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My Sirena Fabrics booth at Quilt Market

I never showed you photos of my Quilt Market booth from a couple weeks ago! If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw them, but I can’t not share them here on the blog, too. It was such a fun show with Art Gallery Fabrics and I love the way my booth came together (even though I had some moments in the middle of set-up when I wasn’t sure I was going to pull it off because it wasn’t looking great…. but with some rearranging I made it happen. Yeah!)

Anyway, here’s my booth:

(the above photo is by my friend Gwyneth Colleen)

I’m obviously partial to making things feel very busy and colorful. ;) I’ve tried to simplify my look before (I have no idea why) and it never works, so now I just go with it and let the color and crazy flow!

I made these (intentionally raw-edged) quilted rugs for the booth floor, and I’m crazy about them:

I made all the pillows, too, and this was one of my faves:

Several people helped me with making things for the booth; working with other talented makers is definitely a highlight of putting a booth together!

This quilt was made by Sharon of Color Girl Quilts:

And this one was made by Kimberly Baird 

Aren’t they both gorgeous?

Jessica, the owner of Sallie Tomato, made one of her brand new bags using my Siren Song Orchid fabric and some super cool peach-colored metallic cork that I’d never seen before:

And speaking of cork, Sarai of Sarai’s Hobbies made a few amazing things for me, including this wallet that also included some awesome cork:

And this zippered pouch with some purple metallic cork! So cool:

Eleri of The Sew and Tell Project  made some adorable children’s garments:

(Pardon the wrinkles!)

LOOK at these tiny tiny creations:

Can you believe humans start out that size??

These two were made to fit my own toddler-sized kiddo:

They’re even cuter in person if you can believe it.

My friend Gwyn made me this dress to wear:

And she also made the adorable girl’s dress below:

And I wish I had a better photo of me in the gorgeous dress that Loni of Havin Sew Much Fun made for me to wear (that’s her in the handmade green jeans!):

(photo by Gwyn)

It was so comfortable and fun to wear. Both dresses were! How lucky am I to know people who will custom-make things for me? (SO LUCKY!)

My friend Spencer’s mom Cathy made me this gorgeous wall hanging:

And this fantastic zippered pouch:

She also made another item which I dumbly didn’t get a good photo of. Dang.

And Paola of Love of Fabrics made these awesome zippered pouches (also using cork! It’s so popular these days!):

And then a week or so later, my much-anticipated Sirena fabric rolls arrived on my doorstep and it was like Christmas:

That’s it! Hope you liked my lil’ booth tour!

xo

 


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Tallinn Fabric Blog Tour Round-up #3

My Tallinn Fabrics Blog Tour ended last week and I’m finally getting around to posting the final round-up of amazing things people made for the tour.

Are you ready?

Karen of Lady K Quilts made those large Euro sham pillow covers above, and aren’t they cool?? I love seeing my fabrics used in a more traditional design. So cool. And that DOG, omg. Obviously he’s adorable!

 

Sarai of Sarai’s Hobbies made these beautiful dresses for her daughters. The Odessa floral print was just MADE for dresses, I think! I love how these turned out so much.

   

Elise and Emelie created a few amazing things for the tour:

This English Paper-Pieced tote is pretty much to die for, don’t you think? I love each section they fussy-cut (which is a term I didn’t know until recently!) to feature in the hexies. :)

They also made a super sweet zippered pouch using my Baltic Swans fabric and the some very hip and trendy sewable cork (I just bought some myself yesterday to try out!):

And this Booklet Pouch, which I just make have to try to make for myself because look at all those pockets!!

I created a tiger pillow for my Mother-in-Law:

My friend Gwyn of Clever Colleen made several completely adorable dresses for her own daughter and a friend’s:

Matching!!! I die.

And look at this one! I want one for myself!

And last but certainly not least, closing out the tour was Loni of Havin Sew Much Fun:

She made this completely crazy awesome dress for her daughter, and I love that little peek-a-boo orange pleat surprise. Isn’t it great?

