Wednesday, May 28, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Piles of Knits!

Woke up this morning to a miserable, rainy day, which means I just want to cuddle under a blanket and knit some fuzzy wool, but sewing is my goal for the day! 

This is not the stack of fabric I should be working on, even though I really want to.  I've been wanting to make a Ruby top with the Catnap as yoke, and the white knit as the body.  I've been putting it off because I'd have to wash the Catnap, and I want to be really sure before I take that step (I don't prewash my quilting fabric).

And the bottom two are fabrics that I found over the weekend... in my house... can't remember buying them...

Anyway, the plaid is just a yard, and while I'd love to make it into a summer top, I'm not sure it'll be enough.  I might make it into something for the little girl.  And the bottom is 5 (5!) yards of a really great jersey.  It's so soft, a little stiff, but not heavy, and has stretch in just one direction, so it'll hold whatever shape I impose on it better.  I'm wondering if a knit Washi Dress is possible.  Seems like that would be a thing, but I haven't seen any on the internets.  I might have to just take the plunge and do it.

But this is what I'm going to be doing first.  It will be a nursing dress for a wedding a friend is attending.  I've already made the top, but it needs some reworking to fit properly.  And the actual dress part is going to be the grey print.  It's easy enough to do, but there's just a lot of moving parts, so I've been putting it off for probably a month.  Due in three days, should work out fine!

Linking up with Lee for WIP Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Another Pyramid Scheme Quilt and a Pile of HSTs

So much sewing happened over the long weekend!  And there's even a lot of sewn things to show for it!  

I brought my do. Good Stitches quilt to my mom's a while ago to get some nice photos, and she fell in love.  The colors and shape and everything were just what she wanted for a wedding present later this year.  Since I couldn't sell her that one, I started on another one.

On Friday, I bought the fabric, cut most of the squares, and started on piecing HSTs.  It's the Pyramid Scheme block from Fat Quarterly's Shape Workshop for Quilters, so there's two units of four HSTs that you make first, then piece together a larger triangle with two loose triangles and one HST.

Here's a block from the finished quilt to give you an idea.
My goal was to do just the two units of four this weekend, but managed to get all of it done!  Last night I sewed all four sections together to make the centers of the blocks, and tonight I hope to add the four large triangles to the sides to bring them up to 12.5 inches.

I'm really pleased with how easy it was to make all these blocks.  I had that moment of realization when I counted how many HSTs I'd have to make (ten per block, 20 blocks in all, it's a fairly ugly number), but I tried out a new method for busting them out and it really paid off.

What you do, is stick a piece of washi tape (or any tape) to your machine 1/4 inch from the needle.  Then you line up the leading point on that line, and keep the trailing point on the edge of the tape.  This gives you two seams, 1/4 inch from the center line, but without having to draw that line!  Genius!  I wish I remembered where I'd seen it first.

Linking up with Ms. Midge this week for Sew Cute Tuesday and Quilt Story for Fabric Tuesday!

Sew Cute Tuesday

Fresh Poppy Design

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival: ROY G. BIV

I'm really happy to join in on the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy at Amy's Creative Side.  I've loved looking through all the quilts before, and now I get to enter my own!  You should really go check out all the great quilts linked up, there's so much inspiration.  I've already added a few quilt patterns and techniques to my "to do" list.

And now to my entry into the ROYGBIV category.  (It's one of my favorite categories, and I'm not alone.  It's probaby one of the happiest pages of links in the festival.)  This is one of my favorite, yet trying quilts to date.  I've written all about how to make the Quilt As You Go blocks here, the first time I thought I was finished here, the decision to hand quilt to mitigate lumpiness here, and the really finished post here.

It was a lot of work, but the end result is so happy.  It has a permanent place on the couch and has traveled with me when I've slept away from home.

The blocks are all Quilt-As-You-Go, done in dense straight lines.  Then, after piecing them together and backing it with flannel, I hand quilted with Perle cotton.  I loved those evenings, just sitting under it and adding stitches.  Most are just plain running stitches, but I got to highlight patterns in the fabric and outline things.

Thanks for stopping by!  Now go check out more quilts!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Finish: Drawstring Project Bag

I didn't accomplish much after my neck started hurting this week.  It's getting better, but standing at the sewing machine (yeah, I stand) is just not an option.

