I recently tackled a complicated paper piecing project. It’s from a cute pattern by Sew Ichigo called “Kitchen Classics“. It was fussy, but not nearly as difficult as I expected. I finished the piecing in a few hours. Here’s a picture of how it looked after I quilted it:
Pretty nice, right? I was really happy with it, minus a couple small stains from the Elmer’s school glue I used while piecing. I decided to wash the quilt to remove the marks. Here’s where things went awry.
I know that I prewashed all of this fabric before I started the project. When I handwashed the finished quilt in the bathroom sink the blue Kona fabric bled. A lot. I tried soaking the quilt in an attempt to remove the backstaining, or at least get the blue to backstain everything evenly, but no luck. I tried a weak bleach solution to remove the backstaining and just succeeded in bleaching the blue fabric. Then I soaked everything in a weak bleach solution in a last-ditch effort to even out the staining and fading. It was a total fail. Ugh!
I should’ve taken a picture of the fail, but it just made me too mad. I threw it in the trash right away. Today is garbage day and I just heard the garbage truck swing by and pick it up. Sigh.
I intend to make this pattern again, but probably not with a white background. And definitely not with the blue fabric. The blue fabric went to the dump today as well. Good riddance!
I’m a day late with the WIP Wednesday post, and a year late with the Wild Olive Summer Stitching Club… but better late than never, right?
I joined the Summer Stitching Club last year and then promptly forgot about it. Sigh. I’m happy to be working on the project this week though! My beloved sewing machine is (unexpectedly) in need of a tune-up. While I wait for its return I dug out the Summer Stitching Club pattern and floss, and bought some lovely pin dot and American Made Brand fabrics at PixieSpit‘s local shopping day.
Lisa at FreshStash always has the most adorable bundles of fabrics and a great selection of novelty prints. She recently started selling packs of 150 3″ squares – perfect for I-spy quilts! They were too adorable for me to pass up. I bought a pack and added to it from my own stash of novelty and solid fabrics. I got a little carried away and ended up with 260 squares!
I have enough squares to make 2 baby quilts. Each one will have a 10 square x 13 square (25″ x 32.5″) I-spy center section. For this first quilt I added a 1″ semi-solid border and a 5″ neutral print border. I have plans for an orange and aqua binding.
I used a new (to me) basting technique to make the quilt sandwich. I used #8 pearl cotton to baste the quilt using this method. Here’s the whole quilt top:
A close-up of the front:
And the back:
This method takes just slightly longer than pin-basting (for me) but I like this so much better – I just clip the threads as I quilt a section, which is a lot faster than unclipping safety pins. Plus, every time I pin-baste I think I lose about 10% of my safety pins and that gets expensive. I now only have enough safety pins left to baste one baby quilt at a time. I’ve used spray-baste for a couple quilts recently and I liked it, but this method is way cheaper than spray baste, too. I think this will be my new default basting method from now on!
One of the very first things I remember sewing, with the help of my grandma, is a drawstring shoe bag for my dad for Father’s Day. I remember being so happy to sew with my grandma, and I was so incredibly proud of it when it was done. I remember my dad using it a lot when he traveled.
The bag wasn’t fancy, I think it was a vellux-like material that wouldn’t fray with a shoestring for a drawstring. I’ve been meaning to make a couple drawstring shoe bags for myself and my husband for a long time – they are much classier than packing your shoes in a plastic grocery bag!
I was motivated to finally make another bag when I saw this fantastic drawstring shoe bag tutorial by The Purl Bee. The construction is really clever – there are no exposed raw edges!
Isaac picked out the fabric and drawstring, and he even helped sew a few of the seams. He’s probably too young to remember doing this later, but he was happy to help and very happy to have made something for Dad. He was so anxious to show Dad his present that he gave it to him Saturday night!
We used a plain chambray rather than a fancy double-sided plaid because I wanted to embroider the bag with a design from the Sublime Stitching Camp Out embroidery pattern.
I used the “away knot” instructions from Penguin and Fish to keep the ends of the embroidery floss in place. So far, so good! The back looks very neat and it doesn’t look like the ends are going anywhere.