This was for her daughter, too (SO CUTE):

AND a quilted jacket for herself, lined with my Baltic Swans print:

I am so amazed and grateful at all the time, effort, creativity, and talent that these makers and all the others on the blog tour shared these past few weeks.

Thank you, thank you, everyone!!

Again, here are direct links to everyone’s projects. Make sure to check them out so you can see everything that was made on the tour!

Thursday April 19 – Mathew Boudreaux | Mister Domestic (Puffer Vest Outfit)
Friday April 20 – Katie Skoog | The Simple Life Company (Girl’s Dress, Girl’s Romper)
Monday April 23 – Sharon Holland (Kantha-style Duffel Bag)
Tuesday April 24 – Eleri | Sew and Tell Project (Large Quilt)
Wednesday April 25 – Paola Baker | Love of Fabrics (Throw Pillow)
Thursday April 26 – Maureen Cracknell (Friendship Braid Pillow)
Friday April 27 – Alexis Wright | My Sweet Sunshine Studio (Girls’ Top)
Monday April 30 – Isabelle Selak | South Bay Bella Studio (Travel Bag and Accessories)
Tuesday May 1 – Cassie Massolia | Lily Shine Creates (Knit Girl’s Dress)
Wednesday May 2 – Becca Plymale | Sunflower Seams (Boy’s Button-down Shirt and Shorts, Girl’s Racerback Dress)
Thursday May 3 – Alisa Kutsel | A Stitch In Between (Reading Pillow)
Friday May 4 – Sharon McConnell | Color Girl Quilts (Little Quilt)
Monday May 7 – Karen O’Connor | Lady K Quilt Designs (Large Euro Sham Pillow Covers)
Tuesday May 8 – Sarai Schuk | Sarai’s Hobbies (Girls’ Dresses)
Wednesday May 9 – Elise and Emelie Baek | Elise & Emelie (Booklet Pouch, Zippered Coin Purse, Tote Bag)
Thursday May 10 – Jessica Swift (Tiger Pillow)
Friday May 11 – Gwyn LaSpina (Many Girls’ Dresses!)
Monday May 14 – Loni Jakubowski | Havin Sew Much Fun (Girls’ Dresses and Woman’s Quilted Jacket)

Explore the Tallinn Fabrics collection:The Collection | The Lookbook | On Instagram

I hope you enjoyed this Tallinn Fabrics Blog Tour!

My new fabric collection with Art Gallery Fabrics, called Sirena, is coming out next month andI can’t wait to sew with it myself and to see what others are going to make with it. And there may be another blog tour as well… we shall see! ;)

xo
jess

 


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Tallinn Fabrics Blog Tour – it’s my stop today!

OK, so I intended to make two of these pillows for the Tallinn Fabrics Blog Tour, but only one is done… so I’m letting that be ok. I’m in the throes of Quilt Market prep, where I’ll be showing my next collection with Art Gallery Fabrics, Sirena – it starts next Friday May 18! – and let’s be real: all the amazing things that people have created for this blog tour have left my beginning sewist self feeling a little intimidated!

BUT, I told my mother-in-law that I would make her a couple of tiger pillows, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to get a start on them. So here’s one!

I used my Tigris Indigo print for the main tiger square and Odessa Traditionale and Magija Pumpkin fabrics for the border strips.

For the back I used my Sofia Midnight print in a simple overlapping pillow back style:

I am not the best at sewing in straight lines – my sewing machine set-up is not ideal (I like blaming that rather than my novice-ness!) – so everything I make is a bit wonky and crooked, but I’m ok with that. :) It has that handmade charm, right?!

Anyway. That’s my tour creation! Hope you like it. :)

There are two more stops, tomorrow and Monday May 14th.

