Monday, May 26, 2014

New Kits & Clubs at Sew Lux

Hello friends!

Hope you all had an enjoyable weekend with friends and family celebrating those who fight for our freedom to do so.  :)

I wanted to share a few new kits & a new club that we've started taking reservations and preorders for - they are great ones!

First up, the new Tula Pink English Paper Piecing kit - this one is called Marquise.  I had the pleasure of seeing the original quilt and chatting about some EPP and amazing fussy cutting with Tula Pink herself at Market.  (She's super talented and cool to chat with ... as I am sure you'd all imagine!)  Her new collection, Moon Shine, comes out in September and we'll be carrying the full collection of prints as well as this awesome kit.

One of the things I love about the kit is that the hexagons and paper pieces are precut and labeled. Score! We're ordering kits based on reservations, so sign up if you want in on this awesomeness!

We're all dreaming of the new Bonnie & Camille collection, Miss Kate, due out in August.  Ordering the whole collection was a no-brainer for us here at Sew Lux.  We're offering preorders for two quilts in particular using this pretty collection.

Order your Red Letter Day or Rise & Shine kit here.  Kits are expected to ship mid to late-August - we'll cut them as soon as the yardage arrives in the shop.

We've mentioned it before, but the Modern Building Blocks Kit is a stunner and we're still taking reservations for another week or so.  I can't wait to make this one!

And ... a brand new club!  Perle cotton is excellent for both embroidery and hand quilting.  We've got a great new way for you to build a collection of perle through a 6 month club.  The club includes 6 new colors each month with two exclusive, bonus projects throughout the club.

Learn more and reserve your spot here.

That's all for now!

Happy Sewing!  :-)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Weekender Sew Along : Bag Assembly

Hey y'all! I am overdue by like 2 weeks with this post, but between Quilt Market and some other things (ahem ... I made two Super Totes the week of Quilt Market), I got a little behind.  BUT ... my bag is finished!  In fact, I mailed it off yesterday to surprise someone.  Sure hope they like it (and overlook a few wobbly spots)! :-)

Ok ... so in my last post, I didn't show you about the zipper.  The reason was because I went ahead and added the lining then too based on a theory and I wanted to make sure everything worked out before I told y'all to do something.  So let's start with the zipper.

Making the Zipper Panel
I made the zipper panels by quilting them with Linen, batting and canvas like I did for my main exterior panels.  I cut them to size using the template and then added the zipper as instructed in the pattern.

After that, I assembled the lining completely leaving a fairly large hole open in the bottom of one side where the bottom piece and the main side piece meet.

 I folded the lining back and laid it wrong sides together on the exterior zipper panel and stitched the lining to the zipper panel.  I was lucky enough that my thread matched the bag very well so the stitching doesn't jump out at you.

Why did I install the lining so soon?  Well, I'm too lazy to hand sew the lining in.  In fact, my 1st bag (finished in mid February) is still unlined!  Also, after wrangling this bag through the machine, you'll just want to be finished.  Attaching the lining now is like making a pouch ... we'll turn it right sides out later.  

Some words of caution for attaching the lining early ... (1) this does make the wrangling slightly trickier. (2) This will make it harder to see and check your seams and piping after you attach the main side panels to the zipper/bottom piece - especially after the second side. And (3) I wouldn't do this if you didn't quilt the body.  You'll be smushing the bag through the opening and if all you used was the thicker interfacing you may not like the creases you could get.  Hope this all makes sense! 

Next, follow the directions in the pattern to attach the end pockets and the bottom to the zipper panel.

Prep the Bottom Panel
In my last post, I showed you that I quilted the bottom panel.  After quilting, I added a piece of thick interfacing that is 1" smaller than the bottom panel.  The interfacing is fusible, but I stitched over a couple of quilting lines in the corners to stabilize the piece especially since it would be manhandled later!

Tip for Attaching the Straps
I followed the directions in the pattern.  I did stitch all the way down both sides of each strap to the bottom of the bag.  Otherwise, I followed the pattern.  Then attach the pockets as instructed in the pattern.

Attaching the Piping to the Main Panels
I did decide to use bias strips for the piping on the main panels. I ddin't in my first bag and the only place I really notice a difference is in the corners.  The bias strips allowed me to really curve the piping around without as many puckers.

Use Clover Clips to keep everything in place.

Note - I didn't crowd my piping at this point.  I didn't want to worry about stitches showing if I missed it later, so I went with my needle at -4 to the left and followed the edge of my zipper foot otherwise.

Attaching the Sides

This is the fun part!  Kidding.  This is actually what I consider to be the hardest part. So, prepare yourself mentally.  I wouldn't start this step at 11:45 PM.  I actually did one side one day and the second side the next day.  It takes some time and some muscle to get this through your machine.  So take it slow and use a jeans needle!  :-)

Line up the center of the main panel with the top and bottom of the zipper/bottom panel. Use Clover clips to secure all the layers in place. If you attached the lining early, keep it on the other side and out of the way.

