Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Prince of Paris

I can now finish my Tula Pink "Into the Woods" quilt top. I had been holding out on buying Parisville once I read that she had another line, Prince Charming, coming out for the spring/summer. A line that was recently released, so I bought the pieces I needed from both lines! This is also my first exposure to Tula's work for Free spirit in person (Prince Charming on the left and Parisville on the right).

To be honest, I'm mixed. I only picked up 3 prints from Parisville, so I can't compare colorways. The ones I did receive seem dull and not so crisp. Like there's no depth to the design. In my opinion, they seem flat--especially the filigree which I bought in yellow and green.

Now, I bought pieces from two colorways from Prince Charming. Honestly, it's almost like Free Spirit asked Tula Pink for a Neptune of their own. I mean Neptune is wildly popular. I would hazard to say it is her most beloved range from her time with Moda. Do I mind? Not at all, I am twitterpated. I love Prince Charming. Except one thing:

I find the olive colorway ( from which I bought 4 prints) has the same muddy, lack of depth/crispness that the pieces I bought from Parisville had--again in my opinion. I do love the honeycomb print. Out of the 4 I bought, I think that it's the best looking. I was disappointed in the froggies being such a great fan of her Owls and Bunnies (Full Moon Forest & Hushabye). My second most liked print is the snail print which reminds me happily of Flutterby (another favorite Tula Pink line).

I also bought pieces of Prince Charming from the aqua/coral colorway, and OH MY the difference. The pieces are crisp and beautiful. I fawned all over them and I am most definitely going to by at least 2 more prints from that colorway to accompany my aqua/coral pieces of Neptune. They coordinate beautifully. When I see them all together I want to go swimming and hang out at the beach.

My opinion of the olive colorway makes me hesitant to purchase pieces from the two other colorways. I may just hold out until later in the year when the range starts to go on sale. Now I just need to focus on finishing my Tula quilt before her next line is announced, LOL!

Sunday, May 29, 2011


I know I have been posting, but that's because I've been sewing. Well, on and off. I decided I was DEFINITELY going to do a quilt. I decided to use my Freshcut by Heather Bailey stack because I was determined to use it and not just let it rot under my bed. I knew immediately what I would make once I saw the new pattern from Happy Zombie (Super Zag) to go with her new Happy Mochi Yum Yum range. Firstly, I love green tea mochi! It's a special treat for me that I no longer get to have now since I moved a few years ago. I was drooling of her pictures of them ;)

I know I've mentioned this before: I have a hard time with showing progress photos since I don't find them very interesting. I'd rather just keep working until the project's done ;) Though, I do like seeing other people's progress pics! I think I might try the WIP Wednesday to help me get over that. Anyway, as per usual, on to my mistakes, LOL (this is progress, right?)

1 - Before this, I'd not ever assembled anything in a diagonal. I had to really think it through to keep myself from being confused. My brain kept wanting to read the pattern vertically or horizontally (eventually, I rotated my print out so it looked that way, LOL) This led to me mis-matching 6 pairs. Great way to start ;) Me and my seam ripper are great friends.

2 - Because of what happened in the above, I had to map out every row with abbreviations so I used the right print. I was going to chain stitch but decided to assemble row-by-row instead to keep my confusion low (well, lower). This was also because I deviated from the original 'recipe' for the quilt top (I didn't use any solids). If you just use the solid with a print, it's not confusing at all.

So my suggestions for anyone who wants to make this quilt with no solids: map out your blocks and make the appropriate notations on a print out of the assembly. Really. Serious. If I could do it over again, I would make a faux assembly of the first 3 rows so I could appreciate how all the colors looked next to each other. I just arranged my stack kind of haphazardly. I only wanted that no solid pink/peach fabric was next to each other. I would totally change the placement of 3 fabrics if I could start over today ( I wouldn't have the LIGHTEST print smack in the middle jumps to mind first).

Over all, I love the quilt though. If you exclude the solids you need 10 half yards (to be safe, sometimes selvedge is wider and sometimes narrow. I could get 5 blocks typically out of a 4.5xWOF strip but once I only could get 4) and another yard for the setting triangles.

