Monday, June 30, 2014

Sewvivor 3: Quilter's Edition {Introducing the Judges}

Hi Everyone! I want to apologize for not announcing the judges last Monday... I was out having a baby! So today I am revealing the amazing Judges. Next week, when the AUDITIONS open, I will also reveal all the SPONSORS and PRIZE PACKAGES. It's all so exciting!

Quick recap so far... click for more info on:

Say hello to our Judges! Their job is to select the Top 16 from the auditions, and then help narrow down the competition as it advances. Their individual votes will always be confidential, it is their collective vote that will be used in the judging process. 

I am so honored to have each one of these quilting sensations on our Judges Panel... (also know as the "Tribal Council" in Survivor terms). You have probably heard of each of these ladies... I have been so inspired by each of them. I definitely recommend checking them out on the web! Here's a little more about them.

Mary Dugan from Molly Flanders Makerie
Mary is such a delight in the online quilting community. One of her specialties is her knack for matching quirky fabrics and her amazing hand quilting. She has taught quilting classes for many years at several quilting shops in Columbus, Ohio. She has contributed patchwork projects for a Mollie Makes book (which will be released in the UK in the Fall and in the States in the Spring '15). She has sewn for Quilt Market booths. Her latest endeavor includes an e-commerce site which will launch this fall!

Jeni Baker from In Color Order
 Jeni is a multi-talented blogger, quilter, and designer. She has a passion for all things vintage, which is portrayed in some of her creations. She has taught classes at The Sewing Summit. She designs fabric for Art Gallery Fabrics and designs quilting patterns under her own name. Jeni teaches sewing and quilting about once a week at The Sewcial Lounge in Madison, WI.

Amy Newbold from Sukie Don't Ya Know
Amy, more commonly known as Sukie in the online sewing community, has been quilting since 2010. Her inspiration for getting into quilting came from her mother in-law who has been sewing for over 40 years. Currently, Amy lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and two kids. She works as a Director of Operations for a local I.T. company. In 2012-2013 she volunteered her time to the Modern Quilt Guild Board of Directors as the Treasurer. At the end of 2013, she developed Sewtopia Retreat. Amy tries to fit sewing in at night and on the weekends. She loves long walks on the beach.

Jenny Fox-Proverbs, Editor of Love Patchwork and Quilting Magazine
Jenny's been a prominent figure in the world of craft publishing for over 15 years, and last
year masterminded the launch of a brand new magazine: Love Patchwork & Quilting. The
mag's geared towards modern quilters – featuring fresh fabric designs, exciting colours,
graphic shapes and bold piecing – it shares your passion for fabric! To find exclusive
content, mag previews, top giveaways and more visit

Sarah Fielke from The Last Piece
Award winning quilter, Sarah has made a huge impact upon the modern quilting society. She is well known for her beautiful applique and patchwork. She is an avid teacher, sharing her passion for sewing and quilting around the world. She currently designs fabric for Windham Fabrics. She is the author of several popular quilting books. She enjoys traveling to Quilt Market, and resides in Australia.

the AUDITIONS open, and the SPONSORS and PRIZE PACKAGES will be revealed!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sewing Tutorial: Mini Maxi Dress

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My daughter got a sewing machine for her 8th birthday. She is so excited about it, and has wanted to make all sorts of things. I promised her that as soon as school was out, we'd spend some time sewing together. This little maxi dress was our first project. 

She styled and designed it. She wanted it to be very simple, just a straight cut with simple sleeves and she just had to have a white elastic belt to go with it. She chose a knit fabric from my stash of Girl Charlee yardage. I love the neon and gray combo!

It was simple enough for her to help with, yet interesting enough for me also... I loved the challenge of getting all the stripes to match up. We made a great team!

I usually have her take photos for me if I'm modeling something for my blog. This time it was her turn in front of the lens. She loved knowing that this would be her debut project for my little blog! :)

It was a simple project that only took an afternoon. I added the finishing touches that night after she had gone to bed. 

I'm so happy to be invited back for the third year in a row as a contributor for the Melly Sews Sundress Series. Check out this post to see what other bloggers are participating and for a fabric giveaway!
Want to this east striped maxi for yourself, or with your little girl?
Here's the EASY full tutorial.

tracing paper for pattern
knit fabric yardage
rotary cutter + mat
fine thread
sewing machine + iron

1. Create a pattern. We laid out a t-shirt that fits my daughter well. I used this as a great teaching moment to show her how her clothes are made. Fold the shirt in half, and line up the fold to the edge of your tracing paper. (I left ours about an inch away from the fold to give the dress a little more ease).

