Friday, May 27, 2011

Little Green Quilters Update

Making daughter's costume sort of took the wind out of my sails. I have done little sewing since the costume; now I am feeling refreshed, so I pulled out a few UFOs that have been on my mind.

First up is what I have been calling the Purple Estate Sale Quilt. The woman who passed away left behind a lot of fabric and some unfinished projects. I am not sure what she had in mind with this one; the pattern was with the fabric and small top, plus there were extra nine patches and a number of square in a square blocks, finished and unfinished. Did the quilter plan to make just a hearts topper and do something else with the rest of the blocks? Or should they be put into the same quilt?
I think I would like to finish this top by using the hearts as a center medallion, then build around it with these other blocks until it is large enough for a twin bed.

I've also been playing with layouts for the small nine patch blocks made from leftover MIL scrap fabrics. So many possiblities! I like this first one with the red centers that seem to tie all the blocks together.

This layout is nearly the same as the one above, except with white sashing and cornerstones. I think it is a bit busy for my taste.

Here is a third idea. If I went this route, I would probably make it a disappearing nine patch. Sew a nine patch in each corner, the center square is red, and the four other blocks would be white. It would come together quickly enough, I would think.

This fourth layout is perhaps my favorite. My MIL said she would be happy to hand quilt in the white areas; I would machine quilt the colorful squares.

Do you Schnibble? It is very popular in quilting circles these days. According to Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. ( a schnibble is "a scrap of fabric, a leftover bit of cloth, a small piece." The patterns for Schnibbles make wall-hanging size quilts, and the fabric pieces required to make a schnibble pattern are small in size! I have admired many completed Schnibbles on other quilter's blogs, but I have so many WIPs and UFOs hanging around, I would not let myself partake in Schnibble Mania.

Until now!

I recently won a giveaway from Thelma at! She sent me (GASP) SIX Schnibbles patterns!

AND...she send two charm packs of the rich and gorgeous fabric Maison de Garance by French General. It is so yummy. Once the costume dress was finished, I let myself have some fun.

Here is my very first Schnibble: Brocante!

Of course, this is just the flimsy; it will need to be quilted. Eventually. Another WIP for my (already too long) UFO list.

I've link this post up with Susan and the rest of the UFO busters at

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Dress is Finished!

I have been spending most of my time working on this dress for my daughter. She is playing Beatrice in Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing". I was asked to make a dress and here it is!
It was a lot of work, for the pattern was made for a Barbie, with a tiny tiny waist and very low cut bodice. I did some alterations and custom fitting. I also did a professional lining that covers all the seam allowances. Patterns today don't do that anymore.

Here is the back of the dress. I think it is pretty too!

The director makes all the girls wear white blouses underneath the dresses, as womens' fashions from the time dictates that the undergarments do show above the neckline. Unfortunately, the budget did not call for undergarments to be made, so the girls wear whatever white blouses they can find! It does not look as authentic, but at least there are no bawdy costumes on the girls!

I enjoyed making the dress, and I learned a few things:

1. Velour (the purple) is a wonderfully cheap fabric that drapes beautifully, but it cannot hold it's own shape. (I used a heavy felt-like fabric for lining the bodice and fusible webbing for the pleats.)

2. When the pattern seems out of proportion to the female shape, it helps tremendously to make a mock-up first. (I made the bodice out of an old sheet four different ways before I was able to fit it to my daughter's figure!)

3. Give yourself plenty of time for a challenging project! (I worked on this over three weeks. I read parts of the pattern four or five times OUTLOUD and then thought about it a day or two before either understanding it or figuring out how I could do it better!)

4. It is worthwhile to challenge the aging brain!

I am looking forwards to spending time making quilt blocks again!