Monday, October 3, 2016

Design Star Round 2: Voting open!

Back before my blogging hiatus, I posted about a contest Stash Fabrics was running called Design Star. I submitted several (ahem, 11) bundles to be considered in the first round and was selected as one of the 12 contestants to move on to round 2!
For round 2, we were given the wide-open theme of "vintage" and asked to make a bundle of 16 fabrics (12 prints and four solids) from Stash's shop based on our interpretation of the theme. I was so worried that my bundle would end up looking like someone else's but, apparently, there was no need for concern. The 12 options couldn't be more different. (You can see them all in the video below or on Stash's blog post.)
The voting is open now through October 6th. Because it's blind, I can't tell you which of the 12 bundles is mine, but I'll reveal all once the voting ends. (And in case you follow me on IG, I'll note that mine isn't the blue and green that's kind of similar to the one I posted on IG a while back.) Here's hoping I move on to round 3! You can vote on Stash's blog right here.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Garment sewing: Ruby top

Another of my unblogged finishes was my first Ruby top (pattern by Made by Rae), which I whipped up earlier in the summer.
It's super comfy and has become one of my favorite tops to wear this summer, though I'm not sure it's my most flattering. This cut of top can be difficult on bustier figures, but after checking out lots of versions on Instagram, I thought perhaps I could pull it off.
I think the main problem was not choosing quite the right fabric. The top part is a great cotton from Rain Walk by Anna Graham, but the pin dot chambray (by Robert Kaufman) I chose for the bottom (which I love!) was a bit too heavy for this pattern. It just doesn't lay in the right way, especially from the side, where it looks a bit maternity. I think it would definitely work better in a lighter weight chambray or rayon. That being said, it has improved with several washings (I washed the fabrics before sewing them, but these pics are from before the finished garment was washed.)
The pattern, like all of Rae's, is wonderfully written, and I'm excited to try it again. I think this top will stick with me as we transition to fall and should look great under a cardigan.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Garment sewing: Marigold peplum

You thought I'd left you, right? I know, it's been a long time. Life, my friends, life. But let's try to get back to some of what's been going on behind the scenes. This has been a summer of wardrobe sewing, and it's been so fun to expand my closet (or refine it) with clothes of my own making.
One of my favorites is this Marigold peplum (pattern by Blank Slate Patterns), which I made back in June.
The fabric is an older lawn from Cotton + Steel (Hatbox collection). I adored it from the moment it was released, but it sat in my stash for quite a while before I could commit to cutting into it. When I stumbled onto the Marigold pattern, it seemed like the perfect fit, literally.
And it turned out to be just that. This fabric (my first time working with a lawn) sewed up so beautifully and was a breeze to work with. It's lightweight yet sturdy and oh so soft. This is also a wonderful pattern. It's very clear and smart, and the fit was spot on. I did not make any modifications. It will definitely be on my list to make again, maybe in the dress version next time.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Seussical quillow

I'm still catching up on old projects and realized I never blogged about the Quillow I made for B a few months back. My little guy is the biggest Dr. Seuss fan you will ever meet, and every time he'd come into the fabric store where I work, he'd wander over to the juvenile section and just stare at the Seuss fabrics, not so subtly mentioning I should make something for him. So, over time, with a fat quarter here and there, I'd amassed quite a collection of Seuss fabrics, but I wasn't sure what to make him. He already has two quilts, and I had way too much fabric to just make him a pillow or tote. So, when I came across the Quillow pattern in Allison Harris's Growing Up Modern, it seemed like the perfect solution --  a lightweight quilt that folds up into a pillow, making it perfect for travel or taking to parents' night out at his school.
I started the quilt at a St. Louis MQG sew-in back in May and finished it a night or two later. It went together in no time, and the look on B's face when I gave it to him was priceless. He was SO excited. Seriously, this look right here is why I love to make for people.
He slept under it until it started to get really warm this summer, and now he uses it as a pillow all. the. time. The front is a combination of Seuss fabrics from several collections, combined with a Riley Blake yellow dot, an aqua solid, and Metro Living circles in lime and red. The backing is an uber soft Carolina 1" Gingham in Denim, and the pillow cover is ABC by Dr. Seuss in Sky on the outside and a red pin dot from my stash on the inside. It measures approximately 41" x 57" and folds up rather cleverly into a 15.5" square pillow.
P.S. Sorry for the poor (and limited) photos in this post. I forgot to get any pictures before I gifted it to B, and I haven't been able to wrest it out of his hands long enough to iron it since. Well-loved quilt = bad blog photos. I'll take it. :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dan's signature quilt

Seven years ago, we moved to the Saint Louis area, and after a few months of searching, we found a new church home here. Part of what drew us to our church was the wonderful rector, who had started just a few months before. From the moment we met him, we could tell he was genuine, kind, caring, and the best leader his flock could ask for. A few years later, he baptized our son. He has encouraged us so much over the years, so we were so sad to hear him announce his retirement late last spring. Almost immediately, I jumped into "maker" mode and decided I wanted to make him a signature quilt as a parting gift.
I used 5.5" squares in a variety of blues and purples, plus a little white and gray to tone it down (Moda Bella Silver, Off White, Royal, Amelia Blue, Lavender, Amelia Lavender, Iris, and a light blue that I think is Blue Raspberry).
In the Sundays leading up to his farewell, I asked members of the congregation to sign a square in whatever way they saw fit. Some wrote poems or quotes, some drew pictures, and others just signed their name or wrote a sincere "good luck!" Each and every one was composed by someone who was touched by Dan's life and leadership.
I quilted it in white Aurifil using a simple crosshatch design. I mimicked the seam lines about 3/8" away on both sides, both vertically and horizontally. For the backing, I used a Carolyn Friedlander wideback (Architextures widescreen in gray).
Love when those points match up.

I don't usually do normal quilt labels (I have tags I insert into the binding of my quilts), but this seemed like an occasion for something more. The label includes a quote from Dan's favorite blessing.
Yesterday, I was happy to be able to gift the quilt to Dan. I hope it's treasured by him and his family as a reminder of their time here and of all the people who will remember and miss him greatly.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Design star

Back in April, Stash Fabrics announced a new competition they called "Stash Fabrics Design Star." They'd enlisted 11 bloggers to curate fabric bundles for people who chose to join the club, but a 12th spot was left open for the winner of the competition. In the first stage, people were encouraged to curate bundles of 16 fabrics from the Stash Fabrics website. Then judges will then pick the top 12 entries to move on to the next round. Creating fabric bundles is one of the things I love most about working part time at a fabric store, so I couldn't resist joining in on the fun, but then I might have gone a bit overboard. I finally had to stop myself after 11...








So, what do you think? Have any favorites? Here's hoping I make it to the next round! (You can find lots of other entries by checking out #stashfabricsdesignstar on IG, Facebook, and Pinterest.)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A quicky quilt

Because sometimes, you just want to grab big chunks of beautiful fabric and make a quick, simple quilt, just because you can (and because you'll go crazy if you don't get the idea out of your head).
This one will be all mine.