Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cover quilt of Quilty

What a happy Tuesday!

I took a 5 minute mental break at work and scrolled through Facebook on my phone. Only to see that Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting Facebook page has a poll open for the cover quilt of their September/October issue...

...and the one on the right is mineee!!

I actually went over to my supervisor and said "hey, pretend you care about sewing and quilting for 2.5 seconds so I can tell you some exciting news." She did an admirable job haha.

So if you'd care to vote [you know, you can vote for whichever one you want to, but I'll give you an extra twinkly smile if you vote for mine ;) ] then visit the survey here.

Also, it's hard to read the comments on the Facebook post and not take it personally - I guess I'd never make it in a quilt show.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Finished Tshirt Quilt

Hi all!

We're in the middle of a very typical Florida afternoon thunderstorm right now, which always makes me think of a nap, which then makes me think of snuggly quilts!

Quite a few months ago at this point, an old friend from elementary school reached out to me. We follow each other on IG and she posts just the best pictures of the adventures of her and her little boy. She wanted me to make a tshirt quilt for him. Being the sentimental person that I am, I suggested she meet me at our old elementary school and she gave me a bag full of tshirts and onesies.

I also discovered some newborn blankets in there.

So I cut up these tshirts and onesies and blankets and interfaced them with lightweight interfacing. Some of the onesies were not quite up to the 9x9" square size that I was using, so I pieced some of them together [which I was kicking myself for by the end]. The layout ended up being 6 by 7, which was quite a bit bigger than orinally planned, because when I started laying out the squares I realized I could make it look a bit more cohesive by light value shirts with dark. I ended up using the blanket pieces in more than one place.

I actually had fun making the top, because I used the tag #maddoxstshirtquilt on IG and so the mom could be an active participant in the decision making, and see the progress and get excited. Yay social media!

The reason this thing deserves a post is because of the quilting. No, don't squint your eyes at the screen, there's not some spectacular quilting there. It's just FMQ stippling. But OH. MY. GOSH. I think I almost gave up quilting with this thing. I used stretch needles [even though the back was Kona cotton], because I thought it would make the front look better. And I used my typical white Gutermann thread on top and invisible thread in the bobbin. I've used invisible thread before and been fine. I've used a stretch needle before and been fine. But clearly this quilt was my test.

I BROKE 23 NEEDLES FOLKS. TWENTY THREE. Phew, it feels better to get that out.

At one point I almost cried in sheer frustration. So I stocked up on needles, and I turned to Amazon to buy YLI invisible thread. Through an overwhelming sense of stubborn-ness, I prevailed, and finally finished. And it doesn't look like I broke a zillion needles. It doesn't look like I had a mid-quilting crisis. It looks...like stippling. After the first square I did switch to invisible thread in the top and bobbin, which also made it difficult to see where I had already stippled.

But I think the finished result looks awesome, I've gotten to see her precious little boy snuggling the quilt on IG, and I've actually gotten quite a few requests from her other IG mom friends who are also interested.

I think before I tackle another one, I will definitely figure out how to only use 1 needle for the quilt ;)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Two scrap packs to destash!

Hi all! Just popping in right quick on this Sunday afternoon - I've got a couple hours of trial prep ahead of me today...I'm the only witness in a trial tomorrow, so I've got to make sure I'm a well-oiled machine!

I spent a couple hours yesterday organizing fabric and then started listing bundles on Instagram [I'm sewfestive over there!]. I've got 2 left, so I wanted to let you know over here on the blog.

I've got a solids pack that is mostly Kona solids, with some Cotton Couture, and a couple pieces of Essex linen blend. $8, including shipping [within US]. Also, hey, it appears I never use orange...

And a pack of 93 strips, varying in width from probably about an inch to 4 inches and anywhere from about 5 inches to WOF in length. $12, including shipping.

These fabrics are all unwashed and come from a smoke-free home. If you're interested, please say which one you'd want and I will respond to your comment to get your Paypal email to send an invoice.

I've got larger cuts of fabric that will be posted on IG throughout the week that I just don't think I'm going to use and need a new forever home ;) - so make sure to add sewfestive if you want to snatch up some fabric at low prices!

Have a great week!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Spring 2014

I have really loved the Blogger's Quilt Festival in recent years, because as Instagram has become more popular, I like to follow the #quiltmarket posts and drool over all the upcoming fabrics...the Quilt Festival helps me get through not being at Market in person to pet the pretties. Plus I really like getting the opportunity to find more blogs to follow :)

Here's my entry to the Festival...Emerald Ikat - entered into the Original Design Quilts category.

