More Union Jack flags mean…more Liberty of London fabric!

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Variety is the spice of life, so I am feeling very spicy.  If I had to choose one fabric only to use for the rest of my life?  Well that would be cruel, but I would definitely choose Liberty Tana Lawn.

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Picking the fabrics to combine in each block has been helping curb my innate desire to make sure everything matches perfectly.

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The hardest part of this project is trying to NOT plan ahead.  I want to wait until I have all the blocks to choose the fabric and style of the sashing.  But I’m getting impatient.

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Five blocks a month, until I have a total of…I don’t know yet.  I have not yet even calculated how big I want to make this.

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Seeing each block individually makes me think I want this on my bed.  King size.  At least that will give me a long time to work on it.  I really enjoy working on foundation paper pieced projects.

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The obsessive part of me craves the perfection that can be achieved with paper piecing.  And it is so easy!  I took some pictures while I was working on these blocks.

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Sew, press, cut, add fabric and repeat.  Easy and stunning!

We’ll talk soon, I’m off on an adventure.

I went to Downton Abbey, so I had to join a quilt along.

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Speaking of my Anglophile tendencies, I went to Downton Abbey in May.  A trip to the promised land for someone like me, someone whose idea of a rollicking viewing experience is Sense and Sensibility.  Or Downton Abbey, of course.  It’s my absolute favorite TV show in recent years.

Andover fabrics came out with Christmas Downton Abbey fabric this year!  OMG, Christmas and Downton Abbey together?  You know you can count me in!

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Ebony Love at Lovebug Studios (http://www.lovebugstudios.com) started a Downton Abbey Christmas in July mystery quilt along this summer.  I felt it was my destiny, nay, my responsibility, to join in.

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I’ve never participated in a mystery quilt along before.  I decided to go for this one, because I already knew I loved the fabric.  In fact, I had already purchasesda half yard bundle of the fabric.  The fabric requirements are obviously not the same as a half yard bundle, but I am going to be flexible and mix it up a little to use all the pieces in the bundle.

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These 16 patch blocks show some of the changes made so far.  I like the variety that this is bringing into my version of the quilt.

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I have quite the assortment of candles going on in mine!  I will be fascinated when the layout is available, so I can figure out how to incorporate my blocks into it.

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It’s the fifth week of the quilt along, and I am up to date!  That is something to celebrate, in my estimation.  Once or twice in my life I have joined progressive projects, and let’s just say that staying up to date is not always my modus operandi.  I guess it helps that I still like this project.  And I know it helps that I love Downton Abbey.  I think Lord and Lady Grantham are probably going to invite me to a shooting party soon.

Anglophile alert! Union Jack quilt squares and Liberty Tana Lawn fabric, all in one convenient place!

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How much do I love all things English?  Other than mushy peas, I’m in pretty deep.  I love the humor, the TV shows, chips, crisps, you name it.  And it is well documented that I LOVE Liberty fabrics.

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I even joined a club.  Westwood Acres (http://www.westwoodacresfabric.com) has a Liberty of London Tana Lawn club!  Each month they send a bundle of 10 beautiful pieces in fat quarters, eighths or sixteenths.  So I thought and I thought until my thinker was sore.

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I remembered an online magazine I bought a while back, issue #10 of Fat Quarterly magazine (http://www.fatquarterly.com)  There it was, the perfect quilt for small cuts of fabric, appropriately named Jumping Jacks.  I can’t think of a more perfect match!

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I decided I would pair up each month’s fabrics, choosing one for the triangle “background” and one for the wide stripes.  I chose a solid Kona white for the narrow stripes.  Even the prints that I don’t instantly love are turning out beautifully in these blocks!

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There are brights and lights, mostly traditional with some flair thrown in.  I am so excited to use all the diverse prints to make a quilt that can only be one-of-a-kind!  I have not yet decided what I will do for the sashing on this quilt.  I am sure some inspiration will come along as the months progress.

The blocks are foundation paper pieced.  It is such a great way to make perfect blocks every time.  When I post the next set of blocks, I will flip some over so you can get a good view of the paper piecing.  With only five blocks to make each month, I should be able to keep up with this project while still working on everything else that tickles my fancy!

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Anybody have a favorite?

Yippee skippy, I have another new dress! And I made it from some yummy Liberty fabric!

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Look at me, cutting into yet another one of my coveted lengths of Liberty Tana lawn.  Every time I start a project with this fabric, I feel like I should have a ceremony before the first cut with the scissors.  Not only is this fabric expensive, it has the nicest hand of any cotton I have ever sewn.

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This picture is a little fuzzy. I may have to fire my photographer.

For this dress, I chose a pattern by Serendipity Studio called the Marilyn dress.  The Serendipity patterns seem to be sized for what I will call, um, relatively flat-chested bodies.  There is also a note on the back of this pattern that reads, “the length of the skirt will suit up to 5’4″ in height.”  Oops, I just found that note.

I took one look at the bodice front and knew it would need some adjustment.  I re-drew the bodice, adding a generous amount of space to cover my not-flat-chested self.  Here are the before and after shots of the front bodice.

