Quilting in a Small Town

Sharing a little local fame and glory!

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Alaskan Treasures!

 

IMG_1993We just got back from vacationing in the great state of Alaska. First we went by sea, visiting little towns in the Inside Passage. Then we rented a car and drove as far as Anchorage. Along the way, we enjoyed the country side, the little towns of Homer, Seldovia, Copper Landing, and the big city of Anchorage. As much as I enjoyed the incredible expansive wilderness filled with snowcapped mountains, glaciers, and wildlife, I also enjoyed finding two great quilt/fabric stores in Cooper Landing and in Anchorage.

IMG_2281Each store had unique Alaskan themed fabric designed by Alaskan Artists. I felt like a kid in a candy store, in both locals. I bought small amounts of fabric and one quilt kit featuring bears and moose. The first store I visited is, Bearly Threaded Quilting in Cooper Landing. The bigger sister store is located in Soldotna, Bearly Threaded Too.  The other store that I  made a beeline for is Changing Tides in Anchorage.

PPBU4311I hope to incorporate the fabrics into my Splendid Sampler Quilt that I am making this year along with more than 20,000 other quilters around the world. We receive two patterns a week for a six inch block. Each one is designed by different quilt artist. I’m learning everything from paper piecing, embroidery, and appliqué in this incredibly challenging but fun quilt-along hosted by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson. It’s not too late to join in on the fun. Just go to the website, The Splendid Sampler, and you can download the first 35 patterns. There will be 100 in all. Here are some of my favorites:

And a snapshot of all the ones I have made so far, pinned to the cover of a hide-a-bed in my sewing room:

Group of 35 Blocks

IMG_2214I spy sea otters, bears, bald eagles, whales, seals, moose, in their natural habitats and I also find fabric treasures that will remind me of this special time and place.

Happy Sewing!

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Yellow Floral Dress

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Pattern? Why did you choose it? I used a Kay Unger Design for Vogue 1353. It’s a lined, sleeveless dress with front neckline pleats, scoop neckline, close-fitting bodice (slightly above waist), princess seams, pleated skirt, thread loops, and invisible back zipper. The hem is topstitched in place by hand. I chose it because I liked all of the fine details that make it more than just a quick sew, but a dress with extra features that are worth taking time to do.

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What fabric did you use? Why did you choose it? I used a printed cotton seersucker sent to me by the wonderful folks at White Tree Fabrics in Leicester, United Kingdom. I’m a proud member of the blogging team and enjoy sewing up sample garments using their unique collections of patterns and fabrics. This summery print is a lightweight orange, yellow, and black floral. If you want some the SKU is 436245-15.

IMG_1766Would you recommend the pattern? Would you change anything next time?  I love the fit and style of of this pattern. It turned out wonderfully. I’m already imagining how I could change it up, by gathering the skirt, and altering the neckline. I especially love how the lining is attached at the top of the shoulders and how the skirt lining is attached to the bodice lining and hangs freely like a slip. It feels delightful to wear.IMG_1778Any interesting details? There are quite a few interesting details that you would never find in RTW garments. The  hem has a separate lining, that is hand-stitched with two strands of embroidery thread. This took over an hour to do. I knew it was going to look fantastic so I didn’t mind spending the time on it. It also has crocheted belt loops to hold a purchased belt in place.IMG_1761What do you think of your finished garment? I’m very pleased with the fit and style. I love all of the unique details that make it so special. I’ve since purchased a narrow patten-leather belt to highlight the black details of the dress for next time.IMG_1784IMG_1812.jpgFirst worn? I wore it for a get together with my two youngest daughters on Mother’s Day. We stayed at the Flamingo Inn in Santa Rosa. My youngest, humored me by taking these pictures while we were there.FullSizeRender

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Thank you, White Tree Fabrics!

Happy Sewing!

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I Remember Mama

Thinking about Mom today and to all the moms out there…Happy Mother’s Day!

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I Remember Mama

Yes, I fondly remember Mama. I’ve spent weeks thinking about my mom and trying to remember everything I could about her. You see, my mom passed away when my youngest daughter was just over three years old. Mom was only 68 years old. Unfortunately her health declined rapidly in her later years and she died during surgery.  One thing I distinctly remember was that my mom did not want to end up in a nursing home, old and needy, so I guess it was a blessing that she left us before that. Still, even as I write this, emotions well up inside me, because she could have been her now, and not missed so much of our lives and we her’s.

