Wednesday, August 20, 2014

W.i.P It Wednesday: Banish Boredom

I've been getting a lot more sewing time than I expected this summer but it tends to come in short intervals.  Since it's easier to use these windows of time to move things along than to plan something new I decided that in August I'd focus on tackling my UFO pile.

 I made this top during my Plus Quilt obsession and quilted the center section while on retreat but then dropped it in the pile when I got back.

The amazing Alexis shared her tip for using varying widths of painters tape for marking straight lines at our July Boston MQG meeting.  The key is to use the edge of your presser foot against the tape rather than sewing along the tape.  Quilting all those straight lines in the negative space can get tedious but it's perfect for dropping in and sewing a line or two when I've got 15 minutes to spare.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Checking in at this week's W.i.P. Wednesday:-)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Nauti Weekender

Back in May I started this version of Amy Butler's Weekender for the class I taught at Quilter's Way.  I had this fabulous Dear Stella Anchors Away  and matching striped canvas in my stash which is perfect for my current addiction to all things nautical.  I finished this up and have been using it ever since.  It's the perfect size for a quick getaway!  

When I made my Where in the World Weekender I followed the pattern exactly but this time I tried a few things that made life easier.  For the zipper panel I used Decor-Bond rather than 3 layers of ShapeFlex.  Life's too short for all that cutting and ironing:-)  I also go smart and when I taped my zipper down I moved the tape to the outer edge of the zipper.  It's still stuck in place but I didn't have to worry about sewing through the tape.  

For the inside I used this fun ikat I also found in my stash.  I used the awesome tutorial at U-Handbag to add a zippered pocket.  I added ShapeFlex to the lining pieces to give the bag more structure.

I also copied the side pockets from the outside on the inside.  They are perfect for stashing flip flops and I always need more pockets!  

Linking up to the fabulous Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Murray the Whale

I started this quilt as a test run pattern testing Oh, Fransson!'s new Preppy the Whale.  Since it was obviously inspired by the Vineyard Vines logo I was hoping for a trip to Martha's Vineyard for the photo shoot but had to settle for a day in Gloucester:-)  

I thought I might hand quilt this but then we had a rainy day in Maine and I decided it was the perfect opportunity to try machine quilting with Aurifil 12wt.  Based on Angela at Cut to Pieces' tips I used coordinating 50wt thread in the bobbin, increased my stitch length to 4, and used a 90/14 quilting needle.  It took a little adjusting to get the tension correct but once I had it right it looked fabulous.  I love the extra definition it adds!

I was planning to use pink for the binding but my peanut gallery insisted on kelly green which of course I already had in my stash.  It was definitely the right call, it perfectly frames the quilt and looks fabulous with the Riley Blake large gingham backing I picked up at Marden's.

The pattern will be available Monday, August 4th and Elizabeth is hosting a giveaway this weekend so hop over here to enter to win a copy of the pattern and her knew Kona charm packs.  Thanks again Elizabeth for letting my test this pattern!!!

Linking up to the fabulous Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 42" x 52"
Pattern: Based on Preppy the Whale by the fabulous Elizabeth Hartman of Oh, Fransson!
Fabrics: Kona Nautical and Carnation, Bella Solids White.  Binding: Bella Solids Kelly.  Backing: Riley Blake large gingham in Navy
Batting: Quilter's Dream Wool
Thread: Aurifil  50wt and 12wt in White (2024) and Very Dark Navy (2785)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Alidiza's Atelier: Where I Sew

I'm so lucky to have a large dedicated studio space with lots of natural light.  I love this giant design wall my husband built for me.  It's insulation board covered with batting and flannel and then framed.  Most cotton fabrics will stick to the batting so I can easily re-position things without pinning.  He also made my cutting table by adding legs to our old kitchen island top after we remodeled.

My sewing table was "rescued" from a dumpster and is perfectly situated for watching TV and gazing lovingly at my stash while I sew:-)

My stash has been getting a bit out of control and having everything stored in Sterlite bins wasn't really working anymore so for Mother's Day I asked for new shelving to store my fabric.  We took a trip to IKEA and Dave and Audrey spent the weekend assembling my new Billy bookcases and Lillhรถjden chair.

