Wow, the World of Geekcraft blog tour is starting next week – huge thank-you to everyone supporting the book with a review or photo post! I’ll have all the details to share tomorrow but look for some good giveaways, project posts and other surprises starting next Monday, May 2. I’ve been adding some new content to the book site, too, with more on the way – I just made an events page listing everything I have planned for the book so far, and thought I’d post the first couple things right here too.
First, this Saturday, April 30 – I’m donating two signed copies of the book to the Guardian Games Fundraiser for Japan, 11am – 10pm! Stop by anytime for games and tournaments galore (full list below) and the chance to win tons of raffle prizes, including the book.
Proceeds will go directly to help the people of Sendai, Japan get food, water, medicine, and clothing. All gamers welcome to come join in the fun. Donate time, money, or prizes and earn raffle tickets. Pay an entry fee to a special event and earn raffle tickets. Raffle tickets for playing games, winning games, teaching games, buying games, donating money, donating prizes. Open board gaming all day with the opportunity to get raffle tickets as above.
$5.00 entry to most Magic events except drafts. They’ll be $15 ($5 donation, 3 packs draft, 1 pack prize pool). Saturday night draft grand prize is $100 donated in winner’s name by Guardian.
Warhammer 40k 1500pt tournament at 2pm
Magic the Gathering tournaments: Standard tournament at noon Draft at 6pm 8-person drafts, EDH, and Standard flights all day! 4-person mini-masters all day!
BattleStar Galactica boardgame at 6pm
Pirates Games hosted by PDXYar all day long *Sealed Pirates at 1pm *Savage Worlds RPG with Sven Forkbeard at 4-7pm
On Saturday, May 7, I’ll be signing books and shopping for treasures at Crafty Wonderland, 11-6 pm at the Oregon Convention Center. I’m going first from noon to 1:30, with free kits to make your own magnets for anyone who buys or brings a copy of the book, then superstars Heidi Kenney and Cathy Callahan will be signing their books too!
In the meantime, I’ve gotten some peeks at the book out in the world which has been so cool! Powell’s has a nice display at both entrances (it’s 30% off as a new favorite, too!)
Rachel spotted it at Booksmith in San Francisco,
PS: If you’re looking for a signed copy of either of my new books, I donated two copies of each to the Raleigh Tornado Fundraiser shop, which is raising money for the Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Raleigh after the storms that killed 22 people in North Carolina and left many more homeless. I’d be so grateful if you or a friend who wants one chose to support their fundraiser, thank you!
I’m so happy that my partner Daniela and I got to ship 30 beautiful quilts to the Patchwork Tsushin drive yesterday – all made by dozens of awesome people here in Portland from generous donations of fabric, blocks, and quilt tops, locally and from all over the US and Canada!
THANK YOU to everyone who helped so much donating or making for this project – we are so appreciative!
Three big boxes packed full are on the way to Seven Islands, who is graciously sending them on to Japan to be distributed to those in need as gifts of comfort and friendship – and here they are…
It’s been a crazy busy spring for me so far, but this project has been so dear to my heart and worth every second.
I got one last quilt (above!) bound yesterday afternoon during Everett’s nap, too late for the big collage, and it felt so good to finish one more beautiful piece – one that so many people contributed star blocks to, that I sashed at Cool Cottons and Cherri and Rachel quilted at Sew On, and I bound in one of my favorite polka-dot fabrics, to go to comfort someone who needs it. Daniela finished this one (below!) in about the same timeframe!
An hour later they were both photographed, packed and shipped to California to start their long journey to Japan, joined by this gorgeous baby quilt Teresa made and delivered just in time to complete our set of 30 quilts.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who did so much.
We’re hoping to launch our Etsy shop with a beautiful collection of quilts for sale (plus some raffles at lovely local shops) very soon – those will all be a 100% fundraiser for Mercy Corps/Peace Winds Japan!
