Monday, May 30, 2022

A Sauntering Squirrel Swooshed By -- In a Kaffe Fassett Tiered Maxi Skirt

Hello and Happy Memorial Day Weekend, Everyone!  My birthday was May 27th, so I took advantage of Memorial Day sales on top of a birthday coupon from my not-quite-local quilt shop, Sew Much Fun, to buy yards and yards of Kaffe Fassett Collective cotton fabric prints that I plan to transform into long, swooshy skirts with my serger:

Birthday Flowers From My Sister, Kaffe Fassett Fabrics for my Skirts

I'm planning to make one skirt with the purple Japanese Crysanthemum-Antique (yes, this post contains affiliate links) alternated with Spot Plum (the two fabrics on the left), and another skirt from the Japanese Crysanthemum-Scarlet alternated with Zig Zag-Cool.   I'm linking to independent Etsy shops who carry these fabrics for your convenience, but I recommend pairing fabric prints in person at your local quilt shop if at all possible.  I spent a LONG time dragging fabric bolts around the shop (and made a big mess -- sorry!) before I was satisfied with my selections. 

Inspiration:  La DoubleJ Tiered Maxi Skirt, $590 from Nieman Marcus

The Tutorials

This new "squirrel project" first invaded my consciousness when I saw Sharon Madsen's How to Sew a Multi-Tiered Maxi Skirt tutorial on Bernina's We All Sew blog last week.

Sharon Madsen's Skirt for Bernina's We All Sew Tutorial

I love wearing easy, comfortable styles like this for summer, and I am seeing tiered maxi skirts cropping up in all of the high end retail shops this year.  This is definitely an on-trend look for Summer 2022, and it would be a great beginner sewing project if any of you have daughters, granddaughters or other girls in your life who are interested in learning to sew.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Progress On the Retro '80s Building Blocks Quilt is Happening! Nanu Nanu!

Hello and Happy Tuesday!  It's been awhile since I've set any goals for my personal sewing projects, but I'm right on schedule with quilting commitments for clients and I'm SO close with my Retro '80s Building Blocks sampler...  See, I managed to assemble the "A" section of the quilt top last week, the part that I've outlined with a red rectangle: 

First Section Assembled, No Casualties Suffered By My Points

Woo hoo!  And then I assembled section "B" this morning.  This one was a lot faster since it was only three big blocks and no fiddling around with the little ones, but still very satisfying to have another chunk of the quilt top put together:

Second Section Assembled, Still No Catastrophes

This is slow going because I'm working out which way to press the seam allowances between the blocks as I go along and, total honesty -- I was procrastinating putting the blocks together once I'd finished them in case there was going to be a lot of seam ripping and swearing involved like there was when I was joining all the blocks together for my Sermon Scribbles quilt awhile ago.  I am a Side Presser and not an Open Seam presser.  When my seams are pressed in opposite directions and they nest and lock together at the seam intersections, that's when it's the easiest to get those seams to line up perfectly.  But without sashing between blocks and with so many different block styles in the quilt -- and without any pattern instructions telling me which way to press the seams to match up like that -- sometimes it works out and it's easy, and other times I have to match two seams that are pressed in the same direction and use that little hump-jumping tool to keep my presser foot level as it passes over the giant mountain of seam allowances!

Saturday, May 7, 2022

And Now, Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming: Linda's Exquisite Traditional Quilts

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all of the mothers, grandmothers, sons of mothers, and daughters of mothers out there!  The last few quilts I've shared on the blog have been modern or contemporary in their fabrics and patchwork design, and I love those styles.  But I also adore really precise, well-executed traditional patchwork in timeless reproduction fabrics.  Fellow Charlotte Quilters' Guild member Linda Dassenko excels at traditional patchwork and I was delighted when she brought me two of her masterpieces for quilting.

Linda's Everyday Patchwork Sampler

Linda's 52 x 60 Everyday Patchwork Sampler

After seeing the Baptist Fan design I quilted on Cathy's quilt last year, Linda thought it might look good on her Everyday Patchwork Sampler and I wholeheartedly agreed.  While we often think of edge-to-edge quilting designs as only suitable for modern quilts, the Baptist Fan edge-to-edge design has been a staple of hand quilters for hundreds of years.  Originally, quilters would mark the Baptist Fan design on a quilt as they went along, using a string knotted at regular intervals and a pencil or piece of chalk, like a swing arm compass.  Each knot on the string corresponded with one fan arc.  This resulted in an allover quilting design that was fancier than just quilting along the patchwork seam lines, but still quick and easy enough to execute for utilitarian quilts.  Since the Baptist Fan design has been so popular throughout so much of the United States for hundreds of years, it's an excellent option for machine quilting traditional and reproduction quilt projects.

Ready For Her Close-Up: Look at Linda's Perfect Little Flying Geese Points!

Of course, I did not use knotted string or pencils to quilt the Baptist Fan design on Linda's sampler -- I resized the digital design to complement the scale of Linda's piecing and stitched it out with my computerized Bernina longarm machine.  I used So Fine 50 weight matte thread in color Mushroom (this post contains affiliate links) for the sampler quilt to minimize overstitched areas in the design and to ensure that the texture of the quilting design is what you notice, not the machine stitching.  The batting for this one is Quilters Dream 80/20 Cotton/Poly blend.

Friday, May 6, 2022

The "Vacation" Update: Why Rebecca and Bernie Have Sore Muscles and Bare Windows Instead of Suntans

Hello and Happy Shiny New Month of May to all of you!  I have so much to share after taking three weeks off; I don't even know where to begin.  (If you only follow me for the quilting eye candy, you may want to skip this one.  It's okay if you do -- I will still love you!)

I didn't actually go anywhere exciting; my husband and I just needed that chunk of time to kick off some long overdue interior updates before the boys came home from college.

Casualties of My Changing Taste: These Custom Draperies Had to Go

When I decorated this house fifteen years ago, that "Tuscan Villa" look was all the rage and I have been living in a sea of mustard gold, brown, terra cotta, and Merlot ever since.  And, full disclosure here, it was not just the walls -- I had the ceilings painted a 50% tint of the wall color in most rooms as well.  I have been ready for a change for a long time, but it's so overwhelming to start over when everything is connected to everything else like Dominoes and one small change can quickly lead to changing everything...