Wednesday, August 16, 2017

What Keeps Me Busy

When I was on my way to teach quilting last Saturday morning, this was the view from the driver's seat. A gorgeous full rainbow, with all the colors entirely distinguishable, including violet. It was one of the best rainbows I've seen since moving to Florida.




Right after seeing that gorgeousness I met a fabulous class of students! Twenty of them were completely engaged in learning to walking foot and free motion quilt. In spite of some sewing machine challenges, every one of them persevered and later told me they learned something... always a good thing to hear when you're a teacher! They presented me with this bit of quilt sandwich, quilted by Donna. She FMQed this beautiful script, and the fabric was signed by everyone. Thank you so much! 

I must tell you that when I teach FMQ, after I've explained how to set up the sewing machine and then done a short demonstration on my Bernina, I ask quilters to quilt their name. I expect to evoke groans, and they never let me down. 😂 

English paper piecing has been my go-to handwork, and I'm loving where this one is headed. This is the Tula Nova pattern that I renamed Linda Nova because no Tula Pink prints are being used. Instead I'm using stashed fabrics, in a combination of prints and solids. When I complete this round, it will be about 21" across. The finished quilt is 56" X 56" when the EPPed medallion is appliquéd to a background. 
Linda Nova at almost 21"
When I was in Kansas City, doing a little shopping with Celina in old Overland Park, in a women's clothing store I saw a pretty cotton top for $54. It was a halter style top with a piece of string through the neck. Overpriced.

I decided to make one for myself. A search came up with a tutorial for a lined chiffon top. I learned that the tutorial's method for taking my own measurements to create a pattern worked beautifully!

However, these are the changes I made to the tutorial. My top: 1) is sewn with 100 percent quilting cotton (no chiffon and no lining); 2) has a front neckline that's cut one inch lower than the pattern measurements; and 3) has side seams that are sewn using a French seam.


In my stash of ribbons, I found an unused drawstring from a pair of pants that I turned into the 28"-long piece needed for the neck drawstring. I bought this "Soul Mate" quilting cotton, by Amy Butler for FreeSpirit fabric, at KC Modern Makers.

I was so pleased with how the top turned out - how comfortably it fits, and that I only need to pull it on over my head - I made a second one. It took only slightly more than an hour to sew! This fabric is "Lagoon" by Rashida Coleman Hale for Cotton + Steel, and also came from KC Modern Makers.

Now I've noted in my cell phone (ya never know when a fabric might jump out at you!) that I need a 1-1/3 yard to make a top - two lengths: one for the front; one for the back. And after cutting it out, I'll still have a nice-sized piece leftover for sewing into a quilt! Win, win!

The tutorial for the top is here. Follow those instructions for making a pattern. I created mine from two pieces of freezer paper taped together.

Other than what I've shared here, I haven't done my other favorite things like FMQ or play the ukulele. Though my carpal tunnel wrist is better, since it's still slightly swollen, I'm fearful I might reinjure it. I'm giving myself one more week. Linda
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6 comments:

  1. So glad your class went well! Oh, your EPP is so cheery! Just beautiful!

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  2. It looks like the rest is paying off! Fingers crossed that your recovery will continue and you will be back playing the ukulele and FMQing soon! Pretty tops- they look very cool! 😎

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  3. Love the tops! I've made them in the past from a sixties pattern. I will try the tutorial, however! I
    make self fabric ties or straps!

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  4. Hey, those are cute and PERFECT for Florida climate!

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  5. Glad your class went well! Twenty students is a lot! There are always sewing machine issues, aren't there? Your Linda Nova EPP project is coming along very nicely. I am going to need a hand project for my migration, and if well planned, something along these lines might be more engaging than crocheting a shawl or appliqueing millions of orange peels onto little squares. I need a month's worth. Linda, your little tops are adorable! You are so clever, and as cute as a button.

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  6. Your handwork is so fun, Linda! It looks scary to me, but you are so skilled. Will it be a wall-hanging?

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