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Faceted Jewels II Quilt

Gentleman Prefer Blondes famously taught the world that diamonds are a girls best friend, but I disagree. When you can paper piece 20 jewels, who needs a diamond?

Faceted Jewels II is my second project from Amy Garro’s book, Paper Pieced Modern and I am so thrilled with the finish.

If you want to learn paper piecing, buy this book!! Or even better, take a class with Amy. She visited my guild in 2016 and was a fabulous teacher. Both quilts I have made from her book are made up of one block which makes the cutting process nice and straight forward and you can get into a nice rhythm. If you’re thinking about getting into quilting I highly recommend foundation paper piecing. You sew over paper which helps you to be accurate, but also creates really great points. Plus, pulling the paper off at the end is so satisfying! Basically, whatever your skill level is, I think you need this book!

I’m so excited to share this quilt with the world today! I’ve been hard at work on it for over a year. This quilt top took me over 60 hours to piece and it was truly a labor of love! My grandmother saw this quilt in the book before my class and said, “Why can’t you make this one in the class?”, well now I have and I hope she’s proud with the outcome from her sewing room in heaven!

Here are some of my progress shots.

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Each block has 44 pieces so in the end this quilt is made up of 880 pieces of fabric, holy seams! You don’t truly appreciate the value of a good iron until you’re working on a quilt with this many seams if you ask me. I used Kona Snow for the background and 3 Kona blues and 3 Kona greens. I started with one green and one blue that I thought looked good together and then I used my printed Kona card (this one is similar) to choose variations of those colors. Each block has 4 quadrants so for mine 2 of them are blue and 2 are green.

I knew I wanted to send this quilt out to a long armer almost as soon as I got started. I sketched out so many concepts for this quilt and in the end decided on what I’ve dubbed ‘The Emerald City”. I was inspired by the shot from The Wizard of Oz when the gang first see’s the Emerald City. I filled in the white space in my sketch with windy motifs which to me make me think of the Wicked Witch on her broom.EmeraldCity_aColorLo.jpg

After marathon sewing sessions all last spring to get the top done, I sent it off to be long armed by Lorri Wurtzler, of Seventh Heaven Quilting. Lorri is a fellow member of the NHMQG and she knocked it out of the park! Here’s a closeup of the quilting that is amazing!

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Once I got the quilt back from her I let it sit for months before I attached the binding. Luckily my guild is having a WIP contest so I was encouraged to get it finished. Now it’s on and the quilt is ready to be loved! Here’s Ryan enjoying the quilt even without the binding in place!

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After I got the binding on I ran around our condo complex one morning trying to find things to hang it on and get some pictures. How did I do?

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Many Cashmerette Harrison Shirts

This post has been a long time coming, since October 2016 in fact! I just kept making more versions of this pattern and said I would wait until I finished this one or that one to write the blog and it just became this vicious cycle and today it ends! It’s a happy ending though, 5 Happy Harrison Shirts. I’ve made it in Liberty Lawn, Liberty Art Print, Chambray, and even Quilting Cotton and there has yet to be a version that I don’t love. Do you want to hear all about my different versions? Read on!

You can read all about my first Harrison shirt in all her glory here.

After the pattern was released Jenny created an expansion pack to turn the shirt into a dress. I tested the expansion for her and have a great Liberty Harrison Shirt Dress to show for it! I wore this dress when I was interviewed by Chronicle and if you’re interested to watch that you can find it here!  I really love this fabric, it’s pencils! I do a lot of writing for my job so I felt it fitting that I should have a dress with pencils on it. At one time ModCloth has sneakers made from the same fabric and a little piece of me regrets that I didn’t buy them! This fabric is long gone, but came from Guthrie Ghani.

