design

Champions Quilt

Last month, I shared a quilt finish with you. I have another one to share that’s been done for quite some time.

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The pattern for the appliqued sphere is by Geta Grama and is called Windows into my  World.

This was one of the very first quilts I ever started. I wanted to try EPP, and this pattern was so visually striking. As I got further along, It also became the project that I used to learn hand applique and hand quilting (more on that later). It spent a lot of time being set aside. Like… a LOT lot. In the time I took to finish it, the intended recipient went from being a teenager to a married adult. I felt like it was too small to gift to a couple, so we decided to keep it. I will make them a quilt as a couple (hopefully before Christmas!) that reflects both of their styles.

I loved this pattern, but if I did it again I would probably use a fusible applique technique instead of EPP and hand applique. It would make for a much faster finish! 

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And for the hand quilting- you may have noticed that there is none on my finished quilt! When I started it, I was doing the hand quilting on the sphere section with embroidery thread. Turns out, I hate hand quilting with embroidery thread. I got about a third of the way done with the sphere and had to make a decision: keep going, or pick it out and machine quilt it. So I got out my seam ripper and scissors, because I honestly just couldn’t do it anymore!

I love the way the heavily quilted areas paired with unquilted spots creates fun little puffy bits in the sphere.

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It was so great to FINALLY finish this one and get another thing crossed off my WIPS list.

Happy Sewing,

~L

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Finished: Scrappy Rainbow Quilt

I recently noticed that although I have been pretty active on Instagram, I haven’t been updating here with my finished projects! This one has been done for a while, but I hadn’t taken decent pictures of it. So today, my son and I went outside for a quick little photo shoot.

For this quilt, I shopped my scrap and FQ stashes to get lots of variation in my fabrics. I made random strippy panels (similar to a jelly roll race quilt) and then cut the blocks from them. It wasn’t the most efficient process to make the blocks, but I knew it would force me into a randomness that I wouldn’t get using foundation strip piecing. I know myself- I like controlling things too much!


This was my first project on the long arm, and I was happy with the way it turned out. I am definitely still learning, but with as many tops as I have to finish in the next few months, I should be an old hand at it soon!

I love laying this one out for BBQs and to relax in the back yard, but she is currently hanging in my studio opposite my design wall keeping my works-in-progress company. I love coming in each day to this view!

 

Happy Sewing, ~Lorinda

Linking up to:

sew-fresh-quilts-ets-bee-social     my-quilt-infatuation-needle-and-thread-thursday

Buttercup Gown

Hello friends! I’ve been sewing up a storm lately, and am really excited to show you some things in the next couple of weeks, but first I really need to catch up!

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If you follow me in Instagram, you’ve seen some pictures of this already, but I wanted to do a blog post to show some final pictures and share a bit about my experience of making it.

My two older kids are just one grade apart and are part of the same ‘squad’. (For my fellow non-teenagers, your ‘squad’ is your closest group of friends). Sometime in late September, they all decided that a group Princess Bride costume would be a ton of fun. Since my daughter is the only girl in the group (and given the fact that the boy dressing as Wesley was her Homecoming date), it was quickly decided that she would be Buttercup.

(Incidentally, my son was the six-fingered man. I made a tunic and gloves for him which I may share later… It was not nearly as fun as this dress, though!)

I love designing costumes, and had made a few things along those lines, but up until I did this dress, didn’t consider myself a garment sewist. I suppose I figured since I had never made sleeves, I couldn’t say I could sew a garment. So I chose to see this as an opportunity to stretch my garment-sewing skills. Because if I could figure out those Buttercup sleeves, I could do anything!file_000file_009

My first step was to check just in case someone had done the hard work for me and made a pattern for this dress…. no luck.  I didn’t figure there was a pattern out there, but I was hoping!

Next step- start figuring out how in the world I was going to reverse-engineer the thing. I found The Costumer’s Guide to Movie Costumes to be VERY helpful. I was able to get a good, close look at the dress and start to assemble it in my head.

I chose Kona Solid in Rich Red for this dress. It’s much less expensive than most apparel fabric, and it was readily available at my local box-fabric store (hello, 50% off coupon!).

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First up was the bodice. Honestly, this was a lot of trial and error with paper and muslin. I’ve done simple bodices before, but on this one I really wanted to stay true to the original, which had really unique neckline. The front part of the v-neck collar line extends around the top of the shoulder and meets in the back in a deep V, forming a good portion of the back of the bodice. I wish I could tell you I was a good blogger and took pictures of this whole trial-and-error process, but I was too focused on the task at hand. My only advice is to use a muslin and start big. That way, you can continue to make adjustments to the muslin as needed and use that as your pattern.

One more bit of advice when reverse-engineering a costume: pay attention to the details. On the bodice for this dress, it was the height of the collar, the depth of the neckline, the dropped shoulder sleeve, and the waistline being higher in the front than in the back. Those little details really add up!

