Friday, April 18, 2014

Quick and Easy Throw Blanket!

Do you need a quick and easy gift for someone or do you need something to keep your hands busy while you're watching TV? I have the perfect project!

It's an Organic Sherpa and Cotton Couture lap blanket (which, I think, would make an amazing baby gift).

What you'll need:
  • 1 1/4 yards of Organic Sherpa (Organic Fleece would also work)
  • 1 1/4 Yards of Cotton Couture- I used Bright White and Starfruit but I wouldn't be opposed to a print!
  • Embroidery Floss- Get a bunch of colors because you can never have too much embroidery floss hanging around :)
  • Embroidery sewing needles  
  • A sewing machine and thread
And now, the great debate... pre-wash or not to pre-wash??

I didn't pre-wash. (Actually, here's my little secret- I never pre-wash.) This time, I wanted to find out what would happen if i sewed up the blankets and then washed them. I was hoping to get a really "organic" look and that the Cotton Couture would bunch up a little around my embroidery floss stitches. My other reason for never pre-washing is just convenience. Laundry in my building is in the basement and I'm always waaaay too excited to get started!

Craftsy weighs in on this debate as well...if you'd like a second opinion :) 

Sewing Instructions: 
1. Cut a Cotton Couture square: 42" x 42"
2. Lay the Cotton Couture square on your Organic Sherpa, right sides facing.
3. Refer to Diagram A: Pin around the perimeter and then sew around the perimeter using a 1/2" Seam Allowance leaving a 6" opening. Clip the corners. 

4. Turn your throw right sides out through your 6" opening.
5. Slip stitch your opening. Slip Stitch video tutorial here.
6. Spread the throw on a flat surface and smooth out the wrinkles so both layers are flat.
7. Now, it's time to mark out your embroidery lines- they can be straight parallel lines or lines that cross over in a plaid pattern, it's up to you! I used parallel lines that were spaced about 5 1/4" apart- they definitely weren't perfect! See diagram B for my pinning pattern.
8. Measure out a piece of embroidery floss that is at least 18" longer than your throw. I split the floss and used three threads. Click here for a tutorial on separating floss.  
9. Tie a knot in the floss and start hand sewing a Running Stitch along one of your pinned lines. You'll want your knot to be hidden so check out Anna Maria Horner's blog post about doing just that! 
10. Repeat step 9 for all of your pinned lines and don't be afraid to use several different colors of floss! Anna Maria's post covers tying off your sewing line as well.
11. And, you're finished! Unless, of course, you need to post-wash.

 I didn't want to leave out the Organic Fleece so I did a quick photoshoot with Little Miss E as a bear and Little Miss O as a bunny!

 The bear hat pattern is by Living DIY Style. I altered the pattern just a bit for the bunny ears.

Have a great weekend and happy Easter!


Friday, April 11, 2014

Make It Work!

It's finally beautiful outside-- and, boy, have we earned it! It's so nice that I spent some time on our fire escape taking pictures...
I know... It's not a beautiful garden, or the beach... or a park... but it's OUTSIDE!! and I'll take what I can get :)

*Pictured above (on our lovely fire escape) is a Make It Work tote bag. The main fabric is Make It Work in tan, the base is Solid Cotton Sateen in coral, and the straps are Painter's Canvas in slate

Inside the tote is a bag for jewelry or makeup...
*The main fabric is Couture in seafoam and the tie is Cotton Couture in Coral

I imagine a dancer or a little aspiring ballerina carrying her ballet slippers and her tutu in a carry-all made out of this collection. Stef, of Girl Inspired, created the perfect dance bag! Wouldn't it be lovely in Couture or Make It Work?!


I'm thinking about dragging my sewing machine outside this weekend for some fun in the sun (and some serious vitamin D and Quilt Market sewing). I'm using this awesome quilt as my garment sewing inspiration...
*the Fashionista Quilt was designed by Marinda Stewart
Click here for the free Fashionista quilt pattern.

I'd love to make a 50's inspired dress like the one in the quilt using Frou Frou in Aqua (pictured above) or gray!

Marinda designed a sister quilt to the Fashionista as well... Stay tuned for the free quilt pattern!

Love that scalloped edge made with Zelda in gray! Bet it would make a cute dress :)

Have a great weekend!


