fabric

Summersville Spring

I’ve been pretty lucky with online fabric shopping. It’s pretty infrequent that I get fabric that I don’t like. Recently however I bought a few charm packs of Moda’s Summersville Spring and some half yard cuts of the material.  When it arrived, I might have furrowed my brow a little… but then I thought that I might like it better once I sewed it up.

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I still find it difficult to sew with a baby in the house, but this past month it’s become remarkably easier! She now has a regular morning nap (and usually an afternoon one as well) which allows me to get some sewing in. However, I wanted to sew a simple quilt because I knew the sewing would be in smaller chunks of time.

I’ve been wanting to do a simple HST (Half Square Triangle) quilt so I started by cutting the charm packs in half. But then, I didn’t really like how it looked.

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So, I decided to cut them in half again to make Hour Glass squares. But I still don’t really like how it looks.

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I am just not loving this quilt.

I think this might turn into a little lap quilt for the kitties to sleep on since they have almost worn out my Habitat quilt.  I got a new sewing machine recently (there will be a whole post about sewing machine drama) and decided I will use this quilt to practice some FMQ (free motion quilting) since I don’t really care about the quilt too much.

-Erica

Geekly Skulls

Today is my first day flying solo with Mila at home. And it’s been a fussy day so I essentially haven’t put her down at all. Right now she is sleeping on my belly and if I move at all she squeals.  Although I’m not really complaining about having to cuddle with my precious little princess…

Here we are (thanks photo booth!). Don't mind the big bandage on my arm, I had a dysplastic mole removed yesterday....

(don’t mind the big bandage on my arm, I had an abnormal mole removed yesterday….)

I’ve been thinking that I would like to make something for my ob/gyn as a thank you gift. I was initially hoping to bring it to my post-partum visit. But since that is next week, I’m realizing that’s probably not going to happen. The biggest problem is that I can’t decide what to make her. My regular “go-to gift” is a baby quilt but she doesn’t have a baby, so I have to think of something else. During my pregnancy I noticed she had a lot of clothing with skulls on it, so I found this great fabric that I want to use.

Geekly Chic Skulls in Grey by Amy Adams

Geekly Chic Skulls in Grey by Amy Adams

I’m wondering if any of you have suggestions of what to make with this fabric or patterns that you have used and love (purse, pouch, other idea???)? I’m totally open. I think my creative juices are a little dry because I haven’t slept much in the past month…..

I have been accumulating patterns/tutorials/inspiration over time on Pinterest. Here are the purse and bag tutorials and here’s some other random crafty goodness I have found.

-erica

Pieced Backing

Apparently I am making my largest quilt so far since I was unable to use one piece of fabric for the backing! My latest quilt is wider than the width of fabric so I had to do my first pieced backing (I know I’m a little late to the pieced backing world…). I have to say, I think it looks really cute.

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(fabric is Robert Kaufman: Organic Robot Factory)

Now I’m ready to quilt this, but I’m still pondering how I am going to do it. I might just keep it simple and do vertical straight lines on the sides of the seams.

Yesterday I spent a long time cutting pieces for two more baby quilts and had two furry companions helping me out.

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-erica

Masquerade Ball

Last weekend we were invited to a masquerade ball. We thought about buying masks at a party store but then we thought it would be fun to make our own.  We googled masquerade masks online and then headed out to Michael’s Arts and Crafts store. We ran around the store picking up supplies and very quickly an entire hour passed!

We brought our goodies home and started our construction. I covered my mask with a Tula Pink fabric: The Birds & the Bees Bees Knees Lapis.

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Can I just say that I love Tula Pink’s designs?!

I added pearls, ribbons, and a peacock feather.

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One of my favorite parts (that you can’t see in the picture) is we added wristlets to the bottom of the “sticks” so that our masks could dangle if we needed to free up our hands.

Jake’s mask had a much more masculine feel. I love the simplicity of his mask.

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We actually didn’t even plan to color coordinate our masks, but I guess our creative juices were inline with each other!

