The red-headed sisters are starting kindergarten and pre-school....that's code to Lolly for "make-new-dresses-so-they-look-extra-cute"!
I used a Burda pattern to sew up a couple of cotton sundresses to wear in this hot, hot weather. (See another version here.)
You got a peek at both garments last week in my posts. Here they are all finished and ready for the girls to try on. I was hoping that I'd gotten the sizing right as I've found, from past experience, that the pattern runs too wide across the chest. I made some adjustments.
The girls were extra excited about getting new dresses for school and agreed to pose for pictures so that I could show you all how they looked on them.
Jane's sundress was still a bit wide for her small frame. She wears a size 3 or 4 in ready made clothing and I had cut the top using the size 2 pattern and then even taken it up a little after that. It still looks cute, though, and will work as a jumper with a tee underneath in cooler weather.
I didn't mention the creative piecing that took place in the back of the skirt and, as expected, no one noticed! We all love the sweet floral print.
Lula named her dress, The Honey Dress. She even made up a little dance to do while wearing it! Her favorite part is the contrasting band around the bottom and mentioned it several times. (I added the band to lengthen the skirt when I didn't have quite enough fabric for her long legs!)
The golden yellow hue looks pretty with her hair and I think that I got the fit just right for her size 6 slim body.
Coincidentally, the sisters had cute saltwater sandals in their closets to match their dresses.
What kinds of things bring you joy? One thing for me is sewing cute dresses for little girls.
When I purchased the fabric for this pattern though, I neglected to take into account the large design repeat. I was bummed until I came up with some "creative" piecing on the back of the skirt. Really, you hardly notice it. Oh, JOY!
Fun mail is always a reason for feeling joyful, especially when it's an Insta-gram win from Sunny Day Supply!
Look at these lovelies inside my prize package!
I haven't counted yet, but I'm guessing there are around 100 charms in this pack of chevron prints by Dear Stella. Oh, joy!
The Wee Gallery fabric is a design that I've never seen before anywhere. Thank you, Mary!
I'm imagining my grandchildren drawing little outfits on these darling animals. I may even join them. Doesn't that look like fun?! What shall i make with it?
We visited this art gallery in Telluride, Colorado. The paintings truly did bring us joy. I just wish that we could have afforded to bring one home with us.
Step 1: Using a basting stitch, make a seam where your zipper is to go. Finish the rest of the seam with a regular stitch length, back stitching at both ends.
Step 2: Press the seam open. Lay your zipper face down onto the seam. (If your zipper is longer than you need, you can shorten it by making a little thread stop, like I did below, and then cut off the extra length.)
Step 3: Unzip the zipper completely and pin one side of the zipper tape onto the open seam being sure that the teeth of the zipper are centered over the center of the seam.(Note: You are pinning it to the seam allowance only!)
Step 4: Using a zipper foot, baste the zipper tape (that you just pinned) onto the seam allowance, as shown below. Please notice that you are not stitching through to the front of the garment....just to the side of the open seam.
Step 5: Now, close the zipper and look for a roll of scotch tape! Lay the garment out flat and tape the zipper down as well as you can. (I used green washi tape to demonstrate so that you can better see how to do this. Since you will be sewing through the tape, I think scotch tape works better for this step, however.)
Step 6: Turn the garment to the right side and stitch evenly on both sides of the closed seam, catching the zipper as you sew. The zipper foot allows you to get close to the zipper teeth. I try to stitch about 1/4 inch from the seam line on both sides, stitching across the bottom of the zipper.
Step 7: You are almost finished.....Take your seam ripper and carefully remove the previously basted center seam, being careful not to cut the fabric. (You will need to pull out the basting threads. If you are really clever, and used a long enough stitch, you may even be able to pull it all out in one piece!)
What some quilters would refer to as scraps, I call Stash. You will find pieces as small as 10 inches square or even 6 inches wide folded neatly and sorted by color in my fabric drawers along with fat quarters and larger pieces up to a half yard. As I work on quilts, I cut the even smaller leftovers into squares and strips of various sizes and store them together in plastic containers.
Most of you probably know by now that I'm always working on two quilts at once because I use my previously cut squares as leader/enders. Currently, I'm sewing together 2.5 inch squares in sort of a light/dark combination. Instead of creating square blocks, as I usually do, this time the little squares are being sewn together into long rows.
