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contact me: sewtakeahike[at]gmail[dot]com
Interests: Hi! I'm Penny. I'm a backpacker, crocheter, knitter (well, kind of), quilter, papermaker, papercrafter, wife, sewer, lover of jesus and the outdoors. Thanks for stopping by!
Recent Activity
I'm so thankful World Book Media has championed reprinting Patchwork 318. It was originally printed in Japanese way back (not that it contains many words/instruction) and it's the first book that set my heart on fire for paper piecing. To celebrate the reprint, Lindsay from WBM skillfully organized this blog hop to spread the word and inspire you, giving examples of how to use the blocks in the book through utilizing talented bloggers who are accomplished at paper piecing. Kerry started the blog hop off on Monday, giving very detailed instruction on how to use the patterns and sew them. Since the book doesn't break the patterns up into sections or have any instruction whatsoever, make sure you check her post out, it is brilliantly written and explained. For today's post, I chose to utilize these three veggie patterns out of 318 Patchwork Patterns and incorporate them into a gardening apron, which I will be using as a sewing apron. (The apron pattern is available in my book The Paper Pieced Home, which is on pre-order now and will be shipping in November.) As Kerry metioned in her post, the paper piecing patterns in 318 Patchwork Patterns are chock full of y-seams. Once again, she does a fab job of explaining how to sew a y-seam, so I won't beat that into you, but I do want to give you a tip that helps me when a pattern has a y-seam. For this pattern (radish? beet?), you'll have to look close, but I have indicated 3 of the bottom sections with a pink line. One section is left of the beet, another is the small top part of the beet, then the beet is the third section. If you evaluate the top line of the beet, you'll notice it isn't a straight line, but contains two angled seams. These would be the Y-seams. To help keep me straight as I'm sewing the sections, I always place a green dot on the pattern where a y-seam comes into play to remind myself not to sew into the seam allowance of the section that has several seams (the small section that is the top part of the beet). Not sewing into the seam allowance will allow me to manipulate that top section when I sew the corner and make the point more crisp. In Kerry's example, she does the same thing in... Continue reading
Posted 18 hours ago at sewtakeahike
These three patterns have been in my queue to make into working patterns for my Craftsy and Etsy shop for some time and they are now finished and posted! The Citrus Wedge (10X7"), Hay Barn (8X8"), and Olive and Cheese Stick (8X8"). Here is the Citrus Wedge made into a pillow for one of our chairs... Also, coming soon, KaBoom! And for those of you who are waiting on the pajama pant pattern, I am slowly making the pattern into a quilt, and this is the current state: Needless to say, it's going to be a bit longer on that one! Happy Monday to you! Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2014 at sewtakeahike
UPDATE!!! The folks at Interweave let me know my book was mistakenly put on sale and they corrected their mistake on 9/13. So those of you that ordered before they corrected the price got an awesome bargain! Have you preordered yet? Because if you haven't, now is definitely the time! My book is 50% off through Sept 15! Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2014 at sewtakeahike
And the winner is Diane, who said: Penny You've inspired me to sew clothing you I've had those dry spells where quilting was everything:) Love the skirt. I have lots of FQ's lying in wait tho so the FQ Style book would be an awesome win. Thank you for sharing . I'll be in touch Diane! Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2014 at sewtakeahike
It's really real. On Interweave and Amazon for preorder and everything! I started the process for this book in Dec 2012 and spent all summer last year designing and sewing. It's full of fab blocks (40 in all) And 10 projects Whether you paper piece, want to learn, or just want a beautifully inspiring book to browse through to hopefully one day have the desire to paper piece, I'm pretty sure you're going to love it! Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2014 at sewtakeahike
