Thursday, November 24, 2011

'Tis the Season!

Poinsettia by La Todera Patterns

Its definitely time for making Xmas crafts! 

I love to "play" in the evening by stitching up something pretty such as these Poinsettias as well as the  Cream Puff Christmas Trees. Both of these are patterns by La Todera. I met the designer last spring at a sewing venue ~ she was great and I fell in love with all of her patterns for flowers! Before we went to the Houston Quilt Festival I made up several of the Poinsettias and three sets of the Christmas trees for our booth as samples of the patterns. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined how many of these patterns we sold! We ran out twice and then took orders. You just never know . . . .

I found some pictures on my phone that I took while making a poinsettia and thought that I would share these on my blog. Perhaps if you are making one or would like to get a pattern of your own and try one out, my notes will help your flower turn out . . . Perfect! However, I must say that, Julie Creus, the designer of La Todera patterns, has clearly written step by step directions that include a black and white photo of each segment.  

So, here goes . . . after I cut out my petals and fold them into the proper shape, I put a couple of pins along the center folds so that they do not have the opportunity to shift AT ALL! You will want the "points" of your flower to be very pointed ~ naturally!

You could trim off the bottoms to make them more even than mine are shown here, but I do not think that it is critical.

Julie's directions are quite clear about where to begin your first stitch and where to end your last, but I am very much a "type A". I want a map! She tells you that you will have a specific number of stitches per petal - it varies with the size of the petal. So, I did a little math and will the help of a ruler and my trusty Frixion pen ~ which is a new erasable gel pen from Pilot (you can order them from our website as well as locate them at your local office supply) ~ I marked "dots" on my petal. Voila, my map!

This was my attempt to make the flower impossible to mess up! 
See my dots!!!

Another helpful hint is that I used heavy duty quilting cotton thread to stitch up my petals. I honestly cannot remember if Julie's pattern suggested to use this or something else. I gathered each petal as tightly as I could pull it and then knotted each petal off before I added the next one. After all of the petals were stitched - one immediately following the previous one, I then tied a couple of really secure knots at the end of the circle of petals. Before I cut this thread, I then pulled my needle through the very first pleat of the first petal, pulled tightly to draw them all into one circlet and tied another couple of knots.


Here is the final flower before I added the centers.

I followed the directions to add the centers for this flower. Look at my very first picture above to see the little green puffy centers. Cute! But, of course, I always have to add my own creative touch. If you look closely at the other two flowers you will see that I glued beaded balls to the centers! 

Of course, all poinsettias are not white! So, I made one up in a white and silver taffeta rather than a red tone on tone quilting cotton. Isn't this elegant!

After I made several Poinsettias in different sizes which by the way make great centerpieces, tree ornaments or brooches, I decided to try making the Cream Puff Christmas Trees and got hooked.

Here is my first set in Christmas print in soft blue and lime.
Next, I tried an eclectic mix of hot pink, gold and red!

Notice that I got a little more adventurous with my decorations.

But, then . . . I decided to really go out on a limb (pardon the pun! - ah, there are no visible branches!) and chose a black and white snowflake print and really went crazy with tree decorations!

Maybe I am having a little too much fun! 

So, after all the Turkey and trimmings have been devoured, escape to your own bubble of creativity and whip up some gorgeous flowers and trees! Happy Stitching!!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Houston International Quilt Festival 
~ it was fantastic! 

Its always a great show to BE at! Here are a few pictures of our booths at the Festival. You can see that we chose a Holiday theme ~ All red, green and sparkly!!!

We introduced several new items for women. You can see a couple of different jackets from Kay Whitt of Serendipity Studios.  Her jackets are the first three to the left: Savannah Swing Jacket, The Catherine Coat (in a silvery grey silk/wool blend) and then another Swing jacket. Beneath the first jacket (pink/grey paisley) on your left is her Gore Skirt (in soft grey linen look rayon), taken from the Formula II Skirt booklet. Hanging below the Catherine Coat is the ever popular Priscilla Tunic. Kay's  new Pouf skirt is under my purple Swing Jacket. Its made out of an incredible cotton & silk burnout. We had so many new goodies! Most of these will appear on our website this week - promise!

We had lots and lots of kits for children ~ as always! You might recognize some of the kits in the first picture. From left to right: Frosty, Snowflake (with a doll version), Candy Cane, Christmas Magic (also with a doll version), Christmas Candy and a white furry baby jacket (all sold out!) A couple of these kits will be posted to our site early this week as they did not get photographed before we left.

We debuted several new kits for kids that were not Holiday themed. Here, from left to right, are Sugarplum, Violette, Kyoko and at the end Tea Party (not new). Behind Tea Party was a new kit that did sell out: Tatiana. I'll just have to design another new skirt kit!

We did have ~ for the first time ever ~ two quilts!!! This is new for Sew It Up, but I promise that you will be seeing more in the quilting arena from us. More modern than traditional and very colorful - of course! That seems to be my trademark.

The one of the left was made (by of very own Linda, who works in the shop) using a new collection from Moda Fabrics by the name of Flora. Unfortunately my photo just does not do it justice. The fabrics and charm packs are on our site. You can see the colors much better there. Flora 

The quilt on the right used fabrics from the Ruby collection; also from Moda Fabrics. This one was made by Janice (who also works in the shop) and designed by Linda. Ruby Linda has told me that she will post this pattern here on the blog later this week!

I would like to share with everyone which patterns were the most popular this year for Festival, but that will be in my next blog!