Quickly Quilting with the Stitching Press

Hello Dear Friend!

Today I’m announcing something that I wasn’t sure would ever happen again. After leaving my fabric business behind in 2019, I really missed it. Like A LOT! At that time, closing the shop was necessary and I still stand by my initial decision to close it. Now after some growth I feel it’s time to move forward, this time with a handmade product that has really helped me. Let me show you the newly designed Stitching Press!

It’s a custom designed mini ironing board that fits so neatly alongside my sewing machine. Why the need when I have an ironing board? Well, I press every seam. Every. Single. One. I cannot move forward with a project by pressing it with my finger or even a rolling press. I’m just particular like that. So, you can imagine that quilt blocks and fpp projects take me forever.

I needed something accessible while staying in front of my machine. Something that doesn’t take any of the limited floor space in my sewing room. You see, my husband is working from home and we share the office. Having that big bulky ironing board in the middle of the room just gets in the way. A solution was needed… so I made one.

While there are similar options online for ironing boards, I didn’t see any that met my requirements. Which were a sturdy design, no warping, heat protection for my desk top, in a wide shape with pretty fabric. After 50 attempts (exaggerating) I have exactly what I wanted. Whoohooo!

It’s this sturdy Stitching Press. Large enough to iron a quilt block on, but compact enough to stay next to my machine or even take on the go for sewing parties. Does anyone do that? If you do, please invite me! 🙂

Having this handy mini board next to my machine has cut my sewing time by at least a third of what it used to be. Quickly working through quilt blocks and fpp patterns now and I’m loving it!!!! Success all around.

After the initial surprise of how great the press worked out, I thought there must be other quilters looking for such an option. Now I’m working through an assembly line of Stitching Presses and posting them to Etsy. How exciting this has all been.

If you’re looking for a cute pressing board to add to your sewing table, I hope you’ll visit my shop at www.etsy.com/shop/LinenBouquetDesigns and help spread the word to friends. My new Stitching Press design is going to be a big hit, at least I hope so.

I’m happy to take any color suggestions you have below in the comments. What’s your favorite color to decorate your sewing space with? Your recommendations will be used in my next batch of products. Thanks so much!

Love, Jasmine

A Little Christmas Sewing (Snuggle Up Buttercup Collection)

Hello Dear Friend,

It’s been too long! Working full-time has kept me busy. It’s already June and the months are passing faster than I can manage. Right in the heat of summer, we’re staying inside where the air conditioning is blasted so high, there are times I reach for a warm sweater and fuzzy socks. Isn’t that the silliest thing? It’s how we Arizonans get through the sweltering summers. While pretending it’s chilly inside, I had the pleasure of sewing with some adorable Christmas prints by Poppie Cotton! This is their Snuggle Up Buttercup collection soon to release just in time for Christmas in July.

That sneak peek photo was posted back in January. It was a teaser that immediately had me obsessed.

Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/poppiecotton/

While staring at this fun line of quirky, unexpected Christmas designs I was thinking a quilt would be the obvious choice, but staying true to me I went with the more unexpected route. An over the top detailed Christmas apron!!! If you have followed my instagram account (https://www.instagram.com/linenbouquet/) for a few years I’m sure you’ve seen some of my past apron makes. For a short time I was even taking orders on Etsy. That was a ton of fun!

Fabric auditions at midnight

The best thing about handmade aprons is you get to customize every part. The chest can be widened the ties lengthened, the details exaggerated. They can be frilly or plain, decorative or utilitarian. My personal favorite is the extra girlie type, with ruffles, bows, extra trims and lots of color mixing. How perfect does that sound for Christmas baking???

Official lineup of finalists

With all the aprons I’ve made, there is exactly only one left in my house. It’s simple and was used during my stint with outdoor markets for carrying cash. BORING! Every time I make a pretty apron, I end up giving it away to a friend or family member as a gift. Or to my mom 🙂 She’s my biggest fan and tries to keep everything I make.

I’m hoping this one stays with me for a while and I get to make some sweet memories while using it.

A bit of frill.

More details.

Okay, now queue the bows!

Isn’t she lovely and festive?

The top panel is a bit wider than the typical 9.5″ since I’m heavier on top. This should help keep my clothes cleaner while baking.

I also like a big bow and long tails so this apron was made with an 88″ waist tie.

Large pockets to comfortably reach into and maybe sneak some chocolate chips!

This project wouldn’t be complete without a matching hot pad. Because matching your kitchen is so mom-like! Hahaa! Using the Winter Star Block from Lori Holt’s (link to blog) book “Farm Girl Vintage” I made a 8″ square hot pad. With a little extra time I think a sweet runner will look nice as well.

My girls love adding cooking projects to our advent calendar activities and I bet they would light up when they see a kitchen decorated for the occasion. Alright, it’s settled and I’m adding the project to my Christmas in July to-makes list.

I hope you enjoyed this project with the newest Poppie Cotton collection, Snuggle Up Buttercup. Enjoy the blog tour this week! The next maker will be announced on the Poppie Cotton Instagram account.

Happy sewing! Sending cool and refreshing thoughts to all toughing it out this summer.

Love, Jasmine

Picnicing Quilt Carrier – Tutorial

Hello Dear Friend,

What an excellent tutorial I have for you today. It’s the final reveal of the Picnicing Quilt Carrier I created for the ever-loving quilt makers that want just a bit more ease while toting around those quilts we are all so proud of.

I love my quilts! I’m incredibly proud of all my handmades! What I don’t like is carrying them on the go. They flop around in my arms, come undone, drag along and in many occasions have tumbled straight onto the dirt. It’s happened to you too, I’m sure.

