Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Sewing With Oilcloth

Ah! A bit late on the announcement, but congrats to Holly Taylor, winner of a copy of Sewing With Oilcloth! Here's to many more great oil cloth projects in your future!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sewing With Oilcloth Book Tour - and a Giveaway

Sewing With Oilcloth 
The bright colors and bold designs of oilcloth and laminated fabrics have always intrigued me. I'm drawn to them, but I'm also a bit ... well ... scared of them. I've never sewn with oilcloth before, and I'm not really sure where to start. I know that - without the right tools and tips - it can be frustrating to work with, but I also know that projects made with oilcloth and laminated fabrics are beautiful and durable. Thankfully, one of my favorite oilcloth gurus has written a book that's a great guide to working with these fun and super functional fabrics.

I've followed Kelly McCants on Modern June and Oilcloth Addict for ages. Her new book, Sewing With Oilcloth, has loads of great projects and wonderful tips and instruction for working with oilcloth and laminated fabrics. Let's take a look, shall we?

Sewing With Oilcloth - Tips
Kelly starts Sewing With Oilcloth with great resources to help you succeed with your oil cloth sewing projects. Part of my fear of working with these fabrics was how to make my machine advance them easily and not jam up. Kelly shares several options for helping them feed easily and for what tools work best on oilcloth. She also shows you how to make and attach oilcloth bias trim, which is crazy kinds of cute.

Sewing With Oilcloth - Bins
The projects in Kelly's book range from simple to complex and are beautifully practical (something I really love). These nesting bins would be great in the garden shed or kids' bedroom.

Sewing With Oilcloth - Seat Cushions  
These seat cushions remind me of an awesome outdoor lounger my grandparents had in their backyard. How happy would you feel seeing these bold prints on your porch every day?

Sewing With Oilcloth - Wallet
And here's the project I'm dying to try first from the book: a cute and practical wallet. This one looks like a great starter project with simple lines, easy details and a resulting piece that you'll use over and over again.

If you have trouble finding great oilcloth or laminated fabrics at your local independent fabric shop, be sure to check out Kelly's Oilcloth Addict shop. Her selections are extensive and beautiful.

Yummy Oil Cloth & Laminated Fabric 
I picked up this fun cherry oil cloth and dew drop laminated cotton at The Stitch Lab, and now I can't wait to try them out on the projects from Kelly's book! And you're in luck, because Kelly graciously sent a copy of Sewing With Oilcloth for me to give to one lucky Average Jane Crafter reader. Leave a comment here letting me know why you've been scared to work with oilcloth or what successes you've had with working with oilcloth. I'll close comments at 10 AM CST on September 10 and will announce the winner next Monday. For more opportunities to win a copy & to learn more about the book, keep up with the Sewing With Oilcloth blog book tour!

Since I'm personally shipping the book, I need to limit it to US residents. Thanks for understanding!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Rocket, Scissors .... Alien Boobs?

I'm happy to report that after months and months of a crafty dry spell (hey, moving and renovating a house and a sun-meltingly hot summer can do that to a gal) I'm back in full-on crafting-all-the-time mode. Now that the kids are back in school, I'm able to actually work during the day which frees up my evenings for making stuff. A novel idea, I know. I've had fun stitching projects for friends (a post on those later this week) and random just-for-fun pieces, and flexing my out-of-shape stitchy muscles.

One such project was this random cross-stitch roadtrip sampler. We went to a family wedding over the weekend, which meant I had about eight hours in the car. I'd scored a handy brand new cross-stitch kit at a thrift store last week, so I packed it up and decided to jump into cross-stitching after a long time away from it. I'm not a huge cross-stitch person. Frankly, I'm not a big fan of a craft that requires counting. I'm not number-averse, I just like to craft and let my mind wander. I've had to unpick more projects than I care to remember because my mind wandered when it should have been counting.

Fortunately, I was able to slide right back in to the soothing rhythm of cross-stitches and found it quite fun and relaxing. Since I didn't have a specific project in mind, I just picked some of my favorite motifs from the book and stitched away. When I finished, I posted a picture to Twitter, and my brilliantly hilarious friend, Kari, said, "Rocket, Scissors, Alien Boobs?" and launched us into a conversation over what trumps what (Would alien boob juice melt scissors?). At one point, I thought I'd end up cutting the cross-stitched pieces out and using them for separate projects, but now I think - thanks to Kari - it's become one of my favorite samplers of all time.