Friday, December 8, 2017

I May Be Biased

I may be biased, but I adore my new monogrammed pillow;-)  I have to admit I wasn't all that enthused when the BostonMQG announced they were bringing in Latifah Saafir for her Design Your Own Bias Tape Applique class.  Nothing against Latifah, just I would have preferred the Glam Clam Workshop.  I signed up anyway and as the class approached tried to figure out what I was going to do.  The good thing about a design class is you get to do your own thing, the downside is you have to do your own thing;-)  While the class samples are lovely they're really not my style.  With the clock ticking I started brainstorming about what is "my thing"...  preppy is always at the top of that list and suddenly I had an idea - monograms!

The Clover Bias Tape Makers definitely make the job fast and easy.  I used the 1/2" size and quickly had a mile of bias ready to go.

You should definitely jump at a chance to take a class with Latifah.  She is a wonderful teacher, I loved that no matter what idea someone had for their project she never discouraged them or said it was too hard.  She understands the idiosyncrasies of working with Bias Tape and helped identify the trouble spots and guided you thru them.

Since I wasn't totally invested in this project I wanted to do something small.  Pillows are great for trying out a new idea and doing something simple meant I could finish this project in class without stressing out and still have time to shop and get pictures with Latifah.

Since my mantra for this pillow was keep it simple I just quilted around the monogram.  If I did it again I think I'd either quilt the background before adding the applique or do a circle around the monogram to frame it.

And the back...  because PLAID!

Hanging with quilty friends at this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Pillow Stats:
Finished pillow is 20" x 20"
Fabrics: Gingham by Riley Blake, MMCC in Midnight, Florence by Denyse Schmidt
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient
Thread: Aurifil 50wt Very Dark Navy (2785) and Natural White (2021)

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Gingerbread Way

It's hard to believe we've already reached December and Christmas is only 25 days away!  While I have lots of holiday sewing planned this year I kicked the holiday season off with a Gingerbread House decorating class at Bisousweet Confections.

I have always wanted to do this and it was absolutely amazing to have everything pre-assembled and ready to get down to decorating...  now I know why everyone loves my annual holiday cookie decorating party so much;-)  The amazing Karen Collins shared all her tips and tricks for easy construction and making perfect royal icing.

Of course, being me, I needed to make myself a new apron just for the occasion.  Good thing since I was up to my elbows in frosting.

I had tons of this Christmas cookie fabric leftover from my tablecloth so I went back to my go to Classic Apron pattern from Michael Miller and started cutting. I didn't bother with the template.  I just cut a rectangle and then used my 12" Glam Clam ruler to cut the curved edge.

I added the pocket on this one, very useful for keeping my phone at hand without it winding up covered in frosting.  And of course I couldn't resist using stripes for the straps...  I just love a good stripe!  Our cookie party is coming up so this will get plenty of use with all my holiday baking.  What's your favorite holiday tradition?

Getting in the holiday spirit with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Friday, November 17, 2017


I'm so excited to finally share my Sloops quilt.  I pieced this back in 2015 and then quilted it this spring as part of my whirlwind wrap up before Laurena sold her longarm rental business but I kept waiting and waiting to visit the perfect waterfront local for my photoshoot.

With the end of the year rapidly approaching I dragged it along on this year's Camp Stitchuate trip and finally got my pics.  I wanted everything to be perfect so in the magic hour before sunset we took a break from sewing and headed down to the lighthouse.  Don't be fooled by those laughing faces, it was bitterly cold and windy and this quilt is huge so wrestling it into submission was a challenge.  I have the most amazing friends!!!

The unequal borders look a bit strange when you see this hanging but unlike most of my quilts this one was actually designed to go on a bed.  It works perfectly with Dex's bed with plenty of length for a pillow tuck and to cover the bed frame.

And you know how I love a striped binding!

