Wonderful Wednesday

So much for my resolution for a low fabric buy month. I just spent a very Wonderful Wednesday morning with my friends, Francine and Toni. They are the owners of Las Colchas. Francine and I have been friends since 1967… I was a bridesmaid at her wedding. Las Colchas offers a varied selection of fabric that will catch the eye of anyone who likes to play with fabric. They also have wool, felt, threads, etc… just about anything you need to create. The bonus at this store, is the help, guidance, and support that Francine, Toni, and all of the gracious people who work in the shop.
I have been wanting to branch out and try something different, original, colorful, and artistic. At my library, I ran across books by Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston. Collaborative Quilting Talking It Over, and Collaborate Again, are books that I just had to order for myself. I have been pouring through these books for some time, and I have been purchasing colorful and different fabric …just because…no real plan. Over the holidays, I started designing my own quilt based on suggestions and ideas from the books. Yesterday, I started pulling out some of my fabric. I realized that even though the fabric was beautiful, it was all still real “safe”. Not “matchy-matchy”, but just not free enough for what I had in my head. I decided to consult with Francine… and I am so glad I did. We spent the morning talking about my ideas. Both Francine and Toni encouraged me to have fun and just pick out different fabric. I picked some out, still a little conservative, and then Francine helped me out. She threw in fat quarters and talked to me about looking at the fabric as pieces, not as a whole. Each piece in one of the fat quarters added a different splash of color or design that would make blocks stand out. This was so much fun!
 This may not look like much, all stacked together. But I think this fabric, along with the fabric I already bought, will make some great blocks.
So, thank you, Francine and Toni! I am cleaning up my work space and plan to start tomorrow. Wonderful Wednesday was a bit too much for me and I need to put my feet up for a bit!

 

Last Quilt

A few months ago, my friends and I were visiting one of our favorite quilt shops, Las Colchas. They had a Christmas quilt hanging on the wall that just caught my attention. It was different. Seasonal, but not Christmas-y. I had no intention of buying the kit, but I did.
My first response to the fabric was that it was lively and told a story. The fabric is A Winter’s Tail, by Elizabeth Grubough. The bear and rabbit featured in these fabrics are very cute. I just thought there were a lot of stories going on in the fabric. I thought it should be named, A Winters TALE.
I have never made an X block, so this was a learning experience for me. Once I pieced the top, I thought maybe it was a bit too busy. I ended up adding a neutral beige with small polka-dot border to give a place for the eye to rest. There is a bright green binding that is not seen in this photo. There are tinges of this green in the blocks, and the binding really picks it up. Jeana Kubik quilted it for me and I love the end product. It is still a bit busy for my comfort zone, but it is growing on me. I hope the recipient of this quilt feels the same. 😉


Jeana sells 118″ wide backing, and I chose this beige/gold star and snowflake fabric.

Winter’s Tale

On one of my shopping trips to Las Colchas, a display quilt caught my eye. It was made from the fabric collection of Elizabeth Grubaugh, which I found to be so “active” and different. One of the fabrics is called Bear’s Holiday…my favorite. Another print, that has very cute rabbits, is called Marshmallow Morning. Then there is the Deer Santa print. The animal prints just tell a story. The quilt is called A Winter’s Tail, but I think it should be called a Winter’s Tale. It is a holiday quilt, but it does not look like the typical seasonal quilt. I bought the fabric and pattern on impulse, and I’m glad I did.
I managed to get everything cut today. I also pieced thirteen of the blocks. I hope to finish piecing the other blocks tomorrow. Then I can assemble the quilt when I return from Rockport.

A Bear’s Holiday

I love the color combinations.

My Wabi-Sabi Quilt

Francine, from Las Colchas, had told me to drop by on Thursday so she could assess the faded photo problem I had with the quilt I made for my grandson. I could not wait until Thursday. Since I needed more fabric for the log cabin quilt, I dropped by the Mesquite Bean this morning. There were quite a few experienced quilters there, since they meet on Tuesdays to work on projects. The consensus there was to keep the faded photos, wash with fabric color catchers ( I always do), and try adding some Retayne.(to stop the bleed).  I then drove over to Las Colchas. Francine wasn’t there, but Vicky was working. She is a super talented and artistic quilter. Vicky confirmed what the quilters at the Mesquite Bean recommended.
I just pulled the quilt out of the dryer, and I am happy with the results. It did not fade or bleed any further. The dryer poofed up the quilt and it looks bright and bold.
I guess this is my Wabi-Sabi quilt.

Block #38~ Friday, September 21

The block for my journal is all about special memories about sewing, friends, and my Tia Isidra.
This past week, my friend, Francine, set up a special sewing class for me and two of my friends.
Francine is the owner of Las Colchas. My friends and I were given special attention and guidance, as we attempted to make clothes for ourselves. As we were sewing, we shared stories about how we got interested in making our own clothes. One of my friends had a mother who made all of her clothes for her. Another friend, weaves her own fabric, and is now interested in making clothing. We had so much fun learning, sewing, laughing, and remembering.
My interest in making clothes comes from my Tia Isidra. Tia made fabulous clothes for all of my Madame Alexander Dolls. I had the best dressed dolls! Every summer,Tia made me a fancy birthday dress for my birthday. She let me choose the fabric, which usually included organza. Tia would make the petticoat attached to the dresses. I always felt so pretty in those full, poofy, fancy dresses.
In high school, I took a Home Economics class. Tia helped me with my sewing project. From her, I learned that the finish on the inside had to be as good as the outer outfit.
The block entry for this week was made with the fabric I chose for making a tunic. It represents more than the outfit I made for myself. It represents memories of a very special aunt, and a time with friends.

