Saturday, January 6, 2018

Tiny Dresdens!

It's been a few years since I've stitched Dresden plate blocks, which are a lovely and classic design for quilting. This week I've been revisiting them, only with a bit of twist - downsized into a mini Dresden!  I have Deidra, over at Quilt Obsession, to thank for this inspired idea. She has put together a series of posts on making them which can be found on her blog and she is currently hosting a #tinydresdenparty on Instagram!
 
 
I began my foray into mini Dresden making using fabrics from my Heather Bailey stash (as a part of my #sewingmystashadesigneramonth2018 sewing plan).  I have been downsizing a pattern to make my dresdens into minis - the first attempt resulted in a Dresden that is 8" across and then further pattern reduction brought the finished Dresden down to 5" across (which qualifies as a "mini"). I may push the limits a bit more with scaling down the pattern further to see if I can manage a Dresden that finishes in the 3.5" range.  Meantime, I am loving the results!
 
There is just something so appealing about a mini version and I'm not sure I'll be able to stop making them just yet - especially when I dream about all the things I can sew these little beauties onto. ;o) Pop by Deidra's blog for links to templates, instructions, tips and inspiration, if you're feeling the need to make some mini dresdens, too!
 
 
 

Monday, January 1, 2018

The start of something fun!

Happy New Year!
 

I hope your year is off to a wonderful start! I'm looking forward to and making plans for the next year and I wanted to share one lovely plan that I have put together with my friend, Maja.  It is something I hope you will consider joining us in.

This is the hashtag to use on Instagram if you decide to join our challenge of sewing from your stash and featuring a designer a month in 2018!

Fabric stashing is outpacing our sewing, it seems, and as pretty as our shelves in our sewing rooms look filled with so much loveliness, we decided to encourage one another to use those pretties in projects!

 Our plan involved writing a numbered list of the designers that have fabrics we have lovingly stashed and yet are the ones that we hesitate to cut into (because they are precious! ;o). We then chose for each other, a number.  Maja selected the number three, which on my list happens to be the designer, Heather Bailey!  This means that during the month of January, I need to sew a project (or projects) using some of my stashed Heather Bailey fabrics.


I had fun digging through my stash and gathering these treasured fabrics together!  It feels good to have a plan for getting me into my stash and fun to know that soon I will have turned this "potential" into something I can use and enjoy (which is the point of stashing fabric... I think? ;o).

Maybe you would like to join Maja and I in our plan to sew from our stashes in 2018?  This is not a contest or a competition - just friends sharing a love of fabric and sewing! We would love to have you join in.  I will post on my blog as well as on Instagram to show you how I'm doing with this - including works in progress as well as a final result. Please feel free to sew along, too and if you're on Instagram, tag your post with #sewingmystashadesigneramonth2018.

Here's to a wonderfully creative 2018!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Bonnie + Camille Scrap Challenge

Following on the footsteps of my previous post, is the second half of a challenge to sew with swapped fabrics sent from my friend, Maja.  She had purchased a scrap bag that contained a variety of Bonnie & Camille fabric scrappy cuts and she spilt it with me. Then we challenged each other to make whatever we wanted with those scraps and to share a finished project before the end of 2017!
 

Sewing with scraps is something I really enjoy - however the challenge for me in this swap was to come up with a way to use them in a more "controlled" scrappy design. 

Mini Nines to the rescue! This is a fun block to make with scraps and the pattern can be found in Amanda Jean Nyberg's book, No Scrap Left Behind.


Working with the scrap strips and pieces that Maja sent, I added in a few pieces from my scrap stash to complete the nine patch blocks - there wasn't enough in the swapped scraps for me to completely frame a nine patch, so I improvised! 


This sweet table runner is backed in a solid red that shows my loopy free motion quilting and then I bound it in a Bonnie & Camille fabric from my stash.


Once all the blocks were made and laid out, I decided to add more scraps to frame the ends (and add a little extra length to the table runner). 


It was a fun challenge and a happy finish!

Linking up my happy little finish with Amanda Jean and friends, at Crazy Mom Quilts, for Finish it up Friday!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Bountiful



Bountiful is the word that seems to sum up my year! Many wonderful opportunities and adventures made up my 2017.
 
The Sewcial Bee Sampler was one such opportunity and it also was a wonderful adventure! This virtual quilting sewalong was comprised of twenty five quilt blocks which were shared over the course of 25 weeks, for anyone willing to participate, to sew. This fun event was hosted by two lovely designers, Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell
 
The community of quilters sharing their makes on Instagram  while cheering each other on, made for a lively and delightful experience, I was glad to be a part of. If that wasn't enough - we also had weekly giveaways to enter from several generous sponsors. I happened to be among the prize winners over the course of the sewalong, when I won a pretty fat quarter bundle of ten fabrics from Sharon Holland's Bountiful fabric line, supplied by Brooke from Ladybelle Fabric.
 

Ten fat quarters of Bountiful designed by Sharon Holland for Art Gallery Fabrics, which I won from Ladybelle Fabric this past summer.
 
I decided to split my winnings with my friend, Maja, and we came up with the idea that each could make whatever she wanted using Bountiful and keep it a surprise until the end of the year. Today's the day to share!
 
All ten Bountiful fabrics were used in my project - combined with several other designers prints.
 
I fell in love with sewing flying geese blocks during the sewalong and even though I sketched several other ideas for using my share of the Bountiful fabrics, this simple one won my heart.
 

I sewed nine flying geese blocks, paying attention to colour placement and arranged them to all point in one direction, bordering them with natural coloured linen. A simplistic design that lets the fabrics be the stars!


Long wavy lines of quilting, in Aurifil 50 weight (#2420) in a soft peach, happened to be the perfect complement and can be found in Maureen Cracknell's Bohemian Garden thread collection.

 
The back of the table runner is a combination of two fabrics from my stash that are from the same collection as the blue houndstooth print used for the binding.
 
 
If you are at all familiar with my sewing style, you will know that this is not my usual colour palette,  but I couldn't be happier with my table runner made from Bountiful fabrics!  I really wanted to do justice to the quiet beauty of Sharon's fabrics, so I am glad I took some time to work out a design that would let them shine!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Keeping it casual clutch

A cute pattern deserves to be made more than once, right? My second version of the Noodlehead pattern, the Rainbow Clutch, by the talented Anna Graham, is also a gift (pattern found in Handmade Style: 23 Must-Have Basics to Stitch, Use, and Wear). This time around, I selected scraps of quilting cottons to make the front pocket pieced (following the pattern's design) rather than in one fabric like I did in my first version. Once again, I fussy cut the fabric selected for the front tab - which is one of my favourite design features in this pattern.
 
 
Can I just say how much I love the casual, yet stylish look mixing these blues with denim gives this clutch? I am hoping that the mama of four that received this clutch finds it to be everyday useful made in this combination of fabrics.
 

 I thought the choice of using denim for the main body of the clutch would make it wear well and design features such as the exterior inset zippered pocket make it very practical.


A pretty, coordinating cotton was used for the lining, in colours that add interest to the inside but ones that should also hide any stray pen marks (or is it only me that always carries pens around?).  The saying is "third time a charm", so maybe the next version will be the one I make to keep. You just know that I will be making another version, right? ;o)
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