Sunday, November 23, 2014

Quick Gifts for Christmas

Aprons Make the Perfect Gift

There's still time to make special gifts for Christmas giving. Here are a few from my pattern store at www.craftsy.com to check out.

Looking for a quick-and-easy apron for kids? Check out my Little Helper's Apron. It requires minimal yardage and time. Choose just the right fabric for each child on your list to make them extra special. The choices are endless at you favorite quilt shop. I suggest you preshrink your fabrics before sewing, as these aprons will get lots of use by little cooks and crafters.

 If you have machine that embroiders, choose lighter fabrics and  add a favorite design to the bib portion of the apron.


Here are two more apron patterns from my Craftsy store to make for yourself or for gifts this holiday season. A Holiday Apron for Mrs. Santa Claus is an adult-size, one-size fits most pattern. It's all dressed up with fancy buttons and a pretty belt buckle...perfect for those days when the hostess must be in the kitchen.

If you love to embroider, my gingham Jingle Trees Apron with tickle your fancy. My grandmother made these in the 1950s for church bazaar fundraisers and I inherited one from my Mom. Simple cross stitching on gingham was popular then. 

Make one for yourself and for other hostess on your gift list. If you don't have time to stitch right now, you'll love having this pattern on hand to start your stitching for gift giving next Christmas!
You can use it to teach a child to embroider too.

Tiny red ribbons and jingle bells adorn the top of each tree and rickrack is stitched in place below the tree trunks.

 Mug Rugs...Fun and Quick to Sew for Gifts

Have fun stitching up your favorite mug rug from my Santa and His Helpers Mug Rug pattern. They require small amounts of fabric, and you might have just what you need in your scrap basket or fabric stash. Make in sets of 3 like those shown or make a set of your single favorite design. Mug rugs don't take much time to make and are wonderful gifts. Or, you can turn them into mini wall hangings or large ornaments by adding a ribbon to the upper edge.






 And here's a fun set to make for your favorite Yoga teacher...The Yin and the Yang of It! Applique two pieces to each one, quilt and bind, and you'll have a set finished in no time!

 Or, for someone you love, choose Owl Always Love You or Here's My Heart Valentine Mug Rug. These make great gifts for Christmas or for Valentine's Day.









So, time's a wasting. Choose your favorites from this array of simple projects and enjoy the process as you make special gifts for the ones you love!
Until next time,
Keep on sewing and smiling!
Barbara

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Sewing Again...Two New Patterns

I've been really engaged in on-line art classes all year, but I returned to my machine in October to stitch up two new bag patterns. Both of them are available in my pattern store at Craftsy.com as downloadable PDFs...and one of them is even FREE!

Here's my new "Put a Bow On It Quilted Bag," designed specifically for quilted double-faced fabrics. Since those are sometimes difficult to find in prints and colors you love, I've also included directions in this pattern for quilting your own fabrics to make a truly one-of-a-kind bag.

I love the heart-shaped opening edge with a a magnetic snap closure, as well as the sturdy bottom, made so with bias-bound edges and an inside bottom support that you can remove and clean separately or when you need to launder your bag.




The outside pocket on the back is large enough for most cell phones...or for anything else you might want to tuck in it. On the underside of that part of the bag, there's a large divided pocket. When you stitch the outside pocket in place, it automatically divides the inside pocket.






All of the edges are finished inside and out. The binding on the bow is actually lining, cut extra large so it will wrap to the right side to create self-binding that isn't as bulky as double-layer binding used on other edges in the bag. That way, it's easier to draw up the gathering at the center of the bow--less bulky!

 Here's the link that will take you right to the pattern purchase page for Put a Bow on It Quilted Bag: http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/quilting/accessory/put-a-bow-on-it-quilted-bag/119550


Now for the FREE Pattern...The Quilted Jeans Tote


To make this fun tote, salvage an old and worn pair of your jeans (adult size with lots of usable leg below worn knee area). Or, purchase an inexpensive pair at your favorite thrift shop. 
Hanging pocket inside finished tote

Use the existing pockets for the exterior pocket and for a hanging pocket on the inside--for your phone and other small essentials.

