I just finished my favorite non-quilt item I’ve made.
My daughter is two, and we play a lot in her room – and most of that playing is at floor level. Sitting in the nice comfortable adult size chair that is in her room is not acceptable, but my body just can’t handle sitting on the floor for hours a day.
That is where this quilted footstool comes in. We recently purchased new foam to go in the seat cushions of the couch. We kept the old foam for a little while to see if it would fit in a different couch that is even worse (but of course it didn’t fit – that would have been too convenient!). One day as I was sitting on the floor, I realized that this old foam could be the solution to my problem.
We (royal we = my husband) cut the foam in half and I stacked it, and I made the quilted cover for it. I have a tutorial on how I made it over at Fort Worth Fabric Studio if you would like to make your own.
I used some fabric from the Petal & Plume line by Bari J – seriously gorgeous! That peacock fabric is amazing in person.
Initially, I had planned to do more subdued quilting on the fabric. I was going to use purple Bottom Line – which is a really thin thread that you would barely have seen. The texture from the quilting would have been all that was visible.
Then, as I was looking through my thread I found this amazing pink variegated Fantastico thread and I knew it was meant to be for this fabric. The design on this fabric is strong enough that it stands up to (and I think is complimented) by a shiny visible thread. I used a peacock feather panto for the peacock fabric.
For the feather fabric, the lines are pretty thick and it the design is fairly dense so I knew that whatever quilting I did was probably not going to show very much. I continued to use the pink thread, but switched to a loose feather panto to mix it up a little bit.
You can’t really see the quilting on the top, but you can see the pattern against the backing. With two different quilting designs, using the same thread for both fabrics gives a little bit of continuity to the quilting.
I know most people leave their quilting on quilts, but I love bringing it into other parts of my house and life. This footstool/cushion now sits in my daughter’s room, and I love how much color it brings into her room.
She may end up claiming this from me, based on how many times she has sat and climbed on it already, but hopefully I will also get to enjoy using it. Worst case, I have one old couch cushion left, so I may have to make a second one for me.
If you want to bring some of your favorite fabrics into your everyday life, contact me and I can quilt fabric for you.
Linking up to some of the following: Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story, Sew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart Quilts, Tips and Tutorials Tuesdays @ Late Night Quilter, Let’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuilts, Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation, Finish it up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts, Whoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt Addict, TGIFF, Show off Saturday at Sew Can She, and Threading your way @ Threading my Way
My first Fairy Tale Dress was almost a year ago, and I adjusted it to make my daughter’s baptismal gown. At that time, I was still pretty new to garment sewing. I think it was my third dress ever. I chose to go from the Made by Rae Itty Bitty Dress, to the Made by Rae Geranium Dress, to the Oliver & S Fairy Tale Dress. It was a pretty big learning curve. Now that I have actually sewn the pattern as written, I feel better about writing a Fairy Tale Dress pattern review.
I have to say I was much more confident this time than I was last time. Although, last time I had the advantage of ignorance – I didn’t know enough to know that I had chosen a challenging pattern with silk and “scary” invisible zippers. If I had realized what I was doing was supposed to be harder, I don’t know if I would have finished it so quickly.
Pattern: Oliver & S Fairy Tale Dress
Fabric Required: From pattern (44-45″ wide): 1 3/4 yards of main fabric, and 1 yard of lining fabric.
Amount of fabric used: A little under 1 yard of main fabric (52″ wide), and a little under 1 yard of lining fabric. If anyone has a use for just over a yard of silver silk dupioni, please let me know!
Sizing: I used the 12-18 month size for width, 18-24 month size for bodice length, and I added 2 inches to the 18-24 month skirt length to make it mid-calf instead of knee length.
Alterations: I had to lengthen the front of the bodice by 1/2″. I just added the 1/2″ to the middle and tapered it to the normal length at the sides. It was a small change, but helped fit over the toddler belly a little bit better. I also tacked the collar down because it was flipping up too much for my taste when she tried it on pre-wedding.
- Sash: I didn’t want to use either version of the sash as published in the pattern. I was hoping to have my daughter wear this for Christmas so I didn’t want to sew the sash to the dress. I liked the wide sash in the back, but sometimes the super wide sashes on the front of a dress overwhelms little girls. I decided to use the pattern pieces for the back, but sew it to a narrower portion for the front of the dress.
