Tuesday, March 31, 2009

weekend sewing-- trapeze dress

This is my favorite completed item out of Weekend Sewing (the front):
It's the trapeze dress, made with Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks Filigree Meadow. I made the size small, but still had to take it in about 3 inches total around the bust. My favorite part, aside from this great fabric, is that I put in pockets for the first time (therefore justifying my weird pose). For a non-garment crafter, these were really very easy. The straps were crazy long, probably because I needed to make it in a petite, and I decided at the last minute to have a criss-cross back. It'd be easy to make it into a halter dress, too. I could see myself wearing this (and others like it) all summer. (The back:)It's not really that tight or wonky or anything-- I was having fun posing for pictures. I wanted to show off the pockets and the swinginess of it.
I have a really hard time picking out garment fabric-- I'm much more comfortable deciding on quilt fabric choices. I had some help at the shop picking this out, and I feel really comfortable in it. I'll admit that I also have 2 1/2 yards of this Amy Butler Lotus that was going to become this dress, but then I decided against it:What do you think? Could it work for this dress, or should I chop it up for a quilt?

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Here's the coin quilt I'm making for Patricia, my aerobics friend:All I need to do is hand-stitch the binding to the back, wash it, and clip the loose threads. I stippled it this afternoon, which didn't take too long. Here's the back:It's half brown and half pink, with a pieced center strip.
I already had most of the 2.5 x 6" rectangles cut for a different (annoying and not going well) project. I decided to abandon that one, and put them to good use here. I think one of my favorite parts is using the sashing fabric for some of the coins-- it breaks it up nicely. I wouldn't call this a scrap quilt or a stash quilt-- I'd be more inclined to call it a fat quarter quilt, as that's where most of these fabrics came from. I'll take more pictures once it's bound and washed. I really hope Patricia likes it!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Chen's block

I had a lot of fun with this block, and had barely any fabric left over:Chen sent all of the fabric except for the palest green polka dots. I'm a little sad I finished her April block in March-- though I'm pleased I'm staying on top of these. I finally finished something while it was still light outside (this was taken on my front porch), so the reason it's not lying flat is because the wind was picking up. I spent quite a bit of time paper piecing, but it was so worth it. The flowers in the log cabins seemed like an obvious choice for the fabric.

There's no way I could ever have the patience to make an entire quilt out of this one block, but that's one of the reasons why I like these virtual quilting bees: they give me an excuse to spend a lot of time making something more complicated than I would ever attempt for myself.

Mom update: She LOVES it (emphasis hers).

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Here's the fabric Chen sent me to play with for April:I got so fed up with my terrible photography skills, I decided to go ahead and visit the Free Spirit website and copy their images. Much prettier.
These are from the "Barefoot Roses" line which is really very sweet. She also sent the sweetest pale pink gingham that I'm not able to find online. There's just the tiniest bit of shimmer in it, and it's so soft and gorgeous. Chen likes Shabby Chic... I might just have to break out and make some triangles. It seems that there haven't been too many so far for both of my quilting bees.
She is extra nice for sending me a spiderweb template last month, which helped out for the 2 spiderweb blocks I had to make. I don't quite know what I'm going to do with these fabrics just yet, but hopefully I'll make something interesting.

I have another quilt top done, and the back is nearly finished for my fitness friend, Patricia. Once I make peace with my camera (or enlist my husband) I'll post pictures soon.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mom-- details

As promised, here are some pictures of the finished quilt. I think my dogs are my biggest fans:I'm rarely home when it's light outside, so all of my pictures turn out darker than they should. This is one of my favorite squares:
And here's the binding and border:I'd wait until tomorrow to take better pictures, but I really can't wait to get it in the mail and sent away. I was thinking of what I was going to make next, and I'm going to make a quilt for a friend in my aerobics classes who just had a heart attack. She's recovering at home, and I'd really like to make her something.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


This is finished in time for my mom's upcoming April birthday:I just finished the binding tonight, while watching TV. I quilted it in diamonds, 3" apart, like the Grandpa Fred quilt. I didn't have a problem going through the canvas on the back, though that was a pain for binding. This is a "stash" quilt rather than a "scraps" quilt. I define scraps as fabrics that I've already cut into, whereas the fabric for this one came out of things I've been hoarding. I'm a huge fan of that green Amy Butler print; I had it in watermelon, and both have made their way into so many of my projects. All of these fabrics have so much motion and are really round, which is why I chose to make these square (for balance).

