Friday, April 25, 2014

Pixie Stix and Strawberries...

With summer approaching (hypothetically) and a dress-up holiday behind us, I have seen post after post of adorable kids clothing in the past few weeks.  The last time I attempted garment sewing was the two Frozen costumes I made at the beginning of this year, and regular clothing was quite a while before that.  With some perfect fabric burning a hole in my stash, I'm throwing my hat in the ring using a go-to favorite pattern and a brand new one (new to me, anyhow!).

This fabric with all the falling rainbow Pixie Stix just screams "make me into a cute dress" - I love fabrics that have great details you can place along a bottom hemline! I bought two yards of this and was shockingly able to make it stretch into two dresses.  

For my oldest daughter, I used my favorite Carla C Simply Sweet dress pattern in a size 6.  I used some scraps of eyelet to make the ruffled straps, and more stash finds for the pink sash and the petticoat with the orange and pink bottom ruffle.

Even though the dress for little sis was going to be the same focus fabric, I still wanted her dress to be unique, so I bought the Tye Die Diva's Daydreamer dress pattern and made it in a 3T size with difference colors for the sash and bottom ruffle.  

Similar but different enough to stand out!  

I've also had the strawberry prints from Heather Ross's Briar Rose line for ages and had bought them specifically for kids clothing.  I made another Daydreamer dress in a 6/7 size with a few alterations.  I added a lining to the skirt and the bodice and omitted the bottom ruffle to let the strawberries shine. 

All of these dresses tie in the back and the bodices are generously sized, so I might even get two summers of wear out of each!  I forgot how satisfying it is to begin and end a project in a single day.  Maybe all the practice I'm getting out of these children's clothing pieces means that I should get back onto finishing something for myself?

Linking up: 

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Sweet Little Finish...

Little One is finally done and ready to send off to two lovely expecting parents!  They are so excited about the summer arrival of their first child and are waiting to be surprised about the gender.

This quilt is soft, sweet, and ready for crib cuddles, picnics in the sunshine or playtime on the floor.  I wanted to keep it as cuddly as possible, so kept the quilting to a minimum with some diagonal lines on either side of the houndstooths.

But to add a few extra special touches, I did a little hand quilting around some of the fussy cut bunnies and texts using some grey perle cotton.  It was quick and easy to do and I really like the look of the large chunky stitches!

I typically used Warm & Natural batting but wanted something softer with a better drape, so tried a Pellon bamboo & cotton mix this time around.  I like the results and will definitely use it again!

When I originally was pulling fabric for this quilt, I included a darker green from the Littlest line.  But when it came time to cut, it just read too dark to blend nicely with all the other soothing colors.  It does however make a fabulous contrasting binding.

The backing is a grey and yellow flannel print and it adds a gorgeous warmth and softness to the quilt.

Since our family lives overseas and we won't get to see them in person as often as we'd like, I hope this quilt conveys all our love and well wishes for this growing family in their parenting journey ahead!

Linking up:

Fresh Poppy Design

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

What Does the (Quilting) Pirate Say?

...or perhaps I should ask where they blog?  Because I've got the answer for you...

My Ron Swanson mini is giving them the stink eye...
This morning in my Bloglovin feed, I saw a post on Molli Sparkles about a fiendish website that is stealing quilty blog content and posting it as their own - pictures, text, all of it - and making it look like original content that we are allowing them to use.  I was convinced that I was in the clear - I am pretty small potatoes after all.

Not so!  A bunch of my most recent posts are on their website lock, stock, and barrel.  I'd encourage all of my fellow bloggers to pop over and put your blog name in their search engine and see what pops up.  If you find your content has been pirated, please reach out to their host engine and file a complaint here.

This issue was first brought to light (I believe) by who also has some great tips for if your blog has been affected by this.  Hopefully if enough of us make a stink, we can put these quilting pirates out of business!

Update:  As of earlier this evening the site is showing an "Internal Service Error" - looks like the quilt police have been putting their authority to good use!  Gotta love this awesome online community :)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Not a Feather Weight...

I've seen lots of Anna Maria Horner feather quilts out there and I wanted mine to be a touch different but I really struggled with how to accomplish that.  Messing around with some graph paper, I finally got it.  Instead of a typical block layout, I laid mine out to mimic the general outline of one single feather.  Love it.  But in doing that and figuring out how many rows I would need, the top turned out positively ginormous.

Queen sized to be exact - far, FAR larger than anything else I've ever done.  I can't even begin to imagine the quilting that is possible for this quilt.

Okay, so I do have a few ideas, but they are really far out of my skill set and all these gorgeous shapes and negative space are simply begging for a cracker jack quilter to knock this out of the park.

And just in case inquiring minds want to know, I did end up taking out the sections that had the large white splotches.  And with all of the different trips that I had to take to replenish my Kona bone supply, there are three different dye lots in one quilt.  Though you can't tell in photos, you can definitely tell in person.  Oh well - I still think this top is gorgeous!

Linking up:

Fresh Poppy Design
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

An Expanding Alphabet...

I spent a good part of the time before retreat preparing - getting paper pieced templates prepped, sorting the right number of scraps by color, gathering as many black fabrics as possible - so that when I finished the Little One top, I could jump right into my Alphabet Tilted Stars.  These are some of my favorites so far:

Even with all the prep and working two stars at a time, these blocks take a decent amount of time to put together.  Paper piecing combined with partial seams makes you take your time a bit, and it also took me until I finished about 4 blocks or so before I figured out the most economical way to cut and position my black background fabrics to minimize waste.  I'd estimate that two finished blocks take about an hour and a half from fabric cutting to finished block.

But I really love how they are coming out.  I worked and worked and worked on these blocks from Saturday through Sunday of the retreat and got over half of my letters done.  Now I'm hoping to finish at least two blocks per week until they are all finished.  Sorry for the lousy cell photo, but I didn't think to whip out my "real" camera until they were all off the design wall.

I know I've mentioned this before, but I get asked where this block comes from every time that I post pictures.  In case you want to try this for yourself, this is the Tilted Star paper pieced pattern from the book Vintage Quilt Revival.  This book is fabulous - I want to try at least 3 or 4 different projects from it!

And by the way, this is one of those projects where I didn't have a recipient in mind - just an idea of a great finish.  But let me run something by you all because I need opinions here!!  I've been wracking my brain for a good idea for a few months now on a good quilt for my daughter's kindergarten teacher for the end of the school year, but nothing seemed quite right.  But as I was laying all of the finished blocks out last week, it occurred to me that a) an alphabet quilt for a kindergarten teacher could be kind of cute (or maybe she might even want to hang it in the classroom next year??) and b) she has nicknamed their class "the kindergarten rock STARS".  Could it be a perfect fit or is this a little too precious for a teacher's gift?  What do you think??

Linking up:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced