Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Year of the Dear and Union Jack Progress

First of all, thanks to everyone for all the love I received on Friday's post!

I've been waiting a while to splurge on the Forest Abstractions pattern.  I'm not interested in making the whole quilt but I knew I wanted to have that huge stag in my DYO Sampler quilt.  I finally bought it when Pink Castle Fabrics issued a code for 30% off everything in their store.  

I needed a big cut of Kona for the background and the only thing I had on hand that would work was this 2 yard piece of Kona Turquoise I had stashed with the intention of making another Giant Star quilt.  I would've liked to use something lighter so that I could justify using more brights to create the deer- but I am happy with how the head has come out.  It's such a weird color combo: dark brown, grey, gold, yellow, and green- but I like it.  I also have to say that I love having a light box to help me with paper piecing- it's something I never would've splurged on at the store- which makes it the most epic $10 yard sale find ever!!!!!

It's definitely time to share the progress on my giant Union Jack blocks.  I used the very last of this gorgeous Heirloom print to go with the bees:

I've shared these last two in a previous post:

As you can see, the first four blocks coordinate quite well but I didn't do a good job using gold and purple in any other blocks.  I think this guy will eventually become a cushion cover for an England-loving friend:

I won't be updating progress on this Jacob's Ladder quilt too much but wanted to share that I am steadily hand quilting it with some gorgeous DMC variegated perle cotton.  It's relaxing to do in front of the TV and feels quicker than cross stitch.  I would love to have it all completed by the end of the year.

So I am finally on Instagram with the username dresdenlane.  I still intend to blog regularly here- I enjoy all of the elements of blogging too much to walk away.  I am not exactly sure how I am going to interact on IG- it'll be a bit of a process to work that out.  If you are active on IG- please comment with or email me your username so that I can follow you.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Finish it up Friday: Novelty Fabric Finishes

Sorry if my regular readers are sick of seeing me make this dress (#7) but the Rollerskate dress is just too cute, easy, and perfect for fun/modern fabrics.

It's no secret that I love Lizzy House fabrics and her style of fabrics is a perfect compromise between my daughter and I.  If Charlotte had her way, everything she wore would be plastered with licensed characters.  If I had my way- she'd only wear Anna Maria Horner and other bright florals....

I also used another fun novelty fabric  and other stash favorites to make a Sew-Together bag for a friend.  I wish I had the stamina to make these for all of my friends who sew- it's just the perfect bag for all your little tools and notions!

I still need to make one for myself but it will happen eventually.  I am going to finally start ordering my zippers on etsy (zipit?) and stop paying the high prices at Joann's.  

So what about you- do you like using novelty fabrics?  Are they hard to resist or do you stick to basics/blenders and more "grown up" fabrics?

Linking up to Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Curves

On Monday, I found myself with a little extra sewing time thanks to the federal holiday.  I finished another Union Jack block but decided to treat myself to something different.  I finally settled on adding another block to my DYO Sampler quilt I started over the summer.  I pulled out the pattern, Lots of Dots, and tackled a block.  This is my result and I am pretty happy with it.  I've done curves in bags and toys but never for a quilt.  I like the result a lot.  This block took a lot of time because you have to cut out every piece with scissors and a template.  The process of making the sampler quilt is pretty awesome: I can try out different blocks easily and decide if I want to commit to a larger project.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Red Letter Day Halloween Quilt

I was amazed to be able to complete my Red Letter Day Halloween quilt in time for the Halloween/fall season.  I really rushed to get this done because I had the opportunity to rent a longarm a few weekends ago.  

I used combinations of Halloween novelty prints from my stash as well as blenders.  It was really tempting to use just Halloween prints- if only to use them up- but I decided the combination of normal quilting cottons were fun to use among the quirky pumpkins, ghosts, and cats.

