Still here – and I even managed to sew this week! Before I get to that I want to do a little mom bragging. My son has been unemployed since before the quarantine (however he does start a new job on Monday – so yay). He has been trying to stay as productive as possible, signing up for free classes to learn new skills. One of the skills he learned was how to use Illustrator – and he picked up on it pretty quick! He’s been creating lots of art which you can check out on his Instagram page @DionPrints. To earn a little spending cash he’s been creating Renaissance pet portraits which I think are hilarious!
If you are interested in a Renaissance pet portrait he charges $25 for a high quality image which you can blow up to poster size, attach to canvas, create cards from or whatever your heart desires. You can contact him at: DionRoloff@protonmail.com – tell him his mom sent you!
All right – now for what I’ve been doing this week: These leggings are the Ursula Leggings and the bra is the Calista Curvy Bra – both from Stitch Upon a Time. The fabric is from the Styled Magnolia. Can I just say I FREAKING love this outfit!
The leggings actually stay up – even though I think I could have made them a size smaller. I had a moment of panic when I realized I cut out the pattern without making my standard “Full Butt Adjustment” and half expected them to ride down in the back when I sit. But I am pleasantly surprised. I even added a bit of elastic in the waistband as added assurance that they’ll stay up … which was not necessary. Yay!!
I’ve made the Calista Curvy Bra before – but this time I lengthened the straps a bit to make it more comfortable – and to make sure the girls don’t slip out the bottom. Like my white pants from my last post – I think I’ve lost a big of weight since the last time I made this bra because it’s just a tad to big… I could have easily gone down 1/2 a size. It will work for yoga – but there will be no running in this bra! Still – I’m so freaking happy with it and the leggings.
It’s now been three weeks of quarantine, and honestly, I’m scared and sad – mostly sad. I’m sad that this pandemic has affected SO many lives. If I think about it too long it becomes too overwhelming and too sad for me to process. I feel a constant lump in my throat and the littlest things, like seeing all the army trucks lined up outside of the hospitals in Italy, will start the tears flowing. There are parts of me that thinks that this is just a bad dream and that I’ll wake up and things will be normal again. But I know it’s real, and so this week I decided that the best way to combat this sadness was to take action:
Step 1: I mentioned last week that sewing was my therapy, and that I was working on this Blooming 9-patch quilt – I’m happy to report that this week I finished it!
I freaking love this quilt! I have wanted to make this quilt (for the 3rd time) for a long time. The pattern is from “Tradition with a Twist” – by Blanche Young – it’s seriously one of my favorite quilting books.
I used fabrics from my stash (#stashbuster) and realized that the pattern is similar to this virus in that it starts in the center and each color ‘spreads’ into the next with a 9-patch. Look close you’ll see what I mean.
Step 2: I joined my sewing sisters and brothers to make masks for those on the front-line of this pandemic. Actually, my first 50 are going to my brother and his co-workers who work in an assisted living facility. The next 50 will go to Crafters Against Covid-19 – Seattle who donates them to local hospitals. (check to see if there is a local chapter in your area) So far 4500 masks have been donated to area hospitals and clinics and that makes my heart feel better.
Step 3: I hosted a virtual Happy Hour (thank you Zoom) and told the story of my worst date ever! It’s a pretty funny story, and it felt good to laugh with my friends, to see their faces, and to just check in to see how everyone is doing.
Step 4: Finally, I delivered cookies and an offer to help to some of my neighbors.
I made another t-shirt quilt this week for a friend of mine’s daughter!
I love how this one turned out! Once I had the t-shirts we scheduled a call to go over what her daughter wanted. She pretty much left the design up to me, but knew that she wanted the borders to be a gray… and that she wanted the backing and binding to match.
Some of the shirts were smaller (child size) so I had to ‘build up’ some blocks to make them large enough.
When laying it out I thought it would be cute to have Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse looking out across the quilt to each other.
I quilting it using a longarm, and super fine thread that blends in so nicely with all the blocks.
Like I said, I’m really happy with the way this turned out. this quilt is about 55″ x 55″ and I used about 15 t-shirts (a few front and back) to make it. I have my listing up on Etsy if you’d like to your own t-shirt quilt.
2019 was all about finishing up some of my many UFOs (UnFinished Objects)… including the Sewtropolis Signature Quilt. I started this quilt about a year before I closed my store… not knowing at the time that I would be closing. It was intended to hang in the studio portion and I thought it would be a fun way to have my customers assist in a quilt. There are 100 signatures most from the kids who took my summer sewing camps, but also from my adult students, employees and customers.
I managed to put the top together and that’s about the time I realized I needed to close my store… and this project and so many others went into the UFO basket for the time being.
So here it is six years and a cross-county move later and I’m finally tackling that that UFO basket. All I had to do to finish this quilt was to quilt and bind it so I waited till I had a few tops to quilt before reserving time on the long-arm. After quilting the first two with no issue, I loaded this one and started doing my thing… and about 3/4 of the way into it I realized that the backing had somehow creased and was getting worse as I went along.
I can “live” with a lot of mistakes, but this crease was not one of them. I took it off the machine, brought it home and took out most of what I had done. To be honest with you – I had heard of people doing this and thought to myself NO WAY would I ever do this – I don’t mind a mistake or a few, I think they give a quilt character – but this crease was in a league of its own!
Once I was done unstitching, I re-quilted it on my home machine, putting a heart in each of the blocks, and a wavy pattern on the boarder – which is kind of a metaphor for my business: I loved my customers, but it was definitely a crazy ride!!!
Overall I’m really happy with how this quilt turned out – I loved seeing the signatures of the gals that worked for me (miss you ladies), the signatures of the camp kids – some who were seriously SO MUCH FUN, and I even teared up when I saw Skilo’s block.. God, I miss that dog!!!
Eventually I will pick off all the stray threads, but for now they are a reminder of the difficulty of my owning my own business and of finishing this quilt.
This week I managed to make quite a few things – because it pretty much rained all week! Last Friday the weather reports for the weekend said to expect the worse storm in 50 years! So I went home and battened down all the hatches on Athena, rolled up the awning, made sure the propane tanks were filled… And then waited and hoped that the storm wouldn’t blow all these trailers over like dominoes!
While I waited I made a sleeveless tunic for work. I’ve been trying to use up fabric that I have had for YEARS including this black with white polka dots- almost sheer knit fabric. I had to buy a lining fabric to line it with, because it was just a little too sheer!
(Once again I ask for forgiveness with the pictures! I recently took up running again and well – this is how I look afterwards.)
Because it is fully lined, I had to alter the pattern to compensate for a full lining instead of just a neck facing. So basically I made two tunics and sewed them together.
I like the asemetrical design, but next time I will make it all the same length so I don’t have to worry about it being ‘off trend’.
By the way- the storm of the century never did show up. It rained and the wind blew – but it was just another PNW day!
Sunday I rented time on a longarm and started quilting my Gypsy Wife quilt. After 3 hours of working on it – I am not even half way done. So needless to say I’ll be working on it again this coming weekend.