Archive of ‘Sewing’ category

Sundance Dresden Pillow

By Melissa LeRay



Hi friends!  I’m excited to show you the fun pillow I just finished.  Fat Quarter Shop has a great PDF pattern for the Sundance Dresden Pillow, and its a breeze to whip up.  The whole pillow came together in an afternoon – super quick for a pillow with this much detail!  The pillow finishes right at 16″ and is a nice sweet-spot size to go on a couch or bed.


I used some of my favorite Leah Duncan Meadow by Art Gallery. Using the specialty Dresden 18 degree ruler with pieced together rectangles has your individual Dresden units created in minutes.  Once the Dresden pieces are sewn together, this is appliqued down (by machine or hand) and then quilted!  SUPER FAST!


I chose to do a grid quilting pattern, and love the final result!

For the pillow back, I chose to insert an invisible zipper at the bottom (this method also eliminates the need for binding – which is always a plus in my book) and a single piece of Leah Duncan Meadow fabric for the back.


If you want to create one yourself, Fat Quarter Shop already has kits available here.  They’ve also created a very helpful video to walk you through each step as well, and you can view it here.  I hope you’ll make one of these as well – I’m always looking for super quick projects, and this would be fun to use fussy cut prints as well, or customize for the seasons.


Be sure to search the #sundancedresden tag to see all the gorgeous pillows!

Fat Quarter Baby Blog Hop!

By Melissa LeRay

Welcome to my stop on the Fat Quarter Baby blog hop! We’re celebrating the release of Fat Quarter Shop‘s new book “Fat Quarter Baby“! Twenty of us were lucky enough to sew up one of the baby quilts in the book to show off these amazing patterns.  I love that they have 10 girl styles and 10 boy styles.  I am always looking for cute and original baby quilt patterns and I was blown away by all the adorable designs in this book.  I was paired with the ‘Claire’ quilt, and it’s classic style is so precious with the sweetest baby rattles!


The book calls for the 8 rattles to be constructed from four fat quarters, two of each design.  I used 8 fat eighths to vary it up a little.  I love the little bow on the handle of the rattle.  Once everything was cut, I was really surprised at how quickly each block came together.

I chose to use Lecien‘s newest Flower Sugar collection (due in stores Spring 2016) and I love how these cool colors and feminine prints create the sweetest girly baby quilt!

For the backing I used Riley Blake’s Le Creme Swiss Dots in Aqua, and the binding was pieced from two of the Flower Sugar prints.  I machine bind almost all my quilts – have you tried that time saver?

One of my favorite elements of this quilt is the floating block placement.  I realize that my habit is to just lay things out in a completely linear way, and I love the reminder that staggering them can create such a pleasing visual effect, and it’s also very forgiving if your blocks vary in size.

I loved watching this quilt come together. My dear friend Jennifer is due with her first baby in April, and I can’t wait to gift her this beautiful blanket!  Be sure to check out each of the other quilts revealed today:

Anne – Caroline of Sew Can She
Elizabeth – Pam of Pam Kitty Morning
Emma – Melissa of Happy Quilting
Hannah – Sherri of A Quilting Life
Gerri Robinson of Planted Seed Designs


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A Gooseberry Baby Quilt!

By Melissa LeRay

…for my almost three year old.

As is the case with many subsequent children, Juliet still doesn’t have a baby quilt made just for her by me.  I kept letting other projects sneak in and distract me, but fortunately, her time has come!

Fat Quarter Shop has released a super sweet {and super speedy!!} free tutorial for the Bloom and Bliss receiving blanket, and took very little effort to convert it to the baby quilt that Juliet so deserved.  I love half square triangles, but never considered making them from layer cakes. This is genius! These HST’s were trimmed, and the top pieced AND quilted within one nap time! I also love the flexibility of being able to organize the HST’s in any order to create a different appearance. I chose to make mine in a pinwheel style, and I love that the added 5th row throws off the normal pinwheel look, giving this an altogether different feel.