I did get really restless last night, so I whipped out this little bag for my sock knitting.  It's the Lined Drawstring Bag pattern from In Color Order.  Last week I made a couple of these to wrap a gift, and just loved how quick and easy they were.  I think it takes more time to cut the fabric than it  does to actually sew.

I used some of my coveted Amy Butler wallflowers.  When I set up my new fabric shelves, I realized I had way more than I'd originally thought, so no need to hoard quite so much.  And the black is a FQ I picked up from a quilt show with the intention of using it for some sort of craft bag.  Perfect!

It's the perfect size for sock knitting!  This poor ball of Malabrigo was getting bounced around my tote bag and every time I'd pull it out, I'd have to untangle it from all the books, bottles, and child debris.  Now it has a much happier home.

Linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish it up Friday!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

An Unproductive WIP Wednesday...

Today is just a yucky day.  I got up this morning knowing that I had hours of free time to be spent sewing.  I was so excited, until I moved and realized my neck was protesting my sleeping position.  Why does something always come up just when you're about to be productive!

Anyway, I tried to power through, and even laid out these beauties to see where I was.  There's 26 of them now, so two more would bring the total up to a nice number to lay out.  I'm thinking of squaring them up and adding a border of white or black to bring them to some uniform measurements so they'd look like they were floating.

It might be too boring for these crazy blocks, or it might be just the right amount of boring to let them sing.  I clearly need to stop thinking about it and make some more blocks.

But that's about as far as I got this WIP Wednesday.  I did a little bit of knitting on my socks in the car waiting in the school pick up line.  (The pattern is Charade, which is available for free on Ravelry, though I modified the pattern from a top down to a toe up.)

I did have one moment of crazy where I thought that a heating pad would be nice, and thought that I should just whip up one of those sleeves of rice.  Makers are crazy sometimes.

Linking up with Lee for WIP Wednesday!

  WIP Wednesday!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

Congratulations to #534 OhioLori!  You're scrap packs are on their way!!

Thanks to everyone who visited!!


Hi all!  I'm really excited for Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day!  I've loved entering it myself in years past, and now I get to join in on the giving!  

For the newbies here, I'm Mary and I love sewing, and knitting, and pretty much everything that involves making.  I love filling this space with projects that I'm working on and showing off some of my finishes.  

My big love lately has been scraps.  I've been collecting better and better scraps, and I love a good sewing project that lets me just play with them.

My bucket of little scraps, made from scraps!
And what better way to share my love of scraps than to get you some of your own!  I'm too much of a hoarder to part with mine, but I'll offer up two scrap packs from Hawthorne Threads.  They are really generous packs; you get about two yards of either warm, cool, or fresh colors.  So you can pick two different ones, or two of the same, whatever you want!

These are just some of the yummy fabrics I've gotten in my Hawthorne packs!
To win, leave a comment telling me which two packs you'd like.  And if you choose to follow my blog, you can leave a second comment letting me know where you follow.

Comments will be open until May 16 at 5 p.m. PST (2 p.m. EST).  I'll announce the winner on May 18.

Here's a look at some of the things I've made from my scraps recently!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday Finish: Wonderland Pinafore

A quick post about a quick finish. My sister texted me a while back wondering how hard it would be to make a pinafore. Having never made a pinafore ever, I said easy!  Then I spent two weeks procrastinating until it was deadline time. Then I started looking for patterns and tutorials. 

I couldn't find anything that I liked, so I just took some measurements from an apron I had and measurements from my sister and sketched out some rectangles.  

They all magically sewed up without any issues. I had to do some thinking to figure out how to encase all my raw edges, but they're all hidden. 

Then Jill and I agreed that black rick rack would be the perfect trim. So I bought every size and started laying it out. The mini ended up being perfect, especially with little black bows where the rick rack overlapped.   

It ended up being the perfect thing to finish off her dress for the Alice in Wonderland tea party.  I love it and wish I could have shipped myself down to be there too!

Thanks to Jill for all the pictures!!

Linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish it up Friday and Quilt Matters for TGIFF!! 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Improv Blocks and A Clean Space!

