Thursday, October 12, 2017

FINALLY! Some Progress...

These school holidays have really knocked my routine for getting sewing done regularly.  But, today was the day, and I finally got something done.  Two things actually :o)

But first up, I did kinda promise a photo of the pinafore dress I made - with me inside it.  So here goes...

With it turning a bit more spring like weatherwise (finally) - I ended up styling it a bit more casually, still with a long sleeved merino knit underneath, but with three quarter leggings and some casual flats.  Very comfortable.

OK, on to the sewing.  When I was quilting the cot quilt, I spent a *very small* amount of time sewing down the edges of the quilt top.  I don't usually to this, and it is not normally a problem, but because I was anticipating sewing the binding on by machine - onto the back - I figured that knowing that the quilt top was fixed was a good move.  This free motion wriggle did the trick and was nice and quick.

Then I did a bit of auditioning... my original idea was a black and white binding, with scrappy peeper border.

But after buying this black and white stripe I decided to switch positions and have this as the peeper, and the scrappy be the binding.

Following the cutting instructions on the Missouri Quilt Company's you-tube tutorial for magic binding... I cut my piles of fabric...

 And sewed the two bundles together... to create my 2.5" binding strip.

Then folded the binding strip in half and pressed... just like regular binding.  But you can already see the magic starting to happen can't you?

This is the back of the binding strip and it just looks like a regular binding.

Just another picture so you can start to see how the scrappy side of things is working.

And it's all done! The binding is sewn on to the back of the quilt, and then folded to the front, and topstitched in place along the peeper/flange seamline.

 I added in some of the leftover grey squares in places where I didn't want to join two colours together.  They are also really randomly placed.

And a close up of the topstitching.  I used a 3 stitch length - thinking that there was a lot of layers to get through.  It worked out OK, and I could have probably dropped back to a 2.5.

And the stitching on the back.

You can see here that the stitching on the back is not 100% straight or even, but it did stay on the blue backing fabric.  I have high hopes that this will improve with practice.

And I used a foot I've never used before - the Blind Hem foot.  Running the blade along the join in the binding, meant that it stayed pretty accurate.

I have decided to also bind the Stack, Shuffle Slide quilt using this machine applied "magic binding" method.  So looks like I will be getting some more practice soon.

Right, the second thing I got sewn today, was my Bernina Triangle Quilt-along blocks for Month Three.

I'm pretty sure it's time for Month 4 already.

Friday, October 6, 2017

A long time coming...

The last couple of weeks have been a lot of little bits of things... we are currently in the middle of the Term 3 holidays and while I have done some sewing, we have also caught up with friends, shopping, had sleepovers and spent a *very* small amount of time at work.

I bought fabric... a couple of knits "Idle Wild birds knit in gray" by Riley Blake and "Modern Reflection Dots Knit in Grey" by Maywood Studio, planning to make a colour blocked dress... BUT the fabric is definitely t-shirt weight, and the birdie print is on a white background (somehow thought it was on a grey background)... so I've changed my plan and think I'll make a long sleeved t-shirt with it.  Currently trawling through pattern ideas, and I think I've found one I like.

In the patchwork cotton side of things I HAD to add some more Scribble Notes in White to my stash.  Then some Stella Vine Stripe in white and green, Sun print feathers in gray, Hatch crosswatch in onyx, Knock on wood sketch in dark grey, Hatch crosswatch in aluminium, Sunday Supper Grandma's gingham in pesto and Crosses in Stone.

And I added some Charm packs to my collection because, well, you never know when you might need them.

I am making a small collection of this Moda Sweetwater Sunday Supper fabric... just love those greens and blues together.

I also managed to attend my LQS's monthly Saturday stitching day, and came home with these French General (I'm pretty sure) fabrics.

A metre piece of this Sketch fabric and a button.

On the sewing side of things, I have *almost* finished my denim dress - just need to add that button to the pocket trim and finish a small amount of sewing on the straps.

I don't know that a hanger shot really does the dress any justice. It finishes above my knee - but not by too much, and will look great with tights and boots.

And you'll just have to imagine this beautiful button sewn on.

This denim was described as Rigid Denim on the bolt, and it has a slight stretch and was quite firm.  For cutting and sewing purposes, this was quite easy to deal with, as it stayed where it was put, and pressed quite well.  It wasn't the easiest to turn (like these pocket tabs) and I decided to not top stitch these as I couldn't get the points turned nicely, figuring that poor top stitching would just highlight that.  I also struggled to topstitching in some areas where the sewing machine just wouldn't feed.  In hindsight, I wondered if I should have adjusted the presser foot pressure.  I discovered that I am completely crap at topstitching curves... and am undecided whether to remove the top stitching holding the pocket on and just applique it in place.  After a good washing, the hand of the fabric has softened quite a bit, and although I haven't tried it on since, I am hoping that it will mean it has a more draped fit as opposed to looking like a shield.

After finishing the quilting on the Stack, Shuffle Slide quilt, I basted and started quilting the Dots and Dashes cot quilt.  Although I had a few different ideas about quilting options - I ended up doing the same interlocking boxes design... I could quilt this design in my sleep, and in fact, I am sure I have dreamed about quilting it.

Stitching with this WonderFil 100wt grey thread - 103 means that the stitches are visible, but unobtrusive.

