Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Scrappy Mod Quads

I can't remember when I purchased the Mod Quads pattern by Designs by jb. I think I was on Pinterest looking for ideas for scrappy quilt designs (I'm still desperate to bring my scrap bins under control) when I found it. I googled the pattern name and designer and was surprised to find no website for Designs by jb. Instead, I found an online shop that sold it so I purchased the pattern from them.

The picture I had seen on Pinterest looked nothing like the cover photo on the pattern. It was made up in black and white fabric with just a few pops of colours. I thought it was absolutely stunning. I had many black, grey and white scraps so decided to copy it and add splashes of aqua fabrics.

And I'm so happy with this quilt! Cutting the fabrics took a while, but the piecing went really quickly. I didn't obsess over which fabrics would go next to which - I just grabbed the squares and sewed them together as they came out of my cut pile.

To stick with the random nature of the quilt, I quilted it with wavy lines guided only by the seams that joined the rows together. The quilting took no time at all.

The backing is a black and white print I had in my stash and the binding is Kona Pond - a beautiful aqua colour.

The details:
  • Pattern designer: Design by jb (link to the pattern above)
  • Size: 48.5" x 60.5" 
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Instructions/construction: This is a very easy quilt to sew. The instructions aren't very detailed, but perhaps they really don't need to be.
  • Would I make this again? I'm not sure to be honest. I might!

I have no clear plans for this quilt. I made it simply because I desperately wanted to use up some of my black and white scraps. I'm happy that my bin of that particular colour is now closing!

Friday, September 3, 2021

Coin Flip Quilt Finish

Back in July, I participated in a book hop for Cheryl Brickey's new book Just One Charm Pack Quilts. You can read all about that quilt finish here. But there were a number of other quilts I wanted to make from the book, and the first one of those was Coin Flip.

I loved making this quilt! I used an older charm pack from 3 Sisters (Papillon) along with a solid teal fabric and Kona Dove as the background.

The backing is fabric I had leftover from a recent quilt finish.

I quilted it with free-motion flowers in light grey thread which blends in perfectly with most of the fabrics. The texture is just amazing!

The details:
  • Pattern designer: Cheryl Brickey (from the book Just One Charm Pack Quilts)
  • Size: 46.5" square
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Instructions/construction: Like every quilt in this book, the instructions are well written and very clear.
  • Would I make this again? Most definitely! This quilt finishes at 46.5" square, but you could easily make it bigger by making more blocks. 

Friday, August 20, 2021

A Crib Size Pulsar Quilt

I'm not a huge fan of the colour orange and yet, this is my fourth or fifth orange quilt now. Turns out my stash had quite a few orange fat quarters in it and I do like it with a black background, so when I made the decision to work on the Pulsar quilt and make a crib size quilt from it, I pulled four orange fat quarters and Kona Black.

I cannot tell you how much I love this pattern! It was super fun to make and I just love the results. This design is so versatile, I can see it with a number of different background colours - or a monochromatic quilt with the background in navy blue and four different shades of blue. I am definitely going to make more quilts from this pattern.

I chose to make the crib size as my first version (the pattern provides instructions for crib, baby, lap, queen and king). And because it was a smaller quilt, I wanted to get a little fancier with the quilting. I stitched straight lines to frame the arrows and in each section created by the straight lines, I quilted swirls which I hadn't done in a really long time.

I ran out of black Aurifil thread (really need to order some!) so settled on a dark brown which I thought would blend in ok. It's not perfect, but I'm fine with that. And I'm very happy with the overall look of the quilting.

The binding is Kona Black and to piece the backing, I used leftover pieces from the quilt I made my daughter a few weeks ago.

The details:
  • Pattern designer: The Quilting Jetgirl
  • Size: 36.5" square
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Instructions/construction: Yvonne's instructions are impeccable. This is a really easy pattern to make and I love how the flying geese are pieced.
  • Would I make this again? Most definitely! I think a queen size version in blues would be amazing.

Friday, August 13, 2021

A Pillow Sham for Debbie

A few weeks ago, my very good friend Debbie asked me if I'd be able to make her a pillow sham inspired by a photo she had of Eddy Van Halen's guitar (she's a huge VH fan). Her birthday was coming up at the time (it has now just passed), so I started planning the make hoping to have it finished by then.

Here is the picture she sent me:

And here is the pillow sham I made for her:

I started with about half a yard of Kona Cardinal and used the slash and insert method to sew strips in white and black in various widths. I just kept doing that until I had a rectangle large enough to trim to 20" x 30".

Once I had it basted, I pulled my red Aurifil thread in 50 wt and quilted it with a square stipple. I really like the texture and it was super fun and easy to stitch.

For the envelop back, I found two fat quarters of this Good Neighbor fabric collection I purchased a few years ago from Connecting Thread. 

The seams inside are all finished with my serger to avoid fraying and to make the pillow cover washable.

The finished size is 20" x 30" - the size of a queen size pillow. 

I'm hoping to see Debbie this coming week so I can deliver her somewhat belated birthday present! I really hope she likes it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

A New Pink Cielo Top

I've done the Cielo Top by Closet Core Patterns three times now. The first one wasn't a great success - the fabric choice was all wrong. The second one was much more successful and I've been wearing it regularly so really wanted to make another.

The fabric is a beautiful rayon challis from Minerva.com. The colour is gorgeous and it feels amazing. It was a little bit challenging to work with, but I just took my time and it all worked out.

