Gingham Tote Bags

If I’m not making quilts, I’m usually sewing bags – mostly as gifts. Anna Graham from Noodlehead has written many great bag patterns, one of which is called the Gingham Tote from her book, Handmade Style. It’s a simple, cross body bag with instructions for two styles, however, I’ve only made the rounded pocket version. This bag features an open and zip pocket on the front, deep inside space and two open, inside pockets. It calls for a magnetic closure for easy access and has an adjustable strap. I first made this black and cream dot tote for my aunt a couple years ago.I enjoyed making it so much that I almost immediately made this black and white geometric designed bag for my sister-in-law.My mother-in-law borrowed my sister-in-law’s bag this summer when she traveled to Iceland and Greece and thought it was the perfect bag for her travels. When she arrived home, she asked if I would make one for her so that she can take it on her upcoming trip to Italy. I recently finished this black chambray version for her.This most recent finish means I met my January sewing goal, even though it was a very short list. Anything that I work on now is just a bonus for the month. I’m going to get started working on my February sewing goals.

–Stacy

Single Irish Chain Quilt

Goodness, until now I hadn’t realized that it’s been two months since my last blog post! I knew it had been a while, but I didn’t think that much time had past. Between the holidays and my usual beginning of the year purge session, I haven’t been able to squeeze in much sewing. I decided to start off the year with monthly sewing goals. My first January goal was to finish this single Irish chain quilt for my friends moving away. My second goal was to finish a gingham tote bag for my mother-in-law (more to come on this project). I wanted to make a fairly simple quilt using a color palette of my friends’ liking. They suggested greens and purples, but I added in some blues, aquas and golds for more interest. I paired these prints with lime-colored Swiss dots on cream. I like having a subtle pattern for the main fabric instead of just a solid cream or white. I stuck to a simple and classic diamond quilt pattern design using ivory-colored thread. The backing has the softest white minky to make it extra cozy.I gifted it to my friends yesterday and they were very happy to take a piece of me with them to their new home. They will surely be missed!

–Stacy

Quilt Petite Blog Hop: Nebula Mini Quilt

Today is my stop on the Quilt Petite blog hop. My friend, Sedef from Down Grapevine Lane, has written a book full of lovely little quilt patterns and has asked some talented makers to create a project from her book. qp_bookcover_bpYou can see from the cover alone what cute projects she has designed and trust me, there are many more inside. Sedef and I have at least one thing (and many more) in common and that is our love of the half square triangle (HST) block. It is such a fun and versatile block and I love making all sorts of projects with them. When I came across her Nebula pattern, I knew that was the project for me.qp_nebula_bk_bpSedef designed this mini quilt using (256) 1″ HSTs! Yes, they are tiny. This pattern really is genius and you could create so many cool variations. I love Sedef’s black and aqua quilt which is very galaxy-like, but I wanted to see what other types of effects could be made with a different color palette. I chose a color scheme of pink, aqua and purple and came up with the mini quilt below.qp_wall_bpI decided on a simple, straight line quilting pattern that starts in the middle and wraps around all the squares to the outer edge.qp_bench_1_bpqp_bench_2_bpOverall, I think it came out with a pretty cool effect. I’ll be curious to see if there will be others on the blog hop who make the Nebula pattern as well. Quilt Petite is available on Amazon and through independent quilt stores. Be sure to check out the other projects made from this book. Below is the schedule and list of makers.qp_banner_bp

November 6: Sedef at Down Grapevine Lane

November 7: Wynn at Zakka Art

November 8: Sarah at A Little Happy Place

November 9: Bridgette at The Family Hearth

November 10: Heidi at Fabric Mutt

November 11: Minki at Minki’s Work Table

November 12: Ange at A Little Patchwork

November 13: Lauren at Molly and Mama

November 14: Michelle at Cole & Taffy

November 15: Nadra at Ellis & Higgs

November 16: Amy at Nana Company

November 17: Faith at Sarana Ave

November 18: Debbie at Happy Little Cottage

November 19: Erin at Why Not Sew

November 20: Amanda at Jedi Craft Girl

November 21: Melissa at Oh How Sweet

November 22: Stacy at Stacy Olson Design (you’re here!)

