Sunday, July 18, 2010

Starry Night BOM #1

The first BOM I joined, I only managed to get through 5 of. They came with a "class" and I just couldn't get there. This BOM is with Sew Inspired in Simsbury, CT. A fantastic store, that seems to "get" how to manage all of the details of these things.

The group is called Starry Night because they are inspired by Vincent Van Gogh. There were two colorways to choose from. Black, blue and green or black, yellow and red. Funny, I chose the darker colors thinking the wouldn't show dirt as much.

Here is my finished first block.

I am definitely getting better at cutting, but you can clearly see that my top border is not even. Nor do the squares line up with the side sashing. I WAS pretty happy with my points, but I realized that I had sewn a few of the boxes in the wrong order and had to unsew them and resew. Of course, the second time, the points were not as even. Finally, the center had just the tiniest bit too much fabric, and it puckered when I sewed the four boxes together.

Of course, these are all comments for a "perfect" square. Overall, I'm actually happy with it. I think the colors are going to be really pretty together. And I'll take all the practice I can get.

This block took me 1/2 hour to cut, and about 1 hour to sew (counting the unsewing and resewing!).

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bare Feet Only - My first floor mat

This is a huge accomplishment for me. I am the Queen of unfinished projects. Or, if you like a positive spin, the Queen of started projects. This great rug I started a mere 3 weeks ago!!

I got a wonderful package of fat quarters from my super creative buddy Bari of her Art Journal line. The colors just jumped out at me and screamed "make something with us!". And I happened to have this pattern on my cutting table, because I was thinking it was an "achievable" project, and VOILA! I'm pretty sure I got the pattern from Above All Fabric. The idea of a sewn floor mat/rug just seemed SO cool to me.

The pattern is "Bare Feet Only" by Sweetwater. There were only three pieces to cut (6 of each), but that was a bit deceiving. I really had trouble making the circular trim pieces neat. They are only about 1/2 inch wide, and clearly, I flunked kindergarten, because I can't cut on a line to save my life it seems. I also found it challenging to cut the double sided interfacing for these pieces. By the time I was done my pattern piece was a mess, and I wished I had traced it and left it in the pattern. I will have a hard time if I try to use this pattern again.

I just love the little nests in this fabric, and I managed to find the most perfect pearlized teal buttons in my vintage button stash. They match the teal really well. The sewing itself for this pattern was simple, however, I had a few problems there, too.

I realized how difficult it is to zigzag stitch around a flower and make it neat and even. When I took the rug out of the sewing machine to examine my work I was surprised just how non-curved some of my sewing was. That having been said, I managed to convince myself it looked "authentic" that way. Ha ha!

I didn't have enough large pieces of the Art Journal for the back so I went to Sew Inspired and found this Art Gallery fabric that I think coordinates really well. The Art Gallery fabric has the most wonderful feel to it, but it's a bit more silky than a lot of cottons I've sewn with, and it didn't hold with the adhesive spray as well as I am accustomed to.

The result was that the back of the rug ended up having a bit too much fabric and being sort of bunchy. Overall, I am not thrilled with the workmanship on this project. I sort of see it as a prototype or a sample. I wanted to see what the whole process was like more than I wanted it to be perfect.

That having been said, I am THRILLED with my binding this time. A wonderful blog reader, Sara Strange (find her blog "Joy in Everything" here), posted a comment about my first quilt binding with a link to a Monkey See video for slip stitching. WOW!! The video made it super clear what I wasn't doing right before, and after seeing the video just once, my binding went from so-so and unattractive to just exactly what I wanted. Thank you Sara!

My daughter has already claimed this rug. She loves the colors and the "cute little birdies". I can't wait to upload these pics to Bari's flickr group. I am crazy excited to be pumping out projects at this rate.