Monday, January 15, 2018

Tiny Dresden Party week 2

The tiny dresden party continues over on Instagram! I shared my week one finishes here. I was having so much fun making embellished hoops I decided to keep on making them! Two more finished for week two....
As before, my dresdens are smaller than 5 inches. I love adding chain stitch and sequins...
And this one has an aqua sequined center and tiny black beads at the dresden points...
All of the colorful sequins and tiny beads were creating a mess in my studio. Not that I'm a neat-nick or anything (confession, I'm NOT) but they were making me a bit crazy and needed to be reigned in. Hobby Lobby to the rescue! Check out these tiny jars.....

Perfect for tiny embellishments. Twelve jars come in each cute little case....
which snaps securely closed. Each case was only $3.99. So of course I bought several. Two are already full...
still working on perfect storage for my embroidery floss.....l

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Tiny Dresden Party

Deidre over at Quilty Obsession has introduced  a fun sew along over on instagram #tinydresdenparty. You'll want to check out all of the amazing things being shared on that hashtag! So much fun. The idea is to create dresdens smaller than 5" diameter & make things from them. Always the rule breaker (in sewing anyways, I'm totally a rule follower in life), I have been making tiny dresdens from my solid scraps.
These all measure 4 1/2 - 5 inches across. Crazy! Also, I didn't want huge holes in the center of my tiny dresdens (although many over on instagram are fussy cutting fabulous large circles for their centers).  I made myself templates using my various dresden rulers. I simply extended the narrow edge of the templates, continuing the same angle, until the bottom of each wedge was just over 1/2". This way when I created my dresdens, I ended up with small holes in the center.

Tons of instagramers (is that a word?) are putting their tiny dresdens on pin cushions or pouches and they are so cute! I decided I wanted to put mine into hoops & add embroidery and embellishments. I chose the rainbow dresden for my first week's hoop
After I appliqu├ęd my dresden to a black grunge background, I filled the center hole with tiny black sequins.
I added some chain stitch lines to match each wedge and then, because I simply couldn't leave well enough alone, I filled the negative space with more tiny black sequins.
I love this in a 7 inch hoop. And yes, I decided the hoop needed to be black. Did I have any black paint? No. Sharpie marker to the rescue! I only had one hoop this size, so I'm waiting on an Amazon order to continue this project.

Stay tuned for more tiny dresden hoops to come.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

What to wear Wednesday - The Hudson Pant

In an effort to keep myself accountable to my goal of sewing more garments for my wardrobe in 2018, I've created new blog feature. What to wear Wednesday will be a frequent (first I typed weekly, but who am I kidding?) topic here at ellyn's place to keep you up to date on patterns I'm sewing, what worked (and didn't!) for me and the like.

So what am I wearing today? One of my many Linden Sweatshirts that I chatted about here. The Linden  is a Grainline Studio pattern and has quickly become one of my favorites. My closet is currently overflowing with them.... no doubt you'll see more of them popping up here on the blog down the road. And my pants? A new discovery, The Hudson Pant by True Bias. This is the first pair of Hudson's I've made and they are a big win for me! (there might be a second pair all cut out and ready to sew on my cutting table. maybe. probably.)
In these cold winter days of couch lounging, waiting for healing, watching The Crown, the Hudson pants are a perfect fit. I was worried that the bands at the bottom of the leg would not accommodate my fancy leg brace, but miraculously they do! So, with a long top, I've even been able to wear these out of the house with shoes. Big plus!

I had never used a True Bias pattern before, and I was very impressed. The attention to detail is fantastic.... trim on the side seam pockets, stitched down wide elastic band, drawstring and previously mentioned ankle bands. Despite the extra details, the pattern was easy to follow, and a quick make. I used a double knit from Joanns which sounds like old lady fabric but is so cute & was a great weight and stretch for this pattern. I made the size that matched my measurements and it fits perfectly. I did take about 2 inches off the length, next time I will make them about an inch longer, but this pair is perfectly wearable. Seriously, I wear them nearly every day and need a pair in every color.

What's your go to garment pattern this winter?



Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 Word of the Year

Happy New Year friends! Boy am I ready for 2018. Don't get me wrong, I had much to be thankful for in 2017. We kicked the year off with a big party for my awesome dad's 80th birthday, hubby and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary with a California baseball trip, there were family weddings, babies to celebrate, trips to awesome places and wonderful things to create. But the year ended on a difficult note for me, with surgeries, complications and frustration. I'm ready for healing and a new beginning! Who's with me?

