This last weekend was a really fabulous weekend for me.

First, I took Friday off. It was my birthday, but that’s the reason I took it off. I left Thursday after work to head to my hometown, which is around four hours away.

I woke up Friday morning, drank some coffee, watched some Fons & Porter, watched some Sewing with Nancy, and worked out. (Note: My mom DVRs those shows and I LOVE watching them when I go home.) Then I went to visit my grandparents and spent the rest of the morning and afternoon with them. My grandparents live right across the street from each other. It’s very convenient. And they are only a few blocks from my parent’s house. Of course, everything is only a few blocks in Republic. It was great to get to visit with them and they didn’t expect it, so that was nice.

After that, I got cleaned up and met up with my dad and we drove into Belleville. My parents took me out to a birthday dinner at one of the few eating options in Belleville; a Mexican restaurant. My meal was great and it was excellent to spend time with my parents. Also, we ran into quite a few people I knew while growing up there, including my old drama coach who had big impact on my life. The entire reason I can get up in front of a large crowd of people and be comfortable speaking is pretty much solely credited to her.

And speaking of speaking to people…after dinner, I went to my mom’s quilt guild, The Heart of the Prairie Guild, and gave a lecture and trunk show about modern quilting. I certainly enjoyed talking about modern quilting and I think they enjoyed the presentation. Also, they were so sweet and had cupcakes and ice cream since it was my birthday! I even got a present from one of their members. Isn’t that sweet?!?

 

Birthday Celebration

 

 

It was a pretty great birthday for me. By the way, I turned 27. :)

On Saturday, we woke up early and had to be back in Belleville so I could teach a class to some of the guild members. I chose to teach (with permission) the Fractal Radiance pattern that the KCMQG released. Three people planned to make the small quilt top and the other four were going to make the pillow.

It was a super successful class and everyone (except Gretchen because she was the absolutely best hostess with the mostess) completed their top.

 

Fractal Radiance Pillows

 

I’ve never seen this done in batiks and I think it adds a dimension that solid and regular prints don’t. And the shades of blue together are perfect. That’s such a classy look. It reminds of the first Fractal Radiance quilt I made. I like that some marbles and tiny prints are combined with solids in that one.

 

Fractal Radiance Pillow

 

Fractal Radiance Pillow

 

Ok. So these two ladies are my heroes. They and a some other women just got finished making 97 quilts in the month of February! How crazy is that?! Every February, they do mission quilting all month long. Last year they made 93 quilts. All of the quilts are made by machine, tied, and machine bound. I’m still in awe.

Again, one of these is batiks, but in a brighter palate and I still like the dimension. It’s kind of perfect for Spring! The next one really reminds me of a crazy quilt. Isn’t that cool? I love how different fabrics really change the look of this pattern.

My mom and my aunt chose to make their quilt tops in just solids, which was quite a step out of her quilting box for my aunt. But I’m so glad she did because they turned out perfect!

 

Fractal Radiance

 

 

Aren’t they totally awesome? I really really love how this quilt works up in solids. Gretchen is making hers in shot cottons (like my first one) and I can’t wait to see it, too! I love how my second one looks in prints, but I really really love solids and shots. But that’s not a surprise. :)

Mom is going to do some fun and dense quilting on hers that I’m pretty excited about. Cathy is thinking about adding a border to hers to make it a bit bigger so it can be used as a couch quilt.

So after an awesome class, I spent some time at the local fabric shop and then my mom and I headed home to spend some time with my dad. We went for a drive and just hung out. It was relaxing and nice to spend time with my parents. My mom made my favorite, stroganoff, for dinner and the grandparents came over. It was a great great day.

On Sunday, I took off early and made it to Lawrence in time to see my great friend Jaime’s thesis show, Color Machine, at KU and attend her reception. The end product is absolutely amazing and if you have a chance this week to see it, do it! I helped her a bit on the project and it was super amazing to finally see it displayed.

