I thought I would share a little garmet sewing in between the Let It Snow QAL posts.  Last December, I finished this top and forgot to share it.  It’s too good of a pattern to forget to share, so I wanted to take time to do that today.


The pattern is called Bethiou.  It’s a really easy pattern to sew, with fun details.  It would also be really quick to make, though mine took a little longer because I wanted to fussy cut the stripes.  My favorite part of the pattern is the back.  The details are just really cute and you know how I love a raglan sleeve.  I just love when I don’t have to set in a sleeve.  It’s an easy piece to layer too, for when the weather is colder.





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If you are interested in the pattern, I purchased it from IndieSew.  I also purchased the fabric there too, though it is gone now.  You can view the pattern here.  I will definitely be making this one again!

Have a great weekend!  I’ll be back early next week to share the next step in the QAL.







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Let It Snow QAL Part 2 – Hints for Cutting

For those of you joining the Let It Snow QAL, I have a few hints to share today about the cutting.


I won’t go over the basics of cutting.  I am assuming that you all know how to do that, so I won’t bore you with that!  I am going to go over a couple of things specific to this pattern.  There are also a few hints in the book on page 3 that you will want to take a look at.


The specific things that I wanted to point out  are Cutting the Half Triangles and cutting the roof for the cabin.

For Cutting the Half Triangles, see the cutting box for the Tree Tops, found on the top of page 22.

The biggest mistake people make when cutting these triangles is they align the solid center line with the edge of the rectangle.   The cutting instructions (found on page 3), say you are to align the Outer Left Dashed line with the outside edge of the rectangle – as shown below.  Then make your cut along the right edge of the ruler.

If  you use the solid center line, you will find that your triangles are too small.  This will cause your blocks to have the incorrect distance beyond your points when you sew everything together and your blocks will be smaller than the proof size given in the pattern. (see last diagram on Step 5, page 22).



Make sure that the little flat top of the triangle is aligned exactly with the top of the rectangle as shown below.  The bottom edge of your rectangle should align with whatever size triangle you are told to cut.  For example, the one below is a 7 1/2″ tall triangle.  There are two other size Half Triangles in the cutting directions – all are cut with this same technique, they will just be different heights.



Now flip your ruler upside down and align the outer dashed line with the right edge of the rectangle as shown.  Again, make sure that the little flat top aligns with the edge of your rectangle as shown in the bottom of the picture.  (There will be a tiny scrap of fabric leftover in the middle)



You will notice that the pattern tells you to cut something like this – “7 and 7 Reverse Half Triangles.”  The easiest way to get a Reverse is to lay to rectangles wrong sides together when cutting – like this:



One of the Half Triangles that you will be instructed to cut is 9 1/2″ tall.  The ruler is only 7 1/2″ tall, so you will need to have a second ruler handy to lay next to the Triangler like this:


Then pull the Triangler away and cut next to the longer ruler.  Repeat on the opposite corner.




Next, let’s talk about cutting the roof for the house (If you are doing the runner, you don’t need to worry about this step).  This step is found in the cutting box on the top of page 23.


I have had a few people email me, asking “What line on the ruler do I use for this step?”

You don’t need to worry about a line on the ruler.  Just line the bottom edge of the rulers up with the bottom edge of your roof piece.  Then slide the ruler over to the left until the bottom point of the ruler is perfectly aligned with the bottom corner of the roof piece – like this:



A close up of that bottom corner:



Now, flip the ruler upside down and repeat on the opposite top corner.



Next time, I will talk about cutting up the strip sets.  See you back here then!


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Streak Over

So I had trouble sleeping last night.

I realized that I made a mistake in the information that I sent out for the QAL runner.  I laid awake being upset with myself for making a mistake on something so simple, and thinking about how I had to tell all of you about my screw up.  Errors in books and patterns are not something that I take lightly.  In fact, I do take some pride in the error free run of books and patterns that we have been putting out.  It’s always such a relief, because editing is such a huge job and my brain isn’t what it used to be!  I am a big believer in testing (and by testing, I mean paying someone to actually make the quilt) and then lots of editing afterwards.  With this runner, I thought –  the book has been out for 9 months with no errors, so just a little change by making it a runner should be fine.  But . . .  I forgot one cutting step, which then changes the fabric requirements and cutting instructions.  And I forgot one Reverse, so that changes one number in the directions too.

