Fabric Delivery!

I got home today and found a large box waiting for me. Yes, my fabric order from the weekend had arrived!  I needed some batting & backing pieces for all the quilts that I put together recently.  I also needed some neutral cotton solids to replace the ones that I used up!

But…nestled in between the necessary, albeit awesome, yardage was a perfect little pile of FQs called Mod by Annette Tatum.

Mod by Annette Tatum

I know, I know, I know, I shouldn’t be buying any unnecessary fabric, but I just couldn’t resist!  Could you?  I love the crazy Mod throwback prints and the colors are just so cool. Now I just need to figure out what to make with them…

By the way, Fabric.com has got to be one of THE BEST places to order fabric in quantity.  I’ve been ordering from them for a long time and their selection has only gotten better and their prices have always been great.  With free shipping on orders over $35, and Kona solids for under $6/yard, well, it’s way more economical than a trip to the fabric store.  Yay!

Skill builder BOM update

If you’d like to join in or follow along, here’s the first lesson from the Pile o’ Fabric Skill Builder BOM.

One lesson down and only 23 more to go. :-)  I really enjoyed making these two blocks.  I haven’t sandwiched and basted them yet, but I should get to that tonight.  That’s the easy part!

The Sound Wave Quilt Block

The first block is called Sound Wave. I love it.  I’m so glad I chose the Macaw color palette!  I always worry about how the colors and prints will mesh together but it really worked out just as I imagined it.

I’ve done plenty of improv piecing before, but Alyssa provided me with a new way of thinking about it so that was cool to try.  I followed her instructions for this block pretty much exactly so that I could understand her logic.  I have to admit, I don’t fully understand it, but everyone works in different ways and the block turned out perfectly so what does it matter?

The Magnum Quilt Block

The second block is called Magnum.  I’m not so in love with this one.  I like the block, but I’m not so happy with the fabrics I chose for it or the order of the fabrics.  I didn’t pay as close attention to the instructions before I started cutting and piecing this block and so my original plan got muddled.  Silly me!  In particular, I think dark red stripe throws everything off, so I may pick the block apart and replace just that strip.  I was trying to use different fabrics from the Soundwave block when I really should have just gone with my gut and used one of the fabrics that I WANTED to use. DUH.

If you’d like to see the other blocks that folks are working on but don’t really want to join in with the sewing, there’s a flickr group for that.

Work in Progress: Zakka Style Baby Quilt

Hey look, it’s my First. Ever. WIP Wednesday post!  I so rarely take pictures of items that I’m working on, usually reserving the “big reveal” for the finished product.  Over the long weekend I did a lot of sewing but didn’t fully finish anything, so I took pictures anyway.

Baby Girl Zakka Quilt

This is a baby quilt pattern from Zakka Style: 24 Projects Stitched with Ease to Give, Use & Enjoy by Rashida Coleman-Hale.  I know I’m way behind in this and everyone who wanted that book already has it and its old news, but I only just bought it for myself, so you’ll have to bear with me.

It took such a short time to whip out this quilt!  It was complete and ready to photograph before the sun went down on Sunday, and I didn’t even get started until Sunday morning.  I love, love, love the birdies on white, so I decided to build my fabrics around that one.

Baby Girl Zakka Quilt (close up)

The quilt is 45″ x 60″ and I didn’t have any real linen on hand, so I used a linen-colored solid that I had lying around.  Unfortunately, that means that my long strips came up a touch short.  Oops! I had to piece some scraps onto the ends, but I alternated them in the quilt so they wouldn’t make a solid line and break up the quilt design in an odd way.  You can hardly see it, I think!

I’m still deciding how I want to quilt this one.  I always like the idea of somehow echoing the patchwork design in the quilting, but the reality is that an all over free-motion design is so much simpler.

The quilt is larger than I expected.  60″ in reality is way more than the fantasy in my head.  I hope the baby that it is a gift for will love it for years to come!

A passion for (1920s) fashion

I’ve spent my convalescence, which I am now ready to admit was from the flu, catching up on television that I’ve neglected.  Downton Abbey was first on my list and I am happy to say that it has completely revived my passion for early 1900s fashion.  I mean, just look at it:

Promo shot for Downton Abbey

Promo shot for Downton Abbey

The lace! The beading! The draping! The fabrics!  I love it all.  I wish I could be more eloquent about it, but I just can’t.  All is what I love and all is all I can say.

