Sunday, May 31, 2015

I am a 241 Tote Addict.

I might need a support group. I've finished my fourth? fifth? 241 tote. I might have a small addiction to them. But I can't HELP it. I really do love this bag, and I really really love my most recent iteration too. But not as much as my Melody Miller one, thankfully, since this one isn't staying with me either!

I caught sight of an awesome cool crane block on the Stash Bee blog, and I immediately knew I needed to make one, and for my BFF. I had originally planned to make her a 241 with an EPP'd hot pink Death Star in the center panel, but the dimensions didn't work out well, and I wasn't up to trying to figure out how to shrink it properly. Also, my EPP skillz were non-existent at the time. I'd feel much more comfortable attempting the pattern now that I have some under my belt.

But a paper pieced origami crane is just as awesome. The exterior of the bag is Kona black and a hot pink print that shall remain nameless because I forgot who made it.

And can I just say I hate interfacing? I HATE INTERFACING. No matter the project, no matter the type of interfacing, no matter the type of fabric. It always seems to play tricksies on me. (Evil stuff of evilness.) I will say, it doesn't look nearly so awful in person--how is that?

The interior is a bit more black and a pink polka dot. I did not use the magnetic snap, and I omitted the interior pocket.

I'll say that my BFF loved the bag, and she told me at first that she wouldn't be able to bring herself to use it. When I promised I'd make her another when this one dies, she consented.

This is finish 5 of 14 for my FAL Q2 list, woo! I'm hoping to finish at least one more item on the list before it's link-up time. Five of fourteen doesn't feel like that many, but I've made great progress on a bunch of the other projects, so that's always a positive thing.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Banzo's Quilt Top.

This quilt should have been finished last fall for my five year old, but it's just barely made it to the quilt top stage. It started with a request from my son to use some construction truck fabric, and honestly, I was stumped. I pulled a stack of rainbow blenders to go with the trucks, and it sat on the edge of my sewing table, quietly mocking me.

But when I had a bout of inspiration and cut the truck fabric from the mix, I immediately knew that I wanted to make another plus quilt.

Ten blocks in, I started to doubt myself. Would this actually look okay? I had made a lot of the blue and green blocks, and I found myself wishing I had limited the palette to those two colors. (Wouldn't a scrappy blue and green plus quilt look yum?) But I kept pushing forward, and when all sixteen were lined up, I was happy with the result.

Of course, as I was piecing the backing this morning, my son asked me where the construction trucks were going to be, and I still haven't figured out that one. Maybe the quilt label will have trucks?

I'm planning to all over FMQ this one, which will be the first time--I think?--that I have ever done that!

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Finished Felicity Dress

I finished my Felicity Dress by Jennifer Lauren this weekend. I slipped it on for these photos and then promptly took it off because in this household, a white linen dress is a luxury item. The entire ten minutes I wore it, I was sure the baby was going to throw up on me or one of the big boys would grab onto my skirt with peanut butter (or worse) on their hands. I escaped, but needless to say, this won't be my go-to mom outfit.

But a girl needs a little handmade luxury, right?

I've had this white linen for a very long time. Like before I started sewing and even had a machine long time.

I'm not gonna lie, friends. This dress was a struggle. Not because the pattern was bad--nope. The pattern was clear and easy to understand. It was a struggle because it didn't fit my body perfectly the way the pattern was written, and I don't have a ton of apparel experience to know what to adjust. The kajillion tutorials on altering garments were also kind of useless because I didn't know what didn't fit, just that it didn't. Cue some extremely frustrated evenings spent staring at this dress and begging it to cough up the information and let me know what to fix.

I started with coming to terms with the fact that the bodice was much too large. At least one size, possibly two, though I went with the size my measurements suggested. I made a muslin of the bodice, but I struggled with knowing how much space would disappear when the zip was added. Apparently I just need to make a practice dress with each pattern. Next time, I'll make a size down. I'll also try raising the waistline an inch, and today I discovered Jennifer Lauren has posted a bunch of alteration tutorials for this dress, which is all sorts of awesome. (And I already have the fabric for the next one, woo!)

