Blog Posts Tagged ‘organic fabric’

Hi everybody! Wow, this summer has flown by. Wasn’t it just spring?? I got to do a lot of little short trips this summer, along with a couple longer ones, which were so fun, but also made the time seem to speed by even faster. Now the girl is back in school, the tomato plants are starting to brown, and my thoughts are turning to quilts.

 

Months ago, I shared an image of a modified star quilt I made using our (then) new Magical Creatures collection of organic cotton poplins. I got so much great feedback, and a number of people asked for the pattern, or at least for quantities, so that they could make one. But of course, when I’m improv quilting to a deadline, I tend not to keep track of pesky things like the amount of each fabric I’m using, so recreating the pattern was a little trickier that it first seemed. Luckily, Mindy came to my rescue and recreated it for me. Here’s her tutorial. Thanks, Mindy!

 

Magical Creatures Quilt

finished size: 55.5” x 42” (lap/crib size)

Note: We are providing instructions to make the quilt exactly as shown, but feel free to play around with different combinations! You should have enough fabric left over to cut more pieces if needed.

 

Fabric required:

Magical Creatures fat quarter bundle

1 2/3 yd white background fabric

1 3/4 yd backing fabric

1/2 yd binding fabric

Other supplies:

quilt batting, cotton thread, rotary cutter, ruler, and mat

 

Cut the following:

Cut from Unicorn Dreams:

4 4 1/2” squares

1 2” square

Cut from Scales:

4 4 1/2” squares

4 2 1/2” squares

3 6” squares

Cut from Forest Flowers:

5 4 1/2” squares

4 2 1/2” squares

1 6” square

Cut from There Be Dragons:

4 4 1/2” squares

Cut from Mermaid Party:

5 4 1/2” squares

1 2” square

Cut from Dots Pink:

3 4 1/2” squares

2 6” squares

1 2” square

Cut from Dots Lavender:

4 4 1/2” squares

4 2 1/2” squares

4 6” squares

1 2” square

Cut from Checkmark:

4 4 1/2” squares

4 2 1/2” squares

4 6” squares

1 2” square

Cut from Shards:

3 4 1/2” squares

8 2 1/2” squares

4 6” squares

1 2” square

Cut from the white background fabric:

5-2” WOF (width of fabric) strips for borders

6-2” WOF (width of fabric) strips for sashing, subcut into 17-2” x 12 1/2” strips

18-6” squares

24-4.5” squares

24-2.5” squares

 

Sewing instructions:

This quilt has two types of blocks: a nine patch and a star block.

Nine Patch

Each nine patch uses nine 4 1/2” squares – 5 with prints and 4 white.

Lay out the squares in three rows, alternating prints and background, and starting with a print.

Using a 1/4” seam, sew the squares into three rows of three, and press the seams toward the printed fabric. Join the rows, nesting the seams for nicely matched seams. Press the row seams to either side or open.

Make six of these blocks.

We used these print combinations:

Dots Lavender, There Be Dragons, Scales, Mermaid Party, Forest Flowers

Unicorn Dreams, Scales, Shards, Dots Pink, Dots Lavender

Checkmark, Forest Flowers, Dots Pink, There Be Dragons, Unicorn Dreams

Dots Lavender, Mermaid Party, Scales, Checkmark, Dots Pink

Scales, Forest Flowers, Checkmark, Mermaid Party, Shards

Forest Flowers, Checkmark, There Be Dragons, Dots Lavender, Shards

 

Star Blocks

First make half square triangles using the 8-at-a-time method. Lay out a printed 6” square, right side up. Place a white 6” square on top and mark the 6” white squares with diagonal lines going from corner to corner, crossing each other in an X.

Stitch 1/4” on each side of the drawn lines.

Cut the squares in half lengthwise and crosswise, and cut on the marked diagonal lines. Press the seams open to avoid bulky seam intersections. Trim the half square triangles down to 2 1/2” squares.

Now you can start assembling the star blocks. Lay out the blocks as shown:

Sew the blocks into pairs, press seams open, sew the pairs together into 2×2 blocks (4-patches), and press seams open. Trim 4 patches to 4 1/2” if needed.

 

Lay out the squares into a nine patch as shown. Sew into rows of three, press seams open, sew the rows together, and press the seams open. 

