Jan 04 2017

A quilt top for mom

Published by under Quilting,Sewing

Mom Mauve & Dusty Blue front

A while ago (and by a while I mean like 10 years ago), my mom made a quilt top. This quilt top languished in her fabric vault until about a year or two ago when I started doing longarm quilting. When I was home last time, I told her she just needed to get it done so I took it from my mom and told her I would quilt it up for her. She insisted she didn’t even really like it, but now that it’s done she does still like it 🙂

Mom Mauve & Dusty Blue back

I pieced the back in order to save fabric. It was just a little over 44” so I cut the proper length, sliced it down the middle and pieced together some partial blocks leftover from the original quilt piecing. This saved a ton of the backing fabric which my mom can now use for something else.

Special thank you shout out to my dad for being an excellent quilt holder 😉

Mom Mauve & Dusty Blue close up

For the actual quilting, I did feathers in all the white areas and then just simple designs in the 9 patches. I’m very happy with how the feathers turned out. But it was my first time for doing this 9-patch pattern and while it got progressively better, I have to really slow myself down to get it precise. After washing it looked decent, but definitely need more practice here.

Mom Mauve & Dusty Blue binding on the plane

Put my long flight home to good use by working on the binding. Bonus: if you bind on the plane, the quilt keeps you warm and you don’t have to use the icky plane blankets!

Mom Mauve & Dusty Blue close up

I did the binding using the leftover blue fabric and it complimented it nicely. She had just enough leftover blue fabric — almost like she actually intended to originally use the blue for the binding. Which she might have but it was so long ago we have no idea.

Mom Mauve & Dusty Blue close up

I guess this is my first commissioned piece 🙂

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Jan 01 2017

Grace Circle October 2016 Quilt

Published by under Quilting

Grace Circle October 2016 Quilt Folded

As I previously mentioned, I’m a part of the Grace Circle for do. Good Stitches as a quilter. This past October was my first month as quilter and now I can share the quilt I finished last month.

Orange and black square in square in square

I asked the quilt circle members to do the square above called a flower box using this tutorial. For the black, anything that read as black ,and for the orange, anything that read as orange — solid or print in both cases.

Grace Circle October '16 Square

Here were the samples that I made. They also ended up being a part of the quilt as well.

Making my Grace Circle October '16 blocks

Some in progress shots of working not he sample blocks.

Making my Grace Circle October '16 blocks

These blocks were fun and I would totally do them again for a quilt of my own.

Grace Circle October 2016 Quilt top

I got everyone’s squares by mid November and played around a little deciding how I want to lay them out. I ended up offsetting every other row and I really like the chevrons it created between the rows. I had to make a couple more half squares for the layout to be even. I needed to get it done before December because I had already scheduled time on the longarm to get it quilted up before the end of December deadline (quilters are expected to have their quilt done by the end of the second month after their designated month).

Grace Circle October 2016 Quilt Front

It was so cool to see it come together. Quilt circle quilts like this are a great example of how the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Grace Circle October 2016 Quilt Close-up

I enjoyed doing some fun quilting on the longarm for it — swirls that I felt confident with in the diamonds for interest and waves that wouldn’t be too distracting elsewhere.

Grace Circle October 2016 Quilt Back

Since I used orange thread, it made a cool contrast against the black backing that I used.

I’m already cooking up ideas for my next month — April!

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Dec 26 2016

Free Wine Bag Tutorial

Published by under Sewing

Hanukkah wine bag

As promised here’s a walkthrough for the wine bag tutorial that I wrote. It classes up that bottle of wine you’re grabbing on the way out the door as a gift for your party host. The bag can be made with 2 fat quarters or just extra fabric that you have laying around. And once you’ve made it once or twice, you can whip one up in about 15-20 minutes.

Hanukkah fabric

I’ll be using some Basic Cotton printed with one of my designs at Spoonflower and some basic white muslin for the lining. I don’t recall what the fleece I used is, but I recommend Thermolam Plus.