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Once the bodice was done, adding the skirt was quite simple. I started with giving her enough room along the hemline to comfortably walk, and then calculated a measurement for the waistline that would give her some pleating without adding too much bulk. I divided by two and cut two wedges from my yardage to make the skirt front and back.  Sewing those together down each side, I had my skirt! Note that the front pleats are closer to the sides of the dress, further out than the bust pleats. This is part of the original design and helps keep the front of the dress fairly flat. file_002-1

Next up were those fabulous sleeves. At this point, I took a pause from this costume to focus on learning how to draft inset sleeves and practicing my skills on my son’s Six-Fingered Man tunic.  I also needed to finish up some work on the Wesley costume (oh, did I not mention that I was doing that too?!).

There are three portions to these sleeves: The upper part which is fitted, the lower portion that billows out and has lots of bulk, and then the cuff. The upper portion was easy, but the lower section took a bit more trial and error. Again, the muslin was helpful for this step.

First, I created bulk at the hem of the upper and lower sleeves by making the lower sleeve top twice and wide as the upper sleeve bottom and working that bulk into the seam using pleats. Second, I made those lower sleeves the same way I did the skirt, with two wedges that were wider along the bottom (in this case, the wrists) than the top (mid-arm). This created those gorgeously huge sleeves. Once I was happy with the muslin, I felt comfortable cutting into my remaining red yardage.

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Here you can see the lower sleeve portion sewn to the cuff on the left arm.

At the point the above picture was taken, I started to feel a little unhappy with the way the sleeves were looking. As you can see, I had the pleating of one sleeve done, and the other sleeve is still ungathered. I noticed on the gathered sleeve that there was a bit too much fabric hanging over the front part of the wrist hiding the pleating detail and creating a strange twisting in the fabric. There was just so much bulk that the fabric didn’t know where to go.

At this point, I had to make a choice: Take out my work and course-correct, or go ahead with what I was doing. Knowing that I would never be happy if I didn’t at least TRY to correct the sleeves, I started the unhappy task of picking out the pleat stitches.

It really didn’t take all that long, and I’m glad I did it.

Because the problem was too much length in the front, I folded and pressed (because I was too scared to cut anything at this point) the fabric to the inside of the sleeve, starting at a high point at the sleeve front down to the original sleeve length in the back. Essentially, I made the front of the sleeve about a foot shorter than the back. I was thrilled to pin the sleeves to the cuff and realize that my plan worked!

My final task on this dress was a big one- I had to take those giant sleeves and pleat them WAY down to fit on the wrist cuffs.

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PINSANITY!

There was a lot of finger stabbing happening that afternoon.  Mind you, this was also only a few hours before my daughter was scheduled to wear this costume for a party in which they were entering a group costume contest. But I just tried to stay calm and focus on the task at hand! The work was going relatively fast, so I took the time for a 20 minute nap between sleeves so I didn’t go crazy.

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Here she is in the dress shortly after completion. I had to sew stitches at the back neckline, the back waist, and at each wrist to keep everything lined up nicely.

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A blurry Buttercup and Wesley picture right before leaving for our party.

 

At the very end of the day on Halloween, she stretched her arm too far forward and got a tear on the seam line where the inset sleeve met the bodice (not much stretch room with this dress!). It was at the point that I realized in all the rush to finish the sleeve pleats, I forgot to reinforce the stitches around the arms and waist…. oops! Fortunately, it was along the seam and an easy fix.

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This dress was a lot of work…. and so worth it. Being able to make my daughter a costume that fit her perfectly was nice, but the SKILLS I gained along the way were the real reason behind me wanting to do this.

I’ve always been pretty brave about trying new skills and sewing techniques, but now I really do feel like I can figure out how to make anything I want. Sometimes you just have to jump in and TRY.

Happy Sewing! ~L

 

Color Play Friday: Kla Ha Ya Days

Hi Guys! Thank Goodness it’s (Color Play) Friday!

More about Color Play Friday:

Trina from In An Otter Life and I created Color Play Friday one day after a nice trip to the fabric store together.

 Here are the rules:

  1. Each week, Trina or I will select a picture from our joint Pinterest board. These are all pictures that one of us has taken on our adventures.
  2. We each create a palette using colors from that picture
  3. We then create a bundle of 5-8 fabrics that is inspired by that palette. They don’t have to be an exact match to our palette, and we can throw in contrasting or accent colors, but the bundle should look inspired by the palette.
  4. We don’t see anyone else’s palette or bundle before we post on Friday.
  5. That’s it! It’s going to be so fun to see what we each come up with.

I took this week’s photo at Kla Ha Ya Days, a festival held each summer in my hometown of Snohomish, Washington. There’s normal festival entertainment: carnival, parade, icecream eating contest… Then you have the more quirky events: hot air balloon glow, bed races (yes, real beds on wheels), a baby crawling race, and the classic frog jump contest. You can’t make this stuff up.

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A couple of summers ago, my family went to watch the balloon glow and stopped at the carnival beforehand so the kids could go on some rides. This photo was a failed attempt at trying to get a picture of my son on the ride, but I liked how the movement created a blur. It almost gives you the same sort of dizzy feeling you get when you are on a carnival ride with lights whizzing by.

