Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Box pleated skirt

My focus has been completely on finishing quilt tops for the past few months.  I had the big red one and two others that I cannot share yet ( they are so cute and those I will be super happy to share!).  When the red dust had settled, I cleaned up ALL the bits and pieces that had been trailed completely throughout the house and decided I needed to make something different.  Something not a quilt.

( this is the only finish photo, Katy was NOT in the mood for taking pics)

I really adore clothes that are well fitted and flattering and can be found surfing the internet looking at ( mostly) vintage clothing for all of the features that I drool over.  My friend Brooke ( apriltwoeighty) is in LA interning with Luke and has been posting about her adventures that happened to include a box pleated skirt!  WHAT!?!  I LOVE box pleated skirts and immediately asked whet pattern she used!  She used the Merrick's Art tutorial .  It is very basic and has all the ideas that are needed to make the skirt.  So, using this tutorial I dove right in!

This is what I learned on the first go round...the pleats are what fabric is showing not what is hidden in the back ( face palm).  This skirt had 4in pleats not 2.5in pleats.

The finished skirt was perfection in the front...

However the back was as wonky as Weeble!

and I did not follow the recommended waistband sizing so I ended up with WAY too big a waist...

That's okay...this was my "trial" skirt and even though all of my sewing was perfect ( of course) I was okay with trying from scratch again.

So off I went to find what other tutorials were out there that explained a little more in depth on how to make this skirt for all different sizes and I found this youtube video Pleated Skirt Tutorial by Sara which has a more in depth explanation and some math to help make a pattern for more than one size but this can be a little tricky too using the math given in the video.  I had Katy's help me with some of the numbers and we came up with something that I felt comfortable going in and attempting.

The second skirt I used 2.5 in pleats.  I left about 1in on each end for the zipper.  Somehow, it did not work out...grrrrrr...when I placed the waistband on the skirt it was way too short.  There was no way it was going to work.  I walked away and made dinner for the people of the house and gave myself a little break to think on what my next step would be.

When I went back to the drawing board ( my cutting mat) I noticed the angled guidelines!  I was doing a happy dance!  I centred the waistband, pinned it down and then trimmed the excess fabric from either side.  I had to insecure the pleat to either side of the trimmed fabric but it was doable!

I ended up with aligned back pleats!!! WOO HOO!

I will be making more of these skirts.  They are super fast once you have the basics down and are very comfortable ( the most important part).

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The best I can do at 22

I finished the red quilt top and was so excited to be completed ( I was happy dancing all over the place) until it came time to take photos!  Some crazy Polar Vortex with cold temperatures has taken over my neck of the woods ( thank goodness I am not in Buffalo!  If you are,please stay safe and warm!).  Going out in 22 degree temps is not my thing.  So, I had to figure out how to take semi decent photos inside...HA!  It has been a learning experience.  I learned that my windows are filthy and I spent some time cleaning them, I learned that printer paper and tape are the PERFECT size to cover the tiny windows at the top on the opposite side of the room to block the light from hitting the bottom of the quilt, I learned that photographing a red quilt and trying to get the true colors is IMPOSSIBLE and I learned ( which I knew since we moved in over five years ago) I HATE the color of this room!

Please forgive the less than perfect shots I have taken,  this is the best I can do at 22...degrees...

My hope is to have the entered and up for display during Quiltcon.  Luke will make this quilt of humble beginnings come to life!  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


After some long hours of cutting strips on Saturday, some serious sewing on Sunday and Monday and one very very good family, I was able to finish all the blocks!  I added to my design wall ( meaning the flannel and batting I have duct taped and staple gunned to the wall) and I was able to fit ALL the blocks in one spot!  I still have to sew all the rows together but I was just over the moon thrilled that I was able to pick up and vacuum up all of the bits and pieces of red that had taken over three of the rooms downstairs.  I will need to make some minor adjustments to the blocks and then tackle the task of joining the blocks and rows.  

When I am finished this will be headed off to see Luke Haynes.  This quilt is a collaboration that I had asked Luke about last December.  It took me some time to wrap my head around where to start since I had never taken on a project anything like this one.  Luke has been very patient and encouraging along the way.

