Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Hey all! 

Just a quick post, since I will be working day six of eight shifts in a row today. Needless to say, I am tired. 

My Yellow Brick Road quilt is coming along. This week we are adding borders, layering, and basting. Since my schedule has not allowed me the time to finish these steps yet, I'll just show you the work in progress. 

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced. 

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sew Tunes:  Bastille station on Pandora's a good one!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Sunday Stash-a-holic

I did a bad thing. 

Calling all fabric-a-holics...

I need some moral support here. 

I can't stop. 

I now have 5...


....OKAY...10...ish (eek) quilt projects waiting for me. Thought of another couple this morning while getting ready. Like a true addict, I'm not even going to mention the apparel projects waiting in the wings. They don't count. They're (mostly) a totally different type of fabric, and thus should not be included in the group. Umm...yeah. 

How do I stop?

I need to sit down and WORK on these projects before brainstorming and buying the material (literally) for more. 

Here are my latest acquisitions, judge at your leisure: 

A very thoughtful friend gave me a gift card to Jo-Ann's. I had to use it! This is from "Rosette" by Juliana Horner, daughter of well-loved designer Anna Maria of course! I love the other fabrics in the line, but this one made my heart go pitter-pat. It is also luxuriously soft and smooth (meaning that since it's quilting cotton it will probably wrinkle like the dickens!)

I'm thinking this dress (McCall's 6833 version D) for a lovely, fall-inspired frock. 

I have been eyeing Rosette fabric for a while, but couldn't stomach the $12.99/yd price tag. Yikes! Well, in true Jo-Ann's fashion - a pattern sale, several coupons and a gift card later - the total out-of-pocket cost for this dress (including zipper, brown lining fabric, interfacing, thread, and pattern) will probably be ~$5. 

Ha! Take that addiction! 

I also made a dangerous stop at one of my fave local quilt shops (LQS in future) and picked up some goodies. 

Has anyone else been in love with Technicolor since it was released? I have been web-stalking these beauties for a while now. Low and behold, my LQS had some hand-cut charm packs for only $6.00/ea, BUT they were having a 15% off all fabric sale to celebrate Halloween! They were only $5.10/ea. Hecks-to-the-yeah! 

I'm thinking of designing a HST (half-square triangle) lap quilt in the near future with possible step-by-step tutorial if anyone is interested. :) 

Last, but not least, I think I have a new favorite color. 

Kona Storm. 

It's the perfect deep navy blue. This picture does not do it justice. 

I originally went looking for solid navy fabric to accompany my 2-for-1 Improv quilt (again, sorry...coming soon). It will be made of Modern Meadow, similar to my Yellow Brick Road quilt. I tried matching it up with Kona Navy, but it was weirdly too green. 

Then I found Kona Storm. 

I think it will also be the perfect neutral to accompany Technicolor. Don't you?

Finding Fifth

Linking up with Fiona at Finding Fifth Michelle at Squeek Crafts

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Sorry guys. Yesterday got away from me, but I was visited by some very dear friends so it was worth it!

The way this week has gone, I actually could have done more of a "Wednesday Stash" and "WIP Sunday" post, but that would just be crazy!

Things I learned this week:  
Measure and choose pattern size by bust and waist - but more by bust. Most of the time, you will need to size down from the measurements on the back of the pattern. 

After measuring the pattern pieces and myself many times before cutting, I was sure I needed a smaller size. The bust was measuring at a size 8, if not a 6. The waist, however, was measuring more like a 10.      

I know...sad. That's just how I'm shaped. 

I knew cutting a bigger bodice size to accommodate my waist measurements would end up with a bodice like a potato sack. So...I cut the bodice at an 8, the waist at a 10, and hoped to be able to ease them together without it getting too wonky. 

And then there was this....

First off, the chair I draped it over makes it look like it's been shaped to fit a very square linebacker. It looked a little better on, but not much. Maybe someday (if I end up liking apparel sewing) I'll win the dress-form lottery. 

