Monday, August 31, 2009

new Amy Butler collection: Love

If you're following me in Google Reader, I'm guessing my title got your attention.
Why haven't I heard about this new collection on the zillion blogs I follow?
Amy Butler's newest collection is called Love, which makes it super annoying to google, as you just get a bunch of fabric junkies saying how much they loooooooooove AB.  Anyway, I got the tip from an email from Wish Upon a Quilt, who said that Love is due out in October, and the entire first printing is already sold out.  I managed to find a couple of pictures at the Quilted Castle.  What do you guys think?
Also, I went on a skirt making binge this weekend-- pictures soon!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Baby M update

Baby M was finally born, and so the name of the quilt will be re-named with her official name: Katelyn.  I get weirdly superstitious about sending baby things off to expectant parents before babies arrive, so this one (and her big sister Maggie's quilt) are still sitting at my house.  I'm pleased to send them both off today!
Rebecca is on her way to California, so as soon as she gets settled I'll be sending her quilt her way, too.
I really need to do a post with all of my quilting bee updates-- I think I've fallen victim to the dog days of summer.  That should be out of my system soon, I promise!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

wild thing

Thanks for your comments and ideas yesterday! I went to my local quilt shop and they happened to have a pattern that I was anxious to try out:And some charm packs that will make my life (or at least fabric selection) easier, Pashmina by Moda:It looks a lot more brown on the screen than it does in real life. To me, at least, it reads more orange which makes it more palpable to me. I'm using the pale one on the far right, second row, as my background for the whirligigs. I seem to be the last one to make one of these quilts, but I'm looking forward to it.
I'm also looking forward to showing you some more Rachael-typical quilts!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

another sister, another quilt

After the whole quilting debacle on the Carolyn quilt, I was glad to hear from my stepmother that Carolyn was in fact very surprised and pleased.  So was my stepmother-- she's actually commissioning me to make a quilt for another one of her sisters, Connie, who has an October birthday.  Connie also has a pretty traditional home in New Jersey, and so I need to go just barely outside my comfort zone yet again. 
I've been going through Flickr and my favorite blogs looking for inspiration.  Do you, loyal readers, have any brilliant ideas for a pattern or fabric line for this new quilt?  Again, I don't have too much time, so I want to get started on it right away.  Any thoughts and ideas will be appreciated!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

phoebe bag

I haven't made a bag in quite a while, and I really needed a new one. I dug into some of my IKEA stash, and followed Rebeka's instructions for her easy Phoebe Bag:
(Butch is the best purse model ever)
Honestly, the hardest part was turning the flap right-side out, and sewing around that curve. My usual critique with handbag patterns is that the strap tends to be too short and out of proportion with the rest of the bag, but that's not the case here. The only hardware needed was a magnetic snap, which I already happened to have. I love this purse. I think it'll be one of my go-to patterns for holiday gifts this year (real life friends, forget this immediately).
The fabric for both the lining and the outside is home-dec weight, so I decided to skip any interfacing. It holds the shape really well, and it feels sturdy. The inside is a green, white and yellow IKEA print I got on clearance.It's very hard to photograph the inside of a purse! That bit of pink on the inside is the pocket I added. It's a keeper, for sure.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

dress shirt revamp

I saw this tutorial over the weekend, and knew I had to try it out:
And so I did.
I've been buying a ton of dress shirts from Goodwill for a quilt I've been working on, and decided to sacrifice one of the shirts for a cute dress (click to enlarge). I followed the instructions exactly as to how to deconstruct the shirt (a size large), but then amended the directions as follows:
Since I'm smaller than the tutorial's creator (5'2", size 0) I was able to get away with using both sleeves as the entire bodice without the complicated insertion instructions. I left the hem on the skirt as-is, hemmed like the bottom of the shirt it previously was. I also used my machine for the ruffles, using 2 long basting stitches on each.
The bodice on mine is a lot longer than the original posting, but I'm actually really happy about that: with the elastic at the waist, I can pull it up to make it shorter or pull it down to make it longer. I'm totally wearing it to work tomorrow with a cardigan.
Total cost: $2.00 at Goodwill, as I already had the elastic and thread at home. I could make this a million more times, and probably will!

