Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Diagrams or Photographs?

I want to know what your preference is... diagrams or photographs?

Photograph from my Perfect Binding Tutorial

Photograph with added text detail from my Essence Table Topper Tutorial

Photograph/Diagram combination from my Dolly Dresses Tutorial

Diagram from my Binding Curves Tutorial

So do you have a preference?
Does your preference change if we are talking about printed patterns vs. tutorials?

I want to know!


oh and since i get a bunch of e-mails asking me...
I do all of my graphics and diagrams with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.  

I take a ton of process photos when I know I'm going to do a tutorial. {Since my photos are digital and not film taking excess photos just requires additional hard drive space and not money to develop film.}  The last thing I want is to have the project 99% done and realize I forgot a key photo that I can't "fake" now.  Sometimes this requires taking a photo of another project or making an additional sample.  When I have a photo that needs more clarity in explaining what is going on I add text overlays in photoshop to help explain.

In general I sketch on graph paper what I want, scan it into the computer and then make the diagram.  I went to college for graphic design and my AI skills are slowly coming back to me.  If you want to learn the basics of AI my best suggestion is to go visit Cyndi at Stitch Studios.  She has some great beginner AI tutorials.

© Blog post written by Julie Herman
For more information visit http://www.jaybirdquilts.com/

Friday, June 24, 2011

Come meet me tomorrow!

Tomorrow I'll be at the Village Quilter signing books!

Who: me!
What: Book Signing of Fresh Fabric Treats
Where: Village Quilter, Mount Holly New Jersey
When: 10:30am

Stop by to see my projects in person.  You'll also get the chance to see my original block holders that I've never shown on my blog... or in public!

I'll also be signing patterns and have a few of my new quilts with me.

In addition I'm teaching at the shop in the afternoon.  The class is full, but since the shop has received many requests I'll be teaching again later this summer.  If you have a specific class you would like me to teach let the shop know!

p.s. this is my 500th post!!
woo hoo :-)

© Blog post written by Julie Herman
For more information visit http://www.jaybirdquilts.com/

Pink Chalk Fabrics Giveaway Winner

It's time to announce the winner of this week's giveaway.  A big thanks to Pink Chalk Fabrics for sponsoring it!  I had a great time reading your favorites in the comments.

The winner of the full collection of fat quarters....

Lindsey please contact me with your info!

Thank you to everyone who entered!

© Blog post written by Julie Herman
For more information visit http://www.jaybirdquilts.com/

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Jay McCarroll

Jay McCarroll came to speak to the Philly Modern Quilt Guild last night.  He spoke about fabric design, his creative inspiration & of course his time on Project Runway.  Jay also announced the Habitat Challenge for the guild.

Jay talked about the process and inspiration for each print.
This pixelated print is probably my favorite in the collection.

...and I love this one too.
I have a HUGE polka dot collection... I'll take some photos one day and show you.

I'm not sure what I'm doing with this fabric yet... but I'm sure it won't end up on a shelf and that I'll be playing with it soon.  Right now I have a bunch of different ideas.
What would you make with these fabrics?

 Jay recently started a blog that combines fabric, food, friends & fashion.  If Quilt Market hadn't overlapped one of the recent shows he was at I would have gone {Art Star}... and bought a polka dot bag... maybe I can see if he still has any.

If you want to learn more about Habitat & Jay... he recently did a 2 part interview with Kim of True Up.  It covers the inspiration for the line & goes into detail about each one.  Jay was inspired to create this line by his Habitat of Philadelphia. {mine too!}

© Blog post written by Julie Herman
For more information visit http://www.jaybirdquilts.com/

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sponsored Giveaway: Pink Chalk Fabrics

disclosure: this is a sponsored giveaway by Pink Chalk Fabrics

Kathy Mack is the creative force and mastermind behind Pink Chalk Fabrics & Pink Chalk Studio.  Kathy & I have been "blog friends" for a long time.  She was a busy woman at Quilt Market but we did get to spend a bit catching up and talking business.
Pink Chalk carries a lot of patterns including all of my patterns. {thanks Kathy!}
A great thing about Pink Chalk is that all patterns ship for free in the US!


Pink Chalk has an amazing fabric selection. One of my favorite features is that you can Shop by Color.  Today I'm in a green mood.  Here are a few prints I quickly found...

Kathy has a great giveaway that she has provided for you!!

Pink Chalk is going to give one of you a full collection of fat quarters....
It's a beautiful Home Dec collection.