November 23: Ayda at Cafe Nohut

November 24: Peta at She Quilts A Lot

November 25: Amanda at A Crafty Fox

November 26: Keera at Live Love Sew

November 27: Sharon at Lilabelle Lane

November 28: Kate at The Homemakery

November 29: Jemima at Tied With A Ribbon

November 30: Jodie at Ric Rac

December 1: Anorina at Samelia’s Mum

December 2: Alisha at Ministry of Fabric

December 3: Xanthe at Wife-made

December 4: Cheri at Tinker With This

December 5: Kristyne at Pretty By Hand

December 6: Kimberly at Fat Quarter Shop

December 7: Veronica at Vivid Felicity

December 8: Shari at Doohikey Designs

December 9: Jina at Jina Barney Designz

December 10: Emma at Emma Jean Jansen

December 11Sedef at Down Grapevine Lane (wrap up + giveaway winner)

Anne of Green Gables Blog Hop: Decorative Pillows

Anne of Green Gables is a classic children’s novel about an imaginative, orphan girl named Anne Shirley. The book was written in 1908, but has been a popular favorite amongst children ever since and was made into an Emmy Award mini-series in the mid 1980s. Riley Blake Designs and Penny Rose Fabrics will be introducing a new fabric line based on this novel and asked me to be a part of their Anne of Green Gables blog tour. You can view the entire collection here. As soon as I saw the fabric selection which consists of pink, blue, green and cream in florals, ticking and illustrations, I knew I wanted to make a set of decorative pillows for my mother-in-law’s bedroom. The color scheme along with the vintage florals would be a pretty addition to her bed. By the way, she doesn’t know I made these for her, but she will now if she’s reading this (Hi Elizabeth!).agg_1_bpThe front pillow pictured above is 12×16 and is quilted with 1/2″ vertical lines. I chose to bind the edges for a clean finished look and I think the ticking fabric works so well for that. The pillow in the back measures 16×16 and features a larger scale vintage floral on cream  – a print I thought should stand on it’s own. I quilted with traditional diagonal lines and added a pretty pink pom pom edge trim. Here are some detail images.agg_2_bpagg_3_bpagg_4_bpI hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the projects I’ve made. Make sure to check out the other projects that were made with this fabric collection.

Fancy Dance Quilt Pattern

Hey, hey! I finally finished my quilt that I made for the Playground Showcase. Yeah, and remember how I said I’d be finishing it and releasing the pattern for it like two weeks ago? Well, my sewing machine and my computer had other plans. Long story short, my Juki machine hates Coats & Clark thread (sticking with Aurifil and Gütermann) and my computer is fed up with all the large files I’ve stored on it over the years and is full (sigh). But alas, I have conquered them both, at least to get my quilt done and the pattern released. So here is the finished result. Ta-dah!fd_playgd_full_wall_bpfd_playgd_steps_bpfd_playgd_stepsdet_bpfd_playgd_drape_bpfd_playgd_folded_bpfd_playgd_field_bpI used 16 prints from Playground collection by Amy Sinibaldi and paired it with Afternoon Sail denim and Pure Elements White Linen solid – all by Art Gallery Fabrics. For the backing, I used super soft white minky and quilted simply with straight line stitching.

The Fancy Dance quilt pattern includes detailed instructions for a family throw size (shown here) and a toddler size quilt. The pattern is now available as a PDF digital download in my Etsy shop and is 20% off through Thursday, October 20, 2016. Take advantage of this introductory sale and enjoy making this fun quilt. I’d love to see what you make!FancyDance_Pat102

Scrappy Strip Sibling Quilts

Four months ago, our family was blessed with a new nephew. Even before he was born I knew I wanted to make a baby quilt for him, even though I didn’t know at the time whether the baby would be a he or a she. I also planned to make his big sister a toddler quilt now that she has outgrown the baby quilt I made her several years ago. I hadn’t necessarily intended to make them matching quilts, but after I made the one for my nephew, I fell in love with the design so much that I decided to make a girl version.k_quilt_full_bpFor my nephew’s quilt, I used 56 different prints in soft blues, greens, whites and grays. Rectangle blocks measuring 6″ x 1.5″ (finished size) were randomly arranged in strips, then quilted 1/4″ along all the seams. It’s a simple design but effective when you have a scrappy look.k_quilt_chair_bpk_quilt_chair2_bpFor the back, I used a super soft gray minky and a gray and white Swiss dot print for the binding.k_quilt_close_bpFor my niece’s quilt, I chose 50 of the prettiest pink and lavender prints I could find in my stash since this color scheme seems to be her favorite. I love how sweet and feminine it turned out.a_quilt_chair1_bpa_quilt_chair2_bpHer quilt was backed with light pink minky for and a light pink floral print from Amy Sinibaldi’s Playground collection was used for binding. a_quilt_close_bpI was fortunate to deliver these to them in person this past weekend as they were visiting the US from London. Our visit was way too short but I am glad to know I was able to leave a little bit of me behind with them.

