Friday, December 31, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

Treasure Beyond

This year, I decided to make wall/art quilts for my adult children as Christmas gifts. I had made my son an art quilt a couple of years ago when he first moved into his own place and had no daughter openly covetted that frog quilt! So this time, I decided to make 2 quilts and make them just alike.

I actually started these quilts back in MARCH, but couldn't blog about them, since they were to be a secret.

After completing SHOULDA PUTTA RING ON IT, I still had lots of scraps of the wonderful batik fabrics. so, I decided to continue with the weaving theme I had used on that challenge quilt, only this time, I used two black strips to each strip of batik.

For this design, I created a more-open weave than before, and inserted small blocks at the warp/weave intersections. This meant that I would need to sew partial seams...which turned out to be a pain in the neck. Due to the small size of the blocks, the 'partial seams' were only about .5" long! But the effect was worth it. I used GOLD and SILVER lame' fabric (backed with fusible interfacing) for the little blocks...hoping to give the illusion that the gold and silver was beyond the screen-like woven piece. The treasure beyond...

Once the black strips were sewn to the batiks, I began working on the design. Once satisfied with the layout, I needed a way to make this portable, as I sew away from home some days.

I used a roll of drapery fabric as a 'tote'...laying the pieces on the fabric, then rolling it up and securing the ends with rubber bands. I could carry the project without losing the layout.

I notched the center of each strip on the side and end, so I could match the pieces. When sewing partial seams, I couldn't just sew from one end to the other! The quilt grew in rows, but they were slow rows!

Once the strips were assembled, I needed to add borders. But I didn't want the strips to just 'dead end' at the border...I felt like each strip needed some black across its end, too. But I didn't want to put a black border around the whole thing. So I made little TABS to insert at the strip ends!

I folded pieces of black fabric and sewed down each side...then I turned them right sides out. After a good pressing, theses little tabs were inserted into the seam between the 'weave' and the border, so that there was a little black tab at the end of each strip!

These tabs were like the period at the end of the sentence...they prevented the strips from just fading into the border. Nice!

These are not sewn down, but add little flaps.

After adding the borders, I layered both quilts onto one piece of batting and backing so that I could quilt both quilts at the same time. I used a variety of colors of thread to quilt this, and doing all the reds, all the yellows, etc, at the same time would keep the thread changes to a minimum.

I used a brown batik to bind this...again, a left-over from the previous quilt.

I really like these quilts...probably more than SHOULDA PUTTA RING ON IT, which is MY quilt. These will not be living with me, though, so I hope the kids like them as much as I do!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from my sewing room to yours!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Kimono Ornaments

Recently, our sewing guild had its annual Christmas party. Just for fun, we made these cute little kimono ornaments. They were quick and's how we did it!

Cut your Feature Fabric (FF) 3 ¾” x 10 ½". This will be the outside of the Kimono.

Cut your Accent Fabric (AF) 4 ¼” x 10 ½”. This is the lining and trim.

1. Put FF onto AF, right sides together,and sew along the 2 long sides w/ ¼” s.a.
2. Finger-press s.a.s toward center w/equal amounts of AF on each side beyond seam, then...
3. Stitch across this one short end & turn right side out; Press.

Now comes the folding...this is easiest if you remember- the WIDER piece is the lining!!!

Using starch with your iron will give you crisper folds...just don't burn your fingers!

4. Fold the unstitched end (toward the AF) ~ 3/8” twice to hide the raw edge and form collar.
5. Turn over. Locate center of folded edge and Fold collars diagonally to form a point at center.
6. Fold bottom (stitched end) up ~ 2” to form shoulder/sleeves. Press.
7. Fold lower edge backwards until the previous fold meets the bottom edge of the collar in back-this forms shoulders. Press.
8. Locate center of lower edge and Fold both sides in to meet. Press below sleeve level.
9. Open out the 2” sleeve and form a triangle/fold at shoulder; tuck under collar points; Press.
10. Finish with an 8” ribbon tied at waist.
11. Make a hanger by attaching a loop to the back or attaching a toothpick & loop to the back.

I used some soft wire to make some quick and dirty hangers...just put on a few beads and made a few loops.

However, I have decided these would make really cute tags for gifts, so adding a ribbon to the top of the collar is a great way to tie one on!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas sewing

This weekend, I did some quick and dirty sewing...the kind that is really the most fun! No worries about finishing seams or even maintaining a consistant seam allowance. Just cut and sew fast!

DH gives a few Christmas gifts at work and this year he purchased gift cards. As in the past, he was counting on me for gift wrap. The gift cards came in cardboard packaging, so they were bigger than just the treasure boxes I made before would not be large enough.

What about a little stocking? That should work.

I drew a stocking shape on some thick paper, making it just barely larger than the card package. Then I pulled some fabrics from the stash and began cutting.

To make these, you should cut the LINING taller/longer than the STOCKING...mine was about 1.5" longer. I used different fabrics for LINING and STOCKING.

Lay 2 LINING pieces right sides together.

Insert a loop for hanging and pin in place. I used a 6" length of ribbon and placed in the upper back seam of the lining, about 2" from the cut edge, so it would be below the folded cuff.

Lay 2 STOCKING pieces right sides together. Stack these 2 STOCKING pieces on top of the LINING pieces.

Sew through all layers around the stocking.

Trim/clip as needed. If you only use a 1/8" seam allowance, this is not needed.

Put your fingers between the 2 STOCKING layers to turn this right side out, which pulls the LINING into the STOCKING.

Fold down the LINING extension to form a cuff. You can finish the raw edge if desired...or you can pull a few threads to make it ravel. Or just leave it as a cut edge!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I have been taking some good-natured ribbing about the lack of activity on my blog.

People are tired of dropping by and seeing that big green worm.

I know.

I had good intentions, but somehow they got derailed.

Remember that jacket that I was working on? Well, my goal was to continue posting about that, so I was holding off on other stuff. But the jacket became so underwhelming to me that I put it on the dress form and ignored it. It is almost finished...just need to put cuffs on the sleeves! But... HO, HUM. I was so bored with it.

So there I limbo. Knowing that the next posts SHOULD be about the jacket, but not really wanted to mess with it. So NOTHNG was posted.

And I have had a fun several months!

In October, I took a little day trip with my sewing guild to Paducah, KY, where we visited the AQS Quilt Museum as well as the studio of quilt artist Caryl Bryer Fallert. Lots of fun, lots of pictures....but no blog post.

In November, I had several quilts displayed in a local show at the Davies Plantation...again, no blog post.

Now it is nearly Christmas... I will try to do better.
Thanks for reading...if you are!
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