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.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

Patriotic Star Quilt: Getting Started

I hope all you that celebrated Independence Day had a great holiday. For a few years now, I’ve been wanting to make a patriotic quilt to help celebrate the occasion but every year has been too busy. This year wasn’t any different, in fact, it was probably crazier than year’s past if that is possible. However, I was tired of having this bundle of beautiful DS Quilts fabrics just sit on my shelf when I knew it could be so much more.4thOfJuly_fabric_BPMy plan for this fabric has always been to make a star quilt like the one Allison from Cluck Cluck Sew made years ago. I knew I shouldn’t start cutting because I have a bazillion other sewing, home and family projects that need to be taken care of right now, but I just couldn’t help it. Knowing I could only allow myself to assemble a few blocks this year, I managed to squeeze in these and I LOVE them!4sq__BP4sq_2_BPAren’t they pretty? Now I’m really bummed that I have to put them away until next year. Let’s just hope I can find time to finish the rest of the quilt before Independence Day comes around again.

–Stacy

Swapaholics Retreat: What I Received

Yesterday, I shared with you the handmade projects I made for the Swapaholics Retreat. So today I will share the projects I received. I couldn’t be happier with these swap gifts. The makers really put a lot of time and effort into each project and made items that truly reflect my style. First, was the Hexi Bag Swap. Teri made this beautiful drawstring pouch featuring Flower Sugar florals and linen. Along with gifting these hexies so that I can make something of my own, she hand appliquéd a pretty layered hexi flower on top of the pouch. I’m not quite sure how I’m going to use the pouch, but for now, I just like staring at it.Hexi_Bag_BPLisa made me this pretty patchwork fabric basket for the the Basket Swap. I love the combination of all the sweet floral prints and soft colors. I hadn’t even seen most of these fabrics before so that makes it extra fun. She filled the basket with lots of fun kitchen items like a spatula and cookie cutters as well as some pretty fabric.FloralFabBasket_BPI love that she added some fine hand quilted details like a stitched pink heart. If you look closely, you can see it below.FloralFabBasket_Heart_BPFor the Embroidery Hoop Swap, Jen cross stitched this sweet work of art. She did a fantastic job and I was intrigued by the scalloped edge hoop since I hadn’t seen a hoop like that before. HoopSwap_BPI was super duper spoiled by Galia (she flew all the way from Spain!) who made so many incredible things for me for the Secret Sister Swap. Her attention to detail is spot on and certainly the quote, “do small things with great love” is reflective of how she creates. I have always admired her work and she was such a sweetheart too! First, she secretly surprised me with THE most adorable little zippy pouch!ZipPouch_BPTiny low volume patchwork paired with linen, hand quilting and a cute label – my heart melted with the first gift!ZipPouchDet_BPNext, she gave me this adorable glasses case made from one of my all time favorite prints – aqua florals and berries by Bonnie and Camille. GlassesPouch_BPThe beautiful embroidery patch adds the perfect detail.GlassesPouchDet_BPShe knows my love of reproduction fabrics and made me a patchwork mug rug and small placemat set featuring more hand quilting, lace and ribbon details, and a cute label.MugRugs_BPMugRugsDet_BPI’m in love with this beautiful handmade tag and the gorgeous stack of fabric she gifted me…
FloralTag_BP…and I’m in awe over the amazing embroidery stitches and details.FloralTag_detail_BPI about died when I received this Sew Together Bag! First of all, I’ve been wanting one of these for like three years but look at the beautiful stitched details on the outside. And you can’t go wrong with linen and Paperie fabric by Amy Sinibaldi.STbag_1_BPSTbag_2_BPThis pouch has three different zipper compartments and holds so much stuff! I can’t wait to put it to good use.STbag_3_BPLook at this adorable patchwork tote she made with some of my favorite ditzy floral prints! I just love this color combination of pinks, aquas and yellows as well.Tote_BPAnd that handmade tag! I mean, SO cute!ToteTag_BPYes, there’s even more! This sweet mini quilt using Tilda fabrics, which I adore. I’ll take all the tiny florals I can get. HSHmini_Full_BPThere are so many great details in this piece but I especially love the embroidered flowers under the windows. So pretty!HSHmini_Det_BPThese are just the handmade items I received. This post doesn’t even cover all the little extras that these ladies and the retreat hosts provided. I am seriously so grateful for everything made or gifted to me, but I am also grateful for the new friendships I made. It was all such a wonderful experience.

