Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ready for the Pillow Swap

I realised that I never showed you all the sweet mini quilt I received from Cherri House a couple of months ago: She was doing a "pay it forward" and I was one of her lucky recipients! I can't believe how lucky I am. Get this though.... she didn't put a label on it or sign it in any way! So, you'll just have to believe me, it really did come from Cherri. Really. AND..... look for my "pay it forward" post coming to this space very soon. Anyways, in the package with the quilt was a petit four (have you seen these? The Moda precuts of 2 1/2 inch squares? So adorable!) of the Modern Workshop line. Adorable! I decided to work them into my pillow topper for the swap coming up at The Quilt Asylum in a couple of weeks. You might remember this from my sewing weekend post: I like the way it turned out. But... I felt like it was missing something. Even after I machine quilted it. So I added a flower! In wool felt of course (that seems to be becoming my trademark, a little wool felt applique on everything I do). Now I am REALLY happy with it! What do you think?
I can't wait to see everyone elses pillows!

Monday, March 21, 2011

more stashbusting!

First off, for any of you who were worried about it, I did, of course, go back and fix my table runner booboo.... I feel better. Could not finish it the way it was, and it only took a few minutes to undo and turn that block. WHEW!

Next, I picked up another table runner pattern and charm pack of Giddy that my pal Annie sent for my birthday.... totally pieced this baby today, start to finish. Those little squares in the four patches? ONE INCH! Yikes.
I really love these fabrics so much, and it's an odd size for a table runner (18x32 inches). I do think I'll put some borders on it and make a lap quilt out of it. Not sure yet.... stay tuned, I'll let you know!
Now I need to make some backings & start quilting all these toppers! What have you been making lately?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

playing with precuts

I just love these little table runner patterns they have at the quilt store for a couple of dollars.... I've had this one laying around for a while, waiting to be made. Today I had some time (and only about a thousand things on my to do list that needed avoiding!) so I decided to use one of the charm packs I had on hand and make a table runner. And just now, looking at the photo below I saw a mistake! Yikes! Can you see it?
Anyways, I think I will quilt this up, mistake and all, and donate it for the silent auction the youth are having at our church. They are raising money for their mission trip this summer.
Once I got this one done, I started wondering if I could adapt this pattern to make a mini version. I have several mini packs (what are they calling those anyways? They are not charm packs, as the squares are only 2 1/2 inches.) I had a Frolic mini pack and I set to work adjusting the block sizes. What do you know? It worked!

And look at that! All of the squares are going in the right direction. This little runner is only 16 inches long and 5 inches wide! This one might go to the mini quilt auction our guild is having.
So, a productive day, making things that were not on the list. Ah well, the list will wait, right?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dallas Blooms

I dragged the kids, umm no that sounds bad. The kids joined me at the Arboretum today. It was a gorgeous day & so many pretty flowers were in bloom. Ally & I found a lovely waterfall.
Look at these tulips! So gorgeous.
Steve & Cassie wandered off & he took some amazing photos. He has quite an eye. For great photographic shots, I mean. I saw where your mind was going! Ally did not wish to have her picture taken today.
We had a fun day! & now spring break is drawing to an end.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

a new blouse for me! Pattern review

I made myself another new blouse today! I am very happy with the end result, but the process was not as happy as I wanted it to be. So, I thought I would share with you... First of all, let me tell you about the fabric! A couple of weeks ago, I stopped off at City Craft in downtown Dallas for the first time. What a fun shop! I had been wanting to go for a while & I'm so glad I finally did. They had some awesome fabrics, trims, etc that I had seen online but never in person. I'm a touchy/feely kind of girl so this was fun for me! I bought some beautiful bamboo felt that is the softest thing I've ever touched! But that's another day's post. The fabric I bought for this top was Anna Maria Horner's Innocent Crush voile. Let me tell you, this is the most amazing fabric, beautiful drape & it sewed up wonderfully! I am in love with this fabric. Thinking maybe I need to go back & get some more in another print? It makes me happy.

