Friday, July 10, 2020

Jackson's Baby Quilt

There's a new baby in my extended family! My daughter-in-law's sister had a baby boy back in May and I had planned on making her a quilt, but with the whole COVID situation, there were very long delays in fabric deliveries so I didn't finish this little quilt until late June. I took these pictures as soon as it was finished, but I'm only getting around to blogging about it now!

I'm sorry about the weird shading - it was incredibly sunny and didn't notice these until much later!

I didn't use a pattern for this super simple quilt. I cut some squares from the print fabrics, cut some Kona Ash solid strips and then added a border. It went together really quickly and is the perfect way to showcase some cute fabrics such as this one.

I had no idea what the nursery colours were going to be so once I chose my main print, I searched through my stash for fabric that coordinated well: orange/rust, red and aqua. I got really lucky because the new mom's favourite colours are mint and aqua!

I wanted the quilt to stay soft and cuddly so went with random wavy horizontal lines. I used my trusty Aurifil #2600 (Dove) in 50 wt for the piecing and the quilting. I love that thread so much, I buy cones of it instead of spools. It really is the perfect neutral thread.

The backing is what held up me finishing this quilt. I didn't have anything appropriate in my stash so ordered a couple of different fabrics from Dinkydoo Fabrics (an online shop located in Canada). 

The binding is a Carolyn Friedlander print in a gorgeous mint green. I had a piece just large enough to cut the binding and I thought it finished off the quilt quite nicely.

The details:
  • Pattern: None
  • Size: 38" x 50"
  • Fabrics: A variety of different prints from my stash
  • Thread: Pieced and quilted with Aurifil #2600 in 50 wt

Friday, July 3, 2020

Allegro Pants - Lessons Learned

I haven't really ventured much into pants sewing (I only tried one pair and although it was somewhat successful, the fit was far from perfect). Pants are hard to fit due to tummies, bums and thighs, but I really want to nail the fit on some comfy pants - I mean, I'll be working from home for the foreseeable future, might as well have some cute comfy pants!

The Allegro Bottoms pattern by Love Notions was completely re-drafted and was on sale a little while ago. It comes with two lengths for shorts and pants as well as two skirts - a short skirt and a maxi. I decided to purchase the pattern because if I can't get the pants to fit me properly, I'm pretty sure I can get the skirts to.

About a week ago, I used some cotton to make a muslin of the shorts. I figured if I can make the shorts fit, I could use the same adjustments on the pants. My first pair of shorts ended up a bit long in the rise and a bit snug in the back. But other than that, they fit ok at the waist and the thighs.

I had to google how to shorten the rise and add a little more room for the bum. Both adjustments turned out to be pretty easy and after making the changes to the pattern pieces, I went ahead and made a second pair of shorts, again with some quilting weight cotton I had in my stash.

I didn't put the pockets in my second version and the gathers aren't quite evenly spaced but I definitely had enough room in the back now which is good. The front also fit much better. After making that second muslin, I felt like I had gotten the fit near enough to try out the pants in a softer fabric. 

I used a Tencel twill I purchased a few months ago from DG Patterns

In the above pictures, the pants look pretty good and I do love them with my Love Notions Rhapsody Blouse (blogged here). However, I can't sit in them! I'm pretty sure I should have made the full pants as a muslin because the thighs are just way too tight when I sit down. It isn't comfortable and really isn't an attractive look! So I'm going to have to research how to make more room for the thighs (in the front only which is a little weird).

But I do love how the front and pockets turned out.

And I've also learned how to fix those wrinkles under my bum - turns out I need a flat bum adjustment (who knew I had a flat bum?!). I'm also thinking now that once I fix the flat bum, it might fix the issue on the front? I've learned that some of the fixes for problems you see on a garment aren't necessarily obvious. 

I might try to unpick the inner and outer seams to see if that gives me a little bit more room in the front because it's definitely too late to make the flat bum adjustment on these pants.

The details:

  • Pattern: Allegro Bottoms by Love Notions (I made the 5" and 9" shorts and the full-length pants)
  • Size: 18 (front rise shortened by 1/2", "scooped" out back rise) - Next time, I'll make a small flat bum adjustment to eliminate the "smiles" under my bum. 
  • Fabrics: Tencel twill from DG Patterns

Friday, June 26, 2020

Wake Me Up Quilt Finish

When I found the Wake Me Up Quilt by Emma Jean Janson, I was immediately drawn to it because of the amazing scrappiness possibilities! I'm still trying to get through my huge, huge scrap piles - does anyone ever get "through" their scrap piles? - so I'm always on the lookout for simple, fun scrap quilt patterns.

I was a little bit afraid using many different scraps would look like a hot mess, but I'm pretty pleased with the results.

I really like working with scraps - it's almost like a trip down memory lane during which I get to think about the remember all the quilts I made with the fabrics. For example, I have some scraps in here from a quilt I made with my son (the Harry Potter quilt) and some of the squares I got from a charm square swap organized by the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild.

