Back to Long-Term Projects: Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt

18 Apr

Do you guys remember my New Year’s Resolution? Less Projects, More Often. (Which I suppose is grammatically shady, it really should be Fewer Projects, but then you don’t have that cool less/more thing going on.) It’s really been working for me – finishing up projects that have been lingering for a long time and not just going out and starting twenty more.

Grandmother's Flower Garden Progress

For one thing, it’s allowing me to spend some time with my beloved long-term projects, which always had to be put aside for the million other WIPs in the basket. It’s been such a long time since I posted about (or even worked on) my 1930s reproduction Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt, most of you have probably never even seen it! But I’ve finally gotten it back out and I’m up to a whole 33 flowers sewn! By my last estimate, that makes me about halfway finished – with the flowers, anyway. I’ll have to stop procrastinating and start surrounding them all with a million white hexagons pretty soon – and diamonds if I decide to put a little path between them all.

Grandmother's Flower Garden Progress

In the meantime, I’ve put together this little travel EPP box, which contains everything I need to work on my hexies. It’s perfect to just toss in my bag for train rides and pub nights – and even has a teensy-tiny pincushion inside!

EPP Diamond Pillows FO; or, How it Took 18 Months to Sew Two Pillows

17 Apr

EPP Diamond Pillows

Huzzah! The EPP diamond pillow covers are finished!

I can’t believe this project took me a year and a half. I do think I was a bit overzealous taking these on when my only EPP experience was with a bunch of hexagons: for one thing, hexagons are magic to sew together. I can’t really say why exactly but they are just easier than other shapes. Or at least I think so. And the other thing: I hadn’t hand-sewn anything more than a few coasters on a deadline when I thought this project up. I somehow didn’t realize at all how long this would take, with each round of diamonds larger than the one before, and so very much basting to do. There was a point where I was so frustrated with how slow it was going, I had to put it away for a while (ahem, months) before I was able to face it again.

EPP Diamond Pillows

So perhaps it was a little foolish to take on such an involved project with a deadline – as a gift. But luckily, Mom is understanding of these insane things and didn’t make me feel bad about it. When I did pull them back out again, I’d done some more involved EPP in the meantime and that little bit of extra experience made a big difference. (I can tell I’d learned some stuff in between, because the stitching on the second pillow is far better than the first.)

EPP Diamond Pillows

So finally, finally, they are done and ready to be given to their new owner. The tops are completely hand-sewn, then machine quilted and assembled. The fabrics are all Kona Cottons with one print from Tula Pink’s Plume line (oh, how I love Plume and desperately wish I could have some more – those feathers!!!). And, well, that’s that!

EPP Diamond Pillows

Now I’m thinking about some new pillows for my own bedroom – but not sewn by hand. Probably.

There’s more photos of these pillows in my Flickr photostream if you’d like to see!

Tools & Toys Tuesday: Washi Tape Seam Allowances

15 Apr

Adding a little washi 1/4" mark to my Featherweight - 'cause apparently I do everything in pink polka dots.

I posted this photo on Instagram the other day and a few people commented that it was a good idea, so I thought I’d share it here for Tools & Toys Tuesday: washi tape seam allowance markings for your sewing machine! As simple as it looks, just measure out 1/4″ seam allowance from your needle point and lay a piece of washi tape down at that point. In fact, because washi tape magically lifts perfectly and leaves no sticky residue in its wake, it’s also a great solution for the odd larger seam allowance or marking you might need to follow only once – just pull it off when you’re done!

Now, I do enjoy being thought of as a clever gal, but this really isn’t an original idea. I did think of it independently a few years ago when I realized (sigh, after a lot of sewing) that my then-new modern machine’s 1/4″ marking wasn’t quite right, but I’ve seen other sewing machine owners do the same thing. I used boring old electrical tape back then, but I switched to washi tape somewhere along the way ’cause, well, it’s just so much prettier!

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