Fawn baby quilt

I finished this little beauty!

Fawn baby quilt

I’m super excited with how it turned out, and my friend loved it too.  I can’t tell you how happy it makes me and how much it means when the person for whom I make a quilt is grateful and excited.

Fawn baby quilt

This is my first quilt finish since moving up to the mountain suburbs with my love (ahem–I mean my fiancé [blushes happily]), and some deer showed up right on cue to shake their asses at me while I photographed the fawn quilt.

Fawn baby quilt

Also on cue: Layla dog, hating that something else but her is getting attention, ensuring her appearance in at least one photograph.

Fawn baby quilt

Our Love Slut respects no personal boundaries.  (Credit to Krista B. for the perfect nickname.)

Anyway, I love the way this binding stands out with its little pop of saturated coral but also complements the quilt as a whole.  Small-scale prints, especially those with any sort of stripey element, make the best quilt bindings.

Fawn baby quilt

I usually use soft backings like flannel or minky for baby quilts but was hell-bent on incorporating that sweet fawn panel into a quilt so I made two pieced sides.  Otherwise, soft fabrics are the way to go for babes or cold-weather quilts (hello, Colorado winter!  I like chilly weather and am looking forward to its arrival).

Fawn baby quilt

Amanda from A Crafty Fox actually just posted about buying Target sheets to use as quilt backs and I enthusiastically second her recommendation–quilts are expensive to make and store-bought blankets or sheets are a great cost-saver for backing (and look just as cute as yardage!).

I made a Christmas quilt ages ago where I just bought a red flannel blanket from Target and used it to back what is still one of my coziest quilts.

Fawn baby quilt

I had a hard time parting with this one but cannot wait for the pictures my friend promised of her soon-to-be granddaughter leaving the hospital wrapped up in this quilt.  Couldn’t ask for a better thank you!

Fawn baby quilt

Fawn baby quilt

Fawn baby quilt

xo

Quilting is so fawn.

I’m a girl and I therefore thoroughly enjoy making baby girl quilts.  It’s so easy–all I have to do to ensure cuteness while designing a baby girl quilt is ask myself: what would your little toddler self love if this were her quilt?  (I don’t ask what my baby self would love because babies give approximately zero f***s what is on a quilt.)

Fawn baby quilt beginnings

A former coworker friend of mine is going to be a grandma soon and asked if I would make her new little gal a quilt, so I used it as an opportunity to try out the Picnic Plaid pattern in Anna Graham’s new book, Handmade Style.

Handmade Style book

I whipped up the top in a night and instantly adored it for its simplicity:

Picnic Plaid pattern from Handmade Style

Then this past weekend I set about using the leftover strips I had from the front to make a few extra little cross blocks and incorporate them into an improv backing, along with a panel from Hawthorne Threads’ new Fawn collection which absolutely slayed me the first time I saw it.

Fawn baby quilt

(Who knew I’d amassed such an extensive collection of deer fabric?)

Fawn baby quilt

I think I’m actually going to call this the front of the quilt instead of the back.  My guy said I should make two quilts since I have two cute tops but let’s not get carried away.

Shelves from heaven

I’ve had more time lately to sew and it’s been super nice getting back to my quilting roots–I actually have time for more than just a bunch of little zip pouches!  But my next project after this quilt will be sewing up some curtains for the giant window in my happy new sewing space using a lovely blue canvas print from Anna Graham’s new line, Rain Walk, for Cloud9 Fabrics (which designer/manufacturer partnership, by the way, was conceived by fabric angels).

Rain Walk canvas for new curtains

New sewing space

Now off to finish the fawn quilt while watching an episode of Portlandia with the Netflix synopsis of: Peter and Nance prove they’ve “still got it” with an adventure on their newly purchased motorcycles–yes.