It was a perfectly incredible weekend and Andrew made it even better by taking me to one of my favorite restaurants (Providence New American Kitchen) for dinner. :)

Happy birthday to me!

 

If you haven’t picked up a copy of School of Sewing, you should. Even if you are an advanced quilter or sewist, the book is fabulous. It’s especially fabulous if you do any teaching at all. Everything I’ve ever wanted to tell somebody I’ve been teaching to quilt or sew is in that book. It’s genius, which is no surprise if you know who wrote it: Shea.

Shea is encouraging other quilters and sewists to teach others to quilt and sew using her book. So I was asked by my local quilt shop to teach a class and I said yes. I’m teaching the Pleated Purse class at Modern Makers on Sunday, April 19th.

Here are the samples I made up.

 

Pleated Purse

 

 

Modern Makers has a better picture of this if you click on the link and scroll through their class list.

 

Pleated Purse

 

I used Cotton & Steel fabrics for the entire purse.

 

Pleated Purse

 

I can’t say enough great things about this book and these patterns. This purse went together SOOOO well. I loved every single minute of making it.

 

Pleated Purse

 

 

The other great thing about the book is that it has “extra credit.” The extra credit for this project was more of a tote bag. The pattern is just lengthened, a contrast top is added, and a second strap is added.

 

Pleated Purse

 

Pleated Purse

 

 

I dug through my stash for these fabrics. I love the color combo with such rich and saturated colors. Plus, the Melody Miller Kokka is fabulous and i was waiting for the perfect moment to use it. I still have quite a bit left. :)

I’ve made a few other things recently, too.

 

Bow Ties

 

In one of my Man Made classes, somebody made a bow tie using this Cotton and Steel fabric. I fell in love with it. So I made a bunch of them.

 

Bow Tie

 

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with all of them. One will definitely go to Andrew. We gave two of our friends once each. But that still leaves me with three. I’m sure they’ll make great gifts if we ever need them. Even if we never find a place for them, though, I’m pretty happy just looking at them. :)

Another random project is onesies.

 

Onesies

 

 

I had a few left over from the baby shower that I threw. I don’t know anybody who is having a baby girl right now, but when somebody does, I’ll be prepared. :)

Finally, my sister asked for a pillow to match the ones I gave my dad, grandpa, and uncle a few Christmases ago.

 

Pillow

 

This was my prototype and I had it lying around in a box. I pulled it out, added a back, made a pillow form, and stuffed it. Done!

 

Pillow

 

 

I went on a crafting retreat last week and had the best time! I was also super productive and I can’t wait to show you all of the cool stuff I made. :)

So I made some inappropriate things for a swap, which means I also received some inappropriate things. :)

 

Package

 

This is how it all started. I was SOOOO excited.

 

Stuff

 

TONS of goodies!!! Lip balm, washi tape, mini charms, CHOCOLATE!, and then the inappropriateness. I’m thinking the wall hanging will hang above my treadle in our living room. :)

 

STFU

 

This pouch is awesome. I love bags. It’s boxed on the bottom and holds tons of stuff!

 

Pincushion

 

This embroidered pincushion is genius!!! The linen used on this and the bag is kind of sparkly and I’m in love with it. I must find some.

So I got a home run with this stuff. Jaime (@jmzblond) is absolutely amazing. Great swap!!!

I’ve made a Fractal Radiance quilt before, but I’m going to be teaching a class on it for a quilt guild, so I wanted to make another. I also made a couple of pillows.

 

Fractal Radiance

 

 

This is such a great quilt. The cutting takes a bit, but the quilt goes together so quickly. I did very simple quilting on it. Also, I used fabrics just from my stash. I didn’t have to buy anything for this.

 

Fractal Radiance

 

 

I like the facing finish. I was skeptical about it on the first one I did, but I like it.

 

Fractal Radiance

 

Fractal Radiance

 

I used the scraps from the quilt to make the pillows.

