Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Friday, November 20, 2015

two finished quilts

There has been some sewing going on around here, and I've been able to finish some long-term projects! First, I finished V.'s quilt:

Little girl's quilt

Little girl's quilt

So, above are pics of the front and back of the quilt on her new bed. The pics are not the best, but I thought I'll write about it now, because it could be a while before I get any better pics. It's been quite dark around here, recently. As you can see, I used two leftover strips from the front and three different cuts of Briar Rose fabric to make the back. I'm really happy with how the quilt turned out! I love the colours and the back is just as pretty as the front! Also, the colours go really well with the rug in V.'s room!

Little girl's quilt

For the binding I used a print from Color Me Retro, that I also used in the front. I cut it across the length of the fabric as opposed to the width as to get more variety in the fabric's pattern.

Little girl's quilt

Little girl's quilt

Little girl's quilt

HST Block-of-the-month 2012 finished!

The other quilt I finished is the block-of-the-month quilt from Jeni Baker's blog In Color Order from some years ago. Again, not the best pictures ... I had the top finished and lingering in my closet since before V. was born and encouraged by Kirsty (and her gorgeous quilts) I finally decided to have it professionally long-arm quilted. The quilter suggested that since it's a lap sized quilt it would be fun to back it with fleece, so we did! I'm really happy with the quilting and the fleece back is so soft and warm. V. loves it! The next bigger kid quilt I'll make will probably get the same treatment! And it was such a relief not to have to quilt this one myself. I think this quilting pattern pulls the quilt top together much better than anything that I could have managed, even if circumstances allowed for longer quilting session!

HST Block-of-the-month 2012 finished!

HST Block-of-the-month 2012 finished!

HST Block-of-the-month 2012 finished!

For the binding I chose this light green print by Anna Maria Horner (I think it's from the Loulouthi collection ...). When I was making the quilt I had a chocolate brown print in mind for the binding, but now I decided something with less contrast would be much nicer. Fortunately I had the perfect print in my stash! I sewed on the binding completely by machine, also encouraged by Kirsty's posts. I think it was the right solution for this quilt that will hopefully see some heavy use and is also relatively thick because of the fleece backing. I could still do with some practice with this technique, but I think the binding looks good enough and also it was so fun to have it finished quite quickly! Yay!

HST Block-of-the-month 2012 finished!

HST Block-of-the-month 2012 finished!


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Becky and Betty plus a pencil case

Becky and Betty

Here are two more Farmer's Wife 1930s blocks I made. These will probably be the last I'll make for a couple of weeks, because now I'll have to wait for my book to arrive. After that let's see how much and how long I'm going to be able to keep up, because there will be a new member joining our family in December! :-)

farmer's wife 1930s, block #12 Becky

So this is my version of block #12 Becky. I rotary cut the pieces and the sewing was relatively straightforward, although again I had to unpick because I sewed some pieces together in the wrong order, even though I had them all laid out before me. Thinking before sewing is always a good thing ... I really like the combination of colours in this block on their own, but I'm not too sure I like my fabric choices for this particular block. Among all the Becky blocks I've seen I like the ones with a bit less contrast among the fabrics better than my own choice.

farmer's wife 1930s, block #14 Betty

And this is my version of block #14 Betty. I played it really safe with this one with two solids, a tiny print and a monochrome colour choice. I'm really happy with this one, altough maybe the bigger solid triangles could contrast a bit more from the smaller ones ...?  Anyway, I'm really having fun choosing fabrics for these blocks! It's nice to use up scraps, especially the reproduction style scraps which were gifted to me a long time ago, and sometimes interesting combinations come up by chance. Look at that lovely pile below! Makes me smile! :-)

scraps on the cutting table

Another little finish recently has been this little pencil case:

handmade style pencil case

The pattern is from the book Handmade Style by Anna Graham. I had that little stitching exercise sitting around without a purpose for a while and when I saw the pattern I knew that it would be perfect! It's a great pattern to use up for little quilted bits or similar, since there won't be any bulky seam allowances inside the pouch because of the construction method using bias binding.

handmade style pencil case

handmade style pencil case

For the lining I just had to use those cute panda bears! The colour is a perfect match with the coral embroidery thread and the pandas just make me smile every time I open the pouch. :-)

handmade style pencil case

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

two little Farmer's Wife 1930s blocks

I just couldn't help it, I had to join in, if only a little bit! There are two lovely sew-alongs for the book  The Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt. One at verykerryberry and one at Gnome Angel. I decided to go with the latter since my book hasn't arrived yet (and apparently won't for another month ...) and I like that the QAL is working up from the simpler to the trickier blocks. Plus, the lovely Kirsty is taking part in that one, so that was reason enough! :-)

farmer's wife 1930s, block #16 Bonnie

First, I made block #16 Bonnie following the PDF instructions. I rotary cut my pieces and there was some re-cutting to make the blue stripey fabric go in the same direction in both rectangles. Also, I had to unpick and re-sew the pandas because I sewed them on the wrong way up the first time around. It really is advisable to lay out the blocks before sewing, especially since I'm planning to set them on point and it's more difficult for me to envision the layout otherwise.

