Monday, May 2, 2016

Alder Dress for me!

I have been wanting to try out Grainline Studio's Alder Dress for a while now. I had heard great things about their patterns from friends. This weekend I made my first Alder dress & boy am I thrilled!
First of all IT FITS! I made it per my measurements, no adjustments at all, and it fits perfectly! I even wore it to church yesterday.

Look! there's my handsome photographer in the window! Hi honey. Anyways, about the pattern. This is not a beginner garment pattern. There are lots of great details, like a separate button hole placket, armhole binding and a collar stand. I left the front pockets off because of the busy print. The only thing I wish the dress had (and I'll add them myself next time) is side seam pockets.

I love the curved hem dropping down in the back. I love this dress & I'll be making more of them for sure!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Modern Quilt Guild fabric challenge

So I got myself into the latest Riley Blake fabric challenge for the Modern Quilt Guild. May I just say right up front that I found the Sashing Stash fabric less than inspiring. After studying it for a while, I just started fussy cutting the graphics into blocks and waited for inspiration to hit.
I decided to add red and white solids to my quilt. Maybe I'm just having a grumpy day but I do not find the Riley Blake solids all that great to work with. They just don't press up crisply like I prefer. Ok. I'm done whining now! I promise.

Here's my finished quilt...
I titled it "At the Diner" because my pal Joellen said it reminded her of an old time diner. I see that!

Finished quilt is 40 X 40 inches and I crosshatch quilted it on my Janome with white and red threads. 

You really must check out the #mqgfabricchallenge on Instagram! Many beautiful pieces by quilters who were far more inspired than I was! Oh well, it's done!

Also, this is my first second quarter finish in the Finish along! so that's something, right?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

using handwoven fabric

When I finished weaving my scarf last month, I had some of the beautiful yarn leftover. I decided to weave it into a piece of fabric and make it into a bag. I wanted to combine it with some quilting cotton to make a fun sling bag. That yarn was so hard to match! Purples seemed too purple next to it and reds looked too red! Finally I found this cotton & steel fabric that was just right! (suddenly I feel like Goldilocks! Ha)
The bottom woven part is a pocket, which I wish I had made bigger. oh well! Next time. No pocket on the other side...
of course, I had a hard time finding a matching zipper too. My solution to that...
bright yellow contrast. A little pop of color that makes me smile. And that snail zipper pull? Come on! Can he be any cuter?

Monday, April 25, 2016

weaving on a floor loom

wow. I'm still trying to digest all that I learned while visiting my friend Kathie last week. She had asked if I wanted to weave something on her small floor loom (a Schacht Baby Wolf) while I was there.... um YES! of course I did. The first thing I did was design my project. I wanted to make a table runner and first I started grabbing my usual colors, turquoise, reds..... then I totally changed my mind! Look what colors I came up with....
 Way outside my box! And so citrussy and yummy. Kathie taught me how to wind my own warp, and then how to dress the loom. It seemed so complicated but we took it step by step & it wasn't hard at all!


 It took me two days to get it all ready, then Wednesday and Thursday to weave. (ok, we did sneak out of the house every day for a while too!). And look! I just love the way it turned out....
 the finished runner measures about 13X40 inches.

And check out the back, neatly hemmed & finished off with pretty bias plaid binding....
 When we got home hubby put it on the front table where I was hoping it would fit. PERFECT! It was almost like I'd measured it. NOPE! I had not.
Thank you Kathie for teaching me so much and for being an awesome friend!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

a week in Charlotte

I'm just home from a wonderful week visiting my friend Kathie in Charlotte, NC. You might remember that I visited her when she lived in Asheville. Back in 2014 I was fascinated with Kathie's weaving, just as I have been for the 20+ years that I've known her. But, I didn't know enough to really appreciate what she does. THIS time.... now that I've been weaving for a couple of months on my rigid heddle loom, THIS time I had a solid appreciation for everything Kathie does. And a million questions! 

We went to visit her off site studio where she was working on weaving baby blankets....
 And we spent TONS of time in her studio at home. Check out this yarn! Kathie has every single color of 8/2 cotton that WEBS sells...
 Look at the light streaming into her space...
 even her shuttles look pretty in a basket on the shelf...
 and bobbins in another basket...
and guess what? Kathie taught me to weave on her small floor loom! I learned so so much. Check back tomorrow if you want to see what I made in just a week!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Hattie's Dresden Class

On Saturday, I had a blast taking Lee Monroe's workshop on her Hattie's Dresden pattern. I can't believe in all my spaciness I forgot to get a selfie with Lee! Here she is with my buddy Stephanie, planning Stephanie's scrappy layout for her block....
Lee gave us so many awesome tips for her pattern (and many that can be applied elsewhere too). She took the time to walk around and talk through each person's fabric choices, how to best lay them out, etc. I learned so much in one day!

Unlike Stephanie, I took the easy way out and made my first Hattie's blocks from 2 fabrics each...
block one ready to sew

There were so many variations completed in class that day! Here are a few...


I went home and finished up my other 2 blocks the very next day...
ready to appliqué on my background
This little quilt is coming together quick.

Thanks so much for coming to see us Lee! I can't wait to make more of these dresdens. Maybe I'll even tackle a scrappy one..... stay tuned!




Friday, April 8, 2016

2nd quarter finish along plans

Today I am linking up on A Quilter's Table with my intended finishes for the 2nd quarter of 2016. 

First up, I want to finish my Lost Socks quilt.  I finished piecing it at my retreat in February. It just needs to be quilted and bound....
Second, the Modern Quilt Guild Riley Blake fabric challenge is due in May! That one NEEDS to get done. Though I am less than inspired by the assigned fabric, I do have a plan and have begun putting it in motion...
It seems all of my friend's children and many of my children's friends have decided to have babies this year! I need to finish up 2 baby girl quilts this quarter. Since I am attending Lee Monroe's Hattie's Dresden class on Saturday, I decided to use that pattern to make one of the baby quilts...
The other baby quilt is still an idea in my head. It MIGHT use scraps from my pink & purple bin. Or maybe I'll go fabric shopping? who knows...


So that's it. Four finishes for the second quarter. I think I can do it! What are your second quarter goals?