Welcome to the Sewing MODKID Style book tour! And apologies to anyone who was looking for this post on Friday. Due to a scheduling snafu at FQHQ (i.e., John had the wrong date!) we’re joining the tour a bit later than expected. No worries — we still have a great post and a book giveaway to get to, so let’s go!
As the father of twin girls, I was very excited to get my hands on a copy of Patty Young‘s new book, Sewing MODKID Style from John Wiley books (check out WileyCraft.com). Patty’s fans already know that Patty is a popular sewing blogger and prolific designer of both patterns and fabric (through Michael Miller). As the mother of two girls herself, her style has a decidedly fresh, playful, colorful and feminine spirit.
My excitement, however, was mixed with some trepidation — Patty is known for her expertise on sewing with knits, and I had never sewn with knits before. With book in hand and some newly acquired knits, I was ready to tackle a project from the book.
Full-size pattern pieces are included in this fun enclosure, featuring some of Patty’s designs!
But first, a bit more about this gorgeous little book itself. Sewing MODKID Style is subtitled Modern Threads for the Cool Girl, and inside you’ll find a wide variety of children’s clothing and accessory patterns in the true MODKID style: not only are they cute and stylish, but are highly functional for kids’ everyday activities like running, climbing, and playing. Let’s face it: our kids are not easy on their clothes!
Inside, you’ll find the 20 project ideas organized by chapter:
As valuable as the patterns themselves is an extensive reference guide on sewing and finishing techniques for knit fabrics, including double knits, jersey knits, and lycra. I used these instructions extensively, as I’ll describe in a bit.
Although it’s not snowy here in NC, I still thought some knit scarves would be a fun project!
Instead of just reviewing the book, I wanted to actually make a project from it. I decided on the Stripwork Scarf, which seemed like a beginner-friendly pattern, and something I could easily make two of. (Remember, I have twins — just making one item is not an option!) After selecting a variety of knits (I went for a more scrappy version of Patty’s pattern, which only uses 2 fabrics), I went to my local sewing store for some new supplies. Patty provides needle and thread recommendations, and I was easily able to find the items I needed.
A sample page from Patty’s invaluable Guide to Sewing with Knits.
The saleswoman at my local shop helped me select these 80/12 jersey needles, appropriate for most interlock and jersey fabrics. Patty explains why these ballpoint needles are most appropriate for sewing with knits.
Patty recommends a polyester thread (which has more elasticity than all-cotton thread).
After reviewing Patty’s tips on the proper settings on my machine for sewing with knits, I was ready to go!
Don’t have a serger? Neither do I. But Patty includes full instructions on how to use the different stitches on our home machines to effectively sew with knits.
I started my project using the stem (or stretch) stitch, but decided that it was taking too long to sew my seams! Patty’s instructions helped me select the proper length and width of my stitches.
After some trial & error, I decided that a regular zig-zag stitch was what worked best for me.
As soon as I cut my fabric, I was ready to go! The scarves came together very quickly, and the forgiving instructions provided an easy and approachable project to truly get comfortable using knit fabrics.
My girls love their new springtime scarves and are already asking me what I’m going to make them next!
Um, yeah … so we did our photo shoot in our pajamas. I’m sure you’re familiar with the “morning after a late night sewing finish photo shoot”. No big deal!
Stylish AND easy. What could be better?
We’re excited to offer up a free copy of Sewing MODKID Style to a lucky Fat Quarterly reader! Simply leave a comment on this post and tell us about your experiences sewing with knits, or if you’ve never done it before (like me!) We’ll draw a random winner in about a week.
There’s a chance to win a free copy at each stop on the tour, so please be sure to visit these other great sites:
Monday, April 2nd, 2012: Wiley Craft Blog
Wed., April 4th, 2012: A Sewing Journal
Friday, April 6th, 2012: Pink Chalk Studio
Monday, April 9th, 2012: Melanie Dramatic
Wed., April 11th, 2012: Stop Staring and Start Sewing
Friday, April 13th, 2012: Generation Q
Monday, April 16th, 2012: Lil Blue Boo
Wed., April 18th, 2012: True Up
Friday, April 20th, 2012: Paige Hill
Monday, April 23rd, 2012: Boutique Café
Wed., April 25th, 2012: The Long Thread
Friday, April 27th, 2012: Sew Pretty Dresses
Monday, April 30th, 2012: Prudent Baby
Wed., May 2nd, 2012: Our Busy Little Bunch
Friday, May 4th, 2012: Fat Quarterly <— YOU ARE HERE!
