Thursday, March 22, 2012

A study in HSTs

It was International Quilting Weekend last week so I thought I'd play with some blocks that I've been fancying lately.  In the midst of watching some great free quilting video tips from The Quilt Show,  I made a gazillion HSTs!

Tree of Life block.  8" finished.  Kona Natural with Kona Rich Red
 You will recall from my last post that I was on the lookout for a new red & white project since I've stopped the Just Takes 2 project ... so this is it.  I've been loving the Tree of Life block for some time now.  I've got some lovely Tree of Life quilts pinned too for inspiration.  But they all seemed quite large.  I found a Tree of Life instruction and there were options for an 8" or a 12" block.  So I chose the 8" and I think I like it.  There are 34 1" HSTs in there!  I am thinking that I might as well get started on my Jubillee Quilt.  Hopefully when I am 50 (in some years) it'll be all ready to be enjoyed. 

Feathered Star block.  15" finished.  Kona Natural with Kona Navy
Lucy from my Flickr group gave a link to a wonderful tutorial for the Feathered Star block.  And on Sunday I started cutting those HSTs.  There was a LOT of cutting. 32 HSTs here!  Instead of red & white I tried blue & white and I love it!  I want to add some embroidery to it ... we'll see.

Basket blocks.  4" finished.  Kona Natural with brown prints
And more HSTs for the lovely Temecula Blessing Baskets QAL.  Such a pleasure to work on these little weekly blocks and the leisurely pace sure helps.

I've morphed the dress (SIM 1914) to a blouse.  I suddenly had a practical wave and wondered when in the world would I wear a dress!  So I decided on a top instead.  A couture blouse if you will!  I've adjust the side seams, put in the back darts and the put out the princess seams, but I may have to fit it again to see if I need to tighten the princess seams a little more.  And then I'll move on to the next step of cutting the underlining and using the muslin as the pattern.

 The Lydia knit top worked really well for my sis.  Neckline, sleeve length and hem length was good.  So now when I sew knits for her I can use this pattern as a base.  Mine need to be a little larger.

Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire Schaeffer arrived last week from The Book Depository.  Loving some reading time.  The world of Haute Couture is an entirely different culture and techniques have not changed much over the decades.  And Cotton Friend from a local bookshop.  It's translated from Japanese to Mandarin, I can't read neither.  But as with most Japanese craft books the pictures are quite informative.  It's an old issue but it has quite a number of casual ensembles especially for linen and cotton ... my favourite.

 A very big bar of olive soap from Jess W's holiday to Istanbul.  I will imagine myself in a Turkish bath!  And butchered cashmere wool pieces from her old coat!  Great for a base for some wooly applique project methinks.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sashing CW blocks

Finally I got my sashing for the CW blocks figured out.  I really like all those corner stones that other quilters have incorporated into their quilts.  There's a round of 1/2" cream sashing followed by 1 1/2" black.  The going is slow.  Some points had to be cut off because I didn't piece the block well.

I stumbled into a blog tutorial here which stretched one charm pack into a lap sized quilt.  I've always wondered if this could be done.  I've got 2 more borders to add still and I just got the binding too. I don't know if you have noticed the fabrics for the charm packs are thinner as compared to yardage of the same line.  I don't think I've had this issue previously.  Frankly sewing with thin fabrics can be quite fiddly and to make things worse some are cut off grain, not happy at all.

Blueberry Crumb Cake charm pack with Kona Natural

The Couture Dress is still in the muslin stage.  Long way to go methinks.  The rules change when sewing a dress.  The waist was too tight and so I dismantled the muslin and reconstructed it again but this time only working on the bodice.

And this is my first attempt at sewing knits.  Quite scarry but challenging at the same time.  I dropped two sizes because some of the reviews said that it was big but now it's too fitting for my liking.  I think it'll fit my sis better.
Lydia (Burda Style)
  I still need to mock serge the sleeve and hem.  Will have to use the twin needle to hem them, also my first time.  There's a good tutorial on sewing knits at Dixie DIY.

 Fabrics from Fabric Shack.  I needed to replenish my Kona Natural.  Also I have stopped on the Just Takes 2 QAL.  The paper piecing got to me eventually ... :(  But I still do want to start a bed sized quilt in red & white some time in the future.  And maybe a blue and white one too? :)  Part of the fun is finding the pattern.  I'll surely lean on the traditional blocks.  The black print on the top left is for the CW quilt, the Kona Amber Solid is for the BOM on Craftsy.
March Blocks - Foundation Piecing

Binwani's is shifting from Jalan TAR so they were having a good sale.  I bought some wool suiting.  Looks like some I need to dry clean and some can be hand washed.  So those for the dry-cleaners will be jackets, The Starlet Suit Jacket to be exact :)  The satin silk were very reasonable too.  So I bought some for linings.

Discounted woven cotton from Nagoya fabric store.  There's 4 pair of shorts there!

Got the Autumn and Winter design from 1-2-3 Stitch.  I had Summer for sometime now.  Since this is the Loose Feathers series, I better get them before their gone!