It seems like the patchwork bug is in the air around here. Mum and Maryanne have been working on their 'Hi Jane' project and they've inspired me to use some charm packs to make a present for a one year old.
I love charm packs and am always buying them, but never seem to do anything with them! (actually, I could say that about a lot of my fabric!) This week, I've been working on a 'charming' toddler lunch kit.
Taking little ones out for a meal involves so much paraphernalia! Bibs, cutlery, sippy cups, wipes and that's before you even pack a piece of fruit!
Using a combination of Sherbert Pips and Hulabaloo ( these two fabric lines work SO well together) I fashioned an over sized lunch bag big enough for all the essential bits and pieces ...
with a matching cutlery roll...
that can also be used as a place mat.
To complete the kit? A matching 3/4 inch square patchwork bib!
I really enjoyed working on this - so much so I think I might make a start on Mart's quilt!
I need to start with a confession. For Christmas last year, Maryanne bought me a gorgeous appliqued felt phone case. It was divine and protected my phone perfectly. Prior to the phone case I went through three (yes three) phones in about 8 months. Unfortunately, in the last couple of weeks I've misplaced it. Actually, it's more than misplaced now - I think that it's officially lost...
I bought some gorgeous Heather Bailey felt squares with another project in mind. They've been sitting in my sewing room for a while so I decided to have a go at fashioning my own phone case. It's completely different to the original one and not quite as beautiful, but I do like the finished product!
I really enjoyed this little project. It took me about an hour and a half to choose some fabric, read about nifty ways to piece triangles
and sew the block. More and more I am finding that large projects broken into small manageable pieces fit into my timetable right now. I have to grab the time I have rather than wait for a morning or more amazingly a day to open up for my sewing. I have to say, I am quite pleased with the results - one wonky corner, but for a newbie quilter I am quite pleased with my results.
I used scraps from a tunic I made for Pippa. I have now realised that I was dreaming to think that this quilt will be a scrap buster quilt. It really uses such tiny pieces of fabric.
Since the first post I wrote about this project, I have had some time to think about a colour scheme. (I have to admit I put the post up while my motivation was high, because I knew if I thought it through too much I may never have started.) The colours are going to be dictated by my scraps, but what I am aiming for is lots of white with a rainbow of pure colour pops. I don't want any muddied or greyed off colours. I want the reds to be reds, the pinks to be pink and the turquoises to be turquoise. I also want to stick to one fabric and white for each block but I may have to be a bit flexible about that.
Here's Mum's block:
It took her 30min from start to finish! I will show you the quick way she made the little triangles that make up the points of the star soon. I haven't had a moment to sew it and take the photos.
Mum has decided to mix things up a little and clear out some little projects she has started and not completed along the way. All her blocks will be finished at 6 inches but she may use some borders to bring small blocks she has already made up to this size. She is also going to use a nifty quilt as you go technique.
So for block two, I thought we would try one of the Dear Jane quilt originals called Cathie's Campfire.
is some information on cutting and sewing the flying geese part of this block, that looks pretty helpful.
Several months ago, Jessica from Me Sew Crazy
asked us to be involved in her Pattern Remix
. We were honoured to be asked by one of the most productive bloggers/sewists we know. This is one of the ideas I came up with. I'm not sure you could call it a remix - I didn't change it all that much. I think of it more as a tweak of the Sis Boom Sophie Tunic
. You could really use any tunic pattern that has the ability to have a decorative facing on the outside of it.
Here is a tunic I made from this pattern for Pippa a while back.
And here is my tweak:
Before we go any further, let's pause to take a look at Madeleine's gorgeous smile. She lost her other front tooth this week and when she smiles, I smile.
I haven't done a tutorial. I seem to be a lot better at sewing at the moment than taking photos but let me talk you through it. A lot of this pattern rework is about embellishing the facing, so let's look at that first.
- Some hand embroidery. After sewing the shoulder seams together, I grabbed my water soluble marker and drew up a sort of symmetrical design on the front and back facing. I stitched it with back stitch and french knots with 4 threads of stranded embroidery thread.
- Something that hopefully looks like hand embroidery. I have discovered Gutermann top stitching thread and I love it. It's a lot thicker than standard sewing thread but still comes in a great range of colours. Using a top stitching needle and the triple stitch setting on my sewing machine I flew around the facing and I think it looks almost as good as my back stitch (!). I set the stitch length at 3.5mm. I used this technique for top stitching the sleeves and bottom hem of the tunic as well.
- Scalloped Ric Rac Trim. The pattern instructions tell you to narrow fold and press the edges of the facing towards the wrong side. Before doing this I sewed some ric rac to the right side if the facing so the edge of the ric rac lined up with the raw edge of the facing. I rounded off the corners of the facing because I couldn't work out a way to turn a right angle and still get the ric rac to sit nicely. I folded and pressed the edges of the facing to the wrong side so the ric rac formed a scalloped edge. Attaching the facing was then exactly the same as the technique described in the pattern.
