Sunday, July 31, 2016

Why I Love Summer

Summer days are AWESOME for the public library (craft books about stamping and stenciling, mini quilt projects, modern quilting defined PLUS a novel by Shirley Jackson....I get a lot of pleasure from her dark and upsetting fiction--and she was born in the neighboring city of Burlingame which she implicitly castigates in her short story, "The Lottery"). AND I bought the Alabama Stitch Book for the bargain price of $15 from the Friends of San Mateo Public Library--reference for how to sew her appliquéd skirts. AND I put up tomatoes, but we still have a bowl of 'em for snacking and BLTS. I love you July.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Garment Sewing: Cabin Tunic Dress and Alterations

My cabin top dress from a pattern by Blue Prints for Sewing is done:)  
Golly do I love the welt less front pockets.

I decided to do the yoke in black Cotton Couture instead of the Kokka dog fabric.  I can't wait to wear it this fall with black tights and black boots and a black cardigan!

 I also decided to alter this Anthropologie top, which I always have to hike up because the fabric is so stretchy and hangs low.  I have to figure out how to hide the binding which shows my shoddy alteration.  Really I keep this top because I love it as quilt inspiration for the color blocks of peach, navy, and dark coral/orange.
This is a dress I bought at Uniqlo.  I love the fabric, but the dress is so unflattering on the figure.  I'm thinking of deconstructing it, and then sewing darts and a back pleat like in my cabin top.  Or maybe I don't need to take it apart and just figure out where to sew darts though there's probably not enough fabric to include the back pleat.

Work in Progress: Single Irish Chain Quilt Top Done!

My cutting is not the most accurate and square, and I am still mastering my new Baby Lock Katherine.  And so a 1/2" seam and lots of pinning were A-OK with me for this wedding present quilt.

As you can see linen wrinkles easily, but I do love the look of these pastel cottons and Essex natural linen--it's also quite a heavy top because of all those 1/2" seams.  I've already sewn a backing of baby pink Kona cotton, and I've made an appointment at the end of the month to long arm quilt it.  I'm hoping it will actually function for cuddling under with a glass of wine and a book.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Work in Progress: Irish Chain and Learning How to Use a Computerized Sewing Machine

After my English paper piecing on a flight and business trip, I returned home to an hour of learning about my new Babylock Katherine sewing machine and bringing it home.  My instructor just had me sit to her right as she showed me the myriad of stitches and features.  Finally I glimpsed how to use the button hole feature!  At first I hated it after the simplicity of my Babylock Maria and the learning curve of a new piece of equipment.  Determined, however, to sew a quilt on it, I started sewing and pressing strips of linen and pastel solids all of a Friday.  Below are the strips with a 1/2 inch seam because I got frustrated by not knowing how to use my 1/4 inch foot and because I didn't want any gaping seams from uneven cutting (my cotton strips are pretty accurate but my linen strips looked a bit too wonky).  

I have to say that I also love the needle down and cutting buttons on my machine and not having to trim thread ends:)  Welcome to a Saturday of slicing and dicing and maybe chain piecing this wedding present.