Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Impromptu Sewing

A couple weekends ago I was thinking how my daughter really needed a new pair of pajamas.  I've been wanting to make her a nightgown, but was in the mood to make something that minute, so didn't want to take the time to trace a pattern, etc.

So while she was napping I grabbed a dress that currently fits her and was close enough in form to what I was imagining.  Then I went to the fabric closet and pulled out a pillowcase; purchased with a sheet set at a garage sale a while back for a few bucks and waiting to be re-purposed.

I laid out the dress over the pillowcase on my cutting mat, and just cut around it with the rotary cutter, leaving room for a seam allowance.

The dress fit across the width of the pillowcase; so I put the edge with a seam at the bottom of the dress, and the other edge at the top, so that there would be no uncomfortable seam over the shoulder.  Then I cut just along that seam at the bottom:

I pinned and sewed the two side seams - accidentally pinning and sewing through the armhole as well.  (Moving too fast...)  I used about a half inch seam allowance, pressed the seams open and then sewed down each edge.  There's probably a name for that, but I don't know what it is.

Next I narrowly folded over the fabric around the arm holes, twice, and sewed.  Same for the bottom hem. I think it was a this point that I realized the dress I had used as my template had buttons down the back; hmm - how to get this over her head...

I cut a slit from the neck in the middle back of the nightgown, and after she woke up from her nap gently tried pulling it over her head, cutting the slit a bit longer until it would go over her head easily.  My plan was to add a button and little elastic loop to this; but after zig-zag stitching the edges of the slit, I decided it was fine to just leave open, and probably more comfortable than having a button back there.

She didn't seem to mind and loves her new pajamas.  Now when I ask her if she likes a piece of fabric she asks me if I'll make her pajamas out of it - not a bad problem to have.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Quilt Guild Shop Hop

Last weekend we had our first quilt guild shop hop.  We went to six shops (would have been seven but a local art fair meant traffic was crazy and parking not to be found).  I of course forgot to take pictures of us out and about, but I did get some pictures of fabric. :)

Our first stop was Millie P's, where we arrived just ahead of a bus tour.  I really like their fabric selection.  They had some great Alexander Henry prints, and were also the only shop on our trip that had the new Farm Fresh line in, which I've been waiting for the last few months.  I picked up a few Christmas prints there for a couple projects I'd like to work on this fall.

Next up was Fat Quarter Quilting.  I hadn't been to this shop before; probably wouldn't go out of my way to go back.  It was a smaller shop with a variety of fabrics.  They did have a dress sample that caught my eye, but didn't see a pattern for it.

Next was Crafty Planet.  We arrived a few minutes before the shop opened so headed down to the coffee shop.  I got a "Killer Chocolate Almond" soy chai; mmm.  The fabric selection was also delicious.  Thank goodness I don't knit yet as they have a lovely selection of yarn as well.  Picked up a couple of cute matryoshka prints.  Been on my wish list for a while but hadn't been able to find quite what I was looking for. Also picked up a Heather Ross print.

After that we stopped at Treadle Yard Goods.  Oh how I wish I lived closer.  I love this store, and the staff is always so nice and helpful.  They stock apparel fabrics and always have such lovely voiles, linens, corduroy, and flannel.  I picked up the softest organic blue knit here, as well as this print I've been eyeing for a while (slated to be jammies for next summer):

We missed Glad Creations due to the aforementioned art fair, so continued on to Sewtropolis, the other shop on the list that I hadn't visited before.  I will definitely be going back.  They had a great selection of Joel Dewberry's latest line, Heirloom.  My favorite print:

They also had a nice selection of knits and a great selection of patterns.  AND I couldn't pass up this lovely; on the wish list since seeing these cute knot shorts:

Last stop was Eagle Creek Quilt Shop.  I also wish this was closer to home.  The shop is not big, but they have lots of fabric, and they always have some great clothes samples on display.  Super helpful and friendly staff as well.  Their oilcloth / laminate section rivals that at Treadle.  They also had the Children at Play line, which I had been looking out for all day.  I think Treadle had a couple of the boy prints, including the cute paper hat print. I especially love the hopscotch print, and the pinwheels:

I've been busy tracing and cutting out patterns this weekend, so will hopefully have some fun projects to show soon. :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

MN Quilt Show

I was thinking about the Quilt Minnesota shop hop that's going on right now, and realized I forgot to blog about this year's MN Quilt Show, which was held in June.  Oh yeah, I forgot to blog about the 2010 show too...well, let's go with 2011 for now.  I felt like there weren't as many quilts on display this year, not as much variety in the kinds of quilts on display, and it seemed like I wasn't taking as many pictures.  (After a quick glance at my 2010 pics it looks like I took pictures of half as many quilts this year.)  I also noticed that the vendors this year were selling a lot less fabric - more patterns and pre-packaged kits, which was kind of a bummer.

