Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Marcia Derse and Fall

There is something about fall that makes me gravitate to Marcia Derse fabrics. A few weeks ago I was in Sew Memphis for a visit and was talking with Mary Allison about christmas, inspiration and upcoming fabric lines. She asked if I could do a shop sample of the Kosmos quilt (free pattern here) using fabrics that would be a good fit for a Christmas kit. Together we chose Marcia Derse and a grey solid background.

Kosmos quilt using Marcia Derse fabric, before border was added

I LOVE how this came out. The stars just pop out of the background. The colors are so vibrant! The kit will be available this holiday season at Sew Memphis.

Of course I had to buy more Marcia Derse fabric with the intention of maybe designing a new bag pattern around the fabric, but when I got it home I knew I already had the perfect boho chic bag pattern for the fabric.

Koukla bag made from Macia Derse fabric
The Koukla Bag Pattern is perfect for Marcia Derse fabric! I love how this fabric changes the feel of the bag. All my samples before had used patchwork print fabric, but this gives it a more boho feel.

Happy Sewing!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Awareness Ribbon Wall Hanging

So October flew by so fast this was the first year ever we didn't sew anything for our Halloween costumes, just hit up the thrift stores. I also was a bad mom and really didn't get many pictures! It has been crazy! But on the good news front, I had my 6 months post surgery visit and am not only Melanoma NED, but also healing really well!

I have most of my range of motion back and can sew for about an hour at a time now! It is still tight and healing, but is healing really nicely!

Originally the margin was so wide I was going to need a skin graft. Skin grafts are tricky to begin with, and can be awful if they don't take. Along with the graft site itself, you also have a huge spot where they take skin from. I was totally freaked out when I was first told I had to have one, and asked my surgeon what we could do to not have a skin graft on my hand, since keeping a hand from moving is pretty impossible. He promised me he would try his best to stitch me up, and since I was chubby it just might work. So here is one instance where being full size helped me out a lot! He was able to stitch me up, and for that I am so grateful! He was also a top notch surgeon, and even though I pray I never have to see him as a doctor again, he did take time with me as a patient to explain everything and help quell my fears. Of course, I had to make something for his office.

All his wall art was Breast Cancer Awareness, so I had to add some Melanoma Awareness to his office! I made this using Quilters Cache Ribbon Quilt Block. It was super easy and quick to put together, and I think I need to make myself one for my sewing room.

Happy Sewing!


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Mississippi Living

One thing I love about living in Northern Mississippi is we are a short drive from a bunch of cute towns. I wrote a few months about Como, one of my husband's favorite places to go for a date night. I need to write about the town we chose to live in, but because it is where we live I have found that I don't take too many photos when out and about!

Outside of the world of sewing and motherhood, I do have a job. I work at the county's history museum! I do education programs in schools, on site and at historic sites around the county.

Museum Director Brian Hicks and I at the Wesson House in Olive Branch for a school program
I have a really cool job. I love what I do. It has also helped me learn all about DeSoto County, I live in Hernando, which is the county seat. It is a beautiful southern town, with a courthouse and square, full of wonderful shops and restaurants. The other Old Town area in our county is Olive Branch. Olive Branch is a small town (before being incorporated as a town it was simply known as Cow Pen) in the North East corner of the county, bordering Memphis. Downtown Olive Branch can transport you back in time, since the buildings have not much changed, and there are several little gems I love to visit when I am up that way.  

Right on the town square they have a Stoop for concerts. 

Olive Branch has a really active Arts Community!

The Wesson House, built by the first Mayor of Olive Branch

Often I am there for the day, so I have an actual Olive Branch ritual. 

Olive Branch, MS Downtown

It starts before I need to be at the event with a trips to Pinks

Pink's in Olive Branch

You have to love a local coffee shop! She makes these amazing Rolo Frappe drinks that is coffee and sugar to get you through any kind of day!

Rolo Frappe

Then it is off to what I need to do, usually a meeting. If I get to chose where we go for lunch, it's to Evans. 

Evan's Cafe 

Evan's is a buffet of Southern Delights. Yes, there is a lot of fried foods, and yes, it is delicious. It is hard to stay awake for the rest of the afternoon, so we usually swing by the Old Towne Bakery across the street for amazing cookies and pastries. 

Old Towne Bakery

Fair warning, they only accept cash. I have made the mistake a few times of not having cash on my and missing out on cookies. :( 

Mississippi is full of wonderful towns like Olive Branch to explore! If you find yourself in Memphis and looking for a little rest from the city, come down to DeSoto County for a visit!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Art and Life

A while ago I wrote about finding a longarm quilter that fits your style. I know when I first started quilting I lived in Ohio and just found a local lady and basically said "just a meander in white is fine" for every project. Hey, forgive me, I was new and just really excited to see anything finished! I know better now. The quilting can change everything about your quilt!

