Fabrics A-Z

Have you gotten a copy of Dana’s new book?

I just received my copy in the mail this week and am so excited to put it to good use. There is seriously a ton of information in here! Fabrics that I have never even heard of before are listed. This is not a project book, but is a good resource to have as a user of fabric because she gives the definition of the fabric type and then lists the properties, advice for working with that fabric and how to care for it properly. And the book is a nice purse size- perfect for taking with you on your trip to the fabric store.

Even better, Deborah had a book signing party for Dana last night and my sweet hubby said we could take a day trip to Atlanta so that I could attend! Isn’t he the best? 🙂 His brother and sister are visiting with us this week and we had loads of fun visiting Ikea, walking around the Olympic park, and of course having fun at Whipstitch (or maybe the last part was just me 🙂 ) I loved meeting Dana. She is just as sweet and down-to-earth in person as she seems on her blog. This had been a great year for me! Back in March, I got to meet Rae and Karen and now I have met Dana! It is so fun to connect with people after reading their blogs for years. It also makes me feel less like a stalker when I have met them in person. 😉 I hope to continue to be able to meet more blog friends as the opportunity arises. It was also great to officially meet Deborah after taking the online quilting class from her in June. Oh, and Ian won a door prize for me so I took home a tote bag made by Dana with some Forever 21 goodies- sunglasses and headbands: score!

Of course, you must note that my new purse made it into the pictures and I picked up a few goodies at Whipstitch that I hope to using in some upcoming projects…hopefully you will see them soon!

my door prize!



Sewing for Kids Workshop

I realized that I never blogged in detail about my sewing class that I took at Whipstitch back in March. Because I learned so much at that class, I wanted to discuss it a bit and show off a few pics. To begin with, I have talked several times about how much I LOVE Whipstitch. Seriously, if you get a chance to go to Atlanta, you MUST go to her store. It is the perfect shop for the modern quilter/sewer. But even if you can’t get to Atlanta, she has an etsy shop where you can buy her fabric online.

I had been to Whipstitch last year when the hubs and I went to Atlanta for our anniversary. It is so modern even the hubs said he doesn’t mind going into it- Score! When I saw Rae blog about the class she and Karen would be teaching there in March, I jumped at the chance to go- meet one of my bloggy heroes and learn more sewing tips…perfect weekend. It just so happens that I have a birthday in March so the timing worked out well for me. No need for the hubs to buy me any other presents!

And it pretty much was the perfect weekend. We headed down to Atlanta after the hubs got off work Friday night (about a 2.5 hour trip). We have a very generous friend who lives there and offered for us to stay with him all weekend- thanks, Andrew ,for making our trip possible! (I’m sure he doesn’t read my blog but I’ll give him a shout out anyway. 🙂 ) There was a crafty meet-up on Friday night that I really wanted to go to but we got in too late for that…bummer.

I stayed at Whipstitch all day Saturday and the hubs very generously watched the Little Man for me. He dropped me off early in the morning for a free clothing workshop- given by Karen and Rae, came back for lunch with me and then took Little Man back to the house for an afternoon nap while I went to the Sewing for Kids Workshop. All day I was pretty much like a kid in a candy store.I know I am being a bit melodramatic here, but it was a dream come true for me. Being a mostly self-taught sewer, it is so helpful for me to get instruction from others. The Saturday morning tutorial was all about constructing handmade garments that look professional. A lot of discussion was given to seams and finishing touches. I really took away tons of helpful advice for clothing construction. Then in the afternoon class we made the treasure pocket pants that I have been addicted to since…from the book Sewing for Boys. It was a crazy whirlwind class because we were trying to finish the pants in 3 hours but it was loads of fun! Rae and Karen are great teachers! I am just sad I don’t live closer to Whipstitch or Michigan to make attending more classes at either a regular occurrence 😦 . Whipstitch just happens to be about 5 minutes away from Ikea so after my class was over, we headed over there with our friend Andrew to have some fun.

Here are some pics of the weekend…They are mostly instagram shots because we didn’t bring the regular camera.

my nerd shot- getting a pic with Karen and Rae (both of them made their dresses…love!)

frantically sewing during class

rae busy sewing the demo pants

the boys having fun while I sewed

Oliver loved Ikea!

The finished pants!

Let’s Quilt! part 5

Part 1- here,                  Part 2- here,                         Part 3- here,                      Part 4- here

At last I have finished my quilt blocks! Or finished them as much as I plan to- we’ll get to that in a minute.

Drunkard’s Path block-

I really enjoyed this block. The original block from our class had a smaller circle but I wanted a different look so I enlarged the template circle a bit and am so excited that it turned out. I went on Pinterest to look up ideas for this block so check out my quilts board if you want to see other ways this can be used. I love how with just moving the blocks around, you can totally change the look of this block. I feel confident about sewing curved seams now. The only thing I didn’t like about the block was that it requires LOTS of pinning so it becomes quite time-consuming: difficult when your sewing time is limited to a toddler’s nap time.

Dresden Plate block

This block was our practice in applique. I have been doing quite a bit of applique recently so this was a review, but I enjoyed putting it together. I opted out of hand-appliqueing for time’s sake and did a straight stitch around all the edges. MUCH faster and I still like the effect though I do prefer a hand-applique look for a block like this. I used a freezer paper template for the center circle and even with this template, I had a hard time getting my circle completely round- but I’ve determined not to stress out about small imperfections!