(Pattern: Kwik Sew skirt 3098, fabric: Moda Mochi dot linen from Mama Said Sew) Before there was quilting (for me), there were clothes. In fact, I was nervous to start quilting because I heard time and time again that I would never want to sew clothing again. Happily, that hasn't happened although I go through dry spells, lacking the motivation to sew garments because of the necessary evil of alterating patterns so they fit well. And since I to this day have no desire to sew a muslin, I always start out with the good stuff and most times I'm sorely disappointed with the first go round. (free pattern: Collette Sorbetto tank, fabric: Suzuko Koseki from Mama Said Sew) However, I finally got smart and started graded my patterns as I cut them out. This has increased the chances of the garment fitting the first time around. Take the sorbetto tank for instance, I cut the side seams at a size 12, the armholes size 10, and the shoulder area a size 8. I based my decision for cutting on the finished size of the tank in those areas. I don't know *why* I never thought of doing this in the first place! I'm kinda slow I guess. (shirt: Yuki_wafflepatterns on instagram's warabi in a denim and linen blend from Mama Said Sew, skirt Quik Sew 3098 in Moda mochi solid linen with Suzuko Koseki accents for pockets) (April Rhodes Simple slip pattern altered into a tank top, cut on the bias instead of straight grain. Fabric: gingham lawn on clearance at Joann's.) (skirt pattern: Simplicity it's sew easy 2410, fabric: Cotton and Steel matchsticks) For these next two pics, I cut the pattern on the bias and I use them to sleep in. (both images pattern: April Rhodes simple slip pattern. Fabrics: Heather Bailey Momentum voile both pattern and fabrics from Mama Said Sew) (Pattern: Sorbetto tank, fabric: Nani iro double gauze from Superbuzzy) (Pattern: Quik Sew 3098 in Moda mochi linen dot from Mama Said Sew) I have just a couple more shirts and skirts to sew up and then I think I'll be moving on from the clothing. Now, on to the quilting part! I have a copy of the Fat Quarter Shop's new book "Fat Quarter Style" to give away! Just leave a comment on this post and I'll choose a winner on Monday, Sept 1!... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2014 at sewtakeahike
L-man and I took a few days this week and went backpacking on a local trail called Big South. We have received a bounty of rain so far this summer and most areas in Colorado are no longer in drought conditions, thank goodness! This has created a lush coastal Oregonian feeling on the trail. Gorgeous! Here are some hi-lights from our trip! Breakfast with a view Happy weekend to you! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2014 at sewtakeahike
I am thrilled to be a part of Lucky Spool's initial book, Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making! And it's finally here! This book is chock full of big and small techniques to help the modern quilter on their journey. The teachers in it are full of knowledge and have great techniques and tips to share. The chapter I teach is of course, paper piecing. In this chapter you will learn the basics of paper piecing, several tips and tricks to make your process go smoother, and I also include 10 really fab patterns (I am a little biased, but I hope you agree!) If you're thinking of purchasing this book for your library, the Taunton Store will provide a 20% discount on your order with the code EGQM20 and the code is good from 6/23 - 7/21. Here are the other workshop authors and their blog tour dates for you to check out! 6/23 // Chapter 1: Principles of Color // Teacher: Kari Vojtechovsky 6/24 // Chapter 2: Working with Solids // Teacher: Alissa Haight Carlton 6/25 // Chapter 3: Working with Prints // Teacher: Dan Rouse 6/26 // Chapter 4: Improvisational Patchwork // Teacher: Denyse Schmidt 6/27 // Chapter 5: The Alternate Grid // Teacher: Jacquie Gering 6/30 // Chapter 6: Circles and Curves // Teacher: Cheryl Arkison 7/01 // Chapter 7: Paper Piecing // Teacher: Penny Layman 7/02 // Chapter 8: Large-Scale Piecing // Teacher: Heather Jones 7/03 // Chapter 9: Modern Machine Quilting // Teacher: Angela Walters 7/04 // Chapter 10: A Study of Modern Quilts // Teacher: Heather Grant Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2014 at sewtakeahike
Since getting our tandem last fall, Lenny and I have been daydreaming of summer rides into town to farmers markets, breakfast and to run errands. We have been taking advantage of some very lovely mornings the last several weeks to ride, and this weekend we had a weekend full of those things and it has filled my heart. One thing we've found that helps to replenish us as we ride are orange wedges. So last weekend when we were camping, I drew up a new design I'm calling Sweet Citrus, inspired by our replenishing orange wedges as we ride. This weekend I sewed one up and made it into a pillow for one of our chairs. I have a few other ideas for this pattern, hopefully more pics soon! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2014 at sewtakeahike
I'll keep this short and sweet! The winner of the Arizona bundle is Nicole, who said "I think triangles for this line are the way to go for a quilt, mimicking the triangles within the prints." Nicole, email me at sewtakeahike at gmail dot com with your address and I'll get the fabric in the mail to you! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2014 at sewtakeahike