Instructions: As expected with Oliver & S, these were good instructions. I did use couple additional tutorials shown below.
- How to hand stitch a hem – I used the slipstitch to hem the outer dress. I don’t hand sew many things, but it felt right for this dress.
Pattern Issues: The only step that I had any issues with was attaching the zipper to the dress exterior. In some of the diagrams it showed the seam finished, in others it wasn’t, and it didn’t mention in the directions the right time to finish the seam. I was using a serger to finish the seams and chose poorly, because I should have finished that back seam before attaching the zipper. I ended up serging from the bottom as close as I could to the zipper. The rest of it gets encased in the lining. This dress won’t be going through a washing machine, so it will probably be fine.
Although, I do have to add – why is there not a table with the width of the skirts for each size? I hated having to print out 8 extra pieces of paper for the three skirt pieces when I knew I was just going to cut the skirt as one continuous piece. This skirt doesn’t need side seams. It makes it slightly easier to line stuff up, but as long as you mark where the side seams would have been there is not issue lining up the skirt to the bodice.
– Outer: I used silk dupioni from NY Fashion Center Fabrics in 137 – Silver. I was fortunate that they had a Labor Day sale that lowered the price point when I needed to order it.
– Tulle: I also ordered the gray tulle from NY Fashion Center Fabrics in the same sale.
– Lining The lining was a cheap voile from Fabric Mart that appears to be out of stock now. I was too cheap, and should have used a better quality voile (even though it would have cost more). It looks fine in the finished garment, but it was so thin that it was horrendous to sew and I was fighting it the whole time. I think Tim Gunn has a quote that a successful garment starts at Mood, and he is so right. I thought I had learned my lesson on cheap vs. good value fabric, but I’m still learning it over and over.
Finished Product: I love this dress as a party dress for a little girl. The color isn’t the best color for my daughter’s complexion, but she was the flower girl for a wedding whose colors were grey and blue. I only had 1/2 yard of the matching blue fabric, so I used that to make the sash.
Husband’s opinion: He loves this dress.
Final Thoughts: This is my second time making this dress, and I will probably make it again if another fancy occasion comes up. I may have to use a different collar or something next time so people don’t realize I keep using the same pattern over and over!
Linking up to: Sew + Show Wednesday @ Straight Grain, Show off Saturday at Sew Can She, Threading your way @ Threading my Way
I just finished up my addition for Mary from See Mary Quilt. We are now over halfway through on the Round Trip Quilts, stop 4.
This was Mary’s original center.
Chelsea from Patch the Giraffe was next, and added these awesome arrows to the quilt.
Christina from WiPs and Tuts went absolutely crazy and made what probably felt like a million tiny log cabins.
Kim from Ties that Bind Quilting added some needed breathing room while keeping the rainbow theme.
Then it was my turn… I started making half square triangles.
And kept making more half square triangles.
Until I was done. Then I sewed, and sewed, and sewed, and ended up with this awesome herringbone border.
This project has made me want to make a medallion quilt, and to not want to mail this on. It can stay with me, right?
Linking up to some of the following:
Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story, Sew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart Quilts, WiP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced, Let’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuilts, Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation, Whoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt Addict, Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth Fabric
Hello again! This week I have a tutorial to make quilted oven mitts up on the blog at Fort Worth Fabric Studio. Check it out!
Making your own oven mitts is a great way to bring what you love (quilting) into the kitchen in a tasteful and useful way. I hope you find the oven mitt tutorial useful, and please let me know if you make a pair!
Linking to some of the following: Tips and Tutorials Tuesdays @ Late Night Quilter, WiP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced, Let’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuilts, Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation, Finish it up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts, Whoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt Addict, TGIFF, Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth Fabric, Show off Saturday at Sew Can She, Stash Bee Link Up
This February Sarah from Berry Barn Designs is hosting a fun challenge called the 4×7 Sewing Challenge to sew for yourself for 30 minutes each day during February. I haven’t quite made 30 minutes each day – some were more and some were less – but I like trying to sew a little each day.
I’m trying to make my sewing more purposeful. As in, choose projects that I really want to finish. Finish the projects I start. Do something with the scraps or throw them away. Finally finish the quilt for my bed. That type of purposeful.