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And here we are…

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We had a lot of fun designing our masks. Arts and crafts are fun. We are hoping we’ll get invited to another masquerade ball because we have a lot of ideas on how to make our next masks.

(if you look real closely you can see the beginning of my little baby bump….)

- erica

Just Dandy

This quilt is taking longer than I anticipated. But that’s actually a pretty common occurance with my sewing. I always have grand ideas about how much I’m going to do, but then it doesn’t quite happen (sometimes I’m just tired after a long day at work).

I based this quilt on the floral crosshatch print by Josephine Kimberling in her Just Dandy line for Robert Kaufman. Unfortunately, I don’t think this is in print anymore. I decided to supplement the print with some pink and brown solids. I am frequently drawn to using just a few prints with many solids. I find that the prints are so amazing and I feel like you don’t notice them as much if you use a lot of them together.

 

Here’s a closeup of the selvedge.

I’m planning on quilting with parralel lines. This could take awhile…

- erica

Hello Kitty Drawstring Backpack

Awhile ago I had posted about wanting to make something for my niece with some Japanese Hello Kitty fabric I had purchased.  Not long after that, I saw some cute drawstring backpacks that Amy had made (check them out at Stitchery Dickory Dock) for her girls. I knew as soon as I saw them that it was exactly what the Hello Kitty fabric was supposed to be.

She had used Jeni’s tutorial for her lined drawstring bag that has been everywhere in blog land. Around Christmas everyone was whipping these up to put their gifts in instead of wrapping paper.

So I based my drawstring backpack on Jeni’s tutorial, with a few modifications as suggested by Amy.

In the original tutorial the bag is 13 inches tall by 10.5 inches wide. I made mine 15 inches by 11.5 inches. So, I cut the main exterior fabric 10 inches by 11.5 inches and the coordinating exerior fabric 5 inches by 11.5 inches.

This then made the lining piece 14.5 inches by 11.5 inches.

For the straps I made them wider and longer than the original tutorial. I cut the material 4 inches by 57 inches. I used Jeni’s method to fold and sew them, so when they were done they were 1 inch wide.

I was worried about how I was going to sew the straps into the bottom corners. But in the end, it was easy peasy.

I just followed all the directions (on Jeni’s tutorial) and before sewing the interior lining closed I seamripped one inch in the bottom corners, inserted the straps and then resewed it. It worked beautifully.

I can’t wait to mail this to Lana, and am even more excited to get a picture of her wearing the backpack.

- erica

Nine thousand, seven hundred and twenty six

9,726: the number of visits I have had on my blog in one year. I have nothing to compare this to since this is my only blog and it’s my first year. But it kind of sounds like a lot of views. And it’s really close to 10,000.

Last year, today, I posted my first blog post. I can’t tell you how many times I reread that post wondering if it was okay. Now, I just kind of write.

I can’t believe how many things have happened in the past year:

  • Sewed many baby quilts, bags, pouches… and bought a little bit of fabric…
  • Joined the Boston Modern Quilt Guild
  • Took sewing classes at Laura’s Sewing School
  • Bought a kitty, who is part bengal
  • Left my job in Cambridge, MA
  • Started working in Los Angeles, CA
  • Moved across country due to above job change
  • Went to Sewing Summit 2011
  • Had two miscarriages
  • Had my one year anniversary (can I just say: best husband ever)
  • Started a sewing group at my house in LA
  • Diagnosed with Lupus
  • Became vegan

And I’m still kickin’ it! Seriously, how many changes can you have in one year?

Thanks for following along, I’m excited for year number two!

- erica

Hello Kitty

I have the most adorable niece in the world. And I’m not biased. There is nothing that makes my spirit happier than spending time with Lana. This past weekend we went to the Minnesota Zoo.

Seriously, how cute are we together? (You’ll be seeing lots of hats, visors, and long sleeve shirts in the future since Lupus flares can be triggered by sunshine).  

Lana LOVES hello kitty. I actually think it’s a bit alarming how excited she gets, and also wished I got that excited over something so simple. I found some japanese hello kitty fabric last year and bought 2 yards with the intention of making her something.

