Archive for the ‘Sewing/Fabric Crafts’ Category

* improvisationally pieced small quilt

Posted on September 17th, 2010 by maitreya. Filed under Sewing/Fabric Crafts.

When I do sew lately, it seems I’m making baby things for various expecting friends.  I have two more tops pieced that I can’t seem to get around to finishing, so I decided to keep it small for this one.  I have another bad crafting habit of deciding to make something, and then getting stymied picking out fabrics, so I went with a pack of charm squares here.  I’ve had these squares for a long time, but the old-fashioned style hasn’t seem right for anything.  Then I went to the Minnesota State Fair a few weeks ago and got inspired by all the traditional crafts there.

I used Oh, Fransson‘s tutorial to do the piecing, which I think adds a slightly modern take on the repro-style prints.  I essentially took the stack of 5×5 squares and sliced them into irregular quadrilaterals, yielding 1 or 2 pieces from each.  I like how this design is pieced as you go since I’m also incapable of planning anything up front without taking forever or giving up.

Continuing with the Keep It Simple theme, it’s self-bound.



* layette set

Posted on August 8th, 2010 by maitreya. Filed under Sewing/Fabric Crafts.

Easy baby shower presents: waffle weave trimmed in tape.  I made a wide tape for the blanket, and a narrow tape for the burp clothes.  I always like working with geometrics because it takes all the guesswork out of cutting straight.  The original plan was to make a stuffed toy of some variety to go as well, but I ran out of time.  Maybe once the baby’s born.



* tiny squares baby quilt

Posted on May 16th, 2010 by maitreya. Filed under Sewing/Fabric Crafts.

Quilt/playmat for Becket‘s new baby: I used Oh Fransson’s quick-piece tiny squares tutorial. I love tricks like this, and it really did work pretty well. I was worried about bulk and got the lightest fusible interfacing I could. I would probably get the one level heavier one next time since it moved around a little more than I would prefer, making the blocks turn out a little crooked in places. I also managed to mess up the (small bit of) quilting and the binding, as usual. Tension troubles. It does get better every time I practice, though, and its not very noticeable after a trip through the wash. I also need some more design practice. I like the colors I chose, but I always forget that contrast is more important.


Its not big enough for a crib quilt, but it could be a play mat or doll quilt. And it’s reversible:


I hope their family likes it as much as Chupy does.



* One Quilt month 9

Posted on May 10th, 2010 by maitreya. Filed under Sewing/Fabric Crafts.

I’m an astounding, embarrassing one year overdue with my one quilt block for poor Sarah.  I have a problem where I procrastinate on something until it’s late, and then I have a crushing need to make it super awesome to make up for the fact that it’s late, and that in turn paralyzes me from doing anything at all because I’m afraid it won’t be awesome enough.  Today I just decided to make something no matter what.

I rediscovered Lady Harvatine‘s blog the other night and watched her brilliant tutorial on piecing hexagons by machine.  Sarah’s inspirations were this hexagon quilt plus the dense texture of this quilt.  An idea was hatched.  I cut out a few freezer paper templates for easy hex cutting (it’s kind of amazing how many times you can reuse them before the plasticy side wears off), and turned her entire stack of fabrics into a stack of hexagons.


I am still not perfect at the method, as you can see by the pulls here and there where the corners are not lining up for some reason.  I have to say this is faster than I ever thought possible with hexagons, though, and I’m reasonably happy with the result.


* fatcat pillow

Posted on May 7th, 2010 by maitreya. Filed under Sewing/Fabric Crafts, Toys (cat and kid).

My ~27 lb monster cat, El Chupacabra, likes to hang out on the bench by the window and get all agitated watching the birds in the yard.  I’d inadvertently left Becket’s new baby quilt there after a photoshoot and he seemed to really like laying on it.  Since I made my other cat, Beckett (yes, I know the names are confusing), a sleeping pillow, it seems only fair that Chupa should get one too.


The fabric is from Urban Outfitters sale rack (see previous bag), plus a little embroidery to liven things up.  It’s filled with 3 layers of quilt batting and then tufted with tied embroidery thread.


Astonishingly, he seems to like it!



* die cut reverse applique pouch

Posted on May 2nd, 2010 by maitreya. Filed under Sewing/Fabric Crafts.

