Here are the sets over the sink and by the bed...along with the new backsplash tile we put up...now that looks super cool!!!
I made some new curtains for the camper so we would have lots of red to look at. We had white blinds in the bathroom and over the sink. My husband put up rods and I made curtains for those windows and the window at the foot of the bed and over the table. I used the same fabric as for the quilts. I thought solid red would be too much red so I added a white stripe. I also had a white stripe running through the tie-backs. All extra work for nothing because the tie-backs looked so busy and terrible we are using the all-red backs instead. The white stripe on the curtains doesn't look great either, but we're going to have to live with that for some time.
Here are the sets over the sink and by the bed...along with the new backsplash tile we put up...now that looks super cool!!!
Same curtains, different vantage point.
Here's a curtain over the table...didn't get both and too lazy to get more pix...
And here are the bathroom curtains...sigh.
My first 2 quilts are done! I finished binding the second one last night. I bound my quilt—the one with many Ohio stars—by sewing the binding on the reverse by machine and hand-stitching it onto the front. I bound my husband's completely on the machine, starting by sewing the binding onto the front and stitching in the ditch on the front to affix the reverse.
It is easier to bind completely on the machine...but it's still a little tricky. It is tricky to stitch in the ditch on the top of the quilt and catch the binding on the reverse side in exactly the right place, i.e., actually catch the binding and catch it at the same distance from the edge of the folded-over binding. There was only one tiny spot where my stitching didn't catch--yay!--but there were a couple long stretches...inches and inches...where I had not sewed the hem on the front at exactly 0.5 inch (I like this better than 0.25), so on the reverse the binding was wider. I did try to counteract this when I pinned the binding down, but I wasn't perfect...apparently.
I did find it a lot easier to press the binding after I had sewed it on to the first side, then fold and press it on the other side before stitching. I guess it wouldn't have helped any with the hand-stitching finish but it was 100% required with the machine binding. Stitching in the ditch and expecting to catch the binding in the right place would have been madness without pressing.
I enjoyed hand-stitching the quilt. I did it at night while watching Columbo episodes with my husband. It took 2 nights and about 6 hours I would say. Yikes that's a lot of TV. Actually, the first night he went to bed after 1 episode and I stayed up sewing and watching I don't know, Home Town probably.
Here is the front of my husband's quilt.
Here is the back with the machine finished binding.
Here is mine with the hand-stitched binding on the front.
In the camper!
My First Quilts...Final Thoughts
I am pretty damned pleased with these quilts. I had a lot of fun making them, and I am very excited to start another quilt. The fabric choices are overwhelming and this will be my sticking point. But I do want to get going soon.
Aside from needing to be more precise with the machine-bound binding, the one disappointing discovery I made about my technique has to do with the overlapping of seams from the pieced stars. I tried not to overlap but there are a lot of intersections and it was too much for my brain to figure out on my own. I should have really studied some YouTube videos and got the principle down or followed some pattern that explained that bit. After quilting and pressing there are some very hard corners, quite noticeable and not at all nice. Scott says "it's on the front, not the side against your skin, so it shouldn't matter." I hope that is so. I hope they will soften with washings.
At any rate, I had a blast making these. To think a few years ago I couldn't picture myself being able to take the time to piece a quilt top together. It's not bad at all.
We remodeled the kitchen and I sewed some curtain tops for the windows. We looked in the home dec fabric section of Joanns but didn't see anything that would work. So we went to the quilting fabric and found something we could agree on. My husband because it had the colors he thought would work and me because it has cute birds on it. I'm not much a fan of the colors of the fabric for the kitchen. They don't really add much and I would prefer some excitement. He was all about tying the gray countertop and the brown walls together. Anywho, that's what we got.
I have an apron that came from a restaurant. I like it because it's simple and it works well--it covers, it's comfortable, and it's absorbent so I can wipe my hands on it. Well, it's rather stained after all these years. I got a bright idea to make a new one...out of terry cloth...because if I wipe my hands on it...why not make it out of towel fabric?
