Apartment Dwellers, A storage box tutorial with Sue Marsh

There is never a shortage of ideas! When the idea of a collaborative quilt was presented to me, it didn’t take long to dream up some characters to fit my imagination of who my neighbors might have been in my past apartment dwelling life.

If you’ve ever lived in apartment, you probably had one of these neighbors too.

All the fabrics shown are from my “Monster Trucks” line for RJR.

There are endless possibilities that you can do with my monster block, including room for exactly one cat.

You can find the pattern for the block and the Apartment Dwellers Storage Box on our website at www.wpcreek.com. Click on the “Free Patterns” button on left side, toward the bottom or click the link here.

Enjoy and Happy creating!

“WOOF”! A pillow-making tutorial with Leslie Tucker Jenison

“Hi! My name is Bizzi…”

If you have visited me before, either here or on FB or Instagram, you know about my little studio assistant. She is my little shadow and follows me everywhere I go. In my studio, she is a constant presence, even signaling me when enough is enough and it is time to stretch and play! She has several ways of doing this: the most amusing one being to pull a piece of fabric off my shelf and stand in front of me until I notice it….then she runs away shaking it vigorously! We refer to this as her “Schnauzer sense of humor”.

Since she is such a part of my studio life I opted to create my block for the RJR “Common Threads” quilt seen at Quilt Market 2016 using her likeness. This block is really fun to make and it is versatile. I will be creating a quilted pillow, but I think this block would be really fun as part of a tote, a mini-quilt, a panel on a jacket, and more. Plus, Bizzi loves the PR this project gives her and it elevates her social media status….

Here is the finished quilt using each of the RJR designers’ blocks.

Interesting how so many of us opted to include our pets!

Let’s get started, shall we? First, go to the RJR site to download the block template. Feel free to draw your own version of this block. Trust me, it is easy to do! Once you have the template you can choose the prints for each piece of the image. The fabrics must be pre-fused. I recommend fusing pieces of fabric prior to cutting the various shapes. Some of these pieces are small and it is much easier to handle the fusing, then fussy cut each shape. Ask me how I know…!

My choice of fusible is Mistyfuse. Why? Because it is so sheer that it does not change the hand of the cloth after the fusible is applied. This is important for useful items. Who wants a piece of cloth that becomes stiff as a board after fusing? Not me, that is for sure! When you use this product you will need either two Goddess Sheets (teflon pressing sheets) or two pieces of kitchen parchment paper: one to use under the project and one over the top to protect your iron and the ironing surface. Another VERY useful tool to have on hand is a cheap “scrubbie” (the cheap plastic ones used in the kitchen to clean pots and pans). I purchase a set of these rectangular scrubbies, sans sponge, and cut them into quarters for use in the studio. Once you have fused your fabric, allow a few seconds for the parchment or teflon sheet to cool off before peeling back the surface. After removing the fused fabric, quickly “scrub” the surface of both pressing sheets lightly to remove any hidden bits of the fusible that might have adhered to the surface. This prevents any stray bits from being accidentally fused on something else. I keep one at the edge of my work area and it is a habit to lightly scrub each surface that has had contact with the fused project. Remember: you are applying fusible to the WRONG side of the fabric!

For convenience I used a piece of notebook paper to cut a few of my pattern pieces, just to keep the size in perspective. Feel free to trace and cut every piece, but you may find that it isn’t necessary once you have the main pieces figured out. Here is a shape I used for the main part of her beard. I traced this onto the wrong (fused) size of the fabric, then cut. I later cut individual points at the lower part of her beard.

Here are here oversized eyebrows. I first cut the main shape, then clipped the smaller details at the base of the brows.

I selected the dark print to contrast with her brows and beard. Here is my template for the top of her head…

and here it is after cutting. I used the shredded print in charcoal to add another element on her face, a sort of “handlebar mustache”! I used the same dark charcoal from the “Box Springs” print for both top of head and the nose.

Paws: made from two oval shapes using charcoal Box Springs for the background, and the gray Linear Gradation print for the front of the paw (as used in the beard and brows).

Again, I first cut the basic shapes and then clipped the hair detail.

I chose the dark teal “Box Springs” for the base of the window sill, and the aqua “Vertical Garden” for the curtain shapes, and the Tiffany Box RJR Solid for the background. (Ignore the seam in the center of the solid: I simply pieced it together because I was running out!). All these fabrics, once pre-fused, were cut to the shapes of the template. Working over my parchment paper I placed everything before fusing.

I used the deep red Box Springs print for the background of my lettering and also the tie-backs for my curtains….

