Friday, May 29, 2020

Line Dance Quilt Finish

I'm back with yet another charm square quilt! I can't believe how many of those charm packs I still have in my stash - many of which I probably will never use. However, I just love the colours in this one - Summersville Spring by Lucie Summers for Moda.

The pattern is one I downloaded forever ago from the Moda Bakeshop - it is called "Line Dance" and was designed by Kathy Mack from Pink Chalk Studios. This was a really quick quilt to sew together, especially if you don't over-think the placement of each charm square. I think I had the whole thing cut and sewn in one evening.

I used Kona Ash for the background and I love how that grey just makes the colours pop. I think Ash is the perfect background colour and use it a lot!

The back is the same green print I used for baby Ella's playmat. I love that it matches the green in the charms almost perfectly.

For quilting, I went with my favourite free-motion quilting design - all over flowers. I've stitched this design so often now, it is really quick and easy for me. I used Aurifil 50 wt in dove (#2600) for both the piecing and the quilting - it blends beautifully with the Ash background and almost disappears on the green back.

The binding is more Kona Ash along with one strip of Kona Charcoal and some leftover squares from the charm pack.

I don't have plans for this little quilt - I might hang on to it and use it as a last-minute baby gift. I often get requests for baby quilts so I like to have a few on hand.

The details:
  • Pattern: Line Dance by Kathy Mack
  • Size: 41" x 49"
  • Fabrics: Kona Ash (background) and Summersville Spring charm squares
  • Thread: Pieced and quilted with Aurifil #2600 (Dove) in 50 wt

Friday, May 22, 2020

Rhapsody Blouse in Crinkle Rayon

The Love Notions Rhapsody blouse has been on my To Do List for about a year now. I even had the pattern printed and traced, but Love Notions re-designed the blouse recently and seeing all the beautiful versions on Instagram just pushed it all the way to the top of the list!

And I couldn't be happier with my new blouse!

I made a size XL based on the finished garment measurements and it fit me without any modifications at all. The pattern is very well written, simple to follow, with lots of step-by-step guidance and pictures. The pattern has a few really good features:
  • 9 different sleeve options and a dress option
  • full bust pieces are included
  • the back yoke is finished in the "burrito" method meaning there are no raw edges
I used French seams throughout because the fabric I was using is so light. I really like that the garment is beautiful inside and out.

I did make a small change to my version. Instead of using the bias binding to make ties, I sewed it on across the V neck as demonstrated in this hack on the Love Notions blog.

I still need practice with bias binding, and this fabric definitely wasn't the easiest to work with, but it's not too bad.

I love the curved hemline and the pleat at the back.

The fabric is a crinkle rayon I purchased from Blackbird Fabrics a few months ago (no longer available unfortunately.) It is a beautiful print and is really nice and flowy. It was a little bit challenging to work with for me because I'm not very experienced with thinner fabrics but it is such a pleasure to wear!

I'm already planning a few more of these. 

The details:

Friday, May 15, 2020

Large Star Bright Quilt Finish

A couple of weeks ago, I really needed a quick and simple project to work on. I started looking through the quilt patterns I already had on hand and found this one which I used a few months ago for a new Christmas tree skirt. I knew this one would a good one to work on! I even found a gorgeous stack of 10" squares to make it.

The fabric is Nature Walk by Tamara Kate. I purchased these from Tamara at a craft fair a few years ago. The prints are absolutely gorgeous and I'm so pleased this pattern allowed me to use the squares uncut.

I decided to take my time with the quilting and have some fun with it. I hadn't quilted pebbles in such a long time but I'm so happy with how they turned out. I then used radiating straight lines to make sure the pebbles would be the focal point of the quilt. I even used pink thread for the quilting to make it stand out even more.

You can see the quilting really well on the back as well.

The binding is Kona Charcoal.

The details:

Friday, May 8, 2020

New Comfy PJs Using M7515

I made myself some new comfy PJs!

I've had this fabric in my stash for a long time and I was planning on making clothes for the grand-kids with it, but I had a lot of it and figured I could make myself some pyjamas and still have big enough pieces left to make something for them. This is a Cloud 9 cotton knit called Sidewalk by Rae Hoekstra. It is super soft!

The pattern I used is McCall's M7515. It is really easy and quick to make.

The shorts are only two pieces - the elastic casing is created by simply turning down the top. The instructions don't say to secure the elastic but I stitched it down in all four seams by stitching in the ditch. That prevents it from twisting in the casing which is something I find particularly annoying.

The neck is finished with a facing. Again, the instructions don't specify to do this, but I understitched it to make sure it wouldn't pop over to the front and this creates a nice smooth finish.

For some reason though, my machine really didn't enjoy the narrow and short zig-zag on this fabric. I'm not sure if it was the needle or the fabric, but it kept "sucking" the fabric in the throat plate and skipping stitches. But once I increased the length of the zig-zag stitch to 2.5, things got way better.