For those of you who have already cut according to the directions that I sent out, you didn’t cut anything wrong.  The sizes are all right, etc – you will just need to cut a little more of two items.  You can download the new instructions here.  Now I will just say I’m sorry and go eat some humble pie.  Streak over😦


On a lighter note, I have a few pictures to share of my boys.  I snapped them when I was working on our Christmas card.  I don’t think I’ve shared any of them yet, but it is a fun memory for me.  We started shooting inside.

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It wasn’t long before the boys realized that it was snowing outside – Big, giant flakes.  It the first snow of the year that had arrived on a day when we could go out and play.  So, we took the party outside.DSC_1233 bw


It was Max’s first time out in the snow.  He just kept putting his arms out to catch it, eyes wide with wonder.  There was also lots of snacking on the snow.  We had a good time, got good and wet, then ventured back in to see if I got my shot.

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And the final cut –

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Let It Snow QAL – Part 1

The Quilt Along is definitely a go!   Thanks to everyone who is joining in.  I heard from many of you, that a QAL is just the thing to get you motivated and back into the sewing room!

Our Project is the “Let It Snow quilt and/or runner from my Angles With Ease 2 book.  Click here to read the first post about the QAL.   Every week I will post a little more info so you will have something to work on over the next week/weekend.  If you want to get email updates on the QAL, you can sign up to follow my blog using the tab on the right sidebar.  You can also follow along via Instagram.  Just use the hashtag  #letitsnowqal.  If you would like a great mini tutorial on using Instagram, Cindy Lammon has a good one on her blog here.  You could also post your progress to my Facebook page here.  Please share!  It’s always fun to see what others are working on.

Those that emailed or commented to join in, should have gotten an email with the info on the runner option.  If you didn’t already get that, please email me at  Edit:  For those of you who already got this file, I have updated it as of 1-27-16.  You can click here to download a new file.


First, let’s talk about fabric selection.  I have made 3 of the large quilt that I can share with you.  After you have looked at the quilts, then you can raid your stash or visit your favorite quilt shop and put together your fabrics.  I will give all of us until next Tuesday to get this done and then I will share some hints on cutting.


The original quilt is made using Evergreen by Basic Grey for Moda fabrics.

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The second option features Holly’s Tree Farm by Sweetwater, also for Moda fabrics.



The last big quilt is done with a lot of Christmas prints that were designed by Kate Spain.   The line is called 12 Days of Christmas.  I threw in a couple plaids and chevrons, just to add some fun texture.  I also changed up the border on this one by adding the checkerboard, instead of the scrappy strips.



I used my leftovers from this quilt to make the runner that I shared last week.



Fabric Requirements for the projects are:

The Wall Quilt:

Colored Prints:  27 – 10″ squares for the trees, house, borders and stars

Background:  1 ¾ yards

Brown:  ¼ yard for tree trunks

Binding: ½ yard

Backing and Batting: 50″ x 57″

A fusible product and thread for the applique is also required


The Runner:

Colored Prints: A minimum of 5 – 10” squares for the trees.  You could also use 10 – 5” x

10” rectangles or 19 – 1 ½”-3” x 10” strips.

Background: ¾” yard

Brown: ⅛ yard for the tree trunks

Border: 4 – 6 ½” x 20” pieces

Binding: ⅓ yard or ½ yard if cutting on the bias


If you are making the quilt and the runner, you will need a total of 32 – 10” squares. Keep in mind that your runner won’t be as scrappy as mine unless you follow the option for making both the runner and wall quilt OR the option using the strips.



I haven’t quite decided on my fabrics yet.  I am playing around with a few ideas and auditioning them.  I took pictures so you can see the process that I go through to select fabrics.