Pattern Details:

The Cielo Top and Dress by Closet Core Patterns came out a couple of years ago and was part of their Rome Collection. The pattern has four different views: View A is a short sleeve boxy top, View B is a boxy top with lantern sleeves, View C is a dress with really clever pockets and short sleeves and View D is a dress with the lantern sleeves. 

There is a really fun angled shoulder yoke which you can use a contrasting fabric for (I've seen some really fun versions with lace at the shoulders). The neckline on all views can be finished with bias binding or a facing.

This pattern is easy enough for a beginner but it has some really interesting features which I think a more advanced sewist would enjoy.

The pattern size range is 0 to 32 (full bust of 31" to 60"). 

Instructions and Construction:

This pattern was part of Closet Core Patterns' online class for beginners so the instructions are flawless. The pattern really holds your hands at every step - it even includes a section at the beginning which covers how to grade a seam, sew a French seam, under-stitching and stitching in the ditch.

All of the instructions include clear diagrams with each piece clearly identified. Every single step is included and there are no assumptions made about the reader's skill level. Everything from stay stitching the neckline to pressing the seams is included.

The instructions even include alternatives for some of the steps. For example, I'm not crazy about topstitching facings down but the pattern suggest tacking it down at the shoulders only which is what I did. I love the finish!

Would I make this again?

Yes, but there are definitely some things I want to change for next time. Even though this is now my third version, my body has changed significantly since my very first one and although my blue version still fits, I re-took my measurements before making this one. As a result, I went with a size 16 (C cup). Note that my pattern is the "old" one - it has since been updated and no longer includes a C cup.

There is a little bit of pulling at the armhole which leads me to believe I should have stuck with the D cup for my new version. I also lengthened the top by 2 inches which I really didn't need to do. I was afraid the top would be a little too short for my liking and now I think it's too long.

The fabric is pooling a little bit at the back but I suspect that's because I should have graded up to an 18 at the hips - the top is a tiny bit snug at the hips.

Overall, I'm very pleased with my new top. It isn't perfect, but it's definitely good enough to wear to work from home.

I'm planning to make the dress at some point. I would love to make the gathered lantern sleeves in a fabric more appropriate for Fall/Winter. I think it would look pretty cool with tights and boots.

Friday, August 6, 2021

Plus Plus Quilt for Marianne

Over the years, I've made many quilts for my children and grand-children. Nothing pleases me more than seeing my quilts displayed in their homes or seeing my grand-babies wrapped in them. And when my youngest daughter moved out on her own, she requested a quilt for her bed. 

I haven't made a quilt this big in a long while and I knew it would take a long time for me to piece and quilt so I decided to go with a simple pattern: Plus Plus by Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Designs.

The pattern comes in three sizes: baby, lap and queen. It also includes instructions for a scrappy version and a two-tone version. I went with Kona Dove (light grey) and Kona Charcoal (dark grey) with a pink accent. As for the size, it is between a lap and a queen at 81" x 90".

The back is a 108" wide fabric I purchased from Connecting Threads. My daughter is a big fan of cats so I thought it appropriate to go with the paw prints for her quilt.

For the quilting, I knew I wouldn't have the time or patience to go with something really intricate. I also didn't want to quilt straight lines and have to manoeuvre such a large quilt. So I decided to stitch FMQ flowers again. This design is really quick and easy for me now - I managed to quilt it in two evenings (and 7 bobbins!!)

The details:
  • Pattern designer: Meadow Mist Design
  • Size: 81" x 90"
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Instructions/construction: I've made a number of Cheryl's designs now and her instructions are very detailed and clear. This pattern is very simple to piece.
  • Would I make this again? I made the baby size before and now the larger one. Both were two-toned so I'd love to make a scrappy lap size.

I sent Marianne a picture of her finished quilt and she loves it! I cannot wait to see it on her bed.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

The Sunday Romper by Love Notions

My little brother turned 50 yesterday and over the weekend, his wife organized a small family backyard party. I really wanted a casual dress for the event and decided to make myself the Sunday Romper by Love Notions.

The fabric is a pencil navy stripe from The Fabric Snob. It's doing all kinds of weird things to the pictures and to my computer screen, but it's an amazing fabric! It's really, really comfortable and it sews up beautifully.

Pattern Details:

The Sunday Romper pattern contains pants, shorts and cropped pants bottoms as well as a skirt view with two lengths. You can also choose between two bodices: a tank and a dolman. The waist is elasticated and there are no closures. My version is the skirt with the dolman bodice.

The size range goes from a full bust of 32" to 61" and hips of 34.5" to 59.5". I made a size 18 with the full bust piece (built-in full bust adjustment).

This pattern is advertised as an advanced beginner skill level. I would agree with that. It's a pretty simple sew but getting the neckband sewn-in correctly is a little trickier due to the v-neck in both the front and the back. I'm pretty happy with mine, but I did have to unpick it once.

Instructions and Construction:

The Love Notions instructions are impeccable and in my limited experience, their patterns are well drafted. As I said above, the trickiest part of this garment was the neckline, but the instructions are so well explained and they even give you a really effective trick to make sure the v-neck is perfectly flat.

Would I make this again?

Absolutely! I would love to make another one in a beautiful floral print. The next time I make this though, I may lower the v in the front and back. This is just a matter of personal preference - my neck isn't overly long and I'm busty so lower V necks look best on me.