Crafts, Home Decor

Shibori Indigo Dyed Napkins

Last week, I shared a zipper pouch that I made using the shibori indigo fabric I dyed. We also dyed a bunch of other things, including some cloth napkins and fabric yardage. Once the dye is mixed, you can use it for several yards of fabric, so we tried to get as much use out of it as possible.

Since we made the indigo dyeing a family project, I wanted to let the kids experiment with folding small pieces of fabric into different patterns. I found some packages of white cotton dinner napkins, perfect for dyeing. I ordered 2 packages, so we had 24 napkins to dye. They absorbed the dye well and were perfect for experimenting!

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

You can see we had a variety of patterns. I like how the napkins are all unique, but work together as a set. We gave some as gifts but kept most of them to replace the worn out cloth napkins I made several years ago.

Overall, the cloth napkins were perfect for indigo dyeing as a family. They are inexpensive, practical, and perfect for experimenting with shibori folding techniques.

We used and recommend this Indigo dye kit! I have a few more details about it in the Shibori Indigo Zipper Pouch post.

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Sewing

Tessellation Quilt Finish

At the end of 2015, I had just one lingering project that I wanted to finish. Remember my Tessellation quilt? I finally finished quilting it, right before Christmas…and it only took me 16 months!

Tessellation Quilt Finish | Radiant Home Studio

Last year Sara at Sew Sweetness hosted a Tessellation Quilt sew-along. It’s been quite a while since then. I finished my quilt top in about 5 weeks and I was so excited! Since the entry for the sew-along only had to be a finished top, I set aside the quilt for a few weeks to work on some other projects. Sometime late last Fall (still over a year ago), I pin basted the quilt layers together and started quilting.

Tessellation Quilt Finish | Radiant Home Studio

My original plan was to quilt along the diagonals in both directions, following the edges of the triangles. I stitched a few rows and decided that I really preferred tighter quilting. Once I started, I had to finish that way. Thus the year of sewing tiny lines in between the other projects I was making. The quilting lines are between 1/4″ and 1/2″ apart. I didn’t even try to space them precisely. In fact, I purposely stitched at different intervals to make casual looking lines.

Tessellation Quilt Finish | Radiant Home Studio

I’ve made a couple of baby quilts and pieced duvet covers, but this is the first legitimate quilt I have pieced, layered, quilted, and bound myself. I love the result, but I learned a few things about myself and quilts while I was working on this.

1. This quilt pattern recommended fabrics that read as solids. I knew I had some prints that were busier than what was recommended, but I thought there were more “solid” fabrics than there actually were. I couldn’t see this until I finished the top, but now I understand what the pattern meant. I also see that color is more important than anything else in quilting, particularly with a design like this.

2. Quilting is still not my favorite. Small projects are fun. Paper piecing was better than cutting individual pieces. This year I experimented with more improvisational quilting on smaller projects. I also watched an inspiring CreativeLive class where Cheryl Arkison explained several different improv quilting techniques. With my tendency to improvise on patterns, I think that’s going to be my true quilting love if I have one.

3. I’d love to make a quilt for my bed, but I’m planning to outsource the actual quilting. I’m sure some people enjoy the quilting. I was bored. Probably another reason why the quilting took me over a year.

4. Though it took forever, finishing the quilt is one of the most satisfying projects of my year. I am glad that I challenged myself to do something new and I appreciate the lessons learned from it.

Tessellation Quilt Finish | Radiant Home Studio

Currently, the quilt is residing on the back of my couch, adding a handmade touch and a much needed pop of color to my white living room!

Did you finish any big, satisfying projects in 2015?

p.s. If you are curious about the fabrics and pattern, you can find more information in this post.

I’m sharing my post in the link-up at Sew Can She.

Patterns, Sewing

Mini Highland House Pattern

I made you a gift! Last week I released the Highland Avenue House pillow pattern. While I was sewing my big houses, I thought it would be fun to make some small ones too. I have several small house projects pinned on my crafty Pinterest boards, but I haven’t seen any with quite like this. The scallop detail, roofline, and heart appliqué make it unique. Plus, you can customize it easily with different embroidery techniques and fun trims. I think the mini houses would make really cute Christmas decorations too!

Mini Highland House Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

Sign up for my monthly newsletter and I’ll send you access to my FREE resource page, which includes the Mini Highland House Pattern and more! I share more personal updates and sneak peeks of upcoming projects and patterns with my subscriber friends. I also include a recap of my posts for the month and a list of the most inspiring sewing, craft, and mothering articles that I have collected to share with you! It’s the kind of letter that makes you want to curl up on the couch with a cup of tea while you browse through the inspiring projects and encouraging articles.

