Friday, April 28, 2017

The Non-Conformist

Last week I was excited to see my quilt pattern "The Non-Conformist" as the MQG's Quilt of the Month for April 2017. In case you missed it you can download the pattern here.

This is the first two color and also the largest quilt I have made. I arrived at the pattern by accident so here is a little bit about the thought process that went behind it.
Photo courtesy of The Modern Quilt Guild - all rights reserved

I love the classic winged block. The jagged look of the block really resonates with me. I had picked it as the block for a bee quilt I made earlier. I was a few blocks short of the sixteen I needed for the quilt and while making the additional scrappy blocks it was not lost on me how much easier it would be if I had used only two colors. I could just chain piece the blocks and be done.

This led me to creating the quilt in just two colors using EQ7. Once it was set up, I started playing with different orientations and seeing what the outcome looked like. During this process I felt that there were too many HSTs in the design. It made the pattern look too dense. It would look better if I reduced the number of HSTs. So I started by first removing 1 or 2 HSTs from the initial block. As I continued to remove more I liked the emerging pattern. It had a nice airy feel to it. The little triangles floated on the background. I continued the process till I had hit what I thought was the right balance.

During this process I also coined a name for the block - The Non-Conformist - as I felt it was trying very hard not to conform to the traditional block pattern but at the same time was constrained by it.

Since this was a large quilt and I wanted it quilted in a very specific way, I decided to get it quilted on a longarm. Dionne at Dinglebobbins did a wonderful job of it. She even gave me pointers on how to get a perfectly square a quilt top which I incorporated in the pattern instructions. The quilt lines are straight and do not intersect the black triangles. This ensures that the triangles really pop. 

If you do make a quilt using this pattern please do send me a picture, I would love to see your interpretation of it.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Experiments with garment sewing

Lately completing a quilt has become a challenge for me. It is something I need to deal with, but with reduced sewing time I find myself distracted by smaller projects. One of them being garment sewing. I am no expert by any measure. I had purchased the 'Tova Tunic' pattern by Wiksten a while back and gingerly made my first top years ago, something I have never worn to this day.

I decided to give this another try, this time, a dress. I used this lovely Ikat woven fabric I picked up from Drygoods Design. I love how it turned out and it has been well worn.

This fabric is great for summer but a bit too breathable for winter so I got some Robert Kaufman Mammoth flannel that still needs to be made into a second dress. While making the dress I considered a sleeveless version of it. I pulled out this long hoarded print by Denyse Schmidt and made it sans sleeves and collar. I gave it contrast piping for a little embellishment. Cannot wait for warmer weather to wear this.

Sewing two of these dresses gave me the confidence to tackle yet one more project. I have been meaning to sew some pajamas for myself, so I got adventurous and ordered 'The Carolyn' pattern by Closet Case Patterns. I decided to grab the bull by the horns and go for the most complex option with piping.

It took me 3 long weekends to get this done. One to study the pattern and understand what needs to be done and the other two to cut and sew up the outfit. I used my serger for this one. The fabric is Manuscript from Papiere by Amy Sinibaldi for Art Gallery Fabrics

I love how they fit but I do find quilting fabric a little coarse for sleepwear. I purchased some soft double gauze to make another one. A project that still requires completion.

Just a short write up on my adventures with garment sewing. If you plan to tackle either of these patterns and are looking for tips feel free to contact me. I learnt a great deal along the way and would be happy to share.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Laptop cover

My sis-in-law has been asking me for a quilted laptop cover for a while now but I just could not find a pattern I liked. Finally I decided to make up my own and this is what I came up with.

I put some long hoarded Echino to good use. I paired it with this really nice green solid from 'In The Beginning'. I have been using a lot of green in my projects lately and was thrilled to know that Greenery is the Pantone color of the year for 2017.

I added an extra pocket in the front for papers and cables. The velcro fasteners are iron on and seem to hold up quite well.

Trusty sidekick approved.

Now to make one for my sis-in-law who is still waiting for hers. ;)