Wednesday, 26 June 2013

WIP - Lonsdale Dress

Hi hi! I've been out of internet circulation for a little bit but am getting back into it now. I owe some of you lovely people replies and I will be all over that between now and tomorrow, I hope. Certainly by the end of the week!

However, I haven't been utterly bone idle. Last weekend the DC modern quilt guild had their monthly meet-up. It was the first proper meeting I've been to, and the 3rd event. The lovely Nicole of Finch Sewing Studio hosted the meeting. She very graciously saved me from carting my sewing machine with me and loaned me one of hers for the day! A Singer. It sewed beautifully. I've been rabbitting on about how lovely it was to lots of people who don't care ever since Saturday - I should have taken a picture!!

Anyway, Nicole is a lot of a garment sewing genius. I have already said here that my aim for this summer is to make clothes for me. I've bought the fabric and the patterns, but I've lacked the courage to jump in. This meeting forced me to have started so I could be right stuck in the middle of the project where all the nitty gritty questions would pop up - the problems that can't be foreseen! So last Friday, last minute, I started tracing my Lonsdale pattern and cutting it out. I got flummoxed by the measurements. Freaked out that I would ruin the fabric I bought over a year ago and have consistently not used for fear of RUINING (alá Juanita Weasel and The Bloggess).

I talked to my mother. Always a good idea. She had two awesome suggestions: 1) tins of tomatoes under the legs of the table makes it a better height for pattern cutting, and 2) make a muslin out of an old sheet. Perfect! I had just the thing, a fitted sheet that doesn't fit anything we own. By late Friday, after working through Fashion Police, I had the bodice together. I was still utterly unsure of the fit.

Which brought me to Saturday sewing at Finch! Also guilds rock. I'm still quite scared of all the expertise and awesomeness in one room/house, but it's great for passively learning, asking questions when you feel brave, and everyone's always really lovely! By the end of Saturday I had one seam and an invisible zipper to put in... Pretty good going. And the guild consensus was that without a top and bra on it would definitely fit. And they were totally right!

I apologise for all the text before any pictures, I'm
about to make up for it though!

Here's the back:

This muslin/sheet ended up totally wearable! Also this pattern is brilliant. I was so glad Nicole and the ladies were there to hold my hand at times, but the pattern did a good job of taking you through the steps, even pointing out where to topstitch and bind seams so as to give a lovely finish (I didn't do all of that on the sheet). I will add some sort of applique to the front and am quite attracted to some sort of Maori tattoo design, ideally in aubergine I think.

Today I cut up the precious Dan Bennett Fabric. And laid it over the wonky dress form I have.

This is my inspiration in the corner so as I will make it soon. Though I won't get started till the weekend or next week, I have a Kate Spain quilt top to try and finish before the link-up at Blossom Heart Quilts on Friday!

Also, I didn't have enough of the cream fabric to line the bodice in the same material. The only other yardage I have lying around is this Mama Said Sew text fabric. It is just about to go in the wash so I can get it cut up too!

I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced! Looking forward to seeing what everyone else is up to over dinner later :)

Friday, 14 June 2013

A Quilt for Moore

I've wanted to make a quilt to give to people in need for a while, but was overwhelmed by the sheer number of worthy causes out there. When I saw the aftermath of the tornado that hit Moore, OK in May I knew exactly where I wanted to send a quilt. The Oklahoma City MQG organised Moore Love, and they are collecting quilts until June 30th. AND, they are also raffling off two beautiful quilts made by their guild in order to help support longer term disaster relief in Moore. You can read more about these quilts here!

OKC Modern Quilt Guild

I didn't know what sort of quilt to make at first, but then I realised that I had this partial quilt top which I made out of leftover charms! You all suggested I make it into a large floor pillow, which is an idea I loved. But I thought that with a couple of borders it might make a cute baby quilt!

So I headed back to my stash. There were two of the original charms leftover and I thought they could become cornerstones. I had a lot of a buttery yellow hanging around, and then I pulled all of the fabrics that best matched the original quilt top in colour. I cut 3" strips from each, sewed them together and then cut them up to make strips of squares.

I find it hard to believe that the border squares don't have any of the same
fabric as the centre! Apart from the cornerstones.

I love how this turned out. I couldn't have envisioned this finished quilt when I started. I love that it all came from my stash. For some reason I think the quilt looks really polite and Spring-like. Like afternoon tea on a verandah somewhere sort of posh... Maybe, it's just me!

It's not quite perfect, and that reflects the slightly improv nature of making it. I just went for colours and planned only the immediate step I was on. I think the cornerstones could be set in more accurately, but then that might detract from the overall charm. The binding is from the same fabric I used on my very first quilt and I love how it looks. The musical note fabric on the back is one I found in my parent's house just before I left Ireland. It looks great here.

