Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category

Spring is definitely here in the Pacific Northwest and it is so exciting to get out in the garden and see all the plants coming to life. This exciting start to the new season has also inspired my Spring sewing. Time to break away from the cozy winter colors and fabrics and dig out the vibrant, exciting colors of Spring.

New Arrival just in time for Spring!

New Arrival just in time for Spring!

Just in time for Spring sewing, our fabric latest collection, Fresh Market Flowers 2, has arrived from Andover Fabrics. In our first collection of Market Flowers we put together all of our favorites to pick up at the local farmers market or down at Pike Place in Seattle. As a follow-up, we wanted to include the flowers market you can find right in your own backyard. Roses, sunflowers, hydrangeas, peonies and one of our favorites in springtime, magnolias!

Spring in the Northwest with Fresh Market Flowers 2

Spring in the Northwest with Fresh Market Flowers 2

 

Mix and match your favorite prints to create your own “bouquet.” Perfect for table runners, place mats and other items to enjoy around the house. We have also seen lots of amazing floral fabrics in ready to wear fashion this season- maybe a flirty sundress or gathered skirt will be the perfect addition to your spring wardrobe.

We have also come up with a few great quilt ideas to combine some of these beautiful florals. Our FREE downloadable pattern, Garden Scroll, reminds us of a garden trellis or an English garden laid out in beautiful blocks of color. Inspired by a traditional churn dash quilt block but then we added our own twist to it with the fabric placement.

Garden Stroll Downloadable Quilt Pattern

Garden Stroll Downloadable Quilt Pattern

We also re-imagined our best-selling pattern, Focus Feature, using a selection of the latest Fresh Market Flowers. Perfect sewing project for weekend sewing this Spring.

Our Focus Feature Pattern with Fresh Market Flowers

Our Focus Feature Pattern with Fresh Market Flowers

The possibilities this Spring are endless! We can’t wait to see what you come up with. Now time to get sewing!

Happy Spring!

Michelle

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Earlier this summer we were sewing up a storm getting ready for the Quilt! Knit! Stitch! show down in Portland, Oregon. In addition to all our fun Let’s Play Dolls panels and accessories, we took some of our other best selling patterns- one of which was our Hang it Up! Organizer pattern.

Since its release over a year ago, our Hang it Up! pattern has been our top seller due to its versatility and ability to be adapted for any number of uses. It started out as a great way for little girls to contain all of those 18″ doll clothes and accessories. Well, you can’t forget the little boys, so we made a version perfect for holding toy cars or even for organizing small building block or other bits and pieces they collect.

Organizers

We have also come up with all different ideas for the adults as well… I personally love using my Hang it Up! to help keep all of my electronic accessories (chargers, cords, cases, cards, etc) all in one place. Best of all I can just tuck it away in the closet until the next time I need something. No more digging through drawers and pulling out a tangled mess! It is also perfect for organizing jewelry- the clear pockets make it so easy for you to find just what you are looking for.

Hang it Up Display in Portland, OR

Hang it Up Display in Portland, OR

One of our customers emailed us last year with her own variation- She made up the Doll Closet Version (with the clothes bar at the bottom) added  few shower curtain rings to the rod and created the perfect place to keep all her scarves and matching jewelry. She made a few of them as gifts for her family and friends- such a great idea! The possibilities are endless and you are sure to come up with your own unique version and use.

 

In making quite a few of these organizers over the past year we have come up with a few tricks that will really save you some time, especially if you are making more than one.

The first trick is to use a Bias Tape Maker. I have gone years without one of these and totally regret it! This handy little tool will save you so much time- you can whip up yards and yards of double folded bias in no time.

Bias Tape Maker

Bias Tape Maker

I was always one of those people that pressed the fabric strip in half and then went back and pressed the edges to the center burning my fingers in the process. Just feed that fabric strip through the bias maker and it does almost all of that folding for you. Best of all NO fingers close to the iron!

Making Bias Tape

Making Bias Tape

 

One slight change in the instructions for the Hang it Up!– rather than cutting 2-1/2″ strips you only need to cut 2″ or 2-1/4″ strips so that they feed through the bias maker easily.

