Wednesday, December 10, 2014

marking off the list

I've actually managed to mark quite a few things off of my list.
things are being added
more quickly than they are being marked off,
so I'm still behind.

First up - the twins.

I was given paint chips
and commissioned to make 2 simple quilts for our church nursery.
After making a trip to Hancocks and Hobby Lobby,
I couldn't find anything that matched the paint chips,
so I left empty-handed.

My friend, Karen, had been posting about using silk threads,
and I really wanted to try them,
so one night when I was having trouble sleeping, I spent an hour or so picking out a bunch of threads.
I put some reds in my cart for Any Which Way,
and then added a slew of colors.
I decided to heck with matching the paint chips, I was just going to stitch a rainbow (so to speak)

I proceeded to check out,
where I discovered that the shipping
(on lightweight thread)
was going to be 1/2 what I was paying for the thread!
I just couldn't do it.
I was soo irritated.
I couldn't spend $45 on thread for a baby quilt.
So I emptied my cart.

I went to Wawak
and found that they were discontinuing their silk thread, 
but they had a 'grab bag' of 5 large spools for $13 (which is a crazy good price!)
I ordered one, and prayed that there would be a red in the mix.
I decided I'd figure out the twin quilts later....

I also ordered some stretch thread (similar to wooly nylon)
because  Rachel  recommends using it in the bobbin when hemming knits.
I don't have lots of trouble with it, but I have had a few issues with thread breakage on my hems,
so thought that might be a good move.
(I have no clue where I put the darn thread though! I've looked for it twice and haven't found it. 
Good thing I kept it separate from my other thread, so I wouldn't mistakenly use it....)

My order arrived quickly,
and in my grab bag of threads - yes!
There was a red!
There was also a dark teal and a green.
They didn't match the paint chips, which were much more pastel,
but they went nicely, so I was in business.

I went back to Hancock Fabrics and bought 1 1/3 yds of a fun owl flannel,
which went perfectly with my silk threads.
Because everybody starts a project with their quilting thread, right? ;-)

When I went to the closet to get my Kona White, so I could baste the two together (with batting)
I saw the bolt of polka dot knit that I'd purchased about 2 years ago for $1/yd,
and decided to use that instead.

Instead of just horizontal lines covering the quilt, 
which was my original plan, 
I used my hera marker to draw both vertical and horizontal lines,
leaving plenty of blank spaces
to create a sort of plaid pattern.

And then I stitched.
and stitched.
and stitched....

On planes, in airports, at the beach, on the couch while watching netflix.
I stitched until I finally had all of the horizontal lines done,
at which time I thought adding machine quilting would be an awesome idea :-)

I still had that owl fabric,
so I just used it for the back of the other quilt,
and pulled all the greens and blues I had that went with the owls.
It was pretty cool to be able to pull together enough fabrics from my stash and scraps!

The top went together reasonably quickly
(but of course, took longer than I'd anticipated.)
I'd planned on quilting diagonal lines,
but after I'd marked straight lines where I had no seams (to use as guidelines for the diagonals)
I decided I liked the look,
and I'd just quilt right on the lines.
I felt very RedPepper Rita-ish doing all that straightline quilting ;-)
 (only her lines would have been closer together than my 1 1/2 inches apart)

I decided to do matching solid bindings, so I pulled out my Kona color card,
and my green and teal threads,
then ordered some Clover and Celestial, which matched perfectly.
I machine stitched the binding on the irish chain,
and hand stitched it on the plaid.
I definitely prefer the look of a hand-sewn binding.
(but it takes 8 times longer to sew)

After I finished the twins,
so that meant making an outfit,
since I truly had nothing appropriate to wear.

I had 2/3 of a yard of a stretch dark raspberryish sequined fabric,
so made a pencil(ish) skirt
and then I made a peplum jacket out of black scuba knit to go with it.
I spent a ridiculously long time on it,
in with the red, green, and teal silk threads,
there was also a dark raspberry thread that went perfectly with my sequins!

The scuba was a dream to sew with, but the seams don't lie flat when pressed
so I figured I needed to topstitch them, but wasn't sure how that'd look.
When I checked my bag of silk threads and found a match, well, I thought it was serendipitous.
How could I not use it?!
So I topstitched, by hand, every single seam except where the sleeve meets the bodice
 (it has princess seams, both in the front and the back)
and hemmed the (full) circle skirt of  the peplum.
That, my friends, is a lot of sewing by hand
when you are in a time crunch.
Sadly - from even a very short distance, you can't see it at all!

To add insult to injury, I hate how the jacket fits.
Tyler thought it looked fine,
but I felt like I looked even fatter than I am.
Ah well.

In between finishing the twins
and working on my outfit,
I also cut into my orange and blue stack.

For about 8 hours total , 
15 minutes here and and hour or so there, 
I've cut,
or trimmed
and now I have a completed quilt top.

I think it's going to remain just a top for a few weeks though,
because I've got some Christmas sewing that I need to get to :-)

'the twins' in their new home, where they'll be used to snuggle oodles of babies over the years :-)

linking up with Lee

p.s. about the silk thread? It is lovely, but I actually think I might prefer perle cotton. I'm still undecided...

p.p.s I'm curious - how long would you say it'd take you to make either of the twins, or the HST zigzag?
(they are all roughly 40x50)
I think I'm a slow-poke...


  1. Your quilts look wonderful. I am sure they will be loved.

  2. Gorgeous couple, Gorgeous quilts, love the polka dots and the super cute owls and the jacket is GREAT!! xoxo


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