Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Knot dress

Love this pattern, and it had a ton of little variations. Between all the options & using different fabrics, you could make this dress a gajillion times and each one would be totally special for a little girl. This one was for a totally special little girl's fourth birthday last July. Because I intentionally made it a bit big, I am hoping it will still fit next summer.

 I added a teeny, tiny pocket. Just because.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Button bag

A while ago, I made this bag (promptly claimed by Sus). The project is from "Everyday Handmade: 22 Practical Projects for the Modern Sewist", and it's right on the cover. 

I added a top strap closure with an extra covered button. I had a blast making the covered buttons. Unfortunately, many (most) of them fell off fairly quickly. I don't even think Sus was too rough with the bag. It's just the brand of button kit I used had pretty weak shanks. Once the shank pulled free, that was it. Any of the buttons that weren't lost on the street, we re-purposed into magnets. 

The verdict: cute pattern, bad buttons.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Easing back in...the water's pretty cold around here

Well, hello! That's right, I haven't posted for over two years. So many things I've made that I didn't even photograph. Here is a small start, with more to come (as usual, not the most excellent picture taking):
 A make up roll (pattern by Stitched in Color), fabrics are from "Grand Bazaar" by Patty Young:

I made this for my daughter, who uses it quite a lot. In fact, it's due for a good washing. The pattern made up really nicely, and gave me a great opportunity to practice little pockets. This would make a great gift, if one were so inclined.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Kaffe quilt

Quilt top finish in 1 day - easy peasy lemon squeezy! This would have taken even less time if the stupid bottom tension screw hadn't worked its way out of the bobbin case and fallen into the body of the machine. Turns out my new machine is a lot harder to take apart than those vintage babies. Finally shook it out onto the cutting mat. I can't believe I didn't lose it; it's about the size Horton's Whos.

On Friday night, I went to the open sewing lounge at Stitched, my bestest LQS, and met up with a couple of friends (June, for one) for some sewing (and nachos after - mmmmm, cheese). I made yet another wristlet, just for me. I also fell in love with a half yard bundle of this, and immediately thought of the Kaffe Fassett Bar Codes quilt. I don't think this is an exact repro, but who cares? This fabric is gorgeous, and the colors seemed perfect for the fall. I plan to back & bind with Kaffe Fassett shot cotton, and do simple straight line quilting.  Maybe variegated thread for a change? Definitely heading back to Stitched tomorrow on my lunch break.

I was nervous about sewing these long strips together without buckling or bending. I cut selvage to selvage, and sewed 2 strips together to get the length I wanted.  When sewing these long strips together, I sewed pairs, then joined pairs, then joined the fours. I also started in the middle each time, sewing from the middle to each end. I think this really helped keep everything from stretching, too. Does anyone else use this technique? Is it so standard I'm silly for even mentioning this?
Update: That is my friend Susan holding the quilt.  Thanks, Susan!
Disclaimer: No spiders were harmed during the photographing of this quilt top.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Quilt for Abby

I am very sad to write that Abby Lola Shadowfax McGuineapig passed away on Saturday, September 17. She left us too early, and her cause of death is unknown. No sign of trauma or distress, just...gone. Her longtime companion, Flower PetalEars McGuineapig, mourns her deeply, as do we all. She was laid to rest in a quiet ceremony at home, with only family in attendance.

Susannah with the burial quilt she designed for Abby:

Abby Lola Shadowfax McGuineaPig, sweet cavy girl

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Vermont Quilt Festival (Or, the Post In Which I reveal My Terrible Potty Mouth)

Disclaimer: I swear. A lot. I haven't done so previously on this blog (I think??), but I hear there are some tender-hearted readers swimming around in blogland. Apparently, I can only go so long without writing the word fuck. And some other stuff. None of this comes as any surprise to anyone who knows me in real life. Also, this post has no pictures. June has pictures. I link to June quite a lot in this post. None of June's pictures have any swearing in them. End of disclaimer.

