Sunday, August 30, 2015

100 Quilts for Kids 2015

Michael miller challenge baby quilt

I made this quilt a few months ago and have been saving it to donate to Project Linus in conjunction with the 100 Quilts for Kids campaign. If you don't know about this wonderful drive to make and donate quilts for children, hop on over to  Heather's blog and read how you can help, too. We all have a quilt or two that we have made that needs a good home. You can choose your own charity to donate to and enter for your chance to win a prize by a lot of generous sponsors.

100 Quilts for Kids

Friday, August 28, 2015

A Tale of Two Dresses, Part II

This is a tale of two dresses. The first one, pictured on the left, can be read about in this blog post.  Today I will tell you about making the linen version.

bettine dress

I have had this Anna Maria Horner linen for a few years and have been looking for the right dress to make with it. After my success making the Bettine dress, I immediately decided to make another with the linen.
I cut it out as I did the first dress, except this time I cut the skirt 4" longer. Everything was going great until I was nearly finished and tried it on. The waist hit me all wrong and it felt stiff. Then I remembered I had not pre-washed my fabric. So before I went any further, I washed it on the gentle cycle and let it hang to dry. Remarkably, this fabric did NOT shrink at all!
The next day I picked the waist seam apart from the skirt and tried on 4 different occassions to get it to fit better.
I finally went back to the original waist seam allowance and decided that the linen fabric just does not have the ability to relax and give as the double gauze did in my first dress. I did some creative cutting and piecing so that I could match the pocket bag to the skirt front, but didn't bother matching the skirt to the bodice. I didn't have enough fabric for that.
I have some beautiful Aurifil linen thread gifted to me by Alex Veronelli. I used it to topstitch the neckline, sleeve hem and skirt hem. It adds a perfect finishing touch.

The conclusion to this tale is that I have a nice looking dress, but it is not as comfy as the first one and definitely does not fit as well. The top does not blouse as nicely as the first dress. It gives the appearance of a top tucked into a skirt. The next one (yes there will be a third Bettine dress) I will make the full bust adjustment. The 13 year old Diane would never believe that 50 years later I would have to make a "full bust adjustment"!

PatternBettine Dress by Tilly and the Buttons

FabricParenthetical Feathers in Potpourri / Ivory by Anna Maria Horner from stash.

Fit/Alterations: I used size 5, to get a good fit through the shoulders and bust.
  • Bodice- I am short-waisted, so I shortened the waist length by 1".
  • I also added 1-1/2" to the sleeve length.
  • Skirt-Following The Quirky Peach's suggestion I  moved skirt pieces 1" from "cut on fold" line, adding a total of 2" to the front and back (4" all over) due to complicated hip curve and pocket - I needed more room for my high, big butt, but didn't want to ruin the drafting by grading so far out. Gathered skirt slightly before attaching to bodice at waist.
  • Lengthened skirt by 4" when cutting it out, then trimmed it to be 3" longer than the pattern suggests.
  • Straightened skirt side seams so it goes straight down and doesn't curve in like a tulip skirt.
  • Since linen frays more than other woven fabrics I finished the waist seam edges with an encased binding made from Kona cotton in a nuetral solid.
  • To finish the sleeve and hemline I used a facing made from Kona cotton in a nuetral solid and topstitched it down, instead making the cuff.
  • I also used this same solid to line the pockets and to make the neckline facing.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Tale of Two Dresses

This is a tale of two dresses. Most people might not know that I started making my clothes in the fifth grade. I made all my clothes all the way through high school and continued to sew after high school and even after I got married. I even made my husband a double knit suit! That tells you how old I am.
For the last 25 years or so I have not enjoyed making clothes, except Halloween costumes or a baby christening gown or two. Sewing quilts and bag making have taken over.
Recently, with all the beautiful garments I have seen on Instagram, I have had the bug to make garments again. With a few tweaks you can get the best fit, especially when you have figure flaws that are not considered in ready to wear clothes.
Some of the indie patterns out there are really cute, but I do not like PDF patterns. All that taping together is tedious. I ordered the Bettine dress pattern from Tilly and the Buttons. It's a real paper pattern.
The first one I made is the grey dress. It is made of double gauze. The fabric is so soft and easy to sew. The drape is wonderful and this dress is so comfortable. I am really glad I made this one first, because if I would have made the linen one first, I would never make another dress again. That is a story for the next post.
Today I will tell you about the double gauze version.
Bettine Dress

Bettine Dress

Pattern: Bettine Dress by Tilly and the Buttons

Fabric: Charms Double Gauze-Plus Dots in Charcoal  by Ellen Luckett Baker for Kokka purchased at The Intrepid Thread.