I actually finished this last night, but my daughter wouldn't leave the thing alone ;) She says it's her picnic blanket. I have plenty of scraps to make another quilt of the same fabric just for her. Mommy and daughter quilts~ Kind of cute.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hum Drum

Nearly a week, and I've not had anything to say. I haven't had anything to sew, either. It was nice to take the break after making those dresses. I drug out my Tula fabric for my "Into the Woods" quilt. I decided I didn't want to have sashing, so now I need to make manymany more blocks. I suppose that's for the best since I want to incorporate Prince Charming and that range hasn't been released yet. It will also give me some time to pick up some Parisville. There are only 2 prints I have considered adding to the quilt. I think most of the prints are too multicolored to mesh well with the general feeling of the design.

I'm really anxious for the MRSA 2 to start. It's just shy of 3 weeks until my trip and I'll be gone for nearly a month. I'll have to work on it right away to ensure that it is in the mail before I leave on the 11th. I hope that gives me enough time to adequately stalk my partner ;)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lovely Afternoon and other things

Mother's Day was just that--a lovely afternoon. We went to Weir Farm and had a picnic. It was me, the girl, MIL and SIL. All girls. It was really fun. It was a shame that there was so much poison oak, though! It was like they were cultivating it, LOL! For all that, it is still very lovely.

The Weir Farm is a National Park, and they support the arts. They provide these bags of art supplies for the visitors to use free of charge. So we indulged and made a painting for Daddy since he had to work.
Though, my baby did get tangled in the remains of a dry briar, and scratched up her legs something awful :( She didn't seem to mind as much as I did. As she said 'I'm having an adventure." And she was.

As for other things: There is a wonderful giveaway over at Leona's Quilting Adventure. A baby Go! cutter and a few dies are up for grabs. A fabulous giveaway, if I may say so. I admit to admiring that little gadget. I am not always *cough* accurate in my cutting. And it can be a little tedious (if not repetitive). It certainly is appealing to have something that will do all that work for me with accuracy ;) If you are anything like me, you should go over and try to get it, too!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mommy's Day to all of those who are (or are soon to be) Mommies :) We celebrated early since the DH works at the hospital tomorrow. It was really nice. I had a great time. And I got my present, too. I didn't even suspect it, either. It's a Nook Color! I love it (even if there is talk of a new eReader launch on the 24th). I spent a little tick this afternoon making wallpapers for it featuring Heather Ross and Tula Pink (as well as Sandi Henderson and my own little Dulcie). I'm pretty stoked.

My week of making dresses has come to a fiery end. The machine I use is a Brothers. If I had known better, I would have NEVER made a shirred dress part of my line-up. I spent a long time trying to make it work. Nothing I did worked, and I'm not comfortable changing the tension screw. It's not my machine, so I want to keep it factory. I hand wound tight. I hand wound loose. I machine wound. I played with dials. It was a nightmare, and while I was muddling through it; I wasn't a person to be around. Completely agitated!

I need to find a new project. I'll have to think of something soon.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pookie Flowers

My daughter calls most wild flowers "pookie flowers". Dandelions that have gone to seed are "pookie heads". Wood violets are "pookie violets". After I finished her dress today, she wanted to go outside, so it was a perfect opportunity for pictures!
This lucky lady is modeling dress #4. Just one more and I've reached the high end of my goal for this week! Then I realized something. I'd run out of washed fabric! So after some careful deliberation, I decided on some Miss Modd.
I'm going to tackle a shirred/smocked sundress next. I haven't tried this technique before. I'm a tiny bit scared, but hopeful. I have my fingers crossed and the fabric in the wash. My hope is to get this done today and be a head of schedule by a day (tomorrow is the last day!). Now if only little miss will cooperate ;)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Nearly There