I made a size XL based on my measurements, but if I make this again, I'll definitely go down to a size L. The shorts are pretty big and there's definitely a lot of room in the top as well.

But these will be really comfy PJs for the summer months!

The details:

Friday, May 1, 2020

A New Playmat for Ella

I'm continuing to work on my goal of using up the fabric I've had in my stash for a long time and this week, I've got another quilt made from charm squares.

The pattern is a tutorial I found in Pinterest. It is called Fresh Diamonds by Samelia's Mum. This is a pretty easy make, but not really a quick make - 156 HSTs to piece and trim! But it was well worth the effort because I really like the finished quilt.

The charm squares are an older Bonnie and Camille collection: Vintage Modern which has the prettiest pink, red, green and aqua colours. I paired the squares with a Kona Charcoal background and I just love the contrast.

For even more contrast, I quilted it with free-motion flowers in a variegated aqua thread and I'm very pleased with the texture.

The backing is a green print from Connecting Threads. I added three green fat quarters from my stash to make it big enough.

The binding is Kona Charcoal with a few strips made from the leftover charms. I like the little pop of pink and red.

This will be a fun little playmat for grand-girl Ella and I can't wait to gift it. As I write this, I haven't been able to see or hug or kiss any of the grand-kids in a long, long time and I miss them so much...

The details:
  • Pattern: Fresh Diamonds by Samelia's Mum
  • Size: 50" x 54"
  • Fabrics: Kona Charcoal (background) and Vintage Modern by Bonnie & Camille charm squares
  • Thread: Pieced with Aurifil #2600 (Dove) in 50 wt and quilted with Aurifil aqua variegated in 50 wt

Friday, April 24, 2020

Art Gallery Blackwood Cardigan

Now that the weather is starting to get nicer and warmer, I realized that my wardrobe is in dire need of lighter cardigans. I have some ready-to-wear cardigans I purchased last year, but after only one season of wear, they are looking pretty sad.

I made a Blackwood Cardigan for myself last year and I just love it so decided to make another one with a couple of yards of gorgeous Art Gallery cotton knit from I've had sitting in my stash for a while now. Sadly, this specific print isn't available anymore, but they have a pretty large selection and the quality of this fabric is just amazing. Really, really soft and such a pleasure to sew with.

I made the longer view (View A) and I love it! My last version was a little big snug in the upper arms so I also made a full bicep adjustment and the sleeves are much better - I now have room for a T-shirt underneath. (I used Helen's Closet's tutorial for the adjustment.)

I'm so happy with my new cardigan and cannot wait to wear it out and about! When I showed it to the hubby, he was really impressed and said it fit me perfectly.

I love the pockets - they are quite roomy and at the perfect height for me. Helen's Closet patterns are drafted for 5' 6" bodies and I'm just 1 inch shorter than that, so her patterns tend to fit me really well without many adjustments. Her patterns are also really well written and are such good basics. I'm a huge fan.

The details:

Friday, April 17, 2020

Easy Charm Squares Quilt Finish

At the start of 2020, one of my goals for the year was to re-organize my sewing room. If you've been following my blog for a bit, you'll know that I started garment sewing and I now feel like I need to get better organized - fabric is all over the place in my sewing room and I need to find a storage solution for all the Big 4 and the PDF patterns I've acquired.

I was going through my stash of precuts and I realized I still have A LOT of charm square packs - some of which I'm really not in love with (I got them in a subscription from a few years ago). I now have plans to make a bunch of charity quilts with those squares. And this easy quilt is the first one.

I used a tutorial/pattern from Coral & Co which I had pinned a long time ago. It only took a few hours to cut and piece everything together. I then used a sheet for the backing so no piecing required for the back! I have a pile of top sheets that I use from time to time for quilt backs. The hubby and I don't use the top sheet when we purchase sets - we prefer using just our duvet - so I keep the top sheet for my quilting. You can see the backing I used at the top of the photo below. It matches the charm squares I used almost perfectly.

I wanted the quilting to be quick and easy as well so went with my usual wavy lines with the walking foot and used a soft pink thread which blends in on the back but shows up quite nicely on the Kona Charcoal background fabric.

When it came time to bind the quilt, I realized after stitching most of it down to the front that it wasn't long enough - not sure how I miscalculated the length I needed - so used a few binding leftover strips I had on hand instead of cutting another strip of the grey fabric. It's not exactly the same shade of pink, but I kind of like it.

Overall, this was a very satisfying make: I used up a couple of charm packs that had been languishing in my stash for years and it was really quick and easy.

The details:
  • Pattern: Easy Charm Square Quilt by Coral & Co.
  • Size: 46" x 58"
  • Fabrics: Kona Charcoal for the background and binding and 2 charm packs of Twenty-Three by Eric and Julie Comstock for Moda 
  • Thread: Pieced and quilted with Aurifil #2415 (pink) in 50 wt