Monday, May 7th, 2012: Making It Fun
Wed., May 9th, 2012: MODKID blog
Good luck! If you make something from Sewing MODKID Style, we’d love to see it!
We are delighted and honoured to be kicking off the blog tour for Sarah Fielke’s first solo book, quilting from little things, which is now available for the US market as well as the rest of the world!
Sarah is already a well established and best selling co-author with Material Obsession one and two under her belt, but Quilting From Little Things is her first solo book – and, I have to say, it’s a real treat.
There are ten pairs of projects in Quilting, designed to be individual lessons in a particular technique. The small ‘dolly quilt’ gives you the opportunity to become confident with a new technique, without committing to a full size quilt. Then, once you feel comfortable with the technique you can move on to making a larger quilt using the techniques learned in the dollies.
You can see Sarah describing the ‘step down piecing’ projects in the photo below during her school house session at Quilt Market.
As with all of Sarah’s work, the patterns are beautifully illustrated with full size templates and clear directions to simplify even the most tricky techniques.
The quilts themselves are out of this world.
FQ reader, Justine, who describes herself as a novice quilter, tried foundation piecing for the very first time with this delightful dolly quilt from Quilting. I think she did a great job, and said the pattern was so easy to follow, in particular noting how useful the pull-out pattern sheet with full size foundation templates was.
I’m currently working on this fun quilt, which would be finished if I didn’t get so easily distracted. It’s a simple strip pieced quilt, with great big triangle blocks and so fast to piece. I’m using Sarah’s new fabric collection with Lecien, called St Ives which is a riot of colour and some of the best stripes and dots out there. (It’s due to arrive in stores any time now – keep an eye on Sarah’s blog for updates).
If you’re a quilter, of any level, be it beginner or well established confident pro – Quilting From Little Things is a book you simply cannot be without. Add it to your Christmas list, or go buy it right now for yourself. You will not be disappointed, that’s for certain!
Enter the code QUILTLITTLE at checkout for an extra $5 off Quilting From Little Things at Martha Pullen while stocks last (offer expires 7/31/12)
Keep following the blog tour this week for more peeks into projects and details of the book.
November 28th – here! and Amy Ellis/Amy’s Creative Side
November 29th – Thomas Knauer
First off this book is beautiful. And I mean beautiful! It is the type of book you want to leave on your coffee table to impress those none-sewists that we know and to persuade them that sewing is glamorous and fabric really is something to be lusted after. The cover is made of a material that you just want to stroke. And of course there is page after page of fabulous patterns from the Liberty range. Heck this could almost be a pattern library as well as a sewing pattern book!
Photos of projects are wonderfully styled and presented. You just want to dive into that world and if Liberty fabrics is how you get there then bring on the Liberty! Project illustrations are not simple line diagrams, but gorgeously detailed paintings including details of the fabric itself.
So if you are looking for a book to just ogle the photos this is certainly for you. But what about the content? After all we are all sewists and will want to actually be inspired or make some of the patterns in any book we buy.
The book is divided into 4 sections:- Essentials, Organisation, Luxury and Sewing Basics.
There are 9 projects in the Essentials section:- basic cushions, simple curtains, eco shopper, cook’s apron, sugar-bag doorstop, wash bag, roman blind, beanbag and tote bag.
There are 6 projects in the Organisation section:- keepsake board, jewellery roll, drawstring bag, gadget case, peacock pincushion and book covers.
There are 10 projects in the Luxury section:- round cushion, rose corsage, rose cushion, bench cushion, frilly pinny, kimono, lampshade, rose throw, traditional cot quilt and contemporary brick quilt.