As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm really excited about that border, not only because I think it pulls it all together, but also because my mom taught me how to fish last year. She can catch and cook her own dinner. To tie in the red blocks from the front and the orange strip on the back, I used this for the binding:I think that's how I managed to bind it in one night-- there's so much to look at, it didn't get boring! I've never used fabric with a white background for binding before, but I think I like it, at least for this quilt.
It's in the washing machine now; I'll be sure to take some up close pictures after it's washed and dried. I'm anxious to mail this to her and see what she says!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

new quilt in progress

My mom lives in a tiny little house on a small island. She's very crafty and has impecable taste, and just this week taught herself to knit (without a book or any instructions-- she just thought about it and applied her extensive crochet knowledge). Her queen sized bed takes up most of her tiny bedroom. The point is, a quilt could really change the way her room looks, especially a nice bright fresh one. Like this one in progress.

The pieced back has 4 stripes: pale aqua oxford shirting, orange Paula Prass, a tiny strip of IKEA canvas, and brown swiss dot. I love that canvas, but didn't want it to be itchy or too hot. Plus, I didn't know how it'd work while quilting, so I figured I'd start small. I never pre-wash (that's another post altogether) but I'm curious to see how this will hold up. Here's the back: And here's a sneak peak of the front:
It's hanging over my bannister, anxiously awaiting basting. I actually made the top sometime last year, but I wasn't crazy about it. Plus, it was just a little too small for my own queen sized bed. Then, I pulled it out, and after a good sale find of the Tula Pink fish fabric, it cam together. It's not a very complicated quilt pattern, just some framed squares, but I think my colour choices are what makes it a little more interesting.

Once I actually get this quilted, I'll be sure to take a full-length picture. Apologies as always for the bad picture-- the background is white, and the rest of the colours aren't quite so harsh in real life. This is a big quilt-- nearly 90" long, which was actually really nice for cutting my batting.

Grandpa Fred quilt update: my dad delivered it to him, and according to my dad, Grandpa "really liked his blanket and was surprised but asked for it to be taken to his house so it wouldn't get stolen from the assisted living facility". I'll take that as a compliment, for sure. Even though my dad called it a blanket, which we all know is inferior to a quilt. As I mentioned before, I come from a non-quilting culture. I guess they'll get it eventually.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

yard sale wrap skirt

Here's my first completed project from "Weekend Sewing". OK, I'm counting it as completed, even though I haven't hand-sewn the hem. It's the yard sale wrap skirt, and it took much more fabric (2.5 yards) than I expected it to. Luckily, this time I didn't run out:It's modeled by Diana, which is the name of my mom's dress form (it had a sticker saying "Diana" on it, so that became her name). I seem to take all of my pictures at night, so I think that could be why my colours aren't the greatest. These are pale pink roses on a chocolate background. Once it's hemmed to mid-calf, I think it'll look cute with a cardigan or a white tee shirt.
As far as my "Weekend Sewing" shirt, I'm a little concerned that I won't be able to find more of the tree fabric. I went to a second JoAnn today and they were out. Either the shirt will be sleeveless, or I'll just have to wait until a new order comes in. The very nice sales lady said that Thursday is their shipment day.
For my next endeavor, I'll need your help. I bought some really crazy Alexander Henry fabric for another "Weekend Sewing" project-- the Trapeze Dress. (That's not me in the picture.) Now that I have it home, I'm unsure if it's going to turn into a mumu. Do you think I could make it into a cute sundress?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Grandpa Fred

Here it is, all washed and fresh from the dryer: I'm happily surprised with this one. At the last minute, I added the border print that I used in Max's quilt, and it framed it really well. I'm in love with those big orange polka dots. In true "nothing but scraps" fashion, here's the back:Half of it is the green polka dot (leftover Christmas clearance fabric) and the border print was $1 a yard from Hancock Fabrics. I thought it was just retro enough for my grandpa. Plus, there are ladies on it-- Grandpa loves the ladies. I quilted 3" wide stripes to make diamonds. With all of the seams, I didn't want to stipple. The binding is more polka dots. I wish I had some striped fabric instead, but I didn't have enough for the entire binding.
I'm pleased not only with how it came out, but also with how I didn't have to buy a single new thing for this entire quilt. I've made quilts involving numerous expensive trips to different quilt shops, and haven't had as much success as this. Yay!

