Spring Circle Skirt

Today I have another finish for the Second Quarter Finish Along.  After having this pretty quilter’s cotton for over nine months it was nice to check this project off the list.  This is a fully lined 3/4 circle skirt with a lapped side seam zipper.

Three Quarter Circle Skirt

I like circle skirts because they give a lot of fullness at the hem without any extra bulk at the waist.  What I do not like about circle skirts is the fact that most of the hem is on some degree of bias, so the hem tends to “grow” over time.  I made the skirt several days ago and then let it hang on the dress form for a week before hemming.  My Mom was pressed into service to mark an even line around the outer skirt to create the hemline.  To make sure the hem was as even as possible, I wore the shoes I will most likely wear with this skirt, and the even line was marked from the floor, not the waistband.  After doing a roll hem on the outer skirt, I marked the lining length and hemmed it 3/4″ shorter than the outer layer.  I am hoping that additional “growth” will be minimal since it is only knee length (the weight of longer skirts can cause them to grow more) and the fabrics are fairly sturdy.

This skirt is all ready for my trip to Paducah, KY for the AQS show, so hopefully it will be warm enough to wear this week!

Goal #21 is Finished!

Goal #21 is Finished!

Graffiti Feathers: Mini Quilt #16

For a lot of my recent quilting, I have been creating designs that can be executed with a walking foot.  I love the results, but constantly turning my quilt and having to bury threads was getting a bit old!  So for this week’s mini quilt I decided some free motion work was in order!

Graffiti Feathers front view

I was just a couple inches away from finishing the binding on this quilt when it started to pour down rain, and it has been raining ever since.  For now I have to settle for indoor photographs, but I will update them when I can get better shots outside.

I knew I wanted a bunch of negative space to free motion quilt in, but I wanted to try working with a quilt top that had a design element of it’s own.  Knowing that I wanted to incorporate feathers into the quilting design, I thought that a single, colorful, stylized feather might make an interesting focal point.

First, I drew the feather design on freezer paper using the same drawing technique I would use to free motion quilt later.  Then I refined the feather and cut out the petal shapes, labeling them carefully as I went.  Once it was time to bring fabric into the mix, I adhered Wonder Under to the back of my fabric scraps before ironing the freezer paper patterns to the front.  The finished petals adhered nicely to the white Kona Cotton base fabric, and I did a machine blanket stitch around all of the edges to further secure the pieces.

Graffiti Feathers Detail

Since so many of my recent quilting designs have involves tons of starting and stopping (and burying of thread tails!), I thought it would be an interesting challenge to never stop quilting (unless I ran out of bobbin).  This was my first attempt at graffiti quilting, and I didn’t mark any of my designs ahead of time.  Using a variegated thread was also a new experience and the aesthetic effect worked really well in this context.  I had a spool of Gutermann cotton quilting thread that I had been given at some point.  I liked the coloring of the thread, but I thought it felt thinner than other brands of 50 wt thread.  It also left behind way more lint than other cotton threads I have used.  I normally love Gutermann thread, and use the Mara 100 for clothing and other general sewing, as well as a lot of quilt piecing.  I would not buy the cotton machine quilting thread again, so I will be seeking out a different brand of variegated thread to try. It was very freeing to do whatever design I wanted, waiting to see what the design wanted at that moment.  I think I’ll be trying this technique again!

I like how the quilting looks on the solid white back.  The binding is a scrappy mix of fabrics also used for the feather design.

Graffiti Feathers back view

Quilt Stats

Title:  Graffiti Feathers

Size: 19″x19″

Techniques:  Fusible appliqué with machine blanket stitching

Quilting:  Free motion quilted on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  Front base and backing- white Kona Cotton, Feather design- misc. warm colored scraps

Batting:  Warm and White cotton batting

Thread:  Red Variegated, 50 wt, Gutermann Cotton Machine Quilting Thread

Binding:  Scrappy binding, cut on the bias in 2″ strips, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched to the back

What was new:

Graffiti Quilting

Quilting with Variegated Thread

Quilt 16 / 50

Quilt 16 / 50

Goal #2 is Finished!

Goal #2 is Finished!

Sewing Apron!