I made two sets of leaders for my new velcro longer setup (which so far I am in love with, other than having to make leaders). I watched Sharon Chamber’s youtube video on how she loads her quilts, and while some of it doesn’t apply because she uses a different type of machine than I do, I love her leader method. It helps me attach the quilts to achieve a flatter surface which results in a more even stitch especially at the top and bottom of the piece. It’s also easier to load because I can center the quilt easier – and if it’s off by a little, re-center much easier. You can see the newest 50″ leader in action below.
I also pieced a little mini that I had started during the January meeting of the Quilting Circle I am part of. I am really trying to not create new UFO’s so I pieced the top, made a backing (even attaching a label!), found a scrap of batting that fits, and it is in line for the longarm.
I also made another block for the “Real World Red & White” quilt. I was obsessed with that quilt last winter, and then as it warmed up my interest waned. I had though about signing up for the 4×5 block exchange on flickr this winter to get more blocks for the quilt. I did the 2014 Winter and 2014 Spring (received and sent) iterations and received some great blocks, but I have so many blocks that I want to make myself. I had to really ask myself if I was going to sign up because I wanted to do a bee, or if I wanted a forcing function to get 6 more blocks done. I really wanted a forcing function, so I’ve decided to just challenge myself to make 6 more blocks. I would like to get it done by mid-March. That’s one block a week, and seems do-able. This week I started with the Stepping Stones block from Piece n Quilt’s 30 days of blocks.
Week 1 was super productive! Here’s hoping I can keep up the momentum with week 2!
Linking up to Sarah @ Berry Barn Designs, and some of the following: Sew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart Quilts, WiP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced, Let’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuilts, Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation, Whoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt Addict, Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth Fabric
I am a blog contributor this winter at Ft. Worth Fabric Studio, and my first project just went live!
Head on over to the FWFS blog to see the hanging towel tutorial to make one for your kitchen.
Let me know if you make one… it’s a quick and easy project. It’s a great way to use up scraps or to add some holiday color to your kitchen. Sometimes you just need a project that is a quick win… and this project is a good palate cleanser that can be completed in one sitting.
Linking to some of the following: Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story, Sew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart Quilts, WiP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced, Let’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuilts, Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation, Whoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt Addict
I am part of a round robin group made up of quilters from the Plum and June New Blogger Hop last summer. We are on our 3rd round of this round robin, and I’m having a lot of fun and being challenged to continue to come up with something good enough for each of these amazing quilts!
This round I have the center from Chelsea at Patch the Giraffe. She started us off with four paper pieced stars from solids and a low volume background. She didn’t specify how the additions had to be made, just requested that they be solids with low volume backgrounds. Her original center can be found here.
Next, it went to Christina (WiPs and Tuts) who added the two side borders.
Kim from Ties that Bind Quilting added the row along the bottom, or rather the top now that I notice Chelsea’s original orientation.
Then it was my turn… You can tell I was working late on this and how dark and stormy it was so far in January by my complete and total inability to get good in-process photos.
First, I pulled my solids and realized I needed to buy more because I had used up my stash. I like using solids, but don’t have a huge stash of them, but was still surprised by how little I had.
Luckily these are colors that I personally enjoy, so I had no problem adding a few to the stash.
I used the “Goosing Borders” pattern from Jeli Quilts on Craftsy. I printed out 3 pages, which is 6 sections and got started! Once each section was done, I alternated them to create the wave you see below.
Chelsea, I hope you like it because I love how your quilt is turning out! I enjoyed getting to work in this color palette, and if you decide you don’t want this – I will totally take it off your hands for you!
Linking up to some of the following: Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story, Sew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart Quilts, WiP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced, Let’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuilts, Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation, Whoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt Addict, Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth Fabric
2014 was a good year. It was my second year at home with my daughter. My husband was in the middle of grad school to get his Master’s Degree. My brother-in-law got married. And I kept sewing!
I didn’t realize how much I sewed until I started making mosaics and realized how many pictures I have! I did not make as many quilts, because there are only so many quilts a person can use and because I choose to do more challenging work for the ones I did make. This also reminded me that I need to start making blocks for my Real World Red and White quilt if I ever want to get it done.
