Saturday, June 23, 2012

Wonky String Star Quilt


wonky again

After seeing Sew Katie Did's Quilt last week and her reference to Denyse Schmidt's string star quilt, I couldn't get it out of my head.  I have a tendency to collect ideas and become paralyzed by their execution, so this time, I just jumped in and started collecting reds, yellows, and oranges, with a little bit of purple.

I cut strips thinking my blocks would be smaller.... maybe 6 inches, but they turned into 10 inch blocks, so that the center block was about 19 inches square.  I used left over pieces from the center blocks for the star points.  (Instead of paper or muslin piecing, I made long slabs with strips that were 14 inches tall, and then cut them into squares on the diagonal - using the center square on my cutting mat.)

I had a time piecing the star points, until I finally realized I could trace the shape with a water soluble marker.  I traced the line having the triangle hanging off about 1/4 inch, then I flipped it over and sewed a seam using the line for placement.

marking triangles

This took much longer than I planned... there was a lot of seam ripping.  The neutral I used for outside the star was really thin and hard to work with.  I won't use something like it again.


wonky star6


wonky back

This quilt had a mixture of washed and unwashed fabrics, but after a wash and dry came out perfectly fine.  I threw in a Shout color catcher because none of the reds had been washed (except the binding) and that worked great!  There was absolutely no color running.

This will go to a lovely young couple in our church expecting their first baby in the next few weeks!

And just to remind myself and anyone else who may also have serious trouble EVERY TIME they attach the binding.  (I usually do this part several times.... ) Here's what it should look like:

binding

Stats:  finished size 48 X 48
Blocks:  9 patch-ish, middle block 19" square, middle blocks 19 X 15, corner blocks, 15 X 15

Linking up with {Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

241 Tote

I've made this tote before for my sister.  It's the fabulous Noodlehead's 241 Tote.  This year, she requested one for a dear friend, who loved the one I made for her.  I am always so happy to make something for someone else... I love thinking about who they are as I make fabric selections.  Actually, that part takes more time and mental energy than cutting and sewing!!

This pattern is so fantastic and easy to whip up!  I love the finished look and the size.  The outside pockets are great for little things.  The only change I made was to add interfacing to the strap sew five lines of stitching along it.

The yellow fabric is a "Sew Classic Linen" from Jo-Ann's - it's a great mustardy yellow that is an exact match to the yellow in Cloud 9's Cut out and Keep.


Joy's Bag


Joy's Bag


Joy's Bag


Friday, June 8, 2012

Why I Love Virginia ~ Levering Orchard

Yesterday we loaded up some friends and headed out to Ararat, Virginia to the Levering Orchard.  (I just realized that long ago I read the owner's book about their return to the farm in Simple Living:  One Couple's Search for A Better Life - the couple meet at Harvard, move to Los Angeles, and come 'home' to the farm to live more simply and get away from consumer driven culture.  A GREAT read!)

Their sweet cherries were ripe and the picking easy.  Ladders are posted around the trees and the kids had great fun climbing and picking (and eating).  Some were better pickers than others.  We had a great day, although interstate traffic backups had us driving backroads.  The weather was beautiful, cool and bright.  The scenery was amazing... confirming my love of the countryside of Virginia ~ rolling hills, blue ridge in the background, puffy clouds, and haybales.

Levering Orchard


Levering Orchard

Levering Orchard

Levering Orchard

Levering Orchard

Levering Orchard

Together we picked over 60 pounds!!  Cherries will continue to ripen over the next weeks and it looks like early summer apples will too, and peaches starting in mid-July!  Might be worth another trip!

So far, I've pitted about 15 cups worth and put them into ziplock bags (5 cups or so in each ~ perfect for a pie or cobbler).  I expect we'll eat a ton camping this weekend with our college friends! Have a great weekend folks!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Periodic New Series ~ Here's Why I Love Virginia! ~ New River Trail

See?  I am ALL over the place!  Throughout the summer I thought it would be fun to share my love of this great state of Virginia.  There are so many things to do around us and my kids are old enough to do so many of them!

