Monday, February 25, 2013

Fussy Cut Mini Quilt Goodness

Just this past weekend I got together with some quilty friends for a little sewing weekend.  We weren't able to make it to Quilt Con but still wanted to have some fun.  So we met up in Atlanta and had a fabulous time...more on that later.  But part of our little get together was a secret partner swap with a handmade item. I'm not going to lie, some of the girls went ALL out.  lol  But I tried to keep myself restrained and made one item.  I LOVED it though.  Another one that was hard to give away.


Girl's Weekend Swap - My mini for Elena




Eeep! I love it!  But I love Elena more, so I had no problems giving it to her. ;)  She's a huge heather ross fan like I am and I loved using all my precious little bits of Heather Ross fabrics and others for this mini.  I wanted a simple design that would let me show off the fussy cut bits.


Girl's Weekend Swap - My mini for Elena



A square in a square (in a square) was the perfect little pattern for this.  Nothing mind boggling but every fabric in every block is different.  So that made me reach into my stash to keep the color scheme really consistent.  Since it was a wall hanging, I felt I could use some precious Spoonflower bits that people often complain about fading issues...since this won't get washed, that's not a problem and I was happy to have the chance to use them.

Girl's Weekend Swap - My mini for Elena



The center squares were fussy cut at 2 1/2".  The next square was made from one 3 1/4" square that was quarter cut.  And the last square was actually made from two 3" squares with a single diagonal cut on each.  This is also a popular pattern to paper piece for really crisp points.


Girl's Weekend Swap - My mini for Elena



I love that border fabric...it's a fabulous stripe/dot by Birch fabrics and is such a luscious shade of Marine Blue.  It brought out all the right things from the colors in the quilt.  Someone told me the quilt looks like Ice Cream.  And I love that description because this mini is all about indulgence.


Girl's Weekend Swap - My mini for Elena



For the back I used another Birch fabric and did little corner folded squares to create a place to hopefully help hang the mini.  Just tack those folded squares in place before you sew the binding on but after you quilt it.

Girl's Weekend Swap - My mini for Elena



The whole thing is just Yumminess!

Girl's Weekend Swap - My mini for Elena



And all for this sweet gal.  Elena, Hot Pink Stitches, who couldn't have loved it more!


Elena with the swap I made for her. She might like it. @hotpinkstitches #quiltygirlstakeatlanta





Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Comments and Spammers - I think it worked!

Thank you everyone for helping me test out the comments sections.  I had about 60 comments from you guys and not a SINGLE spam comment!!  Nothing got posted and nothing even got blocked by blogger...it just didn't make it to me!

That's amazing!  I was getting about 200 spam comments a day!


So for inquiring minds, the only setting I changed was commenters now have to be Registered User.  So this eliminates all Anonymous comments.  What this means for you:  you have to sign in to leave a comment.  A good number of you are already signed in if you have a google account or are coming through google reader.  Others simply need to sign in much the same way that I think I have to sign in when I leave a comment on a word press blog.

For the record,  this has NOT eliminated no reply commenters.  You may be just thrilled being a no reply commenter.  It doesn't bother me...I tend not to reply if you are a no reply commenter because I feel that you don't want me to bother you.  But if you DO want to get a response from me (I reply to everyone who leaves a comment) then include that email.


So hopefully this continues to be a good solution here and I don't have to turn on the dreaded word verification.  Those make my eyes hurt. lol  So I don't want to do that here.

Thanks again!



Monday, February 18, 2013

Testing the comments section

Hey guys,
  I've been getting slammed with spam comments lately one the blog and I'm trying to figure out how to get rid of them without making it difficult for real people to actually comment.

So I changed a setting...it may look different and I'd love some feedback.  I think it might require you to sign in some how.  but you may already be signed in on your computer.  I don't know about these things.

Thanks everyone!  It looks like it worked!
So if some of you could leave a comment and tell me if it was any different for you. I can see if the spam is eliminated.  Who has time for spam comments?!  I don't understand that part of the world. lol



Friday, February 15, 2013

Pretty Princess Sew Along - Alice Trims and Skirt

pretty princess sew along


*This post is part of a series on my blog for a sew along using a single pattern to create many pretty princess dresses.  Join in at any time!*


We're working on the Alice dress right now.  I have posted the instructions for the basics of the bodice of the dress previously in THIS post.  So feel free to look that over if you have any questions.  Now we're on to those sweet girly details and the skirt of the dress.


Alice



You should have the bodice completed but now we'll add those sweet trims to make it all Alice.  We'll start with the eyelet trim around the neckline.  This is how I put this together, but feel free to do whatever method works for you.


Fold under one end of the eyelet trim with a quarter quarter turn and press and stitch.

