Sunday, December 31, 2017

That's a Wrap

2017 by the numbers...

11 Quilts

11 Pillows

1st pair of handmade shoes

7th BostonMQG Retreat

Yards of bias tape with Latifah Saafir

Instagram Best 9

150 Books Read: Top Picks - Little Fires Everywhere and Scythe.  It wasn't a great year for books but if you haven't read 2015 pick Ready Player One do it now before the movie comes out in March.

It's been a busy year.  I always feel like I haven't accomplished much but looking back I've done pretty well.  I can't wait to see what 2018 brings!  Wishing you all the best for the new year!!!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Glam Clam

One last finish to share before the end of the year... after my sewing drought I came back with a vengeance thanks to all to my amazing quilty friends:-)  It started when they convinced me to join them at Latifah Saafir's workshop for the BostonMQG.

I was hoping for her Glam Clam Workshop but instead we ran her Bias Tape Applique class.  In getting ready for it I decided I should at least try using her Clammy ruler before I went so I could ask her any questions that came up.  Of course I immediately dug into my Mendocino stash.

I needn't have worried, it went together as easily as advertised and in no time I had a pillow cover pieced together.

For the quilting I just echoed along the tops of the clams - simplicity at it's finest!  I bought the 12" Clammy ruler so it's just a matter of time before I have a quilt as well.

And now I can add it to my collection.  Wrapping things up with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Pillow Stats:
Finished pillow is 20" x 20"
Pattern: Glam Clam by Latifah Saafir
Fabrics: Mendocino by Heather Ross.  Timeless Treasures Crosshatch
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in  Light Turquoise (2805).

Friday, December 22, 2017

'Tis the Season to Make

Now that I've delivered all my holiday makes I can share them here...

For the BostonMQG Yankee Swap I took a tip from Bolt To Beauty and made a Cotton + Steel Pixie Basket to hold an Aurifil thread pack. As billed this is a quick and easy pattern but this basket is TINY and thus fiddly to make.  I think if I was going to make a lot of these I'd try to make the accent piece as a facing so I don't have to birth it.

But since I was on a roll I made another one, this time slightly taller, for our hostess with the mostest, Rebecca.  This is perfect for holding cocktail napkins and I love this retro Holiday Party print by Michael Miller!

I also exchanged gifts with my coworkers at the library.  For the fashionista of the bunch I made this easy infinity scarf with the Amy Sinibaldi's Paperie library print, Stamped and some voile from my stash.  If you've never made one before Online Fabric Store has a great video.

For my fellow sewist I dipped into my hoard of Jennifer Paganelli Flower Power to make this amazing Embroidery Scissor Wrist Cuff by Feeling Stitchy. I added a piece of template plastic between the batting and the back of the pocket to keep from stabbing myself when I stick a needle in it.
I'll definitely be making another one of these for me!

And you can never go wrong with a Noodlehead Gathered Clutch!  I dipped into my precious stash of Far, Far, Away to make this one and stuffed it with some special treats.

With these done I dropped off my machine for it's annual spa treatment but I've got plenty of La Passacaglia pieces prepped to keep me busy.  Have you finished your holiday making?

Ready for some holiday cheer with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

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)