Heather Rose Sewing Boutique

Creating gifts for imaginative play and lifelong memories

Learning to free motion quilt

Heather Rose

One of my goals when I decided to start selling my items was to broaden my sewing skills in the process.  I realized last year I wanted to start free motion quilting.  Rather than sewing only in straight lines, you can set up your sewing machine to sew in straight lines, curves or swirls.  Instead of the fabric being pulled through at an even rate by the feed dogs, you use your hands to move the fabric at an even rate so that the stitches stay the same length.  You can go in any direction, but if you don't move the material in a smooth, even fashion, your stitches will be different sizes and your designs could turn wobbly.  

I was surprised that the curves were one of the harder things to free motion quilt.  I had trouble maintainting stitch length and smooth cuves. 

When I stepped back, I was happy with the curves and the movement they gave the pinwheels!

The goal in free motion quilting is not perfection...I have trouble with letting go of little imperfections...but trying to get an overall effect that enhances your quilt.  Even the best free motion quilters may have slight inconsistencies in small pieces.  By the end of the quilt I felt like I was getting the hang of it, and I'm already on the next project that I will be free motion quilting soon.  

Pictures of the process:

As a side note, I love to see people pull out a sewing machine and see what they can make whether or not they have experience.  If you have a newer sewing machine and have a basic grasp of sewing, many machines can be set up to free motion quilt (even if they aren't fancy, expensive ones)!  

So often people tell me they can't sew because they don't have the patience or that I must be incredibly fast to make what I do.  I do like to sew, but it DOES take patience!  And I may be faster than someone that is inexperienced, but sewing is TIME CONSUMING!!!!  I worked part-time, training in alterations and I loved the shop because the owner/tailor would have people argue prices constantly and he politely, with kindness, explained the process and why the prices were what they were...because sewing takes time and just like you pay your hair dresser, plumber or construction crew for their time on a job, seamstresses have also developed a skill that if you take a moment to try for yourself, I hope you realize the effort and time behind each seam.  


Thank You Tula!

Heather Rose

It was a privilege to be asked by Tula Organic Salon & Spa to hang some of my work on their walls, and I hope that my quilts, backpacks and sweet stuffed animals bring some smiles during the next two months while they are on display.  If you live in the Pittsburgh area, you should stop by Tula!   The ladies who work there are simply the greatest and besides being great artists with hair, many of them are artists in other mediums as well.  

Here are a few pictures:

I added a few Pittsburgh themed items.  Specifically a "Squirrel Hill' quilted blanket and a stuffed squirrel and a penguins themed quilt.  

For Pittsburgh Penguin fans...meet Sydney & Maria, the best penguins fans in town!  

For Pittsburgh Penguin fans...meet Sydney & Maria, the best penguins fans in town!  

Meet Sir Murray, of Squirrel Hill...I forgot to take a picture of him at the salon.

Meet Sir Murray, of Squirrel Hill...I forgot to take a picture of him at the salon.

For anyone looking for a last minute Valentine's gift--this sweet panda is also at the salon.  He is the softest stuffed panda you have ever hugged.  I dare you to stop by and see! :)

For anyone looking for a last minute Valentine's gift--this sweet panda is also at the salon.  He is the softest stuffed panda you have ever hugged.  I dare you to stop by and see! :)


Happy Adoption Month!

Heather Rose

I love finding small ways to celebrate and acknowledge our differences.  If you've adopted outside your own race or ethnicity, it's an amazing gift to surround your child with ways to celebrate their background.  


There are so many books and blogs that cover adoption topics but I wanted to share a few items I'm excited about today:

Try out Tru-Colour bandaid--find them on Amazon!  

Crayola has Multiculteral markers--kids can color in a multitude of skin tones.

I have always loved children's books...here's a few I found recently.



Custom Christmas Stockings

Heather Rose

I'm not ready for Christmas (or Christmas decorations) either, but sewing takes time and if  you would like a set of stockings or other Christmas decor, this is a great time to order.  I have some ready to go on my Etsy shop but I am not keeping too many on hand.

Elf Stockings

I love the whimsical, cheerful look of these elf stockings and if you get tired of the same old green and red, these still make you think Christmas but with a softer palette.  Contact me with how many you want, which pattern and if you want a different fabric, let me know.  Some people say the elf on the shelf left his shoe behind for the good girls and boys to get their stocking stuffers from Santa...


Traditional with a twist

If you want a cozy, vintage stocking, these are for you!  They give you the traditional stocking feel with a bit of whimsy.  There are 8 unique characters you can choose from (first come, first serve while they last) from Cori Dantini's Christmas collection.  


Color Me Stockings

Christmas is a great time to make memories and you can get your kids to participate by coloring their own stockings.  Purchase fabric markers through Amazon, at your local craft store, or I will make a custom listing that includes the markers.  


This year I am making origami crane ornaments out of batik fabric.  They are a bit delicate but I'm in love with them!  

There will be a few other Christmas things coming but for now...go enjoy your Halloween :)

How I can help you with custom orders

Heather Rose

Are you interested in a custom order, but not really sure what I can sew for you?  First, just ask! If it's not in my sewing repertoire, I will be honest and if I can help direct you to someone else, I will.

Here's a list of ideas that I would love to sew for you.  Since I have only recently launched my shop, I don't have a picture for everything I would love to be able to make.  And don't forget, my shop is new but I've been sewing for a long time and I truly care about creating a quality product.

1) T-shirt quilts.  Do you have a son/daughter graduating from high school or college and you want to give them a special gift for graduation?  You can mail me their sports, musical theater, or any memorable t-shirt to sew into a small quilt.  

2) Wedding 'guest book' quilt.  If you want to make your wedding guest book into a special quilt, we can work together to make it truly unique.  I will send you pre-cut white fabric squares that can be signed at your wedding reception.  You send them back, and then I turn them into a small quilt to remind you of your special day!

3) Baby quilts, blankets, receiving blankets.  Do you see a design you like...say, a triangle quilt I posted but you don't like the color scheme?  Or do you have a nursery theme that you want to have a quilt made, but I don't have one listed?  Let me know!  I look through fabrics all the time and if you want a pirate quilt or dachshund dogs, I can would love to create the perfect gift.  

4) Throw blankets for adults.  Do you want to have a special gift made from your kids to mom or dad?  A grandparent or any other relative would love a lap blanket for movie night.  There are so many fun fabrics and any adult would love to have a custom made throw!

5) Dog or Cat blankets.  Do you want a fun, unique fabric that you can't find at any old pet store?! I can help with that.

6) Color Me Fabric for parties or a fun activity at home.  Do you have little ones who love to color or make their own things?  With the 'color me' fabric I can create pillow cases or drawstring backpacks or even Christmas stockings.  I will send them with fabric markers (or you can purchase them on your own) and it's a fantastic way to spend a special day!



Happy Friday

Heather Rose

I'm slowly building up the inventory in my shop.  I'm excited to add snuggle blankets this week. Most of them are approximately 30" by 40" quilted blankets that are perfect as a newborn gift and a great size that can be used into the toddler years.  Here's a few I just listed:

I do change the sizes slightly to adjust to the print and sometimes if I feel like the print works well with older kids, I like to make the blanket a bit bigger.  If you are ever trying to complete your nursery with a matching quilted blanket, I'd love for you to contact me about a custom order! 

If you enjoy browsing fabric for the perfect blanket (whether you want me to make it for you or you want to make it yourself!), I love to check out Hawthorne Threads fabric selection.  Have a great Friday and happy fabric searching :)