Tag Archives: Scrap

The Cat Bed Quilt

Sometimes I don’t even know why I bother thinking anything I make is going to be anything ever but a bed for a fat fluffy dictator.

Side note, have you ever seen a photo of Joseph Stalin as a young man? He. Was. Devastatingly Attractive. In a super indie way. Don’t believe me? Feast your eyes on THIS:

DylFIRight? RIGHT? If you saw that guy at a bougie bar over an expensive cocktail you would be pretty into it, right? The hair. The hair is so good.

At any rate, I finished this quilt last night, and even before I had fully finished hand stitching the binding on the wrong side, someone decided this was his new favorite thing.

CBQ 1I think if you look closely you can see a pin sticking out or two. And yet look at that face, that face says, back off, bitch, this is mine now. And he’s been pretty committed to that position ever since:

CBQ 2The pattern comes from See Kate Sew, and you can find her instructions and the triangle template here. As my third quilt ever, this thing was super simple and relatively fast, by quilting standards. I like it a lot, it’s a crib quilt but it just covers my body, and it’s a nice if rather ornamental layer for my bed. But who am I kidding, this thing is clearly for my cat and my cat alone. Even as I type this, he sleeps on it contentedly.

But take a look at the whole thing!

CBQ 4I started this as part of the stashbusting challenge and it really only took me about 3 and a half weeks working on it intermittently as I did other projects.

CBQ 5For the back I used a vintage sheet and I put in a strip of pieced fabric from the front fabrics, which I really like doing. I think it’s really cute. I bound the quilt with the bright blue fabric.

CBQ 6This is all scrap, baby! The blue, the blue stripe, the aqua and the white are all vintage fabrics, two of which I dyed, the blue and the aqua. The pink was scraps from a dress I made my mother, which I have yet to blog, and the floral print with birds comes from this dress.

Can we talk for a moment about how quilts are hard to photograph? Because they are. They really are.

CBQ 7So, quilting. Well, I can’t say I adore adore adore it, but it really does satisfy something in me, the part of me that loves using scraps and loves combining colors and loves making something so homey. So I’m going to keep making them, but never fear, quilt/cat beds are all well and good, but garments have my heart.

Do you think this counts as sewing something for others?


Filed under Challenge, Quilting, Scrap

The Four Months Later Quilt

Oh. My. God. I FINALLY finished this quilt. AND this shirt I’ve been working on (i.e. not working on) for three weeks. And then I was able to bang out three wine bags for my mom, and cut out 15 more. WHAT? WHY? Moving is so disruptive! Sewing streaks, they are so weird! Life, why you gotta be that way sometimes? Sigh.

Anyway, more on the shirt later. First, to the quilt! I made a whole quilt!

I didn’t really know how to photograph this because I’ve never MADE a quilt before so I’ve never PHOTOGRAPHED a quilt before because I don’t just go around photographing quilts, I’m not some kind of sicko.

An honest to God (oh, thanks, buddy, for the help on this one, patience wise, I owe you  a fruit basket. I’m just kidding! I know you prefer roast lamb, but what’s a modern girl without a pre-A.D. temple to do?) quilt! Like, the real deal, squares and blocks and batting and everything. And it was, like so much of my life, a huge flipping struggle.

Okay, so it must be said, this whole thing was inspired by Dispatches from Whitcomb Street. I’d never even considered quilting as something I would be interested in doing but as I said back in Me Made May (hahahahahahaha, there was  a time I thought I would finish this by the end of May! God, I was so young and foolish then…) that I can’t stand scraps. Gotta use em. Can’t throw em out. I COMPOST. I RECYCLE. I NEEDED SOMETHING TO DO WITH FABRIC SCRAPS. IT WAS A REAL PROBLEM. So, I was like, well, I guess I could make a stupid quilt, I mean, it’s lame and stupid and not like a dress or whatever but I GUESS I could make it work….

That all being said, this was actually kind of fun. I mean, it took 4 months of my life and I would love that time back but really it was something I put aside quite a bit and kept coming back to, obsessed, as I am, with finishing tasks. I chose a string quilt, because A. that’s what Dispatches from Whitcomb Street made and B. it seemed like a simple enough way to go. Ha. HAHAHAHAHAHA. SIMPLE. SURE. WHY NOT. So I found a tutorial (there are dozens online so I’m not going to link to just one) and I cut stripes (none too exactly, let’s be real about the universe).

I made 80 blocks, pieced them together, stitched it all  up, grabbed a college dorm-room bed sheet for the backing (because for REAL when am I ever going to sleep in an extra-long twin bed ever again?)

Ignore my rather pitiful hand-quilting, thanks.

and slapped the whole thing together. Of course, I used an extra thick batting (…it was cheap? I don’t know why I did this, honestly) and so I had to quilt it all by hand (Screw. That. Process. is all I have to say) and then I forced it into submission, bias-tape wise (I bought that, though, COME on, a girl needs respite), stitching on by machine and then by hand the stretchy stuff to bind the quilt and wash my hands of the silly thing. I don’t know that you can tell in the photos but it’s about 80″ by 64″.

