YearofHandmade

An eclectic mix of handmade gifts, sewing inspiration, reviews, books, needlework, crafts, homeschooling, baking, and recipes

Far Far Away Quilt Blocks February 28, 2010

Love that man of mine!  He took R. out running errands for a couple of hours yesterday so I could work on R.’s “Far Far Away Charm School” birthday quilt.  I actually got all of the blocks sewn together!

To be perfectly honest, I have been procrastinating making these blocks because I was afraid of screwing it up (it cost a small fortune!)  Probably not the wisest choice for my first quilt because the Heather Ross “Far Far Away” double gauze cotton fabric is a tad difficult to work with.  It stretches quite a bit while cutting and sewing, and it easily gets stuck and shreds in the sewing machine when you start to sew it if you are not super careful.  After much frustration with this, I finally figured out that it was best to manually lower my needle in to the fabric a good distance from the edge of the fabric.  This did the trick and I was able to sew up the rest of the blocks pretty effortlessly.

My squares are supposed to be 6″, but they are a bit smaller and kind of wonky (I think maybe it was my cutting because the fabric was so stretchy?)  I probably should have waited until after my “Turning Twenty” virtual quilting class to have made this, but what’s done is done.  At this point I think I will just attempt to sew the blocks together as best as I can…fortunately R. is very forgiving when it comes to handmade and I know will love it despite all of its imperfections!

Now if I can just finish it by April…

PS- head over to the Frontier Dreams blog here for a chance to win some lovely play silks!  I have always wanted to gift R. with a set of these…maybe for her birthday???

Happy sewing,

Colette

 

this moment… February 27, 2010

Filed under: February 2010,This Moment! — The Threaded Nest @ 4:46 am

SouleMama inspired me to share “this moment”… a simple, special moment that I want to remember always…no words, just a picture…

PS – if you get the chance…drop by SouleMama and leave a comment here for a chance to win a spot in the Alewives Fabrics  “Virtual Turning Twenty” quilting class (I’ll be taking!) AND a Turning Twenty Kit (a 20 fat quarter fabric bundle in beautiful greens)!  Plus Alewives Fabrics is offering a 10% discount to all SouleMama readers through the end of March!  Good Luck!

Happy sewing,

Colette

 

Fairy Tale Fridays! February 26, 2010

Princess complete!, originally uploaded by sew’nquilt.

Fridays around here are also known as homeschooling “Fairy Tale Fridays”. While perusing the classics section at our favorite local bookstore, I came across the Calla Editions of “Stories from Hans Christian Andersen” with illustrations by Edmund Dulac (here) and “East of the Sun and West of the Moon Old Tales from the North” illustrated by Kay Neilsen (here) and just had to own them!

I can’t describe in words how enchanting they are to pick up and read with R…we really do get lost in fairy tale land.

The illustrations are so beautiful that I would love to buy another set and frame some of them up in her reading nook.

I also came across these beautiful embroidery patterns (The Princess and the Pea pictured above) over at the Follow the White Bunny blog (here) and instantly fell in love!  Nicole Vos van Avezathe designs are available here in her Etsy shop Kloin (although it is closed until next week) or on Magpie Patterns here. As soon as I finish my Mother’s cross stitch I am going to start on this to go with R.’s Far Far Away Charm School quilt from Alewives Fabrics (here)…I am thinking it would make a beautiful pillow if I do some patchwork around it.

Wishing you a lovely weekend!

Happy sewing,
Colette

 

Schoolhouse Tunics Finished! February 24, 2010

OK so the first Schoolhouse Tunic (Sew Liberated pattern here) was a tad small across the bust, so off it went to Molly in California as a very early birthday present (ha, ha her birthday is in late June!) which is good because last year her present was three months late!  I had planned on making her one anyway and had her help me pick out the fabric (Amy Butler Daisy Chain in gray) by sending her various links to Alewives Fabrics (here).

I apologize for the horrible picture, but D. was on his way out the door and offered to take it to the post office for me, so I had just a second (and terrible lighting) to take a pic and wrap it up.  This first one was made up in the tunic length.

I chose to go with an Anna Maria Horner fabric, Little Folks ~ Fortune Sun, for mine and to make it in the shirt length instead of the tunic length.

The pictures don’t do it justice…the colors are so pretty and springy (as I sit here typing with a foot and a half of snow outside and it is still snowing!)  I don’t love the turquoise tank under…I will have to pick up a soft lavender next time I am in town.