Here’s the full schedule, with direct links to everything that’s been created so far:

Thursday April 19 – Mathew Boudreaux | Mister Domestic (Puffer Vest Outfit)
Friday April 20 – Katie Skoog | The Simple Life Company (Girl’s Dress, Girl’s Romper)
Monday April 23 – Sharon Holland (Kantha-style Duffel Bag)
Tuesday April 24 – Eleri | Sew and Tell Project (Large Quilt)
Wednesday April 25 – Paola Baker | Love of Fabrics (Throw Pillow)
Thursday April 26 – Maureen Cracknell (Friendship Braid Pillow)
Friday April 27 – Alexis Wright | My Sweet Sunshine Studio (Girls’ Top)
Monday April 30 – Isabelle Selak | South Bay Bella Studio (Travel Bag and Accessories)
Tuesday May 1 – Cassie Massolia | Lily Shine Creates (Knit Girl’s Dress)
Wednesday May 2 – Becca Plymale | Sunflower Seams (Boy’s Button-down Shirt and Shorts, Girl’s Racerback Dress)
Thursday May 3 – Alisa Kutsel | A Stitch In Between (Reading Pillow)
Friday May 4 – Sharon McConnell | Color Girl Quilts (Little Quilt)
Monday May 7 – Karen O’Connor | Lady K Quilt Designs (Large Euro Sham Pillow Covers)
Tuesday May 8 – Sarai Schuk | Sarai’s Hobbies (Girls’ Dresses)
Wednesday May 9 – Elise Baek | Elise & Emelie
Thursday May 10 – Jessica Swift
Friday May 11 – Gwyn LaSpina
Monday May 14 – Loni Jakubowski | Havin Sew Much Fun

There are also a couple of round-up posts with photos of all the creations, here and here.

Explore the Tallinn Fabrics collection:The Collection | The Lookbook | On Instagram


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Tallinn Fabric Blog Tour Round-up #2

The Tallinn Fabrics Blog Tour continues!

Here’s a round-up of the most recent stops on the tour. SO MANY TALENTED MAKERS you guys, omg.

This completely adorable top is by My Sweet Sunshine Studio. I am in love with the tiger fabric for clothing! I am reminded of my complete sewing fail a couple months ago, trying to make myself a dress out of this same fabric. It did not go well, haha. But I’m inspired to try again looking at this! There are lots of more photos of the top over on My Sweet Sunshine’s blog. Check it out!

For the next stop, South Bay Bella Studio made this amazing travel bag and coordinating accessories. That tag says ‘handmade’ but it’s so perfect it looks store-bought for sure. Unbelievable! Check out more photos on her blog, too.

Lily Shine Creates made the CUTEST dress from the knit Baltic Swans fabric from my Tallinn collection for her adorable daughter. I’m so into the way the back is constructed! SO cute.

And Becca of Sunflower Seams tossed a BOY into the mix! Look at this super cute shirt and shorts combo:

And of course her daughter wasn’t left out:

That dress!! The tassels on the pockets! Amazing. More photos of these lovely creations (and her adorable kids!) are on her blog as well.

Next on the tour was Sharon of Color Girl Quilts, who made these cool little quilt:

Sewing circles is a skill that I do not yet have… it seems so hard and intimidating! Sharon makes it look so easy. Hers are perfect! More photos of the little quilt are on her blog.

And Alisa of A Stitch In Between closed out the week with this reading pillow that she made for her kiddos. Isn’t this such a fun and creative idea??

I hope you’re enjoying the tour so far! You can follow along on Instagram where I’m posting pics from each tour stop every day, and I’ll do one more round-up post next week at the end of the tour as well. Here’s the full tour schedule again, with direct links to all the stops that we’ve made so far:

Thursday April 19 – Mathew Boudreaux | Mister Domestic (Puffer Vest Outfit)
Friday April 20 – Katie Skoog | The Simple Life Company (Girl’s Dress, Girl’s Romper)
Monday April 23 – Sharon Holland (Kantha-style Duffel Bag)
Tuesday April 24 – Eleri | Sew and Tell Project (Large Quilt)
Wednesday April 25 – Paola Baker | Love of Fabrics (Throw Pillow)
Thursday April 26 – Maureen Cracknell (Friendship Braid Pillow)
Friday April 27 – Alexis Wright | My Sweet Sunshine Studio (Girls’ Top)
Monday April 30 – Isabelle Selak | South Bay Bella Studio (Travel Bag and Accessories)
Tuesday May 1 – Cassie Massolia | Lily Shine Creates (Knit Girl’s Dress)
Wednesday May 2 – Becca Plymale | Sunflower Seams (Boy’s Button-down Shirt and Shorts, Girl’s Racerback Dress)
Thursday May 3 – Alisa Kutsel | A Stitch In Between (Reading Pillow)
Friday May 4 – Sharon McConnell | Color Girl Quilts (Little Quilt)
Monday May 7 – Karen O’Connor | Lady K Quilt Designs (Large Euro Sham Pillow Covers)
Tuesday May 8 – Sarai Schuk | Sarai’s Hobbies
Wednesday May 9 – Elise Baek | Elise & Emelie
Thursday May 10 – Jessica Swift
Friday May 11 – Gwyn LaSpina
Monday May 14 – Loni Jakubowski | Havin Sew Much Fun

Explore the Tallinn Fabrics collection:The Collection | The Lookbook | On Instagram


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Tallinn Fabric Blog Tour Round-up #1

A week in to my Tallinn Fabrics Blog Tour and I am just stunned and giddy over what everyone has created so far. LOOK!

The tour kicked off with Mister Domestic, who created this awesome lil’ outfit for his daughter. THAT PUFFER JACKET. Why is it not sized for me?? I would so wear that. I need to up my skills so I can tackle a project like that. Amazing.

Next up was Katie from Simple Life Pattern Company. This adorable dress and romper actually hung in my Quilt Market booth back in October, but I hadn’t seen these photos yet of Katie’s adorable daughters in them. THE CUTEST, right?

Oh, the things I could dress a daughter in if I had one…!

This amazing Kantha-style bag made by Sharon Holland (a fellow Art Gallery Fabrics designer) was next up on the tour:

Why is that bag not mine?? I’m sensing a trend here. On my next blog tour I guess I’ll just have to ask people to make things and send them to me so I can keep them for myself. Ha. ;)

Eleri of The Sew and Tell Project made this gorgeous quilt for the tour’s next stop, and I just love how she placed all the different fabrics and made my Village Adventure print the star of the show in the center there. She’s got a couple of lucky daughters who are getting this in their new bedroom, I think!

Paola of Love of Fabrics was next on the tour, and this pillow that she made is unreal:

I recently learned that sewing in a circle is not easy. How did she make this so perfect? And that horse in the middle…. gah! I’m in love.

And speaking of beautiful pillows:

This one was made by fellow Art Gallery Fabrics designer Maureen Cracknell. It’s a Friendship Braid design and has this signature Maureen quality to it that just blows me away. What a beauty.

Here’s the full tour schedule again so you an continue to follow along:

Thursday April 19 – Mathew Boudreaux | Mister Domestic (Puffer Vest Outfit)
Friday April 20 – Katie Skoog | The Simple Life Company (Girl’s Dress, Girl’s Romper)
Monday April 23 – Sharon Holland (Kantha-style Duffel Bag)
Tuesday April 24 – Eleri | Sew and Tell Project (Large Quilt)
Wednesday April 25 – Paola Baker | Love of Fabrics (Throw Pillow)
Thursday April 26 – Maureen Cracknell (Friendship Braid Pillow)
Friday April 27 – Alexis Wright | My Sweet Sunshine Studio
Monday April 30 – Isabelle Selak | South Bay Bella Studio
Tuesday May 1 – Cassie Massolia | Lily Shine Creates
Wednesday May 2 – Becca Plymale | Sunflower Seams
Thursday May 3 – Alisa Kutsel | A Stitch In Between
Friday May 4 – Sharon McConnell | Color Girl Quilts
Monday May 7 – Karen O’Connor | Lady K Quilt Designs
Tuesday May 8 – Sarai Schuk | Sarai’s Hobbies
Wednesday May 9 – Elise Baek | Elise & Emelie
Thursday May 10 – Jessica Swift
Friday May 11 – Gwyn LaSpina
Monday May 14 – Loni Jakubowski | Havin Sew Much FunExplore the Tallinn Fabrics collection:The Collection | The Lookbook | On Instagram

Enjoy, and I hope you’re feeling inspired!
xo
jess

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Sneak Peek of my new fabric line, Sirena!