This tote is the perfect size if you prefer a small purse or it makes a great book bag to carry your favorite book or e-reader. It's also a nice size for a bag for your tween or teen. 

I rummaged through my husband's discarded jeans to find a pair with good legs below the knees to make my bag. You could also use a new pair of jeans that you find on sale at one of your favorite discount clothing stores. Look for ones that don't have any Lycra content...the bag doesn't need to stretch
.

This pattern is FREE for downloading as a PDF at the following link: http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/quilting/accessory/the-quilted-jeans-tote/117080

I hope you'll check out both patterns, along with all the other tote, accessory, and quilt patterns that are available in my Craftsy pattern store.

Until next time, keep sewing and smiling!
Barbara

Friday, August 22, 2014

How to Make a Quilt


My latest book, How to Make a Quilt is now in print! What a treat to find a box of 12 copies in my mail when I arrived home from our three-week vacation in the San Juan Islands in Puget Sound!

Published by Storey Publishing, How to Make a Quilt is one of several books in their Storey Basics series. This 5 x 7" paperback book is 120 pages of step-by-step directions that will help a beginner learn to quilt, as well as serve as a helpful reminder for those who have made quilts but want helpful reminders. 


What's Inside

The book includes simple-to-follow illustrations and easy-to-follow directions for each of the basic steps, including pattern and color selection, block assembly, quilt-top assembly, simple quilting, and finishing steps. It's handy to keep by your sewing machine or tuck into your tote to take to quilting class. This is my third book for Storey, and as always, the experience working with them has been a stellar one.

The book includes directions for Log Cabin piecing with suggestions for a few Log Cabin projects. The chapter on learning how to make patchwork blocks includes directions for making 12 different sampler blocks using different techniques. You'll also find directions for turning the blocks into a small wall hanging (or table topper). You will use these techniques over and over when making other quilts and quilted projects.

At a price of only $9.95, this little book makes a great gift for crafty friend. I hope you will check it out at www.storey.com and enjoy using it or giving it as a gift. Until next time, 
Keep on Sewing and Smiling,
Barbara


PS If you are looking for a special tote pattern to make for carrying supplies to sewing or quilting classes, be sure to visit my pattern store at http://www.craftsy.com/user/153303/pattern-store
Check out The Quilted Carryall--my best-selling tote pattern--for a roomy 8-pocket bag!


Friday, May 30, 2014

Travel On...With Quilted Tote Bags and More

It's that time again to plan your summer travels and if you are thinking of stitching up a travel bag or two, you'll find several perfect patterns in my pattern store at www.crafsty.com. One of my travel bag patterns is selling up a storm right now. My Quilted Travel Tote is a wonderful bag tote with lots of room and plenty of pockets and is a wonderful carry-on bag and it's my topseller right now. It's designed so you can use it as an open-top tote, too. When you unzip, the zipper panel drops down inside. One of the outside pockets also has hidden zipper for security and there's an inside zipped pocket too! Directions are included for quilting your own fabric so you can make this bag reflect your own taste rather than settling for what's available in quilted double-sided fabric.

The Terrific Travel Tote

For a similarly styled travel tote made from unquilted fabric, check out The Terrific Travel Tote. It's really lightweight when sewn in outdoor fabric, or super stylish in tapestry or a decorator print like the one shown on the pattern cover. It has the same pockets and zip-top as the Quilted Travel Tote, making it a lighter version of the quilted one. Great to fold flat and pack in your baggage and then to tote all your goodies home from your trip.

It's Beach Time!

Travel to the beach in style and comfort with my Sew 'n' Go BeachMat Tote & Pillow. Unzip it at the sides and out it folds to a quilted mat. There's a matching pillow that fits inside the zipped tote for your comfort, whether you're lounging in the sand or poolside at your hotel. And there's plenty of room for other beachside accouterments. An outside pocket is perfect for small items!

Get Organized!

Use the three small bags in my latest pattern to pack and organize small items in your carry-on or your sewing tools for sewing and quilting classes. The Iron Caddy opens to reveal an insulated pressing mat that's the perfect size to keep by your sewing machine for quick pressing jobs with your mini iron or tacking iron.