For this reason I know every quilter, or parent for that matter needs to make one of my Picnicing Quilt Carriers. You will thank me, and wonder just as I have why this wasn’t done sooner. 😉

Here’s the list of materials:

(2) 14″ x 10″ Fabric
(4) 32″ x 1.5″ Fabric
(1) 14″ x 10″ Flex 1-Sided Fusible Foam Stabilizer
(2) 32″ x 1.5″ Cotton Batting
(1) Adjustable Shoulder Bag Strap with Tabs
(2) 1″ Metal Swivel Hooks
(2) 1″ Metal “D” Rings
(2) 1″ Metal Slide Buckles
Sewing, Quilting & Heavy Duty Upholstery Thread

Here are a few of the materials I used and their affiliate links:

Let’s get on with the show!

Pick your prettiest two coordinating prints for the main body of the quilt carrier. I used the new floral prints in Poppie Cotton’s latest line Goose Creek Garden called Wildflowers Red and Soft Breeze Pink. The deep red Wildflower fabric is so beautiful to me. It was also an unusual choice as I usually pick lighter and brighter floral fabrics. Since I’m the one that will be using this carrier, I opted for a more mature colored floral and so glad I did. The great thing about this carrier is you can use any type of material you’d like, such as canvas, vinyl, upholstery, faux fur, etc. and it would look good in all of them!

Cut them down to 14″ x 10″ each. Take the print you plan to use as the outer shell and iron it onto the foam stabilizer. It’s your choice to round the corner like I did or keep them squared. Here I used a two inch round to trace and cut out the corners.

With just the top fabric and stabilizer fused together, quilt a fun design onto your quilt carrier base. I wish all quilting was this quick and easy. Haha!

Press the stitches then pin the bottom layer fabric on with right sides together. You will sew a 1/4″ seam around the entire piece leaving a two inch gap for turning.

Press, snip small v’s on the round corners, being careful not to cut through the thread seam. Turn inside out and press again. I like to soak my edges and iron a crisp edge, especially on the round corners. Take your time, this can make your carrier look sharp, or sad… 😦

Stitch an 1/8″ seam around the entire edge especially the open gap. Going around again, add another seam 1/4″ inside the previous one. Finishing with two seams looks oh so niiice!

Let’s make the adjustable carrying straps now. Here is the Country Confetti basic cotton I used also from Poppie Cotton in Weathered Wood. Friends, this color is a darker gray but not too cool toned, it’s versatile and I’ve already used it in multiple projects because I love it so.

The weathered wood gray also looked excellent next to my brass metals hardware, it was an obvious yes! Take two of your 32″ x 1.5″ fabric strips, line them up right sides together, add a strip of cotton batting of the same size to one side and pin. Repeat with the other two pieces and batting.

You can round the corners of one end on each strap if you would like, but I left mine squared. Sew a seam around the entire edge, leaving one end open on both straps. Turn them inside out and press crisp edges.

Now add a 1/8″ outer seam along all the sewn edges. The reason I sew such a small seam is because it’s easy to let my machine guide the fabric along the foot’s edge. You thought I had a good reason didn’t you? But I’m really just a lazy sewist. Ha!

Here’s where the real measurements come in. We’re going to attach the metal hardware and want it to look just right. Speaking of hardware, the set I ordered came with all that I needed metal swivel clasp, “D” ring and slide buckles all in a handy little box that is now holding my collection of metal accessories.

With the open end of the carrier straps, measure a 1/2″ mark and 1.5″ along the strap (see purple markings). Insert your “D” ring, fold the half marking up to the second line at 1.5″, pin as shown. Carefully sew two lines with a heavy duty thread to ensure it won’t come undone. Repeat with the second strap.

Along both 9″ ends of the quilted carrier measure and mark 1.5″ away from the edges as shown. You will pin the carrier straps on the inside of this marking leaving the “D” rings hanging off the front edge.

With a heavy duty thread, sew them together following the previously stitched line on the carrier straps, adding some extra seams on both ends to secure. So far so good? It should look like this.

No seams needed when attaching the slide buckles and clasp. Take the carrier straps in the back and weave them through the slide buckles, through the clasp ring and down into the buckle again. Now they should feel secure. If not you will have to get smaller buckles that hold a little tighter so the quilt straps don’t slide out.

It’s ok to stop and admire those adjustable straps. I was a bit proud of myself after that step too!

Final step is adding the purse strap to the top. There are so many options available. I chose to go with a dark brown leather strap to compliment my wildflower red fabric. While I love the look of the purse strap I used it’s a bit more stiff than I had hoped for.

Still it’s a beautiful finish especially with the petal shaped tabs. Very pretty! Measure the quilted carrier lengthwise and find the center line for tab placement. Depending on the tabs you have your step may look different than mine.

I knew with the tab’s leather finish, my sewing machine would have eaten right through and added stitch holes in the unmarked areas. So, I opted to hand sew them on with multiple pieces of heavy duty thread in a matching color that I sewed onto the outer material only.

In the pic you can see the stitches did not go through to the back. It’s a clean finish that I’m very happy with.

Do what you think will look best with your strap, because this last step finishes your carrier.

So, what do you think? Your very own Picnicing Quilt Carrier and it was much easier to make than expected. Once you have all your materials, this quilted accessory comes together in a short afternoon.

Will you make it again? Make one for a friend? I think it’s an automatic win for all the quilty friends in your life.

And it looks so pretty!

