Wednesday, 11 December 2013
With only a couple of weeks to Christmas, there are oh, so many better things I could be doing. Instead, I've started a new quilt.
I think it's clear where the colour palette came from for this one. The inspiration fabric is Domestic Bliss by Liz Scott. Isn't it absolutely yummy? I bought it ages ago from Spool of Thread as an option for a customer on another quilt project. They didn't go for this particular fabric, so I've been stashing it away to use on something special. Their loss is my gain! The colour palette is just so unique. Don't you just love it?!
I usually limit myself to smaller baby size quilts unless I am working on a made-to-order quilt for a customer. However, I've seen so many awesome large scale quilts on Pinterest lately, I wanted to do one myself. I've used mainly solid fabrics with just a few prints thrown in to break things up. With only two massive blocks in the whole thing, it's a very, very simple, clean design.
At nearly 80 x 80 inches, does anyone want to fancy how many hours it will take me to complete this quilt?
I think I'll pop on over to Freshly Pieced and link up with WIP Wednesday.
Sunday, 8 December 2013
These personalised patchwork stockings were recently shipped off to a customer back home in Canada. Today I got a lovely email with the sweetest thank you from the buyer so I know they arrived safely and I'm in the clear to share these pics here on the ol' Milkybeer blog. I'm so incredibly pleased with how these turned out and so is the customer!
The design is based on the DIY tutorial I posted a few weeks ago [still plenty of time to whip up your own before the holidays!] but with a layer of batting added to the back and a cuff and cross-stitched names added to the top. The customer chose the fabrics from a wider selection of options I photographed for her to choose from. We decided early on to go for a monochromatic colour scheme on each one and I love, love, love how it turned out. Not a Christmas fabric in the bunch, but don't they look festive?!
I plan to add stockings to the shop for next Christmas season as custom order items. They will be available in a range of colours (at least these three) and could be personalised or left plain. If you're a super keener and know that you would like to order some for you family for next Christmas, drop me a line at heymilkybeer[at]gmail[dot]com. The cut-off for ordering will likely be early to mid-November 2014.
Also, may I just say how weird it is making stockings and getting ready for Christmas in the heat of summer? It just feels so bizarre. Guess I'd better get used to it though!
Sunday, 1 December 2013
This is one of my favourite pictures of Little miss Abner. It was taken a little over one year ago when the two of us did a mommy-daughter road trip while TDSH was away in a little place we'd never heard of called Dunedin for a job interview.
One of the many reasons I love this picture is that cute little tank top she's wearing. We both love that top. It's been a go-to in all seasons for the past couple of years. Sadly, it's getting a wee bit small these days and will soon be retired and sent to friends for their little girl to enjoy. Before passing it on, I used it as the inspiration for a new top that should fit Abner for many years to come.
I used the same knit black and white stripe fabric I used on my own stripey top a few months back and traced around the original top adding a few centimetres here and there to increase the size just a bit. The finished top is perhaps a bit too big at the moment, but that hasn't stopped Abner from wearing it several times in the past couple of weeks. She reminds me almost daily how much she likes wearing her mama-made clothes. I will keep pumping them out until she tells me to stop!
The heart (the kids call them 'love hearts' here...I don't know why) was painted on with many, many layers of iridescent purple fabric paint (chosen after much deliberation by Abner herself). I used tape to mask out the heart shape. It worked pretty well but it did bleed through in a couple of spots. Abner assures me this doesn't bother her one bit - phew! She had such a hard time waiting for all those layers of paint to dry! My little girl is many things, but patient is not always one of them (I wonder where she gets that from?!)
I still have another hunk of that stripey fabric left - just enough for another kids' project. What do you think I should make with the last bit of it?
Thursday, 28 November 2013
Saturday, 16 November 2013
The thing about craft books is that you can never have too many. Am I right? I picked up these two recently on a whim and have been enjoying thumbing through both. I find craft books so inspiring. The projects are always stunning and seam so...attainable in all their glossy glory. I mean come on, they make it look so easy, all perfectly lit, beautifully styled, professionally photographed and, well, complete.
