Monday, June 21, 2010

A New Dress for Ava (and a tutorial for you!)

Several months ago my mom gave me this beautiful piece of batik fabric. She was making a quilt and had some left over and thought I might be able to make something for A. James out of it.

Once again, I had the "it is too pretty to cut" syndrome and refused to even think about doing anything with it and put it in with the rest of the fabric I am hoarding. Don't judge, you know you are doing it too.

Well, lately A. James refuses to wear anything but dresses. I understand. I also dread wearing pants. The problem is we don't have that many dresses that aren't made for fancy occasions (note: we did not purchase fancy occasion dresses, these (like everything else she owns) have been passed down). However, there is an overabundance of "fancy dresses" and not enough "fun-play dresses."

Then I remembered the fabric and decided to try something. I was going to make her a skirt. Then I changed my mind. That would require me to cut the fabric. Yikes. So, I decided to make a simple dress. Mainly, because I doubt my skill level (or lack thereof) would allow me to do anything else.

So here goes: A tutorial. Simple dress. Enjoy.

My fabric was about 23 inches wide and 27 inches long.

1) To make the casing for the elastic turn over fabric one inch. Iron it. Turn it over another inch. Iron some more.

2) Unfolded it. There should be some nice creases in the fabric.

3) Now this is going to sound crazy. You are going to question my logic and sewing ability. However, TRUST ME. Or, if you don't believe me---visit this site. Lay your fabric WRONG SIDES TOGETHER. That is right. You are going to sew the seam, but the right side of your fabric will be facing you. Crazy. I know.

4) Next, flip the fabric and sew along the fabric right sides together. Flip it again. Congrats you just made a French Seam.

5) Remember those creases from earlier? Now is the time to fold them down. Like so.

6) This will be the casing for your elastic. You need to sew around the bottom, but leave a small opening (a inch or two) to add the elastic in. Make sure you backstitch to keep this from raveling.

7) Now we make the little hoop for the ribbon to go through. This step is not required. You might not want to loop the ribbon. It takes more time and if you want a "true" simple dress you can just skip this part and add in your elastic.

8) Hoop. Cut a small rectangle of fabric. Sorry, this isn't very specific. Fold it in half. Iron.

9) Fold each side to the middle to meet the crease. Like so. Now sew it down.

10) Now here is a kind of tricky part. I dont know if there is an easier way to do this. Probably. Let me know if you are aware of one. Find the middle of the dress. Just fold in half. Iron.

11) Take your little folded, fabric rectangle and put in the the middle of the iron crease. Pick out the seam there and slide the fabric in.

12) Okay. Now fold the other end over to the front side and tuck it in. Pin and sew that bad boy down.13) Slip your elastic into the little hole you left open (Adding on a safety pin helps) and work it through. Be sure to watch the other end and not let it slip into the other side to be lost forever.

14) When you've made it all the way through, sew both ends of elastic together. Sew up the opening. Put your dress on your little model. This part is pretty tricky.

15) Cut a piece of ribbon big enough to fit around her neck. Tie. Watch her flaunt her new dress.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Oh, how I have neglected you.

Sorry guys. It has been too long. I must get better. I give you permission to harass me if I don't blog more often.

Tonight's meeting was amazing! Instead of meeting in our regular place we moved over to the library in one of our local elementary schools. We have a member who is the school librarian there.

We love libraries in case you haven't noticed.

It was a great experience. Most of us brought our sewing machines and worked on projects. I accomplished so much and I know several others did too. My Disappearing Nine Patch/Fractured Nine Patch is starting to come together. It is still not anywhere near finished, but it is not just little squares in little stacks. Yeah, it is just several strips of those little squares sewn together, but hey----I'm getting somewhere!

We had a great time. Lisa brought homemade ice cream cake for another member's birthday and Tracy--even though it was her birthday bash--brought some brownies. We always eat well. Our next meeting will be back at the Mall Library, but I have a feeling that we will be back to visit Kellie's stomping grounds pretty soon!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Nine Patch, Interrupted!

Here's a quick and dirty demonstration for making a variation on the fractured nine patch, which is one of many variations on the traditional nine patch. This particular nine patch has been not only fractured, but interrupted by a wonky little strip of fabric!

I thought I would share the process for making this block since they are quick, easy, and loads of fun! You're gonna want to make lots of these! Perhaps enough for a quilt?

