Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sorbetto, x3

Sorbetto + bloomers
As I've been mentioning / posting, I've been on a clothes-for-me sewing kick lately. I've been particularly taken with the (free!) Sorbetto pattern from Colette Patterns. Not only is the pattern easy and adorable, it doesn't take a ton of fabric and goes super quick! I wanted to try it a while ago, but instead of making a muslin (since my first try at a Colette pattern, the Chantilly, required no adjustments), I decided to make it out of leftover fabrics from a previous project. I used the same fabrics as my birthday dress, and decided to make the first top as part of some summer pjs for me (along with the [also free!] Madeleine mini-bloomers). Well. The first try was a complete success, as were the bloomers! This outfit, which I will *not* be modeling out of modesty, is completely adorable and perfect for these hot summer nights we've been having. I couldn't have been more pleased!

AMH voile Sorbetto tank 1
So, with the success of that (perfect fit! no changes!) I decided to sew through some AMH voile I had on hand. I have SO MUCH fabric that I've been buying over the years, earmarking it for future projects--as in, "this will be a skirt! that will be a top!"--and then either pre-washing and then folding it away, or just folding it away. And then accruing more fabric. This is a vicious cycle, which has resulted in me being completely overwhelmed every time I step into my sewing area now, so I'm doing what I can to sew through much of what I have on hand without buying more / new fabric. I have made some sizeable yardage purchases recently from my LQS, and I'm happy to report that I've sewn through both! But that's a future post... For the time being, I'm showing you my Little Folks voile top that I love love love. I wore it to work last week with a little black skirt and felt like "business lady (tm)"--in a good way.

IC Sorbetto 5
Over the weekend, I made yet another one. For these last two I've been making my own bias tape from the same fabric. Hey, it matches, it's the same weight, and it is so easy to do (why was I always so resistant to this?!). I'm also applying it using a nifty little method I learned from Anna Maria Horner. It's in her Socialite Dress pattern, but I believe she uses the same method for the smock top that's in her first book. This top is a little different in that I omitted the pleat, which was super simple. I felt the fabric was busy enough already, and I have this problem of continually making the same project (ahem), so thought this would help add a little variety to my closet. I'm making myself make other things next--a forced break from the Sorbetto. It's going to be hard, because these are so easy, and cute, and fun to wear. Still, there's a lot more fabric to sew through, and a lot more patterns to work up, too. More tk soon...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A new post, brought to you by the letter B

3 row B
Finally, another post! I have two exciting things to share! One is that I finished row B! You can see the last three blocks I had to make pictured above. Two down, 11 to go (plus triangles). Still, it feels oh so good to be making progress!

me with Brenda
Second is that I met Brenda Papadakis last weekend! Yes, the Brenda, the original Janiac! It turns out that she is good friends with a friend of mine from my LQS, so when Brenda came to town to give a lecture at the New England Quilt Museum, I had the opportunity to spend a little time with her. On Friday the 8th my friend had a quilters-only dinner party so we could meet Brenda. It was incredibly sweet! Quilters, cocktails, delicious summer food, and killer dessert! Plus I got Brenda to sign my book, and my blocks were passed around to much oohing and ahhing. I haven't really shown them to anyone except for Rob, so it was nice to get such positive feedback from other quilters! On Saturday my friend Melynn and I made the trip to Lowell for Brenda's talk, which was great, and then got to have lunch with her, our other LQS friend, and two of the curators from the museum. The whole thing was just lovely! Above is a picture of me with Brenda, taken after her talk on Saturday (and yes, that's a new dress, and yes, there will be a post forthcoming on that).

DJ B10
Anyway, with all this visiting going on, I fell even more behind in my block-making. Boo. I'm even further behind on my blogging, however, so here are some quick updates on row B. Above is block B10. I thought the patterned fabric would work well, but I think the scale is too big or there is too much white in the pattern because from afar the block just looks kind of messy. Oh well--it's done, and as Brenda says, "Finished is better than perfect!" I couldn't agree more.

DJ B11
Here is block B11. I didn't know how best to piece this one, so I appliquéd those curves onto the background pieces first, then pieced them in to the log cabin sashing around the center block. It was a little tricky sewing those areas where I had three fabrics instead of just two (I didn't trim out the background behind those curves), but other than that it worked just fine.

DJ B12
Block B12. I did regular appliqué, not reverse, for this. It is 5 pieces total, and for this block I did trim out the background behind the print. The center is a little bit wonky, but I must say that I'm quite pleased with the curves!

So, that completes row B! I've just finished my next block, which is in row C and which puts me at 41 blocks total. 128 to go, and then it's on to triangles! Also, I'd been wavering about putting on the scalloped border since I started this quilt. My rationale was always that it would just be too finicky and take too long. Over the weekend I realized how completely ridiculous that statement is, since it's already taking me years to complete this thing. So, yes, I am now resolved: I will do the scalloped border.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Super crazy-delayed Dear Jane update

DJ 6 B squares
Helllllooooo, July! I can't believe how quickly this summer is flying by. I know that technically it's still just the beginning, but do you remember June? Or even the end of May? I sure don't, and I can't even tell you why! Amongst the other things I was working on, I have been plugging away at my Dear Jane blocks. Here are six from row B (though I discuss 7 below), and these were all completed by the end of May. I then took a bit of a hiatus to focus on things for the sale, but am happy to report that I'm back at it, so there's even more progress than these photos represent.

So, here's block B1. Even with back-basting my appliqué, circles are still tricky! Still, I love this technique, and I've lately been using a bit bigger needle, which seems to help the fabric "remember" exactly where to turn.

Block B2. This is a bit of a mistake, as I used freezer paper to trace the block from the book, then applied to the wrong side of my fabric to trace and cut out (as I always do now). I forgot to mirror the image, so my block "spins" in the wrong direction. Oops. Clearly, it didn't bother me enough to redo it. I mean, WWJSD?*

Block B4. This was fairly straightforward, so nice to have all straight line patchwork piecing!

Block B6. Another straightforward one with all piecing, but a LOT of pieces!

Block B7. Completely back-basting appliquéd. Clearly, points are still tricky with this technique, too! I did the center circular bit out of one piece, and the diamonds all separate. I really adore that background fabric and wish I had more, in different colors!

Block B8. A good mix of piecing and appliqué. I really like this block, and think my version is near perfection.

Block B9. I did what I could to get a print with similar striping to Jane's. I quite like the effect in the center. This was all pieced, with Y-seams galore! SO much easier to do by hand.

More Dear Jane updates coming, plus some clothing, and a big Dear Jane surprise! Happy (almost) weekend!

*What Would Jane Stickle Do?