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The other day when I was doing a little Q and A with our studio assistant Amy, I asked her to tell me her favorite project or thing she’d made. It got me thinking a little about my own favorite projects. There are a lot of little things I’ve really enjoyed sewing, especially some of Anabelle’s first dresses (here, and here thanks to Oliver + S patterns), adorned with special little buttons from my collections. But the one that I get to enjoy most often is the Raaga cross quilt that covers our bed. It was the first project I made with our Raaga organic fabric collection, and I absolutely loved working with it, and loved how the quilt turned out. It still makes me very happy. I thought I’d share a little tutorial on how to make this quilt, or one like it. Easy peasy!
the Raaga Cross Quilt tutorial
You will need (for a 84×75″ quilt):
scant 1/2 yard cuts of 8 fabrics (I used selections from the Raaga collection)
5 yards off-white or other solid
about 6.5 yards of fabric for the backing
quilt binding or about 3/4 yard fabric to create binding
Cut your printed fabrics into 4×4″ squares. I used between 30 and 40 squares of each print. Then cut the solids. I used about 182 4×4 white squares, and 97 4×10″ white strips.
Lay out your crosses and sew them together with a 1/2″ seam allowance.
Once I have the basic crosses sewn together, I like to lay them out and arrange my design.
Once you know how you’d like to arrange all the crosses and squares, go ahead and sew together the full quilt blocks. You will need to sew another set of squares and strips to the top and right sides to finish off the quilt top and make it symmetrical (these were included in the initial count).
Sew your quilt blocks together in your arranged design. I usually join them from left to right and then sew the strips from top to bottom.
Create your quilt back. This can be as simple as one solid fabric, or you can do a design on the back as well. I joined 6 16×78″ strips of 3 fabrics cross-wise to create the backing for this quilt. Be sure that the backing works out to be larger than the quilt top – I usually add 2 or 3 extra inches all the way around.
Cut your batting a few inches larger than the quilt top and pin all three layers together at regular intervals about 1 foot apart (unless you’re handing off to a long-arm quilter, which is what I do, because they usually want the quilt unpinned).
Quilt your quilt. Ha! Funny how the longest step can be summed up into such a short sentance. Full disclosure: these days, I hand the quilts off to a long-arm quilter at this point. As much as I love the look of hand-quilting, I just don’t have the time, and my sewing machine is not really set up for major quilting projects. This one was quilted with a wonderful geometric pattern by Holly Trapp of Sunnyvale, CA.
Aaaaand you’re done!
About 6 weeks ago, a most wonderful thing happened here: I finally hired a studio assistant! Amy Shade has a background in sewing and organic fabric, and has been keeping things humming along beautifully here. Many of you may have gotten to know her a bit over email, and she’s been packing and shipping most of the orders as well. Welcome, Amy! Here’s a photo, so you can put a face with the person on the other end of you order or email (or even phone – she does that too sometimes!), and a little Q and A so that you know something about her.
Hey Amy! What do you like to do when you’re not holding down the fort at Monaluna?
A: I like to sew, hike, and I like turtles and cats. I read a hell of a lot, too!
Q: Do you have any pets?
A: I have a black cat named Momo.
Q: Do you have any favorite designers?
A: I adore Lotta Jansdotter and I really like Orla Kiely, too.
Q: What’s your favorite spot in the world?
A: Karuizawa, Japan. We used to live in Japan and had a cabin there – it’s a beautiful place.
Q: Do you have a favorite project or thing you’ve made?
A: I’m pretty happy with the upholstery job i did on my couch recently!
I can hardly believe it, but Anabelle turned 4 on the last day of Quilt Market last month. We had a little party with family in Pittsburgh, but Anabelle had made it quite clear that she wanted to have her friends over for a birthday party at her house this year. Her birthday usually gets short shrift, since we’re always either at market or just home, so I wanted to do something fun this year. We sent some invites to neighbors and her closest friends at school (I had initially wanted to invite the whole group, until I realized that with siblings and parents, that could top 200 people) and went off to market with no further plans. By the end of the show, I realized I still had no idea what to do with close to 20 kids and 20 adults, and would only have 3 evenings to prepare. Luckily, I complained to the right person! Karen LePage was helping us in our booth that day, and 5 minutes after my “what am I going to do?” moment we had brainstormed and hashed out pretty much everything I needed for a crafty, bubbly birthday party for 4-year-olds.