Here is the tissue pattern next to the redrafted pattern I used.
Here is the tissue pattern next to the redrafted pattern I used.
The original laid over the new pattern piece.  To cover everything that needs to stay inside the bodice, I added width and length to the pattern piece.
The original laid over the new pattern piece. To cover everything that needs to stay inside the bodice, I added width and length to the pattern piece.
You can see it took multiple tries to add enough fabric to cover...
You can see it took multiple tries to add enough fabric to cover…

I love the back v-neckline and the invisible zipper.  I have a major supply of invisible zippers, so it’s easy to slap one in the garments I make.  One of the wonderful things about invisible zippers is that it pretty much doesn’t matter what color the zipper is.  If inserted correctly, the only part that shows is the zipper pull.  The zip in this dress is kelly green.

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The Liberty lawn fabric is so soft and drapey.  Now this is a good quality in a dress, in my opinion.  However, that means that the hem of the dress hangs without any oomph.  To plump out my hem, to get it to have some body, I decided to add some ban-roll interfacing.  Ban-roll is a product that is typically used for interfacing waistbands.  It comes in different widths. IMG_0917

I measured and pressed my hem.  Then I added the ban-roll, snugging it against the pressed hem.  I basted it to the hem, then folded the excess hem over the interfacing. IMG_0918

I pinned my hem into place, then used the blind hem foot and stitch on my machine.  Because that’s how I roll.  I will freely admit that the idea of hand sewing a hem makes me want to heave.

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I love my new dress.  It will be a great garment for the hot and sweaty weather here.  Would I make it again?  No.  While I like the shape of the dress and it’s components, the pattern is obviously sized all over for a petite figure.  My bad for not measuring the length of the bodice, waistband and skirt before cutting.  Lesson learned.

Girly Christmas quilt for a new baby

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It’s raining babies.  Girl flavored babies.  And so the parade of adorable little baby quilts continues.

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I found the cutest pattern for a big block quilt.  It’s called the Lone Star baby quilt by Amy Smart.  She has an amazing blog, Diary of a Quilter.  This pattern is on the Bernina website here:  http://weallsew.com/2015/07/08/lone-star-baby-quilt-tutorial-part/

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I love the look of a one block quilt.  This one uses 10″ squares, a portion of a layer cake.  I got it in my mind that I wanted to make this quilt for an upcoming baby.  And I decided it should be a Christmas quilt.  A Christmas baby girl quilt.

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Then what to my wondering eyes should appear?  A ten inch stacker by Penny Rose fabrics, Little Joys.  12 prints tied up with a bow.  Throw in four white squares and it’s a quilt.

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Dorito approves.  The fabric has such sweet prints.  Little reindeer, toys, trees, bows.  And there are PINKS in this Christmas collection!  My heart is aflutter.  I ordered some yardage for the border, backing and binding. Or course i got extra of the two pink prints!

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You can tell that this gem goes together quickly.  For me, the tricky part, the challenge, is doing the actual quilting.  I’m getting better at making my quilt sandwiches.

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I included this picture because you can see the quilting pretty well.  I used my walking foot, chose a section, and worked in a “spiral” towards the center of each section.  No measuring or anything, I eyeballed it and drove full speed.  I have only quilted a few things myself.  I can’t see myself ever attempting anything the size of a bed.  I do like how this one worked out.  Practice makes perfect, right?

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This one is going in the mail this week, and will reappear in the state of

Still July, so more Christmas!

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Time for a project, stat!  I don’t want to get behind on my Christmas in July projects.  Of which I planned ZERO.

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I don’t have nearly enough table runners.  I’m serious.  So I grabbed a charm pack of Folk Art Holiday by Moda.

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The pattern is from the booklet Angles With Ease 2 by Heather Peterson.  And I got to use my Triangler ruler from Anka’s Treasures.  I cut the remaining charm squares in half, sewed them into a 2-1/2″ strip and used them as the binding.  I am loving my scrappy binding!

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I used my walking foot and improvised the quilting.

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Oh look!  The back of the runner is the infamous Hawaiian print of yore!  Christmas 2012 I made matching outfits for the family out of the red and white.  We rocked that Christmas photo.

DSCN2154A few of us had different colored hair back then.

I got the shots of my new table runner, then someone seemed to need a little photo sesh…

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I’m all about indulging the children.

I actually cut my Liberty fabric! Lo and behold, a dress sprang forth!

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I can’t possibly be the only one who hesitates to cut into beautiful Liberty of London yardage.  But I did buy it to sew it into something.

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I chose a wonderful pattern by Sis Boom, the Lucy Halter Dress.  I am in love with the Sis Boom pattern line for a couple of reasons – they give excellent sizing advice, and they include cutting lines for different cup sizes!  The patterns are also technically well written.  I love that I can fit these to my body type.

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The Tana Lawn fabric by Liberty is absolutely amazing to work with.  It has the softest hand and perfect grain lines.  And it goes well with my hair.  Since we are planning another trip to London, I decided it was okay to use it since I can buy more next time!

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This pose was my rather lame version of the Big Fig Newton.  I put this in here just to see if my mom is reading my blog.  Every photo session from my junior and senior high years has a Big Fig pose in it.  I could usually elicit a “stop that!” and maybe a choice word from my mother.

I was so tickled with this dress that I cut into another chunk of my Liberty lawn.  I’m sure you’re waiting with bated breath to see that one.  Meanwhile, here is a gratuitous puppy picture.

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I made little Miss Dorito a Minion outfit/jammies.  Way too big as you can see.  She wouldn’t move for awhile, and when she did, with her first footsteps she walked right out of it.