Monday, August 30, 2010

Be right back!

The bridesmaid dress is done and so is my blouse! I'll post a photo later so you can all to see what I've been doing lately. I think they turned out fairly well for not having sewn clothing in years. Those 5/8" seams sure look huge compared to a quilt's 1/4" seam!

My husband and I will be travelling to the wedding in a few days so a blogging break is in order. See you soon, Mayleen

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sewing project update

Just an update on my sewing projects - my daughter's bridesmaid dress and my blouse. I've sewn in the invisible zipper, altered the side seams numerous times, replaced the bodice because of a pulled thread in the fabric and basted in the chiffon sleeves twice but now I'm at a standstill because my daughter has come down with the flu! I still need to line the dress and do a rolled hem (another first).

The dress is still not fitting as well as I'd like but we've decided to not push it further. My sewing rule is that I will take apart things only three times and after that leave it. I find that after that many times of picking seams apart, the fabric is deteriorating and the results of further picking out and resewing will usually not improve.

I needed a lot of M&Ms this past week! You will notice they are not in Roy G Biv order. When stressful times arise, I'm not too concerned with the color wheel! I shouldn't be eating all those M&Ms if I want to fit into my blouse so a prayer request for me - please pray that God will give me the wisdom and skill to finish the bridesmaid dress and that it will fit well and look good.

So not being able to sew any further on my daughter's bridesmaid dress until she feels better, I've been working on my blouse. I decided to make it in the matte side of a teal colored polyester Charmeuse fabric and save the bright pink fabric for another project. This fabric is not normally one I would choose because I don't like shiny fabrics and it can be difficult to sew. A challenge but so far, so good.

Vogue classified this pattern as "Easy" and perhaps it would have been if I hadn't altered the size and lined it. Click on the link to see the blouse view I'm making with the draped front and no collar. After I sew on the front facing, I'll be ready to insert the 3/4 length sleeves. Finally, the hem treatment and some handwork, a good going over and a final pressing. I will probably need another full day of sewing with no interruptions before its finished so that means at least two normal days around here!

I am trying to read a few blogs every day but am unfortunately, not able to keep up on answering everyone's comments. I have only a week and a half to finish the dress and blouse so am fully focused on those two projects.

Looking forward very much to sewing mostly straight lines on cotton fabrics! Be back to quilting soon, Mayleen

Monday, August 16, 2010

Chiffon - A word that strikes terror into a quilter's heart

I know some of you are wondering what I am doing since I haven't posted anything for days! Well, I'm still working on my daughter's bridesmaid dress and trying to find something for me to wear to the wedding.

The bridesmaid dress will be made of wine colored satin with chiffon sleeves and belt of the same color. Definitely not fabrics I'm used to sewing or even enjoy sewing! I am doing OK with the satin but the chiffon ... oh my. Anyone who has sewn chiffon have any good tips? I had to buy more of it today because I made a mistake on the belt. Tomorrow is another day and I've already got plans how to not make the same mistake.

Meanwhile, I've given up on finding something ready made for me to wear and today I purchased a pattern and fabric for a dressy blouse. Its been a really long time since I've sewn a Vogue pattern and we shall see how "Easy" it really is!

I'm not convinced I picked the right fabric though. I wanted something that didn't clash with the wedding colors (wine and black) and complimented my gray hair and complexion. This shouldn't surprise me but I bought my favorite color - a bright pink crepe fabric for the blouse. Not so sure that it really goes with the wine color so I'm still open to other possibilities.

A close second choice was a green chiffon print but as soon as I checked the fabric content on the end of the bolt and saw the "C" word, I put it back on the shelf! Need something a little less stressful than that.

If you e-mailed me and I haven't responded its because I'm trying to finish the bridesmaid dress and my blouse. Hopefully, I will be able to post photos of them soon. You probably have no idea how much I'm looking forward to sewing with 100% cotton fabrics again!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Its scary in there ...

... and that's why the door is closed to my sewing room!

I took the Process Pledge so I'll tell you its a messy process in there with three projects + going at the same time! There are selvages every where, strips in a neat stack (at this point) and clamshells divided by color. There's also fabric that's waiting to be cut into strips and then clamshells. Trying to be organized but its a challenge for other family members to find the ironing board!

However, it is not this bad! This "100 Ways to Hide Your Stash" You-Tube video is by Cathy Miller, the Singing Quilter. At least my selvages and fabric are not falling out of the microwave!

This afternoon, I added more confusion to the sewing room by making a large crazy quilt block for me to stitch on tomorrow at Threshing Days in Goessel. I'm doing a crazy quilt embroidery demonstration there.

I recently read an article about copyright issues for quilters in a McCalls Quilting magazine. Anyone else read it? If its correct, we will have to check with the quilt designer before we can post photos of our finished projects on our blogs. As I understand the article, before we can enter a quilt into a judged quilt show (for prize money), we would also have to get the designer's permission. I'm probably not being very clear but if you can find the magazine, read it.

To end this post on a happier note, look what's blooming in my flower bed! This spring, I dug up some orange daylilies at my mother's apartment to transplant into my flower bed. The others all bloomed orange much earlier but this pinkish purple one is just now blooming. Interesting that my mother never had daylilies this color.

I also accidentally brought home a white hibiscus plant and a blue morning glory plant which is starting to vine everywhere! Most people wouldn't get excited about morning glories since they're sometimes considered a weed but I've never been able to get them to grow until now. If I could only get hollyhocks to grow and bloom!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Getting Serious about the Stash

Last week was not so good on the sewing front. I got a few more spiderweb selvage quilt block units finished and a few more started. I'm not sure what happened but I didn't have much ambition to sew.

Toward the end of the week, I received a package of selvages from Barb which helped get me back in the mood so many thanks to Barb!

I've redoubled my efforts to sew down my stash and have decided to cut 2 1/2 inch strips from my older fabrics in an effort to use them up or at least reduce the number of them. So far, I've only made it through the tub of green fabrics.

I recently saw a picture of this scrappy bargello quilt and I think I'll use the strips to make it. I especially like this Christmas version and this one too! Plans could change though. I've never really done much in the way of strip sewing.

I've admired the lovely clamshells the ladies in the Clamshell Club are making and I've finally given in! As I cut strips, I put the fabric on the stack to await marking and cutting clamshells. I have a few marked already and will use my evenings to cut out the pieces. It will probably take me quite some time to get anywhere on the strip quilt and the clamshell quilt but I'm working toward them.

Below is a photo of my older fabric "stash". Not so pretty to look at! The majority of this fabric is 10-20 years old. I'm sharing the photo with you because I want you to hold me accountable! Use it or lose it is my motto. If I haven't used it by late winter next year, I plan to donate it to the Kansas MCC sale's Quilter's Corner.

This may not seem like a lot of fabric to some of you but its taking up space that I could use for my newer fabrics and my sewing room is not large. Confession - There's also fabric in the closet but some of it is more suitable for clothing or curtain construction. I'll deal with them another time.

I'm expecting the bridesmaid dress fabric to arrive anytime so probably not much quilting time for me for a few weeks. I'll pop in every now and then to let you know how things are going!