 

The next trick is to always have Wonder Clips on hand. Really this is more of a rule for  all sewing projects… I LOVE my Wonder Clips.

Wonder Clips 10 Pack

Wonder Clips 10 Pack

 

These handy clips were originally developed for attaching binding to your quilts but have become a sewing room staple. They are the perfect pin alternative- for when a pin just can’t handle a tough job or you don’t want to put all those holes in you project (like on vinyl or leather). They are the perfect tool when preparing your rows for the organizer.

Wonder Clips Holding Pocket Pleats in Place

Wonder Clips Holding Pocket Pleats in Place

 

Last but not least, Painters tape can be a miracle worker! I have used blue painters tape for years when I am sewing to mark unusual seam allowances on my machine base or to label quilt blocks or rows, but this handy tape can be super helpful when sewing with vinyl or laminated fabrics.

First, if you don’t have a Teflon foot for your machine, stick a bit of tape to the underside of your foot to prevent the vinyl from sticking or catching. Then, you can also apply it to any area (metal especially) on you machine where the vinyl likes to catch.This will save you a lot of aggravation. Some recommend sewing with the vinyl between layers of paper or tissue but I find this tedious and I really don’t like having to pick out all the paper bits when I am done sewing.

 

Those are all of the tricks that I have for now. I hope they make sewing your Hang it Up! Organizers a bit easier, or that you can apply these tips to the rest of your sewing. It is amazing where little tricks you pick up came in handy.

Happy Sewing!

Michelle

P.S With a all of the new fabric that is available and a brand new booth and show, we decided to change up some of our models and try some new combinations. We also kitted up some of these great fabrics and combinations to take to the show for easy shopping. A few of these kits are NOW available on our website while they last!

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Lavender harvest is in full swing this month all across the country (even the world!). It is one of my favorite parts of summer. Fresh cut lavender smells so good and I just can’t get enough. This spring I even started my own lavender hedge around my greenhouse. I can’t wait until it grows in a bit and I have all the lavender I could ever ask for.

Lavender in my garden!

Lavender in my garden!

Not only does this wonderful herb smell so incredible, it is my go to cure for those pesky mosquito bites I get when I am out working in the garden in the evening. Just a dab of essential oil and they disappear! I also love having it next to my bed or on my pillow to help me drift off to sleep.

 

In honor of the Lavender season we wanted to share with you our Lavender Bliss: Project Booklet filled with projects that you can make using dried lavender. One of my favorites is this Hanger Cover. It helps protect my clothes while also bringing a bit of freshness to my closet. The booklet includes sachets, pincushions, spa essential and lots more.

Lavender Hanger Cover project included in the booklet.

Lavender Hanger Cover project included in the project booklet.

We are also excited to announce the arrival of a new lavender print fabric! This is the perfect print for all of those small projects and don’t you just love the color?

Our latest lavender fabric print in purple.

Our latest lavender fabric print in purple.

THIS WEEK ONLY! With each Lavender Bliss: Project Booklet ordered we will be including a FREE fat eighth of our latest lavender fabric. Begins 7/21/14 and ends 7/27/14. Visit our website at www.firetraildesigns.com or simply CLICK on the image below.

Lavender Bliss: Project Booklet Cover

Lavender Bliss: Project Booklet

P.S. For those of you that don’t have a lavender farm near where you live, we have Dried Organic Lavender Florets on our website so that you don’t miss out! (Certified organic by the Washington State Department of Agriculture)

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The past few days in the Pacific Northwest have been amazing! I spent most of the afternoon yesterday out in the garden preparing the beds and even getting the potatoes and onions planted. I’m hoping to plant my favorite vegetable, peas, today. Last week we also took a trip up to the Skagit Valley to see all of the beautiful daffodils in bloom. Just a few more weeks and the tulips will be up!

Daffodil fields in the Skagit Valley, Washington 2014.

Daffodil fields in the Skagit Valley, Washington 2014.