–Stacy

Swapaholics Retreat: What I Made

Two weeks ago, I attended my second Swapaholics Retreat. I had so much fun at my first one in September 2015 in North Carolina, I was elated that the hosts were holding another one within driving distance the second time around. I met so many fabulous friends at the first one and was so grateful that some of them could attend the second. And of course, I made some  new friends at this latest retreat too! This sewing community is just the best! Swapaholics  is not just your typical sewing retreat where you free yourself of obligations at home for a weekend and sew what you want. I mean yes, that’s part of it, but this retreat is all about sewing and swapping projects with other attendees. With this post, I wanted to share with you all the projects I made for my swap partners. In a separate post, I’ll share with you what I received. The first swap happened  before the retreat. This project was to make a unique lanyard and name tag holder for another attendee. This happened months ago before the retreat occurred. Here is the one I made for one of the hosts, Amber from @simplelovemade, and one of the sweetest people on this planet. She likes rich jewel tones and english paper piecing so I thought this would be a good fit.AC_Lanyard_Front_BPThere was an embroidery hoop swap and my partner asked for something woodland themed. I am not the World’s greatest embroiderer so when I found this deer pattern by Flamingo Toes, I was so happy! Not only is it so adorable, but it was manageable for me (with a little help from my dear friend Melissa). I was thrilled to give it to my partner Jen because she expressed so much excitement over it even before she knew it was hers. I would love to make one for myself someday (that is going to be a recurring comment, just so you know).HoopSwap_BPThe hexie swap consisted of making a drawstring bag (tutorial by s.o.t.a.k handmade) for your partner and 25 hexies for English paper piecing (EPP). There was a citrus theme but my partner said it didn’t matter if I gave here something different. I decided to bust into my Old New 30’s collection and make a cute hexi bag with hand embroidery and a sweet label from Amy Sinibaldi’s book, Sweetly Stitched HandmadesHexiSwap_BPThe basket swap was so fun because I got to create something special for my dear friend Sarah (she’s a great long arm quilter by the way)! She was my secret sister at the last retreat and she spoiled me rotten so I wanted to do the same for her. This swap consisted of a handmade fabric basket and adding in fat quarters of your partner’s liking along with a kitchen item. I knew she liked vintage feed sack fabrics like me so I used the red, white and blue floral feed sack pictured below on the basket and paired it with a red gingham. I then decided to make the contents of the basket Fourth of July themed. I started with a star cookie cutter and festive sprinkles and added letter press recipe cards and a stack of blue and red fat quarters of Lecien’s Flower Sugar fabric.BasketSwap_BPI also thought it would be fun to make her a country style apron for her cookie baking. I used a lightweight denim with wide red gingham for the waist band, ties and pockets then added in a cute lace detail.Swap_Apron_BPThe Secret Sister swap is the biggest of the retreat. For this swap, you are paired with another attendee and you secretly shower her with gifts throughout the three days you’re there. Many of the items are purchased according to your partner’s liking such as treats, sewing notions or fabric, but you are required to make your secret sister at least three handmade gifts. I was so thrilled that I would be sewing for one of my dearest friends, Melissa. While it was easy to make her beautiful things because we have similar tastes and styles, it was certainly a challenge to keep her gifts a secret since we talk regularly and she was sitting right next to me at the retreat. On day three, she was surely onto me and the gig was up. I loved everything I made her and threatened to steal them all back when she wasn’t looking, ha! First, I made her this small embroidery hoop with appliquéd hearts in all Bonnie and Camille scraps.Swap_HeartHoop_BPThen there is this little boxy pouch made out of a Bonnie and Camille fabric and a white lace zipper. I included a few “essentials” like hand lotion, gum and lip balm for her to use during the retreat.Swap_LaceZipPouch_BPSwap_LaceZipPouch_2_BPI made this cute fabric button bracelet made all out of Liberty of London prints.Swap_LibertyBracelet_BPSwap_LibertyBracelet_Wrist_BPI simply adore this Tall Trees pillow in the soft and pretty color scheme. I machine quilted the top and then hand quilted around the trees using a mint colored Perle 8 cotton floss. I think it’s suitable to use all year round instead of just during the winter holidays. I’m definitely making one of these for myself.Swap_TTreePillow_3_BPSwap_TTreePillow_2_BPSwap_TTreePillow_1_BPI had so much fun choosing some of my favorite sweet, soft prints to make this scrappy log cabin mini quilt. I love the simple hand quilting around each square. Yep, I’m going to make a big one for me some day.Swap_MiniQuilt_Full_BPSwap_MiniQuilt_1_BPSwap_MiniQuilt_2_BPLastly, I made her this Poolside Tote using Essex yarn dyed linen and a navy calico print from Bonnie and Camille. It’s such a great bag to carry lots of stuff. I wanted to keep this one too, but I have another one in the works for myself.Swap_PoolsideTote_1_BPSwap_PoolsideTote_Clasp_BPSo that’s everything I made for Swapaholics. Tomorrow, I’ll share with you all the sweet handmade gifts I received.