I used a soft orange thread to quilt, and did straight lines a quarter inch on either side of every seam that included some small squares in the central pieced section. That probably doesn't make much sense, but I'm having trouble finding the right words this morning! The quilting gave the it a beautiful feel, so soft and crinkly. And it only got better after a wash.

The quilt label has my name, the date, and then it has the year the city of Moore was incorporated (1893) and a smiley face. It turns out that there is a smiley face in the city seal of Moore. In the 1970s the city launched the Smile America campaign and put smiley faces on all their water towers.

Quilt Stats:
Size: 41" x 41"
Fabric: Bella Buttercup (I think), the charms (incl. the cornerstones) are mostly from Valori Wells' Nest collection
Pieced and Quilted by me!

I'll be popping this in the post tomorrow. I hope it brings some brightness to someone. I certainly really enjoyed making this quilt!

Linking up to finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Rainy Day Finish - Spectrum!

Tropical storm Andrea has made it impossible to take pictures outside today. But last night I finished sewing the binding onto what I'm now calling my Spectrum quilt.

I started Spectrum back in March when I was in DC for ten days. I took the leftovers of Paul's Rainbow Skittles quilt and just played around, ending up with a courthouse step layout.

Here it is, half way through quilting.

For some reason I decided it reminded me a bit of refracted light through a prism (from above I guess!). So I decided that it would be nice to quilt lines emanating from opposite corners, spreading out like rays.

You can see it better on the reverse!

You can also see that I have some dragging and puckers. The quilt isn't washed yet and I think they're all small enough so you won't see it once it has shrunk a little. But because I got a little bit of money for my birthday last month I treated myself to a walking foot and a quilting foot for my machine this week!! Yay! Hopefully, once I get the hang of using them my quilting will look much better.

Here's a fancy angle close-up of the quilting and the binding (it's slightly out of focus, it's not your eyes!). I used the Pac-Man fabric I bought for Paul to bind this quilt. In fact he won't let me talk about giving this one away. He's a lot more keen on it than I am. I mostly enjoyed making it from nothing and for nothing. No pressure and total freedom to do what I want. But I find the colours kind of overwhelming on the front on such a small quilt!

It's the picture and not your eyes that are fuzzy!!
(oh and yes, that's a giant transformer on the shelf.)

Though I do think that if you made one out of just one colour and white, and varied the shading of the colour then you could end up with a cool 3D pyramid effect... potentially!

Finally here's one of the fully finished front.

Quilt stats
Size: 40½" by 36½"
Quilt Top Fabric: Jelly Rolls of Moda Marbles in citrus and Bella White
Quilt Back Fabric: Ikea sheet and leftover squares from top
Binding: Pac-Man ghosts

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for finish it up Friday!!

Have a fun weekend :)

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

WIP - Cuzco Charm Crossing Quilt

Hi! I got distracted over the weekend looking at the winners of the Blogger's Quilt Festival and the finalists of Stitched In Color's Festival of Strings and never did put up a Sew Fresh Day round up. But it was worth it for all the pretties I got to ogle instead!

Another exciting quilting happening began this week too! Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts has organised a Kate Spain Blog Hop. There are loads of great bloggers scheduled to show off the lovely things they've made with any and all of Kate Spain's collections! Alyce kicked it off on Monday with a two-part interview with Kate herself. But it also involves two linky parties for things we've all been making with our Kate Spain fabric this month. Go check out the announcement page to read all the details!

This has been just the kick I needed to get started on a quilt I've had planned for at least six months now. I bought a charm pack of Cuzco last summer. I absolutely loved the fabric but couldn't afford yardage back then and had no idea what I would make if I did have the money. So I did my default-can't-live-without reaction and bought a charm pack.

Teamed with the bella solids recommended in the pattern! They
match so well :)

I need to work on my default reaction, because it's really hard to make a quilt with one charm pack. After a few months of searching on and off, I found the perfect quilt pattern. Tammie's (of craftytammieCharm Crossing quilt at the Moda Bake Shop!

I have gotten started this week. I have not gone far, mostly because my brain was disengaged yesterday when I got all the fabric out.

Can you spot what I did wrong here?

As I sorted the charms out so as each coloured one had a white partner, I paired them with wrong sides facing... Cos it was prettier! God love my brain. Still though, they do look lovely!

Anyway, it meant that by the end of yesterday this was all that had happened.

Today I began my chain-stitching, and methodically fixing my mistake (though I get to ogle Cuzco again as I go - silver lining!!).

I can't wait to see the other Kate Spain projects that get linked up to this Blog Hop! And I'm really enjoying reading a little bit of Kate Spain every day too. This is a good start to the summer!

Oh, and there's a button to be grabbed too, if you decide to take part in all the awesome!!

And not to forget, but I'm linking up with Work in Progress Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced :)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Does anyone know how to make the WIP button be a link inside the blog? Like that one right there, just above this. I can make the ones in the sidebar be links, but am utterly lost if it's within a post!!