I was doing a search for the perfect retreat lighting. I was planning to attend a quilting retreat with some of my Quilting friends and wanted to have a better sewing experience than I’ve had in the past. You see, in the past, whenever I go on retreats, the lighting hasn’t been as good as it could be in my own sewing room at home. I was looking for a compact lighting solution to enhance my experience at retreat. The Daylight Company recommended the Smart Travel Lamp so I gave it a try. Let me tell you what I thought about it!
Bring all the things
Whenever I go on a sewing or quilting retreat, I tend to bring a ton of things. My Juki TL2010Q already takes up quite a bit of space, but I also try to think of every notion I might need and I bring lots of projects. I have even been known to even bring my own chair!
If I’m going to take the time and effort to pack everything up, and sew at a different location, I want to make it as an enjoyable experience as possible.
Space Saver Lighting
One of the things I find enjoyable about sewing in my own space is the lighting that I have at my home sewing station. As you may know, I have the Slimline 3 Table Lamp, which produces an amazing amount of light for my sewing space. I wanted to see if I could get a comparable lighting option for retreat. I thought it was important that this option be compact and lightweight, since I will already be packing a ton of things for the upcoming trip.
Did I mention it’s rechargeable?
One of my favorite features about the Smart Travel Lamp is that it is a wireless/rechargeable solution. I love that a single full charge can last me 5 to 6 hours. And because the included charging cable is longer than most cell phone chargers, I can easily plug it in when I’m ready for a recharge.
Adjustable Lighting Settings
Not only is this compact travel lamp super bright, but you can also adjust the level of brightness by simply holding down the on off button. You simply hold down the button to dim the light. This is great if you need another option besides full blast. I personally love full blast but it’s nice to have options.
A Coupon Code For You!
I have a special coupon code to pass along so you can receive 20% off your entire purchase from the Daylight Company. Simply use coupon code SEW20 and take advantage of this special pricing. This coupon code will work on the Smart Travel Lamp and any other item you decide to add to your Daylight Company shopping cart.
I just love sewing for Valentine’s Day! The fabrics are so fun and cheerful! I have been working through my list of UFO’s, which include utilizing some fabric that I purchased a LONG LONG time ago (like 2-3 years ago). When I came across a fun and free heart block tutorial by Cluck Cluck Sew, I was inspired to use my beloved fabric panel in this quilt. Let me share with you how I made this fantastic Valentine’s Day Quilt!
Using Allison’s tutorial was super fun and easy. The hearts came together easily. I knew they would be perfect for my Valentine’s Day Quilt! The fabric that I used for the hearts really worked well for the Fabric Panel in the middle. I used the medium size heart block to frame the bordered panel and it turned out cute! I would highly recommend using a Frixon Pen for the snowballing and also squaring up your hearts before you sew them together. That just makes for a nice and straight quilt top! I made several blocks and even had a few left over.
I loved using my Juki 350QVP to finish this quilt. I also used my Quilting Disks to help me move the quilt under my needle. If you haven’t learned about my fantastic Long Arm Quilting Machine, you can read more about that HERE. I simply love using it!
Since I had some leftover blocks, I decided to use these in the back of the quilt. This worked out perfectly because I was a little short on the backing anyway. I used a quick and simply loopy free motion quilting design.
When my husband asked me who I made the for, I told him that I honestly didn’t have an intended recipient just yet. But for now, our cat is enjoying it as she perches on the back of our couch!
The Hugs and Kisses Quilt block is a fun and versatile quilt block! These blocks have also been called “X & O”. How cute! You can make an entire quilt with either the ‘X’ quilt block or an entire quilt of the ‘O’ quilt block. It is even better when you mix up the quilt pattern with a little bit of both! Check out the materials list and get your pattern and let’s make some fun quilt blocks!