2. Mark the FRONT of the shirt where the collar dips down. Using a dashed line, trace around the edge of the shirt from the center collar, around the neckline, shoulders, armhole, armpit, and side. When you get to the bottom of the shirt, keep going until you reach the desired length of your dress. Keep the line straight or flared depending upon the look you want. Next, measure a 5/8" seam allowance away from the dotted line and draw a solid line.

3. Repeat this process for the BACK, where the collar is the highest. You will have two finished pattern pieces.

4. Cut out the pattern pieces on the solid line. If sewing with your daughter, she will love this part. Make sure you teach her the difference between paper and fabric scissors ;)

5. I had my daughter label each piece. (Name of pattern, size, front/back, center fold)

6. Line up the pattern on your fabric. You can fold your fabric in half, placing the center fold on the fabric fold, and cut through both layers at once. I left our fabric as a single layer, since we were working with stripes and wanted things to line up perfectly. Use pattern weights or pins to hold in place.

7. Once we had cut the first side, we flipped the pattern over and laid it face down, then cut out the other side, making sure the stripes line up perfectly.

8. Things got even trickier when cutting out the back piece and trying to keep all the stripes aligned. Follow the same method of cutting as the front piece. Then pin right sides together at the shoulder and side seams, matching up all the stripes.

9. Using a small zig zag stitch and 5/8" seam allowance, we sewed the shoulder seams and side seams. Turn dress right sides out and try on for fit.

10. For the sleeves, we fused steam-a-seam to the edge. We then folded the raw edge toward the inside of the dress once. We stitched at 1/4" seam allowance using a stretchy feather stitch.

11. To finish the neck hole, we made a facing. Measure the length of the dress neck hole and add 1/2". This is the length, and the width is up to you. Ours was 1 and 1/2". Fold in half width wise, and press. Fuse steam-a-seam to one side of the facing, then fuse entire facing together.

12. Sew the facing together at the short ends to create a circle. Then line up the raw edges of the neck hole and facing and pin. Sew at 1/4".

13. Flip the facing over to expose the folded edge. Topstitch with a straight line near the edge of the visible seam.

14. I planned on that being the last step, but the collar wasn't laying how I wanted it to, so I folded it over toward the front, pressed, and sewed once more.

15. This little tag is one of my favorite finishing touches... I ordered fusible/sew-on stamps from Pick Your Plum a few weeks ago, and I love how they turned out!

And that's it! My girl is sooo excited about the dress we made together.  She loves it so much that she wants to sleep in it! 
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Monday, June 16, 2014

Sewvivor 3: Quilter's Edition {Rules and FAQ}

Hi friends!
Today, I am explaining all the Rules about Sewvivor and how it works. Each Monday, I have a new piece of Sewvivor to "reveal," so that you have time to digest it and decide if you'd like to enter! Be sure to check out the entire Season 3 Timeline and Challenges on this post, and a few more details about what Sewvivor is on this post. Stay tuned next week.... you'll find out who the judges are!

If you'd like to audition for Sew-vivor, here's everything you'll need to know in advance!
Auditions are open July 7-21, 2014.

--Season 3 is a Quilter's Edition. This does not mean you must have previous quilting experience (beginner or advanced quilters may enter). But it DOES mean that all projects entered MUST be quilted. You do not have to enter a quilt. It can be any quilted project (ex- quilt, mini quilt, pillow, bag, pouch, apparel, etc). 

--To define "quilting" for this competition... it must be an item that is either pieced and/or quilted. The piecing may be done by hand or machine. The quilting may be done by hand or machine. You must incorporate at least one technique, both being the most common.

--You may audition with ONE project. It can be anything QUILTED you've ever sewn before, or you can make something special just to enter. It must be made by YOU. It does not have have to be your original idea or tutorial, and it doesn't matter if it was made with or without a pattern. Machine and handsewing count. Crocheting and knitting do not. Be sure it is your best representation of you, your sewing skills, and your creativity!
--You MUST have a blog to enter. It doesn't need to be a fancy or popular blog- you can create one for free on, or it can even be your family blog. Please note that you will see increased traffic to your blog by entering this competition.

--Big Tip: Take good pictures! Besides your sewing skills and creativity, presentation will play a big role in a competition like this. Large, clear pictures are appealing to the eye, and it is easier for the judges and audience to see and appreciate detail.

--This IS open internationally! I love and value my international friends, and encourage to you participate! :)

--Entries will be accepted in the form of a link party, (see last year's auditions for an example). There will be directions on how to enter when the auditions begin.

--The Top 16 will be chosen by the Sew-vivor judges, and will advance to compete in the 4 rounds of Sew-vivor competition. (Judges will email me their Top 20 picks, and I will tally up and average everything to choose the Top 16). 