I also joined bees and a swap for the first time, so some of my quilting time was dedicated for other people. I really enjoyed pushing my boundaries and learning new techniques as part of these bees, so I am continuing in Stash Bee this year – and already signed up for two mini quilt swaps!
I joined the Plum and June New Blogger Group. As a part of that group, I joined a round robin bee – the Round Trip Quilts group. It’s seriously one of the hardest and most awesome quilty things I’ve done. I love the challenge and creativity that our group is demonstrating each round. I can’t wait to see how everyone’s quilts turn out!
I also started sewing more and more clothes this year. This isn’t near all of them. Much of what I sew are basics like leggings and shirts that I apparently did not feel were photo worthy. I should think about whether or not I feel that way for the future. Also, fancy dresses are fun to sew, but don’t get worn. Those leggings get worn to death.
And I embraced “selfish” sewing, and made a few things for myself! Taking pictures of myself in clothes I’ve made is much harder than taking the pictures of a quilt block or of my daughter. Not only does the light have to be good enough to take pictures, the weather has to be appropriate to wear the garment, it can’t be wrinkly from wearing all day, and my hair has to look acceptable. Sewing bloggers, I salute you and your herculean efforts to document your makes. In the coming year I want to become better about blogging what I’ve made for myself.
I also entered a quilt show for the first time. I didn’t really enter thinking I would win anything, but it does make the experience more fun I really entered because my local shows are full of quilts that all look the same. I wanted to show that there are quilts that aren’t made from drab colors. I wanted to enter a wearable category and show that you can quilt a sophisticated bag. I hope my work demonstrated that you can be young and make technically sound work that is modern and beautiful.
I also have to brag on myself for a minute – I took 2nd in the Group category in the NC State Fair. I was pretty proud of that because I had heard that the group and dual category are the most competitive categories. Luckily I found that out after I entered – otherwise I may not have had the nerve to enter the group category. Then I found out that a quilter who has been quilting longer than me and does amazing custom work had quilted the 3rd and 4th place quilts in the group category. That made me feel pretty good!
Last year I tried to participate more in the bigger quilting world – through bees and swaps, and also through guest blogging. I wrote a tutorial for a paper pieced block for Sew Mama Sew. I guest blogged for Angela Walter’s Business of Machine Quilting Blog. I took a couple longarm classes and learned some great techniques.
That’s my year in summary. This coming year I want to piece a little bit more. I have a to-do list that hopefully I can follow. I want to quilt more. I want to continue developing my skills – in piecing and sewing and quilting. And accomplish all this while moving over the summer and potentially going back to school in the fall… eek. Here’s to 2015!
It’s been 6 weeks, so it’s time for our quilts to continue their journey! I joined the Round Trip Quilt bee, which is made up of US and Canada bloggers that met through the New Blogger Group from Plum and June. We are a pretty relaxed and free form bee group. We don’t make (necessarily) an entire border all the way around each time, and we usually (but not always) sew an additional piece to one or more sides of the quilt. I love our rules because as a group, there are some amazing quilts taking shape.
This round I have an autumn themed quilt from Christina at Wips and Tuts. She used the center medallion from the Liberty medallion quilt that went around quilty blog-land awhile ago. It’s from the book Liberty Love by Alexia Marcelle Abegg (affiliate link). This is such a fantastic medallion center, and it’s being added to my never ending bucket list of quilts.
As soon as I saw her initial blog entry explaining the theme of her quilt, I got excited. I love fall, and I was fortunate enough to get this quilt during fall. It felt perfect. Then I discovered I had more ideas than I could easily narrow down! Seriously, my Round Trip Quilts pinterest board is over half autumn block ideas.
Kim at Ties that Bind Quilting added the first round to this quilt. She added apples all around the center, which is so perfect for fall! When I pulled the quilt out of the package, I had two immediate thoughts. 1 – this is awesome and 2 – this is huge for only being the second round!
As I said before, I was actually stymied by how many directions I could take this quilt! I even had a misstep before deciding on the final choice. My first attempt were some freeform pumpkins, that while I like them, I did not like them with this quilt. It’s alright though – they will make some pretty sweet placements for next fall.
I actually hate them less in this photo than I did initially. Ironically, the linen I laid down so that I didn’t get the quilt dirty would have made a nice border and made them sort of work even though the style is still wrong for where the quilt is right now.
