Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 Project Wrap-up: Little Red Riding Hood Cape

There are a number of projects I've completed this year, but haven't gotten around to posting.  I thought it would be fun to wrap up the year by going through that completed list and sharing the rest of those projects over the next few days.

For Halloween this year my daughter decided she wanted to be Little Red Riding Hood.  Turns out this is a great costume idea, as the costume itself is fairly simple to make, and it's so easy to put on and take off - perfect for a 3 year old. I used the Little Red Riding Hood Cape pattern from LIttle Things to Sew.  The pattern sizes in the book are listed as 0-4 and 5-10.  I went with the 5-10 size, as I wanted the cape to be a little longer than shown in the book, and with using good-quality (read: expensive) wool, I really wanted it to be big enough to last a few years.

I picked up my fabric at Treadle, a pretty dark red melton wool for the outside, and some beautiful voile from Tula Pink's The Birds and the Bees for the liner.  The staff at Treadle are so knowledgeable and helpful; I hadn't sewn with wool or voile before, and was a little nervous about the durability of the voile.  They suggested maybe using flannel with the voile as I didn't really want to use interfacing.  I ended up really liking using the flannel; it added some extra warmth and weight to the cape, and I realized after I was working on it that I was really happy I had that extra layer as the voile is thin enough that the voile would have looked considerably darker if directly backed by the dark red wool.

I loved sewing with wool, and once again found myself so thankful for those Clover Wonder Clips.  They are a must when sewing bulky layers - they easily hold everything together without distorting, and are very  easy to put on, take off, and adjust.  I definitely recommend getting the large box! :)

The cape turned out beautifully and has been getting regular use since Halloween.  It's been just as fun to wear on our weekend outings to run errands as it has for special occasions.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

June's Quilt - Blogger's Quilt Festival

I am so glad to finally be participating in the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  I have been so excited to share this quilt.

Blogger's Quilt Festival Stats:
Quilt measurements: Approx. 46"x46"
Special Techniques: Hand Applique, Hand Quilting
Quilted by: Me! :)
Best Categories: Baby Quilt, Applique Quilt, Hand-quilted Quilt

I made this quilt for my daycare provider's new baby girl.  I started while she was still pregnant, talked to her best friend to stay in the know on the baby's room colors - yellow, hot pink and lime green, and started pulling from my stash and planning.  I based the center dresden plate off Anna Maria Horner's Center of Attention Quilt in Handmade Beginnings.

I also liked the scrappy background Anna Maria had used in her quilt.  I pulled all the pale yellow and gold fabrics I had and figured out measurements to exactly use up all the fabric in each fat quarter of the background fabric.  I decided to do the same bright scrappy mix of colors for the inner border, and for the binding.  I love the way everything radiates out from the center of the quilt, a perfect spot for admiring a new baby.

I hand-appliqued the dresden plate and then hand-quilted the quilt. The hand quilting on the dresden plate took quite a while and was a bit tough to get through all those layers, but it was worth it.

This quilt took me months to complete.  It traveled with me in the car on road trips and commutes to slowly work on the quilting. I used a mix of orange, green and pink variegated perle cottons for the quilting of the dresden plate and the inner border to mimic the mix of fabrics.  The radiating lines of quilting on the yellow background was done with a cream perle cotton to blend in.

I'm also really pleased with how the back of the quilt turned out.  I designed it to mimic the front, planning out my quilting in advance to make sure the back would still look good and the quilting would fit the design of both the front and back of the quilt.

Lots of memories wrapped up in this quilt.  It was a little hard to give away, but it went to one of the sweetest little girls I know.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Crewelwork - Progress

While sitting in waiting rooms over the last couple days I finished up letters "L" and "M" on my alphabet sampler.  I like the rhythm of working on hand projects like this; the slower pace is relaxing and there's a certain satisfaction in each little stitch, but it's also nice to make / see progress.  I'm now halfway done!

Linking up with Finish it Up Friday; liking linking up with this as it's good motivation to get things done!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fabric Inspiration

Right now I am loving / being inspired by this little pile of fabrics:

I usually work with more feminine palettes (my collection of pink fabrics is definitely the biggest stack in my stash), but sometimes I get the itch to work on projects with a more masculine feel.  This little stack would make a great start for a bow-tie or hourglass mini quilt...or maybe a bed-size Ocean Waves quilt with a light gray linen background.  Don't expect to see a finished quilt any time soon though - I have way too many other projects in the this lovely one I just started:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Weekend Retreat

I spent last weekend on a retreat with some lovely ladies.  Most were scrapping, but a few of us were sewing.  I didn't finish all the projects I brought along, but I came home pretty happy with my progress.

I finished three projects on Friday.

First up, a drawstring bag for my daughter.  I wanted a bag she could easily open and close to hold her dance shoes.  The main outer fabric was from her little stash of fabrics (yes, she already has her own little pile going); then we picked out some additional fabrics from my stash.  The bag came together pretty quickly and it was fun to choose the fabrics with her.  Super easy for her to manage on her own, and she was so proud to go up in front of all the ladies at the quilt shop this morning to display her show 'n tell. :)

Made using this tutorial.

Next was a pillowcase, a Christmas gift for a girl who loves horses:
Last on my list for Friday was finally finishing a tutu I had started for my daughter over a year ago.  I had purchased tulle that was not as wide as that used in the book, and when I first started on the project it was a bit confusing to figure out how to lay things out compared to the book and I ended up setting things aside.  Luckily when I pulled everything out this time the directions seemed clear, construction went pretty smoothly, and I love how it turned out.

Saturday and Sunday were spent working on a quilt.  I finished the top, made the backing, basted and finished half of the quilting before having to pack up on Sunday.  I only have a few more hours of quilting left; hoping I can have it bound by the weekend!

Starting off right

I'm starting off right with this year's block-of-the-month - in the midst of frantically working on another project I took some time to get my first block done - just in time for tomorrow morning's class.  I love how it turned out:

I modified the block size, swapped a couple fabrics from the packet for fabrics from my stash, and made it a little wonky.  And I think I might actually be liking purple! (The purple is much brighter than it looks in the picture.)

Linking up with Finish it up Friday.