Carry Me Tote with Handles

Ditty Bag

Iron Caddy /Pressing Mat
Pressing Mat with Mini-Iron
 

Happy Summer Sewing...

And remember that almost any tote bag you make can double as a travel companion. Check out my other tote bag designs and my quilt and other patterns in my Craftsy pattern store at:http://www.craftsy.com/user/153303/pattern-store

Have fun sewing for your travel time and keep on sewing and smiling!
Until next time,
Barbara




Thursday, May 15, 2014

A New Bag Pattern...Finally!

It's been a long time since I made a new bag pattern...and it took me a long time to finish this one. Too many distractions, including a vacation to Maui (poor me), a trip to Colorado for Easter with my Mom and family, illness, and now trying to find an Adult Family Care home for my husband's mom, who will be 100 in July! She fell and cracked ribs and can no longer live in Assisted Living, so the search is on for home that will be a good fit. I've also been taking a year-long mixed media art class, which has absorbed lots of time and revealed that I have more artistic talent then I every allowed myself to realize. I'll share some of that work in another upcoming post, along with a story about a very young Canadian girl who is winning quilting awards!!

So, back to my pattern. I've been wanting to stitch up some small bags for organizing sewing tools and handwork, and an iron caddy that would work for a craft-tacking iron as well as for packing my flat iron when on the go. The new pattern, Quilted  Sewing and Travel Organizers fills the bill. As with all of my patterns, this PDF pattern is available in my Craftsy pattern store at:
http://www.craftsy.com/user/153303/pattern-store
Quilted Sewing and Travel Organizer Bags

 Use this trio of quilted bags to stash your hand-sewing tools and craft iron so you can grab them and go when you're headed to sewing class or  appointments where you may have a little time for handwork. All three bags are made from quilted double-faced fabric and have pretty ribbon tassel pulls attached to the zipper pulls. All require a coil separating zipper--which facilitates bag construction and makes it possible to open the iron caddy to make it into a pressing pad. Here's the scoop on the three bags included in the pattern.

Ditty Bag

Ditty Bag

Finished Size: 2" x 5" x 7"
This little bag is super-quick to sew; the separating zipper is the key to making it easy to construct. It's the perfect size for your scissors, needles, thimble, measuring gauge, and any other small tools you want to keep together and close at hand. Use it when you travel to organize charger cords or other small items in your suitcase or carry-on.
Carry Me Tote

Carry Me Tote with Handles

Finished Size: 13-1/2" x 7" x 2-1/2"
This little bag is the perfect place to tuck your handwork, plus the Ditty Bag with your hand-sewing tools. It opens wide, making it easy to pack and then find what you've tucked inside. You can tuck your mini-iron in too, for sewing class or to use when staying in a hotel room. The tote is also a great travel companion for organizing small items in your carry-on or checked luggage.


Insulated Iron Caddy/Pressing Mat

Finished Size: 5" x 14" closed
                         10" x 14" open 

Use this multi-purpose caddy to pack a small craft iron for sewing class or tuck your flat iron and other small hair items  inside when traveling. There's room for other hair items too. Unzip it to reveal a padded pressing mat to keep by your sewing machine and to use at your table during during sewing or quilting classes. It's also good for small touch-up pressing jobs in your hotel room. Lined with silver-coated fabric for ironing boards, the caddy includes a layer of insulated batting too.

           
Insulated Iron Caddy/Pressing Mat



Unzip the Caddy to reveal a pressing mat to use with a craft iron.
Also use with your mini iron at the sewing machine.
Until Next time,

Keep sewing and smiling...and happy travels. Check out my Quilted Traveler's Tote in my Craftsy store, too. It's been on the Craftsy Leader Board this week. As the weather warms, I think lots of people are thinking about upcoming vacations and sewing bags stash their stuff while on the go!

Barbara


           





Sunday, January 26, 2014

Just for the Yin & the Yang of It...A Mug Rug Set

I Almost Forgot to Post These!