Today the kids and I loaded up our bikes and headed to the New River Trail State Park.  Just down the interstate, we biked a section from Draper to Hiwassii.  To me, this trail and the surrounding views are quintessential Virginia.  Green countryside, a few ramshackle old homes and barns, the green river, ferns and daisies growing along the path.  The path itself is an old railroad bed - there is a bit of a grade, but for the most part it is flat.


this is why i love virginia

this is why i love virginia

this is why i love virginia

this is why i love virginia


Along the way we rustled up this Barred Owl.  The kids and I got an amazing view as it kept hopping from branch to branch in the trees right in front of us, before flying away.


this is why i love virginia


The trail itself is over 55 miles, so there are many sections that you can ride for just a day trip.  My kids would love to do the whole thing.... not sure about that just yet.

Apparently the Draper Mercantile (right next to the parking lot in Draper) is a great place to go for ice cream, etc.  But they are closed on Mondays in season.  This trip:  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!  We will be doing it again!


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Upcycled Skirt and Improv Sewing!

Some time ago on Sew Mama Sew, I came across Nicole Blum and her work with knits.  Upon further reading, I discovered she and her friend Debra Immergut were writing a book about sewing with knits!  (Sewing with knits has been something I've really wanted to learn more about.) I started following their blog, Improv Diary because I could see that their projects were simple and gorgeous!  When their new book came out, I bought it immediately and I've been wanting to get a project done ever since.  (My best friend Alice borrowed it for one night and made two skirts in that amount of time!!  They are just darling!)

Improv Sewing!


Improv Sewing!

The skirt pictured is cotton with side panels of knit.  GUH!!!  So cute, right??? I started thinking about trying the opposite - a knit skirt with woven side panels.  So, I got some t-shirts at the thrift store and I picked out some cotton for contrast.  Voila!


Improv Sewing!

Improv Sewing!


Improv Sewing!

I used FOE (fold over elastic) for the waistband in a different way.  I love FOE, but don't like the way 5/8 inch, folded in half sits around my waist.  I'd like to see 2 inch FOE so that when you folded over your fabric it was nice and wide. Here I used a piece on the inside and another on the outside, zigzagging them onto the edge of the fabric.  (I know her purple shirt doesn't really match... but she already had it on.)

How quick and easy and cute!!!  If I was a few pounds lighter it might fit me too, it's very forgiving!!  I'll be doing more of these!  (Like maybe today!)

(looks like there are other etsy sellers who sell 1inch FOE.)

My favorite FOE how to video:  
If you know the chicken, you know this is a funny little video!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Dumplings!

Day 4 of summer vacation for our family and it was a dreary kind of day.... threatening rain and high humidity with cooler temperatures....  I started the day with a TON of mending for the kids - making pants into shorts and repairing holes in shorts...

Finally, I had some time to sew and I had just one of my kids.  So Emma and I sat down to make a dumpling using Michelle's free tutorial.  I am not the most patient of teachers but Emma persevered with me and my sighs and ended up with a great little pouch.  Not to be outdone I made my own.  It really is quick and easy.  Notes to self:  iron out the zipper's fold from the packaging and slow down when sewing ....  Although I had Emma do some of the basting Michelle recommends, I didn't do it myself and it turned out fine.  Also, I didn't use binding to finish the edges inside the bag.  This is a PERFECT bag for lipsticks/chapsticks in my purse.  I love it and can see making many more!  Patchwork, maybe???


Dumpling bag

Dumpling bag

Dumpling bag

Also, folks, it's voting time in the Trimmings Competition.  Here is the link for repinning your favorite!  There are so many interesting entries, it's worth taking a look.  One of the winners will be picked by a panel of judges, the other will be based on the number of repins!