My longarm quilter Teresa from Quilts2aT got together and made a wall hanging from the scraps leftover when I made 2 matching queen quilts for my bedroom.


I had a few of the 9 patches leftover and put them together thinking it might make a good crib quilt, since there is also a crib in there. After bringing it over and hanging it on her design wall, we started talking about it. A lot. There was so much negative space. Too much negative space actually. This wasn't a killer piece on my part. It was sparse. It was missing something. We talked about the best usage for the negative space. Working on a quilt with someone can be like working on a painting with another artist. You paint a portion, hand it over, they work on it, maybe you get it back to add more, and so on. You know what the other artists aesthetic is, but you can't predict what the finished work will look like when it is all done. What she did was stunning. 

From far away you can see it is a lot of white space.

Closer you can see the ghost 9 patches. We called it The Canterville Quilt. Oscar Wilde fans, here is your giggle for the day. 

Movement and rests, quilting can be musical

I love the bubbles

Freehand, so every swirl is an individual

See? Amazing. We entered it in MQX this past week. We didn't win any of the prizes Wednesday, but yesterday Teresa walked by and Toby Lischko was pinning her faculty ribbon on our quilt!

yeah! We got a ribbon!

Toby Lischko and Teresa at MQX in Springfield.

How cool! Happy sewing!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Swaps! Lanyard idea

I am a leader of a Brownie Troop, and my girls are ga-ga over swaps. As we prepare for our first camporee of the school year, we will be making swaps at our next meeting. So each of them would have a nice lanyard for the swaps I made these for them. You can let your girls sew these, it honestly takes only a few minutes for each one! For the swaps, check out Pinterest. Just a warning, there are a million and you can spend all day (OK, a few days) lost looking at Girl Scout Swaps!

Yes, the s'mores swap is the hands down favorite!
The lanyard accessories are available really cheap at craft stores and Walmart in the kid craft section.

Start with a strip of fabric 2 1/2 inches wide by WOF (42-44) long. Put a key ring around the fabric. It is just easier to do this now before you sew and move it around than try to thread it through at the end. Then carefully take your fabric around to one side, careful not to get it twisted. Place ends crossed, right sides together like the photo and pin the ends like the photo.

See where the pins are? You are going to sew on that diagonal. If you have ever done quilt binding, this will be super easy. Sew on the diagonal as pinned. Then trim to 1/4 inch.

Take this to the ironing board, press the seam open.

Then fold and press the whole thing in half, moving the ring around as you go. This is tricky since it is a loop and not a flat piece of fabric.

Then open it up, folding the two ends into the center.

Fold again on the center you pressed first, so the ends are neatly tucked in.

Press like there is no tomorrow! Then take to the machine and stitch as close to the open end as your can.

Find the seam where you made the circle, and pull it down to the bottom. Fold around the ring, and sew about an inch up from the bottom.

All you have to do now is add your lanyard clip and you are done!

For the name tags, I took a blank business card stock and printed their names on them, then used thick packing tape to laminate them! I used a standard hole punch to add the hole at the top and that was it!

Now off the Pinterest to see what other Swaps we can do...

Monday, August 25, 2014

little gift

I am always looking for teacher appreciation gift ideas, and make things year round so I am ready for Christmas and end of year! This pencil/supplies container is perfect for any classroom. This size can fit a whole pack of sharpies, and you can still put the lid on!

My 8 year old and I were spending time in the sewing room yesterday, and she came up with this idea for her teacher! We are all about recycling and using up scrap fabric, so this is perfect for us! She was able to do all the stitching, this is that easy to make! We used applique because my daughter loves to applique, but any teacher would love to have their name embroidered on one!

The base is just an empty large Strawberry Quik container.

Measure the height, in this case it was 5.75 inches from base to top. So, I cut a strip from scrap 6.75 inches by the width of fabric, which was 22 inches. All we are worried about to start is the height.

Now, fold in the top and bottom 1/2 inch each and press. You don't need to double fold, as this side will be glued to the container.

Next, take to the sewing machine and add a decorative stitch to the top and bottom. Rena chose this pretty snowflake stitch, because everything in our house is still all about Frozen. 

Next we will add the applique. I printed out a block letter A. Don't forget to print your letter in reverse so when you trace it with wonderunder then cut it out of fabric all is facing the right way!

Use fusible interfacing for the applique. If you are new to applique, fusible interfacing is really easy to use, and keeps everything in place and makes it really easy to sew! Stitch around your applique. 

Position so your applique is center front. Then, grab your glue gun! Glue the front down first, getting the edges really well.

