Friday, February 24, 2012

Broken Dishes Quilt Top

I completed the top last weekend.  I find that making one doll quilt a month is something that I can try to shoot for.  Better still if Kathy's choosing these quilts.  That way I don't have to make those all important decisions!

Broken Dishes Quilt Top.  Designer: Kathleen Tracy.  Book: The Prairie Children & Their Quilts. Size: 15 1/2" x 18 1/2"
Pattern: JJ by Burda (free pattern)

I get a kick over my seam treatments, really loving the neat look.  Quite a bit if work on the Hong Kong seam finishes since there are usually more seams to bind when it's a princess seam blouse. The hem with a bias binding is my first. Much easier to work with especially when your hems curve.  Also it is best to use a narrow hem with curved shapes.  About the stand collar I feel that it should be a 1/8" wider, but there's no turning back now.  The fit is good but it'll look better if I lose my tummy!

I'm loving all these sewing stuff.  I really intend to take it up a notch.  So I enrolled in Gretchen Hirsh's The Starlet Suit Jacket and Kenneth D. King's Jean-ius! on Craftsy.  Like Susan Khalje, their really good teachers and watching these videos demystify couture sewing.  And the technique tips? PRICELESS!  To add to my education I ordered Claire's Shaeffer's Couture Sewing Techniques the bible for couture sewing. 

 Mary Kathryn was having a Superbowl sale and I couldn't resist getting my hands on Garden Club.  The applique blocks are huge!   If I ever get serious with applique I'll reduce the blocks for sure.  I won the Primitive Quilts magazine when Cheri was having a giveaway some weeks back.  I rarely am so lucky.  That's Cheri's design on the cover!

Cheri even signed on the page of her design! 

Some stuff for stitchery from Bird Brain Designs.  Love those little hangers.  They'll come in handy when displaying some tiny quilts, I'm sure.  And the Vogue pattern finally got here too.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Piecing and the Couture Dress

I've been piecing and sewing this past week or so.  No finishes in the horizon yet though.

Just Takes 2 - Part 3 is done.  I could learn to like paper piecing!

 Craftsy February blocks are done too.

On the right will be my backing for the non-existent Civil War quilt top :p  Fabric Shack's sale fabrics are perfect for backings IMHO.

Linen and cotton linen blends that I bought online from a local fabric store Kamdar.  They sent me white instead of black :(  There was some mix-up on the website and it should have occurred to me to highlight this to them.  But a pair of white linen shorts should be nice too.  The black linen on the left will be for my fashion fabric for the couture dress.

The muslin work has started and I have switched my pattern to Simplicity 1914.  Learning some very interesting couture concepts.

I've still got a little way to go with the JJ blouse.  I am very happy with the construction of this blouse so far pretty methodical and neat.  Doesn't pay to rush these things.  When you're flustered ... just stop!  Come back to it another day when you're in a better frame of mind.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Some sewing

When I went through my small garment fabric collection I decided to sew a blouse that I've sewed before.  It's a free pattern at Burda called the JJ Blouse.  Since this time I have plenty of fabric I am going the whole 9 yds (no pun intended)!  I'm making some changes to the length of the blouse, the height of the stand collar and the sleeve cuffs.  Also I am adding a contrasting fabric.

I am trying to incorporate some couture sewing techniques to this blouse here and there and only where it is practical.  This blouse won't have lining or underlining but there's quite a lot of hand stitching that will go into it.  After reading Susan Khalje's book and enrolling in her The Couture Dress video lessons on Craftsy, I figure what best way  to familiarise myself with these techniques than actual WIP.  The pattern provided is Vogue 8648.  Although I am not a dress person I think I should at least have one in my wardrobe!

Above is a knit that Jess W gave me some time back.  I've not had the courage to cut into it up till now.  I think my 'skill' in sewing is growing and I may have developed a zen like patience these past years.  So I'll be taking baby steps. Not wanting to spend on a Basic Tee pattern, I actually had Sewholic's Renfrew Top in mind so I scoured Burda only to find a Basic Tee pattern called Lydia for a steal.  So this project is next.

 On Craftsy too there's a free BOM with Amy Gibson.  The 12" blocks were rather large so I'm scaling it down to 6" blocks and restricting my colour palette to blues and cheddar.  2 blocks a month for 10 months, should be pretty easy to tackle but Amy's BOM is utilising a different set of skill every month so that should push the envelope a little.

Half of my Amish Star quilt backing is on the left and all 6yds of backing for Just Takes 2 quilt on the right.  We've only done two sections of the quilt and I am buying backing?!  Must be going wacky!  I had to grab it because the colours were great and so was the price!

I keep forgetting to show this wall hanging that I made for Margaret and Jackie W in December last year.  It's for their new craft room.  It's such a delight to stitch this although I had to bear with a lot of pink!  Stitched with stem stitch and the border are Tilda fabrics.  It's a free pattern by Verna Mosquera called Sew Pink.

Here's some questions Lori is asking :)

What's your favorite movie and why?
Must be The Dead Poet's Society.  Words makes my soul soar?

What's been your best vacation ever?
Maybe to Bali.  Was my first real overseas vacation.

Do you go to a specialty store to buy your tennis shoes?

What's your best running/walking  tip?
Be conscious about your stride i.e heel toe, heel toe ...

What do you do to relax?
I stitch and have a cuppa.

As far as food, what is your splurge?
A piece of rich banana chocolate cake?

If you could have any career, what would it be?
An Architect.

Do you have any tattoos?
Nope and never will.  I just don't get it.

Would you ever hire someone to help clean your house?
Prefer to do it myself.  But I may if I am unable to or have difficulties with some major cleaning tasks.

Coffee? Or Tea?