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February 2013

January 2013

Fat Quarter Gang - Chevron Valance by Maureen Cracknell Handmade

Happy Monday! It's Maureen here again from Maureen Cracknell Handmade! I'm so excited to be sharing my newest Fat Quarter Gang Project with you all today! This time I'm sharing a tutorial for making this pretty Luxe In Bloom Chevron Valance.
We just moved into our very first home, so I am all about sewing up home decor these days! Now let's get started!!

Valance for Anais -- dark

What you'll need :
  • 6 - fat quarters of Sarah Watson's gorgeous Luxe In Bloom
  • Coordinating Thread
  • Rotary Cutter/Mat/Ruler measuring 6" in width
  • Spring Tension Curtain Rod

* Note *   - This tutorial will make two - 24" valances from Six Fat Quarters. For a Valance measuring 36", at step #15 simply add an 8" x 22" piece of fabric to each side, instead of 2" x 22".  

Cutting and Piecing the Fabrics : : 

Gorgeous Luxe in Bloom

1. Using five of the six prints and a rotary cutter, quilting ruler, and cutting mat, cut two strips from each fabric measuring 3" x 22" 

2.  Using a 1/2" seam allowance, sew these strips together to make two rectangles measuring 11" x 22" 

3. Press well with all seams open

0. fabrics for patchwork
Step 1

Cutting on the Diagonal : :

4. Working with one of the pieces of striped fabrics, place your cutting ruler over your work at an angle positioned from the top left corner running 4" out from the bottom of the fabrics (pic 1) and trim away (pic 2) 

5. Without moving the ruler and using the 6"width of the ruler, trim away the fabric on the opposite side (pic 3) 

6. Keeping that angle trim away a second piece (pic 4)

Step 2

7. Square up these two pieces to measure 6" x 11.5"

7. trim away, to rectangle measureing

8. Repeat these steps with the second piece of striped fabrics, but this time trim from the top right side at an angle leading out to 4" at the bottom

8. repeat, but this time trim from left side, add angle leading to 4 inches at the bottom

9. Continue following the same steps until you have two pieces cut to measure 6" x 11.5" from this side. You'll have four pieces total now, two with a diagonal running down from the left and two from the right

9. repeat so you have two of each

Piecing the Chevron : : 

10. Using one of each angled piece of fabric, place with right sides together (pic 1)  Pin, sew, and press seams open (pic 2) to create one chevron piece 

11. Repeat this with the remaining two angled pieces (pic 3) 

12. Sew those two chevron pieces together (pic 4)

step 3

Adding the Border Fabrics : :

13. Using the final, sixth fat quarter, cut one piece measuring 4" x 22" and one piece measuring 5" x 22"

14. cut border fabrics

14. Add the 5" piece to the top of your chevron fabric piece and the 4" piece to the bottom. Trim to measure one 18" x 22" piece

15. add border fabrics, if you can center them

15. Cut two 2" x 22" (for a 24" valance or two 8" x 22" for a 36" valance) Pin and sew those to each side of your work, pressing seams open

16. cut 2 inch strips for the sides or 8 inch for a larger valance

Hemming and Finishing : :

16. Hem all four sides, beginning with the top and bottom first, by folding each edge in 1/4", pressing, folding over 1/4" again, pinning and sewing along the inner folded edges

17. hem all four sides, beginning with the top and bottom

17. Once the hemming is finished, with the wrong side of your work facing up, fold the top edge down 2" and press (pic 1).  Pin this fold in place and sew along the bottom edge (pic 2) and top edge (pic 3)

18. to make rod pocket, fold down 2 inches, press, and pin
last step

18.  Add your Spring Tension Curtain Rod and pick your window!

These were made for our kitchen windows and we love them! From morning until dusk the light gleams thru like beautiful stained glass, illuminating Sarah's gorgeous designs! And, in the evening the lovely colors that make up this fabric collection really shine!


Feel free to share on my Facebook page or in my Maureen Cracknell Handmade Flickr group too! 


As always to be eligible to win you must follow us on your fav social media platform (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter)and Subscribe to our blog to stay up to date on all things AGF & the Fat Quarter Gang! Ohhh... and lets not forget Flickr!