We picked up 3 Lack coffee tables from Ikea for craft stations, did a run to Michael’s (Warning: not recommended shopping with young children! Waaaay too many sparkly things at eye level!) and found some easy bubble recipes online. By Saturday morning, we had glitter glue, paint, stamps, feathers, jewels, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, paper bags for puppets, clothes pins for dolls, crayons, markers drawing paper, and enough bubble mixture to fill about 36 1/2 pint mason jars. We were set!
I thought there might be some hesitation by the kids, but no: one look at the Elmer’s glue and feathers and they were all in.
We ended up with a lovely (improvised) gallery of paintings…
… and a lot of CRAFTERMATH!
That’s the beauty of an outdoor party.
Hello friends! We just got back from the spring International Quilt Market in Pittsburgh, PA, and we had such a great time! It always feels like an insurmountable task the month before the show, but somehow samples get sewn (thanks to Karen at One Girl Circus and all you other helpers), materials get designed, props get ordered and delivered, and it all comes together. This show was a breeze, thanks to our dear family in PA (and the road-trippers from TX) who pitched in and helped. These days I get precious few minutes out of our booth, so I didn’t get any photos of the rest of the show, but I have a bunch of shots from our booth to share. We had a lot to show off this time, with two new woven collections (Haven and Under the Sea), two knit collections (Marrakech and Meadow knits, both due this August/September), and new sewing patterns (out next month).
First of all, the David L. Lawrence convention center is gorgeous! I truly never thought I’d use that adjective to describe a convention center, but as they go, this one really is nice. Lots of natural light from skylights and big windows overlooking the river, and that makes spending 3 solid days indoors much, much more enjoyable. In fact, the whole city really was lovely, and the fact that it was raining much of the trip made it even better, since I’ve almost forgotten what rain feels like.
This is what our booth looked like upon arrival…
… and once we’d finished with it:
We created little vignettes of each of our new collections, along with some of the inspiration photos and early sketches of the collection. Here’s the Haven group:
Here’s our vignette for Under the Sea (though i just noticed our little boy is missing his shirt… that came last minute before the show):
AND we have three brand new sewing patterns coming out next month! The adorable Ella Dress, the skater shirt and the Solstice dress and tank/short set (for knits) will all be available by the end of June. (Check out the stunning turquoise sewing machine that Karen at One Girl Circus lent me to use in the booth!)
I can’t believe the show has already come and gone, but the next one will be here before we know it!
I took a few minutes to wander through the garden and collect some flowers this morning in celebration of Earth Day. Things have been moving fast around here lately, and can get pretty hectic, but I’m always amazed how much better I feel after a little break outside, whether it’s a check-in with the plants (cranberry bean seedlings popped up this morning!), lunch in the yard or a hike in the hills. I hope you all get a chance to get outside and enjoy the environment today! To honor the day, we’re offering 10% off all Monaluna orders through the weekend.
It’s been a busy month here at Monaluna! We got our first collections of organic cotton knits in a couple of weeks ago, and they’ve been flying off the shelves. Our Raaga knit collection, printed on organic cotton jersey, has been a hit for little girl’s dresses, baby wear and for pairing with our new Ashland patterns. The Woodland collection, with the beefier organic interlock basecloth, has been popular for, well, everything! We’re already out of stock on a few prints, but we’ve got a new printing underway, and will have Foxy, Polka and Swedish Forest back in stock soon!
We’re also expecting to get our reprint of much of Fox Hollow and our core solids, including a new coral red solid, very soon! In store next month we’ll have Wonderland Blue, Shroomy, Happy Patch, Stripey Blue and A is for Apple. Yay! It’s like welcoming home old friends. And don’t worry: we got the message about Foxy Returns, and that print will be back in stock soon, too – probably early May.