Each of the projects is described in detail with many illustrations. There are no templates in the book, but each project has a graph paper section at the beginning showing the exact dimensions of the pieces you need to cut. I have to admit that this was one thing that bothered me. When I choose a project I like to get started and not have to spend a few days messing around with drawing out pattern pieces or trekking to the copy shop. I know I am probably being somewhat on the lazy side but I am sure most of us lead busy lives and there is little enough time for sewing as it is!
That being said this book is on the whole a veritable feast for the eyes! Although none of the projects are that different from things you may have already seen, the mere fact they are all dripping in Liberty fabrics makes this book fantastic! Indeed, the 2 quilts featured are classic simple designs but since they are made in Liberty fabrics they just ooze luxury. However, it would have been fun to see some more unusual designs featuring Liberty fabric rather than the classic look that is generally associated with the Liberty brand.
The Sewing Basics section in the book is very much aimed at the beginner. But you never know when you might need a reminder of the basics! There is also a lovely reference section for Liberty fabrics. Be careful or it might send you racing to your local Liberty supplier and making a large dent in your wallet!
A big thank you to Chronicle Books for giving us a copy to giveaway. If you would like a copy of The Liberty Book of Home Sewing then all you need to do is leave a comment below. We will draw a winner on 20th November.
Unfortunately this giveaway is only open to US residents due to how the book is distributed.
I’m a big fan of a new-to-me magazine that I came across on a recent trip to my local Barnes & Noble. Mollie Makes magazine is, as the cover states, “for people who love the crafty life.” Umm, yes … that would be us! As a UK-based magazine, it’s probably something that my Fat Quarterly team mates are already familiar with, but I am so glad to see that it is now available stateside. It focuses on the areas of making, thrifting, collecting, and crafting, and the two issues that I’ve been able to get my hands on are chock full of more beautiful photography, inspirational project ideas, news & information, and patterns than you can shake a stick at. It’s also accompanied by a gorgeous blog.
Here’s a brief description of the magazine, directly from the editor:
Today’s crafters are creating a whole new aesthetic which is inspired by vintage, love of all things handmade, and showing off their individual style. They are crafting socially in cafés and clubs, and they are sharing their ideas globally, using the internet as a giant poster. This is why Mollie Makes is so much more than a traditional project book – it is a lifestyle magazine for the generation who make up the handmade revolution.
Subscriptions to Mollie Makes are now available for us overseas readers … and, like Fat Quarterly, Mollie Makes is also available in digital format! You can subscribe for an iPad friendly version that is instantly delivered upon each issue’s release. Learn more by following the subscription buttons at the top of their homepage.
Want a little taste of what’s inside?
Features on familiar names from the fabric and quilting industry, like …
… Aneela Hoey!
… Rita from Red Pepper Quilts!
Fun project ideas with …
… fabric & sewing!
And a whole range of other features, like …
… independent shops & sellers!
… designers’ homes!
… and so much more. I really couldn’t recommend this magazine more. I already can’t wait for the next issue to be released!
And we have a winner:
Congratulations to Karen A !!!
Please can you email us with your address at email@example.com
When Jen Eskridge asked us here at Fat Quarterly to be a part of her book tour for her new book Deploy That Fabric, published by Stashbooks, I was intrigued. I am not an army wife but I did grow up with a brother who very nearly did choose the army as a career. He was always dressed in his army corps uniform and I am sure we must have them hidden away in a corner of my parent’s house. At the time I was too obsessed with cutting up old 70s curtains to make into psychedelic trousers to even think of the possibilities of using my brother’s discarded uniforms. But now having had a copy of Jen’s book in my hands – my mind is whirring with possibilties. Next time I head home I will be sure to dig out those old uniforms and get sewing!
Jen’s book is packed with 23 projects! There are not many sewing books around that offer such a variety and quantity of great patterns. Jen has patterns for everything ranging from bags and pouches to pillows and quilts. My personal favourite is the Christmas stocking.
All of the patterns are clearly written and are accompanied by many illustrations which leave you in no doubt as to what you are supposed to be doing.
Jen goes into great detail about how to transform your uniform into fabric that you can use for the projects. I am sure a lot of the advice given could be used for recycling all manner of clothing into fabric for your stash. So even if you do not have access to military uniforms the ideas and tips shared in this book would be very useful.