The Rules
Leave a comment for each entry.
Pretty simple right?
( If you leave one comment saying you did all 4.. you only have one shot! )

Leave a comment sharing which is your favorite FQ stack over @ Pink Chalk.

Check out Pink Chalk Fabrics on Facebook & "Like" their new page.

Sign up to receive Pink Chalk Fabrics Newsletter.

Blog about this giveaway on your blog! or post a Tweet to twitter
& come back to let me know!

You have till 10pm EST on Wednesday the 22th to enter!
Winner will be selected by True Random Number Generator

Start commenting!!

PLEASE make sure your contact information is in your profile or that you leave it in your comment.

Giveaway now closed.
Winner announced soon.

© Blog post written by Julie Herman
For more information visit http://www.jaybirdquilts.com/

Friday, June 17, 2011

new patterns are in transit!

...and will be here at the studio on monday!!

I'm sorry I haven't given you more updates... but that was because I didn't want to tell you a date and then have to change it.  After market things were busy... busier than I could have imagined.  Long story short... I switched printers and all is good now.  A giant shipment {I'll take photos} is arriving via a freight truck on Monday... eek!!  As soon as they get here I'll be shipping them out to all the great stores listed on my Where to Buy page as well as the distributors I work with.  

Thank you so much for your patience... and for your support.  When I started putting out my own patterns I had some personal goals of how many I'd sell or what shops would order... and with your support I've passed every goal... some by miles.  Really the last few months have been kinda shocking/happy/amazing/wonderful.

so thank you.
bunches & bunches.


What I want to know... is what are you doing this weekend?

See this closet... It's one of three places that I store finished quilts and it is a mess!  
I need to re-fold all the quilts & figure out what is what... and then put it all back in!

...and yes I know father's day is this weekend.
but my daddy is in LA right now... with my brother & the grandkids
so I'll spend father's day cleaning & organizing... because it'll make my dad proud.

...and having this place a bit more organized before all those patterns show up is a good thing!
{if anyone local to me wants to come help Monday let me know!}

© Blog post written by Julie Herman
For more information visit http://www.jaybirdquilts.com/

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Label tutorial... The Spoonflower way... Part 2

I get many e-mail questions about my label tutorial so I thought it would be best to give some more info.  Hopefully I'll answer many of the questions here.  If you have more questions please leave them in the comments & I'll do my best to answer them.


Earlier this year I ordered new labels that match my logo. {Bottom Left}  I was in a hurry and didn't follow my own directions.  As a result I really don't have enough space around each label for a 1/4" seam allowance.  Lesson learned... follow your own directions!!

A few weeks ago I decided to design a new label with enough space and ordered the labels on the bottom right.

My new labels are 4" x 6" and I can get 63 from one yard of fabric.  Because of how Spoonflower's "yard" is set up I designed the label and then rotated it 90°.  If I hadn't I would have ended up with 60 labels and a bunch of partials.


I often get asked for templates.  I've made 3 free templates that you can use to make labels.
They are over on Flickr.  When saving the file make sure to download the original size.  

The first is best for ordering a swatch.  It will give you four labels 4" x 4" with seam allowances.  Each finished label will be 3.5" x 3.5" when you piece it into a quilt back or turn the raw edges under for applique.

The template file looks like the image above.  Use any design program to add what you want for your label inside the squares.  Stay a 1/4" inside the grey lines as 1/8" from either side of the line will be sewn into your seam allowance.  Cut the labels out in between the lines as shown below.  The light grey is dark enough to be seen but light enough that it doesn't show in the seam allowance.

The second is best for ordering one yard of the same label.  It will give you one label 6" wide x 4" tall with seam allowances.  Each finished label will be 5.5" x 3.5" when you piece it into a quilt back or turn the raw edges under for applique.  You will get 63 of this label from each yard of fabric.

The third is best for ordering one yard of 3 different labels.  It will give you three labels 6" wide x 4" tall with seam allowances.  Each finished label will be 5.5" x 3.5" when you piece it into a quilt back or turn the raw edges under for applique.  You will get 63 total labels, 21 of each design from one yard of fabric.  Use this to create labels with different colors or artwork.


So what information should be on a label?
Your Name
A way to contact you
The name of the Quilt
When you made it
Who quilted it
...and if it's a gift add who it is for.

I put my name, blog url, email address, address & phone number on all labels.
Then I hand write the name of the quilt, date etc. after I've made each project.