Ready to sail off into the sunset with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 88" x 92"
Pattern: Sloops by Frivolous Necessity.
Fabrics: Boat House by Sweetwater for Moda.  Kona Snow.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient.
Thread: Superior Threads King Tut in Papyrus (972).
Quilting: Serpentine by Anita Shackelford.

Friday, October 27, 2017

We're All Ghastlie Here

alidiza: We're All Ghastlie Here - Ghastlies/Spellbound mash up made with mini QCR ruler.
I just couldn't let it go!!!  I was inspired by shamelessly copied Sew Jess to make yet another Ghastlies/Spellbound pillow cover to add to my collection.

The pattern is based on the one provided with the Mini Quick Curve Ruler with the blocks turned to create a bat link shape.  I'm not big on specialty rulers but this one is pretty versatile and very easy to use. 

I tried to fussy cut a few of the Ghastlies motifs with varying degrees of success.  It definitely helps to have a template to audition fabric placement but I have to say I got really lucky with this one.

alidiza: We're All Ghastlie Here - Ghastlies/Spellbound mash up made with mini QCR ruler.

For the quilting I followed the linen arcs which doesn't really work since they are offset but I like the irregular empty spaces it leaves and the sense of motion it gives the piece.  Also it was quick;-)

For the back I decided to use this directional stripe.  Since I wasn't about to try to pattern matching for my usual zippered closure I decided to try an invisible zipper installation but with the twist of adding a bound edge.  I've been noodling on how to do this for awhile and it turned out pretty well so look for a tutorial coming soon.

alidiza: We're All Ghastlie Here
And here they are...  all my pretties together.  Having a Ghastlie time with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Pillow Stats:
Finished pillow is 14" x 18"
Pattern: Modified QCR Mini Ruler table runner pattern by Sew Kind of Wonderful
Fabrics: from the Ghastlies collections by Alexander Henry, Spellbound by Cotton + Steel, Essex Yard Dyed Linen in Steel
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient
Thread: Aurifil 50wt Grey (2605)

Friday, October 20, 2017

Ghastly Beauty

alidiza: Ghastly Beauty
What can I say, I'm still feeling rather Ghastly...  I was totally inspired by Natural Born Quilter's Nightshade Emperor's Wheel quilt and since my Ghastlies stash was still strewn all over my studio I just kept on going.

For the construction I adapted this NY Beauty Circle of Flying Geese pattern by Better off Thread.

I had a couple of options for adding the center section.  My initial thought was to turn under the edges of the flying geese and applique my ring to the center panel.  I also could have used my favorite circle technique and done the opposite.  Instead I decided to challenge my skills and sew an inset circle.  I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out and I definitely liked not having the extra bulk to quilt thru.

I had the haunting feeling someone was watching me quilt this;-)

Since I was challenging myself I decided to test out quilting with Aurifil's Lana wool.  As the website recommends I used coordinating 50wt thread in the bobbin and I switched to a 90/14 needle.  I love the extra definition this gives the rings!

alidiza: Ghastly Beauty
Making this pillow was great therapy, despite it's 101 pieces, but in the final analysis I don't love the result -  there's not enough contrast.  All those flying geese and they just don't pop.  If I use this pattern again I'll definitely try for something bolder. 

That said, it's a lovely addition to my ever-growing Ghastlies collection.  Still feeling Ghastly with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Pillow Stats:
Finished pillow is 21" x 21"
Pattern:Adapted from NY Beauty Circle of Flying Geese pattern by Better off Thread
Fabrics: from the Ghastlies collections by Alexander Henry, Spellbound by Cotton + Steel
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient
Thread: Aurifil 12wt Lana Wool/Acrylic in Faerie Pink (8464), 50wt Victorian Rose (2445)

Friday, October 13, 2017

Excuse Me While I Swoon

alidiza: Excuse Me While I Swoon - ghastlies swoon pillow
As I've mentioned before I'm really not that in to the whole fall thing.  Those "crisp" autumn days put me in a ghastly mood so quicker than you can say pumpkin spice latte I escaped to my studio, dug into my stash, and got sewing...