Today I’m sharing a sneak peek video of my new fabric collection with Art Gallery Fabrics! The collection is called Sirena, and it will start shipping to stores in June 2018.

I’ll be showing this collection at Quilt Market this May, and I’m currently sewing and crafting up lots of goodies for the booth that I can’t wait to share with you in the next couple of months.

I hope you love the video and the peek into what’s the come fabric-wise. I’m so psyched for this collection to make its way into the world!

Here’s a look at the two colorways:

 

And don’t forget, the blog tour for my current Tallinn fabric line is happening now. Today is Day 2 of the tour! Check out the details and the full schedule of posts here.

Have a great day!

 


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Tallinn Fabrics Blog Tour

Hi everyone! I’m so very pleased to announce the start of the Tallinn Fabrics Blog Tour today. It’s a celebration of my debut collection with Art Gallery Fabrics, and talented makers from far and wide created some beautiful things using the fabric. Join us each day to check out the projects and get inspired. Check out the full schedule below!

Want to join in yourself? Awesome! Simply get your hands on some of my Tallinn fabrics and get sewing. Then share your creations using the hashtags #TallinnFabricsBlogTour and #TallinnFabrics on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Can’t wait to see what you make!

Here are direct links to everyone’s projects. Make sure to check them out so you can see everything that was made on the tour!

Thursday April 19 – Mathew Boudreaux | Mister Domestic (Puffer Vest Outfit)
Friday April 20 – Katie Skoog | The Simple Life Company (Girl’s Dress, Girl’s Romper)
Monday April 23 – Sharon Holland (Kantha-style Duffel Bag)
Tuesday April 24 – Eleri | Sew and Tell Project (Large Quilt)
Wednesday April 25 – Paola Baker | Love of Fabrics (Throw Pillow)
Thursday April 26 – Maureen Cracknell (Friendship Braid Pillow)
Friday April 27 – Alexis Wright | My Sweet Sunshine Studio (Girls’ Top)
Monday April 30 – Isabelle Selak | South Bay Bella Studio (Travel Bag and Accessories)
Tuesday May 1 – Cassie Massolia | Lily Shine Creates (Knit Girl’s Dress)
Wednesday May 2 – Becca Plymale | Sunflower Seams (Boy’s Button-down Shirt and Shorts, Girl’s Racerback Dress)
Thursday May 3 – Alisa Kutsel | A Stitch In Between (Reading Pillow)
Friday May 4 – Sharon McConnell | Color Girl Quilts (Little Quilt)
Monday May 7 – Karen O’Connor | Lady K Quilt Designs (Large Euro Sham Pillow Covers)
Tuesday May 8 – Sarai Schuk | Sarai’s Hobbies (Girls’ Dresses)
Wednesday May 9 – Elise and Emelie Baek | Elise & Emelie (Booklet Pouch, Zippered Coin Purse, Tote Bag)
Thursday May 10 – Jessica Swift (Tiger Pillow)
Friday May 11 – Gwyn LaSpina (Many Girls’ Dresses!)
Monday May 14 – Loni Jakubowski | Havin Sew Much Fun (Girls’ Dresses and Woman’s Quilted Jacket)

Explore the Tallinn Fabrics collection:The Collection | The Lookbook | On Instagram


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Pattern Camp is now a Skillshare class!

I have BIG NEWS to share with you today!

I’ve been quietly working away on a newly updated version of Pattern Camp e-course for the past couple of months, and I’m excited to tell you that it’s now LIVE on Skillshare!

If you’re already a Skillshare member, you can simply go participate in the course now. It’s ready for you!
If you’re not a Skillshare member, I ask you: “why the aren’t you?!” Ha, I kid. But truly, it’s an amazing site filled with creative classes of all varieties. And you can sign up for $0.99 for the first 2 months. Practically free.

