Happy Mothers Day 2017

Flowers are a standard Mother’s Day gift all over the world and I’m thinking about carnations, the traditional American symbol for Mother’s Day. Pink and red were given to the moms in our lives while white flowers symbolized mothers who had passed on.  Carnations (known as “Pinks” in the horticulture world) are incredibly hardy plants – they’re perennials so they withstand tough seasons to bounce back year after year, they’re long-lasting, and they’re lovely. Sound like anyone you know?

Much of my design work is inspired by Scandinavian tradition (where Mother’s Day is the last Sunday of the month) and the ways in which I can mix it up with my own ideas. I invite you to do some Mother’s Day mixing with me by entering your mom (or your very deserving mom-self!) in this month’s fabric giveaway, inspired by those pink and red carnations!

I’ll be giving away a red and white fat quarter stack for Mom’s Day and picking a random number on Saturday morning! Just leave a comment on the Happy Mother’s Day 2017 Facebook post before Friday (May 12th) at midnight.

I hope that you have the opportunity to spend some time with, or thinking about, your mom. If you are a mom, I hope you have some time to spend with, or think about, yourself! And there’s no harm in giving yourself a big bouquet of flowers, carnations or otherwise this month!

 

“Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws”

- Barbara Kingsolver

Happy Easter Giveaway 2017

Just in time for Easter, my friend Sarah Johannsen (of Ask Sarah) and I are collaborating on an "Urban Scandinavian Sewing" giveaway! Each of us is giving away a copy of my book “Urban Scandinavian Sewing”. Simply make a comment on this post to enter! (Please note Kirstyn’s winner must reside in the continental US). For those of you in Australia - head over to Sarah’s site and make a comment on her post http://www.asksarah.com.au/sew-bunny-hug-mug-warmer-giveaway-an-easter-collab-with-kirstyn-cogan/(Please note Sarah’s winner must reside in Australia/NZ).

Midsummer Hearts

Simply "Midsummer"

Midsummer you ask? In the Nordic countries... Midsummer (i.e. the Summer Solstice - also known as the longest day of the year), is celebrated with as much zest as the winter holiday season, perhaps even more! It’s a time to do some deep cleaning and decorate with fresh flowers and greens. It's a time for sailboats, cookouts and bonfires on the beach. Midsummer, simply put is about enjoying long days with friends and family and taking a long awaited - warm weather holiday.

That being said, in light of the horrible event that took place in Orlando last weekend, this year feels a bit more somber (okay - a lot more somber). If you haven't heard - the Modern Quilting Guild is organizing a quilt drive to send some love to the victims of the Pulse nightclub shootings and their families. The theme is rainbow hearts, so if you're so inclined, make a few blocks, or heck... a whole quilt! For me, it feels like the right place to be on this midsummer's eve...  in my studio, making hearts.

https://themodernquiltguild.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/quiltsforpulse-charity-drive-with-the-orlando-mqg/


#QuiltsforPulse.

Wishing you a peaceful summer filled with family and friends... after all, what else truly matters? 

LOVE! 
Kirstyn


 

Simply May

Spring is officially here (at least where I am in the Pacific Northwest) and I’ve been pondering the simple pleasures of May. First and foremost on the simple pleasures list this month…  celebrating mothers! Personally, I’m a perpetual Aunt in this life and think all of you women who have embraced the role of “mother” are heroes! I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my Mom and I’ll bet there are a lot of you who feel the same way.

Another simple pleasure of May is taking in spring color. Spring green is everywhere, right along side of soft complimentary shades of pink, lavender and sorbet orange. Enjoy the month of May…  celebrate Mother’s Day and find time to enjoy a few of the simple pleasures the Month of May is sure to provide.