I keep admiring my quilted, feminine, modern Picnicing Quilt Carrier. It’s going to be on full display as I take it on family picnics and the current soccer season.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments, or on Instagram @linenbouquet. For a share use the #PicnicingQuiltCarrier I really want to see your designs and the adventures you take your quilts on.

with love, Jasmine

Goose Creek Garden Picnicing Set – Fabric Tour

Hello Dear Friend,

It’s been a few weeks since my last post. Many moving parts to my life right now and I’m riding out the changes while I sew, quilt and epp the days away. The best way to weather the storm is with a good attitude and pretty fabric right? I say yes.

Speaking of pretty fabric, lookie what I have here the newest Poppie Cotton collection Goose Creek Garden!

This collection was designed with delightful waddling geese, it is bursting with sweet florals and stripes in a beautiful mix of soft yellows, pink contrasting teals and burgundy. I love that the collection has a large variety of florals and not the same repeating flower in different scales. Look closely and you can see how much range there is in this bundle.

Goose Creek Garden is a well rounded collection that will can easily complete a slew of projects. As you can see here, I had no trouble pairing these fabrics in some very pretty combinations.

I can’t forget to show you the Country Confetti basics also offered by Poppie Cotton. Very smart design, as the confetti dots coordinate so well with this and past collections. Definitely, get these to compliment your projects!

When my fabrics arrived from Poppie Cotton I couldn’t wait to start planning out my project. I wanted to play along with the outdoor theme of a creek. Thinking along those lines, past memories flooded my mind of outings with the kids when they were a little younger.

We would visit the community lake in the neighborhood. My four and two year old would ride their trike & scooter down the path along the lake to the park, while my littlest would be laying on a blanket in the wagon I pulled. There would be ducks floating atop the lake and some trailing behind us hoping for breadcrumbs.

I would lay out the blanket for Adeline’s tummy-time where she usually stayed and napped under a tree while the other two played. We should read, snack, swing and run … until they wore themselves out. The walk back to the house was a slow one followed by a long nap for everyone, me included.

Those were some sweet days and this Goose Creek Garden collection brought back all those memories. To recreate that into a sewing project was the goal and challenge.

Considering the scrumptious feeling of a nap in the cool breezy shade, of course brought me to the conclusion of making a quilt. Since I had yet to make a classic barn block style quilt I found one of the new designs by Melanie A Bit of Scrap Stuff to be just what I was looking for. This lovely is the Sunrise Quilt pattern available here.

Obsessed??? Yes, I definitely am!

The large sun blocks with contrasting sashing really drew my eye and I liked that I could showcase the larger printed fabrics in the center. It would be a shame to chop up those little geese into unrecognizable blocks.

Melanie’s pattern was easy to follow and the blocks came together quickly. I really loved how perfectly the smaller floral repeats played with the larger prints in each sunshine block. Making my job even easier. Using the gray, “Weathered Wood,” Country Confetti basic as a background brought a bit of maturity to the project that complimented the burgundy and teal. It was actually my husbands recommendation to add it in, and I think he was so right!

The blocks were a breeze to piece together but it was the quilting that really slowed me down. While sandwiching my top, batting and backing fabric I ran out of basting spray. UGHHH I completely regret what I’m about to type. I pin basted my quilt, and naively thought it wouldn’t make a difference. Yikes! It took me almost four weeks to machine quilt this beauty because of all the puckering. The basting was not taut enough and it had to be readjusted each time I changed directions.

Don’t be impatient like me, take the hour to drive to the store and by that basting spray, save yourself weeks of puckering. LOL! Thankfully, my quilting came out pretty well and pictures do not show my frustration of the moment.

Here’s a picture of the geometric marvel of the back quilting. Color me completely shocked at how gorgeous it came out! And big points to anyone who spots the red hen.

I was very pleased with this quilt choice but kept thinking that it wasn’t complete. Let me tell you why.

When I go out with the kids, I’m usually carrying so many items that I just have no hands free. Purse, food, drinks, toys, extra changes of clothes and now a blanket??? I kept thinking, “I need something that is hands free,” and makes my outings just a little bit easier. This bred the idea for my Picnicing Quilt Carrier.

First I designed my vision, ordered the strap, hardware, and then got to work. You know, I’ve never seen anyone make a quilted blanket holder but I had something similar wrapped around my yoga mat. There was no carrying strap, but it helped keep my mat rolled up. With fingers crossed, I hoped this idea would work and look like a strappy mess.

I chose the Red Wildflowers print thinking the deep color would look a little more grown up and match the dark brown leather strap. It was definitely the right choice. I’m happy to tell you, this carrier looks even cuter than imagined! My Picnicing Quilt Carrier not only serves it’s function but it’s quilty and feminine.

This momma is happy with a little extra help carrying all the necessities. I already know I’ll be using it a couple times a week during soccer season.

So, would you like to make one yourself? This post has already reached capacity so I’ll have to share the step-by-step tutorial on my Picnicing Quilt Carrier next week. Promise!

For now, I hope you’re inspired to take bits of sweet memories and make them into lasting projects like I did with this set. Also, get yourself the charming Goose Creek Garden fabric collection by Poppie Cotton arriving in shops soon, you can find them here https://poppiecotton.com/where-to-buy/.

My sweet helper.

Thank you Poppie Cotton for inviting me to join your fabric tour and thank you friend for stopping in to see my creations!

with love, Jasmine

Favorite Block Tote Bag Tutorial

Hello Dear Friend,

What have you been up to? I have been working behind the scenes on creating some content for you, a bit of drawing and some secret sewing that I’ll be able to share with you soon. It’s so hard keeping it a secret though. All the hours of work I put into secret projects, and I can’t post about them yet. Hahaha! Learning how to blog is proving to be a bit more difficult than expected. Secret projectes sure don’t help, but I’ll be able to share soon enough.

