Welcome to Fuller by Design, where we explore what it means to lead a creative life. Because the truth is this - life is what you make of it. So let's make, every day. For life.

Today's Sewing Table

Wonky Star Blocks  

I’ve had garment making on my mind for a while now, and my sewing table shows it!

But I’ve also had a few quilt finishes lately, none of which are mine for the keeping so I figured it was a good time to share them before they make their way to their new owners.

September is charity sewing month for the DC Modern Quilt Guild, and like in years past, I love making quilts and giving them away to a good cause. The program my guild runs is called “100 Quilts for Kids” and this year collected 112 quilts to be donated to the DC General Homeless Shelter. I was able to contribute two this year, and had a lot of fun making them.

One of our guild members donated nearly all of the fabrics and our guild president Melinda Newton (otherwise known as Quirky Granola Girl) assembled them into really luscious and irresistible fabric packs. So irresistible that I had to take not one, but two. I’m so happy that I did because I really enjoyed working with these lovely collections of fabrics.

The first quilt is this fun toddler-size one that features a really large-scale print as the main focus. Because I didn’t want to cut up that sweet print, I used it in two large panels and constructed the rest out of large pieces.


100 Quilts for Kids


Each time I make a quilt to give away, I try to make sure it fits one of my criteria:  1) it helps me use up my fabric stash, or 2) I’m trying something new.  I contributed the backing and binding on this quilt, but I also was able to improve my machine binding skills, so I’m very pleased about that.


100 Quilts for Kids


The second quilt I made for 100 Quilts for Kids is this fun toddler size elongated triangle quilt. I was just smitten by the dotted print that was in my fabric pack (it’s by Cynthia Rowley, though I don’t know how recently it was produced) so I used a lot of it in the quilt.


100 Quilts for Kids


I put this deep coral rose color Minkie (a super soft fuzzy fleece, if you’re not familiar with Minkie) on the back and I can just imagine a little girl snuggling with it.


100 Quilts for Kids


I made another quilt to be given away, this one is for an elderly family friend who is turning 94 soon. She recently moved into a nursing home and so I picked the colors to be bright and cheerful, but not overpowering.


Evelyn's Quilt


That's a rogue ray of sunshine on the bottom left side (not some weird stain on the fabric!) and a rogue photobombing hound, because, of course where else would the hound need to sit while I'm photographing quilts?


Evelyn Quilt Back


I used yellow Minkie on the back of this quilt to make it extra soft and warm, and it’s currently in the mail so she can open it at her upcoming birthday party. I hope she likes it!


Firecracker Dress


My other two recent finishes are dresses!  This one I finished last month and I love, love, LOVE it. The fabric sat on my table for months as I decided what to do with it and I figured out whether I loved it or I hated it (I vacillated for a good long while before settling on love). When I bought it I intended to make a tank top, so squeezing a dress out of it was a bit of a challenge. But with some creative placement of the pattern pieces, I got it to work. And yes, that dress form you see it on is ancient (I got it in all its distressed glory years ago from FreeCycle!).


Firecracker Neckline


I also tried fold over elastic for the first time and I’m really pleased with how it came out. You use the elastic to bind the raw neck edge instead of making a facing or having to turn the raw edges under, which can look a little sketchy on slinky knits. It was a bit fiddly to work with, but the results are worth it. I can’t wait to try it again!


Colorblock Dress


This dress came from a mash up of a Kwik-Sew pattern and my trusted Coco dress pattern (the red print dress above is the Coco pattern). I used the construction of the Kwik-Sew dress with the skirt style and fit of the Coco, and it actually worked out!

So those are the projects I’ve finished lately (three quilts, two dresses - not bad!), now onto the ones languishing on my table…


Hexie Pillow Tops


I’ve got Christmas gifts underway, I’m making a bunch of the hexie pillows I posted the tutorial for over the summer. The tops are done, I just need to put the zipper panels on the back.


Wonky Star Blocks


I love how these wonky star blocks are coming out - I’ve got about 20 of them in various sizes. My plan is to make a duvet cover out of them, but because I’m making the blocks all different sizes, it’s easier said than done. I think I’m about two-thirds done with the blocks, then I’ll have to figure out how to puzzle-piece them into the duvet cover. Those logistics make my brain hurt so this is a very slow moving project.


Garment Fabric


And look at this garment fabric! I’m so excited to be sewing clothes again, and particularly knits these days (thank goodness leggings are still in style!). These will be turned into an assortment of tunic tops and dresses, and maybe pajamas too.  We’ll see.


Triangle Fabric


Here’s a better view of that funky triangle fabric - just look at it!  It was love at first sight when I spotted it at Mood in New York City. I’m not sure if I want to make a long sleeve or short sleeve dress, or whether I want to use the fabric as is or maybe color block it a little bit with some black (to tone it all down a wee bit). Crazy, right? But I’m enchanted.


Flying Geese


And speaking of triangle fabric, look at this beauty! I can’t claim any credit for it - this was in the *discard pile* at my last quilt guild meeting - can you believe it?!!  The person who made it wasn’t there, but word is that she got really annoyed with the process and couldn’t stand it anymore, so she gave it away. Well I snapped that baby up and I’m still mulling over options to finish it to show off its beauty.  Talk about from trash to treasure!

So that’s what’s piling up on my table - how about yours? Have you started any holiday gift sewing yet?


Motherhood by Design: Jennifer Wilson

Motherhood by Design: Liesl Gibson