Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A hostess gift

This year we will be spending Thanksgiving with friends at their home. I recently went shopping with the lady of the house and she casually mentioned that she didn't have an apron, but could totally use one. Thus, a hostess gift was born:

Emmeline Apron, floral side

This is the fabulous Emmeline Apron from Sew Liberated. I made one up a few years ago for myself and still use and love it. It is feminine without being frilly, practical, and super cute.

Emmeline Apron, geometric side

I also love that it is reversible! The floral fabric is a lovely William Morris print from my stash (I think I bought it in 1998... so it's been in there awhile!) and the geometric print is from a recent Moda release, the "Simply Style" collection from V. and Co. The accent is Kona Navy. I think they all work really well together!

detail view of top-stitching

The instructions were great. I even did the suggested ladder-stitch this time around (last time, I just whip-stitched it closed) for a super-clean finish along the bodice inside edges. I then went a step further and machine top-stitched around the strap and down along the outside edge of the bodice (pictured above). I just like the finish that gives.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Easily distracted

It has been kind of a quiet week thus far here in the quilt mines. I managed to baste two small wallhangings-- so hopefully, I'll manage to start quilting (finishing!) something soon. But not yet! Once again, I find myself distracted by something fun and new. Woo!

In my blog-reading travels I ran across a relatively recent sampler quilt along from Sea Breeze Quilts. She is calling it the "Chocolate Marshmallow Sampler." The way this one works, she is posting two blocks each month. They are available for free for one month on her blog. After that free month, the blocks become available for purchase as instant downloads in her etsy shop. At this point, there are six blocks, with blocks 1-4 available for purchase and 5-6 accessible on her blog until mid-December. There will be a total of twelve blocks for the quilt. I do enjoy samplers, and the timing just seemed right, so I ended up going to her etsy shop to purchase the first set of blocks and I pieced them together over the last couple of days:

picture of blocks 1 and 2 for my Sea Breeze Quilts quilt along

I've decided to go with greens and browns. I have a lot of greens in my stash, and this seemed like it might be a fun way to utilize some of them. I've pulled a few fabrics, but I've decided I'm going to kind of pick and choose on a block-by-block basis to keep it fun and interesting. We'll see where it takes me...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Weekend sewing

It was a rather productive weekend! First up:

Noodlehead Gathered Clutch in aqua, collage of front view and inside

Another Noodlehead Gathered Clutch! I was not totally diggin' the contrast/strap fabric, but I had already cut it and didn't want it to go to waste. So I decided to try some fancy machine stitching on there to give it a little more oomph. I think it ended up being a really nice detail.

Having made this clutch five times now, I think it is pretty evident that I LOVE this pattern. I also have two more all cut and ready to assemble that I plan to give as gifts this Christmas along with this one.

Over the last week, I managed to get borders sewn onto three projects-- so that's three quilt tops complete! Woo! That meant it was time to start getting backings ready. This weekend, I put together one for my Heather Spence Designs Fall 2013 Mystery Quilt:

It took way longer than it probably should have. But, I successfully put it together using stash and I am actually quite happy with the result. So I guess that makes it worth the time. Now I just need to get it basted...

Monday, November 10, 2014

All about those borders...

Borders for four different projects, all cut and ready to attach:

a pile of borders, cut and ready to go

Gotta get to work so I can get these tops finished!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

On the design wall...

So after the frenzy that was Halloween costume sewing, I got a treat for me: a day to quilt! On November 1, I got to attend one of my guild's quilt-the-day-away events. Woo! I was able to complete the center of a small wall quilt (need to get pics of that one) and I (finally!) started to work on my Heather Spence Designs Fall 2013 Mystery Quilt.

That day, I was able to complete 1 of the twelve blocks. I know that doesn't doesn't sound like a lot, but I did have the 48 sections for all of the blocks complete... I just only managed to actually get four of those sewn together to create the one block. Over the course of the last week, I've managed to piece together the rest as well as add all but the final border:

my Heather Spence Designs Fall 2013 mystery quilt, awaiting final border

Technically, this wasn't exactly a "mystery" to me, as I had seen many of the in progress pics of other mystery quilters. But, I did go with my initial planned fabrics that I chose way back when the mystery quilt fabric requirements were announced. So even though I had foreknowledge, I didn't cheat! LOL!

Now to decide on my border fabric...