To get your cutting measurements and specific sewing directions, you have a couple of choices:
To download the cutting measurements & specific sewing instructions for free, you can subscribe to the Sew Much Moore Newsletter. AFTER you sign up, you’ll get a confirmation email – and you have to confirm or my email service can’t send you the free pattern access email. But once you do confirm, you’ll get access to not just this but several other free patterns. Woot!
(PS – if you have trouble finding the pattern as a subscriber, please contact me)
Use this link to purchase a pattern file. You’ll be emailed a download link for a file that references the instructions in this tutorial and provides the cutting measurements for this pattern. You’ll also be able to download this file in my shop.
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. ? Read my full disclosure policy here.
Have you ever needed a quilt block that wasn’t quite Holiday specific, but still works throughout the entire winter season? This is what I love about the Pinetree Forest Quilt Block! Let me tell you about this versatile foundation paper pieced pattern so you can make one (or several) for yourself and others!
Foundation Paper for the pattern (I use this paper – it sews and tears away easily)
Sewline Glue Pen (this is handy for larger pieces and for your starting piece as well)
(Optional) Seam Roller – I like to use this instead of using the iron sometimes.
Making the Quilt Block
The construction of this quilt block is pretty straight forward and can be easily accomplished by the confident beginner. If you have never tried foundation paper piecing before, I recommend watching my YouTube video to help you understand the basics of this technique. You can also try your hand at this simple pattern to get your feet wet.
The Pinetree Forest Quilt Block pattern includes a Coloring Page, which is useful to help you determine what colors you like and also to help you keep track of which fabric to use for which piece. I like to attach my tree fabrics to each tree to help me remember which color I am using for each Pinetree.
The pattern is sectioned into 5 “strips” for easy assembly. I highly recommend printing your pattern on special paper and also using the Add-A-Quarter Acrylic Ruler. These two products will make quick and accurate work of any foundation paper pieced project!
Once you have your sections trimmed, you simply sew each section together. I have found that leaving the paper on for the section assembly will help to keep your pieces properly aligned.
Finishing your Quilt Block
Once you’ve completed the assembly of your Pinetree Forest Quilt Block – the sky is the limit on how you want to use it! I will probably make a few more of these and use them as the focal points of some throw pillows on my living room couch! I can leave them out until it’s time to decorate for Valentine’s Day!
Leave a comment below on how you will incorporate your Pinetree Quilt block into a project. Some ideas off the top of my head would be to make several in a row for a lovely winter scene table runner. You could make a single block as a nice table topper or make several to create a Pinetree Forest Quilt top!
I hope you enjoy making the Pinetree Forest Quilt Block!
Everyone loves personalized gifts! Having your name or your initials on an item is a great way to personalize any handmade gift! This Personalized Zipper Pouch is the perfect size for pencils, markers or pens. You can also fill it with makeup or anything to help keep you organized in style. Let’s take a look how to make this fun and simple project!
Qty (2) Exterior fabric pieces: 9′′ x 5.5′′
I used 100% Cotton Duck Canvas Fabric
Qty (3) Accent/Interior fabric pieces: 9′′ x 5.5′′
Place the accent fabric on your Circuit FabricGrip Machine Mat, right side up. Use a seam roller or a brayer to secure the fabric onto the mat. Program your Cricut Machine to cut your Personalized initial. I made sure the size did not exceed 4” in height. Once you cut the shape, remove your mat from the machine. Use your Cricut weeding tools to remove your cut shape.
Clip off a piece of your Misty Fuse and Parchment paper to prep the wrong side of your cut shape. Using your iron, fuse the Misty Fuse and remove any access residue. Place your cut shape onto one of your exterior fabric pieces.
ps – If you don’t have or use a Cricut Machine, you can simply print out a letter, trace and fuse as well. Don’t let the machinery stop you from making this fun project!
Making the Zipper Tab
Cut your zipper to 8”. Fold and press fabric rectangle in half lengthwise , wrong sides together. Open it back up and fold each side to the center; press. Trim the ends of the zipper. Slip the zipper end in between the folded fabric to create a sandwich.