Friday, March 13, 2009

summer blouse, in progress

I got my hands on a copy of Heather Ross' "Weekend Sewing", courtesy of my local public library. I appreciated all of the vintage Singer sewing machines-- that's what I sew on, and it's the best. I love just about everything in the book, and while I really want to make the shirt dress, I decided to ease myself in with the summer blouse. Here it is, without sleeves:
I don't sew garments very often, and part of the reason is because they end up much too large (I'm between a size 0 and 2). This is much the same-- but it's not a really tailored look. The picture in the book has it over a tank top, and I could see it over a swimming suit at the beach. The sleeves are long; I'll probably make them 3/4 length. I know that the V neck looks really deep, and that's because I haven't decided how low to make the placket.

Now, you may be asking why I showed you something like this in progress. It's because I didn't buy enough fabric (it was the end of the bolt, and I decided to buy the rest) to cut the sleeves properly, and so I decided to make them too skinny for the armholes. Luckily, it's just JoAnn fabric, and I'll go to a different and bigger store tomorrow to buy some more for the sleeves.
I'm in love with this fabric, though-- I think it'd be cute in a quilt.

Coming soon: my grandpa's quilt quilted, bound, and washed!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

March spiderwebs

Stephanie had March for both quilting bees. Here are her blocks, first for Another Quilting Bee 2:And here's the alphabet block for Pieced Together:This picture was taken before I did the cute embroidery, and unfortunately, it's already in the mail. Imagine a cute brown violin with pink accents, and a green V. I hope she likes them!

Also, here's Sara's block for Pieced Together:
Spiderwebs are such a great block for a bee, because they are pretty fool proof and won't stand out individually once you have a whole top pieced. Since I've already made two, and it's just March, I know that I won't be doing these for my month. I think people might be a little burned out by then. I think this could be a cool block if the kites were patterned, and the wings were solid (basically, opposite what's in the pictures).

For some sad news, the Flea Market Fancy was sold out. No Denyse Schmidt for me. Boo.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

quick spring skirt

Last summer, I was lucky to find about 1500 patterns on Craigslist for an absurdly low price. They are all in a pattern cabinet (included with the patterns) in my garage. After spending a weekend in 76 degree weather, I was really ready for spring. I pulled out a pretty basic skirt pattern (though it does have a slight cute slit on the side) and made myself a skirt. I love this Alexander Henry fabric and I think it'll look good with all sorts of tops for work. The one weird thing with Burda patterns is that there isn't a seam allowance included with the pattern-- I had to add in a 5/8" allowance. I'm not much of a dressmaker, and I'm glad this fabric has a little bit of a stretch, because it's a little on the tight side. But no matter, I still love it!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

new fabric

I get 12 fat quarters a month from the Fat Quarter Shop, all by Free Spirit. Here's what I got this month. It's Snow Flower, by Dena Designs.
I don't know much about this designer, but it's pretty cute. It'll take me a minute to warm up to the teal and pale purple. That's not a combination I'm used to, or one that I would necessarily choose. I need at least 12 fat quarters for Elizabeth's quilt-along, and I was thinking these might do the trick, but now I'm not so sure. Some of these might turn in to cute purses.
I'm spending 2 of my 4 March weekends out of town, which has unhappily cut into my sewing time. For the Geese in the Forest March block, I have to make 27 of these:

Plus, I'm making two of these quilts at once, so really, it's 54 (at least I get to switch colours, right?)
In other exciting mail news, I jumped on the tip and I should have 3 yards of Flea Market Fancy coming my way from Nevada. Super excited about that!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

PTQB-- March part deux

There are two different quilts going on for March for the Pieced Together Quilting Bee. I got my fabric from Sara and she wants a 1930s spiderweb block. She sent lots of fun fabric strips to make it scrappy. This should be fun-- not only do I not work with repro fabric very often, but I've never tried these before. Lots of fellow quilty bloggers say that they've gotten kind of addicted to these, and before even cutting into the fabric, I can see why-- these are great for those last tiny little bits and pieces that I can't bear to throw away.
An update on my grandpa's scrappy quilt: I finished the quilting, and have been sewing the binding by hand while I watch TV (one of my favorite ways to spend time on the couch, actually-- with my husband, two dogs, and a quilt to bind).
I also got the new triangle block for Geese in the Forest, so I have plenty of sewing to do. I really enjoy being in the middle of projects, so this is a happy place for me.
And, because I don't like a post without a picture, here's a picture of my newest baby, delivered to me on Friday.