Thursday, August 29, 2013

Contempo Blog Hop Day 4: Strip-Pieced Wrist Strap and Lanyard Set by Ebony Love

Welcome to the final day of the Contempo Studio Blog Hop! Today, the talented Ebony Love of LoveBug Studios is sharing a quick and easy tutorial--colorful wrist straps and lanyards, strip pieced from the Dwellings Beach House colorway. Check out Ebony's tutorial and then find out how you can enter to win a bundle of this gorgeous fabric!

Here's Ebony!
It’s really simple to make a wrist strap or lanyard from just a few strips of fabric, and end up with dozens of nice stitchy gifts for your favorite quilting friends at holiday time.

I truly have a love affair with fabrics, and Benartex fabrics are among my favorites. However, I don’t always have the time to incorporate my favorites into a quilt, nor do I have the wall or bed space to display as many as I like.  Besides, I like being able to have the fabrics I love with me at all times, but I can’t sit in my studio all day buried under my bolts!  That’s what makes a project like this so appealing – I get nearly instant gratification because it stitches up so quickly, and I can take my favorite fabrics with me wherever I go.

Let’s get started!

6 fat quarters (pick your favorites from the Contempo fat quarter pack!)
3 – 10 1” swivel hooks (these are usually in the notions or purse supplies section of your local craft store)
2- 15-1/2” x 21” pieces of lightweight fusible interfacing (Pellon #911F is awesome for this!)

From each fat quarter, cut:
2- 3” x 21” strips

You’ll be making two strip sets, so arrange the strips the way you like them and stitch them together in rows.  Press your seams open so your strip set lays nice and flat. Repeat for the other strip set.

Once your strip set is assembled, with wrong sides together, layer with the fusible interfacing and fuse.  This will stabilize your strips and add a bit of body to the finished piece. Repeat for the other strip set.

Now, cut 4” strips along the width of each strip set. You should be able to get five pieced strips from each strip set.

If you want to make a lanyard, piece three of the 4” strips together into one long strip, and press those seams open. If you’re making a wrist strap, you only need one strip.

Fold your strip in half lengthwise with the right side out and press along the fold.  Starch works great here – you want a really crisp fold.

Next, fold the raw edges to the center, and press those folds as well.  Your strip is now about 1” wide.

Thread your folded strip into the swivel hook until the hook is about at the center of the fabric. 

Here’s where it gets a little tricky, but once you do this you’ll see why and start using this technique for straps from now on!

With the swivel hook at the center, unfold the raw ends of the strap and pin them right sides together. 

Stitch this with a 1/4” seam, and press the seam open.  Now you can refold the strap and you have a continuous loop for your swivel hook.

At your sewing machine, use a zipper foot (or your 1/4" piecing foot) to topstitch the strap through all layers, about 1/4" from the edge. Repeat on the opposite side.

The last step is a little bit different for the wrist strap and lanyard. For the wrist strap, fold the strap in half around the swivel hook so that you don’t have a bulky seam near the hook.  Topstitch close to the swivel hook through all layers, reinforcing your stitches by stitching several times over your stitching line.

For the lanyard strap, when you fold the strap in half around the hook, you want to angle the strap slightly so that your lanyard forms a “v” near the hook. This will allow the lanyard to lay flat against your chest. Topstitch the strap as you did for the wrist strap.

Now, you get to decide how many wrist straps and lanyards you will make from your two strip sets.  You can either make 10 wrist straps; 1 lanyard and 7 wrist straps; 2 lanyards and 3 wrist straps; or 3 lanyards and 1 wrist strap. The possibilities are endless and awesome indeed!

Do you want to win a Dwellings fat quarter set of your own? Just sign up to follow the Benartex blog using either Bloglovin’ or the email feature (both in the right sidebar). Then leave a comment below this post telling us that you are a follower and letting us know who you would make lanyards or wrist straps for. This giveaway will be open through Monday, September 2 at 11:59 pm EST.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Contempo Blog Hop Day 3: Reversible Placemats

It's Day 3 of the Contempo Studio Blog Hop and the Benartex Blog Team has teamed up to create these sophisticated reversible placemats using the Cosmopolitan collection. Check out the tutorial below, take a peek at this exciting new fabric line, and then see how to enter for a chance to win a fat quarter bundle of Cosmopolitan to start your own project!