Straight stitch along the edge. Trim off ends of fabric from zipper tab. Open zipper and repeat steps 3 & 4. Be sure to line up the zipper straight across the top opening before attaching the zipper tab.
Assemble the Personalized Zipper Pouch
Place the front of the exterior fabric piece, right side up. Place the zipper along the top raw edge, the wrong side down. Clip in place and cover this with the interior fabric piece. Clip all together and sew along the top edge with your zipper foot. Be sure to secure this side with topstitching. Next, follow the same steps on the back side of the pencil pouch.
Finally, OPEN YOUR ZIPPER! (This is important). Secure the exterior and interior pieces together (right sides together) and secure with clips. Sew along the entire perimeter of the project, but leave a 3-4′′ opening on the middle of the interior fabric side. Now you can flip your project right side out and sew the opening closed.
Just take a look at this video and see how fun and easy it is to make these Personalized Zipper Pouch!
I got carried away and decided to make several of these for my family. They really make great gifts. I filled them with age related items. Colored Pencils for my young niece and some makeup compacts for my older nieces. So much fun to make them special for each person!
Let me know in the comments who you would make a Personalized Zipper Pouch for. I would love to hear from you.
Ever since I started using the Daylight Company Wafer 1 Lightbox, my Foundation Paper Piecing projects have elevated to the next level. The Daylight Wafer 1 Lightbox is sleek, modern, compact and brilliantly bright. This is not your Grandma’s Lightbox. You know the one I’m talking about! The old lightbox that is big, bulky and emits yellow light. Let me show you all the smart and useful ways to incorporate the Daylight Wafer 1 Lightbox into your sewing studio.
Using the Best Daylight Wafer Lightbox
Tracing Images using Daylight Wafer Lightbox
I recently used my Daylight Wafer 1 Lightbox to trace an image for a Holiday quilting project. I needed the image to be reversed and the only way to do this was to turn the paper over and trace the outline.
Thanks goodness I had my Daylight Wafer 1 Lightbox. With the lowest ultra light setting, I was able to easily trace the outline for a transposed image and finish designing my masterpiece.
An unexpected bonus was when I discovered I could very easily use my Daylight Wafer 1 Lightbox to help with weeding the vinyl I had cut with my Cricut Maker. If you are a Cricut user, you know how tiresome weeding vinyl can be on your eyes.
When I place my cut Vinyl sheet on top of my Ultra Illuminated Daylight Wafer 1 Lightbox – it was like the angels in heaven were shining through the project and showing me where to lift and peel. Talk about a game changer!
Just take a look at this video and see how much easier your life can be when you add a Daylight Wafer 1 Lightbox to your Sewing Space!
These Lightboxes come in 3 different sizes and each size also has an optional cutting mat, which can be added separately. I am using the Daylight Wafer 1 Lightbox and Daylight Wafer 1 Cutting Mat in this video. This size is perfect for my small sewing space and provides a nice size for fussy cutting. If you need a larger size, not to worry. These also come in 2 bigger sizes.
Are you sewing in a dark or dimly light area? Do you wish you could Brighten your sewing studio and relieve stress on your eyes? Do you want to see better when you are sewing or quilting? I know exactly how you feel and have been working on this problem for a while now. I’m so excited to share my 7 tips to brighten your sewing space! These are practical ideas that can make an immediate difference to your time in your sewing room. Let’s dive in and don’t forget to watch the video too!
Using natural light is one of the easiest ways to brighten up a room. You can have the sun shine even brighter in your room when your windows are clean! Yes, we know. This one seems a tad obvious, but simply cleaning your windows can have a major effect on how much sunlight streams into the room. The less dirt, dust, and splatters on your windows, the more sunshine can peek into your room. (Plus, cleaning a window is way easier than installing more windows.) This is also a good time to dust the window sill and blinds (if you have them).
