Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Years!

Well, we can' move forward into a new year without taking a quick look back first! Although I originally made little quick slid shoes of pictures, I can't get them to load here! So instead of showing you everything I made and did, I will chose to edit it down to 9 favorites in a few different categories!

Favorite Store Moments!
This was a big year for me, with the store opening and everything that came along with that! I absolutely loved taking and teaching classes at the shop, doing my first quilting bee, having the outdoor quilt show, and being able to spend so much creative, productive time in this sunny little place I'm building! There were so many fun new things, like going to quilt market, filming for The Sewing Party, the outdoor quilt show, participating in Sewvivor, and so much more! It hasn't always been easy, but it's always been interesting, and that's way better anyway!

Favorite Quilts, 2014

Now on to the favorite results of my favorite thing to make: quilts! My records show that I made almost 30 quilts this year, if you include a few minis (which I do, because they can still take forever!) And they all had a special place in my heart, but here are my top 9! I guess I can see a bit of a theme, color wise, as they dont look especially different from each other, so maybe 2015 i branch out? That or I settle into a signature style. See more here!

Garment Makes 2014

I also explored the wide and wonderful world of garment sewing for the first time with any real success this year! From my first Briar Tee to dip my toes into knits, to the McCalls pattern I have almost successfully finished, to finally attempting button holes, I am proud of the things I tried this year! Though they weren't all successes, I am happy with the additions I have to my wardrobe, and the possibilities for what else I can learn in the coming year.

Thanks for following along on this adventure with me. Looking forward to sharing 2015 with you as well!!


Friday, December 5, 2014

The Ohio Quilt

Click here to purchase this pattern!
Hello all! Great news to report-- I have released my first quilt pattern for "The Ohio Quilt"! This is a really fun, pixelated version of the great state of Ohio. The making of the quilt pattern came about after Devon sent me a customer wanting an Ohio quilt based on the one she originally made, which can be seen here. Devon also awesomely made a tutorial for this quilt, which is very handy, but I know some people like to know exactly what to do, hence this pattern! I made it up for this order in these rich, bold colors, but I am also picturing it looking awesome in all reds with a grey background? Perhaps all low-volume? There are lots of options, all of which would look great!

This quilt is a combination of squares and rectangles, and the directions show you how to break it down into sections that become blocks, which are then joined together to make the full state.
I-O !
The pieces are fairly big, so the quilt top actually comes together pretty fast once you've cut everything out. I'd love to also try it shrunken down a bit, and using more negative space. Maybe some type of script Ohio appliqued on top? So many options!
Magical floating quilt
I used a Pat Bravo for Art Gallery gray and black floral print on the back, and I think the grey is a nice contrast to the bright, graphic front of the quilt.

Add caption
I also made the binding out of a few different prints and colors from the quilt to give it a scrappy look. The background is Kona bone, which is a nice off-white, and I quilted it with straight lines going up and down every 3".
Close up. 
And remember, the quilt pattern is available for downloading by simply clicking here!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Nail polish mini

Nail Polish Mini
Greetings! Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving! Mine was pretty relaxing, just stayed in Nashville, closed the store for 2 days, drank some wine, ate some food, and, since this is Nashville, went to a concert. It was nice! As for the quilt you see above you, I recently signed up for my first quilt "swap," which I had been wanting to try for a while!

How swaps work is that there is generally one person in charge, and you sign up via a form that asks for your quilty likes and dislikes. You then get assigned a partner, and someone else gets you, so its all a secret. Then you look around (stalk) your partner's instagram feed and see what you think they might like! My partner was a nailpolish rep and likes bright colors, so when I remembered this block, I knew it would work!

Nail polish rainbow
The original pattern for this block comes from Fat Quarter Shop but it makes one large bottle. Then I found a mini-fied version at a blog called Bee in My Bonnet, so I went with that one so I could use more colors.

Close up on aqua Cotton and Steel polish
I picked out the background fabric first, which I dont know what brand or designer it is, just something i got on sale at some point, and then I picked nailpolish colors that matched the polka dots. And the lids is one of my favorite prints by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cloud9. The bottles are Cotton and Steel, Michael Miller, Art Gallery, and another old Cloud9, and they are all some of my faves! And I like them together too. 