But now? I’m pretty into this quilt. In fact, I’m over the moon about it. Yes, it’s a bit of a messy, a bit strugglesome, but it’s also impressive and adorable and WARM and snuggly and FUN! And I like how it looks, all pieced together! Quilting, it’s even more of a puzzle than garment sewing, I think. Am I a convert? I don’t really know. I know I will make more quilts because A. I still have tons of scrap and B. it’s interesting, a ton of work, but interesting and C. they make EXCELLENT gifts. But will it be my main deal? No, it takes far too long and I really like wearing what I make.

Still, it’s an amazing record of past projects. Like:

That blue and teal strip is leftover from my San Cristobel Skirt and my Don’t Mind My Yacht Shorts! That floral in the right corner is from my Dear Betty Dress!

That maroon shot cotton at the top is from the first group of fat quarters I ever bought, as is the crazy blue floral underneath it! The plaid is from the hoarder stash.

There’s remnants of my Too Hot For Tzfat Skirt, and bits from my grandfather’s attic. It’s a plethora of projects all in one!

Of course, the people who love this quilt the most are in fact of the fuzzy variety. Cadfael actually isn’t that into it:

See, he refused to model. FALCO, on the other hand, is all over this:

Um, you made this for me, right?


Sure, buddy, that four months was all about making you a hand-quilted cat bed. Isn’t that always what all the things I made really become?


Filed under Quilting, Scrap, Sewing

Me Made May Day 1- Let’s Do This Thing

Happy May, everyone! In fact, happy Me Made May, for those who are participating in such a thing. And as for the rest of you, you be happy too. Not AS happy, but happy nonetheless.

I have to say, I’ve really been looking forward to this month of celebrating what I’ve made. I feel like I’ve really upped my sewing game since last May, and I’m excited to show the world exactly what I have been up to. Yes, much of what I’ve made has been documented here, but some things haven’t, and I have a suitcase full of brand new me-made items I’ve been stockpiling for my trip to Puerto Rico this Thursday for my cousin’s wedding (felicitaciones Jessie!). So prepare yourself mentally, physically, spiritually, for all that.

But for today, here is my Me Made Outfit!

Not only did I make the pants (my denim Clovers, of course!), but that shirt is my 4th renfrew! Oh, I’m making all 9 versions. It’s happening. Get on board, or get out of the way.

The v-neck is…not perfect. But if wishes were horses…Still, I adore the color, and I can live with the collar. In fact, I even got a compliment on it the other day, well, sort of. A friend was like, you didn’t make THAT, did you? But I think it was a “you couldn’t possibly have made that because it’s too stunning to have been made by human hands” not “you didn’t make that because even your taste isn’t that horrible”. I’m pretty sure it was the former not the latter. 98% sure. 87% sure. Give it an even 75 to 25, really.

And the vintage item? The scarf!

This came, as so many things have, from my grandmother. I have no information on this designer, has anyone else heard of her?

So that’s the outfit. But I want to add one more thing to my pledge, if everyone is cool with that (I’m just kidding, someone as caffinated as I doesn’t ask for permission she asks for forgiveness!). I think this month I’m vowing to try and make different projects with scraps. The scraps in my life, the spare lengths of fabric, all the things I’ve been given or found in attics and hoarder’s apartments, they are driving me CRAZY. And I’ve been working on a big scrap project I will now plan to unveil at the end of the month. But for today, let me show you what I made last night

Sachets! Lovely lovely sachets. They only use 4 inches square of two pieces of fabric and something sweet-smelling in between and there you go, sachet away.

I straight up made 9. Like you do. Mondays. I used pine instead of lavender, because it was literally what was on hand.

I got the idea from this post on The Purl Bee. Do you ever visit the Purl Bee? Let’s talk truth for a moment. I do adore the Purl Bee, it’s a great site full of ideas, and I know full well it’s supporting (and therefore selling stuff) for Purl Soho, an gorgeous and extremely bourgie boutique crafting store in, you guessed it, Soho (New York, not London). All that being said, and with all adoration and respect, I have to honestly say that I can’t imagine a point in my life when I’m going to go out and buy a fat bundle kit of Liberty of London fabrics to make, oh, I don’t know, a wall hanging or a children’s toy. Beyond the expense, which is of course exorbitant, I just have so much scrap, even when I cut carefully, I can’t imagine BUYING something just for a small scrap-appropriate project. Am I a crazy person? How do you feel about this subject?

(PS: Thank you all VERY much for your kind and lovely words about my recent sewing snafus. I so appreciate the support, you are very nice, internet people, thank you.)


Filed under Challenge, Clothing, Colette Patterns, Sewaholic Patterns, Vintage