I’m so excited to be today’s stop on Linda Permann‘s blog tour for her darling new book, Little Crochet. Linda is a super-talented designer and a dear friend – we met forever ago by internet standards, through our mutual love of crafting, and I’ve been a huge fan of her work for years, from her quilts to her sewing and of course her magnificent crochet. This hat Linda made (sorry for the tiny photo but you get the idea!) is my favorite thing ever (you can also find a pattern for it here!). If you’ve seen me out and about any time in the last few years, on any chilly or rainy day, you have seen this hat – we’re inseparable about eight months of the year here in Portland.
I love Crochet Adorned, her first book, and on Linda’s book tour to Portland she taught me how to crochet a flower, patiently coaching me through the pattern stitch by stitch. I saved that sweet little flower for embellishing my Drawstring Bag – it just brings that simple piece to life.
When Potter Craft sent me a review copy of Little Crochet I was just entranced. It’s so cheerful and gorgeous. The designs are stellar, the patterns and instructions couldn’t be clearer, and the styling is just happy and inviting. Can I just start off by saying: this is the cutest table of contents I’ve ever seen! Wow!
My daughter Pearl, who will be three in May (!) and I had so much fun paging through the book together, and I’m happy to say that she chose her five favorite designs for this review. I loved seeing what she was drawn to and loved most, so here are Pearl’s picks from Little Crochet. (I enthusiastically second each one of them!)
1. The Swing Set Cardigan
Pearl wants me to make her one of these and it’s at the top of my crafty list. I love the style and how simple and gorgeous it is. As the mother of two very tall and very lanky children, ages almost-3 and almost-6 months, I love how flexible the sizing is on Linda’s designs – they size up to 4+ years. It’s so nice to have a favorite handmade treasure last longer than a single season, especially when your kids are off the charts for height!
2. The Tiny Tee Appliques
Pearl and I both LOVE this rocket ship applique! I’m new to the whole world of having a boy, and while it’s been so sweet to make or choose some fun things for Everett, the only drag is that a lot of the stuff for boys these days comes in pretty specific colors (navy, olive green, and khaki come to mind – I keep an eye out for bright orange, green and blue like you wouldn’t believe!) and many of them include 1) sports 2) trucks/cars/”manly” vehicles, or 3) silly captions. I do love sports, but Linda’s boy-friendly and gender-neutral designs just look awesome without those colors and themes I see so often… this rocket ship is a perfect way to make a plain shirt or ripped jean knee into something super cool.
3. Mix + Match Motif Blanket
Pearl and I both loved this one, and no wonder! The designs are so appealing and bright and I love how the mix of patterns draws the eye all around the simple grid of crocheted squares. This one would be equally great for cuddling a newborn or for playing with a lively 6-month-old like mine, who loves to reach out and grab bright, interesting things in different vibrant colors. And when that baby becomes a toddler and then preschooler, this would be the perfect nap or carseat blanket to bring along on trips. Just so nice all the way around.
4. Birdie Mobile
Pearl squealed when she saw this one! I love bird designs (as a Portlander, it’s required by city ordinance) and Linda’s mobile is such a fun way to spotlight a set of four of them. I can picture them in a different colorway to match a nursery or playroom (another great thing about Linda’s book is that each project is shown in different yarns or colorways… very cool). And as a beginning crocheter, too, I love making a simple instant-gratification project – finishing something the same day you start is a great feeling.
5. Soft Owl Pillow
Pearl picked this one immediately too. We both love owls and she has several owl toys I’ve made for her… but this one is special. It’s oversized (look at those great eyes!) and Linda added the genius step of a hidden zipper so you can launder it more easily. Great practical touch for a sure-to-be-favorite pillow to cuddle!
For a closer look at the designs in Little Crochet, check out Linda’s super awesome stop-motion animation book trailer, bringing her adorable projects to life. I so love this adorable extra peek at all of it!
Check out Linda’s lovely schedule of book tour posts on her site, and don’t miss tomorrow’s post over at Styled By Kristin!