Tumbling block

Ah…this block. What can I say about it? I spent much time painstakingly cutting out tiny diamonds, sewing said diamonds together, and mastering the y-seam, only to have to scrap this block for now. 😦 I was really happy with how this block was turning out as I was sewing my diamonds together. This y-seam thing wasn’t hard at all, I thought to myself. And then I began to sew the rows to each other. I just could not get them to work! The seams were so far off that in no way were they ever going to meet and I would have to resew all the individual rows to try to fix the problem. I also realized that my template was so tiny, I was going to have to make twice as many little blocks to fill my 18 inch big block. So, I scrapped it for now. We had 10 blocks built into the class, and I only need 9 for my quilt top so it wasn’t a big deal to opt out of it. I would like to revisit this block at some point and learn how to make it correctly because I love the visual effect it gives. Here’s my instagram shot of my progress.

Now that all my blocks were finished, I had to decide on sashing and borders.  I was going to do a sashing between my blocks but the only solid I have on hand to match is a very dark grey, and I didn’t think it would look good so I decided to put them together with no sashing. However I am going to do a 6 inch border of the dark grey. I got as far as sewing all the blocks together tonight and will work on the border and backing tomorrow. I am pretty excited because tomorrow’s class begins the discussion of free motion quilting- something I very much want to learn!

Let’s Quilt! part 4

Part 1- here;                                   Part 2- here;                               Part 3- here

I have gotten a bit behind in my quilt class because I spent most of my time last week finishing my Father’s Day quilt so I am trying to get caught back up this week. I’m making fairly good progress and have 3 more blocks to show.

First off, the Double Pinwheel

I just finished my pinwheel quilt so I wanted to challenge myself to try something new in this double pinwheel. I like how I could showcase my large scale print fabric in the big wheels. I did not have any problems with this block and am happy to report that all the points line up in the middle…yay! So happy that Deborah gave us some magic numbers to use when figuring out how big to cut the squares for the half square triangle shortcuts because I’ve never been able to figure out that math!

Next up- the Ohio Star

I’m trying to balance out the blue-greens and pinky reds in the quilt so I knew that I wanted this block to focus on the blue and green prints. I also wanted to branch out a bit from using white as a background and decided this light green print would work well. Since it is such a small scale, light print, it works well for a background. I liked doing the quarter square triangles the easy way! I’m pretty happy with how well my points lined up. There are a few places where they’re off a bit but for the most part, it’s good. I like the effect of this and I am hoping it coordinates with all my other prints even though I didn’t use white as the background.

Lastly, the Card Trick

This block was extremely challenging for me and I think it pushed my skills quite a bit. Previously, I have only made triangles using the easy method of sewing two squares together and cutting them in half. I did spray the blocks with starch before I cut them and I think that helped them not stretch so much. Some of the sections, I got my points to line up perfectly and other sections are off quite a bit. I was a little discouraged because I thought I was doing much better with keeping things in line, but I guess I still have work to do. I like the effect of this block, but since it was so much work, I don’t think I will make it too often- definitely not a whole quilt of this block! I do have a bunch of triangles left over so maybe I will try to put a small version of this together for the backing of my quilt.

All my blocks so far- 7 in total.

Essential Quilting E-Course

I am so excited to announce that I have FINALLY won a giveaway!! Excuse my enthusiasm, but it seems I have entered so many giveaways with no luck that I couldn’t believe my eyes when I got the email telling me I’d won. I had seen a retweet about a Whipstitch giveaway last week so I clicked on through the link and entered myself into the race. The post was a guest posting from Deborah giving some helpful advice for newbie bloggers and giving away a chance to win a spot in her essential quilting e-course. Of course, you know I won the giveaway and am so pumped to begin the class today. The class continues throughout the month of June, and she has lots of fun things planned for this month. I will be sure to keep you updated on my progress and hope to show you some fun finished projects! I am very excited for this chance to improve my quite basic quilting skills. An interest in quilting is what sparked my desire to pick up sewing again a few years back so I think quilting will always have a special spot in my crafty soul :).

Thanks to PlumandJune and Whipstitch for this great opportunity.

More Treasure Pockets

I have yet another pair of treasure pockets to show!  When I made the last pair of treasure pocket shorts, I had planned on using this pocket fabric with those shorts, but I didn’t like how they coordinated once I had them cut out so I stashed away these pockets until I could find some linen fabric I liked. I picked up some linen this past weekend and here are the resulting shorts.  I love how lightweight and airy this linen fabric is! The pocket fabric is an organic cotton- Cloud 9 I believe- that I picked up at Whipstitch when I was in Atlanta this spring. I only bought a fat quarter because the organics are so expensive, but I love how even a scrap can be used as a fun accent in this pants pattern.

These are my favorite treasure pockets to date! Every time I make this pattern, I improve my sewing a bit and understand the instructions better 🙂 Except for cutting the pants off 3 inches below the crotch seam (to turn them into shorts), I pretty much followed the instructions word for word.

Note what a helpful little gardener I have 🙂