Wednesday, September 29, 2010

choosing fabrics...

So here's the fundamental problem I face with sewing.

Here's the kind of fabric I love:
adorable fabric

But here's the kind of fabric I actually use in my sewing.
practical fabric

I found the black fabric on a fabric shop detour during a vacation with my folks, and knew immediately it was the kind of fabric that would be super useful in my sewing. The shop owner asked what I would use it for, and seemed a little skeptical when I said it was for a baby quilt.

But I think that the final product reads more as "baby quilt" than most of the baby quilts I have made.

mod baby quilt

The color scheme is inspired by the backing fabric, the design is a play on a charm squares design, but with sewn stripes, half square triangles, and hourglass blocks mixed in.

The backing fabric is a fun plaid from Rainbow Gardens by Prints Charming, another piece I picked up for just a few bucks a yard.
mod baby quilt

Quilted with a grid pattern with a red polka dot binding.

mod baby quilt

I'm pretty happy with the design and the final product. Hopefully the recipients like it too!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

awesome cookie

I doctored up the chewy oatmeal cookie recipe from the King Arthur Cookie Cookbook by adding dried apples, golden raisins, and roasted cinnamon. Straight out of the oven, crazy good. Like almost the best cookie ever. The next day they weren't quite the same, but still tasty.

oatmeal apple raisin cookie

Also, a camera question for the knowledgeable among my blog readership:

Most of the pictures I take are blurry, presumably from my shaky hands. If I want to spend $100-$200 on a new compact digital camera, what features should I look for to ensure fewer blurry pictures?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

baby quilt!

One of my friends is expecting twins. I made a quilt for the boy a while back, and finished up the quilt for the girl yesterday with about a half hour to spare before the baby shower.

I had thought about the design plan and had a couple options in mind, but at the last minute decided to use the same pattern as the boy quilt so that they would coordinate together.

I worked on the color scheme a lot in that I am trying to get better at choosing colors that go well together but are not traditional color combinations. Brown+magenta+yellow-green+amber isn't that risky but I think it reads as interesting yet pleasing which was what I was going for.

Half square triangle pattern set on the bias:
half square triangle baby quilt

Quilted in a wavy stripe pattern:
half square triangle baby quilt

Orangey binding:
half square triangle baby quilt

With a Rainbow Gardens fabric back from Prints Charming that I picked up for $3 a yard (and that I love):
half square triangle baby quilt with back

The quilts for the boy twin and girl twin together:
half square triangle baby quilts together

I think they were a hit with the mom-to-be.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

vintage fabric from quilt-a-fair

one of my favorite Colorado events is Quilt-a-fair. It's an event where fabric and quilting vendors set up booths at the fairgrounds. Having gone for several years now, I know to make a beeline for a vendor in the back corner that offers up pieces of older fabrics.

From this booth, I bought a yard of this gem for $4.
umbrellas and raindrops in orange, gray, putty

A piece of bird fabric in awesome drab colors.
bird/chicken vintage fabric in mustard

A sweet print of candy jars drawn on plaid grid background ($3 for a yard)
candy fabric on green/khaki plaid

A floral in a shade of orange that can be hard to find (half a yard for a buck)
vintage orange floral print

I like all these together too:
fun sad colors together

Some daisies on a blue background (fat quarter for fifty cents)
little daisies on a blue background

A polished cotton in gray and pink:
pink flowers on fabric with gray background

A yellow and black house print:
yellow and black house fabric

One of my favorite booths is an adorable mom-and-pop booth (actually a grandma-grandpa booth) where she sews on a featherweight while he handles the fabric transactions. It's a well curated booth of sweet vintage prints and I always buy a little something from them. This year, a pink plaid with avocado/berries:

avocado plaid fabric

And a sweet stripe:
fun stripe vintage fabric

I bought two yards of a bicentennial Declaration of Independence print at another booth:
political fabric - Americana - Declaration of Independence

I don't need any fabric of course, but vintage fabric is hard to resist when it is only a few bucks.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

wonky plaid potholder

Spoonflower recently had a free swatch day.

I picked out a bear print from m.patrizio, one of my favorite illustrators in the cute genre.

m patrizio fabric back on potholder

I sewed it as the back of a potholder. (I decided I needed a potholder for when I reheat lunch at the office, and didn't want to break up one of my sets of hot pads at home.)

For the front, a wonky plaid in aqua, orange, and pale yellow.

wonky plaid potholder

wonky plaid potholder

some baking

I made some whoopie pies again.

whoopie pie

And raspberry brownies with a chocolate raspberry ganache. Crazy rich. Super tasty.

raspberry brownie

Thursday, September 09, 2010

lovely fabric

I think I could come up with a post everyday of a great new fabric. (Which probably means I spend too much time on the web.)

Here's a gem from the Winter Forest collection from Avlyn Fabrics.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

more sky views

The fires in Boulder remain in the mountains west of town, but it remains quite smoky here, especially depending on the winds are blowing. We managed to get a little bit of rain today - not sure how much it helped but it couldn't have hurt.

As the skies cleared, there was one of the most striking rainbows I've ever seen (maybe something do with the smoky air?). It's just a cell phone picture so it doesn't quite capture it, but
it's even a double rainbow.

double rainbow

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

the usual: cookies, fabric

I made some Salty Oatmeal Cookies from the King Arthur Cookie Book.

Salty oatmeal cookie

They are odd but good.

Like yesterday's post, also file this under "Stuff I Want But Don't Need AT ALL." I bought a couple yards of this fabric on Etsy despite having no planned use for it, because it is rad and it reminds me of Orla Kiely, though probably a knock-off of this print. (Didn't realize quite how similar it was until I googled the link there or else I might have actually paused before purchasing. Boo to copyright infringement.)

rad Orla-Kiely-esque fabric

Monday, September 06, 2010

completely wasting time

File this post under both "Stuff I Want But Don't Need AT ALL" and "Really, I Need to Stop Procrastinating on Work by Blog Posting."

World's Fair fabric.

This is the All-Star of the lot. From the 1962 World's Fair in Seattle. Purchase salvaged yardage here.
(Selvedge: "Come to the Fair" by Millworth Converting Corporation)

And in another colorway:

Also from the Seattle World's Fair, via Flickr.

From the 1939 World's Fair in New York. Purchase here.

Via Flickr - more 1939 World's Fair fabric:

Also from the 1939 World's Fair:

Labor Day views

The sky to the south:
Southern sky

The sky to the north:
Northern sky

Scary wildfires in the mountains northwest of Boulder. The air smells smoky miles away.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

this and that

I bought some tenugui fabric while in DC for work. It's Japanese cotton towel fabric. More about it here.

tenugui fabric

Before I left, I put together a new totebag. It's quite similar to its predecessor but I made a few tweaks, including adding piping. I now think piping is awesome. Easy to add, and makes a more professional bag. It makes it almost look not homemade.

new tote bag

The lining is vintage daisy fabric. Special padded pocket to perfectly fit my netbook.

new tote bag