Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas- Happy Holidays

                                                             ***Merry Christmas***
                                                             ***Happy Holidays***
                                                                ***Good Cheer***

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Holiday Sewing, Kitchen addition

Most of my friends love to cook. I love sewing for their kitchens. This year I made cloth napkins,  cocktail napkins, placemats, shopping totes and trivets. My favorite project, however, turned out to be bowl covers.

I used a great tutorial  and made a few changes.  Instead of using fabric on both sides of the bowl covers as suggested, I used PUL (poly urethane laminate).

That way if any food, or in my case bread dough, gets stuck to the inside of the bowl cover, it's easily wiped off. Plus, if you are a bread baker, you don't want your dough to dry out while it is rising, and the PUL provides a nice barrier against food drying out. Also, since you can't really iron PUL,  I skipped the ironing steps in the tutorial and hand turned the final hem closure which worked out just fine.

 These are all machine washable, line dry. A set of three seems to be just right to cover most kitchen needs. (The largest bowl cover featured uses a fat quarter of fabric. I had some fun, retro print fabrics and they were perfect for this project). Bon appetit!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sewing for the men in your life

I'm lucky to have the opportunity to have several special young men in my life. I've sewn for them since they were little. But, they're getting older and heading out on their own. This year instead of flannel pajama bottoms, or a cozy fleece top,  how about a little something for a new apartment……

Front- love how the wood grain in my Eames chair matches the pillow fabric.

The Details:
"Worth a Buck"
18 x 18" (fits a 20" pillow form nicely)
Charcoal linen and Joel Dewberry wood grain fabric in 100% cotton.
Raw edge appliqué, stitched with Aurifil off white (#2021), 100% Mako cotton 50 wt thread.
Fusible batting on the front and back panels.
Zipper from Zippit in gray.
Deer Silhouette pattern from: Sew Home Grown

There is still time before Christmas to get a pillow done, it only takes a few hours, so get going!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Channeling my inner Jacquie- theme and variations, aka, part two

Theme (dramatic music playing in the background)
 Jacquie Gering at the FRMQG improv piecing class

Inspiration block from her quilt top

Variation 1.0

The back of my finished improv pieced quilt with a variation of Jacquie's block. Story here and here.

Variation of Jacquie's block, close-up, version 1.0
Variation 2.0
Quilt back, variation 2.0 block to the right.
Close-up of inspirational quilt block, variation 2.0
The printed fabrics were chosen based on the colors of the solids used in the front of the quilt (red, gray, blue).

Back of quilt photographed in sharp contrast to "show-off" the overall quilting.
Aurifil thread (2024) white, 100% Mako cotton was used in the bobbin for the entire back.

Close-up back of quilt

Details continued:
Backing: 100% cotton fabrics, various prints in a red/blue/gray color pallet to compliment quilt front.
Thread: Aurifil, 100% Mako cotton, 50 wt, white (#2024)- bobbin
Pieced: Stephanie Z. Ruyle; designs inspired by Jacquie Gering (quilt block variation) and her slice and dice technique, from Quilting Modern with Katie Pedersen

Folded quilt on my stair railing, front

Re-folded quilt, front

A HUGE Thank you to Jacquie Gering for coming to teach at our Guild and for having the generosity of talent and spirit to let me finish one of her quilt tops. I don't know what will happen to this quilt once it gets back to her. (It's going to be hard, sending it away, but…….) this one act of trust and kindness has had such a profound impact on me as a quilter and a person. I only hope that one day, I can, in some small way, repay this kindness. It is a gift to be treasured, to be honored and to be passed on.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

{Great} Lessons Learned, aka, part one.

It's an event that actually came together, as unlikely as it might have seemed at the time- something that I could never have predicted and all that I hoped for.

If you've read the prior 2 posts (here and here) you know this is coming- the Quilt that Jacquie Gering let me finish.

Here are the lessons that I learned:

Saying yes can be a very, very good thing.
Wishes do come true- every now and then.
Be open to the possibilities, you never know when one may literally fall in your lap.
Once the door of opportunity opens, throw yourself through it before it closes.
Be observant and be flexible.
Do your research and…..
Most importantly always do your best.

This is what I did:

I took that quilt top home with me.
Once at home, I put it out so that I would see it every day, often multiple times a day.
I took the top on a field trip to the fabric store while I contemplated which fabrics would be good candidates to finish the back and complete the quilt with the perfect binding.
While at the quilt store I grabbed another copy of Jacquie's book, and really looked at her quilts again.
I observed that many of her quilts have a binding made from a material that is NOT the dominant neutral of her quilts.
Also I noticed that the quilting in most of quilts she has finished gives the quilt an incredibly rich texture, but at the same time does not overwhelm the quilt. My first reaction is often that I wish I could touch her quilts, just to see how it feels.
(While at the improv class a few of us picked Jacquie's brain regarding the quilting she used on her "Urban garden" quilt. She gave us a few pointers on that and a few other of her favorites). I listened very carefully.

When all was said and done………….. (Part one of the story of Jacquie's Quilt)

size: 40 x 44"
Quilt top- original design Jacquie Gering/ pieced by Jacquie Gering (various solid quilting cottons)
Batting: 100% cotton warm and natural
Thread: Aurifil, 100% Mako cotton, 50 wt, white (#2024), red (#2250) and gray(#2605)
Quilting: overall design, Bernina modified stitch
Binding: 100% cotton, cut straight of grain to emphasize the "stripes"
Backing……... to be continued in the next post- Part Two (Channeling my Inner Jacquie- theme and variations).
Quilting, from the front, with the contrasting white thread

Binding, and quilting. For the large solid gray and red areas of the quilt, I changed the top threads to match the fabric.
Otherwise, the quilting was done in white thread

Close up of quilting and binding, quilt front

The back of the quilt is coming next week (I promise).