In celebration of Mom’s everywhere… enjoy 15% off of any order now through the month of May! Use coupon code at checkout: LoveMom2017

Hundreds of dewdrops to greet the dawn,
Hundreds of bees in the purple clover,
Hundreds of butterflies on the lawn,
But only one Mother the wide world over.
— George Cooper

 

 

 

 

Urban Scandinavian Sewing Book Tour Round-up

quilts

Wow, I'm completely overwhelmed by the amazing creativity and talent shown from my book, Urban Scandinavian Sewing. All of the bloggers did such an amazing job taking inspiration from the book and putting their own unique perspective on their project - exactly how I had intended for the book to be used. I hope you enjoy the inspiration as much as I have. Enjoy!

runner quilt

First up is this amazing mini-quilt from Nicole at Modern Handcraft that was inspired from the tea towel project in the book. I just love Nicole's use of color and movement in this piece, absolutely stunning! Plus, did you see the quilting?! 

fabrics

Next up is a wonderful version of the Sail Away Tote from Nicole at Snips Snippets. The Sail Away Tote is a great project for anyone to do in a day, and I just love Nicole's details on the front. The wooden buttons are absolutely perfect!

door stopper

Jennie from Clover and Violet created her own beautiful version of the Drafty Door Decor. I just love that she used a minimalist color palette and fabrics that complemented her personal style and taste. And, I can't help but think the little shoes just make this even more adorable ;) 

table runner

Are you having fun yet?! Tessa from The Sewing Chick did a gorgeous version of the Quilted Bed Scarf. I just LOVE that she's going to use it as a wall hanging. Plus, the hand stitching details really compliments the quilting for added visual interest that just wows - in an understated way of course.

quilt

And finally, Alli from More Please Thank You and her version of the Winter Quilt! I'm so glad she went for it and used colors outside of her norm - the hot pink, green and brown look wonderful together! And, special kudos to Alli for sewing an entire quilt in a week ;)

Thank you to all of the bloggers for lending your creativity and time to share your projects from Urban Scandinavian Sewing - I couldn't be happier or more excited to see all of the projects together.

Stay tuned for exciting fabric line updates coming soon!

Urban Scandinavian Sewing Bloggers Book Tour

book

Hello Everyone! It's hard to believe that it is mid-August already. I know some of you have kids back to school already while others are soaking up the twilight of summer for a couple more weeks. For me, summer has been VERY busy with all things book, fabric and some upcoming projects that I'll be sharing in the coming weeks.

Welcome to the Urban Scandinavian Sewing Bloggers Book Tour!

Over the next two weeks starting today through Monday, August 31, six talented sewing bloggers will be sharing their thoughts and projects with you from my book, Urban Scandinavian Sewing. Each week, three bloggers will be sharing blog posts with reviews and insights into the book, so you'll want to visit each one. Here's the schedule for the next two weeks:

WEEK OF AUGUST 17

Nicole from Modern Handcraft
Hilary from Young Texan Mama
Nicole from Snips Snippets

WEEK OF AUGUST 24

Jennie from Clover & Violet
Tessa from The Sewing Chick
Alli from More Please Thank You

There's Also A Giveaway!

As a way to say thank you to everyone that visits all of the stops on the book tour, I'm giving away a copy of my book (or two!) and a FQ bundle (or two!) from my soon-to-release fabric collection, Urban Scandinavian (by P&B Textiles) that is shipping to fabric stores near you next month! Needless to say, its an exciting time, and I'm beyond thrilled to be sharing it with all of you! Enter below in the rafflecopter giveaway, open through midnight, August 30.

giveaway

Well, I think that's all for now. Be sure to visit everyone over the next two weeks. I hope you are as excited as I am ;)

Baby Clothes to Baby Quilt

baby quilt

In spite of the fact that I had never actually made a quilt from clothes before...  when a friend of mine asked if I could help her turn her daughters first year baby clothes into a quilt - I jumped on the baby quilt bandwagon! Ten BIG boxes of clothes and a month or so later - it was done! This is a wonderful project to do with friends, family... or solo for that matter! Here's the basics of what you'll need to do:

Materials:

Note that this project is somewhat improvisational in nature (which makes each and every quilt unique). I started by considering the basic size for a baby quilt (about 50" x 53"). The final size of my quilt came to 42" x 58". 