Friday, August 14, 2009


Yikes, what a week! I finished the Carolyn quilt exactly 4 hours before my stepmother boarded a plane for NY. The plane happened to leave at 6:00 AM, and so I don't have a picture of the finished quilt because I was binding like a zombie. The binding is red, by the way, and I quilted it in crossed diagonal lines, forming diamonds after my quilting disaster. I'll probably be able to add one later, hopefully of Carolyn actually opening and loving it!
I've been really busy doing non-sewing things lately, so that's why it's been a little quiet here. I do have a lot of quilting bee blocks to show, and another quilt to put together, so things will hopefully go back to normal soon. Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 10, 2009

escape to IKEA

I know I've spent a bit of time kvetching about the heat at the Park Ave. Sweat Shop, but really, yesterday I woke up and it was 88 degrees inside. At 8:00 AM.  So what do my husband and I decide to do?  Why, drive to IKEA for a fabric buying trip!  
These birds will be bedroom curtains:
And I think I'm going to make a pretty simple quilt out of these two fabrics for my bed: 
I also got a few yards of a kelly green fabric with huge white and yellow hearts on it on clearance-- I think it'll make cute yoga bags for the holidays this year.
I've also finished quilting the Carolyn quilt and have been working on the binding, and I've started an obligatory red and aqua zigzag quilt-- the kind without half-square triangles.  This could be the first quilt I've started in a long time without a recipient in mind.  I'd really like to have a "boy" quilt and a "girl" quilt made and ready to go at a moment's notice.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

and... we're live.

I had to be at work at 5:30 AM today (compared to my usual 8:00) because a local news station was coming to film a 90 second piece.  Of course, I freaked out about what to wear-- more so than what I was going to say (I'm a ham).  I know that pastels and blue look good on camera, and since I wanted to look approachable yet professional, I decided on a light blue button down shirt tucked into a wrap skirt I made last year out of this fabric: 
The video is already up on the website, and really, the skirt photographed well. I was pleased with my choice.  

Sunday, August 2, 2009


I give just about all of my quilts away, and looking back at the 2009 list of recipients so far, I see a number of happy occasions: new babies, weddings, birthdays, just because, housewarming. Then, there are those that I make and give to hopefully comfort and help heal. I both love and hate making the second kind. I feel like those quilts could become a little more special to the person it's going to, but I hate making them because I know those people are in pain, and making them a quilt is about all I can do.

This little quilt is for a two-year-old named Aden. He was in a horrible car accident last week, and managed to break a leg and his skull (among other injuries). His aunt works with my husband, and as soon as I heard about the accident and his long hospital stay, I knew I wanted to make him a quilt. Here it is:And here's the back:I don't know why, but Swiss dot never photographs well.
This is the smallest quilt I've made this year, which I felt was important since it'll be in the hospital with the little boy. I quilted it in straight lines with my favorite yellow thread. This was put together very quickly from my stash-- there are fabrics from a lot of the quilts I've made this year, with the addition of some very cute cowboy fabric that I've held on to forever. I'm going to handstitch the binding tonight and wash it. Hopefully Aden will get it tomorrow.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

ripping seams

Oy vey, I can't wait for this quilt to leave the Sweat Shop.
I've spent about 3 hours stippling the quilt, and have broken 4 needles. I re-threaded the machine, changed the bobbin, got all the dust out, and took a break. The front looks fine, but the back has tension problems.
Also, I did too good of a job picking out the green thread: it blends in exactly with the front of the quilt, so I can't see where I'm going. Here's a horrible picture of some of the worst quilting I've ever done:

So, I'm ripping out all of the quilting, and I'm going to quilt it in straight lines. I'm putting this on here to show myself that I can remedy this problem. Wish me luck, it's going to be a long, thread-covered day.