The suggestion to make this from upcycled clothing was all Luke.  Truth be told that is one of the reasons it took so long for me to start.  The task of finding red clothing that is not knit is very daunting.  Quilting with anything but cotton was completely foreign.  In August I took the plunge of finding some garments I thought I could work with and not cry.  When I had built up some courage I branched out even more!  There are no knits in this quilt but there is just about everything else.  The textures are gorgeous.  The slight differences make a visual difference that is quite stunning.  Katy says it is intense!  I have to agree.

If you want to make a quilt from upcycled garments I can recommend Luke's tutorial on We All Sew called  Deconstruct a Shirt with Luke Haynes.  I did not use a rotary cutter but ripped the garments    ( very very messy) but the great tutorial is a great jumping off point if you don't know where or how to start.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Still in progress...sigh...

I am still plugging away at the quilt of red.

I feel like I should have been completed by now and am honestly a little embarrassed that I am not.  I grossly underestimated the time that it would take me to deconstruct the garments needed and I REALLY underestimated how many clothing items I would need.  But here I am again plugging away in hopes to be completed sometime next week.

I will need to add a section onto the design wall today to accommodate another column on the left and need three more rows added onto the bottom.  One hundred sixty nine blocks total.  I will also have a HUGE MESS to tidy up when I am finished.  Many thanks to a very tolerant family and to all of my sweet friends that have been tolerating all of my overgramming and giving me likes and support with this project!  I have been learning so much with all of the different fabrics.  In the end I know this will all be well worth the effort and time spent.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Blog Tour: Quilt Talk by Sam Hunter

WORDS!!!!  I love em...I use em...A WHOLE BUNCH...and now I can quilt with them too!

Sam Hunter  ( another word lover), wrote this fantastic book Quilt Talk with C&T Publishing  providing patterns for you to make all kinds of fun and fabulous projects using you special words.

I met Sam at Market in Houston whilst working with Alex, Elena and Dario in the Aurifil booth at International Quilt Market ( have I ever mentioned I am the LUCKIEST girl in the WORLD) .  She was a whirlwind bearing gifts of BUTTONS with the best sayings.  I like anyone presenting me with gifts but ones that crack me up too...Sam is a KEEPER!  Sam has this sassy saucy attitude with a whole TON of realist thrown in so you never have to guess what she is thinking...she will tell you!  I am thrilled to have her in my life and I hope you will enjoy this book and her projects as much as I have.

Sam has written a very detailed sections of paper piecing, how to reduce and enlarge the patterns in the book as well as little tips along the way to help ensure all of your projects turn out just the way you want them to without pulling your hair out! The book is filled with actual photos for the paper piecing and since I am a very visual sewer I found this to be a big bonus!  I was also amazed to learn about "Letter and Word Anatomy."  This is stuff I never knew I needed but am so happy to now know!  All the information is broken down and delivered in a way that flows...like Sam is telling you herself.  Finally, and this is pretty cool, The section on how to make your own quilts!  There is encouragement and instructions to take her patterns and make it your very own!  No one size fits all in this book...you can make it ALL YOU!

Look at some of Sam's patterns in the book for your home or a good friend that shares your love of words and quilts!

I think this one is my favorite in the book.  I do love what I do everyday.

And what a great quilt for newlyweds or a great anniversary gift for a couple that will be together 27 years this December ( hint hint).

I did make a project using Sam's paper priced letters using the RED pattern that you can download for free !  WOOT WOOT!!!

I was going to make the scrap bucket but then had a quilter AHA moment!  Don't you love to get those little plot twists when you are working on something.  I have a friend that has a birthday coming up, a quilty friend that LOVES red and has three letters in her name.  She does so much for the quilting community by sharing her knowledge and she has an Aurifil collection or two ;o)  I decided to make her a mini quilt for her studio cuz I love her bunches!

I had to pick the perfect red Aurifil thread for the quilting and the 40wt WON! I popped out some very quick straight line quilting to keep it simple.

I think she will be very please with this scrappy goodness all bound in red!

Here is another project that is included in the book, just what we all need...SCRAP BUCKETS!

After you make the RED block, make sure to visit the rest of the blogs in the hop to read more about Sam and to get ALL of the wonderful colors! The pattern for the scrap bucket ( like the one featured on the cover) is in the book too!!!!  If you make a pattern from the book please be sure to share using the hashtag #quilttalk.  Sam's blog is the final day and there will be an incredible prize including a copy of the book and all kinds of stuff you will not want to miss!!!