Fit/Alterations: I used size 5, to get a good fit through the shoulders and bust.
-Bodice- I am short-waisted, so I shortened the waist length by 1".
I also added 1-1/2" to the sleeve length.
-Skirt- Lengthened skirt by 2" when cutting it out.
Following The Quirky Peach's suggestion I  moved skirt pieces 1" from "cut on fold" line, adding a total of 2" to the front and back (4" all over) due to complicated hip curve and pocket - I needed more room for my high, big butt, but didn't want to ruin the drafting by grading so far out. Gathered skirt slightly before attaching to bodice at waist
- Straightened skirt side seams so it goes straight down and doesn't curve in like a tulip skirt.
-To finish the sleeve and hemline I used a facing made from a 2-1/2" strips along the printed side of the selvage., and topstitched it down, instead making the cuff.

To Be Continued...

Monday, August 24, 2015


Knitting has become a big part of my creative life. This is my 15th pair of hand knit socks that I have completed since September 2013, when I began my love affair with yarn and pointy needles.
As much as I love this yarn, I am disappointed in the socks because of the heel I chose to make. 
I have come to love the Fish Lips Kiss Heel but wanted to try something different. I did a slip stitch heel. As much as I like the look of it, the fit is just not good for my foot. Plus, the socks are too big. I didn't know when to start the heel. I even ripped out a whole sock after it was 3/4 of the way finished, and started all over. But it still turned out too big. They are not outrageously big, and are still wearable, but they are just not as comfy as the others I have made.
The yarn is a gorgeous hand dyed variegated yarn from Sweet Fiber that goes from pinky red to grey to burnt orange and a golden brown. Just like the changing hydrangeas, these socks remind me of fall.

Sock Stats:
Pattern: my own simple sock with a slip stitch heel
Yarn: Sweet Fiber Hand Dyed Color "Wildflowers" 80% Superwash Merino 20% Nylon 415 Yards per 115 grams
Needles: Addi Turbo Sock Rockets, 16" circular, size US 1 (2.5mm)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Create along with Bee Sewcial

About a year ago a unique sewing bee formed that asked each member to choose a monthly theme/inspirational source and color palette. 10 quilters would then go forth and make "blocks", blocks become a quilt, one for each month. In this process we bee members have gained new skills, explored different designs and close friendships have grown. Somewhere in this whole creative endeavor other talented people have observed our journey and have asked to participate.

Unable to keep a good thing to ourselves, we have created a companion community #inspiredbybeesewcial to sew right along with us. We will continue to post our monthly inspiration on IG with dual hashtags. We ask only that you use #inspiredbybeesewcial when you post your makings. This larger group #inspiredbybeesewcial is about being a respectful, supportive, creative, collaborative community and making ourselves better designers and sewists. If you would like to be part of this companion community, you may follow monthly "instructions" on our blogs and tag your pictures on IG with #inspiredbybeesewcial. You will find us commenting on all your creativity over in #inspiredbybeesewcial creative space.

So, are you ready? Hillary @entropyalwayswins is point for September. Look for her mission to us all in the last week of August. The other co-conspirators (and people you might want to follow just so you don't miss anything) are: Leanne @shecanquilt, Debbie @aquilterstable, Diane @ylmommyx4, Marci @marci_girl, Felicity @felicityquilts, Karen @capitolaquilter, Kari @quiltsforthemaking, Melissa @weshallsew and Stephanie @spontaneousthreads.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Watch Out, There's a Teenager in the Family

Makenzie, our first born grandchild, is celebrating her thirteenth birthday today.
Thirteen years ago we did not know that our hearts could expand anymore.
From the moment she came into this world she has been a joy and a privelege to know.
She is kind, loving and the sweetest girl you will ever meet.
She loves with her whole heart.
She is the best big sister and a wonderful example to her siblings.
And now she is a teenager...
We can't wait to see what joys this next phase in her life will bring.
We love you, Makenzie!

love, Bubbi and Papa

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Windows Quilt

This quilt has been in the works for so long. I think I first posted a photo to Instagram in February!
The quilt is made of all Denyse Schmidt scraps and Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Indigo as the background.
The pattern is my own design. It's just a simple window panes block and then a solid square, all set on point. Each square finishes at 5.5".
The quilt has been finished for a few months and I have been waiting for the right photo opportunity to finally blog about it.

