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.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Patchwork Plus Quilt

Navy, green, yellow, grey Plus patchwork quilt

Greetings from The Fabric Studio! Finished another fun quilt today, this one was an order from my top customer, my cousin Stephanie, for her sister and brother-in-law who are having a baby boy. She send me photos of a few things they had bought for the nursery, one being a graphic, modern green and white rug, and the other being some grey and navy sheets that I believe had sailboats on them. 

Diagonal straight-line quilting and close up
I really liked the idea of bright green, which I must not work with much because I had to order a few more pieces. I added in navy and bright blues, a few yellows, and then some neutral greys and whites so it wasn't quite so crazy. I cut 4 1/2" squares for this one, just like the last quilt I made, because I really like the size the end up being. It's a good size for showing off fabric, but not too big, and not so small that you have to cut a million squares (just 120 instead :)  ). Then I laid them out in a plus pattern, which is fun to do and gives a more modern look to what is essentially just a patchwork quilt. 

Pieced back
I've been doing a lot of quilt backs out of just one fabric lately, because it's quicker, but I had some squares left over, and I really ended up liking the combo of green and navy fabric on the back. I may go back to pieced backs, because I really like this one, and especially on baby quilts it really doesnt take that long. 

Bridge fabric by Michael Miller, available here
I did a simple straight-line quilting going diagonally through the patchwork squares. I was going to go back the other way to make an X through each box, but I ended up using green thread and didnt want it to stand out too much on top of some of the lighter colored fabrics. I think this is enough quilting, and the quilt is still nice and soft! 

I used a nice green solid by Michael Miller (Cotton Couture in Apple), which I think both contrasts and blends, which worked out! Sending this quilt off tomorrow, and then on to the next! I dont usually work with such dark, bold colors, but I must say I liked it! I think I'll look for a few good bright greens for the store (but they arent easy to fine!)

What are you working on right now?