Start with a plain old 9 patch. I'd say any size block would do, The individual blocks used in this photo started out at 4in.This is going to scare you, but trust me, it will be OK......SLICE IT! Make your slice somewhat wonky.Next, sew a 1.25 inch wide strip to join them back together. Make sure the strip is long enough to fit the length of your block.
Turn and SLICE IT a wonky manner, of course.
Again, add another 1.25 inch wide strip to rejoin....VoilĂ ! A wonderfully wonky and interesting variation on an old favorite.**I wish I could claim this awesome block idea as my own, but the instructions & this gorgeous fabric came to me via Studio890. and the Fresh Comfort II virtual quilting bee we are participating in**

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Almost Famous

You can imagine my surprise when a man showed up at our meeting last night. At first I thought maybe he was lost or had a button he needed sewn on a shirt--- (I am kidding. I know several men who are very talented in the sewing, quilting, and crocheting department). However, when he sat down it wasn’t to show us any of his mad sewing skills or demonstrate the best way to properly oil your machine. It was to do an interview with iSurf News.

Oh yeah! The group is making headlines.

Luke Short spent about 20-30 minutes with the group asking questions and somehow resisting the delicious no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies and Tzatziki dip in the middle of the table. I was a bit caught off guard and ridiculously nervous about the entire situation. I have an unnatural fear of being recorded! However, the article was great. This either means

1) I don’t sound nearly as a crazy and I think I do


2) Mr. Short has an amazing editing ability.

I’m putting my money on number two.

Read the article here. While you are there, check out more iSurf articles!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Crafty Corner with Ashley from A. Brewer Photography

Hello, Ashley. Thank you so much for letting me interview with you. First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself!

HI. Well, I'm pretty simple…I'm Ashley. I live in Madisonville and have been married to my husband, Brandon for almost 5 years. We have a two year old son, Lukas who is the light of our life. He is something else! I work part time at the courthouse, and also have my own Photography Business, a. Brewer Photography. It is my passion, and I love every minute of it!

I have lived in Madisonville my entire life. It has taken me 10 years to figure out what I want to be "when I grow up." After 10 years of college, pursuing about every degree that Madisonville Community College offered, realized that I knew what I wanted to be, all along...and that was a photographer!

I love to travel, particularly going to Florida. I lvoe palm-trees and the ocean. Something about it just makes me smile. My favorite place ever is Goofy Golf. Everyone knows me, knows that, and if you don't know me, well then now ya do!

Tell us about your path to photography! What made you decide to start "A. Brewer Photography" and how long have you been in business?

I have always loved taking pictures. I just never really pictured myself as a "photographer." It's just something that comes natural to me, and something that I love. Often times, I drive my husband nuts by making him pull over on the side of the road simply because, "That looks like a good spot to take a picture." I feel like I walk through life with my eyes operating as a camera lens, always looking for the perfect shot or location.

Finally, after the birth of my son in 2007, I decided, what the heck? What do I have to lose? Late one night I created a.Brewer Photography. It was on a whim and a dream, and two years later it is going fantastic! I remember waking up my husband around 1a.m on a summer night two years ago telling him I had just started a photography business. I think he thought I was crazy, but now today he often helps me when I need assistance.

Where do you find your inspiration? What are some of your favorite photography blogs/websites/books?

I find new inspiration every day. Whether it is a color in a chair, or a creative fabric, or the color of the sky. Inspiration is endless. If I find a random wall, that can be inspiration. Having a 2 year old son, being a wife, and having a job, (well two if you count the photography business,) I find it hard to really sit and read blogs, websites and books.

Describe your ideal photo shoot!

Oh, that's easy! I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to do a beach wedding! The beach is my favorite place, and photography is my passion, so how much better could it be to combine the two!! Hint hint…any brides considering a beach wedding, I'm your gal! J

If money grew on a tree in your backyard, what would you buy with it?

Oh that's easy! J My husband loves to work on cars, so I would build a garage apartment. In the bottom, he could have his 'man' space, and upstairs would be a studio for myself!

Do you have any advice for inspiring young photographers out there?

Keep learning, learning and learning! And don't give up! I have spent countless nights researching and studying the photography business. There is a lot more to it than what I originally thought! But if you love it, then have fun with it! As with anything in life, don't let something you love turn into something that becomes something that isn't fun anymore or something you dread doing.

Can we have the insider's scoop? What specials can we be on the look-out for?

Hmm…well, I work with Giggles & Grins Consignment Boutique to do portrait specials throughout the year. Our next one is May 21-22 2010 and the theme is entitled, "Fairy Tales & Fishing Poles." We plan on doing the portraits outside weather permitting. For these specials, there is only a $10 session fee, and prints are purchased at only $15 a unit.

If anyone wants to schedule, they can just email me at a or call me!

