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Archive for May, 2009



OOP Swap, originally uploaded by Shear Delight.

Have you visited this group yet? It’s a flickr pool for swapping hard to find and out of print fabric but be warned it’s additive. I swapped some Lush and Flea Market Fancy for the treasures above. The vans are a fabric scrap that were an added bonus. I doubt I’ll ever be able to cut into them. The blue posies join the green posies and will eventually be used in bits and pieces in a variety of projects. The birds will probably be made into some oven mitts etc and then in a bird quilt I want to make.

Right now I’m focusing on baby stuff to sell at a local farmer’s market. My step-mom, sister and I are going to give it a whirl. S scoped it out last week, there is already someone there selling quilts and another person selling purses so she suggested focusing on baby stuff but I think kitchen stuff might be a good choice as well. Either way I need to get sewing!

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_MG_1115, originally uploaded by bykelli.

This picture is what I’m trying to sew and this is what my blouse looks like right now

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It’s the same pattern and fabric (what are the odds?). It’s also my first blouse so it’s a bit of a learning curve and it doesn’t help that the tension on my almost brand new Janome has decided to go crazy. What’s particularly frustrating is when I get to something that I don’t understand that’s in big bold letters.

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It makes me feel extra special stupid… Regardless I want to get this finished and done this weekend! I’m determined not to move on to another project until it’s completed and I’d really like to move on…

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HR Blue Vans, originally uploaded by mayaeliseboutique.

What are you doing here?! You should be here checking out the (I kid you not) hundreds of giveaways! I spent the better part of today browsing through them all and entering various contests. I have shared my first sewing project, my most recent sewing project, what I would do with various fabrics and attempted to write the most interesting comment so I could win some goat’s milk soap. Blogs I’d like to actually read have been bookmarked for a more leisurely perusal later, today was about winning something! I’ve never won a blog contest so I’ve got my fingers crossed.

Don’t worry though the contests are open until the 31st so you still have time to enter.

PS- I realize I’m a slacker for not giving anything away but time just got the better of me, I think they are doing these twice a year or something so maybe I’ll start crafting for the next one now.

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Barcelona Skirt- Take Two, originally uploaded by Shear Delight.

I had big plans for this weekend and most of them didn’t pan out. I didn’t have the supplies I needed for either of the dresses that I wanted to make or the blouse so instead I made another Barcelona skirt. I like it as much as the first although they came out pretty different.

The first time around I took 2 1/2 inches off the top creating a hip slung skirt that I adore. It is not however work appropriate so the second time around I kept the waist line where the pattern put it.

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Holy high waist Batman! You can’t even see my belly button anymore… It’s not my preferred waistline but it works well with my work blouses which are generally shorter then my casual t-shirts. And as much as I like low waists they tend to gap and show a little skin when you sit down.

If I did it again (which I don’t plan on doing) I’d probably take 1 inch off the top as a compromise between these two waistlines.

The pattern is simple, so simple in fact that you probably don’t need it. I recently purchased “Sew What Skirts” which covers how to make a simple A-line skirt along with instructions on various other skirt types. The cost for the pattern and book are the same and you can make quite a bit more with the book than the pattern.

You will need to learn how to install an invisible zipper. Don’t worry it’s not hard but it does take a little practice. I did two or three before installing the one of my first skirt and you could still see the zipper… Thankfully the zipper is truly invisible on the second.

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You can find a nice tutorial on invisible zippers here but I would also check out this video. Between the two it’s pretty easy to figure out.

The first skirt was done in bits and pieces but the second one only took a couple hours which is nice and gratifying.

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Now that I’m almost done with my Lizzy Dish quilt I guess it was time to buy some of Lizzy House’s new line of fabric, Red Letter Day. I was much more selective this time in my choice of prints. I’m going to mix these in with fabrics from other lines in similar blues and pinks to make a baby quilt- eventually….

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Barcelona Skirt, originally uploaded by Shear Delight.

I know I owe you a tutorial, I mean that is the point of this blog but I made a couple changes to the skirt and I like the result I just need to duplicate it before I start sharing.

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In addition to hemming it which I think makes a huge difference in the overall look I also took 2 1/2 inches off the top so it would sit at what I call my waist versus my actual waist.

I think the look is younger and personally more flattering. I love it! And I think he does too

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or perhaps he’s looking up my skirt- how rude!

I’m going to make another one soon and after that I’ll post a tutorial. In the meantime I need to get back to cleaning up my sewing table. My goal this weekend is to finish my coaster swap coasters and to start and finish a new dress.

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Hot Pink Cross Quilt, originally uploaded by betty_whoosh.

I’ve decided that Flickr is a gateway drug (stay with me here). I first signed up in 2005 when I was deployed to Iraq so that I could upload photos and send the link to my family. It was infinitely faster and easier than trying to send large photo files over a crappy internet connection. When I got back from Iraq I continued to update it for family and friends and use it as another back up for my photos.

I didn’t do anything else on Flickr until a year ago when I realized that I could save other people’s photos and join photo pools- oh the inspiration! I started joining more pools and participating in photo contests and scavengers hunts and then I realized I could use it to blog. I’m not big into html language and CSS blah, blah, blah so the “add to blog” is pretty much my favorite feature of Flickr.

I plataued for awhile until I started hearing about these “virtual quilting bees.” At the time I had no idea what that meant but a little Googling later and I realized that these were groups of men and women located all over the world swapping fabric and creating quilt blocks for one another- I had to get in on one. Well I missed out on one and then another and then another and in frustration and perhaps a little desperation I decided to start my own. That meant posting a discussion topic, forming a new pool, and being the administrator for said pool. These were all things I had never explored before and I honestly I didn’t realize that anyone could start their own pool and that pools were all started by someone that just decided to do it and started talking to people and collecting pictures and they grow from there.