Hanukkah wine bag

Starting by cutting out your fabric: outside, lining, fleece and handle. Since the fleece is optional I didn’t list it on the tutorial, but in my case, I cut it 1/2 inch less on all sides (so 6” x 14”).

Hanukkah wine bag

In the instructions, I say to sew the sides together before cutting the 1.5” squares from the corners. You can do it before or after. Cutting it after is faster; cutting before prevents having fleece in the seam. I’m showing the case where I cut the 1.5” squares before sewing in case you like that better since the pdf outlines how to do it the other way.

Hanukkah wine bag

You’ll want to cut the bottom corners from the outer fabric, lining and fleece.

Hanukkah wine bag

Fuse the fleece the center of the outer fabric.

Hanukkah wine bag

Sew together the outer bag pieces at the sides using a 1/2” seam allowance. Repeat for the lining. If you’re doing the cut-corners-first version, you can just sew right off the edge when you get to the corners — no need to back stitch. We’ll be locking those stitches down when we sew the corners together.

Don’t forget to leave a 3 inch gap in the lining. You can see in the photo above that I mark that gap with two pins on either side so that I don’t forget to do it.

If you decided to cut out your corners after sewing, now is the time to do it.

Hanukkah wine bag

To sew the corners together, bring the side bag seam to match the adjacent bottom bag seam. The rest of the bag should sort of poof out.

Pinch the two seams together and flatten out the fabric to the sides of the seams enough so that it can lay flat under your presser foot. You should have a straight edge perpendicular to the side seams. You’ll want to sew along that edge with a 1/2” seam allowance. Trim that seam allowance to 1/4” after sewing.

Repeat for the lining.

Hanukkah wine bag

Time to make the handle. Start by pressing the handle lengthwise.

Hanukkah wine bag

Open it up.

Hanukkah wine bag

Flip it over . . .

Hanukkah wine bag

And press the sides in.

Hanukkah wine bag

Now fold the sides together again.

Hanukkah wine bag

And stitch with a 1/8” seam allowance down the sides.

Let’s go back to the bag. Now we’re going to attach the handle. I find it easiest to do this with the outer bag turned inside out (right side facing in).

Hanukkah wine bag

Pin the handle to the outside of the bag at the side seams, matching the end of the handle to the top edge of the bag. The side seams provide a nice easy way to match up the centers — just match the center of the handle to the side seam. Your handle should make a little U shape in the middle of the bag. Make sure there are no twists!

I use two pins so that I can hold down each of the outer bag seam allowances when I tack the handles on.

Secure to the top with a 3/8” seam allowance so it will be hidden when we sew in the lining. You don’t need to backstitch here either.

Hanukkah wine bag

Now we’re going to put in the lining. Your lining should be right side out and your outer bag should be inside out. Slip your lining into your outer bag. Their right sides should be facing one another. You’ll need to gently move the handle to the side to slide the lining past.

Pin the lining and outer bag together, matching tops and side seams. Again, I use 2 pins on each side seam to hold down each of the seam allowances. It just prevents worrying about it when I’m sewing.

Stitch around the top with the standard 1/2” seam allowance.

Hanukkah wine bag

Turn the bag right side out by pulling it through the gap you left in the lining.

Hanukkah wine bag

Using your iron, gently press the seam at the top between the outer bag and lining. You’ll want to roll the lining to the inside of the bag. Since the lining is a hair shorter, it should fit in nicely. Top stitch around the top to make it look nice. Machine or hand stitch close the opening in the lining and you’re done! Ready to be gifted 🙂

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Dec 25 2016

Hanukkah wine bags and gift baskets

Published by under Sewing

Haukkah gift bags

Wishing everyone a Happy Hanukkah!

These are wine bags and gift baskets that I made last year with some fabric I designed on Spoonflower. I couldn’t find the kind of Hanukkah fabric that I wanted so I made my own! And now it’s available to you, too!