  1. Using black Moda Crossweave and The Cookie Exchange fabric by Sweetwater.  (It might be a good idea to use a darker background like this if your Layer Cake has a lot of white prints in it.)










2.  The same fabrics on Essex Linen by Robert Kauffman.  This color is graphite and is one of my favorite backgrounds to work with lately.

















3.  I would love to see this pattern done with a blue background.  This one has white dots that look like falling snow.  Perfect!  This print is called “Sprinkle” from the Cotton and Steel basics collection.



















4.  I would also love to see this pattern done with a red background.  Very bold and Christmas-y.  This fabric line is coming out later this spring.  It’s called Juniper Berry by Basic Grey for Moda fabrics.









5.  You might also consider doing your trees in one solid fabric with different low volume prints for the background.









I hope that gives you a few ideas for selecting fabric.  I would love to hear what your choice is going to be.  Please let it in the comments or post to Instagram using the #letitsnowqal hashtag.

You can also let me know if you  have any other questions, by leaving me a note in the comments.




Posted in Quilt Along, Quilting | Tagged | 8 Comments

Let It Snow QAL

Hello!  Anybody still here?


Happy New Year – only 19 days late!  It’s been even longer than that since I’ve posted.  It isn’t that I’m not busy making things, it’s just really hard to find time to take photos and get them posted.  I also have so many things I’m working on that I can’t share just yet.  As I look around my studio, I have at least 15 quilting projects going (most of them small), a few knitting projects, and some garment sewing.  As a business owner, I am constantly bombarded by all the things I should be doing.  Blogging, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Newsletters, Teaching, etc. etc.  But, when it really comes down to it, I LOVE making things.   I get so overwhelmed by all of those things I should be doing that I don’t know where to start and I just go back to the sewing machine.  I guess that makes me very bad at marketing, but I have a lot of fun while being bad at marketing😉

So what does that mean for the new year?  I will still by stopping in here and there.  I will still be posting on Instagram a little bit.  In between, I am busy being a mother and finishing my newest book that I am working on.  I also thought I would do a little QAL (quilt along) – if anybody wanted to join me.

A while back I finished up this quilt.



I had a few tree blocks leftover, so I made them into this runner

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It was really fun to be able to make something with those extra blocks.   Winter is so dreary in Minnesota, that I find I make an abundance of winter quilts to help cheer up my house at this time of year.  I like how this runner can be used for Christmas, but can also be kept out for the Winter.



It looks so cheery on my table, despite the bleak winter outside right now.



And – if you wonder why I have trouble getting blog pictures – This is why.  No matter if I set the runner on the floor or table, he is all over it!



If anybody is interested in this pattern,  it can be found in my Angles With Ease 2 book and uses my Triangler ruler.    The runner pattern isn’t in the book, because I finished it well after the book was published.  For those who would like to quilt along with me, you can make either project (or both).  I will put together a cutting list for the runner, and you can follow along in the book for the instructions.  Here is another shot of the large quilt. It measure 46″ x 53″.  The runner measures 16 1/2″ x 59″.

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Is anybody interested?  If you are, please leave me a comment or send me an email at  This will help me know if I should write up the cutting instructions for the runner or not.


If you are wondering if you happen to have the right fabric in your stash, the wall quilt uses 1 Layer Cake and the Runner uses a minimum of 5 – 10″ squares and some 3″ x 20″ strips for the border.  You could also uses up leftover strips that are just laying around.

If you don’t already have the book and ruler, please ask for it at you LQS!  You can find them here and here.  I am offering 25% off the book for those joining the QAL.  Just use the code QALBOOKSALE.

I hope you’ll join me!  It always helps motivate me to do something with someone:-)





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Customer Appreciation Sale

Happy Holidays Everyone!

