Sunday, February 26, 2012

In Singapore

A family vacation to Singapore means many things...

13 hour time difference - lotta jet lag with two kids is admittedly a little crazy
Food, food, and more food.
Warm warm weather.


And... Fabric shopping! Lecien, Daiwabo, Kokka, and some knockoffs :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another quilt done!

It feels SO GOOD to have so many finishes as of late. Makes sense - I was (am) working on quilt tops for so long, it just seems right that they're turning into real quilts!

The latest is a quilt for Mira. I decided to take the quilt top test that I did for Lindsay Sews (the Tumbler Quilt, is what I call it) and turn it into a quilt for my younger daughter. I knew I wanted to make a crazy quilt for her, one that uses lots of my favorite fabrics and this quilt fit the bill. It's not twin size, which is what I wanted to make for her, but it is certainly big enough for her for now, and a few more years.

Want to see it all done?


DSCN3728

I quilted it with double lines along all the major front seams. No other fancy quilting. I'm a fan of the straightforward simple fast straight stitches. Bonus: Keith liked the quilting too.

At first, the backing was really hard for me to decide on, but once I realized I wanted it to be for us, it was a simple decision... Two of my favorite loved-it-at-first-sight prints: Nicey Janie Hop Dots, and Erin McMorris Wildwood. I feel like I ought to snap some more of these up before they disappear. I love that it's calm, but with that pop of loud orange.

DSCN3729

Mira hasn't slept with it in bed yet. I'm waiting until I'm sure she won't be thrown off by something new in her crib. Those sleepless nights are not quite over :)

DSCN3731

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Beautiful Baby Blanket

I have a friend who is having her (surprise!) 3rd daughter very soon, and a few of her friends threw her a baby shower recently. This group is starting a tradition: for all third babies, we each get a 1/4 yard of fabric in some color format, and I'll turn it into a pillow! Inadvertantly at this shower, the pillow turned into a baby quilt :)

As you can see, for baby #3.... we went all out pink!

DSCN3702


I followed the same brick wall scheme as I used for Rachel's Pillow, which works really really well when you have various prints that wouldn't otherwise mesh together. I truly love this quilt. I love how all the different personalities of each mom show through the fabrics she chose, and I love how it all came together. I used a new (to me) type of batting - Cream Rose 100% cotton, and it has amazing drape and softness immediately.

I have also *almost* perfected my binding on this quilt! I think one more quilt binding and I'll be there, with perfect, pucker free binding. Exciting!

DSCN3719


Now this quilt is just waiting for the little baby to arrive :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Whew! They like it!

The past few days have seen me sewing for Round 2 of the "For the Love of Solids" group.

Again, it is a secret swap so I can't show you my partner's mosaic, but I can say that her color choices and design choices were well outside of my comfort range. I started out thinking I would make a pillow cover for her but then decided my design would work better as a modern mini quilt - wall hanging.

The reason I do swaps - to work outside my comfort range. To make something appealing to my partner that also stays within my personal design aesthetic. To acquire more fabric that I otherwise might not have thought to purchase. To try new things, to get better at things I shy away from.

FTLOSR2_Front

this mini is brought to you by the numbers 36 and 20 - 36 squares, resulting in a 20"x20" mini quilt

This mini quilt accomplished MANY of my swap goals. I used some of my partner's color preferences, and some from my own stash that I thought would compliment. I'm not great at mini quilts. Part of the reason is that I like to make things that are uber functional and in our house, wall art is not neccessarily functional. That is to say, I'd prefer to make quilts that keep the people in the house warm. That being said, I worked really hard to make this mini quilt a stunner. I lined things up painstakingly, and the binding (from the FRONT) looks flawless. If you look from the back you'll see that I still really need to work on making perfect binding. And perfection is always my goal!

FTLOSR2

I worried when I first posted this to the flickr group that it would be deemed to plain, or not enough colors, or that the quilting too simple. But this quilt, even though not initially my style, came together in a style all my own. Curves + straight line quilting. I'm full of contradictions! And so far I've gotten great feedback about it - people seem to like the juxtaposition of the shapes, and the movement and brightness of it. I think it's pretty unique too. I started off wanting to do sort of a more traditional version of the drunkards path quilt, but now I'm really enjoying this more modern take on it.

Anyway, I hope YOU like it, and I'll be linking it up to the Modern Mini Challenge in a couple of weeks!

Modern Mini Challenge

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cathedral Window Pouch Tutorial

More on why I have been busy... A guest post over at Sew Sweetness! Sara had a week of guest post tutorials, and I got to cap off an inspiring week of tutorials with my Cathedral Window Pouch Tutorial. I'm told it's pretty unique, although really I just put a mishmash of techniques into one pouch. I'm still in love with my red riding hood pouch, and for this tute I made a three little piggies one to match!

So, you can head over to Sew Sweetness to see my tutorial, or just read below to find the same one here :)

PLP Option Front

Cathedral Window Pouch Tutorial
Yields: one 9 x 5" zip pouch

Cathedral Zip Pouch

Materials:
1 - cathedral window block, as per the Spotted Stone tutorial
2 - 8x7" main linen (includes allowances for around cathedral window)
1 - 5x12" accent linen (for pintuck side)
2 - 9.5 x 5.5" canvas or home dec fabric (for interfacing)
2 - 9.5 x 5.5" lining fabric
1 - 10" or longer zipper
thread


You'll start by making this cathedral window - go over to the Spotted Stone blog for a wonderful tutorial on it. I like to pull scraps from my stash and find a good print to fussy cut an image from.



