Wednesday, September 25, 2013

W.i.P Wednesday: Beach Blast!

I can't believe we've made it halfway through the Toes in the Sand BOM!!!  I got to spend night 2 of Selfish Sewing Week hanging out at Quilter's Way:-)  It's always more fun to sew with friends!!!

This is the first month we've used the Jewel shape.  It's not immediately obvious how you are supposed to cut this shape but if you stare at it for a few minutes it starts to make sense.  Luckily, you also get plenty of fabric in case you make a mistake... ask me how I know;-)

There are a lot of pieces to cut this month.  Stack them in two piles, your jewels and your triangles and you can get them done in half the time.

This block is a bit tricky because there are so many pieces and you actually have to get your points to match.  I tried assembling it the way Julie suggests (on the left) and then tried breaking it up more as rows.  It wasn't really a fair comparison because this was the block that broke my machine and I had to use my backup machine which I'm not as comfortable getting a perfect 1/4" seam allowance.  With my baby back home I made an extra block to test my theory.  They both came out pretty well so the jury is still out.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
See who else is sewing at this week's W.i.P. Wednesday:-)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sew Happy Together!!!

Major crisis in my life last week!  I sewed over a pin and broke my machine:-(  I know, everyone will tell you you're not supposed to sew over pins but I do...  and I'm going to continue to do so.  If you're trying to match points and you've spent all this time pinning to get everything perfect then pulling the pin out before you sew over it isn't going to help.  In my defense, I've been doing it this way for 13 years and this is the first time I've had a problem.

Anyway, I cried, cursed the fates, and as soon as they opened Tuesday morning I took my machine to the incredibly amazing Erin at Daley by the Yard.  I explained the problem and whimpered a bit at the prospect of being without my machine for 2 weeks (2 WEEKS!!!).  Erin totally sympathized and said she'd do her best to get it back to me ASAP.  Good to her word, Erin called me Saturday afternoon and said I could come pick up my baby.  My hero:-)

With life restored to normal, I spent the day sewing up a storm.  My machine absolutely purrs and as an added bonus they replaced the burned out light bulb so I can actually see what I'm sewing:-)  Just in time to kick off Selfish Sewing Week with imagine gnats... there may have been wine to celebrate while I finished up this month's Toes in the Sand blocks and made myself these comfy lounge pants with some adorable Anna Maria Horner Folksy Flannel.  Treat yourself and join the fun!!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

That's Nicey!

I have to say I blame Marden's!!!  It all started when I found this fabulous Nicey Jane laminate there and my husband mentioned that it would be really nice to have a new tablecloth.  

I've been meaning to replace the watermelon curtains in the kitchen since we bought our camp 14 years ago.  Suddenly inspiration struck, I needed a Nicey Jane kitchen!

I had perfect weather to set up shop on the porch and sew!

I started with the smaller curtains on the door window...

and then tackled the larger window.  These sew up really quickly!  The hardest part is just measuring the windows.  I decided to skip the ruffles off the bottoms but did make ruffled tie backs for these.

I love to mix of stripes and florals:-)

While I was in decorating mode I decided what my kitchen also needed was this owl I made back in the 70s.  Don't judge, Jonathan Adler and Houzz have both declared that macrame is back!  

Finished just in time for us to close up for the season.  And that tablecloth that started it all?  Still not done...  but it's going to be fabulous;-)

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

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fabric Fanatic

I know there's been a lot more shopping than doing around here lately but I have to give props to the absolutely awesome Amanda of A Crafty Fox!!!  I just couldn't resist this beautiful bundle of the new Lecien Flower Sugar 2 collection (could there be a Victory Garden quilt for me in my future?).

Amanda has a well curated selection of fabrics in her etsy shop Westwood Acres but what makes her truly amazing is her unbelievable customer service.  Not only did she have my fabrics shipped out and delivered to my doorstep almost instantly she graciously applied the free shipping special she offered AFTER I ordered my fabrics!!!   Her Facebook page keeps you updated on what's new in the shop so stop by and give her a like... your fabric stash will thank you:-)

Monday, September 16, 2013

SewDown Philly: Part 2

Our final day of SewDown was jam-packed with quilty goodness!

