Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Drawing A Day For A Year

My super talented friend MB is drawing a picture a day from January 19, 2011 - January 19, 2012. She explains,

"I decided to begin this project as a way to slow down the passage of each day, increase my artistic productivity and make myself more accountable to my creative process."

I am the proud and lucky owner of two of her pieces.

"Deal or No Deal"
12/5/2006
ink on paper
You should definitely check out her blog "A Drawing A Day For A Year". You won't be disappointed.

Untitled

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bohemian Bird Quilt

This quilt is a free pattern from Michael Miller fabrics called Bohemian Bird.

The story behind the quilt is that I was in the middle of studying for finals my second semester at law school when I just couldn't handle reading another case. So I procrastinated by piecing this together instead over a period of days when my time was perhaps more wisely spent on other matters.

This was my first attempt at fusible applique and securing the pieces with a blanket stitch. Good thing the pieces are so simple and large. This was also my first bargello quilt and it was a lot of fun to put together and not as difficult as I thought it would be.


It only took me 2 years to actually get around to quilting it. But after quilting the bugger (50" x 50") on my domestic sewing machine and washing the quilt, I decided I didn't like the quilting after all. So I spent the rest of 2010 unstitching all the quilting and removing the binding. Not something I recommend.

This quilt now hangs in my bedroom unfinished and is officially a work in progress and will probably remain a work in progress for a looong time.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monkeying Around Quilt

The fabric for this quilt is about two years old, which is also when I started making the blocks - a traditional monkey wrench pattern - not realizing how long it would take to make the blocks.

The backs of the blocks are a kind of visual timeline of my evolving piecing skills. Good thing no one looks at the back of a quilt block once the quilt is put together.

The finished quilt size will be about a twin and there is no way that I will try to quilt it on my sewing machine, but I also feel a bit badly for whichever long arm quilter I "gift" with this as the person will likely have a difficult time quilting it. Pretty much everything you're not supposed to do when piecing a quilt is what I did on this little beauty.

Because I can never do anything completely randomly, I laid out the blocks in a sort of pattern. For example, all the blue blocks form an outer border and the pink blocks at four inner corners.

You can see that I need a larger floor.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Facelift

My blog has a new look for the new year. What do you think?

The old logo was

I had a lot of fun playing around in Illustrator and Photoshop, but it's amazing how much time and thought can go into something so simple.  Just for fun, you can see just how many different fonts I auditioned and how I played around with the heart to add shadows, add stitching lines, change colors, etc.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Go Bears! (Again.) Quilt

Working on a quilt for an upcoming baby shower.

Just so the quilt wouldn't get mistaken as pro-Bruin (Go Bears!), I downloaded the Cal athletics logo from the internet and used it as a template to make a fusible version. The yellow background rectangle is from the Moda Snuggles line and super soft.

Update February 12, 2011

I finished the quilt just in time for the baby shower. I ended up emphasizing the blues by quilting straight lines through the middle of the bowties and loopdy-loops in the border. The quilt is backed in a navy blue minky.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Tutorial: Garment Dust Cover

In the spirit of the new year, I was purging clothing in my closet, but I got sidetracked. For the longest time I have been using paper covers from the drycleaners to hang over my suit jackets and such to keep the dust from accumulating. But I haven't been consistent and some jackets and shirts are exposed to the open air, which means that they are collecting dust. Gross.

Then inspiration struck and I thought why not use the paper cover as a template to make some super quick and easy dust covers. The finished product is a lot prettier than the paper version.

Each dust cover requires a minimal amount of fabric and can be whipped up in 10-20 minutes.

Materials needed:
  • A paper dust cover to use as your template
  • Fabric
  • Plastic ruler and rotary cutter are really helpful, but scissors are fine, too
  • The usual sewing supplies: pins, thread, sewing machine
 Step 1: Cut out your fabric
I laid my paper cover on top of my fabric. You'll need two pieces for the front and back of your dust cover.

Now get your ruler or just your scissors and cut around your paper cover. Be sure to cut at least a half inch extra all around for a seam allowance. In the picture above, you can see how much extra I cut for the seam allowance: an extra half inch on the shoulders and an extra inch on the bottom and top opening.

Your cut fabric should look something like this:

Step 2: Topstitch the hanger opening
Fold over 1" the top of the two fabric pieces and top stitch it shut. This is so the opening won't unravel and also creates a clean line.

In the picture above you can see that I pinned my fabric in place and then simply sewed a straight line from the top edge.

Step 3 (optional): Hem/Overstitch/Serge the bottoms of the pieces
I ended up using the overcast stitch on my sewing machine on the bottom of the fabric pieces to keep the bottoms from fraying.  For a cleaner look, you can hem them. Or if you don't really care, just leave them alone.

Step 4: Sew the two pieces together
Pin the two pieces together, right sides together. Sew using a half inch seam allowance on each side from the bottom to the top. The picture above shows the sewing lines.

Don't sew across the top because you need to leave an opening for the hanger. And don't sew across the bottom because you need it open to hang over your clothes.

After you've finished sewing both sides, turn your dust cover inside out and enjoy how pretty your closet looks.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Liberty of London

Last April work sent me to London, so of course I had to make an extended visit to the Liberty of London store and then make a beeline to the top two floors where all the glorious fabric is sold. Bolts and bolts of fabric goodness. Budget and luggage limitations forced me to limit my choices to just a couple of fabric designs. Choosing took waaaay longer than it should have.

Down on the first floor of the store were all kinds of beautiful silk scarves. Only, the cheapest ones were about USD $300. Too expensive. I lamented that to the lady who was helping me and she said that many people come into the store and buy silk by the meter and hem the raw edges to make their own scarves. (She also said that her stash of Liberty fabric at home was even greater than that in the store. Be still my envious heart.) With a meter of silk selling for about USD$54 that sounded like a bargain to me. [Price is always relative. $54 for a meter of silk?!] So I chose two silk fabrics; one of which is shown below.

isn't she gorgeous?

Which is why nine months later I have finally gotten around to hemming the raw edges after getting over my fear of handling silk. Since a meter of silk ended up being about 42" by 54" I was able to make two scarves: one a 42" square and the other one 12" x 42". So happy.

Work needs to send me to London again.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

January 7 already?

Hope your 2011 is off to a fantastic start. I alternately cannot believe that the week is going by so slowly and yet we're already into the 7th day of January.

As expected, quality quilting time is greatly diminished. However, that hasn't kept me from starting another new project for no good reason except that I have way too much fabric (informal 2011 resolution: no more buying fabric just because it's pretty) and have a layer cake of "9" by Sanae that needs to be used up. The result thus far is this:

I made hour-glass blocks just for fun and thought it would also be fun to applique the flower motif from other fabric squares in the layer cake. Don't know what this will eventually end up looking like, but in the meantime I'm auditioning different fabric choices from my stash and alternately thinking of potential block combinations to grow the quilt.  Ideally the finished quilt will use up all the rest of the layer cake which is mostly wonky polka dots in muted browns, tans, and reds and a few coordinating florals.
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