• Plenty of clothes you may want to use for the quilt top. We may have started with 10 boxes, but after you sift through everything and pare things down - it won't be nearly that much (unless you make a HUGE quilt that would be too big to move). I'd say we roughly ended up using 2 boxes of clothes - just to give you a little perspective :)

• 6 - 10 yards of Fusible Interfacing. I used a couple of different brands, but loved preferred the medium weight Heat N Bond. It ironed on well and has a lighter weight/feel than some of the others I tried. 

• Backing Fabric (yardage will depend on the size of your quilt. I didn't want to piece the back at all, so I purchased 3 yards of standard 44" wide quilting weight fabric - and ended up using 2 yards). 

• Border Fabric (yardage will depend on the size of your quilt and how wide you want your border to be). I used one yard of fabric (piecing the long sides), plus a fat quarter of contrasting fabric for the corners. 

• Roll or stack of large size sheets of clean white paper. I used sheets that were 11" x 17" (which fit on my ironing board well. I think a roll of paper, not wider than your ironing board would actually be best.

• Coordinating thread

• Quilting pins (and/or contrasting thread for basting the layers together). 

• Straight pins (I prefer the glass topped pins which won't melt under a hot iron). 

• Paper scissors

• Fabric scissors

• Large cutting mat with measuring grid. 

• Rotary cutter

• Clear cutting ruler - It would have been harder to do this project without my Omnigrid. I have a variety of sizes, but the two I used the most for this project were 6" x 24" and 9 1/2" x 9 1/2".

• Metal T Square (great for squaring up your quilt as it gets larger)

* Hand quilting needles

• Sewing Machine. I used a very basic Viking Emerald 118 for all the piecing and then a Brother Novelle 1500S for the quilting. As long as your machine can do straight and zig zag stitching and is open enough to run the rolled quilt through it - you're good to go. 

baby clothes

1. Start by sorting all of the clothes by general color pallet. We opted to go with a green, pink and brown as the primary color theme (other colors worked their way into the project, and acted as secondary accents). One of the hardest parts of this project is being willing to pare things down (you can't use everything, but it's all so darn CUTE)!

instructions

2. The second step and second hardest thing to do for this project is being brave enough to make the first cut on one of these little treasures...  but you can do it! Cut all the seams away - then trim up the fabric into rectangles (as big as the garment pieces allow). Also - be mindful of any appliqué or special print you want to use by not cutting too close to the art. You will also want to leave enough room for any seam allowances. You will be able to fine tune the trimming later. 

iron

3. Once you've got the first wave of clothes/onesies cut apart and trimmed up into rectangles, it's time to add fusible interfacing to the backside of your fabric pieces. The fusible interfacing gives stretchy knit fabrics the stability they need for piecing and quilting. I added the interfacing to all of the fabric - even if it was made with woven cotton to keep everything a consistent weight. 

On top or your ironing board -

Lay down a sheet of paper, then - on top of the paper, place as many fabric pieces that fit onto the paper (face side DOWN). Next - with the glue side DOWN, add a layer of fusible interfacing on top of the fabric pieces.  Cut the interfacing sheets so they are just a bit smaller than the paper - this will prevent any adhesive getting onto the ironing board. 

Heat up the iron and place a pressing cloth over the top of the layers you just made (I used a clean sheet of muslin). Follow the directions from the fusible interfacing manufacturer for the heat/steam setting - then press the fusible interfacing to the backside of your fabric pieces. 

pressing cloth

4. Remove the pressing cloth and the paper foundation layer - then cut apart the rectangles, trimming off some of the excess interfacing. 

baby clothes

5. Take your rectangles over to the cutting mat. Using your clear ruler and rotary cutter, carefully square up your rectangles. Again - pay special attention to appliqué or printed art you'd like to highlight, being mindful to include about a 1/4" seam allowance on each side. 

Begin laying out the different rectangle pieces pin up wall or large flat surface. As I worked on this, I made a conscious effort to place pieces that had a nice contrast next to one another. I also tried to avoid having areas that had too much of one color. This created a visually balanced feeling overall. At the end, if it looks great to you...  that's all that really matters! 

seam

6a. It all starts with one seam - begin piecing together your rectangles. I pieced from top to bottom first - and ended up creating 6 long vertical strips. The long strips were then pieced together to complete the main quilt top. 