You can become a Skillshare member right here.

What is the new version of Pattern Camp all about, you might be wondering?

Well, it’s an updated version of my original live-weekend course, but it contains a bit less technical content, focusing on Illustrator (no Photoshop patterns in this course) and straight repeats (no fancy half-drops; if you’re wondering what the heck a half-drop pattern is, don’t worry about it yet. That’ll be for level 2!). (Hint: Pattern Camp Levels 2 and 3 will be coming down the pipeline.) (Here’s another sentence in parentheses, just for good measure. haha) And obviously it’s on Skillshare now, so that’s different; you can work through the course at your own pace and will have access to the course as long as you’re a Skillshare member. AKA: even more user-friendly than before. :)

Watch the video intro!

IN THIS COURSE YOU’LL LEARN HOW TO:

  • Use Illustrator – from setting up your workspace to specifics of how each tool works
  • Digitize hand-drawn artwork
  • Create artwork directly in Illustrator 2 ways – using the Pen Tool and using a Wacom tablet
  • Use the iPad Pro in your design process
  • Collect inspiration and use mood boards
  • Create your own color palettes
  • Easily edit colors using the Recolor Artwork Tool
  • Create a repeating pattern tile
  • Resize, export, and save your files

At the end of this course you’ll have all the technical skills you need to create your own repeating patterns and to begin building your portfolio. The obsession will have been planted; practice and play will help you grow the seeds and to see how they blossom in your creative life!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • Adobe Illustrator (a 7-day free trial is available here)
  • Sketchbook or loose paper
  • Black pen and pencil
  • Camera, smartphone, or scanner
  • Wacom tablet (optional)
  • iPad Pro (optional)

 

 

 

Sound like fun? Head over to Skillshare to check out more details about the course and to start watching the video lessons.

You’ll be addicted to creating your own gorgeous patterns and will be addicted to pattern design in no time, I promise.

Come join the party!

Oh, and you’ll be invited to join the wonderfully inspiring private Pattern Camp Facebook group, too, which is full of creative souls who also love patterns. We’re waiting for you. :)

Happy Thursday, and I’ll see you on Skillshare!

xo
jess

 


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How to do English Paper Piecing with the Cricut Maker

So, this zippered pouch project intimidated me on several levels, but I’m really happy with how it turned out and I’m so excited to show it to you.

In true Jessica Swift fashion, I started out without a fully-formed plan. I learned the basics of how to do English Paper Piecing at a workshop recently and fell in love with it. We used a rotary cutter to cut around a hexagon shape template and I got to thinking about how perfect my new Cricut Maker would be for cutting these out more precisely than I was with my hands on the ever-shifting fabric. So I decided to try cutting both paper template pieces and fabric pieces for my project using the Cricut.

There was a bit of a learning curve involved because I’d never actually cut anything with the Cricut before (truth be told it sat untouched in my studio for a couple of months because I was a little scared of it!), but it was SO easy to use!

I used Adobe Illustrator to create some 1.5″ hexagon shapes, uploaded the file to the Cricut Design Space, and set the machine to cut. The step-by-step instructions for how to use it were so easy to follow and in no time I had my fabric attached to the adhesive mat and loaded into the machine:

Then I simply pressed go and watched the magic happen:

The Rotary Blade that this newest Cricut cutter uses is just amazing – the cuts are perfect and the way it slices through the fabric so smoothly is just crazy. I’m excited to try it with knits, canvas, and other types of fabric after this. Cotton was a dream!

I wasn’t completely sure what fabric formation I wanted to use, so I just cut a bunch of hexagons from a couple different fabrics, figuring I could use the extras in another project at some point. You can’t have too many adorable tiny hexagons, am I right?!

Oh, and this is my Tallinn fabric line with Art Gallery Fabrics, by the way. In case you were wondering.

I also created that chevron shape in Illustrator (also with a 1.5″ length per side, like the hexagons, so they would fit together), uploaded the file, and set it to cut in Design Space, and then I laid out my arrangement of shapes. You can see what I ended up with above – a sort of flower design. Fun!