Also, I have a spring digital mini session special which involved a free mini session and approximately 30 images on a CD with permission to print. Get all of this for $50.00. One outfit, one location please. This goes on until the end of May!

Ashley, thanks so much! It has been a blast!

Thanks for having me!

For more information about Ashley, visit her blog, her website, or her facebook fan page.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

What to sew, what to sew

This has been a question lingering on my mind for the past week. Who am I kidding? This has been the question on my mind since I first picked up a sewing needle. The internet is a w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l resource, isn't it? You want to know how to make something you simply type it into Google. Hit Enter. Bam. Three-hundred billion sites full of useful information on how to do just what you are looking for. Great huh?

No. This is exactly my problem.


------- And the over abundance of helpful websites.

This makes it impossible for me to make a decision. It is much easier to blame this on Google. We have a very complicated love/hate relationship. Google, why must you be so exceedingly helpful? Instead of just quickly finding how to make a circle skirt (344,000 results) or a pillowcase dress (35,100) or whatever random sewing project I can think up that day---I get lost in the thousands upon thousands of websites and before I know it—the entire day is gone and I have nothing to show for it except for a sore bum from sitting at the computer for a shameful number of hours.


However, this is good news for you! How, you ask? Well, thanks to this horrible addiction of mine, I have accumulated a smorgasbord of delicious projects that I will never actually have the time to complete. Or I might have the time to complete if I'd ever get off sites like Wiener Dog Tricks, Sew Mama Sew, Lolly Chops, Tallgrass Prairie Studio (to name a very few) and actually sew. Oh well, over the next few days/months I am going to start adding these under the "Need Inspiration" header (which should be located right over to the right ---->)

Or somewhere in that general vicinity.

Keep an eye out. Also, if you have any great sites and don't mind sharing please email us at:

Thanks, hope to hear from you!


Monday, April 19, 2010

Log Cabin Love & Links

Hello out there in bloggyland! My name is Kellie and this is my first post on the Seams to Me Hopkins County Blog. I am so excited to have stumbled upon this great group of like-minded ladies who share my love of sewing! Lately, I've fallen in love with quilting and thought I'd share a tiny bit of that love with you today, via the log cabin quilt.

I love quilts in general, but I admit I have a thing for log cabin quilts.

When I see a log cabin quilt I imagine a pioneer woman traveling west in a covered wagon, saving scraps of clothing and bits of cloth brought from home or salvaged along the way to make a quilt for her family as a reminder of their long journey. I can also picture a group of women in the church basement, sitting around the quilting frame swapping stories and occasionally stopping to sample a baked good or three. I'll sometimes think of a child snuggling under Grandma's old log cabin quilt listening to family stories of days gone by. The log cabin quilt is friendly, cozy, and hearkens to a simpler, slower time. Nostalgic...that's the feeling I get from a log cabin quilt.

However, to say that this pattern is simply nostalgic and old fashioned would be an incomplete description. Log cabins can also be modern, funky and exciting! These are quilts that move and groove, that pop with unexpected colors, that make you stop, take a closer look, and say "Whoa"! They're touchy-feely works of art. Even many of those cozy vintage log cabins have a certain modern vibe. All this from a quilt design that's been around since Ancient Egyptian times!

Just in case you aren't in love with the log cabin block by now(and I'll bet you are) here's the kicker, it's a relatively easy block to make! No points, no triangles or wacky shapes, just a square surrounded by rectangles! Even the most novice of quilters, can accomplish this one! Additionally, the log cabin is a bona fide scrap buster. If that hasn't convinced you to whip up some log cabin blocks, think of this: the humble log cabin block can be set in a bazillion different ways! OK, I exaggerate a little...perhaps not a bazillion. But trust me, this is a versatile block!

There's the for the linkage...
  • You can read about the history of the log cabin here.
  • Ready to see the possibilities and get inspired to make your own log cabin quilt? Check out the Log Cabin Pool over on Flicker...and be prepared to drool.
  • OK, so you're inspired but don't know where to start? Check out these super simple instructions for making a traditional log cabin block.
  • There's another log cabin tutorial here.
  • My personal favorite is the wonky-scrappy log cabin. Modern and playful with little or no math necessary, it's got all the right moves! Here's a wonky log cabin tutorial by the uber talented Jacquie at Tallgrass Prairie Studios. Take a while to nose around this blog. Her quilts are amazing!
  • There is another wonderful tutorial on Flickr for the wonky-scrappy log cabin. Here's a peek at a few of my wonky-scrappy blocks using this tute.
There you have it...a little love and a little linking! Please share your favorite quilt blocks & patterns. If you become inspired to start a log cabin quilt, let us know!