Back and label
I made my first label out of a combo of embroidery and fabric markers, and I think it's cute! I hope my swap partner doesnt see this until she gets her package, but I dont know why she would, so I should be safe. 
The back
I thought making a quilt for someone I dont know was really fun! It was fun deciding on a pattern and picking colors. I hope she likes it, and I'm curious and excited to get mine in the mail this week too!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hexagon Baby Quilt

Hexigon Baby quilt!
I recently got an order for a baby quilt from my friend's aunt- she has a new granddaughter and saw this quilt that I made for Angie and wanted to order one to match her granddaughter's nursery. The only pic I saw showed lilac walls and some embroidery hoops on the walls with blues, greens, whites, and browns. It was cute, and not a palate I normally work with, so it was fun to branch out.  

Half- hexis.... cheating?
I've also been wanting to make something with hexagons for ages, except they are usually hand pieced because of all the weird angles. I did briefly try hand piecing when I first moved to Nashville and was in my apartment for a week without any of my stuff. But... it did not go well. Then I remembered I'd seen them made by making rows, and each row is made up of a half hexagon. Then, when you sew them together they make the full shape. 
Close up
So I made a template that was 3" tall, which makes the finished hexagon 5" tall. It did take a while to make, but it was fun trying a new shape. I also experimented with using other fabrics besides just quilting cotton. I used that plus cotton lawn, voile, and double gauze. I must say these were not super easy to work with, especially the stretchy, shifty double gauze, but I like the look in the end!

CIrcle Quilting
I also had a lot of fun quilting this! I used my walking foot but did concentric circles instead of my usual stand-by of straight lines. I traced 3 circles in 3 places on the quilt, that did a circle 1.5" out from all of those, then just kept moving outwards until I liked how it looked. The 3-4 inner circles were kind of a pain to do, but after that it went pretty fast. 
Embroidered name and birth date
I also hand-embroidered the baby's name and birthday, which I think is really cute. I like that its inside a circle too :)
The back!
For the back I used one of the cotton voiles by Art Gallery and they are so luxuriously soft, so this will be a great quilt for a little baby to crawl around on! I also like how the circle quilting looks on the back, although my pics arent the greatest. Time to invest in a camera??

I bound it in Hoppy Dots by Tula Pink, which is kind of a grey-ish lilac polka dot fabric with little bunnies scattered about too. Can't wait to send this one off to its new home! Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Pretty in Pink Spiderweb Quilt

Pink Scrappy Spiderwebs!
I am so excited and happy to have this quilt finished! When I lived in Indianapolis and went to the Modern Quilt Guild meetings there we had one meeting where we learned how to do this block, called the Spiderweb block, and I get really hooked on making them! This was back in 2011 I guess? I used all my pink scraps and a pink kona solid, I believe called Baby Pink? It was really fun to make something with just scraps, and it's even more fun now since they're older and the remind me of projects I did a long time ago.
I did get a little overwhelmed by all the pink so in the end I added 1 1/2 aqua webs, which are now maybe my favorite part. Plus, it is hard for me to make a project without using aqua! So I think I finished making all the blocks while I still lived in Indy, and then I moved home for a bit, where I pieced the top. Also while at home I made a different back, more scrappy (and not at all lying flat), and attempted to start quilting it.

Close up of the actual final quilting, by Sarah Russet (strawberries!)
It did not go well! I hated it, and I couldnt think of a good way to quilt it and I didnt want to ruin it because I liked the top so much! So I packed it all up and moved it with me to Nashville! Where it sat in a box for over a year. Sad!
Remade back! Heather Ross and Michael Miller Glitz in pink and gold. 
When I decided to send out my bee quilt for quilting I thought it would be great to send out this one as well, to have a professional do something that wouldnt ruin my hard work! I remade the back so that it would lie flat and not be as scrappy. When I saw Sarah's strawberry quilting design and knew that would be perfect! I had also already made the binding ages ago, in the same pink as the front so that it didnt take away from the scrappiness of the spiderwebs. And mom was kind enough to hand bind it while she was visiting so it looks nice and clean and perfect!
Brown legged quilt
I am so happy with this quilt! It's kind of smaller than a normal throw-size, but would be perfect for a little girls room. Or a little boy! I had originally planned on giving this as a gift or selling it, but now that it's been on this muli-year and multi-state journey with me, I think I need to keep it! It feels so good to have a quilt out of the storage bin, and I like seeing all the scraps of fabric that I have used on so many other projects. Do you have any long-term works in progress lying around? What keeps you from finishing? I know its hard when you no longer like things you started ages ago-- makes it harder to find the motivation to finish things. Luckily this one has stood the test of time!

