My sister has had a shitty year. When her birthday came around I really wanted to make her something beautiful. While we were on vacation in Hawaii I hit up a local fabric store chain Discount Fabric Warehouse with the mission of finding caftan appropriate fabric for my sister.
I was able to find a ton of cotton or cotton/poly blend fabrics, but the apparel options were tucked away against the wall. There were only about 20 options in rayon so I selected the print I though suited Kat best. She and I have very different taste when in comes to color. She inherited olive skin that tans easily and looks great in reds, oranges, and other warm colors.
I wasn’t able to finish her dress before her birthday, but I was able to surprise her at our family reunion. I think she likes it!
I used the Charlie Caftan pattern from Closet Case Patterns. I made a version for myself last year and found the insert extremely annoying to install. However, this time around everything went really really smooth.
I measured my sister a few months ago and she easily fit into the size 20. I probably could have sized down, but a caftan is forgiving. I went extra dramatic with the deep sleeves and the only alteration I made was to lower the inset 1 inch so she had plenty of boob room.
I think she looks absolutely fabulous in her new caftan and I hope she’ll be able to enjoy wearing it through the heat of summer and maybe even on her annual trip to Burning Man. I can’t take away all the crap life is throwing her, but I love my little sister.
Before moving on to new projects in 2017, I thought I’d take a moment to post the things I made for the Christmas holiday this year. In order to keep our holiday spending in check, I turned to my stash to find some fun materials for gifts.
First up is the adorable Little Red Riding Hood doll set.
I bought the panel at our (now closed) local quilt shop. In fact I bought the very last one in stock. They sold out super quickly and I can see why. Isn’t it sweet? I ended up making a few alterations to the panel directions. 1) I bound the quilt with some fabric from my stash and 2) I made the doll’s skirt completely reversible with the left over binding fabric and an elastic waist.
Of course our 2 year old spend much of Christmas day sitting in the doll bed instead of her dolly, but that’s toddlers! And the Lil’ Red set has been dragged all over our house and the clothing tried on many different babies.
Next up was a sweater, also for the toddler. I’d purchased the yarn at Vogue Knitting Live here in town last spring. I’ve heard great things about Sincere Sheep, but I’ve come to realize it is best to buy new-to-me yarns in small quantities to test before diving in for enough to make myself a sweater. I quick peek at my phone showed I needed only 2 skeins to make Ysolda Teague’s Wee Envelope pattern in a size 2, so I snatch up Equity Sport in Aegean.
I think you’ll agree the color look just gorgeous on Charlie and kept her nice and toasty on our trip to the beach. The yarn was also a joy to knit! So bouncy, just the way I like it. Ysolda’s pattern was fabulous as always. I’ve knit 3 patterns from her Wee Ones collection and all have turned out wonderfully.
And lastly here is a snapshot of the girls on Christmas morning. It is hard to tell because Lu immediately donned her Doc McStuffins costume (gift from Santa), but the girls also got matching pajamas on Christmas Eve. I just love this particular tradition. Usually I buy their jammies, but this year I quickly made up a matching set.
It was a bit of a happy accident. The first shipment of fabric got lost in the mail and Sahara Fabrics nicely sent me a replacement. Both shipments ended up arriving leaving me with 3 whole yards of the space print. In the end I was able to get 2 long sleeved long night gowns and two sets of leggings from the yardage. Hooray! I still haven’t quite gotten the hang of using fold over elastic, so don’t look too closely at the neck line. I need a bit more practice.
And so this is part one of the gift sewing! It is really fun to have kids who appreciate hand made items and I plan to keep on indulging them as long as they let me!
My mom just celebrated her 60th birthday and to celebrate I made her…a quilt. I know you’re not the least bit shocked. Quilts have become my go-to gift for super spacial occasions because they take less time than knitting and are way more fun to make than knitting a blanket.
Way back in April I received this package of fat quarters from Westwood Acre’s I Want Her Stash Club and I knew back then I wanted to make my mom a quilt with them, but I just wasn’t sure when I would do it.
Plus while the quilt pattern that came with the bundle is really fun I just didn’t feel like my skill level was up to snuff yet.
Fast forward to July and it hit me. This could and should be a quilt for her birthday! Settled on an idea I started playing around with the fabrics and thinking on which pattern to use. And then we went on vacation. And Charlie learned to stand. And Lu ‘needed’ skirts for all the summer school weekly themes. Then I needed to make an Edwardian dress (more on that later). Before I knew it July had gone poof!
Oh wait, wasn’t I making a quilt? Yes I was. Wait what was the pattern again? What fabrics did I decide on? It took me a while to make decisions and it cost me quite a bit of sewing time.
