Thursday, March 27, 2014

:: A quilt for a very special cause

I recently made this Baby/lap quilt out of my Arcadia scraps from the Square One quilt I made awhile back. 
I donated it to a special auction on Instagram that @CraftersForCourage organized to raise funds for CourageWorldwide.  They were raising money for Courage House - a home for minor girls rescued from sex trafficking.  They desperately need fund in order to help more girls, and it was such a special thing to be part of.
Quite a few people donated handmade items, there were many generous bids, and over $5600 was raised for Courage House.  The very sweet Theresa (@luckyhanks) placed the winning bid on this quilt, and it was sent off to her a few days later.   And now it's freshly washed, crinkled and put to good use in it's new home.

Quilt Info:
Pattern - "Square One" out of Camille Roskelley's book Simplify
Fabric - Arcadia and some Moda Bella cream
Backing and Binding fabric: JoAnn Fabrics

Friday, March 14, 2014

:: Simple Girl Pattern - now available!

It's here!!  It's ready!! My "Simple Girl" pattern is finally done and available for download!!  (can I just say it: I'm excited!!)


I've made 3 of these covers in the past 2 weeks, and it is such a fun, rewarding project - and one that doesn't take much time.  For some of you, it could be whipped out in a day.  For me - where I squeeze in a few sewing moments here and there with my 5 little ones - more like a weekend or two very late evenings. =)
Like you, I have always wanted (and needed!) a cover for my sewing machine.  Not only to protect it from dust settling in it's nooks and crannies, but also from curious little fingers. =)  Recently I was able to look at a cover that my Grandmother made at least 30 years ago.  Hers was a picture of functionality (vs our generation's need to look-good-while-being-useful-at-the-same-time).  It was made with pre-quilted fabric and pre-made bias binding, but it served her for 30 years for the very same 2 purposes I was needing now. 

That faded yellow cover was exactly the spring-board I needed to design this Simple Girl pattern.  That, and the fact that I have a brand new Bernina 550QE that I really wanted to keep safe! (If you haven't read the amazing story of how I got my new sewing machine, you can read it here.)
 
For a downloadable PDF pattern of Simple Girl, visit www.Craftsy.com, or click here!!!
 
A few things:
1 -This pattern also has instructions on how to adjust the sizing to fit your machine!
2 - As seen in the pictures below, you can customize it to your hearts content.
3 - for instructions on how to make Continuous Bias Binding out of 1 Fat Quarter, click here.
4 - for instructions on quick and easy binding for your cover (or for a quilt too), click here.
 
Thank you to the sweet ladies who tested out my pattern when it was in the rough stages, and offered such helpful comments.  Their suggestions made this pattern what it is today.  Thanks ladies!  Here's a few of their covers...
 
 
Can you believe how creative they were?!  I can't wait to see YOUR Simple Girl cover!  Be sure to email me, or tag me (@julia_davis7) and tag your cover #simplegirlcover on your Instagram pictures!



Thursday, March 13, 2014

:: Quick and easy binding

So here's the quick and easy, for finishing the bottom edge binding for your Simple Girl cover. (or any quilt, for that matter...)
Stitch your binding onto the inside (lining) edge of your cover, using a generous 1/4" seam.
Your binding is now completely sewn onto the inside of your cover. Yay!
Fold your binding around to the outside edge of your Main Panel.  Using clips to hold it in place, topstitch along the edge of the binding. (Sorry about the different color of binding - but you get the general idea.)
And you are DONE!  (See...wasn't that easy?!)

:: Simple Continuous Bias Binding - Using 1 Fat Quarter!

Whenever I used to think of making bias binding I would shudder.  And walk away.  It seemed so hard - and the angles scared me - and I hated the idea of wasting precious fabric by cutting off that huge corner end. 

Recently I've been writing my Simple Girl pattern (a sewing machine cover), and guess what?  It has curved edges which required bias binding.  (ugh)  But wait!  I discovered that there is a very wonderful, simple way to make continuous bias binding, and it makes up to 5 yards with just 1 fat quarter of fabric!  I know there are probably 100 tutorials online that might show you how to do this, but for the benefit of my Simple Girl pattern, here's tutorial #101... 

And I promise you - it's definitely easy - so fast - and quite rewarding to have bias binding out of your own cute fabric!

Simple Continuous Bias Binding - using 1 Fat Quarter!
To start, remove the selvage and square up your fat quarter to 18" x 22" (or 18" x larger).
Now stitch them together, using a very short stitch length (I shortened mine by half).  You will be cutting across your seams and this helps them to not come apart.
 Note: if you are making bias binding for the Simple Girl pattern - mark your lines at 2.5" wide.
Now you're going to fold your fabric (right sides together) so the lines match up (basically making a tube).  You will want to slide one side over so your first drawn line matches up with the raw edge of the other side. (See drawing below.)

Your fabric will sort-of twist while you're doing this.
 
 Stitch along this edge with 1/4" seam.  (Again, use a short stitch length.)
Now for the fun part....
And now (depending on how wide you made yours) you have up to 5 yards of continuous bias binding!  (If you cut your binding strips 2.5" wide for the Simple Girl pattern, you will have approx. 4 yards of binding.)  And all of it with no stress - no sweating (well, hopefully) - and no waste!

