Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Another white shirt

I finished another white shirt for me, this one sleeveless and made of a lightweight cotton lawn using a Vogue pattern.  I'd been searching high and low since about May for a well-fitting sleeveless shirt.  I had to finally give up and make my own.  Well, it took less than a week so it wasn't too bad.

This is after altering the armholes, darts, and painstakingly placing and sewing on the pockets.  Getting the pockets lined up precisely and stitched on took the better part of an hour, phew.

Front, buttoned most of the way up.

Front, buttoned all the way up.  I'm pretty happy with the how the collar turned out.  


Sunday, June 29, 2014

One more

This one was a fast make, and Lucy went and made mud pies right afterward, so it's in the wash tonight!  It is made from a Robert Kaufman strawberry cotton knit, traced from a nightgown.

Still tracing and cutting the odd teal and red quilt piece here and there, and gathering supplies to make a couple more shirts.  

Friday, June 27, 2014

Minty fresh dandelions

Lucy has a new summer dress based on an old nightgown, enlarged of course.  Took about an hour from start to finish, and used maybe 2/3 of a yard of mint-blue quilting cotton with a dandelion motif.  Here she is spraying in the yard.

And us out this morning.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


My white button-up shirt was badly stained, so I went looking for a replacement but couldn't find anything that worked.  Fortunately, the fabric shop up the street had a comparable pattern and some white cotton/linen blend.  

It started out much longer, but I couldn't put my hands in my pockets easily so I chopped off a few inches.

Lots of top-stitching, and it came out pretty well. 

I like how this shirt turned out, but next time I may track down a pattern with a collar stand.  Camp collars work, but they're not my absolute favorite.  Either way, this ought to get a lot of wear this summer and I'm happy with the result.  

Monday, June 16, 2014

Test squares

I went to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston a couple weeks ago and there was a quilt exhibit.  And there was a quilt done in the "Rob Peter to Pay Paul" pattern that I loved - it was done in two plain contrasting colors.  So at home I doodled in my sketchbook for a while to try out color ideas and remembered I had a magazine with a paper pattern for this block.  (Thanks, Mom.)  Then I looked through my fabric and found a red-orange silk/linen and a teal linen, colors I was thinking of using.

An hour or so later, and here's the test blocks:

Definitely not perfect, and I need to square up the blue corner....but well, it's a start.  I just read that this is a square for "experienced" quilters.  Guess I'll just give it a try, anyway!

I also sewed the bottom band on Lucy's dress and neglected to take a picture, and have a shirt for me half-way done with no photo.  Photographer, I am not.  

Friday, June 6, 2014

Polka dots and paper

I realized, since I actually work on so much I ought to actually take photos of what I'm doing, not just wait for something to be worthy to show.  These things I'd consider "ordinary" and not really worth showing normally, but maybe they're fun to see.

First, some origami.  I've been making modular sculptures for several years now, folding a few pieces here and there.  They help pass the time when I'm thinking a lot or sick.  This one is following a tutorial for a large starburst.

Second, another little girl's dress.  Lucy picked out the blue fabric, and I added the grey.  It needs a band of blue on the bottom and it's done.   From an Oliver and S (time consuming!) pattern.  Nothing is absolutely perfect, but I don't really ever mind.

Front, there are v's in the neckline and pockets


No photos of random paper cutouts and lots of watercolor doodles.  Maybe I'll remember to take some pictures.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Technicolor Quilt

Or maybe a pixelated quilt.  Anyway, it's done!  

The slightly wonky perspective is deceiving.  It did end up a rectangle with straight sides, which was reassuring since I didn't trim the batik strips I started with, and they were slightly different widths...woops.  Anyway, all's well that ends well.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Some failure

First there were the skipped stitches on the middle few rows.  

Tension problem?  Going too fast with a walking foot?  I don't have enough experience to know.  I sewed the rows down, going very very very slowly.  Didn't have the patience to unpick and re-sew.  (Sigh.)  But it doesn't look too bad, for a first try at all this.  Ahem.  And the  butterflies are doing their job of distracting.

I felt better, so I got out the binding I had cut out and sewn together over the weekend.  I sewed it together just like binding for clothing (I thought) except I managed to somehow sew one strip to the front of one, then that strip to the back of the next, alternating back-front-back-front, the entire way.

(This is with it folded to show the alternating seam problems.)

So......I must cut it all apart and re-sew.  What's that line about falling off a horse?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Before and almost after

It's so close to being done.  This was at 3:30pm, right before I started quilting.

A couple hours of stitch-in/around/near-the-ditch, then dinner and cleanup, and then I did the last bits.  This was later tonight after trimming away the extra batting.

Next up, cut binding.  Phew.  

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Bright and colorful quilt top

I finished it!  And it only took four months, ha.  The patchwork matching is a bit sad, but I don't mind that much.  At least it can only get better.  Here's a photo with Lucy this afternoon.

The colors are a little off, so the hot pinks aren't as bright, and the dark greens aren't nearly as dark.  We're off to the fabric store tomorrow to look for batting and backing.  Woohoo!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Some crafts

Yesterday afternoon, I sat down with a cup of tea and some knitting and asked Lucy what she'd like to do.  First choice: play dough.  She flattened it out and poked holes, looked for doodle bugs, chased them around the house, and finally put them back in the play dough.  Then, she put the play dough away and got out the pipe cleaners we had picked up on a whim.  I was just knitting, and Lucy sat next to me with the pipe cleaners.  We talked, sang a whole bunch of songs, and I told "baby Lucy stories" (her favorite, besides baby Daddy, baby Zoey, and baby Mommy stories).  A little while later she announced, "Mommy, I made you a spider!"

Then she made a second spider, for herself.

Next to them is my knitting, which looks fairly controlled and joy-less, especially when compared to those technicolor spiders.  But, that will turn into a nice scarf of lace-weight merino wool done in a slip-stitch to show off the color changes, which are unfortunately hard to see in the photo - greens, browns, and turquoise.

As we were working on our things, she announced that some day she would knit, too, but today she wanted to just make stuff.  Oh, to be two again.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

An orange hat

Still working on the quilt layout, which is happening on an old bed sheet that I can roll up to store.  In the meantime, Lucy needed a new hat, since hers is getting too small.  (sigh)

I took her to the yarn shop and led her to the easy-care yarns, and she picked some orange yarn with tweedy flecks.  Pattern was this bonnet.  It turned out well, but just in time for more spring-like weather.

Bonus: with my small head, I can wear it too.  

Monday, February 3, 2014

Messed around with quilt squares today before a sick little girl woke up, came up with this.

Hm.  I'll keep thinking.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Carnations, Paints, and Fabrics

Last week, I picked up white carnations on a whim.  We put food coloring in the water and seven days later, they're looking colorful.

Lucy wanted to splatter paint on some paper, like we do with watercolors, but wanted to use tempura paint.  That only works on big surfaces, so I put down oilcloth, got out a big canvas (yeah, I keep canvases on hand just in case), gave her some plastic cutlery and paints, and watched the magic begin.

I am slowly but surely cutting out fabric.  It is January and bleak out there, and a friend of my mom's (you know who you are) made the most beautiful BRIGHT quilt recently.  I was inspired!  So this is the beginning of my first quilt as an adult in bright batiks.  It'll be a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants thing.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Lucy and I were looking for something to do this afternoon.  It is cold, snowy, and dark, so neither of us felt like going for a walk.  Instead, we pulled out some scraps and old buttons and made this:

She seems to like it.