Friday, August 29, 2014

Triangle Baby Quilt

Cheerful triangles!
I completed this quilt last week, which was another order from my cousin, for a friend of hers. I wanted to make sure it was extra good since her friend is a manager at Anthropologie so she must have good taste! There were no color limitations, so I pretty much started with Cotton and Steel baby tigers and worked from there! 
Sneak peak of the backing as well
I used about 10 prints and got half of them from Cotton and Steel, and then filled in with others from the store like a nice solid aqua, pretty gold chevron by Michael Miller, and a few others that I thought were fun, like shimmery yellow dots and a gem print. My general idea for this quilt was just to use really good fabric! It's a little bit darker and richer than most of my quilts, I guess because there are multiple dark shades, like the pink and navy, but I really like how it turned out! I think triangle quilts are just a good alternative to patchwork, where the fabric can shine but you have something slightly more unexpected than squares.

It's a Plus by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cloud9 for the back 
Rashida Coleman-Hale, who is now a designer at Cotton and Steel, used to design for Cloud9 Organic fabrics, and her lines from them actually blend really well with her new line, so I used this fun plus print for the back. It has all the colors from the front, which worked out pretty nicely, if I do say so myself! I quilted it by following on either side of the triangle seam lines and used white thread so it would show up on the back and give it a little more visual interest. 
Close up 
It's not easy to see in the pictures but I used Michael Miller's Glitz line for the binding as well, and I used the mint and gold polka dots. This print has more gold concentrated on one side of the fabric, so the dots on the binding are different in different sections, which I thought was fun! 

According to Steph the recipients loved the quilt so I'll consider this one a success, but then again who wouldnt like something with those baby tigers?! 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Exciting News from The Fabric Studio!

Hello all! Just popping in to say hi, and also share some exciting news. If you read multiple sewing blogs, no doubt you have stumbled across some information about The Sewing Party!  This is a really unique and special event being hosted by Singer-Viking-Pfaff, and is a one-day, online sewing convention, with awesome classes, great sponsors, and good deals!

There are some really amazing classes being taught by some great, well-respected names in the sewing community. Buying a ticket to The Sewing Party allows you access to all the videos (plus on Nov. 8, the teachers will be available live to chat and answer questions while their class airs). So, what does all this have to do with me, you ask?

Video props layout

A few months ago some of the lovely ladies from SVP came into the store and we started chatting about what they were up to and how we could work together. Eventually we decided to film some of the classes that will be part of this event AT The Fabric Studio. Yay! And I am even teaching one, which will be all about cross stitch! (here's the link to my class...) So today at the store, me, Lauren, and Devon will all be filming our classes to be aired on Nov. 8th at The Sewing Party!

To say I am nervous is a huge understatement, but I think in the end it will be great, and I am so, so excited about the opportunity! Wish me luck on my on-screen debut, and check out The Sewing Party's other amazing classes here. Now that I have this class all planned I am also planning a monthly gathering of cross-stitching and wine-drinking class at the store, so stay tuned for that as well (class schedule will be out within the next week).


Eek! Things are getting legitimate up in here!  I will definitely be sharing a celebratory drink with the ladies after we finish! Here goes nothing!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Triangle Wedding Quilt

Equilateral Triangle Wedding Quilt
I recently finished an order for my friend Angie, who orders a lot of quilts from me to give as a wedding gift. She just told me that she wanted it to be coral, pink, and green. Any shade of green! So I gathered a nice little bundle of fabrics together, added some gold and grey because I'm starting to think I can't make a project without gold, and cut up some triangles! Triangles, however, do seem to shrink up way more than squares to when you sew them together! Hence, the border I added in order for it to be big enough.

Close up
I used a triangle ruler this time, instead of just a homemade cardstock template, and what a big difference! Much easier. I really like the fabrics I used for this quilt, a mix of new fabrics and ones I found in my stash. I particularly liked this larger-scale print of peaches on a green background. It was kind of watercolor-y and vintage looking and unique!

Binding Auditions
I couldnt decide which fabric to use for binding so I posted this picture to Instagram for feedback and it was pretty much a unanimous vote for the watercolor fabric on the left (which is called Cascade Coral by Art Gallery). I think it was the right choice! I really like how to pops next to the white, and the green of the background fabric.

I accidentally cut the binding way too skinny, so it was a bit of a labor to attach it, and in all honesty it does not look great close up. Just crossing my fingers that the recipients are big-picture people, instead of detail people... and that there's no hard-core traditional quilters in their family!

Quilt back
For the back of the quilt I used a fabric from Tula Pink's Fox Field line, which is a fun print that looks like just a floral at first but there are little animals hiding in it, like foxes and bunnies and birds, and its a pretty mix of greens, aquas, and taupe. I normally do a bit of piecing for quilt backs, so making this out of just one fabric was so quick! I liked just having to do one seam. I also like how the quilting lines show up as a diamond pattern on the back, and also how on the front, the diamond shapes only really show up on the border.