This is whenI decided I might like to attached the flower shape to the front of a pouch, too, so I cut some pouch pieces as well, which you can see in the bottom right of the photo above.

My next task and next learning curve was trying my hand at some EPP (English Paper Piecing), which is a very new skill that I’ve learned and don’t have a ton of practice with yet. I needed some paper pieces, so I had the Cricut Maker cut those for me, too:

I made the shapes 1/2″ smaller than the fabric pieces (so 1′ edges this time), because with EPP you basically wrap the fabric around the paper shapes and then sew them together.

Cutting the shapes with the cutter was so easy!! Attach the paper to the adhesive mat, load it in, follow the instructions on my computer screen in Design Space, push the Go button, watch the magic happen.

The results were perfect. Way WAY better than I would’ve done by hand. I’m too impatient to be this precise. ;)

Next I set about hand-sewing the flower together.

I used the glue-basting method for my shapes (you can also sew-baste them) – I like the glue because I don’t really care about being a purist and it goes much more quickly than basting with a needle and thread. Simply place the paper piece on the fabric, glue the edges, and voila – perfect hexagons! EPP is so fun and addictive, you guys. Have you tried it? It’s brand new to me and I’m in love so far!

Here are my pieces all glued up and ready to piece/sew together:

Half way through:

All done! Check it out:

And here’s what the back looked likeonce I took all the paper pieces out:

After this I pressed it so all those loose edges were flat, so I could easily attach it to the front of my pouch:

I’m not going to go into the details of how I sewed in the zipper and how I actually constructed the pouch (it’s lined!) and will instead point you to the zippered pouch video tutorial on YouTube that I used to learn how to do it. It’s by Dana Willard of Made Everyday, who is a fellow Art Gallery Fabrics designer, and the tutorial is so good and easy to follow!

I don’t know the “right way” to attach an EPP design to another piece of fabric, so I just sewed it on with a simple stitch:

My sewing machine doesn’t have any fancy appliqué stitches or anything, so I did what I could. There’s also so much more to learn!

Here’s what the back looked like once it was sewn on, which just made me happy for some reason:

That’s batting in there, by the way, to give the pouch a bit more heft.

And here is the finished pouch:

I looooove it! I thought I might give it to someone as a gift, but I think I’ll keep this one for myself and just start stock-piling more since I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to making these now and I think they’ll make fantastic gifts.

////////

All in all, the Cricut Maker cutting machine made this project so much easier, so much more precise, and so much faster to complete than it would have been had I cut all the fabric and paper pieces by hand.

I cannot wait to continue exploring the incredible and wide variety of ways I can use this machine to make more work easier, more professional and precise, and more FUN!

I’ll share more as I go along for sure.

*This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.


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The new Cricut Maker cutting machine

A couple months ago I got some verrrry exciting packages in the mail. What was inside? The brand new Cricut Maker cutting machine and a whole bunch of supplies and accessories to go along with it!

I’ve never owned or used a machine like this before, so it’s all brand new to me (and admittedly it took me a while to actually plug it in and start figuring out how to use it, because I was intimidated!), but let me tell you: this machine is so fun and easy to start using right from the get-go, I’m not sure why I waited so long.

Check out all these fun and amazing supplies:

A crafter’s dream, am I right? Scissors in multiple sizes! A tape measure! Markers galore! Tweezers! A paper cutter! Multiple cutting blades! PIns and a pin cushion! It was like Christmas opening up all this stuff; that’s not even an exaggeration.

One thing I love the most about the design of this cutting machine is how they thoughtfully added places to store the supplies and machine accessories right on the machine itself:

I also got a variety of papers and cutting mats:

As you can see there on that pink mat, this machine cuts fabric. You guys, THIS MACHINE CUTS FABRIC!!!

