Sunday, May 24, 2015

It doesn't always work.

I like to think that I'm pretty good at putting colors/fabrics together. But not everything works the way I think it will. Case in point:

not feeling this combo at all

On a whim, I started pulling fabrics from my stash. The colors all worked together. But in this configuration? Not so much. Washed-out weirdness (in person, it is even worse).

Feeling lazy, rather than fixing the "real" problem of the grey/yellow pieced blocks, I decided to try and make them work by finding a new focus fabric.

this combo is working better... at least there is contrast

Still not perfect, but soooo much better with some contrast in there. I think with some borders, this one is going to be okay. And at this point, okay is feeling pretty good to me.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sunrise Coins - Blogger's Quilt Festival, Spring 2015!

It's Bloggers' Quilt Festival time again! I'm excited that I have something new to share for this one...

Every so often, I am compelled to make a quilt "just because." No recipient in mind, no real need, but just because I really want to make it. Such is the case with this fun design by Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts:

Sunrise Coins, front

It is called "Framed Coins" and can be found in the (incredibly awesome) book, Skip the Borders. This is actually the third project I have completed from the book. I am a fan.

Sunrise Coins, view from side

Can't say as I was horribly original with this one. I pretty much did the exact same thing as in the book, just with red/oranges instead of greens (thus I've given it the name "Sunrise Coins"). But-- it was all from my stash! Woo!

It measures 72" x 72" so I have entered it in the ,"Large Quilts" category.

Sunrise Coins, quilting detail

I had fun with the quilting though! Aurfil Mako 50/2 thread was used throughout. I started by stitching in the ditch around the colored frames and each group of coins (2370, "Taupe"). Then inside the coin sections, I used a grey thread (2600, "Dove") and did a flame-y all-over type thing (inspired by the "Allover Leaves" design found in the book, Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Walters-- another awesome book!). Then for the colored areas, I used contrasting thread and free-motioned the straight(ish)-line frames. In the red, I used orange (2150, "Golden Poppy"). In the orange, I used red (2250, "Red"). In the peach I used coral (2255, "Dark Texas Orange"). In the coral, I used peach (2220, "Salmon"). I was really pleased with how it all came together!

Sunrise Coins, back

The back is a fabric I've had in my stash since about 2000. It is such a beautiful print and it just seems to work so well with this quilt. I am also proud of having tried something new with the binding on this one. Most of the binding is black and white polka-dot. But there are two sections where I changed colors of binding to match the adjacent blocks. It was fun trying something new, and I think it looks pretty snazzy too.

Sunrise Coins, label

It almost feels kind of cheater to call this one a 2015 finish as all but the binding was done last July (and I was too lazy to re-do the label). But the last stitches didn't go in until this year, so 2015 it is!

Sunrise Coins, side front view

Thanks so much for stopping by and checking out my quilt. Have fun enjoying all of the other fabulous entries!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Ina Maxi goodness!

My latest finish:

Ina skirt, front view

This is the Ina Maxi Skirt, a exclusive pattern.

Ina skirt, with shirt tucked and waistband visible, front view

I purchased this happy coral stripe cotton knit from Gorgeous Fabrics with this pattern in mind. Based on my measurements, I cut a size Large, which worked for some parts and was big in others. In the photos above and below, I've tucked in my shirt to try and give an idea of how un-fitted the waist is on me).

Ina skirt, with shirt tucked and waistband visible, back view

While I like how it fits and skims my body from my hips downward, I definitely need to go down a size (or more) for the waist. I tried to mitigate by doing some shaping-- I cut 7/8" from the top of the waist side seams tapering down to the original waistband seam at the bottom. That helped some, but it is still pretty loose where I want it to be close-fitting (because I want it to feel like its gonna stay on/up!). The fabric is 100% cotton and seems to have good recovery-- but maybe something with lycra would help with fit as well?

Ina skirt, on hanger, front and inside view collage

The only other alteration I made was to trim off 1/2" from the hem. It is still on the long-ish side, though its totally wearable so long as I wear a bit of a heel. Next time, I'll probably shorten it by 1 to 1-1/2" above the tulip part. I also made sure to insert a ribbon to mark the back, which is only subtly different from the front (you can see it poking out in the right pic of the above collage).

Ina skirt, side view

On the bright side, I have worn the skirt twice now without incident-- the skirt totally stayed in place and there was no unnecessary flashing. And it is so cute! I love the look of this skirt. I can see myself having another one in my closet at some point-- with a wider, multi-colored stripe print, or even with a pretty solid.

