Saturday, April 24, 2021

The 100 Day Hexie Project at 75%

These are the fruits from Day 75 of my 100 Day Project. These little gems are three-quarter inch hexagons. Each with an image that is selectively cut from the fabric.

193 hexies for the 100 Day Project.

A more organized view:

193 three-quarter inch English paper pieced hexagons.

The 100 Day Project for 2021 will conclude on May 10.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

The Berwick St. Tunic with Australian Aboriginal fabric, a Make Nine finish

My new Berwick St. Tunic by The Sewing Workshop.
Fabric from M&S Textiles Australia.
This is the Berwick St. Tunic in an Australian aboriginal fabric print—my fourth Make Nine finish for 2021.

This Make Nine finish checks the "New to Me" prompt as this is the first time making the Berwick St. Tunic pattern [by The Sewing Workshop]. I also learned a new construction detail: a concealed button placket.

The fabric is an Australian Aboriginal print called Gathering by the Creek (burgundy colorway) by Janet Long Nakamarra [for M&S Textiles Australia]. I loved this colorway the minute I saw it and knew it was destined to be a garment for me.

The warm Spring weather has turned around this week and the Berwick's long sleeves are a comfortable and welcome buffer against the cool temperature. 

Details about the Berwick St. Tunic
This long-sleeved tunic has a mandarin collar, concealed front button placket, pleated front peplum, side vents, and sleeve plackets with narrow,  buttoned cuffs. I have enjoyed working with The Sewing Workshop patterns—the style, the fit, the instructions are all good—and there are always interesting details or construction techniques included in the making of the garments. This one was no different.

The Berwick St. Tunic pattern. The fabric print is one of the Dreamtime designs by an Australian Aboriginal designer. Fabric from M&S Textiles Australia.

The new garment construction detail for me was the concealed front button placket. The pattern instructions were right on point and I sailed through. Hint: if you're not proficient with making button holes, this placket has it covered (literally!). 

In my case, I didn't have enough of the red colored buttons for the front and cuffs, so I used the off-color buttons under the placket and the red buttons at the top and cuffs—where the buttons would show. I opted not to put a button or button hole in the collar as I knew I would wear this garment open at the neck.

Different colored buttons used in the concealed front placket.

I also sewed the sleeves closed with a non-functioning button. The sleeve openings are sufficiently wide to get my hands through. 

Placket sleeves with a narrow cuff.

The irregular stripe of Gathering by the Creek print runs uninterrupted down the single-piece bodice back. No pattern matching was needed! (Gotta love a great stripe!)

The Berwick, back view.

The side vent allows for ample ease. And I have slightly lengthened the sleeves to suit my style... and long arms.

The Berwick's side vent.

Because of the front peplum, you do have to put the tunic on over your head.

The Berwick St. Tunic, front view.

For the next Berwick
Now that I have one make of the Berwick under my belt, the next time I use the pattern I'd incorporate modifications: 
  • give it a full front opening and omit the peplum,
  • shorten to make it shirt length,
  • eliminate the cuff plackets and just use the narrow cuffs,
  • remember the total number of buttons needed.

Me in my new Australian aboriginal Berwick

All in all, it was a successful project and another Make Nine 2021 finish! 

Make Nine 2021 worksheet: April update

Saturday, April 10, 2021

String pieced UFO is off the design wall

One of my Make Nine 2021 prompts is a UFO finish. This scrappy string quilt is a viable contender.

String pieced scrappy quilt top. 

There are leftover blocks from a quilt made in the 1990s adjacent to blocks made in 2021. I'm sure the fabrics span at least 3 decades. 

Although I can't put my hands on the book right now, the technique was from a book, "Easy Pieces: Creative Color Play with Two Simple Quilt Blocks," by Margaret J. Miller, a innovative quiltmaker ahead of her time. Additional blocks have joined this stack of blocks as this UFO [unfinished object] has surfaced and resurfaced over the years. 

Scrap Quilts: Color vs Value 
To me, scrap quilts are the best—innovative, serendipitous, and a brilliant use of seemingly unrelated bits working together for a magnificent outcome. Making them is a good exercise in the study of value. Value is the lightness or darkness of a hue. It's been said, "Color gets all the credit, but Value does all the work." Scrap quilts are living proof!

"Make Do" stash blocks
In 2017, my guild teammates and I presented a program on "making do"... illustrating ideas for using fabrics from the stash... using what you already have... or, "making do" as our foremothers did. From this program came a sampling of 5" string-pieced blocks.

Five-inch string pieced blocks using fabric scraps and leftovers.

Somewhere along the way, these two sets of blocks joined forces.

Center block units are 6" finished. The zig-zag border has 4.5" finished blocks.

At the end of March, I finished the top. Now I'm on the hunt for a backing. Then to baste (my least favorite step in the process).

Scrappy string quilt top.

An empty design wall?
The "top layer" of the design wall is empty. Peeling back the flannel top layer will unearth the layers beneath that are sporting other in-progress works.

Empty design wall? Only the top layer.

What long-time UFO will be revealed??? I'm sure I'll find something that I'd forgotten about... and it will again make its way to the needle and continue the journey to completion.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Happy Easter Bunnies with EPP

Happy Easter. Happy Spring. 

Three-quarter inch EPP hexies from the 100 Day Project.

These English paper pieced [EPP] bunny hexagons are for Day 64 of my 100 Day Project

And my 2021 Stitching Success Tracker is looking colorful for the first quarter of the year. 

Off to a great start! The first quarter 2021 of the Stitching Success Tracker.

The weather is getting more Spring-like and the days are growing longer. I'll be enjoying stitching handwork as well as a little more sunshine today.

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