Monday, July 7, 2014

Sundress for my Sunshine

What more pleasant sensation
than sunshine on skin,
Spirit and flesh drinking in the light
Of God and energy itself.
   ~Terri Guilllemets

I first made this little dress in orange and navy prints so that the girls would have fun sundresses to wear on Game Day when Auburn University played football.   I have had a pack of 1 yard cuts that had been sitting in my sewing room for a good while, and decided that one of the girls needed a sundress.  Mae always seems to enjoy them, and loves to twirl in the full skirts, so she was the recipient of this Isabelle dress by Gingersnap Designs.

I cut the number of fabric strips down from what the pattern originally called for because the first dress was really very full.  I had ten strips using each fabric twice, and then has the large print for the bodice and straps.  I had another dot that I used to line the bodice.  I could have added a two inch band along the hemline in the bodice print, but decided there was enough going on just as it was!

These photos were taken early in the morning shortly after Mae had just rolled out of bed; she still had her sweet sleepy eyes and voice but was willing to try on yet one more dress for her Bibi, who loves her very, very much.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Last project!

The ordinary arts
we practice every day at home
are of more importance to the soul
than their simplicity
might suggest.  
      ~Thomas Moore

I saved the most difficult project for the last...the quilted pillow sham.  I am not a real quilter, all those points and angles seem foreign to me, and the math, oh me, I decided to tried my best.  Cutting the half square triangles was tiresome and getting them to go together perfectly was a pain.
Making the "Contrary Wife" quilt block was a challenge also.  I thought I had the half square triangles laid out just right, but it was evening, I was tired, and this is what the block turned out like.  Sigh.  I had to UNSEW one of the rows to get everything in the correct place, and I turned the Bernina off for the evening.

After the blocks were made it was just a matter of cutting out the borders and sashing to complete the sham cover.  I had decided I was not going to purchase any more fabric when I have a room full, so I used my stash.   I have always liked the French script linen and I had plenty of it.  I used some left over toile from a long ago project, some white toweling for the prairie points and a comfy know
T for the back.  I had to piece some of the toile to get the recommended strips, but it is a quilt, so hey, I decided that wouldn't be a problem.  I wanted a neutral look to the sham, but I wasn't too happy with the way the fabrics blended.

After finishing the front, I folded 48 prairie points and placed them on the outside stitching line,facing inward,and placed the prepared zippered back on top. I partially opened the  zipper so I could turn it easily, and stitched the perimeter right sides together.
So  my last project is done, It has been graded and I passed, so as far as I can tell I am a Martha Pullen Licensed Teacher!  Yay for me!  I do believe it was worth the effort, and it was certainly fun!

Friday, July 4, 2014


And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

                   ~Lee Greenwood

This next to the last project for Martha Pullen Licensing is a rag quilt.  This one was fun to do, and it was a little quicker and easier than the other rag quilts I have done.  No batting sandwiches to prepare, no stitching an X from corner to corner of the sandwich, just cutting and sewing squares.

I used four different flannels for the front squares, and a chevron print in the pastels.  I cut them in 8 inch squares, and matched them wrong sides together.  On the yellow squares I did a little pink heatr applique.  I sewed the hearts with just a quarter inch seam, and so did not have much to clip and fluff;  I have in mind that I may re sew them, but we will see how that works out for me.

Here is a photo of my efforts to lay the quilt blocks out.  Since the instructions said to offset the blocks, it was hard for me to get a pattern going, so I tried to place the squares as randomly as possible.

Clipping the seam allowance is no small task. Special spring scissors helped, but my arthritic right hand feels the pain..

I alternated the chevron on the back, and lets just say I had to take out more than one to get them all going the correct way.  After you complete the clipping, a good wash and spin in the dryer fluff up theedges, and it will only look better with each washing.  The fiinished quilt is 50 by 55 inches.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Martha's Madeira and Bias Trim Table Runner

  The summer night is like
 perfection of thought.
                                ~ Wallace Stevens

I love this project, and it is already sitting on my kitchen table; it will eventually go into the dining room.
This project was difficult for one reason....the danged pattern.  If I had just looked back at the drawing I could have drawn out a better template, but that thought didn't occur to me so I had a set of little curves where I should have little angles...sigh.

   Once again I used  fabrics from my stash.  The project was intended to be stitched in linen, so I used a heavier weave oatmeal linen with black linen accents.  The outside border, Madeira Applique, is stitched wrong side to right side, trimmed, and then turned to the front.  When it came time to stitch it down, I used Isacord Embroidery thread and a 100/16 wing needle.  I sampled various sizes before settling on the 16; I liked the size of the hole where the needle penetrated.
   I had a little trouble turning the corners with the pinstitch. I would leave the needle down to pivot and usually it seemed to work best when the needle was in the left needle position as I started in a nw direction.
   The black linen motif in the middle is stitched from bias strips cut at 1.25 inches, then run through the Clover Bias Maker.  I used a lace shaping board as directed, and then stitched it down with a 100/16 wing needle and embroidery thread to match the background linen.  I  experimented with different colors and weights, and was happy with the ones that I chose
                                                            I was not quite as happy with the shape of the inner motif, but that is because the pattern was sent over the internet.  Enlarging and flipping it was not as easy as I had thought it would be, and as I finished I figured out that I could have
                                        just drawn the side points freehand.

So the table runner is on my kitchen table and soon to be mover into the a position of honor on the dining room table.  Black linen napkins will make a nice addition.