I wish I would have looked at her pattern sizing in terms of xs, s, m, l, and xl instead of numbers…this is the first piece of clothing I’ve ever made for myself…and I should have used my measurements instead of my “normal store-bought” sizing, as I had to go a size up.  I don’t feel too terrible though, Molly is such a tiny little thing and it fit her perfect!  Lesson learned…really…I know I should have learned that when making my daughter’s “twirly skirt”!

This pattern was easy enough to follow.  A few suggestions though…make sure you mark the pleats on the skirt front and back accurately, as well as the marks on the bodice bottom (where the center of the pleat is supposed to match up), and use an embroidery needle, a double strand of sewing thread, and a  small whip stitch to hand sew the top of the placket to the bodice shoulders (so it won’t show through on the bodice top).  I finished all of my seams by using a small zig-zag stitch and then cut the excess fabric with pinking shears (although I wish I had a serger to finish the seams properly!)

I am excited to make up another one, tunic length, in one of Anna Maria Horner’s cotton voiles.  But first I think I want to make the Amy Butler “Anna Tunic” (here).  I am trying to assemble a small collection of blouses to throw on with Jeans to bring on our trip to D.C. this spring.

Happy sewing,

Colette

 

Turning Twenty Quilt February 22, 2010

Filed under: February 2010,Quilting — The Threaded Nest @ 3:43 am
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Turning Twenty Inspiration Quilts, originally uploaded by Kellie C..

I am sew sew sew excited to be “Turning Twenty”…that is taking part in the “Turning Twenty” virtual quilting class via Alewives Fabrics!  Rhea’s “AlewivesGirl” blog announced the class “open” on Friday and it was full the following day. But not to worry, you can still try to win a “seat” in the class here or word has it that one spot in the class and a Turning Twenty Kit will be given away on SouleMama this weekend!  It also looks as though they will offer the virtual class again and they have the pattern for sale here.   It doesn’t start until April, but that leaves plenty of time for the best part of quilting…choosing the fabric!

I love a few of their Turning Twenty kits available for sale here in their online shop. Have my eye on the “Gypsy Chic” (of course it’s out-of-stock because it is my favorite!), “Hope Valley”, and “Wild Thyme”.  I love love love the “Johanna’s Garnet”, but D. thinks it has too much pink…I am making it for our bedroom…why can’t he be one of those guys that don’t care what color is in his room?  I bet Mr. Darcy would have let Elizabeth Bennet put it in their room, humph! (Best stop reading so much Jane Austen, ha ha)

Happy quilting,

Colette

 

“Jane” Kitty Softie February 20, 2010

Filed under: February 2010,Gifts,Sewing,Softies — The Threaded Nest @ 9:02 am
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Isn’t this “Jane” Kitty too sweet?  R. is particularly excited about her embroidered face with gray french knot freckles.

Somehow R. convinced me to buy her a softie pattern to use the kitty fabric she found in the fabric stash.  “Jane” Kitty was super easy and we whipped her out this morning in a flash.

I picked the “Katie Kitty” pdf pattern from Bit of Whimsy Dolls (Etsy shop) because it was very basic and I really wanted R. to help me make it (and have it finished quickly because I really need to get moving on her birthday quilt).  She promised me that if I made this one little kitty for her that she would not to ask me to make her another thing until after her birthday…I’m sure I’ll be reminding her of that promise often!

She helped with the pinning, cutting, turning, stuffing, thread clippings, and of course all of the “design” choices.

R. could not resist making her “Jane” Kitty a lovely home of her own, complete with bed and draperies…she is so proper, ha ha.  With cardboard boxes and fabric a plenty in the house, I may never need to buy her another toy ever again!

She is also completely in love with the Bit of Whimsy “Jane Doll” (R. thinks Jane Austen is the coolest because Mom is a JA fanatic!)  She wants “the blond one that looks like Emma”… didn’t know she knew what Emma looked like ~ ha, ha that’s my precocious child!  Hoping to find time before her birthday to sew her up and give her as a gift with her quilt.

Happy sewing,

Colette

 

Stitching Hope February 19, 2010

Filed under: February 2010,Gifts,Sewing — The Threaded Nest @ 4:18 am
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So happy to share that R. and I made it to the fabric store to pick up fabric for our little donation to Stitching hope. After much deliberation over selecting the perfect fabrics, we finally came to an agreement on pink spots and flowers (that I think turned out adorable), and were able to make the child’s doll Mei Tai wrap we hoped to have finished this week.

If you haven’t already, please drop by Katherine’s Stitching Hope Web site to learn more about the project and her shop is now open (and this Mei Tai will be in there soon!)

Happy sewing,

Colette