And now - we just need that sewing machine cover pattern - coming this weekend!


Note: If you'd like more info on turning your continuous bias binding into French Fold (Double Fold) bias binding, visit this brilliant page (here) for measurements/yardages.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

:: Veil Making...

I recently had this crazy idea that I could earn a little side-cash for our family (you know, so someday we can afford to not live on sub-floors, or maybe take the children to Disneyland), while working/sewing from home.
A woman who designs veils for bridal boutique shops, as well as larger stores like Nordstroms, was in need of another seamstress.  So I met with her on Wednesday afternoon, she gave me a brief lesson on veil-making, and sent me home to make 4 of a particular type of veil.
What a difference tulle and lace are from quilters cotton!  It was a bit of a learning curve, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed learning something new.  However, with Josh being gone both evenings before I had to turn them in, I realized that there was no way that we could both have deadlines, and I could still mother my 5 children that way we would like for me to.  What was I thinking?!  =)
The night before I had to turn them in, I was up till about midnight sewing.  Friday afternoon I handed over the 4 veils, and graciously declined this unique job opportunity.  When I left her house, it was with a light heart.  Maybe someday this will be a good fit for me.  But for now, I'm happy to mother my children, and just sew quilts and things for my family and friends, with no big deadlines.  And you know, I do have 3 daughters that may need veils someday.  =)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

:: A Redemption Story - the details

Last Saturday morning I wrote a post, telling about a scam that I fell victim to. But today I get to share the 2nd half of that story: An amazing story of Redemption.    

Little did I know last Saturday morning when I woke up, what would transpire in those next 48 hours.
 
In response to that Scam Story blog post, over the course of that weekend, astounding amounts of people came to my rescue!  Literally.  Friends of mine on IG posted (and re-posted) my story, and by 10:30 that Saturday morning I was being flooded with emails, heartfelt responses, and an outpouring of financial giving from you - family, friends, and this amazing quilting community (and even their family members).  Each person giving out of the kindness of their hearts to help out a girl many hadn't even met before.  It was unbelievable and I was blown away!
By Sunday evening, an astonishing $2400 had been raised, and I told my husband, "I don't know how to make it stop!"  
 
The love and generosity you all poured out truly touched my heart and humbled me to my core.  And what an amazing redemption story you all gave to me!  Who would have ever known when I first found out I had lost all my "Bernina money", that something even better would come of it?!
 
I truly believe that God turned this into a testimony of how He is so powerful to act on our behalf.  And the most exciting part? He used all of YOU to do it!  What a thrilling thing.  I tend to mentally limit God's ability to act to the few scenerios I can come up with in my mind.  But how wrong that is!  This situation was far and above anything I could have dreamed or imagined.
 
So the next morning (Monday) I set up an appointment to meet with a lady who was selling her Bernina 440 locally on Tuesday evening.  I was so excited!!
 
However - God had even bigger plans. 
 
Monday night I received an email from a lady who had given a donation that weekend, even though we were complete strangers.  In her email she informed me that she wanted me to buy a NEW sewing machine, and that she was going to pay the difference.  (from what I had raised, to cover the price of new).  And she didn't take no for an answer.  Crazy, right?!!  Who does stuff like this?  Only Dana.

At this point I felt like a cup being held under a faucet of blessing. I was filled to the brim, yet the blessing kept coming and now it was just running over the sides. (And I prayed and told God, "ok Lord, you can turn it off now!!")

Long story short, by the next morning she had called her local Bernina stores, checked online, priced things, had me call my Bernina store, and wanted it all arranged by the end of the day!
 
Late that night my husband walked through my bedroom door carrying a brand new Bernina 550QE from Thread Play, my local Bernina store here in Denver!!!
What a story of redemption, love, and a community pulling together for their own, isn't it?!
 
I don't know how to even begin to express my heartfelt thanks to each one of you who gave.  There were approximately 50 donations, multiple re-postings of my story, emails from you who had found possible machine options for me, and so much compassion shown.  You gave what you could, and I have to say, those $10 and $15 donations spoke volumes to me.  I know what it's like to give all your eating-out money for the week.  And I don't receive it lightly.  Thank you for sacrificing for the good of someone else. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
 
Every time I look at this machine, I am reminded of you - this community and family that I'm honored to call my own.
 
I'd love to give a special thanks to Kira (@quiltedkira) for taking it upon herself to set up a GoFundMe account, and who first got the word out there.
And especially to Dana (@danaquilts), who saw a girl with a story, and blessed me far beyond what I had dreamed of.  
Dana with her cutie-pie grandkids
Thank you also to Erin (@twomoreseconds) for taking the first plunge to re-post my story to her (2000+) followers!  And to all you amazing friends who re-posted and gave throughout that weekend! (I don't want to mention names - I'm afraid I'll miss someone - but you know who you are!)

And to Vanessa (@lellaboutique) for donating all the proceeds of her sales from her adorable shop!
 
And here's a quick tour of my sewing room (in our bedroom), for those of you who might like to see it...
So all this to say:  thank you so very much to each one of you who showed me such an outpouring of kindness, compassion and undeserved generosity.  I am forever grateful.
 
(@julia_davis7)
 
(if you missed the first post about the scam, you can read about it here)
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