For this quilt, I used the newly released Gooseberry collection from Lella Boutique.  I love love love this entire range! The colors and florals are really gorgeous and fresh – I love how the pink is more of a coral/salmon and the light blue isn’t quite the same aqua I already have too much of – it’s a nice, welcomed change, and I loved adding the variety to my stash.

Another first for me is the rounded corner. I have plenty of plates and circular objects around the house, but this ruler has grid lines so that all of my rounded corners are constructed on the same angle.  And why did no one tell me this meant no mitered corners AND the ability to sew the binding down in one continuous step?!  Glee!!

For the quilting, I just did simple lines about 1/4″ away from each side of all the seams.

Lastly, for the backing, I used a Cotton and Steel Dining Car that blended well, as  I don’t yet have any Gooseberry yardage but that will change very soon!  For the binding, one of my favorites, Moda Tiny Dottie in Royal Blue.

I see so many of these in my future. I love that making a baby blanket, or even a throw, doesn’t have to take such a big hit on my free time.

Fat Quarter Shop currently has both Gooseberry and the rounded corner ruler in stock.

If you’d like to just hit the ground running, FQS has created a quilt kit that you can buy.

The {free!} Fat Quarter Shop tutorial can be found here, and the accompanying video to walk you through it is here.

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Let’s kick off the 2105 Tag-A-Long!

By Melissa LeRay


Do you recall the tag-a-longs that Amy of NanaCompany and Kristyne of Pretty By Hand did for a few years? They created tutorials and examples for some really stunning tags, and Faith and I thought it would be fun to host a tag-a-long on Instagram inspired by all that they created.  Hopefully you’ll join us in making some beautiful tags {or ornaments in my case!} and have a lot of fun in the process.  We’re kicking off on Wednesday, 10/14, and we’ll have four weeks of fun sewing together! If you’re joining us on Instagram, be sure to use the hashtag #2015tagalong so we can all see what you’re creating! You can find me @Ohhowsweetco, Faith @Faithessenburg, Amy @Amysinibaldi, and Kristyne @PrettyByHand!

To make it easy to find all the tutorials and examples, we’ve gathered all the links that will take you directly to their post on their blog.  For even more inspiration, feel free to check out the Flickr pool that they used:

Here’s a ton of great info and inspiration to get you started!



–ehow tutorial and further idea links–


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Kick off to the Farmer’s Wife 1930′s Sew Along!

By Melissa LeRay

I am so excited to be a part of the fabulously talented team of bloggers that are participating in the Farmer’s Wife 1930′s Sew Along, hosted by Angie of @gnomeangel and Fat Quarter Shop.  You can follow along with me on Instagram at @ohhowsweetco!

We are sewing our way through every block in the book, starting with the easiest and working our way up to the more challenging blocks.  I was equally excited and petrified to go first. *gulp*

So let’s get started, shall we?

I’m going to show you how to make blocks 12 and 16.  These are very simple blocks to make, and require no techniques besides cutting straight lines and sewing straight lines.  I’m going to start by showing you a few basic tips, and then will show you the entire process of block 12, and then will follow with block 16 so as not to confuse anyone :)

First things first – have you picked your fabric yet?  I’m planning on using exclusively Hello Darling by Bonnie + Camille


After you’ve printed out your templates, measure the 1″ line provided to be sure you didn’t accidentally scale it up/down or check the dreaded “scale to fit” button.

The Farmer’s Wife 1930′s Sampler Quilt, Block 12 – Becky:

Because this block was so simple, I opted to just cut out the pieces to use as my templates (as opposed to paper piecing, etc). Alternatively, you could measure each piece and just cut out the corresponding block size because they are all perfect rectangles/squares.  (Just be sure to include the seam allowance in your cutting, as the templates already account for.). I note directly on the pattern pieces which ones are to be cut multiples, if any.


Now I’ve got all my pieces cut to size, and laid out to be sure I have the proper placement.


Next, I’ve laid out the pieces just like the book shows, as this will be my order of piecing the blocks together.  I’ll start by sewing C to D, E to B, and F1 to F2.


I’ve pressed all my seams and now I’m ready to sew the F piece to the EB piece.