--If you enter Sew-vivor, I encourage you to proudly post a Sew-vivor button on your sidebar! If you make it into the competition round, you'll need to have the button on your sidebar for as long as you are in the competition. (Buttons will be available at the auditions).

--To enter, you MUST be a 'Family Ever After' follower on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest (as many of these outlets you have an account with).
Yahoo, now we're friends!

The following weekly challenges will only pertain to the Top 16 who are chosen to compete in the actual competition. I wanted to put them out there so you would know what the competition will entail so you can decide if entering Sew-vivor is right for you or not.

--If you think that you've got a chance of making it into the Top 16, you are welcome get a head start working on projects for the following themes for the 4 weeks of challenges at your own risk! I am not responsible if you make a project but do not make it to the Top 16! All projects submitted for the 4 rounds of competition cannot have been made any sooner than July 1, 2014. Do not reveal them on your blog until they are revealed on Sew-vivor.
--Contestants may use patterns and online tutorials for projects. When you post your projects on your blog, you'll need to cite your sources. If you create your own pattern, we'd love to see a tutorial in pictures! Full tutorials will be featured on YOUR blog (giving you all the traffic).

--Projects will be revealed on Monday mornings 9am EST. Voting will be occur Monday at 9am-Wednesday at midnight EST. Advancing contestants will be notified via email the following Thursday morning. They will not be announced on this blog until the following Monday at 9am. (See Timeline for all Reveal and Results dates).

--This means that contestants.... every project will need to be emailed to me by Sunday at 6pm EST. You may submit 5 pictures + explanations describing your project, no more than 4 sentences per picture. Pictures should be around 500 pixels. You are welcome to send the HTML. (I will go over this in more detail via email with the contestants).

--You will be allowed to post the full tutorial on your blog, the day it is revealed on Sew-vivor. Hopefully, this will help you get lots of fun traffic to your own blog!

--The total judge vote + the public vote will each counts as 50% of the entire vote. The judges will email their votes to me, and their votes will remain anonymous (as to which judge picked what project). This counts as 50% of the total vote. The audience (readers) will also vote, using an online poll, which counts as the other 50% of the total vote. Contestants are allowed to rally votes from their family, friends, blog readers, etc. Each device (computer, iphone, tablet, etc) is allowed 1 vote. I cannot help you if your uncle's computer is not letting him vote, etc.

--Just like on Survivor, there may be a few twists and surprises. For example, Immunity, Tribal Councils, and Challenge Rewards may come into play. These will be fair and at random. By entering, you agree that this is part of the competition, and will play along fairly.

--Elimination Process: 
  Challenge 1- Top 16 
  Challenge 2- Top 10
  Challenge 3- Top 5
Challenge 4- Top 3

--I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE ANY CHANGES ALONG THE WAY AS NECESSARY! I commit to being fair and honest throughout this entire competition.

Please leave ALL questions in the comments below. I will answer them in the comments, and address them again at the Auditions on July 7.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Sewvivor 3: Quilter's Edition {Timeline and Challenges}

Welcome to this exciting day where you find out what the CHALLENGES and TIMELINE for Sewvivor 3 will be. As you see, the Auditions will be open July 7-21 (read here for more about auditioning), and the actual sewing portion of Sewvivor takes place every two weeks in August and September. Are you getting excited? 


The following weekly challenges will only pertain to the Top 16 who are chosen to compete in the actual competition. I wanted to put them out there so you would know what the competition will entail so you can decide if entering Sewvivor is right for you or not. As you can see, the four challenges are very open to your own interpretation. I give you a theme, and you run with it! Tutorials and patterns ARE allowed to be used, (you must cite your source), or you can also make your very own creation.

Be sure to read through everything on the timeline... it will help you know if you've got the time to enter Sewvivor! Plus, there are some really exciting announcements coming at the end of June!

2- Sewvivor Season 3: Quilter's Edition Launch Announcement 
9- Timeline + Challenges revealed
16- Rules + Voting process explained
23- Judges revealed
30- Sponsors + Prizes Packages revealed

7- Auditions Launch + Detailed Recap
14- Love Patchwork and Quilting Spotlight
21- Auditions close + Giveaway
28- Top 16 Contestants Announced 

4- Get to know Contestants 
11- Challenge 1: Nautical + Voting
18- Challenge 1 Results
25- Challenge 2: Quilted Bag + Voting

1- Challenge 2 Results
8- Challenge 3: Hexies + Voting
15- Challenge 3 Results
22- Challenge 4: Lap Size Quilt + Voting
29- Challenge 4 Final Results