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Mini Highland House | Free Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

See more details about the pattern and materials required…

If you make any Mini Highland Houses, I’d love to see them! Tag me on instagram and label it #minihighlandhouse.

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Patterns, Shop

New Pattern: The Highland Avenue House

It’s so exciting to release new patterns! I just love seeing how you all take my patterns and create your own beautiful projects.

This is the Highland Avenue House pillow. I had a lot of fun designing this pattern and I hope you enjoy sewing it!

Highland Avenue House Pillow Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

Let me tell you a little bit about my inspiration for this pattern. I designed this house with the historic homes on Highland Avenue in Rochester, NY in mind. In 6th grade, our art teacher took us on an architectural tour through the city. Rochester is filled with amazing old homes that are bursting with character—everything from turn of the century farmhouses to mid-century Frank Lloyd Wright homes. My parents also love historic homes and often stopped to look at open houses around the city “just for fun”. Though I no longer live there, I never lost my appreciation for the beautiful homes and architecture in the city.

I think the Highland Avenue House pillow is sophisticated enough for your living room and fun enough for your kids’ rooms. The scalloped roof tiles add depth and texture, while also providing a place for you allow to experiment with different fabric combinations. Solid fabrics allow the beautiful lines of the pattern to shine, but it also looks great with coordinating fabric prints. It’s perfect for using up smaller pieces of fabric from your stash.

Highland Avenue House Pillow Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

The pillow is fairly easy, so I have labeled it as “advanced beginner”. Sometimes these skill labels are confusing, so I have also given a list of a few basic skills that you should be ready to try. You’ll need to be comfortable sewing curves, willing to try installing a zipper, and ready to learn basic appliqué. If you have sewn a few items from patterns before, I think you’ll be ready to sew the Highland Avenue House.

For size reference, here’s my 2 yr. old with the pillow!

Highland Avenue House Pillow Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

Here are a few of the tester versions for inspiration:

Highland Avenue House Pattern Tester Versions | Radiant Home Studio

1. Courtney mixed hand-dyed fabric with some modern fabric for fun look. 2. Ula’s pillow will look beautiful in a girl’s room. 3. Heather made a solid colored version. 4. Susi added some sweet extra embroidery. 5. Becki made this sweet cottage style version.

Are you ready to buy the pattern or want more information?

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Sewing

Cultivate Makeup Travel Case

As part of sewing month, Art Gallery Fabrics is hosting a “30 Days of Sewing” blog tour, showcasing their newest fabric lines. I spent a couple of weeks dreaming up projects for all of the fabric lines, but I finally chose to use some of Bonnie Christine’s “Cultivate” fabric.

Cultivate Makeup Travel Case | Radiant Home Studio

I’ve been working through some of the projects in Handmade Style by Anna Graham. My current makeup case is small and usually overflowing, so I’ve had my eye on the makeup travel case since I first flipped through the book. It actually ended up being quite a bit larger than I was expecting! It’s perfect for travel (as the name of the pattern suggests). It can easily fit all of my makeup, plus a hair brush, contact solution, and more.

Cultivate Makeup Travel Case | Radiant Home Studio

My original idea was to laminate the fabric, but after I read the instructions more carefully, I realized than it would be too many layers to sew through and the quilting wouldn’t look right. I did test laminate a scrap of the fabric I used though (with this) and it worked perfectly. I just have to find the right thing to use it for now. Keep it in mind if you are looking for laminated cotton fabric. It’s pretty easy to make your own and the Art Gallery quilting cotton worked well with the fusible laminate.

Cultivate Makeup Travel Case | Radiant Home Studio

Cultivate Makeup Travel Case | Radiant Home Studio

Cultivate Makeup Travel Case | Radiant Home Studio

I think I followed the pattern without making any major changes. I accidentally cut two pieces for the elastic pocket, thinking it was lined. It’s not, but it was an easy change and I decided to add a lining to that pocket. All of the pockets and pieces make it a really pretty pattern for showcasing multiple fabric designs from the same collection. Overall, the pattern is great and I recommend it for experienced bag makers.

Cultivate Makeup Travel Case | Radiant Home Studio

I had planned to mix some more fabric designs into the makeup case, but decided against it. I loved the muted autumn colors in the 3 fabrics I ended up using, so I saved the brighter fabrics for another project. I used the other designs to make a little zippered pencil case (also from Handmade Style). And the striped fabric makes really pretty bias binding!

Cultivate Handmade Style Pencil Case | Radiant Home Studio

Cultivate Handmade Style Pencil Case | Radiant Home Studio

To see more projects with Cultivate Fabrics, you can flip through the beautiful Cultivate Lookbook for inspiration. Or you can browse the swatches on the Art Gallery website.

Thank you to Art Gallery Fabrics for sponsoring this post and providing the fabrics for this project!