Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Hawaiian Quilts



I'm back to my blog after a very very long time.  I feel sorry to have neglected it for so long.  Nevertheless I have been busy with all kinds of crafts.  Most recently,  I have discovered and gained an interest in Hawaiian Quilting.  My husband and I were in Maui not too long ago.  Our hotel was decorated with these amazing quilts.  The first of which is the most stunning right at the entrance to the lobby.  This design is called "Ulu" meaning breadfruit in Hawaiian.  It's meant to signify prosperity.  This quilt was so inspiring I decided to make a miniature version myself.



Here are a few more quilts which adorned the walls.  I got to see them everyday!  Every time I pass by I stop and admire those little hand stitches.




It was hard to get a good shot because of the glare off the glass.





One day I came across this quilt shop.  I got some patterns from here.  I also went to another quilt shop; the Maui Quilt Shop  I believe.  That's where I bought a couple Hawaiian quilting books.




When I got home I started on this Ulu appliqué design for a cushion/pillow.  Pretty crazy huh?  I was just so inspired.  I really enjoy doing the old-school needle-turn appliqué which is the traditional Hawaiian way.   It's slow and relaxing.




Here's the back




And here is the really fun quilting part!  I used doubled wool batting so it's nice and puffy and soft.  Unfortunately I found it difficult to get small even stitches, but it's ok.  I enjoy it anyways.  It's good practice and I'm sure it'll get better with time.  The main thing is that I enjoy it.  



It's almost finished!  I still have a bit of quilting to do.  Then I'll have to sew it into a pillow cover.  I'll post a photo when it's completed.

Happy Sewing!


Thursday, 20 June 2013

Quilt Gallery


Quilt Gallery

As of late, I've been starting to feel the urge to start quilting again.  I seem to go through spurts of quilt making which alternates with either knitting or garment sewing.  If I could,  I would do all three at once, but unfortunately I can only focus on one craft at a time.  When I start, it seems to go for a few months after which I find myself switching to something else.  But,  I'm always either sewing, quilting or knitting.  So I thought I would share some of my  previously made bedquilts!


Wedding Quilt

First of all is the Wedding Quilt.  I called it that because it was a wedding gift.  I think this quilt was one of the first large bedquilts I made.  It was a lot of fun making this one.  I remember I was just getting the hang of free motion quilting and I found  that if I repeated the mantra: "Slithering snakes, slithering snakes"  My quilting was much smoother and curvier, kind of like slithering snakes.
 Oh my goodness, those are gigantic stitches.  I think this was the first time I hand stitched the binding.  Yep, I bet that binding is going to stay put!  I remember at the time thinking I didn't want to do a regular slipstitch because I wanted to go through both layers of the binding to make it stronger and more durable if you put it in the washing machine.   Now, I'm more into doing an invisible slipstitch.  It just looks better.

Birthday Quilt

This is a quilt that I made for my sister's birthday last year.  I'm in love with the colours and the romantic floral print.  I used charm packs and made disappearing nine patch blocks and just mixed them up except for the accent reds which I matched up on a diagonal.  It turned out smaller that I had planned.  Things tend to shrink when you're dealing with cotton.




Another handstitched binding... my favourite part!



Corner Candy Shop

This was a little more work that the previous quilts I've made but it was definitely worth it.  The quilt block is called a Patience Corner block.  The size of this quilt is like a small bed quilt or a large lap quilt.  Again, some shrinking probably from the small scale quilting I did.



This concludes the tour of my little quilt gallery.  I'm itching to get my quilting out now. My next project has been on hold for months.  It's a gorgeous quilt which is a bit more of a contemporary pattern.  The finished blocks have been hanging on my design wall for quite a while untouched while I've been working on garments the last few months.  I just go with the flow of my inspiration at the time.

Happy Sewing!




Sunday, 2 June 2013

Ladybug dress

Ladybug dress is completed.  I ended up lengthening the front bodice piece just a tiny bit (maybe 3/4") to make the waistline even and balanced.  I kept the size 6 in the skirt as there is not much difference and the design is free in the hip anyways.  Otherwise, as previously mentioned,  I did a full bust adjustment on the front bodice with a side dart for a better fit.  The other thing I did differently from the pattern instructions is that I cut the waistband on the straight of grain rather that on the cross-grain as the pattern indicates.  I just wanted to have a really strong waist band that would not stretch out of shape.  I did a lot of topstitching on the waistband, pocket edge and top bodice edge because I really love topstitching pretty much everything.  I sewed the pocket edge at 1/4" seam allowance instead of 5/8"because, the bigger the pocket, the better!