Ina skirt, wearing with a cardigan

And I feel so fancy when I wear it!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Mint Chocolate Marshmallow Sampler blocks

I finished these a little while ago, but wanted to share them on here (for completeness, I guess?). Here are the final blocks of the Sea Breeze Quilts "Chocolate Marshmallow Sampler" quilt along:

Chocolate Marshmallow Sampler, block 11

Block 11

Chocolate Marshmallow Sampler, block 12

Block 12

Chocolate Marshmallow Sampler, potential layout of all twelve blocks

Here I've laid all twelve blocks out in what I'm thinking might be my final layout. I've set them aside for now. I need some time to think about how I want to sash them and finish it all (though I am leaning toward the suggested option as I do like the stars).

Many thanks to Kate at Life in Pieces for the inspiration for this project's new moniker! Green and brown and white? "Mint Chocolate Marshmallow" is perfect!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

One whole hand!

On Sunday, Little Bear turned 5 years old! To celebrate, he wanted to have a Transformers Rescue Bots party. So I got to craftin'!

First on the list was a "Pin the Autobot Symbol on Boulder" game.

Pin the Autobot Symbol on Boulder poster

I used a projector to trace the image of Boulder the Rescue Bot and then painted him with acrylics. Then I printed and cut out Autobot symbols for the kids to stick on him (the goal was his chest).

Rescue Bot party favors

I also put together some simple party favors, including bubble wands decorated with Rescue Bot stickers I made using Avery Shipping Label stickers. Since the wands were orange and green, I went with Blades and Boulder characters to match. I also purchased a .pdf of some Rescue Bot bookmarks from So Happy Shop on Etsy and printed them out on cardstock. I finished them with some homemade tassels using a tutorial, "How to Make Your Own Tassels," from Sew4Home.

lots of tasty treats

There was also an array of treats, including a cake. Rather than a fancy Rescue Bot-themed design, I was surprised when Little Bear decided he wanted a chocolate cake with chocolate icing and sprinkles.

Little Bear's cake

I used Smittin Kitchen's "i want chocolate cake" cake. It turned out beautifully. This is the first time in recent memory that we actually finished off an entire cake! Sooooo good!

my sous chef

Bonus: I had a sous chef to help me with the baking!

Last, but definitely not least, Little Bear finally got his very own personalized name pillow.

loving on his new name pillow

Happy birthday, Little Bear! I love you!!!!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

More sparkle!!! M6752

Apparently, I was totally feelin' the sparkle for my recent trip to Las Vegas, because in addition to the sequin top and sparkle dress, I made this:

M6752, and another front view... I really like this top

The top is McCall's 6752, view A. I love the style and shape of the top and dig the zipper detail. The kimono sleeves seemed like a great fit for the fabric as well (less stripe matching!). The fabric is a 100% polyester jersey knit from

M6752, front view

I cut a size 16. My only alteration was to lengthen the bodice 1.5".

M6752, back view

The instructions were very straightforward. I did add a couple steps (as I have been wont to do lately with knits):
  • Used knit stay tap along the back neck edge.
  • Stabilized the shoulders with nylon stay tape.

M6752, zipper detail

I attempted to match the stripes on either side of the zipper. It kind of worked. I particularly love the zipper detail. It is something just a little different and it gives the top a bit of edge. I dig it! I can totally see myself making this top again at some point.

The skirt I've paired the top with here is Kwik Sew 3765, which I made back in 2012. Love this skirt!

M6752, another front view

Chevron sparkle, FTW!!!

Monday, April 13, 2015

V8961 - Vegas dress!

On my Vegas trip, my friends and I did the "Sin City Club Crawl" party bus. Quite the experience! This is what I wore (including the shoes, which I was kind of regretting by the end of the night... considering it was a party bus, there was a lot of walking involved!):

V8961, front view

This is Vogue 8961, View B. I cut a size 16. The fabric is "Metallic Glitter Stretch Slinky Knit Black/Violet Pink" (ha! that's a mouthful!) from This fabric just kind of begged for a disco-mama kind of dress, and this pattern's silhouette really seemed to fit the bill.

V8961, back view

Alterations included lengthening the bodice by 1.5" and shortening the skirt by 1". Because of the thinness of the fabric, I went ahead and lined the skirt as well.

V8961, side view

Construction-wise, I pretty much just followed the directions (which were very straightforward and easy to follow), but added in a couple of additional steps. I stabilized the shoulder seams with some nylon stay tape, and added knit stay tape around the neckline ("Extremely Fine Fusible" from SewKeysE). Because the fabric was knit (the pattern is actually designed for a woven), I used a knit stitch throughout and I finished the skirt hems with my coverstitch machine.

V8961, neck topstitching detail

In addition, I went ahead and topstitched the neck facings, because I just envisioned lots of floppiness otherwise.

V8961, sleeve detail collage

I like the gathered sleeve detail on this dress, and am happy with how clean it looks on the inside as well.

This dress was easy to put together, very comfy to wear and it totally met my disco-mama vision. I call it a WIN!

Finally, here's a flash picture, so you can get an idea of the sparkleliciousness:

V8961, sparkle view

Woo! Sparkle!