I wanted to write up a little Modern Log Cabin Quilting guide to which binding tapes I recommend using for the various quilts and patchwork projects in the book, so here goes! Of course, binding (and bias) tape is not just for quilting… I have used it for sewing, decorating, and all kinds of general crafts projects, so I hope this is helpful for anyone who’s new to hand-making their own binding tape, along with people who are choosing from a shelf full of rows and rows of differently labeled + sized possibilities at the fabric store or online, or even vintage versions at an estate sale or thrift store. I know it can get pretty confusing!
The MLCQ projects I designed use either 3/4″, 1″, and 2″ wide binding tape. Here are examples of all three widths for comparison – the Red Cross Bag uses 3/4″ tape on each side of its strap, the Sunshine and Sock Monkeys Baby Quilt uses 1″ tape for its binding, and the Charming Camera Case uses 2″ tape to edge its button/Velcro opening.
First, a little background… the complete written + illustrated instructions for making your own binding tape of any width are on page 38 of the book. For straight-line projects like the edge of a bag strap or coaster, or binding a quilt, you can use straight-cut (selvage to selvage) strips of fabric to make your binding tape, which is a fast and fabric-efficient way of cutting. You can guide the strips through a specially shaped bias tape maker (I recommend Clover brand, but there are many other options) to fold the raw edges to the center while pressing them flat with your iron for a neat, even appearance. The width of this flat tape is what I’m referring to as 3/4″, 1″, 2″, etc. Once you’ve created the flat tape, you press it again lengthwise to fold it into equal halves with the raw edges tucked neatly inside. This method is the one I used to make binding tape for the quilts and projects in the book.
BIAS VS. BINDING TAPE
For curved applications that need to stretch, like clothing or a rounded pocket edging, you’d need to use bias-cut strips of fabric (which is cut on the diagonal) to make your bias tape (see this great Colette Patterns tutorial for more on this approach). As an example (not an original book project, this is a personal sewing project with a vintage dress pattern!), I used 1/2″ bias tape for edging part of my daughter’s Easter dress last year so I didn’t need to add extra armhole facings. Here’s the dress with a few packages of pre-made 1/2″ bias tape and a 1/2″ maker (labeled 12mm).
Most if not all commercially available premade versions of all the tape widths I’ve mentioned are bias tape, which works great for either application – straight or curved. I used store-bought bias tape for several projects (the Block Pocket Apron, Charming Camera Case, and Drawstring Bag), but you can certainly choose to make or buy your own for any of the projects in the book, it’s up to you.
Okay! On to the binding tape sizes + details…
1″ BINDING TAPE
This is the size of binding tape I use for machine-binding my quilts (as well as for a few other patchwork projects). For this very popular size, you can easily find it at a fabric store in solid colors in approximately 3-yard packages, folded or flat (there’s one labeled package of folded 1″ tape as an example in the photo below) – or make your own. To make this one, you’d use a 1″ binding tape maker (which can also be labeled 25mm) and strips of fabric cut to 1 7/8″ or 2″ wide (check your packaging to see what the maker you’re using recommends). When this tape is folded and stitched around a quilt’s or project’s edge, 1/2″ shows on each side – the 1″ refers to how wide the finished tape is when flat (unfolded).
The projects in the book that use 1″ binding tape are:
1″ QUILTS: Sunshine + Sock Monkeys (pictured), Housetop, Modern Crosses, Vintage Linens, Bright Furrows, Northwest Modern, + Anniversary. [The Winter Woolens, T-shirt Memory, and Clouds in the Sky Quilts don't use binding.]
1″ PATCHWORK PROJECTS: Cheerful Potholders + Drawstring Bag.
Can you use another width? For quilts, you could use 2″ wide binding tape (see below for more details on that size) for more of a blanket-style edging, either with straight stitching or zig-zag. I personally prefer 1″ for its streamlined look and neat, clean edge when machine-binding. I wouldn’t recommend going narrower, like 3/4″, especially for a quilt that uses a batting layer. For the two patchwork projects, I’d stick to 1″, especially the drawstring bag which uses a ribbon inside the casing.