I think my passion for it started with a show I used to watch when I was in highschool, living in London: The House of Eliott.  It’s about two sisters, Beatrice & Evie, who own a couture design house.  There’s an element of the upstairs/downstairs feeling of Downton Abbey, but the girls are not as well-to-do as the Crawleys.  Being business owners would put them firmly into the middle class.  At any rate, it’s been years since I watched it, so I don’t remember as much as I like. I remember one of their employees couldn’t stitch straight and it turned out she needed glasses…and that Beatrice’s beau’s name is Jack and that he was quite handsome. I’ve had it on my Amazon wish list for ages, but nobody seems to think I want it that much. :-)

The House of Eliott - title image

The House of Eliott – title image

Having nothing to do with the roaring 20s and everything to do with couture design houses, in 2005 the Sundance Channel aired a miniseries called Singé Chanel which followed Karl Lagerfeld, and to a larger degree, the women who do the real work of sewing the dresses, from start to finish through a couture collection.  I loved this show as much, if not more than The House of Eliott.  I speak not a lick of French (deux baguettes, s’il vous plaît!), but I have poured over the episodes so many times I don’t even need to read the subtitles any more.  It’s too bad the show is no longer available in the United States.

Screenshot from Signé Chanel

Screenshot from Signé Chanel

Which brings us up to present day in which I, somewhat obsessively, watch Project Runway. (I watched it before it was cool, yo.) My favorite, if you had any doubt, is Uli, who I hope will win, but we shall see (If I’m honest, I think Anthony Ryan is going to take it).  Given my passion for 1920s fashion, is it any wonder that Uli is my fav?

One of Uli's amazing designs.

One of Uli’s amazing designs.

Warning: House Under Quarantine

Ack. I wanted to make a post about how I finished my new curtains for the living room.

…about how I completed several of the baby quilts for the kiddos are are due (or already here).

…about how I made several nifty items to sell in my Etsy shop.

…about how I completed and entire new wardrobe for myself.

Instead, I’ve been sitting on the couch for most of the week staring at the tv, when I’m not sleeping. And now my husband is down for the count and I’m still not back in action fully.  I’ll be back soon, though, with lots more fun sewing activities to share. Maybe even tomorrow!

 

Nintendo DS Carry Case (a project from the summer)

Nintendo DS carry-case

Over the summer my friend sent me a tutorial for a Nintendo DS & DSi carrycase from Christine at From an Igloo and asked if I wouldn’t mind whipping one up for her son.

Being a Lego enthusiast like my own kiddo, I used yet more of that brilliant Lego fabric I picked up from Spoonflower for C’s birthday party.  The inside and the strap are solid blue cotton and I found in my button stash a nifty blue hand for decoration.

I love, love, love the perfect little zipper pocket built into the back on the case for games.  It’s perfect for the games and the construction is simple, effective, and looks really spiffy.

Nintendo DS carry-case

The only thing I didn’t love was that the inside was not seamless.  She mentions it in the tutorial so I was well aware ahead of time, but  I would still have  liked to have a seamless option.

Nintendo DS carry-case

Otherwise, I would highly recommend this tutorial!  A good afternoon of work for a nice little pouch.

 

Timey Wimey Shark Block of the Month? No, that's not right.

Thank you everyone for the votes on my color palette for the Skill Builder BOM!  As of this morning, the macaw palette has 71% of the votes, vs. 29% for the hummingbird set.  No one voted for scrapping both palettes and starting over so I’m thankful for that.

macaw hues color palette

Last night, I popped into G Street Fabrics and picked up my six yards of (dark) natural background fabric.  I don’t have 6 yards of ANY fabric just lying around, save the stuff that I’m planning to make curtains out of.  I also picked up some small batik cuts to match the color palette exactly.  Since the full project will take a year and I’m sure my fabric choices will evolve over that time, I wanted to have some almost solids to tie me down.

I worked on making the patterns for the first three Dr. Who quilts yesterday too.  I just want you all to promise me that when I start whining and complaining about all the tiny little pieces that you won’t point out that it was all my fault in the first place. Matt Smith is ready for me to actually start working in fabric!

mattsmith

The rest are soon to follow.

A couple of other items from the week: I had a lovely conversation with Abby Glassenberg Designs about her blog and what sort of posts I find most interesting, etc. and in exchange, I got my hands on her Shark! pattern, which I plan on whipping up this weekend!  I picked up some white felt for Sharkie’s teeth, but I’m hopeful that the pattern will work well in cotton because I chose not to buy any fleece…

I got my special orders of peacock feathers so I can start making stuff for my sister-in-law’s wedding.

And  now that the holidays are over, I need to start designing my quilt for this round of the doll quilt swap.  I would say that my plate is QUITE full.