continue the lines onto the back side of the bag as well. Stitch on each of these marked lines, being careful to only stitch through one side of the bag at a time. (It will be as if you are stitching a tube--you'll be stitching through the bag front and lining sandwiched together, and rotating as you sew, until you're stitching through the bag back and second lining piece.) This creates the casing for the drawstrings. If you stitch through all layers at once, your bag won't open!

10. Press each 2" x 42" strip in half lengthwise. Open and press both long edges in to the center fold.

11. Refold on the center fold line and topstitch along the entire strip to create the drawstring. Make two.

12. Using a safety pin, feed one drawstring into the casing from the left side. Feed through the bag front and bag back, exiting on the left side. Tie the ends together in a knot. Feed the second strip into the casing from the right side. Feed through the bag front and back, exiting on the right side. Tie the ends together in a knot. 


The finished bag!

For a chance to win a FQ bundle of Vintage 30's Ruby's Treasures AND a box of the coordinating Aurifloss, make sure you follow our blog! Leave a comment below letting us know that you do, as well as telling us if you've ever done any hand embroidery. The giveaway is open through Sunday, August 21st at 11:59 pm EST. We'll draw a winner and share it next week. 

Congratulations to the winner from last week's Sophisticates bundle: Kira

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Loving the Red, White and Blue: Valor

Patriotism isn't just for holidays--red, white and blue color combination works year-round, creating classic American-themed quilts. Ro Gregg took a patriotic turn with her latest collection, Valor, which is richly colored and full of so much variety! From Marblehead-style basics to echoing stars, wavy stripes, traditional stars, and a sketched-style star, if you can dream it in red, white and blue, you can find it here! 

We asked Ro to talk to us about her new Valor fabrics:

Q. What inspired you to create a patriotic themed line?
Ro: The word "valor" has a Latin root that means to be strong. This collection is dedicated to the men and women that serve this country and their gallant bravery.

Q. Can you talk about a couple favorite prints in the line?
Ro: The large sketched outline star is my favorite...sort of a modern version of the star of honor.  The multi red, white and blue gemstone is very festive and reminds me of confetti.



Q. It’s so fun to see the Marblehead prints resurface here! Can you tell us about that?
Ro: I love it too! The prints are so universal and look great in the multicolor red, white and blue as well as the patriotic multi-tones of reds and blues. The Marblehead designs work in all quilts as a staple.
   
Q. Can you tell us about how the varying backgrounds—both white and cream-- change the look of the fabrics?
Ro: I used both the pure white and also a cream for a vintage look if quilters are making antique-looking quilts.

Q. Why did you decide to do three different styles of stars?
Ro: I used three different types of stars and sizes to create diversity for quilt makers. The stars work together or can stand alone, providing plenty of options.

Q. What do you envision these fabrics being used for?
Ro: So many things! Quilts of Valor, quilts for service people, school banners. Of course it’s a perfect collection for a presidential election year as well.

Find the entire Valor collection here and ask for it at your local quilt shop. 


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Summer of Sewing: Quilt-As-You-Go Tote

Welcome back to our Summer of Sewing tutorials here at Inspired by Fabric! 

We'll be featuring regular tutorials as part of our Summer of Sewing series, all using our newest fabric lines that you can find at your local quilt shop! Our tutorials will include a chance to win a bundle of the fabric line being used, so make sure to enter each time!

This week's tutorial features Ro Gregg's new Sophisticates line and we couldn't wait to turn it into a project! Black, white and red prints make a stunning log cabin design in this quilt-as-you-go tote bag. 

A wreath of black, white and red prints

Let's get started!