The blog tour for April Rhodes' Arizona line with Art Gallery fabrics is winding down and I'm happy to be a part of it! When I started seeing April's pics of her line, I was infatuated by them. But when I received them in the mail, I was surprised by how much more I love these fabrics in person! I have been wanting to make another Sunshine on My Shoulders quilt, so I made a version of it with Arizona and it's called Arizona Sunshine. There are several fabulous bloggers participating in the tour and their projects have inspired me so much! Go take a look at what they made, you will be so happy you did! May 1 - Anna Graham - @noodlehead531 / Friday, May 2 - Shelley Figueroa - @figgysstudio / Saturday, May 3 - Julie Herman - @jaybirdquilts / Sunday, May 4 - Erin Sobon Sundet - @sewbon / Monday, May 5 - Jenna Brand - @howtobejenna / Tuesday, May 6 - Kelli Ward - @truebias / Wednesday, May 7 - Rachel Howard - @familyeverafter / Thursday, May 8 - Delia Randall - @deliacreates / Friday, May 9 - Kelly Costas - @cutcutsew / Saturday, May 10 - Rachel Gander - @imaginegnats / Sunday, May 11 - Devon Iott - @missmake / Monday, May 12 - Mary Dugan - @marysdugan / Tuesday, May 13 - Shannon Cook - @soveryshannon / Wednesday, May 14 - PennyLayman @sewtakeahike/ Thursday, May 15 - Katie Blakesley - @swimbikequilt / Arizona consists of 8 fabulous prints My favorites being the tomahawk stripe (bottom right), the triangle tokens (top left), and the clay sundot (bottom left). Art Gallery has several solids that coordinate with Arizona as well, like nocturnal, apricot crepe, honey, and sweet mint. I'm pretty sure you can get all of them here at the Fat Quarter Shop. Now for the giveaway! The Giveaway is now closed. Leave a single comment on this post to enter to win a fat quarter bundle of Arizona! I'll pick a winner on Saturday. Good luck! Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2014 at sewtakeahike
I recently made a quilt out of April Rhodes new fabric line "Arizona" (more about that on Wednesday along with a chance for you to win a fq bundle of it!) and fell head over heels for Art Gallery quilting cottons. The hand is supreme and the touch is luxurious. I found a great selection of their solids at the Fat Quarter Shop and wanted to spread the news. I have a feeling you'll love them as much as I do! Happy Monday to you! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2014 at sewtakeahike
I'm completely thrilled the folks at World Book Media contacted me to review a few of their patterns from their etsy shop ZakkaWorkshopStore. World Book Media takes Japanese patterns and translates them into English, and we all know how much I love Japanese patchwork! Make sure and check out ZakkaWorkshopStore on etsy, they are offering 15% off any purchase using the coupon code: ZAKKAMAMA (expires Mon, May 12) so you can make a cute zakka gift for your mom for Mother's day, or if she sews, buy a few patterns for her! The first pattern I chose to make is the Patchwork House pouch. The instructions were very easy to follow and the construction is clever. There was just one section I was confused about and had to send an email for clarification. Thankfully, they were quick to answer my question. The patchwork on the front of the bag required cutting out templates, so I photocopied that pattern page onto freezer paper so I could iron them to the fabric and reuse them when I make another bag. I ironed the templates onto the back side of the fabric, which resulted in the house facing the opposite way from the pattern. Next time, I'll iron the freezer paper to the front side of the fabric! There is a bit of handsewing involved inside the bag which incredibly, I didn't mind. I must be evolving! Overall, I am super happy with the quality of the patterns. I think I'll make the House Coasters next! Happy Friday to you! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2014 at sewtakeahike
This weekend was a productive one! Besides some painting in our downstairs, I managed to hand bind a pretty large quilt and sew a couple of quilt tops together. For this top, I used scraps and orphan blocks. It was completely liberating to make! And then this one is a goofy quilt made out of repros and vintage painted blocks. I'll tell you more about it in a few weeks! Then to top it all off, L-man and I spent some time yesterday with friends. We tried new food and ended our time with ataya tea. A new favorite of mine! I hope your weekend was filled with memorable moments! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2014 at sewtakeahike
I am super excited to see some undies projects show up on the web! Lauri made a travel pouch for her undies, and a few others on Instagram posted some undie minis. Here are a few pics of Katy's undie mini, starting with my favorite pair! And here is the entire undie mini in all it's glory! Absolutely adorable Katy! Thank you for shaing your pics with us! Happy Saturday to you, Penny Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2014 at sewtakeahike
There's a fun little interview with me on the Liberty Fabrics blog, Liberty Lifestyle today! Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2014 at sewtakeahike