2″ BINDING TAPE
This is the size I use for intentionally wider edging, like a waist sash on an apron or the rim of the camera case. To make this, you can use a 2″ binding tape maker (also labeled 50mm) and strips of fabric cut to 3 7/8″ or 4″ wide (again, check the packaging to be sure what your maker suggests).
You can also buy 2″ tape at the store, which I did for these projects – here are two labeled options for similar versions (1 7/8″ – 2″) of this very wide bias tape, one folded (the one labeled quilt binding) and one flat (the one labeled hem facing). Since this size is less common than the 1″ tape, I wanted to show a few more details so you can track it down more easily.
When the 2″ tape is folded and stitched around the apron waistband or camera case, 1″ shows on each side – so it’s twice as wide as the standard 1″ tape would look. The 2″ measurement refers to the flat (unfolded) width of the finished tape. Note: the description given in the materials list for the camera case and apron projects is 2″ (extra wide) binding tape, but since narrower-width tapes can also be labeled ‘extra wide’ depending on brand, etc. – the 2″ is the important detail here. Sorry for any confusion!
2″ PATCHWORK PROJECTS: Block Pocket Apron and Charming Camera Case (pictured).
Can you use another width? Yes, you can use 1″ tape for either the apron or camera case projects. The case uses a double layer of batting so just make sure you can fit all four layers (lining, batting x 2, and outer fabric) inside the narrower tape before binding. For the apron, a 1″ sash will obviously be much narrower as a finished element of the garment, so it may fold or crease on itself like a ribbon instead of keeping its flat, smooth appearance while you’re wearing it. I wouldn’t recommend going narrower than 1″ for either of these projects.
3/4″ BINDING TAPE
For a slightly narrower edging, like the strap of a bag or the edge of a tea towel, or binding a smaller coaster, this is the size I use. To make this, you use a 3/4″ binding tape maker (also labeled 18mm) and strips of fabric cut to 1 3/8″ or 1 1/2″ wide (check packaging). When this tape is folded and stitched around a bag strap or coaster edge, 3/8″ shows on each side – the 3/4″ measurement refers to the flat (unfolded) tape.
3/4″ PATCHWORK PROJECTS: Roundabout Coasters (pictured), Color Block Tea Towels, + Red Cross Bag (pictured).
Can you use another width? For the bag and tea towel projects, a 1″ tape would be an easy substitution. Personally, I liked the look of the narrower tape on these two, but if all you have handy is a 1″ maker or package of tape, that’s a good choice too. For the coaster, since it’s such a small piece, binding with 1″ tape is a little trickier. I’m sure it can be done but I liked using the streamlined 3/4″ tape, especially at the corners.
This is just a quick photo post for now, but I’m hoping to make a short video showing how I make binding tape soon, which would go with the full written + illustrated instructions on page 38 of the book. Any questions? Please comment over at the book website and I’ll do my best to answer them and update with any helpful details!
I’m getting really excited for some big updates about my other new book, World of Geekcraft, coming up at the beginning of May, but there are already a few cool things going on I wanted to share. First, HUGE congratulations to my friend and book contributor Bonnie Burton, who wrote an awesome essay on life at Star Wars world HQ for World of Geekcraft, on her fabulous new Star Wars Craft Book!
It’s packed with easy and even kid-friendly Star Wars-inspired crafts to make, from a Bossk Bean Portrait to a Cuddly Bantha, and I got to do a super fun interview with Bonnie about the book and her awesome day job at Lucasfilm over at geekcrafts.com today!
Speaking of the Star Wars Craft Book, I was thrilled that the books were paired up for a great review in the April/May issue of BUST (along with Cooking for Geeks, which I have to get for sure). Thank you so much to BUST for the shout-outs for the Oregon Trail + Mario Magritte cross-stitch patterns, Vintage Sci-Fi Book Cozy, “Marvelous Machine” Steampunk Pendant, and Harry Potter Baby Costume projects!
And Lonny Magazine picked World of Geekcraft for their Lonny Library feature in the April/May issue too, spotlighting the d20 Deluxe Earrings, Trio of Tribbles, and Secret Message Quilt – thank you so much!