Mama and Me

I remember a lot of this and that about Mom, she was born and raised in Mass. in a big…

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Knit Top Kraze!

 

IMG_1451I am getting ready for a vacation to Alaska! With the date fast approaching, I’ve made  several knit tops from uniquely designed fabric from Spoonflower, a yard from Mood in New York, and a yard of stretch knit from the bargain table at Beverly’s.IMG_1450For my first test pattern, I used McCall’s 7059. I realized that I don’t like the seam allowance of 5/8 inch for knits. It is awkward to sew when using a serger. It’s much easier with patterns that are designed for knits and have a smaller seam allowance. The stitch line is easier to calculate underneath the cutting device.

For the next two tops, I used the Idllywild pattern by Itch to Stitch. This has a a more fitted shape, different sleeve options, necklines, and lengths.IMG_1495 It can be made into a dress  which I have a pictures of in this post. I have to grade the pattern between sizes to get the right fit for my pear shape. This is a pieces of fabric that I brought back from Mood in New York several years ago.IMG_1486

I used a Spoonflower design by Badger and Bee for this unique top! I know I’m the only one in the world that has a top like this. That is kind of amazing, isn’t it?IMG_1536IMG_1550

This cute top is made from Spoonflower fabric also. It’s designed by LittleSmileMakers and is one of my favorites.IMG_1516IMG_1523It’s easy to make and has an interesting crossover back detail. The  pattern is McCall’s 7127.

Happy Sewing!

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My First Sampler Quilt

Block3bI love learning new things, especially when it involves sewing. At the beginning of the year, I joined The Splendid Sampler Quilt Along hosted by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson. These two are experts in their field! They are teachers, bloggers, book authors, fabric designers, and of course, quilters. I love the structure of the quilt along. It’s superbly organized, and each block pattern is beautifully written, with clear directions and colorful graphics.Block9 Each week we receive two patterns for an original 6.5 inch square that has been designed and shared by different quilters. I have my basket of coordinating fabrics ready, and soon after the pattern is published, the excitement begins with the selection of the fabrics, then the measuring and cutting, and lastly the construction.  Then comes the surprising and pleasing result!block14A gullsReaders, if you want to jump in and learn over 100 different quilt block designs, it’s not too late! We are only 15 blocks in at this point. At the end of the year, we will all have over 100 blocks to put together into a quilt. The best part is that the quilt along is absolutely free!Block 15

Happy Sewing!

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March Marches On

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Watercolor Quilt Wallhanging 40×40

I have several things to share with you that I have been working on during the first few weeks of March. First, just let me say that I tried out for the position of a Bernina Ambassador, but I wasn’t selected. I knew they would be snooping around the blogs, so I kept the last post up longer than I usually do. While waiting on pins and needles to see who they might select, I kept myself busy with gratifying and creative endeavors.

I have been busy making samples for Lecien Fabrics using Radiant Girl Fabric:

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Crop Top Vogue 1486 and Lekala Skirt (New Design) trimmed with Radiant Girl Fabric by Lecien Fabrics

teaching sewing lessons to young and old:IMG_1165and faithfully working on each The Splendid Sampler blocks, that are posted every Thursday and Sunday.IMG_1250I can’t tell you how much I enjoy everything I am learning while creating each block.  Which includes selecting the fabric, precision cutting, and scant 1/4 inch sewing of the tiniest pieces that make up each 6 inch block. All together I will make 100 blocks this year! And I’m not the only one, another 20,000 or so people are also making these blocks. We’ve got a lot to share and talk about on the social media sites related to The Splendid Sampler.

I have finally finished a quilted wall hanging using a Watercolor Quilt Kit that I purchased last year. I enlarged the original quilt of the sewing machine with boarders and spool blocks. Next, I did free motion quilting and decorative stitching to quilt and finish it. I made  6 inch wide continuous binding, folded it in half, stitched it to the front, then slip-stitched the folded edge to the back. Finally, I made two narrow sleeves along the top, so that I could slip a dowel inside and hang it from the middle, just like a picture. IMG_1256

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IMG_1257One other long term continuous project that I am working on is called a Temperature Blanket. I crochet the low and high temperature of each day according to a color scheme that I made up. So far, I haven’t missed a day since January 1st! IMG_1252

Happy Sewing!

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