Thursday, April 29, 2010

Britches for BabyStitches

I made some little pants for little BabyStitches. Her birthday is this week (she will be two!), but I gave her these pants while she was here visiting, so I could see if they fit all right.

I had a lot of fun choosing the fabrics and coordinating fabrics for the little britches!

For the first pair I chose a beautiful pink/purple batik fabric, and a cute little yellow print for the ruffles and pockets.

For the second pair I used a real "juicy" citrus print that had been lying around in my stash for long enough. And I chose the light/dark blue leaf print for
the trim and pockets. These pockets are on the side, a la cargo pants.

I used McCall's pattern #M5916, which I had used previously to make BabyStitches some ruffled bloomers.

The pockets on this pair are in the back, but I thought BabyStitches might like to be able to actually use her pockets, so I made the blue ones with cargo pockets. BTW, the yellow trim on this pair is left over from the Winnie the Pooh quilt that I made for BabyStitches. It's nice to tie things together, don't you think!?!

Now we'll all have to hope that DaughterStitches sends me a photo of BabyStitches wearing her britches soon, so that I can show you how she looks in them! Hint hint.

Birthday and Amish Quilts

MissesStitches has turned another year older! (Or should that be 'another year stitchier'?) To me that means, I'd better get to work on all those quilts I want to make "someday."

My birthday was this last Monday, and it was a treat to have both kids, their spouses, and BabyStitches here for a long weekend.

As part of my continued birthday celebration, today MisterStitches took me to a real nice place for lunch called Spruce. And that was on the way to the deYoung Museum to see the Amish Quilt Display. I've been wanting to see this for quite a while now, and was worried that I would put it off till it closes in June.

As luck would have it, we arrived just a few minutes before a docent tour was starting, so that was a special treat.

This first quilt is, to me, the epitome of an Amish quilt. Very simple, straight lines, solid colors, nothing too bright. It is typical of the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Amish quilts, with a center medallion.

This may not look like the most interesting quilt in the world, but it is one of my favorites, just for its simplicity. It is called, simply, Center Diamond.

Most of the quilts we saw were machine-sewn on old-fashioned treadle machines and then hand quilted. They dated from around the 1930's, some older. Boy, were those hand-quilting stitches tiny! And oh, so even! The stitches looked similar to these dashed lines. - - - - - - - - -

This quilt shows the style typical to the Ohio Amish, which uses a smaller quilt block and repeats it over and over. It is called Roman Stripes.

The next quilt is the Ohio style, too....

One of everyone's favorites is this Tumbling Block quilt. This variation of it is called Stairway to Heaven, as the blocks are arranged in rows to emphasize the pyramidal shape. I've been working on a tumbling block quilt for a few years now. Mine, however, will not have a particular arrangement to the blocks; it will be more of a scrappy quilt. But tumbling blocks are dazzling when put in an intentional arrangement. Who knows, maybe when the time comes for me to actually arrange my blocks into a quilt, I'll try to separate all the bright reds together, all the purples, etc, and see if I can make some sort of pattern with my blocks.

This quilt is called Center Diamond, also, and you can easily see that it has some slight differences in it (from the first Center Diamond quilt). This would be due to the different choices that the individual quilters made.

I will leave you with this last quilt, known as the Bars pattern. Isn't it just lovely, with its stark vertical lines, and then the beautiful circular quilting? I just love it.

Is it even necessary to say that I am now (again) ready to make an Amish-style quilt?!?

All of the quilt pictures you've seen here are from the Faith and Stephen Brown website.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Bags for Children in the Hospital

Here is the stack of bags that I made this week for UCSF.

At last Friday's Pacific Piecemakers Quilt Guild (PPQG) we had a short presentation from people at Child Life Services for UCSF Children's Hospital. They are asking a lot of people to sew small welcome bags for their patients. Each patient/child receives a cloth bag with some supplies and/or information in it. They asked for three different sizes: baby, child, and teen.

We were given the pattern instructions, and asked to use child-appropriate printed fabric.

Three days later, at my small group get-together, several of us worked on our bags. Once we got the hang of it, they were quite easy to make. I came home with two completed bags. (In addition to the other things that I sewed that day.)

I forgot to mention that, at the PPQG meeting, one of our members piped up and said, kind of joking and kind of challenging, "We have about 100 people in our guild. If we all make ten, that will be 1000 bags."

