Some more Alabama Chanin projects

wpid-IMG_6070.jpgFlat bunny! This is how the bunny looked before getting stuffed. Such a quick project to complete! Once I had all the pieces the right size, it was really fun to put together.
And here it is, full of stuffing. I think more stuffing might have been good, but I didn’t want it to be too firm.
These portable tables were on sale and they really are quite handy for providing an instant workspace on a nice day.

I created the facets stencil out of felt and since I still haven’t broached the airbrush hurdle, I thought I would use a sharpie to transfer the design. wpid-MG_5628.jpgThis will eventually be a tunic from the third book published by Natalie Chanin.


Progress on the Irish Chain

wpid-FP_140319_IMG_6209.jpgTwo nights ago, I thought this was all the quilting I had left. I was so excited to spray out all the blue marker lines, but was dismayed to discover that I missed a tiny, tiny portion. But that’s okay, I’ll quilt it before I start the embroidery of the words.


Here is the print-out of what I’ll be embroidering on each side of the quilt. I bought some red perle 8 thread. I haven’t decided whether to ignore the thin-thick lines and just use back stitch or to attempt some satin stitch. I might wimp out in favour of time and my lack of experience with satin stitch.

Some time has passed

Since I last posted. I’ve been busy quilting and quilting! Here’s a picture of my current method of quilting.


I’m now quilting without a hoop at all! I feel I am able to because I used Sharon Schamber‘s method of basting. It is fortunate, too, because the weather has been ridiculously hot and having the quilt on top of me would have been in possible. Instead, I’ve been laying the quilt over a little folding table and quilting the drape. I’d better supply a picture of that, too!

In the meantime, I’ve also been playing around with a new plug-in for Lightroom that will export directly to WordPress. This means that I’ll be able to post better photos more easily!

The importance of scale

20131223-141628.jpgI decided to make this cute little bunny toy as a quick baby present for my friend because it’s looking likely that the baby quilt I’m planning won’t be finished before she is born. So I downloaded the pattern from the Alabama Chanin site and printed it up, cut out the pieces. But they didn’t make sense when you put them together. The pocket is massively huge, the apron doesn’t reach the sides of the body piece and the ear insides are bigger than the actual ears. To illustrate, I overlapped the pieces.


I checked the book that the pattern is originally published in and the scale is the same as the scale in the downloadable file. I found this completely aggravating as I had to recut three of the patterns (keeping the original body size) before it would look remotely like the photo they provided.

After rescaling, you can see the difference is significant.


This isn’t the first time I’ve bumped into difficulties with Alabama Chanin patterns. The other pattern was the Indigo Star Throw (which I still haven’t finished!) where the supplied “templates” refused to match up to a logical size. I ended up buying the Inkling0 6″ Le Moyne Star collection as a compromise.

Here is the Bunny Rabbit pattern with the pieces in correct scale with each other.


It’s more than a little disappointing that I have to do this.

One project down, two to start!

DIY Swing Skirt

My projects keep multiplying but my free time seems to be halving. Gah!

So this skirt is finally done! It basically took a year from receiving it. The facets pattern is great, but there are a lot of shapes to sew around and cut out. My next Alabama project will be to attempt airbrushing and making another tank dress. I definitely need more of those!

Tanya's Storm at Sea Quilt DesignI got the go-ahead on this design, so now I’m busy working out fabric requirements and cost. At the moment, purchasing materials for this quilt will have to wait until next year, but she wants to go scrappy, so this will be fun!

As far as the Winding Ways baby quilt, I’m planning to buy fabric for that soon, though I’m considering ordering from overseas if I decide to go down the designer fabrics. They are more than twice the price in Australia, and shipping doesn’t really justify the jump!


Alabama Chanin DIY Swing Skirt is finished!

But it’s late and I want to take a decent picture of it.

In the meantime, I’m still busily quilting away on the red and white quilt. I really love this part and I find it hard to stop for the night and go to bed. Unless my fingers are sore like this:

It might be hard to see, but my thumb and first finger are cracked and aching from all the needle pricks received under the quilt. I’ve been spending the last few days looking for alternatives to using my fingers to turn the needle or at least feel that the needle has gone through all three layers. I’ve read about Aunt Becky and the TJ Spoon, tried the technique with a normal spoon, but keep going back to my old ways. I looked at the thimble lady’s video and folding the fabric more, and it’s better than it was, but I’m still damaging my fingers some.
Anyway, it feels like I’m making good progress with the quilting, though I suspect if I were to spread it out fully, it will still be less than 25%. Just gotta keep plodding on.