Enjoy and happy sewing!


Sugar & Spice - Koh Samui slaw

Happy Friday peeps,

Today's recipe is a super simple Thai Lime slaw. This dish is amazing and healthy at the time (so no breaking those resolutions.) Works as great side dish or add a protein to have it as a stand alone meal. I swear it takes 5 minutes to make and will save your life when you're in a pinch.

Now some of you may be wondering "how do you guys come up with these names?"

Interesting story actually.... Megan brought this delicious Thai dish and as she explained how to make it my brain drifted off into the scene from "Meet the Parents" when Ben Stiller tells everyone about Robert De Niro's "secret" CIA life and then Dina says "Jack can't talk Thai" and then Ben Stiller says "0h, no, Dina, Jack can talk Thai. Jack talks Thai very well.." Anyway, I am linking the scene here so you can picture it too.

Either way that was the inspiration behind the Koh Samui name. I know I am a total movie nerd. hahaha. Well, I am done with my ramblings... you can now go onto the recipe :)


1/2 cup light mayo

2 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. plum sauce
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. soy or teriyaki sauce
1 Bag of Broccoli slaw (we used Dole)

- In a small bowl whisk mayo, sesame oil, lime juice, plum sauce, and soy sauce.
- In a large bowl empty bag of broccoli slaw.
- Pour dressing over broccoli slaw and toss salad. 
** Sliced chicken can be added to make a main course dish and rice noodles or toasted almonds make a tasty compliment when sprinkled as a topping.
Slaw and dressing can be stored separately and mixed for individual servings or in large portions as a side dish. 
Bon Appetit!

Color Me Inspired!

Hello Friends,

This holiday season I dreamed of travel and visiting my Mother's house. The snow downtown in the city and blanketing the forest in her backyard has Colored Me Inspired to sew. Inspiration can strike at any time. I am inspired by photos so I wanted to share with you some photos that inspire me to sew.


The inspiration all began with a photo. I have a deep love of travel and seeing a retro airstream makes my heart melt. I love to dig through my vintage aqua Ball Mason Jars with Zinc lids to pull out ribbon scraps to make inspirational palettes on my design wall. 

The colors of nature are mirrored in the downtown urban environment. The patterns and symmetry are calming to me. I get an overwhelming sence of calm with the silence in nature. Inspiration can hit you at any time. Sometimes you just have to stop and take a deep breath to see the beauty around you. The squirrel in the bottom right corner is Marcela's friend she made at the Luxe in Bloom photoshoot. He is proof that both worlds of urban and nature can come together and overlap to provide pefect moments. 


From Megan With Love

Fat Quarter Gang - "I Just Want Your Kiss" clasp purse by I'm A Ginger Monkey


Hi! It's Katy here from I'm A GingerMonkey. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and that you are ready and raring to make 2013 the best year ever. I'm sure you must all be rested and desperate for a quick project, right?


Today I'm going to show you how to make a metal frame purse. I chose to use Pat Bravo's Rock n Romance for my project. I absolutely love how the colours in this collection are a mix of grungey grays and purple and super feminine peaches. It's such a juxtaposition of colours and prints, and perfect for any fashion conscious diva. (hey - that sounds like Pat!)

You will need:

6" x 3" metal purse frame (I buy mine from here)

Strong fabric glue (I like to use gutermann HT2, it really is the best ever - but if you  can't find it locally something like UHU works well. You can buy HT2 online from here)

2 FQs of fabric - one for lining and one for the purse body (I used Rock n Romance by Pat Bravo)

FQ of lightweight batting

piping cord
something pointy like a skewer or some scissors (it will get gluey so don't use anything precious)

Print the purse template and cut it out (download here). It prints upside down - because I forgot to spin it when I was uploading. Oops - so the widest point (with the arrows going across) is the bottom.

Step 1

Cut out the template and press your fabrics well.

Fold the FQs in 2, and lay the straight edge of the template on the fold, pin and cut out 2 of the purse body, batting and lining fabrics.


Step 2

Layer the batting and purse body fabrics so that the purse fabrics and right sides together and there is a batting piece on the outside (so batting = bread, and purse fabrics are sandwich filling) and pin together - making sure you start at the little dash on the template, and finish in the same point on the other side.