On to the topic at hand. Prior to blogging I was in the habit of sewing projects off the top of my head, letting my creativity flow and never really thinking that anyone would like to know the how-to’s of my finished piece. I would forget to write down the steps as I go as well as the measurements of fabric. By the finished end, I would have a piece that I was quite pleased with until it would don on me that maybe someone else would have been interested in making one too. Hmmm… but the road to creating it was too winding to try and write it all down afterwards. This has actually kept me from even posting finished projects on Instagram, because I’m afraid of the dreaded question, “Can you share the pattern?” Yikes! However, that is one thing I planned to change this year and why I forced myself to start this blog. But old habits die hard. Only one month into the new year, I was holding a super cute finished tote bag with no notes on how it came to be. Oops, I did it again!

Thinking that I may let it slide, I casually asked on Insta if anyone would even be interested in the pattern thinking, “Does anyone even hear me out there?” To my great surprise, I got one, then two! I guess there’s a space for me afterall. Thank you to the sweet friends that boosted my morale and got me to backtrack my steps in making this purse. This one’s for you!

Favorite Block Tote Bag Tutorial

Here’s the deal, I’ve got a big stash of fat quarters but I’m a minimalist when it comes to larger cuts, so I made this purse fq friendly. We’ve got to use those cute fq’s somehow, right? Also, this is a smaller tote bag so while it can be used for adults I made these for my little ones.

Dots and Posies fabric collection by Poppie Cotton
  • Pick 6 Fat Quarters + a 9″ unfinished block you love!
  • 1 yd of Adhesive Foam Interfacing
  • Adhesive Stabilizer
  • 6″ Zipper
  • Round Lid or cut out 2″ diameter
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Fabric Pen

For the front panel of the purse I used a super cute foundation paper pieced block pattern called, “Planting Seeds,” that measured 8 ½ ” finished. You can use a favorite block of your choice or a cute printed fabric.

Cuts

Center Block 9″ Square (1)

FQ 1    A  9” x 2 3/8“ (2)

B  12 ¾” x 2 ½” (2)

C  12 ¾” Square (1)

FQ 2    D  13 ½” x 6 ¾” (1)

FQ 3    E  12 ¾” x 6 ¾” (1)

            F  7” x 6 ½” (2)

FQ 4    G  12 ¾” x 3 ¼” (2)

            H 18” x 2 ¼” (2)

FQ 5    L  12 ¾” Square (1)

            J  9 ¾” x 4” (1)

            K  6 ¾” x 1 ¼” (1)

FQ 6    L  21 ½” x 2” (4)

            M  9 ¾” x 4” (1)

Interfacing

25” x 12 ¾” (1)

9 ¾” x 4” (1)

21 ½” x 2” (2)

Stabilizer

6 ½” square (1)

Directions

Since the heart tote was pre-made, I took pictures of the progress of another bag so you can follow along. You’ll notice the different colored fabric but the steps are all the same. You are going to love how easily this tote bag comes together. I’ve made three so far! Grab your energy juice and let’s get started.

Pick your 9″ block and 6 FQ’s (or 7 FQ’s if you choose not to use a stitched block) and cut out pieces needed.

First you’re going to make the front panel. Grab your 9” block and pin pieces A to the top and bottom, sew (all seams will be sewn with a ¼”), and press open.

Pin B pieces on the right and left, sew and press. Boom! Front panel is done. Told you that was easy. Set it aside.

Now let’s move on the back. You will grab piece D fold it in half, press. Open it up and tuck the 6 ½” square stabilizer in the crease. Press it folded. This piece will be the back pocket.

Grab the small trim piece K and press it half way lengthwise. We are going to make this into bias tape to run along the top of the back pocket. Open it up and press both raw edges in to the middle crease. Pin the trim over the top of the back pocket piece, sew and press.

Now I like to tack the back pocket to the back center panel, piece E. Be sure the pocket is straight, then sew a few stitches at the points where the pins were placed to secure the pocked before the next step.

Pin the two G side panels to the sides of the center panel E. Press them open and your back panel is done too!

Sew the front and pack panels together on one side only. When the whole outside shell of the tote is one piece, adhere them with heat to the foam interfacing piece measuring 25” x 12 ¾”.

Now it’s time to get creative and quilt some stitches onto your tote bag. If you want to keep it simple quilt along the seam lines to emphasize your center block. Just stay away from quilting that back pocket closed.

Great! Now press and set aside. Since you already have your quilting foot on the machine, let’s put some stitches on the bottom of the tote with piece M and the 9 ¾” x 4” interfacing. First press to adhere the pieces together then add some quilting. Now, you will round the corners using your 2” round, such as a lid, spool, circle cut out, whatever works. Good, set this bottom quilted piece aside for later.

Let’s move on to the the handles. You will press two of the L pieces onto the 21 ½” x 2” piece stabilizers, one on each. Adhere them with heat then pin the remaining L pieces right sides together with the stable pieces. Us the same 2” round from the last step to round both ends of both handles.

Then sew leaving a 2” gap at the center of the handle, which you will use to turn the fabric right side out. After your seam is sewn, trim small v’s around the curved ends being careful not to cut through the seam line.

Turning the handles right side out takes some coercing and lots of tugging but you’ll get it. Once all the edges are pushed out, I like to spray my seams and press them. This helps get that nice straight edge on your handles. Tuck in the open gap and run a seam along the edge of each handle 1/8” to a ¼” from the edges. 

