Friday, June 23, 2017

Winding Ways

Who would have thought this quilt would wind it's way back to Wellesley.  My 25th college reunion was this summer and I couldn't resist bringing this one along to test it out in the dorms.  A perfect fit:-)

This quilt has certainly taken on a life of its own.  I started it last summer when a good friend of our family who was going off to college mentioned she would appreciate a handmade quilt for her dorm room.  I immediately started dreaming up ideas... I loved the idea of making Denyse Schmidt's Snake Trail quilt from Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration but I knew I didn't want to deal with curved piecing so I came up with my own technique and whipped up a mini as a proof of concept.  With my approach validated I got working.

Her only guidelines were for purple and grey...  not my usual color palette.  I pulled every purple in my stash, bought a bundle, and raided the stashes of a few more violet oriented friends and pulled together enough purples for all the arcs.

This quilt is far from perfect.  There are a few places where I didn't quite catch my arcs when I pieced together the blocks.  I reinforced those raw edges with a zigzag quilt stitch like the roadblocks that sometimes pop up.  I changed up the layout to represent the surprising twists and turns life can take.  Dead ends, endless loops it's a metaphor for life.

This was on display at this year's BostonMQG Quilt Show at Fabric Place Basement but now that the show has closed I can finally get it to it's intended recipient...  just in time for sophomore year.

Blazing my own trail with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 65" x 97"
Pattern: Inspired by Denyse Schmidt's Snake Trail from Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration
Fabrics: Assorted purple fabrics from stash.  Michael Miller Cotton Couture Fog.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in Grey (2605).

Friday, June 16, 2017

Grad Gifting

As usual I needed a last minute gift... When it comes to well thought out tutorials you can't beat anything by Anna Graham of Noodlehead. This Zippy Wallet Tutorial is her very first but it's still well written and easy to follow... which isn't to say I didn't change things up.

All the kids I know are permanently attached to their phones so I made this a bit bigger to fit an iPhone 6/7.  This is a great pattern for using up scraps!  I pulled these cherished Out to Sea prints together for the preppy and dug out a long neglected Violette bundle for the other two.

I also think Anna's technique for the zipper ends on her Gathered Clutch makes for a more finished edge so I added those.

One of the things that makes Anna's patterns look so professional is her use of hardware.  These snaps make such an impact on the finished wallet and I love a project that let's me hammer out some of my sewing frustrations;-)

I think I might need one of these for myself!  Do you have a go to grad gift?

Hitting all the graduation parties with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

W.i.P. Wednesday: Heading For the Finish Line

With school wrapping up I've been frantically trying to wrap up all the loose ends before my schedule gets really crazy.  This week's focus has been quilting, quilting, quilting.  Inspired by my Sleeping Porch pillow finish I also quilted the coordinating triangle quilt.  The binding is on but I haven't quite finished tacking it down...  good news, road trips ahead.

With that quilted I moved on to basting the next flimsy in my stack.  Things were going great until I ran out of safety pins.  Now that my LQS has closed it's not just a quick trip across town to get more.  After weighing my options I decided the fastest solution was to quilt something already basted.  I grabbed my Blue Plate Special that I basted at Laurena's Longarm and started quilting down the plates.  Of course once I started I couldn't stop even though I had enough pins...  next step is to add the centers and hand quilt around the plates, another grab and go project that should keep me busy for a loooong time.

And with a fully basted quilt there's more quilting to be done...

In these last precious days I'm hoping to get more of my neglected La Pass prepped so I can still stay busy when I can't get in to my sewing studio.  What's your plan for sewing this summer?

Friday, June 2, 2017

Nap Time Pillow

Making Espadrilles was just the kick in the pants I needed to get back to sewing!!!  Back while I was waiting for my Sleeping Porch Triangles batting to arrive from Fat Quarter Shop I started sewing together some of the scraps.  This time instead of triangles I used the end pieces to make Half Square Rectangles (HSRs).  This fabric is so yummy I can't let a single bit go to waste!  I had enough pieces already cut so now that I was finally back in my studio I put together this little pillow top.

I love small projects like this to test thread colors for bigger projects.  In the end I decided to go with Blossom Pink Aurifil.  I kept the quilting simple so in no time I had this one ready to finish.

I've found I get more use out of pillows than wall hangings so I paired this Kaffe Fassett Roman Glass from my stash with yet another zipper from my endless supply.  I still haven't found a better zipper tutorial than this one by s.o.t.a.k handmade.

Since I was on a roll I even basted my Triangle quilt and got quilting...  hopefully I'll have a matched set soon.

Making stuff with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Quilt Stats:
Finished pillow is 12" x 17"
Fabrics: Sleeping Porch by Heather Ross.  Roman Glass in Leafy by Kaffe Fassett.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in  Blossom Pink (2530).