As you are piecing these - you just need to go with the flow - squaring things up as you go. Like I said at the beginning, it really is more improvisational - so keep piecing and squaring things off. Little by little - it starts to come together. 

cloth pieces

6b. The pieced strips will begin to look like a quilt! Keep going! 

step 7

7. Once you've got it to the size you want - square it up once again and get ready to add the border! 

added border

8. I cut my border strips 4 1/2" wide (corner accents cut at 4 1/2" square) - then pieced them together to make them fit the quilts outer dimensions. This is a detail of the finished quilts border (with the binding attached). 

seams

9. At this point, I've got the top of the quilt finished...  with the border sewn on. I notice the seams are pretty wonky and a tad thick on the back, so I opted to "tack" these areas down (knowing it would make the quilting easier). The goal is simply to get things to lay as flat and uniform as possible. 

10. Square up the entire quilt top one more time (using the T square comes in very handy at this stage). Next, layout your backing fabric (face down), layered with your batting (I used a double layer of 100% cotton batting), and then the quilt top (face UP). Make sure the backing and batting layers are about 2" larger around the perimeter of the quilt top.

material

11. Baste the quilt layers together. I opted to hand baste (rather than use safety pins). For me - it seems as though the layers lay flatter making it easier to machine quilt. I just used contrasting thread and created large chunky running stitches over the entire quilt. Whatever works for you! 

12. Once you've got the basting done (trim off the excess batting and backing) - then simply stitch in the ditch (use a straight stitch) around the grid of the quilt tops squares and rectangles. 

13. Finally, remove the basting stitches and check once more if you need to square up anything. Then - apply whatever binding technique is right for you. You can make your own bias tape binding, but I opted to purchase pre-made bias tape. 

stitch

14. Last, but not least - consider adding a personalized label to the back. I used a little label I designed/illustrated for one of C&T Publishings quilt label collective CD's. You can get your own copy here at http://www.ctpub.com/quilt-label-collective-cd-volume-iii/ 

Printable fabric sheets are now widely available for desktop printers (just google printable fabric sheets). The possibilities are endless and FUN! Just hand-stitch the label into place and add a bit of simple embroidery if you're so inclined and voila! 

If you've got any questions about the process or are interested in having me teach a group - just send me a shout out!  I LOVE hearing from you!

Spring Quilt Market 2015 Sneak Peek

I'm officially letting the cat out of the bag! I'm hitting the road for the Spring International Quilt Market in Minneapolis to debut my new fabric line, the "Urban Scandinavian Collection" for P&B Textiles. This collection features 6 prints in (hang onto your hats) 75 color-ways! The line is designed to be a contemporary blenders collection (with a touch of modern Scandinavian flair) - easy to incorporate into a wide range of projects (and a perfect compliment to the simple sewing projects in my book "Urban Scandinavian Sewing"). If you are going to Quilt Market, please stop by and say hello! I'll be in booth #1335!  

For those of you at home, be sure to follow me on Instagram @kirstyncogan - I'll be launching a giveaway to include those of you who can't be at Market! Ok, that's it for now - I'm back to packing boxes!

Sew Mama Sew Spring 2015 Giveaway Day

Hello and welcome everyone from Sew Mama Sew! I'm so excited to participate in a giveaway day this year as there are LOTs of exciting things happening here in my corner Northwest of the world, just outside Seattle.

For those of you visiting for the first time, I'm Kirstyn Cogan, sewing book author and fabric designer for P&B Textiles. My book, Urban Scandinavian Sewing, features 18 projects, from upscale home decor to unique wearables. The projects offer beautiful, functional designs for contemporary living. I'm also debuting a new fabric line, the Urban Scandinavian Collection at Spring Quilt Market in Minneapolis next week!

So, as a way to celebrate the debut of the new fabric collection AND Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day, I'll be giving away a copy of my book along with 8 coordinating fat quarters to one lucky visitor! Using the raffle copter, leave a comment or follow me on Facebook or Instagram (or all three!) to enter for a chance to win now through Sunday, May 10. 