My goal is to make 48 rows of 44 squares. Yesterday, i reached the half-way point so took some pictures of my progress. I started this in January. (Once in a while, when I want to do some mindless sewing, I admit to working on this project by just feeding the 'twosies' under the pressure foot one after the other!)
Once I get all of the rows made, it will be an easy job to press the seams to one side, after I lay out the rows, making the seams nest together as I sew the top.
This morning I spent a little time going through my 2.5 inch strip containers and loose charms, cutting off more squares for this scrappy quilt.
Just like this pretty butterfly, i was really busy today...
... finishing up bee blocks for Susan and Mary, my mates in the Mid-Century Modern Bee. Susan is planning a medallion quilt with black as the background and has asked us each to contribute a 12-inch star block in bright colors.
I chose this foundation-pieced Versailles block from the Quiltmaker's 2010 magazine, 100 Blocks. The star should have really been mailed in July, so I am late in getting it finished. So sorry Suz!
You can view Susan's inspiration quilt here. What a beauty this project will be!
Since I was slow in making my contribution block for July, I decided to get with the program and be early with my sewing for August's queen bee, Mary.
Half square triangles on a background of blush or cream were a nice change from the more fiddly, foundation-pieced star.
Scrappy sewing like this is my favorite kind.
Both Susan and Mary have become good friends to me through blogging. While traveling a few years ago I was tickled to get to meet Mary in person. I am hoping to get to meet Susan face to face, as well, but traveling to Australia might be a bit more tricky!
Green is such a refreshing color, don't you think.
Traveling the highways of America, we see the nourishing green that water brings to the earth through the irrigation of farmland.
Much like a patchwork quilt, when viewed from afar, our continent and world is ripe with patches of emerald wherever water has touched.
Driving along suburban boulevards, we see man's attempt to bring that refreshing vegetation into his world as he has made his home in towns and cities.
Small towns, baking in the heat of summer, create relief with the planting of shade trees wherever there is space.
Big cities must try even harder to provide the contrast of green within its concrete boundaries.
This quarter's Four-in-Art challenge was to create a 12" square quilt depicting "Contrast" as it relates to the overall theme of "Urban".
Struggling a little with this challenge subject, I ended up making my simplest design of the four quilts so far. As I tossed around ideas, the contrast of rural nature and man made concrete kept coming back to me.
Beginning with the same Architexture fabric that I had used in the previous challenge quilts, I pieced some simple rectangles to represent towns and suburbs across America.
A strip of Kona coal became a highway by adding some hand stitched dashes of yellow crewel embroidery thread.
Finding two charm squares of the city names fabric, I cut one into little squares and stitched them down to create a sort of heart shape along the highway. The frayed edges represent the many people living within the cities' limits. The red hand stitched heart and button is the pulse of the city. Getting out of the city into the natural "green" world surrounding busy streets brings refreshment to the soul.
The backing on my quilt is a remnant of another script fabric listing beaches around the world. When I'd almost finished the quilting, I turned over the quilt and realized that I'd laid the backing fabric upside down! Oh, well.
A year ago, at the beginning of this Urban challenge, I decided to make my quilts go together as a set so that they could all be hung together. I used some of the same fabrics and colors in each quilt. I'm not sure how well this latest Contrasts quilt fits in with the style of the other three, though.
The leader of our art quilt bee has proposed that we make one more quilt with the Urban topic so that the next topic will begin with the calendar year. I'm a little bummed about that because 5 quilts won't fit together so neatly. (I may have to make my own rule about the size of the next one so that it plays nicely with the others!)
Here's one last shot of my Town and Country quilt hung on a crumbling urban wall. See the list below for more quilted creations in the Four-in-Art Urban Contrast Challenge.
Since childhood I have had an unquenchable love of fabric. For years now my addiction has been directed toward quilts and, especially, the creation of them. I have the stash to prove it! Fred, my wonderful husband, supports and encourages my hobby. My 3 grown children and their families will never be cold, let's just say. I have a degree in home economics education and worked in a public library until a few years ago. Many days you will find me playing with one or more of my eight beautiful grandchildren at my home in the country.