Flip around to the back. Take the right side and trip so it is about in the middle of the container. Glue that side down, getting the edges really well.

Bring the other side around, trim so it is about an inch over the first side, then fold over about 1/2 inch. Glue fabric fold first, then glue down.

Ta-da! How easy was that? Now to find more containers to recover....

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Kosmos Baby quilt

Kosmos Baby quilt by Pannay Guigley, quilted by Teresa Pino

I wanted to share the pattern for this baby quilt, Kosmos with you. you can download it here using googledocs, or here on craftsy! It is a PDF file. Please do not copy and share, but redirect people to this website to download.

The story of Kosmos...

Sew, I have been writing patterns for a while and selling a few of my bag patterns on etsy and craftsy, but really would like to publish a few in magazines and such. I consider myself more of a sewing engineer. I love creating patterns because I love figuring out how things work and go together, kind of like a kid taking a toaster apart to try and make a robot.

I am still new to this, and write my patterns by taking pictures as I am putting things together. I have Illustrator and other programs, but still have questions for seasoned designers. When I sit down and try to design things on the computer, I get frustrated and just want to grab my sketchbook and some fabric to work it out. This has lead to a few missed opportunities for me. I want to share my ideas with others, but sometimes don't know how.

So, that brings us to the story of Kosmos. Last Spring I received some fabric from local designer and all round cool artist Jenean Morrison in hopes of showcasing her fabric in a pattern and getting that pattern published. I diligently submitted it as many places as I could. From this submission, I did write the article last month for Sew Mama Sew. But no one wanted the quilt pattern. In the world of submitting quilt patterns, it takes about 2 months for publishers to tell you yes or no. For websites, about 3 weeks. During this time, you are asked not to submit to anyone else. I have been submitting this pattern since the end of April. Now Jenean's new line for fall is set to launch, and I just got my last rejection email yesterday. I'm not too upset, I tried, and even though this wasn't published, I am working on many other things and will keep on submitting. In the meantime, I am trying my best to use Illustrator.

OK, I was a little down this morning. I really love this quilt. It's soft, cuddly, the fabric is so pretty, and my friend Teresa Pino at Quilts2aT did a fabulous job (give her some facebook love ya'll, she is amazing all around). Then I realized I blog. Not often, but I do. So what if I put this up as a free pattern? I love this quilt. There are three different star blocks which are different sizes to make it twinkle.

I love this quilt pattern, I hope you do too! If you do, please share your pictures on my facebook page, or tag #pannayg in the pic on instagram. 

Happy Sewing!

Friday, July 18, 2014

SFNC featured on Sew Mama Sew!

TADA! Today on the SewMamaSew blog is a post by yours truly! Go check it out!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Easy applique embroidery project!

Sew... My 8 year old likes to hand stitch. I will admit I am not one for embroidery, but thanks to youtube she has learned a few tricks! This project started when we were at goodwill and found a never used, wrapped burlap canvas for $1. We bought it without knowing what we would do with it, but once we got it home, Rena decided it needed to be Mississippi art. So we went through my fabric scraps and this is what she came up with:

She picked orange to stitch around the edges, and made a little heart where our town is! How cool is that! It hangs in our breakfast nook. I love it. She carefully did a split stitch around the edge, but in enough to let the fabric fray a bit.

So a few days ago we were at Joann fabrics and they had Jute bags on sale. They are a pretty good size, and we picked up the last two because Rena wanted to slap some Mississippi on them! You can do any state you like, but the process is the same. Here is what we did with some tips.

First, find a reversed picture of what you want to add to your bag. 

Then, take a piece of wonder under and trace the pattern.  For the canvas we used fabric spray adhesive, but it didn't hold the edges down as well as needed, so this time we used wonder under! 

After tracing, cut about 1/2 inch from the outside of your pattern piece and lay sticky side down onto the wrong side of your fabric. Iron on. 

now, trim to size. The reason we do it this way is so the sticky stuff on wonder under is all the way to the edge of the fabric. Now, peel off the paper backing to expose the second sticky side. Position the applique onto your bag or canvas. 

Iron down very carefully. I used a medium heat setting, and you will get bumpies because Jute is bumpy. As long as the edges are down well, you will be OK.

You will need a needle with a large hole and one that is pretty thick. We found a nice size one in our craft needle pack. Do not split apart the embroidery thread, there are six strands, you can use all six. In fact, for a nice thick outline double that sucker up. There are a lot of stitch tutorials on youtube if you have not embroidered before. You can take this to your machine, but use a 90/14 needle and go slow. 

Ta-da! The bag is a pretty good size. Rena doesn't like the smell of jute, so she is saving this for her teacher next year!

Happy Sewing!