Author Archives: dana

#QuiltsforPulse #OHCraft

The Orlando Modern Quilt Guild put out a call for local guilds to make blocks and quilts for the survivors and families of the horrible Pulse Nightclub shooting earlier this year. The response has been astounding – over 1,000 quilts! Here is one more to add to the mix.

The Group #OHCraft is a crafting community that includes people from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.  Volunteers from the group made the blocks, Lorna put them together, and I quilted the finished project.

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P4P Sunshine Dress Lined Bodice Tutorial

I have a favorite hiking dress made by Eddie Bauer, which I have outlined my quest to re-create here (using the Colette Wren) and here (using the Patterns for Pirates Sunshine Dress)

I loved the Sunshine Dress but wanted to have the bodice lined, so I experimented a bit and came up with the method below. My first two dresses I made using this pattern are really low cut – due to some bad adjustments I made, but I am happy to layer them I know I’ll wear them all the time.

Adding the lining takes a while longer, especially the first time, but I am really happy with the finished result!

Step 1. Buy the pattern here

Tip – if you are using a slippery swim knit or lining you might try wash away wonder tape by Dritz to hold your layers together. It has made a big difference in the quality of my seams!

Ok, let’s get started!

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My Quest for the Perfect Wrap Dress Part 2: P4P Sunshine Dress

IMG_0221I have detailed the first part of my quest for the Perfect wrap dress using Colette Wren Pattern – which I liked but didn’t love – especially the neckline which wasn’t what I was looking for. For reference, this is my favorite dress that I was trying to copy.

So when the Patterns for Pirates Sunshine dress came out I bought it immediately! I then immediately made a dress in the wrong size. Ooopsies! Measure twice cut once, right?

Patterns for Pirates patterns always have a lot of options and they make a lot of special adjustments to make their patterns more user-friendly for pdf printing. I highly recommend them for beginner sewists!

About the Sunshine pattern: This pattern has a super flattering wrap style neckline (and a million other neckline options!).  The neckline is finished with neck bands, which is a very nice and handy way to finish a dress with your serger (generally my preference). However when I made my muslin, I didn’t love the look of the neckband (possibly because it was a size too small!).  So I decided to do a lined bodice) (like my fave dress pictured!)
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My Quest for the Perfect Wrap Dress Part 1: Colette Wren

I have a favorite dress, which I call my hiking dress. I got it at an Eddie Bauer warehouse sale about 4 years ago for $4.  How do I love it? Let me count the ways! It’s easy, flattering, doesn’t wrinkle, and you can nurse in it. I wear it hiking, to weddings, and chase toddlers in 90 degree heat at the zoo.

Though I have been gifted the perfect dress, perfection is never enough. I want more. I have been on a quest to copy the dress ever since I had a vision of it made with this fabric from Peek a Boo Fabric Shop. I immediately ordered the fabric (it was on sale!) but then I was on the hunt for a pattern. (To see the dress I made with that fabric look here)

P4P Sunshine Dress Lined Bodice

I looked at about every wrap dress on the internet, but none were really doing it for me.

Finally I tried the Colette Wren pattern.  I made a “first draft” in this knit that I got for $1.50 a yard from the bargain bin at Girl Charlee. (PS feel free to use my referral link if you’ve never shopped there and are setting up a new account!)

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Toddler Party Dresses! Playgroup, Snapdragon, and Bonny Leggings!

I have been making some little party dresses for my animal loving toddler.

First up, the Fox dress! The pattern is the Playgroup Dress by Fresh Stitch Patterns. I like this simple pattern, which uses woven fabrics (like quilting cottons) with a fully lined bodice and an option for a cute decorative panel. My only complaint is it doesn’t come with a print guide (that I saw – I have been known to miss things) so I had to manually go through the pattern pages to see which I needed to print. Either that or print out the larger sizes which go all the way up to 10 years – and that’s not really necessary for a size 18 month!

It is a little tricky (as a total beginner to garment sewing) to figure out the lined bodice, but the directions are great – once you do it once, it’s super easy!

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How to Host a Quilty Olympics at Your Quilt Guild

Quilt Olympics Trophy

Photos in this blog by Wendy Planicka who also made these amazing trophies

This blog post should really be titled, “How to get other people to host a quilty olympics at your quilt guild” because I didn’t actually participate in the Quilty Olympics that I helped plan for the  this month in honor of the slightly higher profile Olympics currently happening right now in Brazil. I did however, help with the planning until I got sick and couldn’t go to the guild event. So my awesome Quilt Olympics Team (aka the IOC) took over and made it happen without me – thanks team!

However, I thought this write up we put together would be helpful for other guilds!

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Bell’s Palsy Supplements, Vitamins and Essential Oils

I was recently diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy, which is damage to a facial nerve which causes facial paralysis – among other symptoms.

I have been frustrated to find there are not a lot of great resources for people dealing with this.  My doctor was initially particularly unhelpful and dismissive of my concerns. It seems that a lot of people heal quickly and don’t have a lot of symptoms beyond the paralysis. I don’t think my doctor realized the severe nerve pain that can accompany Bell’s Palsy and I think she might have thought I was being overly vain or over-dramatic about my symptoms. I have had to do a lot of research and advocating for myself.

I have had a lot of pain, fatigue, hearing and eye issues associated with mine. These symptoms may be less common, but they are perfectly normal. Nerve damage is strange and unpredictable. Since my research has taken over my life the last two weeks! I will probably post a series of blogs with my research into Bell’s Palsy, but here is my first.

The majority of this information is gleaned from online support groups, most notably this excellent facebook group, which I recommend you join asap if you are new to Bells Palsy!

Here is a list of vitamins, herbs, supplements, etc. that are commonly tried by people who have Bell’s Palsy – compiled for convenience. Please comment with any suggestions, questions, corrections you may have.

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Giant Star Improv Quilt

Improv Star Quilt

I don’t even know how to talk about this quilt. It was a headache from the first second – I changed my design about 10,000 times. They say improv is harder than traditional piecing – because you’re waiting for the quilt to speak to you instead of having a pattern to follow.

I used Sherri Lynn Wood’s Improv book – the floating squares pattern. I copied the quilting from one of the quilts in the book.

Improv Star Quilt
I loved the dreamy watercolor style fabric, but I couldn’t get it to mix right with the others. I just kept adding more and more white until I liked it.

Stop Mountaintop Removal T-shirt Quilt

I made my first t-shirt quilt! It is for a fundraiser for an organization I have worked with for ten years – it’s their tenth anniversary. The shirt is from an event we hosted about 4 years ago.

I have completely used up every “white with red print” scrap in my stash. I was really stretching here – but it’s all from stash.

Stop Mountaintop Removal Quilt

I used an orange peel pattern to quilt it. I wanted a more visible quilting to try and unify the design a little bit, since I think all the background fabrics are a little cacophonous, but the quilting ended up being very subtle.

It uses mostly vintage fabrics, which I think is good for a quilt for an environmental organization. It was a lot of fun to make, I hope it raises a lot of money to a great cause.