Sunday, August 7, 2022

It's a quilt top finishing weekend

An email reminder about my guild's annual charity sew-in popped into my Inbox this week. It prompted me to search the studio for any blocks or tops that could be readied for next weekend's group-baste session (an extremely expeditious way to get quilt tops basted).

Two completed Cuddle Quilt tops ready for basting.

The search for tops and blocks

One top made with orphan blocks and the disappearing cutting technique that was finished this January was ready for basting. 

A stack of retired fabric samples from a Poppie Cotton fabric collection (Hopscotch and Freckles) was transformed into this second Cuddle Quilt top.

Cuddle Quilt top ready for basting. 35" x 43"

One for the kids, and one for the kitties

Combining the remaining Poppy Cotton fabric swatches, a handful of improv blocks, and other scraps, I got a second, smaller, quilt top for a kitty quilt.

Improv scrap blocks in a kitty quilt top.

Improv scrap blocks.

This scrappy little kitty quilt top went together quickly.

Kitty quilt top combining fabric swatches and scrap blocks.
29" x 25.5"

And a UFO 

And this quilt top that was patiently waiting on the design wall got its borders attached! The blocks are from my 2021 100 Days 100 Blocks Kinship Sampler quilt-along for which I used my favorite Australian aboriginal prints from M&S Textiles Australia.

Twenty-five blocks from the 2021 Kinship Ssampler with M&S Textiles Australia.
58" x 58"

I'm targeting this sampler quilt to satisfy my second "UFO finish" prompt for Make Nine 2022. I just have to pick a backing fabric and then clear off the tables in the workroom for pin basting.

Monday, August 1, 2022

Color blocking a shirt with Paintbrush Studio flat fat stacks

Color blocked garments combine one or more fabrics that are usually contrasting, bold, or unexpected, in a single garment to make a statement. Color blocking is a cool trend and can make use of interesting sewing techniques. Have you tried this technique? 

I just completed a creative experiment to make a "faux" color blocked shirt using a flat fat stack from Paintbrush Studio.

Color blocked Siena Shirt using Indian Summer cotton fabrics.

So, what’s a flat fat stack?

Paintbrush Studio Fabrics offers "flat fat stacks" with their quilting cotton collections. A flat fat stack is a selection of fat-quarter-size (18” x 22”) prints that are printed side-by-side on a single, continuous piece of fabric. It’s like buying a fat quarter bundle only the fat quarters aren't individual pieces—they come on a long piece of fabric. I used a flat fat stack from the Indian Summer collection by Sumana Ghosh-Witherspoon for this shirt. It had 12 fat quarter prints—or 3 yards of fabric. 

The Siena Shirt pattern

My shirt pattern was the Siena Shirt from The Sewing Workshop. It’s a pattern I’ve used numerous times so I was familiar with the pattern pieces and the construction.

The Siena Shirt pattern from The Sewing Workshop.

Pattern layout and construction

Laying out the pattern pieces was similar to the pattern's diagrams except the fabric was laid out in a single layer—no pieces were cut on the fold or in a double layer. Left and right front pieces were cut from different areas of the fabric to achieve the color blocked look. Same with the back pieces.

Pattern pieces laid out on a single fabric layer.

The collar, collar stand, sleeves, and back yoke were cut from different areas of the fabric and prints, too. The Siena Shirt worked well for this initial experiment because there were several smaller pattern pieces that could fit easily on a fat quarter piece of fabric.

The Siena Shirt made good use of the variety of prints in the flat fat stack.

During construction, I was careful to line up the prints across the front and side front seams and the back and side back seams. I didn’t have to match anything at the side seams.

Matching the print at the front seams.

The button band also looks color blocked. After button auditioning, the dark red ones made the cut.

Auditioning buttons for the front button band.

My 6th Make Nine finish for 2022

I’m fulfilling the “Something New in ’22” prompt for my Make Nine Challenge with this project. The extra thought and time involved with laying out the pattern pieces and matching the prints was worth the challenge and experimentation. 

Make Nine 2022 tracker, July 31, 2022.

Using the continuous yardage format of the flat fat stack eliminated the piecing that's generally required for color blocking... but achieved the same visual effect. The asymmetry is very much like color blocking seen in garments with this fashion trend. Because the various fabric prints were from a fabric collection, the designs and aesthetic were cohesive... which made choosing the fabric(s) easy.

