Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Amazing Technicolor Dream Quilt {Strings}

I started this quilt clear back in Aug. 2010.  After almost a year, there isn't much else I can say about it that hasn't already been said before.  But just so you know, I took 25 pictures of this quilt yesterday.  It'd be safe to say that I really, really like it!  

With such a wide range of fabrics and colors the only fitting name was one paying homage to Joseph (The Musical).  I chose "The Amazing Technicolor Dream Quilt" over "The Quilt of Many Colors."  :)

It's a big one, measuring 64" by 80".  

 For the quilting I wanted it pretty simple so as not to distract too much from the main design of the quilt.  I think my long-arm quilter did a great job with that.

The binding is leftovers from this and this quilt.

 As my kids now take it over, I'd just like to thank all of you who have given me kind words of encouragement as I've worked on this quilt.  It's been a doozy! Fun and very satisfying, but a doozy!

I'm linking up to Sew Modern Monday

Block size 8.5 inches before sewing -- total of 80. 
Strings were random, non-uniform sizes.
White sashing was 1.5 inches before sewing.
Make your own using this tutorial.  If I could offer one piece of advice it would be to number your blocks with painters tape AND put an "up" arrow on it so as not to get confused with the direction of the blocks as you sew them together.  It worked like a charm for me. 
String Quilts on Flickr.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Art Wall

I've been wanting to make an art wall for a really long time. 

This wall is in between a picture window and the backdoor from the kitchen.  You automatically see it when you walk in the front door so it makes a pretty big statement.
The Art Wall

The pictures were collected over the course of the last year, all done my kids, framed simply and inexpensively.  The random non-uniform spacing was intentional.  I'm trying to decide if my symmetrical/organized brain can handle it.

Watercolor by kindergartener, Colorful Dots by 6th grader

top by 3rd grader, bottom by 6th grader

Same concept done by different kids
Still Life

Self Portrait by the 4yr old

It's been fun watching the kids stare at the wall and examine all the pictures.  I think it has made them feel pretty special to see their "work" hanging up.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Grad Quilt #2 -- Vintage Sheet Style

Today we are celebrating another graduation, that of our fabulous family babysitter.  We have been lucky, in that our kids have only known one babysitter in their short little lives.  For the past 5 years this lovely young lady has tended our kids for many a date-night.  At one time we joked that she was an independently wealthy teenager because of us.  Now that she's graduating we are trying not to be sad. But the truth is, we are going to sorely miss her when she leaves for college.  She has truly become part of our family.

When deciding on a quilt style for her I knew Vintage Sheets would be the way to go.  She is a girl who loves old style.  (Her dream car is a beat up 1940's style Pick-up truck.)

After seeing this quilt I knew I could replicate it beautifully in real vintage.

I used sheets from the swap last year.
It's pretty amazing, in that every time I do a vintage sheet project I think I've used up all the pretty ones, only to find some beautiful unused piece.  It's been fun discovering new lovelies.

Quilting and binding detail
For the binding I found more Michael Miller Ta Dot.   (I told you I wanted it in every color!)
You can see that I added a small piece of backing fabric in with it.  I think it's a great little touch!

The backing is another $5/yd sale piece I found at my LQS.  I am loving the vintage/modern vibe that it's giving off.

My girls have loved this quilt!  So much so, that they want to have their room re-decorated in this style.  Wouldn't that be cute?!   It would make a cheery room, for sure.

 To Miss B the Babysitter we say Congratulations!!  Our lives have been forever blessed by knowing you.

Coins were cut 8.5 inches wide, with varying heights between 2.5 and 3.5 inches.
Sashing: Kona Ash cut at 2 inches, borders cut at 4 inches
Binding is Micheal Miller Ta Dot in Lime
My only regret is that this quilt is on the small side, measuring 55" by 63".

SilverLily Likes to Sew

Monday, May 23, 2011

Blue Floral & Lime Green Baby Quilt

I whipped this little quilt together after having sewn a bunch of new clothes patterns.  I needed some "mindless" sewing, something where I didn't have to think too hard about what I was doing because I've done it tons already.

Love how this little quilt turned out--it was not really planned, I just started it with the blue floral and then raided the stash to see what I had.  I didn't have enough of a third color to total 36 blocks, so I had to find something else.  And find a good layout for 4 colors, not 3. 