Last weekend I went to the Vermont Quilt Festival. It was my first quilt festival EVER, AND I went with my new friend June. I met June through the Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway Day. I entered loads of giveaways, I won one. And the one that I won? That one was hosted by June, who unbelievably lives in the next town over from where I work. Crazy, in the really good kind of way. June dropped off my win (oh rats, I don't have a picture, because I am a lazy, lazy blogger, so here is June's picture) to me at work, with her absolutely adorable girls in tow. We didn't have very long to chat, but decided to go to VQF together. We met at her house, so I got to see a lot of her work, including this quilt, which I want to copy, and her stash (it is serious fabric geek fun to paw through someone else's stash), and the beautiful things she sells through her Etsy shop.

Then off we went, to brave the crowds and try not to knock anyone over (hips could be broken). We had a blast, and it's a huge reminder that the vast majority of the quilting world are older women. I'm younger than the crowds at the festival; from the 'lost generation of sewing'. June represents the up and coming crowd: all those hip young mamas who manage to sew and craft while raising their tots. We admired quilts, made each other laugh, ate cheeseburgers for lunch, and generally had an awesome time. It was so much more fun than if I'd gone by myself. And we even met up with another friend, a co-worker of mine. We saw my friend Jen, working her socks off at the booth for her store Stitched, we bought a little bit of fabric, and June graciously tolerated my cat quilt jokes. My favorite competition quilt was by another friend that I met at Stitched, the very talented Hope Johnson. She followed this year's theme of 'Yankee Ingenuity', and had the coolest quilt based on tangrams (pictures by June).

We also got to play on a couple of different long arm machines. I really, really need to find a place that rents long arm machines in Vermont. The HandiQuilter was our favorite. We goofed around a bit to get a bit of a feel for the machine. There were 2 arms set up on the same roller, so we could practice simultaneously. Then June drew a cat (as a rebuttal to all those cat quilt comments), and I drew a mouse. Okay, I know it sounds like we're about 6 years old, but that's how it felt! It was like discovering drawing for the first time. Fun, fun, fun. Definitely an "if money were no object" moment.

My favorite non-competition quilt had me gawking and squeaking and being a one-woman freak show. The back story is that I do believe that the technique and software used to create these embroidered blocks are new. Like within the last couple of years new, this being able to create an embroidery design from a scanned picture. The subject matter is NOT new. And it's hardly traditional. I stood and stared, torn between the competing emotions of "The Glory of This Cheese is Divine to Behold" and "What the FUCK???". Luckily, June had a camera and took pictures. You need to go here, and here, and here. Yes. That is Fabio. I can't believe it's not butter, either. In case you're wondering, that's Sean Connery hidden behind the handbag. Yup, that's crazy-ass Mel in the coveted center square. All the teeth? Who else but Tom Cruise? And Kevin Costner in his 'Water World' heyday. Tom Selleck, one of the only human beings on whom a mustache belongs, looks weird because the quilt was hung so it sort of rippled through his square. Not a good look for Magnum. Why the theme of 'mega-stars of the 80's' to show off the latest fancy sewing machine capability? Fuck if I know.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Dude Quilt

My sweet nephew went behind my back and grew up on me. He just graduated from high school. He spent a lot of time with me when he was a baby, and I was the one who taught him how to make all the animal sounds, beginning counting, stuff like that. One of the many, many cute things he did was pretend to be different animals, announce what he was, and then hug me. The absolute best version of this was, "I'm huggin' pig!" I still crack up when I think about it. And now he's 18 years old, and out into the world. He was overdue to receive a quilt anyway, so this was part of his graduation gift.

His preferred color scheme was blue, black and grey. Without this guidance, I never would have made a quilt with this strict and limited palette. But every guy who's seen it, including the nine year old hockey player next door, thinks it's great. It's the Dude Quilt. Horizontal straight double line quilted, Kona medium grey sashing, framed back design using the Michael Miller jigsaw print and blue and grey Kona.

It's wrinkled from being rolled up for over a week. Dirt splotches are a mystery, but back into the wash it goes. Hmmm, now that I think about it, the dirt and wrinkles just add to the dude-ness...maybe I should bang in an oil stain or two? It's a very, very simple design, and he loves it. And I love him.