Having successfully started one pool for my quilting bee I decided to start another for solid colored quilts. I’ve been searching for them on Flickr for awhile and while I realize that they aren’t super popular I’m still surprised that there isn’t already a group for them. Starting this group is a lot harder because now I need to advertise it, get people excited to join and post photos of their quilts there. I spent hours last night trolling other quilting groups looking for solid (and mostly solid) colored quilts to invite to post to my pool. A couple hours of work led to 7 new members and 10 quilts but it’s a start! I now have a new task to add to my daily schedule!
So if you’ve got a solid colored quilt or you’d like to see some solid colored quilts head on over.

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I started to think about what I’m going to do for my coaster swap and as I was looking through my stash I found all of these. Who knew I had so many black and white prints by Alexander Henry and what exactly am I going to do with them?

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IMG_3750, originally uploaded by Shear Delight.

This window has been bothering me for awhile now. I love all the light it lets into this room but in the summer it can be sweltering, not to mention all my fabric is stacked up right below the window and I certainly don’t want any of it to fade.

Stacked green

So when I saw the new Valori Wells Del Hi Full Bloom fabric in the window of Spool I knew I had to bring it home and make a curtain out of it. I’ve been looking for something that would go with these photos and help pull my home office together.

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Lined curtains are easy to make and really create a polished looked.

Step 1: Measure your window using either the inside or outside of the frame depending on how you are mounting the curtain rod. Accuracy is key here so it’s best to get someone to help you with particularly tall or wide windows and measuring twice won’t hurt either. This is something you are going to be staring at everyday so you should splurge a bit on your fabric. But you don’t want to ruin expensive fabric by cutting incorrectly.

I’m mounting my curtain on a small tension rod inside the window frame. My window measured 25 1/2 in W by 61 in H.

Step 2: Figuring out the dimensions of your curtain so you can buy fabric.

To the width you want to add 1 inch to account for the two 1/2 inch seams on either side. To the height you will add 6 inches for the deep hem at the bottom, 1/2 inch for the seam allowance, and another 2 inches for the tube you will create for the curtain rod at the top. (Keep in mind I’m using a small tension rod if you are using a wider curtain rod you may to create a wider space for it). So I need to purchase enough fabric to cut out a panel that is 26 inches by 69.5 inches.

I made a single panel for my window but you can easily double this to make two panels for a more traditional look.

Step 3: The fun part, fabric buying! I bought two yards of the print and two yards of Kona Cotton White to create a single panel.

Step 4: Cutting your panels out- you want super straight cuts so your fabric hangs correctly. It’s easier to cut long strips if you starch the fabric first. Once you’ve squared your fabric up you can use the straight edge to measure and mark your cutting line. I used a ruler and marked lines to follow every couple inches.

It’s a bit tedious to do but it kept my lines straight.

For one curtain I cut out a panel of the print and a panel of the lining fabric.

Step 5: Creating the hem. You can really make a hem at whatever length you’d like. In looking at store bought curtains you will notice more formal curtains tend to heave deeper hems compared to sheers that have relatively short hems. There are a number of reasons for this, one is the appearance and two is the ability of the hem to weigh down the fabric so it drapes well. Heavier fabric will need a deeper hem to hang correctly. I’m using quilting weight cottons and want a rather informal look so 6 inches works well.

Fold the bottom edge of your fabric up 3 inches and press. Make sure if you are using directional fabric you are folding up on the bottom so everything doesn’t end up upside down!

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Then fold it up 3 more inches and press.

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Pin the double fold down and sew a 1/4 inch seam.

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Do this to each of your panels.

Step 6: Sewing the panels together. Lay the print and lining front sides together. Make sure the bottom panels are together and that you smooth the panels out

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before pinning along the sides and top edge.

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Sew the panels together using a 1/2 inch seam allowance along the three sides. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam.

We leave the bottom open to help with the drape and flow of the fabric. If your fabric is even no one will ever notice this.

Step 7: Turn your curtain right side out. At this point it reminded me of a giant pillow or perhaps a very thin sleeping bag :)

Pin the panels together along the three sewn sides and topstitch around. This gives the curtain a more finished appearance.

Repeat for as many curtains are you are making.

Step 8: Making the pocket for your curtain rod. I simply folded the top edge over 2 inches stitched across the width of the curtain.

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Step 9: Hang your curtain and admire your work.

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Total Cost: $32 in fabric. I already had the white thread.

Total Time: 1 1/2 hours. This included stopping to take pictures etc.

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Mixtape Quilt Top, originally uploaded by Shear Delight.

I travel quite frequently for work and occasionally I have to travel over weekends. Officially my company has no policy to give me back that time but since I work from home when I’m not traveling I just take it when my schedule will allow it. Sunday I’ll be driving up to Maine for work so yesterday I took the day off. I still had my computer up and running and my blackberry let me know about any important emails but otherwise I was able to sit back and relax.

I should have been cleaning but instead I decided to turn these

Blocks for My Mixtape Quilt

Into these

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By 6:30pm I was at this point

Minus the Outer Borders

And decided I might as well finish the top by adding the border sashing. I still have to figure out what I’m going to do with the back. I may finish that this weekend or I may temporarily move onto a different sewing project. I’ve had a couple clothes patterns sitting tucked in a drawer for a couple weeks and that’s just unacceptable :)

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