So on Tuesday I sat down at my machine and whipped out eight more, so now I have ten completed. Yippee!

If I don't get any more made, I will be satisfied with ten. But I am also open to making some more of them. It's kind of a fun project, and it feels good to donate to someone's cause.

Here's a close-up of a cheery fabric
I used for some of the bags.

UCSF is University of California at San Francisco, and their hospital is one of the best around.

If you feel like helping out, just email me and I'll send you the directions and address for the bags.

I have to add that last Monday at our quilting get-together I took about 20 yards of fabric that I had culled from my collection. Some of the pieces were those "What Was I Thinking?" fabrics. Some were fabric that I still find beautiful, but know that I will never use. Anyway, I let all my friends take what they wanted, and I have a few pieces left over to put in the "Fanny Basket" at PPQG, where they will get sewn into Comfort Quilts, or Quilts of Valor.

It really felt good to lighten my stash a little bit. Besides, I had just bought a fair bit of fabric, and I don't have unlimited space!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Easiest Scarf Ever!

I recently made a scarf for myself. I had been at a San Francisco Giants game, and noticed, not for the first time, all the orange accessories that people were wearing. And I thought, maybe I should make myself an orange scarf. It could really be useful for wrapping around my neck on cold, windy nights.

And there are more than a few of those nights, believe me!

MisterStitches is an absolute baseball fanatic,
and we go to a lot of games.

Soon I found myself at Britex Fabrics looking for an item I needed, and thought I'd check out the remnants to see what, if anything, they had in orange.

I found this lovely length of orange crinkly cotton, so I bought it.

Next step was to look for some scarves on-line, so I could find out the most common dimensions for a scarf like I had in mind.

The actual "making" of the scarf was incredibly, embarrassingly easy. I ripped the fabric lengthwise to the width I wanted. Then I threw it in the washing machine with some towels.
What came out was a nice, even-more-crinkled, frayed-edge scarf. I love it! I even left the selvage on, because it was more or less invisible, and had a frayed edge already.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My Coiled Selvage Basket

Remember the post I did way back here?

Well guess what! I made it (actually, my fabric bowl made it) onto the SelvageBlog.

My sister, Frayed Edge (check out her blog), was also featured on Selvage Blog. At the left are some great items for which she has written patterns.

Why do we get such joy out of using little scraps of useless fabric!?!?!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Beautiful Silk

I found this great piece of silk at Britex Fabrics the other day. And it was Half Price! Yippee!!

I even got a few extra inches (for free!) because it was at the end of the bolt. Some days the stars all align, and the fabric world falls into place.

I have something in mind for it. Something nice and drape-y. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Something for BabyStitches

Isn't this a gorgeous batik?!? I love the deep rich colors and the beautiful swirls in it. I found it a couple years ago when I was traveling to South Dakota to attend NieceStitches' college graduation.

And now I am turning it into something for BabyStitches, as she will very soon be turning two. (Hopefully, not "terrible two.") Hard to believe she's two years old already. Below is a little peak of how I'm using this fabric, strangely enough, by adding a yellow floral to it.

After her birthday I'll show you the finished product. Just wanted to let you know that I am getting some work done.

Also, I'm very close to finishing a wall hanging in progress. (I showed you a sneak peek of it in the last post.)

And I sewed another leaf for my project started at Asilomar.

Sew happy.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sneak Peek

Here are a few photos to show you what I am working on next. Stay tuned for results, which I hope don't take forever!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Calico (California)

I need to add an addendum to my last post about Calico, California, the ghost town that MisterStitches and I visited on our trip south last week.

The town originally got its name from the hills surrounding it. The settlers saw lots of different colors in the hills, just like a piece of calico cloth. Ergo, the name.

These photos do show some of the colors in the hills around Calico. The colors might have been helped on a bit by the mining going on and the subsequent slag heaps on the hills.

I was looking forward to this trip for a lot of reasons. One thing that I definitely was NOT dreading was the long-distance driving. I knew that there would be a lot of very straight roads, and some very boring scenery, which means a lot of time for handsewing!

Alas, I forgot to bring with me enough of my already-cut-out diamonds for my tumbling blocks quilt. That was very frustrating, as I had so much time to sew them.

BUT, I was able to stop at a nice little store to buy a fat eighth of fabric, a small hoop, and a few colors of embroidery floss. I was able to get lots of practice stitching done, and kept my fingers busy. I kind of like my palm tree!