Our morning workshop was with the amazing Alexia Abegg of Marcelle Medallion fame.  It was so inspiring to see this fabulous quilt in person!!!

Lunch included an absolutely hysterical "lecture" by Project Runway Season 1 winner and fabric designer Jay McCarroll.

The final workshop was with the adorable Lizzy House who shared her secret Meadow quilt pattern.  It's really cool the way this quilt goes together and I love her technique for the inset circle.  I busted out my long horded Saltwater bundle and I may go totally crazy and throw in some of my precious Neptune.  Rumor has it Lizzy will be coming to visit the BostonMQG in November;-)

From there Aimee and I headed to New York City for a little fabric shopping.  As luck would have it we were staying only a few blocks from the Fashion district so we headed over to Mood.  The fabric selection is absolutely overwhelming but I did find some fabulous Tula Pink Saltwater ribbons and this awesome lime green cotton lawn.

We wrapped up our adventures at the fabulous Purl Soho.  They may be small but I wanted every piece of fabric in the shop.  I could only drool over this whole wall of Liberty.  Trying to pick my favorites was impossible but I finally settled on a few;-)

Now I just have to get unpacked and get back to sewing:-)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Sew Down Philly: Part 1

I really didn't know what to expect when I headed off to Philadelphia (with my Weekender) for the MQG's first SewDown but it was an incredible experience.  Kudos to the amazing Alissa and Jen for organizing such a wonderful weekend.  You guys are awesome!!!

Getting there really was half the fun!!!  My partner in crime and quilting, Aimee, and I took the early morning Acela down to Philly.  A giant cup of coffee and some hand quilting while we rode down the coastline.  It was so nice to arrive relaxed and ready to go.

The first day there was nothing planned except for dinner so we had time for some sightseeing... a good thing, they kept us on a tight schedule after that!  After dinner a group of us went on a field trip to Anthropologie and the Wanamaker Organ at Macy's.
Our first workshop was on adding texture to quilts with the lovely Liesl Gibson of Oliver + S.  I sure wish I'd taken this class before attempting to add the ruffles to my Ruffled Argyle and Martinique quilts.  I'm really excited to try her texture techniques.  I love the effect of these pin tucks!!!

The incredible Elizabeth Hartman's Perfect Quilted Tote class was unbelievably fun!  Despite my frustration at my complete inability to quilt a straight line on these machines I LOVE how this is turning out!!!  Elizabeth is a genius when it comes to bag construction... my life has been changed forever;-)

We capped the evening off with an inspirational trunk show by the fabulous Victoria Findlay Wolfe winner of Best of Show at Quiltcon.  Her challenge: "Make the quilt you never thought you'd make..."

Stay tuned for the final day and our bonus trip to NYC:-)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

TGIF: Thank Goodness It's Finished!

The Weekender is done!  Packed up and ready to leave for the Philly SewDown:-)

I'm not sure it lived up to all the hype though I definitely benefited from the wisdom of those who have gone before me.

I definitely upped the difficulty level by using such a directional fabric.  After a lot of thought I decided I wanted the pattern to run in the same direction rather than in opposing directions.  To do this I cut my first zipper side as normal and then cut my second one with the pattern upside down butting the straight edge up against my previous cut.  

I've used the technique to install zippers in the past.  I use good old painter's tape to hold my zipper in place.  I shorten my stitch length a bit and then just carefully pull it off when I'm done sewing.

Ta-dah, it zips:-)

Step 11 is definitely the worst!!!  I found it useful to bow my bottom Peltex a bit to take a bit of pressure off the seam while I was sewing.  Like everybody says... go slow and use lots of clips.  Next time I'll take Julie's advice and just fuse it down and hand sew it.  We're talking about a 20" interior seam, it's not worth the angst!!!

I also added an interior pocket to my lining.  I cut it slightly wider than the exterior pockets so I could make some tucks for a bit more give.  If I did it again I'd try adding some elastic to the upper edge.  Hand sewing the lining is a bit of a pain but it was nice to relax and examine every detail of my bag as I finished it up.   

Linking up to the fabulous  Crazy Mom Quilts.