Sunday Stash and Giveaway

Tap, tap, tap …

Ahem.

Is this on? Anybody out there?

Oh, hey, there! It’s been awhile. I’m here to host Sunday Stash, so welcome, if you’ve hopped over from Molli Sparkles.

Molli Sparkles

I’m also considering this my “welcome back to blogging after an unintentional hiatus” post. Sewing by Moonlight, the blog, it seems, is a casualty of @moonlightsewing on Instagram. It just so simple to quickly share what I’ve been working on in the sewing room and to check out the latest from my sewing friends. I can do it on the go. In the sewing room. Often in bad lighting. I don’t have to upload photos to my desktop or login to WordPress or even write words because, you know, a picture is worth a thousand.

But stick around after today, or follow on Bloglovin’ because I have some actual blog posts lined up to share in the very near future. And meanwhile, come on over and say hi on Instagram. Go ahead, enable my addition. It’s not yet bad enough that I need a 12 step program!

I am a member of the St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild and this month we are having a fabric swap. Last month, if we wanted to participate, we shared an inspiration photo with our partner, who was to use the photo to select fabric.

My partner chose this photo from design seeds:

Screen Shot 2014-05-09 at 6.21.11 PM

 

I went shopping and decided to stay pretty literal to the palette in the photograph. My partner gets a fat eight bundle and another one will go to one of you! I purchased half yards of most of these, so the remaining fat quarters will find their way into my stash. Don’t you just love how this is a stash addition and a giveaway all in one?

IMG_2868

 

Have you made any fun additions to your fabric stash lately? Or do you have something from your current stash you want to share? Leave your link for a chance to win!

Big things, small things and finally a winner

Eight weeks post baby, I was sure I would be back on my A game. I must have blocked this stage from my memory or something. You see, I seem to makes babies whom are affectionately termed “high needs.” I call them “high maintenance.” They are all good until you set them down. Then they do this:

Think I’m kidding? I’m not. Every read every book … er … in the book, but the solution to avoiding this poor, sad little face is: hold the baby. All. The. Time. Usually, the holding occurs in the form of a baby carrier so I can at least have my hands free. However, having a human attached to you makes sewing difficult. Not impossible, but definitely more challenging than usual. If she is sound asleep and I set her down, she wakes up. Sometimes within minutes, sometimes within the half hour, very occasionally, I might get a full hour. We co-sleep because it’s the only way anyone will get any sleep. She must be touching another human or she lets you know about it! I’m confident that this daughter will grow into a confident, independent child as her older sisters have, but for now, progress in the sewing room is slow.

Add to that we’re suddenly moving half way across the country. In three and a half weeks! Needless to say, I have a lot on my mind right now.

But hey, I have a winner from the Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway Day! Send me your address, quick, so I can mail this to you before I pack!

Giveaway Day winner

When I do get a moment or two to sew, I’m working on my project for Moda Bake Shop. The motivation is there, the means are not. Little by little, I’ll get there.

Moda Bake Shop Wonky Diamonds

Presently, I am still hoping/planning to lead the Road Trip Quilt Along next month. In light of my new life situation, though, I may have to postpone it. I’m going to try the quilt in all solids, the colors inspired by this dress my daughter wore for some recent family photos.

IMG_1556 Colors for RTQA13

And! I got Brian’s quilt back from my friend who long-armed it for me. She did an all-over leaf pattern, which fits perfectly with the nature-inspired colored scheme.

Leaf quilting

Now I just have to bind it. I was going to go with something more subdued, but I really like how this bright green (at the top of the photo below) looked.

Turning twenty again for brian

So, that’s what’s going on with me. What are you working on in your sewing space? Do you have any awesome packing and moving tips you’d like to share?

 

Giveaway Day in Shades of Gray

It’s Giveaway Day over on Sew, Mama, Sew. If you haven’t heard of this event before, well you’ve been living under a rock. Seriously, if you like sewing, crafting, or just handmade goodness, get yourself over there and check out the hundreds of blogs with something to give away this week!

GiveawayDayMay6

Thanks for stopping by Sewing by Moonlight. Things have been pretty quiet around here as I’ve basically been on maternity leave from this blog space. I miss it, and I especially miss my nighttime sewing sessions, but with a six week old, I’m just beginning to come out of the sleepless newborn haze. I hope to get my sewing and blogging time back soon.