Friday, April 4, 2014

Oh Baby! Cynthia Rowley & Michael Miller Fabrics

How could I not start our Cynthia Rowley post with this baby pic?! She's the CUTEST!
*The baby blanket pictured above is ABC Scroll in Girl

And how about this one?! Totally adorable.
*The bloomers pictured above are made with Bows in Citron
The quilt that Little Baby C is sitting on was designed by Susan Emory. I love how the circles showcase the patterns- It would be so simple to switch out the fabric to showcase your favorite ones!
Susan used her Creative Grids Circle Savvy Ruler to make her perfect circles.

The "Oh Baby" quilt pattern will be available on our website soon!
Pink, Coral and Citron make a vibrant color story for a modern nursery! Trenna Travis styled this adorable room using Animal Silhouettes in Coral & Citron, ABC Scroll in Girl and Rabbit Repeat in Coral.


Not only is this collection perfect for baby, but it's great for toddlers and big kids too! 

*Bunny Scallop in Pink, Astra Dress Pattern
This is such a whimsical, fanciful photoshoot... and oh so dreamy!
*Rabbit Repeat in Pink, Pin Dot in Petal, Gatsby Dress Pattern
And, we didn't forget the men (or cowboys) in your life ;)
*Animal Silhouettes in Mint, Rabbit Repeat in Blue

Isn't he a total charmer?!


 To view the entire "Oh Baby" collection and the rest of Trenna's lovely photoshoot, just click on the link below and scroll through--
Cynthia Rowley, "Oh Baby" ISSUU

We are so excited about this collection and we want to share it with you! 
Tell us about your favorite color combo for spring. I'm really loving mint and citron... but lavender and coral are closing in!

Visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram too!

Don't forget to post your projects on Flickr~ we love to see what you make!

Comments are now closed. Thank you for participating! Congratulations to our two lucky winners!!

Melissa who said...
"I can't catch my breath....I want it all! Love, love the mint with a little navy thrown in...."
WandaFish who said...
"I was looking for a little inspiration and you've given me bucketfuls!! Wow, what a super cute collection :)
I'm loving pink/coral and navy/coral combos for Spring. Thanks for the chance to win!"

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Cloth Baby Booties...

We've updated our popular Cloth Baby Booties tutorial using...

I went on bow overload! Bows in Mint for the main fabric, Bows in Citron for the decorative bows. (I added these because I thought they'd be cute... and, I have to admit, because I made the elastic slits in the main fabric instead of the lining. I had to cover up the holes- whoops!!)And, finally, I used Pin Dot in Coral to add a bright pop of contrasting color to the lining.

I love how the decorative bows look but you could also add buttons, fabric flowers, rhinestones, or you can just leave them plain!
 (*check out this link for some great fabric flower tutorials)

*tutorial prepared by Joanna Armour
For the Cloth Baby Bootie tutorial, click here!


I'm planning to do a Cynthia Rowley "Oh Baby" post on Friday so stay tuned... The photos are so very fun and the kids are adorable! Here's a little sneak peek...

See you on Friday!


Friday, March 28, 2014

How to plan the perfect princess party!

*Princess Tea Party Set designed by Marinda Stewart

 Start by transforming a room with color- lots of pink, purple, yellow... and every color in the rainbow! Need some color inspiration? Check out our Happy Tones collection... 

We thought that each little chair should be fit for a princess and that each little princess needs a colorful crown!

I wouldn't advise a pinata for an indoor princess party :) but if your party is outside, why wouldn't you have a unicorn pinata?!

We've created a free pattern for the Enchanted Castle Tablecloth, the chair covers, the adorable crowns and the magic wands- just click here

Tissue paper garland is a great way to decorate a space- I actually used it to decorate for my wedding reception. I had a post-rehearsal-dinner craft & tassel making party with all of my friends and family. This may have been my favorite part of the wedding weekend (besides the actual getting married part :)

If you'd like to try your hand at tissue paper garland, Tomkat Studio has a wonderful tutorial.

Our Enchanted Castle quilt pattern could be the ultimate centerpiece for a princess picnic at the park. Click here or on the actual quilt below for the instructions.