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Attach the eyelet trim in place starting at the front edge of one sleeve, butting the trim right under the elastic of the neckline.  Stitch the trim in place around the entire neckline.

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You will need to pull the fabric taut as you attach the trim.  Just hold the neckline in one hand and the trim in the other.  The trim will naturally gather once sewn on the neckline if you pull it taut while sewing.

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When you reach the other side of the front sleeve, before you hit the white bodice front, cut the trim and fold it neatly in place.  Stitch it down.  You will now have eyelet trim around the whole neckline with a hint of the blue peaking above it (the elastic casing).  And you are ready to add buttons!

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To find the center of the bodice front, simple fold the front in half and press a quick crease along the center.  This will give you a line for placing your ribbon and buttons on.


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Make a small bow as well for the front neckline of the dress.  Be sure to use something to finish off the edges of the ribbon so it will not fray later, like fray check.  Dress up dresses get a lot of wear and tear!

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Place the buttons in place as desired and stitch in place using a matching thread.  Also place the bow at the top center of the bodice front and stitch in place with a matching thread.  There's a whole lot of cuteness going on here!!


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Now onto the skirt!

Sew the skirt front and back together and finish off the edges as desired.

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Hem the skirt according to the directions on the pattern or to the length necessary for your child.

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Attach more eyelet trim to the underside of the skirt at the hem, securing the raw edges together neatly at a side seam.

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Follow the pattern directions for gathering the skirt at the waist.

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We're almost finished!!  With the last post on the Alice dress, we'll talk about the apron, the embroidery and the ribbon trim.


Be sure to add your pictures and progress to the Pretty Princess Flickr Group .  Some of you are already smarty pants and skipped ahead.  So fun to see!


And a little teaser for the next dress.... "I brush and brush and brush and brush my hair!"



Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day - some pink and red projects

In the spirit of Valentine's Day I wanted to share with you all a couple of projects that I've been working on that are pink and red.  I really should have taken a picture of my daughter because she is ALL pink today...pink shirt, ruffly skirt, tights, shoes, hair bow.  Pink coat.  The girl could not be more pink (or more adorable!).  For myself I'm shocked I even remembered to wear a red shirt.  (okay...full disclosure...I actually had the shirt on yesterday for a bit and realized that today was Valentine's day so I should wear it again....yep...I'm just re wearing a shirt from yesterday.)


Onto the projects.  The first one I can't tell you too much about yet, but I took a little shot of this sweet paper pieced block I made.  The red fabric is actually a Christmas fabric!  But shhh...I won't tell if you won't.


A peak at something I've been working on




Then I made a pillow case last night for a girls sewing weekend I'm having next weekend with some friends in Atlanta.  We couldn't swing trying to make it to Quilt Con and are doing our own cheaper and smaller option instead.  But trust me it will be tons of fun and I'll actually get sewing done!!


Pillow Case



I think it's a cute idea some of the girls had to make a pillow case for the weekend.  Our own little take on traveling handmade.  Perfect the germaphobe in all of us!  Try it for your next little vacation.  I used the ever famous tutorial from Ashley, Film in the Fridge.  I'm pretty sure if you google pillowcase tutorial hers is the first thing that pops up.


Pillow Case



I used some super cute fabrics for this.  The pink stripe is by Dear Stella.  The cuff is from Anna Maria Horner's line, Field Study and the trim is a bit of Madrona Road by Violet Craft.  I love mixing and matching like this!  Again with the full disclosure....I'm a little too practical to make a pillow case for one weekend.  So I picked these fabrics out to suit my sweet little 3 year old (remember the one who is very pink herself today!?).  I plan on putting this on her bed for the spring when she no longer needs the flannel tinker bell pillow case.  Of course that all is contingent on whether she will LET me take away the tinker bell pillow case.  lol

Pillow Case



So a few little moments of pink and red for you today on this notoriously pink and red holiday.  I hope you all have a wonderful day regardless of whether you remembered to wear a red shirt.  Remember, you can always grab it out of the dirty laundry ;)



Monday, February 11, 2013

Finding a Quilt a Home

My oldest UFO is complete!  Seriously!

What's Old is New...UFO



I pulled this quilt out and showed you all back in the spring when we moved into our house.  I was going through all of my projects and was trying to give them some tough love.  This top is my oldest UFO...although no longer a UFO.  I remember that I started it four houses ago...about 10 years ago.  There was NO online quilting world at the time.  The fabric is from Joann's and was the best I could do at the time. I still like the colors but I my taste has changed a bit.


UFO from 6 years ago!


A twin sized quilt with a fairly traditional design.  What I loved and still love about this is that there is not ONE curved pieced of fabric in the whole thing.  The circles are all an illusion of the angles.  I have no idea what the pattern is called or where you can get it.  I got this from a book I checked out of the library 10 years ago.  Sorry!


