Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sewing Napkins Picking Daisies Style

Welcome to our online tutorial for sewing dinner napkins with mitered corners. This is the same method we use here at Picking Daisies for our signature dinner napkins.

Gather your supplies (*We have kits available which include these items)

Sewing Machine
Cutting Mat
Rotary Cutter

*Cotton Quilt-weight fabric 44" wide (1.75 yards makes 6 dinner napkins)
*Coordinating polyester thread
*Fabric Marking Pen
*Point Turner
*(optional) 1/2" x 20"+ template for ironing hems 

Pre-wash, dry and iron your fabric to prepare for cutting.
Once ironed, fold selvage to selvage on the cutting mat. 

Using your ruler and template, cut through the two layers of fabric to make two 20" squares.  Repeat for the remaining fabric until you have cut out all of your 20" squares.

Making cocktail napkins?  Cut 12.5" squares.

Working with one square of fabric at a time, iron your hems on all four sides as follows...

Grab your fabric marker and open up an ironed corner.  
Working from the wrong side of the fabric....

Using a point turner, carefully, yet thoroughly,
turn those corners out to make them nice and square.

You are now ready to sew the final seam around the perimeter of the napkin.  We just start right in, but if you are new to sewing napkins, you might find it helpful to re-iron or perhaps, pin down the seams first.

About 1/8" from the folded edge (or closer if you are brave!), and without back stitching, sew around the entire perimeter of the napkin, stopping with your needle down at each corner seam so that you can raise your sewing foot to turn the corner.

When you reach the spot where you began, rather than back stitching, just carefully sew about 1/2" down right over the seam where you started sewing.

If you have an edge-stitch or stitch-in-the-ditch foot, experiment using it to give you more accurate straight lines.  

Have fun including some personalized labels to make these your own signature napkins.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Picking Daisies at QuiltCon West 2016

Here's a little photo journal, highlighting our time at QuiltCon 2016 in Pasadena this past weekend.

We love our "Crew"!

The quilts on display were amazing and inspiring. Our photos will never do justice to these quilts, so please scroll to the links right below this picture for more.  

QuiltCon 2016  

For a closer peek of QuiltCon, visit the following links...

The Modern Quilt Guild's Blog highlighting all the show winners

A YouTube Video Tour of QuiltCon by The Sewing Report

An article that appeared in the LA Times about Quilts at QuiltCon with a Message

While we were there, we got to meet some of favorite fabric and quilting celebrities...

Kay and Dede with Anna Maria Horner and Lady K Quilts

Kay with Melody Miller (and wearing a dress in Melody Miller fabric)

Dede with Lotta Jansdotter (and wearing a tunic in Lotta Jansdotter fabric)

Dede with Christine Haynes and Sarah Watts (all three wearing Sarah Watts' fabric)

Dede and Kay got hand-drawn daisy tattoos from Sarah Watts 

Dede got a temporary tattoo from Libs Elliot

Kay and Dede took a block printing class from Valori Wells

Dede showing off her newly acquired block printing skills

 Fun with friends, new and old....

Enjoying the "Catnado" quilt

Lunch with part of our Crew (and missing the other part)!

A lovely dinner out with new and old friends!

Capturing Memories and dreaming of QuiltCon West 2017 in Savannah Georgia.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Hand Stitching Alabama Chanin Style

Let's Sew "SLO" Together... at 25% off!

The company Alabama Chanin has become well known for their fabulous line of clothing and home decor, all hand sewn using their wonderful organic knit jersey and embellished using techniques such as Reverse Appliqué and Negative Reverse Appliqué.  

Here at Picking Daisies, we have been big fans for years! We carry all four of their books in our shop.
Alabama Studio Books - available at Picking Daisies

Working from a kit is a great introduction to this style of hand sewing, and at Picking Daisies, we are able to offer you your choice of some of their kits at 25% off Alabama Chanin’s price.

We will also be holding monthly workshops were you can join us for guidance, tips, and community sewing.  

Or feel free to conquer your project on your own time.

