Monday, 29 September 2014

Many hands make light work

Last winter, I finished this quilt top.

Can I finish this before there is snow again?

I cut the batting and the backing, the top was well ironed and ready to baste... but instead it got folded, then moved around, and ended up in a wrinkled bunch at the bottom of some bin.

This past week-end was my guild's monthly Sew-in.  Finally, one I could attend!  I knew just what project to bring.  This quilt was going to go from "bunched up top" to "being quilted" stage.

One large table, two packages of pins (couldn't find mine, had to buy some), borrowed masking tape (forgot mine... see a theme here?) and about 4-5 helpers made quick work of basting this quilt.  Many hands make light work.

Very thankful I did not have to baste this on my hands and knees

One good thing about Sew-in is there is is always someone to ask for a quick quilt consult.  How should I quilt this?  Should I use the light yellow or the light gray?  Most of all, though, it is the pure pleasure of being surrounded with other like-minded and creative people.

Here I am quilting away.  And check out the back of my machine... I am proudly displaying my guild's logo.  Too bad there wasn't anywhere to put that sticker in the front.
 

Poor quality courtesy of my ipad camera
 
I went with a simple outline roughly 1/4" outside of the plus signs and meandering in the low volume areas.  I am not quite sure if/how I am going to quilt the plusses.
 
Bernina Stitch Regulator... the only reason why I ever attempted machine quilting.

While I got quite a bit done at sew-in, I still have much more to go.   But having a project like this will keep me focused in the sewing room this week.

This photo reminds me I have to move my ironing board to the left of my machine to support the quilt's weight

I have a self-imposed deadline of 10 days to finish quilting and sewing the binding on before I am off for a little trip to Victoria BC.  I would really like something to hand stitch on that flight!  Can I get this done?

 

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Refashion Saturday: Sweater to Skirt

If you are looking for quilty things, jump to the end for a quilt work-in-progress sneak peak.   Otherwise check out today's re-fashions.
 
This one started innocently enough.  See, I had this old sweater:

Blue and cream stripes... timeless

I still love it.  It's a 100% cotton knit in classic blue and cream stripes, light weight with 3/4 sleeves.  I have worn this a lot, winter, spring, summer or fall (I sound like a James Taylor song).  It actually fits me quite well...

the faded colour makes me look a bit pale...

The problem is, it is starting to show signs of age.  The colour is beginning to fade and the seems are weak on the collar and sleeves.

One of the many signs of wear
 
So, I thought I would turn this into a skirt for my daughter.  Easy peasy.  So I chopped...
 
That took a lot of courage!
 
Then I took in a tiny bit of the width off the top part (in the original sweater, that is where it gets wider just below the sleeves).
 
 
Quick fix
 
I then made a waistband with some stretchy jersey I had on hand:
 

 
I then pinned the sweater-turned-skirt and the waistband so I would have 8 sections of equal length (no pins needed on the sides where there is a seam). 
 
 
I then matched the pins and sewed the waistband to the skirt (I forgot to take a picture of this step).
 
And there you have it... a skirt!  But wait...
 

I left an opening in the back of the waistband so I could run an actual elastic in the waistband to make the waist smaller as this skirt is/was intended for a 4 year old.  But before I run the elastic in it, I thought, perhaps I should try it on just for fun...
 
Wonder if this picture will end up in a Google search somehow
 
Hmmm... not sure I want to give this skirt up just now.  What do you think?  Should I wear this in public?  If I do, I will take a proper picture.
 
Now that my daughter may have been ripped off of a skirt, I have to make it up to her.  Hmmm...  How about this hand-me-down shirt that never fitted right?
 
From ill-fitting shirt...

Using the same method, I whipped that up in less than 10 minutes.  Seriously, people, less than 10 minutes!

To cute skirt!

This could get addictive... 
 
Fear not, it hasn't just been about refashioning in the Running Thimble studio.  I have also used my sewing skills to repair hockey equipment ('tis that time of the year)!  Oh, and yes, a new quilt was started.  Before all the other ones got finished.  I absolutely had no need to make a toddler size quilt, but this bright alphabet flannel was on sale and next thing you know... well, you know how these things go! Here is a sneak peak:
 
 
Hope you are having a fabulous week-end!


Friday, 12 September 2014

Finished - first zippered pouch!

Happy Friday !

My guild had a zippered pouch swap yesterday.  So on Tuesday, I set out to sew my first zippered pouch.  Yikes!

Ta-da!

As you can see, I am not over the Red and Aqua combo...

Other side...
 
I have sewn zippers before, but a pouch?  With a lining an all?  Scary stuff!  I checked a couple tutorials and narrowed down on this one by Lindsay at Craft Buds:  That was easy, people, EASY!

that fabric with the bicycles... I am saving it! that's why I only used it for the top 2 inches of the lining.