You'll Need:
12 fat quarters or 1/4 yard cuts of black, white and red prints
1/2 yard white print for lining
1/4 yard each of a black print and white/black stripe for handles
Fat quarter large black floral for tote back
25" x 40" piece of batting

Cutting:
From the fat quarters:
A variety of 2-1/2"-wide strips

From the white print:
(2) 14-1/2" x 17-1/2" pieces

From the black print:
(1) 3" x 42" strip
(1) 3-3/4" x 14-1/2" strip

From the white/black stripe:
(1) 1-3/4" x 42" strip

From the large black floral:
(1) 16" x 19" piece

From the batting:
(1) 20" square
(1) 16" x 19" piece
(1) 1-3/4" x 40" strip


Notes about Quilt-As-You-Go: 
  • Finger press each added piece open before stitching on it.
  • Quilt each piece by stitching several lines parallel to the seam line. Our lines are approximately 1/2" apart.
  • Use a longer stitch length for the quilting.
  • If an added piece is slightly longer than the patchwork already there, no problem! It will be covered by a later piece.
  • When using 2-1/2" wide strips, simply add 2" to the length of every other strip. No other math needed!

Make the Bag:
1. From each of (2) 2-1/2" strips, cut (1) 2-1/2" square. Find the center of the 20" batting square. Lay the squares right sides together in the center and stitch down one side. 

2. Fold open, finger press, and then stitch 3-4 vertical lines down the squares. 


3. Cut a 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" strip, pin to the top edge of the two squares, and stitch with a 1/4" seam allowance. 

4. Press open and quilt lines to secure. 

5. Add a fourth piece (measuring 2-1/2" x 4-1/2") in the same manner, working around the center square. 

6. Continue adding strips. You'll add a second 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" strip and then a 2-1/2" x 6-1/2" strip. You'll add two strips of each length, and then add 2" to achieve the next strip length.

7. Add strips until the block measures 14-1/2" square.

8. The last strip you add should be the 3-3/4" x 14-1/2" black strip. This will be the bottom of the bag. Trim the bag front to measure 14-1/2" x 17-1/2".
9. Baste a 16" x 19" large black floral piece to a 16" x 19" batting piece. Quilt as desired. Trim to 14-1/2" x 17-1/2" for the tote bag back.


10. Layer the bag front and back right sides together. Stitch around the side and bottom using a 1/4" seam allowance. 

11. Cut 1-1/2" squares out of the bottom two corners. 

13. Fold the bag so the side and bottom seams line up and pin the edge. Stitch using a 1/4" seam allowance. Repeat on the opposite corner to box the bag bottom. Turn right side out.

14. Lay the (2) 14-1/2" x 17-1/2" white print pieces right sides together and stitch around the sides and bottom, leaving an opening for turning. 

15. Box the corners in the same way as for the outer bag. 
16. Sew the 3" x 42" black strip and 1-3/4" x 42" white/black stripe strip together lengthwise. 


17. Fold and press the stripe strip over the black strip, wrong sides together. Fold in the long edge of the black strip so it touches the stripe strip, approximately 1/4", and press. 
18. Tuck the batting strip inside so it is nestled between the seam line and the folded black edge. 

19. Fold the striped strip over the batting, and then fold the folded black edge again so it covers the striped raw edge. Pin in place and topstitch down the black edge. Topstitch down the other black edge as well to finish the handle strip. 


20. Cut the handle into (2) 20" lengths. Pin one handle to the front of the bag, measuring in 2" from each side. Stitch to secure and repeat on the back side of the bag.

21. Tuck the outer bag inside the lining, right sides together, and pin the raw edges along the top together. 

22. Stitch around the top edge of the bag. Turn the bag right side out through the opening. Stitch the opening closed and tuck the lining inside the bag. 
23. Topstitch 1/4" from the top edge of the bag.

Your bag is done! Enjoy!

Bag back:

For a chance to win a FQ bundle of Sophsticates, make sure you follow our blog! Leave a comment below letting us know that you do, as well as telling us which print you like best in this collection. The giveaway is open through Sunday, August 14th at 11:59 pm EST. We'll draw a winner and share it next week. 

Congratulations to the winner from last week's Vintage 30s bundle: Margaret
We'll be emailing you!