Now we’re going to attach the handles. Measuring the placement of your handles must be precise. We don’t want your tote bag looking lopsided. I measured from the top corners of the front panel 2” down and 2 ½” in from the sides. Mark it, pin down the handles and sew. Attaching my handles I made a D shape with my sewing machine. Use the same measurements and placement to attache the handles onto the back panel.

Now that the handles are attached to the outer shell you can attach the two side seams of the front and back panel. Sew and press the seam. It should be a large cylinder with open bottom and top. Remember the quilted bottom we made with the M piece? Get that piece and fold it in half lengthwise, mark the crease at the ends with a fabric pen. You will pair the markings with the side seams of the outer shell of the tote. With right sides of the fabric together, carefully pin from the curved edges out to the straight sides. I use lots of pins here. Sew along those edges slowly.

Turn the purse shell right side out and press along the bottom seam to get a nice finish. OOOooohhhh! It looks so good right?

Can’t forget about the inside lining though. Let’s attach the zipper pocket. It’s a simple technique, but always makes me feel like a pro afterwards. Grab one of your F pieces. You will mark it as shown on the wrong side of the fabric (excuse my mistake drawing it on the front). I measured 1” down from the top edge, centered and drew a long rectangle with disappearing ink that measures 5 ½” x ½”. On the inside of the rectangle, I drew a line down the center with two V’s on the ends reaching the corners. More on this in a sec.

Pin the marked F piece right sides together with the L inside panel piece. Line it up 3” down from the top edge, centered. Sew on the perimeter rectangle line.

When that is done, with a pair of scissors cut through both pieces of fabric on the center line and the V’s on the ends. Careful not to cut through the seam. Now for a magic trick, pull the F piece through the opening you just cut, to the back side of the L piece and press the rectangle opening. Tada! Press and you have a crisp opening for your zipper now.

Pin the zipper inside the pocket panel and sew. Slowly sew over the zipper and the L panel. I hate when my needle breaks so I go at snails pace on this step. 

Now get that second F piece and pin it right sides together with the newly zippered F piece. As you sew them together, be careful not to snag the larger L panel. Press and done.

Pin left and right sides of the L & C pieces together, but leave the bottom and top open. It’s starting to look like a purse lining, right?

Well, almost. We need the bottom J piece. Grab that 2” round again and trace along the four corners of the J piece. Trim them round, then fold the J piece in half lengthwise to find the center points at both ends and mark with your fabric pen. Line up the end markings with the side seams of the tote’s inside lining. Pin and sew. Again, those curves can be tricky, go slowly. Press.

We are now ready to insert the lining into the tote bag shell. Tuck in the bottom corners nice and snug. I like to match the lining seams with the shell seems to keep it all straight. You may notice the lining is sticking out over the shell a bit at the top. This is great because it’s better to have an excess than for it to be too short. Go ahead and trim the lining so the top is flush with the out shell of the purse. Pin and run a quick 1/8” seam along the top to get it all in place for the final step, the edge binding.

Take your two H pieces and sew the ends together with a diagonal seam and press. Fold the H pieces in half lengthwise, pressing it straight on the fold to make your bias binding.

Pin the raw edge of your bias binding on the outside of the tote bag and sew a ¼” seam along the top.

Press and fold it in to the purse. You will secure the binding to the inside of the purse lining, I like to hand stitch this step but you’re welcome to do it by machine if you prefer. That is the last stitch!

Hey, this pattern is not too bad for having to retrace my steps. I hope it was helpful.

Your carry all, library, toys, coloring books, baby dolls Favorite Block Tote Bag is all done and ready to be used. I can already see your little ones enjoying it as much as my girls.

I would love any feedback you want to leave in the comments. And I would love YOU even more if you shared your makes with me on Instagram @linenbouquet with the hashtag #favoriteblocktotebag. This way I can see and share it on my stories as well.

Thanks for being so great. Have a happy sew day friends!

With love, Jasmine

Valentine’s Mini Quilt Free Download

Hello Dear Friend,

With Valentine’s Day drawing near, I was reminiscing of my favorite holiday traditions. My husband and I are not really the couple that does all the lovey-gushy stuff. Nor the overly extravagant wine and dine with a large bill. Most of the time we keep it casual, jeans and a nice top. Throw jokes and jabs around to keep our relationship playful. While my husband and I usually try to sneak away one night for a dinner alone the week of Valentine’s, that is not the highlight of the day for us.

We always have the most fun planning our morning surprises for the girls the day of. Every year we plan goodie bags for them, with small toys (usually legos), “makeup,” balloons, a sweet breakfast and a hand written card that we read aloud to them. It’s like Christmas with pink EVERYWHERE. After Dad returns from work they all dress up for a fancy date. The girls absolutely love it! And so do I. It’s the sweetest thing to watch.

One area I’m usually lacking in, is the Valentine’s decor. I know it’s not a priority but having some pretty seasonal items around the house to keep us all in the spirit of the love-y day would be nice. It also gives me a new sewing project to work on. So yeah, it actually is a priority. This year in preparation for Valentine’s I made a mini quilt to hang up, and I’m quite proud of myself since it is already done. Not like my usual midnight race to finish.

This here is my Valentine’s Mini Quilt, the pattern is designed by Felicia’s World Quilting that I had the privilege to sew together. It turned out even better than I imagined, and came together so quickly. Even sweeter, this pattern is a FREE download when you go to www.feliciasworld.com website.