Happy things (+ a freezer paper pattern tutorial)

DON'T WORRY, BE HAPPYAfter a somewhat prolonged sewing slump, things are really cooking around here. We are moving and shaking at the Strzeszewski sewing studio (and by “we” I mean “I while my obstructionist dogs lie across my machine pedal or wherever else they can most easily trip me”).

What kind of moving and shaking has been going on, you ask? A garment was sewn and a Sew Together Bag  constructed. A quilt was planned and fabrics for it chosen.

Gold star earned.

Too much passive voice used.

Today, my happy thing is the garment sewn: a Fancy Tiger Sailor Top.  (The fabric you’re looking at is Canyon Wall in Canyon from Arizona by April Rhodes.)

Fancy Tiger Sailor Top

Fancy Tiger Sailor Top

Here’s to Fancy Tiger for this super fun, simple, and sweet blouse pattern.  I’m 5’7″ and made the medium size without altering anything–it fits great and is loose and comfy, but next time I think I’ll lengthen it an inch or so.  I was able to complete the whole thing in an afternoon/evening, including tracing my pattern onto freezer paper and cutting my pattern pieces.

Freezer Paper Tutorial | from Marta with Love

You guys know this trick, right?  Trace your pattern onto plain old freezer paper so you don’t EVER have to use the single-cell-wall-thick fairy wings they call pattern paper that shifts when you so much as think in its direction.  I also use it for PDF patterns that you have to print and tape together (meaning I print and assemble the pattern as normal, then trace it onto the freezer paper) because the freezer paper is just so much easier to work with and you can reuse it indefinitely.

freezer paper pattern tracing

All you do is lay your pattern underneath a piece of freezer paper and trace it (with all the markings!) onto the rough/papery side.  *You’ll notice in my picture above that I actually put the pattern itself on top of the freezer paper and traced it through the top (my marker bled right through) because the original pattern’s lines were too faint to see underneath the freezer paper.*

freezer paper pattern tracing

Tip: use a different color Sharpie for each pattern so it’s easy to identify which pieces go with which pattern.

Then cut out all your pattern pieces, but don’t worry about precision at this point because you’ll cut on the lines the first time you actually cut your fabric for your project.  The only lines you have to cut accurately at this point are any sides that you’ll place on the fabric fold.

Now just press your pattern pieces–shiny side down and with steam turned off–onto your fabric according the pattern’s cutting diagrams.  Your pieces are now adhered to your fabric!

freezer paper pattern ironing

freezer paper pattern ironing

Lastly, cut out your pattern pieces with sublime ease, peel off the freezer paper (it comes off completely cleanly), and get sewing!  I’ve sewn a couple patterns where I’ve used the same freezer paper several times and it has yet to lose its stickiness.  It’s magical.

freezer paper pattern cutting

freezer paper pattern

And there you go. Feel free to email me or leave a comment with any questions.  Thanks for stopping by and have a super sweet day!

Sew Together Bag

Check one off the old sewing bucket list. I made a Sew Together Bag!

Sew Together Bag

I’ve always wanted to make one of these–and almost did a couple of years ago, except the funny thing about that story is that it ends with me lighting the bag on fire deconstructing an almost-finished project.  I got to the part where you attach the binding (one of the final steps), and somehow got mascara on my white binding (I DON’T EVEN KNOW).  I couldn’t get it off, so I did what any normal person would do and sliced it up into scraps.  Naturally.  (To answer your question, yes, I am aware I could have opted to rip the binding off instead but did not do so because I am a start-over-rather-than-rip-a-single-seam kind of sewist–or I was at 2 a.m. that night.  To each his own.)

Two years down the road and I finally tried again–took me a little while to recover, clearly.

Sew Together Bag

Sew Together Bag

Sew Together Bag

This time around, no mishaps.  I had so much fun picking fabric and constructing this bag.  The only problem I have now is that I love it so much I’m too scared to use it.

Sew Together Bag

Sew Together Bag

Sew Together Bag

Sew Together Bag

Sew Together Bag

That’s all from me for today. I’m off to go do some more making!