We used the following print combinations (listed as center square, star points, triangles, corner arrows):

Unicorn Dreams, Dots Lavender, Checkmark, Shards (shown in photo)

Mermaid Party, Scales, Dots Lavender, Checkmark

There Be Dragons, Checkmark, Shards, Scales

Mermaid Party, Checkmark, Scales, Shards

Unicorn Dreams, Dots Pink, Dots Lavender, Forest Flowers

Forest Flowers, Dots Pink, Shards, Dots Lavender

Lay out the quilt into rows, starting with a star block, and alternating with nine patches. Lay out the 2”x12 1/2” sashing strips and 2” square cornerstones between the blocks. Sew the blocks and sashing strips into rows, and sew the sashing strips and cornerstones into rows. Press seams. Sew the rows together, and press seams.

Cut 2-2” WOF strips to the width of the quilt for the borders. Sew the borders to the edges of the short ends of the quilt and press the seams. Piece together 2-2” WOF strips to the length of the quilt (with the short borders sewn on). Sew the final two borders to the long edges of the quilt. 

The quilt top is now finished! Quilt and bind as desired, and enjoy!!

Simple Water Bottle Sling

Summer officially hit hard here a couple of weeks ago, and I needed a little refresher on heat-management. We don’t have air-conditioning in our house, so once it gets hot, we get into a routine of opening all the windows in the evening when it cools down (which it usually does here in the Bay Area), and then closing them all and drawing the curtains once it gets warmer outside than in, around 9 am. I also had to change my lunchtime hike habit to one where I got my outside exercise earlier or later, when the sun wasn’t as hot. And I needed to bring water. Which has always been a challenge for me because I hate carrying things when I hike, and didn’t really need a backpack for my 90 minute excursions. So, as I was heading out on one particularly hot day, I took a pause to sew this little water bottle sling. It took me about 1 1/2 hours, but I was figuring it out as I went, and I used some of our new Terrarium organic fabric (from the Saturday Collection) paired with organic hemp muslin that we have in the shop. It worked perfectly! I think it would be even better with an added pocket, which you could easily add. Here’s the simple tutorial. 

SIMPLE WATER BOTTLE SLING TUTORIAL


Fabric and Notions

-1/3 yard sturdy fabric for bottom, base and strap (I used the hemp muslin for this, but you could also interface quilting cottons, or use a canvas, denim or similar heavier fabric.

-1 10×13″ piece of printed fabric for top (poplin, quilting cotton or canvas works great)

-1 small scrap of interfacing or stabilizer (can be an extra scrap of fabric)

-1 long ribbon, cord or scrap of fabric to make the tie, 24″+

-Eyelets or grommets (or you can just sew two buttonholes)

Cut Pieces

Bottom: Cut 1 4″ circle (I used a wide-mouth mason jar as a template, giving 1/2 of space around the edge)

Base: Cut 1 5×13″ rectangle

Top: Cut 1 10×13″ rectangle

Strap: Cut 1 5×34″ rectangle (Note: this size worked for me as a comfortable cross-body length. However, because the strap won’t be adjustable, use a measuring tape or measure a string to 34″ and make sure this size works for you. If not, adjust accordingly.

Procedure

  1. Sew the strap: with right sides facing, sew the long edge of the strap with a 1/2″ seam allowance to form a long tube. Turn and press. If you’re not familiar with tube-turning, a chopstick or other turning tool can help with this. I have one that looks like this.
  2. Join base to top: with right sides facing, sew your base fabric to your top fabric along the 13″-inch edge. Open and press the seam down toward the base. Then, on the right side of the fabric, topstitch 1/8″ from the seam on the base side, securing the seam allowance in the stitching. This will strengthen the seam and keep the seam allowance pinned in place.
  3. Create fold lines for later step: at the top edge, fold the edge 1/4″ to wrong side and press, and then 1 additional inch and press, creating a channel. Do not sew yet (this will make it easier when you get to that step).
  4. Create the tube: with right sides facing, sew the side edges with a 1/2″ seam allowance to form a tube. Press seam open.
  5. Sew the tube to the bottom circle (including one end of the strap in the seam): with wrong sides of the side tube out, slip one end of the strap inside the tube and center it over the side seam at the lower edge, matching raw edges. Then, sandwich the strap between the lower edge of the side tube and an edge of the bottom circle and pin in place. Continue matching the lower edge of the side tube to the edge of the circular base with right sides facing and pin all the way around. Stitch with a 1/2″ seam allowance.
  6. Insert grommets, eyelets or buttonholes: using water-soluble ink or chalk, mark the center front by flattening tube and marking opposite center back. Apply fusible interfacing or stabilizer the the center front, just under the second fold line. This is where you will insert 2 parallel grommets or eyelets, or sew 2 small parallel buttonholes, to accommodate the tie. I used a grommet kit that I had on hand (probably purchased from Joann’s). The first time I tried, the grommets pulled out because I was using lighter fabric and hadn’t used stabilizer, so don’t skip this step if using grommets on lighter fabric.)
  7. Sew the channel (including top edge of strap): Once your grommets are inserted just below the second fold line, with wrong side of the sling out, fold the top to the wrong side along the 1/4″ line, then again along the second fold to form the channel. Pin in place. Being careful not to twist strap, pull the loose edge up and slip it underneath the lower edge of the channel, centered over the side seam of the tube, and pin in place. Stitch close to the lower edge of the channel, making sure to catch the strap in the seam. Turn the sling right side out and topstitch the upper edge of the channel over the strap to hold in place.
  8. Make the tie (optional): if you are not using pre-made ribbon or cord, cut a long, 1″ wide strip of fabric that coordinates with your print. Mine was about 36″, but it should be at least 24″. Fold each long edge 1/4″ to wrong side, so that edges meet at the center. Press. Fold the strip in half the long way so that the edges are encased and the strip is now about 1/4″ wide. Stitch close to the open edge. This will be your tie.
  9. Using a small safety pin, thread the ribbon/cord/tie through one grommet, around the channel and out the other grommet. Tie knots at each end of the tie.
  10. Fill up your water bottle, sling it on your back and get out there!