I use white blinds in my window and this works well to reflect light in the room, allows light to come in and also provides adequate privacy when closed. In the image, you can see what a difference it makes to have lighter colored window treatments! Consider changing to a lighter shade of window treatment too!
Since light is easily reflected, it is recommended to have very light (or even white) walls in your sewing space.
This isn’t the space to try out a moody, dark color palette. Think back to sixth-grade science: The lighter the color of your walls, the more light they’ll reflect.
There are tons of choices for flooring, but when a space is in need of additional light, it’s best to choose light wood (or carpet) flooring to brighten up the room.
If changing out the carpet or flooring is not in your immediate budget, consider adding a large white or cream colored area rug.
Aren’t most ceilings white? I think so, but it’s worth mentioning that having a white ceiling is another way to ensure that you maximize the light being bounded around the room. Most of us have the builders grade popcorn ceiling, and that is just fine. If you ever want to upgrade, they have some amazing Ceiling Tile Accents that would take your space to the next level.
Although my ceiling is packed full of video equipment, I chose to use white PVC Pipes and brackets. To learn more about my ceiling setup, check out this article.
Change Your Bulbs
A simple thing, like changing your light bulb, can make an instant and amazing difference! The difference between Daylight Bulbs and Soft White bulbs is simply remarkable! I recommend using Daylight Light Bulbs for your Sewing Studio! These are white lights that really brighten your sewing space!
Let’s face it. We all have a lot of stuff! We have even more stuff when it comes to our sewing and quilting supplies! We have fabric, tools, notions, machines (not to mention the cutting tables, ironing boards and more). And then we pack it all into a single room! Take a look at my space before I switch to minimalism.
We also love to showcase our work by hanging up our mini quilts and sometimes trying to fill up all the empty spaces. While this is very pretty and can also be fun, all these colorful projects can absorb the light in the room. Take a look at the difference when I remove most of the mini quilts and change to a minimalistic decor. The space has definitely brightened. I did leave a single mini quilt on my wall, but will keep my other mini quilts handy so I can change them out on rotation.
Add the Slimline 3
I just love my Slimline 3 Table Lamp. I have this clamped on the side of my Sewing Table. My light illuminates my sewing machine. Because it has a swivel base, I can swing it around to my ironing board as well! This lamp has two flexible joints so I can position it in the perfect place for my task.
My Slimline 3 from the Daylight Company has 4 different brightness levels. I use the lower setting for sewing during the daytime and crank up the brightness for evening sewing and quilting. And because I am a Daylight Brand Ambassador, I can offer you my coupon code for 20% off your purchase! Just head over to the Daylight Company website and get your Slimline 3 today! Use Coupon Code SEW20 for 20% off!
Watch the video to see all the ways to brighten your sewing studio!
I hope you can take some of these ideas and use them right away. I would love to know in the comments which idea you like best!
Making Christmas Tree quilt blocks is a fun and simply way to add cheer to your home. You can turn these blocks into a simple mug rug (perfect for gifts), create a festive table runner or even make a bunch for your very own Christmas Quilt! How ever many you decide to make, I’m sure we can all agree that these blocks are timeless and fun! Be sure to check out the video tutorial at the bottom of this article!
To make the Christmas tree foundation paper pieced block, you’ll print your patterns on copy paper. Take a look at the one inch mark and measure it with your ruler. I really like to transfer my copies onto foundation paper. I like the Perfect Piecing paper. It is really transparent and rips out easily. I also like using the Add a quarter ruler. It has a nice quarter inch which makes foundation paper piecing really easy using this ruler.
Starting the Christmas Tree Block
Each of these blocks have seven pieces and we’re going to start in numerical order. Piece number one is the tree trunk and piece number two is the background. To start the block you’re going to have the right side of your fabric be right against the backside of your foundation paper piece pattern. And then you’re going to put block number two fabric (right sides together with fabric number one), directly behind fabric number one. Sew the line between number one and number two.