Happy Non-Spooky Halloween!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ombré Half-Square Triangles

Ombre half-square triangles
My most recently finished quilt, which was ordered by a friend of a friend, is for a baby who lives in Bermuda with his parents who just moved there from Chicago. The pictures of the nursery showed it to be really modern, mostly white with dark, dark grey-ish blue walls.
Peak of the back
I didnt really have a plan going in other than that she wanted some fabrics having to do with the beach/ocean and some having to do with the city. The city ones were a bit harder to find, but there's a line from Art Gallery that just came out called Gramercy that has a cool black print with brownstone-type buildings on it.

After I had the fabrics picked out I grouped them into light, medium, and dark tones, then cut them into squares and matched them with a square in a similar color shade family. Then I just made a big stack of half square triangles!

I tried a few different layouts, and eventually had to make a few more light-colored squares. I tried having it light in the middle, radiating out to dark, but I think this way worked out a little better. And it kind of reminds me of the ocean too!
Embroidered initials and birthday 
I used teal thread to quilt with, and did my usual straightline grid. The aqua really only shows up on the light sections, and then it blends into the background. Its a good color though! The back fabric and binding are all Art Gallery prints, which are extra soft.

The back
This quilt is a little outside of my comfort zone, with all the dark colors, but I hope the recipients like it! I also thought it was fun to do the half-square triangles in a random arrangement, but with color as a guide. Just something new and fun to try! 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hudson Pants

Hudson pants
Well, I have found the world's most comfortable pants! I hopefully you arent sick of this shibori fabric yet! It's from the same dye experiment as my Moneta, and I have a t-shirt from it as well :) The Hudson Pant is a downloaded PDF pattern from True Bias. It started out as a cool track-pant pattern made for knits, but you can also make it in wovens (and I have plans to!). It comes with directions for calf or ankle length.

Smiling like it's first-grade picture day
Although its hard to see in these pics they have a really cool exposed pocket, which I like (although the seams do show through with this lighter fabric). They are nice and comfy loose (but still stylish) on the hips and then taper at the bottom. Who would have thought tapered pants would come back in style, but they have, so there ya go! And I think these are pretty flattering too!
Side shot. 
I made a size 2 waist that was graded out to size 6 at the hips (and pockets) but I didnt have to adjust the length at all. They have a gathered elastic wasitband with directions to add buttonholes and a drawstring, which I did not do because I'm lazy and didnt want to put my button holing tool on in the middle of sewing, plus it's been a while so I'm not sure I remember how. But the elastic is what holds them up, so the drawstring is really just for looks.
Handmade tee as well, more on that soon!
I used a double-knit for this top, and the two together are basically the best outfit ever. I wore it 5 days in a row and also slept in it (I changed for work, dont worry!... But then instantly changed back once I got back home).

These pants are also great to do yoga in! Sleep in, hang out in, sew in,  and go to the grocery store in (I hope). I just really like them, and they didnt take long to sew at all! And no double needle finishing! Very nice. I have some crazy green patterned rayon I have made a woven pair with, using  black knit for the waistband, ankle bands, and pocket detail. They are also comfy, though a little tight. I believe they can go from couch to casual outings (I could be wrong!). I know it's a dangerous path to go down when all your pants have an elastic waist, but I think I'm going to risk it. It's just so comfy!! I'll be making another knit pair as well-- gotta keep those ankles warm in the winter :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Modern Insta Bee Quilt

Triple Star Block Modern Bee Quilt
Hi! This post will be all about my awesome, amazing, great, and wonderful quilt that was a result of my participation in my very first quilting bee! A friend of mine who I met in Indianapolis, but who lives in Nashville now as well, Lindsay, wrote a book a little while back called "Modern Bee: 13 Quilts to Make with Friends," and has an opening section on how to run/participate in a bee. Last January I saw a post on Instagram saying someone was putting together a "hive" (which is 12 people) to start a bee using this book, so I signed up! There ended up being tons of hives, not only in the US, but England and Australia too, which is fun!
Pierced by the sun
So, my bee started in February, and lucky me, I was the first person who got to chose my block. You pick a block from the book (which has directions) and then you tell the rest of your hive what colors you want them to make it, and everyone, ideally, just uses fabrics from their stash, and before the month ends they send you your block. 

The stars!
It's really fun for lots of reasons. One, when it's your month you get to chose exactly what you want, and then its fun to see how people interpret that, and its also fun to get fabrics that you dont have. It is also really fun during other people's months to see what they chose, and what colors they ask for. Its nice to work in palates that you wouldnt have chosen. 