Big things happening here!  It's finally warm enough to move the sewing back onto the porch, which meant giving the whole space a solid cleaning.  It's the dumping ground for all our junk all winter, and you couldn't actually see the floor through the carpet of toys, sewing stuff, ski poles, recycling bins...

Anyway, cleaned all that up, bought another set of cube shelves, and got to folding and organizing.  What's scary, is that this fabric is mostly what I've bought and haven't used this winter.  I still have to go through the basement fabric pile to see if there's anything that I want to add or get rid of.

And once I was moved in, I got to pull out these bags o' scraps!  They're from our recent Seacoast Modern Quilt Guild meeting.  We had a workshop on improv piecing, so everyone contributed scraps to play with.  After some awesome sewing, we were cleaning up, but no one was claiming the scraps.  So I brought some of them home to keep making more improv blocks!  (Who wouldn't want these bags of beauties?)

I've been sewing up a storm.  These are so easy since you don't really think or plan, just grab a scrap and sew.  I usually sit down with the plan to make one or two, and four or five later, I realize I've lost track of time.

I'm up to maybe 23, enough to make a lap quilt, but there are so many more scraps to sew up.  Maybe a few more days and I'll lay them out again to see if I'm satisfied.

Linking up with Blossom Heart Quilts for Sew Cute Tuesday and Lee for WIP Wednesday!

Sew Cute Tuesday

Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday Finish: Economy Block Quilt

This is a bit of an old finish, but I completely forgot to post about it, which is a crime, because it's one of my favorite quilts.  It actually went right into the normal quilt rotation when it was finished in March, so when the weather turned warm, it got piled up with the rest of the quilts waiting for winter.

Way back in forever ago we had to make a couple economy blocks for our guild lottery.  I made four and just never stopped.  I initially thought I'd just put a few more into the lottery, which would increase my chances of winning, but I couldn't bear the thought that if I lost, I'd lose these blocks.  So I just had to make a quilt for myself.

I pulled out some scraps and some charm packs I'd bought off Instagram, and started fussy cutting centers.  Once I had a couple centers, I'd get some coordinating fabric for the borders, and sew them down.  There was really no color scheme or planning involved, just make a few at a time when there was time.

I'd lay them out occasionally to see how they were going, and I realized after about 25 blocks that there was definitely a saturated color scheme, so I tried to go with that.  I also had a bunch of black fabric that made it into the early rounds of blocks, so I kept going with that, even though I've never really used a lot of black before.

When I got to about 70 blocks, I started really thinking about how to lay them out.  I could have made a smaller quilt with about 120 blocks, but I really didn't think I had another 50 blocks in me.  So I decided to stagger them with blocks of solid, which meant I only had to make 98 blocks to make a 65" x 75" quilt.

I sewed those together, backed it with a nice soft cotton from one of the fancy JoAnn's brands, and did a bunch of straight lines to quilt it.  I started out just doing a line a 1/4" outside the smaller border triangles.  Then I laid it out and realized that it was almost perfect, so a line down the center of those lines would be enough to finish.  I didn't mark anything, so some of the lines aren't perfect, but it's pretty close.

Linking up with Amanda for Finish it up Friday and Quokka Quilts for TGIFF!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Selfishly Sewing Skirts!

Yesterday was skirt day!  And it turned out pretty successful.  My big job for the day was to pattern test the Alder skirt, which meant printing, taping, and cutting out the pattern.  Probably my least favorite part of pattern sewing, but I like it way better than getting the pattern then having to pull out the tracing paper.

I was supposed to be testing a specific size, but it turned out too big on me.  Ego boost, but it meant that I would have to print, tape, and cut the next size down to see if that one fit me better, or if I would just have to alter the one I had made.   (I'll probably end up doing some alterations anyway, since this fabric needs to be a well-fitting skirt that I wear all the time.)

But while I worked up the energy to do all that cutting, I took the scraps from the first skirt and made a Simple Skirt for my girl.

And then I made another one, but with a bias tape hem!

Unfortunately, she's off at a sleepover, so I'll have to wait to get super cute pictures of her wearing these.

And then, I got back to it.  This time with piping!

Linking up with Kelly for Needle and Thread Thursday and Sew Fresh Quilts!

Needle and Thread Thursday
Sew Fresh Quilts