Cat cave

Cat cave

Saturday, June 24, 2017

I'm Not Bored Yet

So much is going on here each and every day. My sister is traveling in Ireland right now, there is construction happening in the back yard, and I am painting parts of the inside of the house. The painting is winding down, which makes me happy. On days that I paint, I don't always get to sew.

When it comes to sewing, the list is endless and seems to grow more quickly than I can finish things and cross them off. Part of that is due to the fact that I am now sewing clothing, as well as quilts. That was my first sewing love, really. I hate shopping for clothes. If I sew some, I don't have to shop!

Last week I made a few things for the kiddos. Sewing in a smaller scale is fun and much faster. Now I am sewing for me. I will show that off in my next post. But for now, some quilty goodness.

 This is the top of a pillow for Miss N. I need to quilt it up and attach a back to it. It matches the baby quilt I made for her when she was born. I really love that raindrop fabric!
 This little wall hanging is one I started back in NC. This is for my middle daughter. She requested some small quilts she could hang as art in her house. This is in some fabrics that she chose from my stash. I have a whole box of her choices to work with. This is the first.
 Straight line quilting in the background behind the leaves, curlicues in the borders and hand quilting with pearl cotton on the leaves themselves. A bit of everything.
And for the back, this print that has sat in my stash since it was released. I would have to look at the date, but I am guessing 2012. It is the bottlecap print from Going Coastal by Emily Harrik. I never could figure out how to use it. So that is what I have been doing this week. Have a great weekend.

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Little Garment Sewing

I got my start sewing clothes for myself and my two younger sisters. I loved sewing even back then. I consider myself a quilter, but also a seamstress. An old fashioned word maybe, but my grandmother taught me to sew and she was a seamstress. So here is what I am up to now, and yes there is still quilting going on as well.
 This is a Geranium dress for Miss N. I love this pattern by Rae of Made By Rae. It comes in a bunch of sizes so you can continue to use it as they grow. Also now there is an expansion pack that includes sleeve for winter and fall wear. I think I will have to get that too.
 I love the details on Rae's patterns. Take these sweet pockets. Girls need pockets as much as boys do. There is also a version that puts the pockets in the side seams for older girls. N is still a toddler, so maybe later on that.
 This is the back. It needs buttons and button holes, but there will be a whole day for that very soon.
 Here is a shirt for my little man B. I saw this Art Gallery fabric on sale somewhere and the color is his favorite so I just had to do it. The pattern is by Liesl of Oliver +S. She is another pattern maker that does a great job with instructions and details. I have used her patterns before.
 I love this pocket. I think it makes the shirt look like a man's shirt and B will love that.
 Another great detail on the back of the shirt is the box pleat at the yoke. This is so cool.
 And Liesl offers multiple sizes in her patterns too, so this one goes from size 5 to size 12. So of course I had to make a cool one for my young man V. I hope he thinks it's cool. The fabric is Kaffe Fassett.
 Look at the detail she gives you for reinforcing the pocket. Such nice touches are always in her patterns. I put the pocket stripes going in the opposite direction for fun.
 The back has the same great style. I still have a bit of top stitching to do on this one, and buttons of course. One big button day coming up.
So now I have some clothing done for my little gang. I still need to make something for J, but I need to consult with his mom to see what would be good. Maybe some shorts, or another one of these shirts. Sky is the limit here. Retirement makes for more sewing time for sure. Talk to you soon.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Swooning Over Pillows

What do you do when you have two square European pillows from a guest bed you no longer have? You make Swoon blocks as covers to make big floor pillows. My sister had these when we moved in and since our room is no longer the guest room, she asked if we could cover them for floor pillows for the living room. It was a great idea as they are the perfect size. She chose the fabric from my stash and we added some Kona solids for the edges and the back, which is just an envelope closure.

 I love the Swoon pattern. I love it even more when I can make and quilt one block. These pillows are the perfect use for this block if you have never made one.
 I quilted each of them the same, with the lines crossing in the very center to add some interest to the otherwise rather large, plain area.
 Then I quilted around the other parts of the outside star. This was to add definition and to anchor the batting to the inside. I always quilt a pillow top. Not so the back of a pillow.
              They even look good outside on the patio.


And now they are ready for use on the living room floor. Have a great weekend. Link up with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Penny Sampler Progress Report

I must say I am truly enjoying the Penny Sampler class taught by Rachel at Stitched In Color. I chose to do the 12 month class for a couple of reasons. The big move, which took me out of sewing for about a month and to make it last so I could savor the process. I do not regret this decision. In May I was able to catch up with the April lesson and also complete May's lesson. Bite sized these lessons are in the 12 month version. So, here is my progress, so far:
 I am currently sewing together the Snowflake block. It is pretty straight forward. Mostly it is HSTs. I am not an expert, but I am pretty good at HSTs.
I have them laid out on the ironing board and I am chain piecing them. I don't know about you, but I find it easier to do it this way so I don't get confused and make a mistake. I only pin when I have to, for accuracy. HSTs don't really need this unless they are very small.
 This is my stacked pine tree block. Again, a very easy one to assemble. I love the way it turned out.
 This is the largest section yet, the hanging diamonds. This one took me a few hours. There was fabric selection, even though I had the background picked out already, starching and cutting. I have never starched before cutting, but this was amazing! Just a little spray starch made that fabric behave! And this is one reason I took this class was to learn new things. Always keep learning new things!
 This is a shot of some of the other components of the quilt, pinned up on the design wall so they don't fall off. I need to look at it like this to be able to make fabric decisions as we go along.
 This is a strip of Jeni Baker fabric that I am auditioning for this spot. I had another piece there, but it did not look very harmonious with the rest of the quilt. I will live with this while I make other blocks. I don't have to decide yet, but so far I am pleased with it.
This is the left side of the quilt top. I am please with how these blocks look together. Little bird is so cute and was fun to make.
And this is a shot of the whole thing so far. The lighting isn't great in here for pictures, but you can get the idea. This is also my new design wall. I made it following directions from Sew at Home Mummy. It is on a shade roller that my hubby helped me to put together and mount on the ceiling in front of the closet in the sewing room. So far it is working for me. I can just roll it up when I need it out of the way. That's it for today. Talk to you soon. Linking up with Lorna at Let's Bee Social.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

