Wednesday, July 21, 2010

AQS Quilt Show in Knoxville

Last weekend, DH and I drove to Knoxville, Tn, to attend the AQS Quilt Show. The show started on Wednesday, but we drove up on Friday, arriving around dinner time.

After checking into our hotel, we headed over to Market Square.

We strolled around to see what was there. Many of the restaurants were tempting, but in the end, we decided on Cafe 4 , where we ordered Fried Chicken and Waffles! Yep, that is really a dish...and it was good! The waffles were served instead of bread with the meal...two 'quarters' of a circular waffle...not a big 'ole plate of waffles smothered in butter and maple syrup! Although that sounds good right now...

But I digress.

There is a greenspace/park area at the southern end, with shops on each side. North of the 'park' area, there is a concrete mall. There is an interactive fountain, which was turned off that night, plus a performance stage set up at the north end.

This is the southwestern end...the building with the awning and lights is Market Square Kitchen.

This is the western side of the square.

There were several tempting restaurants on this side!

Many of the resaurants had seating areas outside, too, with colorful plantings and/or lights.

Ok, imagine this is a panoramic view...chopped up!
I will start on the southwest corner and turn clockwise.

I am standing near the middle, and this first picture is looking southwest, toward the market Square Kitchen.

Turning clockwise, this is the northwest side.

These tall buildings are just beyond the north side.

You can see the stage set up on the north end (lights near the ground, behind people walking).

When we arrived, there were musicians playing and singing, but then Shakespeare on the Square began. However, street musicians were scattered about here and there, playing softly.

This is the view to the northeast. We visited a couple of shops in this area.

And the southeast side. That last awning with the lights on it at the far right is Cafe 4, where we ate.

It was a lovely evening and a lovely place to visit!

On Saturday, we walked to the convention center to see the quilt show. While I cannot post pictures of all the quilts, I will share the display of the guild that mine was a part of.

This was the ULTIMATE GUILD CHALLENGE, where guilds across the country compete according to a theme. Each guild has a different theme to interpret. There were 8 quilts in each group.

Our theme was REPETITIVE CONSEQUENSES. We were to take a block or shape, and change it in some way...size, shape, orientation, color, etc...and repeat it at least 3 times such that it is a recognizable element in the quilt. The quilt had to measure 180 inches around its perimeter, but no single side could exceed 60 inches.

This is the view oif our quilts from one end...

And the view from the other end.

I couldn't get enough distance to photograph the set straight-on without a wide-angle lens, which I didn't happen to have.

Here I am standing next to my quilt. I really wished to remain annonomous, but did pose for a few quick pictures when no one was looking.

I took a break for a moment to send a text message, and Dh took my picture! But then I noticed that the quilts in the background are also from a local guild...the Davies Plantation guild in Bartlett. Theirs was a nice display (Theme=Log Cabin in the Woods).

My favorites were the ones where all quilts in the set were the same size and shape, and had a recognizeable theme. While our quilts were each beautiful in their own right, they didn't seem to have much in common, like some of the other sets did.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Pleated Dress, completed

As promised, here are some pictures of the completed pleated dress.

The fabric I used had an all-over print (feathers!), which made the pleating a bit hard to see in photos. Here is a close up, but it still doesn't show the details...I guess you had to be there!

After cutting out the front pattern and marking all the dart/pleats, I fused a piece of interfacing to the 'tab' area, to help give it a bit of support. I extended the interfacing to what would be the dart/pleat's center 'fold-line' on each side of the tab, so that when the pleats that create the tab are folded, the interfacing will fill the fold on each side of the pleat, to avoid a knife-sharp edge. However, pressing the pleat while it is basted created a pretty sharp fold there anyway!

Once the horizontal pleats are basted closed, I could then baste the 'dart' on each side of the tab. After basting the dart/pleat closed, I then sewed (permanent) again about .5" away from the basting, to close the dart/pleat permanently. You can see how the tab's dart legs on each side of the tab are now of equal length.

Since I decided to do an all-in-one facing, I block-fused some rough-cut interfacing to my fabric before cutting out the pattern pieces.

Here is the completed dress. So much for the lighting...

I really struggled with deciding what length to make this dress. I was encouraged to go I did. I wasn't uncomfortable wearing it, but it is shorter than anything I have worn in a while. I don't generally wear high heels, as my DH is not much taller than I am and I don't want to tower over him.

Here is another close up...from the other side/angle.

You might have noticed that I did some contouring under the bust. Remember in my last post, when I did the muslin, I was aware of a bit of excess fabric under the bust and so, decided to move the Bust Points closer to the center? Well, as I said, that was not the solution...and it actually had a negative impact on the fit in the bust area! What I really needed to do was a bit of contouring under the bust.

Here is my front pattern. I have indicated where I made bold hot pink (although I DID shorten the dress 2"...that is not shown!)
Look closely at the front (vertical) waist darts.

Basically, first I located the level that was 5" below my Bust Point, then increased the width of the front waist dart between that 5" level and waist level...offsetting the dart leg on each side by .25". This removed an additional .5" on each side of the front... a full inch of fabric across the whole front. But, notice, the original waist dart was not a 'normal' dart to start was not a '/\' shape. I had already drawn that dart straight up from the waist to a level that was 3" below the BP. This was done to provide some contouring, but apparently it was not enough.

In my design choices, I had selected a SIDE/WAIST POINT position of 1...which means I made the total width across the front pattern 1" larger at waist level than the total width across the back pattern at waist level. That turned out to be too much. Increasing the size of the front waist dart would be the equivalent of a SIDE/WAIST POINT position of .5...meaning the front pattern's waist measured .5" more than the back pattern's waist, instead of the 1" as before. Better.

For the lower end of the waist dart, I drew curve lines to blend with the original dart legs (full tummy).

On the full front pattern above, also notice the hot pink lines at the sideseams at hip level. I had to reshape those during fitting, removing about .25" on each side (front and back), which means I lost about 1" of hip ease. But THE POINT of the reshaping was to smooth the curves there. TAPERING the hem created a point on the sideseam that my body doesn't have! Perhaps the start of the tapering should begin at a level just below the hip...? I just used the TAPERED HEM choice...there is no HIP SHAPE adjustment available on the SHEATHS, as there is on the PANTS.

Using the Tapered Hem choice creates another problem...the tapering extends all the way to the hem, instead of stopping 2" ABOVE hem level and drawing straight side seams to the hem. The way it is drafted, when the hem is turned under, the cut/free edge of the hem is smaller than the circumference of the dress at that higher level... something I forgot to consider beforehand.

I drafted this dress at 40" long, but then decided to hem it 2" 38".

Here is a back shot...not terribly flattering but you can see the kick pleat.

In both the front and the back necklines, there was a bit of gaping. This gaping was NOT there in the muslin, but I had not cut the neckline away (wider) on the muslin as I did on this 'real thing'. I forgot to compensate for the contouring of my shoulders, which are curved lower in the middle than on each end of the shoulder seam. While my books tell me that I should have lowered the shoulder end of the neck seam, I can't help but wonder if I should also have raised the arm end of the shoulder a see/saw! I know that makes no sense...but that is just how I think! :)
I did use the facing and lining patterns that I showed in my previous post. Here is the dress inside out on my paper-tape dress form:

Yes, it is wrinkled a bit from sitting/wear but not too badly. I LOVE wearing things that are lined in Bemberg Rayon!! It feels so luscious to the skin just loves it!
I *hope* my dress form has posture that is much worse than my own!?! Those shoulders are very uneven...I hope mine are not as bad NOW as they were then! But I suspect they are...
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