Friday, May 28, 2010

new pattern: the favorite bag

well here it is. finally. that bag i made for myself and the one everyone keeps asking for a pattern. i meant to get this done earlier this week, but believe me when i say i've been busy with unexpected circumstances. more on that later. i have to give it a little bit of time before i find the humor in things...but when i do, boy do i have a story to tell you.
but for now please check out my pattern. you can buy the down loadable version here. it includes the lovely flower as well.

what i love about this bag:
-it's big enough to carry everything you need
-it's not huge so you don't end up carrying your kitchen sink in it.
- you can wear it with jeans.
-you can wear it with dressy clothes.
-it's just plain cute.
-i get compliments whenever i use it.

so you want to make one too? buy your instructions here.

or if you don't want to make the bag but just want to learn to make the flower buy the instructions here.

thank you much. i'm going to take a little bloggy break till tuesday. have a fantabulous memorial weekend!
we'll talk soon.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

my head is still spinning from market

so it's over.
market that is.
now i'm home.
but my head is still spinning.
what a whirlwind of events
and yes, no pooping of the pants happened.
okay a fast run down:
dana and i finally met in person. we knew we would hit it off. but it's always fun to get to know each other outside of the cyber world.

first dana and i stood in line so that we could get our grubby little hands on fabric that is due out later on this year. i mean i've heard of the sample spree and i've heard rumors of how things go in there. but really just experiencing it was a hoot and holler of a good time. i got me some fat quarter bundles of camille's bliss, oliver +S city weekend, and momo's its a hoot.
we, after the fact went out and got some super healthy snacks that consisted of chocolate and good n plenties at the super cool bi-level target in the downtown area. (camille would be so proud!) we awaited our third roomie cyndi. who happens to be one of the nicest strangers to room with. we walked away from the weekend being good friends.

i got to meet, shake hands with some amazing women (and men) in the fabric/pattern industry. i got to admire wonderful booths. i got to meet in person people that i have an online monthly, weekly , and sometimes daily relationships with.
from left to right top: angela yosten moda home mom, anne sutton bunny hill design
left to right bottom: carrie fresh cut quilts, jocelyn fat quarter shop

anne sutton and her best-ie anne won first place for their booth. i thought it was cute that they were both named "anne". so i started calling them "anne squared". they thought i was quite humorous. as a matter of fact they kept laughing at my jokes. i instantly fell in love with anne squared. :)

i was working on "stuff" (this bag being one of them...pattern coming soon) before i went to market with the lovely "it's a hoot" line by momo. i love this line i think it's my all time favorite line by moda.

on friday one of the most surprising things happened. i got a tap on my shoulder and a "V? Vanessa?" i turned around and because i've only seen her picture like once and she was in the background of that said so took me a second to realize that i was staring at the smiling face of THE crazy mom quilts. to which i jumped and gave her a bear hug. sorry amanda. we talked and shared pictures on our cameras and talked some more...and then some more and more. gosh, i wanted to pack her in my purse and keep here there just so i could pull her out and talk to her some more.

at one point i got to meet fellow blogger and only male moda bake shop chef quilt dad, kate spain (moda fabrics designer extraordinaire) and fellow blogger (from canada!) kaye prince.
the #1 comment i got when people met me for the first time was "wow, you are a lot shorter than i pictured you." then i would take off my heels and the jaw's would drop. yes, i'm a 5 foot 1 inch girl on a good day.
the #2 comment i got was "hey! i saw you dancing last night." to which i would of liked to respond "no you didn't. you didn't see anything."

dana and i had a few ventures out of the convention. we met up with another fellow mom craft blogger anna of noodlehead. she is just one of the nicest girls. and i'm pretty sure i embarrassed the hell out of her when before we left the quilt market and to meet up with dana we ventured over to amy butler's booth and i couldn't stop talking a mile a minute to THE amy butler.