I made a few changes, of course: I layered and quilted my outside fabric, added a pocket in the lining, and a little ribbon on the side.

There's a pocket in there

I am still not over my Red and Aqua phase...  Can't get over the cuteness.  It's pretty girly but thankfully our president Adrienne, who was the recipient loves that colour combo too.  I am happy this went to a good home!

And which one did I received? Check this out:

I am totally stealing the idea of the picture with coloured pencils from Margaret's Facebook page

This was made by Margaret of Fortune Cove Designs.  She hand dyes her fabrics and she made this using a layered scrap cut away technique.

I love that button!

This pouch ranks pretty high on the coolness factor.  That was my first swap... not my last.
Check out the other ones: So much variety...

I love my guild!

Linking up to TGIFF at Quilt Matters.  Enjoy your week-end.

Friday, 5 September 2014

The Re-Fashion (Upcycle) Edition


My First Re-Fashion

Edited: this is more of an Upcycle than a re-fashion... But i am counting this as a refashion.

A couple months ago while getting sidetracked in blogland, I stumbled upon a fabulous blog called Refashionista.  Refashion?  Take unwanted, unloved items (sometimes hideous), and turn them into something you actually want to wear?  I had no idea it was a thing...   And then I discovered there is actually a whole refashion blogging community... (why did that strike me as a surprise?  Of course there is!). 

Making garments from scratch is time consuming, so I don't have much interest for it right now.  But refashion?  Half the work is already done, and it is really inexpensive (if you mess up, it is a learning experience).  Gillian, the Refashionista blogger makes it look so easy... Ah, the possibilities!  I have visions in my head of walking out of my local goodwill store with seriously unloved clothes and turning them into beauties to wear the next day.

But I am getting ahead of myself....   Right now, these are only ideas in my head.  My time is limited and, well, I kinda want to keep quilting too!  For my first re-fashion project, I started small:   My daughter needed an art smock for school and it wanted to make her one.  I headed to the Salvation Army and came home with this colourful number:

Not bad for $2
I started by chopping off the collar and the sleeves:

The first cut is the deepest scariest

I measured against an old store-bought art smock and chopped the bottom too.

It helps to have a model

I used a piece of pink stretchy jersey from my non-quilting bin for the collar and cuffs:

Not perfect but close enough

Before finishing off the cuffs, I needed to take in the sides and the sleeves.

This is way too big for her right now...

...but that is an easy fix!

I sewed on the cuffs and hemmed the bottom, then proudly showed my creation to my husband and presented him the following dilemma: how to machine embroider my daughter's initials on the front pocket without rendering the pocket unusable?  

You can't see it, but there is a pocket
In his wisdom, he said: Do the initials have to be on the front pocket?  Why don't you just embroider her name somewhere else? Duh!  Of course!  The idea with refashion is not to have a set idea of how you are going to do things, but to work with what you have.  I embroidered her name on the back using free motion quilting (no picture).  I first stabilized my fabric with freezer paper in the back, which I just tore it afterwards, like you would do for paper pieced block.

My daughter tried it, and it was still too big.  So I took it in a bit more, and then, just for fun, I added a bright orange pocket in front.

So I present to you my first official refashion:

From man shirt to girl art smock

One person's trash...

- We will resume our regular quilting programming next post -

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

My New Apron

 - We momentarily interrupt our quilting program to talk about aprons -

Here is a very basic apron I made myself about 10 years ago.  I love the colour, but you will have to agree with me that this style really does not do the job.  It does not cover anything.  I always end up with some flour on my shirt and I can't do anything that involve grease like carving a turkey.  Which, come to think of it, is not necessarily a bad thing: my husband has the right apron for the job.
 
Cute, not practical
 
Of course, because I sew, I refuse to buy a new one.  I have been meaning to make a full length apron for a long time but never got around to do it until this past week-end.  I was puttering around the sewing room looking for an excuse not to clean up when I saw a vintage sheet that needed to be put away in its proper place.  I thought "why put it away when I could make something out of it?"

I love vintage sheets!

So I set out to make an apron, using my husband's apron as a model.  I really loved this print and I think it makes a great apron, but it lacked a little oomph!  I looked through my stash of fat quarters: browns, yellows, reds and found the perfect match: yummy cream dots on an orange-y red.

Fake action shot: the pot is empty...

On my husband's advice (the real chef in the house) I added a pocket in the front.  I am told they are useful.  For what?  I can't really see myself carrying a spatula in the pocket like I am doing in this picture (his idea, too).

Ta-da!