The overlay of my letters was cut from the “Curry” colored linear gradation on white. The main thing is to select prints that have a dark background and a contrasting lighter color on the letters. I cut the lighter pieces slightly smaller and offset them for visual interest. Note that I have another parchment sheet between my project and the iron! Important to do this to prevent any tiny bits of fusible from adhering to the iron surface!

Once the pieces have all been fused, trim the block to 8 1/2 inches square.

For the sides I selected the “Moss” colored “Linear Gradation” print. I like that this green picks up on the small elements of green in the other prints. I cut two 8.5″ by 5.5″ pieces to piece to each side.

Next, I cut two 18.5 by 5.5″ lengths of fabric. Piece one on top and bottom of image. Press.

Cut a 19.5″ piece of low-loft batting and backing (the choice of backing doesn’t matter as it will face inside the pillow. Pin fused/pieced project to the batting and backing. Quilt. I chose a matchstick quilting method and light-medium gray thread as I didn’t want to change thread colors at all. The gray works beautifully with all the colors in the prints, and basically disappears in the image….

Using my dual-feed attachment on my Bernina 770QE (or you may use a walking foot) I started in the center of my image and worked to each edge doing straight line quilting in rows approximately 1/8″ apart.

I used a stitch length of 2.25 and stepped over 2 stitches between rows.

Once the entire surface was quilted I trimmed the piece to 18″. Next, I cut two separate pieces of the deep red “Box Springs”, 18″ by 12″. I opted to stitch one of my selvedges to the section that will be outermost as I like the way it looks! For the second piece of the pillow back I folded the right side of the fabric twice, pressed, then stitched. This section will lay under the selvedge edge.

I plan for the selvedge to remain exposed on the finished pillow so I am careful to place my two back sections so that the selvedge finish is placed in the proper orientation to the dog face. This is the piece that should be positioned, front side facing down, against the quilted surface FIRST, then overlap the second piece so that the finished edge is facing in toward the center. Note: these pieces have a significant overlap so there is no need for a closure. Pin these in place around the edges. Stitch all the way around the perimeter allowing for the seam allowance. Back stitch two or three times at each corner as well as along the sides where the opening overlaps. These are areas that will have some stress applied to them when turning the project inside out, and also when stuffing the pillow insert, so the extra stitching prevents seam separation.

After stitching trim the corners diagonally to remove excess bulk.

Then, trim excess seam allowance about 1/8″ from seam for approximately 1.5″ from each direction of all 4 corners. This makes turning the project right-side-out much easier.

You may choose to push the corners with your finger or gently use the tip of a pair of scissors, just be careful not to poke all the way through!

Yay! I have a nice opening and I actually got the selvedge piece where I want it!

Now, at the ironing board, secure the seam edges by steam-pressing.

Lovely! I didn’t mention this earlier but before I started quilting I “fussy-cut” several elements from the prints and fused them onto the borders to add a bit more interest. This is optional, of course, but I think it adds a little something extra!

See the coneflower? I fused it in place before the quilting… as well as a few other floral elements seen in the border pieces.

This pillow is nice and squishy!

I think this cute pillow is “Bizzi-approved”!

Please let me see your projects when you finish them. I can’t wait to see what you make!

‘Dreaming of the Park’ Collaborative Quilt Block with Lynette Anderson

Last year I was invited by the other designers at RJR Fabrics to make a block for a collaborative quilt. We were asked to create a window scene for a city skyscraper – being a country girl it was hard for me to imagine what it might be like to live in an apartment in the city…..my furry friends shared their thoughts with me about how city life might be from their view on life ….. they told me they would spend their days ‘dreaming of the park’ and so my block had its name/theme and the drawing began!

The finished block was sent to RJR Fabrics, where it was joined with other designers ‘window’ scenes and made into this city quilt. I thought it was interesting that a number of us chose to make pet related window blocks 🙂

A second block was made and has been made into a pillow which looks perfect on the chair in my hallway, near where the dogs lead is kept. Its a constant reminder to me that my furry friends love to be outside – I don’t think they are capable of flying a kite but I bet they would love to try!

If your wondering what fabrics I used for my block, I predominately used fabrics from ‘High Meadow Farm‘ my new collection which is due in a quilt store near you soon….

I love how the selvage for High Meadow Farm turned out ‘oink oink’….

If you would like to make your own ‘dreaming of the park’ block then please follow this link to Download Dreaming of The Park templates.

The expression of Hugo my Labrador says it all….

FabriFlair with Amy Barickman

Have you seen Amy Barickman’s new Indygo Junction Fabriflair™ kits? These dimensional paper piecing projects are a perfect for sharing your favorite fabric collections. Check out this fun video that will tell you all about these material amusements created with needle and thread.