I wrote up a tutorial for the tall wine bag but needed to test it out. I’ve done so and here it is.

Meanwhile here are a few more pictures from my tester bags. All of the fabrics are printed on Spoonflower’s basic cotton.

Hanukkah wine bag

This one uses shape flex (Pellon SF101) as support for the fabric. The lining is plain white muslin.

Hanukkah wine bag

This one uses fusible fleece as the stabilizer. I wasn’t thrilled by how it wrinkled a bit after fusing, but I think that was due to poor quality fleece. My preferred fleece is Thermolam, but I used something else in the case. Not sure what it was, but I won’t be using it again.

Hanukkah wine bag

This is a slightly different style that I was trying out. No stabilizers, but it does have a round bottom. Lining is the coordinating striped fabric you can see.

Hannukah short basket

And finally one more test. This was more of a basket style. I used some coordinating quilting cotton for the lining and lined with the meh fleece mention above.

Tomorrow I’ll post a walk through for making the tall ones.

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Dec 17 2016

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

Published by under Quilting

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

This was a quilt which I did for fun because I loved the fabric. I actually finished it last year but only got around to posting pictures now because I thought it might be a gift and didn’t want to ruin the surprise. But it has long since found it’s happy home, so I’m free to post!

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company strips 

The fabric line is Good Company by Jennifer Paganelli. I’m a huge fan of her prints. The fabric is delightfully soft and would probably drape nicely. I would love to make a dress out of one of her fabrics at some point although I think this particularly line is out of print now. 🙁

These were actually part of a wide jelly roll — each strip was 6” wide by width of fabric.

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company strips

I then cut each strip into thirds. Probably about 14 inches long each.

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

Put them in columns and rows and there you have it.

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

I had fun with the quilting and used the designs as inspiration, but also going for a sort of whimsical look. You can really see the quilting by looking at the back where I of course used minky because it feels so cuddly but also because I knew it would show off the quilting nicely:

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

For the binding I used some green and white striped fabric from a different Jennifer Paganelli line (can’t remember which one though). I think it compliments the prints, adds interest and ties it all together.

Jennifer Paganelli Good Company Quilt

I love how it turned out. I thought it might be a baby gift, but then the person I was thinking of giving it to had a boy so I had to change gear for them. I thought I might keep it for myself but we’re amassing quite a collection of quilts. When my mom came to visit, she saw it and loved it and now it lives with her (and I still get to use it when I visit 🙂 ).

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Dec 14 2016

Thanksgiving 5k Tutus

Published by under Crafts

TurkeyTrotTutus

I had to put this one under crafts because there’s actually no sewing involved!

My family does a Turkey Trot 5k run every year on Thanksgiving Day. We’ve been doing it at least the last 5 years, maybe 10. I’ve lost count at this point. Some years I run. This year I walked with my cousin since she was pregnant and the running aggravated things (as they will when you’re carrying another human).

To make things a little more “exciting” this year, we decided to make matching tutus! I looked at a bunch of different tutu tutorials online and then basically used this tutorial from DIY Projects mostly for the yardage and size of strips. We used elastic rather than ribbon though and of course a variety of colors, but it came out to approximately 6 yards of tulle per skirt.

Materials

  • 1 yard of 1/2 inch elastic (or whatever is needed to go around your waist and tie it in a knot)
  • 6 yards of tulle (feel free to mix up the colors!)

Tools

  • Rotary cutter & mat
  • Scissors
  • Your hands 🙂

Directions

Cutting tulle for Turkey Trot Tutus

Use the rotary cutter to slice the tulle into 6 inch strips. I started using a rotary ruler for this to begin with but trying to layout the tulle, measure was too much bother so I just eyeballed it. Tutu making of this sort is not an exact science so it wasn’t really a big deal, made no difference to the finished product and went so much faster.

