Wednesday, July 13, 2016
I used the Skinny Flashback Tee pattern from Made By Rae. I changed the long sleeves into short sleeves, but otherwise left the pattern unaltered. Size 2T fits Ethan and 5T fits Isaac perfectly.
I used my serger for the shoulder and side seams and then hand-stitched the collar and hems - I think it was actually quicker that way! I've struggled for hours to serge a blind hem, with mediocre results. I used Wonder Clips to fold under and secure the hems, and a doubled length of heavy duty Coats and Clark thread for hand-stitching. It looks like a serged blind hem, but soooo much sturdier! I will be shocked if my kids can rip these hems.
I used a running stitch to attach the collars, being careful not to pull the thread taut. Toddlers have big noggins! I did have to redo one of the 2T collars that I'd stitched too tightly. I used flat seams in the ribbed collar to avoid bulky seam allowances.
I finished these shirts just in time for the kids to wear them on Father's Day.
Thursday, July 7, 2016
Well... here I am... making one of those. There are too many cute cogs popping up on my Instagram feed. A bunch of fellow MMQG members have started. And last fall when I visited my friend Julie we jumped on the bandwagon, too.
The pieces are tiny. And it will take a lot of time. But it's so fun!
I'm using templates from Sunset Seams, precut papers from Paper Pieces, a SewLine glue pen and fancy Tulip needles from a recent Massdrop. I bought some vintage Tupperware on eBay to hold all my supplies.
I've made a little progress in the last 8 months. I still need to choose fabrics for the diamonds in cog #1.
My plan is to sew the first three rounds of a bunch of cogs, then decide on a layout and start the next rounds. Here's cog #2.
I'm drawing the line at fussy-cutting star points. I still think that's crazy-pants.
Friday, July 1, 2016
- Manchester Metallic Evening: 1 yard
- Essex Yarn Dyed Nautical: 1 yard
- Outback Canvas Navy: 1 yard
- Kona Cotton Berry: 3/4 yard
- Kona Cotton Wasabi: 3/4 yard
Look at how sparkly this fabric is in the sun! I love it. The Manchester Metallics fabric is soft and has a very nice drape. For this project I wanted more structure and less drape, so I fused medium-weight interfacing to the back of the Manchester Metallics fabric. As an added bonus, the interfacing prevented the lovely weave of the fabric from being distorted by the dense quilting. I cut the interfacing the same size as the quilt batting.
I added a card pocket to one of the exterior pockets. I also substituted magnets for snaps.
I added another card pocket and a large pleated pocket on the interior. The interior pocket will hold a couple road maps.
Sandy Whitelaw of UpStairs Hobby Room
Michelle Morris of That Black Chic
Kathy Green of Designs by KTGreen
Carrie Federer of carrie bee
Anne Zeitler of AnneZPlace
Sanchia Gair of Red Brolly
Natalie Strand of Vegetablog
Devida Bushrod of The Driftwood Thimble
Sara Johansen of The Sara Project
Sarah Sharp of No Hats in the House
Michelle Webster of michellepatterns
Marni Weaver of Haberdashery Fun
Jenny of My Handmade Home
Thursday, June 23, 2016
One tip if you're going to make these - and I think you should - is that a 23" x 2.25" strip of bias-cut binding works well. I cut a 23" strip of binding and use the Binding Tool by TQM to cut the 45 degree angled edges. I sew the angled edges of the binding together, press, pin liberally, and machine stitch the binding on.
I sent the chocolate sprinkle donuts to my brother-in-law and his family just in time for National Donut Day. I had a hunch they would not let the day go uncelebrated. They didn't :)
The rainbow sprinkle donuts are for my family. We also couldn't let National Donut Day go uncelebrated - we made a brief stop at a Dunkin Donuts on our way to Mystery Cave State Park. Big chain donuts are ok in a pinch, but my all-time favorite donuts are the cherry and blueberry cake donuts from Donutland in Iowa. I've searched for a comparable Minneapolis/St. Paul donut shop and Granny's Donuts comes pretty close. I still go back to Donutland every chance I get, though.
Friday, June 17, 2016
I am still a huge fan of this pattern! These are the second and third sets I've made this year and I know I'll be making more. These were birthday presents for two dear friends, both Wonder Woman fans. The last set just went to its new home this week, so it's safe to share ;)
I'm linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts finish it up Friday post.
Monday, May 23, 2016
I designed paper piecing templates for the stars. All the blocks are the same size - 4 inches - but all the stars are a bit different.