me nervous=me talking really fast and kind of high pitched.
with a bunch of arm and hand movements. pretty sure amy butler was like "you need to slow down on the as in the drug speed."

also i've noticed this last weekend i say "fabulous" waaaaaaaaaay too much when i'm nervous. sorry amy fabulous time i'll stand behind the nice mid western girl (anna) who will just say you are great and keep walking by.

after embarrassing of myself at the amy butler booth we headed on out to some warehouse type of place where no joke from floor to ceiling were just rolls and bolts of fabric.
i got overwhelmed and ended up buying only three sets of buttons. yup i did.
at some point we found our way to great mall america. i think the facts on it was like it was 4 miles long or something like that and one amusement park inside of it. wonder if my small town would look into getting a great mall america.
by the end of the weekend and after saying our goodbyes to new found friends. i found myself at the airport staring at traveling families and their kids. i missed my husband and kids. and not to mention my bed.
okay off to bed. aka avoiding mountains of laundry and 200+ emails.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

guest blogger: lindsey of pleated poppy

hello! i'm lindsey from the pleated poppy.

by day i'm a mom to 3 littles and a part time home schooler.

by night i'm a blogger and shop keeper, working away into the wee hours in my little sweat shop.

i have a deep love for all things fabric: drooling over it online, buying, sewing, organizing, pairing up favorites. i am really thankful that my business allows me the excuse to buy all the fabric i want!

one of the long time staples in my shop has been crayon rolls.

these are perfect for gifts!
each of my girls have one and silas (2 1/2) has been begging for one, so i made up this adorable one for him. these are great for throwing in your purse, for keeping the littles busy in the car, waiting rooms, restaurants... and when they're done, they love that each crayon has its own little home

and they can roll it up themselves and secure it with the elastic.
so, are you ready for the tutorial? here you go!


2 pieces of same fabric for outside and inside - 5" x 16 1/2"

1 piece of coordinating fabric for pocket - 6" x 16 1/2"

1 piece of flannel for lining - 5" x 16 1/2"

1 coordinating hair elastic

1 button

needle and thread

1 box of 16 crayons (i get mine at walmart)

disappearing ink fabric marker

1. cut out all 4 pieces of fabric

2. fold pocket piece of fabric in half length-wise and iron flat.

i have found that it helps to actually PLUG IN the iron, and not the nearby vacuum cord.

crazy how that works!

3. lay out flannel piece.

its just a lining to give the roll a little more stability.

then lay one of the 5" wide pieces on top of the flannel (wrong side down),

then pocket piece on top of that, lining up all bottom edges.

pin at the ends.

4. find the midpoint of the pocket at 8 1/4".

with your fabric marker and a straight edge, mark the middle line.

5. then make a line every inch, until all 15 lines have been drawn.

see how the space after the last lines on each side is a little wider than 1 inch?

that's to allow for the seam allowance.

6. now stitch down the pocket.

i start at the center line, 1/4" below the top of the pocket, and back stitch (very important!),

then run your stitch all the way down.

work your way down the lines to the right, then to the left, until all lines are stitched down.

trim threads.

7. if you have a tag to add, do it now.

also stitch down the elastic on the far right side.

i take the seam part of the elastic (where its melted together) and pinch it.

i stitch it down just inside the edge, about a 147 times.

ok, not really but i really want to make sure the elastic holds when little hands are tugging on it.

8. now lay the outside piece on top of all that you have just attached together,

right sides together, and pin at each corner.

9. next stitch all pieces together with a 1/4" inseam.

start at the short end without the elastic, leaving about a 2" opening to turn right side out.

i marked my opening so you could see my placement.

clip the corners.

10. turn right side out and gently poke out corners. i like to use a chopstick for this.

11. spray your stitched down pocket lines with water before ironing crayon roll flat.

sometimes if you don't spray the marker lines,

when you iron it it makes the ink permanent rather than disappearing.

