Thursday, January 28, 2010

thrifty thursday

Love the funnel neck on that Butterick pattern. The long sleeved version would be great cut off as a shirt.
I see shades of Lilly Pulitzer in the Simplicity on the right.

Meh, but I want 7120's aqua mary janes.

If it didn't make me laugh and think of Mrs. Roper, this one would have gone right back in a donation bag.

Project Runway is on in less than an hour. I'd love to see the look on Nina's face if something from 9026 came down the runway.
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Friday, January 22, 2010

shedding a little light on my studio

I'm slowly working my way through the little projects down in my studio making it a more pleasant place to sew.
This fall, I tackled the space head on - moving most of the kids' toys to their rooms or getting rid of what no longer held their interest. Once that was done, a wall was repainted to a more neutral color from its previous jadite green. I'd had red accents down there as well which included several lampshades. They were fun, but cast a pink glow and made it difficult to work when I was trying to choose colors.
The new shades reflect the current neutral color palette.
(The lamp is from Land of Nod a few years ago.)
There are two vintage hobnail lamps sporting shades like this one.
(Natural linen covers the shade with black cotton twill covering where the linen ends and was glued inside the shade. The beaded fringe is from Tinsel Trading, but I couldn't find it on the current site. I bought it years ago.)

Someday I'll get around to finishing the space and put more pictures up here. Seems as soon as I get near done, I change my mind and start over.
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

thrifty thursday and a decision

Wow! Thank you all so much.
I just did a count of your "votes" and option #2 is the clear front runner. I have to admit I'm a little relieved. A quilt like #1 is still in my future, but not on this go-round. I felt like too much of the blocks was lost in the motion of that quilt. What I love about option #2 was mentioned in the comments - it has a bit of a Gee's Bend feel to it and since those quilts were part of my inspiration - it just feels right to go that direction. I'm going to add an extra amount of black fabric to the bottom of each column to see if I can still put more weight at the bottom of the quilt with a larger border there. If it looks funny, I can always cut it off. My challenge this week is to start moving those blocks around until I'm happy with the balance in the design.
It also occurs to me that I never explicity said in that post how much I absolutely LOVE how all those blocks look together - and how amazed I am by the work and creativity that went into them. So to my Common Threads friends - I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Now, on to a little thifty goodness:
Does anyone believe that a 2 piece pattern would be flattering on a woman with curves?
I love 5699. I just don't love the undergarments it would require.

Any career gals out there looking for a wardrobe update?

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Monday, January 18, 2010

thrifty thursday

Once I'd gotten over the excitement of that first box of treasures from Effie, another box arrived. In fact, Liz and Mary have sent three packages of treasures that were either collected by or made by Effie.
These are all the handkerchiefs they sent my way.
They said many of the pieces in the first and second photos were purchased fabric that was tatted around the edges by another woman who lived in town.

I love the pink edged one that has a few inches of white on it. I can just imagine the woman working on it, running out of pink and reaching for whatever she had on hand to finish it up.

These were clearly purchased or received as gifts.

On the (very long) list of quilts I'd like to make someday is a vintage hankie quilt. These will be saved for that project.
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Friday, January 15, 2010

we value your opinion...

I'm getting started on my common threads quilt from round 1. I'd been waiting for two last blocks to roll in, but since so many of my fellow quilters generously sent me two, I have more than enough to just go ahead and finish without them. My living room wall has been bare for so long. I'm determined to get this finished before it's my turn to send out fabrics for round two in March.
Since I'll be sashing/bordering the quilt in black, I covered the design wall in black fabric and began toying around with some ideas. Keep in mind that I didn't bother balancing the blocks in terms of intricacy of design or color yet. I just sort of slapped them up there for this initial step.
A few things I'm pretty sure of:
-the black background fabric
-3 rows of 6 blocks will fit the space on the wall very well
-putting a larger border on the bottom of the quilt than on the top
With that said, the first option that came to mind as the blocks rolled in was this - making them into larger blocks that have the color blocks offset at different angles. Drawbacks - might be too busy. A lot of work. The need to make them into larger blocks might make the quilt too large for the space. Benefit - will accomodate variety of sizes in the blocks easily.
Option 2 - Staggered columns of three. I think I'd stagger them even more than this. Perhaps have one column moved several inches higher than all the others. Benefits - accomodates variety of blocks well, easy to do. Drawback - may need to add fabric to a few blocks and I'd prefer to leave them as they were created by the original quilters (though I have absolutely NO problem with my fellow common threads quilters altering the blocks I send you). I may also need to reconsider the border on the bottom being larger because the movement on this quilt is vertical.

