All posts by teresa

Bespoke Baby Quilt: Start to Finish

I love when clients send me pics because this is why I make quilts:

The first quilt I made was for my son, twenty-three years ago. Since then I’ve made dozens more, both for my family members and for clients.  Every time I make one, I imagine how it will not only wrap the little one in love, but it will also be drooled on, chewed, dragged, and dirtied, then washed and dried so it can start all over again. My favorite thing may be a love-worn baby quilt. Continue reading Bespoke Baby Quilt: Start to Finish

Pattern Review: Sew House Seven Albert Street Pencil Skirt

Alberta Street Pencil Skirt

I first saw this pattern at work; one of our sample sewists had made it up in a cute print and it sat out on the floor taunting me for weeks. Then I saw it on Instagram. Then I ran into Michelle at Quilt! Knit! Stitch! and she was wearing it. I asked a few questions about her experience with the pattern–any problems? Instructions good? How’s the fit? Her biggest feedback: Get a fabric with some stretch. The slim fit led to more than one popped seam for her.

I happened to have some Stretch Corduroy (21 Wale) that I’d bought from Robert Kaufman Fabrics and have been holding on to, just waiting for the right project. I figured this just might be it. The bottom weight, stretchiness and my long-standing love of corduroy made it a great option and one I’d totally recommend. Continue reading Pattern Review: Sew House Seven Albert Street Pencil Skirt

The Importance of Pressing

“It’s a waste of time. I’ll just iron it when I’m done.”

The first time I heard someone say this I audibly gasped, horrified that anyone would put off pressing. But the mm-hmming  of those around me made me realize that it was a common sentiment.

As a long-time garment sewist, the need to press as-you-go has been drilled into me, but many quilters and new garment sewists don’t realize  the difference it can make in the final outcome.

Because I can be a bit fanatical (I prefer devout) about this aspect of sewing and quilting, Sam Hunter of Hunter’s Design Studio invited me to share my experience and tips in her Back to School Blog Hop. If you haven’t checked out Cheryl’s post about the quilter’s knot or Peta’s post about diagonal quilt backs, go check them out. And make sure to follow along with the rest of these talented quilters and sewists: Continue reading The Importance of Pressing

Introducing the Hexy Bottom Bag

It’s here, at last–the Hexy Bottom Bag! The pattern has been written, edited, tested, edited again and finally, with the help of my daughter we got the photos taken and the pattern finished.

(insert cheers from the crowd here)  

If anyone ever tells you it’s easy to write a pattern, punch them in the gut. This stuff takes so much more time than actually sewing anything. But you know what? I kinda love it. There’s this challenge to it that I find enjoyable. I think I might even do it again before too long.


But for now, this little guy is available on Craftsy. Continue reading Introducing the Hexy Bottom Bag

Row by Row Experience — have you played along?

Before this spring I’d never even heard of the Row by Row Experience, but from what I hear, I’m not the only one.

This nationwide shop hop is right up my alley, promoting brick-and-mortar shops and the quilters who love them. My work over the years with shop owners has given me a real love for the them and all the effort they put into have a local place for us fabric petters to converge. The folks behind Row by Row Experience are on the same wavelength and started this hop a couple years back to encourage quilters to seek out and visit their local quilt shop, then go on a little road trip to visit others. <3!

This year there are several shops in the Portland area participating, including Fabric Depot, Cool Cottons and Modern Domestic (is it weird that I’ve worked with all them at some point over the last three years?!). Each has a free row pattern for you, but you have to go into the actual shop to get it. And while you’re there… buy some fabric and notions.

Working with Fabric Depot, I got to design three different rows for the Row by Row Experience participants–applique, paper piecing, and patchwork.Row by Row - Bridge Row by Row - Mountains Row by Row - Sailboats

It’s been a bit crazy with thousands of patterns being taken and hundreds of kits bought. Awesome and nutty. It’s a challenge to try and keep up, but I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to see people liking the designs. 

Get on in to your local shop and see what they’ve got. I’d love to see what you make!

Let’s Talk: Sewing Pillows

IMG_3043Head over to Sew, Mama, Sew for an inside scoop on how to make pillows that look more professional than a simple envelope pillow cover. I did a guest post for them earlier in the month, but forgot to get it published over here. Oops!

I’ve been making pillows for a while and have them up as PDX Pillows on Etsy and have figured out a few tricks that make a real difference in the final appearance.

One important thing that I don’t really talk about in the SMS post is the choice of pillow form. I prefer a down pillow form, but they can be hard to find (and expensive!). Instead I have been using the Home Elegance pillows from Poly-Fil. They have them at work and feel more like down than most other pillow forms. They sell for $20-25 for a 20-inch square pillow, so they cost a bit more than your typical stuffed pillow form, but they feel so much better. And really, when you’re leaning back against pillows on your sofa, you want them to feel nice.

Do you have other tricks for making nice pillows? Do you prefer invisible zippers or lapped? What’s your take on button closures?


How to: Flat Fell Seams

I’ve been working on mastering the Negroni shirt pattern and the flat fell seams were one aspect that I just wasn’t happy with on the first version I made. I also put the cuff buttonholes in the wrong place, so overall it wasn’t exactly my best work.

So of course for the next version I chose the softest, floppiest linen possible: Antwerp Linen in Chambray. It’s gorgeous, but made of 100% linen so there’s not much body to it and an incredibly soft hand. These are great qualities in clothing, but not so much for the construction part. If you choose to go this route, I suggest you invest in some good starch, Best Press, Flatter or something similar.

Because of my choice in fabric, I had to do a little extra with my seams, but first let me show you how to do a basic flat fell seam. These are perfect for the side seams of dress shirts and jeans, but are a good alternative with fabrics that like to fray.

First you will stitch a regular 5/8″ seam. I use my walking foot throughout because it works great and I don’t want to change feet unless I have to. If you prefer, you can use a regular foot for this part. Stitch, then press to set your seam.

Continue reading How to: Flat Fell Seams

Pattern Review: Sydney Top

Are you familiar with Seamwork? It’s an online magazine of sorts from the folks behind Colette Patterns that features articles about various aspects of sewing and includes a couple of patterns with each issue. When I got the May issue, I knew I needed to make the Sydney top that was featured.

I loved the cropped look since it would cover my shoulders in sleeveless dresses, but not cover my waist/hip curve (one of the few body parts I’m okay with).  I really, really liked the look of it. So when I had a recent Sunday morning all to myself, I set to it.  I found this grey, lightweight linen in my stash and thought it would the perfect addition to my summer wardrobe. Continue reading Pattern Review: Sydney Top