Finding terry cloth--supposedly one of the world's most-made fabrics (?)--not so easy. Yes, I could get it online but it's hard to be sure of the quality from an image on a computer screen and the description when one doesn't know how to decipher the weight details and such, which I don't. Aside from not wanting to wait, or pay, for delivery, I saw something that dissuaded me from buying this online. I was on fabric.com looking at one fabric, supposedly made in the US of A out of premium cotton, and put it in my cart. At checkout, it said fabric.com was an Amazon company so I thought I would check out Amazon since I could get free shipping. But on the Amazon site the very same product was listed as 100% polyester. Ew. A towel made out of polyester. So I got spooked.
Then I stopped at Joann's. They had terry cloth. It was 100% cotton, not all that nice, but I figured what they hey, I could try it. They had no color I wanted so I got white and some gray dye. I dyed the fabric and it turned out light blue. Irritating.
Then my husband and I were at Menard's getting something for the house and I looked down and saw terry bath towels in the perfect shade of gray. They were cheap--cheaper than the Joann's fabric not to mention the dye--so I got them.
First I made the apron using my restaurant apron as a pattern. Then I dressed it up with the fabric I made the curtains out of.
So maybe a terry cloth apron was not the best idea I have ever had. But it should do the trick for a while and I think it looks kind of cute.
UPDATE: A terry cloth apron was one of the best damn ideas I ever had.
I love a hanging towel. I had one in the old kitchen...can't find it right now...but it wouldn't have matched the new digs anyway. I noticed my hands are always dripping with something...cooking stuff, dishwater, clean water, food...and if the towels are behind a door, that something is going to drip on the cabinet doors. No, not my new, clean, white cabinet doors! So I made new hanging towels that matched using the scraps from the towel I made my apron from. I searched for a pattern and wouldn't you know it, found a free pattern right away on this site. Turned out cute, though these are quite luxury as they were made from a bath towel not a kitchen towel, so they're thick. But that's an awesome bonus.
My quilts have been quilted and they look amazing!!! This is a picture of one of them, hanging in the window of the quilt shop where I got them quilted. The owners hung it up for Valentine's Day. I was away on an RV trip, and when I came back to pick up my quilts, the owner showed me this picture. Pretty cool, huh? I was so tickled and pretty pleased with myself.
The shop that quilted them is the Quilting Bee in Lakewood. It's owned by two sisters. Suzanne (I think) helped me choose the quilting patterns for each quilt, and she chose the scale. Gosh, she did such a good job! I am so pleased with the different patterns we chose for each quilt.
Here is the quilting pattern on the 20-block quilt. I love how the swirls contrast with the straight lines of the triangles and squares.
Here is the 1-block quilt. The quilting pattern is different, and I love it, too. Notice how the pattern lines up so perfectly cool on the triangle blocks. Suzanne did a great job!
Here is the back of the 1-block quilt. If you look closely, you can see the red thread of the middle-most block and the white thread on the surrounding blocks. Red thread was used on the border around the block.
Here are some more pics. Not sure why I took these, but they're fun to look at (for me anyway).
I finished piecing the front of the quilt for the RV...and the back. I was originally intending to make the quilt "reversible" in the sense the design on the back would be another interesting view. This was, I believe, my husband's suggestion. We've been discussing it a lot and I've lost track of who suggested what.
Anywho, when I got it done I reconsidered making it a separate quilt. We don't share covers in general. He runs hot; I run cold. I use my down comforter ("the cloud" as I call it) year-round. He uses a flimsy thing. Plus he will hog a shared cover and I will wake up in the middle of the night cold. So we each have our own. Why would it be different in the RV? It wouldn't. Plus, I am putting the warmest wool batting in. It will probably be too warm for him. Why not make the original "back" its own quilt and put a poly blend in for him? He agreed and now I have more yardage for the backs of the now two quilts plus the poly blend batting on order and I will baste them together when it all arrives.
