Monday, June 23, 2014

A Quilt for a Favorite Teacher

Summer is in full swing over here. I'm busy keeping kids busy and doing a bit of traveling and enjoying family visits. We are also doing a lot of arts and crafts to keeps little hands entertained. I'll try to post some soon in case you are looking for ideas, I know I always am.  Today I want to show you the quilt I made for our Kindergarten teacher. We loved her and she retired this year so I thought a special memory quilt would be a good gift for her.
This quilt was inspired by one I saw on The Tilted Quilt. I started out having the kids all write their name and draw a picture of themselves. I was originally just going to turn them into a fun big card but when I found at the last minute that she was retiring this year I thought she deserved something a little more grandiose. I scanned and printed the circles onto iron on transfer paper and ironed them onto fabric. I cut them into a 6" hexagon shape, then just sewed a 5" strip to every side and put them all together.  I also appliqued their favorite kindergarten memories to under each picture.
For a quick quilting job I just swirled around each hexagon.  Clearly I needed to pin a little more carefully, there are quite a few puckers on the back. 

It was my first time trying out "Y" seams. I'm just so glad it all worked out and that it was finished in the nick of time. I bound it the morning of our party and my daughter trimmed all the threads and held it up for a quick photo on the way to school. Phew!

In other news I had a bunch of wonderful people test out my Tulip tote pattern and I will hopefully be putting on the finishing touches on the final draft this week. I am a little nervous to pull the trigger and actually publish it but I keep telling myself it's just an experiment, so we'll see if I can really pull it off. 
Until next time...
 Happy Summer and Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Winner, Fabric Finds & WIP's

Thanks to everyone for playing along on with my Mama Sew Giveaway last week. The winner was "RedSetter", who requested the yellow handled Tulip tote. I will be sending it her way just as soon as I get her address. I have a few more slots open for pattern testers if you are interested in a free pattern for this little Tulip Tote. Email me!

I have been following #quiltmarket on Instagram all weekend. So much pretty eye candy!! So many fabulous new lines of fabric coming out.

I have a stack of pretty fabric sitting on my desk just waiting for me to find time to play with it. I found a steal of a deal on these end of bolt cuts at Mountain of the Dragon. I snatched them up as a birthday present to myself last month. They are from Anna Maria Horner's Dowry line. What should I make?

And I'm getting close to finishing the blocks for my Bejeweled Churn-dash Quilt.   I was hoping to have it finished in time to link up the the Blogger's Quilt Festival but alas I have a few graduation presents to make that will trump that project. Here are all my little block piles ready and waiting.

Ta Ta for Now!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day: Tulip Tote

Hello there sewing fans!  Today is Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day! I'm so excited to share with you a little handbag I designed called the Tulip Tote.

It is a small, stylish little thing that is just big enough to swing on your forearm and carry the essentials.

The dimensions are about 7'' tall x 14'' wide x 4'' deep.  It has lovely Soft and Stable interfacing and a great boxed bottom which makes it stand up all on it's own.  It also has 2 magnetic snaps that keep the top closed snugly. (okay, the yellow handled one is slightly smaller than the other)

Today you get the chance to win ONE of these cute little handbags. Which one do you like best...yellow or navy? To enter the giveaway use the rafflecopter widget below and don't forget to tell me which bag you'd like to win. These are the prototypes for a pattern I'll be releasing and I am looking for some pattern testers to try it out.  So if you aren't a winner, perhaps you will consider being a pattern tester for me.   If you are interested please contact me at sarahmarkos(at)gmail(dot)com and let me know what kind of sewing experience you've had.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for joining me for giveaway day and Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Spring Top Photoshoot

Made by Rae's SPRING TOP SEWALONG is just finishing up this week.  There is a lot of great inspiration over there if you are looking to sew something for yourself to wear.  Today I'm posting the top I made for our book headshot photoshoot. 

It was a little nerve racking to pose for a professional shoot.  I'm a pretty shy person, so it is a little embarrassing to even post these. But just look at my shirt okay? not me. :)  The top is self drafted for the most part. I altered the sleeve from the Shift Dress pattern to fit.  

I initially sewed this up as a muslin to see if it my idea would even work.  The neck was really gaping so to fix it I sewed a little channel in the neckline for a strip of elastic and I really like how it turned out.  
And listen to this crazy thing, when I washed my shirt after the photo shoot all those pretty little roses washed right off. Completely gone!  I can't remember where I got that fabric, clearly not high quality. Now I have just a plain gray top which is not quite as cute.

A big thank you to Nathaly Blalock who took such beautiful photos and made me look younger than I am, and to my SIL Liz who let me text her a dozen photos to figure out which necklace to buy. It worked out perfectly.

  Not sure which one of these I like best.

After I made this I realized that Rae made a pattern that is very similar to this but with no sleeves called the Ruby top.  I think I'll try it out next time, with a sleeve hack of course.
Happy Sewing!

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Ruffle Skirt

I made a quick ruffle skirt for Mer for this year's "Easter Dress" 
We came home from church and she requested that her brother come out and take pictures of her.  You know, so she can have a good instagram pic to post. 
 I wasn't there for the photo shoot but it looks like it was a ton of fun, don't you think?
 I was laughing out loud when I uploaded the photos today. :) There are about 20 that look like this...

 I'd say the skirt AND the photo shoot was a success! 

Sewing notes:

  • This skirt is basically ruffle fabric with wide elastic sewn to the top of it.  It took about an hour to make...about 2 times as long as I had expected. It turns out those ruffles can be a little tricky to keep flat when your are laying the side seams together.  I recommend A LOT of pins if you make one of these. 
  • I also recommend sewing the side seams with the regular machine first and then with the serger AFTER you make sure those ruffles are in the right place.  I learned that one the hard way.
  •  I also had to change the differential feed on the serger to 1.5 to accomodate for the super stretchy-ness of the the fabric. 
  • We tried to dye the elastic to match. It turned out perfectly until we sent it through the washing machine.  There wasn't time to dye it again so we settled for off white instead of pale pink. 
  • I would also recommend stretching out the elastic a bit before you measure for the right size.  After Mer tried the skirt on 4 or 5 times the waistband was suddenly way too lose, and we had to do some last minute adjustments just 15 minutes before we walked out the door. That's how we roll. :)

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Little Bunny Embroidery Pattern

Hi sewing friends! Easter is on it's way and this year I thought I'd convert my bunny wall hanging to PDF pattern I could share with you all.

Maybe you are looking for some fun handwork to do over the long weekend, maybe you have some little stitchers that are looking for something fun to make for Easter. Well here it is...

Iit is a pretty simple little embroidery project. I've also included step by step instructions on how to sew a fabric sashing around the edges and frame it like I did.

  This is my first experiment with a PDF pattern, so I'd love it if you'd download it, take a look, and give me some feedback.  I've listed it for free for a limited time  sale on Craftsy for just $4.  I hope you've heard of Craftsy by now. If you haven't, it's an fantastic online hub of craft classes and patterns. Most items on the site are for purchase but there are quite a few free series and patterns as well.
 Happy Stitching!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

We Wrote a Book...Just For You :)

I'm buzzing with excitement over here. Today I get to officially tell you about a big project I've been working on over the last year.  I've been writing a book... a sewing book!