I used Susie's Magic Binding Tutorial for the faux-piped binding. Looks complicated, but it's not! This first version is a baby quilt, finished at 36" x 50".
I was stumped on how to quilt this for a few days. I would've loved to do free-motion spirals or waves around the stars, reminiscent of Van Gogh's Starry Night, but that's above my skill level for now. I settled on horizontal wavy lines, done with a walking foot. I carefully outlined the stars and made sure not to quilt through them. The result is a pretty snugly baby quilt! I finished the quilt just in time to wash it and snap a few pictures before I sent it off to its new home.
The second version is a twin-size quilt for my son, and my entry into the "Minnesota Modern" exhibit for the Minnesota Quilters annual show. I still used just 2 colors for the stars, but I used 9 different batiks for the background - 3 waxed patterns, and 6 marbles. I really like the texture and depth! I enlarged the paper piecing templates to make 5" finished blocks.
The big dipper asterism (not a constellation) fits on the top of a twin mattress. I finished with a scrappy binding that blends with the background. Expect more pictures (and a pattern!) when I get it back from the quilt show!
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
You might not notice it in the picture above, but the hem is flipping up, the shoulders are bunching up, and the collar is standing up.
Definitely noticeable in this picture, though! The shirt is also pretty tight - I knit the 24 month size, but I had to squeeze it over Ethan's 19 month head. He has an average-sized noggin. The sleeves were also quite snug. I'm not quite sure where things went wrong, but this is my biggest knitting fail in a while. I used a less-drapey yarn than what the pattern called for. I measured Ethan one day, but didn't finish the sweater until about 9 months later. I made a bunch of mistakes and frogged repeatedly. I think I fixed the errors and followed the pattern, but I'm not going to double-check my work. I realized I don't like the turned-hem with baby garments - it took sooooo long to knit, and I think it looks odd with such bulky yarn and such a tiny garment. I would use a turned hem on an adult sweater, though. I'm also pretty proud of the raglan seams. I would also use those on an adult sweater as well. So I'm looking at this as a toddler sweater fail, but successful practice for my next sweater for myself :)
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece (blue) and Berroco Weekend (orange)
Pattern: Spring Training T-Shirt
Monday, April 4, 2016
I used a couple rows of loose french knots to outline the cloud and satin stitch for the raindrops. I settled on using 7 different blue/green/violet DMC flosses for the raindrops, after much waffling between rainbow and blues.
I just put the PDF pattern up on Craftsy, and I've made swatches available on Spoonflower (for those of you who hate transferring paper embroidery patterns). For my hoop I used a Spoonflower swatch on Kona cotton.
Friday, March 4, 2016
I'm so happy to be hanging my ticker tape canvas today! I started it at the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild's February meeting. Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts gave us a quick how-to and then we all got to work trimming, gluing and swapping scraps.
I started with the bit of Heather Ross bumble bee fabric, which I chopped out of a (previously uncut) fat quarter. So much for starting with scraps! I feel a little guilty every time I fussy-cut fabric - my grandma took me to many meetings of her church sewing group where much time was spent carefully arranging and rearranging pattern pieces, trying to squeeze as many pattern pieces as possible onto a yard of fabric. I try to assuage my fussy-cutting guilt by reminding myself that fabric sitting on the shelf, uncut and unused for years, is also a waste. I'm hanging this ticker tape canvas in my sewing room, where I'll get to see it (nearly) every day.
I'm linking up to Amanda Jean's Finish it up Friday post.
Thursday, March 3, 2016
I quilted the pot holders following the lines of the starburst block. I especially like the offset lines on the left block. Such dense quilting makes the back of the pot holders look sharp, too!
Thursday, February 25, 2016
I love the mid-century modern aesthetic. I've been reading Retro Renovation and dreaming of restoring our 1950s rambler, and scouring craigslist posts and thrift stores for the perfect set of 1950s/1960s dining chairs. This winter I visited an amazing time-capsule church to hear Larry Millet's talk on his new book Minnesota Modern. I'm a longtime fan of Gertie's Blog for Better Sewing.
All this exposure to mid-century design has crept into my quilting. I created the MidMod Starburst inadvertently, while doodling stars for a separate project (more on that soon). I think the design, particularly the blue+grey version, would look at home on a set of vintage highball glasses. Or a fondue pot. Or anywhere on the set of Mad Men, which I just finished watching and already miss.
I've created paper-piecing diagrams for four block sizes: 4", 6", 9" and 12". The pattern includes assembly instructions, but assumes that you know the basics of paper-piecing. The pattern also includes ideas for block colorways, a few sample layouts, and a coloring sheet so you can experiment with your own colorways.
