Saturday, January 1, 2011

Under the sea quilt is over my head

Happy New Year! Or as Jack has been telling everyone, "Happy New You!" I'm typing (and sewing) without the use of my pinkie finger, because I jammed it last night. Did I mention I dropped my laptop on my toe in the airport on the way to Seattle and it was all bloody and bruised and mangled? Pregnancy is making me CLUMSY. 

Even stinky baby cousins like the quilt!

I decided it's time for me to learn how to sew for realz. I sort of fake sew, like Nipper Knapp fake plays the piano. That's what he calls it. If you walked into a room and heard him playing you'd think "that guy can play the piano". But no, he insists he's only faking it. I'm the same way with sewing. I sort of muddle through and figure stuff out, but I don't know any rules, or tricks, or how to follow directions. Unless of course those directions are written by one Ms. Pickel of Swimming In Brine. More on her later. 

The doll's quilt is kind of hard to see. Like quilt camouflage.

I gave sweet sweet Anoushka her quilt and matching doll's quilt for Christmas. She loved them. My stepmother loved it too, but all I could see was the flaws. I really wanted to learn how to make a proper quilt, from a proper pattern, using the proper terminology. But I didn't want to make some musty old amish looking thing. So I googled "mod quilt". Dudes, there is so much good stuff out there. The first thing that comes up is this genius site called Oh Frannson!. The next site I stumbled on was Kate Conklin Designs. Perfect!

Kate Conklin Sea Views Quilt

My stepmother really liked Anoushka's quilt, so I thought I'd make one for her and my dad for their new camper. They camp in the Florida Keys for the winter. I asked about colors, and she said she'd have to think about it, but my dad said her favorite color is turquoise. I started looking through the fabrics I have and found I actually have a whole bunch of the Heather Ross Mendocino in blue left. I went to Michael Levine downtown and bought a few more yards of similar colored fabric and my quilt theme was born. UNDER THE SEA!!! Perfect for camping by the ocean under a palm tree. Lucky me, lucky me, Kate Conklin happens to have a pattern called "Sea Views". Looked simple enough so I downloaded it. Uhm...

The fabrics I chose. Some Heather Ross Mendocino, and some of her Far Far Away 2 Cats and fiddles in sailboats. So cute! 

Yeah, I don't know how to sew wavy lines, and This Conklin lady SAYS it's easy as pie, but she is a liar, or at the very least a very bad explainer. (just kidding, I heart her for making this great pattern, I'm just not smart) She's Aussie so maybe there's a language barrier. When she says things like take the top piece and wiggle it, that means nothing to me. It's also entirely possible, that you know, I'm in over my head, sewing a project not meant for a FAKE SEAMSTRESS. 

No worries. I have backup. I email Nicole over at Swimming in Brine. I'm telling you this woman should start a school or an online tutorial service, or a pattern making business. She is not only an amazing seamstress and designer, she is a great teacher! She thoroughly explained to me, how to sew the inside lining of my Christmas stockings to that there would be no seams showing. And now, she showed me how to sew a wavy line. Genius.  

I'm including her full explanation and PHOTOS that she sent 1/2 after I emailed begging for help. She sat down, and actually sewed something and took pictures. I'm telling you, the girl is a mensch. Once she gave me her explanation, the whole thing IS in fact easy as pie, and now I plan to be sewing up a storm, so get ready for quilt city Grandma Kare. 

My post Pickel tutorial wavy lines on test fabric. Perfecto! 

In the meantime, here is the tutorial for anyone that wants to make the Kate Conklin Sea Views quilt, and is a dumb dumb like me.

1) cut a piece of fabric in half with wavy line. 2) flip one half so right sides are together...seams do not match - don't panic. 3) make the first part of seam match and start sewing with a small seam allowance (i use 1/8"). if you use a bigger seam allowance, you will need to do a lot more snipping (see step 7) and/or trim the entire seam allowance with pinking shears, so that the seam allowance fabric can "bend" around the curves. 4,5) as you sew, keep moving the top layer so that the edges stay together. make sure the needle is in the down position any time you do any wiggling. 6) you should end up with a semi-ugly seam. 7) iron the seam (i ironed it open), cutting little slices into the seam allowance in any hard curves where one side of the seam doesn't want to lay flat. 8) spray with starch and iron from the should be golden. 

starch is your friend. use it GENEROUSLY, because it not only makes things iron pretty and flat, it helps them stay the way you intended, AND it is sizing, so the fabric won't stretch and buckle when you do lots of piecing. i have never actually measured, but i wouldn't be surprised if i use a half a bottle of starch per quilt. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you were able to figure it out. This video might help explain my method :)