In the little time I’ve been able to sneak in with my sewing machine, I’ve been working on my first project for the Moda Bake Shop. With a white background, it doesn’t fit in with the May “color pop” theme they have going on over there, but it should work nicely for the June “baby and bridal shower” theme.

Moda Bake Shop project

When that’s finished, I will finally publish the long ago promised paper piecing pattern for the book I used on the Nancy Drew tote.

paper pieced book

In June, I’m also still planning to begin my Road Trip Quilt Along here on Sewing by Moonlight. I LOVE my Road Trip Quilt from last summer, and I’m looking forward to creating another great series of state tutorials. This year, I’m planning 12 states in 12 weeks instead of 16, and this is an imagined road trip since my family will not be traveling across the country this year. You can find the plan for the 2013 Road Trip Quilt Along here. The blocks will look something like this:

Road Trip Quilt Along sampler quilt 2013

 

I would LOVE for you to join the Road Trip this summer. So, please, subscribe to Sewing by Moonlight in your favorite reader or Like Sewing by Moonlight on Facebook to stay up to date and learn when the tutorials are posted!

And now for the Giveaway. I love gray as a neutral. I think it looks great with just about any color. For you, a fat eighth bundles of some of my favorite grays, and because I can’t give you just gray, a fat quarter of one of my favorite prints from Amy Schimler’s Fly Away line.

Giveaway Day

 

To Enter: Leave a comment below. Tell me what makes you come back to a blog: writing, inspiration photos and finished projects, tutorials (what types), works in progress, etc.

And if you’re so inclined to come back to this blog, follow me and then leave a second comment telling me that you do.

Nancy Drew Blog Hop: Library Tote Tutorial + Giveaway

Despite the fact that I have known about this hop for months, March was suddenly upon me and a note in my inbox reminded me that March 7th was my day on the Nancy Drew Get a Clue blog hop.

Luckily, I had already designed my project and the paper pieced pattern I would use. And luckily, my husband is on spring break and could entertain our girls for a few hours today while I completed the project.

It seems that some of the other blog hop stops from yesterday were similarly inspired by the books featuring Nancy Drew to create a bag for books, but I do hope to give you a unique spin.

Nancy Drew library tote

The fabric I ordered from Nancy Drew Get a Clue by Moda included a book cover panel and a charm pack of 42 5-inch squares. I also picked up some text fabrics because I thought those would play nicely with the whole book theme.

Make a Nancy Drew Library Tote

Supplies:

*Front and back panel of the tote: (2) rectangles, 14.5 x 18.5 inches. My panels are pieced, so some additional step are required. I’ll explain below.
*Lining: (2) rectangles, 14.5 x 18.5 inches. Do not use quilting weight cotton. We want this bag to hold books and we want it to last. The structure of the bag comes from the lining in this case, so use something heavy: denim, canvas, heavy twill, etc.
*Handles: (2) pieces of 1-inch wide webbing, 22 inches long.
*Basic sewing supplies.

Make the pieced front and back panel

Begin with a book cover from the fabric panel. This is cut to 10.5 x 14.5 inches.

For the opposite side, I made a paper pieced book with text fabric and solids that coordinated with the Nancy Drew fabric. Come back next week and I will show the tutorial for the paper pieced book and give you the PDF pattern to make your own!

Nancy Drew library tote

Select 14 of the charms and cut them in quarters to makes 56 2.5-inch squares.

Nancy Drew library tote

Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, sew the 2.5-inch square together in strips of 7. You will have eight strips. Attach these strips along the edges of your front and back panel pieces.

Nancy Drew library tote

You now have the front and back of your library tote. Each panel measures 14.5 x 18.5 inches.

Nancy Drew library tote

Place the two pieces right sides together. Now that we are constructing the bag, rather than piecing, increase your seam allowance to 1/2 inch. Beginning at the top of the bag, begin sewing along one side. Back stitch 4-5 stitches and continue stitching along one side. Stop 1/2 inch from the bottom of the bag, leave the needle down, lift the presser foot, and turn the bag a quarter turn to stitch along the bottom of the bag. Repeat, stitching up the other side and back stitching when you reach the top edge of the bag.

At each bottom corner of the bag, mark 3/4 inch in from the side seam and 3/4 inch up from the bottom seam.

