A goal for this year is to make a couple of items of clothing for myself. I have a unique body type (super-long torso, zero chest, birthing hips), so it would be super-smart for me to be able to make my own wardrobe, or at least master tailoring.
I was ecstatic to trip across the Sorbetto Tank Top FREE PDF pattern from Colette. I have some lovely peacock-printed cotton fabric gifted to me by my sister-in-law, so I whipped up this perfect beginner-project.
I made the top out of muslin first (minus the bias tape and hem) and realized I needed to add some serious length – I ended up adding about 4 inches – 3 in the waist and 1 on the bottom. The darts were perfect, but I did drop the armpit holes a little bit.
I used pre-made bias tape that I had on hand, but it’s a bit heavier than my shirt fabric (an exceptionally soft, lightweight cotton) so it kind of makes the collar sag a little. Not too much, but next time I think I’ll suck it up and make my tape from cotton fabrics.
Anyway I’m really pleased! It’ll be a nice top to have on hand in the summertime.
My friend Manya had this really cute baby quilt from her youth and asked me to take a shot at resurrecting it for her new baby due this Spring.
the original quilt - bunchy batting
Sadly, the quilt was really beyond repair. The quilting was so scant that the batting had bunched into big mounds. It really taught me the importance of making sure your quilting pattern hits every six square inches to avoid this problem as the quilt ages!
Also – the birds were either completely falling apart or getting a little frayed (they were needle-turn appliqued, but the needle-turned edge had popped out). So I took apart the whole thing and decided to just recreate the blanket.
sad, dissected birds
I wanted to use as much of the original fabric from this quilt as I could, but the pieces were literally disintegrating as I disassembled the blanket. So I decided to turn the old birds into wings! I found fabrics that matched the jewel-tone/gender neutral theme from the original quilt and made new birds. I did my favorite applique technique – sewing the birds to muslin and turning the unit inside out, appliqueing to the background fabric (more on this method in this post).
I picked a white-on-white print for the background, as I refuse to use solid white for a baby quilt. At least this will somewhat camouflage spit-up stains. And I quilted little clouds (continuing on a theme from this project)! White thread on top, invisible thread in the bobbin.
And for the birds I added a little quilting, with invisible thread on top and in the bobbin.
Invisible thread is so frustrating! Lots of tension issues, but then again my machine was literally dying and spewing out its insides while I quilting this blanket (more on that HERE and HERE). I cleaned up a little bit of the quilting on my NEW MACHINE and the tension issues weren’t as bad. I think I need thinner invisible thread…
I’ve had this teal backing fabric for a while and what a perfect fit for this project! It matches the jewel tones and it is gender-neutral. I also used some super soft peacock print cotton I recently got as a gift. Hoping I still have enough to make myself a little dress out of this lovely fabric!
What a fun challenge to recreate this beloved blanket! I hope Manya and her future baby like it!
If you read this post, you know things weren’t looking good for my Viking machine. After I finished a free-motion quilting session, I sat down to try and squeeze out one more project on the machine before taking it to the shop. No go – it wouldn’t even run anymore! The hand-wheel wouldn’t turn all of the way, and I couldn’t find the source of the problem. So I took the machine to the shop and the mechanic opened the case, took a peak at some of the moving parts, and said “OOOOOohhhh no” and then gave a big, defeated sigh.
It was dead. Boo! The black dust was from two of the moving parts scraping against each other and creating metal dust. In my classic paranoid, self-defeating manner I asked if it was something that I had done. He assured me it wasn’t, but was rather just old-age. That was sort of a relief because I really pride myself on my dedication to maintaining my machines. I got it serviced regularly and diligently did my at-home cleaning.
I guess that mechanism that was broken is no longer manufactured and the replacement parts are all used and only have a life expectancy of a couple of months. So it was time to make a big decision! What machine to buy? After a lot of research, soul-searching, and number crunching I decided to go all out and get myself a floor-model Bernina B550 Quilter’s Edition. It came with a walking foot and BSR free-motion stitch regulator, and is pretty damn sweet.
So although it is sad that the Viking broke, and definitely I was not expecting on making such a LARGE purchase this month, it is very nice having my new whiz-bang machine and I’m hoping to get a couple of decades and dozen quilts out of it : )
For the latest meeting of the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild, we were asked to bring a hand-made object that was inspired by our theme “Spring.”
I decided this was the final kick in the pants to tackle a project I’ve been wanting to try for well over a year. Check out this pillow! I think it’s so cute and awesome. I chatted up the creator and she said that it was based off of a pattern that she no longer had the information on, but gave me the all clear to try and duplicate the design. So through some photoshop tomfoolery I created a little pattern…
Reversed the image and outlined the shapes… Cut out the shapes on a cardstock and use for pattern pieces.
From fusible interfacing, I made a little-smaller-than-actual-size cut-out of the complete bunny piece and attached it to the background fabric. Then I placed all of my fabric pieces on the fusible bunny and ironed once everything was properly arranged.
Then I quilted! I mostly did little blades of grass. The bunny is hiding.
Then I covered the whole pillow-front with a layer of fine webbing. I saw this on THIS mini quilt and LOVED the idea, as it not only adds a slightly shimmery dimension to the whole piece, it will also encourage the appliqued pieces to stay in place and avoid some fraying.
Then I placed my envelope closure fabric flaps in back, and sandwiched everything together with a binding. It’s a little twee, a little frou-frou but I can’t help but love it.
Brenda from Pink Castle Fabrics got the pillow and I got these lovely bean-filled paper weights from Rossie. I actually use them as stress-relief, squeezing them in my hands as I stare into space and also to (gently) lob at my misbehaving children and spouse.