Friday, May 31, 2013

Quilt Love

There is nothing quite as special as having quilt friends visit so you can make their bed with thousands of dollars worth of quilts...and having them "get it".

Thursday, May 30, 2013


I can't remember which came first, my annoyance with the flood of new junk mail that started to arrive after I financed a new car or my frustration that all my current quilt projects are too time and space consuming.
But then I saw an idea for a string quilt on one of the blogs I follow.  So about the time I should have been heading to bed, I started a junk mail foundation piecing string project

Monday, May 13, 2013


I made some progress on the FMQ fill on this quilt.  Unfortunately, I discovered that FMQ on my home machine puts pressure on the same nerves in my right wrist that I fatigued Saturday digging weeds with a hand trowel, then inflamed with nearly 300 miles on the bike Sunday (throttle hand).  Subsequently, after about 10 minutes my right thumb and pointer finger go numb.
  It's easier to see how the fill is shaping up from the back where the grey thread contrasts with the red backing.

My FMQ is getting better.  And I'm trying to relax and not worry if things don't go exactly as I have them in my mind.  Maybe by the time I get this one done I'll be ready to claim that I've moved from "beginner" to "intermediate" FMQ skills.   Practice, practice, practice.


The quilt project I really need to be working on is FMQ.  But I need to take over the dining room table.  So I decided to wait for the weekend and started sewing together some 9 patch blocks when I had some time last week.

But then the weekend became a gardening project.

And a chance to try my new sippy cup.

And then it got too hot for gardening.  So we rode to Stanley for lunch.

Thanks to the gardening and the ride, my back & shoulders are too sore to FMQ.  Maybe I'll take a nap instead.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Back to Quilting

Rather than finish hemming my new dresses, I returned to the world of quilting.  I finished reading The Cross-Country Quilters by  Jennifer Chiaverini.  Then between loads of laundry and batch cooking, I spent the rest of my day off outlining the Bursting Star quilt.  This is the back so you get a feel for design as it overlays the star pattern and is harder to see from the front.  I drew the pattern on the front using a wash away marker, then stitched all these straight lines using the walking foot.

I've been inspired by the quilting at Green Fairy Quilts and Borderline Quilter.  Judi and Kay have really inspired me to look at the vast open spaces of a quilt much differently.  They also make me want to improve my Free Motion Quilting skills.    

I will keep you posted as I work my way through this experiment.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Lace Re-Do

 I inherited a wonderful lace dress in March from mom, whom had hit a closet cleaning binge.   The good news is that it was exactly my size. Mom denies that I could possibly ever fit what she did as she always considered herself a "full size" gal.  Ironically, a 1948 size 18-20 is a 2012 size 10-12.

 The bad news is that I have no occasion in my world to wear a lace dress.   And there was some fading where the blue lace and lining had become purple.

(I like purple.  It's just not uniformly purple)

The over jacket makes it even more formal don't you think?

Meanwhile back at the Sewing Challenge, someone suggested taking a picture of a ready to wear garment, then making your own version of it.

PSHTT.  Dude.  I don't shop.  I would rather compete in a spelling bee than shop for clothing.  I will volunteer for a 3rd grade field trip with children I do not know, long before I will go to the mall.

But much to my dismay, I had to to pick up my older daughter from work at JCP.  I decided to use my extra time to try on swim suits.  ( Another story for another day).  But then I saw THIS DRESS!!!

**Insert background music with angels singing **

It is a great design with a lined front and unlined back. ...which would be lovely if I were 18, weighed 100 # and had perky boobs.

But I LOVE this dress!
 I spent most of a day cutting the lining out of the vintage lace dress.  I spent most of that time thinking that I was an idiot and that my mom was going to kick my ass if she ever found out.

(Betty Jeanne is a force to be reckoned with. My fear is not misplaced.)

I trimmed to 1/2" of all the linings, then serged the edges and top stitched.

Remember those 9 bins of sewing stuff?

It included a 100% cotton fitted knit sheet that I bought at a thrift store thinking that it might be handy as "muslin".

Lime Green.  My neutral.

 I took that stupid  t-shirt pattern I've been trying to master, but cut much deeper and narrower sections for the "tank" to match the pattern pieces.

I made a wicked dangerous, not appropriate decision  regarding the bindings.  I did a cross width strip, 1.75" wide.  My goal was 3/8" finish binding.

I basted it at 1/8", connected it at the same width.  Serged it at 3/8"
I probably could have done a better photograph, but this one captures how happy I am with the binding outcome.

For both the neckline and arm holes I ignored popular recommendations and made the binding 20% smaller than the actual distance (as compared to the 0-15% recommendations).

After 2 posts whining about necklines, I seem to have the answer. My girls look happy. (Well, at least covered and secured.)

My idea was to have a knit "slip" to fit under several dresses that I have, or plan to make.

I also have a 50's flared skirt black lace dress that may work with the same lime tank dress if I am clever.

How fun will this be with both lime and hot pink under slips?  (And maybe teal, plum, black, ect.)

I have yet to decide on a stright hem vs scalloped lace edge.   But at least I am minutes from
 a wearable dress.