And of course if you really can’t get hold of any old uniforms you could always use some of the line Urban Camo by Urban Chiks for Moda. There is even a pink Camo print! I found some by searching on Etsy and it might have slipped into my shopping cart
So would you like to win a copy of Deploy That Fabric? Of course you would! Stashbooks have provided us not only with a copy* of Jen’s book to giveaway but also an awesome Camo Quilt—Eco Messenger Bag! Just leave a comment below and on 10 October we will choose a winner. Oh and be sure to tell us if a loved one of yours is currently serving or has served in the armed forces.
*(Hard copy for a US winner and ebook for an international winner)
You can also see the rest of Jen’s blog tour by checking out the Stash Books blog.
When Kathreen emailed us and asked us to review her new ezine aimed at children, I jumped at the chance. I had been impressed by what I had seen of the ezine around the blogosphere and was wondering how appropriate it would be for my own kiddies.
The Whip Up Action Pack is a theme based ezine. Everything is designed to introduce your child to one topic and through manageable activities develop your child’s understanding of that topic.
Kathreen sent me the May edition which is named, Tea & Sew. There are about 8 activities ranging from dyeing wool and stitching up a tea cosy to making tea bath salts. Each activity is well introduced and peppered with fun facts to get your child thinking.
The magazine is aimed at 7 year olds although I suspect that my 5 and 4 year old would also get a lot out of the activities even if they don’t understand all the thinking behind them. In fact I plan on getting them to try out some of the chai mixes.
If you are looking for some educational and FUN activites to do with your children then I would definitely recommend you to buy the Action Oack. It is only $5 which is a complete bargain for the amount of content and thought that goes into it.
If you want to try it out you can purchase it from here using this discount code:
Edited: The discount code has now expired. But you can still purchase the Action Pack from the Whip Up site.
I’m delighted that my friend, Amy from LucyKate Crafts… has her very first book out! I’ve known Amy for some years now. We first ‘met’ online in the crafty section of a parenting forum and have stayed friends ever since, occasionally meeting up for coffee, chats and Ikea trips.
The book is a very sweet collection of softies that can be hand or machine sewn, using repurposed wool sweaters or blankets, or wool felt and fabric. There are 28 patterns in total, including my favourite – Mr Fox (who also graces the front cover).
Amy has included very easy to understand step by step instructions for each softie which make the book perfect for any beginner sewist, or for sharing a project with a child. The purposeful naïve stitching adds a lovely charm to the little creatures, they would make great gifts for animal loving friends and relatives (or yourself? Or perhaps, me?!)
Who doesn’t love hedgehogs?
Or robin red breasts, for that matter?
C&T publishing and Amy have generously given a copy of the book for a giveaway on every stop of the blog tour. Simply leave a comment on this post for your chance to enter.
And be sure to visit every other stop on the tour for more chances to win and more peeks of Amy’s gorgeous little creations.
monday 18th april – whip up (free pond pattern!)
tuesday 19th april – bari j
wednesday 20th april – blue nickel studios
thursday 21st april – fat quarterly
friday 22nd april – ric-rac
saturday 23rd april – syko
sunday 24th april – lucykate crafts
monday 25th april – treefall design
tuesday 26th april – i heart linen
wednesday 27th april – sometimes crafter
thursday 28th april – plush you
friday 29th april – allsorts
Sarah Fielke’s first solo book, Quilting From Little Things, is something I’ve been stalking the mail box for ever since she started showing sneaky peeks on her blog a year ago. So when the mailman finally dropped it off, I have to say, I did a happy dance. Quilting From Little Things is an absolute joy from cover to cover. Every page oozes ‘Sarah-ness’ which is a difficult quality to define but if you can grab it, harness it and make it your own you’re onto a winner! Her flair for putting fabrics together and making even the more difficult techniques sound quite simple sets this book apart from most. Sarah’s style is bright, colourful and adventurous – these projects are quilts you will actually want to make.
