Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WIP Wednesday #1

I guess there's a first time for everything... I am linking up with Lee from Freshly Pieced for the first time today to show my work in progress!
Because all I have to share is work in progress, nothing is finished at the moment. That means I probably won't meet the deadline for the march quilt. This is what it looks like now:

I only finished the blocks yesterday, but I hope by tomorrow night they will have become a quilt top.

I managed to fit in a trip to the fabric store last weekend. After the whole turquoise disaster, I had to get new fabric for the Freebird quilt. I came home with three choices: Kona cotton in eggplant, in celery green and in ivory. I took some of the strips with me, but then I could not make up my mind in the store which one I like best. And some Kona cotton in the stash doesn't hurt, no? At the moment, I tend towards the eggplant, I think that would be the boldest and most fun solution. Plus, it matches the purple in the Freebird fabric perfectly. The green one would be nice, too, it's kind of a neutral, but still fun.  The the ivory is my "safe" solution.

Any suggestions?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Freebird, free of plan

A while ago I stumble across a Freebird by Momo jelly roll in the fabric store. And since I like pretty much all the lines Momo does for moda, I bought it. It had been sitting on my kitchen counter (yes, that is were I keep some of my sewing stuff), calling out to me to use it. Yesterday evening I felt the strong urge to get out the sewing machine (all the sewing I've been doing lately has been the hexagons by hand). And somehow, I thought it was a good idea to use the jelly roll. Not that I really had a plan what to do with it.  I looked through my stash for something to match it with and found two yards of Kona cotton in turquoise. And in the dim light in front of the closet it seemed like a good match. So I happily sewed away and came up with this...

Yesterday evening, I really liked it. But what can I say, when I looked at it again this morning in the bright morning sun, I did not like it so much any more. The turquoise is way too bright for the rest of the colors. It bothers me so much, I'm sure I'll regret it if I go on. So I guess I have a date with the seam ripper now...

Friday, March 18, 2011


It's been quite around here this last week. I haven't really felt like sewing. My thoughts are mostly with the people in Japan. This catastrophe is really getting to me, it showed me how we can't really control nature, we are only a small part of it and should treat it with respect.
Next week, it's my birthday, and instead of getting a gift, my husband and I decided to donate money to the victims of this earthquake and tsunami. I ask you to please, please consider a donation yourself. For example, you can donate here or here. Even if you can give only a little, every penny counts...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lucky find

Sometimes, I go to the fabric store with the intention of buying fabric for a dress, a shirt...  Most of the time, I then come home empty-handed, because I had this special picture in my head how I want it to look and then I never find such a fabric. On the other hand, when I just go to buy a zipper, thread or other 'boring' stuff, I stumble across fabric I really, really like. Like this blue and white shirting. It caught my eye and I just had to buy it.

And this is what I made out of it:

A new tunic for myself. The pattern is based on the summer blouse pattern in the book Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross. I say based because I did quite a lot of alterations to it. I have made a few of those tunics now, and over the course of sewing I changed it to fit me better. For example, I added a few inches in length, I made it a bit tighter on the sides (the original pattern is much looser and I looked a bit pregnant in it), I lowered the neckline and shortened the sleeves. Oh, and I added slits on the sides...

But my favorite detail clearly is the velvet ribbon around the hem and the sleeves. I guess you could say I have a thing for velvet ribbon, I add it wherever possible.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Busy like a bee

A lot of sewing has been happening here lately, but I did not finish anything, so this post will be about work in progress. I don't know what it is with me and quilts, I can't seem to start one and concentrate on one until it is finished. I always have at least two or three projects going on at the same time. Am I the only one who's doing it that way or are there others out there like me? Please share, I'd like to know...
But funny enough, I am the complete opposite with clothes. Once started, I can't be done fast enough to wear it/see it on my kids/give it away as gifts...

But let's get back to my UFOs. This one is coming along faster than I thought.
I definitely decided now that the hexagons will turn into a pillowcase. And this pillow will accompany a quilt.

When I started quilting a few years ago, I would have probably cut tiny squares and sewn them together one by one, but I have learned a thing or two by now. This postage stamps quilt comes together rather fast. I am using the strip piecing method (there are plenty tutorials on that online, I just googled 'postage stamps quilt tutorial'). The quilt and the pillow will be a gift for my husband's grandmother.

This quilt top has been an UFO for a while now, but now I have to finish it quickly. It's for a sweet little girl who just moved from a crib into her first 'big girl bed'. And what better way to make it comfy than with a quilt?
Ever since I saw this great tutorial by Ashley of Film in the Fridge, I had wanted to make a string quilt. I started last summer, and it's going to be my all-in-one quilt, since I'm using all the fabric scraps of every quilt I ever made.

And since my husband has started to complain that I give most of the quilts away (I believe his exact words were: "There must be at least a hundred babies out there, rolling around on one of your quilts, and where is mine?"), I started piecing those block together:
So the question is: which one to finish first?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Another pair and a tutorial

I think I seriously have to think about new projects, when I look at the stuff I made so far this year it seems to repeat itself... quilt, trousers, jacket, quilt, trousers, ... . That said, I made another pair of the Quick Change Trousers from Handmade Beginnings, this time in a girlie version.


They also have an adjustable waistband, just like this pair. And I thought I share how I did it. So say hello to my very first tutorial (but please note: this might not be the best way to do it, it's just the best way I figured out to do it. My approach to sewing is very much trial and error, and this is what I came up with. And please keep in mind that English is not my first language, if something reads funny to you...)!

First, follow the directions in the book until you have two pairs of trousers: the outer one and the lining pair.

Take the outer pair and fold the raw, unfinished upper edge about 1/4 inch toward the wrong side. Press. Repeat with other pair.

Next, take the LINING pair and measure about 3 inches on each side from the middle seam. Mark each side and sew a buttonhole.

 The next step is to fit both pairs together, with the wrong sides facing. Pin the upper edges together and stitch around. Remove the pins along the way.

Now, stitch around the waist once more, this time about an inch away from the edge (that measurement depends on how big your buttonholes are, the buttonholes should be in between the two seams. The end result should be a tunnel on the upper edge of the pants:

 And the last step: sew on buttons and insert buttonhole elastic.

All you need to do now is finish the trousers by topstitching around the bottoms of the trouserlegs. And  then, they are ready for some playground action!