 To complete the perfect princess party, you'll need cupcakes! I couldn't pick a favorite... so they're all listed below~
1. Strawberry Cupcakes
2. Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes
3. Confetti Party Cupcakes
4. Ice Cream Cupcakes! OMG... yummmm!!
 5. Coconut Cupcakes

Ok, now I'm starving... but not for a salad! I see cupcakes in my near future...


* Enchanted Castles and Happy Tones are available at your LQS now!

Have a color (and cupcake) filled weekend!


Friday, March 21, 2014

Making it fun with Owlery!

When Owlery arrived in the office I immediately thought, Growth Chart! It's so perfect since it has a linear layout... all you need to do is add height measurements and a border. It's a step up from writing directly on the wall or putting notches in your molding :)
The free pattern for the growth chart pictured above can be found on our website (just click here.)

And, would a room be complete without a matching quilt? I think not. Ellen Maxwell created a patchwork quilt using Owlery and some other Happy Tones

Add a pop of whimsy and color to your kid's room with this matching quilt!

Do you love owls or do you know someone who does? If the owls in Owlery don't satisfy your owlish desires, we have a stuffed owl tutorial which would be amazing made with some Happy Tones. Click here for the free tutorial.

Post your pictures on our facebook page or tag us on Instagram (#michaelmillerfabrics)

We love to see what you make!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

MMF & the MQG Challenge!

We're so excited to sponsor the 4th annual Modern Quilt Guild Members Fabric Challenge! It will feature our Petal Pinwheels collection.

I've listed the guidelines below but please visit the MQG website for more information- just click here.

  • The challenge runs from March 2014-June 23, 2014.
  • Winners announced July 8, 2014
  • Members may make anything they want as long as it is quilted!
  • Add in any solid or Michael Miller printed fabric.
  • You do not need to use all the fabrics given to you.
  • Upload and share your photos to the Fabric Challenge Forum on the Community site.
  • MQGs can create guild specific challenges, as long as the other guidelines are upheld.
  • Don’t forget to use the #mqgfabricchallenge on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!
  • See the members Community site for sign ups.
  • Fabric sign ups end Feb 28th, 2014
There will be three winners. Each one will receive a posting on our blog (Making It Fun) and “A year of Free Fabric”.  Every month for a year we will send you a “Goody Box”  filled with fabric from our newest collections.

Here's a link to last years winners of the MQG Madrona Road Challenge.

We can't wait to see what you create!


If you'd like some practice using the Petal Pinwheel collection, we have a free pattern on our website. Click on the image below for the pattern and instructions.

Happy sewing and good luck with the MQG Challenge!
kait and the mmf team


Friday, March 7, 2014

The Littles Continued :)

I thought I would wrap up our two part Littles and Lesley Poole Post with some of our own MMF Littles projects.

This collection lends itself well to accessory projects like the amazing Lesley Poole demonstrated... But, it's also great for quilts! Heidi Pridemore designed the nautically inspired quilt below.
*free quilt pattern coming soon!

How perfect would this quilt be in a seaside cottage? I can make the quilt... now I just need a seaside cottage!


When I love a collection, I can't stop making garments. For the Littles, I went a little bit crazy- four dresses, one jacket and a bunch of bunting! Naturally, I wanted Little Miss O to model the dresses but this time, I enlisted her brother and Little Miss E to join the fun. Three kids who all wanted to be the boss. What a day! I admit, I had to use some lollipop bribery...

Here are the girls, doing their own thing :)

~ Miss E is wearing the Sally Dress in Little Sailboats
(the bow is Which Way Stripe)

Little O's brother, Charlie, has always been so curious about the photoshoots so I thought he would love being a part of one. He spent the whole time trying to check out the lights and wandering behind the backdrop. He wasn't happy about sitting on the bench until I said the magic word... Little E wasn't happy about the bench either (as you can see by her adorable frown-y face...
(before bribery)
...and then, the magic word, **Lollipop**

(after bribery)

Charlie is wearing the Puperita Jacket in Little Sailboats & Little Anchors

~ Miss O is wearing the Sally Dress in Little Sailboats & Little Lifesavers
~Miss E is wearing the Sunshine Dress in Clown Stripe & Little Anchors

And finally, SUCCESS! The girls were actually holding hands and spinning! It took all day but it was totally worth it. Little Miss O said that she loved teaching Charlie and Miss E the ropes. Gotta love that girl! 