I drew this up a few years ago and then sat on it for a while. I just submitted it to Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting last fall on a whim, and when they accepted it I realized I had to figure it all out. I pieced mine using templates, but I also created a paper piecing version for the magazine.

I personally don't really like to paper piece, but I can't deny the accuracy. I got some pretty perfect points without it though!

The thing that I like the least about making projects for magazines is the tight turnaround between the acceptance of your submission and when the project is due. I have a day job that I work about 55 hours a week on average for, and I don't usually make my projects ahead of time because I don't have the funds/time to just make all the quilts that come into my head. Nor do I have oodles of people to give quilts to. So I want to know that a project needs to be made before I get started. That usually means I end up with a marathon of late-night quilting.

My cats usually think they're being helpful during these late night sessions. For this particular quilt I even sent an apology to the editor saying it would probably need to be lint-rolled when it arrived on their end, because there's just not an inch of cat-free space in my tiny apartment. Luckily, her response was that they love cats and totally understand that cats love fabric too! :)

I took pictures just outside the post office before mailing when I realized I wouldn't see the quilt again for about 6 months. It's a really big post office and I got quite a few stares and several questions. I usually take it as an opportunity to educate people about quilting and show them that young people can quilt too!

The backing is a fabulous curtain from IKEA - it's a polyester blend, but I took a chance and it worked out just fine. It was a pain in the butt to baste though, so fair warning. The binding is a black crosshatch from an unknown line [I have several in my stash from different collections, and I totally should have labeled them!].

Enjoy the rest of the Blogger's Quilt Festival, and thanks for visiting!

Emerald Ikat
Size: approximately 48"x 64"
Fabric: mixture of low volume black and white prints, various Kona green solids, various green small-scale prints, black Oval Elements, black Domino Dots, a black and white polka dot, and the charcoal star flower print from the Washi collection.
Quilting: squiggly lines following the diamonds within the white sections

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day! - Giveaway closed and winners announced!

Congrats to Sharon E. [#39] and Mom C. [#136] as the winners of my giveaway! Thanks to all who entered :)

Hi all! Welcome to my little corner of the Interwebz.

For those of you visiting for the first time, I'm Rebecca. I've been quilting/sewing and blogging for almost 3 years now [meep!] and over the past year I've also worked in child welfare, which has caused my free sewing time to take a huge nosedive. Like many of us, I'm still perfecting the balance between life and my hobby, but if you want to see projects from some of my busier sewing days, just click on the Finished Projects tab at the top! I haven't updated it recently because I'm a bad blogger lol.

This is my recent favorite project - it's a quilt that is in the May/June edition of Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting, and it will get it's own post one of these days :)

On to the giveaway!

There are two winners here:

A set of 36 squares cut from my low-volume fabrics that measure 4.5"

and 4 fat quarters of Laurie Wisbrun Don't Be Crabby fabrics

Here's the rules:
-This giveaway is open internationally
-Please leave a comment stating what your next sewing project is and which fabrics you'd prefer. If you are a no reply blogger make sure you also leave your email address.
-You get a second entry for being a follower, so leave a comment saying if you are!
-This giveaway is void where prohibited and will end on May 16th at 5 pm. I will notify the winner on this post and by email on May 18th.

Now go spend some time entering all the other giveaways at Sew Mama Sew! :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Where I pretend to be a party planner

::crickets chirp::

::tumbleweed blows by::

Oh hi. I'm Rebecca. I used to blog in this space here. Sigh.

I can't believe it's May already - is anyone else experiencing that?! I'm not even sure what I've done with 2014 so far. My life right now is kind of like a really stuffed burrito from Moe's...once you take a bite you can't put it down until it's done, otherwise it will all fall apart! I'm juggling so much stuff that I don't have time to stop and breathe, lest something fall by the wayside.

But you know, I've been sewing a lot, and I have a backlog of like 6 projects that need to be blogged. And some of them are big. Luckily, I have the entire week off for the most relaxing sit-in-my-jammies-on-the-couch vacation. My first vacation time in a year. To say I'm excited is an understatement.

I thought I'd kick off my project backlog with something that is not necessarily sewing related, but I'm tickled about my effort, so...I'm a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding next week and recently the maid of honor and I hosted a huge bridal shower tea party for her. We invited 50 people, so we had to get crafty on pretty much everything, since both of us are clearly not rolling in money.

[Please excuse that most of these are cell phone photos, I ran out of time to take proper photos before the event]

Entry way - all the signs were chalkboard paper and all the centerpieces are tea pots or tea tins we owned or borrowed that were filled with flower arrangements the night before the event. All the brown kraft paper table runners were polka dot stamped by yours truly with a champagne metallic paint.