Welcome Spring Series: My Straw Bale Garden (on the patio) Experiment & How-to

There’s nothing quite like picking fresh, homegrown veggies and herbs right from your backyard garden. Last year…  I finally started (a very small) veggie garden. The best spot for me to put it (i.e. the sunniest spot) was on our concrete patio, which meant engineering raised beds. So… I opted to take what I had on hand and converted an old bookcase into a raised bed that actually worked out pretty well! I had success with tomatoes, basil and kale. Not bad for a first attempt.

THIS year…  I’m adding a couple of straw bales to the mix! Straw bales you ask? Yes! I discovered this concept one evening as I was surfing down the ol “rabbit hole” of the Internet…  apparently there’s quite a resurgence of this ancient, time tested gardening technique. I picked up a great book (which I highly recommend) called “Straw Bale Gardens” by Joel Karsten. I’ve learned there’s a bit of a process to “conditioning” the straw, so I’m following Joel’s recipe step by step. It’s not complicated, but it’s still a 12-day process of watering and fertilizing in order to get the straw “cooking” – or composting effectively.

First things first though…  I needed to find some straw bales. Lucky for me…  there’s a lot of urban farmers and gardeners in the Seattle area so I didn’t have to go far to find a few bales. Just so happens…  we have a feed store right in the neighborhood and long behold, next to the seed potatoes and live chicks, they had straw bales!

The whole idea of using straw bales is they act as their own raised bed and slowly compost over time (a season or two). Because I wanted to put these on our patio,  I didn’t want them composting and falling apart allover the place – so I decided to build open, raised “crates”.  This would ensure enough airflow…  and (in theory) keep things on the neat side. I also didn’t want to spend a lot on wood – because this is an experiment after all, so I used inexpensive 1”x4” utility boards for the sides, and premium quality wood for the 2”x2”s (to better hold the screws in place). I’ll use cedar next time if this test proves successful! The cost for each crate (including the straw bale) came to about $50.00. You can probably do this cheaper by using recycled pallet boards, but I haven’t used a skill saw yet (and really want to keep my fingers) so opted to have the wood cut at the hardware store. 

How to Build a Crate for Your Straw Bale

Here’s what you’ll need to build a single 19.5” x 52” crate*
*Note: The straw bales I purchased are roughly 17"x50." Be sure to pre-measure any bale you plan on using to confirm this plan will work for you as you'll want to provide enough wiggle room around the sides to the bales just slide right in.

Also, safety first! This project is not recommended for anyone not familiar with using basic power tools or for kids without close adult supervision. 

Wood:

  • 1”x4” – cut 6 measuring 18” (for short ends of crate)
  • 1”x4” – cut 6 measuring 52” (for long sides of crate)
  • 2”x2”(premium wood) – cut 4 measuring 18” (for vertical corners)
  • 2”x2”(premium wood) – cut 3 measuring 19.5” (use on the bottom as risers)
  • 1”x2”(premium wood) – cut 5 measuring 19.5” (to support the hardware cloth on bottom of the crate)
  • ¼” Mesh Hardware Cloth: 19.5” x 52”

Screws: 2” and 2 ½” wood screws
Power Drill and wood drill bits
Sturdy Wire Cutter
Staple Gun and staples
Tape Measure
Pen (or pencil) for marking
Work gloves

Step 1. Start by the short ends of the crate. Layout two of the 18” 2x2’s. Take three of the 18” 1x4’s and evenly space them on top of the 2x2’s (flush at corners and edges of the 2x2’s). Screw the 1x4’s firmly to the 2x2’s. Repeat to make the other short end. Tip: I marked and drilled holes using a small drill bit before drilling in the bigger screws. It’s much easier to drill the screws in this way.

Step 2. Prop up each of the short ends you just made in step one and position three of the long 52” 1x4’s on top of the short sides (again matching up corners and edges). Screw these into the corner support 2x2’s. Repeat for the other long side. 

Step 3 - Add mesh hardware cloth to bottom. Decide which side will be the bottom of your crate. If needed, use your wire cutter to cut your ¼” mesh hardware cloth to just shy of 19 ½” x 52”. Take out your staple gun and staple the mesh securely all the way around the bottom of your crate. 