12. press all the edges flat and tuck in the edges of the opening.

13. starting just below the elastic, stitch very close to the outer edge to hold all the pieces together.

14. organize your crayons (my *favorite* part!) and tuck into pockets.

15. roll up tight.

gently stretch the elastic to find where the button should be sewn down.

sew on the button securely.

16. you're done!

find a cute little one to give this to and make their day!

i so hope you enjoy this little project!

as a thank you for reading through this very long tutorial,

use the code VANDCO for 15% off your order in my shop!

thanks vanessa, for inviting me over!


wow thanks lindsey! that's fantastic! okay well one more day and i should be on my way home from the wonderful world of fabric and patterns and designers. i hope i'm not in some corner rocking back and forth repeating in muttering words: "i'm not worthy i'm not worthy."
but knowing myself...yup someone check the corners.
we'll talk soon, have a nice rest of the weekend and i hope to see you on monday.

Friday, May 21, 2010

guest blogger tutorial: calli of make it do.

okay today please give a warm welcome to calli of make it do!

I thought with pretty good certainty that the last corsage I would ever pin on was at Senior Prom in High School.

But I was wrong. A few weeks ago I visited the Quilting Cottage in American Fork, Utah. I love the Quilting Cottage, which is not only a quaint little store, but they have a wonderful selection of fabrics. While there, I spoke with Wendy, one of the women who works there...

She was making ribbon flowers pins for an upcoming wedding. The pins look a lot like the ones they sell at Anthropologie, but hers are a fraction of the cost. They were so darling I would happily wear one.

Wendy was kind enough to teach me how to make them. Here's what you need:


  • 2-4 yards of wire ribbon (depending on how large and tight you want your flower) (I used one and 1/2 inch wide ribbon.)

  • quilting thread or other strong thread

  • small amount of felt

  • hair clip or pin (or both)


1. Pull on the wire of one side of the ribbon to ruffle. Ruffle the entire length of your piece of ribbon. Not all wire ribbon is the same. Some are more fragile, so pull gently. Leave a few inches wire hanging out from the ends, but clip away the rest to get it out of your way.


2. To start, fold your ribbon back on forth a few times (on the side of ribbon which you've just pulled the wire). Using quilting thread run a stitch through the ribbon several times to secure.


3. Start wrapping the ribbon around. Secure each wrap by stitching all the way through the layers in a star pattern.


4. Once it is large enough to be difficult to stitch through all the layers, secure by stitching to the previous layer.


5. When you come to the end of the ribbon, fold the the corner of ribbon back inside to hide the raw edge. Stitch into place. Cut off any excess wire hanging out of the ends. IMG_3148

6. Cut a circle out of felt to cover the back of the flower. I cut a second layer of felt in a wide strip and secured it with a zigzag on each side. That way I could easily slip in onto a hair clip or a pin.


7. Stitch the felt into place on the back of the flower using a blind stitch.


I love how this flower turned out. I used 4 yards of fabric for this flower, and made it fairly dense. It looks just like the peonies blooming in my garden right now. And it was fast and easy... my kind of one evening project. I'm off to make several more as gifts right now...

Check out my Felt Poinsettia Flower Pin as well.

calli that is just adorable! thanks so much! i could think of quite a few places where i would like one of those lovely flowers!
tomorrow we will have one more guest blogger tutorial. how exciting! i hope you all are having fun with these while i'm gone!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

winners of giveaway day

hi there i finally got access to internet and a computer at the same time so here are the winners of giveaway day:
random #s
650 shelly you get the simple abundance charm pack
255 cammie you get the verna charm pack
1054 elise you win baby life fabric
717 jennifer you get to pick a pattern from my shop!
838 morgan you get to pick a pattern from my shop!
778 rachel you get a pattern from my shop!
thanks to all who entered!
okay so off to bed. so far so good no crapping of pants happening and having lots of fun and laughter with this gal. pictures to come later on when i get a chance!
we'll talk soon.

guest blogger tutorial: allison of cluck cluck sew

Hey there fellow V & Co. readers! Allison here from the site Cluck. Cluck. Sew. While Vanessa is on a plane heading to quilt market (jealous!) I get to man her blog and share a fun tutorial with you. So here goes…..

