Here’s a catch up on some sewing bits I’ve gotten finished over the last couple of months!
I’d come across the “Quilt As You Go” panel tutorial from Cori at Hey Let’s Make Stuff some time ago, and finally got brave enough to try it… so I did it twice! I liked how it was completely improv after laying out my fabrics in the color order I wanted them in… no pattern to follow (or mess up), and even though it went through an insane amount of fabric and thread, it was somehow relaxing to do. One panel about 24″ square ended up taking nearly four whole bobbins of Aurifil thread! I made the panels a several inches larger than the finished size needed to be, squared them up, serged the edges, and pre-washed… and I’m so glad I did! The batting and quilting fabric weren’t pre-washed, and I ended up losing roughly an inch in both height and width when pre-washing in cold water. After they went through the dryer, I trimmed the panel down to final size (20.5″ square) and re-serged the edges. Pillow backs were from Essex Linen (again, pre-washed), because I love the texture of it.
The first panel I made ended up being made into a pillow for the quilted pillow swap with the Tacoma Modern Quilt Guild ladies. I’d originally planned to keep it for myself, but after how my second pillow turned out, I decided that I wanted one for myself in that color layout instead! As this was actually the second of the two pillows that I finished, I used a 22 inch pillow form since the first pillow (see below) didn’t have quite the “stuffed” look that I like with a 20 inch form.
For both pillows, I used an invisible zipper along with the invisible zipper foot for my Pfaff sewing machine – that little plastic foot actually makes it easier to install an invisible zipper than a regular zipper! I wanted the pillow forms removable so that the pillow cover could be washed if necessary, and I much prefer the look of an invisible zipper to an envelope closure on the back (that, and for my own pillows, I have cats that like to burrow, and I see that ending poorly with an envelope closure on a pillow cover!)
I also had fun adding the new labels that I’d bought from Custom Labels 4U. I love how they turned out, and I ordered them folded in a manner that would let me top-stitch them to something instead of having to tuck them into a seam. These labels are woven, instead of printed like my my other labels are, and I think they look much nicer!
Our quilt swap was “gift lifting” style, where a pillow could be “stolen” twice (to land in a total of three laps) before it couldn’t be stolen any more. I was tickled that the pillow that I brought made it to a third lap! I know that the final owner of the pillow was thrilled to get it, too 🙂
The second panel finished was actually the first pillow finished – a gift for a family friend that was visiting from Sweden. I used a 20 inch pillow form – which is also a fairly standard pillow size in Sweden from what my mom and I could find online. The pillow didn’t quite have that “stuffed” look that I like, but I figured this allowed a little more room for extra shrinkage in the wash. I feel like the color turned out a little “off” in this photo, but it’s the only one that I can find that I took of it! I really like the color order on this one – it reminds me more of a flower, and nearly everybody knows by now that I’m a sucker for blue flowers.
Last month, I also got brave and sewed clothing. Clothing is terrifying. I’m uncertain on adjusting patterns, and the fabrics that look lovely to wear can be a nightmare to sew on… but after seeing the Ruby Top several times on Instagram, I decided to go for it. I did discover that my local fabric stores have absolutely atrocious selections for rayon, so I ended up with a solid black top. I know the picture’s not great, but overall I’m fairly happy with how it turned out. I’d like to make one a little smaller, width-wise, and a bit longer in order to wear with leggings. I’d love to try getting a big rayon/rayon blend Hawaiian shirt from a thrift store, and using that for the body of the shirt (buttons up the front and all), and a coordinating fabric for the yoke.
I also made a couple more of my canvas bags to use as gift bags for a coworker that is moving out of state (her daughter is a fan of Batman). I took the opportunity to try out an inset drawstring top for the bags that I’ve been wanting to try for a while now. This way, a bag can get stuffed to the gills, and you don’t have to worry about things falling out if it. I’ll still need to fine-tune the height of the drawstring fabric, but my idea worked out well – and I was still able to sew it so that there were no exposed edges. I love the coffee bean print that I was able to find to go with the fabric I chose for her bag, and it’s hard to tell in the photo, but the girly Batman bag has Batman fabric for the drawstring top, as well! I’m not sure yet if, or when, drawstring top canvas bags will hit my Etsy shop. They’re a bit more labor intensive, and require nearly an extra half yard of fabric, so I’m not sure yet if I could make them for a price that they would sell at.
I’ve got a few more projects lined up – another Necessary Clutch Wallet, and one of these days I’ll get brave enough to start the Betsy Travel Bag I want to make for myself… and perhaps some new flannel PJ pants before the quilting retreat in October!