I finished up another orange block for my RSC quilt.  This was quite the challenge as it was one of the last larger blocks in the quilt.  The strips are 20.5" cut and I discovered much to my horror that I had no orange fabric of that length.  So... I did a bit of fabric surgery and added some black joiner strips.

These oranges are very ORANGE!

Linking up with the RSC and Molli Sparkles.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Finishing up to start anew

With winter being so close to being over (I know, technically it is spring but tell the thermometers that!) I figured that if I wanted to get my black denim pinafore dress sewn... so that it could actually be worn this year, I had to pull finger.

But first I had to get my sewing shed floor clear, to have a big enough space to lay it out.

All these 36 blocks needed to be sewn together.

And the baby quilt had to have it's last few rows finished and sewn together too.

Lets just say it's been a busy week!

I need to get a couple of willing helpers to stand outside and hold up my quilt... it is just too big for inside display.  It has been crazy wet the last few weeks... so this is the best you are going to see.  Believe me... it is all in one piece!

The cot quilt on the other hand is just perfect size for one almost 12 year old daughter to hold up inside... I am very happy with how the piecing of this top has gone together, and look forward to getting it quilted soon.

Always wanting "something under the needle" as I finish a seam, I cut up the pieces for Month Two of the Zen Chic triangle quilt-along.  These are triangles with a contrasting tip.

And my blocks so far... in no particular order.

Right, onto clothes sewing again.  I download PDF patterns, so first up was sticking the whole thing together.  Then after a recheck of what size to cut and what length was best (with surprisingly short legs I am so used to cutting the shortest version that I was glad I took the time to check this one... even the long version is short!), I laid out my fabric and pinned out the pattern pieces.

Today I cut things out, and started on the bodice.  I know... a pattern flash enough to have a bodice!  Makes a change from Front and Back!

This is after the darts have been sewn...

And I decided to go with a fun contrasting lining...

This has the bodice front and lining basted together, the straps attached, and the bodice band attached to the top... sewing through all these denim layers was slow going but achieveable. 

And that was the end of my sewing adventures for this weekend!  I still have the pockets to experiment with, the skirt to attach and a zip to install.

In other non-sewing-related news... I bought a new peg bucket!  This was from Briscoes and it is just so cute.  Wouldn't it be good for storing scraps?

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Something Old Something New - How I make fabric selections

Sometimes its fun to start something new.  Actually, I'm pretty sure it's always fun to start something new.  I've discovered Instagram is BAD!  Anyway, Zen Chic started a sew along last month which is hosted on the Bernina blog and I started thinking that it could be a fun thing to participate in.  The quilt is a modern triangle quilt - with lots of scope to make things your own.  No, I rarely sew with a 60 degree triangle, but undeterred... I started looking at fabric options...

Initially, I had a completely different idea about how this was going to look... maybe kinda masculine, and had some fabric in mind as a start off point.  But then, once I had figured out that the triangles involved are relatively small, that using a charm pack as a start off point wasn't such a silly idea, especially since it was going to be heavily supplemented by stash.  Then, when I looked at the charm packs in my possession, I pulled out the least likely one of all, and not one bit masculine looking.

I had bought this Moda Kate Spain "Central Park" charm pack years ago without realising that there were only 5 prints included.  The moral of the story is to check the back of your Moda charm packs to see how many different prints there are, and what to expect about duplicates... anyway... it is a slightly odd mix of fabrics.

Pulling out the orange print helps the remaining prints to make sense.

And it was time to start pulling some friends from my stash cupboard:
Text print: Blithe by Katarina Roccella by Art Gallery Fabrics
Gold print: Lucky Penny by Alison Glass
Blue Dot: Bluebird by Melody Miller
Purple floral: Simply Colorful II by Vanessa Christensen
Gold Floral: unmarked
Greenish weave: one of the Robert Kaufman linens
Black Text: unmarked (although it will be something along the lines of Mama Said Sew definitions)

Returning to the cupboard to find a deeper green, I pulled out some more to add to the pile.  It was starting to look very interesting!  As always, adding more means you can add even more, and I found a toning larger floral and a large geometric that helped to create a cohesive grouping!

Blue Utensils: no marking
Dark green dot: no marking
Log cabin print: Dwellings by Michele D'Amore Designs
Triangle Print: Simply Eclectic by Hoffman Fabrics

Floral: Hope Chest by Blend has a funky purple/brown background, which is similar to the triangle print background.

And both are reminiscent although not the same as the original floral print from the charm pack.

The instructions call for an accent fabric, and a background.  I'm thinking that the Zen Grey Moda Bella Solid will be a good background, and I'm keeping the accent fabric open just at the moment.  I quite like the black print (the purple flowers do have a black centre), but I also like this textural dot as it has that same funny purpley tone.  But I've never mixed the heavy weight linen-ish fabric with regular patchwork cottons in a quilt.  Is it a disaster waiting to happen?

And all together... spanning fabric purchases from at least four years ago to current...

And my Month One triangles.

Because I do sometimes keep to my WIP list, I started back on my RSC blocks for this month, pulling out and ironing my orange scraps, and got my first block pieced.

During the week I managed to sew together my 36th TATW block!  That the last one folks.

And the blocks all laid out...

And looking at it from the other angle.

I have also been plugging along on the baby quilt piecing...

The rows are not joined together yet - but some good progress is being made.

Hoping to link up with Lyn at What a Hoot, RSC at So Scrappy, and Sunday Stash with Molli Sparkles.