I also bought the pattern for Indygo Junction's Bell Sleeve Blouse that day. I was getting a little tired of making Schoolhouse Tunic's, and I do believe my friends are tired of looking at me in them! So I decided to try something new. Here's the pattern cover:
I have never sewn an Indygo Junction pattern before, but I have looked at them many times & there are quite a few that appeal to me, so I was excited to try this one. Well.....
I was not as happy with the pattern as I thought I would be. First of all, the cutting directions were very confusing. The pattern cover shows 2 views, not labelled. The sketches inside the pattern show three views, A, B & C. AND the directions themselves describe FOUR views (A,B,C & D) which do NOT match up with the sketches! So, step one was to figure out which view I was actually making and which pattern pieces I needed, which was not an easy thing to do. Now, mind you, I have been sewing from patterns for forty-some years so this should not have been this difficult!
I might add that the fabric & notion requirements are not listed on the outside of the pattern, so I had to take it all apart in the store to find them. Then, in two different places it listed two different amounts of interfacing needed. I ended up with a ton of fabric leftover (like I said, it's beautiful fabric! But I bought what the pattern suggested).
I decided to make the blouse length because all of the other tunic patterns I have made ended up being way too long. I am not a very tall person. The pattern cover described this as "mid-hip length" which sounded perfect to me. As you can see from the photo above, it ended up being considerably shorter than that. If I make it again (and I might) I will make the tunic length. There was not length measurement given on the pattern (I know, I know, I should have measured the pattern pieces before I cut. Sigh.).

I made the pattern one size bigger than my measurements because I like my tops to be roomy. This just fits, not roomy at all, so I would say that the sizing is a bit off too.
Altogether I was not too unhappy with the construction of the garment. The instructions were fairly clear. The only thing I did change was to finish off seams and facings to give it a more professional look.
So, will I make this again? Probably, with some changes. Would I recommend it to you? Sure, as long as you go into it with your eyes wide open! I would not suggest this pattern for beginners, mainly because of the confusion factor. Will I buy another Indygo Junction pattern? Maybe. But I will be more cautious next time!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dallas Quilt Show

Ally & I went downtown to the Dallas Quilt Show today! There were so many beautiful quilts. Here are just a few that we loved.... The one on the bottom right corner above was made by a member of our guild! Isn't it beautiful? Here are a few more.....
We seemed to be drawn to a lot of quilts with circles. & bright colors! I did love those teapots too though.
Our guild's donation quilt was hanging at the show too! It was perfect because the theme of the Dallas show was stars.

You might remember that the ladies in our guild each made star blocks for the quilt. We could use any pattern we wanted and any color batik. I think my block fit in nicely! I was nervous about it because I am not nearly as experienced as most of the ladies in our guild.

I took this next picture for Steve. He loves penguins! I thought this was so cute...

We did check out the shops too. I must say I was not terribly impressed with the shopping. It seemed like a lot of the shops brought their old stuff to get rid of it. Not much was new. Honestly, I can get newer stuff at the local quilt stores! So, I only bought a few little pieces of felted wool (yes, I am addicted to wool!). Ally bought a kit to make a minky blanket (she spent way more money than I did!). Hopefully she'll get that sewn up this next week, as she is on spring break. I'll show you a picture of it when she's done.
Hope you all are having a great weekend too!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Birdie Stitches, block three done!

I never left the house today, except to take Ally to school & pick her up.... I was working on our quilt guild newsletter, and then on the March Birdie Stitches block. I'm growing rather fond of this little bird. Little Miss Shabby's original pattern didn't have the pot of gold, but I thought it needed a little something in that corner, so I added it.
Three blocks done!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Prayer Quilt finish

A friend is beginning treatments soon for cancer. I hate when that monster attacks people I love. I feel so helpless. And so, I made a quilt.God Bless you friend. Whenever you wrap up in this quilt, I hope you feel the prayers I have put into it. Be well.