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.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Garment sewing: Owyn pants

Coral has obviously been the color of my summer, but the close runner up would definitely be Kelly green. I'm generally not a huge green fan, but this shade just calls out to me, and I find myself migrating toward it a lot lately. It popped up in my second Esme tank, and then I couldn't resist making a pair of green pants after seeing this cute pair by Melly Sews.
The fabric is Robert Kaufman's Essex Linen in Kelly, and it sewed up beautifully. The pattern is the Owyn pants from Lotta Jansdotter's fabulous book, Everyday Style. 
These pants are super comfy (I definitely want to make a pajama version) and have seen lots of wear on the days when it's not scorching hot (in short supply this summer). The pattern's another winner from Lotta's book (also the source of the Esme top pattern), and I'm still itching to try the Kiomi top as well. The book's also just great eye candy, and I highly recommend it if you have any interest in garment sewing.

Friday, July 8, 2016

August do.Good Stitches blocks

My next month as quilter for the Emerge circle of do.Good Stitches was originally supposed to be July, but we bumped it back to squeeze in the heart quilt for #QuiltsforPulse. Still, since I already had my fabric pulled and my blocks done, I thought I'd go ahead and post the blocks for August in case my beemates wanted to get a head start.

As usual, I waffled between half a million options for this month before finally deciding on a block. (It's hard when you're only the quilter twice a year, and it feels like you have to take full advantage of the opportunity. I know, I know, it's not that big a deal.) Anyway, after scrolling through my extensive quilting Pinterest board, I finally happened upon this awesome string quilt by Amy of Badskirt and decided to run with it.
Photo courtesy of Amy of Badskirt

Although I love Amy's color scheme, I decided to take mine in a summery direction, combining aqua, teal, mustard yellow, and fuchsia with lots of low volumes. I love this palette so much. It's just so happy. Makes me want to eat a popsicle and lie by the pool.
I'm asking my beemates to each make 3 blocks (they're small and go together very quickly) using this tutorial from Film in the Fridge. The finished blocks will measure 8.5" square, so I recommend using a piece of printer paper as the backing and just cutting the 11" side down to 8.5". Easy as pie.

I would like all of the strips to be 2.25" wide. Each strip needs to be at least as long as noted below to cover the paper.

The strings should be laid out in this order (from point to point):
-Low volume (3.75")
-Color 1 (6.75")
-Color 1 (10.5")
-Low volume (This will be the middle strip, and you'll work your way out to each end from here) (12.5")
-Color 2 (10.5")
-Color 2 (6.75")
-Low volume (3.75")
The colored strips that go side-by-side (Color 1 and Color 2) should come from the same color family (two yellows, two pinks, or two aquas/teals), as shown in my examples, but feel free to use whichever of the three colors you want to combine. So you could do pink and yellow:
Or teal and pink:
Or teal and yellow. I plan to add some skinny sashing to the final blocks, but they'll line up something like this:
I can't wait to see what I get back for this one! I'm going to have fun putting it together.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Garment sewing: Esme tank #2

I spent much of May and June doing some selfish sewing and working on some new garments for yours truly, so I guess it's about time I started showing them off here. Up first is another Esme tank.
The pattern is the Esme tunic from Lotta Jansdotter's wonderful new book, Everyday Style. I made the same modifications as my last Esme tank, which is to say I made it sleeveless and finished the armholes with a bias-tape facing, stolen from the Washi Dress pattern.
The fabric is Robert Kaufman's 1" Carolina Gingham in Kelly Green, and I lurrrrve it. I'm obsessed with ginghams right now, and this scale is perfect. Plus, that green! So fresh and happy.
This fun top has already seen a ton of wear this summer and shows no signs of slowing down. Esmes forever!