Category Archives: fabrics

and now for something completely different: field work pillow

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Just a sneak peek of what I have sitting on my sewing desk since before Thanksgiving. A new pillow inspired by some aerial photography and fabulous work by Victoria Gertenbach. I have not had a chance to get into my sewing room for almost two weeks. This is almost finished – two more patches, already cut, are waiting to be sewn on and then just the back of the pillow to finish it off. Maybe today.

I have about two weeks before the school is out for the winter break and we are off for some skiing and family time (not really looking forward to freezing cold temps, but eh, what to we do for love… I don’t ski, it’s my hubby and now my son who fell in love with it last year) so there will not be much sewing going on during December. I don’t want to make huge plans, I will be happy to simply finish a few pillows for my little guy’s teachers. And maybe start a new knitting project (hey, I already made a swatch. what, I did not take a photo?!)

spiro quilt – finished

Yes, it is finished!

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The quilt was waiting for binding for a few days, but today I found some time and here it is. I would have liked to put darker binding, maybe something with black… but all my black fabrics is in little scraps, definitely not enough for binding.

I am quite pleased how it turned out. I like the bright colors – and I really enjoyed picking colors for the “swirls”. Most swirls are made with all different fabrics, 12 in all, and the squares are done with one fabric – usually the one I most like from each swirl. I think I might be going back to this – not in the same design, but I really like the swirls…

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Because of the layout of the squares – the design is a little “slanted”, for the lack of a better term. As you can see, the squares are not aligned – I like how it adds movement to the quilt, but I had a little hard time choosing how to quilt. So I decided on a simple grid – both directions, every 3 inches (except in one place where the lines are 2 in apart, but when I caught that it was too late to rip out). If I were better in free motion quilting – I would have chosen that, but…

The squares are 7x7in (swirls) and 6x6in (squares), which makes the finished size about 40×40 inches.

spiro quilt – progress

I usually don’t get any sewing done over the weekend. It’s all about family… But I did make a lot of progress on Friday:

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Sandwich was made. I decided against piecing the back, piecing of all these blocks took long enough. And I was just eager to see this one finished. So, I used pink/white striped fabric.

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The sandwich was pinned. I use safety pins at about every 3-4 inches. Since I have only done straight quilting thus far, I find it useful to pin them in one direction – the one I will be quilting first. Less snag – and if there is any, it is usually in one direction and I can easily take care of it.

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And finally – most of quilting was done. I decided on quilting on both sides of seams, every three inches (the strips are 1 in finished width), in both directions. Not quite finished, but getting there. I am quite happy how this one is turning out.

I was thinking about binding – I wanted a black/white fabric but the ones I used in the top, the ones I like – I don’t have enough. I will probably go with red/white stripe.

spiro quilt – sneak peak #2

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All the squares are done, pressed and trimmed to their attended sizes: 18 squares 7.5 x 7.5 in and 18 6.5 x 6.5 in.

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The plan for tonight is to put them up on the design wall, arrange; maybe finish the top? That would be great…

spiro quilt – sneak peak

Yes, I am quilting again. There was almost 2 months of almost no sewing!!! I say almost, because I did finish two pillows, but there was about 4 – 5 weeks that I did not… could not sit at my desk because of the pain in my shoulder. But, I have recovered, reorganized my sewing room – which included a purchase of a new desk – just for the machine – and I am back! So what am I up to?

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I named it Spiro and this is just a brief sneak. I am about half way done, with 20 more squares to go. It is slow going because each block is a block cabin variation pieced from strips with many, many different fabrics. Oh, I am in heaven.

some halloween sewing

I don’t really go crazy about Halloween. I do it for the kids. I don’t dress up. I don’t do Halloween sewing. And I don’t keep it a secret (actually I am not crazy about holidays in general but that’s a whole different post). This year however… no I did not dress up… I did some sewing – my guys needed new trick-or-treat bags. I was inspired by Pink Chalk Studio Spider Web Log Cabin Tutorial and used the Quilt As You Go method to create these little trick-or-treat bags. 4 in total – 2 for our friends as a present and 2 for my little guys.