–Stacy

Playground Showcase

Today is my stop for the Playground Showcase hosted by the ever-so-talented Amy Sinibaldi of nana Company. Playground is the second fabric collection by Amy for Art Gallery Fabrics and it does not disappoint. Amy has an incredible talent for mixing sweet and sophisticated designs with harmonious color combinations. I simply love everything she touches.

Image Credit: Art Gallery Fabrics
Image Credit: Art Gallery Fabrics

I’m excited to share with you the quilt top that I made and designed using the Playground collection, a denim and a white solid – all from Art Gallery Fabrics. Ideally, I would have had it quilted and finished by now, but I was only able to get the quilt top completed by today’s post.playground_top_1_bpplayground_top_2_bpI will be finishing this quilt and releasing the pattern for it this week so stay tuned!In the meantime, check out what other projects were made with Playground fabric. The list of talented participants and which dates they are posting are below.

**UPDATE** The Fancy Dance quilt pattern in now available in my Etsy shop. The blog post featuring this finished quilt and the Fancy Dance pattern release can be found here.playground-showcase-banner<< SEPTEMBER >>

14: Katie Skoog ~ thesimplelifecompany.com/blog

15: Michelle Curtis ~ chellesquilts.com

16: Peta Peace ~ shequiltsalot.com

17: Minki Kim ~ minkikim.com

19: Jemima Flendt ~ tiedwitharibbon.com

20: Tara J Curtis ~ tjaye.com

21: Alexis Wright ~ mysweetsunshinestudio.com

22: Melissa LeRay ~ ohhowsweet.com

23: Ali Brorsen ~ becauseofbrennaclothing.com

24: Angie Wilson ~ gnomeangel.com

26: Rachel McCormack ~ woodenspoonquilts.blogspot.com

27: Stacy Olson ~ stacyolsondesign.com (you’re here!)

28: Shannon Fraser ~ shannonfraserdesigns.ca

29: Cristi Cooper ~ whimsyquilts.blogspot.com

30: Guiseppe Ribaudo ~ instagram.com/Giucy_Giuce

<< OCTOBER >>

1: Kristyne Czepuryk ~ prettybyhand.com

3: Amy Sinibaldi ~ nanaCompany.typepad.com

New Poolside Tote

The fact that I am posting about a recently finished Poolside Tote is pretty indicative of my summer – constantly falling behind. It’s a little ironic that I’m posting this on what seems like the last day of summer, which is also my kids’ first day of school. Oh well, I still love the bag and can use it for many more occasions than just going to the pool. The reality is that I cut out the fabric for this tote back in May and never had time to work on it, but I was tired of the pieces lingering around so I decided now was the time  to complete it.AquaPoolside_Full_BPAquaPoolside_FrDet_BPAquaPoolside_InClasp_BPThis is the third Poolside Tote that I’ve made. The previous two bags were made for friends as gifts. You may remember this one made for my friend Melissa for the Swapaholics Retreat using indigo colored yarn dyed linen and one of my favorite calico prints from Vintage Picnic by Bonnie and Camille.Swap_PoolsideTote_1_BPI first made this green and blue one for another friend.J_PoolsideTote_BPThe Poolside Tote is a Noodlehead pattern and is a nice, spacious tote. With all three bags that I’ve made I went with a more flexible version, but the pattern calls for a more structured version as well which I would like to try next time. Cheers to finishing a WIP!

–Stacy

Sweet Orchard Blog Tour

Wow, two posts in one week after my month-long sewing drought, not bad. Today, I’m here to highlight the debut fabric collection, Sweet Orchard, by my friend Sedef Imer from Down Grapevine Lane. This fabric line features happy colors and sweet designs of fruit, florals and more. I posted about working with this fabric for the first time a few months ago when I made a cute toddler backpack and my Little Granny Mini Quilt pattern for Sedef’s spring quilt market booth. SOrch_FabStack_BPSedef is hosting a blog tour and today is my stop. I decided to make a couple personalized, patchwork snack mats for two sweet sisters in my neighborhood.LA_mats_BPIt might seem strange that I started out by cutting up the “cheater” prints from all three color ways. A cheater print is made to look like patchwork already if you are unfamiliar with the fabric term. I knew I wanted to incorporate the individual fruit graphics into the mat and they are only featured in the cheater prints. So I cut them up and sewed them back together again. We quilters are used to that concept. Then I personalized them by attaching fabric letters with fusible web and stitched around each letter to create a raw edge appliqué. I think they turned out so cute!L_mat_BPA_mat_BPMake sure to check out what all the other makers on the blog tour are creating. Below is the schedule for the tour. You can also follow along on Instagram at #sweetorchardblogtour.SOrch_Banner_BPAugust 15:   Nadra at Ellis and Higgs

August 15:   Sarah at Pretty Fabrics & Trims

August 16:   Jemima at Tied with a Ribbon

August 16:   Anorina at Samelia’s Mum

August 17:   Lisa at A Spoonful of Sugar

August 17:   Minki at Minki’s Work Table

August 18:   Kimberly at Fat Quarter Shop

August 18:   Keera at Live Love Sew

August 19:   Cassie at Cassandra Madge

August 19:   Liz &  Elizabeth at Simple Simon & Co.

