I made a Noodlehead Caravan bag as part of a swap last year (link to that blog post)– and when I (why do I do these things!) spontaneously joined another instagram swap on-line I decided why not make another! And I decided I needed one too. Continue reading
I recently did a demo on hand quilting for the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild.
I covered both perle cotton hand quilting – aka big stitch quilting – as well as traditional hand quilting – since really, there isn’t much difference in the technique, just the size of the thread, needles, and knots.
Here is the hand out I made for the talk – it’s based on the longer class I have taught a few times. Of course, to really understand hand quilting, you need to see it done!
I want to make an illustrated version of the hand out above, but hopefully it can be helpful to others – at least it gives you the terms you’ll want to google to find videos that show the technique being done.
I love hand quilting – it is such a beautiful, therapeutic way to enhance your quilting. I also like it because so much of my sewing I’m squirrelled away up in my sewing room -this allows me to sew while still hanging out with family.
Do you know who made the first bunting quilt? I’d like to know! I feel like they just sort of popped up all over the internet at once about 5 years ago, but surely someone thought of the first one.
Well, that person wasn’t me, but I have made a fair few of them in my time and I’d love to give the original person the credit! They are just perfect for weddings and baby gifts! Here is the latest.
I also wanted to share a bit on my process of making bunting flag quilts – not so much a tutorial, more of some tips and tricks.
I actually layer, baste and quilt the whole thing BEFORE adding the flags. I use a sheet for larger quilts so I can get a solid background with no interrupting seams. So for this quilt, I was just basting two totally blank sheets together! It’s very odd looking, but I think it is faster than quilting around the flags once they are sewn down and creates a nicer effect. I use an all over meander, though a grid would also look really nice, and I have done that before. It is a real challenge to get the grid to be perfectly even with no squares to go by!
Then I cut out all the flags and iron the edges under – I don’t do raw edge applique with them.
I use a bias trim maker to make the ribbon – a half inch wide – and then lay out the ribbon, criss-crossing it across the quilt till I like the lay out. then I lay down my flags and pin them into place. I quilt along the ribbon top and bottom and then around the flags.
This quilt also had a monogram added – I do this last- and I do use raw edge applique, and you can see on the back where the letters are. I don’t love the look of the backwards letters on the back of the quilt but I think it’s so much nicer to have the letters quilted and outlined.
Finally, no quilt is ready till it’s lint rolled! It’s not glamorous, but it does make a quilt look so much nicer! And a last picture of the binding. I used the Whispers by Michael Miller line and it has these lovely just off shades of clay. They look great together on the binding. This line is just perfect for a wedding quilt that will translate well into day to day life around the house I think.
And a last look at the binding – I used
I finished this baby quilt shortly after the baby was born, but never got pictures of it. I used it as a play gym for her until recently, since she is now too grown up for play gyms! I wrote about the play gym process here – it was easy to pull off the arches and transition it into a play mat – perfect for sitting on the front porch and watching the cats.
More baby quilts! When I was a kid, I had a baby quilt with my name on it, and I LOVED THAT QUILT. So I try to always add a name onto quilts I make for kids. In this case, I was making two matching quilts for some little brothers. I struggled with the placement of the names. I had it set in my head that I had to use these dots. Now I regret the dots.
First I had just one dot, I loved the one dot, I made the quilt and it was finished. But then I thought it looked like Trumano. Not what I was going for. In retrospect, I should have, at this point, removed the dot. But it would have been a mess, as then the name would have been off center, and everything was already appliqued down with fusible webbing.
Years ago, I “finished” this Rainbow Derecho quilt, but was never happy with it. Here is another post about the progress of the quilt. The quilting, the puckering of the applique, the weight of it (too heavy and stiff), lots of little things. I tried to finish it in a rush and that was an important lesson learned – why rush to finish something just so you can spend years not liking it?!?
But, I have a friend who is the perfect recipient for this quilt, and I’m moving soon and interested in off-loading a few quilts that are just gathering dust. Even though this quilt isn’t perfect, it deserves better than sitting in a box!