Now, fold that pattern paper piece back and use our add a quarter ruler. This little lip helps hold it against that folded edge and gives you a one quarter inch seam allowance. Cut off the excess fabric and then the seam roller to press out that seam.
Just keep sewing
Next we’re going to work through the remaining pieces.
You’ll line it up to make sure you have at least a quarter of an inch past the line. And make sure that you have enough fabric all around the edges also.
We’re going to fold that back and trim away the excess and we’ll use our seam roller and press that back. And piece number four is done just like piece number three.
Using the Daylight Wafer 1 Lightbox comes in really handy for things like this. You can see all the pieces behind you, even when there’s multiple layers.
Pieces five, six and seven are larger and you might find it helpful to test the fabric placement, before sewing. To do this, simply use sewing pins in lieu of stitches. Test the placement, make adjustments if necessary and proceed with sewing.
Finishing the block
Now all that’s left is to trim away the excess fabric around the perimeter of the block. Now you’re not going to want to trim right on the exterior line. You’ll give yourself a one quarter inch outside of the line. I’m using the Add a quarter ruler for that I can see the lip of the one quarter inch mark.
Now all that’s left is to rip out the paper because the stitch length was 1.5″. It really makes a nice perforation on the paper. And this paper is the perfect piecing paper because it’s a lot thinner than regular paper. As a bonus – Perfect Paper is super easy to rip out!
Purse Feet are some of the easiest additions to install into your Handmade Bag, Tote or Purse! These little gems can take your handmade bags and purses to the next level while keeping the bottom of your item off surfaces. I love how this hardware comes in different sizes and finishes too! Let me show you how to install purse feet and you can start adding these to your handmade goodies too!
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. ? Read my full disclosure policy here.
(you should only need this if using cotton or knit fabric)
Installing your purse feet
Deciding which hardware finish to use on your handmade bag is really fun! I like to try to match all my hardware. If I am using a metal zipper, then I try to match the teeth on the zipper. If I am using Swivel Snaps or Adjustable Sliders, then I will try to match those as well. I think a nice bag or purse will have all matching hardware finish.
Once you have chosen your hardware finish, you just need to install your hardware! It is important to do this before you assemble your bag. I usually install purse feet when I am done adding the interfacing to a bottom panel.
In the bag pictured below, the designer wanted to add buttons instead of purse feet. While buttons would have added a cute touch – I really like how the purse feet look instead. This bag is called the Ultimate Travel Bag and there is LOTS of hardware in this bag.
For this video tutorial, I have used a scrap piece of soft vinyl. You can use just about any type of fabric. I have used cotton, knit, vinyl, cork, and leather (just to name a few). Check out this step-by-step video to see how easy it is to install your own hardware to your handmade bag, tote or purse.
I hope you found this video tutorial helpful. Be sure to head over to my online shop to get your own purse feet (in your favorite finish). I cant wait to see your finished projects! Be sure to share these on my Facebook Group.
Comment below and tell me what your favorite finish is! Currently, I love the Gun Metal finish!
In today’s video I will be demonstrating a scalloped placemats tutorial using the pattern by Poorhouse Quilt Designs. I’ll be using a wonderful line of designer fabric called Night of the Nutcracker by PaintBrush Studio Fabric’s. These fabrics feature playful mustaches, contemporary holiday foliage including Hollie leaves and berries and of course the Majestic nutcracker himself.These placemats have a unique scalloped shape which may appear intimating to make. I don’t know why, but sewing curves can be scary!Not to worry because The Bosal double sided fusible precuts make this project a snap. You can find this pattern and all of your supplies in my online shop which I’ve linked in the Supply and Materials List below.
This project is especially great for creating unique and custom placemats for your home. These are perfect for upcoming holidays and even for every day. Let’s get started and you’ll see just how easy it is to make these scalloped placemats!