Nancy Drew library tote

Pull the front and back panels away from each other and align the bottom seam with the side seam.

Nancy Drew library tote

Sew across the corner of the bag along the line you just drew. Add another line of stitching about 1/8th inch further down. Trim off excess fabric.

Nancy Drew library tote

While your bag is still inside out, fold the top edge 1/2 inch toward the wrong side and press.

Nancy Drew library tote

Turn the bag right side out.

Make the lining

Remember, you will be using (2) rectangles 14.5 x 18.5 inches of a heavy weight fabric. I I used denim for this project.

Find the center of the wrong side of each lining piece. Mark a 1 inch line 2.5-3.5 inches from the center and 2 inches below the top edge of the lining.

Nancy Drew library tote

If using synthetic webbing, seal the edges by quickly passing a match along the edge. Align your webbing pieces with the lines you just drew and pin in place. Be sure your webbing does not get twisted!

Nancy Drew library tote

Attach the straps to the wrong side of the lining using an x-box. This will ensure your straps will stand up to hauling books around and will not rip from the bag.

Nancy Drew library tote

Place your two lining pieces right sides together and sew along each side and the bottom with 1/2 inch seam allowance, as you did with the outside panels. Remember to backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitches.

Again, at each bottom corner, mark 3/4 inch in from the side seam and 3/4 inch up from the bottom seam. Pull the front and back away from each other to line up the bottom seam with the side seam. Sew along the line you drew to create the boxed bottom of the bag.

Nancy Drew library tote

Fold the top edge toward the wrong side and press. If you are using synthetic webbing do not touch the iron to the webbing!!

Nancy Drew library tote

Assemble the bag

Slip the lining into the outside of the bag with wrong sides together.

Nancy Drew library tote

Align the top edge of the lining with the top edge of the outside of the bag and pin in place.

Nancy Drew library tote

Edge stitch very close to the top edge of the bag. Repeat a second line of stitching about 1/8 inch below the first.

Nancy Drew library tote

Finished!

Nancy Drew library tote Nancy Drew library tote

 

Giveaway

Do you want to win this super cool, super sturdy library tote? Just leave me a comment and let me know what sort of handmade bags you would be inclined to buy.

For another chance to win, be a follower of this blog, or become a follower and let me know in another comment.

For a third chance to win, Like Sewing by Moonlight on Facebook and leave a comment saying that you do.

Giveaway will close Friday, March 15th at 9PM EDT.

Don’t forget to come back next week for the paper pieced book pattern!

Go check out the other stops on the Nancy Drew blog hop today!

Sewing By Moonlight (you are here!)

Happy mail

When we arrived home last week after two weeks away, I had mail waiting for me.  Unfortunately, the post office had already closed for the day, so on Monday, I finally got to go pick up my “happy mail.”  I love when I’ve been away and come home to exciting things in my mailbox.

There was this mini quilt with three mini-mini quilts on the line.  The siding on the house is really cool because the fabric is folded to make that effect.

mini quilt with quilts

And do you recognize this little girl on the swing from a previous quilt block I received?  I laughed out loud when I saw her again!

mini mini quilt

Cool beadwork in the tree.  Reminds me of the cherry blossoms here in Virginia in the spring!

Mini quilt beading

Next package: a little fabric bundle that I won in the Bee a {Modern} Swapper group for “most creative packaging.”  The package may or may not have had some other goodies including some Ghirardelli  chocolate which may or may not be already gone.  Ooops.  I love the grays and will be able to use them to make some more of those English paper pieced rose stars I was working on.  And the reds are a welcome addition because I have a serious lack in my fabric stash!

Happy mail: fabric bundle

And hey!  Another mini!  After years of having no fabric art in my sewing space, my walls are going to be so (sew) pretty!  I love how the pink binding picks up the pink in the birdie.

Mini quilt bird in tree

There was one more, but I didn’t get a photo of that.  I won a giveaway on the Sew, Mama, Sew giveaway day from Happy in Red.  It is three really beautiful skeins of yarn and a crochet hook.  I don’t crochet, but I really want to learn.  2013 goal?  I think so.

And the winner is …

Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway for the Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway Day! I really enjoyed reading all the comments to see what you enjoy buying online and I got some really great tidbits of advice for my Sewing by Moonlight Etsy shop.

The first winner was Ellen:

She will get her choice of the fabric or the bag.