Today we’re going to make a Petal Pillow. Its very easy, cost me under ten bucks, and took about half an hour to make. Plus it will add lots of summer color (is it summer yet?) to your house.


First you’ll need:

-a little over a 1/2 yard of fabric….19 inches to be exact. You can get away with a half yard if you already have it, just cut your pieces to 18" instead of 19". I used home weight fabric from Joann’s.

- 1/4 yard felt. Buy the good stuff on the bolt and not the cheap sheets in the kids crafts section. The stuff I used is made from recycled plastic bottles and is really stiff and thick. This felt came on a 60" bolt, but if the bolt is smaller you might want to buy a half yard just to be safe.

- a large and small cup (or other circles) for tracing, a large bowl for tracing, a pen, scissors, and cardstock to make your template.


Trace the rims of your cups onto your cardstock and cut out.


Pin the templates to your felt and cut out circles. I was able to cut 3-4 circles at a time by folding the felt.


Cut out roughly 30 large circles, and 20 small circles. You can always use more or less….but more the merrier I always say.

IMG_4328Now cut your circles in half.


Now your going to cut your fabric into three pieces.

1 large square 19 inches x 19 in. , 1 rectangle 19 in. x 15 in. , and 1 rectangle 19 in. x 12 in.


On the right side of the 19 in. by 19 in. square, trace a bowl or large plate marking a large circle in the middle. Leave 4-5 inches or so around the edges. (my circle is hard to see in the next pic…squint real hard and you’ll see it!)


Line up the edge of a large petal along the line you just traced. As you sew the petals on, overlap the petals about a 1/4 inch. Continue sewing around the circle, adding petals.


When you get near where you started, put a petal in between the previous petals, so they overlap. Then you can start putting petals underneath the previous set. I lined up the straight edges of my petals only 1/4 in. or so underneath the previous petals because I liked them packed in there. Again…the more the merrier and the closer they are the better it will look.

IMG_4344 IMG_4348

If you want extra volume in your petals, you can curve them and fold the edges as you sew to make the petals stand up a little bit. I started curving and bunching them a little bit on the third or fourth row.


After you’ve done four or five rows of large petals and you’re getting close to the center, you can switch to your small petals. Again, as you get closer to the center you can curve and bunch the straight edge of the petals so they stand up a little and look like real petals. When you get to the center add a couple petals that are good and bunched at the bottom for extra volume.

IMG_4355 IMG_4367

Cut a small circle out of felt about 1 inch, or large enough to cover your edges. Sew down with a few stitches in the center of the flower.


Your done with the hard part…now lets make your pillow.

Finish the short edges (12 inch and 15 inch) of your two back rectangles by folding one side under 1/2" twice and sewing.


Place your pillow front and back pieces right sides together, lining up edges. Put the larger rectangle down first against the flower right sides together, then put your smaller rectangle on top if it, right sides together. Pin well.


Sew around the edges with a 1/2" inch inseam. Because home decor fabric frays easily, serge or do a quick zig zag stitch around the edges. Trim your corners and turn inside out.


Stuff with an 18 inch pillow form and your done! Yay!


Thanks for crafting with me today. You can visit me anytime at Cluck. Cluck. Sew. for free quilt patterns and more tutorials. Thanks Vanessa for letting me invade your blog today and have fun at market for all of us!!!! -Allison

thanks alison! that is just absolutely gorgeous. big hugs and kiss that yummy little baby on the head for me!!!

tomorrow we have another guest blogger tutorial.

see how i've taken care of you while i'm gone?

Blog Widget by LinkWithin