On to the tutorial!
When we saw this panel of rectangular blocks in the Cosmopolitan collection, we knew they'd be perfect for placemats. Combining a pieced side with fussy cut wonky blocks from the panel would create a reversible placemat--double duty and double beauty!

Side one:

Side two:

To make four placemats, you'll need:
  • 1 yard of the panel print
  • 1/2 yard each of a gray dotted stripe, black/white leaf, yellow/black/white stripe, and circle print
  • (4) 14" x 18" pieces of batting

Fussy cut a block from the panel and trim it to measure 13-1/2" x 17".

We auditioned the four prints we selected for a pieced backing. Since there were two stripes, we wanted to rotate one of them so the stripes ran in different directions.

Here's option #1:

And option #2:

You can choose either one, but we went with option #1.

From the stripe you want to run horizontal, cut a 4-3/4" x 13-1/2" lengthwise strip (cutting parallel with the selvedge so the stripes run the short way across the strip). From the remaining three prints (including the second stripe), cut a 4-3/4" x 13-1/2" strip. Sew the four strips together lengthwise as shown.

Layer the batting, the pieced placemat right side up, and the fussy-cut block right side down and pin around all sides. The pieced side will extend slightly beyond the block--that's okay--you'll trim later.

Sew around all four sides using a 1/4" seam allowance. Leave a 6" opening on one side for turning. Trim batting and backing even with the edges of the block. Trim corners on the diagonal to eliminate bulk after turning.

Turn the placemat right side out. Poke corners out as needed. Press the raw edges of the opening in to align with the placemat edges. Topstitch 1/4" from each short edge. Topstitch straight lines across the entire placemat approximately every 1/2" or as desired. Make four.

There's more--you can use the overall patchwork print to make coordinating napkins.

To make coordinating napkins, you'll need:

  • 2-1/4 yards patchwork print

Cut (8) 18-1/2" squares

Place two squares right sides together and stitch around all four sides with a 1/4" seam allowance, leaving a 6" opening for turning. Clip corners and turn right side out.  Press the raw edges of the opening in and topstitch around the outer edge of the napkin. Make four.

Meet Cosmopolitan:
You saw the yellow colorway in our tutorial above, but this versatile line also comes in lime and blue!

The giveaway: For a chance to win a fat quarter bundle of the Cosmopolitan collection, sign up to follow the Benartex blog using either Bloglovin’ or the email feature (both in the right sidebar). Then leave a comment below this post telling us that you are a follower and letting us know which colorway of Cosmopolitan most appeals to you. This giveaway will be open through Saturday, August 31 at 11:59 pm EST.

Find the remaining Contempo blog hop tutorials here:

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Contempo Blog Hop Day 2: Ruffle Trim Bib from see kate sew

It's Day 2 of the Contempo Studio Blog Hop and Kate from see kate sew is sharing a Ruffle Trim Bib tutorial as part of her annual ruffle series. Kate used a trendy floral from the new Cachet collection to make this bib--perfect for a posh baby! 

Head over to Kate's blog to find her tutorial and be inspired by the rest of her Ruffles Series. For a sneak peek at some of the prints from Cachet and to enter the giveaway for a fat quarter bundle of Cachet, keep reading below.

Hi, I'm Kate! see kate sew started in October 2010 when my baby started sleeping through the night and I was bored! I needed a project, a reason to be inspired and hoped this blog would turn into a place where others might be inspired. So see kate sew was born as a place to my creative life. I mostly post about sewing, crafts, fashion, fabric, design and sometimes about babies. I used the Cachet line in two different scales to make a cute ruffle trim bib! All you need is two fat quarters and some ruffle trim! The ruffle will catch extra splatters and the cute print will be cute even when it is covered in food!


The Cachet collection gives new meaning to romantic florals. These mod blooms blend a touch of sweetness with contemporary colorways to create a fabric line that works for everything from baby gifts (see Kate's bib!) to pillows, clutches, quilts, and more!

