Saturday, December 22, 2018

WIPs Before Christmas

This season's special activities, functions, and parties have come and gone, and I'm looking forward to a Christmas Eve service, and Christmas day dinner shared at a neighbor's home.

Since we don't have family or friends coming to visit us for Christmas or New Year's, and we aren't traveling anywhere, I've set my mind on keeping busy in the sewing room, enjoying my Bernina 770QE, and tackling a few WIPs (works in progress) that have been occupying a closet shelf for far too long.

Three projects floated to the top of the pile.

Barkcloth Dress 
In July 2017, I started making this barkcloth dress using a GertrudeMade pattern...

...and GertrudeMade barkcloth fabric. The fabric print is called "Bindi," by Ella Blue fabrics in Australia. Both EllaBlue and GertrudeMade have gone out of business, so that makes this dress even more special.

I was stunned to discover that this size 14 pattern is a perfect fit! In commercial clothing, I wear a size 4. Boy. The garment industry has sure messed-up our sizes!

I adore this dress and the way it fits, and I definitely appreciated sewing it on my new machine.

I tried buttonholes for the first time (for those decorative button tabs on the sides), and used a zig-zag stitch to finish raw edges. For future garment-sewing and raw edge stitching, I'm getting a Bernina 2A overlock foot.

Weekender Travel Bag
In 2015 I bought the Weekender Travel Bag pattern, by Amy Butler. I'd heard the pattern was a bit daunting, and learned that for myself as I finished putting it together. The print I chose is a home dec JoAnn Fabrics piece.

I added pockets to the inside lining that are not included in Amy's pattern.

Once again, I wasn't pleased with the instructions which I thought were quite vague in several places. Mostly I find that pattern-writers don't use enough measurements when writing instructions. By my way of thinking, every section should end with "This piece should now measure XX" x ZZ."" My complaints are moot though. Amy Butler isn't designing fabrics or patterns anymore.

Year of Scrappy Triangles
I have one more finished quilt to share! I started it in August 2017 when I joined Leila's Year of Scrappy Triangles.

Each Tuesday, for 52 weeks, Leila published on her blog, free six-inch foundation paper-pieced blocks. Every block is different. I had only to repeat a few to come up with 56 blocks for this quilt.

Joining 56 blocks meant setting-up my 770QE using: 1) the single-hole throat plate; 2) setting the quarter-inch guide bar; 3) putting on the 97D quarter-inch foot, and; 4) engaging the dual feed. Talk about precision piecing!

It's been a long time since I've pieced a quilt top where I could use the web method of joining blocks together. If you haven't tried it yet, my tutorial is here.

I pin-basted, and then quilted it on my Bernina.


Low volume chevrons were walking foot quilted with white 40-weight YLI thread.

All colored fabric areas were free motion quilted with swirls, using gray 40-weight YLI thread.

This is the finished 42-1/2" X 48-1/2" quilt. 

Quilt back
Here's the quilting from the back.

Though the quilt top was pieced exclusively with small pieces of fabric, and bits and bobs from my scrap bins, I can't see any reduction in my stash.

But I have to tell you that in fact, I did go the whole year without any extraneous fabric purchases! That is except for one May purchase of two eight-yard bolts of gray and white, and two wide-backs for backing. They were used to finish quilts, so most of the white bolt is gone, and both wide backs were used.

So I'm patting myself on the back for making 2018 the year of no fabric-buying! And given that I completely finished 13 quilts this year, I think that's pretty good!

An update on our dear boy... This is Hogan last week. He's 15 years and 2+ months old, and has been showing signs of declining. If you'd asked me a couple weeks ago how long he'd be with us, I would have tearily said he'd be gone by the end of the year.

Though he's rallied a little, he suffers from arthritic stiffness, and occasionally coughs, explained by the vet as a collapsing trachea. It's difficult to watch him slowing down. We are grateful for every day with him.

I'm wishing you joy-filled, lovely days ahead, shared with family. May we be filled with reverence and thanksgiving for the blessed gift of Jesus. Linda

6 comments:

  1. Love that triangles quilt! I caught snippets of her posts here and there as I rolled through IG, so it's really lovely to see it all finished.

    I also love seeing the barkcloth dress, and the Weekender Bag; sorry that both of those options are now gone (Ella Blue and Amy's fabrics).

    Have a Merry Christmas!

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  2. Lovely dress! I really admire your clothing-sewing (and getting things to fit!). Nicely done on the Weekender too! Glad you survived it! ;-) And yay for the finished quilt - I really need to finish my blocks!!!

    I can tell Hogan is dear to you...sorry he is declining....

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  3. Such variety in your finishes Linda! Your dress is lovely, the Scrappy Triangles quilt is very effective and so interesting. I hope you continue to enjoy Hogan’s company for a little longer yet....

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  4. The dress is terrific- and good you got both pattern and fabric before the business closed. The sewing and fabric industry is a tough one, along with publishing. And the bag- well done! Is that a side pocket? If so, you did a great job matching the design element there at the cording. I guess it's the bulk, but I find bags challenging quite often. Bless the good Hogan for keeping on to be your faithful friend!

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  5. I love the dress and it looks great on you. I love a zig zag quilt also. I need to make another. Thanks for sharing your blog and all the information within. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours.

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  6. Linda, you look wonderful in this dress. You are so petite and adorable

    Yep, sizes are messed up.
    I am a size 4, or maybe 6, I get hand me downs from my daughters haha
    I wear what fits and I am glad you made a good fit with this pattern.
    I like this hst quilt. I want to make these hsts too. I have the patterns and just need TIME
    I love this bag you made. I hope you have a marvelous Christmas honey sweetums

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