Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Twinsies: Firecrackers

I recently completed a pair of quilts for a friend who had twin boys last fall and I finally managed to gift them this month! In this post, I'll share the first of the two, which I call "Firecrackers."

Firecrackers, front view

The design is from the book, Fat Quarter Style, by the fabulous folks at It's Sew Emma Patterns. It is called "Plume"-- but I went with "Firecrackers" because after I quilted them, the grey parts made me think of little explosions. The pattern is great-- very clear and accurate instructions throughout. I love that the book gives size options, too! This is, appropriately enough, the Crib size (finishing at about 40.5" x 50.5").

Firecrackers, quilting detail

The fabrics were all from my stash. Since I didn't know if mama had picked out any colors or anything, I went with a Seahawks palette. I felt confident that would be a safe bet.

Firecrackers quilting detail from the back

The quilting was all done using Aurifil Mako 50/2 in Dove (#2600-- a soft grey). Again, I found myself inspired by Angela Walters' Craftsy class, "Dot-to-Dot Quilting," and I employed her techniques to quilt the grey areas. That Angela Walters is so dang awesome! I find myself continually inspired by her work and teachings.

Firecrackers, back view

Scrappy back for the win!

Firecrackers, label

And a label.

Firecrackers, front side view

Next post, I'll share quilt number two!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A wallhanging for springtime

It took a couple of years, but I have finally completed my Edyta Sitar wallhanging, from her book, Seasonal Silhouettes.

Spring Showers, front

This is the April design. Hand applique, with a bit of embroidery (the centers of the purple flowers) and one bead (for the robin's eye). My only other change to the pattern was to piece the background. The completed wallhanging is about 18" x 22".

Spring Showers, detail of robin

I really need to find myself another applique project. I do love applique.

Spring Showers, side back

I machine quilted it using Aurifil thread in a couple different colors... I can't remember which ones though. Doh! (The perils of waiting so long to blog about a project!)

Spring Showers, label

I finished quilting and binding it last fall. The label reflects that date. I put it on before I realized I forgot the hanging tabs. Oops!

Spring Showers, view of hanging tabs

So, it sat around for a few months until I got motivated last week and added the hanging tabs and buttons. I took a strip of fabric, folded it lengthwise (right sides together) and stitched around one short edge and the long edge. Then I turned it right-side-out, added a buttonhole on the finished end, and then stitched it to the back of the quilt, trying to keep my stitching right in the ditch of the binding.

Spring Showers, side front

Since I couldn't actually use it until I got the hanging tabs on there, I am calling this one a 2016 finish.

Spring Showers, hanging in my hallway

"Spring Showers" now resides in my hallway. At least, it does for now... I still have visions of having a lovely collection of seasonal wallhangings to switch out. :)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Chevron Appleton

I think this is it! The last unblogged project from 2015!

Appleton chevron dress, front view 2

This is my Appleton Dress from Cashmerette. It is a classic wrap dress. I stitched it up a couple weeks before Christmas using a happy ITY chevron print from Fabric Mart.

Appleton chevron dress, side view

If you haven't heard about Cashmerette patterns yet, they are designed for curvy ladies, size 12 and up, with cup sizes going up to H. No FBA required!!! Woo! My rendition is a size 12, G-H cup with 3/4-sleeves. The only alteration I made was to chop 4" off the hem.

Appleton chevron dress, back view

The instructions were straightforward and everything went together without a hitch. And I love the result! I feel so pretty when I wear this dress. Sexy, even! That V-neck is no joke... it is deep. And, while it is secure, I have to be very careful about which bra I choose, as anything with a wide bridge ends up peeking out after a few minutes. Fortunately, I have one bra that works pretty well. Of course, a cami is always an option as well, and would lend to a bit more modesty in general. I haven't tried that approach yet though.

Appleton chevron dress, side front view

I love this dress. I've been eyeing other potential fabrics, but haven't found the perfect one yet. Hopefully, soon! I'd love to make a short-sleeved one for summer!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Sit & Stitch Pincushion

This is yet another completed project from last year (only a couple more left, I swear!).

Sit & Stitch Pincushion, top view

It is the "Sit & Stitch Pincusion" from Cindy Taylor Oates (of Taylor Made Designs). My mother-in-law gave me the pattern for Christmas. I was so smitten with it, I jumped in and finished one that weekend.

Sit & Stitch Pincushion, a peek at the back

Shopping my stash, I found a happy array of fabrics and and then got to work.

I did a couple things differently than the pattern suggested based upon the supplies I had on hand:
  • Used woven interfacing (Pellon SF101) rather than the Pellon 808 called for in the pattern.
  • I made my bias binding the old-fashioned way as I didn't have a bias making thingy of the correct size.
Both changes seemed to work well.

Sit & Stitch Pincushion, front view

The whole thing came together in an afternoon.

Sit & Stitch Pincushion, front top

It is designed to drape over the arm of a chair or couch. I think it is going to be perfect next time I'm downstairs doing some stitching in front of the television! (Note to self: find a project to work on in front of the tv!)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

A pair of Jenna Cardis

Also left unblogged in 2015 were a couple iterations of the Muse Patterns Jenna Cardi.