Option 3:
Three even rows of 6. Seems so 'meh' to me. However, much of that could be the lack of balance in the blocks since they were just thrown up on the board. I'm also not sure if they should be sashed with black or sewn one to the other with no visual breaks. Drawbacks - different block sizes are very noticable and I'll have to alter them to fit. Benefit - once the blocks are uniform in size, this would be the easiest to put together.

Your thoughts? You can see the space I'm filling here.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

thrifty thursday

It's been a few weeks since I've had time to run to the local thrift shops, but it was worth the wait for my vintage pattern collection -
Anyone want to look like a Pilgrim woman? Me neither. I love the Elizabeth Taylor look-a-like though.

Why don't I have enough closet space to store coats that match every outfit I own?

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

glenn's quilt

Remember that quilt I needed to have done before Christmas? Here it is and I'm happy to report, I made the deadline. Didn't even have to sew binding on Christmas Eve. Not that I've done that before... ; )
I'm sure many of you recognize the Lush line of fabrics. I added another polka dot to have one more print and, as you can see, many solids. The solids were generously given to me by a woman in my quilting group who will be downsizing soon and wanted to reduce her stash.

This all started because Glenn asked me for a fleece blanket for Christmas(he'd seen them rolled up at Target and Walmart). Seriously kid, you don't ask your mom, the quilter, for a cheapo fleece blanket for a gift. At least don't assume she'd actually buy one. Instead, I finally pulled out those gorgeous fabrics (also spurred on by Jacquie's Common Threads quilt for her son made with the same line). Jan came over for a last minute consultation before I began cutting and gave me reassurance that I could get it done - I started the cutting on the Sunday before Christmas. To give Glenn the softness he wanted, I backed the quilt with faux minkee. (I say faux minkee because it's not the actual brand. I bought it at Joann's. Their version isn't as plush or stretchy which worked to my advantage.)

Spray basting held it in place very well during the quilting process. In fact, the only place where I had a few tiny puckers was on the front of the quilt. All that's left to do is name it and put a label on the back. In the meantime, it's being put to good use on his bed.

He's happy, I'm happy.
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Monday, January 11, 2010

night tree

Our street, like many others in town, has a tradition around the holidays where the homes display a live tree on the front lawn. Many are lit, but without an outdoor electrical outlet on our home, ours can't have lights.
We started a new tradition this year based on a favorite holiday book, Night Tree by Eve Bunting. In it a family drives to the forest on Christmas Eve to decorate their favorite tree with treats for the animals. We don't have the same diversity of wildlife here in the suburbs, but I'm sure we made the local squirrels, raccoons, skunks and opposums happy.
Trixie demonstrates the proper technique for spreading peanut butter on the pinecones. (I attached lengths of yarn to each before this.)
Glenn rolls them in leftover hamster food. (Sadly, we have no hamster to eat it anymore.)

Ellie's the expert bow tier of the three of them.

I like these better than lights anyday.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

gingerbread girls

I did say that the holiday decorations were put away, but I've still got some holiday crafting to post before I can put the whole thing to bed. Humor me while I catch up.
No stripey Hanna pajamas for all three this year. Glenn was a sport for a very long time, but I didn't even bother to ask this year (or last as I remember).
Instead, I bought the girls fleece nightgowns from the Lands End outlet and embroidered them.
I'd planned to trace a cookie cutter, but like Goldilocks dilemna, the first was too big, the other too small. I sketched this one to make it just right. Once I had the pattern I liked, I cut it from the paper and traced it with a water erasable pen (the blue kind). Due to how thick fleece is, I used perle cotton in a stem/outline stitch so it wouldn't get buried in the fabric.

I should explain that I have a thing about the girls in matching pajamas on Christmas Eve. Growing up my dad would hand out presents to my mom, sisters and me the night before Christmas every year. Inside them were matching nightgowns to wear to bed. I'd have to go through our old pictures to figure out how old I was when I refused to go along anymore (I was the oldest), but I'm going to go with it around here as long as the girls will let me get away with it.
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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

the series

The Christmas decorations are put away, but I managed to snap a few photos of the other Beatrix Potter Christmas pillows I've made over the years before they were stored until next December.
This one was stitched on linen - with an uneven weave. A bit of a mistake in fabric choice. It would have been fine for a smaller piece, but I thought counting all those threads would make me insane before I finished. Note that all the others are done on aida cloth. The two I've yet to make will also be done on an evenweave fabric.
My favorite so far because of the pinafores. Animals in clothing. What's not to love?

A little harder to see (I had to take the photos in the evening), but all the shades of green look wonderful on this one.

While all the colors in each of the designs makes for a lot of work - the one I just finished had 30 colors, most of which were some shade of brown - I think they all capture her watercolor shading beautifully. Sadly, I could find no name on the pattern to give credit to the artist that translated each of these paintings to stitchery.
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