Saturday, April 25, 2009

Just under the wire...

About a week ago, I decided to join into Made by Rae's Spring Top challenge (that's her button over on the right hand side ------->.

I'm not sure what I was thinking here - I already had at least 5 other projects going that were higher priority. But, I figured this would give me some incentive to get some sewing done for myself ~ after all spring is the perfect time to think about some new wardrobe pieces. A few days later - I'm still minus a spring shirt! Despite the growing stash of fabrics at my house, there wasn't much in there that would really work for me - not for a ladies blouse. Ack!!! The spring top deadline approaching and I was still without even the fabric for the project. Luckily, I managed to find some new spring quilt fabrics at a local shop and was blown away by Arcadia by Sanae (Moda fabric) - the colors are very hip and fresh and the fabrics are really lightweight - perfect for shirting. So after purchasing some yardage, and a pattern I got to work.

Ok so here's my entry (above). The pattern is New Look 6407.
Buttons are vintage Lucite (aka raided from mom's button stash). I really like how it turned out and the fit is perfect. Always a good thing in the end.

There you go Rae!! Hope you like it! Now if only the weather would cooperate, maybe I'll get to wear it! Now on to the other projects that really need to get done.

If you feel up to it, take the challenge, you have until the end of April to submit your own entry to the spring top challenge :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Quilting success!

So I've always considered myself to be an anti-quilter. What's that you say? Yes it's true - most traditional quilt patterns are just so not my style and after a disasterous attempt about 20 years ago, I decided to shelve it. Quilts and I were not to be friends. But I've been sewing for decades and just recently decided to give quilting another thought. I do like the designs I've seen with some of the newer and more modern designers on the block.

Like most sewists I'm amassing a huge collection of scraps which I refuse to part with and as my daughter grows older - aka less interested in wearing my cute designs - I needed a new outlet for the fabulous fabrics I see all the time, not to mention the scraps! So I decided, that in my years, (sheesh I'm starting to sound like a geriatric) I've learned a thing or two about sewing and I certainly realize that I might be a more skilled sewist now than 20 years ago - oh and I have nicer machines than I used to. So empowered with that knowledge and an "I refuse to fail" attitute, I decided to revisit the quilting world.

I made my first quilt top last night. Totally winging it - I like that approach - I just flipped around online until I saw something I liked and went at it. A friend who quilts, had suggested starting small - so I decided to work on a doll quilt. My daughter had just recently requested a blanket for her dolls bed - so this seemed like a marriage made in heaven. Here's the top - awaiting quilting, that's next. Still trying to decide whether I should go with the easy straight stitch quilt, or something more free flowing. Apparently now I also need new tools. BSR or walking foot?? I like the idea of the stitch regulator (BSR) because having tried the free-motion quilting approach with my darning foot, I can tell you this method is not for me - my initial attempts were horrendous - the BSR sounds like the solution to my problem, plus an easier way to do it - and I'm about making things easy. Have to visit a dealer and figure out if this will work on my machine.

Ok onto the next part, not having any special quilting tools on hand, I ended up using my embroidery machine to stipple the star pattern onto the quilt. So a little cheat I suppose. It was thin enough that I was able to hoop it without a problem. I free-handed the wavy pattern along the border using a water-soluble marker. I used a very thin layer of cotton quilt batting - thin enough that I was able to sew on it with my ordinary presser foot and I reduced the tension a bit to account for the increased thickness of the piece. This worked great on a small sized quilt such as this one and no puckering. Finally, I used crazy mom quilt's handy dandy binding tute to finish it off.

Here she is:

Do you think the dolls will be pleased?