Thursday, May 14, 2015

Cutting Bias Strips for Bindings or Applique

I'm in the process of writing my first actual pattern and I'm pretty excited about it! If you follow me on Instagram, you've likely already seen my pie-filled picnic quilt. If you haven't, here's a little preview:

The pattern is currently being tested by some lovely ladies and I'm hoping to release it mid-June.

Anyway, as I was building the pattern and looking for a tutorial for cutting bias strips, I could only find tutorials for continuous bias strips. But I threw a mini hissy fit because I didn't want continuous bias strips--that meant drawing lines and cutting with scissors. I can't trust myself to cut straight lines with scissors. So after watching about sixty YouTube videos, I figured it out. In case any of you want to make bias binding for quilts with curvy edges, or strips for use in applique, or for finishing edges of your handmade garments, I put together a PDF guide for you. Feel free to print it, pin it, share it, or totally ignore it altogether. I made the images for my pattern but I thought they might be useful for other people who don't like the idea of continuous bias cutting. 

I can't get it to embed in the actual post. Oops. But that will take you to my Google Drive page, where you can download it!

Until next time,


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Me Made May 2015

Are you participating in MeMadeMay this month? If you're not familiar, it's a month to wear all the fabulous handmade garments you've made. I'm definitely going to challenge myself to wear something I've made every day of the month. Over the past year, I've been learning how to make garments and I'm excited to show it all off this month. Here are a few of my favorite dresses/tops/skirts:

Bess Top, Simplicity hack, AMH Flirting the Issue, Washi dress.

I'll be blogging this month about sewing with Liberty, using bias tapes to finish garments, and a few other random things. There are a few giveaways coming up, too!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Remembering Nan

About twelve years ago, I made my first quilt. My grandma helped me learn to sew straight lines and rip out my slightly imperfect seams. She taught me how to use an iron and how to choose fabrics. After it was pieced, she guided my quilting. She showed me how to bind a quilt and hand sew the binding. I was eight years old.

When I was eleven, I went to my aunt's house and told her I wanted to make a quilt for my baby cousin. It was simple squares with straight line quilting, but I got it done in time for her birth without the help of my grandma. (The baby is now nine years old and on the right)

A few months later, I told my grandma I wanted to make a quilt for another cousin. His nursery had a nautical theme, so she showed me how to paper piece sailboats and anchors. The quilt was never finished, but I found a few of the blocks when I was looking through a box of mementos from my grandma's sewing room.

Last August, I completed the Forest Abstractions quilt after reteaching myself the same technique my grandma had eight years earlier.

When I was thirteen, I begged her to teach me to read patterns while we were at Joann's one day. She decided on a simple apron pattern and helped me make three. We spent the entire day cutting out patterns, trying to sew hems on curved pieces, and she showed me how to sew on ric rac. I don't think I've ever worn any of the aprons--in fact, I have no clue where to find them at the moment. But I was excited to finish them and be able to say that I'd sewn an actual article of clothing.

When I was seventeen, I decided to sew my prom dress instead of convincing my parents to spend hundreds of dollars on something I'd wear for a few hours. It took me a month to figure out how to work with satin and 16 yards of gathered tulle. But I finished it without the help of my grandma. But this time, it wasn't by choice. She had passed away the year before, and no matter how much I wanted her help, I couldn't go to her with all of my questions.

Today marks the fourth anniversary of her last day. In four years, I've come quite far in my sewing adventures. In the past year, I've made fifteen quilts (and an unknown amount of minis). I've sewn too many bags and added to my wardrobe with apparel made by my own two hands.

I have an unmanageable amount of memories drifting through my mind today, so I'm going to end the post here. My grandma left quite a mark on her local quilting community and on me. As much as I wish I could turn to her with questions, I'm incredibly grateful for the online communities I'm a part of that so kindly offer help when I need it. So I'm going to start blogging what I'm doing in an attempt to give back to a group of people who have already helped me so much. 

Until next time,