I signed up for the I Yarn, You Stitch swap on Instagram as a crochet/knitter. The premise of the swap is to partner a crochet/knitter with someone that sews (and doesn't do yarn) so they can have something handmade with yarn, and possibly visa versa. I found this awesome granny cowl pattern on ravelry and got to work making a test version. I'm super excited with how it turned out and will get started with my partners cowl in her favorite colors. I have a couple more things I'm going to make, including this really cool hotpad. I hope you have a fab Sunday! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2014 at sewtakeahike
Last weekend I got together with a couple of friends and we each sewed up one of Anna's Cargo Duffles. The fabrics I used are Robert Kaufman essex linen for the handle, RK kona in peridot for the pockets, a happysewlucky text print from spoonflower for the handles, and from Mama Said Sew, the green Kei geo stripe and the gray fabric is Garden by Ellen Baker. (Also, did you know Mama offers free US shipping on all orders over $50?!!). If you're at all interested in making a duffle, you're in luck! There's a sew-along going on and Anna has recently revised the pattern to give more details. And what? The pattern is a free download? Um yep! It's rare that I make something that I love soooo much that I'm afraid to use it and soil it, but I'm having that problem with this bag. I just need to get over it already! Happy Hump day to you! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2014 at sewtakeahike
Do you all remember when I made this undie and t-shirt block? Well today, I'm revisiting the process of making the undies and sharing the template and tutorial so you can make a pair or two or three of your own. (for those of you who adore the t-shirt, keep your eyes peeled for the pattern in my upcoming book with Interweave later this fall/winter!) The undies pattern is a mix of a template and improv-ish sewing, and you can whip up a pair in about 10 minutes. Here's what you'll need: printed Undie template (I traced mine onto cardstock) background fabric awesome scrap of main undie fabric scraps of undie accent fabric Steps: 1. Trace your undie template onto your main undie fabric and cut out using a rotary cutter. 2. Lay your main undie fabric right side up on the accent fabric and and use your rotary cutter to cut a piece of accent fabric that fits perfectly in each leg hole. Make sure you give yourself an extra 1/2'' or more to work with at the beginning and end. 3. Cut a 3/4'' strip of accent fabric and sew it to the top edge of the undies. 4. Sew the accent fabric onto each leg hole then press. I use my 1/4'' foot as a guide when doing this. As you can see from the photos, I don't pin, but scissor the fabric together as I sew. If you're more comfortable using pins, go for it! 5. Trim each leghole accent fabric to 3/8''. I use my hemguide to help mark the fabric then trim with a rotary cutter. 6. Lay your undies right side up on top of your background fabric and repeat step 2 for each leghole and sew each piece in place. 7. Square up your block so it is 2 3/4''X 4 5/8''. 8. Add 1'' strips of background fabric to each side then to the top and bottom of the block. 9. Then make more! If you make a pair or two of undies, I'd love to see them! Tag me on instagram, my username is Sewtakeahike! Also, if you'd like a chace to win a copy of Lori Holt's latest book leave a comment on my giveaway post on Instagram for your chance to win! And the biggest thank you to the Fat Quarter Shop for sending the book to me!... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2014 at sewtakeahike
I knew I would love Lori Holt's book Quilty Fun from the moment I started seeing her sneak peeks on Instagram. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's the Fat Quarter Shops debut into publishing with their publishing company, "It's Sew Emma"! Super exciting! I decided to participate by making a couple of the tulip blocks. It took me a few minutes to switch my brain over from paper piecing to the rotary cutter directions/pattern, but once I made the switch, the blocks went pretty fast. I love that they are simple and very effective! Here are the cutting instructions for two of the tulip blocks, but keep in mind you'll need a copy of the book as well for the sewing instructions and dimensions. A couple more things. Here is the Quilty Fun blog tour page so you can check out the other participants and the blocks they've made! Make sure and enter the giveaway for two spools of Aurifil thread (two winners each) and a package of Alphabitties (one winner) by putting your Quilty Fun pics in the Quilty Fun Flickr group! The winners will be chosen and posted next Monday on the Jolly Jabber blog! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2014 at sewtakeahike