We went to one of our favorite cafes for breakfast this morning. I am so glad I took the quilt with me. I actually photographed two quilts today, but I'll save the other one for a future post.

So here is my Windows quilt. I am so pleased with the way it turned out. I am also happy about making a huge dent in my Denyse Schmidt fabric scraps. It is such a satisfying feeling to use up smaller pieces of fabric and make them into something so pretty. This quilt will be gifted later in the week, but I kind of hate to part with it.
windows quilt block, denyse schmidt fabric quilt

Sarah, CrinkleLove, quilted this for me. I chose the orange peel pattern and it shows up nicely on the backing and adds a great crinkle to the front of the quilt.

I used the zigzag binding method and bound it with the indigo solid fabric, so as not to take away from the colorful window blocks.
This little dog sure was curious.

Quilt Stats:
Name: Window Quilt
Fabrics used: All Denyse Schmidt scraps with Michael Miller Cotton Couture Solid in Indigo
Backing: Widescreen by Carolyn Friedlander, color Pacific.
Binding: Michael Miller Cotton Couture Indigo
Thread: pieced with Aurifil 50 wt. 
Size: 64" x 80"

Linking up with Nicky and Leanne at Scraptastic Tuesday.

Scraptastic Tuesday

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Easy as A*B*C...knitting a baby sweater

There seems to be lots of babies being born in my little circle of friends, and lately they are all boys.
I've wanted to branch out into knitting something besides socks, shawls and scarves, so when I saw @SoCalMeaghan 's project on Instagram I knew this baby sweater was the perfect project to ease me into a new world of knitting.
The Easy As ABC Top-Down Sweater pattern is available on Ravelry and I can't say enough good things about it. This project knits up so fast. I started it a few days ago and even ripped out almost half because I had made a mistake, and I still finished it in 5 days.
I think it took me almost as long to weave in all the end of the yarn, from the stripe color changes, as it did to knit up the whole sweater. I have since watched some YouTube videos on how to knit in the ends as you make the sweater. YouTube is so good for learning new things. It has taught me almost everything I know about knitting, so far.
I made the 6 month size, but there are three sizes available in the pattern.
The bottom photo shows the true color of the finished sweater.
I am anxious to gift this to it's new, handsome owner.
I am getting a little more confident and don't think it will be long before I try making myself a sweater.

Sweater Stats:
Pattern- Easy As ABC Top-Down Sweater designed by Heather Walpole
Yarn: Patons Decor 75% Acrylic/25% Wool 100 g/208 yards I used 1 Navy and 1 Teal
Needles: Addi Turbo sizes 7& 8, 16" circula
7 inch DPN sizes 7&8
Hand Washed with Soak

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Chain Link Blocks

August is pretty much an obligation free month as far as bee commitments go, except for Stash Sewciety. I am glad that Ann asked for blocks that were not only easy but fun to make. They are almost like a stack and whack block and that made for a quick and easy block, with great accuracy.
The Chainlinks block can be found on the Moda Bakeshop website.

Chain link block

I now have the rest of the month to finish some projects that have been waiting in the wings for a long time.

I also have several projects finished that need to be photographed. Hopefully, I will have a lot to share in a few days.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Falling for Apples

I have not blogged in a few weeks, but I made these coasters today and couldn't wait to show them off.
Last week my friend, @amysewvt on Instagram, showed some apples she was working on. I commented that they would make the cutest coasters, so that is exactly what I made today.
I need a hostess gift for a friend this weekend and always like to gift handmade whenever possible.
These coasters are super easy and all made from scraps. They finished at 4" x 4.5".

My friend and I both love Fall, so this should be a reminder that our favorite season is only 6 weeks away. I used a Birch Organics print for the back of the coasters, making them reversible. A perfect Fall fabric.