Wednesday, July 31, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I may have enough geese to make a quilt.  Should probably do more, just in case.  Still have to decide if I want to go with my plan for a layout.  And if I do, I'll need a nice quiet evening to do math and whatnot to get it all together.  Quilters definitely use their geometry!

Restarted the Sweatshirt Sweater after frogging the entire torso.  Now I'm working the next size down and knitting in the continental style of knitting because I'm new to it and I knit tighter.  I just hope that it comes out in a size that I can wear!

And here are some shots of the Washi Dress in progress.  I may have had a friend bring over some Sangria, because nothing makes cutting pattern pieces better than drinks!

And some shots of it in the machine.  The pattern came together pretty quick, even though I was new to shirring and elastic thread.  Just a few more finishing touches and I can wear it!

Linking up with Freshly Pieced!

  WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Heartbreak is Frogging

The emergency crews have been called in, the sweater (this one from the Purl Bee) I'm working on is way too big and I'm going to rip it all out. 

I suppose this is why your supposed to check the gauge.  I should have 5 1/2 stitches to the inch, but instead I have four!  Ack!

It seemed a little big, so I laid it out with a sweater that should have the same fit. Oops!  At least the ribbing is good, so I won't have to do that all over again! (I hate knitting ribbing!)

Everything else is great, so I'm trudging ahead, but I'm bummed that all that work is down the drain. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Indian Summer Guild Quilt

So, I didn't make all of this quilt.  The top was pieced by two lovely ladies from my guild, the Seacoast Modern Quilt Guild.  The Indian Summer fabric was given to us by the designer, Sarah Watson, to make quilts for charity.  The solids were donated by Peg, from Sew Fresh Fabrics, who also happens to be a part of our guild.

The fabric was split into four groups for us to make baby-sized quilts to send to Moore, OK.

Both colorways are great, but the Spirit Lake had me with all it's aqua highlights.  And the faces are so cute and creepy and wonderful all at the same time.

My favorite bit is the tepees, especially since my son has started trying to make little ones with sticks in the yard.  I may have to build him one like this one from the Handmade Home.

Anyway...  I was given the top and all the leftover scraps.  I pieced together the back, trying to highlight the three spare blocks that had been leftover from the front.  Then I quilted it with an all over leaf pattern.  It was my first time using this pattern all over (I'd only done little chunks of it before) and I love how it turned out.

After being so confident that I'd have plenty of fabric, I almost didn't have enough to bind it.  I used every single piece wide enough to qualify as binding, the rest was just strings.

Love how this one came out.  And I can't wait to see the quilts from the other groups at our meeting this weekend.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Mini HST Quilt

While I was procrastinating, I my have made the tiniest quilt ever.

Even Australian Outback Playmobil dude is shocked by how tiny it is. 


I used this tutorial by Whip Up, and started with 2" squares that finish to a half inch. It's kind of crazy, but yielded the cutest pile of 1" HSTs. 


Not sure what to do with it. Maybe I'll just throw it up on the sewing wall and keep it safe until we bring out the dollhouse. I'm sure the dollhouse family needs a wall hanging.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Toga Dress

This is my first quick finish for Kids' Clothes Week (yeah, it was last week, but it's the thought that counts).  It was a super easy dress that I sort of just made up on the fly.   This time, KCW kind of snuck up on me, so I wasn't all prepared with a stack of fabric and patterns.  Luckily, I do have a pile of clothes that I've culled from my wardrobe to be used for fabric.

So I pulled out this spaghetti strap top with a shelf bra (neither of those things should be in my wardrobe) to make a summer toga dress. 

After cutting out the shelf bra, I put the tank top on Dell, then marked where I wanted the gathered waist to hit.  It ended up being about 8.5 inches from the bottom.  I also made sure that I would have a couple inches of extra length so that there would be a bit of bagginess above the gather.

Then I put the side seams together and flattened out the shirt so that the folds of the shirt would now be down the center of the front and back.  I used a tank top that fit well to trace out the top of the shirt, giving myself an extra half inch for the seam allowance.  I also made sure that the line from the armpit would flow into the current seams of the shirt.  


The shelf bra provided the extra material to make trim for the neckline, facings, and straps.  After cutting the original side seams, I cut 1" strips across both pieces of material. 

For the armholes, I ironed two of the strips in half with the wrong sides together.  I then sewed it to the right side of the armhole using a scant 1/4" seam.  You have to give it a little stretch to ease it around the curve. 

Then I trimmed the excess, folded it over and topstitched it to the wrong side of the fabric.


For the neckline, I did the same process but in reverse, so you sew the strip to the wrong side of the fabric, and topstitch it to the right side.  For the edges, fold under the very end of the fabric before you fold and pin it down. Pinning the ends will really help make sure it stays in place.

To make the straps, I took three of the 1" strip and cut them in half, so they were about 7.5" long. I then pinned three of these strips together at the end and braided them. I tacked the ends so they wouldn't come apart.

Then I stitched them to the top of the dress, making sure they measured 4" across the shoulder.  I just stitched over the line of stitches that were already there and then hand sewed the very top to the strap so it wouldn't flop over. 

To gather the waist, I salvaged the elastic from the shelf bra. I wrapped it tight around my little's, making sure I could still fit a couple fingers in between her and the band. I added a half inch for overlap and stitched the ends together securely. 

Then I pinned the elastic evenly to the inside of the dress along the line I'd marked earlier. I just pinned it at the sides and the middle of the front and back. Then I sewed it down, making sure that the elastic was stretched from front and back of the needle and the fabric of the dress lay flat. Because the elastic was wide enough, I did two rows of stitches. 

Trim the threads, and finished!  

Monday, July 22, 2013

Hello World!

I'm Mary, and I love to quilt (and do other stuff), and I want to tell you all about it.

I've been sewing at my mother's machine ever since I can remember.  I've made dolls, and Barbie clothes, and bags.  There was even a point at the end of middle school and into high school where I made my own clothes.   Of course, since all my fabric came from Walmart, this led to some questionable fashion choices.
My favorite was a pair of super baggy pants that should have been pjs, but instead were worn everywhere until they were disintegrated.  And I still have the rest of that fabric because I'm pretty sure it's illegal to throw away fabric, no matter how awful or tiny the scrap is. 

(Yep, wooly and plaid. So stylish!)

When I moved into my first apartment, my grandmother gave me her sewing machine (as an excuse to buy herself an even cooler machine) and I got to work.  While finishing up college, I made this quilt, and I was bit with the quilt bug.

(This is before I knew you could quilt on a home machine!)

I've since branched out a bit.  I don't think I've bought any batik since that quilt (though I still have the scraps, I can't help myself.)  And I've learned that you don't have to have instructions from a magazine or book to make a quilt, but they're still great inspiration.

(Gratuitous Flea Market Fancy photo)

And, now that I'm a stay-at-home mom with two little kids, I get to see just how much of the things I want and need I can sew for myself.  Because I think it's way cooler to make exactly what you want from the fabric you want, instead of settling for the boring one in the store.  (Don't get me wrong, I love to shop as much as the next girl, but have you tried buying clothes for yourself?  or finding cute, inexpensive clothes that aren't copies of what everyone else has?)

And there's knitting too!

So, I'm looking forward to sharing all the fun stuff that I'm working on, and I hope you'll all enjoy it too!