"Faux color blocked" Siena Shirt. It goes with everything!

My husband’s comment about my new shirt: “It goes with everything.”

That's a "win!"

Sunday, July 24, 2022

I’m in! The 100 Days 100 Blocks 2022 starts August 1

Are you ready for the 100 Days 100 Blocks 2022 sew-along? It’s my 5th year participating!

100 Days 100 Blocks 2022: fabric bundles [P&B Textiles] and block tracker

I’ve got:

I’m ready to go!

Specs and prep for the Kinship Sampler 2022

This year, I’ll be using fabrics from the playful Whimsy basics line from P&B Textiles. Whimsy sports a variety of small texture-like patterns and a full color gamut of warm, cool and neutral hues. 

My Personal Challenge will be experimenting with combining these rainbow hues with black tone-on-tone fabrics—P&B's Onyx basics—rather than using white or light colors for contrast. This will be a new exploration for me in this year’s sew-along. Where's the "spice in life" if you don't mix it up a bit??

I've begun pulling and cutting fabrics for the first few blocks in preparation for the August 1 start date. The sew-along goes through November 8, 2022 and uses the Kinship Sampler pattern (available from Gnome Angel). 

Fabric pull: cool colors from the Whimsy collection and black tone-on-tone fat quarters from Onyx collection [P&B Textiles]. Bloc-Loc rulers for flying geese and half-square triangle units.

The Kinship Sampler is a fun, skill-builder project

There are 50 square blocks that finish at 8”x8” and 50 rectangle blocks 4” x 8” in the Kinship Sampler quilt. Here's why I like it:

  • The sampler is appropriate for confident beginners but the two block sizes keep it interesting for advanced quilters.
  • Angie at Gnome Angel describes the blocks as "borrowing from the traditional and reflecting the contemporary."
  • It’s great practice for perfecting your 1/4” seam.
  • You can make it scrappy or plan a controlled color scheme.
  • The pattern has suggestions for block layouts, or you can see what others have done using the #100blocks100days or #kinshipsampler hashtags for previous years.
  • Doing the 100 Days 100 Blocks sew-along with others is always motivating, encouraging and inspiring. Everyone uses different fabrics and we cheer each other on!

Watch my daily block posts on Instagram [@veronica.fiberantics] and on Facebook.

Sunday, July 17, 2022

The Laced Back Stitch: an ideal stitch for lettering

I recently studied laced stitches in a workshop with Susan Brandeis: the laced running stitch, laced chain stitch, and (my new favorite hand embroidery stitch) the laced backstitch. 

Circle Sampler: laced running stitch circle surrounded with French knots.

Stitched Typography

The laced back stitch came in very handy for documenting a day range on each of the stitched scrolls from my 100 Days of Slow Stitching with Found Objects project.

Documenting the day range on each scroll with the laced back stitch.

The letters and numbers were stitched on each scroll using the back stitch. Then, a second thread was woven or laced through those stitches. The laced thread lays on the surface of the work and is kept in place by the initial back stitches.  

My "stitched typography" was perfected by this lacing (weaving) technique. The photo below shows “before” and “after” lacing. See how the letters are smoother, more cohesive, and more readable? They are also slightly bolder because of the additional thread. The letters now appear more "finished."

Back stitch (top) and laced back stitch (below).

Even as an afterthought, if you decide you want a laced stitch, you can easily go back and do it on existing work.

Vintage Stitch Dictionaries

Two of my vintage stitch dictionaries provide variations on laced stitches. These stitches are also referred to as "threaded" stitches and "whipped" stitches. Whatever the terminology, they are fun and easy stitches to accomplish.

From Needlework Stitches by Barbara Snook.

From Handbook of Stitches by Grete Petersen and Elsie Svennås.

Laced stitch variations

The lacing technique has all kinds of exciting options! Experiment with lacing a contrasting color of thread, multiple threads, decorative yarns, silk ribbon, fabric slivers, weaving in different directions, or incorporate other embellishments.

A running stitch laced with a stand of sock yarn. 
The tension of the laced yarn varies to provide dimension and interest.

Try them all!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...