Friday, May 27, 2011

The Christening Gown, Part II

It's amazing ladies and gentlemen, I actually did what I said I would do! Not that I lie about stuff, but life gets in the way and then I can't find my  'round tuit' and then another day has gone by. That's just life. But every now and then you make a plan and can actually DO it. Yesterday I did sew the skirt to the bodice of the christening gown!
I am so pleased! (Knocking on wood just as hard as I can as I say that.) This is the outer gown; there is a plain slip that will be underneath it. I'm now working on the seams. All that sheer fabric, the seams show. It's nice that the picture doesn't show that, but it's a fact and unfortunately people will be up close to the dress since, of course, they will want to be up close to my beautiful grandbaby! Had to pull out reference books, and went to the internet searching on the best way to deal with this. The best way was to sew them differently in the first place. Would have been nice if the pattern had mentioned this. Lots of christening dresses use sheer fabric, they even have sheer fabrics in the fabric list on the envelope. Too late now . . . not ripping out all those seams! Sorry Mr. Seam Ripper, you're nice and all, but I have my limits. I won't bore you with details, just suffice to say that this involves lots of handwork. Luckily I'm a hand quilter and don't mind handwork!

I could take this project to the beach with me next week, but I'm bringing the wedding quilt. Ah yes, they've had the baby, they don't have their wedding quilt. Might have it by the tenth anniversary. It's a traditional wedding ring quilt. Here's a pic.
The rows are not sewn together here. I just had it pinned on my design wall. I have about five rows done now, I think I have to go to seven. Soon I'll be sewing the rows together, which is good. Honestly, I'm tired of all the little pieces in the arcs. Come to think of it, I have enough that I'm ready for the flood. Get it:  arcs and arks? I know, very bad. With all the talk about the end of the world last week it just jumped into my head. Sorry.

This week the plan is to work on that at the beach. It's mostly a technology free vacation so I have lots of nice time to sit on the deck, watch the dolphins swim by, and . . . . can you SA(y) Quilt! See you in a week or so.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Vacation pressure

Next week I'll be with my extended family enjoying a reunion of sorts at the beach. We do this every year, tradition you know. As it gets closer, I always start feeling that I'd rather not go. Oh, I always enjoy being with everybody . . . okay almost everybody. Do you get along with everyone in your family? Be honest now! That's not the point though. Just getting ready for vacation is a hassle. A week at the beach for at least 10 people, good grief, I have to cook one night. What am I going to make? And, oh my God, it's my father-in-law's birthday AND my in-law's anniversary. Gifts, I have to have a gift for both occasions. And every year I think wouldn't it be nice to make a quilty thing for them. Something like a beach landscape quilt or pillow. I'm leaning toward the pillow - landscape on one side and a couple of family pictures on the back. So when did I start this project? Two days ago. When do we leave? Three days from now. Do a little math . . . that's five days to get it done. RIGHT!  I scrambled around in my fabric stash for appropriate fabrics. Raided the local Hancock's and JoAnne's for fabric I didn't have. Gee having to go fabric shopping is such a chore . . . not! And then, yesterday I went out and bought them a gift. I gave up. I cannot put together a quilt in 5 days, much as I'd like to.

Last year, I almost got it done. I remembered early enough to actually get the darn thing together. It was the first time I'd ever done photos on fabrics. Followed all the directions to make sure the photos were washable since I was using a water soluble stabilizer. When all was done, dipped it in water to remove the stabilizer and the photos just started disappearing! AAARGH! I couldn't believe it. I'd show you photos but I didn't save them I was so upset. Maybe I'll start on this project when I get back from vacation so I'll have it for next year! Sounds like a plan.