Block #38~ Friday, September 21
Sew Special
Background: 
Yellow 100% cotton
Technique: Applique

Don’t Give Up

A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.
B.F. Skinner

 

One of my goals for this year is to make my own clothes. I gave it my best shot this week, starting with a personalized sewing class at Las Colchas. I purchased the pattern, Easy Top and Tunic by Amy Barickman -Indygo Essentials at Las Colchas.

The butterfly fabric I purchased at Las Colchas is beautiful, but maybe not the best choice for a tunic. I look like a moving mass of butterflies in migration.

I received great instruction and guidance during the class. I was able to get most of the tunic finished there. The pattern has great directions.  All I had to do when I left the class was set the interfacing for the collar and hem the rounded bottom of the tunic.
Well… I am not calling my tunic a total failure, but I am not happy with the finish I gave to the seams and hem. Also, this was a lot of work for one “easy” garment. I might rethink my goal of making my own clothes. But, I will not give up just yet. I plan to make at least one more attempt at making a garment of some kind.

Fun Day

Last summer, I tried making myself a dress. I had not sewn anything for myself since the ’70’s. The disastrous results were proof that I either needed lessons; or I needed to give up the idea of making my own clothes.
I asked my friend, Francine, the owner of Las Colchas, if she would provide a class in making a clothing item from a pattern. Two of my friends wanted to be included in this class.
Francine went out of her way to make this a very valuable and productive class. First, the store is closed on Monday, but she opened it just for us. Being in a fabric shop on a day it is closed is like being a kid in the candy store. I had to make myself stop looking and get to business. Francine arranged for another instructor, Jeanne, to be there for us. We learned little tips that only someone with experience can share. Both Francine and Jeanne made us feel relaxed. They gave us the push we needed to feel confident about the task ahead. Francine even provided lunch. We took this lunch time as a chance to discuss what we had learned so far, how we felt about our product, and any other questions we may have had.
We were supposed to work from 10-2, but we extended it to 3. I have only the finishing touches to add to the tunic that I chose as my product. One of my friends went to learn tips, but did not start on a product. It was a fun day!

This was our sewing work space in the back of the house.

Francine stayed close by to answer any questions and guide us when we got stuck. She is always working on a project herself.

Jeanne would go back and forth from cutting room to sewing room to assist each one of us at whatever stage on which we were working.

Francine and I go way back. I was a bridesmaid at her wedding.
A big shout out and thanks to Francine and Jeanne.
Hopefully, I will be able to finish the tunic soon. Depending on the results, I am thinking of making my outfit for the upcoming wedding.

Still Raining

It is still raining, and since I am stuck inside, I decided to get busy on some small projects. One of the projects is a small zipper tote. I followed the tutorial by Jenny Doan at Missouri Star. I had some of the sewing notion print fabric leftover, so I made two small zippered pouches.

Sewing Notion Pouches


Zippered Pouch
These pouches will come in handy tomorrow. If we get out of the low water crossing and flood alert, I will be meeting two of my friends at Las Colchas. Francine, the owner of Las Colchas, is opening her shop on Monday to give us sewing lessons. It has been years since I made clothes for myself. I need a refresher on how to fit the pattern and make necklines and sleeves. It should be a fun day…if it stops raining!
I also made some small zipper-less pouches. Vanessa, at Crafty Gemini, has a tutorial for these small pouches. These pouches are good stash busters. I plan to gift them at a luncheon I will be attending.

It has been a productive Sunday.
I hope you have enjoyed your day.

Sewing Machine Cover

Las Colchas had this bright, happy, sewing notion print-fabrics. My sewing machine makes me happy, so I thought this fabric would be perfect for making a sewing machine cover.
I viewed many tutorials on Youtube, but I found that the Crafty Gemini had the easiest instructions. I love to view Vanessa’s tutorials. She has tutorials on just about anything you can think of making. I made some changes to the instructions by adding a lining made from remnants and scraps. I quilted the cover using masking tape to make my diagonal lines. Vanessa talks about making crisp corners. My corners are a bit mushy but that’s okay. Binding is something I dread since I am awful at making mitered corners. I gave it a shot, and the results were not too bad.
When I was cutting the fabric for the main part, I cut it in the wrong direction. The sewing machine prints were upside down. I did not have enough fabric to re-cut, so I covered the upside-down sewing machines with heart appliques made from the fabric that had the pin print.

Inside Lining


Front

Back (with the boo-boo hearts)


Top

It has been raining and dreary for three days. Making this cover made things a bit brighter.
The sewing machine cover has made my Happy Place an even happier room!

Pause for Pillowcases

Today, I hit pause on arranging the fat quarter quilt blocks. A new month will be here soon, so I stopped working on the quilt so I could make the pillowcases for my two youngest grandchildren.
July is big birthday month for my family.
All three of my sons and my granddaughter have a birthday this month. My one and only niece has a birthday this month.
I tried a new pattern that was given to me by my friend and owner of Las Colchas.
She had run out of the birthday fabric, so I had to go to JoAnn’s.
I didn’t particularly care for the black and multi-colored birthday fabric, but it was the only birthday fabric available.
The pattern calls for gathering and this is a first for me. I tried gathering to make the ruffle three times. Each time the thread would break on me.  Then I looked up some tutorials on gathering fabric. I should have done this first!
There were so many tutorials, each with a bit of difference in instructions. I chose to follow the instructions given by Leslie , The Seasoned Homemaker. She connects the two parallel lines at one end. This made a big difference. No thread breakage!

The photo does not show how the ruffle poofs up.

This month’s fabric theme for my grandson is Paw Patrol. These were made using the burrito pillowcase technique.

Now, it is time to pause for a Popsicle!