I’ve been taking a little media break with the Holiday season.  It’s just such a busy time of year, but I do miss stopping by and sharing a little bit with you here.  As a token of my appreciation for all who stop by, I am having a customer appreciation sale in my shop.  We are offering 25% off all orders of $20.00 or more in our online store.   After all the shopping you have done for others this season, it’s your chance to buy a little something for yourself!  Here are a few ideas for you:

On the Run Again


Our Triangler ruler – used to make the Monster teeth (and all the Angles with Ease quilts)



On the Run


Garden Party

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My Angles With Ease Book 1 and Book 2

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PicMonkey Collage



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Gypsy Girl


Living Large 2


Just remember to enter the code Sale25 at checkout to receive your discount!

Thanks again for stopping by.  The sale runs through Sunday, January 3rd.


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Alabama Chanin

Have you discovered Alabama Chanin yet?  It’s a business founded by designer Natalie Chanin and they make the most beautiful hand-made clothing.

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I first came upon this name on Pinterest.   You can click here to see a sampling of their work.  I hesitate to say that, because you could easily be gone for hours and forget that this little blog post is here waiting for you!

When I first started noticing all these beautiful images on Pinterest, I thought that the workmanship was exquisite and the ideas so original, but the prices of the finished work made them untouchable for someone like myself.  (they can be thousands of dollars for a finished item)  Then I discovered that Natalie has written several books, including the how-to on making your own custom clothing.  I purchased this book and began studying the techniques.



The more I read, the more I realized that many of these techniques were ones that I used in my quilting all the time – a running stitch, chain stitch, backstitch, etc.   She just used different materials (cotton jersey) and ended up with an article of clothing, rather than a quilt.

Then I discovered that Natalie sells kits for these clothing items.  I baulked at the price at first, but Joel kept encouraging me to try it out.  Gotta love a man that encourages “investing” in hobbies!   I rationalized it with the knowledge that making a quilt generally costs much more!  I decided to go ahead and purchase this kit.


I figured the best way to properly learn about the technique was to get the kit and see exactly what the material feels like, exactly what thread is used, etc.

The kit comes with the top already cut out.  The stenciling is already done for you (this is how the design is transferred to the material and how the shading is created), and it comes with the thread.  You can choose from quite a few colors.  I went with the navy.  When that box was delivered, I opened it right there in the drive way.  The image below shows how it looked as I was working on the stitching.



The top begins with two layers of cotton jersey.  The top layer is stenciled with a beautiful grey fabric paint that has a slight sheen.  Then all you have to do is hand-stitch the two layers together.



After this stitching is done, I cut out the top layer of fabric around the shapes (there are many different techniques that you could use here and they are covered in the book)



After the cutting, it will look like this.  The applique will curl with wear, creating a slightly ruffled edge.



The finished garmet and how it looks on.



Every single stitch on the top is done by hand.  Even the side seams, which are then top stitched by hand, adding to the unique look of the shirt.  So – that means you don’t even need a sewing machine to make this.  One of my favorite parts of the technique is the fact that the hems are left raw.  So, if you have trouble with hems, no worries. DSC_1088


One note about this kit, I initially ordered a large (though I usually wear a medium) and it was tiny so I exchanged it.  This is the extra large people – and I wish it was bigger – so keep that in mind if you use any of her patterns.   Not all of them are close fitting, but this is the basic t-shirt and they tell you in the book that it is meant to be fitted.



Overall, I loved making this.  And who would have thought that I would be able to make a top using Natalie Chanin’s techniques?  Many of her items are so intricately hand-stiched and detailed that I would never have attempted them.   On the website, this item is listed as a beginner and I would agree that is a great starting point.  The stitching goes fast, the shapes are large and easy to stitch around, and the back and sleeves are left plain – so not a huge investment of time if you want to give the technique a try.


Now, I just have to figure out what to wear it with so I can wear it the winter too.  I have this sweater, but I think I need something in grey to wear with it.  I’m thinking a cardigan like this would work.  I think the top could be dressed up or down and I would use the casual look of the knit cardigan much more.



That’s all for today.  I hope you enjoyed reading a little bit about this technique.  I already have two more tops in the works, so you will be seeing it again.  I really thought it was fun and so much simpler than I thought!


Have a Happy Thanksgiving!



Posted in Garmet Sewing | Tagged , | 5 Comments