Next up is a Liberty Lawn version that I got at Pintuck & Purl! I absolutely love my purple sleeveless Liberty Harrison Shirt; I love the color, I love the buttons (recycled from a ripped J.Crew cardigan) and I love this goofy picture of Ryan and I while I’m wearing it. I can actually be seen sewing this version during my Chronicle segment so this shirt is practically famous! It works with blue jeans, my burnt orange jeans, my purple jeans and a pair of purple chino shorts from the Gap. It works with a cardigan over it or a Sewaholic Renfrew under it. It’s basically my favorite shirt because I can wear it with anything.

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Another classic print turned into a classic sleeveless top, I actually wore this Liberty of London Harrison while I was in London at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Here’s a picture of Ryan and I avoiding the rain in a yurt like structure that was on display in the garden. This makes me want to go back to London right now! This fabric also came from Guthrie Ghani so basically it crossed the ocean to get to me and then came back across the ocean with me, I wish I traveled as much as my clothes!

Speaking of vacation, you know how before a vacation you decide you need to make all new clothes? Or is that just me? Well this Carolyn Friedlander Harrison Shirt was intended to be taken to London last summer, but I didn’t finish in time. I did have it done in time to wear on a wine tasting trip to California in November though, how nice does it look under my orange safety vest while Sean and I toured the J.Lohr winery? During One Week One Pattern I tried to get creative and not just wear my shirts as is, so here you also see the shirt popping out from under a Renfrew for a pop of color!

My Rifle Paper Co. Menagerie Harrison Shirt is another expansion pack test. Jenny created a full bicep adjustment for the pattern and her timing could not have been better. On the 16th of October I cut out this fabric to make a short sleeved Harrison Shirt and on the 17th of October I got an email from Jenny that she was toying with the idea of a full bicep adjustment for the sleeve. Of course I offered to test and recut my sleeves! My long sleeved version wasn’t super tight in the arms, but I was after slightly more room. This version made it out to California as well!

So that’s all for now, but believe me when I say that there will be more Harrison shirts in my wardrobe in the near future! I’m thinking another chambray version and a rayon, but we shall see!

Goal Tracking – March 2018

It’s time for another riveting installment of my goals for 2018 update!

Slowing Down

I spent a lot of time researching appliqué techniques in February in preparation for teaching myself how to do needle turn appliqué! I’m going to start with the Aeriel Grove pattern from Savor Each Stitch, which is a rather fitting title considering my goal. I’m going to use all of my Carolyn Friedlander scraps for the circle shapes and a low volume print of hers for the background. I’m going to take it one row at a time and see how I do. I anticipate this becoming a wall hanging or table runner, not a full quilt.

I also borrowed Heather Jones book, Quilt Local, from my library and started noticing things all around me that I could turn into quilts. I spent a good 4 hours plotting out an idea that was inspired by Broadchurch and I found that process to be very satisfying. I’m still working on the math so we’ll see how it goes.

Tackling New Things

I did some more hand work this month, this time with quilting. I can’t share what yet because it’s a gift for a very social media savvy human being, but it’s coming together very nicely and was the bulk of my fabric used this month.

Finish UFOs

I haven’t finished any of the UFOs yet, I am clearly suffering from “shiny object syndrome” and keep buying new fabric that gets used immediately, while precut projects are left in their newly organized spaces. I will get better with age and March is my birth month so this is my month!

Make More Separates

I made one Renfew for myself this month. I love that pattern so stinking much! Sometimes I see a fabulous knit fabric and just have to make it into a Renfrew because I know the fit is great and the pattern itself has the arm and waist bands that you can use or not, depending on the look you’re going for.

Use What I Have

I did not do so well at this goal yet again. I purchased 29.5 yards of fabric in January and 44.5 yards in February and have only used 23.25 for the year. My goal within this goal is to at least get my used number to be higher than the purchased number and the month of March includes two guild sewing days so I have high hopes. I’m not really proud of this, but when I heard the announcement that Free Spirit was closing I panic purchased some Tula Pink and Anna Maria Horner. I’m so glad they were acquired and won’t be closing after all, but now I have about 9 yards of fabric with no immediate plans! The Cone Mills factory in North Carolina also closed in January so when I found that ThreadBare had a lot of their varieties still I stock piled those. All in all, 16.5 yards of fabric were what I’m calling panic purchases.

