Monday, October 29, 2012

Sewing Confrontations Blog Series

Starting Nov. 2 Jess at Quilty Habit is hosting a month long blog series 'Sewing Confrontations' where she has challenged a bunch of us to get out of our comfort zone and try something new. 

Kickoff: Friday, Nov. 2: Jess at Quilty Habit - Accurate Cutting
Nov. 9: Rebecca at Sew Festive Handmade - The 1/4 Inch Seam
Nov. 16: Val at PinkPlease! - Ruffles
Nov. 23: Rachel at Let's Begin Sewing... - English Paper Piecing

Nov. 30: DOUBLE POST: Katie at Swim, Bike, Quilt - Sewing with Knits
Kristina at Ornamental Confectionary - Making Pants
*AND link up at Quilty Habit!

I have been looking at English Paper Piecing (EPP) projects all over blogland and always wanted to make something using hexies. For a number of reasons  I have been putting it off and it was time to get over the inertia and give it a try. 

Be sure to check back here starting next week. Each week you will learn a new skill and follow along with the blogger's personal challenge. You will also have a chance to discuss your own personal challenges on projects you've tried. This will be followed by a linky on Nov. 30 where you will be able to link to your own sewing confrontation projects and win some free fabric. 

I hope you are looking forward to this, I know I am. It will be a great opportunity to learn new skills.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival Entry

Woe me but I just found out about Blogger's Quilt Festival happening over at Amy's Creative Side. So want to enter my flying geese quilt as an entry, but my previous post is a week old so need to create a new post to enter. Pardon the repetition but here goes:

I started this quilt in January of this year and has taken me a while to see it to completion. It started with my love of homespun madras cotton. I love the coarse crisp feel of the fabric. I do tend to lean towards triangles and flying geese seemed like the perfect way to showcase the fabric. I went with 'stich-in-the-ditch' quilting which emphasizes the blocks beautifully. You can read more about the making of the quilt here, here, here, here & here.

Quilt Festival Stats
Finished quilt measures: 65" x 85"
Quilted by: me, Rachel Singh on my home machine
Best favorite categories: Bed quilt,Home machine quilted
Entry #87

Linking up to the quilt festival. I just took a quick peek and some amazing quilts have already been entered, looking forward to spending some time this weekend perusing other entries. Can't wait.
Amy's Creative Side

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Traditional or Modern?

The sun is out today and finally managed to take a few pictures of the completed flying geese quilt. Caution: Picture heavy post.

I added a little piece of scrap to the binding to continue the overall theme. You can see the quilting up close in this picture. I was extra careful when quilting to ensure the fabric does not pucker and on final examination I can safely say not a single pucker.

This quilt has changed my perspective on  traditional vs modern quilts. When you look at the construction of this quilt all the elements are traditional. Homespun fabrics, flying geese blocks and stitch-in-the-ditch quilting. Yet the outcome is fresh and modern IMO. How would you categorize this quilt? Traditional or modern?

Linking up to: Sew Happy Geek and Quilt Story

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Finishing up....

My flying geese quilt project had been long standing UFO in my book. Decided to buckle up and tackle it last weekend. It was a marathon session. This project had previously come to a halt as I did not have enough fabric for the backing. Managed to source a few more bits of fabric, details of which I will leave for another day!!! Finally pieced together a backing improv style inspired by Elizabeth Hartman's online course on Creative Quilt Backs

Pinned it to death,

And began quilting very early on Saturday morning.

To emphasize the shape of the flying geese blocks decided to quilt it using the 'stitch in the ditch' method. This requires a very steady straight stitch. I find the quilting process very therapeutic. Once you get comfortable with the process, you have loads of time to ponder over things. For me the quilting starts off a bit shaky but by the half way mark I get into a rhythm and the excitement of nearing the end takes over. It's almost a sprint to the finish. You can tell the difference between the quilting at the start and end of the project. The end is almost flawless. I guess you get loads of practice along the way.

Throughout the weekend I was spurred on by some lovely visitors fluttering outside my sewing room window.

Just finished sewing on the binding, but it's too dark to take good pictures. It's one of my favorite quilts and want to take some decent pictures for the final reveal. :)
More about this quilt here, here, here, here & here. Phew! It's been long.

Linking up to:
                                    WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Kaffe Fasset Workshop

I had the fortune of attending the Kaffe Fasset Workshop organized by CNJMQG last weekend and cannot describe how much fun it was. It was one of, now my long list of firsts and I thoroughly enjoyed it. In the workshop we tried to create our own rendition of the 'Sunlight in the Forest' quilt from his book Kaffe Fassett's Quilts in Sweden. It was a great introduction to Kaffe Fasset's fabrics and work. The highly color saturated fabrics almost have a silk or velvet like feel to them. At the end of the day the little room felt as if you had walked into the Garden of Eden. Bright and colorful and full of florals. It was inspiring to see what everyone had come up with, from light pastels to highly intense color palettes. It was a great showcase for all of Kaffe's fabrics. His collections is prolific and you could feel the passion in his work. Liza was there too, encouraging us through out the day with her keen insight on fabric selection and color arrangements.

I tend to be color averse and this really forced me to get out there and play with color. I slowly but surely started to get comfortable experimenting with color at the end of the workshop. I have the pieces hanging on a wall in my sewing room, plan to complete it as soon as I can make some time. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Finally something for me

I have been sewing a lot in the past year but everything I've made has been given away as gifts, nothing for myself. Over summer I have seen quite a few bloggers create the Tova Top by Wiksten and decided to make one for myself. Bought the pattern online and printed it out on my home printer. Can't beat instant gratification.

Since I was sewing it for the first time picked a fabric I would get too torn up about if things didn't go well. I had this very fine sheer 100% cotton fabric that was given to me which I thought would work well for this design. A few long hours later...

Once done I felt the back was a bit loose for my wiry frame so added two darts along the back. Not sure if you can see them running along the back in the picture below. I am also long limbed so need to make the sleeves a few inches longer next time. I don't mind this length but it supposed to be 3 quarter length sleeve. Except for these two minor points it fit quite well. 

By the end of the day I was exhausted from shuffling between the mirror and sewing machine. Had to try it on a few times to ensure I got a proper fit. Note to self: when sewing garment for oneself must get assistant. The pattern calls for a serger, I don't have one so used the overcast stitch on the machine. Also had to reduce the presser foot pressure down to 0 to prevent the fabric from ruffling.

A little trivia: I am not a fabric expert and usually can't tell types of fabric except the most common. I found this useful link. Hmm...I still can't tell what type of fabric I used. :)

Linking up with Fresh Sewing Day at Lily Quilts.

Lily's Quilts