I had wanted to sew one of the dresses included in the book “Handmade Style” by Anna Graham (Noodlehead) since I made my carry-all pincushion, and when I saw the sew along she organised on her blog it seemed the “now or never” occasion. So I decided to take the plunge and give it a try. Not that I hadn’t sewn garments before, but it was on a workshop with a teacher, and having some extra tips and detailed photos really helped.
Even though, there has been lots of “firsts” while sewing this one: my first placket, my first -and my machine’s- buttonholes… The fact that the tunic’s construction was divided into five-weeks time of work made everything simpler and more achievable, and certainly, helped to avoid frustration along the way. And it’s true: things you haven’t tried look more complicated than they really are.
I haven’t made any alteration to the original pattern. The only personal detail is the use of buttons to secure the cuffs. And, although the photo doesn’t make it justice, I’m really happy with the result.
Date: July 2016
Pattern: Women’s tunic, Anna Graham, from the book “Handmade style”
Fabric: Silky Cotton by Penelope, Europe.
Block n. 48 for The Splendid Sampler™ “Whim” is designed by Faith Jones (Fresh Lemons Quilts). Her blog is one of those I follow since my early steps in the quilting world and it came to no surprise that this was a foundation-paper-pieced block. I like crazy blocks, and I took the chance to use this prints that need a bigger piece to really show. And, of course, I couldn’t resist to include the mischievous chef carrying his cake with an unknown –and pretty sure wicked- purpose. This character may end like Waldo in this quilt…
Other versions with beautiful novelty prints and the block info are found here.
This month’s block from the Cotton & Color BoM couldn’t be more appropriate for this blog, as it depicts a cup! “Tassa” means, in Catalan, mug or cup (it doesn’t make the difference between them). So I was really pleased when I got the pattern!
As I’m getting more used to paper piecing, the block came together pretty quickly (despite some mistakes in fabric placement -ahem!). I chose for the cup’s main body a fabric that reminds me of an old tea set, and I kept introducing some fabrics from previous blocks to give a sense of a set in the group of blocks already made.
The heart in the tea bag is needle-turn appliquéd… who would have said some months ago!
When I saw the 47th block of The Splendid Sampler™ I thought it was going to be the most difficult and tricky block so far.
And it was not. “Circle of Love”, by Geta Grama, is a spectacular block with a really easy construction: fusible, raw edge appliqué. The tricky part was to cut all the pieces with the fusible web and not lose any of the pointy parts; stitching them, was a question of patience and not rushing things under the presser foot.
I love the final result. I’m glad I decided to play with just two contrasting fabrics, letting the pattern do all the visual work.
The pattern and link party for this particular block can be found here.
The 46th block of The Splendid Sampler™ is called “Twirl Time”, honouring the pinwheel depicted on it, by Sarah J. Maxwell (Designs by Sarah J). Although it might look like a tricky block, the truth is it was not… except for some little mistakes in the pinning process that required the presence of the seam-ripper.
For the flip-and-trim corners I left the underneath fabric as a guide, trimming only the excess of the added fabric. It helped to put the block together; however, it involves a thicker seam too.
And I decided to skip a little bit the instructions and not play scrappy, as it’s not really my style for this sampler.
The block’s pattern and link party are here.
I had so much fun sewing block n. 45 for The Splendid Sampler™! This one is called “Sewing Nut”, by Frances Newcombe (Frances Newcombe Designs), and it’s an appliquéd block. I diverged from the given instructions a little bit and did a machine appliqué, but without using fusible web.
I simply held the fabric pieces with pins and sewed around each shape with my regular foot and lots of patience. And I just love this air of free motion it acquired! I’m not so sure about the flower, though. I shall revisit this block and decide what to do with it.
The pattern and link party for this 45th block can be found here.
Block n.44 for The Splendid Sampler™ is called “Stitch in the Garden”, by Gail Pan. Taking into account the appliqué pieces in it, I decided to do a monochrome embroidery, and I’m glad I went with this teal instead of using a grey colour. And I can’t tell how much I like this teal floss! This is DMC embroidery floss n. 3808, and I think it works perfectly with the white and subtle background.
The pattern, info and link party are here.
It took a while to make its appearance, but the 36th block of The Splendid Sampler™ is, basically, English paper-piecing. It was to be expected, and also, that it would come in the form of hexagons (I must say, I’m not a fan of hexagons…). This block sums to other traditional blocks that have been given a twist for this sampler (like the Dresden plate in block 26, the basket from block 18, or a later block containing also EPPed hexagons).
This particular block is called “Inchy Hexagon Club”, by Jane Davidson (Quilt Jane – Want it, Need it, Quilt), and the hexagons were, indeed, inchy. So tiny! I transferred the templates to cardboard, which helped in basting (I don’t use glue to baste). What took more time, however, was to decide on the background fabric. In the end I decided to keep this a low-volume block, and I’m pretty happy with the result. The hexagons are appliquéd using a ladder stitch, after being given a good bath of starch.
The pattern and link party can be found here.
I already told I was planning a second bucket from the pattern “2 Fat Quarter Bucket!”, by Me and My Sister Designs, and here it is. This one was for a friend who recently had a baby… I just love those turtles!
This pattern makes for terrific gifts… surely this won’t be the last one!
Size: 5 1/2″W x 4″L x 7″H / 14 x 10 x 18 cm
Date: July 2016
Pattern: 2 Fat Quarter Bucket!, Me and My Sister Designs
Exterior fabric: Les Amis (Turtle Parade), Patty Sloniger, Michael Miller Fabrics
Lining fabric: Comma (chalk on mustard), Zen Chic, Moda Fabrics
Batting: Thermolam TP971 (100% polyester), Legacy
The 43th block of The Splendid Sampler™ is called “Pincushion love” and is another block designed by Pat Sloan, involving a little bit of piecing and appliqué.
For the appliqué part I mixed different methods: the body of the pincushion and the strawberry are needle-turn appliquéd, whereas the green fabric is fusible-appliquéd with a backstitch to secure it (Cosmo variegated floss n. 8021). For the pins I also used fusible-appliqué, but with a blanket stitch (DMC floss n. 310). The pins are sewn with a backstitch, and the lines inside the pincushion with a stem-stitch (Cosmo variegated floss n. 5040).
Other pincushions, the block’s info and link party are here.