Jenna version 1, wearing with top two buttons undone

The first one, completed in early December was from a hatchi sweater knit purchased from Fabric.com awhile back.

Jenna version 1, button placement

This print makes me so happy. My only regret: I wish I had used some sparkly buttons. There is gold threading through the fabric, and some crystaline buttons would bring that element out a little more and look so fun! If I run across the right buttons, I may still change 'em up.

Jenna version 1, back view

I made Variation A, the hip length with long sleeves. Alterations included:
  • 1" FBA, after which I removed the darts by following Maria Denmark's "How to: Removing Bust Darts from a Pattern."
  • Shortened sleeves 2".
  • Used 9 buttons (spaced ~2/25" apart) instead of the 8 suggested in the pattern (as I had added length when doing the FBA).
Jenna version 1, buttoned view

I wasn't sure how removing the darts would work, but, as it was only a 1" FBA, I decided to give it a go. And I am super happy with the result! I am not sure how effective it would be if the FBA was any bigger though.

Jenna version 2, front view

The second version (also Variation A with long sleeves) is from a chocolate brown poly/lycra sweater knit from Fabric Mart. It was finished toward the end of December.

The only change to this one from the first was that I narrowed the sleeve width a bit. I just felt like my first one, the sleeves were looser than I wanted.

Jenna cardigans, sleeve comparisons

I very unscientifically trimmed, tapering the width starting from about 1" below the armscrye, ending at the hem where about 1.25" of fabric was removed from the width (and then I adjusted the sleeve bands accordingly before attaching). The picture above shows a comparison of the sleeves between the two versions.

Jenna version 2, back view

Construction on these was straightforward and the instructions were great. It is a very quick project to construct!

Jenna variation 2, side view

I wear these cardigans quite often. The chocolate one is already starting to pill as it has been in such regular rotation. LOVE.

Jenna version 2, full view

Recently, Muse released an add-on for the Jenna that includes a V-neck and collar variations. I snatched it up! More Jennas are definitely in my future.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Fall 2013 Mystery Quilt

Basted and ready to go, this one sat for nearly a year before I finally figured out how I wanted to quilt it. But, I finally got it quilted and bound in December:

Fall 2013 Mystery Quilt, front view

It is the Heather Spence Designs Fall 2013 Mystery Quilt.

Fall 2013 Mystery Quilt, side front detail

The fabrics all came from stash. (Yay for stashbusting projects!) It actually was a lot of fun putting this one together.

Fall 2013 Mystery Quilt, quilting detail

On this one I decided I wanted the center to have the feeling of waterlilies or lily pads or somesuch to help tie it and the border together design-wise. I ended up going with this super, labor-intensive approach of using the pinwheels as the basis of a flower, and then, to emphasize it, I did microstippling in the areas between. It creates a sort of trapunto-esque effect.

Fall 2013 Mystery Quilt, quilting detail 2

So. Much. Quilting. I think I listened to two books on CD. So 20 hours or so? Yikes!

Aurifil 50/2 in Light Sand/Beige (2000) throughout the center was perfect-- the 2-ply thread works so nicely for tight quilting.

Fall 2013 Mystery Quilt, quilting detail 3

Then, in the border, I just did some watery wavy lines. I used a slightly heavier-weight thread, Mettler (40/3) in a dark brown.

Fall 2013 Mystery Quilt, back view

I do love me a pieced back!

Fall 2013 Mystery Quilt, quilting detail, back view

So I haven't put a label on it.... yet. I'm kind of on the fence with this one. I really love the quilting and the overall look of the quilt. But I don't need it and it doesn't really fit with our decor at all. So I am thinking I want to donate it, but am having a hard time letting it go.

Fall 2013 Mystery Quilt, side front view

I need to give it a wash still. Maybe then I'll decide. :)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Reversible Embroidered Quilt

This quilt was started with a class I took back in 2008 through a (now closed) local Bernina dealer. The class and project were meant to highlight machine embroidery as a quilting option as well as to teach a quilt-as-you-go method of construction.

Reversible Embroidered Quilt, frontview

I actually completed the quilt itself back in 2008. I just didn't get the binding on it until December 2015. :P

Reversible Embroidered Quilt, detail of some embroidery

To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of this quilt. But I learned a good number of things through the making, including that I'm really just not a fan of quilt-as-you-go. I also like more quilting in my quilt. I learned that machine binding can be an awesome thing (and nowadays, I machine bind many of my quilts... though I don't use the exact technique that was taught in this class). Also-- machine embroidery, while lovely, is really boring to do.

Reversible Embroidered Quilt, side back view

I plan to donate this one, so no label.

Reversible Embroidered Quilt, front side view

While it is maybe not my cup o' tea, the colors are happy and overall, I think it is a pretty quilt.

Reversible Embroidered Quilt, back view

I am happy that the quilt is finally finished!