The MidMod Starburst pattern is for sale on Craftsy and Etsy for $2.50.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
I finished a couple projects in time for Valentine's Day. The first is this set of heart pot holders, using a Martha Stewart tutorial. I used pre-made bias tape and scraps from my stash. They were kinda bulky to sew, but are great pot holders. I'm a fan of the pockets - cute and practical.
The second is this little cross stitch robot that I purchased on a whim as an "add-on" item from Amazon. I made it as a surprise for Isaac. He wants to leave it up all year :)
Friday, January 29, 2016
I love these trivets! This is at least the third set of Happy Hexagon trivets I've made. The pattern is from Patchwork Please. It's so fun and easy, and they always turn out great. The fabric is Emily Herrick's Sodalicious, which I've admired since seeing it at Quilt Market last spring. I've got another set of Sodalicious trivets in the works, and I'm working on fabric pulls for a couple other sets, too.
Friday, January 15, 2016
I made a small table runner (13" x 30") mixing Amanda Jean's Good Neighbors fabric with bits from my stash. I wanted to make something scrappy, using a bunch of fabric lines, which is usually a stretch for me. But this fabric line is filled with great basic blenders, so it was easy to mix and match it with other fabrics. I used the Raspberry Kiss block tutorial by Wooden Spoon Quilts. The block is soooo cute, goes together quickly, and I have seen so many amazing scrappy projects made with that block lately!
I'm linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday. This is the third project I've finished this month - I'm on a roll!
Thursday, January 14, 2016
I used this free pattern on Ravelry. The pattern was written for intarsia, but I hate seaming knits and I hate weaving in ends even more. The finished product probably would've looked a little better, but there was no way I could finish weaving in 50+ ends (per hat!) in a month. So I modified the pattern to be fair isle, which was a different challenge - with such long blocks of color (sometimes 10 stitches) I had to worry about catching the floats on the wrong side. I can see where the floats are caught, and some uneven tension where colors switch in the finished hats. The construction was difficult, and the final product isn't as neat as I'd like, but the kiddos love them. These took surprisingly little yarn - I have enough left for at least one more medium size hat.
I used blue and white Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash, and random scraps of black and red worsted wool. The big hat was knit on US6 and US7 needles, and the small hat was on US4 and US5 needles. I plan to make a medium with US5 and US6 for Ethan next winter.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
I didn't realize how many projects I'd finished last year until I looked through my Instagram and Flickr feeds this week. My 2015 stats are:
- 2 new patterns - Pantry Staples and Two Carat
- 3 new tutorials - Clockwise Pinwheel block, Envelope Needlebook, and knitted Marshmallows
- 10 quilts - 3 baby/toddler quilts, 1 nearly-twin size quilt, 1 throw quilt, 2 doll quilts, and 3 wall hangings
- participated in 1 Kid's Clothes Week
- 1 stuffed animal
- 2 pot holders
- 1 mitten advent calendar garland
- 1 scarf
- 1 skirt for myself
- 1 Halloween costume
- 1 quilting bee
- 1 embroidery swap
That's so much stuff! And I know that's missing a bunch of projects I forgot to photograph before I gifted them away. I've got big plans for this year, too. My 2016 goals are to finish:
- organizing my sewing space
- 2 Sizzix projects
- 2 Spoonflower projects
- 2 embroidery projects
- 2 new quilt patterns
- 2 challenges
- 2 knitting projects
- 2 garments for myself
I've already started tackling the organizing project, and I've got a couple quilts in the queue. I'm making an effort to take more photographs, so expect more blog and Instagram posts, too :)
Friday, January 8, 2016
I made essentially a 20" mini quilt for each pillow top, then trimmed the top down to 19". The piping is made of 1.5" strips of bias-cut fabric, 6/32" cotton cording, and glue-basting. Glue-basting was the secret ingredient - it worked out soooo much better than machine-basting the piping with my zipper foot. I glue-basted the piping to the pillow top and machine-basted the whole thing with a zipper foot. I sewed the pillow front and back together using Clover WonderClips to hold everything in place, and a 1/2" seam allowance. I was dreading the assembly with a quilted and zippered back, but using the right tools (instead of a million pins) made all the difference.
The backs are Essex yarn dyed linen. I'm pretty proud of the way the zipper flap covers the zipper - this is my first zippered pillow back! The pillow covers fit 20" IKEA feather pillows beautifully. These were a breeze to make, especially the tumbler pillow. Piecing is so easy when all your pieces are the exact same size. Funny how that works. I'm already planning my next Sizzix project!