The tables were set with individual tea place settings of real china with a tea pot cut out of paper and threaded with honey straws [the favors!] and the individual's name. The lips and mustaches were cut out of paper as well and used for a game - they ended up being used as photo props too! I think it looked super nice when all the tea lights were lit and provided that soft romantic glow to the space. We had 6 tables, so lots of candlelight!

The color palette for the tea party was mint, ivory, and light peach, with gold accents. We ended up using pops of those green flowers in the centerpieces for a little bit of edge. We also spray painted the baby's breath gold.

The guests got to enjoy a hot tea bar of several varieties of black, green, and herbal teas. I enjoyed a lovely green coconut variety. There was also cucumber water, lemonade, and blushberry iced tea.

This print came from Etsy and was dressed up with some gold glitter cardstock. I had really wanted an ornate frame and was having the hardest time finding one, so I used a cheap black frame that I had and covered in in gold striped washi tape.

This next sign is a platter from IKEA that I painted with chalkboard paint to sit on the gift table. I'm pretty excited to put it in my sewing room with some inspirational quote.

The cohost and I made all the food the day before and day of. The bride is a vegetarian, which actually is perfectly suited for a tea party. Our menu consisted of mini spinach quiche and portabello mushroom and gouda hand-pies made by me for the hot food, cucumber and cream cheese finger sandwiches and caprese sandwiches that we made that morning, and then my cohost made blueberry, plain, and lemon ginger scones and lemon lavendar bars. We had a selection of nuts, dried fruit that we dipped in dark chocolate, and fruit-filled cakes made by the bride's grandmother.

My greatest achievement for the bridal tea party was this monstrous tulle wall! We held the event in a church [because of the number of people] and I really wanted to make our tea party space separate from the rest of the church to maintain the right atmosphere. So I got hundreds of yards of ivory and mint tulle online and cut strips to tie to fishing line. The wall ended up being 24 feet wide and 6 feet tall [it was strung between the food tables and the gift table]. I added the banner cut from more gold glitter cardstock and it ended up being a great room divider AND photo backdrop [that's my cohost on the left and the bride on the right]!

All in all, a great day! I'm glad it's over with since it required a lot of planning and work, but it was pretty fun to pretend to be a party planner for a few weeks. Next up I have some quilts, clothing, and a tote bag, so stay tuned!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Sartorial Saturday:Deer and Doe Plantain

It's been a while since I wrote about some clothing I've made - I've sewn a bunch of things, but just never got around to blogging them. But I've got my coffee in hand, so let's hop to it :)

I like the idea of making basics, like tshirts, but because I don't have much experience sewing with knits, I was hesitant to buy a $15 pattern only to hate it.

Enter the Deer and Doe Plantain tee. Boom, free! No excuses now Rebecca!

I made it up first as a tshirt for Valentines Day, but it ended up being too short for my torso [I just wear it tucked into high-waisted things] when I wear typical pants, which sit low on my hips.

Since the tshirt was fun and easy, I decided to do a class knit shift dress. For my birthday a few weeks ago I bought really really nice thick stable knit [Using my limited knowledge, I'm guessing its ponte de roma] from my LQS in a beautiful navy and off white. The fact that it was my birthday was the only reason I succumbed to purchasing the $17/yd fabric.

I had taken the day after my birthday off from work and decided I would sew the dress as my present to myself whee! It took a few hours, because I'm a slow apparel sewer. And because, you know, I had to deal with this every step of the way:

To make the dress I cut the size top that I needed and then once I got to the hemline of the shirt I simply graded out to the length dress that I wanted. I measured my hips and thighs and knew that the dress needed to be at least that wide. The overall shape is slightly A-line. I did have to tweak a little bit as I was sewing, because I just did all this directly on the fabric, not on pattern paper first.

I actually pressed my seams this time around! Who knew that knits looked so much better when you press the seam. Laugh at me all you want :)

I also tried out the overlock stitch on my machine for the first time. It sews the seam and does a serger-like stitch all at once. I did have to trim down the seam, because unlike a serger there is no knife cutting away at the seam. But wow does it make it look so much more professional!! I'm going to do this on everything now. All the things!

The only thing that this dress is missing is a twin-needle stitched neckline and hem. I have a twin needle. I definitely bought it. And then I put it somewhere to keep it safe and not lose it. And subsequently lost it. Apparently I'm one of those people. Who knew. Based on the pictures in this post, I also can't make normal faces for the camera.

Anyways, sew the Plantain. Even if you're new with knits. You won't regret it. It looks fabulous. My next version is going to have cat elbow patches and I'M SO EXCITED ABOUT IT.