After downloading my pattern, I picked out the prettiest prints from the Country Roads collection by Poppie Cotton. It was calling my name. Really! I’ve had this bundle of Country Roads for a couple months now but just couldn’t find the right project to highlight the florals as a focal point. I think the peony prints are so beautiful and using them for the hearts in this Valentine’s pattern was the best way to show them off. Before cutting, I pressed all my colored fabrics onto an adhesive appliqué webbing like this. You’ll see in the pattern there is a super helpful template with the heart shapes and letter appliqué cutouts. You can definitely cut these by hand but with the fancy shmancy Cameo machine I used, all the appliqué pieces were cut out with ease and precision. I’m gonna need to get one of these for my own sewing space soon. This machine shortened my cutting time down to under an hour. It’s a game changer!

Cameo Machine:

Having a pile of perfectly trimmed hearts was pretty sweet. My mind kept trailing off on other projects I could use them for. So many options!!! But slow down and focus on the project at hand. Anyone else have this problem? I’ve heard it referred to as quilters ADHD. Hahaha! Press those hearts and letters onto your background fabric. I chose this subtle white Mode Fabric Lattice Cloud that you can find in my friend Jennifer’s Etsy shop. It’s amazing and I need more for every project going forward. Machine appliquéing the details was a time saver and once you get the rhythm down it’s pretty fun too. Definitely go slow around the curves and use the edge of your sewing foot to gauge the distance of your stitches so you don’t fray the ends of your fabric.

All my heart blocks and letters were done so I played with the layout and found one I liked. I’ve realized placement is a huge deal and can make your project a winner or well… not so cute loser. While laying out my blocks I try to spread out the bold colors evenly since they are the ones that catch the eye at first glance. If all the bold patters/colors are clumped into one portion of the quilt it will not be balanced. Balance and symmetry are what we gravitate toward and what the eye sees as beautiful. Once you have that down, you’re golden!

Sewing the blocks went quickly as lightning! Each square measures 6.5 inches which is a piece of cake. I love when quilt tops come together this quickly, they make me feel like a pro! I sandwiched that baby up with cotton batting and a deep navy blue floral print for the back. Actually, it was the same fabric I used to back my, “Holy Peace,” quilt since I had enough leftover. It seems I’ve been in a blues phase lately, and I ain’t mad about it.

Using my walking foot (after turning the room upside down to find it) I went along all the seam edges of each block, outlined the hearts and letters to help them stand out even more. Trimmed off the edges and voila the mini was done all by machine in one night! Mini quilts are so satisfying, especially after hand quilting the same project for what seemed like endless weeks. This was refreshing! I really should add more minis to my list of projects. Maybe a monthly mini block for seasonal decor? hmmm… There’s that quilter’s ADHD again.

Oops, not done yet. I took a little strip of stripey binding (also Poppie Cotton) and added it diagonally to the back side of the top corners of the quilt. This way I can hang my mini without having to puncture pins through the front. Then on to my most favorite step of all binding. A simple border around the front that I hand stitched to the back while drinking my morning coffee. Ahhhhh… slow hand sewing, morning sunshine and a warm cup of caffeine. Perfection!

Before I could get pictures of my finished make, I kept peeping at it sitting on my sewing table. I really love how the colors play off of the white background and the stripey binding so subtly shows off the border. It’s perfectly pink and navy which are definitely in my top ten favorite colors. Is ten too many? Some people think so, but as a quilter I think it’s my job to keep a long list of options.

Here’s my mini baby in all her cuteness! Now I’ll have a Valentine’s background for the girls to take photos in front of before they rush off on their date with Dad this year. Happy Momma for sure! But am I proudest of the girls we made or the mini quilt… you’ll never know. 😉

I hope you get to try out this Valentine’s Mini Quilt pattern and show me your finished make on Instagram @linenbouquet

With love, Jasmine

Ivy Rayne Fabrics Giveaway!

Hello Dear Friend,

As you may know, I had an Etsy shop selling fabrics just a couple years ago. It was a lot of fun but after some time I decided to give myself a break. Homeschooling my girls and quilting all the things is keeping me very busy now. With that said, I understand the inner workings of the fabric business and how difficult it can be to get recognition within the vast quilting community. If there is any way I can promote another shop owner and their business that is what I plan to do.

When Tammie at Ivy Rayne Fabrics reached out to me about her very new online shop, my answer was a quick, “I’m happy to help!” She’s currently running all the backend to-do’s, keeping customers happy and marketing. Those are all full-time jobs. You’re doing amazing Tammie!

So let me introduce to you Tammie from Ivy Rayne Fabrics!

As a mother of three older teens (two graduated) I finally found myself with a bit of extra time to pursue my dream of owning a fabric and quilt shop.  Unfortunately, Covid took away any possibility of opening a brick and mortar. I wasn’t going to let that stop me! After a ton of work and research I took my idea online where Ivy Rayne Fabrics was born.  The shop is named after my daughters. My dream became a reality when I launched the site on Novmeber 1, 2020. 

At a very young age, my Gram taught me to sew and I’ve never stopped. In the large world of sewing, quilting is my passion. This extended into my love for fabric. It is both comforting and therapeutic to curate collections for my shop.

~Tammie of Ivy Ranyne Fabrics

I could not agree more! It is so fun pairing fabrics and nothing gets me as excited as a new pretty stack to work with. I’m sure you’re the same, for this reason I thought it would be fun to share one of the highlights of Tammie’s shop which is the FQ Monthly Subscription bundles that she handpicks herself. Each bundle includes 5 fat quarters and extra goodies. Here’s the fun January parcel I received.

Do you see those deep saturated hues and fun designs? All five prints are from the Florida collection designed by Sarah Watts of Ruby Star Society that I think Tammie paired masterfully. The whole package included these fat quarters with a prompt and interfacing to design your own masks and coupon code (for more fabric!). These designer fabrics come at a great discount when subscribing to the monthly orders.