I suggest piecing the label into your backing whenever possible.  This is for 2 reasons.
2. It is very hard to remove a label that has been quilted through and is a part of the backing.  While we wish everyone was honest & nice... sometimes quilts get lost or stolen and people remove the labels as a way of hiding who made it.  As you can see below removing this label would ruin the quilting in that entire section of the quilt.


You can make more than just labels for the back of your quilts.

I made these small labels for when I make bags or other projects that don't have room for my labels above.

You can also print your logo or a design to incorporate into a project.
I printed my logo without any other information on a few pieces of fabric.  I sent one to Joan before market and she made me this amazing bag.

It's my very own customized Miranda Day Bag.

It even has a miniature fast forward strip on the back of the bag.

Joan did a "bag interview" with me on the phone.
Long straps or short?
Lots of pockets or not a lot?
Our conversation revealed to me why she writes amazing bag patterns.  She thinks of everything!
My bag has a lot of pockets including one with a zipper where I can stash my wallet.

Another cool thing you can do with Spoonflower is print things BIG.  I printed my logo really big and sent it off to Angela.  She quilted it and the result was my sign in my booth at Quilt Market.
{Of course she was looking at another camera!.. oh well!}

Here is a closer shot of it done.  I love the result & plan on hanging it up in my studio.

I hope this inspires some of you that have been e-mailing me to take the plunge!  If you have any questions that aren't covered here leave them in the comments & I'll do my best to answer you.

This isn't a sponsored post.  I don't work for Spoonflower & have never gotten anything free from them... they probably don't even know who the heck I am.  I just print my labels there & like the result.  I know that there is product on the market that you can use to print labels at home... but I've never been happy with any of the ones I've tried.

© 2011-2022 Julie R. Herman. All rights reserved.
No part of this tutorial or pattern may be reproduced without written consent of Jaybird Quilts. 

For more information visit http://www.jaybirdquilts.com/

Monday, June 13, 2011

Why I love Gap

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.  
This is a response to a fantastic experience I had yesterday.

During the record heat we had last week in the Philadelphia area I discovered that the only shorts I had that fit were my gym shorts.  I'm not a big fan of shorts in general & the gym shorts work for around the house, but what about outside the house?

A shopping trip was in order.

For those who haven't been shopping with me, I'm not one of those people who just shops to shop.  I go to the mall with a mission & not to window shop.  In general I don't go shopping with friends because it slows down the process.  My favorite person to go clothing shopping with is actually my Dad.  He's honest & no-nonsense... but also happened to be at the Phillies game yesterday... so I headed out to the mall alone.

*Additional Side Note*
I worked in retail from age 16 to 26 for seven different companies.  This post is because I know that most of the time we don't hesitate to complain when we have a bad experience.  Unfortunately most people don't take the time to tell when they have a good experience.  We need to share the good ones too!!


First I tried Target.  Target had a lot of shorts but everything fell into two categories.
Young - Shorts that were too short, too decorative and clearly too young for me.
Old - Shorts that were too long & too unflattering for my age and body type.

At 28.5 years old I'm in that middle ground where I don't feel the need to dress like a teenager but I also want something that has a bit of style and reflects my age.


Next I tried NY & Co.  I find that NY&Co is hit or miss.  Either I end up completely happy or not happy at all.  Yesterday was one of those not happy at all days.  Their selection was small and missing most sizes.  On top of that the service was less than helpful.


Before I even walked into Gap I knew it was my last stop.  I can only shop for so long...

I spotted a pair of shorts in the window that I thought would work & began to look around the store for them.  It wasn't long before I found them, but unfortunately I couldn't find my size in the dark wash I wanted.  I worried for a moment that this was going to be just like the previous two stores... but I was wrong.

Why I love the Gap
1. It wasn't hard to find a Salesperson to help me. {Andrea}
2. Once I expressed what I was looking for Andrea was amazing in helping me find shorts that fit the list of what I wanted.
3. She pointed out that the one pair I saw in the window was running small and I should go a size up and that they did have the light wash in stock.
4. She pointed out that the other pair she thought I'd like was running large and I should go a size down.
5. Despite the store being busy she made a point to check in with me on the sales floor & when I was in the dressing room.
6. She was right about the sizes and the two shorts I tried on fit perfectly.
7. She started calling other local stores to try and locate the dark wash pair I was interested in.  Unfortunately none of them had it in stock.
8. One last time she checked her store's inventory for the shorts and when it showed 2 she made it her goal to find them for me.  It took a few minutes of searching the sales floor and back room, but she found them for me.