The book’s premise is this – ten lessons in technique, two projects for each. One dolly size quilt, one large quilt. If you’re unsure of the technique demonstrated, practise with the dolly, then move on to the biggy. Work your way through the whole book and end up with a wall full of beautiful little quilts, and enough bed quilts to keep you cozy in the coldest winter.
From dolly quilt …
To full sized quilt …
How beautiful is that?!
As with Sarah’s previous books (she co-authored the Material Obsession books), the pages are clearly laid out, with a feast of diagrams and photos. Full-size templates are included on separate pull-out pattern sheets. Every quilt in the book has a rating of difficulty, from 1 to 4, according to how many different techniques are used and how difficult those techniques are. She talks you through many of the traditional techniques you will need to master in order to become a better quilter – from simple row by row construction through to inset piecing – and covers foundation piecing, appliqué, wedges and even feathered blocks.
If you are going to buy one book this year – make it this one. Whether you’re a beginner quilter or have been quilting since you were knee high to a grasshopper, Sarah’s book will teach you things you didn’t know, it will challenge you, it will help you define your own personal style and will become a well thumbed addition to your library.
Quilting From Little Things is out now in all good bookshops and quilt shops in Australia. It will be released in the UK (and Europe) on May 2nd, and folks in the US have to wait a little longer (the release date is August for you guys). However, The Book Depository in the UK has the book available for pre-order (with the UK release date of May 2nd) and with FREE worldwide delivery. (Thanks to Amy for that little snippet of info!) Click here for more information.
Murdoch books and Sarah have generously given us a copy of the book to give away to one of our readers! Leave a comment on this post telling us what technique frightens you the most. For me it’s inset seams. I love the look, I’m just too scared to try them. I think I know what my first project from this book should be! (The give away is open to all readers – no matter which country you happen to live in!)
Good luck, and happy sewing!
We’ve seen the book, and it is amazing. Want a chance to win your own copy of the book? How about some Kona cotton solids to make a project from the book? We’re happy to give our readers the chance to win both. More about that in a minute, though. First, let’s learn a little bit more about the amazing Cherri House and enjoy some amazing images of quilts directly from her book!
Tell us a bit about yourself and your quilting background.
I come from a long line of Mormon pioneers, who through necessity were quilters. My Mom was a very accomplished seamstress, and she taught me to sew when I was little. My FAVORITE thing to do was to go with her to the fabric stores, I loved the fabric, the colors, the smell…I loved it all. I made my first quilt with my Mom when I was 12 years old. Quilting really become important to me as a young mom, making quilts and blankets for my four little ones.
Everything! The buildings, the architecture, the outdoor sculpture, fountains – most every city has fountains. I grew up near Los Angeles, California – so that was my first city! The best thing to do is to walk around a city, to see it on foot, and discover what is unique, and personal about an area. The little hidden gems that every city has; and treasures.
Apart from your own (of course), what is your favorite city?
London! I was there on business and spent several weekends walking around the city…I love everything about it, Manchester too. A guidebook and raincoat – I’ll go anywhere!
What other things inspire you?
In what might be considered a little off, I see beauty in everything. Stacks of bricks, shipping containers, it doesn’t really matter what it is, I think there is beauty and inspiration everywhere. I’m always looking at pattern, numbers, formations; and I’m always trying to figure out how to translate it to a quilt.
How would you describe your style?
I have somewhat of a split personality, Part of me likes clean, sharp, almost to the point of being severe, but there is a part of me that likes flowery, romantic, and vintage things. I’m a sucker of Moda’s Three Sisters line of fabric, no matter how much I have, it’s never enough!
How would you describe the patterns in your book? Are they step by step instructions, or designed to inspire a quilter to make their own design decisions?
The quilt patterns are step by step instructions, but there is a section of the book devoted to encouraging quilters to create their own designs. I’m quite passionate about learning the fundamentals of a skill, and then building on those skills in order to give yourself wings, to do whatever you desire to do. The quilts in my book were designed with that end in mind. If someone wants to recreate a quilt that I’ve made – go for it! If you like what I’ve done, but want to add, build, or change it, that is great too!
Do you have a favorite quilt in the book?
City Lot…I just love that quilt!