A while back I did a swap – even though I swore off on-line swaps years ago after several in a row where I didn’t receive anything in return, and also the anxiety-inducing fear that my recipient would hate what I made. Not my definition of fun. But the #OhCraft group had a bag swap, and I just couldn’t resist.
My partner made a collage with linen, coral and embroidery and requested the Caravan Tote by Noodelhead. I can do that! The pictures aren’t great, but this bag was really fun!
Sew all the clothes!
The problem with sewing clothes instead of quilts is I never feel self conscious taking pictures of my quilts in the backyard, but the 5 minute selfie photoshoot I did of my bust this morning trying to get a good shot of the neckline of this tunic would have been pretty embarrassing if any curious neighbors had wandered by!
I got some mustang fabric from girlcharlee, and it was burning a hole in my sewing room, so I had to make a tunic. This fabric is incredibly soft and nice to sew with. It’s lightweight, but not see through. And it has horses on it.
Ok, here are the pictures of the neckline I risked all of my dignity (Let’s be real, I have no dignity) to take. I think it looks great despite me pulling it down a million times all day to nurse (I mentioned I have no dignity). My last two necklines were not so great. I think I’m perfecting the “stretch the collar not the shirt” secret to successful knit necklines? And here is a link to the Etsy shop I got that teething necklace from.
It’s the last day of May, so I’m going to talk about #memademay which is a project where people document themselves wearing clothing they’ve made. I love the idea, and since none of my clothes fit right after the baby, it’s good timing for me to get into garment sewing anyway. I think I might be *gasp* a little bored with quilting!?! I’m sure it will come back to me. I think I was just ready for a new challenge, and I got a little bit obsessed! I made some shirts, skirts, and more skirts.
I tested a new blouse pattern, the Biscayne Blouse by Adrianne Appl at Hey June Handmade. It was my first time testing a pattern, and made me realize HOLY COW pattern designing must be so incredibly difficult. Don’t get me wrong, I always feel like anyone who is designing bag and garment patterns must be basically magical because things that seem impossible to me just fly together like magic when I actually read and follow the instructions.
But it was really fun to be a little bit on the inside of the process and really increased my respect for people who have the ability to clearly explain complicated sewing techniques. This blouse is not hard per se, but it definitely uses sophisticated techniques that I had no experience with. It’s super wrinkly here, but, you know, real life happens.
This is a blousy blouse, it is gorgeous in silkier, flowier fabrics than what I used, and a little poofy in the cotton/spandex blend and vintage polyester I used in my two versions – but I still like them both and will definitely wear them.
It is loose fitting and a lot of the testers went down a size, but I made my based on the recommended size for my measurements. I think the finished shirt looks professional despite my sloppy approach and inexperience. All the seams are enclosed, which I would have thought would be intimidating, but she explains everything so well!
As a fabric choice warning, I will say I had more issues with the placket on the white shirt. Because it was heavier fabric, I didn’t fully interface it, and it didn’t make very crisp lines when I ironed it. I kind of lost track of my folds and chaos ensued. But I’m sure after a few washes the little flaws will disappear.
I like the loose fit, partly because it’s more comfortable and very easy to pull up for nursing. I’m a fan of the “wear two shirts and pull up the top shirt to nurse” team vs. the “wear a shirt that opens and pull it down to expose the breast” team. I think mainly because I had a winter baby and exposing any extra skin was not a good idea. But ANYWAY, whichever camp you’re in, this shirt works great because the button placket could definitely be pulled open for nursing.
I had a ton of fun working on these shirts. And the navy fabric was free from some trash pile years ago and the white fabric was $3 so yay! Don’t judge the pattern based on my sloppy shirts here, by the way~ I’m such a beginner to garment sewing. This is a fun pattern and it looked great on all the testers with many different body sizes – I totally recommend it!
Also Hey June has this adorable free pattern for a girl’s knit dress.