 Laurel and Pine The Kiddos

It was a bit of a magical night watching the rides and dancing with my kids in a field while waiting for the balloons to fill up. It ended up being too windy and the balloon glow was a bust, but the time together as a family is one of the best memories!

 Laurel and Pine Balloon Glow Dancing

So, here’s my palette and bundle!

Kla Ha Ya Days Palette and Bundle

I loved in this picture how the bright colors of the swings contrasted with the slate grey of the sky at sunset.

Here are the fabrics I chose:

Alison Glass, Ex Libris, Grey Panel

Zen Chic, Figures, Daisy in Ocean

Micheal Miller, Dumb Dot in Lilac

Karen Lewis, Blueberry Park, Allotments in Coral

Me and My Sister Designs, Ticklish, Joking Around in Yellow

Bari J, Petals and Plume, Rumpled Sour

A note about scale:

  • While I believe scale is a very important part of fabric selection, the fabrics shown in my Color Play images are not always perfectly to scale. I do my best, by you should always double check scale before ordering!

Don’t forget to head over to In an Otter Life to see what Trina came up with and to Shimmy and More to see Steph’s bundle!

You can also head over to my Color Play Friday page to see my palettes and bundles from previous weeks.

Here’s the photo I chose for next week:

 Gummy Bears pic

Are you enjoying Color Play Friday? We’d love for you to get in on the fun and create your own Color Play post! You can create a bundle of fabric, select yarns or embroidery threads, or create a project inspired by our photo. Be sure to let Trina or I know so we can link up to you. You can get in contact with me via email, or by tagging me on Instagram.  

I hope you can join us next week!

Happy Sewing, ~L

Color Play Friday: Christmas Ornaments

 Wow- all I’ve been posting lately is Color Play Friday! I’ve been busy sewing Halloween costumes, but that’s done now. I do have some quilting projects in the works, and should be starting to show them soon. To really keep up-to-date on what I’m doing, your best bet is to follow me on Twitter, Periscope and Instagram. 

More about Color Play Friday:

Trina from In An Otter Life and I created Color Play Friday one day after a nice trip to the fabric store together.

Here are the rules:

  1. Each week, Trina or I will select a picture from our joint Pinterest board. These are all pictures that one of us has taken on our adventures.
  2. We each create a palette using colors from that picture
  3. We then create a bundle of 5-8 fabrics that is inspired by that palette. They don’t have to be an exact match to our palette, and we can throw in contrasting or accent colors, but the bundle should look inspired by the palette.
  4. We don’t see anyone else’s palette or bundle before we post on Friday.
  5. That’s it! It’s going to be so fun to see what we each come up with.

This weeks photo was taken by me a couple of years ago after Christmas. I was taking all the ornaments off the Christmas trees and sticking them in a box so I could pack them nicely later. Suddenly, I looked down and saw all this Christmasy wonderfulness piled on top of each other and had to snap a photo.

Christmas Ornaments Palette and Bundle 1

Christmas Ornaments Palette and Bundle 2

WAIT A MINUTE?! Two palettes?! Two bundles?!

That’s right, I’m a big old cheater pants this week. As I was selecting fabrics, I found myself torn between a literal interpretation of what I was seeing in the picture, and how the picture made me FEEL.

So I figured two is better than one and went for it!

Here are the fabrics I chose:

Bundle 1

Makower UK, Christmas 2015 Scandi, Snowflakes in Beige

Makower UK, Christmas 2015 Scandi, Linen Texture

Kaffe Fasset, Shot Cottons, Woven in Mulberry

Kate Spain, Solstice, Hemisphere in Berry

Robert Kaufman, Metro Living, Ogee in Scarlet

Whistler Studios, Glisten Metallic Gold

Joel Dewberry, True Colors, Scrollwork in Green 

Basic Grey, Blitzen,Creatures in Evergreen

Bundle 2

Makower UK, Christmas 2015 Scandi, Hearts and Stars in Red

Bunnyhill Designs, Winter Wonderland, Candy Cane Stripe,Tonal Redwork

Bunnyhill Designs, Winter Wonderland, Redwork

Doodlebug Design Inc, Santa Express, Santa Stripe in Red

Jo Clark, Organic, Festive, Gingerbread People

Micheal Miller, Glitz Metallic Quarter Dot, Pearlized Glitz

Makower UK, Wonderland, Houses

Victoria Hutto, Holly Jollies, Dots in Black

A note about scale:

  • While I believe scale is a very important part of fabric selection, the fabrics shown in my Color Play images are not always perfectly to scale. I do my best, by you should always double check scale before ordering!

Don’t forget to head over to In an Otter Life to see what Trina came up with and to Shimmy and More to see Steph’s bundle!

You can also head over to my Color Play Friday page to see my palettes and bundles from previous weeks.

Next week’s photo is Pike Place Market from Trina

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Are you enjoying Color Play Friday? We’d love for you to get in on the fun and create your own Color Play post! You can create a bundle of fabric, select yarns or embroidery threads, or create a project inspired by our photo. Be sure to let Trina or I know so we can link up to you. You can get in contact with me via email, or by tagging me on Instagram.  

I hope you can join us next week!

Happy Sewing, ~L