Saturday, October 31, 2009

no-sew tutu tutorial!

Happy Halloween!
Last night, for a costume party, I dressed up as a ballerina. Here I am, in my homemade tutu:
Sorry for the weird picture-- it's raining today.
Anyway, here's what you do:
1)Take a piece of elastic, and fit it comfortably around your waist.

2) Tie the ends in a sturdy knot. No need to sew these together, because of the volume of the tulle will cover just about anything (ugly upper thighs included!)

3) Take 10 yards of the stiffest tulle/netting you can buy. I got mine for $1.29/yd. at Joann Fabrics, in pale pink. With scissors, cut it into strips about 3-6 inches wide. Again, no need to be exact, and many of my strips were pretty crooked.

4) Take each long strip and cut it in half.

5) Tie each of these strips around the piece of elastic in a single knot.

6) Wash, rinse, repeat.

7) When you're finished, put it on over a leotard, and you're good to go. You can fluff it a little, and honestly, I couldn't stop touching it all night.

My leotard came from the children's section at Target, and I put my hair in a bun, wore dance tights and ballet shoes. Super easy, very comfortable, readily-identifiable costume. If you make one, I'd love to see it!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

fuzzy math

Here's the nearly finished quilt top, all for me:I'm going to add a big polka dotted border around it, but am still deciding on the width of it. All of the orange sashing and cornerstones are 3" before being sewn. That's about double the width of the block borders (all cut to 1 3/4"). Using this crude math, I think it'd look pleasing if I make the border double the sashing, or 6". I'm really very pleased with this; selfish quilting is fun! I'm still trying to decide on the backing, and also the quilting. Especially the quilting, and even the thread colour. Normally I quilt in the colour of the sashing, but I'm afraid the orange might be too vivid on the blocks (plus, the orange is really made of magenta and yellow warp and weft).
Here it is again, in the sun on my front yard:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

sashing fun

Thanks for the sashing suggestions for my HR quilt. Here's what I've decided on, with Butch's obvious approval:I'm sashing in the orange, which I already adore. I was most concerned about the way it'd look next to the bright orange AB print (on the left) and the sherbert-y Flights of Fancy on the right. But I'm very pleased so far, since it makes the paler prints stand out more than I'm used to.
I'm using five fussy cut 3" squares for the corners. I've decided that the corner pieces will be the same all the way across, so the top row are the bikes, the second are the ice cream trucks, etc. I'm planning on a pretty wide polka dotted border (that plan could change). I'm also trying to think about something brilliant for the back. Maybe another solid?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

a Heather Ross story

A while back, Ms. Heather Ross herself posted a great opportunity for a handful of lucky fabric junkies to buy some of her stash. Since I still haven't won a single giveaway, I count it as a true victory that I was able to purchase some Munki Munki love.
Ms. Ross picked out some good stuff: sushi, toadstools, bicycles, dogs, ice cream trucks... and she even included a white tank with a patch of farmer's market sewn on the front, which magically fits me.
Fast forward about a month later, and I was trolling the arts and crafts section on Craigslist. You may or may not remember that I got my amazing Singer 201 on Craigslist for next to nothing. There's of course plenty of junk listed, but then I came across a posting listed "highest quality Westminister fabric, $3 a yard". Yes, it read Westminister instead of Westminster, but I let it slide. I drove to a far suburb, and to my delight, a young mom who had a baby boutique selling baby slings decided to shift her focus, so she wanted to liquidate her HEATHER ROSS LIGHTNING BUGS fabric. For yes, three. dollars. a. yard. She had the orange and blue stripe, and the polka dots in a few colours. And I happily bought a ton. I decided that two Heather Ross encounters-- both serendipitous, to me at least-- warranted a quilt of my very own. So here's what I've started:I think this is the only time I'd consider sushi, mushrooms, dogs, campers, ice cream trucks and a ton of stripes and polka dots coordinating fabrics (click to enlarge).
But what to do about the setting? I'm thinking about sashing it in either this: or Joelle Hoverson's gorgeous peachy Net of Jewels, which is sort of like shot cotton:
Or, there's always white kona cotton. But I do that a lot. What do you think? Are the dots too busy? Or could it look as great as the cover of Material Obsession? (I kid, I kid-- there's no way it'll ever look half as amazing as that quilt. But I do love the polka dots...)

Monday, October 19, 2009


A six week blogging break was really nice, I won't lie. I have a ton of VQB blocks to catch up on, and I feel really embarrassingly bad about it. But I'll get there.
Meanwhile, a lot of sewing has happened around these parts. I just finished a commissioned quilt using Pashmina, and really, I didn't like this quilt at all until I created the back. Why is it that so many quilters like their pieced backs better than the fronts? Here's the front of the whirlygig quilt:Here's the back:
And here's a close up of the four sisters again, just like Carolyn's quilt:

I've cut into my Heather Ross stash and have finally started on a quilt for ME. More tomorrow!