In the Liberty book, I'm particularly liking this Mad Plaid Quilt. I've been struggling with quilt designs lately, and I find the simplicity of this one very appealing.
Ditto for this Seashore Baby Quilt. It reminds me of one of Denyse Schmidt's designs from a few years ago. Sigh. Everything looks so pretty done with Liberty fabrics, doesn't it.
I pretty much bought the Makery book based on this Cuckoo Clock project. A fabric clock? Yes, please!
I've also had my eye on the Hand-carved Rubber Stamps. I'm pretty sure I could figure out how to make these myself, but it's always good to learn from those with more experience. Crafty authors are so good about including helpful tips alongside the basic instructions.
On a somewhat related note, I've made up a few fabric bookmarks which will be on sale at the Northern Artery Christmas Market on November 30. Have you seen these before? They just slip over the corner of your page(s) to mark your spot in a book. Yet another great scrap-busting project.
Thursday, 14 November 2013
Don't you love it when you finally get to cross something off your to-do list? This dress was one of those things for me. I bought the fabric something like four months ago always intending to make up a dress for Abner. Perhaps it's the raindrops on the fabric reminding me of rainy Vancouver, but I think it is just the sweetest fabric. The other day, I wound up chopping into it and using some to make a wee skirt for a little friend's birthday. Luckily there was enough and motivation leftover to whip up this little pillowcase-style dress. Here are some quick instructions if you want to make your own:
DIY Rainy Day Pillowcase DressYou will need: fabric, thread, 3/4" elastic, double fold bias tape, scissors and a marking tool.
For this dress, you’ll use the full width of fabric from selvedge to selvedge. Determine how long you’d like the finished length to be; then add 2 1/2" to that measurement and cut the fabric that length from selvedge to selvedge.
Fold the fabric in half, with the right sides together, and align and pin the selvedge edges. Stitch the pinned edges just outside the fabric's selvedge edges (i.e. you don't want the selvedges to show once the dress is turned right side around). Press the seam.
Fold the bottom edge 1/2" to the wrong side and press all the way around. Fold the edge 1/2" again creating the hem. Press. Edge stitch along the folded edge to secure the hem all the way around. Press.
Place the fabric flat on your cutting table with the wrong side out, the hemmed edge at the bottom nearest you, and the seam running along either the right or left side (it doesn't matter which).
Measure and mark a spot approximately approximately 3" in from each side edge along the top of the fabric. Measure and mark a spot approximately 4-5" down from the top along each side edge (one will be on a fold, the other will be on your stitched side seam). Mark a curved line joining the two marks on each side to make the outline of the armholes. Cut along marked line.
On both the front and back of the dress, fold down the top edge 1/2" to the wrong side. Press. Fold down the top edge 1" to the wrong side once again and press to create a channel for the elastic.
Cut two lengths of elastic slightly shorter than the distance between your child's armpits. You can use one of their t-shirts to measure if your child doesn't want to cooperate.
Thread your elastic through the channel using a safety pin. Make sure the elastic does not get pulled into the channel at either end. Use pins to secure both ends in place even with the edges of the fabric. Stitch them in place staying fairly close to the edge of the fabric.
Cut approximately 30" of double fold bias tape for the each tie. Fold each length in half to establish the middle point.
Align the middle point of the bias tape with the centre of each arm hole (where the side seam is on one side and the fold is on the other). Pin the bias tape in place with the dress fabric simply tucked into the centre fold of the bias tape.
Stitch the bias tape in place using a zig zag stitch. Be sure to keep the dress fabric securely in place within the bias tape, especially at the elastic ends which are a bit harder to sew over. Start and finish your stitches just past either edge of the dress (i.e. don't zig zag the full length of the bias tape, just where it contains the dress fabric).
Finish the dress by tying knots at the ends of the bias tape ties.