Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Last Cathedral Window update and other sewing stuff

I shared with you how I've started my last Cathedral Window quilt. I have all the fabric and years to do the hand sewing. I thought I'd share a couple of updated photos.

Pretty traditional design. I'm sewing what I can when I can and am putting no pressure on myself to get it done quickly.

Denim tote bags have been on my mind lately too, and there are a few ready to sell. I'm using up some old Grandmother Flower Garden flowers I made some time ago and have been saving.
As a fun addition, I used recycled blue jean pockets inside each bag, attached to the lining.  







Another bag design included using a wedge ruler to play with design and shades of blue. This one is much more striking in person. Again, there is a cotton lining and a recycled blue jean pocket inside.  


And if I didn't have enough recycled blue jean fabric sewing projects, I made a set of placemats. Patchwork denim with Grandmothers Flower Garden patch on one side and strip quilting with a cotton that I also used for binding on the other side.







And then there's painting. Not sure where I got this idea, but I did and here it is. Acrylic paint on a wooden plaque.


Keep sewing and creating. Let me know if I can help you learn something along the way!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Mike's Cathedral Window Quilt is done

I've been working on a lap quilt for my brother for a couple years. I finished it last week (and now I work on my last one as I mentioned in my previous post) and he came by today to retrieve it. He and his wife are both artists, so I played with ROYGBIV a lot for patterning. It's not your grandmother's Cathedral Window!
I used the primary colors for the frames and black for the windows. I've not seen it totally unfurled until this picture was taken. Me likie!


The back shows the ROYGBIV patterning a little better.

I think I might love this quilt. I was very proud to hand it over to him. I can't believe I finished it!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Last Cathedral Window Quilt on My Planet

I've made Cathedral Window quilts, both small and not so small, before. I wrote instructions on how to make them. (You can see some of my earlier Cathedral Window quilts and see instructions here.) If you happen to use my instructions, I make them this exact way. The one I'm making now is starting with a 9" square of a kind of dark blue ivy fabric:

The blue is darker than shown in the photo. I will be making 670ish of these to make a queen cover. I have 555 to go. There are always more! My husband honestly described this type of quilt as "the most labor intensive" of anything I've done. I'm not sure that's true, but I'll take it!

Now why do I say this is the last one? I will be hand sewing for about 3 years or so on this, I'm sure. I'm 62 now and my hands are not what they used to be, so it'll be slow going. I'm sure I'll make other patterns of patchwork and quilting (I have too much denim not to), but I'm fairly certain this is the last of this particular breed. And I'm okay with that!

My in-progress sewing includes:

  • Jack-o-Lantern placemats. 
  • Two tunic tops for me.
  • A long skirt or two for the summer.
  • And then some..... 

I'll update the quilt over the days/weeks/months as it progresses.

What are you sewing?

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

One of the most beautiful updates ever - Anna, Brian, and Catherine's quilt

Any of you who follow me know that I love to make quits for babies. My daughter's bestie, Anna, and her husband, Brian announced they were expecting and I got to work hunting for fabric and coming up with a design. He's into trains and she's into him, so by default, she's into trains too, right? ROYGBV makes for a nice color scheme. I found the train fabric first (had to order more!) and then took that to the fabric store to match up the nontraditional red/orange/yellow/green/blue/violet colors. Babies like bright and contrast, so I tried to keep that in mind.

To refresh your memory, here are the posts from conception to completion:
Yesterday, February 20, Anna posted the most beautiful pictures on Facebook featuring Catherine with her quilt and pillow. Cuteness overload! This kind of stuff makes it all worthwhile. And now, here's she is:

I told Anna I had tried to make the pillow as delicious as possible. 

Must have worked!

Look at this beautiful baby. Who cares about the quilt!?!

Thank you Anna, Brian, and Catherine for sharing the pictures with me and for allowing me to share them here. How can you not smile when you see this? 




Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Hashtag Sewing

Visited Twitter today and found some fun #Sewing items. A lot of the posts are ads, but reading through, there's so much more. Here's a sampling from my travels today:

Look at this cute coat the @sablefedora made for his or her dog!

@JanomeAustralia says it best. 

@QuiltingProfits brings great quotes to the party often.

I'm a sucker for a tote bag and this one by @phildanmor caught my eye. Giddy up!

