Quilt Market 1

It feels weird to say 2015 again.  As if it’s suddenly so far in the past.
Which means I couldn’t let another month go by without sharing pics from Quilt Market in October!

Quilt Market is the convention where all the new fabric lines are shown and purchased twice a year.  The big fabric suppliers showcase their latest designs, and distributors/shops come to oooh and ahhh and buy them up….so that YOU can then buy them from their shops!  It’s a dreamy fabric overload.

And I haven’t been to Market for about 3 years (check out my other Quilt Market adventures here, here, and here).  So I was itching for a return.  Because it’s so much fun to see the booth displays…in fact I love the booths equally as much as the fabric.  And sometimes all you need IS fabric to make the booth completely.  Ahhhh! 10 yards in every color please!

Quilt Market 2

(Large gingham checks by Premier Prints)
(Photo above is Fleet & Flourish fabric designed by Maureen Cracknell for Art Gallery Fabrics)

There are so many colors for your eyes to wander over and soak in.   And every year more fresh, young, and current designers pop up, along with more garment sewing rather than just quilting.   Hooray!

Quilt Market 3

First stop, I spotted this amazing quilt that I’d been eyeing on Instagram.
It’s by Modern Handcraft and made from Vanessa’s line OMBRE for Moda Fabrics.  I mean WOW. The precision is so…..precise!  One of my favorite things I saw that day.

Quilt Market 4

Of course I equally loved chatting with Vanessa.  I met her at my first Quilt Market visit in 2010 (along with Anna from Noodlehead)  And that truly seems long ago.  I remember Vanessa talking about how she wanted to do a line with just color, and then write a series of books based on each color.  And now she’s done it! (check out Yellow and Orange
and Green, just to get your mind going).  It’s really neat to see the progression of an artist and friend.

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I also remember from that first Market that names like Heather Ross, Amy Butler, and Anna Maria Horner really started to sink in…..as in, they weren’t just pretty fabrics and books….but they were actual people and moms and business women, who loved designing and sharing.  And our paths were slowly crossing.  All for the love of fabric.

I didn’t see Amy or Anna Maria there this time around.
But here’s the new line Mendocino by Heather Ross:

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How fun is the mermaid doll by Kid Giddy?

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Another name I’ve followed for a while is Sarah Jane Studios.  I bought some of her art prints years ago when she had an etsy shop.  Now she has wallpaper, puppets, embroidery patterns, and another beautiful line of fabric called Sommer.

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There are some darling double-gauze prints in there, which would make really cute swaddle blankets.

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Of course a fan favorite is the amazing Cotton + Steel.  Everything they do is cool, fun, and current, yet retro.  I love it.

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Quilt Market 34

Hey look, there’s a pair of KID Shorts!

Quilt Market 12
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I was happy to see Girl Charlee there, which is the best shop for KNIT fabrics.   They were showcasing their new lines for BOLT, aimed at wholesalers.

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The “made in LA”sign made me smile.  And here’s a little dress I sewed using their Pure Vintage collection.

Quilt Market 15

Next up is the ever-so-gorgeous Art Gallery Fabrics.  Oh their fabrics are lovely–both in design and feel.  They feel soft as butter (if I really knew what butter felt like under my hands and sewing machine).  Remember the heart skirt and the yellow reversible knit tops??  Yep. Art Gallery Fabrics.

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This wall by Bari J. was really cool.  Can you see how she hung the dark canvas painting which inspired her fabric ON top of the fabric there?  It’s a beautiful collection of prints, called Millie Fleur.

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I got to meet and chat with one of their new designers Amy Sinibaldi, showcasing her new whimsy line called Paperie.  She was as sweet and adorable as could be.

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Oh those little dresses.

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Sharon Holland has a beautiful collection called Coastline.

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And in true artist form, she told me all the details of how she made and molded and painted that sign, and how she painted the giant beach scene canvas behind the sign…which were really awesome, and impressive! I want to paint like Sharon.  And Bari.