So I'm just past middle of my dress making extravaganza~ I feel really good about my progress! I was able to finish Dulcie's new Analise dress last night. It was the wee hours and quiet. I was happy for something to do while the DH was at work.
I was so happy with myself that the moment she woke up this morning, I cajoled her into it! Today was terribly rainy, and with little else to do; I worked on the next dress. Since I definitely could see making another Analise dress--I did. This time I'm using some Sandi Henderson Ginger Blossom and Amy Butler Love. I received both pieces from swaps this last week. They are gorgeous. I feel lucky to be able to make dresses for my baby with them.
Construction is going smoothly. The pattern is fresh in my head from yesterday. It also helps that I've made this dress a handful of times before. To be fair, it is a beginner-friendly pattern. I recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone wanting to make a little girl's dress. All I have left to do is the skirt. It would be amazing if I could finish tonight. If not, tomorrow will do.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I was busy all day yesterday doing the regular-type of thing--like grocery shopping and what not. I didn't get a chance to start my third dress (the Analise dress). I did however have plenty of opportunity to make a rookie mistake. Which one, you might be asking yourself. This one:

Between several swaps and all the fabric arriving from my retail therapy, I neglected to put away any fabric. In fact, if you go back a few days you'll see the mess my work space was. Well imagine several more yards. Enough that the DH noticed.

Like I said, rookie mistake ;D

Usually I spirit my lovelies away, and hide them from sight. You know, so he only sees what ever project I am currently working on. Last night, after he went to work, I tucked most of it away. No reason for him to continue to think about it, right?

Today, on the other hand, was far more productive. I cut and finished half of the dress. I just need to construct the skirt (more gathering, hip-hip-huzzah). I really like how it's looking. I had a different fabric from the Flower Power range for the straps, but I had a moment of intense greed and couldn't be bribed to use it. Instead I substituted another fabric from my stash. One I know nothing about, except that it isn't the same quality.
It's only the straps. I feel confident that it won't matter in the long run. I made it a size 3T since my girl is 2.5 and in-between sizes. I want her to be able to wear this all summer. I forgot how much I loved this pattern. I haven't used it since Christmas last year when I made Lyra one as a present. I can totally see me making another one sometime this week :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Great Case

The dress making continues! I can't believe how long it took me to make this simple garment. Dulcie was feeling particularly needy. Which was fine :D I love my baby, so I'm always up for a cuddle or reading a book. Goodness knows that before I know it, she won't want to hang out with ol' Ma any more ;D
This one features the South Hampton range by Franchelle Contreras for Henry Glass. After this was all washed up, I just *loved* the feel of it. It's pretty, too, but not my girl's style. I had to bribe her to even try it on. It's not bright enough for her. The other colorway (blue and pink) probably would have been more her style. She's a real girly-girl, but I was getting tired of all the pink.

While I was sewing the dress, it reminded me more of bedding. So instead of making another Homage dress, I made a pillowcase-y styled one. I used some 1/2 elastic and halter-style straps instead of the traditional pillowcase dress gathered straps. I added some pearly buttons, too, just to add to the cuteness. I like how relaxed it is. I think it's the perfect kind of dress for a plane ride.

I think for the next dress I'm going to make an Analise dress by Sandi Henderson. I have the fabric ready for pressing. I got it in a great swap last week :)
I love this soft feminine floral. Jennifer Paganelli is another local designer (as in she has a studio here in Connecticut like Denyse Schmidt and Kate Spain. Actually, I'm not far away from them at all! but then Connecticut is a small state ;D). Maybe one of these days I'll actually make it out to one of their studio sales (though I think the DH would rather have oral surgery).

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Fluff & Flounce

I did it! I finished my first dress of the week :D
Ignore the chocolate milk and lipstick mess on her face ;D I started off using this tutorial from Sew. Craft. Create. for the 3 hour dress. To be painfully honest, I couldn't follow it. I read and re-read it, but the tutorial only confused me. But I really liked the look of the dress so I just threw it all to the wind and just tried to make a similar dress. I think I was somewhat successful in making an homage dress. And I finally used my Heather Bailey fabric. This is definitely a dress that one doesn't look too closely at ;D I think I worked out some of the kinks, and I'm going to try it again with this fabric:I bought this last summer to make another Analise dress. I'm going to try my new homage styled dress, instead. I have it waiting on my ironing board for cutting. I'm hoping to have this done by tomorrow afternoon :D We'll see. Oh! And I joined another Flickr swap-type group:

I'm really excited :) I have had a really good experience so far with the 3x6 mini bee, so I wanted to expand my horizons a little. It's a small project so I should have it done before I leave to visit my parents in June (I sure hope so, I mean I have like a month to finish it! LOL)