Monthly Archives: June 2013

Tiny dress and wee backpack

Before she left for camp, my daughter suggested that her Bunny needed a new summer dress, and that Bunny would probably like this Liberty print–Hot Pink Wiltshire (gorgeous!).9522_zoomI guess Bunny and Betty have excellent taste in fabric. For the dress, I made a paper pattern from Bunny’s existing dress. I machine stitched the side seams and serged the edges, then hand sewed the hem, neck and armholes using a blanket stitch. A perfect fit!

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Piglet is her other sleeping pal, so I thought he deserved something, too. This little backpack was really fun to make. I had a rough idea of how to make it, but made it up as I went along. I am seriously spatially challenged (never ask me for directions) so sewing the flap, straps and lining to the exterior in the correct orientation took a few tries–but it’s good to exercise my brain, right? I wish I had placed the straps closer together at the top for a better fit, but otherwise it’s pretty awesome. I got completely carried away and put some salt water taffy and a welcome home note in the backpack for Betty to find on her return from camp. Aww!

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Besides needing a distraction from missing my kiddo, I am also procrastinating a little. I bought three yards (!) of Liberty (Betsy Blue) to make a Lisette Traveler Dress. I made one version of the dress last year, so I know the pattern is not beyond my skill level, but I need to work up the courage to cut into this lovely fabric. I got some delightful encouragement from Florence at Flossie Teacakes, who very kindly replied to my question about prewashing fabric for dressmaking. Florence is a seamstress extrordinaire, a charming writer, and a Liberty expert so it was a real treat to correspond with her. The answer, by the way, is an emphatic yes.

Nautical baby quilt

_DSC0647Anyone who knows me, knows that I love stripes. I bought my first striped bateau shirt from Isle of You (!) in Ithaca, NY, and I have had at least one in my wardrobe ever since. My husband and I just visited Charleston, SC, for the first time. It is a very jaunty town with nautical stripes at every turn. Just my sort of place. I came home inspired to use my favorite pattern in a little baby quilt. This cream and navy stripe is the classic Breton pattern, with a broad band of cream at the top. I hand appliqued the heart at the top–I like how the red pops and adds a little more fun.

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I was excited to use wool batting for the first time–wool is such a great material for a baby blanket. Wool keeps little ones cool in summer and warm in winter, and is incredibly cozy. Best of all, the batting is superwash wool and can be machine washed and dried. I thought it might be difficult to sew–especially since you stitch with the batting facing out–but it was really lovely to work with. The pattern is adapted from the Purl Bee Lap Duvet. (I used Kona quilting cotton rather than double gauze and lengthened the quilting stitches to make this quilt durable enough to withstand lots of washings.) I really like how the lack of binding and the minimal quilting makes this quilt so lofty, and the wool is lighter than even the lightest cotton batting. This quilt would work equally well as a play mat, stroller blanket, or crib blanket.

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I tried all kinds of patterned fabrics for the backing but ended up using the solid cream. I like the sweet simplicity of the finished quilt.

You can find this quilt in my Etsy shop!

I am thinking of making a cream and coral version next…

Stacks table runner

_DSC0592 I made this table runner for Ellison Lane’s Modern Mini Quilt Challenge. A first for me! I love how open this challenge is–entries just have to be not too big or not too small. I was excited to try out a palette and style that I am thinking of for a baby quilt. I threw in some neutrals between the brights so the design wouldn’t be overwhelming. For the binding, I wanted something other than the white (Kona Bone), but I didn’t want to create a strong frame–so I opted for Kona Ash, which is a nice soft gray. The cool gray offsets the warm colors in the design, which I think strikes a nice balance.¬† The table runner is in my Etsy shop!

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Check out the other entries in the challenge–there is some really lovely work. I especially like the entries from Joanna at Shape Moth, Laura from x.o, and Kim and Windsor and Main. Next up for me is a striped play mat with wool batting that I am really looking forward to getting started.

I am linking up with Jennifer’s Modern Mini Challenge!

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Patchwork coasters

ImageSometimes I wonder about saving odds and ends–will I ever use the strips of batting left over from a quilt? As a former New Yorker I am vigilant about clutter, if I don’t wear something for a full year out it goes. But having a stash of odds and ends is great when you want to make something right away and without a lot of thinking. Some of the best meals are made from what you have on hand–and projects made from leftovers can have that same sort of creativity from necessity. ¬†These coasters were made entirely from things left over–Essex linen from a skirt and a hat, Liberty Tana Lawn from the same hat, and those strips of batting. They were also really easy to make–a very basic log cabin on the front, a 4.5 inch square of red Essex on the back, and a 4.5 inch square of batting stitched in between. I consulted Denyse Schmidt’s Quilts for the basic technique, and about an hour later I had some pretty coasters ready for ice cold summer drinks.

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Quilt photograhpy

_DSC0545I am so excited to be opening my Etsy shop, Brigit Gail. Ever since I started quilting, I’ve wondered what would happen when I ran out of beds in my home or babies to make quilts for. Would I have to stop making quilts or stack my beauties in a closet? I can’t quite convince my husband that hanging quilts on the wall is really great design–no matter how pretty the quilt–and an unused quilt is a sad thing. Quilts are meant to snuggle under, picnic on, and travel with. Opening an Etsy shop is the perfect solution. It couldn’t be easier–Etsy is a modern marvel. Except for the photography. The bright colors that I love, it turns out, are very hard to capture accurately. The pink (Kona cotton camellia) in this quilt was especially tricky. My husband has been a very patient assistant–see the very edges of his fingers holding oh so steady? And, here is a close up …

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