All posts by teresa

Supernova is a pattern!

Supernova

Last month I participated in Jennifer Sampou‘s Black and White Collection blog hop via the work blog, but I’m so happy about how it turned out, I just wanted to share it here as well! We got to choose our own pattern (or make up our own) for  each stop along the way. I’ve learned to really love this Winding Ways block and wanted to use that. I set to work with a pencil and a Winding Ways blank template.

winding ways supernovaOne of the things that I really love about this pattern is all the intersecting circles and how they play with each other depending on where you put color and where you don’t.

I can sit and color in those blocks for hours, erasing and re-arranging until everyone has locked the doors and gone home.

 

I can’t say I figured this out on my own, either. It was thanks to doing work with Luke Haynes on this Moda quilt that I learned just how entertaining this traditional block can be when fiddled with.

sorry for the iPhone shot, but it's all I can find :(
sorry for the iPhone shot, but it’s all I can find :(

I played with it until I settled on a design, got the fabric and set to work on cutting out the pieces (thank you, Accuquilt) and piecing, piecing, piecing. I did a lot of these blocks one at a time, which I tend not to do (I love chain piecing more than almost anything), but since it was a pretty finicky pattern and I was making it up on the fly, I needed to get it right.

If you look close enough, though, you’ll notice that I didn’t get it quite right. Let’s call that a “design choice” or a “only God makes perfect things” decision.

Yeah, that’s it.

The quilt was featured on the third day of the hop and I was super happy to see it get so many likes on Instagram. I know, it sounds silly and superficial, but really…it’s hard putting your work out there to be judged. And I’ve seen more than a few designers ripped a new one over their designs and it is not pretty. Luckily this one was liked.

20150208-050158-18118064.jpgA lot. And people asked for a pattern. (What the what?!?)

So I asked my boss if we should do a pattern through work or if I should do it on my own.

She said they’d do it (which is great because their graphic designer is WAY better than I could ever be). I wrote up a few guidelines, figured out quantities and then “tested” it with paper pieces.

 

Then wham-bam, there was a pattern!

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And you can get it for FREE from Fabric Depot: Supernova Quilt.

In March I’ll have a little quilt along for those who are interested in making your own version.  I’m still working out the details and trying to figure a workable timeline for everyone, so if you have feedback on what you want/like/hate about quilt alongs, leave me a comment. I’d love your input!

Introducing: the Circling Geese Squished Square Pincushion Pattern

With a name like that I might just call it the CGSSPP from now on.

Circling Geese Pincushion Pattern

It’s actually the first of a series of patterns that will be coming out with paper-pieced (also called foundation-pieced) tops and the funky construction of two squares sewn together to create a 3-D form.

Last fall I made the first of these, taking the idea from a pillow I’d seen that had flying geese in a circle. I’m the kind of crafter who thinks: I can do that. And this time I really did!

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It was a good lesson in working with Adobe Illustrator (something I’ve been struggling to do for years now), tweaking the size of the triangles, then the actual squares until I got something I was really happy with.

I’m super stoked to finally get to offer the pattern and hope to do a little teaching with it to show just how simple paper-piecing can be. Seriously, it’s perfect for stuff like this that needs precision. And once you’ve got it figured out, it takes the stress out of getting perfect seam allowances. I don’t know about you, but that’s a stressor I can definitely do without.

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I took a ton of pictures and my co-worker helped put together a classy looking little pattern. Natalie of Beyond the Reef Patterns is selling the pattern at QuiltCon for me and hopefully I will get the paper pattern into more shops soon. But for now it’s available as a download from Craftsy.

Thanks so much for everyone who’s bought one so far and I can’t wait to see your variation!

 

I -heart- this city

Coming back to Portland last July was one of the easier decisions I have had to make. I had everything worked out so well. Or at least I thought I did.

It wasn’t the easiest return after all with the house, job, boyfriend, home-life, etc. all disappearing beneath me as I landed back in Portland.