@bestsewingreview also posted several wonderful sayings. I had to follow this one :)

Feel free to follow me, though I don't post much sewing stuff, believe it or not.

ScrapStitcher - @Donna_Apperson

That's it for Twitter today! 


Open weave vest tutorial, Part 2 - Complete

 Here we go. Part 1 can be found here. But now it's time to cut and mark your pattern and start sewing.
I used Pellon's washaway stabilizer. You can use whatever brand you like as long as it will wash away when you're done. Be careful not to get it wet as you use it as it will disappear right before your very eyes. 

For the tutorial, I am using a child's vest pattern, but the concept is the same no matter what size you use. Even if the vest says it's lined, you will not line it; you won't need to. If it is a lined pattern, take a little extra off the front center seam allowance as you will not be using it. 

Place the front of your vest pattern on 2 layers of the stabilizer and cut it out. 

Mark the right side of each piece (the marking will wash away and will not show). Make a line with a ruler on the front of the vest (right side). I chose a diagonal pattern. You can use horizontal and vertical, though. That choice is yours.

Decide how far apart you want your woven strips. For the child's size vest, I used a 1" wide ruler and followed the first line I drew, marking lines 1" apart. 
Mark the stabilizer from top to bottom with your pencil and ruler. 

Make a line in the other direction (again, I chose diagonal). 

And make your 1" line markings all the way from top to bottom.

Repeat this process with the other front pattern piece, trying to match the diagonal lines where they meet in the center. 

Now, let's weave!

Using the roll of strips that you made earlier, put the strip on or beside one of the lines you drew. Whether you choose to put it on the line or beside it, do it the same for every one. I chose beside the line for this one. Stitch from edge to edge onto the stabilizer. Turn and stitch back to the first edge. Pretend the stabilizer is not going to wash away and make sure your strip of fabric is firmly attached. 

Place a second strip on or beside your next drawn line and repeat the process. 

Stitch close to the edge of your strip. This particular fabric didn't show the stitching lines much, so I had the freedom of being a little less than perfect. 

Continue until you have all strips going in one direction stitched to the stabilizer. 

This is not a true weave per se, but it will look like it when done since the strips are of the same fabric. If they were different fabrics, I would have done over and under weaving. In this case, place a strip on or beside a line that is going the other way and stitch your fabric from end to end, turn and stitch again. This time, the two directions of stitching are more important because you're anchoring the strips to one another and not just the stabilizer.

When all of the strips are sewn (you can see my sewing lines here), turn the pattern over and stitch a scant 1/8" from the edge of the pattern all the way around using the stabilizer as your guide. 

Here's the right side view. 

And here's the wrong side view which also shows the edge stitching that holds the strips stable until the binding is done.

Trim excess fabric edges and set aside. Repeat with the other front pattern piece. 

Looking like a vest front now, isn't it? 
Using your favorite method, make bias binding out of the same fabric you are using for the vest back.

Cut out the vest back. Even if the pattern is lined, you will not line it, so you need to cut a little extra at the armhole and neck seam allowances.

Construct your vest by sewing the sides right side together and the shoulders right side together. Finish the seams however you like. I find that using your serger is a best practice, but you can also use pinking shears and press the seam open or press the seam to one side and stitch it down. 

Apply bias binding by machine to the armholes by encasing the seam allowance in the bias tape you made. I generally start at the side seam and go around the armhole, careful not to stretch the binding too much. The rest of the bias binding will go around the remainder of the vest. I usually start at the neckline and take it all the way around, finishing at the neckline. You can machine stitch both sides or machine stitch one side and hand stitch the other (my preferred method for hiding of stitches).

When you are done, wash the vest. Trust me. You'll want to do this part to get rid of the stabilizer. Another way to do it is to spritz the wrong side of the front of the vest with water. 

And you're done!




The addition of washaway stabilizer to my sewing room has opened up new design possibilities. You can use a real weave with over and under on strips or simply place them one upon the other like this vest. Once you encase the strips in bias binding, they're as stable as they can be and your vest is machine washable and able to be put in the dryer (if the fabric allows).

Have fun and be sure to share pictures if you make one for yourself or a child. Or even for your dog. Just sew. That's the big thing.

Let me know if you have questions!