Tulle strips for Turkey Trot Tutus

Tulle strips for Turkey Trot Tutus

Cut each strip in half so that they’re about 25” long each. I had some minions to do this for me while I continued to cut strips. 🙂

Attaching strips for Turkey Trot Tutus

Tie the elastic around your waist and then do pull over knots to tie it to the elastic. Repeat until tutu has desired fullness.

Attaching strips for Turkey Trot Tutus

What’s a pull over knot? This is where you create a loop with the tulle (ideally at the middle of the strip) and pull the rest of the tulle through that loop so that it wraps around the elastic (or whatever you are tying it to). The tutorial linked above has some good photos of how to do it if mine don’t make sense.

Backside of Turkey Trot Tutus My Turkey Trot Tutus

Enjoy your tutu!

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Nov 20 2016

do. Good Stitches

Published by under Quilting,Sewing

Grace circle November blocks

I get a lot of joy out of quilting and sewing, but most of the sewing that I do would be classified as “selfish sewing.” It’s sewing that I do for me because I want to. I don’t feel too bad about this because I work hard at my job and sewing is one of my two main outlets for relaxing and having fun.

However, in general, I do feel the need to give back to my community and I found that with quilting, I can actually do both. Last year I heard about do. Good Stitches. do. Good Stitches is a charity bee started by Rachel Hauser of Stitched in Color where quilts are made by groups to give to people in need. People can be either stitchers or quilters. Both types of contributors make blocks each month, but the quilters also assemble and ship off finished quilts as well. I figured it would be a manageable way to give back without a massive time commitment so I signed up to be a stitcher on the waitlist.

I was contacted back in June about joining one of the quilt circles. However, the circle was looking for a quilter, not a stitcher. I was a little nervous about the increased commitment as a quilter but I really wanted to be a part of this organization and give back so I agreed. The circle I was invited to was the Grace Circle whose charity recipient is My Very Own Blanket, an organization that gives quilts to foster children. One of my best friends recently started fostering children and I had learned from her about how hard it can be for those children. I’d read all the stories, of course, but it’s not the same as first hand accounts. For that reason, this circle seemed like a particularly good fit.

Through my involvement, I’ve met several wonderful women who are also a part of Grace Circle and I’ve gotten to try out a bunch of new blocks. The quilter for each month gets to pick the size, color, design for the block and sends it out. My first month as quilter was October so I’ll share my first quilt made for Grace Circle in a few weeks after I’ve finished it up.

In the mean time, here are some of the blocks that I’ve made as part of do. Good Stitches in addition to the one at the top of this post. One of the things that continues to amaze me is how cool the quilts look despite varied interpretations of the quilter’s request. The sum really is greater than the parts!

Grace Circle September '16 Blocks

Grace Circle August Block

Grace do. Good Stitches July 2016 blocks

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Nov 17 2016

Chainmaille bracelets and flowers

Published by under Crafts

Chainmaille and scale maille

Right, so among the many things I’ve been up to recently . . . one of those was taking a chainmaille class. I wasn’t taking it to make armor or anything like that. No, it was to make pretty jewelry.

Chainmaille 6 in 1

The first chainmaille pattern we learned was the 6 in 1. It’s pretty basic and I could use it to make chainmaille if I wanted to. But I probably won’t.

Chainmaille 6 in 1

We just made a bracelet out of it.

Chainmaille Byzantine

The second one we learned was the Byzantine round. This was my favorite. I love the two colors and how round it actually feels. I may actually wear this one.

Scale maille flowers

And for bonus we learned how to make scale maille flowers. Scale maille is basically plate armor stuff.

All of these was aluminum so very light and since it’s anodized aluminum, pretty colors as well. The supplies were purchased from The Ring Lord.

It was lots of fun! I hope I have time to make more stuff in the future. I may or may not have already bought some more rings 🙂

Scale maille flowers

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Nov 14 2016

Baby boy flannel quilt

Published by under Quilting

Baby boy woodland creature flannel quilt

Despite not posting for the last . . . oh, 3 months, I have been actually been doing stuff. There’s been sewing and traveling and quilting and preserving and puzzling and dancing and probably more. Which is why there haven’t been posts. But trying to catch up on stuff now. Someday I’ll get this whole blogging thing under control. Maybe.