But do you see that awful bunching at the bottom? Do you??


I had to rip it all out. It was just too terrible.  

I then set to work re-cutting the waist pieces to a size 8. A mere 1/4 inch off the ends of the pieces...but that results in sizing the waist down a entire inch. 

It looks better, but there's still something a little weird about the front when I try it on. Hopefully my instructor can help me figure it out at class tonight. 

I'm thinking it might be because the pattern calls for gathering, which is resulting in strange and bulky bunching. Perhaps pleating would be better?

**Just a point of reference, this is only the second article of clothing I have EVER sewn. The last was a very simple skirt, so I have never sewn anything with a bodice or sleeves. I'm pretty proud of my sleeves. They are not perfect by any means, but I was super scared of them. Turns out they were way easier than I thought, and I don't think they look half bad! 

Also, I (mostly) finished my Yellow Brick Road quilt top. We are working on the borders in class next Monday, so I'm all caught up! 

I managed to finish binding the Cameo quilt! All that's left is the applique, and then it's finally headed to it's intended owner. :)  

Sorry, no pics just yet. I'll post some after I know it has been received. 

The only thing I didn't get to was my 2-for-1 Improv quilt top. (Another sorry here). It should come together quickly, as soon as I get a minute to work on it. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Bomb Girls and Goals

Work is cramping my sewing style. 

Rather a problem, but since it provides the funds for the fabric - I shouldn't complain too loudly. 

After working all weekend, I had to take a break to clean the house. All of the work in the sewing room over the last couple of weeks did a good job of distracting me from managing the household. I just couldn't ignore it any longer!

I got up this morning and I ....

Er...not quite. 

Actually, I vacuumed, swept, mopped, dusted, and scrubbed like I've (maybe) never scrubbed before. 

I feel much better. And so do my house and my dog. She was also well overdue for some scrubbing. 

I was so tired afterward, that I didn't accomplish any more sewing today. 

Instead, I found a new fave throwback series.

Superb retro fashion, mixed with just enough scandal. 

If I can tear myself away from Netflix, the plan is to marathon sew tomorrow 

1. Finish attaching applique pieces and bind the Cameo quilt. 
2. Finish the Yellow Brick Road quilt top. 
3. Finish my 2-for-1 Improv quilt top (more on that later). 
4. Complete the bodice and sleeves on the Paris dress. 

Look for a very full WIP Wednesday post to see my progress!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Stash

Welcome to my first Sunday Stash!  Linking up at Finding Fifth. 

Finding Fifth

As a beginning quilter - I find it hard to buy less than an entire fabric collection. Or is that just because I'm now a quilter, and I LOVE fabric?? 

Either way, my current stash is made up of mostly fat quarter bundles of entire fabric collections, rather than random fabrics. 

Any tips on ways to broaden my horizons?

Also, is it best to buy fat quarters? Or half-yards? Or a random assortment of these and other pre-cuts?? 

Anyway, these are my most recent purchases, and I ADORE them. 

On the left - Reminisce by Bonnie Christine 
On the right - Tule by Leah Duncan

Both are Art Gallery Fabrics and, if you are familiar with their product, then you know they are divine. They have the smoothest, silkiest quilting cottons ever. 

Let's start with Reminisce. 

Here are just a few of my favs from the bunch. 

I just love that punchy, mod floral - in both colorways. Having a hard time deciding what quilt to make with this line. Currently, I'm torn between Swoon (even if I am a year or two behind everyone else) or Flower Path. Which do you prefer??

And now for Tule...

I just HAD to give this last fabric it's own showtime debut.

Isn't it fabulous?! I want to buy yards and yards, wrap myself up toga-style, and prance around in fabric heaven. Don't judge if you don't feel the same. If you're a fellow sewaholic, then I'm sure you have your own toga fabric in mind. Perhaps we could throw a party? 