Andrea didn't know me but she gave me a fantastic experience that saved what otherwise would have been a wasted trip.  The final bonus was they all ended up being on sale!

my new shorts
Thank you Andrea & Gap!!


In case you are wondering... Here is what I ended up with.  All jeans... but two of them are stretchy legging like jeans and feel more like yoga pants than jeans.

Boyfriend cut-off shorts <-- go a size down

Skinny cut-offs dark wash <-- go a size up

Skinny cut-offs light wash <-- go a size up

Friday, June 10, 2011

Binding Curves Tutorial

Binding Tutorial Posts
Basics Post #2 - Bias Binding
Basics Post #3 - Scrappy Bias Binding
Single Fold Binding (for mini quilts & small projects)   

1. The first step is to create something with curves.  For this tutorial I wanted to show you inner & outer curves so I cut this shape from pre-quilted fabric.  It is about 38" long and 10" wide.  I drew the curves by using a dinner plate.

2. Prepare bias binding for your project.  I have tutorials for basic bias binding or scrappy bias binding that you can follow for this step.  Your binding needs to be BIAS when working with curves.  The slight stretch will help you ease in and out of the curves.

3. When I sew binding onto straight sides of quilts I use my 1/4" foot.  When working with curves I use my walking foot because it helps make it easier around the curves.  Before I start sewing I use blue painters tape and a small ruler to set up a 1/4" guide.  Place a ruler under the foot and slowly lower the needle onto the 1/4" line.  Don't use your machine's foot petal as you are not trying to sew through the ruler.  Place the blue tape as shown & remove the ruler.

4. Use clips to hold the binding in place on the front of your project.  I clip about 12" at a time.

5. Start sewing the binding in place on an outer curve as shown below.  Leave a tail about 8" long loose from the quilt.

6. Slowly sew around the project.  Add and remove clips as you go.  The key to binding curves is to sew slowly and ease the binding in and out of the curves.  The bias will stretch and do what you tell it to!  If your project has any corners, follow the directions found here on how to sew them.

Keep sewing until you get 12" to 14" away from where you started.  Backstitch and remove the project from your machine.

7. Open the remaining binding and clip the one side around the curve.

8. Open the tail from the beginning in step #5 and clip it in place as well.  Draw a line where the bindings meet. Measure 1/2" past that line and trim off the excess binding.  {By past I mean 1/2" longer & not 1/2" shorter.} The 1/2" will provide you with the 1/4" seam allowance needed on each end of the binding.

This diagram shows the two drawn lines.  The lower one is the exact match and the upper one is 1/2" away.

9. This is what it should look like.  Chances are it'll be hard to match up the colors exactly if you have a scrappy binding but as you can see I got lucky with this project.

This diagram shows the binding end once it has been trimmed.

10. Match the cut ends together and pin with the right sides together.  It helps to fold the project in half or  bunch the area together when doing this part.  Sew a 1/4" seam to attach the two ends together & press the seam open.

This diagram shows the binding ends pinned together. 

11. Once you sew the ends together it should look like this.

12. Use clips to ease the binding in place around the curve.  If you have too much binding you can un-clip and remove more.  If you don't have enough you can usually use the stretch of the bias to help.  If your measuring was way off and you need more binding you may have to add a piece back in.  Take the project to your machine and finish sewing the last 12" to 14" in place.

13. Use the clips to wrap the binding around to the back & hand stitch in place.  When working with a scrappy binding I suggest using a thread that matches most of the binding fabrics or choosing a thread that matches the project.

Here is the front and the back finished.  Sometimes the binding around curves does not want to lay flat initially.  A good press with your iron will fix that.

Here is the finished runner.  It matches the placemats I made for Perfect for Precuts.


The clips I used in this tutorial are the new Wonder Clips by Clover.  I was lucky enough to get a sample of them at Quilt Market. & they are my new favorite clips.  I use them to hold binding in place, when sewing with laminates as well as many other things.


Want to link to this tutorial?
Here is a button you can use.

In addition to this tutorial I have many other binding tutorials.
You can find the links to them at the top of this post.


I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!
I have more binding tutorials that will be posted as time allows.

© 2009-2022 Julie R. Herman. All rights reserved.
No part of this tutorial may be reproduced without written consent of Jaybird Quilts. 

For more information visit http://www.jaybirdquilts.com/