1/4″ Seam Presser Foot (this foot is specifically for my machine)
Prepare the Accents and Borders
Once you’ve gathered your supplies, you’ll take your accent pieces over to the ironing board. Fold the accent pieces lengthwise, wrong sides together. I like to pre-treat mine with spray starch.
Once you have all of your accent pieces starched, folded and ironed, you will pin the accent to the border pieces. Pin all of these in place and then take these units over to the sewing machine.Sew these pieces together using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. I love using my quarter inch seam presser foot for jobs like this.
Once you have that sewn in place you will press the seam allowance towards the border strip, extending the accent beyond the border edge.
Create your Mitered Corners
Now, If you’re not comfortable with miters, let me show you how easy they actually are. I’m using a 4.5″ x 8.5″ ruler by Creative Grids. This is a really great size ruler for this project. You can see a very obvious 45° angle markings.
Layout your project in the proper orientation, with the accent flange towards the middle. Place one border unit on top of the other, right sides together. Make sure you match the raw and finished edges. I add a pins to keep the units from slipping around.
I place the 45° line along the long raw edge of the stacked border pieces. I’ll take my friction pen and mark my angle. You may find that you need to be very specific with your measurements when making mitered corners. Go ahead and take your time lining up your fabrics and making your mark.
We’re going to sew all corners exactly the same way. Before we cut any of the excess fabric away, we’re going to ensure that we liked the miters. If you don’t like how it looks, then you’ll have to see to seam rip and try again. Once you’re happy with how they turned out you’re going to give yourself a quarter inch seam allowance from the seam and trim away the excess fabric. You’ll do this on all corners.
Pin the border strips set right sides together to the backing fabric. Stitch around the entire perimeter, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Now we will work on the front part of the placemat.
Attach the double-sided foam fusible scalloped placemat to the wrong side of the Front Fabric. Secure with Clips and take this over to your Wool Pressing Mat. Place your teflon sheet on your pressing surface. Lay your exposed fusible side on top and against your teflon sheet. Make sure that non of the fusible materials are exposed to your pressing mat.Without the Teflon sheet, you may accidentally fuse the opposite side of your project to something that you don’t want it to be fused to.
Once you have your Front exterior fabric fused to your placemat, you’ll take some sharp pointy scissors (I recommend these scissors) and trim away the excess fabric. Follow the edge of the foam scallops and trim out away the excess.
Next, Center the wrong side of the backing unit on the unfused side of your placemat. Your foam placemat should be facing right side up. Clip all around the exterior of the placemat. Flip the placemat over, take your project to the pressing mat, and fuse from the right side of the back. Using the zipper foot, you’r going to sew right along the edge of the foam scallop placemat. Sew around the entire perimeter of the scalloped placemat. When you come to a corner, make sure your needle is in the down position. Lift up your zipper foot, pivot your project, and then put your zipper foot down and continue sewing along the scallops.
Once you have everything assembled, you can trim away the excess fabric. I recommend trimming about an eighth inch away from your scallop seams. You’re gonna want to get close enough to where you won’t have excess of bulk when you flip this, but you don’t want to get too close where the seam will fall apart in the wash. Remember, these are placemats and you will be washing these so don’t make your cuts any less than 1/8 inch. Once you have everything trimmed, take your sharp snips and clip the corners. Then take Fray Check and put a drop of Fray Check around each of those snapped crevices.
Now it’s time to flip the project. The magic is happening. Flip the corners first and then continue flipping the rest of the placemat. I love using the Point 2 Point Turner to help get the curves all the way turned out. After your placemat is turned out, you are going to do some top stitching. I changed my presser foot to the regular presser foot, I changed my thread color to match my fabric, and I also changed the stitch length to three. You may change your thread a couple times. Once for the accent top-stitching and again for the border stitching. Remember to match your bobbin thread also! This project is done best when you pay attention to the details.
This is it fun and easy project to do, they make great gifts and perfect for creating your own custom decor for the Holidays and everyday as well!
Checkout my YouTube video tutorial and make a placement set for yourself!