Finally, we’ve got two new woven collections, a knit group and several new patterns in the works for spring! Here’s a little peek at what’s coming up:
Happy new year, everybody! This past week has been a busy one after a nice holiday break, and I’m looking toward spring. Easier for me to imagine, here where it’s been in the 60′s most days, than for those of you in the polar vortex, but spring will get here eventually! It has helped that I’ve been surrounding myself with some playful watery creatures. Here’s a little peek of what’s coming…
The holidays have arrived again! My mom just flew in from Minneapolis on Monday, and will be here through Christmas, so I’m doing a little check-list of holiday supplies. Last year was the first Christmas that we spent in our own home, and I realized too late that we didn’t have our own Christmas stockings. The arrival of Meadow last week has given me a perfect opportunity to stitch up some richly-hued stockings to hang… over the floor heater, I guess. Here’s a little tutorial for making simple, unique holiday stockings.
What you will need:
-large paper for pattern
-fabric and 1-3 contrast fabrics
-1/4″ cotton batting
-trim (ricrac, etc), if desired
-ribbon or trim for hanging
-sewing machine, thread, pins etc.
Step 1: Create pattern and cut out pieces
I started out by making a stocking-shaped sketch on a large piece of paper. Trace the shape with a sharpie and cut out. This will serve as the pattern for the lining and batting, and the template for the outside layer of the stocking (heretofore referred to as “the stocking”). Mine was roughly 12″x20″ at the largest points, but you can vary the size depending on the end result you want.
Then, if you would like to incorporate other fabrics, you can customize it by choosing ways to piece the stocking. I did two versions, one with accent toe and heel, and the other with a pieced stocking:
Cut out the individual shapes (making sure to keep the original stocking shape in one piece) and use these as pattern pieces to cut out the fabrics, adding 1/2″ seam allowance all around each pattern piece. Lay each piece on double-layer fabric (with wrong sides facing) so that you have uniform pieces for the front and back of the stocking. Use the original uncut shape to cut out the lining (cut 2) and the batting (cut 2). (Note: keep in mind that the lining will be folded down to create the “cuff” at the top of the stocking, so if you’re using a directional print for the lining, you should place the pattern pieces on the print so that they appear upside-down. This way, when the cuff is folded down, the print will be right-side-up.)
Step 2: pin and stitch
Sew your pieces together with a 1/2 inch seam. Then trim the seams to 1/4″ and press open. If you are doing a curved heel seam and are a beginning sewist, I will warn you that it can be a bit trickier than a straight seam, but if you clip both curved edges with a 1/4″ clip every inch, the edges should meet up. Just press this seam away from the heel.
Pin the outer stocking to the batting:
Then place the corresponding lining piece on top of the stocking with right sides facing. If you’re planning to use a trim at the top edge of the stocking (which will then be folded down to form the bottom edge of the cuff), insert it between the two layers and pin in place. Stitch with a 1/2″ seam and open out.
Repeat for the back side of the stocking, and then place the back & back lining on top of the front & front lining, as pictured:
Cut a 6″ piece of ribbon or trim, form into a loop and insert about 2 1/2″ from the top seam on the back side of the stocking lining, with the raw edges of the ribbon matching the raw edges of the lining.
Pin in place. Pin stockings together at any seams you would like to match up, plus a few other spots.
Choose a place on the stocking lining (I chose the bottom of the foot) and stitch with a 1/2″ seam allowance all the way around the stocking, leaving a 3″ opening in the lining. This will allow you to pull the stocking “right side out”. Once you’ve stitched the stockings together, trim or pink the edges to about 1/4″.
Then, reach into the lining and grab the toe of the outer stocking, pulling it through the hole until the whole stocking is right-side-out. press stocking and all seams.
Then, stitch up the turning hole…
stuff the lining inside the stocking, turn down the cuff and you’re done!