Quilt Market 20a

Art Gallery made an awesome announcement at Quilt Market with this booth:
Denim Fabrics!  Yay!
It’s called the Denim Studio.  And it’s full of cool denim prints + colors meant for garments, home decor, and quilting. Look at all those swatches…

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And aside from their fabric, I really loved their purchasing booth, with bold colors and fabric swatches framed on the walls.   This is where a buyer comes to sit, look and feel the fabrics, flip through sample books, and purchase fabrics…for YOU! (in essence).

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And here’s another shot of Maureen Cracknell’s wall for her Fleet and Flourish line.  The butterflies were fantastic and really stole the show.  This might have been my favorite look of the whole Market.

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Next stop was another favorite: Cloud 9 Fabrics.
Can you handle these little cloud zipper pouches???
They even had tutorial cards so you could go home and make your own.

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It’s really impressive to see how far some of this company has come, Art Gallery as well.  If you look back at my post from 2010, Cloud 9 was just a small booth with organic baby cottons hanging like drapes.  And now look at them!  Booths and booths and booths.

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And it’s always fun to see some friends in the mix.  I spy Rain Walk by Anna of Noodlehead, and Small World corduroy by Rae (remember those Lemon shorts I made for Lucy?  Same darling fabric line).

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This booth by Elizabeth Hartman was AWESOME.  Her line is called Pacific for Robert Kaufman.  I mean, she had me at Big Foot.

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And lastly…probably the best announcement of the whole market was this:

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Anna Rifle Bond, of Rifle Paper Co is designing fabric!
For Cotton + Steel!
And it comes out in the spring!
Amazing.  I’ve been following her artwork for a few years now and die over her illustrations.   If you don’t follow her on instagram you should start.  She’s inspiring.

Aaaand that’s a Quilt Market recap.
Every Fall the event takes place in Houston, which means I should get there more often.
And this Spring (May 20-22) it will be in Salt Lake City!  You need to have industry credentials to buy a ticket, but I’m sure many of you qualify for that.

Okay.  Have a happy sewing day my friends!


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How to make a Changing Pad Cover on MADE

It’s a new week my friends!
A new day to sew a little something.  Or not.
Or to just watch videos of cute babies.

And I’ve got a new one for you….
How to make your own Changing Pad Cover from a TOWEL

Yep.  Let’s make a new changing pad cover to spruce up that baby room!
All you need is a towel, and a bit of elastic.
It’s so easy.
Cause just like making Crib Sheets, you don’t have to settle for the basic options you see in the store.  YOU can make what you want!

How to make a Diaper Changing Pad Cover video on MADE

And surprisingly, it took me till my last child to it.
Why? Do we do that?
Please don’t follow in my footsteps. I wish I’d made one with baby #1
Ahhh. It’s so cute!

I’ll even show you some tricks to make that perfect towel, to fit your perfect style.
Cheers all around.
(and cute baby by Miranda)

How to make a diaper Changing Pad Cover on MADE
baby lock

Okay just hit the Play button below and enjoy!

MADE EVERYDAY with Dana is a fresh new sewing show, where we create everyday items you will love and use.
To watch other episodes:

• Click the VIDEO tab at the top or
• Subscribe to my Youtube channel so you’re updated as soon as the episode goes live.


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TUTORIAL: Quote Totes

by Dana on January 15, 2016

How to make Totes with a Quote on MADE

With so many fantastic quotes flying around these days, it’s hard not to plaster them everywhere. Which is funny….because growing up, my Mom and Aunt often had quotes and notes taped on walls around our houses.  And they sort of drove me crazy.
Maybe because they said things like “D.Y.O.D. – Do Your Own Dishes.”
Or “remember to flush.”
And they were printed in some crappy Times New Roman font.

Well, times have changed (heh heh)

There’s so much great typography out there!  It’s almost overwhelming.
It is overwhelming.
But we can’t resist!  It’s so fun to share cool quotes and cute lettering!
Am I right?
Or am I right?

how to sew vinyl tote bags on MADE
How to sew Tote Bags with Quotes

So I was thinking about quotes, and how it’s fun to put them on bags and t-shirts.  But the other day I dawned on me…why not display quotes IN the bag?….with paper??  So that the actual piece of art is sewn into the bag, so that it’s part of the bag?!
Ah ha.
It’s probably been done.
But I felt happy about it.
One small step for Dana.  One giant step for Dana.

how to make vinyl totes

So here you go!  The tutorial for making jelly quote totes.
It’s got a great 80′s ring to it.