Baby boy woodland creature flannel quilt

This one is a baby quilt for a friend who had a baby in August. It took me a little bit to get her the quilt (I originally intended it for her shower in June) but I had to get longarm time (and life time) to finish it.

Baby quilt pieces

I found this jelly roll of super cute flannel with little woodland creatures on it. I pieced sets of three strips together and then cut them into squares.

Baby quilt assembly

Then I laid out the squares in a grid, alternating direction.

Baby boy woodland creature flannel quilt

For the quilting, I did some freestyle swirls following the pattern of the blocks. I love how the design really shows through on the flannel.

Baby boy woodland creature flannel quilt

For the back I used minky because it’s so soft and cuddly for the babies.

Baby boy woodland creature flannel quilt

They had yardage of the flannel as well so I picked up some of the striped one to use as the binding. Sewing flannel was a bit challenging — it liked to slide and the binding was no different — but it turned out okay in the end.

Baby boy burp cloths

I ended up with some odds and end pieces that I put together to make a couple of burp cloths backed with minky.

Baby boy burp cloths

It was nice to be able to include a little something extra that coordinated. From what I see on Facebook, the little guy is getting plenty of use out of his blanket 🙂

Baby boy woodland creature flannel quilt

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Nov 11 2016

Sprout Sloan Leggings by Hey June

Published by under Sewing

Sprout Sloan Gingko Leggings

A while back I wanted a quick and easy project. So I ordered some Sloan Leggings from Sprout patterns. I’ve mentioned Sprout before. The Sloan Leggings are a pattern by Hey June. And this is definitely a super quick and easy project.
 
Sprout Spoonflower package
 
The fabric is printed by Spoonflowe so it comes wrapped nicely.
 
Sprout Sloan Leggings before cutting
 
I wanted something kinda “zen” that I could wear to yoga so I went for this gingko leaf design by lauriekentdesigns. I was also trying to match a green top. I did not actually manage to match it, but I did like the print.
 
Folded Sloan Leggings
 
The leggings themselves went together in an afternoon. Maybe an hour? Tops. There’s only a few seams.
 
Sloan Leggings taking in the inseam
 
I ordered a medium based on the measurements on the website. I ended up having to take it in — everywhere. The crotch, the legs. But it’s always better (and possible) to take in than out. This fabric was Spoonflower’s performance lycra. I really like the fabric, but it’s got a lot of stretch. So next time I would probably order an extra small (for those of you thinking of ordering your own).
 
Sloan Leggings cutting interfacing
 
My only real beef with the pattern itself was that they recommend putting in knit interfacing in the waistband. Above is how I cut out the interfacing because I didn’t feel like printing and tracing the pattern. Maybe I used terrible interfacing. Don’t know. But it left it really wrinkled after it stretched the first time. It’s fine when it’s pulled up (sorta — but no one sees it usually):
 
Sprout Sloan Gingko Leggings
 
But looks a bit odd when rolled down. Or maybe it’s just a texture feature 🙂
 
Please ignore that you can kinda see my panty outline in these photos. I usually wear it with a skirt or long shirt over top like in the first photo.
 
Sprout Sloan Gingko Leggings
 
Either way, they work. I’ve since made the Sloan leggings again and not put interfacing in the waistband which works much better for me.
 
Sprout Sloan Gingko Leggings
 
Here’s a side view.
 
Overall they’re good leggings. I’ve got a legging pattern comparison post coming up. But the features I like about the Sloan leggings are:
  • wide waistband
  • card pocket (I can actually fit my whole phone which is great when walking the dogs)
  • extra shaping around the calf
I leave you with one last photo. I need to find something that matches them better . . .
 
Sprout Sloan Gingko Leggings

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