Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Lovely Year of Finishes: October Goal

I recently came across A Lovely Year of Finishes and thought it would be great inspiration to get some of my many WIPs completed!  For October my goal is to finish my Indigo quilt top + backing and get it basted.

Linking up to October: A Lovely Year of Finishes Goal Setting Party.

Monday, May 26, 2014

A cape

On vacation recently my daughter was on the lookout for good cape material. That is to say material to make a cape in the style of her favorite Disney princess...I have so far declined to make a full costume, but I was on board for a cape. I envisioned something super simple and hopefully durable.  We did bring home a shimmery piece of fabric, and after moving it from spot to spot around my studio the last few weeks I finally took an hour to sew up the cape; mission accomplished!

Here's how I did it:

I had bought a 3/4 yard cut of fabric and used it as-is in a big rectangle.  I had pre-washed the fabric, so first I ironed and then trimmed the sides to be straight. I also trimmed of both selvedge ends. I then basted both long edges of the fabric (I find a basting stitch is a fast and easy guide for hemming). For the two long edges I wanted just a narrow hem so did a 1/4" seam:

Break to check out the awesome lego tractor she just built.

I then folded along the basting stitches; I did a quick finger press first and then used my point turner to run along the edge in front of the iron (the point turner is a fairly recent acquisition and I love it - no more burning the tips of my fingers with steam - yay!) Then fold the edge over again and press. Repeat for other long side and then edgestitch both hems. I did a slightly wider hem for the bottom edge.

Break again somewhere in there as she had now finished the trailer, complete with puppy and apple.

For the top I made a 1/2" casing and then draped the cape around my daughter's neck to estimate the length of elastic. I inserted the elastic, leaving just a 1/2" or so sticking out of each end and then made two 12 1/2" strips of single fold binding with some coordinating blue fabric to use as ties. I decided it would look nicer if the ties were enclosed in the elastic casing, so I tacked one edge of each tie to the end of the elastic with a couple stitches and then after fussing with it for a bit managed to get the tie edge into the casing. I used a zig zag stitch to secure the tie and elastic at the same time. It would have been better to use my walking foot for the zig zag stitches as it was a lot of layers and they didn't want to budge so the stitches were a lot closer together than I intended; oh well. It's definitely secure. :)

 Tie a bow on the happy recipient and let the lego playing recommence. :)

Morning Inspiration

Coffee in hand, I spent the first part of the morning in the porch, with a stack of quilting books to keep me company.  I've been on the hunt for pattern inspiration for an upcoming quilt I'm planning.  And even though I didn't find any ideas for that particular quilt, I didn't make it past the first book.

Usually when I am in this mindset I go to the bookshelf, pull out a stack of books I think will have the kind of quilt-inspiration I'm looking for, and then page through them fairly quickly, looking for ideas to jump out at me.  But something about the book itself and the quiet of the morning led me to slower perusing.  I'm not sure what it is that draws me back over and over again to books by Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke (of Material Obsession fame), as I don't usually want to make the same quilts they've made, but I often find that at least one of the books they've authored together or individually is one of the firsts I pull off the shelf.

And today was no exception. Making Quilts totally hit the spot this morning.  Filled to the brim with ideas by the time I got to the last quilt, I left the rest of the stack untouched and went straight to the computer to capture my ideas.  Some of the quilts I just enjoyed looking at, and some gave me ideas for future projects.

I love the wonky flying geese in this one.

I'm not sure when, but at some point in the future I have plans to try my hand at complicated circle blocks. More circle-inspiration favorites: Camelot quilt and Jen Kingwell's designs.

I'm feeling particularly inspired by this quilt. I love the cheddar background. I love the handmade look of the appliqued pickle dish blocks; the combination of such precise piecing with each block just slightly different in overall shape from the next. Each perfect and yet imperfect. Oh yes, I want to make this quilt.

And then another strike of inspiration. I love this quilt; I cannot help but think what a perfect picnic quilt it would be. And I had to run and grab the FQ stack I've had for at least two years, the one that's been waiting to become just such a quilt. And again I think yes, I must make this!

An album quilt; this too is on my someday list. Not this exact quilt. Album quilts feel too intimate to make the same as another. They tell stories, and mine will tell my story. Someday.

And last but not least, something bold and bright and beautiful to leave you with. I am energized and filled up; ready to make and create. I can't start any new projects just yet, but I love having all these ideas brewing in the background, pondering and planning what they will become.