Six months later, life is settling into place and I’m loving my job at Fabric Depot. I work with some of the nicest, most understanding people I’ve had the pleasure of spending eight hours a day with. My daughter and I are getting settled (ever so slowly) in our new apartment. My son is busy traveling the globe and I’m getting ready to kick off all sorts of fun plans for 2015-16.

I have to thank Portland for my happiness these days. We’re stuck in the middle of winter and yet there are days like today when I get the opportunity to join the ex-boyfriend/now best-friend in the sky and see this city I love so much from a whole other perspective.

Portland

I’m sort of awed when I see it like this, a city with so many memories, hopes, and friends. I’m so very, very happy to be home.

Making a coat for my son

I made my son Stuart a peacoat years ago, maybe five or six years at this point. Long enough ago that the coat is showing its wear and the fit leaves something to be desired after a couple growth spurts. It was time for a new one.

Enter the Vogue 8940, a Men’s Jacket and Pants pattern, deadstock wool I’d bought for dirt cheap over the summer and leftover Radiance from a bridesmaid dress I made in the fall…suddenly I was really close to having everything I needed. Add in a bunch of buttons, some shoulder pads, new black thread (my machine really loves Superior Threads’ OmniThread), fusible interfacing and muslin.

You end up with this lovely jacket, ready just in the knick of time for my son’s first trip overseas as an adult…20150108-125026-46226883.jpg20150108-125025-46225620.jpg

I’m ridiculously proud of him for taking flight and seeing the world. (It was a secret little hope of mine when I dragged them to Asia all those years ago!) And knowing that he’ll be a bit warmer and wrapped up in some maternal love makes it all the better.

Pattern Name:Vogue 8940
Time Required: 15+ hours
Rating:  Advanced
Would I Make It Again?: Yes
What I Changed: I added an interlining of muslin to give it a little extra warmth and made bound buttonholes because they are so much classier.
Overall thoughts: It’s a great pattern and went together beautifully. I used a walking foot for most of the construction and specifically for the topstitching. This helped immensely to get it to lay nicely without any puckering. I also had to fiddle with the ease in the shoulders a bit, but on the second try got the sleeve in beautifully. I wouldn’t try this pattern as your first foray into coat-making, but if you’re comfortable with the construction techniques, it’s totally do-able.

 

 

 

Coming up for air

Oh my. It’s been a whirlwind and a half these last few months and I feel like I’m barely keeping my head above water. So much has happened over the last few months (and so much is still coming down the pike) that it’s kind of crazy when I think about it.

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Me and the wonderful Ebony Love @ Market

I got hired at the sewists’ Mecca–Fabric Depot–and three days later went to Market in Houston where I was able to meet up with my ex-sister-in-law and her family after three years apart. I saw some of my favorite people in the industry. I also fell off the sidewalk and twisted my ankle so badly that three months later, it’s still swollen. Best of times, worst of times.

I found out we can’t stay in the house we’d plan to reside in for the next two years as they’ve decided to sell it. I totally understand the reasoning, but will fully admit that it caused quite the breakdown when I first was told. I had no real income source and was looking at having my car repossessed on top of losing the one place we had to call home. There was a hell of a lot of crying there for a bit. But we’ve finally found a place and are moving (again) this next weekend to a tiny little apartment in SE Portland.

I designed and made a quilt with my friend Kell’s wooden block pattern and you can find it in the next issue of Generation Q magazine. I also made a quilt for my best friend, sewed my first Mariner’s Compass block and got around to making up the Noodlehead 241 Tote pattern that I bought way too long ago.

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Patterns coming soon

I’m working on patterns to sell, starting with pincushions and moving to clothes. Plus I bit the bullet and finally submitted a book proposal. We’ll see what becomes of it, but at this point I’m just proud of getting the idea out of my head (and secretly hoping so hard it works out!).

2015 is right around the corner and I’m looking forward to being settled with a good job, living in a neighborhood I love (hello, Hawthorne!) and knuckling down to do more pattern-making, teaching and writing. This past year was a doozy, so I’m extra hopeful that this next one is going to be much, much better.

It will be, right?