Cut 6 inch squares
Color A -- 12 squares (blue floral)
Color B -- 12 squares (pale yellow)
Color C -- 6 squares (lime green)
Color D -- 6 squares (light blue)

Layout shown below:













Finished dimensions--32" x 33"

Green scraps leftover from this pillow project
Blue floral scraps from a sundress for display at my fabric store
New yellow sheet set from Mom

Binding cut 2 3/4" strips, attach with a 3/8" seam.
Hand sewn down

For sale on my Etsy shop if interested.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Picture of the Snoopy Tent -- Circa 1974

A few years ago we posted about the card table tent that our mom made back in the day.  It is legendary in our family, practically an heirloom.

While going thru a photo album I brought back from Grandma's house I came across this picture...

Renae (far right) and 2 of our other siblings
Old pictures are awesome!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spring = Prom & Bridal Dresses

Well, that time of year has started--Prom & Bridal dresses are everywhere.  I have a wedding dress alteration lined up here in the next couple of months for one of our neighbors.  She isn't getting married until August or September, so they aren't in any kind of rush.  But I usually do get one or two calls last minute from someone about needing a "quick" alteration on a dress in time for a dance.  Sometimes I can help them, and sometimes I can't.

I recently altered a dress for my friend Carrie to wear as a bridesmaid at her brother's wedding a week or so ago.  She is wearing this dress from David's Bridal.  It really is quite the flattering style of dress.  I just love rouching!  It can both enhance and hide at the same time....perfect.

However, we revamped it--whacking off the length to make it knee-length and then adding some cap sleeves.  And also adding a little spot in front so there wasn't quite so much cleavage exposed. 

Carrie is on the far left of the bridal party.

Carrie thinks the color (Key Lime) is hideous, but my L., 14 going on 15, thinks it's great.  She wants this dress!  We might have to work out something with Carrie once she is done wearing the dress.

I'm glad that the dress worked out for you Carrie.  You look smashing--and you're right...the flowers are gorgeous!

Next up in the wedding alteration department....tangerine dresses...2 flower girls, and a bridesmaid.  It must be a sherbet trend this year for weddings.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bubble Gum Zig Zag

Les and I spent a lovely few days back home this weekend celebrating the graduation of our oldest niece

Of course a quilt was in order for the occasion. 
I've been planning one for her for awhile.  At one point in time I thought I knew what she wanted, but when I asked her directly she said she wanted "something pink, with hot pink, maybe pink animal print--like pink zebra."  Um, okay...not the vintage 'old lady' quilt I was planning.

So here is what I came up with. 
It's definitely PINK!

For the record, the solid in between the prints is actually pink, too.  A very, very soft baby pink.  It's fabric that I have had since my first daughter was born 9 yrs ago. (Yikes!)

With all that pink it reminded me of bubble gum.  Thus it was named.

My plan was to make an edge-to-edge design like Leslie's but do to some unfortunate events it ended up way too narrow.  The addition of a big fat border was all it needed to come out the right size.  It gives it a different look than hers--but still awesome none the less.

The backing is a great little print I found at JoAnn's. 
Backing fabric @ 40% off  = Happy wallet!

I've said before that the quilting part is my least favorite part of the quilt-making process, so thanks to the magic quilting fairy it got finished in record time! 

Finished quilt measures approx. 55" by 70"
Backing is Happi Medallion Pink from JoAnn's
Border is Country Classic Solids in Flamingo (almost the same color as Kona Bright Pink)
Zig Zag pink's are assorted designer and non-designer prints from mine and Leslie's stash. Thanks, Les!

Pattern from this awesome tutorial by amandajean of crazymomquilts. Pure genius if you ask me!

I'm linking to Finished It Up Friday at Silverlily Likes to Sew.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What's on my Design Wall

I haven't participated WIP Wednesday in awhile, so here's what I've been up to:


Started sewing blocks for this ScrapTastic Quilt that I've mentioned before.  I am super excited, though I have no illusions that it will get done anytime soon.  It'll just be one of those projects that is ongoing ~ with no deadline in sight.  So far I've completed ten A Blocks

As for the blocks created by my nine year old, she isn't sure where she's going with them, but is enjoying the creative process and the limitless range of possibilities.  She is her mother's daughter.  :)

In Progress:
Graduation Quilt #1--getting quilted
String quilt--Finally this bad boy is getting it's binding sewn on this week!

No Progress:
My BIL's TWO Harley Davidson Quilts
Grandma's Shirts
Vintage Stars

Graduation Quilt for our niece--Pictures next week!

It's been a good couple of weeks.  I feel like I've been on a roll.  I got caught up on my bee blocks, finished a quilt with time to spare, and am on track to get a few more things finished by the end of the month. Yay! :)

Don't forget to see what everyone else is up to at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

Grandma's Retro Dress Redo

This was a little challenge project to myself.