Saturday Organic Fabric by Monaluna

Our new Saturday collection has arrived! The fresh fabrics finally landed at our warehouse on Monday, and we’re busily shipping them out to shops and designers who have been patiently waiting while they made their slllooooowwww progress through customs. I’m so excited to get to work making with these fabrics! It’s a funky little group of designs that all evoke for us a relaxed, creative weekend vibe.

Saturday Organic Fabric Patchwork

These designs have all been printed on our premium organic poplin, which is our most versatile substrate. It’s wonderful for quilting, adding a smoother, softer hand than traditional quilting cotton, and it also works beautifully for many apparel projects, pillows, tote bags and all kinds of other sewing projects. As always, the fabric is 100% GOTS-certified organic, which means that the farming and production processes meet very strict environmental and social standards. If you’d like to read more about the certification details, you can view the guidelines here.

We had a chance to work on some patchwork projects like the quilt and pillow above, and this Market Bag (by Noodlehead) using the small amount of sample fabric that we had before the shipment arrived, but now I’m ready to get to work on some more projects. I started a cute wrap skirt using the Cruise print (bicycles!) and the mustard Shards print, and I’m going to try a Sutton Blouse (by True Bias) with the Terrariums. What would you guys make from these prints? If you’d like to see more, you can hop over to our website to view the full collection, or place your order!

 

 

Magical Creatures Organic Fabric by Monaluna

I spent the better part of yesterday unpacking our newest collection, Magical Creatures, and I am so excited it’s here! It’s been a long time coming – we had to switch mills due to the tariffs, and that set everything back a bit, so what already seems like a long process was even longer. The fabrics look great, though, and it always makes me so happy to see the bright and shiny bolts stacked up neatly on our warehouse shelves.

 

This collection is a bit of a departure from the last few, like Journey and Wanderlust, which used watercolor and indigo ink, and were inspired by my (real) trips and experiences in the Southwest. The new group is whimsical and imaginary, with cheery colors and images of unicorns, dragons and mermaids that would set my 4th-grade heart a-flutter. I’m hoping they will instill the same excitement in some current-day 4th graders, and rekindle it in you grown-up 4th-graders out there.

 

Despite the mill change, the fabric is our standard premium poplin weave, and is, as always, 100% GOTS-certified organic. I’ve had some questions lately about whether this fabric is best for quilting or apparel, and the answer is, both! I find this substrate to be a wonderful quilt weight – more tightly woven and smoother than standard quilt-weight fabric – but also excellent for crisp garments like shirts, skirts and dresses. It’s a wonderfully versatile fabric. Here are a couple images of garments I’ve made with the fabric (the Ayashe shirt by Figgy’s, a made-up pattern by me, and Monaluna’s Skater Shirt pattern, L to R), and I’ll have some images of a lovely Magical Creatures quilt shortly!

 

Magical Creatures by Monaluna

Back to School in Simple Life Canvas by Monaluna

 

There’s just something about fall. Even long after I finished school (and before I had a kid of my own going off to class), as soon as the weather turned cool I would start to think about stocking up on writing supplies, sweaters, and the perfect backpack to carry everything in. This year, we decided to stitch up a little School Days set, including an awesome backpack, a lunch tote and a pencil case, using our organic Simple Life Canvas and Poplin.

 

For the pencil case, we used a free tutorial by Anna Graham that we found posted on her Noodlehead blog. It’s the perfect size and shape to hold your pencils and pens, and any other small trinkets you want to keep from getting lost in the bottom of the backpack.

