Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Magical Forest

I have a finish that's almost 5 years in the making!  In January 2017, I was Queen bee in my Stash Bee hive and asked for trees to make a magical forest.  I got beautiful trees but they sat unfinished.  It's even been on my list toward my PhD (projects half done) with Quilting Gail every year. Fast forward to a few months ago, and my Bee Inspired group decided to do a casual sew along and picks a tree quilt!  This was my chance to finally put together my Magical Forest!

I really did enjoy Stash Bee for the 4 years I was involved.  These trees came from a total of 12 different makers (including me) from 6 US states and 3 Canadian provinces: British Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Manitoba, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Prince Edward Island, and Wisconsin.  


I had to make 3 more trees to get the right number for my forest.  I'm quite pleased with the finished quilt. I quilted with organic wavy lines and used a rainbow batik for the binding.  This will be donated, probably to the local children's hospital.  I sewed the binding on our trip to the mountains in October so was able to get some great "on location" shots.  Well, my husband took the photos, I held up the quilt.  So glad to finish this one!


Thursday, November 11, 2021

Ocean Breeze, a Storm at Sea for Island Batik

Welcome to my day on Island Batik's Storm at Sea Blog Hop!  Each Island Batik Ambassador was given one of the newest Island Batik collections, due in stores this December, and instructed to make some form of Storm at Sea quilt.  I was sent the Petals Provence collection by Kathy Engle, a lovely mix of bright yellows and blues. 

I could not have done this challenge without EQ8.  Storm at Sea can look so different depending on color placement.  I used EQ to finalize design and fabric placement.  While a traditional Storm at Sea is made with square-in-a-square blocks, the Snail's Trail block is really similar, it just adds a 4-patch to the center-most square.  Since I have Accuquilt's Snail's Trail block and I like the look of Storm at Sea mixed with Snail's Trail, I started with that.  My original design had a lot of Snail's Trail's blocks, but I was worried it read too Snail's Trails and not enough Storm at Sea, so I settled for just four Snail's Trail blocks.

Center on my "design wall, " actually a sheet taped in the hallway
The products featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik, Studio 180 Design, Accuquilt, Schmetz, & Hobbs.

circle quilting

I really liked the sort of flower petal look I got with fabric placement, so I added the basic Opalescence for just a touch of color beyond blue & yellow. The outer border & binding are a blender called Blue Branch, the other 17 fabrics in the quilt are from Petals Provence.  I cut the Snail's Trail blocks and the square-in-a-square units with my Accuquilt Go and used the diamond rects tool from Studio 180 design for the diamond/rectangle units.  I used Hobbs 80/20 batting (my favorite) and quilted a large spiral with Aurifil 50 weight thread in color 2770, very light delft. I did all the piecing and quilting with Schmetz needles.  

perfect picnic spot

I think this looks like gentle ocean breezes and warm sunshine so I named it Ocean Breeze.  It measures about 56" square.  Many of the ambassadors took their Storm at Sea quilts to ocean or water for photographs.  I did take mine on vacation--to the mountains!  I like to sew binding on car trips and this went with me on my anniversary trip last month.  In fact, you can see the clips in some of these photos, indicating that I was in a good spot for pictures but hadn't quite finished the binding yet.  So no ocean pictures for me, but hopefully the fall foliage in the Blue Ridge will do instead.

Be sure to hop over and visit Maryellen at Mary Mack Made Mine and see what she made with the same Petals Provence collection.  I have really enjoyed seeing all the different Storm at Sea quilts, and there is still another week left in the hop!  

Monday, November 8, 2021

Clothes for Sister

This is Sister.  Sister is an 18" doll belonging to family friend Lady Bug.  Lady Bug will turn 5 soon and when I asked her momma for birthday present ideas, Momma said that if I want to make something, Lady Bug loves clothes for her dolls.  I hadn't made doll clothes before but man what a rabbit hole that is!  I spent some time on youtube and got some great ideas and figured that I could play around on my own.  

The first dress I made is this fancy dress that's actually a leg of my son's sweatpants!  The other leg had a hole in it, so this was an easy first fabric to play with and not feel bad if I screwed it up.  But I actually quite like it.  The back of the neck lays a little weird but I'm going to call it high fashion.

Next I made a denim jumper.  I had planned to cut up an old pair of my jeans but I actually found this denim fabric in a drawer and it was the perfect length.  That's pre-made bias tape for the top, bottom, & straps.  I accidentally bought the super-skinny bias binding but it looks good and in proportion on this small scale.  This jumper is a little plain and I plan to embellish it a bit before Lady Bug's birthday party next weekend, but I haven't decided exactly how yet.


Having been successful with one jumper, I decided to make a second but with ruffles this time.  That red ruffled trim is left from my Red Riding Hood Halloween costume of several years ago.  Good thing I have a bin with bits of trim and lace in it! I think this dress is my favorite.

Next was a nightgown.  Lady Bug's mom mentioned that Sister did not have any sleeping clothes, so a nightgown seemed necessary.  Knowing that shirts would be difficult for me, I bought a 3-pack of preemie sized onesies so I didn't have to make a top.  I added a skirt of gray star fabric and got out my rubber stamps, looking for something night-time-ish.  I found a moon with stars and used a fabric marker as ink to create a repeating pattern of the moon & stars.  I hope it's obvious that it's a nightgown but I guess if it's not, it's fine as a dress.

I'm gonna look in my button bin to see if I have any heart-shaped buttons to add to the straps
Somewhere in my internet searching I had seen a circle skirt and I thought that would be relatively easy, so I tried that.  I did add interfacing to the heart fabric to give it a bit more heft.  I had jumbo pink rickrack in my trim bin.  After making the skirt I saw a youtube video tutorial with a head kerchief so I made one that coordinates with the skirt.  Then of course she needed a shirt for the outfit.  The shirt is more of those sweatpants of Fire Monkey's, this time the other leg but less fabric was needed so I cut off the hole.  More rickrack so it matches.  It actually looks like a dress in the photo but it's a skirt and top.  Here's just the skirt and headscarf, though if you are offended by a half-naked doll, scroll past it! 

I actually like the skirt better on its own, maybe she has a plain shirt at home

Since I bought the 3-pack of onesies, I knew I should use them so I looked through my novelty scraps for a fun fabric to use for the skirt of a t-shirt dress.  I absolutely love this rainbow unicorn fabric and I had a piece that was a great height for a skirt, so that was an easy choice. The onsies were long-sleeved and too long for Sister's arms, so I cut them down and added ribbon, probably the fiddliest part of the whole doll-clothes making experience.

I originally was going to make another dress from that third onesie but I was running out of steam and time, so I figured I would save it for another time.  But as I started to clean up and put away a bag of novelty scraps, I noticed a strip of balloon fabric.  And I knew I had cupcake fabric in the same bag.  This was for a birthday party, after all, so clearly Sister would need a birthday party outfit! The strip of balloon fabric became a tube top and I made a second circle skirt out of cupcake fabric.  Now Sister is ready for a party!

ready for a birthday party!

This is clearly not my normal sewing but it was a lot of fun! I don't think any of the other kids in my life are into doll clothes, but hopefully Lady Bug will stay interested for a while and like these enough to ask me to make more!