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Harrington & Hannah

"The Adventures of Harrington & Hannah" was a block-of-the-month offered by The Raspberry Rabbits back in 2012 (the quilt is currently offered as a downloadable pattern through Craftsy).

Harrington and Hannah BOM button

I finished it over the summer and finally got some pictures of it last week. Woo!

Bunny Quilt 2, front

This is the first time I have worked on a quilt that incorporated wool. The wools in this quilt were purchased from The Raspberry Rabbits and were just lovely to work with, as were the gorgeous Valdani embroidery threads used for all of the applique.

Bunny Quilt 2, block detail

All of the quilting was completed using Auriful 50/2 thread. Three colors were employed: "Pale Flesh" (#2315) in the blocks, "Sandstone" (#2370) in the sashing, and "Bark" (#1140) in the outer border.

Bunny Quilt 2, back

I love how well the quilting shows up on the back!

Bunny Quilt 2, label

So while I was making this quilt, I started calling it "The Bunny Quilt." However, I actually already have a quilt by that name. As a result, this is now "The Bunny Quilt (2)." I feel like I should subtitle it "The Reckoning" or something. Ha!

Bunny Quilt 2, side front

There is just something about calendar-style quilts that really appeals to me. Love them! And I'm super happy to have this UFO finally completed. Now I just need to figure out where to hang it!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween 2014: Venipede!

Video games are the hotness at our house! Both boys wanted to go as video game characters, Little Bear as a Baby Beefalo from the game "Don't Starve" and Big Bear as a Venipede, a type of Pokémon:

Venipede image

While the baby beefalo felt rather straight-forward, it took some time for me to wrap my brain around this insectoid creature.

Venipede front, side, and back views collage

For the main body, I went with old standby Kwik Sew 2711 in a size M. But because I didn't want a back opening (since there were the green carapace bits on the back), I used Kwik Sew 3099 to guide me on doing a front zip opening. Worked like a charm!

From that point, there was lots of customization:
  • Did some color-blocking on the back and arms and machine appliqued the circles onto the back shoulders.
  • The hood I created was influenced by a fabulous hat by StephyDesigns. There was a lot of color-blocking in the hood itself. I handstitched the stuffed antennae. The eyeballs were created with 2.5" styrofoam balls that I cut in half. I then used glue to cover them with fleece and handstitched them to the hood as well.
  • The carapace pieces on the back were each filled with foam cut to fit and then machine stitched to the back. I did some handstitching inbetween the pieces to hold them together vertically.
  • I pieced together the tail and then stuffed it using a combination of decorator foam cut to size as well as polyfil stuffing. After it was inserted in the back I handstitched it to the bottom carapace to stabilize it and keep it pointing outward
  • The "legs" (the fin-like things on the arms and legs of the costume) were filled with decorator foam (helped them to stand away from the body nicely, without too much flopping about).

Phew! Thankfully, all of the work paid off. Big Bear LOVED his costume.

Venipede in battle stance

The Venipede is ready to battle! (And trick-or-treat!)

Baby Beefalo and Venipede, ready to trick-or-treat!

The boys had an awesome Halloween with LOTS of candy goodness! Yay, for Halloween costume fun!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween 2014: Baby Beefalo!

This year for Halloween, Little Bear decided he wanted to be a baby beefalo. What is that, you may be wondering? While it is an actual creature, he specifically wanted to be a baby beefalo from the game "Don't Starve" by Klei Entertainment:

Baby Beefalo character image from Don't Starve by Klei Entertainment

I started with a pile of fleece, faux fur and Kwik Sew 2711 (a costume staple for me over the last few years!) in size XXS.

Baby Beefalo collage with front, back, and side views

I only had to make a couple of minor adjustments for this costume.

Baby Beefalo costume, back closure

The biggest adjustment was with the back closure, pictured above. I wanted the patch of fur on the back to be an unbroken piece, so I layered it on top of the costume opening, stitching half of it down and then securing it with velcro tape on the opposite side. That allowed access to the costume opening, but kept the back furry part pretty clean looking. The downside is it made the costume a little too complicated for Little Bear to put on/take off by himself. But it was otherwise effective.

The other adjustments included color-blocking the sleeves and legs, creating the tuft on the hood, the tail, and the little horns.

Baby Beefalo, preparing to charge

Watch out! Baby beefalo is gonna charge!!!

Baby Beefalo, looking goofy

He loved the costume!