I like to clip and sew the zipper/bottom piece (top) to the main panel (bottom).  It seems easier to smush the zipper/bottom piece out of the way instead of the main panel.

Stitch around the whole bag trying to crowd the piping as much as possible.  I moved my needle as far left as it would go (-5).  After you've gone around, check your bag on the right side to see if you have any spots where you need to sew a little closer to the piping.

Before adding the second side, OPEN YOUR ZIPPER at least half way.  Don't forget (especially if you've already attached your lining)!

Next, flip the lining over and clip the second side on like you did the first side.

This side is the more difficult of the two.  So, I went around the bag at a 3/8" or so seam to hold everything together.  Then I went back around stitching further over and crowding the piping.  This seemed to work better for me as I could focus on crowding the piping instead of trying not to shift any layers.

When you are done, peek through the lining and check it from the front - this will be a pain, but check it and fix any spots (sewing closer to the piping, etc) before the next step.

Finish It!

Now, carefully turn your bag right sides out through the hole in the bottom of the lining.  Carefully push out the corners and shape the bag.  Iron into shape as needed since you probably needed to smush it a little while turning it.

Stitch the hole in the lining closed by hand or machine.

Step back admire your work.  Pat yourself on the back ... You Did It!  :-)

The Glamour Shots ...

I sure hope you enjoyed sewing along with me!  I had so much fun with this bag!

Happy Sewing! :-)

Weekender Bag Details: 
Bag Pattern: Amy Butler Weekender Bag
Patterns for Pieced Pockets: Mini Swoon, Mini Dwell, Mini Rise & Shine, and Mini Spools all by Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms
Fabric:  April Showers by Bonnie & Camille, Essential Dots White Black, and Linen Mochi Dot in Putty all from Moda

Previous Posts:
Making the Pockets
Making the Exterior

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Modern Building Blocks Quilt Kit Reservations

Hey friends!

We went to Quilt Market this weekend and it was awesome!  I will share more soon, but wanted to share quickly that we've added reservations for a stunning quilt kit that Moda is putting out this September - Modern Building Blocks.  As soon as I saw it, I loved everything about it!

Isn't it gorgeous?!  The kit comes boxed (like the ones shown in the photo) and include all the fabric for the top and binding as well as a really handy set of block patterns that are hooked together and fan out for easy reference.  A great tool you'll use long after you make this quilt.

We are now taking presales & reservations for this stunner until June 15th.  Learn more and order your's today!  There may be a QAL in the works as well! ;-)

Happy Sewing!  :-)

p.s. Due to market, I'm a little behind with my Weekender but should be able to share it finished (or close to it!) on Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Shop News & a Coupon

Hey there!  We are so excited to head to Quilt Market this week!  We will be sure to take lots of photos and share them here on the blog later next week. :-)  (Of course, I will be sharing them on Instagram while we are there.) 

This week, we have a new Stash Worthy Special of all my favorite low volume prints.  

And, there's a special coupon for 15% off any purchase 
of $50 or more now through Friday, 5/16/14.  
Use QM2014 in the coupon code box at checkout.  
Coupon cannot be used on preorders, BOM payments, the Stash Worthy Special, or the purchase of gift certificates. 

Since we are headed to quilt market, we'll get as many orders in the mail before we leave, 
but orders placed after 6 PM EST today will ship next Monday.  

Happy Sewing!  :-) 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Weekender Sew Along : Making the Exterior

Hey there!  I've been really busy stitching up this bag over the weekend and I am nearly done!  :-)  I'm looking forward to finishing it up and sharing the results next week.  But first let's chat about how I've gotten the exterior of this bag together.

First, once you have your pockets all pieced, its time to quilt them.  I cut out the pocket pieces in the drill canvas and layered them with batting (trimmed approximately 1/2" smaller than the canvas) and then the pieced pocket front.  I used the iron to crease the centers on all four sides of each pocket top and the canvas piece so that I could line up my pockets straight.  I basted with 505 spray, but you can use pins.

Then go ahead and quilt up your pockets as desired.  :-)  I did a lot of outlining of the main shapes for mine.

I made my pockets a little big on purpose so that I could trim them to the proper size later.  After quilting, I like to use the template as my trimming guide even though I have the canvas piece.  Sometimes with the quilting, you may have a little shifting so it is good to check.

Get all your pockets quilted and trimmed so we can add the piping.

For the piping on the pockets, you don't need it to be bias strips.  So cut 2" strips and fold them in half lengthwise.  Put some cording in the middle and stitch it closed - not too close to the cording.  We want to stitch progressively closer to the cording with each step.  Then, use a ruler to line up the edge of the cording with a straight line on your mat.  Then shift the ruler down 1/2 inch and trim any excess fabric. 

Baste the piping onto the top, right side of your pocket. I used a zipper foot with my needle 3 positions to the left of center.

Then add the pocket lining right sides together on top of the piping and pocket piece. Sew as close to the piping as possible.  I moved my needle over so it was 5 positions to the left of center (as far as it would go on my machine).