A good sewing apron can make working on a project a lot easier, especially if you are like me- leaving a trail of supplies wherever you go!  This summer I will be working in a theatrical costume shop creating patterns for the clothing worn on stage.  An apron is even more helpful in this communal sewing environment when you not only have your tools laying out, but everyone else’s as well.  My old apron was getting pretty sad after about six years of use, so it was definitely time for something new.

Sewing Apron front view

I have gone through a few aprons over the years, and lately I have liked a half apron tied at the waist rather than a full apron. The last apron I made had a single pocket, and the apron before had about half a dozen different pockets.  For me, having lots of pockets made sense when I was doing wardrobe and needed to have separate areas for different sized safety pins, a threaded needle, scissors, flashlight, etc.  One pocket is fine working in a shop, but I decided to try a different format to mix a large pocket with separate area for scissors, seam rippers, and pencils.

Denim is durable, coordinates with most of my work clothes, and I had some left from a previous project!  I lined it with a pink solid cotton for added durability, and trimmed the whole thing with a bias cut stripe by Lotta Jansdotter.

Sewing Apron back view

One thing that has driven me nuts with previous aprons is how it is difficult to sit down with much of anything in the pocket. Getting poked with scissors is no fun!  I wanted to give this apron just a little bit of fullness so it will fall more naturally when going to sit down.  I didn’t want to gather the denim, so I added a small pleat to each side.  This seams to do the trick- no poking!

Sewing Apron detail

Hopefully this apron will get several years of use- just like its predecessors!

Goal #26 is Finished!

Goal #26 is Finished!

I’m linking up with Sew and Show at Straight Grain this week.  Please stop in to see all of the wonderful work shown there!

Rainbow Roundabout: Mini Quilt #15

For this week of Mini Quilt Mania I wanted to reinterpret a classic block.  Courthouse Steps is a block that I have always found attractive, and I was wondering what would happen with the block if I forced it into a wedge shape rather than the traditional square.  This week’s quilt is the result of this experiment.

Rainbow Roundabout front view

I have been doing a lot of hexagonal work lately, so I thought that I would give an octagonal format a try.  Each wedge has a forced perspective courthouse steps block and a triangle to finish the shape.

 

There were several options for adding color to this pattern.  I considered keeping the design very simple, using only two fabrics and enhancing the starburst effect that happened when only two sides of each block had a contrasting fabric.  Another option I considered involved using a gradient along three sides of each block.  This still maintained a starburst effect, but it also enhanced the octagon base.  I thought this version had a real Art Deco feel.

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For this quilt I ended up going with the starburst layout, but instead of one color I decided to try a rainbow effect.  I have always admired everyone’s rainbow quilts, but I had never attempted one myself.  There are 74 fabrics in this quilt: 72 forming the color wheel, white Kona cotton for the background, and a Lotta Jansdotter stripe for the binding.  To guarantee the wedges maintain the desired shape and size, I developed foundation paper piecing templates to create the quilt top.

Rainbow Roundabout detail a

Rainbow Roundabout detail b

The back of this quilt is also white Kona so that the quilting is really shown off.  For the quilting, I used nine different threads to quilt this piece.  Each wedge has echo and diamond quilting in the white areas and echo quilting in each segment of color.

Rainbow Roundabout back view

Quilt Stats

Title:  Rainbow Roundabout

Size:  18.5″x18.5″

Techniques:  Foundation paper piecing

Quilting:  Echo Quilting within each area of the quilt using a walking foot on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  74 different fabrics:  72 colors from scrap and stash, Kona cotton in whiter for background and backing, Lotta Jansdotter stripe for binding

Batting:  Warm and White

Thread:  Pieced using white Gutermann Mara 100.  Quilted with Connecting Threads cotton Essentials quilting thread in Red, Grape Juice, Peridot, Persian Blue, Persimmon, and Sangria as well as yellow, teal, and green in Gutermann Mara 100.

Binding:  Striped fabric, cut on the bias in 2″ wide strips, machined stitched to the front of the quilt, hand stitched to the back.

What was new:

Rainbow color scheme- I’m pretty sure I have never used so many different fabrics in a mini quilt!