Close-up on the awesome star quilting done by Sarah Russet
For my month I asked for the Triple Star Block in teal and hot pink, with the background being white and black. It was fun to get blocks made out of fabric I hadnt seen before, or liked but never bought. I was honestly happy with all my blocks, and think they look really good together! I also thought it was sort of fun that the block I sewed for myself was the only one that used pink as the middle color. (Can you spot it!?) I also asked my bee-mates if they had any scraps if they would send them to me, and I made 2 borders, as you can see. Each block finishes at around 18" so this is a huge quilt! 9 stars fit on the mattress part of my bed and the borders and bottow row of stars hang of the end. This is why I sent it out for quilting! I knew trying to fight this beast through my machine would probably end up ruining it, and I didnt want that to happen! I love the star pattern done by Sarah on her long-arm.
Constellations by Alexander Henry
For the back I used this blue print of constellations and stars by Alexander Henry, because I had it in the shop, and it matched, but now that its made I wish I had used something in a lighter color. But oh well! I bound it in black and cream, which I really like. 

The bee is still going, I think we are on month 9 now, and its' been a really great experience. You can search the hastags #moderninstabee2014 to see what other hives have been making, and #moderninstabeehive4 for my group! It's fun to see so many different versions of the same blocks. 

Im also thinking about getting a Nashville bee together. I know it's a year commitment, but you only have to make 1 block per month, plus by the end you have a quilt! I would definitely do another one.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Moneta Madness!

Well, it's been a while since I posted clothing here, but not to worry, I have been making things! Most recently, lots of knits, and lots of Monetas! I like sewing with knits because things are more likely to fit! And they are fast because you dont have to finish the edges. So, on to the Moneta, which is a knit dress pattern by Colette. (disclaimer-- these photos of me arent good! I need my bangs trimmed and my highlights spruced up, but alas, not in the cards at the moment. So just ignore my general face area :)  .)
Shibori Moneta
When in Ohio for my family reunion my cousin and I had a day of dying knits! I brought a bold of off-white really soft, stretchy, mid-weight knit that hadnt been selling that wel in the store, and ended up just dying the whole bolt (my wardrobe is now quite shibori-heavy).
Sunshine and shibori
This version was actually my third go-round with this pattern, so by this time it was fairly quick. I actually wanted to do the short-sleeve version for this one, but I had already folded the tissue pattern and put it back in the envelope, and I didnt want to go through the ordeal of unfolding and looking for the sleeve, so I just went with the half sleeve, which is probably better for fall anyway. It is a unique length, but I like it!
Side view
This dress is so comfy, especially this fabric because it has a decent amount of stretch to it. The waist is gathered and shirred with a piece of clear elastic, so it isnt too tight in the middle, and it, as Devon puts it, basically feels like "secret pajamas." I agree!

Moneta #2
The second time I made this dress I used a heavier weight (not quite ponte but close) and less stretchy knit from Fashion Fabrics Club, which is a weird site where the fabric is very inexpensive but the quality doesnt seem horrible. (though I did accidentally order 3 yards of swimsuit fabric. Ooops!)
Side view
I really like this version too, the fabric makes it feel a little bit fancier, and it is a print that I never normally wear...Leopard but not quite? I like the royal blue with black. I have already worn this dress 3 or 4 times in 2 weeks. It's also warm for cool days, which will be nice once it starts to cool down! Just kidding, Tennessee is getting slightly chilly, but only at night. Which is fine with me!
From the back
I still have about a yard of this fabric left, so I may make a Mabel skirt, or if anyone else is interested in it, let me know! Im sure we can work something out.
Strutting the catwalk
Just awkwardly walking towards the camera man! (Seriously dont know why I couldnt take normal pictures this day. Oh well!)

Version #1
And, the first time I made the pattern I used a nice floral knit from the shop and did Version #1 from the pattern, which is a lined sleeveless bodice with a collar. It fit well, but for some reason I really didnt like this version on me. Im not sure if it was the collar, which seems really high, and also maybe too thin, or maybe it was the fabric, or possibly both, but I just didnt like it. I tried again because the waist falls at a really great spot on me (which is surprising since in most dresses from stores the waist is too high), so I tried it with sleeves. 

Overall, I really like this pattern! I used size XS on the bust and graded out to S for the waist and hips, although I think a straight XS would have worked too. The only changes I made were to omit the pockets and on the dyed version I shortened the hem 1 1/2" instead of 1". Otherwise everything fit well! I'd like to make this in long sleeves for winter, just need to decide on the fabric! Maybe this one.... though maybe in short sleeves. Or maybe just solid black, that would be useful/boring to sew.