Earlier last year, I started taking Yoga at a wonderful studio in Vancouver, WA. Walking into Shanti (peace) was like coming home to myself, for not only is its staff warm and welcoming, they also provide opportunities to explore your soul purpose, in addition to teaching you how to use your breath to support, understand, and move your body in ways that support you physically and emotionally. I started Yoga on my Dr.'s recommendation to help with chronic low back pain, and it has been immensely helpful.

My experiences at Shanti were a good reminder of Yin and Yang. As I've known and accepted for a long time, life is a field of opposites, both light and dark, and they complement each other. "They are essential to life," as my meditation teacher says and "Life is a dance of light and dark." From darkness comes illumination if we are willing to look for it. The ancient Yin and Yang are symbols for this, and are typically drawn with a circle of the opposite color in the "head" of the paisley motif, showing that light and dark are within each other. Because the two are identically shaped, they nestle into each other, completing the circle of life. For me they are a symbol of learning to be at peace with all that life offers up.
The Yin and the Yang of It Quilted Mug Rugs

For Valentine's day, I substituted a heart in each one, signifying the importance of learning to love all of life--the light and the dark! Then your soul finds peace. As quilted mug rugs, they made the perfect gift for my Yoga instructor, who at the tender age of 35 is one of the wisest women I know! She has blessed me with her powerful presence, her love, and her compassion and continues to do so every week. Blessings to you, dear Heather!

The mug rugs are super easy to sew since there are only two simple shapes to applique with fusible web. I did simple rows of quilting around the shapes, letting them run off the edge as necessary. Sized at just 6" x 9" each, the mug rugs take minimal fabric. You can use them as small wall hangings, too. I'm happy that others like my design--in the past two days, I've sold two of the PDF downloadable patterns for this design in my Craftsy pattern store: http://www.craftsy.com/user/153303/pattern-store

Be sure to check out the other PDF patterns in my Craftsy store. There are mug rugs for many seasons and reasons, plus placemats, table runners, quilts, and tote bags--over 75 in all! Have fun shopping!

Until next time,
Keep on sewing and smiling!
Barbara

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Oh My Stars...A Wonderful Quilt to Sew for Baby

If you are looking for a special design to sew for a baby, consider Oh My Stars! It makes a lovely wall quilt for baby's nursery, stitched up in pastels or in brighter colors. The quilt pattern is available as a downloadable PDF at my Craftsy pattern store: http://www.craftsy.com/user/153303/pattern-store
Oh My Stars Sampler Quilt by Barbara Weiland Talbert

My original design features nine different star blocks--great for a beginner to make as a sampler quilt while learning basic quiltmaking techniques.

Each block is surrounded by sashing strips and then assembled to make the center of the quilt top.




The fun and finishing touch is the piano key border with small star blocks at each corner.













 Last year, I received an email from a customer who had purchased my pattern and was making it for her new granddaughter, due in January 2014. Chris needed help because she wanted to change the design by adding a fourth row of star blocks and wondered about how much more fabric she might need. We had several lovely e-mail exchanges and I asked Chris to share photos of the quilt when she had finished it. Yesterday, she sent me photos of her beautiful quilt and said I could share them here with you! I love this first "atmospheric shot" she took outdoors. She did an outstanding job of choosing bright cheery colors and her workmanship is beautiful. I am sure her granddaughter will treasure this bit of stitched-up love!
Oh My Stars Sampler by Chris Wenzel 
This view more clearly shows all of the colorful fabrics Chris combined, plus the three extra (and different blocks she added, which are all in the bottom row (if my eyes are not tricking me). Star blocks are similar but different, so it's difficult sometimes to tell "which to which" as my cousin said when he was young! Kudos to Chris for this beautiful quilted keepsake! Lucky baby!


If you love applique quilts, you might want to consider this design. Barnyard Babies been a popular pattern with quilters looking for a baby quilt to stitch. The sashed setting is fun and fusible applique makes the blocks easy to stitch up. Of course, you can do hand applique if you prefer! As with all of my patterns, this one is also available at my Craftsy pattern store: http://www.craftsy.com/user/153303/pattern-store

Barnyard Babies by Barbara Weiland Talbert

As always, I would love to see any quilts you make using my patterns! My email address is featured in all of them!

Until next time, keep sewing and smiling!
Barbara