My Precious QAL for June

This is the second month of My Precious QAL hosted by KelbySews.  I am new to QALs but have really enjoyed this one.  It’s great seeing all the fantastic fabrics and patterns everyone is using.  Some incredible inspiration out there.  I started by using my Dick and Jane fabrics in a quilt top blogged here.  I’ve put it down temporarily and will get back to it in July.  I plan to finish the back and hopefully quilt it before July’s Precious QAL link date.  This month I actually was torn between using Kate Spain’s Terrain, Bonnie and Camille’s Bliss, and Denyse Schmidt’s Flea Market Fancy.  The Terrain is cut, I actually started on the Flea Market Fancy, but I’m showing the Bliss.  Problem with decisions much?

 

Bonnie and Camille have some really precious fabric lines.  When Bliss came out I had to have some even though I had no idea what I would make at the time.  My daughter was expecting my first grandchild, but it was a boy, so no Bliss for him.  Then my nephew gave me a new great-niece and I had the perfect excuse.

I decided to use half square triangles and I tell you, if I had it to do over, I would give Thangles a try.  These babies are not as simple as they appear.  They love to stretch out of shape on me.  And finding a placement that I loved was a little time consuming, but this is what I came up with.

Now I have to decide on a border and binding and I’m having a difficult time  with that.  I’ve changed my mind at least three times and now have three more fabrics I’m trying to choose from.

What do you think?  I could not get the colors to show well in my photos.  This is close as I could get.  The colors on all three fabrics are really good matches.  The blue is not the electric blue it appears here and has a tiny pale blue (almost white) pattern.  I originally liked the blue because there is so little of it in the main quilt.  The red dot is dead on and matches the red dot in the Bliss fabrics.  I’m tempted to use it as an accent even if I go with one of the other colors.  And the pink blends really well with the fabrics.  The fabric at the top of the photo is a companion fabric that I will use for a backing.

If you have a suggestion, I would love to hear it.

P.S.  I had intended to submit a bag done in Flea Market Fancy, but found that all Charms are not created equal.   Obviously Free Spirit Fabric‘s charm squares are right under 6″, while Moda’s charm squares (which I was using to create the lining) is 5″ square.  So now I have to rethink my lining.

Learn something new every day!  😀

Full Bust Adjustment

Red pin marks dart point.

I have a difficult time sewing tops and dresses due to full bust adjustments.  I never seem to get them right.  I will be attempting to draft a pattern from this blouse that is a decent fit.  It needs more ease in the bust and I feel the slanted darts coming from the princess seams are set a little high for me.  I worry that lowering them will cause them to APPEAR too low.  I considered removing the darts, but feel they help with the fit at the waist.

It’s difficult to see, but I’ve marked the dart point with a red pin here.  The measuring tape is starting at the yoke and not at the top of the shoulder…easier for me to adjust front piece that way.

If you have any suggestions or tips, I would love for you to share.

“Happy” Quilt

Just for the record, I’m blogging backwards.  This quilt was begun in January 2012 and finished in April.

I recently created a quilt for Victoria, a friend of my daughter.  They both are in art school and Victoria sent me a stool she had painted which I use in my sewing room.  I’m showing you two different angles to show off some of the detail and variety she put into this piece.  I decided to create a throw for her as a thank you.  And let me say, it got a little out of hand.  It finished closer to a twin size than a throw.

I discovered Jennifer Haynen’s Happy fabrics and they really reminded me of Victoria’s style.  I started creating half square triangles with the idea of piecing randomly.  It really gave me fits when it came time to laying out the pattern and I never really liked it until after I quilted it.  And let me tell you, I hate working on something that I don’t love.

This was the third quilt that I free motion quilted and the first quilt larger than a baby quilt. Below are some shots of detail within many of the blocks.  I stalked blogs like Angela Walters’ ‘Quiltingismytherapy’ and borrowed styles from Leah Day’s quilting design books and basically just played.  Quilting this was the most fun in the whole process.

 

The quilting went much better than I expected.  I have seen improvement with each quilt, so even though I can spot problems, I am really happy to have made such progress.  I’m quilting this on a Bernina 820 and I believe I used Isacord thread.  I really should have posted this sooner or made better notes.

This is the finished quilt.  You can see many of the broken patterns in this quilt and may understand why I wasn’t very happy with the way this was piecing.  The truth on this quilt is I had it laid out to look looked like broken circles…a lot like the top of the quilt.  I was working on a cutting mat on the floor and killing my back. I had the bright idea to pick up the mat and move the quilt.  You know what happened…the pieces went everywhere.  I never got it back like it was.  So this is what I had and it wasn’t until I got a black binding on this quilt that I really liked it.  Unfortunately, you can’t really see it in these photos.  It really helped the black pieces on the bottom to fall into place.

On a side note, I was really excited with some of the resulting practice sandwiches.  Because I had so many fabrics and I was playing with thread colors and designs, I had pieced scrap fabrics of many of my main fabrics to play with.  Basically I practiced designs I planed to use on certain fabrics to make sure they didn’t clash with fabric pattern.  And of course, I played with thread choices.  Below are two of the main sandwiches I ended up with.

The bottom right two photos show the front and back of the pieces I was working on.  I realized as I was working on these they would make a great iPad zip case.  Once I finished the quilt, these pieces were fully quilted.  I added fabric flowers onto the front, reinforced a piece of the yellow fabric with Dritz InnerFuse for a divider, inserted a zipper and sewed it all together.  I am really pleased with it.  It is always fun to make something useful out of those practice pieces.

What do you create from those practice sandwiches?