Below you will see the 4 kits we are offering. If you are interested in ordering, please note the color and size options.  Regarding sizing, we find their clothing to be a bit snug, and suggest you go up one size.... unless you prefer your clothing tight fitting.

DO NOT order from the Alabama Chanin website if you want the 25% off price!!
Be aware that these kits are made to order by Alabama Chanin, and delivery can be from 3 to 6 weeks

Also Important: Our first order cut-off date is Monday, February 22, 2016.

Here are your kit choices....

Anna’s Garden Skirt  $111 (Regular Price $148)

Bloomers Swing Skirt  $111 (Regular Price $148)

Magdalena Fitted Skirt  $111 (Regular Price $148)

Magdalena Poncho  $96 (Regular Price $128)

Questions? Just Contact Us!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Woven Flannel Scarf Tutorial

A gift from the Angel of Warmth

For this easy scarf tutorial, you will need:

Seam ripper, awl, or other tool with a small pointed end
Woven flannel fabric. Our absolute favorite is the Robert Kaufman Mammoth and Shetland Flannels

Fabric Cuts:

If you prefer a small scarf, then you will need 1/2 yard of 44"wide woven flannel fabric. Your finished scarf will measure 16" by 42".

I prefer a great big wrap of a scarf, so I purchase 2 yards and cut it in half lengthwise to make TWO 20" by 72" scarves.... one for me and one for a friend.

I like to pre-wash and dry my fabric first.  If your fabric is pre-cut, be prepared for a bit of fraying during the laundering.

Once your fabric is prepared, take your scissors and by carefully using a line in the weave as your guide, cut off the frayed and irregular edges of the fabric. You will do this on all four sides of the scarf.

Now for the fun part. Using your seam ripper, start pulling out the cross weave threads along one short end.  I usually fray about 3/4 inch down, though you can certainly fray the ends up to a few inches... personal preference applies here. Once you finish both short ends of the scarves, start pulling the cross weaves along the two long sides of the scarf.  The long sides I usually keep a bit shorter (1/2 inch of fray or less).

When you've finished all four sides, you will have corners that look similar to this...

And just that easily, your scarf is ready to wear! Wrap your scarf around you and start enjoying it.

After making my first scarf, I was a bit curious about further fraying with wear and tear, and washing.
So I did an experiment with my sewing machine...

Along only one end and one side of the scarf (so, only half of the scarf) I sewed a stay stitch carefully along the edge between the frayed and not-frayed fabric.

The other half of the scarf I did not sew.  Then I washed it.  Because I wanted to simulate a bit of wearing and washing, I actually gave it a rough washing and drying with a load of towels.

Below are the results after washing and drying.  The sides that were not sewn have a couple of loose cross weave threads that might need to be pulled, whereas the sewn side does not.  But the difference is so slight that using a sewing machine to stay stitch the scarves seems completely unnecessary.  It it easy to just pull a few frayed threads here and there as necessary.  It truly is a No-Sew project!

Here's my completed great big soft wrap of a scarf....

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Meet the Makers - November 29, 2015

Did you know that we sell lap and baby quilts, along with our napkins, at the most adorable local gift shop, Happy Go Smile in the sleepy central coast beach town of Cayucos, California?

We're having a "Meet the Makers" event on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and would love to have you join us and meet the other Makers behind Happy Go Smile. 

Please stop by and see what we and the other makers have been making... you're in for a treat!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Selfish Sewing Week

September 28 - October 3, 2015

I absolutely love sewing my own clothes, so I take this week very seriously.  What better excuse is there to spend the week sewing just for me!

Here's my lineup....

I have made more than a dozen of these.  I love them so much that I plan to make dozens more!

Much like the Scout Tee, this is another go-to pattern that I have made multiple times and plan to make multiple times more.

I am really loving the Merchant and Mills patterns.  I have made the Factory Dress and Camber Set, both of which I love.  This is their signature pattern, and I can't wait to make this.

I am determined to squeeze one more pattern in.  Maybe one of these....

Happy Selfish Sewing Week!