Anyone with any good ideas or patterns? I think I would prefer to make a cute bag or pillow, probably not clothing.

-erica

Kate Spain Baby Quilt

This post is a long time coming. I actually cannot believe that I cut out the squares for this quilt when I was still living in Boston. I had the BMQG at my house for a sew-in one of the lasts nights we were in Boston, and I cut the squares that night.

I sewed the basic squares together both at Jake’s parent’s house (when we were temporarily staying with them for 2 weeks) and a at Sewing Summit– in OCTOBER. It’s amazing to think that this quilt has been put together in so many places over such a long period of time.

The fabric in the quilt is Kate Spain Fandango. When I started quilting last year this is one of the first fat quarter sets that I bought. I bought it to make a quilt for a girlfriend that didn’t know if she was going to have a boy or a girl. And almost a year later, I still love the fabrics (she had a girl).

I think my style is changing a little bit over the past year. I find myself being drawn to quilts with mostly solids. Which kind of makes me sad because it’s really fun to buy prints (Although I still have plenty of prints in my stash to use up…)

Here’s the back of the quilt, beautiful fabric.

I’ve really liked the look of striped binding.

I did more traditional quilting so I wouldn’t disturb the beautiful prints. I quilted along the edge of all the fabrics, which also created a diamond shape in the center of each group.

And there she is!

-erica

Habitat

The Boston Modern Quilt Guild was asked to participate in Jay McCarroll’s Habitat challenge. We were each given a fat eighth of the fabrics in the BRIGHTS colorway.

However, one of the prints was not from the BRIGHTS colorway, but (accidentally?)  from the EARTH colorway.  And, as much as I tried, I could not bring myself to mix it in.

I also could not bring myself to add this print in, although looking at my finished quilt, I actually think it would have looked OK.

I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to do for this quilt. As I haven’t been quilting for very long, I am trying to do something unique with each quilt to help me learn a new technique. I had a vision of doing something with curves. I drew a sketch on a manilla envelope and then Jake whipped out a really nice drawing in Adobe Illustrator.

 I was initially going to try to make the curves with finished seams, but then decided it just seemed too hard. Since then I have seen some tutorials of people doing designs similar to what I had envisioned (check out Amy’s tutorial from Stichery Dickory Dock).

I decided to cut a bazillion curved pieces of fabric from kona snow with a template. This was a perfect project to do while watching Dexter (we watched multiple seasons in a few weeks…).

 I sewed together the fabric squares with some kona solids mixed in (we were only allowed to add solids).  I used pomegranate, carnation, buttercup, peridot, aqua and black.  It actually looked so nice and simple that I almost stopped there. But then I decided that this was a challenge quilt so it would be better to do my original design. And I’m glad I did.

 The “template” pieces give the quilt an entirely different look.

I laid the template pieces on top of the squares and then did a snake-like stitch from one end to the other. It made a beautiful pattern on the back of the quilt.

 The night before the quilt was due, I had not yet finished sewing all the pieces on. Taz came over and was working on her challenge quilt and it was so nice to have company!

I finished the outside edges with a serger and then changed my mind multiple times on how I wanted to do the edging/binding. I felt like a traditional binding would look strange with all the curves so I wanted to wrap the template pieces around the edge. But when I wrapped them, they didn’t overlap anymore so you could see the serged seam. So, I cut larger pieces out of kona snow and sewed those on so they overlapped, but that looked strange, so I ripped all of those out (this is where I always hear Laura saying “If you’re going to sew you’ve got to be willing to rip…”), and put the original pieces back on.

 If I had been forward planning I would have turned right sides together on the ends to have a closed seam, but I couldn’t change it once all the pieces had been sewn on (this is hard to explain…). Or, if I had used a matching thread color it wouldn’t have been as noticeable.

Taz gave me the idea to fringe the edges of the pieces, and I love how that turned out. I was racing against the clock to get to our quilt guild meeting and Jake helped me fringe all the edges (*best husband EVER*).

 It turned out baby quilt size. I like it, but am not sure exactly what to do with it. Kitty quilt?

-erica