There really isn't enough space in my house for yet another Ghastlies quilt but there's always room for pillows.  I've been on a bit of a Swoon pillow jag lately.  It started started with my Christmas version and then spread to a patriotic version so obviously a Halloween one was in order.  Most of the Ghastlies focus prints are too spread apart for these smaller pieces but the Ghastlie Web print was perfect.

For the quilting I made a free form spider web.  This is such any easy and forgiving pattern and perfect for Halloween decorations!  Lori Kennedy has a great spider web tutorial if you've never tried quilting one.  Next time I'll try adding the spider.

For the back I had a little fun and used this colorful 9 Ghastlie Lives print.  As always, I used this zipper closure tutorial by to S.O.T.A.K. Handmade.

alidiza: Excuse Me While I Swoon - ghastlies swoon pillow
Feeling Ghastly with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Pillow Stats:
Finished pillow is 20" x 20"
Pattern:Adapted from Swoon by Camille Roskelley - Thimble Blossoms
Fabrics: from the Ghastlies collections by Alexander Henry, P&B Basics, Onyx Grunge by basic grey.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient Bamboo
Thread: King Tut Rosetta Stone (978).

Friday, October 6, 2017

To a Tee

This is another project I worked on this summer during my blogging hiatus.  A dear friend of mine lost her husband to cancer.  These quilts were made for his daughters from his favorite T-shirts.

I've never made a T-Shirt quilt before, and I have say this is one of the most labor intensive projects I've ever done.  I used an entire bolt of SF-101 to interface the shirts.  Of course I did this during a heat wave...  I was literally sweating over a hot iron.

Fitting all the pieces together was a bit like putting together a puzzle.  I tried to keep them to consistent widths and the height in multiples of 3".  This was definitely one where I was thankful for my design wall!

Huge thanks to my friend Jane for letting me use her longarm to quilt these.  I used a big loopy scribble and was able to get them both done in a day.

As usual these got dragged around while I hand tacked the binding.  I don't know what people who don't quilt do with all those random wait around times.  I go crazy without something to keep my hands busy!

I backed these with some snuggly flannel.  It's almost like a hug...  I know nothing can ever replace their Dad but I hope these are a warm reminder of him.

Checking in with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilts are 68" x 70"
Fabrics: Sashing and Binding FSDS Cosmic Blue.  Backing Mammoth Flannel Checkerboard - Ocean.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Cotton Select.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

W.i.P. Wednesday: Totally Trippin'

I spend a lot of time sewing in the car but this weekend may have set a new record.  We traveled to Western Pennsylvania and back to celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary.  With a newly permitted driver looking to get in her required practice time I was regulated to the backseat and relieved of driving duty which left me with 16 hours of enforced blissful sewing time...

I kicked off the trip with a finish.  It was sooo hot to be sitting with this snuggly flannel backed quilt in my lap but I love tacking bindings in the car.

From there I moved on to my La Passacaglia and finished up this rosette.  I searched long and hard for the perfect cotton candy pink to make this one pop.

I thought I'd finished this one on our last road trip to Maine but I decided I didn't like the fabric I'd used on outer diamonds so I swapped it for this one.  Much better!

And I made another hexagon ring - or would have if I hadn't forgotten the last piece;-)  I didn't get as much of this prepped as I'd hoped before we left.  I've really been struggling with fabric choices for my remaining rosettes but I'm hoping if I just keep chipping away at it the pieces will fall into place.

With many miles left to go I pulled out my backup project and finally started hand quilting my Blue Plate Special.  I love how fast big stitch quilting goes - I was able to quilt around 4 of the Dresdens before it got dark.  It will be a long time before I get back in the car for more than I quick trip around town but I'm thrilled with how much I accomplished.  What's your go to road trip distraction?