I knew back in December, as soon as it was posted over at Oh Fransson, that I wanted to make a Cat Quilt. It is so darn cute! I don’t have enough scraps to make 25 uniquely colored cats, but I do have more than enough cats to make a wall hanging / doll quilt. So I did just that.
The finished size is 12″ x 12″. The vertical sashing between cats is 1.5″ (cut size) and the horizontal sashing is 1″ (cut size). The vertical borders are 1.75″ (cut) and horizontal borders are 1″ (cut). I used 2″ strips for the binding, the skinniest binding I’ve ever done. The background is scraps of Quilters Linen, which I wish I had bought a lot more of – it’s such a nice background fabric!
Last weekend we took our (very early) summer vacation. The week before we left I made Isaac a little dopp kit to hold his toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. He choose the fabric and zipper: a Japanese linen blend for the outside and a large parka zipper. I chose coordinating fabrics and the pattern – the Zipper Pencil Case from Craft Passion.
I made a couple modifications, eliminating the tapering at the top of the bag and making only one gusset. Although the pattern is originally intended to be a pencil case, with the wider top it’s the perfect size for toddler toiletries. Having one gusset keeps one side secure while giving you room to rummage around on the other side. With two gussets the bag wouldn’t open nearly as wide.
Although I’m getting better at adding piping, I’m still not great and the seams each took a few attempts. It’s worth it though – the bag wouldn’t look nearly as nice without piping. Despite some fussing with the piping this bag only took an afternoon to make. I highly recommend it!
I used one layer of batting and two layers of medium-weight interfacing for everything except the gusset. If I make this again, I would use heavy weight interfacing so the bag holds its shape better. The parka zipper worked out great – easy for little hands to open and close.
Today is Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day! I’m participating by giving away a copy of my updated Macro Plaid Quilt Pattern.
To enter, leave a comment below by May 16th. I’ll choose a random winner by May 18th and send them the PDF pattern via email by May 18th.
Need a comment prompt? Let me know what your favorite fabric pattern/design is. For me, it’s a toss up between plaid and paisley. Good luck!
Update: the winner is Cathy, who likes geometric prints. Check your inbox for the PDF pattern, Cathy!
I’ve updated my Baby Plaid Quilt Pattern – it now includes instructions for two sizes! The original size is a baby quilt (36″ x 50″) and the added size is a throw quilt (50″ x 64″).
I was recently commissioned to make a larger size of my Baby Plaid Quilt. I know I say this a lot here, but I’m really pleased with this quilt!
The finished size is 60″ x 80″, just big enough to cover a queen-size mattress with no drape. I did straight line quilting about 1.5″ apart in the background, and straight lines following stripes.
The tricky thing about this quilt was getting it to be exactly 60″ x 80″. I did some math on previous projects and found that my quilts usually shrink about 3% after washing. I rounded up and made this quilt top a few inches bigger than necessary – 64″ x 86″. I spray basted and quilted the layers, then I trimmed just the extra batting and backing from the quilt – it still measured 64″ x 86″. I straight-stitched very close to the edge of the quilt and then I machine washed and dried it to make sure it did all its shrinking before I cut it to size. This quilt actually shrunk less than 3%, so I had plenty of fabric to spare. I squared up the quilt and trimmed it to 60″ x 80″.
I used Kona solids exclusively. The background is Butter, the stripes are Emerald, Asparagus and Berry. Where the stripes intersect I used Glacier, Laurel, Hibiscus, Periwinkle, Amethyst, and Kale. The binding is in Berry. The thread is cream-colored Gutermann cotton.
The background is mostly Kona Emerald, with a strip of improv piecing using leftovers from the front of the quilt.
Ready to ship!
For Kid’s Clothes Week day six, I put the facing on the Oliver + S Sleepover Pajama top.
For day seven, I practiced attaching snaps and successfully attached 4 snaps to the pajama top!
This is the first time I’ve used snaps in a project. I used size 16 pearl snaps and the SnapSetter tool, and it works great!
Well, everything except the facing and the pockets. I decided this didn’t need pockets after all. Getting this far on the top took a little over an hour.
Well, everything except for the elastic waist is finished – I’ll wait until Isaac is closer to size 4T to finish the elastic. Right now he’s wearing a set of 2T Sleepover Pajamas.