How to make Quote Totes on MADE

Okay. This project is easy.
You just need a few items, and a few tips for sewing with vinyl.

supplies for Vinyl Quote Totes
First, chose your artwork and print it to an 8 1/2 x 11 inch piece of paper.

There are so many great places to find artwork and quotes.  You can always make your own piece of art or encourage your children to draw/write something.  Or pinterest is plastered with images—just make sure you check the private policy on someone’s artwork before printing.

One of my favorite places for interesting quotes and typography is Caravan Shoppe.  Their stuff is fantastic.  They offer downloadable art and toys in various formats so you can print a huge print for your wall, or small prints for a bookshelf.  Or in this case, so the artwork is portable!  Now you can share it with everyone as you walk around with your plastic purse.

Caravan shoppe

These particular tote bags were part of Lucy’s birthday party, which was a Space Theme.  So the Outer Space quotes at Caravan Shoppe (here, here, and here) were perfect!  A few of them are even FREE.   Seriously. I love Caravan.

Something to keep in mind with your artwork: the paper will get a bit “crinkled” as you finish the bag (when you turn it right-side out).  You can always choose to sew your seams on the OUTside of the bag, so you don’t have to turn anything.  But personally….I really like the crinkled look on the paper and the plastic.  It adds more dimension.

Next item: Vinyl.
For this bag we’ll use both clear vinyl and solid-colored vinyl.
And if you’ve never sewing with those, don’t worry.  We’ll walk through some simple steps together.
And if you’re wondering where vinyl is located at your store, you’ve probably walked by it without even noticing!  The clear stuff is typically rolled like this, with tissue paper in between to keep it from sticking to itself.  And the solid-colored vinyl is probably in the same area in large rolls (near the home dec/upholstery area)

How to sew with Vinyl

Clear vinyl comes in different “gauges” which means different weights or thicknesses.  I prefer a lower gauge (such as 4) for these bags because stiffer plastic will be hard to turn right-side out when you’re done sewing.

• You need about a 1/2 yard of clear vinyl (for the bag).
• You need an 1/8 of a yard of solid vinyl (for the straps).

• Start by cutting each handle 1 inch x 27 inches, using a rotary cutter, ruler, and cutting mat. You only need two handles, but I was mass-producing so I cut many.  The best way to do this is to cut one very long strip 1-inch wide (you can fold the vinyl in half while you cut).  And when you’re done, cut each strap 27 inches long.  Now set the straps aside for a moment.

How to sew Vinyl straps

Let’s talk about sewing with vinyl.  It’s similar to sewing with Oilcloth.   It has a tendency to get stuck under your presser foot.

There are a few tricks to solve this:
1. Place transparent tape on the bottom of your presser foot.
2. Use the “tissue paper” method.
3. Use a Teflon Presser Foot.

Each of these methods are outlined in detail HERE.

My preferred method is a Teflon foot. It’s inexpensive and can be purchased for most machines.  Just snap it right on and you’re ready to go!

• Sew each strap by folding it in half (don’t pin) then sew straight down .

how to use a Teflon Presser foot
Vinyl straps for tote bags

Set the straps aside for now and let’s work on the bag itself.

• You need 3 identical pieces of clear vinyl for the front and back of the bag.  The front is made of two pieces of vinyl, with the paper artwork/quote sandwiched in between.  And the back of the bag is just one piece of vinyl.

You can make your bag any size to accommodate any artwork.
I cut my pieces 15 x 17 inches.

how to sew with clear vinyl

The best way to do this is to cut a long strip from the vinyl with scissors first, about 18-19 inches wide, to give you some wiggle room.  Then go to your cutting mat and cut 3 pieces that are 15 x 17 inches.

using clear vinyl on MADE

• Take two of the pieces, remove the tissue paper, and sandwich the piece of artwork in between the two vinyl layers.  Make sure nothing else slips in there! like a piece of lint, hair, threads, etc.
• Now sew around the artwork paper so it stays in place.  You don’t need to pin anything (and you shouldn’t place pins in vinyl because it will leave holes).  The vinyl pieces actually sort of “stick” together making it easier to sew.  Sew around all four sides of the paper.

how to sew artwork into your bag

Now sew a hem on the top of the bag pieces.  Typically when making a tote bag, I sew the hem last so the side seams are enclosed nicely.  But it will be too difficult to do that later, due to the stiffness of the vinyl/plastic.  So well do it now.