Fold back the lining so wrong sides are together and press.  Sew about 1/4" below the piping to secure everything in place, then sew around the edges of the sides and bottom to secure the pocket lining to the front.  Trim away excess fabric. (Note - I didn't cut pocket linings with templates - I just used squares/rectangles and them trimmed them later.) 

Repeat to add piping to the pockets.  (The pattern only calls for piping on the main pockets, but I like them on all four pockets.)

Next up, straps!  I made my straps in the same width as the pattern, but added about 6 inches to the length. I wanted them a little longer to swing it over my should with ease!

I used 2 layers of SF-101 on my straps.  Then I folded them in half lengthwise and then used a ruler to draw a line 1/2" above and below the center fold.  This line serves as a guide for how far to fold down the sides. Fold the edges in to meet the lines and press back in half.  Before sewing down both sides of the straps as well as the center, I added a 7/8" wide piece of fusible fleece inside the strap to make it a little sturdier.


For the main panels, I just straight-line quilted them with the Mochi Linen, batting and drill/canvas just like I did with the pockets. I did not use any interfacing on the main panels.

For the bag bottom piece, I did use a layer of SF-101 and then batting and drill/canvas.  I quilted this piece in a diamond pattern.  Fun fact:  The Bernina walking foot and the Mochi Linen Dot are a perfect match!  I just followed the dots with the sides of my foot to quilt this piece.

How are your bag parts coming along?  I am hoping to sneak in some sewing time this week before we head to market!  Share a link to your progress or tag me on Instagram.  And if you have questions, please ask!

Happy Sewing! :-)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Weekender Sew Along : Making the Pockets

Hey there!  Have you gotten your fabric and everything together for your soon-to-be awesome Weekender bag?  It's been a busy few weeks around here, but I have been sneaking in some sewing whenever I can to try and stay on track with sew-along.  Despite my best efforts on a whirlwind schedule the last few weeks, I am a little behind, so this post will have two parts.  I will get you started today and then I'll share all the rest on Saturday/Sunday and then next week we'll get this bag together!

If you follow me on Instagram, I shared some tips last weekend as I was working on my pockets. Since I am piecing and then quilting my pockets, I have to do a little more thinking about placement and block size, etc so that my pockets will look as amazing as I envision them.

Typically what I do first is to measure the general pocket size.  For the end pockets we're talking roughly 8.5 x 9 or so.  I think about what size block would be good - in this case 4" is probably the biggest I want to go because I do want to add borders and I'm keeping in mind that I'm losing a HALF inch on all edges with the seam allowance.  (This is different than when we quilt ... so if your star points are on the edge, they are getting lopped off when we take out a 1/2 inch as opposed to a typical 1/4 inch!  Smaller blocks with borders are better ... in my opinion. ;-)

As I stated before, I am making focus blocks for all my pockets using Camille's Thimble Blossoms Minis patterns.  I start by making a block and then checking to see how much fabric I need to add to get it up to size.

For this end pocket featuring a Dwell mini house, I added 2.5" wide strips on all sides.  I cut some charm squares in half to get my border pieces. Of course, this will get trimmed down, but its a great starting place for me to quilt and then trim.

I did give myself the added challenge of making all my pockets from a charm pack plus the background print (Essential Dots White Black).  A little extra crazy right?  I'm sure I could have had all of these done if I wasn't hemming and hawing over the prints and cutting from my 5" squares! 

Next up, for my other end pocket, I have a Rise & Shine mini block.  I am planning to add borders in a similar fashion to the Dwell pocket above.

And then onto the main pockets.  :-)  For this first one, I pieced a row of Spools as called for in the pattern, including the sashing strips in between the spools.  To make it wide enough, I added some extra wide strips on both ends about 3 inches wide

I added a border of background to the top and bottom cut at 1.5 inches wide.  Then I pieced scrappy borders from assorted 2.5" squares. I will trim this to size after I quilt it.

I'm doing another Swoon for the other main pocket.  I really hemmed and hawed over the fabrics out of determination to use my charm pack.  In retrospect, I should have started with this one for the most options, but I think I will like the scrappy version when I am done.

I will update this post with my finished pieced pocket as soon as its ready!

UPDATE:  Here are my completed pockets!  (Sorry for the dark picture.)

This weekend's Part 2 Post will show you the quilting & trimming of the pockets as well as the main panels, bottom and zipper panels.

Don't forget to use #wsa2014 on Instagram and tag me - I'd love to see your work and give you a virtual high five or hand holding if you need it!  :-)

Happy Sewing!  :-)

Clover & Violet Guest Post Series

Hey there!

Just a quick post to share that I'll be a Guest Contributor over at Clover & Violet over the next several months in a brand new series!  I've been sketching up a super fun mini medallion quilt for us stitch together and I hope you'll join me!  My first post will be next month and we'll get started with the center block and add a border a month to finish the project.

Go check out the Contributor Introductions post and visit all the lovely ladies who will be sharing tips and projects on the Clover & Violet blog throughout the next several months.

Happy Sewing!  :-)