Monday, May 26, 2014

Swim Team Blog Hop

I am so excited to be participating in this blog hop with:

Wednesday, May 21st  Windham Fabrics
Thursday, May 22nd Dinara Mirtalipova
Friday, May 23rd, Erin Schlosser
Saturday, May 24th, Melissa's Missouri Mel
Sunday, May 25th, Terri Quilted Fox

Be sure to click over to their blogs and see what they made!


Ever since I first saw the beginnings of this fabric several months ago, I have been dreaming about the fun summer cover-up I would make with these fabulous bathing beauties!  Designed by Dinara Mirtalipova for Windham Fabrics, you can read more about Dinara's design inspiration by clicking over to her blog above.

Though I generally don't make "Mommy and Me" outfits, these two  main patterns were different enough in scale that I felt like it was OK (as in not super-super-dorky even if we wore them on the same day).  Plus, my little swimmer girl who paddled around for hours in the lake yesterday despite chattering teeth, definitely "needed" this swimming-ladies pattern in something.

I ended up making a Washi dress by Rae Hoekstra, for me (which I have been meaning to do...forever...) and a quick pillow-case dress for her. There is a great pillow-case dress tutorial here. I just threw this together in a half-hour---I don't put a lot of time and effort into making things for her lately because she is 3 and FULL of opinions about her clothes.  See below.

So...she did not LOVE her dress.  In fact, she had a complete screaming temper tantrum about wearing it.  This is dad, bribing her with a promise of ice cream to get her to cooperate with photos---let's be honest about the other side of pretty blog pics.  

Looks bucolic, right??  Little do you know...

This Washi dress was a great one for me to make now...7 mos pregnant, because it has shirring on the back that gives it a little stretch and some small pleats in the front, so I can wear it now and in August after the baby comes. 

This is the face that we mostly saw.

These beautiful lupines finally provided some distraction.

I can't wait to make more of these dresses and tops---it was an easy one-day project and in this fabric makes a great swim day cover-up! 

What would you make?  Leave a comment here, I will be giving away two fat quarters bundles of this fantastic summery fabric to two lucky winners!

Thanks to everyone who left such nice comments!  I enjoyed reading what you would do with this fabric!  Sounds like the beach will be full of sun-bathing ladies this summer! ;)  The winners of the giveaway are Gill and Carla!  I sent you an email, ladies, so send me your address and I will send out your fabric. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Apple T-shirt Quilt

Many people these days are building memory quilts out of old t-shirts.  It is a great way to commemorate a particular time period---college, high school sports, favorite band t-shirts---this way you don't wear them until they have holes in them...but end up with something to happily remember that time. 

This particular assignment came from my brother-in-law, who had worked in Apple retail stores for years and collected quite a few t-shirts, but was transitioning to the corporate side of the business (no more t-shirts).  The nice thing about working with these t-shirts was that for the most part they had a formula and a general size----a pre-curated selection, if you will. 

Here is how the process goes:

Step One: Cut out the artwork and fuse to a fusible interfacing for backing jersey material---thereby transforming your jersey into a stiffer fabric that you can work with more easily.  Make sure to iron with another piece of fabric between your t-shirt and the iron or you will get melted ink on your iron.

Step Two: Select your border fabrics and begin to sew blocks.  In my case, I was in the beginning stages of planning this quilt when Carolyn Friedlander's collection "Architextures" came out (read more about this collection by clicking on the photo below).  

Since my brother-in-law was in charge of managing retail displays and working with contractors in new Apple Stores, this was a no-brainer of a choice---manly enough for him, but stunningly elegant and beautiful to me.  Plus the colors were just right.
Photo by Rita Hodges, Red Pepper Quilts

Step 3: Start planning your layout.  This can be the hardest part.  I like to work improv, so I enjoy the process, but it can still be difficult.  I had many iterations of the layout for this quilt before I settled on one I liked:

Finally, I decided that the blocks shouldn't be right up against each other, but needed some breathing room and rest space.

Step Five: Do you need borders?  I chose some of Lotta Jansdotter's Glimma fabric for the borders.

Step 6: Quilting.  I had this quilt machine-quilted by my friend Kristin with a a square pattern that I felt mimicked the blocks and also had a more manly feel.

The back using Lotta Jansdotter's Sylvia collection and a blue textured solid from Michael Miller.

Some details of the blocks:

This quilt also has a lot of New York references which I loved, since the transition from retail to corporate also meant a move from NY to CA.  

Do you have a stack of t-shirts somewhere you can't get rid of?  Consider making a t-shirt quilt---or asking me to!  :)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Trendsetter Bag---NOT a Diaper Bag

For a recent HVMQG activity, we all got together and sewed the "Trendsetter Bag" by Jessica Van Denburg.  Since, pretty soon I will be back to lugging around a diaper bag, I thought this would be a good opportunity to make a non-mom purse for myself!

Thanks to some favorite Melody Miller "Vintage Ladies" fabric I treated myself to at Quilt Con last year, but have been hoarding, I got to make a sturdy, but fresh spring bag.

I love the text overlay on this fabric and how it changes from blue, to metallic to rust color.

This pattern was quick and easy to put together.  I cut it out at the meeting and got to finish it at the Mid-Atlantic Mod Retreat I attended for work.  :)  There is a nice inner zip pocket that you can see in this picture and the opposite side has divided, open-topped pockets.  Lining fabric is by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics.

What have you made for yourself lately?