Original Front, 20 Ohio Stars
Note that the sides don't extend far over the sides because these quilts are intended for the RV bed, which is slightly smaller.
Original Back, Now 2nd Quilt, 1 Ohio Star
Bonus: Pillow Cases
Hubby wants red pillow cases. It might be overkill, but I'm not passing up the chance to make something he's interested in. I made 4.
I used an existing pillowcase for the measurements, and then put this border on for some relief from the red. So cute.
This dress has been in the works for years, literally, where "literally" means what it's supposed to. I made a mockup in denim that was about the sixth in a long line of mockups, where the previous mockups were in muslin. I tweaked and tweaked the fit. The denim fit me pretty darn well.
I decided to make it up in a purple ponte I had in my stash. It's got a little bit of sparkly bits in it, which is not something I usually go for, but I bought it online and didn't see the sparkles until I opened the package. The color is very nice. The fabric is weighty and it might be that or it might simply be the fact that it is a knit while all the mockups were wovens, but this dress doesn't fit me as well as I would like. The waist seems a bit low. I feel the neckline is too low. I should like more coverage. It is very comfortable and I think the color looks good on me. I wore it while competing in a Toastmasters speech contest today and I felt pretty good in it.
I did buy some lovely knit lining from Emma One Sock. I had loads of tricot in my stash but I read up on Pattern Review what others had used for knits and a couple people recommended this fabric from EOS. It is quite silky and although it was a bit of a PIA to sew, I am glad I used it.
I had planned on putting a zipper in, but I zoned out when serging the back seam. I'll have to pay closer attention if I make it up in a woven.
I am making progress on my mission to use up my fabric stash and use patterns from the multitude of unopened, untested patterns already in my possession! (Although I am not sure how to honestly assess my progress if I am still buying more fabric...which I am.)
I have had Eleonore ever since it first came out. Only yesterday did I cut open the package and extract the pattern. I had some stretch cotton fabric I had bought a few years ago because it was advertised for shirt making, but I would never wear it as a shirt because it's too heavy and contains lycra. In fact, I would not wear it anywhere on my upper body because the feel is just too irritating—as I discovered when I made a dress from McCall's 6346 out of another fabric I bought of the same type.
However, the fabric seemed like it might work for pants. At any rate, I am working on staying focused on the mantra "progress, not perfection." So I just dove in, traced out the pattern, and cut it out.
At first, I thought they were too tight, but when I put them on again for pictures, they were pretty comfortable.
The top stitching does not show up at all--maybe because of the busy pattern, maybe because this is just regular thread, not topstitching thread.
We're thinking of buying an RV. It's a Gulf Stream Vintage Cruiser, which has a cool retro design on the inside. It got me thinking about making a quilt that would go along with the view.
So I went through my multitude of quilting books (bought at book sales for cheap) and searched for something I liked. I didn't like things that were too busy. I had to find something the man of the house would like so no flowers and such. I came across the Ohio star pattern and liked the idea that it could kind of represent our homestead state while we were traveling. Plus it was simple and I liked how it looked.
The directions in the books were mighty complicated looking. I went searching on YouTube and found fabulous resources. The first was a great video from Theresa Down Under: Ohio star quilt block. Thanks to those directions, I was confident I could handle it. I watched a whole set of videos on Craftsy (free while they get the platform up and running again!! So excited it's back to Craftsy!): Quilt tutorial. This was excellent and showed the whole process of quilting from creating the blocks to binding.
I made my first block ever out of old sheets. All I had was blue. The real one will be red and white but this was just to see if I could pull it off. It was surprisingly easy and enormously satisfying. It fit when it it was done. That is, there was nothing to fit so it couldn't disappoint. Hahahahaha.
