Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ice Skating Costume

Hi Everyone,

I think I mentioned a while ago that I was working away making my niece a skating costume.  She is 8 and figure skates competitively.

The music for this new program is "The Mexican Hat Dance" and so she required a costume that would continue that theme.  I Googled around for Mexican skating costumes, and didn't find much, so for inspiration, I Googled for traditional Mexican dresses and found lots of pictures of fancy, be-ribboned dresses like these:

Meanwhile, my sister ordered a pattern for me to use.  This one, to be exact:

I can't really recommend that you try one of these patterns unless you 1.  Know what you are doing or 2.  Have their instruction manual.  The instructions that are provided are extremely sketchy, at best.  Thanks to some youtube videos, and your advice, I got through it, though.

I selected red lycra 4-way stretch fabric and then hunted all over town for different colored strings of sequins.  I decided to use sequins instead of the ribbon on the traditional costume, as sequins are more eye-catching.  I also thought that the lace on the traditional costume was an important element, so I found some silver sparkly lace.

I spent several hours zig-zagging the sequins in place with clear, mono-filament thread and managed to break an entire package of stretch needles in the process.  Then I tackled the zipper, and it wasn't as hard as I thought it might be.  Actually, the trickiest bit was setting in the "v" of the bodice, as it was hard to preserve the sharp point when using stretchy fabric.  Finally, it was all finished!

I mailed it off.  Remember, she lives several states away and we weren't able to fit it as I worked.  Anyway, it arrived this week, and she tested it out today!

  The skirt flounces wonderfully when she moves and spins.  I asked her what her favorite part was, and she said the sleeves.  Best of all, it fits!  She has a bit of growing room, too, which is good at that age.

I'm pleased with how it emulates the traditional dress nicely, but is still a skating dress.  I can't wait to see video of her first performance in it, which is Saturday.  (We weren't cutting it close, not at all, ha ha.)

I'm even more pleased that it is finished and now I can get back to sewing on cotton.  I'm off to retreat tomorrow!!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Baby Quilt

Hi Everyone,

Way back in January, while I was at a quilt retreat, my sister had to be induced and my nephew was born nearly 6 weeks early.  I had made a baby quilt for him, but I don't think I ever showed it to you.  I decided on the pattern and as soon as we found out that she was expecting a boy, I bought the fabric and has this pieced before Thanksgiving.  I kept putting off the quilting, thinking that I had plenty of time!  

When I finally decided to go ahead and quilt it, at the last minute, I decided to use Minky for the backing.  I had never quilted with it before.  It took a while (and more than a little frustration) determining what needle to use.  I began with a regular 80, then tried a 90, then a Microtex sharp 80 and 90, and I was going to tear out my hair with frustration when I decided to see if Google would know the correct needle.  Perfecto!  One quick query and I found my answer:  a ball point needle, size 90.  I had one, put it in the machine, and finally I could machine quilt without skipped stitches or shredded thread.

Here is the finished quilt.  When I saw the cute elephant fabric by Bunny Hill, I knew I wanted to make the elephant quilt.  

The other day I saw a photo of my nephew on facebook, and in it he was laying on the quilt.

My sister was trying really hard to get him to smile, and then the dog came over and Matthew smiled at the dog.  He doesn't like to smile for the camera, though!  Matthew's outfit coordinates nicely with the quilt, too.  You can see that I used yellow Minky--it's showing there behind him.

Oh, and about the quilt retreat I was on?  I have another one this week!  I'm off from Thursday to Sunday to get some power sewing done.  I can't wait! 

Have a great day,