Friday, November 15, 2013

Circles of Love Quilt

Today I want to share a quilt I finished in September.  It is called Circles of Love, and I made it for my sister who was diagnosed with breast cancer and was starting chemo the beginning of September.  

 The quilt design was from the book Hand Made with Love by Sarah Fielke.  The name of the quilt in the book is Bangles.  Of course being a hexi addict means I was completely smitten when I first saw the pattern.  I started piecing the quilt according to the directions in the book.

The book directions say to lay out the entire quilt and then piece together 3 adjoining pentagon shapes which makes a hexagon, and then piece all of those hexagons around the light colored hexagon.  Well this was like working on a rubiks cube puzzle and quilt.  I hated piecing because I kept getting fabrics out of order which messed up the circular hexi effect.  So after piecing 5 "blocks" like this picture above I decided to try my own piecing. I kept wanting to piece each encircled hexi separately and then lay them out as the larger hexagons in rows.  So I tried it and found it so much easier!  Each of the same color pentagon shape was sewn around the off white hexagon.  Then those large hexagons were all laid out and pieced in rows.  It was all by machine, and while it was definitely fiddly to piece I really did enjoy seeing it come together.

As you can see I used lots of super cute fabrics, a lot are from Bonnie and Camille's Happy Go Lucky, and Vintage Modern.  But there are also fabrics from Amy Butler, and Flea Market Fancy, plus lots of other favorites.  I really love the color palette. 

I got the idea to contact my sister's friends and family and ask them to send me notes of encouragement for my sister, Cindy.  I then wrote all of the notes on the quilt inside each of the pieced hexi's.  I used a Pigma permanent Fabric marker in the Sepia color to do the writing.
I was in a rush to get the quilt done, as I wanted her to have it as she started chemo, so I machine quilted the quilt in an all over meander quilt design.  On two of the blocks I quilted the word Love.
I decided to bind the edge with a cute red print from the Bonnie and Camille line Vintage Modern  from Moda, that I just happened to have in my stash.
 I got the idea to round the corners of the quilt before adding the binding, after seeing one at a show that had been done that way.  It was the perfect finish for this quilt and I love the rounded corners, PLUS it was really easy to do!
I used a gray on white polka dot print I found at Joann Fabrics on the back.  Of course I didn't have quite enough, so I ended up filling out the edges by bordering the dot print with the red flower print I used for the binding.  I think it really sets off the grey dots.
I washed the quilt after I got it all done so it has that wonderful crinkle to the top which I love.  I got the quilt done and was able to give it to her just after her first chemo treatment in early September.  She was surprised and very touched with all of the words of encouragement, and Love and prayers that were part of the quilt. 

Quilt Stats
50" x 50"
Bangles pattern from Hand Made With Love by Sarah Fielke
batting used: Quilters Dream Request
Machine quilted with off white thread
binding: Bonnie and Camille Vintage Modern by Moda

I need to thank my daughter Kelly for the great photographs!  Thank you so much for stopping by, hope you enjoyed seeing Circles of Love, Sylvia

Sunday, November 3, 2013

New Jacket Alabama Chanin Style

A little more than a year ago I was turned on to the amazing Natalie Chanin from Alabama Chanin. Check out her wonderful unique clothing designs at  So then I bought all 3 of her books which are wonderful, well written, and in which she shares every detail about making clothes just like she sells on her website.  I was completely amazed and in love with the style so I made a skirt using her techniques, you can see it here  After I had finished the skirt I decided to make another AC project that I had seen in the 3rd book Alabama Studio Sewing +Design.  It is a rectangular wrap/shawl which I thought would be an easy project.   I designed my own stencil design, made the stencil, painted the design, did all of the stitching and cutting out design, got it all finished tried it on and I hated it.  It was too stiff and didn't drape like it should to be flattering.  I folded it up and put it in a drawer.  Fast forward a few months, I was surfing on the Craftsy website and found that there is a Craftsy class by Natalie Chanin called Hand-Embellishing Knit Fabric.  I immediately purchased the class and watched it.  The class was wonderful.  I enjoyed having Natalie Chanin "teaching me" all of her techniques and it got me super motivated to do another Alabama Chanin type garment.  I got the idea to use the shawl, which was essentially a 20" x 40" rectangle, as "fabric" to make a more fitted jacket.
I found a Vogue pattern (Sandra Betzina 1036) I liked.  I used plain black knit to make it so that I had enough fabric to cut out the jacket, and then I hand stitched the same stencil design on the black to help make the 2 fabrics work together.
The stencil design was done with a pearl white Lumiere fabric paint.  I like the color of it, but it made the fabric very stiff.  Which made the stitching a bit harder to do.  In the class Natalie talks about using an airbrush to do their stenciling.  It turns out I already have an airbrush so that is how I will stencil my next project.  Also I had used Perle cotton to do all the stitching on this project, which is not what Natalie usually uses, but I wanted the stitching on the black to stand out.  I did a bound edge along the neck and front and used a herringbone stitch to finish it.
Yes, I am already planning my next project.  I really love doing the hand stitching!  The class I took included a Donna Karan (V1263) Vogue pattern, and while I absolutely LOVE the design of the coat I'm just not sure I'm gonna love it on me.  It has a large shawl collar and an overlap at the front that I'm afraid will just make me look fat and frumpy. 
So, I have been searching for the perfect pattern style.  Not sure I have found it yet.  I actually really like the pattern of this grey/black jacket.  And it fits really well.  So I may just do another version of the same pattern.
I have worn this jacket and it is super comfy because of the knit fabric.  And it's great because it looks good with jeans, or a dressier black skirt.
Hope you enjoyed seeing my latest project, thanks for stopping by, Sylvia