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Monday, June 30, 2008

Another Double Duty Bag

Remember this bag? I loved it so much I had to make one for myself. I think this is the first thing I've made in quite some time that I will actually keep. The first one was made using Alexander Henry fabric. That is also the design house behind this. Quite a difference. I must be stuck on Alexander Henry fabrics because my new Double Duty Bag is another AH fabric. This new bag has replaced the one I've been using for years to tote my "stuff" back and forth to work everyday. I love it!

Monday, June 23, 2008

NOT Your Grandmother's Quilt!

Let me start out by saying that I don't consider myself a quilter. Not a "real" quilter anyway. I love piecing the top but that is as far as it goes. That being said...I was perusing one of my favorite online fabric stores and came across these 2 fabrics:
Bright Dark Angels and
Black Dark Angels by Alexander Henry. How very cool but what could I possibly use this fabric for? A quilt of course. I bought a yard of the Bright Dark Angels and a yard of the Black Dark Angels. They also had a "flames" fabric in shades of gray that I bought for the backing and border. Ok, now to figure out a design. The pattern (figure on motorcycle) on the fabric is quite large. I cut a template 10 1/2 X 12 1/2 and centered it over one of the figures. I was only able to get 4 from the Bright Dark Angels and I wanted to use all of them. I brought my "stuff" to work to show my friend Lisa. She is a quilter and I wanted her input on the design. I gave her my requirements...size etc and we came up with a plan. I needed to get some red and back for contrast and we incorporated those colors into the sashing. The red I found was really nice. It looks like red grass and was the perfect red. Here is what we came up with.

Like I said...NOT your grandmother's quilt! Now what to do with it. Every year for the past 12 or 13 years a teacher in a neighboring town sponsors a Blues Festival weekend. Local bands donate their time and all the proceeds go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. On Sunday, the final day of the festival, the day begins with a motorcycle run. The crowd at this event is varied although there are a lot of motorcycle type people. There is an auction on Sunday afternoon between bands. Goods are donated to be auctioned off. All proceeds from the auction go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. What a perfect place for this quilt. I'm going to donate it and hope that it brings a good price. I'm sure it will find a nice home where it will "fit in" because frankly folks, it looks a little out of place in my living room. :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sweet Halter and Capri

Another finished object! I've been trying to finish this little outfit because I needed to move my sewing operation to the dining room table. I made a quilt top and don't have enough space in my sewing room to tackle the machine quilting. I love making quilt tops but it stops there. I really don't like the quilting part of quilting. I should just stay away from these projects but I started this and now I have to finish. Wait till you see the quilt pictures. Let's just say this is NOT your grandmothers quilt!! Here are a couple of pictures of the halter and capri set I just finished. I saw this outfit in an issue of Martha Pullen's Sew Beautiful Magazine. I thought there was smocking on the front of the halter but it was gathers. The small green rick rack is then sewn over the rows of gathering.

I still suck at taking pictures. :(

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I recently purchased some Amy Butler fabric from her new Midwest Modern collection. I'm still in this intense sewing mode. I just completed a smocked sunsuit and still have the smocking bug. I decided to make a smocked sundress in a girls size 3 using my new fabric. The piece of fabric that is to be smocked generally has to be 3 to 4 times wider than the finished measurement to account for all the pleats. I have a Super Amanda pleater. First thing that needs to be done is to prepare the fabric. It must be washed to remove any sizing and then pressed. All selvages also need to be removed. Those pleater needles are finicky and we can't have one breaking right in the middle of the process! The prepared fabric is then rolled onto a wooden dowel. This helps to feed the fabric evenly though the pleater.

Here is a picture of my pleater all set up for this project.

I got the box that my pleater is sitting on from my friend Dora. It's the best gadget! All the spools of thread sit inside the box and are fed through small holes in the plexiglass front. The spools stay in place and tangle free.
This picture shows the fabric coming through the pleater.

A perfectly pleated piece of fabric.

Of course you don't need a pleater to do smocking.
Smocking dots are iron on transfers. You transfer the rows of dots to the back of the fabric and with a needle and thread, pass through all the dots to create your pleats.
It's so easy and really fun to do. I'm off to pick out the floss for my new project!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Too Cool!

Remember the Pink Elephant post? Here is baby N modeling her new outfit.

These pictures make every single stitch worth while!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Tickled Pink

This sweet little sun suit came from one of my Australian Smocking magazines. It is made of light pink cotton batiste and has bullion roses along the bottom row of the smocking. The smocking is on the front and back of the top. Wide lace with bows form the hem on the top and pants. The pictures do NOT show the detail. I'm having a huge problem photographing anything that is light in color. The only reason I got this picture is because my husband heard me huffing and puffing (among other things) and came over to help.

I think I'll take out the manual that came with the camera. Gee, what a novel idea!