The Littles is available in stores now! We'd love to see what you make... Post your pictures and projects on our facebook page!

 Have a great weekend and happy sewing!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Lesley Poole & the Littles Part 2!

Hi again, Lesley Poole here. What is it about March that makes me think of heading to the pool? I’ve got swimming and summer on my mind. Maybe it's all the "cruise season" catalogs arriving in my mailbox, or quite possibly I am just feeling a little deprived of Vitamin D at this point in our Seattle winter.
The Littles collection simply says “family vacation” to me. There is an element of classic kid fun in bright colors and whimsical, nautically inspired patterns. And with all these anchors, whales, and sailboats, who can help but dream of warmer weather? Whether you are heading on vacation or just to the local pool, these vibrant prints will definitely add some sunshine to the day. 
*pictured above ~ Little Lifesavers
I don’t know about you, but when our “Poole Party of 5” heads to the water we always bring loads of stuff - towels, goggles, and pool toys to name only a few! It seemed only natural to sew up a tote bag that could carry it all! This simple, lined tote is the perfect accessory for taking poolside. I used Michael Miller’s Cotton Sateen in navy and lined it with “little whales” in coral. The bright coral is such a nice pop of color inside this classic bag and I love seeing those cute little whales peeking out. 
The next thing to sew was a set of mix-and-match drawstring sacks to keep all our treasures organized. With three kids, it seems everyone has items that are absolute necessities for each and every trip out the door. “Little anchors”, “little whales”, and “ ta dot” were the fabric choices here. (Note: The patterns for both the tote and accessory sacks came from a couple of make*do*mend sewing workshops I attended. Even if you already know how to sew, taking a class can be a great way to learn some new tips and tricks.)  
And the last items on my list were some embellished towels. As I mentioned above, when we head to the pool, it feels like we are planning to go for a week, even if it is only for a few hours. I decided to make some pint-sized towels, to cut down on the bulk. For this project, I used navy cotton terry cloth and chose the vibrant and crisp “little lifesavers” in coral to back the terry and add some pop to this poolside staple. I also appliquéd a seahorse design and a letter "P" on classic white towels for another fun and simple way to use this lively fabric. 

*pictured above ~ Ta Dot, Little Lifesavers
Thanks so much, Michael Miller, for letting me play with this vibrant new collection. I had a fantastic time imagining the sunny days of summer that are just a project or daydream away! 
 ~ Lesley (Poole Party of 5)

Friday, February 28, 2014

Lesley Poole and the Littles!

Hello there, I’m Lesley Poole from Poole Party of 5 .  This summer I attended Alt SF  and was extremely excited when I found out that Michael Miller Fabrics would be one of the sponsors for the event.  I originally found out about Michael Miller Fabrics from my favorite fabric boutique in Seattle, Drygoods Design where the owner, Keli, turned me onto the Mini Mikes collection.  The Etsy line that I sew incorporates modern fabrics that I then appliqué onto classic silhouettes for custom gift giving.  I have found that it can be difficult to find fabrics with patterns that have small enough repeats for my appliquéwork.  And, as it turns out, many of the fabrics I go back to again and again are from Michael Miller.  While I was at Alt, I made it a priority to meet the Michael Miller team and share with them how much I love to use their smaller patterns for the appliqué and embellishment sewing I do for Poole Party Designs.

The MM team recently contacted me to tell me about a brand new collection about to be launched that was designed with my type of work in mind.  It incorporates the small repeats I am always looking for, as well as multi-directional patterns, which can help to maximize fabric usage.  When I received a package of this new collection, The Littles (designed by Shawn Wallace of MMF), I just about swooned!  There were so many fun and whimsical prints to choose from.  I immediately set to work on some fresh new appliqués to test out the versatility of this line. 
*pictured above ~ Little Whales, Clown Stripe, Little Sailboats

*pictured above ~ Hospital Gown, Clown Stripe, Little Sailboats

*pictured above ~ Ta Dot, Hospital Gown

The “little sailboats”, “little whales” and “clown stripe” worked so well for the baby onesies and burp cloths.
*pictured above ~ Which Way Stripe
And I love the “which way stripe” and “hospital gown” geometrics in the kid shirts. You’ll definitely be seeing these items show up on Poole Party Designs soon!
Stay tuned- I'll be back with Part Two of the Littles very soon!