At this point I’ll join the CD piece to the FEB piece:


And then we’ve almost completed the block by adding the skinny rectangle G on the bottom


and finally adding piece A to all of that, giving you your beautiful completed block:





The Farmer’s Wife 1930′s Sampler Quilt, Block 16 – Bonnie:

Just like for block 12, we’ll begin by cutting out our templates, and you can see here where I’ve noted which ones will be cut more than once:


followed by cutting out our fabric:


We’ll begin this block by joining pieces A to C, C to D, and B to D as follows:


Next we’ll join the CD piece to the AC piece:


Now you’ll add the lone B piece to the CD/AC block:


And finally, you’ll join the BD piece to the lower section:


And you’re done!


I’m so excited to see everyone’s blocks, and don’t forget to use our hashtag #FQS1930FarmersWife so we can see all your progress!

Also, if you haven’t already joined, The Facebook Group can be found by clicking here.

The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt: Inspiring Letters from Farm Women of the Great Depression and 99 Quilt Blocks That Honor Them by Laurie Aaron Hird for Fons & Porter/F+W; RRP $28.99 – Click here to purchase.

Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt

Farmer’s Wife 1930′s Sampler Quilt

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Toddler bibs with Lotta’s Lucky

By Melissa LeRay

One of the things that has been on my to-make list for quite a while has been a set of aprons for the girls.  Windham Fabrics kindly sent me a FQ bundle of Lotta Jansdotter‘s newest collection, Lucky, recently and I knew it would be a perfect match.  I wanted a waist-high tie style and a classic shape.  I drafted up a bib template and set off from there.

Instructions to make one apron follow, fits 2T – 5T
To get started, you’ll need:

  • Two 6″x 22″ rectangles for waist band
  • Two 2″ x 22″ rectangles for ruffle
  • 12″ square for bib of apron
  • Additional scraps for appliqué if desired.

First, sew the two waist band rectangles RST at one of the short ends with a 1/4″ seam. Press the seam open.  Repeat for the two ruffle rectangles.

Now, prepare your waist band by folding the one piece WST so that the two long raw edges meet. Press.  Then unfold that and bring both of the long raw edges to meet in the middle, press again.  Bring both folded long edges together to meet and press once again.   

Unfold the short ends and fold in a 1/4″, WST, press, and then refold so that your waist band edges are clean.  Set aside.

Next, using the template found here, cut out the bib fabric on the fold.

Now you’ll create the ruffle.  I prefer to use my rolled hem foot to sew the visible edge and my serger to create the adjustable gather.  You can do both of these steps any number of ways, though; so pick one you’re comfortable with.

To get started with the rolled hem, it’s helpful to sew an inch or so, WST with an 1/8″-1/4″ seam.  Then, you slide this into the rolled hem foot, and away you sew.  Way easier than sewing two 1/8″ seams, imo.

When this is done, you’re ready to create the gathers, or ruffles.  I used my serger with the two upper loopers set to 8 and a stitch length of 5.  Check your manual incase yours works differently.  Or, if using your sewing machine, sew two lines of basting stitches 1/8″ and 1/4″ away from the long raw edge and then gather by pulling on one set of bobbin threads.

At this time you’re ready to pin or clip your ruffle to the bib.  Using the joining seam at the middle fn the ruffle, line it up to the bottom center of the bib and clip/pin accordingly.

Sew the ruffle to the bib using a 1/” seam.  I found it easier to sew this part with the ruffle facing down so that I was sure the bib didn’t gather along with the ruffle if there was any shifting.

Press your seams toward the bib and then top stitch.


Using your ruler, trim the excess beyond the bib’s raw edge.

Now you’ll grab the waistband piece and using the center join seam on that, center the bib inside of it, nesting the bib all the way into the fold of the waistband. Sew around the entire rectangle to enclose and finish.

Embellish as desired, and you’re done!

The oldest doing her best to not smile haha!

Check my Instagram feed tomorrow (@ohhowsweetco) to enter a giveaway to win a complete FQ bundle of Lucky for yourself!