One of the patterns in the Stitch backissues is for a reverse applique scarf with circles of different sizes.  Aha, could it be a use for the die cutter?  I cut a slice of denim as wide as the machine would allow and punched the circles.  They didn’t cut totally through, more of a perforation, but that actually helped in the sewing step to keep everything from getting too distorted.

I also have been wanting a rikarika Sakura skirt, which has appliqued circles of kimono silk, so that gave me the idea to use backing fabric from a little packet of kimono scraps I got a few years ago.


Lining fabric is the background.


* window redo

Posted on April 17th, 2010 by maitreya. Filed under Home and Garden, Sewing/Fabric Crafts.

My first attempt at using fabric and starch on a window was a little rough.  Here’s take two, which worked much better.  Modifications: lighter weight fabric with less stretch (a $2.99/yard lightweight cotton from Joanns), a geometric design for easy even cutting, and a lighter starch solution in a baking pan for easier soaking.  The result definitely looks better and lets in more light, and they went up super quick.


The design is a little too small to make a big impact, but up close it looks great.


ETA: thanks to a commenter for reminding me to talk about removing the previous pieces of fabric.  This was really easy.  I scratched up one corner and pulled the whole thing off in one piece.  The starch rinsed right out of the fabric.  There was a film of starch left on the window, but it came off easily with water and a damp sponge.  I found the scratchy side of the sponge was useful for removing the bigger patches, which would then wipe right off with the spongy side.  A last spritz with window cleaner and they looked good as new.


* ugly quilt near miss

Posted on April 11th, 2010 by maitreya. Filed under Sewing/Fabric Crafts.

My friend Becket is having another baby soon, so I’ve been working on a baby quilt (previous baby quilt+instructions).  The other day she posted this picture of carpet samples for the kids’ room redecoration:


Here’s what my crazy brain did: carpet blocks…they look like quilt blocks…a carpet-themed baby quilt!  It would be greens and browns and the squares would all have different textures.  Babies like feeling different textures, right?  And it turns out I have quite a few fabrics that fit this theme.  Some time while I was cutting them into tiny squares, I realized that I was making the Ugliest Baby Quilt Ever.


I’m happy to say that the next version is much nicer (and I’ll post it once I mail it off).

But the question remains: what to do with these guys?


* tissue box cover

Posted on April 10th, 2010 by maitreya. Filed under Sewing/Fabric Crafts.

Becket got me a pretty tissue box cover off Etsy a while back, and I had been using it in my office.  Unfortunately, they changed the brand of tissue we use and the new boxes won’t fit.  I used kirin’s tutorial to make a new custom-sized one.  It has a nice Japanese-craft-book quality to it.  And it’s reversible!  The fabrics are a vintage linen I got from the apparently now defunct Make Me Fabrics (see previous use covering a cork board) and a Denyse Schmidt pattern (not shown, but it’s the gray one with the orange flowers).  Elastic is a hairtie that was stretched out and buttons are from the Great Philadelphia Button Score of 2007.  The only addition I made to the pattern was to clip all the corners before turning to keep them clean.  Even then, the quilting-weight side pulls a little.  I’m also tempted to go back and top-stitch the edges and along the fold lines, but I’m pretty happy with it as is.


My little planning drawing for some “process.”  For some reason I think it’s funny that I like to draw on graph papers, but I rarely use the grid :P



* poly skirt

Posted on March 14th, 2010 by maitreya. Filed under Sewing/Fabric Crafts.

I fiiiinally made something with my serger.  It was still threaded with the color-coded spools it came with, so I used the ever-popular rethreading trick of knotting on the new one and pulling it through.  It worked ok, but I had to redo one of them when a knot got stuck and snapped.

Anyway, with it all threaded up and the tension tested, I launched into the easiest project I could think of: a skirt with 2 seams and a hem.  I conveniently used my favorite skirt from orangyporangy as a template. The fabric is a giant thrifted piece of polyester I found a few months ago.  It is a little on the pepto bismol side of pink, but I think that cuts down slightly on the overwhelming pinkness of it, and I really like the gridlines.


I’m pretty happy with it.  The hem is slightly wavy.  I clearly need more practice with the whole knife thing.  But it’s not too noticeable when it’s on.  The stretch is very forgiving for the fit, too.

I had a length of waistband left over, so I made a matching headband too. :)




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craftlog is under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial license. That means that you are all welcome to take and repost my photos, replicate my projects, remix my ideas, whatever you want as long as you give attribution (a link is fine) and it's noncommercial. Thanks!