Finally I got my butt in gear and picked a pattern (Fireworks from Thimble Blossoms) and got to cutting on August 1st.
Her party was on August 15th and I still can’t believe I got it all finished. Mom, that’s how much I love you. I spent a minimum of 2.5 hours every single night for two weeks in my non-air conditioned kitchen in August to make your gift. But it was worth it.
The quilt is totally gorgeous. Most of the fabrics were from the original I Want Her Stash bundle, but I added a couple others such as Sacred Seeds Brittle from April Rhode’s Wanderer and this print from Moda’s Sweet Serenade.
The back is a print that I cannot remember. I picked it up at my local quilt shop New Moon Textiles. I want to say it’s from Robert Kaufman, but I could be totally wrong. Then I used the left overs from piecing the quilt blocks to break up the backing and frame my favorite print from the whole bundle, Moda’s Passport in China White Paris Map. My nod to the trip to Paris my mother, aunt, sister, and I took many years ago.
My only regret was procrastinating. I like deadlines, but this one was a little too close and next time I really should start early. I’m just glad I got it done and that my mom likes it!
I love you mom!
Last week my little family traveled to Colorado to spend a week with my sister in law and I was able to unveil their house warming gift! They bought and moved into their first house last spring and I’ve been plotting a home warming gift for a couple of months. But what fabric to use? Something geeky? Something traditional?
Well, after finishing my husband’s quilt, we looked at the other half of the collection and my husband requested I use it for his sister. Sold!
So the front of the quilt features the magenta/orange colorway of the Franklin by Denyse Schmidt collection. Gah! I love this collection. So classic. So pretty. But what pattern to use? We scoured my favorite sites and decided on Suburbs from Cluck Cluck Sew. I mean, it seems like a natural fit for a house warming gift, no?
However those houses did present a conundrum. I do all quilting on my little home machine. It’s a good machine, but not one I’d use to do a heavy overall quilt pattern. And I had this idea of quilting around each house, but then there are all these blank squares that need…something. Just deciding on how to fill those spaces took a couple of weeks. I was stumped.
Eventually I decided to do a combination of machine quilting and hand tying the quilt. I had grand visions of hand quilting trees, and their monogram, and clouds, and a bunch of other stuff. But in the end the simplicity seemed to fit the quilt and my sister in law’s family much better.
But the back of the quilt. It’s my favorite part.
The backing fabric is from Natural History by Lizzy House. I love the way the homes look like they are in the middle of a night sky. A big night sky like you might encounter someplace like Colorado in the summer.
Of course the week of our visit was rainy and stormy, so no star viewing for us, but that’s okay. This California girl was happy for the rain. Too bad I couldn’t bring it home with me.
And my sister in law? She loves the quilt!
Now that I’ve shown you my sister’s quilt I can also show you another gift quilt. A quilt for a wee baby girl.
This quilt at first suffered from indecision. You see I bought the fabric, Acorn Trail from Birch Fabrics, on a whim. One of those fabrics I just couldn’t ever forget, so I just went ahead and bought the collection. So when I decided to make a quilt for my sister at first I thought this would fit the bill. But something didn’t seem right.
As I worked on the quilt using this tutorial, I realized it was perfectly sized for a baby. Perhaps a baby who has a woodland themed nursery? Yes! Yes, that is a good idea and I knew of such a person. A knitter friend who is due to have a baby this summer.
Suddenly everything clicked into place! Diamond shaped quilting to match the piecing on the front. Scraps to help fill in the white with gold dot backing. It all works perfectly.
And in the end I love this quilt so very much. It has gone to its forever home now and I have it on go authority that this quilt will be loved. As it should be.
The eagle has landed! The eagle has landed! The quilt I made for my sister was delivered today and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out and how it was received
The fabric is the Sweet as Honey collection by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics I found at Westwood Acres and the grey background is Architextures by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman. Gosh it was hard to find a coordinating fabric that would show off the bee fabric. This grey was a good find at my local LQS.
I knew I wasted a honeycomb look, but as a new quilter I wasn’t sure I could handle a hexagon quilt, so I followed this tutorial from Amanda of Westwood Acres. It was a lot of cutting, but also very fun to put together Everything didn’t quite line up, but I think you can’t tell much.
But the back, the back is my favorite part. Its a hexagon!!!!!
I probably would have picked a less busy background, but my sister owns two fluffy silly dogs that shed like crazy. I see the flowers as camouflage. And I followed this tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew to make the backing the binding as well. So so simple and perfect for when you don’t want a binding made from a different fabric. Mine was 2 inches wide instead of 1 inch, so it makes an extra wide border on the front.
For the quilting, I like simple designs, so I followed the zigzags of the grey down the front.
This was just such a fun surprise. I can’t wait to do it again!