My word for 2018 came to me a couple of months ago. At that time, a big international trip was planned for this coming summer and I was beyond excited. More on that at a later date, as the trip has been tabled for now. Maybe 2019? I'm hopeful. But still, the word remains!
Already my journey for 2018 looks different than I had planned but that's ok. God has things planned for me and I will stretch (literally! Ha!) and grow in ways I never knew were possible. I plan to finish 2018 stronger than I've ever been.

Oh, and there are still plenty of trips planned which will be part of my journey! Beginning with Quiltcon next month. I'm really looking forward to that!

I don't really do "resolutions" but I do have a couple of sewing goals for the coming year:

1) Expand my handmade wardrobe and try some new garment patterns. 
2) Experiment more with improv quilting.

Do you have any big plans for the new year? Do you choose a word? Do share!

Friday, December 29, 2017

2017 the year of the dresden

2017 was a fun year in my studio! As usual, it took me places I didn't expect and I learned so much. If I had to name my year, it would be the year of the dresden. The year kicked off with the creation of my funky dresden....
Which evolved into a tutorial and instagram sew along (my first!) which was lots of fun....
Dresden play continued and found it's way into my Riley Blake challenge minis...
And then I came up with my spiral dresden, which is heading to New York to live...
My MQG sponsored a dresden swap, and you better believe I was all over that! Here are the dresdens I received in the swap....

And the quilt I created with them...

Whew, that's a lot of dresdens. I thought I'd be moving on to something new in 2018, and then I saw the #tinydresdenparty announced over at Quilty Obsession and I knew I'd be joining in (it starts January 3). Spoiler alert, I've already made 2 tiny dresden for the party..... here we go again!

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

repairing a family heirloom

A dear friend entrusted me with repairing a quilt that her ancestors had made, so it would be a useable snuggle quilt to hand down to her daughter. I was honored to have this special job. Upon evaluation, I understood that this was not a quilt "restoration" but rather a repair. The original quilt, while a treasure, was constructed in an interesting manner. Kind of a haphazard patchwork, done on muslin squares, almost foundation pieced if that makes sense. The fabrics used were all treasured memories, some cottons, flannels, even some knits here and there.
The muslin squares were then all pieced together but no backing was added. A thin binding encased it all, and the binding was wearing away. Here's what the back of the quilt was like...
There were 10 or 12 places in the quilt top where patches were worn away like this one...
At the wise advice of my friend Diann, I created patches with appropriate scraps from my stash, like this vintage feedsack, and zigzagged them on top to match the other pieces of the quilt....
After I was done, I had a hard time spotting some of my repairs! A good thing I think. I took the whole repaired top to Diann for some long arm magic, using a lightweight wool batting and an aqua floral wideback. I bound the whole thing with the same aqua floral. 

The quilt has been lovingly presented to it's new owner and the word I got is that she loves it! yay!





Monday, December 18, 2017

handwoven trees tutorial

Hello Friends! Sorry I disappeared for a bit. There are lots of factors.... secret sewing that I can't share just yet, general holiday business and ongoing health issues that I hope to resolve very soon. That said, I'm back! I wanted to share some fun ornaments I made to share with my friends this year.

They were fun and quick to make. I thought I'd share a little how to here.... I started out with scraps of my handwoven fabric that I had been saving for an "unknown project", a bit of interfacing,  some wool felt, a bit of batting and ribbon.
I backed the woven fabric scraps with bits of interfacing (I like SF 101) and cut tree shapes with my rotary cutter. At this point, the edges of the weaving are not stitched, so raveling is a risk! Treat the little trees gingerly until you have them stitched down.

Layer a scrap of felt, a small triangle of batting (you can't see it here) and a tree and pin it down.
Take it to the machine & zigzag around the edges of the tree, tucking a loop of ribbon between the layers when you reach the peak. I tied a knot in the ribbon to secure it inside my ornament.

After you've stitched the trees down, carefully cut away the felt around the edges (Don't cut your stitching! But if you do, take it right back to the machine and restitch. It'll be fine. Don't ask me how I know this!)
Aren't they fun! And so quick to make I couldn't seem to stop...

Have you been making Christmas decorations this year?