It took about 90 minutes for me to finish the hat, with most of that time spent on making the brim and attaching the sweatband. Those two steps take me so. long. The finished hat is adorable, and Isaac loves it!
I didn’t make a whole lot of progress because I had to trace the 2T/4T size from the pattern, and I find millinery work a little fussy – lots of pinning curves, finger pressing and topstitching. You might notice in the picture above that I should’ve been fussier with the cutting layout. It totally slipped my mind that I should be lining up the center of the hat with the center of a plaid stripe. ::sigh::
All the pinning and finger pressing is worth it though – these hats are so cute! I’ve made two of these caps before, one for my son and one for a nephew, both in corduroy and quilting cotton. For this cap I’m using Pendelton Wool and quilting cotton. The wool is pretty stretchy and ravels easily, but so far that’s not causing any difficulty.
Today’s the first day of Kid’s Clothes Week! I’ve long admired other people’s KCW projects, and I’m thrilled to be participating for the first time.
For the first day, I spent an hour cutting out Oliver+S Sleepover Pajamas in size 4T. The fabric is Betty the Yeti flannel from Robert Kaufman, which I love!
This winter will just not end! Minnesota got a late-season snow storm this week. We got about 8″ of snow. Good thing I just finished a couple late-season scarves for me and Isaac.
Pattern: Malabrigo Linen Stitch Scarf (ravelry)
Needles: US 11
Yarn: kit from the Yarnery
Pattern: similar to Roll-ups from Son of Stitch and Bitch (ravelry)
Yarn: Cascade 220
I cast on 20 sts and knitted until the scarf was preschooler-sized. I’m usually a continental knitter, but I tried lever knitting for this. It was slow-going. I don’t think I’ll convert to lever knitting any time son.
I’ve been making progress on my second quilt of the year. I just finished straight-line quilting. More pictures to come soon!
Way back at the October meeting of the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild, we were given a fantastic bundle of Mona Luna organic fabrics including a bunch from the new Meadow line! The fabric was for the MMQG “Challenge Yourself” project.
My biggest challenge is finishing things on time. So there’s that. I wanted to try a new technique, too. I thought this bold fabric would be a good candidate for reverse applique, inspired by this amazing quilt I stumbled upon. I found a great tutorial that teaches (what I think seems) the easiest reverse applique method, so I went for it.
It was a challenge, for sure. I wanted the ellipses to look like stones in a river, or knots in a tree. I followed the tutorial with only slight modifications: 1) I drew the ellipses directly on the wrong side of my quilt top, 2) I did the sewing on the wrong side of the quilt, where I had drawn the ellipses, instead of on the front, and 3) I used a glue stick instead of tape. I found it helpful to press the fabric from the wrong side of the quilt top, that seemed to make it less likely for the scrap fabric to peek through. I also glue-sticked the scrap fabric in place after turning and pressing, then I glue-sticked the Mona Luna Meadow fabric to the quilt, too. I used a lot of glue sticks for this.
A close-up of the front. All that glue-sticking washed right out :) I used my walking foot for most of the lines, but free-motioned the few lines that end in curls. I’m not real happy with my free-motion skills and I might re-do those later. I buried all my ends for this quilt, and I used spray baste for the first time. Lots of new things happening here!
And the back – a darker Kona grey. The quilt is throw-size – 40″ x 60″ – perfect for our couch and this never ending winter.
I finished my first quilt of the year, a piece commissioned by a coworker. It was inspired by this lovely quilt by Blue Elephant Stitches.
It’s queen-size, 86″ x 94″. I used Kona for the background and a mix of solids and prints for the triangles. I’m particularly fond of the striped batik triangles, the red and aqua stripes pull everything together. The quilting was done by Marilyn Kidd (kiddsrweAThotmailDOTcom), whom I highly recommend!
The back has a scrappy rectangle and a Kona background. As usual I did a lot of math for this quilt and had very little fabric left over.
I used a new (to me) technique for the binding, following this tutorial for Susie’s Magic Binding. I’m really happy with this method. I made this binding a little wider than the tutorial, and I stitched it so that my “stitching in the ditch” on the front caught the binding on the back. It was just easier for me that way. I think this binding technique looks really sharp with this quilt, and I’ll definitely use it again.