Step 4 - Add wood support slats to bottom. Add the five19 ½” 1x2s (evenly spaced) across the bottom of the crate. This will sandwich the mesh hardware cloth between two pieces of wood and (in theory) support the weight of the straw bale). Screw these into the bottom edge of the crate. 

Step 5 - Add risers to bottom. Place the three 19 ½” 2x2’s over the middle and each short end of the crate. Screw these to the 1x2’s you placed in step 4. (Oops…  you’ll probably notice my middle riser was cut a bit short. Still worked fine though)

The risers lift the crate a couple inches off the ground giving it some airflow.

Step 6 - Add your straw bale. Flip the crate over so the opening is on top and drop in your straw bale. There you go…  simple as that!

If you are interested in learning more about creating your own straw bale garden, check out this book. And, if you're after many more ideas and images for straw bale gardening, top of the check out my “Urban Farm” Pinterest board. I’ll share updates as I get the garden planted… and let you know how it’s working out! 

Welcome Spring Series: Happy “Scandinavian” Easter

What’s that you say? Happy “Scandinavian” Easter?

As a 3rd generation Swedish American who grew up in the cultural mecca of San Francisco (the land of killer dim sum and tacos), I didn’t experience a lot of Scandinavian culture outside of my family Christmas traditions and a few other tidbits here and there. We celebrated Easter pretty much like most American kids – with egg hunts, Easter baskets and matching Sunday Easter dresses (between my mom, my sister and I).  I was surprised to discover a few ScandinavianEaster traditions I knew nothing about (till now).

For starters, I was surprised to discover that kids in Scandinavia dress up like witches (or “Easter hags” of all things) – and go around asking for treats in exchange for handmade Easter cards. Not at all like the black witches of Halloween, Easter witches are totally cute and happy! That being said, there is often a darker - religious root to these things, but I’m choosing to stay in the “happy place” with this blog post. If you want to read up on the religious history of these traditions…  You’ll find some links at the end of the blog (go for it).

The Easter Bunny apparently isn’t a big deal in Scandinavia, but eggs, of course are! Painted Easter eggs were actually first recorded in Sweden (circa 1700’s).  Who knew?

In Finland (and all over Scandinavia in general) - bringing in some fresh cut twigs (especially birch twigs) that are just beginning to bud are commonplace. Growing rye grass indoors is another common part of Finnish Easter festivities – right along with all the other typical Easter activities like coloring eggs and card making. Finnish kids also dress up like Easter Hags! Notice the tablecloth…  circa 1950’s with witches and rabbits! Finding this at a thrift store here in the US would be totally confusing (lol)! 

Teaser letters (also called Secret snowdrop letters) are a uniquely Danish Easter tradition.  These cards consist of a “cut out” letter (kind of like a paper snowflake) sent out around Valentines Day where the sender writes a secret poem, includes a snowdrop flower and then signs it only by a mysterious…. If the recipient can guess who sent it, they get an egg on Easter! 

Chickens and eggs (and especially the color yellow) are symbols of Easter in Norway. Chickens are a symbol of fertility while eggs are a symbol of rebirth. Needless to say - yellow chicks, yellow candles, daffodils and tulips are all staples of Easter for Norwegians. After the cold, dark winters in Norway…  what could be better than that? 

In Iceland, Easter is celebrated by hiding big chocolate eggs filled with candy and a piece of paper with an Icelandic proverb written on it. I think of it like an extra big, chocolate fortune cookie! A few popular Icelandic proverbs added to Easter eggs are “A bad rower blames the oar” - “All that glitters is not gold” - “A good child sings good songs” – and “Never is a good verse too often said”. 

Photo via Icelandic Roots

Photo via Icelandic Roots

One additional item I discovered while researching Scandinavian Easter celebrations was lots and lots of feathered branches. Okay…  so what’s THAT about? My first inclination was it must be some kind of chicken and egg metaphor, but alas - there is a more somber, religious significance to this seemingly playful modern day tradition. (Again, feel free to read up on the religious history via the links I provided below). At any rate, you will find bright-feathered twigs decorating homes and shops everywhere in Scandinavia at Easter time - a welcome symbol of seasonal change and new beginnings! Happy indeed. 

