Saturday, August 4, 2012

Summertime Stars/Marvel Comics Quilt

My second quilt was inspired by the Marvel Comics fabrics found at Fabric Worm fabrics that came out with the Avengers movie. I loved them, their bright colors and large scale.  I had to have them, looked at them everyday on line and waited just long enough till they were sold out (mostly, I did purchase some yardage from FW).  Loser!    Then I had to stalk them on Ebay and buy up what I could find at Fabric Depot along with some complementary ditsy quarters that would balance out their large scale.

Now, what to make....something for and super heros lover.  Perfect birthday present for my bedroom, I mean my 8 year old nephew's bedroom.  I missed out on being a little boy who worships super heros.

I picked this pattern from Fig Tree Quilts  that I originally planned to make a 4th of July quilt for myself. 

Super easy to cut out, you just copy the pattern three times and make 3 stacks of 10.
Make the cuts and then take the top star off the stack and put it aside.  It will be the center of the last square. 

The hardest thing to do was to get the large scale super heros to not be cut up too much in the star. 

Then over the actual 4th of July weekend, I spent a bunch of my time off just sewing star after star and listening to NPR.

This quilt is pretty fast to piece together.  Then with the help of my assistant and his armadillo, I laid out the squares trying to balance the obnoxious color and scale.  And not put any patterns that were the same next to each other.   
You will see that I didn't succeed in the final version.  I got two in the bottom corner next above each other, oh well.  It's so crazy you kind of don't notice.  I backed it with black and hand quilted around each star in a contrast color.  I used primary blue, red, green, yellow and also black and white.
This is a feeble attempt to show the quilted stars on the backing.   It's pretty subtle.
The binding was hand stitched as well and I machine quilted along all the seams of the squares. 
Here's my assistant on the final quilt, showing off new hair cut and still obsessed with armadillo.
At the birthday party opening his gift, my nephew Gray.
Nephew suffering through a hug from me in front of quilt.
Happily enjoying quilt on bed. 
At some point I need to make a quilt for myself!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sewing again......Simplicity 2290

Back in action over Memorial Day weekend, my sewing mojo reappeared.  It's funny how much I like buying fabric and patterns and then getting around to doing the sewing seems to elude me sometimes.

Over the next few days I'll catch up on my blogging what I've sewn.

Pajama Pants:
I've had this fabric for some time.  I made a self drafted pattern off of some old pj's and then opted to buy a store bought pattern, Simplicity 2290 "learn to sew" pattern for the whole family.

What I didn't like about this pattern was that there is only one piece so the fabric layout is challenging because you have to lay the fabric flat instead of on the fold.  Then fit wise, you have a wider boxy fitting silhouette with the side seam missing.

What I did like about this pattern is that it's one piece and you sew 2 seams- one on each leg and then you sew them together, fold over the top edge to make a casing and hem the bottom.  I did most of it on my serger and it was really quick.  I did not add the tie at the front because it's totally decorative.
Slightly wrinkly because I wore them last night.
I also made them mid calf length for summer.  The fabric is a pretty sheer lawn and it was very soft and comfy to wear.
Elastic casing finish.
Super easy and fast pattern.  I would make them again out of equally soft and light fabric.  Wow, this is probably the most boring post of all time. Sorry folks.  Pattern Review to follow.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Spring Fever!  Sewing room realized and Vogue 1250

Spring has sprung in Portland.  Well, it's only been about two weeks since it snowed- and when I say snow it really just looked like little fairies sprinkled powdered sugar on my house.  But the daffodils are up and that makes me happy.
These are not in my yard but I aspire to have a whole hillside of them someday
I've always wanted a dedicated sewing room and now I have one.  It is the cool yet weird thing about my house- there is a room off the dining room that I have tucked an office/sewing room into.

view from the dining room that is my cutting
table right now.
It is on the main floor between the living room and the kitchen so when I go and sew I'm not off in a distant corner of the house away from the main action.  And the way the room is situated if you turn the light off the chaos melts into the background and you (or at least I don't) notice it.

The gate is so the room is Mochi proof.  No pins for his little feet and tummy.  I pulled a pin out of his mouth a few months ago and almost had to take to my bed for the day I was so racked with guilt.
There's my new serger - yay.
The sewing desk is from Pottery barn and is nice and long.  I could use more cabinets and I plan to make some big bulletin boards for the wall so I can pin up inspiration and sewing directions etc.  that's phase two.

The office desk and lamp were both from second hand shops- i LOVE lamps! They are my weakness, but this one is my very favorite in the whole world.   This back wall probably needs a great piece of artwork.
the whole room with shot of scavenged red vinyl chair for hand work.
Here's the opposing wall.  I plan to have a family photo gallery but now there are just pictures hanging on the hooks that came with the house.  That's a future project too.   I don't love the look of the ironing board being up all the time but I love the handiness of it being up all the time.

And finally I'm working on Vogue 1250 that I cut out last summer and then never sewed- how lame.
It's half finished and just pinned on the mani.  This is some beautiful and bright yellow ITY fabric that I ordered from Gorgeous Fabrics last summer.  It's daffodil for the body.

you can see the transition to the living room in the background- weird house layout but it works!

I've just ordered a bunch of patterns from Hot Patterns (my first).  And a bunch of fabric from Mood in New York (not my first but first mail order).  So, while I wait for those I realize that I really have so much fabric already.  What the heck am I doing ordering more?  Well, I better getty up.  See you later!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Summertime Stars Quilt

I really enjoyed the quilt making.  And now I'm ready to make a quilt for my house.  For some reason I've been obsessed with making something stars and stripes for the 4th of July.  Since everything at Hollyhill Quilt Shoppe is BEAUTIFUL, I like to go there often to admire the quilts.  There's something so comforting about a stack of warm quilts.  I've always wanted that in my house like a Shabby Chic commercial.  I bought one at an antique shop for way too much money.  Time to figure out how to make my own.

I recently got up the nerve to buy a kit. But, it's a Christmas quilt and that's so far away.  I thought I would go for the 4th of July first.  And I've been loving the picture of a star quilt I've seen at HH.  You can find it on their blog Boughs of Holly.  You can see it in the background! I love the plaid and other prints layered in- very Ralph Lauren.

Summertime Stars Quilt Pattern
Last time I was there, I asked one of the ladies if they were making a kit for the stars quilt.  And, alas, the answer was currently, NO.  However, she found the pattern for me and showed me how cool the cutting instructions were and how easy and fast to piece that is would be. She said she made it and it was super easy. BINGO!  My second quilt.
 So, last night I used some extra fabric that I had- two quarters from JoAnne's.  And you cut them in a stack and end up with stars and backgrounds like this.  It was really easy and it doesn't have to be perfect and it looks super cute.    Later you have to make all the squares square but this was just practice.
Good thing, practice, because I slashed through one edge that I wasn't supposed to and it caused more sewing and a weird wonky issue.  But overall, I figured out I could do one block in about 10 minutes.  Sewing only.   And since there are 30 blocks that wouldn't be too crazy piece time.

I'm going to HH to pick up a cute fat Quarter bundle (yep, got the lingo down) this weekend.  Well, I might hand pick all the colors instead of a bundle.   yay.  Meanwhile, I'm setting up my new serger but it's hard to focus while I can hear the puppy tearing up the house.  Off to puppy wrangle....

Parting shot..... Mochi asking for tummy rub.  Ok, that's an old photo but he still does that all the time. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Color Wheel Complete

I finally finished my first quilt.  It's a good thing because I was at Holly Hill and bought another pattern.  Thankfully, I held back from buying the fabric but I'm sure I'll be there next weekend to buy it.
Hand sewn binding
I love hand sewing.  I'm pretty good at it and it's very relaxing.  It's hard to control front and back of a  machine stitch but when you hand stitch you can feel as you go.  Members of my family have a slight shake: a palsy that causes shakiness in the hands.  I know at some point it will effect my ability to hand sew.  I think my next quilt will be hand quilted.
Total wheel machine quilted with white thread and hand bound.

Closer shot of the quilting- yes, a little wrinkly but I'm forgiving myself.
I love the way all the fabrics look together and especially because some are from other projects so it reminds me of finished objects.  And the rainbow is so happy on a foggy, rainy day.

This was a very easy quilt and I loved making it.  I almost hate to give it away.  I won't show you the back because there is a slight flaw in the middle but I'm overlooking it and enjoying the happy side.  Is it bad to give a baby a white quilt?


*** updated 8/6/12****
Here is a photo of the beautiful little boy that this quilt was made for....

Sunday, February 5, 2012

My First Quilt- next steps.....

