Simple Sewing


Today I’m participating in the blog hop for Katie Lewis’ Simple Sewing: 30 Fast and Easy Projects for Beginners. Katie is a blogger at The Red Kitchen, so be sure to check out her work there.

This book has nice basic projects for those who are just getting started. With clear photos and instructions, the book is a good introduction to sewing with projects that even a novice can complete quickly and successfully. Basics like a tote bag, placemats, a pincushion, pencil case, and bow tie are among the patterns.

I used the instructions for the reversible placemats in the book, but decided to make coasters for holiday gifts. Just a simple 5″ square cut and sewn right sides together with quilt batting. Here I used fabric from my Folk Modern collection for Kokka.




Projects like this are quick and easy, perfect for beginners!

1, 2, 3 Quilt Giveaway on CRAFT


CRAFT is giving away three copies of 1, 2, 3 Quilt. So head over there before Friday and leave a comment on their post for a chance to win! The photo above shows all of the projects in the first chapter of the book, focusing on squares. You’ll make the reversible Game Mat (checkers on one side and tic-tac-toe on the other), then the Pixel Pouch and finally, the Lopsided Squares quilt.

Photo by Laura Malek of Felt Jar.

Give Books


This holiday season, you should give books! Chronicle Books is kicking off their #GiveBooks campaign this season with a special reader discount and they also generously offered me some books. I feel so grateful to have worked with Chronicle’s amazing editing and design team on both 1, 2, 3 Sew and 1, 2, 3 Quilt.

So share the book love by pinning or tweeting #GiveBooks, or take the GiveBooks pledge online, and Chronicle will donate a book to a child in need through First Book. Then head over to the Chronicle Books site and enter the promo code GIVEBOOKS at checkout to receive 30% off + free shipping on your order (excluding personalized products).


As I was looking through the Chronicle catalog to make my selections, I realized that our family already owns so many of their books. Most of our favorite young children’s books came from Chronicle, plus some of my kids’ current favorites  – like anything with that ridiculously adorable dog Boo, and all of the Ivy & Bean books. Also, I have renewed hope that printed books will never die because my kids prefer a physical book to their e-readers.

Here are the books that I selected for our family and a couple for gifts:


Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein with illustrations by Lisa Congdon, Elliott Smith by Autumn de Wilde, Big Vegan by Robin Asbell, Studio Life by Sarah Trigg, Pendleton notebooks, Just Between Us  mother/daughter journal by Meredith and Sofie Jacobs, Paper Cutting compiled by Laura Heyenga, Sewing for all Seasons by Susan Beal, I Know a Lot of Things by Paul and Ann Rand, and Dorothea Lange by Elizabeth Partridge. I’m so excited about these!

And as a special bonus, you can download these sheets of Catmas or Hanukcat gift tags designed by Gemma Correll for free! Simply click on an image below to view and print the full .pdf file. Cute cat logo above also designed by Gemma Correll.


Brave New Quilts


The craft world was shaken when Kathreen Ricketson died tragically in May. Though I never met Kathreen in person, we had worked together on several projects and I was a longtime follower of her blog Whip Up, where she shared craft and sewing projects along with thought-provoking posts about creativity and life in general.

Kathreen was unflinching in her pursuit of creativity and gave her readers an honest depiction of a real life. She was a hard worker, balancing a busy family life with books, blogging, and exciting new projects like her family magazine, Action Pack. I admired her dedication and integrity. Her final book, Brave New Quilts, reflects so much of her personality and it feels like a perfect expression of her warm, yet modern aesthetic.


In Brave New Quilts, Kathreen takes us on a journey through artistic styles of the 20th century, using Pop Art, Bauhaus, Midcentury Modern, and other movements as inspiration for her quilts. She introduces the design principles of space, proportion, pattern and texture, line and shape, balance and symmetry, and color. After all, these same design principles can just as easily be applied to quilt-making as they can to fine art. The book is sprinkled with her charming sketches as you can see below, and filled with ideas for finding inspiration.


The twelve projects in the book can be re-created just as they are seen in the book, but she also encourages you to take a creative leap and make the designs your own. For each quilt, she sketches out other color options so you can see the possibilities. Whether you are a beginning or advanced quilter, there’s something for everyone to take from this book.

Brave New Quilts is a beautiful and poignant book, a fitting tribute to Kathreen’s creative life. Follow along on the Legacy tour:

Tuesday 10/1  Heather Jones

Wedneday 10/2  Kristin Link

Thursday 10/3  Maya Donenfeld

Friday 10/4  Alexandra Smith

Monday 10/7  Sonya Philip

Wedneday 10/9  Andrea Jenkins

Thursday 10/10  Shannon Cook

Friday 10/11  Mimi Kirchner

Monday 10/14  Cheryl Arkison


Quarter Circle Coasters


Just made these Quarter Circle Coasters from my new book 1, 2, 3 Quilt. This time I used my Garden collection fabric, which will be shipping to stores in a couple of months! I’m not very good at this secret sewing thing, so I’ll be showing some of the projects I’m making for Quilt Market. The background fabric here is my Triangles fabric from my first collection for Kokka.

This is a simple project, great for beginners or those looking for a quick project. You’ll be practicing sewing along curves and simple piecing. Below is another image of the coasters I made for the book.


Photo by Laura Malek.