Every month you’ll find new surprises added to the subscription bundles like quilt block patterns created specifically for Ivy Rayne subscribers only. You’re gonna love ’em!

Tammie has a wide range of manufacturers she works with so the fabrics offered in her shop come from well known companies like Moda, Ruby Star Society, Monaluna, Tula, Art Gallery Fabrics and more. Definitely check out her shop (support small!) and welcome her to the community.

So, is this January bundle part of the giveaway? Nope. Tammie was so kind to offer an extra generous 9 piece fat quarter fabric GIVEAWAY showcasing some more designer prints from Ivy Rayne. For you, we have the Modern Love Organic Poplin collection from Monaluna.

Ooooohhhh they are so cute! You can see the forest animals, florals, modern details drawn in blues, pink and a warm clay red. These lovelies are going to one lucky winner. The entry rules are super easy, just go to my Instagram account @linenbouquet for the instructions.

I personally like when giveaways are quick so hurry to enter before the deadline, January 21st.

One more thing, head over to Ivy Rayne Fabrics to see all products Tammie has in stock and sign up for the next curated FQ Monthly Subscription bundle. You will be so glad you did.

I must be off now, my new Florida fabrics are calling my name and I already have some ideas of what to make with them. 😉 Good luck friends!

with love, Jasmine

My “Holy Peace” Quilt, a Tilda Pattern

Hello there Friend!

What a relief to be in a new week. Last week was a bit of a dramatic political mess. I had to turn off the news stations and sit at my sewing machine to stay distracted from all the upheaval. God help our country!

Off to better news, I received a fantastic response on my first blog giveaway. As promised, a January Pincushion pattern is on it’s way via email to the giveaway winner. Thank you to all who now follow my blog. If you want to see the full pictures of my finished pinnie cushion go to my Instagram account and follow along with more behind the scenes pictures. I’ll have more on the “Year of Pincushions” series throughout the year.

Now, may I introduce to you a very special lady in my life? My Nana Carol. She’s a firey woman with a great sense of humor, a heart bigger than the state of California and a dear friend that listens to my silly ideas without ever cutting me down. My Nana has offered great comfort to me in times of personal distress. I’m so grateful for her.

As you already know by reading my first post, one of my intentions for the coming years is to make quilts for those I love and focus first on the older members of my family. I want them to know what they mean to me and the best way I know how to convey such a message is to create a handmade item. My Nana was the first one to pop into my mind.

She lives a state away and we don’t get to visit often. We have frequent chats that run on for hours because I want to know all the family insight, history and experiences she can share with me. I go to her with questions of God, life and purpose. Some deep conversations that roll into laughter. What I share with my Nana is quite personal, but I know that no matter how off the wall my comments are she never holds them against me. A friendship that has no judgement, I’m eternally grateful for.

As the years have gone on, my Nana is now struggling with her health. There are times where I wish I could do more to help lift her burdens but my abilities are limited. Could a handmade quilt bring any comfort? I don’t know but I’ll try it.

First was the decision of what pattern to make. There’s a vast range of quilt patterns I’ve had on my to-do list but I knew my Nana would not be interested in a modern design, nor a classic farm style quilt as she’s never showed any interest. That narrowed down my selection. The pattern needed to symbolize a message, one that I knew she could connect with. I was drawn to this Tilda’s World pattern, “Mosaic Birds Quilt” as the birds reminded me of white doves; which are the symbol of love, peace, and the Holy Spirit. My grandmother is a believer that loves the Bible and I knew she would appreciate it. Thus the name, “Holy Peace.”

Next was color scheme. This was a no brainer, my Nana has blues all throughout her home. My mosaic design had to be made with a wide range of blues, which is easy because it’s one of the colors I use often in my projects. A deep dive into my fabric stash and I was able to find some lovely Tilda blues along with Poppie Cotton, Art Gallery Fabrics, Riley Blake Designs, ummmm I can’t remember the rest but you get the picture. Lots of pretty blue fabrics.

The online pattern was easy to follow, I traditionally pieced 20 white dove blocks in a cinch. The large white bird pieces helped the blocks come together quickly. At this point I was quite proud of myself. With the the sashing in place I took a look at the quilt top and was… not happy at all. It was very obvious to me that the scrappy wide range of blues did not work out how I’d imagined and if I had more time I probably would have pulled it apart. With the short Christmas deadline, was no going back. I decided that the quilting would have to be reimagined to somehow blend the blues a little more. Would it even work?

While preparing to machine quilt I came to another roadblock, with our recent move I had misplaced my walking foot and could not quilt my sandwiched pieces. Freak out time! I had no choice but to start hand quilting, FAST! I had to meet my deadline and was down to a few weeks. To get the most stitches in each block I made a two inch grid design with a dark blue quilting thread on the blue base. It took longer but with every stitch I started to like the quilt top more and more.

The hand quilting completely saved my quilt. It really tied in the blues together and outlined the doves nicely. The hand quilting design on the doves was taken directly from the Tilda’s World pattern. I think it would have been a shame not to use their suggestion of feathers on the birds. Those Tilda designers are pretty smart.

My “Holy Peace” quilt was finished just in time to ship out for New Year’s. Haha! Not quite the Christmas deadline I hoped for but close enough and my Nana understands. I’m usually running a little behind anyway.

What really matters is that she knows it was made specially for her. I hope it brings her comfort and peace as she does to me.

What family member is next on my list? Stick around to find out.

with love, Jasmine

A Year of Techniques – Giveaway

Hello dear friend. Thank you for the love and support over this new blog. I was on pins and needles before publishing it, but you eased my nerves with your kindness.