4. A pleated cuff to finish the sleeve. I like inverted pleats and so I added some to the bottom of the sleeves. I cut the sleeve piece of the pattern so it sat just below Madeleine's elbow. I wanted the finished cuff to be about 8cm wide and on the double, so I cut it at a width of 20cm. Then it was time for some maths to work out the length I needed to cut. Let me explain. Measure the bottom width of the arm pattern piece, subtracted 1/4 inch (the seam allowance), double it (because the pattern piece is cut on a fold and you want to work with the full width of the sleeve), add 1/2 inch (your seam allowance) and then multiply by 3 (so you can make your pleats).
If you divide this number by 10 this is the width of your pleats it you want to make 5 pairs of pleats which is what I did. Phew! I have to admit I still cut it wrong the first time, but it was quite late at night. I sewed the short ends of this piece of fabric together so I had a large circle and ironed it all in half so the raw edges were together. Using the magic number I calculated above, I created 10 pleats with lots of pins and then basted them in place. And believe it or not this piece (eventually!) fitted perfectly on to the bottom the sleeve piece.
5. A little more ric rac trim. I don't have a good picture of this but I added some ric rac to the bottom of the tunic too. I cut the tunic 10cm shorter than I wanted the finished length, added the ric rac and then (again on the double) added a piece to the bottom. I used similar maths to step 4 to work out the length I needed to cut it. I didn't add the side vents to the tunic. It has a loose enough fit that I don't think you need them.
So there you have it - a little tunic tweak. As long as you don't do the maths in the middle of the night it really is quite simple!
You may have noticed, we haven't been around very much lately. It's not through lack of desire or lack of ideas. It's more like the stars aren't quite aligning. Sometimes I just don't find time to sew. Other times I find time to sew and then I don't find time to take the photographs. Sometimes I have time to take the photographs but it's raining or my children can think of lots of other fun things to do rather than model for their Mum's blog. Anyway, we know the posts have been pretty thin on the ground, so thanks for sticking around while we ride the bumps. So to a post...While at the recent Craft and Quilt show in Sydney, I loved several of the quilts called "Dear Jane Quilts". They were new to me but having done a little research now, I realise they are not new to quilters.
You can see the original quilt that inspired all Dear Jane Quilts here
. It was made by Jane Stickle during the American Civil War. She signed her quilt "In War Time 1863." It is an amazing quilt of 169 4 1/2 inch blocks surrounded by fifty-two 8"x5" triangles and four corner triangles.Many quilts have been made that replicate each block and each triangle. They are truly breath-taking.
Well, here goes. I'm going to try and make one. I am no quilter, but having mentioned that I loved these quilts to my mother, who is a passionate quilter, there is no going back! She has already found enough white homespun for me to make at least two of these quilts and given me a book called 501 Quilt Blocks. Dad's looking nervous. He can only cope with one quilter in his life.
So here's the plan:
This project won't be about replicating Jane Stickle's quilt block for block. It is more about the inspiration - 169 little squares, all stitched together, with some yet to be determined triangular border. Let's think of it more as an email to Jane - not as formal as a letter but certainly more effort than a text.
I'm going to commit to one block a fortnight. So not including the borders or quilting, it's going to take me 6 1/2 years!! I'm not going to get overwhelmed by that, being the person who wants to turn around most sewing projects in an evening. This is about the journey as much as the destination. Stay tuned though. If all goes well, I may push myself to one block a week - then I'll have this quilt made in a flash. OK - let's revise that, 3 1/4 years.
I am not going to buy anything new for the top of the quilt. I have four huge bins of scraps that are too small for larger projects but I can't bare to throw out. This quilt will also be about preserving all the fabrics I have chosen for my children's cloths and the gifts I have made as well. It may also be a little bit about raiding my Mum's rather large fabric collection.
Mum is coming along for the ride. I was going to say she will match me block for block, but in reality she will be stitching me in circles. She will be my inspiration and font of all knowledge. Mum says she knows her limitations and will make her blocks 6 1/2 inches finished. I am blissfully oblivious to my limitations, so I am going to stick to the original 4 1/2 inches.
I don't have the skills to run a Sew Along but if you would like to sew along we would love you to join us. I will post a picture and name of the block we are doing each fortnight. If I can find a link to a tutorial describing how to make the block, I will also post that too. At the end of the fortnight, I will post some photos of the blocks Mum and I made. If you would like to email me photos of your blocks I will post those as well or you are very welcome to link to the post.
So for the first block - I feel like there should be a drum roll...
Block 1 Ohio Star
(It seems appropriate for July 4th)
I found these instructions
on how to cut and sew a 12 inch Ohio Star, so my first step will be to work out how to make a 4 1/2 inch square. Wish me luck! (I don't need luck - I've got Mum!!!)
PS I saw a Catalog Card on the Haby Goddess
website today. I loved it. Jodie was kind enough to send me here
so I could make my own. Thanks Jodie.