It’s been a little dizzying switching back and forth between log cabin quilts and geeky crafts (plus keeping up with whale chalkboard menu planning, Quilts for Quake Survivors, and the Bazaar piece I’m working on for CRAFT:!) so I’ll just say I’m glad I was thinking ahead last year when I made Pearl’s special Easter dress in a nice roomy size that still fits my tall (and almost three-year-old – !) girl!
I promise I will be writing about something besides log cabin quilting soon (really!!) but I wanted to cross-post this gorgeous round-up of reader-made projects from my book site. Huge thank-you to everyone who’s made something cool and shared a photo in the MLCQ flickr pool – love them all so much!!! I wanted to especially spotlight some lovely bags that people have made the last few weeks… just click each photo to see more about them and their makers.
Yellow and gray is one of my absolute favorite color combinations, and this Gray Cross Bag by Elizabeth Hartman is stunning.
I love the higher contrast piecing (mine used the right and wrong sides of a single dark-red corduroy for a more subtle effect) and the yellow and white handmade binding tape that edges the strap – she shared some fun details in her book review post. Just gorgeous all the way around.
Another beautiful gray and yellow project I fell in love with is this Sunshine on a Cloudy Day version of the Everything In One Place Zip Bag by Sara of rhymeswithsp00n. She stitched it all up on a Friday night and snapped this pretty photo in the morning!
My friend Kayte also made an EIOP Zip Bag from colorful scraps, which she included a few darling photos of in her book review post. I love how the colors pop while staying such good neighbors, and I thought that the striped-scrap zipper pull was the sweetest touch!
And chloeandme made two different log cabin bags in similar fabrics – a soft-sided Drawstring Bag with a yellow, pink and green color mix,
and a more structured one-block zip pouch in the traditional Sunshine and Shadow color mix in yellow and green, with pretty hand-quilting details!
Thanks so much to everyone who’s shared their great log cabin quilt and project photos – I would love to spotlight yours if you want to add any to the MLCQ flickr pool! Coming up, I’ll be posting a round-up of quilts and pillows people have made so please let me know if you have a new project I could include… that would be awesome.
Huge thank-you to everyone who’s been so supportive and complimentary of the book! I am so glad that people are enjoying it – and making things from it!!
PS: We’re in the middle of a big push for Quilts for Quake Survivors so we can donate our first round of quilts to Japan, and would love your help or your quilt blocks, tops or backs – we have two long-arm quilting bees coming up Thursday and Friday here in Portland! Details here. Thanks to everyone who has jumped in already, you’re the best!!
Thanks so much to everyone who came to Modern Domestic on Saturday or to Powell’s on Sunday (and especially to my husband Andrew, who came to both with the two kids and is a total rock star as always). The Modern Log Cabin Quilting parties were so lovely and everyone who came out to say hi was so cool. I wanted to write up a quick recap with some photos… thank you to Daniela for sharing hers from MD, and Patrick and Diane (for snapping some with my phone) at Powell’s.
The Modern Domestic party was just awesome. Beautiful light at the end of the day in that lovely space, seeing lots of PMQG friends and meeting some new Portland sewers and quilters, having cupcakes and wine, and signing books and giving away log cabin block kits… what’s not to like?
Just a quick note on the wine… yes, that IS a log cabin block on the label – !!! I originally saw a Pinot Gris by Patchwork Cellars on the shelf at New Seasons (that one has a double wedding ring design on the label) about a month ago, and got really excited to serve it at Modern Domestic. When I was planning nice party things, I went to their site and was awestruck to see that their Pinot Noir had an antique log cabin block in the Sunshine and Shadow style, with the red center (love). Oh, I just couldn’t believe it.
I called to find out which local stores carried both wines, and Brian was so warm and helpful and personally made sure I could successfully track down three precious bottles of each one by Saturday – truly the kind of friendliness that makes Oregon a very special place to live (and throw a party). I really can’t recommend their lovely wine highly enough… here’s where you can find it for your next craft night or cocktail hour!
