Saturday, June 21, 2014

Sewing Apps- So Helpful!

I finally got an  iPhone in the spring (for my birthday) and I just have this to say about it.....What took me so long?!  I have had an iPad for a couple of years and loved it but it is just a bit heavy to carry with me all the time so all those cool apps are usually on my desk at home instead of in my purse.  So today, I thought that I would share some fun sewing apps that I have found helpful.  My absolute favorite so far is this quilting calculators app from Robert Kaufman.

This is an essential app for the mathematically challenged quilter like me!  The calculators include fabric measurement, backing and battings, piece count, pieces to yardage, bindings, border yardage, square in a square and set in corner triangles.  And the best part?  They actually tell you how to use each calculator and it is FREE!  You can also link directly to the RK site so you can keep up with the newest releases and have access to neat free patterns like this....

and this....

I also like this one from Schmetz needles.

It includes detailed info on each kind of needle including features and fabric use, has a thread sizing guide, and even directions on how to open the package....I think most of us have figured that one out :).
This app from Superior Threads is neat:

 Although I don't use Superior Threads exclusively, this site is has some helpful info like: calculating how much thread is needed for quilting a quilt, thread reference guides, understanding tension and a quilting chart that helps in planning block sizes for twin to king size quilts.

I found this app called BlockFabHD that looks pretty interesting.

It helps to calculate the amount of fabric needed to make over 70 different quilt blocks in just about whatever size you choose.  It also lets you choose from a variety of colors so that you can actually have an idea of what your block might look like and gives layout views.

Of course, all of the quilt magazines offer their publications as apps but I am still old school and like to hold a real magazine in my you can't fold down the corners of the pages that you like in an app!

Finally, I do have the My Bernina Accessories app.

 It helps me to keep track of what feet I own...they are too pricey to buy in multiples.  My favorite part of this app is the "What's New" button that tells about new products and also has webinars and technique videos.  I know that Janome and Brother have apps similar to this so check to see if your brand of machine offers an app.
Keep me posted if you find apps that are helpful to those of us with a passion for sewing.  I will be happy to pass them along!


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Quick and Easy Projects from around the Web.

I don't know about you, but when the weather is beautiful, I like to be outside.  I do have a hard time giving up sewing so I like to have some quick projects on hand.  This way I can sew a little each day and still get outside to enjoy the sunshine.  Here are some goodies that I thought you might enjoy.....

I love these little book mark corners.  You can make them out of a charm square or other scrap.  Wouldn't they be cute tucked into a graduation card?  You can get the directions at  

I love upcycling and recycling so these garden gloves that are made from an old sweatshirt are awesome.  No pattern needed!  You can make these in minutes!  Check out the directions at latelyreconstructed.

Speaking of about using an old sweater for a hotpad? I wish that I had thought of this one!
You can make one in no time with directions from maidenjane.

Last but not least, I found these cute pattern weights.  I'm thinking these would be neat treats for my sewing buddies.  They would also be great bean bags for future fun with my little nephews! Get the pattern at zaaberry and make a bunch of these before you head out to weed the garden!  


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Garden Inspiration for Pillows and Wallhangings

Sorry that I haven't written in a while but I have been taking advantage of the beautiful weather to work outside in my gardens.  Gardening is my second favorite after sewing so today I am going to show you a way to bring a bit of your garden inside.  Actually this project could use any photograph...I just love pictures of flowers so that is what I am using.

One of my gardens- waiting for the lilies to bloom!
The idea for this project started when my daughter-in-law told me about a cool App called Waterlogue. This is a photography app that draws and paints your photographs so that they look like water colors.
I started with a photograph of my tulips.  Aren't they pretty?

Then I opened the app and chose the photo from my photo library.  Magically it starts to draw and fill in the colors.  It's fun to watch!

And....voila!  The finished work.  It only takes seconds!

Then I sent the image my printer which I had loaded with printable fabric.  I used a June Tailor product but there are lots of paper backed fabrics out there designed for printers.

Next step?  Add some borders and make this cutey into a wallhanging or pillow.  Not into gardening?  How about a favorite landmark or even your own house....
This is a landmark....not my house!
Waterlogue is well worth the $2.99 price in my opinion.  Photo quilts were all the rage a few years ago...this app gives us a chance to turn some of our favorite photos into pretty artistic pieces.  I will share my tulip pillow with you as soon as I have it finished....I'm going to love having tulips in my sewing room all year long!