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I didn’t have a lot of Halloween fabrics, so I used other stash black/gray/green/orange fabrics, but I am quite happy how they turned out. By guys liked them, and that’s what counts. They were parading around the hose all day with them. They are quite small (made on purpose) so they were quite happy when they filled them up with candy – Sven kept saying “Mommy, I have too much. Too much candy.” Good problem to have, no?

And here they are in action:

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new pillows and some homemade fabric

This pillow top has been hanging on my design wall for over a month, waiting to be finished. This finally happened over the weekend:

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I like my quilted pillow with a border, but with this one, I felt it was too busy for a border. It is about 18″ square, envelope back in the same blue linen.

I like these little crosses, I might do a similar quilt soon.

I felt a bit nostalgic, so I made this pillow too:

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This one is about 16″ square, also with envelope back in natural twill. This pillow was inspired by some newly acquired fabrics with writing on it, some dotty fabrics and finally some fabrics I printed myself. I have been thinking about doing that for a while, but just did not get to it. SInce my shoulder is still hurting, and I am not supposed to spend too much time sewing (when, oh when will this stop) I thought this would be a perfect time to try this. I had some fabrics sheets I bought a while ago, I got a few random pictures off the web, and printed on my inkjet printer. This is what it looked like:

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This picture is actually after washing, drying and ironing it (to set the color – these are the washable sheets). This is what I think:

  • the color was the same as printed on plain paper;
  • the fabric sheet is supposed to be white, but it’s really off-white;
  • the color did not run or fade during the setting process (washing, drying, ironing);
  • the fabric is quite soft but has a little paper-y feel to it; especially when sewn – it makes that popping sound as if you were sewing through paper;
  • it’s $9.99 for 3 sheets – a little pricey: next I want to try preparing my own fabric for printing – both for the price and to see if the fabric will feel better.
  • it was fun – you could print anything to add to sewing projects.

new fabrics

I haven’t done this in a long time, but here are some new fabrics I got yesterday at Michael Miller store at the Fashion District in downtown LA:

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The dotty one is Brandon Mably for Rowan, and the other two are Joel Dewberry.

stripey finished

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Yep! Finished. The idea came from one of the kaffe fasset’s books – a little all-blue quilt made of shirting fabrics. I did not have as many blue striped fabrics, but I had plenty of striped fabrics in variety of colors.

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This one took longer than I expected. First of all – it took longer to piece the squares. These were made from strips of white fabric sewn together with strips of striped fabrics. The stripes were then cut into triangles – 8 triangles for each combined, to make 2 squares – one with the white square in the middle, one with a white stripe on the outside, around the square. Since there was a lot of sewing on the bias, and the fabrics were really all different, some stretchier than other. This resulted in squares of all different sizes, so I had to trip them all dowm to 8in sq.

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Arranging the squares was really quite fun and I really liked the result.

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Quilting, ahhh quilting. That took longer than expected too. I quilted diagonally, both sides of seams. And then, since the squares were large, I quilted squares inside the squares made by quilting lines. And the fabric was stretching. And stretching. But I could do nothing. Or I did not know what to do. Anyway, quilting is done and is it as it is. I like it.

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This is the first time I patched the back of the quilt, too. Here I used up some of the left over squares. Well, they were not really left over. They were a mistake. And that’s also why making these blocks took so long. After I planned the quilt, picked all the fabrics, I started cutting. And sewing the strips together. And cutting the triangles. And then when I put the triangles together to see what they looked like I realized I  made a mistake. A mistake cutting the striped fabric. It seems that stripes always run along the length of the fabric, not across the width. I needed to cut lengthwise, but I was just cutting as I always do. So I ended up with these scraps that I used for the back (if you look closely, you can see that stripes do not run paralel to the sides of the squares, like on the front). I think I was watching Rescue Me while I did this. Distracted much?

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a new block

I was tired of quilting yesterday and had to take a break. But I could do some cutting and a little bit of sewing so here it is – a new block:

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I drew this one some time ago, and it’s interesting how it looks different all sewn up. When I sketched it (actually it was a sketch of a quilt, not just a block) I was focusing on the color area – I liked the idea of a “swirl”. But now that I’m looking at it, I seem to focus on the white part. Hmm… would it change if I added some white all around?

The size of the block is about 5in square.