farmer's wife 1930s, block #8 Aunt

The other block I made so far is #8 Aunt. The fabrics for this one just jumped out at me from my scrap box, so that was a no-brainer. I'm trying to stick with scraps for these blocks, it's such a fun way to use them up and those little pieces are perfect for some scrap sewing! Again, I rotary cut my pieces and since the fabrics are not directional I didn't have any trouble this time. I already have chosen the fabrics for the next two blocks, let's see when I get around to making them!

binding

I'm also slowly but surely attaching the binding on the quilt I made for V.! I'm so happy with how this is turning out! I hope to get it bound and finished soon, so I can take some pictures and share the quilt here! Happy sewing! :-)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

creative exercise mini quilt

a little creative exercise mini quilt

Hello! Finally, I'm showing you a little mini quilt I made during my patchwork course this spring! It was such a fun creative exercise, we all got the same fabric pieces to work with and could only use that fabric plus a white and/or pink solid. I decided not to overthink things and just got cutting and sewing and here is what I came up with.

a little creative exercise mini quilt

I decided to play with the graphic nature of the print and cut and stacked the stripes of the print. I really like this part of the mini and the quilting is a fun addition.

a little creative exercise mini quilt

a little creative exercise mini quilt

a little creative exercise mini quilt

When the top was finished I decided it needed a little something to break up the severe lines and added a little freehand quilting. I think the sentence "remember to dream" is a lovely one for creative endeavours!

a little creative exercise mini quilt

You can have a look at what everyone else came up with here! The post is in Finnish, but you can still look at the pictures! There is also a picture of the piece of fabric we got to work with. It's so fun to see the totally different projects everyone came up with using the same piece of fabric!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Painted Portrait Blouse - literally

Painted Portrait Blouse

Here is a Painted Portrait Blouse (pattern by Anna Maria Horner) that took me quite some time to finish. I made some little steps here and there for about a year ... I have to admit that I'm not too happy with it. As soon as I had sewn the yoke to the front panel I saw that I didn't like my fabric combination all that much. I think the yoke is much too dark for the ditsy Liberty print, but it felt too complicated and also unrealistic to change the fabric at that stage. Actually, I first planned to use the turquoise lining fabric for the yoke outer, but then decided to switch things around in the midst of winter because I thought it would be too harsh ... Now that we've got sunlight again I regret the switch. Well, I thought it's still better to soldier on and finish it than let it linger unfinished. It tried to "save" the situation and lighten up the yoke and draw the eye to it a bit more by adding the painted detail with fabric paint which I had sitting around at home.

Painted Portrait Blouse

Now I'm thinking I might have made it worse ... Well, it's nice to try a spontaneous idea, sometimes they turn out well! The pattern is not very difficult to make, I think, and I like that it gives the opportunity to combine different fabrics and there are lots of different options like the dress length and I'd love to try the pieced yoke version with sleeves at one point. The pattern might not be the most flattering for my pear shape, but I think with a little fit adjustment during assembly (which the way the blouse is constructed would make easily possible) the loose fit would suit me a bit better.

Painted Portrait Blouse

Aaah, the print is so pretty, maybe I just feel the the finished blouse can't live up to the loveliness of Liberty ...!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

birthday dress and quilt progress



Here is V.'s 2nd birthday dress, finished in time for the celebrations!



I bought this Tsuru fabric some time ago with making a dress for her in mind and now was the time! This is a Geranium Dress, which I think is such a lovely but simple design perfect for showcasing pretty fabrics! I had one yard and was able to make a size 3T, although I had to opt for a shorter skirt length to make it work. (Please note that this fabric was cut to make use of the border which runs along the selvedge edges, so the hems are aligned with the selvedges and the grainline of the pattern aligned from side to side instead of top to bottom!) It was a bonus for me that I already had the bodice traced for the dress I made for our niece two years ago. I just had to trace the skirt for the pleated version, which I think works better for this print. The lining is a bias gingham print in a pretty pink.



I love that the pleated version has side seam pockets! This border print with the lovely flowers and colours really is so pretty and navy suits V. very well!



I had some problems with the buttonhole setting on my machine. I don't know whose fault it was, mine or "hers", but after a lot of unpicking and fabric starting to look worn and torn around the buttonhole area and a near nervous breakdown I decided to just go with snaps. I left the final unsuccessful buttonhole stitches because I thought it would show less than yet another unpicking. Well, I think it's still cute and it is really only visible up close. I hope I'll get to the root of that buttonhole problem (it could be the buttonhole foot that has seen better days ... My machine is around 30 years old, so it wouldn't surprise me ... or it's just me ...)

 

I've also been making progress on the quilt I'm making for V., although I don't think I'll finish it in time for her birthday.



I really love how this turned out so far! Those really are my favourite colours at the moment and I think they are perfect for little girls and my little girl in particular! :-)



The fabrics are a combination of newer and older favourites from my stash. Among others and some odds and ends there are several Briar Rose prints, some Color me Retro and I cut into some of my long-hoarded Folk Heart prints.



I tried not to overthink the placement of the squares. I aimed to sew the rows together containing a good mixture of  prints and then sorted the rows into an order that pleased me. That four-patch block above was a happy accident that I decided to leave because I think it adds a bit of extra surprise and fun to the quilt.



The backing is pieced from leftovers and Briar Rose yardage. I forgot to take a picture, but I'll show you once the the quilt is finished. I'm so excited to see this come together, I hope I'll be able to finish it soon!!