• Fold the top of the bag under about 1 inch and “finger press” it in place (you don’t want to iron vinyl).  Sew it in place.  And do the same thing on the back piece of the bag.

NOTE about “pressing”:  Yes, vinyl which is plastic will melt under your iron.   But you can actually use a iron on a very low setting with a press-cloth (lightweight towel) over the top if you’d like a nice crease.  Just be careful and always try it on a test piece of fabric first.  You can read more about that in my Sewing with Oilcloth post.

sewing with vinyl
tips for sewing with vinyl fabric

Now let’s sew the straps in place.  Measure in about 3-4 inches from the sides of the bag and clip a strap to the front of the bag.  Again, you don’t want to use pins or they will leave holes.
Instead, I LOVE Wonder Clips!

Wonder Clips on MADE

• Sew each strap in place by sewing a small rectangle around the ends of the straps. For more details, watch my Tote Bags video HERE.   First sew the strap to the Front of the bag, then sew the other strap to the back of the bag.  Make sure the straps aren’t twisted!
• Then, with right-sides of the vinyl together, Wonder Clip the sides of the bag together and sew down and around the sides and bottom of the bag.

How to sew straps on a tote bag

We’re almost done!

how to sew vinyl tote bags

• Trim the corners of the bag, turn the bag right-side out, and press the corners out as best as you can.

* This is going to be awkward to do.*  Not gonna lie.
It will feel really stiff and like it’s not going to work.  But the stiffness of the vinyl is actually go to give the bag great shape.  So just get in there, crumple it up, and keep smooshing it around.
* Tricks to help soften the plastic: use a press-cloth over the top of the bag and alightly press it with the iron on a very low setting (as mentioned above.  But be cautious that you don’t melt anything!)  Or use a blowdryer to warm it up a bit.  These will both make the plastic more malleable.

And here’s where the artwork will get crumpled in the process! But that’s part of the charm.

sewing vinyl tote bags on MADE

You’re done!

I’d say you shot for the moon and succeeded.
Good job!
How to sew vinyl bags with quotes.  Quote Totes on MADE


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Building a New Home on MADE

With the new year here I’m jumping back into home projects.  Because I don’t know about you…but I sort of have to be all in, or all out.  If I’m in home mode–I’m in home mode.  Or if it’s pattern-making time, I’m in the studio drawing and sewing.  It’s hard to be pulled in multiple creative directions—which is why we often have cereal for dinner.
Remember that?

Well some of you have asked about a home update on Instagram (@danamadeit) so here are some changes in the living room.

And if you’ve missed any of my previous home building posts, here’s the short version:
Two years ago we built a custom home in Austin, Texas.
For the next thirty years, we’ll be decorating it.

Check out my previous posts documenting the whole process:
We’re building a new home!
Groundbreaking Party
From foundation to frame 
Stucco, shingles, and Exterior Paint
Interior Paint colors and the back Deck
We moved!…and an ode to the old house
Backsplash, Shower Tile, Flooring, Countertops
The giant Ball Chandeliers and other lighting
Guest Room makeover 
Mosaic Bathroom Tile and Wallpaper
New Dining table, benches, and chairs
Large Craft Table for the Studio

So the day we moved in—ON Valentine’s day. How sweet is that?—the room looked like this.
(Read more about our gray + white paint colors, our fireplace + tile, and our floor tile)

Before and After pics on MADE

The gray couches we bought in California 6 years ago, right before we moved here.  Actually they were delivered to us IN Texas and there were major delays, so we sat on camping chairs for a few months.  And those are fun memories.

So the couches work great in the new space.
Next up: the rug.
I love this rug!  It’s from West Elm.  And I found it at the outlet (in San Marcos if you live in Texas).  It’s 9×12, which works great in this room.