My daughter loved the apron and was quite sad this was not for her, but seriously, why does she need another apron?  I made her one a couple years ago with leftover denim and another vintage sheet.  I even made her a matching head scarf!  I have this thing about not putting pictures of my kids on the blog, so my husband offered to model it for the blog.  I politely declined, so here I am again:

Believe me, it looks much cuter on her than on me!

Well, I think that is enough pictures of myself for today.

What non quilty things have you sewn recently?

Linking up to Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts.

http://sewfreshquilts.blogspot.ca/2014/09/lets-bee-social-36.html

Sunday, 31 August 2014

10 Quilty Little Secrets

13 Spools

I am jumping on that bandwagon too.  Inspired by Amy at 13 Spools and some of my bloggy friends, it is my turn to reveal my 10 Quilty little secrets:
 
1 - I get excited about a trend well after everyone else is over it.
 
2 - I change my sewing needles often, but rotary cutter blades?  I make them last way past their useful life.
 
3 - I sometimes cut paper with my sewing scissors.  Don't tell my husband... he got in trouble for doing the same thing.
 
4 - I do not know - nor care about - the name of Kona Colours.
 
5 - I am a binding snob.  I think all bindings should be hand sewn and I dislike the look of machine binding.
 
6 - I sometimes rush to finish quilting something just so I have a binding to hand stich.
 
7 - I have rarely met a shortcut I did not like.  Except for machine binding, of course.
 
8 - Though I have made a couple, I find quilts made entirely of one collection quite boring.
 
9 - My sewing room is constantly messy.  My post on my sewing room is a bit of a fraud... there was a lot of piles being moved around in order to take pictures.  I have been known to cut projects on the floor because my super-duper cutting table was too messy.
 
10 - I do not like cats.  I cringe when I see pictures of cats messing around near sharp objects and shedding their hair on their owners precious works.

What are your quilty secrets?


 

Friday, 29 August 2014

Friday Finish... a Very Special Pillow

It's finished :(
 
The vacation, that is.
 
I am just back from three wonderful weeks away.  Having been on a ferry for five hours this morning on rather rough seas, I am still feeling like the rolling of the waves.
 
Yes, there was a bit of hand quilting, some button sewing, and a quick seam on a sewing machine in the first few days, but then, no sewing at all.  Who has time to sew when there are rocks to skip, sandcastles to build, kites to fly (OK, we did not get to fly our kite, but we wanted to, does that count?) and hills to climb.  And let's not forget long roads to run accompanied by a little monkey on a bike...
 

I was with very intermittent internet service - not a bad thing - so this is the first chance I get to post about my early vacation finish.  Remember this?  I was debating making a pillow or a wall hanging, and whether to add buttons or something else for the leaves.
 

Well, I heard y'all, and I went for a pillow with buttons.  Lots of buttons!


But before the reveal, the story.

Giving is the best

C. is my second cousin: Her dad and my mom are first cousins.  I am sure we have been at family gatherings together as children, but I only have a vague recollection of her at the time.  I met her again four years ago at a big family reunion for our extended family - descendants of our great-grandparents - which includes over a hundred people.

Since then, C. and I have become acquainted through Facebook - a way to get glimpses of each other's lives but without really knowing each other well.  One thing I know, though, is her dedication to our extended family.  Since the big reunion, she has been maintaining a Facebook page for our  family.  Every month, she reminds us of upcoming birthdays.  Announces births (and deaths), and posts pictures of family gatherings.  It is a thankless "job" and I am sure there are many who appreciate her efforts, but perhaps we don't say it often enough.  When I decided to make another quilty gift for an unsuspecting recipient again this year, I knew it would be for her.  It does not hurt that she hits the "Like" button when I post pictures of my quilts on Facebook...

For the construction, I made a slab of low volume scraps which included both traditional and modern fabrics and appliquéd a tree to represent the family (I am that subtle, I know).

The buttons came from my stash - I emptied the green jar and had to dig in the blue and the yellow ones, which worked out great.
 

On a side note, the buttons were all sewn using Clark & Co's #10 cabled thread I found amongst other treasures in my grandmother's old sewing machine... very fitting!


It's the one with on the left with the green label with anchor.  By the way, if anyone knows of a great resource for antique/vintage thread, do share...

So here's a picture of the almost finished project.  I thought it was finished but there was something bugging me...  Can you notice?


The pillow cover is slightly too big for the pillow form and it is sagging.  I might have let it slide on a birthday pillow for a 7 year old, but not for this one.  And it was a quick fix, too...


Here, much better...


I am happy to report that the pillow was gifted - in person - to C.  I know she was both surprised and touched by the gesture and, well, you just can't fake that reaction... I know she loves it!  That is the best part of quilting.  Designing, making, finishing, yes.  But giving is the best.

Linking up to TGIFF at Ms. Midge and Finish Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.