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Entries in Home Dec. (32)

Easy Piecing


I spent an evening recently with one of the owners of MD, Michelle. In her living room was a stunning patchwork pillow. When I asked about it, she mentioned using Nancy Zieman's Lone Star template and techniques and how easy it was.

Trace 'n Creat Quilt templates

Oh yeah...I had been eyeing that at Bolt! Tucked over with rulers, this unassuming wonder had caught me eye recently. I was especially intrigued considering how gift-making season is upon us. I have to be honest about myself as a quilter--I'm no math wizard. In fact, I downright hate all that nitty-gritty technical thinking and planning. If someone can do the hard part (aka math), well then all the better. With such a traditional shape, I think playing around with highly graphic or super contemporary prints help make this seem fresh. Bolt still has some of Jay McCarroll's Habitat line, which I think would be totally awesome and I am super tempted to pick a few cuts to make another. Because it was, in fact, easy piecing.

To start playing around, I pulled some solids from my stash in various shades of red and purple. I used this Kaffe Fassett print to help inform the selection. People (including myself!) love his sense of color and pattern and the selection at the store right now does not disappoint! 

choosing fabrics

Deciding layout is key, and for this particular exercise I plan to either lay matching colors together or color-wheel them around the star. To be determined! I figured I could start with the intial piecing and decide later.


There are multiple sizes on the templates so no need to choose one and trace. They're all right there every time! Cut a strip the dimension requested and use the template to mark and sub-cut into the size and shape needed.

marking using template

This "no pivoting" method means constructing only with straight lines. As with all quilting, seam allowance and proper pressing are key to ensuring seam lines meet up.

No pivot piecing

I'm hoping this will be worthy enough to give to either my sister-in-law or HER sister, both of whom I'll be seeing this holiday season. Maybe I'll love it so much, it'll stay on my couch! 

What's new


I'm so excited!  When I walked in the store yesterday to snap my pics for this post I was overjoyed (really, I do get quite giddy over fabric) to see all these big, beautiful rolls from the Outside Oslo line by Jessica Jones.  Even though the line was available a while back, I thought it best to wait until we had a little more room.  The line is printed on a canvas, making it the perfect fabric for upholstery and other home dec projects as well  as bags, like that awesome Carpet Bag that Meredith is teaching!

 Whats new 9.20.11 005

We've also received in quite a few different patterns in the past week, including the brand-spankin'-new Colette and Oliver + S designs.  Two new pattern lines to the store are apparel patterns, Sewaholic by Tasia up in BC and Sarah Jane embroidery patterns.  We'll be expanding our "embroidery center" soon with more thread choices.  Stay tuned!

Whats new 9.20.11 006 

Home Making: Alabama Studio Style and Made at Home



There is a whiff of home improvement in the air come August in Portland. Folks like to get things done while there's still a bit of summer left. While scraping and painting our exterior trim is on our list, I'm just as happy (well-- MORE happy) to accomplish some sprucing inside the house.

Lisa Stickley's Made at Home

Lisa Stickley's Made at Home

We recently got in Lisa Stickley's, Made at Home: a Guide to Simple Sewing (North Light Books). I picked it up initially because I liked Lisa's drawings as they reminded me a little of Lauren Child's Charlie and Lola books (which I also really like). The 30 plus projects are lovely-- simple enough for those of us starting out and full of ideas for those of us looking for inspiration. Lisa details the differences between a cafe curtain and how to sew a proper drape. My favourite projects include an ottoman and a door "draft excluder" shaped like an alligator. Lisa is an accomplished textile and surface designer based in London.

Alabam Chanin Studio Style

Alabam Chanin Studio Style

Alabam Chanin Studio Style

Alabama Studio Style has been here for a while, but I'm not sure we gave it the attention it deserved. This is Natalie Chanin's follow up book to Alabama Stitch Book, and includes more detailed garment construction and detail, but also quite a few stunning home dec projects. I now have the urge to string a new chair, re-cover all my pillows with super soft jersey, and stencil AND SEW onto my coffee table. This book goes farther tha Alabama Stitch in explaining texture and detailing fabric printing and dying, in addition to more patterns and stencil designs.

But we're just getting started-- Bolt carries a stack of books to get you going on everything from slipcovering your sofa to upcycling failed fabric projects into beautiful and useful things for your home.