Using a generous 1/4" seam, sew the 2 pieces together in the direction of the arrows. Repeat with the lining fabrics.


Step 3
Box the corners of both the purse body and the lining. You want to mark a point using a pencil or disappearing ink that is 2" across.


Step 4
Place the lining into the purse body, wrong sides together. Poke the corners into each other, and match up the edges and pin well all around the edge.


Step 5
Topstitch carefully all the way around the edge - lengthen your stitch a little and use the needle down position. Take this bit slowly, and pay extra attention to the sides as these will be visible when you're all finished.


Step 6
Glue the purse body into the frame, one side at a time. Apply a thin bead of glue to one side of the purse body, and a thin bead of glue inside the channel of one side of the frame. If you are using HT2 glue leave it for a few minutes to become tacky. 5 minutes is a perfect length of time.

** NOTE: If you are using a different brand of glue check the user instructions first to see if you need a setting time, or not. **


Once your glue is tacky (if you are using HT2) start inserting the purse body into the frame, start at the sides first, and work upwards and across to the middle top.

Use a pair of scissors or a skewer to really push the purse body into the frame. Be forceful and stuff the fabric right into that channel to make sure it sticks evenly. Work quite quickly so the glue doesn't completely dry. As you go make sure you have no puckers or uneven bits on both the lining side and outside of the purse.

Leave this side to dry for a good 10-20 minutes or so before you start on the other side and repeat step 6  just as did before.

Once you've glued you can make the bond extra strong by cutting 2 lengths of piping cord, each one 9" in length and poke it into the channel between the purse body and the frame using the scissors or skewer.

Now leave your purse to completely dry - don't be using it for a good hour!


And that's it. Once you've made one purse I bet you will make a gazillion; they make really great gifts and this 6" x 3" size is a perfect size for make up, an evening bag, for holding all that junk you gather in the bottom of your handbag - like your keys, phone, lipstick and money.

Head on over to I'm A GingerMonkey for a chance to win a bundle of Rock and Romance for yourself! As usual - you must follow AGF on your favourite social media platform to be eligible to enter (whether that's facebook, twitter, flickr or the AGF blog)


And don't forget to add any projects you made from this (and the other fabulous Art Gallery Fat Quarter Gang tutes) to the flickr group!

Til next time.. Happy Sewing


Katy & The Fat Quarter Gang

Tune Tuesday


Hello everyone! Happy New Year from the AGF family! I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year's and that all of you didn't have too much of that Alegria Sangria that Megan was kind enough to share with us.

Well, it's a new year and that means New Year's resolutions. My New Year's resolution for work is to begin writing more on this blog! For those of you that don't know me, my name is Kat and I work in the Design department for Art Gallery Fabrics. I am also the video editor of the company. You can read a little bit more about me here, where I introduced myself on the blog about a year ago and never wrote again (hence the creation of the resolution).

So, as to start my New Year's resolution, I've decided to begin a NEW musical section on the blog called Tune Tuesdays. Why Tune Tuesdays you may ask? Well, I'm a huge fan of music and I'm always inspired whenever I'm listening to David Bowie or a little bit of the Bee Gees (I have a huge musical selection that varies from AC/DC to disco). Plus, the name Tune Tuesdays sounds catchy!

Whenever the time comes for us to make a new video, we always go through one process that has us scratching our heads: song selection. Most of the time, we end up with a batch of songs for each video and wish that they ALL could be included in the end. We practically create soundtracks for all the collections. Unfortunately, our videos can't be full length movies (even though we'd love that) so we end up cutting our selection down to one. But we all know that there can't just be ONE song for each mood.

So Tune Tuesdays is where you get to listen to all those soundtracks inspired by different moods and different collections. 

Our first Tunes Tuesday is Notes of Floressence, inspired by our AGF In-House Studio collection Floressence!


Have Spotify? So do we! Check out our Notes of Floressence playlist on Spotify!

Feel free to let me know if there are any additions you'd all like to make and possibly what would be the next soundtrack you'd like to hear!

From my musical ears to yours,