Next, cut one main linen piece into sections... 2 - 2x8" strips, then 2 - 3x4" pieces.


Trim cathedral window 1/4" from the points of the window, creating a (approx) 3.5" square window.

Piece together the linen strips around the trimmed cathedral window.


Right sides together. Sew the short sides first. Press. Trim.

Sew on the longer top and bottom edges, press, and trim the right edge to make it straight. Set aside.

Next up is the pintuck side of the pouch.

Take the whole piece of accent linen, and iron it about 1" in, along the long side of the fabric.


Sew down the ironed side very very close to the edge (use your presser foot as a guide, and sew about 1/8" from the edge)

Add a few more pintucks... you can either iron each time, or do free-form pintucks folding and using the previous tuck as a guideline.

Iron down all the pintucks so that they all fold down toward the same direction.
Cut the pintuck strip in half the short way so you end up with 2 pieces roughly 4" x 6".

With right sides facing, sew the pintuck piece to the cathedral window piece. Repeat for the back linen piece and the other pintuck piece.

Place the two pieces (the front and the back of the pouch) wrong sides facing together, and trim both pieces together to 9.5" x 5.5".


Now you'll add sew-in interfacing to stiffen up the pouch. I used canvas, you can use any type of stiffer material that you like. Canvas, home dec, interfacing, fusible fleece, old jeans... it all works.

Place the interfacing against the wrong side of your pretty pouch outer.


Sew along side of the cathedral window, close to the edge, esentially framing the cathedral window with a stitch line on all 4 sides.

Sew another line where the accent linen meets the main linen window.

It should look like this from the back:

Repeat for the back portion of the pouch (sew interfacing to the linen in the same pattern as above).

You should now have two thick pouch "outer" pieces and two pouch lining pieces, and one zipper.

Next we'll sew in the zipper. Place an outer face up (right side up), center the zipper across the top edge (zipper should be face down), and then place the pouch lining face down on top of the zipper, lining up all the top edges.

Your zipper sandwich should look like this:


Using your zipper foot, sew the sandwich together like this:

Flip right sides out, and press the outer and lining. Topstitch along the outer edge of the pouch very close to the zipper.


Repeat for the other side of the zipper (back side of pouch). You should now have something that looks like a butterfly:

For the next step, sewing your pouch edges together, make sure you unzip the zipper halfway so that you will be able to turn it right side out after sewing.


Flip outers right side together and linings right side together, like this:

Pinch the zipper edges towards the lining, like this:
Then sew around the whole pouch, using a 3/8" seam, leaving a 2-3" opening in the bottom center of the lining.


There's your opening in the lining... flip the whole contraption inside out via that hole (and the opening left in your zipper by having unzipped it halfway). Now you'll have a pouch with a lining sticking out of it. Sew the lining shut with a very small seam allowance.
Push the lining into the pouch, taking care to shove it all the way down into the corners. Zip it shut, press with a steam iron on both sides to give it the final touch.

For another reference on sewing a lined pouch together, go to my source... Noodlehead!

And you're done! Enjoy your new zakka style pouch, or give it to your favorite school age kid as a pencil pouch. Or use it as a makeup pouch. Or a travel zip pouch. The possibilities are endless, and super cute.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Glass Half Full - Pattern Test

I think in recent posts I have alluded to the fact that I've been pretty busy. It actually feels kind of like an understatement lately, since we are preparing for a big trip, but another reason I become so busy is things like this...

Picture it being around 11pm at night. I usually am in bed by 10... But here I am reading my facebook feed and discovering that one of my internet-sewing-buddies is looking for a pattern tester. And I think to myself "Hey, I can do that!" and then the next morning I thump myself on the head for taking on another project. But such is life, and it's a good thing, because it is a good pattern.


It's a totally manageable size, and really fun - a great modern quilt that would be easy for beginners, but with enough interest and whimsy for experienced quilters too.

The instructions are very clear, with great pictures illustrating the directions. I love pattern testing, because much of the work has been done for me - I guess that's the point of patterns, right? Takes out all the guess work.

This pattern is great because of it's versatility. If you're short on time, the instructions are based off of a layer cake. But if, like me, you feel compelled to work from your stash, it's really easy to use the pattern with any old scraps you have laying around too.

So here's my version. No big surprise that it's in rainbow format :)

Junebug Glass Half Full Top

Junebug Glass Half Full Close

Junebug Glass Half Full

So, if you're interested in Lindsay's new quilt pattern - go get it at www.lindsaysews.com!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mouthy Stitches Pouch done!

I've finished one of two swap projects this weekend. My partner for the Mouthy Stitches Swap seems to like simple design, clean lines, some color... but ultimately I think she's easy to please because she doesn't normally sew zipper pouches herself.

Unfortunately because it is a secret swap I can't show you her mosaic so that you can judge whether or not I hit the mark. But after, I'll try to remember to post it so you can compare.


Mouthy Pouch - Front

As with a previous swap pouch, I used some of my dad's old wool suit pants. They make for a great pouch basis, since they're thin but not too thin, and a nice neutral background.

Circles of rainbows. Of course - you know me! They're appliqued on with fusible web and then quilted across.

Mouthy Pouch - Back

The back is quilted with variegated rainbow thread.

Mouthy Pouch - Inner


The linings are always the best part for me - a hidden little gem that helps top off the whole project. For this one I cut into my Momo It's a Hoot for Moda - I think this is my first cut of this fabric. So yeah, this pouch is special :)