Quilts in the wild
So, another one completed! This one did take a while so I am glad to have it finished and sent out in time for it to be a wedding gift, and I hope they love it!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Cotton and Steel Baby Tiger Washi Tunic

Good day all! When I first saw Cotton and Steel at Quilt Market in May, it was so, so exciting! I know that everyone and their mom is sewing up projects with  C+S these days, but thats because the line is really special, in my opinion. It's actually 5 lines that all work really well together, plus some fun blender fabrics in really unique, rich, happy colors. There is something about this line that really just makes you want to sew something! (Seriously, go to Instagram and search the #cottonandsteel hashtag. So many awesome projects!)

Cotton and Steel Washi

I've always really liked Rae's version of the Washi tunic here, with the black collar, and after I took the Washi class at the store, I knew I wanted to make one like that as well. (You can download a Washi "expansion pack" here, which has more collar, sleeve, and neckline options). Then suddenly it hit me: make this out of the baby tiger print from Alexia's line, Hatbox, for Cotton and Steel, which I've been really obsessed with. I just LOVE them for some reason. I like how they look watercolor-y, but with added pen lines, which might be my current favorite art mode.

Standing in the shadows
There were a few things different with the pattern this time that made it fun to sew because I felt confident in making it, but it wasnt exactly the same so I didnt get bored. First, of course, was the color, which I think is so sweet, and I got to use the Michael Miller Cotton Couture fabric, which is my favorite, soft, deep, rich black. 

I also didnt use sleeves on this one, so the top of the bodice is fully lined, instead of faced, which I actually found easier to do and less tedious, so that was nice. I just used white cotton to line it, and it only took 1/2 yard. 

The other difference is that instead of using shirring for the back, you use 1" elastic incased between the shirt and the lining. I think I kind of like it better, but Im not really sure why! I dont have any pictures of the back because my trusty photographer is in Australia, and all the ones I took just looked so unflattering I had to pretend it was the photography and not the actual shirt. :)

Awkward side view!

Anyways, I love wearing this shirt, it is really comfy and I think the neckline is really flattering, plus, baby tigers! (I've seen some people around the internet calling them cats, which I really hope wasnt the case....But I guess I can make an exception this once).

What are you all making right now? Im on a clothes-sewing hiatus because I have to finish 3 quilt orders, and get a lot of other, less-fun stuff done, but I've got some knits lined up once I have a little bit more time!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sewvivor Roundy 1 Entry! Nautical Challenge

Well, the big day has finally arrived: the first round of Sewvivor entries are up for viewing! (Read more about Sewvivor here). This is a sewing competition, so please CLICK HERE TO VOTE FOR ME! If I make it to the next round I get to make a quilted bag, which has been on my to do list for ages! For this challenge the only parameter was "nautical," and I must say, this wasnt the easiest challenge for me, considering I've only ever lived in land-locked states (Illinois, Colorado, Indiana, and now Tennessee). I do love the ocean, but, sadly,  it has never been a big part of my life. 

Sewn into strips and contemplating my next move...
When I started thinking about this challenge, I wanted to figure out something about the idea of "nautical" that spoke to me, or that interested me. The thing I've was always fascinated by is looking out at the ocean late at night, and not being able to tell where the water was and where the sky was. In painting, you learn that to capture water, you need to capture what's reflected in it, because water is, of course, clear on its own. So I liked that idea that the sky and the water, especially at night, could look almost identical. More than most things, I am fascinated by the stars, especially when millions of them are visible. Back in the day of Columbus and old wooden sailing ships, I can only imagine how many stars you'd be able to see. So, when creating my quilt, which is a wall hanging that will probably end up in my boyfriends apartment (he, who was born at the seashore), I wanted to incorporate the night sky, the dark blue waters of the ocean at night, the stars, and their reflection, which could serve as a guide.

Closer up
I chose a big stack of all the dark blues and teals from my stash (luckily aqua has been my favorite color for as long as I can remember, so I had a lot). I supplemented what I had by ordering a few dark, dark navy fabrics and midnight blues from Hawthrorne Threads (and they came so fast!). I used the same fabrics for the sky and water, since it was essentially supposed to look the same, then made the sky get darker, with light bands of reflection on the top of the water, made out of lots of skinny strips.

Waves in the sunshine
I pieced the sky to the water in three sections, creating "waves," and then ultimately decided not to square off the piece, but leave it in kind of an irregular rhombus shape, for some more movement. The binding fades from light to dark as well and it attached with a wavy stitch from my machine. I paper pieced various triangles and then chopped and inserted them into the sky, as stars, and the water, as waves. I really like the precision and detail on how those turned out.

Pre-quilting close up

I used a simple chambray anchor print for the back, and then free-motion quilted in the prettiest color of light aqua thread (leaning, in the process, that Mettler thread + my sewing machine + free motion quilting = the worst experience ever in terms of thread tension and ease of use. Never again!  I did a pattern of  "falling" stars in the sky, just wavy lines with stars attached, and then wavy lines going horizontally through the water section.