By the time I'd come to all of these conclusions, I'd put in the lapped zip and finished off my exposed seams with bias tape, and there was no way I was ripping out that zip to make more complicated fixes that might not actually fix anything. I did go back and sew in the side seams about a half an inch on each side to bring the bodice in closer. I threw in some additional gathers to the neckline. I also shortened the hemline because I'm on the short side.
All together, those minor fixes made the garment look less marshmallow and more dress. And with a cardigan on top, I rather like it. (Since I adore cardigans and try to wear them every moment of every day, that's not really an inconvenience.)

This is finish 4 of 14 for my Q2 FAL list.

Friday, May 8, 2015

When Hazel Met Andy Quilt Top

Hi Friends! I'm popping in today to show you my latest quilt top finish, When Hazel Met Andy.

When I was doing research for this quilt, I wound up pulling my color scheme from soup cans.
(No, really.) Granted, they were the limited edition Andy Warhol Campbell's tomato soup cans that Target sold a few years ago, but STILL. Soup cans.

You see, my younger sister is a huge Andy Warhol fan. And when I was thinking about what kind of quilt to make for the little bambino in her tummy, I couldn't decide. How could I top my niece's epic quilt that will probably hold a permanent spot in my top five favorite quilt makes? Forget topping! How could I even match it? Would this little one know that I loved him as much if his quilt was blase in comparison?

And then the idea of an Andy Warhol quilt hit me. It's been done before, of course, but I'm not sure it's been done using Elizabeth Hartman's Hazel the Hedgehog II pattern. (And if it has, that's totally okay too.) I pulled out my trusty kona card, matched a bunch of solids to my computer screen's representation of the soup cans, and crossed my fingers. Thankfully, I liked the fabrics when they arrived, and my sister, who owns all four cans, can tell me how well I did when she gets the quilt.

I used Architextures cross hatch prints for the background fabrics. (I know the yellow and orange are Curry and Tangerine, but I don't know what the white on white and black on white are actually called.) I wanted a little additional texture in the background, but nothing too big, and I've been wanting to justify the use of Architextures for a while now, so it all worked out well. If I could do it differently, I'd switch the face and body colors of the above block. It's quite similar to the other bottom block, even if those yellows are ever so slightly different. But I'm not sure I could have visualized that properly from soup cans and a stack of fabrics, and I'm happy with it all the same.

I haven't yet decided how to quilt it, and it will probably be the first quilt I tackle on Stella. I quilted my niece's first initial into her quilt, and that's the only thing my sister requested about this quilt. She wants my nephew's first initial quilted into this one. Can do.

This is the child's size version of the Hazel the Hedgehog II pattern, and it finishes at 48" x 54". I used a lot of spray starch on this one, which is unusual for me, but there are so many seams to keep flat that I found it easier to starch.

Do you have any ideas about quilting? I did hand quilting, FMQ, and straight line quilting on my niece's quilt, and I think I'd like to repeat that with this one.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Wow. Friends. Things have been intense around these parts. Not bad intense, per se, just intense. And life promises to be more so in the next year. Yikes!

I have been sewing, but it's not the super exciting sort. Lots of handstitching on my Gypsy Wife quilt. Some hemming and clothing repair. Some EPP. A bit of work on the linen dress that might kill me. AND, I finished a quilt top for my nephew, but you'll have to wait until Friday for that. I'm calling it, "When Hazel Met Andy", aka "I Love You 152 Pieces". I never name my quilts, but I'm pretty stoked about this one.

However, the most exciting news by far has been the addition of my newest baby. I'm calling her Stella. I love her so. freaking. much. I do love me my Agatha, and I will always love her. There's something about sewing on an old school machine that makes my heart swoon. Knowing that my husband's great grandmother taught her two daughters to sew on it? Super cool.

BUT STELLA. Not only is she a Tula Pink Bernina, but she's loaded with all sorts of awesomeness. Friends, we're talking a knee lift. We're talking needle up/needle down. We're talking an extension table. But not just that! Stella has a LIGHT THAT WORKS, people. (I never thought I'd get so giddy about a light, but after sewing on a machine that's over 60 years old, the small stuff is thrilling.) There are about twenty kajillion more features that I haven't acquainted myself with, but Stella and I are destined to be close.

Is she my best birthday present ever? Um, yeah. 


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