Spring had definitely arrived and so has our latest fabric line with Andover Fabrics, Fresh Market Flowers. Inspired by our local Pike Place Market and the incredible flower markets we visited in Paris, this line includes NINE stunning flower allovers. Tulips, Mums, Irises, and Daisies! It arrived just in time for all of your Spring projects, maybe even a table runner or napkins for your Easter table.

Fabrics included in our Fresh Market Flowers Collection from Andover Fabrics.

A few of the fabrics included in our Fresh Market Flowers Collection from Andover Fabrics.

This line also includes a PANEL with eight, different flower market scenes. Perfect for a colorful quilt, table runners or other items to use around the house. Each block pairs perfectly with the market allover or wide awning stripe. We have a FREE Downloadable quilt pattern available on our website that uses one panel and a selection of the colorful flowers. I love using the green awning stripe as binding!

Free Downloadable Quilt Pattern for Fresh Market Flowers.

Free Downloadable Quilt Pattern for Fresh Market Flowers.

Watch for a fun GIVEAWAY of Fresh Market Flowers coming on the blog. You can also “Like” us on Facebook to make sure you don’t miss out.

Happy Spring!

Michelle

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Happy Belated New Year!
And what a new year it has been… and it is only the first month.

A lot has been going on here, both for Firetrail Designs and for me personally. My life kind of got turn upside down at the start of the year, but here is to new beginnings! We have also been working like crazy to develop all kinds of new thing from Firetrail Designs. Although some of it won’t be released until late this year, we can’t wait to share it with you.

One thing I have been most looking forward to for 2014 is the Handmade Birthday Club I joined at the end of last year. Susannah Kate put together this amazing club of crafters- we are divided into groups of 12 and each month we make a handmade gift for someone’s birthday. Then, in our birthday month we get spoiled by our 11 group members with their handmade gifts.

The only bad part… I have to wait all the way until September for my turn. It is so much fun to learn about each person and come up with the perfect project for them. And it is not just limited to sewing, people are making jewelry, knitting, crocheting, stitching and so much more!

 

January Birthday Girls! In my group, we had 2 girls with January birthdays. That means I had 2 gifts to make this month, but then I have a month off later this year.

First, there is Jessica (@SameOldKits), she loves rich colors, spends most of her free time knitting and cross-stitching and loves having handmade things around to decorate her home. After doing a little cyber-stalking (Pinterest, Instagram, etc) I decided to make her a pouch for her Q-Snap frame and cross-stitching supplies.

I used the new Anna Maria Horner Dowry collection (I am in love!) and designed my own pattern. It turned out perfect… lots of pockets to store all her supplies. I like it so much I am going to make one for myself (cross-stitching is my new nightly obsession).

The perfect pouch to hold all of your cross-stitch project essentials.

The perfect pouch to hold all of your cross-stitch project essentials.

Another view of the Cross-Stitch Pouch for Jessica. Love the deer pocket!

Another view of the Cross-Stitch Pouch for Jessica. Love the deer pocket!

Then, there is Gwendellyn (@TheRainbowRevolts), and she is a PINK girl! Did I mention she loves pink? Oh and she is a new sewer so she was looking for supplies to fill her craft room. One of the projects I have been meaning to make for myself is a sewing machine apron, to help contain my ripper, scissors, ruler and other supplies I always have by the machine.Apron Pattern

I thought this would be the perfect gift for Gwendellyn and her new hobby. The question was what fabric to use? Oh, how about pink! I used this pattern from Janae King and whipped up both the apron and matching pin cushion. I love how they turned out and best of all, the Birthday Girl did too.

Pink Sewing Machine Apron for Gwendellyn.

Pink Sewing Machine Apron for Gwendellyn.

I am happy to say, both of my packages arrived safe and sound and both girls loved my gifts as well as all of the wonderful gifts they got from the rest of the group. They were spoiled… but I guess that is the point! Now to start preparing for February…

Michelle

P.S. Check out the other gifts that were made by the rest of the group by visiting our Flickr page.

 

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This is a project that I have been planning for months, maybe even years!