New Rug and Home Improvement on MADE

Most of all it doesn’t shed like 10 cats in the house, like the last rug did.  Casey was happy to get rid of the “tauntaun carcass” as he called it.

end tables and new rug on MADE

Next item: piano.
The kids started taking lessons a couple years ago, so it was time for one.
We found this beauty on Craigslist, which was cared for by a piano tuner and restorer.  He also had an amazing baby grand in his workshop which he was restoring from fire damage.  So interesting.

Piano and Home Improvement on MADE

He brought the piano to our house, tuned the thing, and played some amazing music… which reminded me of how I’d like to be Lady Grantham one day.  Because I could use a household of cleaning help and I’d love to have a private musician play for us upon request, in the parlor.
If we had a parlor.

Piano in MADE house
vintage piano on MADE

It was hard finding the “right” piano that fit within our budget.  Obviously I wanted it to sound decent, which it does, but it’s not great.  But I also wanted the style to be simple and not too swirly or ornate.  And I LOVE the way this one looks.

And of course I wasn’t sure about the brown color at first.  But as I mentioned with the dining room table, I’m warming up to browns again.  Or rather, I think you can mix browns and grays together nicely.
I toyed with the idea of painting it because I’ve seen so many cool versions….

Custom Home before and after

But once we got a new TV console, hung the TV on the wall and added a little artwork, I loved the brown next to the white.

Custom Home improvements

And once the crappy piano bench that the piano came with broke one day (phew) I pulled the IKEA bench over and I loved it even more!  This combo works great together.

new TV console on MADE

It’s hard to pick out a full room of furniture.
(Well, maybe not if you’re an interior decorator.)
And I’m definitely no expert….but I find that starting with the key pieces that are either large (like a couch), or important/special (like a piano), or by purchasing a furniture item that really jumps out at you (like this TV console I loved the first time I saw it)…. well, those are good places to start.

And then you can slowly work your way through the room, piecing it together.  And by the time you’re done, you’ll be sick of it.
Isn’t that how it seems to happen?
But then you can sew new pillows, throw up a new family photo and call it good.

Okay.  Here’s where I need your help and input.
This little chair.
Or rather, this space where the little chair sits.

help me pick a new chair for the living room
The chair was great in the old house.  Remember how I had to redo the china cabinet before I could open it?  Well I still love that chair.   It’s just too small for this room and I can’t buy another.
(I miss the old house)

Fiesta Party on MADE

So it’s time for a new piece of furniture.
And I have looked and looked for months, and almost hit purchase multiple times.  And then I’ll chicken out, or someone else will give me a different opinion.

So I’m hoping you can help steer me in the right direction!

Here are some choices I’ve narrowed it down to.
You’ll find links to all of these on my furniture board.

So many chairs to choose from on MADE

This area of the room definitely needs more seating to pull the socializing aspect together.  So it’s either two chairs, a love seat, or settee.  My two favorites are the green settee and blue chair above.  I love the yellow loveseat way too much.  But it’s also too big for the space.

The coffee table is also going away and needs to be replaced with either one rectangular table, or two squares, or rounds?  I don’t want the room to become overly mid-century modern.  But I do love many of those styles.

Custom Home improvements on MADE

There are plenty of yellows, greens, and blues throughout the house.  So any of those shades work. (read more about lights, wallpaper, shower tile, exterior paint)

yellow lights on MADE
Green wallpaper on MADE
Shower Tiles on MADE
Building a Custom Home in Texas

I worry that the green couch will be a lot of green near the door.   But it all depends on your angle in the room.
AND I might replace that white bench behind the couch with some upholstered benches?  Maybe those could be yellow?

I’d love to know your thoughts.
Which one do you like?
Or maybe you have a link to something else?  I’m open to new ideas.

help me decorate my house

And already since taking these photos, I’ve added some new plants and artwork to the room.

But I’m still searching for more.  I can’t stomach the price of these Gray Malin prints, so I’d love to know if you have any good artwork leads!
Baby steps to home improvement.

Thank you friends!

Gray Mallin prints

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