Watch the FabriFlair Video here:- https://youtu.be/0o-whHRDI2U

Fabriflair™ kits offer unique, clever, and practical projects to showcase favorite fabrics, embroidery and fiber art for quilters and sewers alike. There are currently six kits in the series to create stars, spheres, bowls, ornaments and a needle case.

The kit comes with pre-cut, rigid mat board templates that you cover with fabric and piece them together into decorative and functional forms. This is English paper piecing with a twist. It’s dimensional so no need to remove “papers” or “templates”. The kits were designed with pre-cuts in mind so they are perfect to pair with your favorite RJR collections – strips, squares or fat-quarter bundles. What a fun way to display all the beautiful coordinates in a collection!

Here is the Large Brio Sphere & Bowl kit created in Amy’s Vintage Made Modern – Stitcher’s Garden collection.

These kits look great in prints or solid. Here is the Large Radiant Star created in our RJR solids that was featured in the video above.

A perfect portable project for on-the-go! Personalize a Brio Sphere or Radiant Star with your team colors.

Ideal for gift giving! Pictured in solids with beaded embellishments. Also think Christmas ornaments as Fabriflair Trilliant Star is the perfect project to use treasured family fabrics .

Amy’s new line Vintage Made Modern – Kyoto is shown here in the Radiant Star and Brio Sphere.

Here is a Brio Sphere bowl in process. Note that Amy has fussy cut the interior shapes to repeat the pattern in the fabric.

Visit the Cotton + Steel blog post for more Fabriflair™ inspiration.

Visit IndygoJunction.com to purchase your favorite Fabriflair™ kit today! Use code FFSG5 to take 10% off your Fabriflair™ order! There is also a giveaway going on on the Indygo Junction blog, which you can check out here.

The Doll Days! Blog Hop

Sewlatelybanner

11174_frontcover_low__98474.1453235122.1104.1280

Hello everyone and welcome to RJR Fabrics stop on the Doll Days! Blog tour! Being a quilter for years I was nervous when I was asked by Erin to be part of this tour. I have never ever made a piece of clothing in my life and I was going to start with a doll dress? What! I thought this is madness, but as a young girl I loved playing with American Girl Dolls and I look back very fondly on this childhood memory. So I thought why not. I got this. Well it turned out I did! Once it was finished I proudly shared with everyone at the RJR offices and sent out a mass text to everyone I knew gloating about this huge accomplishment. Look what I did. I made a dress!! Okay okay. I bragged a little but come on? How cute is this Modern Vintage Sundress!

IMG_8270

I decided to make the Modern Vintage Sundress. I thought it was so cute and would work perfectly with our new 1930s Everything But the Kitchen Sink collection released in the fall.

IMG_8280

Erin’s book Doll Days! Is the reason a quilter for years, but by no means a seamstress could make a piece of clothing with no experience what so ever. It takes you step by step and answers any question you may have. Gather the skirt? Huh? Well Erin has a tutorial for gathering fabric. Which made it super easy for a beginner like me! I loved every minute of it and I cant wait to make other patterns offered in her Doll Days! Book.

IMG_8267

It was such a wonderful experience and I am so happy I did it!Be sure to along with the rest of The Doll Days! Blog hop!

June 13 Erin on C&T http://www.ctpub.com/blog/

June 14 Amanda on Jedi Craft Girl http://www.jedicraftgirl.com/

June 15 Erin on Dear Stella http://dearstelladesign.com/blog/

June 16 Karen on Karen Mom of Three http://karenmomofthreescraft.blogspot.com/

June 17 Erin on Sew Mama Sew http://www.sewmamasew.com/

June 20 Lindsay on Lindsay Sews http://www.lindsaysews.com/

June 21 Jane on Janie Carroll Designs www.janiecarrolldesigns.com

June 22 Bonnie on Fishsticks Designs http://www.fishsticksdesigns.com/blog/

June 23 Tracy on Generation Q Magazine http://generationqmagazine.com/

June 24 Rachael on RJR Blog http://quiltwithlove.com/

June 27 Cherry on Cherry Blossoms Quilting http://www.cherryblossomsquilting.com/blog/

June 28 Erin on Avery Lane Sewing http://averylanesewing.com/the-blog/

Rachael

Mini Madness

Sewlatelybanner

Weekend sewing projects have always been my favorite. It’s a time for new things I have been wanting to try but haven’t found the time during the busy week when I am being pulled in so many directions. During the weekend my mind runs wild with ideas that have been scribbled down in a notebook so I didn’t forget my stroke of quilting genius I had while waiting for my quad americano at Starbucks.

