Friday, May 27, 2016

Sewing Updates

Hi!  As an intro to this post on my sewing goings on, I thought I'd throw in this one of me a few days ago.  I was having a good hair day.  I thought it would also make it a bit more personal, as I know some of my new quilting friends are reading my sewing blog for the first time.  :)
 I feel like I have a half dozen projects on the go right now.  But really, I only have four.  This is one of them.  I signed up for the McCall's Shirtdress Sew-a-long because this particular pattern has been on my wish list for quite a while, and I thought it would be fun to follow along.  As of right now, I'm lagging behind a bit, because I got distracted by something new and shiny.  LOL.  But I have my paper pattern pieces cut out, and that's the first step.  Soon, I will do a muslin and check for fit.
 The fun thing about this is, that with the shirtdress sewalong, and my new quilt group that I've joined (more on that shortly), I am now part of two private Facebook groups.  I gotta say, it has made Facebook fun again!  The top of my newsfeed is now full of fun sewing stuff, and I've been commenting and posting on both sites.
 Which brings me to the bright and shiny distraction from my shirtdress.  I have been following Love Shack Quilts for a few weeks now, since I was introduced to it by one of my new quilting friends I made at the quilting retreat in February.  She was telling me about these mystery quilt projects that she got through this private Facebook group, and you didn't know what your quilt would look like at the end, and you learned new and exciting things about quilting, like random colours and values and neat quilting tricks.  
 So, I caved in and joined.  The private group is Prairie Quilt Militia, and one of the projects that caught my attention on their roster was the Ugly Duckling quilt.  The idea is to dig out all the weird, ugly, mismatched, and otherwise 'what do I do with this?' fabrics and put them all together to make something unique and wonderful.  I knew I had a crapload of weird things in my stash, but as I started pulling out fabrics, I was pleasantly surprised at how much funky bright stuff I had, and it soon became apparent that my Ugly Duckling quilt would be really fun and bright and funky.  These 3 photos show all the fabrics I picked out.
 I bought this orange camouflage a year or two ago, with intentions of using it for the back of a quilt.  It absolutely suits this quilt.  I am a sucker for camo, and this is one of many different camo fabrics that I've hoarded collected over the years.  It's not quite big enough to cover the whole back of the quilt (which will be 96"x96" when finished), but I will creatively piece it with something equally funky until it's big enough.
 This was my original inspiration for the entire lineup of Ugly Duckling fabrics that I chose.  I bought 2 metres of this a long time ago, and I think I intended to make a shirt out of it, but I never really felt like that was the right choice.  So, Ugly Duckling, here I come!  The instructions say you need about 2 metres of fabric for the border and the binding, and I have no idea what that will look like, but I hope that this works.
 So, I eagerly started cutting pieces for Step 1.
 I did, however, decide to buy fabric for my background fabric, in a dark colour, to make all these brights just pop.  So, I cut out all the pieces I could, and waited for my chance to go fabric shopping.
Squirell!  I mean, another distraction!  My first attempt to find said fabric was at Fabricland, and I went into the store knowing full well that I probably wouldn't find what I was looking for, especially since I would need 7 metres.  So, instead, I got a pattern on sale that was on my wish list, and I got some turquoise plaid flannel for a new pair of jammy pants for yours truly.  :)
 The next day, I finally got my chance.  I went to Quiltessential in St. Albert, and looked for my background fabric.  I originally had the idea of a black background, to offset the bright colours.  And I was later inspired to find a black on black, because I liked the idea of texture.  I kinda had the image in my head of what I wanted.  And I found it, but it wasn't black.  This fabric is steel blue.  It has an amazing texture.  
 This is what it looks like beside my brights.  It's quite dark.  I really love it.  And the more I look at it, the more I see that it has a denim vibe to it, which is totally appropriate because denim + bright colours = totally me.  It's even better than black, and isn't that the way things are supposed to work out?  Better in the end?
 While I was there, I found a seam gauge, because in the instructions, Sharon stresses the importance of a perfect scant 1/4" seam, so that all the pieces fit properly together, especially the log cabin blocks.
 When I got my fabric home, I diligently pre washed it in hot water, threw it in the dryer, and then pressed it all and rolled in onto a bolt.  In the meantime, while I patiently waited, I made a couple of pinwheel blocks to test out my skill with triangles.  This quilt is my first time working with triangles.  My first attempt was made with thin broadcloth, and I was really happy with how sharp my points turned out, but I stretched my squares out of shape, and they didn't lay flat.
I made my second block out of higher quality quilting cottons, and was more careful.  I paid close attention to which edge of the triangle was bias, and I finger pressed the seam flat, and then carefully pressed.  It turned out much better.  And, I am so inspired by that sewing fabric (which I have a few metres of) that I might just make myself a pinwheel quilt with the sewing fabric as the white, and use a bunch of bright colours.  But, that's for another day.  Inspiration never quits, does it?
 Anyways, the conclusion of my story is that I finally got my background pieces cut out, and assembled the Step 1 blocks.  I finished them this afternoon.  Aren't they cute?
 I sewed them together entirely randomly, and I love the unexpected combinations.
 I am so thrilled with how this looks so far, and I can't wait to jump into Step 2!


  1. Your ugly ducking is looking wonderful. I don't have a big enough stash to do ugly ducking but lap dance is next on my list once I finish my current projects. Prairie Quilt Militia is a great group.

  2. Hi Kristin - it's great to see you posting again. Excellent hair BTW ; ) I'm the Foods/Fashions teacher that lives in St. Albert but works in Edmonton? I'm at a different school and only teaching Foods studies now - but still love to sew. Although at this time of year, I'm just hanging on until the end of the school year. Take care - love the quilt and I love that seam gauge - I may stop and pick one up!

  3. Hi, Jodie! Of course I remember you! Thanks for saying hi! Good luck with the end of the school year, and I hope you get a chance to sew this summer. :)

  4. Beautiful photos and outfits! Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. :)