Finished! Folk Floral Quilt

Back in September I shared my Folk Floral Quilt in the beginning stages and today I’m excited to share the finished quilt with you! This is it all bound and living in it’s rightful place on our bed! The bright cheerfulness of the florals really brightens the gloom of winter if you ask me.

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I love paper piecing, but reverse appliqué quickly became a favorite way to piece during the construction of this quilt top. I find the process very soothing and forgiving. If you don’t catch the fabric just right you can just add a few more stitches of wait until your finished and quilt over it. This pattern in particular is very forgiving because honestly, as long as you like the flower fabrics, who cares if the stems line up perfectly? I’d rather have a very big garden full of flowers than a few perfectly symmetrical ones.

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Now, if you’ve never tried Creative Bug, you can watch this class during a free trial and I highly recommend it. When I was researching reverse appliqué prior to starting this quilt the majority of the tutorials I found were for raw edge reverse appliqué and although 2 of my flowers ended up having a bit of a raw edge, that was not something I was striving for.

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A friend from our guild quilted this for me and even delivered it to me at work, proving yet again that sewing friends really are the best friends! She used a pantograph with leaves and stems in green thread which I had chosen. I toyed with the idea of having a floral pantograph used, but decided that it might take away from my flowers. I’m getting more comfortable quilting my own quilts, but this one was very large and I don’t think I’ll ever be comfortable maneuvering that amount of fabric with my Bernina!

Goal Tracking – February 2018

Hello! Last month I publicly shared my goals for 2018 so that way I would hold myself accountable to someone (aka, anyone reading this!). I thought doing a monthly round up of how my goals are going would be an added way to help me stay on track.

Let me take you through my goals and share an update on each of them.

Goal-Setting

Slowing Down

I took the time to finish a dress hem by hand (a pleated circle skirt nonetheless) and didn’t rush any quilting projects. I completed two of my January block of the month and printed a new paper piecing project that I started collecting the fabric and notions for this month.

Tackling New Things

I hemmed my dress by hand and made a bathing suit in January! It was testing a new pattern so I can’t share it just yet, and I have a few changes that I need to make, but I did it! Oh and it has a built in bra so that’s two new sewing projects in one garment!

Finish UFOs

I haven’t finished any of the UFOs yet, but I did make an effort to better organize them. All UFO garment projects are now in two baskets in the hallway cabinet and all quilting UFOs are in plastic storage containers under the bed. I went so far as to add the threads and notions too so when I’m ready for any of these projects I’m 100% ready to roll.

Make More Separates

I made one shirt and thought about other separates. I looked into ways to improve my pants/jeans making skills and really wanted to take the Jeans Master Class with Lladybird in August at Pintuck & Purl, but that would have decimated by sewing budget for the year so I looked into online alternatives. I got really lucky and during my search got an email that the Sew Your Dream Jeans e-course from Closet Case Patterns was on sale! I promptly enrolled.

I plan to construct the jeans with my Bernina and topstitch with my Pfaff, but Hubert (my Bernina, named for the fabulous Hubert de Givenchy), is heading out to be serviced this week so jeans making will wait until he returns.

In January I also cut matching sweaters for my boyfriend and nephews and finished the one for Ryan. So even though it wasn’t for me, it helps me reach my goal to sew more seperates!

Use What I Have

I did not do so well at this goal. I purchased 29.5 yards of fabric in January and only used 14.75. I need to get my used number to be higher than the purchased number! February is a new month and a new opportunity to succeed. February is also the Fabric Extravaganza in Nashua, NH and a few friends and I are going to check it out so I’ll have to try and show restraint! 🙂