(not City Lot : )
Tell us about your road to publication. Was it how you expected it to be? Did anything about it surprise you?
I began my business, Cherry House Quilts with a quilt named City Scapes. I become very fascinated with translating city themes into fabric – the hardness of a city, to the softness of a quilt. By the time I got to a quilt named City News, I knew I wanted it to be in a book. The ideas and themes had become clear in my mind, and I was ready to go forward with a book proposal. Publishing, like most everything it seems, was not at all what I expected it would be. The deadlines were tight, 12 quilts in 5 months, plus the actual writing of the book, and everything else that went along with the process. In regards to surprises, the biggest one had to be the solitary nature of the project. My children were all gone, so it was me, my dog, and two cats. The days took on a particular kind of rhythm of cutting, sewing, ironing, quilting, binding. Oddly, when the quilts were finished, first there was a sense of relief, then there was the sense of “What’s next; what do I do now?”
You are a very creative family. How much do you all bounce ideas off each other?
Describe your sewing space. What’s on the walls? What’s the overall vibe?
Small! I sew in a small corner of my master bedroom – I kind of like that all of the quilts in the book were made in this tiny, compact space…very cocoon like. Since completing the book I have converted one of the bedrooms into a fabric/prep room, but the actual work is done in my little corner. I dream of an awesome studio space, but until then…this is working for me. On the walls? Batting – a constantly revolving show of projects on my design wall. Nothing fancy I’m afraid.
What do you watch / listen to while sewing?
During the whole time that I was doing the book, all of my children were away from home…so I had to have something on to keep me company during all those hours. One of my best companions during the thick of things was watching The Amazing Race Season 2 on repeat. I can’t even tell you how many times I watched it…I should have acknowledged the cast on my dedications! For music I have separate playlists on my ipod for machine quilting, and a playlist for sewing. I have to have something going all the time – helps me keep a steady pace.
You obviously love color. What is your favourite color palette for a quilt?
Going strictly by looking at the quilts in the book, the answer would be blue/green. I never knew I was so drawn to those colors until I looked at how frequently I used those same fabrics over and over again. I think more in terms of mood, than favorite colors, so pink would be sweet, and yellow would be warm, and blue would be calm and cool, on and on it goes.
Prints or solids?
Prints or solids?
SOLIDS! I do love prints, I love all fabric; but I am especially drawn to the timelessness of solids.
Who is your favorite designer?
I certainly have a weakness for Kaffe Fassett – can a girl ever have enough Kaffe? My own Lizzy House of course! She keeps getting better and better. Her next line is going to be incredible!
Shoes, socks, or bare feet while sewing?
Bare feet – I hit the door, and off come my shoes.
What projects (patterns + fabrics) are on your “must make” list?
I have so many of my own patterns that I am going to create all queued up – it’s a really long list. Fabric I want to work with the most? Some beautiful yardage of Cherrywood Fabric! I’m going to make a Drunkard’s Path – I’ve been trying to get to the project for over a year now.
New quilt patterns, a proposal for a new book, teaching opportunities, a booth at Fall 2010 Market, and I would like to explore designing fabric. More of everything!
Thanks so much, Cherri! To win your own copy of City Quilts and a Kona cotton solids FQ bundle, please leave a comment on this post. We will pick a winner next Sunday, 7/25.
Be sure to check out all of the other stops on Cherri’s tour to learn more about Cherri and her book, and also for more chances at winning some fabulous prizes!
July 12th – Cheryl Arkison (Naptime Quilter)
July 13th – Amy Lobsiger (Mrs. Schmenkman Quilts)
July 14th – Stefanie Roman (Little Lady Patchwork)
July 15th – Pat Sloan
July 16th – Spool Sewing
July 17th – Allie (Robert Kaufman)
July 18th – YOU ARE HERE!
July 19th – Emily Cier (Carolina Patchworks)
July 20th – Sarah/Josh (Sewer Sewist)
July 21st – Julie (Jaybird Quilts)
July 22nd – Vickie Eapen (Spun Sugar Quilts)
July 23rd – Jessica Levitt (Juicy Bits)
July 24th – Kim Kight (True Up)