I am so excited to be a part of the Vintage Quilt Revival blog hop today! Katie, Lee and Faith have put together a charming, bright and happy resource for some stunning blocks and projects. They have asked 20 of us to choose a block from the book to make, send to them and they are completing some charity quilts with the blocks we made. What a super great idea! The block I chose to make is the Classic Crosspatch block And this is the project from the book using this block: (photo from Vintage Quilt Revival) Isn't it gorgeous?? If you'd like to take a look at the blocks made by the other blog hop participants, here are their links! January 13th (Monday): Crazy Mom Quilts - Amanda Jean Don’t Call Me Betsy - Elizabeth Film in the Fridge - Ashley Happy Quilting - Melissa Noodlehead - Anna January 14th (Tuesday): I’m A Ginger Monkey - Katy Quilting Is My Therapy - Angela A Quilting Life - Sherri Sew Mama Sew - Kristin Tall Grass Prairie Studio - Jacquie January 15th (Wednesday): Christa Quilts - Christa Diary of a Quilter - Amy Quilting Gallery - Michele Sew Take a Hike - Penny V and Co. - Vanessa West Coast Crafty - Susan January 16th (Thursday): Bijou Lovely - Holly Don’t You Know Who I Am - Sukie Lily’s Quilts - Lynne One Shabby Chick - Amber And make sure and check out Faith, Lee and Katie's blogs on Friday where they will reveal the quilts made with the blocks we all put together! January 17th (Friday): Swim, Bike, Quilt - Katie Freshly Pieced - Lee Fresh Lemons Quilts - Faith Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2014 at sewtakeahike
As soon as I saw the cover of Lucie Summers book Quilt Improv, I was hooked. I knew it was a book I wanted to own and pour over. Lucie's use of color, solids, prints and her bold designs speak to the very heart of me. I was immediately impressed with her explanations on how to piece in an improv fashion. I love that there is a decided omission of exact measurements (she gives suggestions or approx measurements) for the most part. Which in turns frees up to the reader to be creative. The arrangement of the book is genius, techniques and blocks listed in the front and then loads of quilt ideas/diagrams towards the back. So let's get on with it. Here are a few questions I asked Lucie and then a quick project I made using one of the techniques she describes and teaches in her book. Q:what sorts of things catch your eye as far as color and design? A:absolutely anything and everything! whenever we go somewhere as a family, i'm always being left behind because i'm taking photos of interesting things like old tiles and doors and graffiti and weeds and gutters! if i lost my phone and someone scrolled through my photos, they'd think i was awfully strange! Q:what is your sewing process like? for example if you're sewing a block and you don't like the fabrics you used, do you go with it or start over? A:oh yes, if i don't like something it goes on a pile and i start again. i'm often experimenting, so if things don't go right, i don't mind because the 'mistake' has taught me something. and sometimes when i haven't seen a 'failed' block for a while, i've forgotten why i didn't like it and end up using it anyway. i reckon it has something to do with mood. lately, i've wanted to work in much calmer, quieter colours because that's the mood i'm in - perhaps linked to seasons? come the late spring/summer, i'll want to break out all the crazy colours and prints again! (photo from Quilt Improv) Q:who taught you to quilt? A:my mum, unsurprisingly! Q:do you have any formal design training? A:i did textiles at school, then a two year course around 20 years (ago) called 'design crafts' at norwich school of art and design (as it was then, i think it's changed since... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2014 at sewtakeahike
First. I cannot tell you how much I love Ayumi's log cabin slipper pattern (you can get the slipper pattern here). I mean I really really really love it! I made this set using my Espresso cup pattern (available in the Parisienne Cafe Set). Then this mini I'm calling 'all the steeples'. I haven't decided yet if I'll keep it mini sized, or make it the focal point of a larger quilt. And lastly, a pincushion using some reverse appliqué. I just wanted to try a new to me technique! It didn't turn out exactly how I imagined, but I'm happy to have tried a new technique anyways. I hope your weekend has been fab and happy Sunday to you all! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2014 at sewtakeahike
For Christmas this year, L-man and I camped at Crystal Cove State Park for a week. The campground is terraced, so everyone has the perfect view. On one of the days, we took our tandem over to Balboa via the (short) ferry and rode along the coastline from Newport to Seal Beach. It was my favorite by far! It was a treat to drive up to Ventura and see Kelly and her Superbuzzy store, then driving back to Laguna beach via Malibu. I have to say, Malibu felt a lot like "the old" Las Vegas if you know what I mean! Our early morning beach walk on Christmas morning was such a treat. And Newport Pier was fabulous I can vividly imagine a trip to this area becoming a Christmas tradition! I hope your Christmas was filled with wonder and your 2014 is filled with joy! xo, Penny Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2014 at sewtakeahike