When it was time to choose how to quilt this top, I knew I had to keep it pretty simple to sort of tame the craziness. So I went with some vertical wavy lines stitched with my walking foot. I used my favourite neutral thread for this: Aurifil #2600 (Dove) in 50 wt. It just basically disappears which was perfect for this quilt top.

The back is a sheet in a super soft grey cotton - it has some fun little dots in there which I love. And the binding is Kona Charcoal which matches the back almost perfectly.

The details:
  • Pattern: Wake Me Up by Emma Jean Janson
  • Size: 56" x 56"
  • Fabrics: Scraps, Kona White, Kona Charcoal
  • Thread: Pieced and quilted with Aurifil #2600 (Dove) in 50 wt

Friday, June 19, 2020

Vivace Dolman

With the need to work from home for the past 3 months, it feels as though I'm sitting at my computer for 15 hours every day and I move a lot less than I used to. I'm not blaming anything or anyone other than myself for that - I could go for walks or bike rides during the day. I also should have a lot more time to cook healthy meals now that I don't have to commute back and forth to work, but I have found myself feeling lazy at the end of the day so we have been eating restaurant food a lot!

All that to say I need more pants and shorts - preferably some with elastic waistbands. But pants and shorts are hard. I have yet to find a pants pattern that fits me properly without making countless adjustments and I'm not yet experienced enough to feel confident in that department. So while I search for the perfect pants pattern, I am making more tops!

This is the Love Notions Vivace Dolman. This my third Love Notions make (I made the Playdate Dress for my grand-girl Madison last year and made the Rhapsody Blouse last month).

I love, love, love this top!! The fabric is a textured tencel viscose from Blackbird Fabrics. This fabric is soft, it has a beautiful drape and was really easy to sew with. I need way more of this fabric in my life and plan on getting more - would make a gorgeous Closet Case Cielo top, or Rhapsody blouse or Seamwork Clarke (all of which I already own).

The Vivace has a fun pleat down the front which is off centre a bit. The V neck is really cool but I did have a couple of small issues putting it together - you can see some small puckers in there, but I don't care!

The dolman sleeves are finished with a cuff. The viscose I used doesn't have a lot of body so the cuff tends to want to flip out a lot - I might go back and hand stitch it to the sleeve so it stays in place.

The only thing I'm not crazy about and might change the next time I make this is the hem. It hits me at my widest point and is straight across which really isn't very flattering. I might either shorten it a tiny bit or try to raise it up at the sides so it's a little rounded.

So there you have it! A really comfy, cool top for the summer! The pattern also comes in tunic and dress length - not sure how good the dress would look on me but I might try the tunic to wear with leggings.

The details:

Friday, June 12, 2020

Push-Pull Quilt Finish

Back on October 2019, Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl announced her Push-Pull Quilt-Along. I've been following Yvonne's blog for a long time and I own a number of her patterns because I just love her design style. So when I saw the Push-Pull Quilt-Along announcement, I knew I had to participate.

I'm not usually very good at keeping up with quilt-alongs. I'm super motivated at the beginning and then end-up getting behind and just abandoning the project. But I loved making this one - the piecing isn't complicated at all and the monthly instructions were the perfect pace for me.

I made the lap size and used three different shades of Kona solids: Berry (dark), Cerise (medium) and Petal (light).

And I quilted it with wavy vertical lines with thread that matches the Kona Cerise almost perfectly.

The backing is a gorgeous Cotton & Steele print I've had for a while. I chose it because some of the colours in that print are the same as the colours on the top.

The details:
  • Pattern: Push-Pull Quilt by Yvonne Fuchs
  • Size: 66" x 72"
  • Fabrics: Kona Berry, Cerise and Petal
  • Thread: Pieced and quilted with Aurifil #2535 in 50 wt

I will be linking up at Yvonne's for the quilt-along. And while I'm there, I might also purchase her latest pattern, Tire Tracks... it's a really good one!

Friday, June 5, 2020

A Weekender Finish

At the risk of sounding like a one-trick pony, I made another charm square quilt. I'd forgotten how much fun these are to sew - there is usually very little cutting and all the fabrics go together well! The quilt I'm sharing with you today is from a pattern I've used once before, almost 8 years go now. It's from another tutorial from the Moda Bakeshop (I used to get most of the patterns I sewed from the Moda Bakeshop back in the day).

Just like many of the charm packs I've used recently, these colours really aren't my jam - I like bright, happy colours, but this will make a good charity quilt I think. The fabric collection is an old one - Seasonal Little Gatherings by Primitive Gatherings for Moda.

The background is Kona White. The backing is a sheet I had in my stash which matches some of the prints on the front fairly well. I couldn't get a photo that showed the true colour of that. backing, but it really isn't that purple - it's more burgundy.

The quilting is all-over flowers with a burgundy thread which matches the back almost perfectly but contrasts on the white for a fun pop of colour.

The details:
  • Pattern: The Happy Weekender by Kim Niedzwiecki
  • Size: 58.5" x 66.5"
  • Fabrics: Kona White (background) and Seasonal Little Gatherings charm squares
  • Thread: Pieced with Aurifil #2600 and quilted with #2535 in 50 wt

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