Minquilt_Brook

I love the idea of time slipping away with my head in the fabric clouds (who am I kidding, its there about 90% of the time anyway). I love to push past my comfort zone and really try to exceed even my own expectations. The best advice I received was from my first and only quilt teacher. She said if you can’t see it from a galloping horse it doesn’t matter. Wait… huh? You mean it doesn’t have to be perfect? Once my hands matched by mind I understood what she meant. What she was saying was it’s okay to make mistakes, play with ideas that are out of your comfort zone and just have fun with it. Because that is what quilting is. It’s having the confidence to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. I have never been much of a rule follower so I loved this outlook on quilting. Blunders are what make you a better quilter. They are what helps you problem solve the next time you accidently cut something 5 inches when it was supposed to be 6 inches. Yes we have all been there! Because that is what quilting is. It’s the fun of falling in love with a collection of fabric that you have no idea what you will make out of, but a piece of your heart would die without it. It is about remembering the words your mother or grandmother told you when you sewing your first quilt. It’s about passing time with your friends laughing at silly jokes, eating candy and sewing in your pajamas late into the evening. It’s about taking the time to make something for yourself or for someone that you love giving them a part of you with it.

IMG_7069

Sewing possibilities are endless. Every piece I make my legacy gets sewn in time. I have projects that take me longer, but I also love the quick satisfaction of sitting down and finishing something right away. What can I say? I’m a girl that loves instant gratification. So this weekend I completed a mini wall hanging quilt using the Brook color way of Cotton Supreme Solids from the Color Inspirations Club. Mini quilts are a wonderful way to make something fun and useful! They make great presents and can be seasonally changed in your home. Because of the scale they also let you try new techniques without having to fully commit. You get to dabble in something different you otherwise would have been too fearful to try. The pattern I choose was Desert Star by Andie Johnson Sews. The pattern is free and offered on the RJR Fabrics website. It was such a fun quilt to make. Enjoy, and I look forward to seeing what you all come up with!

At RJR Fabrics we love to see what you make using any of our fabrics. Please share on our Instagram and Facebook! Happy Quilting!!

Rachael

Sewlatelybanner

Sew lately we have asked loyal Instagram followers to participate in our exciting Color Inspirations Club featuring our Cotton Supreme Solids. They signed up for the color stories that they liked and made up the mini quilt of their choice. Here’s a look at some of their progress!

solids collage

Here we have the Asscher Cut mini quilt made by Lee Monroe chosen from the color story Carnival for the month of October.

Asscher cut Collage

What is CIC? CIC 2016 offers custom Cotton Supreme Solid color stories hand selected by Brenda Ratliff of Just A Bit Frayed. There are 12 color stories in all and each story features 10 different Cotton Supreme Solids including 11 NEW solid colors, which are identified in the color story. In addition, we have designed 12 new mini quilt patterns to support the program. Each mini is made from the 10 solid colors featured in a specific color story.

Here’s another one of our mini quilts, Rainbow Row from the color Story Riviera made by Becky Keizer.

CIC1 C

CIC 2 C

Here’s a look at all of our exciting mini freebies that feature our solids!

9 Patch Dazzle

April Showers

Asscher Cut

Crown of Thorns

Kaleidoscope

Rainbow Row

Every Which Way

Welcome Home

Desert Star

Liking what you see? Well you can participate too. Just let us know what color story and mini you want to make! Leave a comment with your email 😉

Happy Quilting!

Sewlatelybanner

Sew lately we’ve been wondering how Jinny Beyer first started using borders on her quilts. Luckily we were able to meet up with Jinny who showed us just what we can make with borders & how she began using them on her quilts!

bordercollage1

Each fabric has a wide and narrow stripe which coordinates in both design & color that are separated by at least a half inch so that a ¼” seam allowance is provided for on both sides. Both stripes have mirror-imaged motifs which are essential for perfectly mitered corners.

Jinny Beyer’s border prints are made specifically for quilters in mind. She designs and engineers each border print to insure it works for the techniques she uses, whether it be framing blocks & quilts or creating interesting shapes in patchwork blocks!

Did you know that her border basics coordinates beautifully with the Jinny Beyer Palette? The colorations she chose follow her color theory and shading technique in quilt design, including lights, mediums and darks.

border collage

Want to know how you can learn all this from Jinny herself? Well keep reading and you might just be in luck 😉

But first, Jinny wanted to share a couple words with you..

jinny collage “In creating my newest Border Basics ensemble, I focused on versatility in both design and color. I wanted to give quilters a line of borders with which to rely upon; border prints that are set in different scales to fit projects in a variety of sizes, from a small pillow to a large bed size quilt. The colorations are a blend of multicolor and rich tonal hues to enhance projects for every occasion and every season.”