I wasn't very creative in finding a spooky location for the photo shoot of this quilt.  My area of Colorado definitely doesn't have those old-timey graveyards like my New England home.  We took the family to the Garden of the Gods recently- so I nabbed a photo there before the sun really started to set:

So I wish I could say that I purposely left out the reversed RLD block that the pattern calls for (examples, here, here, and here)- I had this grand vision of hand quilted spiders from the beginning....  Um, no.  The truth is that I started making the blocks and completely forgot about the reversed block- and didn't think of it until all nine blocks were made.  After the quilt came off of the longarm- the lady at the rental place advised me to quilt something in those big empty squares- so that's when I realized hand quilted spiders would be perfect among the computerized spiderwebs that occupied each block:

Sadly, the intended recipient of this quilt (my 5 year old son) has completely rejected this quilt and refuses to use it- he's being very vague about it but I think it's the spiders that bother him.  My husband also had to point out that the spiders should have eight legs.  Did you notice?

I sound negative about this quilt- but I am really fine with it- it's not my most favorite thing I've ever made but like it and I had fun making it.  I still have a boatload of Halloween fabrics- so maybe I will take another shot at making another Halloween quilt again someday.

Linking up to Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Union Jack

Shortly after writing Monday's post about being in a "sewing funk," I went ahead and forced myself to sew- sometimes when you don't feel like doing something- you should just do it and eventually your mood will change.

I splurged on a copy of the magazine Love of Patchwork and Quilting a while ago because I loved the cover quilt as well as the large paper pieced Union Jack pattern the issue had.  I thought it would fun to break up some of my bundles and pair bright and colorful large scale prints with complementary blenders from my stash.

Here's my start so far: and AMH Pretty Potent floral with a Hat Box print- these two fabrics were meant to be together.

I think it's becoming obvious that I am enjoying pairing plumb/purple with yellow/mustard:


My next combination was a JD Bungalow print with a Heather Bailey True Colors blender.

These blocks are taking about two hours to make- maybe a little less.  They are huge- measuring 17" x 25."  I don't have a particular obsession with England- I just think it's a fun block that showcases large prints very well.  Now if someone would come out with a paper pieced South African flag block- I would be all over that.  Maybe I will make one myself someday :)

Linking up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Sewing Funk

Recently I have finished a dress and a quilt that I still need to blog.  I also made some bibs for a friend expecting a girl: 

I have to admit that I am a bit in a crafty funk lately- I am not sure what to start next and lately I've favored watching Disney movies with my son over starting anything new....  I really rushed through my last few finishes and it was stressful- I think I burnt myself out.  I've also fallen into the bad habit of browsing online fabric stores and filling up shopping carts- without finalizing anything- but surely wasting my precious sewing time.

What do you do when you can't decide what to start next?  Am I the only one who can focus too much on the very fun part of acquiring more materials instead of diving in with what I already have?  I'd love to hear your thoughts- it isn't often that I don't just dive into the next project with happiness and enthusiasm.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Craft Book Month: Dresden Flower Tote

This project, the Dresden Flower Tote, is made by following the pattern in the book Quilt Color Workshop by the Fat Quarterly team.  This project caught my eye because of the clever fabric choices and the dresden plate (of course).  

It was fun to find similar fabrics in my stash to make this project a lot like the book version.  I rushed through making this though- next time I'd like to try a totally different color scheme.

Applque is definitely not my strongest sewing skill, I considered omitting the petals all together.  I am glad I persisted but I know I need more practice with the technique.

The pattern is written very clearly but I did find one mistake: when the directions refer to the measurements of the interfacing for the handles, it changes from 1.25" to 1.5", I went with the latter.  I wish they had just given a template for the flower center and petals- drawing my own wasn't ideal.

There are other projects in Quilt Color Workshop I would like to try- I think it is a great book to have in one's library.  I tend to be pretty picky about what books I own- I don't just buy books for "inspiration" - it's got to have at least 2-3 projects I plan to do.

Check out the other linkups for September Craft Book Month at Craftbuds.

Craft Book Month at Craft Buds