 

Fractal Radiance

 

Fractal Radiance

 

I only had enough of the aqua fabric for one pillow back, so I mixed it up with another Feathers print. I love the Feathers prints and I’m almost out of them. It doesn’t help that I used two in this quilt, but they were perfect for it.

If you didn’t notice, a lot of these prints also show up in the place mats that I made. :)

I like these Wiksten Tanks. Obviously.

 

Tanks

 

I’ve just about perfected the pattern for me. I can actually wear the pattern without any modifications, but what’s the fun in that? I’ve slimmed down the sides to make it less boxy. I’ve added a pleat in the back to confront gaping with heavier fabrics. I’ve lowered the armholes because they ride pretty high. I’ve lengthened the shirt/shortened the dress version to have a perfect length for me. And the last thing I need to do is mess around with the bottom. It flares out just a bit and it doesn’t really bother me, but it could be better. Oh, I also didn’t add the pocket after my first one. I’m not a big pocket gal even though I like the way it looks on the first one. The poly-cotton blend isn’t modified AT ALL. It was my first one. Also, the two tunic lengths aren’t modified (except one is lined) either. I didn’t slim those because they would likely need a belt either way. Or at least I’m going to wear a belt with them.

 

Pleat

 

Pleat

 

 

I’ve experimented with a bunch of different fabrics. From top left: double gauze, poly/cotton blend, chambray, voile, quilting cotton, chiffon, jersey, rayon challis backed with voile, and rayon challis again. The voile, double gauze, and quilting cotton all require the pleat in the back neck. The jersey was interesting because I was already using the smallest pattern size (with it slimmed even more). It’s actually a little big, but I’m OK with that. It’s more tunic-like. I used a stretch stitch, but no walking foot. I normally use a walking foot on jersey. Also, I obviously had to use shorter bindings to accommodate the stretch. I kind of just guessed (with a bit of help from my grandmothers) how much shorter to make them and it worked out OK. They could maybe be a bit shorter, but meh. I don’t even remember what they ended up being. Everything else was easy to work with, even the chiffon. I used a variety of bindings. Knit, on the knit, obviously. There’s some voile on some of them. There’s rayon challis on one. There’s a shot cotton on one and a quilting cotton on another. And there’s cheap lining fabric on a few. For the chambray one, I actually fully lined it with a voile, which means I didn’t have to bind the neckline or armholes. I like that, but it does add a lot of weight to the garment, which is why I haven’t done it again.

Another thing: I used french seams like the pattern suggests on most of these, but there are a couple (the knit one, obviously) where I finished the seams using my serger instead. It’s faster and I have no preference, really.

I color blocked the rayon one and backed it with a voile. I have a color blocked skirt using those fabrics and there was just enough left over for this top.

Well, I think that’s plenty of information about these tops. There’s a picture of each below if you want to see them individually. I’ve also included the fabric information.

I highly recommend you get this pattern and make some tanks.

 

Cotton and Steel double gauze for tank and quilting cotton for bindings

Cotton and Steel double gauze for tank and quilting cotton for bindings

Tank and bindings from Novella rayon challis by Valori Wells for Free Spirit

Tank and bindings from Novella rayon challis by Valori Wells for Free Spirit

Robert Kaufman chambray with Free Spirit voile lining

Robert Kaufman chambray with Free Spirit voile lining

Free Spirit voile with bindings from Joann's lining fabric

Free Spirit voile with bindings from Joann’s lining fabric

Tank

Arizona quilting cotton by April Rhodes for Art Gallery and bound with lining fabric from Joann’s

Tank

Color-blocked rayon challis from Fabric.com and backed and bound with Free Spirit voile

Tank

Jersey Knit from Fabric.com

Tank

Poly/Cotton blend from Pick Your Plum with shot cotton for bindings and pocket

Tank

Chiffon from Pick Your Plum with bindings from lining fabric from Joann’s

« Older entries