Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dancing Digital Quilts

Spinning pinwheels. . .  Waltzing fans. . . .  Dancing log cabins. . . .  Here's a wonderful 6 minute film presented by the National Film Board of Canada.  You are sure to dance a jig on the way to your sewing machine.
QUILT Directed by Gayle Thomas, Music by Normand Roger

Thanks Linda for sharing this delightful video!
If only I could quilt and sew as quickly as this QUILT film!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sizzling Summer Sewing

When it's too hot to garden, what's a gal or guy to do?  My solution is sew, sew, sew.  Summer sewing is ingrained into my being.  It first started with summer 4-H sewing projects.  Lugging my Mom's sewing machine to the county fair grounds to sew in the 4-H building - a hot, raw quonset.  This structure certainly served its purpose as a gathering place for teens and their projects, but wow, the summer heat of that building still sears my memory.  Even when living in NYC I spent many summer weekends shopping in the fabric district and sewing on weekends.  Two weeks ago I posted summer sewing projects of a few friends, so now I'll show you a few things in my stitching que:

Connie Crawford for Butterick #5047
Well actually I can cross this project off my list.  It's finished, has been professional pressed and I have already worn it twice.  This wool blend two piece dress is a Butterick pattern designed by Connie Crawford.  I love the princess seams and 3/4 length sleeves.  For a little bling Swarovski buttons were used.  The pinwheel skirt with 8 panels was fun to sew.  I love the flair and ease of this pattern, in fact I plan to make it again in a fuchsia wool gabardine.  I am still trying to master fit, and did a very good job of fitting the jacket front - the princess seams were so easy to tweak for my curves.  Next time I'll have to concentrate more on fitting my back jacket, but I just cannot coordinate my hands and pins with my back in a mirror - you know what I mean?  Perhaps it really is time to get a dress form!

Fashion Patterns by Connie #CS1001 Spiral Wrap
Here's another Connie Crawford pattern that I love.  In fact when I saw Connie last month in Chicago I tried on her Spiral Wrap sample - see my June 3rd post - I'm modeling her wrap and wearing my gray wool two piece dress.  Wool is my all time favorite fabric.  While at the 2011 Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, WA I found this beautiful Pendleton wool plaid in tones of pink.  I cut the wrap out a couple days ago and now just need to serge the edges.  A fast and fun fashion accessory to punch up my wardrobe!
Fashion in Harmony #803 Magic Bias Dress
My favorite dress to wear while teaching and promoting SCHMETZ at consumer sewing shows is my Magic Bias Dress by Fashion in Harmony.  My current dress is made of polyester knit in two-tone blue, black and white circles, then has a black and cream stripe bias insert.  It's an unusal looking dress that travels well, looks great and is comfortable.  I just cut out this same pattern in a luxurious black Italian wool crepe.  The entire dress is cut on the bias.  I can only imagine how wonderful this bias dress will drape and feel.  Magical, I'm sure!

Jan Bones Lingerie Secrets V Neck Camisole
Jan Bones is a master at lingerie design and construction - I would love to take one of her classes.  In March at the Sewing and Stitchery Expo I picked up a few of her patterns.  This wonderful little V-Neck Camisole is already cut out of a bright yellow print rayon.  I was hoping to have enough fabric to make a matching skirt, but will have to opt for a coordinating skirt - maybe, we will see.  Although this is a lingerie pattern, it translates nicely into a casual summer top that will be worn with a little skirt or jeans.

14 Sizzling Summer Sewing Projects
A few days ago on the guest room bed I lined up my summer sewing projects - 14 in waiting!  I will be showing them or wearing them at upcoming sewing shows.  When it's too hot to garden, I'll be inside stitching away with the comfort of air conditioning and enjoying the garden view from my sewing room. 

What are your summer sewing projects?


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Quilting, Stitches & Craft Expo, Reno 2011

Reno - The Biggest Little City in the World, - was host to the Quilting, Stitches and Crafts Expo at the Grand Sierra Resort.  The Midwest Ya Ya Sisters performed a hilarious gig with Midwest practicality, sewing know-how and lots of laughs.  Rita is the master of the t-shirt make-over especially with zebra stripes while Mary cleverly repurposes shrunken wool sweaters. 

Rita and Mary each taught separate classes earlier in the day.  Rita, author of Life is Not a Dress Size, talked about "feeling like Cher and looking like Rosanne", in other words, living in the fat lane with a positive outlook regardless of body type.  Rita says, "Be comfortable with your body and let your love of sewing dress you well."
Find comfort and confidence in great looking jackets.
Rita and an enthusiast student.
Mary, the Sweatshirt and Applique Goddess inspired students with her latest clever ideas for fashionable cooks, nontraditional zipper uses and sew green makeovers. 

Mary teaching from her books and patterns.
Don't miss a chance to see the dueling Midwest Ya Ya Sisters.  Laughter will keep you rolling in the aisle, while wit will sneak up with useful "a ha" moments.
Mary and Rita with a Midwest Ya Ya fan!
One of the pleasures of doing a consumer show is seeing creative outfits.  This is one of my favorites.

Love the black and white floral pin which...
relates to the black and white dots on the back.  Great use of color blocking to show off quilt motifs!
Another delight was meeting Cindy Walter, author of Snippet Sensations.  Cindy is a master at pictorial quilts.  She taught a class Pictorial Snippet Sensations using her fusible technique that makes complex landscape quilts not only accessible, but a snap.  Cindy's favorite needle is SCHMETZ Topstitch size 90.

Cindy and Snippet Sensations
Cindy has a new book coming out soon on fabric painting and I got to see the cover quilt.  Colorful and ...... I look forward to seeing this new book.

Cindy with the cover quilt of her new book, Fabric Painting 
 Check dates for more upcoming QSC Expos this fall in Cincinnati, Lincoln and Oklahoma City.