June Begins

So now, it is June. I know that summer is not officially here until the 21st, but to me, it is summer. The kids are all getting done with school, and I am looking forward to summer visits from the Kids and grand kids.  At the end of summer, I will be going back to NC for my first visit since the move. For now, I am going to try and sew as much as possible. To that end, here are a few things I have been doing:
 I took some scraps from my pillow cover to make this pin cushion. I love the Charleston line so much I can't bear to part with even a scrap of it.
 I made it just like a small quilt, pieced, quilted and bound and then stuffed it with crushed walnut shells. I only quilted the front to some batting so I could stuff it.
         A larger scrap of pineapple fabric was perfect for the back of the pin cushion.
And here it is in my hand so you can get an idea of the scale of the pin cushion. A bit larger than I usually make, but it will get used, because I love it!
 Next, a project born out of necessity. Years ago I began making these cell phone wristlets from a pattern by Carolyn of Trillium. I wanted to get away from carrying a big purse full of junk. The small wristlet holds my cell, my id and credit cards and a few dollars. That's all. Sometimes I need a place to put my chapstick or I wish I had room for a pen. I still wanted small, though. I also wanted to be able to be hands free, like at the ball park, but I didn't want to set it down. So I enlarged the pattern by two inches. Perfect! I also put a long strap like a messenger bag for cross body wearing. I won't use it every day, but when I need this, I am now ready.
 And the inside will hold just what I need, but not be overly full. I will let you know how this works out as we are going to the ball game next weekend. I think it will be perfect.
 The third thing I worked on this week is a criss cross back jumper for miss N. I have long loved the simplicity of these and the fact you can wear them over a top or without, as a dress or a top. They are very versatile.
 And this one is reversible.  So it's like getting two dresses for the price of one. It is also a very quick sew and there are several free patterns on the internet for such a thing.
All it needs are buttons and buttonholes. I will do buttons on both sides so it is easily reversible. And that is what I have done this week. I have also cut out pieces for a couple more projects so that I can just sit and sew as time permits. I am still doing some painting here at the garden house and I took last week off from that. This week I hope to get most of the rest of the living room finished. Talk to you soon.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Little Pillow Talk

I love making pillows. They are easy and pretty quick to make. They are also small enough to use to try out quilt blocks or just use up scraps. I took some of my old pillow covers off, once the packing was done, and decided to make new covers to go with our new living space. My sister is such a fan of color and fabric that she encouraged me, although I must say, I didn't need much encouragement.
 The first pillow cover was this one. My sister had some crocheted doilies that had been made by either my grandmother or possibly my great grandmother. No one knows for sure, but we wanted a way to showcase this one in particular. My first thought was to put it on a solid fabric, but when I found this in my stash, I knew it was perfect. This is from the Sweetwater collection Volume II. I stitched around the edge of the doily, and then a bit in the center to anchor everything.
 An envelope closure on the back and then is was done. We spent a couple of days admiring it on the couch before I made this nest one.
 I was just dying to cut into the Charleston collection. I did not buy the whole collection, but a few of the designs just called to me, one being this print of the houses and the streets. I love the way the red flowered print frames this piece.
 And to quilt the pillow top, I decided, after stitching in the ditch around the two borders, to just follow the map line of the streets. I LOVE how that turned out.
 The second border, which disappears in a frontal shot, is the navy blue umbrella print. So cute and the perfect frame for the pillow.
 I really wanted to include the pineapple print in this pillow, so it became the envelope closure on the back. So so pretty. This is my new favorite, but I say that every time I make one.
And here they are together, sitting pretty. Have a lovely day and I will talk to you soon.

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Beatrix is Complete

On Sunday, I was able to finish my Beatrix top. I don't know why I sometimes dread finishing on garments. All that was left was to hem the sleeves and make button holes and attach the buttons. I think it is the fear of button holes that got me. As it turned out, they worked out quite well.
 This is the front of the blouse. I used Anna Maria Horner's Loominous for this top after seeing Rae's version of a Boho dress in the same fabric. This is some of the most interesting fabric I have ever used and I love the way it turned out. I used the pattern piece for short sleeves, but cut them a bit longer which is how I prefer them.
 Here is the back of the blouse with its six buttons. I really love the look of this back. I think that was what attracted me to the pattern in the first place.
I have plans to make at least two more of these. They are not difficult and the instructions are wonderfully written and illustrated. I have already bought the fabric! I am truly enjoying sewing again!
On last shot, an out take due to the shadows of the late afternoon. This is proof that the camera sees things the eye does not. I kind of like it though. See you soon with more sewing adventures.