Along with all the shirts I brought home from our Grandma's house I also got a couple of her dresses.  One of which was a dress she wore a lot, and for many years. We all had a good laugh that it was still in her closet when she died.  We think she made it for herself sometime in the early 80's. 

You can see that it is decidedly retro looking.  So the challenge to myself was to see if I could take the dress and make it wearable for someone younger than Grandma.  Part of that challenge included the fact that Grandma was about 5' 2" tall and 100 pounds.  I am 5' 8" and decidedly more than 100 pounds. 

Here is what I did:
Removed the ties and refinished the neckline
Shortened the sleeves
Replaced the elastic in the waist as it was completely deteriorated.
Left the length untouched
Added a thick belt
And Voila!

I wore it on Easter Sunday and no one seemed to notice my polyester dress! :)  That was actually a good thing.  I was hoping it would be my little secret.

With it all said and done, I think Grandma would be pleased that I redid her dress!  :)  And even if I never wear it again I would call the project a success.

Grandma with her 5 children -- our dad and his 4 sisters

Both of our Grandma's with us and our other siblings 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

On Display

A couple weeks ago I went to my favorite fabric store to buy some more swimsuit lining fabric.  While I was there one of the ladies who works there was having a phone conversation with someone who does some sewing for their displays in the store.  (I couldn't help but overhear the conversation due to both her and my location--about 6 ft away from each other.)  She got off the phone and then spoke with the manager, both of which weren't too happy about whatever occurred during the conversation.  It sounded to me like they had originally agreed upon something and now the seamstress was changing it all. 

So anyway, I opened my mouth and told them both that I'd sew for them if they wanted.  (Much to the chagrin of hubby they know me by name, after years of shopping there.)  They looked a little surprised, but I assured them I'd sew whatever they wanted.  So they told me what they were looking for, which is mostly someone who sews kids' clothes.  Well, I have kids, and I sew for them all the time.  I think I qualify.  After chatting awhile they decided they'd love to have a new swimsuit display and so I was asked to make 3 swimsuits to put up on their wall display. 

The beauty of this--which I didn't know when I opened my mouth--is I got to pick out the fabric that I wanted to use, they gave it to me free, along with thread and elastic.  They'll display it for awhile and then when they are done I get all the suits back to keep.  Oh yeah!  Sounds fun to me!

I was pretty excited and called my hubby right when I left the store to tell him about my new gig.  Apparently I was a bit too excited, because you know when you have those conversations with someone and you think you've told them something, but actually haven't because everything is going so quickly in your brain.  Well, after telling hubby all about it he says to me, "So what do you get out of it?"  I am wracking my brain, thinking, "didn't I just tell him: free fabric I chose, display my stuff in the store and then I get to keep it?"  So instead I sheepishly say, "Maybe a little ego boost."  And he says, "That's it.  You're doing all this free work for them and you get nothing?!"

Needless to say I had to repeat the conversation:  free fabric I chose, display in the store, and then it all comes back to me to keep.  Now he gets it!  And I'll add, sheepishly, I'm getting a little ego boost from this too.
So here's what I did:
One each of the racerback style and scoop neck tank

Kwik Sew 3785

And a tankini with boy shorts. 

Kwik Sew 2868

I made this suit to fit my oldest (14 yr. old) daughter. 

She loves the green top, and the boy shorts do work, but she isn't sure she loves them.  I've never made boy shorts before.  And mostly because I'm not sure we like them.

  • Size M on pattern 2868
  • Added 3" to the length on the tankini (and she'd like it about 2" longer still)
  • Added 1" to the length of the boy shorts--you have to adjust the lining piece too or it won't work.
  • I think that next time I will try making them fully lined and see if that makes a difference.  My girls are used to fully lined suits and the extra layer can make all the difference in their comfort level.

Now on to round 2 for them--dresses, skirts and t-shirts.  My girls went with me last night to pick out the fabric they wanted for their new outfits.  And all this with new Kwik Sew patterns that I don't have to buy.  Loving that perk too!

Upcoming patterns:
Kwik Sew 3451 in green and white
Kwik Sew 3818 in canary yellow
Kwik Sew 3736 in a pretty blue floral

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pixel Quilt

Quilt front

finished quilt measures 53" x 72"
I cannot figure out how I ended up with this size.
It's a few inches smaller than I anticipated. Ah, well...

back view

 Linked up at Fabric Tuesday.


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