–Stacy

Foxglove Showcase: Toddler Quilt

Today is my turn to share with you what I made for the Foxglove Showcase. Foxglove is the most recent fabric collection by the talented Aneela Hoey for Cloud 9 Fabrics. Aneela has long been known for her whimsical illustrations and she brings that to us again in this latest collection featuring cute little foxes and pretty foxglove and cowslips florals. There are 12 prints in colors of navy, orange, coral, aqua, gray and white. Paired with Cirrus Solid in Shadow by Cloud 9 Fabrics, I made this scrappy twirl toddler quilt.Foxglove_Full_BPThe entire quilt is constructed with 2″ squares and quilted in a grid-like pattern. I again used a super soft minky backing in light gray.FoxgloveQuilt_2_BPFoxgloveQuilt_1_BPI gave this quilt to my sweet little friend Lucy. She just loves animals, including foxes as you can see, and the colors match her room so I thought it would be perfect for her. I think she likes it!Lucy_1_BPLucy_2_BPAneela is sharing details about the inspiration behind Foxglove on her blog, Comfort Stitching, so be sure to check that out. She is also featuring many other talented ladies who have made something with Foxglove which you won’t want to miss.

I’m beyond thrilled to be packing my bags and heading to my Swapaholics sewing retreat for the weekend! I’ve been sewing like crazy the last couple weeks in preparation and will be showing you what I made and what I receive next week.

–Stacy

Toddler Backpacks

When my friend, Sedef, from Down Grapevine Lane asked if I would make something for her quilt market booth to showcase her debut fabric line, Sweet Orchard, I knew her collection would be perfect to make a cute toddler backpack. I used this pattern from Made By Rae, but since I hadn’t ever made it before, I thought it would be best to make a one first with fabric I had on hand (shown below left). At the time, Sweet Orchard prints were only available in limited quantities for quilt market projects and now you only have to wait a few more months for it to be released this August.Backpacks_Front_BPI knew I wanted a scrappy look in the sense that more than one print would be used, which is not always typical with backpacks. I figured it would be the best way to showcase as many of the collection’s prints as possible. This probably isn’t a project for a beginning  but I did find that the bag came together quite well.Backpacks_Back_BPI used nylon webbing for the bottom of the straps, but I recommend making your own fabric straps for the bottom and sewing them inside the seam multiple times. Once the kiddos get a hold of these and stuff them full of goodies, it can be hard on the seams and straps.  I ended up redoing the straps for the boy version due to the nylon fraying inside the seam and ultimately pulling loose after a bit of use. I gave this little guy, Theo, the boy backpack as a birthday gift and he loves it to pieces (hence having to make the straps more secure – but it’s all good!).TG_1_BPTG_2_BPAnd cutie pie, Lucy, kindly volunteered to model the Sweet Orchard backpack before I sent it off to quilt market.LO_2_BPLO_1_IGIf you attended the convention this past weekend in Salt Lake City, you may have spotted it in Sedef’s booth, along with my Sweet Orchard Little Granny Mini Quilt. There will be more sewing with this fabric line later this summer when the collection is released in August.

–Stacy

Sewing for Baby Girl

I love sewing for new babies, but add pink in the mix and I’m giddy. This weekend I had so much fun sewing for a friend who recently had her first baby girl. First, I made this adorable diaper cover set. Who wouldn’t want to see a cute little baby’s bottom crawling around in these? You can find a free tutorial for them on the Made Everyday site. Dana also has a video that walks you how to assemble them. I also made a matching set of drool bibs made from cotton prints and backed with white terry cloth. You can find a template for the bibs here, but I altered mine a bit.Bibs_Covers_BPCenterBib_BPDC_2_detail_BPDC_1_detail_BPI also made one of my go-to, quick, whole cloth cuddle blankets. The combination of a gray flannel print backed with white minky is so incredibly soft and cozy!JE_Blanket_Full_BPJE_Blanket_Detail_BPOne of my favorite things to do is create really great packaging. I bundled up all the items, tied them together with pretty ribbon and attached my signature tags. Instead of wrapping them in a box or using a gift bag where you can’t see the items, I found this really cute, shabby white crate which can be reused for diapers or books in the nursery. I love the finishing detail of a pink, silk hydrangea bud to fill out the basket.JE_Basket_1_BPJE_Basket_2_BP

I can’t wait to deliver this sweet gift box to my friend and sneak a peek at her new, precious baby girl.

–Stacy

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