Pockets are so nice to have on a dress.

I love the way the straps tie into a little bow at the back.



Here's the front bodice piece which I added a bit of length to at front centre seam because on the muslin, the waistline was tilting up at the front  and looked off balance.

I've added stay-tape to the top edge.  I used my rayon seam binding for this.


I did a lot of topstitching!
The End!
I absolutely love my new sundress.  I'm sure it will get worn a lot this summer.
Happy Sewing!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Butterfly Quilt

Now that the snow is melted and my laundry line is back up,  I can photograph my most recent "Butterfly Quilt" outdoors in much better lighting.  This quilt is the largest quilt I've made.  It fits a queen size bed with a very generous length to allow for a pillow tuck.  The amount draping over the side is perfect.
 This design is very simple.  They are 12" blocks; half of which are hourglass and half are four-square blocks.  Alternate them and arrange them with lighter colours together and darker colours together.  Then you've got this altered squares design which creates an illusion of larger diamonds.  I added a border, and voilà!  The fabric is from a line called Papillon designed by 3 Sisters

Here's a little closer detail of the fabric.  It's so beautiful with muted pastels and detailed butterfly sketches.   The quilting was not done by me.  This was the first time I sent a quilt to get quilted by a long arm quilter.  I sent it to Missouri Star Quilt Company.  I usually like to do everything myself but this huge quilt was going to be very difficult to quilt on my little home sewing machine.  Although it's more expensive than doing it myself, it was definitely worth it.  They really did a fabulous job and it was so quick!


The binding is completely slipstitched by hand.  This is one part of the quilt making process that I really learned to love.  It's time consuming but looks so much nicer.  I've learned to relax into it and enjoy each stitch rather than focus on just getting it done.  It took me maybe 3 or 4 days to complete the binding.
There we go!  Now Butterfly Quilt is going to the washing machine for it's annual wash!
Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Red Polka Dot Dress

I have a long list of things I want to sew but this Red Lonsdale dress is next in line.  I have lots of this polka dot fabric which is 100% cotton.  I made a muslin in size 6 and determined I need to make a full bust adjustment of 1.25 inches.  The waist fits perfect but there was a lot of gaping in the upper bust and tight across the middle bust.
 Here's a picture of my corrected bodice piece.  I kept the waist at size 6 and tapered to size 4 at the top of the side seam.  I also continued the size 4 with the ties.  I may also grade from a size 6 in the waist to a size 4 in the hip and the rest of the skirt down.
I like a longer skirt but not quite a maxi dress length; more of a tea length dress so I'm going to lengthen view A to about mid calf.   I'm hoping to finish this dress well before my birthday.  I can be a slow sewist so its good to have a date to work towards.  It's so rewarding to end up with a beautiful garment to wear.
Happy Sewing!
Nayla

Thursday, 16 May 2013

More Photos!

McCalls 6503 pattern:





 This is actually the first version I made.  It is view A.  It has a ruffled collar edge.  I underlined the bodice and lined the skirt with batiste.  I did not lengthen the bodice in this version so although the fit is pretty good.  I can feel that the waist sits a bit too high.  I don't know, maybe that's the style, but I decided to change it with the second version.
So both dresses have their pros and cons.  The shorter one feels more casual and cute but the longer one fits better on my waist and feels more flowy.  I guess it just depends on my mood.  Well I guess I can now put this pattern away.  I'm pretty happy with my 2 new dresses!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Tea Garden dress

I've just completed my "Tea Garden" dress.  Also known as McCalls 6503.  This is an unlined dress pattern.  I added a skirt lining and a bodice underlining in a white cotton batiste.
The fabric is a floral print cotton lawn fabric.  I hemmed the skirt using "hug-snug" tape and used my expensive french cotton lace from my heirloom sewing stash on the hem of the skirt lining.  I'll post some more pics of myself actually wearing the dress.
I made a few other modifications.  I lengthened the bodice by 1" for a better fit.  I also lengthened the skirt significantly (about 6 inches) just because I wanted a more flowy dress rather than a baby doll look.



back view

Pearly buttons.  I may change these to fabric covered buttons in the future.  I just have to save the fabric scraps

Underlined bodice, self lined midriff, gathered skirt lining

Lace edging on the facing

french cotton lace on the skirt lining

Hand-basted cotton batiste underlining for the bodice pieces

hemming the lining with lace

Hemming the skirt with "hug snug"