high tea party blog tour

It's time for high tea! Welcome to my stop on the High Tea Party Blog Tour. High Tea is the premiere fabric collection from Jera Brandvig for Lecien Fabrics. I've long been a fan of Jera's way-too-pretty quilts (and I gotta admit, her little dog Paige is really cute, too, always hamming it up for the camera). Jera writes the blog Quilting In The Rain, although I know her best from Instagram. She is also the author of Quilt As You Go Made Modern. So when Jera asked if I'd like to join her on the blog tour my answer was a big, excited YES! The new High Tea collection is inspired by Jera's love of quilts and china dishes, and that's something that we have in common.

I love the names of her colorways: Fig Red, Butter Cream, Green Tea, Dusty Pink, Brown Sugar and Cottage Blue, and the prints include teapots, flowers and lace. And do I need to mention those strawberry prints?! They look just like the strawberries in my garden!

strawberry plants.jpg

But I know that you're here for more than strawberries and tea, right? So let's serve up a High Tea pillow!

When I received the fabric, I knew right away that I wanted to do an applique project. This 18" pillow was done with two charm packs plus some border and backing fabric. To make it, I cut most of the charms into four 2 1/2" squares, and I left the charms with larger prints whole so that I could do some fussy cutting. The applique method that I used was freezer paper and starch to create the shapes. I then hand appliqued them to the base with silk thread, and finally, I hand quilted around each clamshell. I used to be afraid of applique, but then I watched this lengthy video with Joanna Figueroa, and I thought, hey, I CAN do that. Rather than do a full tutorial here, check out her video and you'll see how un-scary the process can be. Here are the supplies that I used. Notice the freezer paper templates that I used until they were scorched beyond recognition. And then there's the essential sewing snack!

And next, I really wanted to have a quilted pillow backing with a zipper. But I don't know how to do zippers! (I had one experience with zippers in design college. I actually sat there in the classroom in NYC crying over that stupid zipper and the other students had to rescue me.) Well, Jera has the perfect zipper tutorial on her website, and that was all I needed. It's EASY! The zipper isn't flawless, but I learned a lot and it functions, too!

Next up is a simple strippy pillow, with loose, squishy pleats. It was made using another tutorial from Jera's website. (Yes, I love online tutorials!)

These two pillows are already best friends, living side-by-side on my bed.

Thank you for joining me today. I hope you've enjoyed our time together for High Tea. And thanks so much, Jera, for inviting me to play along with your beautiful fabric collection. High Tea is available now at some of my favorite online quilt shops, here and here. And look for it in your local quilt shops, too.  The blog tour continues all week long, and the schedule below has the remaining stops. Meanwhile, please join me on Instagram where you'll always see the latest projects that I'm working on.