27 June 2012

WIP Wednesday

Summer sewing... I have every intention of making myself a dress.  I purchased this fabric and this pattern, with an eye towards making View B (the knee-length version).  Because of my limited experience in apparel-making, I will definitely have to make a muslin first.  And there's the rub- if I'm going to spend the time making a dress, I want the immediate gratification of wearing it right away!  So the fabric and pattern sit in a neat pile on a shelf.

Here's a recap of what actually did make it to my sewing table this week:

June's Piece Bee theme was houses.  Eva asked for small details inside the house as well as in the garden.  I'm wishing I had framed the windows to make them look more like windows, but other than that, I like how the block turned out.

For this month's Love Circle block at do. Good Stitches, Jacey asked for scrappy improv blocks with citrus colors.  I dove into the bucket o'scraps and had fun using up crumbs I had been saving for Bottled Rainbows.  When those ran out, I pulled some fabric from the stash and cut small pieces to finish the blocks.  I really like the look of these blocks:

I've also made progress binding a charity quilt.  It's been a little challenging working on this quilt because the weather's been so gorgeous and warm- I've felt a little claustrophobic underneath the weight of it.  But just one more side to stitch down on charity quilt #1 and hoping to move on to charity quilt #2.

The only box left to tick on my list is Design Camp's June project.  In lieu of a block, we are making mini-quilts for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative.  I've got the design and fabric worked out, it's just a matter of finding some time.  My older children have plans to make cookies this afternoon while the little one naps- perfect time for me to steal away and sew for an hour.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced...

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

21 June 2012

Sewing marathon

I've finally recovered from BA Modern Quilt Guild's Charity Sew Day, and I mean that in a good way.  Who knew putting on one of these events could be so exhausting!  And it was pretty low-key, at that.  It must have been all the prep leading up to it that did me in.   That, or the ten hours sitting on my posterior sewing like a fiend.

A cheerful and productive group showed up, churning out a plethora of quilt blocks, cat beds and quilt tops.  We started off with a fun Art Gallery Fabric challenge.  Jen and I had prepared a stack of 5" pre-pieced blocks and 5" charms from Art Gallery Fabric scraps and bolt ends.  After a quick tutorial on this NinePatch Remix block, a variation of a disappearing nine patch, our fearless sewers hit the ground running.

After about an hour, we had enough challenge blocks to piece our first quilt top:

The top is sashed with Pure Elements in Ash.  Because we deviated a little tutorial, our blocks came out to 13.5" (or thereabouts) rather than 9.5".

The challenge was a hit, with enough blocks pieced for 5 quilt tops.  We managed to piece a second top by day's end, and will finish piecing the remaining 3 quilt tops before the next guild meeting.  Below is quilt top #2, with Jen's hand attempting to cover my sashing mistake (a seam faces front on the left side):

The final tally at the end of the evening was 94 blocks, 11 cat beds and a total of 6 finished quilt tops.  I wrote a post about the event, which you can read about in the next day or so at the BA Modern Quilt Guild blog.

14 June 2012

Measure, Cut, Repeat

The better part of this afternoon was spent prepping fabric for BA Modern Quilt Guild's upcoming Charity Sew Day.  Thank goodness for rotary cutters- I can't imagine the tedium of cutting 5" charms with scissors.  It was fairly tedious making umpteen 5" charms even while armed with a rotary cutter!  Leftover scraps were cut in varying widths to be pieced into 5" blocks. 

Art Gallery Fabric studio scraps were generously supplied by Pat Bravo and the AGF team, as well as by Julie at The Intrepid Thread.  I still have quite a bit of fabric left to cut up, but I'm giving my poor rotary cutter a break.  Plus, the blade needs to be replaced, or at the very least sharpened.

Jen and I have some fun things planned for Charity Sew Day this Saturday.  The Art Gallery Fabric charms are part of a block challenge in which we hope to complete at least one, maybe even two, AGF quilt tops before the day is over.  We've also sprung for some cool prizes (at least we think they are, anyway) to keep the momentum going once the charity sewing commences.

We'll also continue to work on the current quarter's block- string blocks.  Quilts made by the guild this quarter will be donated to Project Night Night

07 June 2012

Hello Summer!

Tomorrow, another school year comes to an end.  My little 3rd and 4th graders will advance to 4th and 5th next year *sniff sniff*.  One of the teachers has had my children 3 years in a row, and they just adore her.  I've spent part of the afternoon preparing gifts for their teachers, principal and the school secretary (who is so much more than that!).

Of course the gifts had to be sewn.  Just sayin'.  The kids and I had an idea to make them coasters for their desks.  I first set out to make some quilted ones, but then I remembered these reversible wipe-clean coasters I had bookmarked quite some time ago.  I had even bought a whole yard of 16-gauge vinyl thinking I would churn out a stack to have at-the-ready for hostess gifts.  And then the vinyl sat rolled up in the corner of my bedroom, sadly collecting dust for a year or so.

Last week I received Art Gallery Fabric studio scraps from the lovely Pat Bravo and AGF team.  So pretty, and I thought they'd be perfect for the teacher gifts.  So I pulled out the vinyl, had the kids peruse the AGF scraps and got to it this afternoon.  Why have I never made these coasters before?


The making of them was quite easy.  I just had to flatten the vinyl by cutting 6" squares and pressing them straight under a stack of heavy books for the better part of a day.  The only mod to the tutorial I made was to cut the fabric into 5" rather than 4" squares so the recipient can use it for a cup of tea or a bowl of soup. 

If you decide to make these, definitely follow Allison's advice to do a test run to get the tension right, and utilize the paper that comes with the vinyl to keep things moving smoothly.

Now I'm off to plan stay-at-home summer camp for the kids.  Along with the academics, I think I'll throw a little "home ec" into the curriculum.  Time to teach them the fine art of cooking, sewing and, most importantly, housekeeping!