But did I mention that this quilt is done?!  Because  it is.  So very much in part because of the fabulous Krista Withers...my very favorite long arm quilter (seriously.  she's an artist.  oh and she's pretty darn cool too)  A while back I posted on behalf of Jean who was looking for quilts for the communication officers who were on duty during the Sandy Hook shootings.  I was aching that I couldn't do anything.  My schedule just didn't permit it.  But in the weeks that followed, Krista told me that she had committed to a quilt because she had seen the call for quilts here on my blog but the one she wanted to use wasn't going to work out.  Serendipity and a day later, I had sent her my quilt top, quilt back and a scrappy binding.

Ready for you @lolablueocean  #charityquilt



Krista did the beautiful magic that she does. A simple and beautiful quilting design (we were under a deadline for turning the quilt in to Jean).  She bound the quilt and sent it off to Jean.

My Oldest UFO - Quilted by Krista Withers



I couldn't be happier to have the quilt finished and to have it done so beautifully.  But obviously the best part for me is that I managed to contribute in one small way to those directly affected by the horrible tragedy that made my soul ache.  I know, once again, that quilting is such a healing act.  The love to make the quilt, to spend the time and give a piece of yourself away.  This quilt is finally on its way home.




Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pretty Princess Sew Along - Alice cutting instructions and bodice construction

pretty princess sew along


*This post is part of a series on my blog for a sew along using a single pattern to create many pretty princess dresses.  Join in at any time!*


I know some of you are itching to get going on this Alice dress.  I apologize for any delays here.  Rest assured, the dress is made and NUMEROUS pictures have been taken.

Here's a little teaser to get you excited about the dress.  My sweet girl LOVES her Alice dress.  She gets dressed up in it every day and insists on wearing her white tights, black shoes and black head band just to be like Alice.  It makes this mommy very happy.

Alice



So you want to get started?

We'll be using the pattern pieces for the full skirt, the capped sleeve, the bodice front and back, and the pieces for measuring length of elastic on the sleeves and collar and ties around the waist.

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Follow the pattern instructions for your size dress and fabric width for laying out the pattern pieces.  I'm fairly certain this is view A but technically I'm working with another pattern number so I'm not entirely certain.

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You can cut out pattern pieces by pinning the piece to the fabric and cutting with scissors around each piece.  But I'm lazy these days and use weighted objects to hold the patterns in place and my rotary cutter as much as possible.

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You will be cutting the skirt front and back, the two sleeves, and the bodice back from the blue fabric.  You will cut the bodice front from the white fabric (and eventually the apron skirt as well).

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We'll start with some basic construction on the bodice and sleeves.  Follow the pattern instructions for piecing these together but just in case you've never tried to follow a pattern, I took step by step pictures along the way as I made the dress.

Sew bodice front to back at each side seam.

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Finish the seams as desired.  I'm delighted to be using my new serger, but there are plenty of finishing techniques out there.  Sew4Home.com has done a lovely series on finishing options.  I recommend you read through them (just great knowledge to have in general) and pick the finish you prefer.

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Next switch to the sleeves.  Sew each sleeve together at the side seam and finish seam edge.

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Make a casing at the cuff of the sleeve using the measurements provided in the pattern.  You do a double turn of the fabric to create a folded edge finish to the cuff.

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Edge Stitch around each cuff, leaving a small opening for inserting the elastic.  Cut two pieces of elastic to the measurement provided by your sleeve elastic pattern piece.

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Insert each piece of elastic into the sleeve casing and secure the ends.  I'm not too picky on how this stitch looks...you want that elastic to stay put.  I personally overlap my ends a 1/2" or so and stitch a couple of times around the perimeter of the overlap.  Another popular method is a zig zap stitch over the overlap.


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Then machine stitch the opening of each cuff closed.  You will a sweet gathered cuff sleeve ready to attach to your bodice!

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Align your notches and attach each sleeve to either side of the bodice, right sides together.  This can feel a bit awkward because you are working in a small curve.  Just pin it and take it slowly.  You'll do fine!  Finish the edges.

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You will now have a piece that looks like this:

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Follow the pattern instructions and create the casing around the neckline, insert and secure the elastic and sew the casing shut.  All of this uses the same techniques and steps as the the sleeve casings.  Of course I forgot to take a picture of the finished collar before I started decorating it.  So use your imagination.  Trust me...it looks adorable.


That's it for now!  We'll get on to the skirt, apron and super cute girly details in the next post on Alice.

Be sure to add your pictures and progress to the Pretty Princess Flickr Group so we can all ooh and ahh over the cuteness happening.  I get ridiculously excited when I see anyone making something along with me.  So make me happy people.  Let us see what you are up to!

Oh and I already ordered some fabric for the next dress!  I couldn't help myself. ;)





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