I received a surprise package of ten yards of scrap designer fabrics a few weeks back. It wasn't quilting weight fabric, but it's perfect for clothing. Scraps are perfect for little kids clothes, and because so much of it was coordinated, I can piece together smaller pieces to maker bigger pieces.
I'm planning on refreshing my daughter's wardrobe for the summer by making super cute dresses and skirts. I desperately need to be thinking about summer right now, when winter is at it's worst. I'll post pictures next time, or maybe just when I'm done, but I'm really excited about it!
Have any plans for sewing clothes this spring?
Last week's exercise for the Wardrobe Architect series was to define a personal color palette for yourself. I've actually been working on this loosely for about a year, when I read about the concept on another blog. It was nice motivation to actually put a visual representation down for this too. Here is a what mine ended up looking like:
There a couple of other colors that I wear on occasion, like sherbet orange, but it's not a color that I am drawn to. I have to really make myself wear it, even though I know it's a good one on me.
Do you have colors you have to choose to wear, even when you know they look good?
The theme for the Sketchbook Challenge this month is 'Windows". This can be taken literally or figuratively. I'm choosing a figurative interpretation, since I've also been working on my mixed media exploration this past couple of months. I've been working through the book "Creating Art At The Speed of Life." I'm using this book as a way to explore what themes and styles are consistent with me, so that I can incorporate those things into my quilting and art in general. It's like exploring a window into my mind and art, and it's been good.
The book is broken up into six sections, each on a different art element, and includes five lessons each. The first section is on color, so here are the images from my first five lessons.
It has been fun getting back into art after only doing quilting for years. Fun fun!
Do you have a neglected art form?
Block #10 - Miller's Daughter (Water Wheel)
When her fine shoes fell away in scraps, a passing girl asked where she was going. After listening to her tale, she took off her own shoes, the only pair she owned, and gave them to the barefoot girl.
It kind of looks like a water wheel and a pool of water, doesn't it?
The quote and the pattern may not seem to go together, unless you actually have the illustrations from the book to look at. The girl that stops to help the quiltmaker, and give her shoes, is a miller's daughter.
I have to admit, this might be the easiest block I've made yet. It was a bit refreshing to have such an easy one after Lost Children
Happy Sewing this week!
My favorite pattern designer Colette Patterns
, is doing an amazing project right now through her blog. It's called the Wardrobe Architect.
Basically, it's a series of blogs where she is exploring the ideas of fashion, specifically tailored to our specific bodies. Why do we like the clothes that we like? Who dresses in ways that we admire and why? What kind of clothes make us happy and what makes us feel yucky? Eventually, the end goal is to have a better focus on what kind of clothes work for you, both fit for your body and for your personality as well.
It has been a lovely project to be participating in, since with my pregnancy I'm not able to sew clothes for myself at the moment. I had such a blast last year making my Garment of the Month
clothes, but in all honesty, I ended up with a lot of summer styled clothes and dresses. Now, my summer here in Vermont is only about 8 weeks out of the year, of really warm weather that is. And a lot of what I made was dressier, like for church, instead of everyday wear. At the end of it all, I realized that even though I really loved all that I made, I wasn't going to be able to wear it much.
If I'm going to go to the trouble of customizing my wardrobe, then I should at least make clothes that I can wear anytime, not just church and date nights. As I've worked through the worksheets that Sarai is providing for this project, I've realized that I only own two patterns that actually fit my style that I prefer. Hmm...
The last worksheet had us make a mood board, or collage of images of clothes we like, that we are drawn to, even if we can't define why. Here's mine:
I had so much fun making this. And the visual of the shapes of clothes that I prefer has really helped with decided what I want to make myself in the future.
Do you guys ever think about what clothes make you happy?
Block #9 - the Lost Children
There were people in ragged clothes. Some lay on the ground without bed or blanket or pillow, others creid of hunger. She saw houses too old to keep a body warm. And there were children who had run out of tears to cry.
This block turned out really well I think. I decided to convert it to a paper piece block, instead of using traditional piecing techniques. Paper piecing puts a seam down the middle, but the finished block looks much smoother and nicer. Full of triangles, but they all meet up nicely. I still have some squaring up to do, but I was so pleased with how this turned out I want to show it to you guys!
I feel like this project is moving along nicely. What project are you slowly working your way through?
I've never really considered how much easier life is made by my rotary cutter. My grandma taught me to quilt, and she gave me my first cutting mat and rotary cutter. I've always had one, never really needed to consider the alternative.
Then I decided to make a Georgetown Circle Block.
Making a curved quilt block doesn't necessarily mean that you cannot use your rotary cutter, but I have not learned the skill of cutting curves with it. Instead, I have to make templates for every shape in this block. I think my templates are labeled A-H. And all of them are curved at some point. Now curves don't bother me like triangles do, BUT they are still intimidating.
Having to hand cut every piece for this block (and ultimately for the entire wall hanging I'm assembling) has proved to be an opportunity to stretch my skill building techniques. I had never before considered how much faster the cutting process goes with rotary cutting. However, the process is much more intimate and slower with hand cutting. I really can see where the need for exacting precision is necessary.
What has been your skill building experience lately?
I neglected to mention in my last post about my sampler that this particular block took me a total of FIVE tries before I got it right.
Triangles are my nemesis! Let me rephrase that, DRAFTING triangles is my nemesis. I cannot for the life of me figure out the seam allowance needed to make triangles work properly. Throw in the these triangles were half-square triangles that needed to be cut twice, not just once, and that adds in a new set of factors. The fact that the points of the brown triangles had to meet the squares at the corner really made this block a challenge. In fact, I had to put it down and walk away for a bit before I could try again. Like...two months.
Even after I finally got a reliable measurement to add to half-square triangles, the one I got neglected to mention that I still had to add my own 1/4" seam allowance on top of that number. So I still did it wrong one more time!
I almost gave up in despair.
How about you? Is there a particular measurement or shape that throws you in quilting?
The Sketchbook Challenge this month is to sketch with collage (or combine sketching with collage). So far, I have made this:
I like it a little, but to quote from Jamie Fingal, it's missing the wow factor for me. I'm going to add some layers of sketches and such to really get what I want. I'm learning a lot though, just with making myself try something I haven't done in a long time.
I also just finished making my own art journal as per my course I'm taking at home called Creating Art at the Speed of Life. Making the journal you are going to be working your lessons in was very interesting to me, and a bit more daunting than I care to admit. Here is my mostly finished book:
I still need to decorate the front with text and such, but I'm so anxious to begin the lessons that the cover will wait a while. For now, it's a functional book.
Have a great weekend!
When she reached the candle, another suddenly appeared beyond it. She had no idea what this mysterious magic might be, but one by one the candles led her through the gloomy passageway to the other side of the wall.
It has been so good getting back to my hand sewing this month. I put everything down right before Thanksgiving just to give myself some sanity around the busy holidays. I missed working with my hands though. This coming year and holiday season, I think I will cut a whole bunch ahead of time so that I can continue sewing, and not worry about cutting. It's the cutting that slows me down. I have come to realize that. I'm trying now to cut at least four blocks ahead of time so that I can get lots of sewing done in between cutting sessions.
Do you guys have a particular sewing chore that slows the process down?