I have been collecting selvages (or selvedges, whichever you like) over the past few years- in our studio there are separate bins for colored scraps and then one more for selvages. I have even caught myself wanting to buy a quilting fabric just for its AWESOME selvage (pathetic I know!).

The problem has been that I just haven’t found the right project to finally use any of them. And boy, it better be a good one if I have to break into that collection. These are selvages never to be seen again so the project must be RIGHT- you all know what I mean, it’s like cutting into that favorite piece of fabric that you will never find again. I even started a Pinterest board to remember the possible contenders…

Well, I finally decided on my first selvage project- Selvage covered shoes! It combines 2 of my favorites things FABRIC and SHOES, Oh my! I used the selvages that really meant the most to me- favorite colors or collections, special symbols and of course selvages from all of our own fabric collections so far.

I love how these shoes turned out and for the people who understand what they are, they do too. I do get some funny looks when I tell people what they are covered in and they have no idea what in the heck selvages are. If you ask me, they are the crazy ones not me!

Selvage Shoes Tutorial

Selvage Covered Shoes

Here is a short tutorial of how I put these works for art together!

Tutorial: Selvage Covered Shoes

Supplies-

-LOTS of Selvages!

-One Pair of Canvas shoes (I used TOMS, my favorites everyday shoes)- White works best since Selvages are mostly white.

-Mod Podge (or other decoupage medium)- I used Outdoor Mod Podge but I think Fabric Mod Podge would work too.

-Paint Brush

-Sharp Scissors

-A Surface you don’t mind getting a little messy- I put a bath towel down and then a bit of wax paper.

Supplies! Selvage Shoes Tutorial

Supplies!

Instructions-

-Assemble your supplies and begin laying out the selvages how you would like them to appear. Think about combinations of colors and words. I tried to have a nice mix on mine. Not all the same thing and not all lined up.

-Look at how the shoe is constructed and try to work in layers. For my TOMS I love the how the canvas wraps around the toes and wanted to keep that. So I started on one side, worked my way around the back and then tackled the front.

-Start at the bottom edge, painting a bit of Mod Podge on the surface of the shoe. Lay the desired selvage over the top so it sticks and then paint more Mod Podge over the top to make sure it is stuck and to seal it in. Repeat these steps working your way up the side of the shoe, over lapping each row of selvages as you go.

Selvage Shoes Tutorial

Layering Selvages and Mod Podge.

-Just keep layering Mod Podge and selvages, over lapping when needed. You may also find that you want to trim a selvage a bit to get just the right combination of colors, patterns or words showing. I left to top edge blank until I got all the way around the back part of the shoe. When you are ready, use selvages that are a bit wider and adhere them to the top edge. Apply Mod Podge to the inside to edge as well and fold the selvage over, creating a nice finished edge.

Selvage Shoes Tutorial

Finishing the top edge.

-Once I had the back portion of the shoe completely covered I began working on the toe. I started with the “bottom” layer of the show construction, saving the toe wrap around for last. Each piece extended a bit into the portion to be covered later so that I for sure cover every bit of canvas.

-This project is forgiving in that the pieces don’t set immediately, if needed you can always reposition. The only thing you can’t take back is if you cut a piece- the old adage applies- measure twice, cut once. I would even apply the piece uncut and then slip my scissors underneath and trim it down where needed.

Selvage Shoes Tutorial

Complete Shoe

-For the tip of the toe on the TOMS I laid strips up the front fold, then began wrapping the selvages across at an angle. This worked great! Every pair of shoes will be different and you will just have to play with what works/looks best for yours.

-Once you have the shoes completely covered and are happy with the layout, cover the entire shoe in a layer of Mod Podge. Let the shoes dry for a few hours or overnight and apply one more coat just to make sure everything is sealed. You don’t want your beautiful white selvages getting dirty! Let them cure for a couple of days and then they will be ready to wear. Enjoy and show them off to everyone you know- especially the quilters, who will all be extremely jealous!

Selvage Shoes Tutorial

Rocking my Selvage shoes.

~Michelle

P.S. I would love to see pictures and hear tales about your own selvage shoes or other projects. Please share!

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