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Sweet Storybook Vacation Zipped Pouch

By Melissa LeRay

Next month, Windham Fabrics is releasing Storybook Vacation by Whistler Studios.  It’s an adorable collection of repro-like prints that are all about the idyllic scenes of a beach vacation.  These prints are so sweet and really allow for some great fussy cutting.  I thought this collection would be perfect for the simple patchwork zipper pouch pattern from Amy Sinibaldi‘s book, Sweetly Stitched Handmades.

I love how small scale these prints are! Perfect for the little 1.5″ squares I had to cut out for the pouch.

Instead of the little patch that is on the pattern, I thought some crochet lace and fabric stamps made with more fussy cuts would be a cute modification, and a way to show off more of my favorite little images.  Here’s the finished front, including some little vintage buttons:












And the back:

Here’s a closeup of the stamps on the front:

And the stamp on the back, and also the cute flower zipper pull I used:

Storybook Vacation was so fun to work with, and my oldest little agrees, as she’s already claimed the pouch for herself!

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Glisten tea towel tutorial

By Melissa LeRay

I had the pleasure of playing with one of the new holiday collections that Windham Fabrics has released, Glisten, by Whistler Studios.  There’s gorgeous golds and silvers, but I am very partial to the gold!  I’ve drawn up a tutorial to show you how I made this festive tea towel.

These linen/cotton blend tea towels are available in most online embroidery blanks shops.  For each towel you’d like to make, you’ll need a strip of accent fabric (the gold in this case) at 1.5″ x {1.5 x width of tea towel} in this case it was 1.5″ x 22″.  You’ll also need a strip of your main print, at 3″ x {width of towel + 1″}, and here that was 3″ x 15″.  If you’d like to add piping, measure that out at the same length as the main fabric strip.

Next you’ll want to pull out that dusty rolled hem foot and put it to work.  A trick for me is to begin by folding the long edge in a 1/4″, just once, wrong sides together, and sew for about a half inch to get the gold started.  Then I take that small section and position it under the rolled hem foot and I can keep it going much easier. 

Alternately, if you don’t have a rolled hem foot, you can create the same look by folding one long edge to the wrong side by 1/8″, pressing, then folding again an 1/8″ and sewing along the seam.

Once you have the rolled hem, fold in each short end to the wrong side 1/4″ twice and press. Stitch down to secure.

Now is the time to ruffle the accent strips.  I used my serger, but use whatever method you prefer.  A standard way to do it is to sew two lines of stitches 1/8″ apart adjacent to the raw edge, using a long stitch length, such as a 4.0.  Leaving tails at each end, gently pull on either the upper or lower threads and create gathers until you get the desired length.

If you haven’t already, press the towel flat since they usually come heavily pressed and starched. 
Take your main fabric piece and first fold in the short ends each a 1/2″ to the wrong side. Then fold the long ends in a 1/2″ to the wrong side as well.

If you’re going to use piping you have to prep the ends as well, and to do is you’ll want to pull out the cording  about a half inch, cut that half inch out, and then fold it to the back, as shown below.

Use a clip or pin to hold the piping ends in place until your ready to secure them. 
Now you should have your pressed towel, your prepped ruffle, piping and and main piece.  If you don’t already own 1/4″ two sided heat fusible tape, you should buy some promptly.  I use this constantly for so many projects.  Both Pellon and Steam-A-Seam make them, and I bought this at Jo-Ann’s in the fusibles section for about $5 before a coupon.

Now you’ll want to measure and mark at about 3″ on both sides of the towel. This is where the top edge of the strip will ultimately be placed.

Now is when you’ll be able to put the fusible tape to use.  You’ll want to add it to both of the long edges of the main fabric, on the edge folded in.  Then, add the piping to the top edge if using that.  Then add again to the piping edge.  

Peel away the fusible backing on the lower edge and add the ruffle, raw edges aligned.  Add the fusible tape to the wrong side of the ruffle as well.

Peel away both tapes and then place the entire strip where you placed your marks, and iron to secure.  Finally, top stitch around all four sides of the main fabric and re- 

Press the towel and enjoy!


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