Close up on "stars" and star quilting

The back,  quilted

I have already seen a few of the other projects and they are beyond amazing. It has been really fun getting to know the other talented people in this group and I cant wait to see the rest of what everyone else makes! Go check them out too,  AND DONT FORGET TO VOTE!! (Scroll to the bottom of the page to vote, and to see my entry!)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Lonestar Quilt

Lonestar Quilt!
I recently finished up another quilt order, for my cousin's best friend's wedding. I saw a giant star quilt on flickr and tracked down the blog, where, happily, there was a tutorial! The one I used was at Bea Spoke Quilts. She gives you the basics on how to make a big star like this.

Quilting in progress
I dont really have an in-progress shots, but it was a pretty quick top to make since all the pieces are so big. I think it showcases fabrics nicely, and, using the wedding invite for inspiration, I decided on a coral/pink/aqua/grey color palette that was mostly, but not all, Art Gallery fabrics. I used Teensy Weensy in Lotus for the background, which is white with tiny, cute little pink and grey plus signs, which I thought was great for a wedding. (available here!)

Attaching the binding
I used a grey fabric for the binding that has tiny gold lines on it. It's hard to capture the details of a quilt in photos! But they're there, I promise.

Lonestar visits Ohio 
I did a line of quilting on either side of each seam, and then traced around the whole star as well. I really like straight-line quilting, which is good because my new machine really sucks at free motion! (constant tension issues. so annoying!) I like how the lines echo out around the star, and I like how they have the star pattern on the back of the quilt, even though that is also hard to see. I added a 3" border of rectangles along the top and bottom of the quilt to make it a little bigger, and I also like rectangluar quilts better than square quilts, so this solved that problem. I think it looks good too!

Art Gallery on the back. 
Although I normally piece my backs I had more than enough of this print, and I really like it as one solid piece for the back. The pops of yellow make me happy. 

It's since been sent off to the new couple (I think!) so I hope they like it and enjoy it for years to come. Up this month, another wedding quilt in similar colors, but triangles! And 2 baby quilts. And, hopefully, customers at the store!

What are you working on?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Greek Plus Puss Quilt by Rossie Hutchinson

Block One
Last month I responded to a call on Instagram that a quilt designer I follow was looking for pattern testers. I have never done that before, so I figured why not! I have made quilts before that create blocks with a plus in the middle, but I made up the pattern, and used a log-cabin layout, which worked but was slightly complex. I was interested to see another way for the plus to come together.

Block Two
I decided I would chose some of my favorite fabrics from my home stash that I have been hording for too long! The block is arranged, in my mind, as a plus in the middle, with another plus shape echoing the middle one, and then the corners are a third fabric. I did my corners in a lighter hue of whatever the middle plus was, and I chose a low volume for the echo that ad at least a little bit of that color in it.

Mini Quilt Top!
I just made 4 blocks because I was busy and there was a testing deadline, but I really love how it turned out and I can't wait to quilt it and hang it in the store! I am using Mirror Ball Dots for the binding, in a nice pearly yellow and I think I'll do matchstick quilting if I ever have time and order more thread! Im also glad I have a quilt with some of my favorite fabircs-- Heather Ross octopi, the Parisian pastries fabric, Jay McCarroll polka dots, and an Alexander Henry floral I got at B & J fabrics in NYC (Oh man how I'd love to go back there!!).

Rossie's pattern is available to purchase on Craftsy, here, or her Etsy shop here! Each block is 12" square so it wouldnt take too many of them to make a decent size quilt, which is a great bonus. Can't wait to see other people's versions too!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Striped Briar Tee

Striped Briar Tee (and again with the giant head!)
A few weeks ago I gave the Briar tee another go. I wanted it to be shorter in the back than the first one I made, but longer in the front than the second one I made (which I never blogged about because it was a horribly unflattering crop top in a knit that really smashed down my already small chest. I have since passed it along to someone younger.

From the back
I think I like the length of the back of this one a lot more. The fabric I used is a pretty lightweight knit that I carry at the store, with skinny black stripes. It hangs well and is really soft, and it wasnt quite as tissue-y as the first one I made, which was nice!

Side view!
I wish the front was just ever so slightly longer, because with some of my shorts its not quite long enough. I think the next time I make this i might make a much less exaggerated high-low. I do have a really nice, soft, thin black knit I got at Mood almost 2 years ago, so maybe I should use that! (1. Sad! I havent been to Mood in 2 years. and 2. I hoarded all my Mood fabric and never used it anyway, so I guess it doesnt really matter!).  Anyway, I really think the Briar is a great pattern! I wear this striped version all the time, and it's really comfy. I guess I'm really a much more casual dresser than I like to admit, but maybe I should just accept it and make myself lots more t's....

What's your favorite pattern for casual, comfy day-to-day wear?