The world of Modern Quilting is a "wonky" world. If something is "wonky" it means angles, sides and points are not necessarily straight and true. For years, "wonky" was the worst thing your quilt could be. It meant all those carefully cut squares and triangles and strips were not precise. But like coloring outside the lines, this imperfection is what gives a modern quilt its free-form creativity. "Cut until it fits" is a mantra followed by many a modern quilter. One of our favorite modern quilters is Heather Jones, who was our guest yesterday with a tutorial on Straight Line Quilting. Today, Heather's back with a Guest Project from the wonky world: the wonky log cabin block. Take it away, Heather!
One of the very first people we profiled in our Creative People We Love series was Ms. Heather Jones. Ours is a long lasting love! When we originally met Heather, we knew her as the beauty and brains behind Olive & Ollie, a site specializing in some of the most adorable children's clothing we'd ever seen. And although O&O is still a creative outlet for Heather, most recently, she has been making quite a name for herself in the world of Modern Quilting: winning numerous contests, getting ready to debut her own line of Modern Quilting patterns, becoming a member of the Riley Blake Design Team, and just last week, doing another guest appearance on Quilting Arts TV. We feel very, very special and lucky that Heather found the time to create today's awesome Guest Tutorial on one of her specialties: Straight Line Quilting. Enjoy... and be watching this woman; there are certainly more amazing things to come!
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We use binding on many projects here at Sew4Home, and we always get lots of compliments about how nice it looks. We also get lots of questions about how we managed to pull that off! So, we decided to write a comprehensive binding tutorial you can refer to over and over. We cover how to cut your binding fabric, which way to press it, how to join it at the ends, and how to actually sew it to your project. If you're an "old hand" at the binding biz, this will be a nice refresher. If you're brand new, we encourage you to take each part of the process step by step. Before you know it, you'll be an "old hand" too.
One of the common areas of sewing frustration, especially if you're new, is the corner. Those pesky four corners create any square or rectangular item, like the home décor standard: the pillow! In reality, any time you sew two pieces together then turn them right side out, that turned-out seam becomes the clean, finished edge you ( and everyone else) will see. The number one goal when sewing a corner is to be precise. You must stop and pivot at the exact point where the seam allowances on the two sides intersect. This precision stitching, when combined with proper trimming of the excess fabric from the seam allowance, will create a beautiful sharp point and smooth edge every time.
We recently ran a Great Giveaway in which we asked our S4H friends and fans to come up with unique ways to use Moda's toweling: 16" wide, pre-hemmed panels in 100% cotton. There were some really fun ideas from kitchen linens to totes to garments, and it got our own wheels turning. We pushed our thinking out of the box and dreamed BIG. What if we looked at the toweling as long finished panels rather than little, bitty cuts? Bingo! We designed a twin duvet cover and bed skirt combo that makes full use of those wonderful pre-hemmed sides. If you're a regular visitor to Sew4Home you might be surprised by our all-natural color theme. We needed the neutral palette so the duvet and skirt could act as a backdrop for piles of pillows and stacks of throws as we got my home studio ready for a photo shoot with Where Women Create magazine!
If you hang out with us here at Sew4Home on a regular basis, you know we love aprons! We've done retro aprons, hostess aprons, mom and daughter matching aprons, BBQ aprons and more, but when we received a recent email from a S4H fan, we realized we'd left someone out! You Asked 4 It ... and today, we have a great boy's apron for the little chefs in your kitchen. Of course, you're welcome to make it for any culinary kid, but we styled it to be boy-friendly. It's modeled on the classic long French Chef's apron, and we used a trio of fun 5 Funky Monkeys fabric from Moda, courtesy of our friends at Fat Quarter Shop.
You see their logos every day on our site, but who are the people behind those sponsor icons? We thought it was high time our Sew4Home friends and fans got to know a little bit about the great people and companies who support us, and make it possible for us to continue to bring you projects, techniques, giveaways and more all FREE of charge! Janome America is a charter sponsor of Sew4Home, which means they have been here from the get-go. This has been an incredible advantage for us; being able to create all our projects on Janome machines makes everything faster and easier, with incredible stitch quality every time. One of my favorite Janome slogans is: "The easier the tools, the more creative you become." It's so true! When you know you don't have to worry about a machine's precision or power, sewing is frustration-free. We were fortunate to get some time to talk with the head of Janome America, Toshi Takayasu. With 20+ years at Janome, in Japan and around the globe, Toshi is very serious about the sewing industry, yet he is also a delightful man with many interesting stories. He opened up to us about the differences and similarities he has observed in the many different countries in which he's lived, the new opportunities he sees for blending sewing with the world of crafting, and a particularly wild dinner menu in the Northern Territory of Australia.
One of our very favorite Storage Solutions patterns gets a update as the world's cutest sewing basket. We designed this version with shorter sides for easy access to the inside, then added pockets all around for tools and notions. The Hello Kitty® cotton canvas fabric came to us courtesy of our good friends at CityCraft . It's the perfect weight of fabric for the job and absolutely adorable. To really send the cute factor through the roof, we created a matching Hello Kitty® pincushion that can be made for your leftover scraps. Embroider eyes and a nose for her face and the pins become her whiskers. This would make the perfect organizer for your beginning sewer, but everybody loves Hello Kitty®, so it's really perfect for anyone... including YOU! Stay tuned this week, because there's a BIG Hello Kitty® surprise coming this Friday from our friends and sponsoring partners: Janome America .