Sunday, February 24, 2008

Urban Quilters League... UNITE!

Thanks to Linsay, whom I met over Flickr, I joined a new quilting group - the Urban Quilters League. (I think we're still deciding on a name, but this was the only suggestion and I think it's cute-thanks Marie!) With this being my first quilting group, I didn't know what to expect. I wasn't able to attend the first meeting, but I was able to join their second meeting and met most of the members. We were limited to meeting for an hour because we were using City Quilter's classroom.

My first UQL assignment: create a 16" x 13" block for Rose's soon-to-arrive baby. The group had picked out fabric at the first meeting, and thankfully I could join in the fun even though I was late to the game.

Yesterday, I ran over to where Linsay's roommate had the fabric for me (thanks Kevin!) and got started. I drafted a design last night, and finished the block this morning. It was the first time I designed a block so I was a little nervous about getting the measurements right. And, I had never done curved piecing before. It was definitely not as difficult as I thought it was going to be, much to my surprise.

The funny thing is, I messed up. Can you see it? After drafting out a pattern and creating plastic templates for the pieces, it's important to remember to trace the template pieces backwards onto the back of the fabric. I needed two each of the background shapes for the big orange circle blocks. I had three of one, and then one of the other. So, I had to flip one of the fabrics and use the back of it on the front. (It's the paisley fabric - a Katmandu fabric from Mark Lipinski.) Hope it looks ok!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Thank you Sew Mama Sew!

Flattered is an understatement. Thank you for featuring my Crossroads Quilt on your wonderful blog, Sew Mama Sew!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Blouse #2 - Getting There

So, here's my second blouse.

I like it. But you know what it's like when you make something; you only ever see the mistakes you've made. So, here is all I see when I look at it.

The collar. Oy. That was the hard part of this blouse. It doesn't stand up right, and you can see the stitching by the front facing. I ripped it out about 3 times, but finally left it alone. The fabric was starting to unweave.

The front facing. At the top, I just didn't understand what I was supposed to do. I just "winged" it. And, well, it looks it.

The sleeve caps. They're supposed to be gathered. One looks kind of gathered. The other looks tucked.

Other than that, I like it. I like the stiffness of the fabric. A japanese import fabric from Purl Patchwork. It works for me. And, I couldn't believe I found buttons that matched the gold perfectly. That made me happy. And I like the sleeves. They're pretty without being all ruffly.

I've got a lot to learn, and a long way to go. But, I've got some other patterns in mind and fabric ready to go.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Little House Blouse

I feel like a new world has opened to me. I made my first shirt. I usually have a hard time finding buttonfront shirts that fit because of the boob situation. If it fits me everywhere else, the button across the bust is usually hanging on for dear life. I tried stretchy blouses, but that just made me look loose. Tight blouse = loose girl. (I couldn't resist.) So, I resigned myself to wearing sack-ish shirts that just hung off of me. Every time I looked in the mirror, I would shrug and think that maybe I'll single-handedly bring grunge back. Even if I did, I'd be too old for it anyway.

So, I started taking sewing classes. We made an elastic-waisted skirt in class. Not sexy, not worth even talking about. But, it fit and I learned some great basic techniques. And we're onto making a tote bag with some serious interfacing and soon we'll be making a t-shirt. I'm excited for that.

Anyway, I've been hoarding sewing books and patterns just willing myself to dive in and make a piece of apparel. Every time I took out that darned tissue paper, I would stuff it back into the envelope and go back into my comfort zone. Well, I did it. The class gave me enough confidence to give it a whirl.

I used the shirt pattern in Sew U by Wendy Mullin - the Built By Wendy gal - and gave birth to my first shirt. I had bought this fabric with a shirt in mind, hoping to achieve a sort of boho, country chic. But, I think I landed short and all I think when I see it is Little House On The Prairie.

I was able to bond with my new Baby Lock Evolve serger a bit. Getting a good feel for it and what it actually does. So I used a simple 3-thread overlock to finish the seams, and a single chain stitch to complete the hemming at the bottom of the shirt. I know what all the fuss is about now. It's fast, powerful and just glides.

I'm hoping to eventually alter these patterns and really make them fit well. This shirt fits across the boob area, but is a wee bit in the waist/lower back area. We'll see.

The whole process was F-U-N!!!