Just as promised, Jinny has provided a great introductory video on all you ought to know about border prints. Take a look!

Hope you all enjoy working with Jinny’s new Border Basics debuting in March 2016. And stay tuned on more exciting tips on working with borders and pattern freebies!

Happy Quilting 😉

Sewlatelybanner

Sew Lately here at RJR, we have been loving these quilted fabric postcards that Linda Johnson at Sew Upscale creates. These in specific were created using the collection Danscapes by Dan Morris. We talked to Linda for a bit to give us a little inside look on how she creates these adorable postcards 😉

“Hello all, my name is Linda Johnson I live in Morganton, a small town in western North Carolina, with my husband, my cat and my adopted black Labrador retriever. And I run the Etsy shop, Sew Upscale , where I sell quilted fabric postcards, mostly landscapes. The inspiration I get when it comes to creating these postcards is twofold, nature itself and of course the fabric. When I first saw a fabric postcard, I knew it was the perfect project for me to make and actually finish. The postcards were small and only take a short time to complete. Little did I know this was the beginning of a business where I would sell quilted postcards throughout the country. After some experimentation, I came up with my process. Making landscape scenes on the postcards seemed like a natural progression.”

Postcards copy

“I start out by cutting two pieces of muslin, one piece of double-sided fusible stiff interfacing, one piece of batting and a pretty piece of light fabric for the back. All the pieces should be cut to 4 ½” by 6 ½”. Adhere paper-backed fusible to the pieces of fabric chosen for the design. Then lay one piece of muslin on the ironing board. Cut the pieces for the design. I freehand cut these pieces before I pull off the paper backing. Start at the back of the scene. The sky and the ground are first. Once the design is laid out, adhere the pieces to the muslin, add batting and another piece of fabric to the back of the design piece. I found the trick for this step is to add fusible web between each layer. Press until they are stuck together. This keeps the layers from shifting when they are quilted. Quilt this layer on the raw edge of the fabric using any stitch on the sewing machine. Add the other parts to the design such as the trees, flowers, fences and quilt as the components are added.

postcard3

After all the quilting is finished, add the precut double-sided fusible stiff interfacing to the back and then the backing fabric. Fuse all layers together by pressing with a very hot iron. Since the iron needs to be very hot for the layers to fuse together, I use a pressing cloth to prevent scorching the design. Using a quilting ruler and a rotary cutter, cut down to 4” by 6”. Satin stitch or use a decorative on the edge.”

Image1

“On the back, if it is going to be mailed, draw a line down the center using a fine line permanent pen and a quilting ruler. Write Postcard on the top. Now you’re all ready to go! The postcard is ready for the address and message. These postcards can be sent in the mail and when received, they are a unique gift for a special loved one that can be framed and kept forever.”

Well there you have it folks! It’s amazing all the things you can create with a little inspiration and just the right fabric 😉 So how would you guys put these lovely postcards to use? Let us know in the comments below! And for more information on how to get your hands on Linda’s designs check out her Etsy shop at Sew Upscale .

Happy quilting!

Sewlatelybanner

Hi all! My name is Jennifer, I’m the person behind the screen bringing you news on all things RJR and I’m happy to introduce a new segment on our blog called, “Sew Lately…” A better way to show everyone the exciting things going on with us! Be sure to subscribe to our blog so you won’t miss any exciting news!

So lately here at RJR we took a peak inside the RJR art studio where the creative duo behind Flaurie & Finch, Linda Fitch and Vanessa Stevens are hard at work on their quilt, Daisy Day Dream which features Blossom Batiks.

DaisyDayDream

Vanessa shares, “We decided to kick off the Flaurie & Finch brand with a line of batik fabrics. Linda and I love to design batiks because of the range and depth of color that is achievable, and since they are hand dyed in Indonesia, every piece is uniquely special”.

BlossomB5

This entire collection can coordinate together or can be split into five distinct color groupings: Bella Vita, Tiger Lily, Blue Bonnet, Freesia, and Starling. As you can see from the Daisy Day Dream quilt Vanessa is working on the color variations work beautifully together!

colorways

Want to find out how you can win a FQ bundle of these amazing batiks? Well keep on reading!

DaisyDaydream1

Can you believe its all pieced? Looks like all these ladies need to do are the borders and quilting!

Leave a comment on this post about what you like most about this new line for an opportunity to win a FQ bundle of the color grouping of your choice! Make sure to check out their collection Blossom Batiks available now and stay tuned for more exciting Sew Lately news 😉

Happy quilting from RJR!