Photo via Pine Tribe

Photo via Pine Tribe

Do you have Easter traditions unique to your family heritage? Please share! Above all - HAPPY spring, and HAPPY Easter to YOU!! 

 

YOU CAN READ A BIT MORE ABOUT SCANDINAVIAN EASTER TRADITIONS AT THESE LINKS: 

Nordic Style Sweden

Pine Tribe

Nordic Recipe Archive

CHRI Family Radio

Thanks For The Food

Icelandic Roots

Welcome Spring Series: Simple Spring Sewing Projects

Happy Spring! After the long winter most folks (in the US anyway) endured this year…  I’m willing to guess many of you are REALLY happy spring has begun to sprout! I love this time of year in Seattle – it’s the little things…  tulips, green grass (and dandelions) popping up, birds are beginning to build nests and neighbors are coming out of hibernation – starting to get their yards cleaned up - all signs of new beginnings. Welcoming a new season is always a cause for celebration for Scandinavians (any excuse to party), so I thought it would be fun to do a bit of spring celebrating here on the blog. Starting today – and for the next few weeks I'll post a spattering of simple ways to welcome spring - with a bit of urban Scandinavian flare to boot! 

What better way to spruce up your space and welcome in spring than with a few simple sewing (and even no-sew) projects! Sewing something new for the season doesn’t have to be complicated - just like a lot of other little things in our lives!

So…  keep things simple, including your sewing and enjoy spring!

Springy Quilted Coasters

Photo via Very Shannon

Photo via Very Shannon

Quilted coasters are fabulous ANY time of year…  and oh so practical. Here’s a great tutorial for you – makes a happy hostess gift for any spring occasion - or no occasion at all other than it’s fun to have some new springy coasters for the coffee table!

Reversed Cloth Napkins

Photo via Kojo Designs

Photo via Kojo Designs

Why not whip up some new springtime cloth napkins to go with those new quilted coasters you just made? I love the idea of taking quilting weight cotton and doubling it up to make the napkins feel that much more “substantial”. Such a simple, fun and dare I say, even sophisticated sewing project.

Hop to it! No-Sew Rabbit Rug 

Ok...  it’s almost Easter - what a great excuse to make a faux fur rabbit rug? This is a super easy and FUN no-sew DIY pattern from Ines Melo.

Easy Spring Table Runner

Photo via Aesthetic Nest

Photo via Aesthetic Nest

It would be pretty easy to whip enough of these table runners out to have a different one for every day of the week! Love (as always) the simplicity of this project - and the great picnic table images...  just makes me want to get outside and celebrate spring with friends and family. That’s what a great table setting (and a great tutorial from the Aesthetic Nest) can do for ya! 

Single Fabric Envelope Pillow Covers

Photo via Delia Creates

Photo via Delia Creates

Nothing signals a change of season for me quite like changing the throw pillows on the couch or bed. This simple envelope pillow cover from Delia Creates is made from a single piece of fabric and can be sewn together in a jiffy. It’s a great small project that has BIG impact. 

If you are interested in more inspiration for simple sewing projects to welcome spring, visit my Celebrate Spring Pinterest board and follow along.  

What are your go-to projects to welcome Spring? I'd love to hear them.

Appearance on American Patchwork and Quilting Radio with Pat Sloan

podcast

I’ll be appearing on American Patchwork and Quilting Radio Show with Pat Sloan airing live at 4 PM EST (1 PM Pacific). If you want to hear it, but can’t tune in live, the podcast will available after the live airing to listen whenever you have time.

On the show we’ll be talking about my book, Urban Scandinavian Sewing and the inspiration behind the projects. I’ll also be sharing my personal story and connection to modern Scandinavian design and share some insights into what is truly a lifestyle for me.

I hope you’ll take the time to tune in to the show as you should walk away with a bit more knowledge of Scandinavian design as well as get to know more about me and my approach to sewing.