I want to share with you a very exciting partnership I have with a quilty friend that I met in an unexpected way. One evening, while rushing to my daughter’s soccer practice I spotted a couple quilts laying on the grass in rich purple tones. Trying to play it cool, I smiled at the family sitting on them but really just wanted to get a better look at the quilts. It’s darn near impossible for a quilter to ignore such a thing. In my effort to not act like a creeper, I set my folding chair next to the family and casually asked, “Did you make those quilts?” Well needless to say, the conversation took off from chatting about the the two quilts to exchanging Instagram account information. It was pure serendipity! That other soccer mom was none other than the incredibly talented Felicia from Felicia’s World a quilt pattern designer.

When you meet a fellow quilter it’s like finding a soul sister. Not only did we connect over our love for the craft but now we’re partnering together and sharing with you some great sewing projects. One very exciting project is a series called, “Year of Pincushions,” a collection of monthly pincushion patterns that will offer seasonal and holiday designs. At the end of the full 12 months you will have expertly crafted pincushions, and the blocks will double as pieces of a complete mini quilt sampler. It’s going to be gorgeous!

January’s Pincushion pattern just released this past weekend. The pattern design is a winter wonderland using hexies in a smart snowflake layout with snow covered hills, tiny fir trees and quaint little cottages. You’re gonna love this pattern!

I feel incredibly lucky to test the patterns for this series and show them off here on my blog from time to time. My goal when sharing a pattern with you is to share the techniques used from my perspective. Felicia is a long time quilting pro that I look forward to learning from so I can pass along the information to you!

While dreaming up my vision for the January pincushion, I landed on a lovely assortment of Tilda fabrics which includes cottons from the Maple Farm, solids and chambray collections. You’ll notice a couple other fabrics thrown in to round out my color palette but I really tried to keep the colors non traditional and soft.

The top block which will also be used in the end of year mini quilt sampler, uses English paper piecing hexagons to form a delicate snowflake. To be honest I was a bit intimidated by the tiny hexies. I figured the small size would be difficult to sew but once they were basted onto the papers (using a glue stick and heavy book flatten), the snowflake was assembled in no time and they even kept their shape really well. Smaller project, less stitches! Whoohoo! Its a cinch to appliqué this beauty onto the dark blue chambray.

The technique that is new to me in this pincushion pattern is the needle turn appliqué. Yes, I admit I’m a needle turn newbie. Although the technique seems daunting, I’m pretty psyched to try it. Especially since I’ll be making these adorable snow capped cottages on the side panels. Eeeek! Learning new sewing techniques always excites me. My fave is when I get to sew by hand. This is a win, win!

So I’m gonna get to work on these tiny details and would love it if you joined me! Get your “Year of Pincushions” pattern here to sew along with Felicia and I. We have more details to come if you follow us on Instagram @Linenbouquet and @FeliciasWorldQuilting

An extra bonus for being my bloggy friend, I have one FREE January Pincushion pattern to offer here! Just enter your email to follow my blog posts and I will draw a name at the end of the week. Thanks again for being so great.

Hugs, Jasmine

Enter your email address to follow along with Jasmine and your chance to win the January Pincushion pattern!

Happy New Year, dear friend.

Happy New Year to you, dear friend. 

Last year did not treat us so kind but I remain hopeful. The New Year signifies more than days on a calendar, it’s a fresh start with opportunity on the horizon. One of my favorite new year makes was this embroidered pillow cover with a phrase that says beautifully, “all things become new.”

Hand embroidered pillow made Jan. 2019

For 2021, this is my wish for you and for me. Whatever the past year holds, let it stay there we don’t need to carry all the baggage with us. I plan to look ahead with deeper hope than ever. 

Here are some of the things I plan to be more mindful of in the New Year:

~ Sew more for my loved ones. Specifically extended family members like grandparents, aunts and uncles. If we’ve learned anything in 2020, it’s how important our family is, especially our elderly.

~ Doubt doubt. Quit listening to those pesky mosquitos that try to limit what I do through lies of doubt. I’ve had plans to blog for years. Ideas of patterns, tutorials, videos, fabric design collections, but why have I not done them? The doubt that I can’t do it somehow paralyzed me… no more. I’m done with the imagination of doubt and fear.

~ Do what I can, leave the rest alone. My thoughts can no longer be consumed with the frustration of things I cannot control. The turmoil of communities, government, extended family issues, toxic relationships, you get the picture. Why stress and worry? Instead I’ll take action on what I can, then pray the rest is in God’s hands. 

~ Enjoy the sweet moments. I’ve got three little ones that look to me daily for help. From school assignments to needlework, the girls want to learn how to do anything and everything. Those times of instruction can be a joy, a sweet moment where they have all of my attention. The days are moving quickly and it would be a shame to view these opportunities as a burden. Gosh, they’re not babies anymore. 

~ Uplift everyone. Use my blog, daily actions and interactions to uplift people with love. Kind words of love and truth. I really want to BE this type of person.

These are not New Year’s resolutions, they are views on life. I want to live the best life I can in the moments I’m given. Even the tiny insignificant ones that seem mundane. It may not seem like this should be the first post of a sewing blog, but that is oh so wrong. You see, anything made with a spirit of love is made well. Especially the handmade quilt that is to be quilted. Don’t you agree? I hope you’ll join me this year to let the bad stay in the past, and enjoy the good in the future where all things become new.

Is there anything you’re looking forward to in the new year? A mindset shift or project you can’t wait to make? I’d love to hear about it.

Hugs, Jasmine