Then, as per usual, my ambitions started to get out of hand. I thought, after I make my quilt, I will make one for my sister, who has restored an old 15' RV and camps with it. My husband advised me to check with her before I put in the effort but I didn't want to wait* and the compromise was I made her a couple pot holders in the colors I thought she might like. I used the same Ohio start block thinking it would appeal to her for the same reasons as me.
[*Update: the teal was the wrong color. Oh wells. ]
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the whole quilting process. We'll see how long it lasts when I try to make a queen-sized quilt!
I made larger block in red and white. I want the final blocks to be 12" so I can make the queen-size quilt 4 blocks by 5. I will make the white border sashing wider than the picture below, wide enough that the width of the final quilt fits the proper dimensions (90" x 108").
So here is the block I made. I cut the squares for the triangle squares 5.5" and the center and corner squares 4.5". That wasn't large enough because the final block is only 11" and that includes the 1/2" seam allowance, so all told the square is 1.5" inches too small all around.
I forgot to trim the individual triangle squares before sewing them together. Oopsie. Turns out that step matters... Still, I'm excited. I think this will be a fun project that will look cool in the end.
I don't have a picture of the original Gap tank top. I wore it to death. It was long past its expiration date when I finally got rid of it. But before I did, I studied the construction and created a pattern. And I made 3 versions in different colors OUT OF MY SON'S OLD T-SHIRTS. I am so very proud of myself. I made these a couple years ago and am only now remembering to document them.
The first one I made was black.
I was too lazy to change thread out of the sewing machine so...I got nice-looking "top stitching"!
The other two are a gray and a white.
I wear these all the time when it's hot. And I made them out of OLD T-SHIRTS!!!
And my white one is not crooked. It just was put on too fast.
I never wear this damn dress and it makes me so angry. Several times I've been charmed by the idea of wearing it...I still love the fabric—the design, the feel of it—and the style still seems like it should work for me. But I put it on and am disgusted. The voluminous back infuriates me and I have just discovered something else about the cut of the dress that put the nail in the coffin for me and motivated this update so I know better from now on. The neckline is too high. It chokes. I just made a Jalie raglan top and I like it...except for the neckline, which is pretty much the same as this dress and like many a round neck T-shirt. I unpicked the neckband and scooped out the neckline, matching a raglan sweatshirt I love but don't wear much because of the color. Once I put on the new neckband, I am looking forward to seeing if the changed neckline makes the top fun to wear.
Anywho...never again will I make this neckline.
Ya know...it's a lot of work to put into something that doesn't turn out as nicely as one would wish. I have a few shirtdress patterns in my stash--none of which I have made before. I was in stash-busting mode and wanted to use up a black and white flower lawn I'd been saving for the purpose...for a while. This pattern comes with different cup sizes, so I chose it. I wear a D but chose the C cup remembering my Wild Ginger fiasco. I followed all the other sizing guidelines on the envelope, figuring if they took the time to make different sized cups, they were going to make a pattern that fit the stated measurements. Nope. What are these people thinking? Who likes massive amounts of ease? I made a number of adjustments to this dress, unfortunately after I cut it out. So the pleats at the back have been pulled forward because had to take a couple inches off the side from the waist on down. I had to raise the waist band...a couple times, not believing the first time that I would need to take out be so much as it turned out I had to. I had to remove at least 2 inches out of the center back because it was absurdly voluminous; there is still too much fabric there, but it's better. Since the yoke was cut and sewn and the waist band was already cut and I didn't want a seam there, I took a large dart out under the yoke and tapered to the waist band. I never intended to sew the collar because my husband says he doesn't like them. I figured I'd try this once and see if I liked it. I do. I bound the edge with a bias strip I cut from the same fabric. This is a lightweight lawn and is super comfortable. It was easy to sew with (and seam rip!), but the cut edges threatened to fray right away so as soon as I could I serged the seam edges.
Looking at the pictures, I think the back waistband is still too low. Next time...
I am a wife and mother. I work fulltime. In my spare time, I sew, learn violin, do yoga, and am active in Toastmasters.