Of course once I started looking around at all the awesome IKEA hacks I had to get fancy.  Using the advice at Maillardville Manor we added strips of molding to join the bookcases together and then added a shelf on top to bridge the gap in the corner and get the look of built-ins.

Since then I've been working on fancy folding all of my fabric.  Is anyone surprised that I have an entire bookcase just for pink?  Eventually I hope to have it all nicely folded but for now it's enough to have it visible and accessible.  It's like having my own fabric store stocked with all my favorite fabrics:-)  I've also got plans to recover the loveseat...  I'm thinking pink!

Get more sewing studio inspiration at Pink Chalk's Where I Sew Month!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Preppy the Whale

Don't Panic!  I have to admit the first time I read through Oh, Fransson's adorable Preppy the Whale pattern I wondered what I'd gotten myself in to... each whale is made up of 16 different sized pieces.  When you add in sashing and borders there are 462 pieces required to make the child sized version.

Fortunately, the directions are clearly written and once the cutting is done this goes together very quickly.  It is just challenging enough to be interesting and the whales are so cute you just love seeing them come together!  Sewing with this view also might have made things go together a bit easier:-)

For the quilting I wanted something fast and easy that wouldn't compete with cuteness of the whales.  This was my first try at wavy organic lines and I LOVED it!!!  I was able to quilt the entire top in an evening while drinking wine.

It was this close but for once I did NOT have a thread emergency that had me banging on the door at Quilter's Way first thing in the morning.

For the back I made one more whale as a label and pieced in the navy stripe (22 additional pieces) so I could get away with only using one length of this adorable anchor fabric.

A huge thank you to the lovely Elizabeth Hartman for letting my test this pattern!  It was a pleasure every step of the way:-)

Linking up to the fabulous Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 47" x 50"
Pattern: Preppy the Whale by the fabulous Elizabeth Hartman of Oh, Fransson!
Fabrics: Kona: Carnation, Buttercup, Sour Apple, Bright Pink, Nautical.  FSDS: Hummingbird, Bleached White. Unknown Aqua from stash.  Quilter's Linen in Platinum.  Backing: Dear Stella Anchors Green.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient Bamboo
Thread: Aurifil  50wt Iceberg (2846)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

W.i.P. Wednesday: This Is Epic!!!

Last night I put the last stitch in a quilt I have been hand quilting forever.

I don't remember when I started working on this...  I'm guessing 2008.  Definitely before I started blogging and documenting every moment of my life:-)  It was hand-pieced by a friend who after quilting a few blocks decided she hated hand quilting and was never going to finish it.  In a flash of insanity generosity I offered to finish quilting it for her.

Since then this quilt has pretty much been my constant companion....

  Visits to Maine in the winter,
Relaxing at the lake,

The ferry from New London to Orient Point,

On the train to Philly Sew Down

and countless road trips.

Baseball games, football games, gymnastics meets, watching Audrey cheer...  there I was quilting.

Obviously I've worked on lots of other things in the last 6 years but this was always packed and ready to go whenever I needed something to do. It still needs a binding but then I'll have to figure out my next epic project:-)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Checking in at this week's W.i.P. Wednesday:-)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

W.i.P Wednesday: A Whale of a Good Time

Other than a brief visit from Arthur our summer has been off to a fabulous start!  I wasn't sure how much sewing time I'd actually get while we were in Maine but with so much swimming and water skiing by afternoon the kids are ready for a little quiet time which gives me a chance to sneak in some sewing:-)  After my success with Murray the Whale I was ready to jump in and make the child sized version of Oh, Fransson!'s Preppy the Whale.

There are lots of pieces to cut and I found the key is to stay organized.  It's easy to get confused with so many different sized pieces so I have a post-it marked pile for each component.

Once everything was cut I set up camp on the deck and started chain piecing my way through all those piles...  I'm making good progress and only have a few more whales to go.  As long as the sun keeps shining I should be done in no time:-)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Checking in at this week's W.i.P. Wednesday:-)