Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Family Reunion Dress

 A few weeks ago I placed an order with Sunny Day Supply for some darling fabrics. Today, I want to show you what I made with some of the yardage, Snail Trail by Cloud 9 Fabrics. I've had the Family Reunion Dress pattern, by Oliver & S, for awhile now, but this was my first attempt at sewing it.
 You know that I adore the style and creativity of the O & S patterns. This one is a keeper for sure, and one that I'll be using over and over again for my granddaughters' little dresses. This rendition is size 4 and is the largest size included in the pattern. I may have to see if they make it in larger sizes.
 Jane, who is four, is petite for her age so the neck was perhaps a little bit wide on her. I could have made the size 3 and just lengthened it if I wanted a perfect fit. But, then again, little girls grow. Right!?
 As usual, the pattern instructions were clear and clever. I love the pin tucks on both the front and the back of the bodice. Buttons down the back are my favorite closing for little dresses. For some reason, I think that it looks classier than a zipper.
 An extra special touch is the faced hem which adds body and weight to the bottom of the dress making it hang nicely.
 Together, the super cute fabric and classic design of the dress make for a darling summer frock.
I think Janie likes it too!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Hide-And-Seek Tunic

 With Spring's arrival, I'm getting the itch to sew little-girl-size clothing again!
Cotton & Steel Horses paired with Peppered Cotton look really pretty on my red-headed Lula sewn up into the Hide-And-Seek Tunic by Oliver+S.
 Since this was my first attempt at the pattern, I wasn't sure about the sizing. Although the top is supposed to be "roomy", I might make the shoulders a bit narrower the next time on this size 7 for Lula. My experience with O+S patterns has always been positive and this pattern was no exception, going together quickly and effortlessly. The dress version with welt pockets would only be a little more complicated and easy enough for anyone with a bit of garment-making experience.
 I'm thinking of trying the top again using just one fabric and leaving off the sleeves for a summery version. It might be cute to shorten it a little to wear with shorts also.
Next up, will be a sweet little O&S Family Reunion Dress for Lula's sister, Jane. Stay tuned for that soon!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Sewing With My Modern Friends

A week ago I was beginning a three day retreat with 36 of my quilting peeps in the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild.
Like last spring, we traveled to Hamilton, Missouri, visiting the lovely retreat center run by Missouri Star Quilt Company.
If we wanted to sleep, we had the most comfortable beds imaginable...
but mostly....we sewed!
Heres' my spot...and my awesome sewing partner, Ibby! What fun we had  sewing, chatting, shopping, eating!
 An unscheduled visit from Jenny Doan herself was an added perk on Sunday!
Of course, no where will you find more quilt shops within walking distance of each other than in Hamilton, Missouri. Fabric bombed trees are good too! 
I'm already looking forward to next year!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Spring Top

The last few days have been so, so, so springlike! Not unlike my newly finished quilt top! 
There are little bits of color popping up everywhere...
I love it!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Why I Love JOYN

 I've known Mel since she was a little girl. She is beautiful, athletic, smart, a talented singer and musician, and she is very kind. On her wedding day, held in the backyard of her parents' home, a Monarch butterfly circled her and her new husband, Dave, as they sang to one another during the ceremony. Precisely as the song ended, the butterfly fluttered out of the tent.  It was like God had given them His blessing. 
Fifteen years later, I'd like to share with you a glimpse of the work that Melody and her husband do in India through a cooperative that Mel began called JOYN.
 I'm privileged to own a few products made by this wonderful company. My favorite just might be these shoes gifted to me a year ago by my husband.
Guess who the manufacturer is! The fabric, though, is handmade by artisans who would not have a way to earn a living if not for JOYN. TOMS is all about supporting businesses who help others.
JOYN products, like my pillows here, start out as raw cotton which is first made into yarn and then is handwoven, on looms, to create fabric. I believe they are the only company in India to do the work by hand.
 Once the fabric is woven, other artisans use hand chiseled wooden blocks to hand stamp the designs onto the fabric. JOYN chooses not to use machines to weave the fabric or create their designs because they want to provide as many jobs as possible for the under-privileged in India. 

 Of course, each color of ink requires another step in the process.
 I can't get enough of the texture of this cotton fabric!
 I like to imagine the hands and hearts that have poured themselves into these works of art.
 As a quilter and a maker, the appreciation for beautiful detail like this puts a lump in my throat.
JOYN cooperative is being featured on this season's broadcast of The FIND. This week's show is my favorite so far. Click on the link below to see firsthand how the fabrics are being made. You'll meet Mel, some of the artisans and be blessed. I promise!
(You might like to watch the first two episodes, as well.)

In case you wonder, I wasn't asked or paid to write about JOYN. I just wanted to.