Monday, March 24, 2014

The Whirlpool Quilt--An Improv Project

I'm home and recovering from Sew South! That is a post for another day, but today I wanted to share with you my absolute favorite piece I created for my Improv Quilting class at Sew South. It's been so hard not sharing this one. I'm in love with it. What began simply as an experiment has become one of my favorite projects ever!

It all started while walking around the mall one day. I snapped a picture of this Anthropologie window display thinking it would make a great quilt.

After sketching and experimenting, that idea turned into this! Meet The Whirlpool!

This is completely machine pieced. I quilted it using a flame-like design with matching threads. As per my usual, I used Art Gallery Pure Elements. I think it's about time I get a wholesale account and just buy a bolt of each color...

The stitching from the back.

This guy actually replaced the Pixelated Color Wheel in my living room and now hangs above our piano. 

I had so much fun piecing this. I was absolutely thrilled when my idea came out better than I ever imagined. If you missed out on Sew South, join me at The Small Town Quilt Show in Midway, Utah this June. I'll be teaching another Improv Quilting class! As part of the class, I'll be discussing the method I used to create this piece!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Truck Jams

The boy is always asking me to make him things, but boys are just harder to sew for. Enter Laurie Wisbrun's Trucks and Tractors fabric. It was perfect for my little guy who is fairly obsessed with anything with wheels right now. Laurie sent me a couple prints from her line and I sewed some new jams for the boy. I made him one new pair of pj pants and a couple new shirts.

I simply bought plain, inexpensive t-shirts and appliqued a fussy-cut image of different trucks onto the shirts.

This one is headed out to a little boy who LOVES the color orange as well as garbage trucks. I think it will be perfect for him!

Well, that wraps up my projects with my Laurie Wisbrun fabric for now. I still have two other small projects in mind with the last yard of fabric from the package she sent me. It's fun to mix up my sewing a bit and make different things, but I'm always ready to get back to quilting. I have a new quilt on the wall right now that I'm loving and can't wait to share!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Some New Jane Market Bags

For my first project from the extra fabric Laurie sent me, I made three new Jane Market Bags. I love this bag design and have made it many times in the past. My one complaint about the pattern is the lack of interfacing suggestions. I don't think quilting weight cotton is appropriate for this pattern without interfacing, yet the pattern doesn't include this info even as a suggestion. I've tried multiple types of interfacing when making these bags. This time I chose to use cotton duck as an interlining rather than using any interfacing. I simply stitched the interlining to the exterior fabric in a couple places and used it as is. I like the added stability without the stiffness you sometimes get with interfacing. I will definitely use this method again. 

I used Laurie's Sew Pretty line that came out last year. The fabrics are very fun together.

They are each lined with the seam ripper print. I added one pocket inside.

Since I was on a bag making kick, I also put together a few extras. These bags are made with the same dimensions as the original Jane Market Bag, but I chose not to add the accent pocket on each side. I found a great deal on some Heather Bailey Garden District Home Dec fabric and purchased it with the intent of making multiple bags. I want to build up my stash of bags again to give as gifts. This version is much easier and faster, but still very functional. I used cotton webbing for the handles to cut that step as well. I have several more bags cut and ready to put together when I find more time.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Blue Chair Gets a Facelift

The blue chair has been in dire need of some attention lately. She was starting to look stretched, faded and worn. I didn't know what I was doing when I recovered her seat the first time and didn't do the best job possible. This time around I actually did some research and am much happier with the results.

Here she is looking sad before repairs.

It actually took me months to decide what to do about the new cover. I couldn't decide if I wanted to use the same fabric or find something different in a home decor weight. I mentioned my dilemma on Instagram and Laurie Wisbrun graciously offered to send me some from her own stash. Tufted Tweets was her first line for Robert Kaufman. I adore Laurie's designs. Her fabrics are among the few "cutesy" lines I like. Since Laurie was sending me some new chair fabric, she offered to stuff the envelope with a several more yards of her other fabrics. I made a few more fun projects from her fabric that I'll be sharing in the coming week.

In the end I decided to stick with the chairs fabric. It just wouldn't be "the blue chair" anymore without it. Thanks to Laurie, I'm set for a few more years. My chair still needs a few paint touch-ups, but she is looking much less shabby.

My corners look so much better this time. The first time around I was so afraid to pull the fabric too hard. I love how much more professional it looks this time.

Since I opted for quilting weight fabric again, I sought Instagram advice on interfacing products. I secretly hate using interfacing on anything, so I'm usually at a loss for the best product. I ended up using a layer of Pellon Shape Flex followed by a layer of fusible fleece. It really was just perfect. It has good stability, but wasn't too thick and stiff to wrap. I also replaced the foam cushion and clipped the edges to give it a better shape this time.

When we finally get some green grass growing again, I'll take some new photos for my blog cards. I just ordered a new batch to take to Sew South in two weeks!

Here is a before and after of the fabric. The fabric on the left has been on my chair for four years. I'm actually really pleased with how it held up over time considering it's just quilting cotton, and I use this chair nearly every day.

Before and after! Life is looking a little better for the blue chair!