All in all, I'm glad I went and I was glad to support the show.  I'm hoping that they start making it a little more young-mom friendly, but being able to at least bring in the stroller was much nicer than last year's experience of trying to straddle a baby on one hip while carrying purse and camera and trying to take pictures with said baby constantly grabbing at the camera.  I thought this was going to be a happy post, but I guess I'm getting on my soapbox for a bit. It does get to me that this is one of the most kid-unfriendly events I attend - and the attendees are about 99% women!  How do they expect to attract more young women to quilting if it's a huge hassle for young moms to attend?  Lots of us moms tend to take our young kids with us when we go out, and being told that you can't bring in a stroller, or having to hunt down a bathroom that actually has a changing station doesn't really make ya feel welcome.  This year the bathroom did have a changing table; it folded down over the sinks...and should I mention the faucets were too tall to actually allow the table to fold down all the way?  Argh.  Okay, I think I'm done ranting.  How about some pretty pictures?

Here are my favorites from this year's show:

I like the fabrics, quilting, and overall visual effect of this quilt.

Pretty sure it looked the edges of the fabric had actually been burned.

Intricate machine applique; not to mention the quilting.  This quilt also featured some decorative embroidery and embellishments.

I have a soft-spot for Churn Dash blocks.  They evoke a comfy, homey feeling.  I will make my own Churn Dash quilt some day.  Maybe one like the cover quilt from this book, but they're also so pretty on their own... 

  And a close-up of the appliqued center medallion.

Antique quilts on display.

I don't think I will ever make a quilt like this, but I couldn't resist taking several pictures of this one.  The detail on it is amazing.  Check out the two pics below for further proof:

Wow.  I love when you can tell that the quilt has really been a labor of love. (Something I try to remind myself of when I'm feeling behind - it's OK to slow down!)

I think someday I'd also like to experiment with making a (small) quilt like this; making a person that actually looks like a person, and conveys the emotion you intended.

A crazy quilt - also on my someday list.  I think in general I like quilts that you can look at over and over again and always find something new, some fabric or detail that you hadn't noticed before.

Not the best pictures on my part, but I like the colors used in this quilt.  Looked like the blocks were all from the recent Rose of Sharon book. (The book is on my maybe list as I like the Rose of Sharon pattern, but don't know that I would make a whole quilt of these blocks.)

This one?  Definitely a labor of love.  I like this quilt.  I also really like cows.

I like that this quilt is more complex than it looks.  Each hexagon is made up of 6 carefully cut and pieced triangles:

And the same quilt, but different fabrics: 

This picture just does not do this quilt justice.  I've come to the conclusion that I am just not a fan of the snowball block.  This is the only snowball quilt I've ever liked enough to make me think I might change my mind.  Seeing that this picture just doesn't match the effect it had on me at the show makes me wonder if I'd like other snowball quilts more in person.

I like quilts that tell a story; especially applique quilts.  I have this quilt pattern; I don't think I'll ever make this exact quilt, but I'd definitely like to use some of the pattern pieces, and then add some other things, and make it more my own.  It's a king-size quilt.  There were two of these on display at the show; this one and then one in the Glad Creations booth, appliqued by Glad herself, who I think is now around 92, and spends her days appliqueing.  You should check out the rest of Kim McLean's applique patterns.  I want to buy them all, but I'm pretty sure it would be in the realm of decades for me to actually finish them.  I especially like this one, and this one - I love the leafy borders on that last one...maybe it will seem less insane to think about making that quilt once I'm faster at hand applique?

Okay, last quilt.  These two pictures show very different purples; I can't remember now which one was closer to the actual color.  The close-up below of the center shows a little more of the sparkle added to this quilt.

There we go.  All done.  I like each of these for one reason or another, but it feels a little odd to present them here as a group, because I wouldn't say that this set of quilts really defines my overall style.  At the quilt show, you essentially have traditional quilts, with heavy / intricate quilting, and art quilts.  So, that's what I take pictures of.