In the midst of all this angst, I've been plugging away on the christening gown. I'm having so much fun with this, even though my seam ripper and I are getting to be very good friends! An example, I was being so smart in NOT following the directions to make the sleeves. I just couldn't see trying to sew around that tiny little sleeve, so I decided to wait to sew the side seams of the bodice and attach the sleeve first. Great idea, unless you sew the sleeve to the side seam. Hi Mr. Seam Ripper. The whole thing looks so much better when my little granddaughter would actually be able to get her arm into it. (She's not so keen on the getting dressed, change your diaper thing anyway. I shouldn't make it harder.)
With luck today I'll sew the bodice to the skirt. And then I need to figure out how to cover those seams. I want them to feel nice against the skin. That's assuming that I don't get distracted by something else that may SA(y) Quilt.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Christening Gown

I'm venturing into uncharted territory. In a rush of excitement I told my daughter that I would make the christening gown for my new grandbaby, Adelaide. Then I went even further and said that I would make it from my wedding gown, since it's just sitting there getting older by the minute. Why do we say things like this? Do I like to add stress to my life? Possibly.

So, a week or so ago I finally started the deconstruction of the gown. First I had to find the darn thing. It was stored all those years ago - 35! - in it's protective box with miles of acid free tissue paper. Has tissue paper always been acid free? Hmmm . . . anyway the box hnd been taken out of storage in the attic - that's the best place right? - when my daughter was planning her wedding. She used my veil, but not the dress, so the dress was stuffed back in the box. No, I didn't take it back to be stored correctly, because I had in my little pea brain that maybe I would use it for something. Only have one daughter; don't think my son's fiancee will be asking for it! Then I put it back in the attic, or so I thought. With flashlight in hand, banged around the rafters, but no wedding dress box. Don't have a basement, so checked all the other rooms. It was GONE! What in the world had I done with it? Given it to charity when I was sleep walking? After a few days of hand wringing, it showed up, stored in plain sight right next to the closet in our spare bedroom. I swear it wasn't there before. Now to find my glasses . . .

Glasses found, on my face as usual. Showtime; seam ripper in hand I gingerly started taking the seams apart.

It actually didn't take that long to have the whole dress in pieces. There was just so much fabric, which will make laying out the christening gown easy. I'll let you know how it goes. All this lace makes me wonder about a lacy quilt . . . lots of things Sa(y) Quilts!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

In the beginning

So how in the heck did I ever become a quilter? Did I wake up one morning and discover that label on my forehead? Nope; like many others, I was a sewer - what one would now call a fashion sewer because for some reason or other you have to identify "what" you sew. I was okay at it, even made a few things that I actually wore!

I came across this book, Refrigerator Quilts, many years ago and it really got my attention. Not because I was into quilting, but because it was a way to get some of those really cute drawings my kids were making OFF my refrigerator! The basic idea was transferring your child's art onto fabric and it seemed really easy and it was small, which meant that it wouldn't take long either.

So I jumped right in. My son had made this picture of a submarine that he really loved, but it was starting to look kind of ragged. I decided to try my hand at this quilt thing. And I loved it!

Now this was not high art, but it was really fun, and it was my son's picture. It still hangs in his room and he just graduated from college! So the quilt bug has bit and I'm glad it did. Even your kid's art can SA(y) Quilt!


Monday, May 9, 2011

Welcome to SA Quilts

It has been pointed out to me by family and friends that I should be telling the world about the quilts I make. Not that I think they are extra special - though most people think they are nice. (Thank you!) I haven't ever sold one, nor entered one in a show. I'm still a little timid for that. Every one that I've made has gone to someone else though, and that's been good enough for me. But, I would like to share a little more. So here's my latest quilt. It was made for my son, to celebrate his commissioning into the Army as a 2nd Lt. The pattern is from Eleanor Burns book, Star Spangled Favorites. It is actually one of the few quilts that I've done that's machine pieced and quilted. I'm one of those that like to hand quilt. (I heard that moaning.) I find hand quilting peaceful; with machine quilting I'm always worried that I'm not doing it right. Maybe that feeling will go away with practice. Hope you like it. Let me know what you think. In the meantime remember, lots of things SA(y) Quilts