 

Pencil Case in Simple Life Organic Canvas by Monaluna

 

Mindy stitched it up using Rosa Canvas and Herringbone Canvas on the outside, with a nice pop of On Point Poplin for the lining.

 

Pencil Case made with Simple Life Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

The lunch box is the Chubby Lunch Tote free pattern from the SewCanShe blog. There’s so much great stuff on that blog, but this project popped out as the perfect petite but roomy carryall for lunches.

 

Lunch Tote in Simple Life Organic Poplin by Monaluna

 

We used Hydrangea from the Simple Life Poplin collection, with accents and lining in On Point. The zipper used on both projects is a really sturdy and nice organic cotton and metal one that we carry in the shop.

 

 

Finally, the backpack is the Range Backpack, also by Anna Graham from Noodlehead, and available for sale in her shop. I absolutely love all the details and functionality of this pack, and the finished product looks super professional.

 

Range Backpack in Simple Life Canvas by Monaluna

 

Instead of the usual flap, the top of the pack folds over and fastens with a d-ring closure. It has a nice zippered pocket on the front, and in interior pocket as well, plus adjustable straps and a loop for hanging. Pretty much the perfect backpack! Mindy stitched this one up in the Hydrangea Canvas with Herringbone accents, and On Point Poplin for the lining.

 

Range Backpack in Simple Life by Monaluna

 

Altogether they make the cutest little set of back-to-school (or off-to-work) gear! It almost makes me want to go register for some classes…

We just got home from Quilt Market in Portland, and we had such a great time! There’s always so much to see, and so many of our quilty friends to catch up with, that it goes by in a blur. This time we were buying for the shop too, so it was even a bit busier than usual. I thought I’d share some photos of our booth, as well as a few peeks at all the awesome creativity we saw there.

 

Monaluna Quilt Market Booth - Portland Quilt Market 2018

 

Our booth was decked out with glimpses of our new Magical Creatures and Saturday collections, as well as lots of cute Journey samples, including an awesome May Chappel Blooming Dresden quilt that Janet Johnson stitched up, and Kathy August quilted. So pretty!

 

Monaluna Quilt Market Booth - Spring Quilt Market 2018

 

We introduced two new collections at this market, Magical Creatures and Saturday, and they both got great responses! They won’t be in stock until October (Magical Creatures) and February (Saturday), but I’ll have them up on the website to view next week. Until then, here’s a little peek:

 

 

 

I didn’t take nearly as many photos as I’d intended, but those that I did were all nicely coordinated: I was clearly into rainbows! And rich, saturated color. As usual, I was really drawn to the wool felt (coming soon to a Monaluna shop near you).

 

Sadly, I neglected to match this vendor to the gorgeous samples I photographed. Can anyone help me out with the company name on these felt samples? So pretty!

 

This was the “Village for All Seasons” quilt by Karen Eckmeier. Ahhmazing.

 

The Tula Pink booth, one of our neighbors. I cannot get over her gorgeous palette. And the fabrics and quilts, of course!!

 

A paper pieces quilt, made with Tula fabric.

 

There was so, so much more to see, and you should jump on instagram and search for #quiltmarket or #quiltmarket2018 for more!

Journey Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

Our new Journey collection arrived last week, and we’ve been busy unpacking (so many boxes!), repacking, photo-shooting and shipping orders out to shops and designers all over the world. It seems like we wait and wait for the new collections to arrive, and then once they land there’s so much to be done! I still have a lot of samples to sew, mainly patchwork and some adult apparel projects, but we were able to get some great kidswear pieces finished in time for our little photoshoot last weekend. We got some of our favorite kids to show them off for us!

 

Journey Organic Fabric by MonalunaJourney Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

Stylistically, this collection is a continuation of our Wanderlust collection that we introduced 2 years ago. It is inspired by the Southwest (and specifically, a time I found myself in Arizona years ago – you can read the story here), and has lots of cacti and succulents, coyote, blackbirds and indigo painted steer skulls. The palette includes warm corals and pinks, and a range of blues, which for me evokes the play of light and shadows on sandstone cliffs.

 

 

Like all of our collections, this range is GOTS-certified organic, which ensures that every stage of production meets strict environmental and social standards. The cotton is farmed without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, and there are no harmful chemicals used in the processing or finishing. Also, it’s fair trade. 🙂 The certification covers a lot – you can read the full description here.

 

Journey Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

The collection includes 12 prints on our premium organic poplin, and we also have 7 prints (plus our warm white solid) on our lightweight organic cotton lawn. Both substrates are great for quilting, as well as all sorts of apparel and home projects. The lawn is especially nice for spring and summer-weight dresses, skirts and blouses, but I will say that one of my favorite quilts is made entirely from our wanderlust lawn and is so soft and cozy!

 

Journey Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

Because we only release a limited number of collections each year, I always try to make sure that there’s a good range of prints that will work for a variety of projects and wearers. This collection hits that mark pretty well, I think, with prints that work for kids as well as adults, and some good boy prints, too (I hear you!). I have a few projects picked out to sew for myself – I just need to fit in a little selfish sewing one of these weekends!

 

Journey Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

Journey Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

Coyote Moon Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

Journey Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

Journey Organic Fabric by Monaluna

Our new Journey collection is on the way! It’s scheduled to land at port on February 21st, and we’ll have it in stock as soon as it makes its (sometimes slow) way through customs. Perfect for spring, the collection includes 11 prints on our premium organic cotton poplin, and 6 prints on our light and drapey organic cotton lawn.

 

This collection is a partner to our Wanderlust collection from Spring, 2016, and follows the theme of Southwestern imagery, with succulents and cacti, coyote and blackbirds, and even a desert night sky, as seen in the Moon Phase print. The collections were inspired by an unexpected two week adventure I had in Arizona years ago, and you can read the story about that trip here.

 

 

I’ve been itching to work with the sample fabric that we received a couple weeks ago, and have projects in mind from quilts to summer dresses, and even some summer-weight, rolled edged scarves from the new lawn prints. I got a little start this morning, and am planning to carve out some stitching time over the long weekend. Here are a few projects that I made from the strike-offs before market. They were perfect for scraps and small pieces, and I love the way the colors worked together, but I’m looking forward to some garment projects too. I’ll let you know when we have them in stock!

 

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Happy (almost) Valentines Day! I’ve been itching to work on some fun Valentines projects the last couple of weeks, but my weekends have been taken up with a more daunting project: we’re building a chicken coop! Of course, I thought that project would take only the last Saturday in January, but instead it’s dragged on and taken up the better part of the last few weekends. Still, it’s been fun, and it’s going to be an awesome chicken palace for our girls. (Photos coming soon… :)) So instead, I’m going to mine the blog and revive some oldie but goodie project ideas for you.

 

Last year, I came across a tutorial for this little bag on Gingercake, and stitched it up using a variety of pink organic fabric scraps from our Bloom and Haiku collections. It’s quick and easy, and makes a super cute Valentines gift for little girls. You can get our Valentines 2018 bundle with these fabrics and more on our website here.

Patchwork Heart Bag

 

Several years ago, I got crafty with the Valentines and made these little fabric cards. They are really fun to make, and can be as simple or as intricate as you like (or, in my case, have time for). Anabelle was just little when she got this one, and I still find it on her bookcase or in with her dolls, and it’s nice to have an enduring sentiment. My husband like his, too. You can see the tutorial on the blog here.

 

 

 

When I was a kid, my mom would always make these amazing Petit Cherry Cheese Tarts for Valentines Day. They were one of the highlights of my childhood. Apparently, my grandmother was the one who made them originally, and the recipe calls for tart Michigan cherries, which were easy to come by in Michigan, where she lived. I’ve found them to be more elusive in the Bay Area, so this year I tried to make them with Oregon Dark Sweet Cherries. They’re still delicious, but the color came out more purple, and lacked the bright flavor of the tart cherries. I’m going to continue my search for a source, but I realized I could get the right cherries on Amazon, so now I know where to go if I can’t find them locally next year. The full recipe is on the blog here. 

 

At the very end of November, amidst the holiday hubbub and retail busy-ness, our beautiful new Simple Life Knits arrived in the shop. Now that we’re revving up our spring sewing, it’s time to give them the spotlight! These beauties are unlike anything we’ve carried before – all the luxurious softness of our Anya Knits, but with 6% spandex, which makes them extra stretchy and perfect for active and play wear. They’re jersey knit, so they’ve got the drape and the characteristic curl, and they’re 100%, GOTS-certified organic fabric!

 

 

One of the really lovely aspects of these knits is their generous width – at 63-64 inches, you have plenty to work with, and a little yardage goes a long way. The prints are crisp and graphic with a bit of a Scandinavian vibe, for modern projects that span all age groups. The collection also includes 3 versatile solids that coordinate perfectly.

 

 

The medium weight of the Simple Life Knits makes it suitable for sewing projects all year long. It makes an ideal warm weather T-shirt, but can also be stitched into a snuggly wrap. They’re great for babywear and kids clothes as well as active dresses, skirts and even yoga pants. Here’s to a new year full of made-by-you cozy, comfy clothes!