Thursday, March 23, 2017

Fly Away quilt: A finish!

Another finish from early last fall was my Fly Away quilt!
This quilt was originally done as a shop sample for the fabric store where I work, and I just love how it turned out. The pattern is by Heather Jones, and it went together so quickly. The simple design really has a big impact, and I can totally see doing it again in the larger size for home.

For the front of the quilt, I used three Moda Bella solids. Of course, I forgot to write down the actual names, but the background is a pale aqua (which turned out to be really difficult to capture accurately in pictures), the square is a citron color, and the triangles are teal. I chose a fabulous Carolyn Friedlander Doe pattern (Ladder Lines in leaf) that matched perfectly for the backing. I wanted the binding to blend in, so most of it was from the same aqua solid as the background, with just a normal strip of the teal thrown in. I quilted it in a random crosshatch pattern using a matching aqua thread.
Now that it's back with me, it's destined for a new baby some friends recently welcomed. March has been a total baby month, so I'm happy I managed to finish up several baby quilts back in the fall. I was stocked and ready.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Slow sewing: Botanics

I love having a hand sewing project going, so as soon as I finish one, I'm always on the hunt for the next one. My Collection quilt is all done (well, at least the applique part is; now I have to actually put it together), so it was time for another. And I didn't stray far from the source, though I did go a bit old school. Here comes Botanics:
Botanics was Carolyn Friedlander's second fabric collection, and this was the main applique pattern that went with it. When her latest collection, Friedlander, came into the store in January, I knew I had to start working with it immediately, so this pile was born.
It's mostly Friedlander with a little Cotton + Steel, Pond by Elizabeth Hartman, and Essex yarn-dyed linen throw in, as well as some prints from older collections by Carolyn. It makes for such a soothing, springy palette. 
I've been chipping away at it here and there for the past month and just loving how it's coming along. I'm cutting fabrics as I go, waiting to see what will work best when I get to each section. So far, so good!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Garment sewing: Myrtle dress

My older brother got married last September, and I knew I really wanted to make a dress for the wedding. I searched high and low for just the right pattern, but I struggled to find what I was looking for until I came across the Myrtle dress by Colette Patterns. Originally drafted for knits, they later added a free download explaining how to make it with woven fabrics. I was in. The timing also coincided with the release of Rifle Paper Co.'s first fabric line, Les Fleurs, and I fell head over heals in love with the floral rayon.
These two were a match made in heaven. The rayon is so soft and silky but still sturdy enough to make sewing with it a pleasure. I made the pattern with no adjustments, and the fit was perfect. Seriously, I wore this dress to the wedding and then every nice event I could until the temperature dropped. So cute and so sneaky comfortable. I can't wait for spring so I can get back to wearing it nonstop.
A few pics of the dress in action at the wedding:
I couldn't have been happier with how the dress worked out and definitely have it on my project list to try it out in a knit. I suspect it would be the perfect summer dress.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Apple Core quilt: A finish!

In the neverending effort to catch up on unblogged projects, today we have the Apple Core quilt!
I made this baby quilt last fall as a response to the STLMQG's crayon challenge. Participants had to blindly choose three crayons out of a bag and then make something using mostly those colors. All three colors had to be used in some way, and we could add in one additional color (though it couldn't be the focus) and any neutrals we wanted. Considering some of the combinations people drew, mine wasn't too bad.
I fell in love with Pen and Paper Patterns' Apple Core Mini Quilt pattern as soon as I first saw it on Instagram, and these colors seemed like the perfect time to break it out. Knowing I had several baby quilts I needed to queue it up, I went with four of the oversized blocks for a baby size.
They went together pretty quickly during a guild sew-in late last summer. The apple is based on a drunkard's path block, and the seeds and leaf are machine appliqued on.
For the quilting, I went with a simple crosshatch spaced about 2 inches apart. It's quilted in Aurifil white 50wt. The binding is made up of two Carolyn Friedlander crosshatches (which were also used in the apples), mostly the mint green with a little of the poppy. For the backing, I used a fun green and white polka dot from my stash.
I gifted the quilt to my cousin last month for her third little one, who she's expecting any day now, and she loved it, so I couldn't be happier.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Sew together bags