Friday, May 26, 2017

Stepping Out of my Comfort Zone

There's been very little sewing going on here lately but with a surprise free afternoon and good weather finally making an appearance this seemed like the perfect time to break out my Espadrille making supplies and try something new.   Exactly a year ago I bought everything I'd need from Fabric Depot with dreams of a closet full of adorable shoes - then nothing.  Story of my life;-)

alidiza: Stepping Out of my Comfort Zone - DIY Espadrilles
After a quick shop thru my stash and closet I decided to start with this Midnight metallic Essex linen paired with Hot Pink Add It Up by Cotton + Steel.  There are only 2 easy to cut out shapes plus the interfacing so it's a quick and easy project to get all your pieces assembled.  I did notice some of the tutorials online mention needing to add the seam allowance to the templates but the Dritz templates I used include the seam allowance.

alidiza: Stepping Out of my Comfort Zone - DIY Espadrilles
I did a crazy amount of pinning to work in all the ease but once that was done the actual hand sewing was really easy.

alidiza: Stepping Out of my Comfort Zone - DIY Espadrilles

It's not too bad stitching thru the soles because of the rope braid but the finger grips definitely help with pulling the eye and thick thread thru the fabric.  Nancy's Notions has a great video on the whole process with a good demo of how to do the ladder stitch.  You can't really see it here but I basted a 1/4" around the bottom edge of the fabric form and used that line to keep my stitch height uniform.

alidiza: Stepping Out of my Comfort Zone - DIY Espadrilles
Ta-dah!  I love how these came out but I do have some fit issues to work out before I start my next pair.

alidiza: Stepping Out of my Comfort Zone - DIY Espadrilles
Lessons learned:
  • I feel like the linen/quilting cotton combo is a bit flimsy.  Next time I'll add interfacing to the linen in addition to the stabilizer on the lining.  
  • I definitely was a bit scant on my 3/8" seam allowance which means my pieces are a bit too large.  I'm going to try using a 1/2" seam allowance next time.  I'm pretty sure these will stretch so I want them to be snug to start.
  • The heel pieces seemed way too wide where they attach to the toe so I tapered the top edge.
  • Make the first shoe completely before starting the second.  That way you won't have to redo both shoes to adjust your fit.  
Any suggestions on a good way to temporarily attach the pieces to the sole?  You can't really get your foot in and out to check the fit when everything is pinned.  I'm already planning my next (several) pair!
alidiza: Stepping Out of my Comfort Zone - DIY Espadrilles
Kicking off the long weekend with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Going Coastal

Struggling to write this post today I realized I enjoy talking about the process of making quilts a lot more than the finished product.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE this quilt - there's just not much else to say at this point.

Quick recap: I pieced the top and back of this one last summer.  Since then it's been hibernating in the UFO pile waiting for summer to return to do duty as a beach blanket.  I finally rescued this to quilt at Laurena's before she closed.  The Surf's Up panto is the perfect wave to meld everything together and the orange thread blends nicely on the front but gives lots of texture to the back.  

I don't tend to use a lot of orange but this Tangerine binding seemed perfect!

I wish it was really warm enough to head to the beach for a photoshoot but I took a practice run on the volleyball court at Kimball Farm.

Can't you just feel the sand in your toes...

Dreaming of summer with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 80" x 72"
Pattern: Inspired by Cluck Cluck Sew's Squares and Strips quilt
Fabrics: Going Coastal by Emily Herrick.  Michael Miller Cotton Couture: Love, Tangerine, Creamcicle.  Free Spirit Designer Solids: True Red, Miracle, Burst, Sap, Leaf.  Kona Cotton: Storm.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient.
Thread: Superior Threads King Tut in Orange Zest (1014).
Quilting: Surf's Up pantograph by Dave Hudson.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

W.i.P. Wednesday: No Rest For the Weary

It was love at first sight when Heather Ross released Sleeping Porch.  Those pinks and greens...  how could I resist but once I touched this all cotton lawn collection I was head over heels.  I couldn't wait to jump in and make something with this but as usual my life had other ideas...

I knew I wanted to only use cotton lawn for my first quilt with this collection but I was also unsure how piecing would go with the lighter weight fabric so I opted for a pattern with simple pieces.  A triangle quilt has been on my bucket list for a while so this seemed like the perfect opportunity.  I cut all these triangles thinking this would be a perfect retreat project but never got to it.

There are tons of great tutorials out there for making a triangle quilt but I found these tips from the Triangle Quilt Along at Sassy Quilter to be the best.  I used the Triangle Squared ruler which solves the problem of offsetting your points.  The cotton lawn isn't as sticky as quilting cotton so it was slow going pinning every seam when sewing but still good for chain piecing.

Cotton + Steel put out some great tips for quilting with lawn.  I didn't prewash as they suggest but I did switch to a 70/10 sharp needle and used 50 wt Aurifil for the piecing.  I don't find Best Press to be as effective on the lawn.  Next time I may try regular old spray starch.

Our vacation week schedule is pretty packed but I've been sneaking in some after dinner sewing breaks and chipping away at this one.

And those evenings add up...  a finished flimsy:-)  I'm feeling the loss of my LQS again, of course I don't have any batting on hand.  I decided to go all out with Quilter's Dream Wool from Fat Quarter Shop (with a few treats thrown in for free shipping).  Hopefully their quick delivery will get it here before I lose my momentum...  Dreaming of snuggling up with this one should keep me going!  How do you find time to quilt when life gets crazy?