  

The second winner was Tonya:

She will receive the remaining prize!

I have email you both.  Congratulations.

SMS Giveaway Day: WINNER posted!

Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway!  The winner have been chosen!

It’s Giveaway Day (Week)!

Welcome to Sewing by Moonlight.  If you’d like to know more about the woman behind the blog, feel free to click over to my About section.

I wrote two tutorials for quilt blocks in the past month, which might interest you.

Multiples of 3 is a block inspired by the 3-parted equilateral triangles often seen in English paper piecing, but this one is machine pieced.  The spider web block is an update on the great tutorial by Heather at House of a la Mode.  This one finishes at 12.5 inches, and I show you how to make a template for the center so you will have less fabric waste.

  

The Giveaway

I have two prizes to giveaway today.

I opened my Sewing by Moonlight Etsy shop 6 weeks ago.  It’s going poorly thus far, to be honest, but this is the bag that was my inspiration to begin selling handmade items.  The first one I made was a library bag for my 3-year-old daughter, so she could carry her books without the bag dragging on the ground.  Then I realized it was also the perfect size to tuck under my arm and use as a project bag, or everyday bag.

It’s a great bag because it’s lined with heavyweight fabric so it can hold books and things without falling apart and it has a cute little zippered pocket to hold your phone, keys, and small items (or a library card!).

If handmade bags aren’t your thing, and you’d rather have some fabric to do your own thing, how about this great little fat quarter bundle?  You get some of this totally cute Posie print from Flea Market Fancy and 3 co-ordinating Kona solids.  Gotta have some solids.  

How to Enter

Leave a comment: I clearly need some help with selling my handmade items.  Tell me: what handmade items do you purchase OR what sort of handmade bag would you buy (clutch, purse, diaper bag, tote, snack bag, messenger bag, etc.).  OR if you have experience selling handmade, give me your best tip.

Let me know if you prefer the bag or the fabric or either.

I’m attempting to be more interactive in Social Media, so for a second entry, Like Sewing by Moonlight on Facebook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, go forth and enter giveaways!  Good luck!

Grand Opening GIVEAWAY

Well, friends.  The plan is still to open the Sewing by Moonlight Etsy store on my birthday.  That’s ONE WEEK from today!  I do only have a few items to stock at this point, but I figure the point is to start, even if I start small.  Right?

My products will be primarily bags and baby items.  I will begin with two bags.

1. Luna: The Essential Tote.

I originally designed this tote as a library bag for my daughter. The straps are short enough that a small child can carry it (if it’s not too full of books) without the bag dragging on the ground.  The straps are attached to a heavyweight lining to support the weight of several books.  I also added a small zippered exterior pocket to store a library card or other essentials.

I then realized that this bag also fits me perfectly as a short strapped tote that tucks under my arm.  It would be great for a project bag or a day bag or a place to stash your research materials for class.  The possibilities are endless, and it’s very versatile in both function and user.

2.  Callisto: The Gathered Clutch.

This is the clutch I use every day.  It is 12 inches long by 6 inches high with a zippered top and an interior zippered pocket.  The idea for the gathered clutch was derived from a tutorial on Noodlehead.  I purchased her pattern so that I would have rights to sell that clutch, but I have never actually opened the pattern file.   I just thought that since the original idea was hers, purchasing the rights was the right thing to do.  The Callisto is larger in size and the interior design is different.  I include a detachable wrist strap, but, by request, I have also made Callisto with a longer strap so the bag can be worn over the shoulder or cross body like a purse.

THE GIVEAWAY

This Callisto is up for grabs:

To Enter the Giveaway:

1.  Leave me a comment.  Tell me what sorts of bags you would like to see or would be likely to purchase in the Sewing by Moonlight Etsy store.  Some possibilities: totes (large or small, zippered or not), snack bags, small zippered pouches, diaper bags, messenger bags (for children or adults), clutches (perhaps a smaller size or different style).  Are there other types of handmade products that you buy or that you would be likely to buy if they were offered?

For additional entries: 

2.  Like Sewing by Moonlight on Facebook and share that page to help me get the word out.  Leave a comment telling me who you are on Facebook and that you shared my page.

3.  Write a blog post about this giveaway.  Leave a comment with the link to your post.

The giveaway will close at 11:59PM EDT Wednesday, October 17th.  I will pick a winner with random.org and post the result to this blog.