After the book signing, we gave away prizes, and then everyone settled in to a super fun open sewing night upstairs and downstairs.
Jill was cutting for a new quilt, Jen was making a Modern Crosses (yay! more on that next week!), Bethe was cutting for a Vintage Linens-inspired tonal quilt, Gillian was cutting for a Single Girl Quilt (on my dream list so it was really great to see it in action), and Deb was making her daughter a beyond adorable Oliver + S ensemble – which I had the bonus treat of seeing modeled in person at Little T the next morning when we bumped into each other in the coffee line!
Getting ready for Powell’s was really exciting and also a little overwhelming. With two children under three, three boxes of lovely snacks, and three huge bags of quilts and patchwork projects in tow, we descended on the Pearl Room just in time to set everything up! Huge thank-yous to Diane and Jamin for helping me, Kevin, and Christopher from Powell’s get everything organized so nicely.
We had such a nice crowd, including five of Pearl’s closest buddies and their parents, and Christopher (who is making his first quilt – a crazy quilt!) gave me a really awesome introduction. I chatted about a few of the projects, my design process for a few favorites, how much I treasured the crucial help that some dear friends gave me this week when Pearl was sick, and then read my short history of log cabin quilting. I took a few questions about quilting and log cabin, and then everyone enjoyed delicious log cabin- and quilt-themed treats made by Kathy.
This was also an only-in-Oregon miracle! I’d met Kathy once about a year ago, and she’s good friends with my dear Diane. She’d emailed Diane saying how much she’d like to make some fun petit fours for a party if she had any suggestions for something coming up, and Diane connected her with me for what turned out to be a magical collaboration.
Kathy made us lovely apple tarts, fat quarter chocolate tarts, lovely macarons, and even log cabin block-inspired lemon bars (with, of course, the beloved red center representing the heart of the home). Awesome.
You can find her at her blog or right here if you’re interested in a pastry collaboration extraordinaire, too!
Then I signed books and got to chat with people, which was really fun. Everyone was so great, from old friends to people I’d never met before that afternoon. It really felt like a party all of the sudden!
Anyone waiting to get their book signed got to hang out by the long tables of projects and check them out along the way (with treats in hand). It was really fun to hear which quilts and bags and projects people were the most drawn to, or curious about… thanks to everyone who had nice compliments to share!
One last thing – speaking of Portland Modern Quilt Guild, I am super thrilled that my Anniversary Quilt from the book will be part of the Modern Quilt Show at PNCA that opens this Thursday!
It’s in gallery room 214 at PNCA, come by between 5:30 and 7:30 for drinks, snacks and quilts this Thursday, April 7… would love to see you!
Hello! It’s been quite a week with a sick little girl and two emergency room visits (thankfully everything is fine now – a huge relief to say the least). After the two lovely book parties, I’m still sorting through a bunch of photos and now it’s almost time to pick Pearl up from preschool! I’m really looking forward to posting about them but a few sweet photos from Saturday night at Modern Domestic by Daniela will have to do for now…
So I’ll just quickly announce the winner of the fabric packs and book giveaway. Thank you SO much to everyone who entered, I loved reading all your thoughts on log cabin quilting, and it was an especially nice bright spot during a worrying week. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the really wonderful comments.
The random number generator picked for me:
And that was Mellisa, who said:
Cute fabrics! I like that log cabin is a nice and straightforward design for newbies
Yay, Mellisa! I’ll email you and get all your info right now.
I also just posted some big new updates at Quilts for Quake Survivors – thanks SO much to everyone who has been sending in fabric or blocks, come to a bee, or helped spread the word! Please check out the blog if you’re interested in that project – we have some new fund-raising and donations details and new bees in Saint Paul, Minnesota and South Pasadena, California.
My deepest thanks to everyone who has been supporting my book with kind words, coming to the events, writing reviews, or making beautiful versions of the projects – thank you! I’m so happy to announce that Powell’s now has signed copies, and Modern Domestic now offers one of my log cabin quilt block kits paired with each book. More updates (including some bonus mini-projects to make!) coming very soon.