Saturday, July 30, 2016

Flock of Geese pillow

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I've made another pillow for my living room.  Keeping with the triangle and color scheme I went with right angle isosceles triangles.  Also known as the Flying Geese block.  This is a different block than the previous triangles blocks I've made in that they are rectangular units rather than square.  

I paper-pieced the blocks using a free pattern I found online.  Unfortunately, I can't remember where I found it.  Each flying goose unit is 4 inches long and 2 inches tall.

The pillow is rectangular rather than square.  I originally added sashing to the top and bottom of the quilt top to make it square.  I ended up taking it off because I like the triangles reaching all four edges of the quilt.  The idea of a non-square pillow originally bothered me, but I've gotten over it.

I quilted triangles onto the front.  

I didn't quilt the back and just used one layer of fabric so I could install a zipper.  I like the zipper much better than the envelope back.

The only thing I'm undecided about is the pink binding.  I picked that color to tie it into my Ducks in a Row quilt (also in the living room).  The pink, yellow, and blue are all the same as the quilt.

I dropped this pillow off at the fairgrounds to be judged for the Iowa State Fair.  Along with the pillow I also submitted my purple quilt,

I also submitted this outfit.  The shirt, bow-tie, and suspenders are from Mini Man's ring-bearer outfit.  The shorts are from last summer.  The original pants in the ring-bearer outfit were stained.  

Lastly, was this skeleton shirt I made for Little Man ages ago.  It's never been worn (Little Man HATES it) so its in pristine condition.

Wish me luck!


Friday, July 22, 2016

Purple Mini-Quilt

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After much consideration I decided to turn my purple quilt top into a mini-quilt rather than a pillow.  I love how it turned out.  It is so bright and spring-y.

I used the free paper-pieced economy block from Wombat Quilts for the block pattern.  Each quilt square is 3" square.  I really like this pattern.  It is a fun way to show off novelty fabrics in the windows.

I backed it with a scrap of feed-sack (with a purple pattern).  The fabric was thin and loosely woven so I interfaced the feed-sack with muslin before making my quilt sandwich.

I quilted 1" squares on a diagonal and bound with purple Cotton & Steel Dottie.  I attached the binding with a zig-zag-like decorative stitch.  I'm not super in-love with it.  The stitch length is inconsistent.  I might rip it out and re-do.  

Now, where to hang it?


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Santa Fe Tank

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Summer has arrived!  And with it the heat and humidity.  Ick.  To stay cool I made myself a couple tanks (or muscle shirts as my boys call them) using the Santa Fe Top by Hey June.  


The pattern is not recommended for Jersey knit.  So, obviously, that's what I used.  The shirt is meant to be more flowy and calls for fabrics with a lot of drape such as silk.  To compensate I took in the sides so it wasn't so flowy.  Also so it wouldn't look like a maternity shirt on me.

I made one in gray and one in white using scraps from my boy's birthday shirts as the contrast.  I like the contrast; it makes the simple shirt interesting.

The pattern calls for binding on the neck and sleeve openings.  I sewed the binding on the wrong side of the sleeve of the gray shirt so the binding is on the inside rather than outside.  I kind of like this better.


Are you staying cool?


Monday, June 20, 2016


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Earlier this last spring I wanted to make myself a casual shirt or two that were a little fancier than my standard t-shirts.  I started with the Gallery Tunic by Oliver+S.  The pattern can be sewn as either a tunic or a dress with or without the collar.  It is a pretty basic tunic with an A-line shape.

This is my muslin.  I didn't do much to it other than shorten the sleeves.  I did add darts.  Directions are provided in the pattern.

There are no buttons on the placket and there is no yoke on the back.  Instead there is a pleat at the top.  I don't love that.

There is also a weird pleat at the front under the placket.  I don't love that either.  It makes it feel like a maternity top to me.

I'm also not a fan of how the sleeve cuffs were attached.  Instead of having a pleat in the sleeve there is just a gap between the ends of the cuff.  It seems unfinished to me.

The Gallery tunic overall is fine.  It doesn't have much shape, which I guess is the style.  It also doesn't have very many details to make it a little more interesting.  I found the Mila Shirt pattern by Itch to Stitch and it was everything I was looking for.  It has a loose-easy feel to it, but has a little shape to it.  It also has more details like a yoke, pocket, button placket, and button tabs on the sleeves.  I like these extra details.

The first one I made was in cotton poplin.  This is my muslin.  I didn't have to change anything except shorten the shoulder seam of the yoke.

I like the yoke on the back.  I cut it on the bias to create the diagonal stripes of the plaid. There is also a box pleat on the back under the yoke.  I sewed it on backward in the chambray shirt.  It still works.   

After making the plaid shirt I made one from cotton chambray.  

The sleeves could be a little shorter.  Other than that, the fit is fine.  I used my machine's triple-stitch on the top stitching to achieve a thicker-looking tread.  I like how it turned out.

I also like how the cuffs came together.  

Finally, I made a shirt from double gauze.  This is my favorite so far.  It is so soft and comfortable.  It was great in the middle of spring when it was still a little chilly.  If it weren't so g.d. hot already I'd be wearing it still.

I also have some flannel that I had planned to use for a fourth shirt.  Then it warmed up and it seemed pointless to me.  I might make another one in the fall.  We'll see.


Friday, April 29, 2016


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At the beginning of the month I was in a purple mood.  I'm not sure what caused it.  I don't use purple very much for myself but I suddenly had an intense desire to create something using purple.  I think it was my desire to hurry along spring during one of our early-spring cold spells.

While the kids were staying with Grandma and Grandpa I created this little number.  I used the free paper-pieced economy block pattern from Wombat quilts.  The individual blocks are 3" square.  I love the mini blocks and paper-piecing makes them so much easier.  

Soon after my purple-frenzied creation I started noticing purple all over the neighborhood.  Welcome spring!  Even the weeds are pretty this time of year.  The colors of spring are definitely my favorite part of the season.

The kids and I went on a photo safari to take pretty flower pictures.  Enjoy.  

Some sort of Crab Apple

Blue Bell

Creeping Charlie (weed)





Lambs Ear


Unknown bush

Some sort of Crab Apple

Burning Bush

Creeping Phlox

Creeping Phlox

Creeping Phlox


Unknown tree debris

Violets (weed)

Creeping Charlie (weed)

Creeping Charlie (weed)

Unknown Flowering Tree

Unknown Flowering Tree

'Helicopters' from Maple Tree

Now what do I do with this?  My original plan was to make it into a pillow.  Now I'm sort of leaning towards mini quilt.  I saw (somewhere) someone had a whole wall of mini quilts in their sewing room.  I like that idea.  So.... mini-quilt or pillow?

This quilt top came together pretty quickly.  I used a technique I learned from Wombat Quilts and kept the paper on the back of the squares.  It made it so much easier to match seams.

Has spring arrived in you neighborhood?