Saturday, May 26, 2012

Live and learn

I'm pretty sure that a zig zag stitch is NOT supposed to look like this. Good thing it's on my muslin practice dress.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I'm planning a quilt for our queen size bed. I bought 3 layer cakes of half moon modern from After searching for patterns that are charm square friendly, I finally decided on a pinwheel design. I'm so excited to get to work on this! Here is the pattern I drew out

UPDATE: After some block test runs, I realized that I like bigger blocks better.  These were just going to be too tiny, making the quilt too busy.  I am now waiting for my 1/4" presser foot that I ordered from amazon to get here because I also learned on my trial blocks that perfect 1/4" seams are essential with this pattern.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Look What Came in the Mail Today!!!!

Ever since I found a new love for fabric, I have been eyeing the "Flea Market Fancy" collection everyday online.  I made a deal (I sorta plan on sticking to) with Curtis that I would only buy fabric if I have a plan for it.  He thinks that the idea of having a stash is ridiculous.  I think he's ridiculous for thinking that!  So I finally decided that I wanted to make a plus quilt from this tutorial that I found on In Color Order.  I knew exactly what fabric I wanted to use!  It arrived in the mail today.  I actually did a dance.
Flea Market Fancy by Denyse Schmidt

Something to keep me busy

I had some free time while waiting on the fabric to arrive for my next quilt, so I decided to make myself a cross-body bag.  I made my mom one for her birthday and I decided that I wanted one too!  I found the pattern here on Etsy.  Honestly, I was not too happy with this pattern.  I had to make a lot of adjustments and guess on the dimensions of pockets and zippers.  Also, the pleats marked on the pattern are in the wrong place so it was up to me to figure that out too.

Mom's bag
 I am happy with the finished product though.  Originally, I was not stoked about the fabric that my mom picked out for her bag, but I liked it better after it was finished.  I decided to make something a little more lively!  This project didn't come without problems though.  First off, I couldn't decide what kind of interfacing to use.  I made my mom's bag out of home decorator fabric (they call it "duck" at hobby lobby) and even though it was thickER it wasn't quite thick enough after it was done. Heavyweight fusible just doesn't seem that heavy to me, but the next (fusible) step up is that really stiff felt-like stuff.  I need something in between.  I stared at the interfacing rack at JoAnn's for a good 10 minutes and finally decided to get the stiff stuff.  I spent at least an hour cutting out all of the pieces (I hate that part).  After I got everything cut out, I tried to fold the stiff interfacing (which I think was actually called "stabilizer") into pleats.  I realized that there was no way in hell that stuff was ever going to lay flat enough to make a pleated bag.  UGH!  Luckily I decided to buy 2 yards of regular heavyweight fusible for the stash at some point so I just used that.  I decided that I was going to double interface the bag to make it sturdy so that it wouldn't collapse once there was stuff in it.  I had to cut out two more pieces for every pattern piece then I had to fuse two pieces to every piece (I hate applying interfacing more than anything!  HATE IT!  And don't try to cheat and put the iron straight on the interfacing to speed things up.  It will melt and ruin your fabric!)  Finally it was time to start sewing!

This time around I sewed the back of my pleats shut (thanks Aunt Lori for suggesting this!) because the pleats on my mom's bag spread out when there is stuff in it.  After I got the pleats basted, I put the front and the back together to see if they matched up... they didn't.

I had to redo the bottom pleats by letting them out a little bit to make the bottom wider.  After that was taken care of, it was smooth sailing until I got to the zipper.  I don't care what people say, zippers are a bitch, especially when the pattern doesn't give you dimensions for the zipper, pocket, etc..  I have around 15 different colors of zippers that I got from zipit not too long ago, but only had ONE that would even come close to matching this fabric.  I only had one shot to make it right.  I cut the zipper 6" and put fabric ends on it.  I cut the hole about 5.5" but by the time I got the little triangles at the end of the hole tucked in, it was 6".  This made it a little difficult to get both ends of the zipper tacked and sewn.

Luckily I got it done.  It may not be the prettiest job but it's on the inside of the bag.  No one will be able to look at the inside close enough to notice my mistake.  Finally I got to sew the thing together!  I got the whole thing put together, turned right side out, and immediately slip stitched the opening at the bottom of the lining.   Unfortunately my excitement got the best of me and I slip stitched it closed before I tried to put the lining inside the outer shell.  Once it did put the lining in, the top edge of the bag wasn't laying right at all.  I could not figure out what was wrong.  I knew that the edges matched when I sewed it together.  A little bit of panic started to set in, then it dawned on me that I didn't clip the rounded edges at the top. DUH!  I had to rip out the slip stitching I had just done, turn it inside out again, clip the edges, turn it right side out and slip stitch it AGAIN!  At least it turned out right the second time! PHEW!  Here are the final pictures...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

My First Quilt

Yesterday I finished my first quilt.  I found a great tutorial on pinterest.  I made the quilt top a few months ago with no problem.  I was so proud of it after I was finished, that I was scared to ruin it.  So it stayed folded up in my spare room (soon to be sewing room!) for a few months.  My fiancee Curtis kept badgering me to finish it.  Finally I decided to just suck it up and do it!  I read as many blog posts as I could about putting the sandwich together and basting.  My lovely friend Jen loaned me her quilting safety pins (the ones that are curved) and this awesome thing called a Kwik Klip (helps close safety pins). I am so glad I used those.  Originally I was going to baste it by sewing but I'm glad I didn't.  I don't think it could get any easier than pinning.  I decided to machine quilt it since the pattern is a little more modern than "usual" quilts.  I was afraid hand quilting would take away from the modern look (and it would take forever!).  Machine quilting this thing was a total bitch!  I had to turn the whole quilt every 5 inches.  I was so happy when it was finished though!  I was going to bind it with yellow, I even made 300" of yellow binding tape and then decided that I didn't want to use it.  There are too many variations of yellow in the quilt, using one for the whole binding just wasn't going to look right.  I just wanted the back to have some color too, oh well.  I decided to go with the gray and I'm glad I did.

The binding was easier than I thought.  There are a few mistakes but it's my first so I'm not going to beat myself up over them.  All in all I am really happy with how this turned out.  I may have a hard lesson coming up though, because I was so eager to start sewing, I did not prewash my fabric.  I have my fingers crossed that it does not completely distort in the washing machine.

Please excuse the wrinkly pictures!  Also, the quilt is gray and yellow, even though it looks blue.

UPDATE: I finally washed my quilt and everything came out fine! Woo hoo!