If you follow me on IG (or were following along with my takeover of the Havel's Sewing feed last week), you've no doubt seen snippets of these, but it's finally time to share them in detail here -- the three Sew Together Bags I made awhile back. I could not love them more. First up was one I made as a Christmas gift for my older sister.
On multiple occasions, she'd commented on how much she liked the kaleidoscope block I made for my traveling quilt, so I decided to use that color scheme as my jumping off point. Most of the fabrics were taken from the same pool (a collection of Cotton + Steel, Carolyn Friedlander, Pat Bravo, and Elizabeth Hartman), with some Essex Yarn-Dyed in Peacock thrown in for the binding. I really lurve this combo of navy, teal, and gray blue.
The second bag was a birthday gift for my little sister (whose birthday is just a few days after Christmas). I'd originally picked out a whole different set of fabrics for her, but when these On Trend fabrics arrived at my local quilt shop (where I also work) just before I planned to get started, I had to change course immediately. They were too perfect.
The exterior fabric was great because it gave the impression of a pieced panel. The floral inside the pockets is also from On Trend, and then I sorted through the fabrics for my Coral Collection quilt to find several that worked for the pocket linings (some Lizzy House, Carolyn Friedlander, and Art Gallery Squared Elements). The minty fabric on the side panels is an older Pat Bravo (maybe? Feel free to correct me.).
Finally, of course, I had to make one for myself. Inspired by this version by Jeni Baker, I dove into my beloved Carolyn Friedlander fabrics, using a combination of fabrics from all of her lines: Architextures, Botanics, Carkai, Doe, Friedlander, and Euclid all make an appearance.
I could not love it more. For each bag, I used batting for the exterior interfacing and lightly quilted the exteriors. I used Pellon SF101 for the pocket and side panel interfacing, which gives the bags some nice heft without being too stiff.
A few tips for the Sew Together Bag virgins out there: first, you can do it. This bag seems a bit scary, and it is definitely time consuming, but it's totally doable, especially if you have any experience with making zipper bags. If you're planning to make more than one, I highly recommend doing them assembly-line style: do each step on all of the bags at once and then move to the next step. Also, while the original pattern by Sew Demented is clever and wonderful in so many ways, it is lacking in instruction and pictures. Definitely check out the sew-alongs by Studio AR (@monpetitebiscuit on IG) and The Quilt Barn. They are lifesavers. Then, once you're done, pack up your bag with all your mobile sewing goodies (or makeup, or pens, or whatever), and get going!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Fun facts

Just a quick follow up to last week's post about my new role as a Havel's Sewing Ambassador: at the end of the week, they posted a little write up on their blog that includes some fun facts about me and my sewing. Feel free to click on over if you ever wondered about my favorite author or guilty pleasures.

**And don't forget, if you're interested in trying out some great Havel's products yourself (you can see my sewing scissors and cutting mat above), use the code "blueskycrafter7" for $7 off purchases of $25 or more on the Havel's website. The code is good for the entire year, so feel free to use it again and again. Happy shopping!

Monday, February 27, 2017

I'm a sewing ambassador!

Early last fall, I was approached by Havel's Sewing to see if I would be interested in joining their team as a brand sewing ambassador. I was honest when I told them I'd never used their products but would be happy to give them a try and see what I thought, so they sent along a few items I requested, and boy did they win me over immediately.
I've been using my new rotary cutter, seam ripper, cutting mat, and scissors (pictured: 3.5" Double Curved Embroidery Scissors, 8" Quilting/Sewing Fabric Scissors, and 5.5" Multi-Angled Duckbill Scissors) nonstop since then, and I'm so impressed with their quality (not to mention the cute colors).
The rotary cutter is the most comfortable one I've used (and I've tried several Olfa and Fiskars models), the design of the seam ripper is genius, the shears are the sharpest I've found (plus they have a comfortable handle and that great safety cover for the tip), and the cutting mat -- oh man, let me tell you about the cutting mat.
We recently reorganized our basement to give me a larger sewing space with room for a giant cutting and sewing table, in part because I really wanted a giant cutting mat. This baby joined the party as soon as the table was finished, and it's made such a difference.
I love its large size, tons of markings, and the fact that the measurements are marked on all four sides (ostensibly to make cutting easier for both lefties and righties, but it also means I can move around the mat as I'm cutting or measuring and always have markings to guide me, no matter which side I'm on). Oh, and it's reversible. And pink. What's not to love?
I'm actually taking over the Havel's Instagram feed this week, so follow along to see what else I'm working on and a little more about my favorite products. And if you're interested to try some out for yourself, you can use the code "blueskycrafter7" for $7 off purchases of $25 or more on the Havel's website. The code is good for the entire year, so feel free to use it again and again. Happy shopping!