Sunday, June 27, 2010

And The Winner Is.....

Via Random.Org....
Brooke's mommy!

Congratulations!!! Shoot me an email with your mailng address, and I'll get your prize out this week!

More giveaways to come soon - thanks for checking out The Josiah Foundation and Quilt for the Kids! The Quilt for the Kids blog will have some fun quilting tips and tricks, and a giveaway or two coming along, so don't forget about us over there!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The First Ever Distant Pickles GIVEAWAY!

Every rad crafty board has to have a giveaway now and again, right?

Not without listening to a little bit of droning first. Consider it one of those Tupperware parties. You don't get the free dish 'til you listen to me blab a bit. :)

Remember me asking about why you guys sew? What your purpose is? There was a secret motive (GASP!). This post is, without shame, to draw attention to something I think is a very worthy cause - The Josiah Foundation and Quilt for the Kids. If you poke over to the Quilt for the Kids blog, you'll see a familiar face - me! Quilt for the Kids is a driving force behind why I'm so involved with sewing. We've made a personal goal to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL to donate a total of FIFTY TWO handmade quilts this year. That's a HUGE goal, considering I'm the primary seamstress for the cause! Take a moment and peek over at the blog and check out the Josiah Foundation's website - you'll learn a lot about an amazing little boy and the impact his life is having on pediatric cancer patients across the nation!

Alright ladies and gents, today's prize pack is a trio of funky nature fat quarters. 3 fat quarters in total, quilting cotton weight.

How to win?
You've got a few chances!

For ONE entry - leave a comment telling me what your current project is.

For TWO entries - become a follower of Distant Pickles! If you already follow, remind me.

For another TWO - become a follower of Quilt for the Kids.

And ONE last try? Poke over to the Josiah Foundation website, and find me the name of the adoption agency they sponsor.

That's 6 chances in all - Leave a separate comment for each entry - if you want two for following, enter two separate comments, and make sure I have a way to contact the winner!

Commenting will be open until 12 midnight, EST on Saturday, June 26th - winner announced Sunday, June 27th!

Comments are now CLOSED. Winner announced soon!

Friday, June 18, 2010

What do you sew for?

Why do you guys sew? We've spent a bit of time teaching you guys what we do, but haven't had a chance to get to know our readers. I want to hear from you guys!

Who are you? What's your name? Where are you from?

What is it that makes you sew? Is it for the sense of accomplishment, doing something not everyone can do? It is relaxing? Is it work?

What inspires you? What is your general process?

I want some answers, folks!

Since we haven't told you much about us, aside from peeks at our fabrics and learning that I have a girl-crush on Francine, I'll start!

I'm Bree - and I reside in sunny Clearwater, Florida. I live about 2 miles from the beach... jealous? Don't be, I can't keep my hair from frizzing in the humidity, and I've learned that even toddlers sweat. I have an almost-two year old son at home!

Sewing for me has always been about creating something from nothing. I love being able to take a simple piece of fabric and mold it into something beautiful and useful. It's relaxing, and the hum of the machine is the most therapeutic noise in the world. Of course, the jamming of the machine is also the most infuriating noise in the world, so sometimes it's a wash on whether it's work or play!

I am inspired by color. Some quilters look at architecture, nature, geometry found in brickwork, and so on as their inspiration points. I admit that I find patterns from architecture and brickwork, but my primary inspiration is color. I have a jar of over 1000 buttons in my sewing space. I dump them onto my desk from time to time and just play with color combinations. When I find the right combination that just makes me happy in that moment, I base a quilt off the colors. I cannot live without color!

Let's hear about you guys... and coming soon, we'll be hosting our first giveaway, so stay tuned!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Alternative Binding Method

I've been asked about my binding method a couple of times - It's different from Julie's. I couldn't find any tutorials on it in blogland, so I snapped a few pictures while I was *finally* finishing up my Quilt Along quilt. (How terrible is it that I was behind on our own quilt along?! I know some of you guys are still working too!)

I use a double-fold bias tape approach to binding. I think this comes directly from using double-fold bias tape that was prepackaged when I first started. I was a little terrified of making my own binding! Though actually making it is not nearly as difficult as I originally thought, I still stick with the double-fold style.

One benefit to this method is that it uses smaller strips, so less fabric is required. The difference isn't much though - instead of 2.5 inch strips, you're going to cut them at 2". Join your strips as originally shown here. Another major benefit is that is available in pre-made packaging at Joann's! The packaged double fold bias tape is relatively inexpensive - under $2 for 3 yards - and saves oodles of ironing. Most every size of quilt except mini quilts require more than 1 package, so you'll have to join a couple strips together, but it's still much less work than making your own. Only negative? Prepackaged binding only comes in solid colors.

When it comes to folding and ironing your long strip of binding, however, we're going to do a little bit more folding than the original post shows. This part is admittedly a little bit more work! Remember how we created the straps on the Naptime Dress?

A refresher:
Finger press up 1/4 inch, then fold down the top side so your raw edges meet in the middle:

Fold inward so you are left with one skinny 1/4" piece, and press:

And there you have Double Fold Binding!

To attach to the quilt, you're actually going to unfold the whole thing. I know, I'm crazy, right? I just made you fold and press this giant long thing into a teensy weensy strip of binding and now I'm making you undo it. Haha!

Unfold and place your binding right side down onto your quilt top, so the top and binding are right sides together. Line up the edge of your binding with the trimmed edge of your quilt, and set yourself up with a 1/4" foot, or an all-purpose foot with a 1/4" edge. The fold lines still show in your binding, so use the fold line closest to the edge as a guide.

Leave yourself 6-8" of a tail before you start your stitching. All other components of the binding is the same - stitch all the way around, stopping in the corners to fold upwards and back down as shown in the original binding post. The only real part that is different is in how the binding is created as a double-fold instead of one large fold.

Once you've reached the end of your binding and all is fully attached by machine, you'll go ahead and flip around to hand sew. The pre-pressed lines again provide a guide for you - the second line closest to the edge is going to be right on the edge of your quilt, and the remaining raw edge will be tucked under on the other side when you hand sew. Your hand sewing line will be done on the last pre-pressed line.