I have no idea what I'm going to do with this Tule bundle yet. I just couldn't not buy it. 

Current Sew Tunes: Imagine Dragons 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Blog Button for Everyone!

So...I'm struggling with Blogger. 

I created a gadget with a cute Blog Button, which I would like to be able to share with friends and readers. 

Unfortunately, Blogger will not save the HTML code for the button in the text box below it. No matter what I try. It's obvious there isn't anything wrong with the code, because the button itself works just fine. Also, if I type any non-code phrase into the text area, it saves without issue. I don't get any kind of an error message when I try to save code, it just won't save and gets automatically deleted.

What is going on? 

Maybe there's a problem with the gadget I created? 

Maybe there's something funky with the code? 

I had my programmer husband look at it last night. He couldn't find the problem either. 

C'est la vie. 

Anyway, if anyone would like a button, I have created a blog page, rather than a gadget, where you can get the code. 

And if anyone has any genius idea about what's wrong, I'm open to input! 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Movin' On Up: WIP Wednesday

Hey all! 

I made some design changes to the blog. What do you think? I definitely think it's a little more me. I think I might be starting to get the hang of this blog thing!

I started my two classes at Nuttall's in SLC, so I have LOTS of WIPs for WIP Wednesday! 

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

For my Beginning Sew 2 class, I am sewing a dress - McCall's 6503 (dress B on the top right).

It will be made from this wonderful Parisian-inspired fabric. I'm hoping it turns out as cute as I'm imagining it. 

The second class is a beginning quilting class. We will be sewing "Yellow Brick Road." I have to admit, when I saw the pattern - particularly the picture on the front of the pattern - I had my doubts about whether I would like this quilt. 

It screamed old, muted, and grandma to me. I definitely like brighter colors and a more modern aesthetic. But, I decided I would forge on, calling it a practice quilt and hoping for the best. 

I chose to work with some Joel Dewberry. An older line called "Modern Meadow." I was able to get a fat quarter selection at a reasonable price, as it was not the latest and greatest. Some of the fabrics I ended up with are slightly different than shown in this picture, but it gives you the general idea. 

Here's what i have so far:

I definitely have more aqua and less green in my overall palette, which I am happy with. It was so quick and fun, I didn't want to stop. But I guess I have to save some work for class. 

Last, but not least, a project that is WAY overdue. I must apologize to the intended recipient, as it has taken me at least a month longer than I had hoped. 

Ah well. 

I started with some Cameo from Amy Butler. So pretty!

I finished all of the straight line quilting yesterday. I'm pretty happy with the diagonal and almost plaid-like texture it gives the quilt. Too bad I'll have to cover some of it up with the applique. 

 What I learned: 

Straight-line quilting is actually pretty difficult, even with my walking foot. I tried several different marking and measuring techniques. 

The top two rather wonky lines were marked first using masking tape. I discovered that it's actually a bit difficult to follow, and quite a pain to rip off if you accidentally quilt over it. 

On the bottom line, I tried using the guide bar that hooks into my walking foot. I felt like it was too difficult to follow. The top of the guide bar tips up a bit as you quilt, so you can see where the front of the bar is going, but not really the back. This resulted in quilting generally the correct distance from the previous line, but the angle would be off because I couldn't see well enough to line it up correctly. 

I'm sure a more seasoned quilter with a fancier machine can achieve better results, but it was frustrating for me. 

So then I started just marking the quilting lines on the quilt top using heat-erasable Frixion pens and my quilting ruler. 

So much straighter!! Yay!

I know, not perfect, but I was much, much happier with the results. By the end of the quilt, my lines were so much straighter, and the stitches much more even. I definitely felt more successful with this method. 

Now, I know there are lots of reviews for and against the Frixion pens and their use in the quilting world. Lee - over at Freshly Pieced - has a great review. I decided to try them, especially since I'm not a show quilter and all of my quilts will be washed. So far, so good. 

Happy Wednesday!