August 22:   Samantha at Aqua Paisley Studio

August 22:   Xanthe at Wife-Made

August 23:   Peta at She Quilts A Lot

August 23:   Stacy at Stacy Olson (you’re here!)

August 24:   Sharon at Lilabelle Lane

August 24:   Amy at Diary of a Quilter

August 25:   Sarah at Piccolo Studio

August 25:   Kristyne at Pretty by Hand

August 26:   Jennie at Clover & Violet

August 26:   Megan at Quilt Story

Sew Illustrated Blog Tour & Giveaway

It’s a miracle – I sewed something! This summer has been crazy busy for me and my family and it seems like forever since I sat down at my machine to make anything. Thank goodness I was asked to create something from the fabulous new book, Sew Illustrated, by the talented duo Minki Kim and Kristin Esser for C&T Publishing.SE_Book_BP“Drawing” with your sewing machine can seem quite intimidating, but it really isn’t as hard as one might think. And, it’s super fun and addicting! Minki and Kristin provide all the information you need to create a beautifully illustrated sewing project of your own. When I discovered Minki’s work on Instagram, I was in awe. Everything that she creates in nothing less than jaw-dropping. I am always amazed at how she works with such tiny pieces of fabric and illustrates such beautiful works of art. Sew Illustrated is filled with so many adorable and versatile designs. If you ever needed justification for saving tiny fabric scraps, this book is it!

I decided to start out making this lovely framed art piece for my sewing room. I’ve made other projects using this technique, but never this elaborate. I usually am just sewing around a simple object like a heart, but Minki’s designs show you how you can add more detail like in the basket or the sewing machine. I prefer to attach the fabric scraps using fusible web, but the book shows you several different methods. For the piece below, I then stitched once around each object with dark brown thread and then added in the details. I just love how it turned out!Remember I said this was addicting, so I decided to make a padded pouch for my sewing scissors. You know how we sewing people protect the good ones with our lives. The pouch itself is not actually a pattern in the book –  I just made it up to fit my scissors. The scissors graphic that I appliquéd to the top of the pouch can be found in the book, however, and is the same scissors graphic as in the framed piece pictured above – I just enlarged it.ScissorsPouch_Closed_BP I stitched around the scissors twice on this one since it was fairly large without too many fine details. ScissorsPouch_Open_BPThere is no doubt in my mind that I’ll making more goodies from Minki and Kristin’s book. Perhaps, I will venture off and create some of my own sewing illustrations as well. Make sure to follow along with the Sew Illustrated Blog Tour. Below is a list of all the talented makers with links to their blogs.Banner_BP

August 15:   C&T Publishing

August 16:   Amy at nanaCompany

August 17:   Wynn at zakkaArt

August 18:   Sedef at Down Grapevine Lane

August 19:   Lisa at A Spoonful of Sugar

August 20:   Amy at chick chick sewing

August 21:   Stacy  at Stacy Olson (you’re here!)

August 22:   Debbie at Happy Little Cottage

August 23:   Generation Q Magazine

August 24:   Faith at Sarana Ave

August 25:   Ayda at cafenohut

August 26:   Melissa at Oh, How Sweet

August 27:   Jemima at Tied with a Ribbon

August 28:   Veronica at Vivid Felicity

August 29:   Sharon at Lilabelle Lane Creations

August 30:   Nadra at Ellis & Higgs

August 31:   Kristyne at Pretty by Hand

September 1:   Elnora on Instagram

September 2:   Jennie at Clover and Violet

September 3:   Auribuzz

September 4:   Minki at Minki’s Work Table / Kristin at They Grow Up Too Fast

GIVEAWAY

Would you like to win a copy of this book? C & T Publishing is generously giving away a copy of Sew Illustrated. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post.  A winner will be chosen and announced on August 26th. A USA winner will receive a hard copy of the book and an international winner will receive an eBook. The winner will be notified by email from me. Good luck!

–Stacy

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