I might have made it seem like in my last post that all the cutting and work just happened but I actually did all that last summer and set it aside.  Then when my dear cousin got pregnant I thought I better get a move on and finish it to give to her.  I don't think she reads this blog.  If so, surprise! I missed your shower but your gift is on it's way.  And, before the babe is born, unusual for m.

Progress yesterday after I got my car washed and detailed, grocery shopped for the week and walked my tiny dog, the nerd in me stayed in, stoked the fire (ok, it's a gas insert but flipping the fireplace switch sounds so lame) and assembled the quilt front and back.
Green Quadrant
Orange yellow quadrant
 In novice quilter fashion, I was not good at keeping my 1/4" seam allowance and that made my color quadrants a little wider than the white portions.  I realized when I set them in the arcs of white that they were slightly bigger. You can really tell on the green that it's bowing out.
Blue purple quadrant

Red pink quadrant
So my remedy was to wet a towel and steam them so they laid flat.  I wasn't about to go back and resew them all.  That's the beauty of cotton, you can steam it to shape.  That is the reason the quadrants look damp.  I threw them in the dryer and then assembled them all together.
Front of quilt assembled.  Parting shot before bed.
The assembly was easy- sew two quadrants together making a half.  Repeat, making another half and then sew both halves together making the whole.  I'm very pleased with the visual of the colors.  I tried really hard to not repeat any print in more than one color although that option was available it felt like cheating.  There is only one solid piece: red- that I used from another project, blogged about here.  I didn't photograph the boy version that I made with the red, but the pinks and brights from the girls versions are here too.  The boy version was red, denim and baseballs was super cute and made more sturdy for jumping.

Today, Super Bowl Sunday, or in my house, doggie playgroup day and quilt layer assembly day.  Ok, also I need to run two miles as I'm training for the Shamrock Run in March.  This is Portland's first big run of the year- something like 30k people.  Huge.  Fun.  Good thing it's sunny and bright today- perfect for a brisk run.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

My First Quilt

I got a wild hair this summer to make this quilt.  I had seen it on Very Prairie Blog, and then bought the book "Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts " by Joelle Hoverson.  From this beautiful book I made my first project, and I blogged about it here. 

But I always had this one in the back of my mind as a doable first quilt.  A gift for someone having a baby.  It has lots of colorful bang for your buck.  So I ventured out to JoAnne's with a coupon and found 52 different fabrics to make my color wheel. Well, I had some fabrics from this project, and I used them where the could be fit in.  So I think I actually bought about 45 pieces.   And when I cut it out I cut 2 of each so I have another one ready to go when I want to make it again.
Here are all the pieces laid out on my kitchen counter and butcher block so I can get the look. Love the space in the new house.

You sew the wheel in quadrants.  Here I've laid out pairs and pinned them.
I took photos of each quadrant laid out so I could make sure I put the pairs together correctly
Here is the chaining method I used (learned from UTUBE) to continuously sew the pairs.
Here's what it looks like when you've chained pairs.  I used a leading fabric to start sewing, then sewed right onto my actual fabric. Then I clipped in between.
This is the back side of one quadrant.  I pressed the seam allowances toward the darker fabric where I could.
Meanwhile I did make a little blanket for my baby. A doggie blanket. Just a square of the fleece with binding.  They make a fleece binding now but it's only available in black or white at most stores.

My inspiration was a dog blanket from Old Navy that my other dog used to sit on in the car. Mochi loves this. one and we use it for training "go to your bed."
It has terriers but no Yorkie. Darn.
And in other news, Mochi graduated from "Good Puppy" school this week. He can sit and stay and lay down all with either verbal or hand signals.  He can come when called, walk by my side and "leave it" and "drop it".  The last two are marginal but today when he ran off with the directions to a new quilt I'm planning I said, "Drop It!" and he did.

Then, he waited patiently for his treat which I was glad to give.  No teeth punctures noted on the instructions. I wonder how well that would work with a piece of steak?  Wish I had that one when we found the dead squirrel in the back yard last weekend.

And here's the graduate.  3lbs and all hair.  He's attempting to sit/stay. 
More photos of the quilt coming later this weekend.  AND I bought a serger today (with my yet to be received bonus).  Yay!!!  Can't wait to fire that bad boy up and make some knits......