Friday, August 26, 2016

Kay's Irish Chain Quilt

Last week we took Martha Stewart on her first road trip. We didn't go far, just a few hours drive north to  Ventura, California, where we visited with old friends. I have been friends with Steve since we were three and 9 years old. The sign I made for his getaway car for his 1969 wedding to Cheryl still hangs in his garage. It was so nice to talk with old friends and also breathe in some cooler, beach air. I wish I would have remembered to take a photo of the 4 of us. 

Martha enjoyed running on the beach and romping in the water.

Dogs are welcome on all the Ventura beaches as long as they are on leash.

She wanted to try her skills at lifeguarding. 

Martha was so good at the dog friendly restaurant. She just sat under the table and took a nap while we ate a traditional dinner of oysters and fish and chips.

I think her favorite thing was looking out the window of our hotel room and watching the people go by.

We stayed at the beach until sunset in hopes that I would get some good photos of my recent quilt finish.

I am constantly searching for new places to take quilt photos but I often forget the beach is always windy in the evenings. This was the result of our first attempt to take good photos. Not only was it too windy, but we had already lost our light.

The next day we took more photos in the harbor. Still windy but beautifully lit.

My favorite thing about this quilt is the dottie background and striped binding.

I made this quilt for my friend's 60th birthday, coming up next month. It was super easy. The hardest part was laying out the entire quilt before you can sew even one block. I had everything cut and ready to go when I went to retreat in April. All I had to do was lay it out and sew each 9 patch together. The solid blocks were all ready to go. There are several patterns for this quilt. Single Irish Chain on Red Pepper Quilts blog, was my inspiration. I made 9" finished blocks. It's also known as a Garden Lattice pattern.
I used a lot of AMH prints along with some Lizzy House, Cotton and Steel and other prints from stash. For the background fabric I chose Alison Glass's Seed Bead in black and white from her Abacus line.  I love that yellow print IKEA duvet cover I used for the backing. It was a perfect compliment to all the prints. Using the duvet cover is a real $$ saver. You basically get two one piece backings for 20 dollars. I think the finishing touch is the striped binding by Timeless Treasures.
I quilted this one on my Bernina 820 successfully using the BSR foot.  I just did a loopy meander free motion quilting pattern. Very improv :-)) This was only my second time using the BSR. After having my machine for 5 years I am finally getting the hang of this attachment. I really think it is the thread. My Bernina hates Aurifil thread for quilting. I know that is probably not the correct thing to say online, but once I changed thread a lot of my problems went out the window. Aurifil makes a good product but it is not for every machine and every quilter.

Quilt Stats:

Name: Kay's Irish Chain Quilt
Fabrics used: all prints  from stash. Background print Abacus Seed Bead in black and white.
Backing: IKEA duvet cover. 
Batting: Warm and White
Thread: Pieced with Aurifil 50 wt. white
Quilted by me using Perma Core 40 wt. in yellow on my Bernina 820
Binding: Timeless Treasures black and white stripe. 
Size: 70"x86"

This quilt is another finish on my third quarter Finish-a-long list.

2016 FAL

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Saturday Matinee Socks

I have my second finish on my Third Quarter Finish-a-Long list. I am pretty excited seeing how I only managed to finish two projects last quarter...I am well ahead of my game.
These socks were really quick to make because the leg is short. Although there is pattern to follow (instead of my normal stockinette stitch socks), it was pretty managable and easy to memorize, or at least work with once you understood what you were creating. The second sock went way faster than the first.

They have a bit of an open, lacy pattern up the front of the sock. Created top down on a circular needle, I managed to finish them without too many swear words.

The heels are a little different from the Fish Lips Kiss heel that I normally make, but fit really well.

The toe is a little open and lacy.

My only regret is that I did not make them one more repeat bigger. I could have used that extra 1/2-3/4 of an inch, but they'll be fine for wearing with my new Birkenstock clogs this fall.

Sock Stats:
Pattern: Saturday Matinee Socks by Mara Catherine Bryner can be found on Ravelry
Yarn: Naughty or Nice by Spun Right Round 80% SW Merino/20% Nylon 400 yards per 100 grams
Neddles: 40" Circular Addi Turbo Needles, US size 1 (2.5mm)
2016 FAL

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Number 9

Our ninth grandchild is due in January of next year. It's been hard keeping it a secret because we have known since Father's Day that our youngest son, Kyle, and his wife, Briana, are expecting their first baby.
I have been plotting and planning what to make for this baby. You know there will be a quilt, but since I have gotten into garment sewing again I wanted to try making some clothes for the baby, too.
Before I bought any special fabrics I thought I would play with some scraps from the Linden Sweatshirt dress I made myself a few months ago. Both are knits from Birch Fabrics manufacturer.

I bought the onesie pattern at QuiltCon in February, in anticipation that there were more grandchildren on the horizon. It's the Lullaby Line Bodysuit and T-Shirt pattern by Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop. I made a three month size, which says it fits 8-12 pounds. I followed the pattern exactly, adding a fussy cut Panda from a Japanese canvas print called Animaland. I think the red snaps make a cute finish.

The pants are made using the Just Hatched Baby Leggings FREE pattern from Made by Rae.

My venture into making baby clothes has begun. I would like to try the Big Butt Baby Pants, also a Made by Rae pattern.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Quilts for Pulse

We all know about the horrible loss of life that occurred last month in Orlando, Florida, after a shooter entered the Pulse Night Club and killed 49 people and injured 53 others. What most don't know is that the quilting community has embraced the families of the victims. The Orlando Modern Quilt Guild has asked for all guilds to help them so that we can give a quilt to each family of the victim's killed and those injured.
I am a member of the Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild. We are making two quilts. The first is made of rainbow hearts. The tutorial is by Megan of Crimson Tate. I agreed to make two blocks and to collect the blocks from other guild members and assemble the quilt.
Each block is supposed to be 14.5" unfinished. I was thrown a bit of a curve when the blocks started arriving in various sizes, ranging from 14"-15.5". After thinking on it for a few days I decided to add low volume strips to two sides of each block and then square them up to 16.5". The squares are now all the same size, but the seams don't line up. I think after it is quilted it will look great.
This quilt top will be heading to my guild mate, Julie. She has agreed to baste and quilt it. Another member will be finishing the binding. The goal is to get the quilts to the families by September 15.

Quilters are so generous and it warms my heart to be able to help give comfort, even in this small way.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Lottie Top

Last year I decided to start making more clothes for myself. There are so many fun, Indie patterns to try. The Lottie pattern by Christine Haynes has been on my list since I first saw it on Instagram. I was drawn to it for many reasons, one of which was that it reminded me of the first garment I made in 7th grade Home a good way. It brought back so many fond memories of that first time I cut out my yellow gingham fabric to make an A-line shift, learning to make darts and simple seams.

This pattern is so well written and Christine has added instructions for making it look like a really polished garment. I especially love the faced bias binding neckline. I have never finished a neckline that way and I really like the look of it. 

Another feature of the top are the big bias patch pockets and the slit finished side seams. Both are explained in the pattern with good drawings. This pattern is for anyone from a beginner to advanced seamstress.

I chose this Lakehouse Three Tone Stripe fabric I had in my stash. It has a slight shimmer giving it a polished finish and reminds me of that first gingham shift I made in 1964, all grown up. I finished the seams with my serger, getting the top made all in one afternoon. I think it has a real 1960's, Jackie O kind of vibe. Now I want to make the dress with 3/4 length sleeves. I'm already plotting what fabric to use, so stay tuned...