The pink/purple/mocha colorway:

Aqua/blue/mocha colorway:

Muted neutrals colorway:

The giveaway: For a chance to win a fat quarter bundle of the Cachet collection, sign up to follow the Benartex blog using either Bloglovin’ or the email feature (both in the right sidebar). Then leave a comment below this post telling us that you are a follower and letting us know which colorway of Cachet most appeals to you. This giveaway will be open through Friday, August 30 at 11:59 pm EST.

Find the remaining Contempo blog hop tutorials here:

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Contempo Blog Hop Day 1: Quarter Log Cabin Pillow Covers by Clover & Violet

We're kicking off the launch of Contempo Studio with a blog hop featuring tutorials made using Contempo fabrics. Today, Jennie from Clover & Violet is sharing a quilted pillow in two sizes made using Dwellings in the Guesthouse colorway. Gorgeous! After you read Jennie's tutorial, head over to her blog to see the wide range of fantastic patterns they offer and find out how to win some Dwellings fabric for yourself!

Hi! I'm Jennie and I work with my mom over at Clover & Violet where we design PDF patterns for patchwork handbags as well as offer tutorials and ideas for patchwork projects of all types. I chose the Dwellings fabrics in the Beach House colorway because I could vision them in my living room. I love adding a little bit of quilting to every area of my home.  The scale, colors, and beautiful finish on the fabric was perfect for some large-scale quilt blocks that will really show off the prints.

The tutorial I'm going to share is for a Quarter Log Cabin Pillow Cover, which will include an invisible zipper for easy washing, and can be made in two sizes {or easily adjusted to any size you'd like}.

To make two covers, one 20" square and one 18" square, you will need {if only making one, you will need 6 fat quarters):
  • 1 fat quarter each:
    • Baby Bloom Khaki
    • Confetti Aqua
    • Beaded Stripe Aqua
    • Baby Box Trot Ivory/Aqua
  • 1/2 yard each:
    • Bloom Aqua
    • Wavy Pencil Stripe Green
  • 1/3 yard prewashed cotton flannel {like you'd use for pajamas}
  • 20″ or longer invisible zipper
  • Invisible zipper foot
  • serger
Note: Patchwork seam allowances are 1/4" and pillow seam allowances are 1/2". Measurements for 20" pillow are in parenthesis. From fat quarters cut:
  • Baby Bloom Khaki - 8" (10") square
  • Confetti Aqua - 4 1/2" x 8" (4 1/2" x 10") rectangle
  • Beaded Stripe Aqua - 4 1/2" x 12" (4 1/2" x 14) rectangle
  • Baby Box Trot Ivory/Aqua - 7" x 12" (7" x 14") rectangle
From half yards cut:
  • Bloom Aqua - Two 12" x 18" (12" x 20")
  • Wavy Pencil Stripe Green - Two 7" x 18" (7" x 20") rectangles

Beginning with the center square, sew the rectangles around two sides of the square as shown. Place pieced square on top of a square of flannel slightly larger than the square. Pin and quilt in place. Set aside. Now we’re going to make the back. First, serge one 18" (20") edge of each of the back pieces.

Note: If you don't have a serger, a zig zag stitch works just fine.

Next, take your invisible zipper and press the zipper open. This will make it much easier to sew right next to the teeth, even if you’re using an invisible zipper foot. It was very difficult to get a picture of what this should look like, but if you examine the zipper you’ll see what I mean.

Note: I intentionally left my backing fabrics a little larger than the front of the pillow so I wouldn't have to line up seams!

Then, sew your zipper to the right side of one of your backing fabrics. Zip the backing together and place it right sides together with the front of the pillow.

Leave a small portion of the zipper open and pin the ends next to each other. Stitch around the pillow with a 1/2" seam allowance, back stitching twice at the zipper ends.

Serge the edge {or zig zag and trim}.

Carefully open the zipper from the wrong side and turn the pillow right side out.

And there you have some fun pillow covers that are just as pretty from the back (shown above) as the front.

Thanks, Jennie!

Head over to Jennie's blog to see how you can enter to win a fat quarter bundle of the Dwellings collection.

Find the remaining Contempo blog hop tutorials here:

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