Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Scrap Placemat 1 of 4

I splurged. Spring/summer wardrobe sewing is in the works!

The Music City Modern Quilters are getting together next month for some free-motion practice. Rather than practicing on ugly fabric, I'm piecing some placemats.

I want to use the scraps I sorted to create monochromatic "wonky" blocks bordered by various white prints. I started with yellow. Next up are blue, brown and purple. I intend to use my newly-purchased teal solid for backing and possibly binding.

Looking forward to putting the other colors together!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Two and a Half-Hour Easter Dress

I woke up at five 'til seven, quickly did the math and gave myself until 9:30 a.m. to put this together. It was on my list of to-do's yesterday, but I didn't get around to it. I started at 7:00, took 10 minutes for breakfast, finished at 9:40 and still got to church on time!

The lace and blue are undergarments. The following photos show the straps (halter finished with hook and eye) and sash (raw edges with binding sewed over top).

I used blue hem tape to help secure the gathers.

This dress is the adult version of one I made for Evangeline. Both fabrics are from sheets used in my most recent quilts (Tennessee Greens and Spliceosome). I saved myself some hassle by using the top edge of the yellow sheet as my bottom hem. Binding was created using a metal bias tape maker, and that speeded the process as well.

Lots of compliments today at church! It's been a wonderful Easter weekend. People call it Resurrection Sunday. I think I prefer Restoration Day... the day we celebrate Jesus restoring us to relationship with our Father. THAT is something to revel in! Happy Restoration Day!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Small Scale Spring Sewing

Dolly has a new dress!

I made Evangeline last year with the hopes of creating small-scale versions of adult-sized clothing. I hoped to work out pattern kinks and construction issues this way. This is the first dress I've made for Evangeline that actually follows my purpose!

The dress is entirely hand-stitched. French seams on the sides, scrap binding for the halter straps, denim thread for decorative stitching, more binding to secure gathers and a scrappy binding sash complete the look. Why I went through so much trouble and detail work for a doll dress I do not know, but I loved the process and look forward to making my adult-sized version from what's left of the thrifted sheet I used to back my last quilt. Barring fittings, my dress should come together much easier! I'm even considering using the black-and-white binding as straps for my dress, too! (What, drawing fashion inspiration from quilting? Who knew?!)

Have a splendid Earth Day! Do something kind for the environment--like eat farm-fresh veggies, save great fabric from a local thrift store, save electricity by sewing by hand or take a walk and breathe the free air! Happy Pesach and may your Easter be blessed!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Outta the Bag

I was making my Tennessee Greens quilt to surprise this friend:

But the cat got out of the bag early. I finished the last bit of hand-stitching yesterday and made a surprise visit to the farm this afternoon to deliver it. What a warm reception! Almost as warm as the Southern sun!

The following photos illustrate the inspiration I was trying to capture in the quilt:

All done!

I thoroughly enjoyed creating this quilt, experimenting with hand-stitching, playing with scraps and working with inspiration. Hope you've enjoyed watching it grow!

P.S. Mr. Farmer, thank you for admitting you sneaked on here to peek. You may feed me delicious green, orange and red vegetables to make up for ruining your own surprise ;-)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

[working title]

I never know what to title these catch-all blog posts consisting of all the little things I've been working on. Oh well.

Someone's been singing old time bluegrass to me, and I'm reading Laura Ingalls Wilder books. Now let's play "Where's Waldo" and find that inspiration in my recent doings!

I've been sorting my scraps by color.

I want to play with "wonky" or "intuitive" blocks, and I figure the best way to start is by using what I already have! I'm starting with yellow.

For the record, I started playing before I saw this quilt, but my love for the look hasn't lessened. My Tennessee Greens quilt took me in this direction when I realized I wanted to make it bigger than I'd planned. More on that later.

A trend among the faculty: crocheted stars. I learned to make one today with yarn found on the playground. Next I'll try this pattern with great granny's Boye size 10 hooks and crochet thread. Should be lacy and lovely, no?

I bought fabric. This is only my second fabric purchase of the year (not counting thrift store bed linens). Here's my little God story:

I take Holy Spirit shopping with me (just say, "Please come shopping with me, Holy Spirit!") and it's always an adventure. On this occasion I needed a piece of khaki twill and matching thread to patch a hole in a pair of trousers (yes, I'm "trading" leafy green vegetables for mending... delicious!) Having moved recently, I didn't have sales flier, and the store website wasn't too helpful. I did, however, have $6 left in my "blow money" budgeted for this pay period. I'd decided ahead of time to go for the essentials, but if I could, I'd like a remnant or two and maybe a piece of red calico. At the store, I not only found a pretty close match on the essentials I needed, but thread AND bottomweights were half off, the quilter's cotton was on sale, remnants and clearance fabric marked down--you get the idea. Several careful calculations later, I was at the register watching the numbers. With my teacher's discount and including tax, the total was... $5.99! The best part? I left with a couple of quarters of red and a third of batik and homespun, not just what I needed for mending. I love going shopping with Holy Spirit!

And I love this quilt! I showed it at the Music City Modern Quilter's Guild meeting on Saturday. It's still in process, but here's a photo from basting:

See that strip on the left? That wasn't in the original plan. Once the top was pieced, though, it just felt too small. Using as many different browns and greens as I had in my scrap bin, I started playing. I love the feel of that block. It's what got me organizing my scraps. I'm excited about creating more pieces with the same effect!

Hand quilting is coming along nicely. I have about 2/3 complete, minus the border. I can hardly believe I just started it last week! Looking forward to its completion and delivery... Unless its recipient is reading this blog (although firmly instructed NOT to), I think it will be a surprise :-)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I was initially going to title this post "goings-on" but decided to get punny. Ha ha!

Have you noticed a new rural sensibility to my posts of late? I'm now living less than 15 minutes from some glorious farms and am blessed to have the opportunity to watch them come alive in spring.

I'm trying on some farm-y habits. I was out back searching for a good spot to compost when I saw the nest... and in-tact egg... abandoned after recent storms.

[sigh] Needless to say, there's lots going on and not a lot of documentation (too busy living to stop and take pictures), but here's some of the product + process.

Learning to knit is fun... I purled my way through a neck warmer and sewed on a couple of vintage buttons.

Just in time for warm weather! Pack away the scarves, button up in this puppy and feel good in the chilly morning!

Also playing with knit accessories. Here I knit-2-purl-2 a long length, sewed the ends together and ka-ching! It works wrapped as a cuff or stretched as a headband.

Are you fond of ducks? What if they are thrift store flannel sheets and you need soundproof curtains for your studio?

I do not have a studio but I have a friend with one, and I am attempting to add some sound blocking panels to his favorite oxblood curtains. I chopped a hideous synthetic-filled coverlet today and ran it through the machine with my walking foot. I think it's all going to work out. Not exciting to photograph, though :-)

This is exciting! I decided to hand-quilt my Tennessee Greens quilt! Looooooving the process so much more than I expected I would, and--bonus!--little ones love sitting quietly and watching me work. (You know, the little ones who get sent out of the classroom for misbehaving and just need a moment to breathe? Or hold a thimble?)

Backing is another thrifted sheet. Love!

I don't expect to finish this quilt any time soon, but it's in pretty good shape for the MCMQG meeting this Saturday. Looking forward to meeting with the ladies and seeing what we've all come up with!

P.S. The Walnut Dye Quilt was sold at our school's charity auction and went for $700!