Converting a square quilt block into a forced perspective wedge

Quilt 15 / 50

Quilt 15 / 50

Goal #1 is Finished!

Goal #1 is Finished!

 

I’m linking this week’s quilt up with Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story, Scraptastic Tuesday at She Can Quilt, Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework, Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Paper Piecing Party at Quilt Art DesignsNeedle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt InfatuationLet’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, and Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.  Please check out the amazing work being produced!

2015 Second Quarter Finish Goals

I can hardly believe we are entering the second quarter of 2015!  This time around I have a unrealistically long list and a mix of goals: a dozen mini quilts, a few larger projects, a couple bags, a some smaller gifts.  2015 Finish Along Q2

I am excited to once again join in the Finish Along fun with Adrianne at On the Windy Side!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Goals 1-12

In order to keep up with Mini Quilt Mania I am planning to make a dozen more mini quilts for the second quarter of this year.  These are in various stages of completion: sketches, patterns drafted, fabrics chosen, and a couple are even being sewn!

Quilt 5 / 50

Goal 13

In January I started a starburst quilt based on my Happy New Year! mini quilt, and this project is a rollover from Q1.  I have this piece about half quilted right now, and I would really like to get this one finished up this quarter!Starburst process

Goal 14

For my Modern Quilt Guild Riley Blake challenge quilt I am making a “potholder” style quilt using hexagonal bound blocks rather than the more traditional squares.  This quilt will be completely reversible, with one side being predominantly turquoise with the other side leaning toward the pinks in the collection.  Right now the quilt is about halfway pieced.Riley Blake process

Goal 15

I knew as soon as I saw the Viewfinder fabric in Melody Miller’s Playful collection by Cotton and Steel that I wanted a Quilted Purse made with it.  I am slightly scaling up the pattern I created for my current purse.  I have set the zipper into the top panel, quilted the main fabric, and made the handles.Purse process

Goal 16

Sometimes I wish I had a Cross-body bag to carry when I need a more hands-free shopping (or quilt show) experience.  I have sketched the design, pulled fabrics, and I am looking for a source for a double tab purse zipper that is at least 30″.  This shouldn’t be so hard to find- I mean- you must be able to buy luggage zippers, right?  Any sourcing suggestions?

Goal 17

I designed and made these cute little blocks for my Baubles Quilt months ago.  I need to put together a top and get this thing quilted and finished!Baubles Blocks

Goal 18

This Secret Project (roll over from Q1) is still quilted, ready for finishing, and needs to stop hanging out under my work table! Here’s hoping this quilt makes it into a finished pile this quarter!secret project process

Goal 19

I am going to be needing a few small thank you gifts for this summer, so I am hoping to get six (or more) cord/coin pouches made.Cord pouch fabric

Goal 20

This quilted pillow top needs a zippered back and finishing.Pillow Top

Goal 21

I bought this fabric last summer to make a skirt.  Now that it is warming up again I need to get this made up!Skirt Fabric

Goal 22

I recently started another Bionic Bag, and I will be finishing it up in Q2.  I have all my pieces cut, interfacing fused, zippers installed, sides assembled, and the outer panel quilted.Bionic Bag process

Goal 23

I started a set of placemats last fall.  I have a set of four that just need the binding finished.

placemat process

Goal 24

I started sewing this hexagon project when I needed some handwork.  I’m not entirely certain how large this is going to get, but I’m hoping to discover what exactly this wants to be.Hexagon process

Goal 25

In the first quarter I created a baby quilt sized Sweet and Simple Hashtag Quilt.  This quarter I will be making a lap quilt size version of this quilt.

Sweet and Simple Hashtag Quilt

Goal 26

This summer I’ll be working as a theatrical cutter/draper. (A draper uses the performer’s measurements to create patterns for a costume.)  I haven’t done this in awhile (I’m pretty excited to return to it!), and when I pulled out my sewing apron it was really worn.  I will definitely need to find time to make a replacement before I leave for this job!  I have some denim left over from another project, and I am still deciding what fabric to use for the accent.  These are my top choices right now.Apron fabric

This list is super long, and I recognize that a some of these projects may not get finished (or even touched) this quarter, but a lot of items are pretty far along, so once again I am cautiously optimistic!