Next, I asked Christina on Instagram (with this selection of brown fabric) how she felt about squirrels because she had mentioned woodland creatures as a possible inspiration topic. Squirrels (or bunnies as my daughter calls them), are a very popular topic in our house. The squirrels in the backyard are entertainment during most meals, and there is a Curious George episode that features squirrels that she absolutely loves. Thus, when I found the squirrel pattern from During Quiet Time, it seemed like a perfect option. Plus, Christina had ok’d it as an option.
I reverse printed one squirrel so that the two squirrels could be facing each other. I wish I would have taken a picture of the back before I peeled the papers off, because all those reverse printed letters and numbers looked pretty funny. Although, because I was making two at the same time with such similar colors, having one set reversed was a lifesaver so I didn’t connect the wrong parts!
I did have a moment of doubt as to the scale of these two guys. These blocks are 12″ square. They are pretty large squirrels. I considered reducing the size, but due to the paper piecing pattern, if I had done that there would have been some spots that I never would have gotten the paper out of. Then, I felt better when I considered that the squirrels are actually is really good proportion to the size of the apples. Christina, I hope you feel the same way!
Next I just had to add some sashing at each side and in the middle so that the squirrels lined up properly with the rest of the quilt, and I was ready to pass this quilt on! This quilt moves on to Liz at Green Cheese Quilting next and I can’t wait to see what she does with it.
The next quilt I received is the center from Chelsea at Patch the Giraffe. She picked a really soothing palette that I am looking forward to working with.
I hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Linking up to some of the following: Anything Goes Monday, Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story, Sew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart Quilts, WiP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced, Let’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuilts, Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation, Whoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt Addict, Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth Fabric
This year I participated in the Stash Bee, an online bee made up quilters all over the world. I was in Hive 12, and my month was May. I asked the members of my hive to make me blocks from my Square Dance quilt block tutorial using the paper piecing pattern that I created for this project (now available on Craftsy).
Here she is – in all her glory! The members of my hive did such an amazing job with their blocks. The variety that they added to this quilt is what really makes it shine! I will really enjoy sitting on the couch cozying up with this quilt this winter knowing that so many people helped make this quilt happen.
A huge thank you to Heather, Cheryl, Jennifer, Michele, Kristel, Laura, Toni, Genevieve, Francis and Willa!
Above are some pictures of the quilting in progress. To see more pictures, please see my Quilts Actually blog post about the quilting of this Square Dance quilt.
This quilt was a little rushed because I was working to complete it before the fair. The binding and I spent some late nights, a lot of time in front of the TV, and an all day guild meeting together in order for it to get done.
It was worth all the work though… I finished it in time to enter it in the North Carolina State Fair, where we earned 2nd place in the Group quilt category! I’m going to say we were robbed… just kidding… I didn’t actually see the 1st place quilt, so the possibility does exist that it was better.
Once I was able to pick up the quilt after the fair, it seemed like everyday was sunny or rainy so it I had to wait quite awhile for a nice overcast day to take proper photos. Luckily, our fall colors were at their peak, making a nice backdrop.
The back of the quilt really shows the quilting in detail. I also added a few extra blocks in a strip along the bottom. I love that little pop at the bottom! I was also quite proud of myself for adding the hanging sleeve right away (granted…it was forced because I wanted to enter it in the fair), but usually I wait forever and don’t have any backing fabric leftover to use. The sleeve looks so much nicer in matching fabric!
Note to self: make the hanging sleeve when you first finish the quilt from now on.
This is my Stash Bee Square Dance with my miniature quilt Square Dance. These two quilts have earned a few second place finishes – North Carolina State Fair, Quilting in the Pines Quilt Show, and Floral Fantasy Quilt Show.
Finally, a photoshoot out-take… My daughter was “helping” to arrange the quilts just like mom. Maybe I have a future quilter on my hands! Or a photographer…
Thanks for stopping by!
Linking up to whoever has the link up post this week of the following:
Anything Goes Monday, Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story, Sew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart Quilts, Let’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuilts, Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation, Finish it up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts, Whoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt Addict, TGIFF, Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth Fabric, Show off Saturday at Sew Can She, Sewing Saturday at Simple Simon & Co, Stash Bee Link Up
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