- See more at: http://thebitchystitcher.blogspot.com/#sthash.PpfUgkcP.dpuf

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Everyday I wake up and say to myself,  "Self you are going to blog today!"

Everyday that has not been happening.  In late July was my last post and here it is SEPTEMBER and I am just getting back into the swing of some things.  I have had things to say and sewing to share. I am on Instagram as Gogokim and try to at the very least post some things there to keep connected.  I may also be very guilty of overgramming on occasion.

There was a very long car trip (2600 miles is a long trip right?)  with two kids and me this summer to see the oldest son, his ( I cannot say this enough) WONDERFUL wife , who so kindly puts up with me, and the two sweetest grandsons ever.  There was also the stops through to see the spare older son  to and back from seeing the oldest.  It was a very last minute decision and I could not have been happier!

And Gary...OMG!!!!  I love this guy!!!! In OK we visited Lost Creek Safari  and we allowed to hold a baby kangaroo named Jack and kiss a baby camel named Gilbert.  If you are in Stillwater...GO to this place!  I lived in San Diego and had a membership to the Zoo/ Wild Animal Park and this place was better as far as exposure to the animals.  I still love and miss San Diego Zoo but I cannot wait to go back and see Gary again!!!

With the trip I bought home the latest and not so greatest crud that was in OK and even left some in TN ( Sorry Michael) .  So there was another 12 days of my life...GONE!!!!  Still, no blogging.

School started for everyone and with that came new schedules, new drop off and pick up times and juggling how to be every where at once.

Something HAD to give!  sadly, it was my blog.  My connection to the quilting community.  So here I am, after way too long, to start back to doing what I love.  Connecting to my online quilting friends.

I am discontinuing SEWjo Saturday.  I cannot give it the attention it really deserves.  I loved hosting it and I may bring it back next summer.  I do appreciate all the great link ups from everyone.  I hope you had fun too.

For now, I am working on a few projects, one is a tutorial for a new quilt I have designed ( that will be coming out at the end of Oct if all goes as planned...fingers crossed and it is STUNNING), a couple  of quilts for a friend and this one in the photo being the most important to me.   There will be 200 log cabins and I am about half way there. It is all clothing sized from newborn to XXL.  It is an incredible learning experience  using all of the different textures.  There is rayon, cotton, silk, poly, different cords, satin, microsuede and just about anything else you can imagine.  I have started on the second 100+ blocks and hoping I will have this completed soon.  Again, if everything goes as planned.  And as this past six weeks has shown me, I am not in control.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Liberty Lifestyle~How to make a Cathedral Window Sewing Journal Cover { tutorial linked in post}

Last summer I made a beautiful quilt for the Liberty Lifestyle blog.  I was really very honored and a little overwhelmed  since it was the first quilt tutorial they were featuring ( no pressure).  The Lovetag  Quilt is still in my home being loved all the time.

A couple months back, I was contacted again ( boy are they nice) and asked if I would consider another project...LOL...SERIOUSLY!?!  I said yes and then pitched an idea.  I wanted to use the scraps I already had left from the last project to make something lovely.   Cathedral windows are lovely and I love to make and use them whenever I can!  I put them on pincushions and pillows and purses...and now a planner.  So apparently I put them on anything that starts with a P ;o)

My first attempt was an EPIC FAIL!  I did not let that stop me and moved on to my next idea that was not much better but the third time was a charm but at the last minute...I cut it 1/2in TOO SHORT!  I did not have enough scraps to make another from the start so I did what all good sewers do...IMPROVISE!  I decided to do something a little different.

I finally ended up with this beautiful planner that will hopefully bring you inspiration whenever you take it out!

Please visit The Liberty Craft Blog to see the FREE tutorial for The Cathedral Window Sewing Journal Cover.

The quilting was so perfect and straight and I love the way the 40wt shows off just a little bit more than the 50wt :o) !  And that was the other reason I could not start over, the quilting was amazing and that never happens for me!

An inside pocket holds all your goods right where you need them and the zipper is a breeze!  No reason to be afraid with this one at all! I used all Pellon interfacing and batting, I used SF-101, my favorite WONDER UNDER and Craft Fuse.  Love my Magic in the Middle :o)

I used resin snaps but you can use velcro for your closure.

I hope you like this project as much as I do!
09 10