This past weekend I took a class at a local fabric store all about English Paper Piecing. Basically we spent a bunch of time cutting out hexagons and other geometric shapes using a template and a rotary cutter. Which worked fine and wasn’t too cumbersome cutting out shapes for just a small project. But I got to thinking about what a gigantic and time-consuming pain in the neck it would be to cut out, say, 300 hexagons in order to make a quilt something larger. 300 hexagons with a rotary cutter? No thanks. I don’t have time for that. I have a toddler and a business to run! ;)

So I started thinking about how I could make the process more efficient and TA DAAAAA, that’s where the Cricut Maker comes in. That’ll be the next post. I’m going to EPP (English Paper Piece) a little project and cut out the pieces with the Cricut Maker and show you alllll the steps along the way. That’ll come next week!

For now I’ll tell you a bit more about the machine.

What’s different about the Cricut Maker compared with other versions of the Cricut machine as well as other cutting machines is that there are more tools available to use and it’s waaaaay more versatile. It can cut all sorts of materials, from fabric to balsa wood to vinyl to leather to paper to matboard and beyond. You can make more than ever before, and it’ll look super professional because a wobbly hand isn’t cutting things out (are your hands wobbly and imprecise sometimes like mine are?), a smart machine is!

I’m going to be preparing a booth for Quilt Market over the next couple of months, and this machine is going to come in *very* handy, cutting fabric pieces for me to make my sewing projects come together more quickly and precisely, along with vinyl and paper pieces for booth decorations and probably a lot more that I haven’t even thought of yet.

So, I’ll most likely be creating all my own projects, since that’s the kind of creator that I am (I am terrible at following a pattern. Like, terrible. I’m the same with cooking recipes, haha.), and the Design Space program that Cricut runs on makes it easy to upload your own designs and sewing/cutting patterns; but there’s also an incredibly extensive and creative sewing pattern library available in Design Space, which uou can easily purchase and use right away. This is truly a machine for every kind of creative maker.

THE ROTARY BLADE:

The new Rotary Blade is the tool I’m going to find the most useful for my sewing purposes; it cuts fabric for a sewing project – without backing material. With its gliding, rolling action, this blade cuts through virtually any fabric and delicate paper quickly and accurately. You simple stick it on the cutting mat, load it into the machine, and press go. Voila. Perfect pieces every time. I can’t wait to show you.

Somehow the machine controls are so smart they can detect the direction of the blade and the cut pressure to match the material – so it knows if you’re cutting cotton, knits, canvas, etc.

THE WASHABLE FABRIC PEN:

This is another tool I’m pretty psyched about. My sewing machine is not very fancy, and I don’t have the best sewing set-up in my studio (I’m still a beginner and don’t know all the “shoulds” for setting up a sewing area yet!), so my lines are not always very straight. Ha, I blame the machine and my setup; I’m sure the problem is really just me and trying to rush through things, haha. Anyway, with the washable fabric pen you can eliminate the guesswork as you’re stitching and know exactly where to put your needle at all times and how pieces are supposed to fit together. SO valuable, no?

The machine has a lot of thoughtful details as well, like a docking slot on the top so you can put your iPad or phone there while you’re working. The Design Space app makes it really easy to lay things out right from your devices, and then you can have the design right there in front of you as you’re readying the machine for printing and cutting. Also, there’s a USB charging port on the side, which: how smart is that?!

WHAT COMES IN THE BOX?

Here’s what you’ll get if you order just the machine:

– Cricut Maker™ machine

– Rotary Blade + Drive Housing

– Premium Fine Point Blade + Housing

– Fine Point Pen

– FabricGrip™ Mat 12″ x 12″

– LightGrip™ Mat 12″ x 12″

– Welcome book

– USB cable and power adapter

– Cricut Access™ free trial membership

– 50 free ready-to-make projects, including 25 sewing patterns

– basic materials for a first project (paper and fabric pieces)

I got some extra things to go along with what comes in the box, which you obviously don’t have to do; once you’re comfortable using the machine and want to expand its uses, you can add accessories and materials as you go. :)

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Next week I’ll show you what I made with this baby. Perfectly cut hexies, here I come!

*This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.


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