26 January 2012

Happy Birthday, Lella.

I've been blogging for a year now.  This time last year, I was finally feeling settled in Florida, feeling like I was getting the hang of a new baby, and trying to figure out what how to best channel my creativity (and keep everything else balanced). Lella Boutique was born.
I wasn't really sure what I wanted this blog to be. It started out as a way to document the projects I was working on. I wanted to include detailed tutorials for my friends who had always expressed a desire in sewing. As I started putting more and more time into templates and patterns, I realized that design is where I have really wanted to focus my time and energy.
 
January has really given me the opportunity to do a lot of thinking about how last year went, things I want to change, my vision for this blog, etc. My most pressing issue is that my family remains my number one priority. I know how lucky I am to be at home to take care of them and want to ensure that they also know they are my priority.  (When Olive toddles over and tries to shut my laptop, I know I'm in trouble.)
I have so many ideas and such little time to do them, I'm trying to scale back a little bit. There aren't enough hours in the day and I'm trying to accept this and slow down. I always feel like I'm in such a hurry to get things done.
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So here's what to expect for 2012:
  • I will still try to keep up a new post every week. I'm not cutting out tutorials, but they may be fewer.
  • More patterns. I've got lots of ideas floating around and can't wait to let them out.
  • Scrap liquidation. I have a ridiculous amount of fabric, so I've banned myself from buying any more until I can significantly reduce this pile. I've been dying to "Swoon," make my "Farmer's Wife" blocks, sew up a "Katie" quilt, and start my latest favorite, "Hopscotch."  Do you remember these cute dresses from my post about quilt market last spring?  I think Olive needs this "Daisy" dress by Bananafana to be made in time for Easter.
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  • GOOD SECRETS!!! I have some things I'm working on that can't be shared at this time. So basically, anytime you see a recipe posted, I'm really probably working away on something classified.
What sort of projects have you been putting off? Will you be making time for them?  

20 January 2012

Simple Line Quilting

Remember my Silly Goose quilt and its simplistic quilting? I had hinted a while back that I would share my quilting method with you...
 
The method is not difficult as long as you have the right tools at your disposal. The first of these recommended tools is a walking foot attachment for your sewing machine. The other is Therm O Web's PeelNStick Ruler Tape.   
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Of course, one of the easiest ways to quilt simple lines is to follow the existing lines or seams on the quilt. (See below where I've quilted 1/4" away from the vertical seams.)   
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But what if I'm working on a non-linear quilt?
That's where my PeelNStick Ruler Tape comes in. With it, you can add lines anywhere you want!  In this case, I wanted to insert more lines in between the existing quilted lines I had just added. 
First, I cut a piece long enough to run along the whole length of the quilt. Then, I centered the tape between the existing quilted lines.

Next, I sewed about 1/8" away from the edge of the tape on both sides. (You can see where I lined up the walking foot with the edge of the tape.)
I re-used the strip of ruler tape four or five times before tearing a new piece.

And that's pretty much it. Once you finish quilting the desired amount of lines, you're left with a design that is simple and clean--and really showcases the quilt design.  Whatever you decide to do, the ruler tape is a fantastic way for you to add lines wherever you want!

Lucky for me, Santa was sure to include a few extra rolls in my stocking! If you want to see another example of how I've used this ruler tape on a non-linear quilt, check out my autumn table runner!

13 January 2012

My Funky Valentines


I love everything about Valentine's Day.
I don't subscribe to the idea that it's a holiday reserved for couples. No way.  It's far more fun to do things for everybody you love. You know how the elementary school kids decorate shoe boxes and make cards for everybody? They've got the right idea.
I've fashioned some sweet little fabric valentines. It's a quick project requiring the most basic of sewing skills. I want to make about a bazillion of these funky valentines.

Even outside of the Valentine's Day theme--how cute would these be in a nursery?! I've hung them across a mirror (below) but am totally picturing them strung across a crib. Minus the buttons, of course (choking hazzard).

I love this fabric. (Ruby by Bonnie & Camille for Moda) It's so bright and happy. Probably why I've been using it for every single project lately. Everybody wants one of these valentines.
 
I made a free pattern so you can make some too! Just click on the link below:
Pattern #109 My Funky Valentines  

09 January 2012

Laptop Love

Now that Christmas is over, I can show you the sweet little laptop sleeve I made for my mom. It's the perfect (and most fashionable) way to protect your new electronics from dust and scratches. 
To make this one, I used fabrics from Moda's Ruby collection by Bonnie & Camille. It features a simple velcro flap closure and sweet button embellishment. 
I was extremely tempted to use soft materials like fleece and flannel but changed my mind when I realized that many of those soft materials conduct static electricity. I guess that would sort of defeat the purpose of a protective sleeve, huh?!
My recommended list of materials
  •  1/2 yard cotton fabric for the laptop exterior
  • 1/2 yard cotton fabric for the laptop lining
  • 3" Velcro (non-sticky) strips  
    • Button or other (optional) decorative embellishment

    03 January 2012

    Baby on the Go

    Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  I can't believe it's here already!!! It is really difficult to keep my mouth shut about these things.
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    Inside this lovely spring issue, you will find my Baby on the Go  toddler quilt. Inspiration for my design came about just as Olive was becoming mobile.  As I started toddler-proofing the house, I knew I needed to baby-proof some quilt-blocks!
    The girl version features prints from Joel Dewberry's Aviary 2 collection. Oh how I love this fabric line! I decided that Olive will need to inherit this on her next birthday...which is why I made sure to use white fleece for the back...

    The boy version is made using fun and bold prints from Art Gallery Fabrics.  Most of the prints are from the "Revive" collection but I've also used some of their wonderful basics like "Oval Elements" and "Nature Elements."  Some baby boy is going to love looking at this terrific color palette.
    In addition to the magazine spread, McCall's has also put up the boy pattern as a web bonus! Wahoo! Just click on the link below and you have full access to the pattern!

    02 January 2012

    Traffic Jam Pattern Winners

    Happy New Year everybody! Here are the pattern winners:
    Comment #7 Ash said... 4 years ago the day before Christmas Eve I found out I was having a little boy.... last year the day before Christmas Eve I found out I was having a little girl :) I think they tie :)
    Comment #1  Emily said... I got some handmade stockings one year that I absolutely cherish.


    Comment #6  Liz @ LivingMySweetLife said... The year I got an american girl doll... I'll never forgetbwaking up Christmas morning and seeing her under the tree
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    How were my three pattern winners chosen? Easy.  Since there were ten comments, I just asked my husband to choose three numbers between 1 and 10. He doesn't know whose comments are there so it's totally random!  If you are one of these winners, just shoot me an e-mail (lellaboutique at gmail dot com) and let me know if you want your copy e-mailed or mailed (and to where).