MORE from Katie's Modern Nest

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Tokyo Trains

Here's Block #1 of the Tokyo Trains quilt-along.  Its been so much fun choosing each fabric to make up the colored rail-lines. 

Working with the tiny 2" squares has been a challenge. I tried some new techniques to try and get the seams super-straight and consistent. Usually I press the seams to the side, but followed Elizabeth's advice to press them open. It did help to relieve the seam bulk and allowed me to sew straighter seams. I need to work on better pinning though.

I also tried using my zipper foot with a 1/4" seam guide. I found that I got a very consistent seam, but that sometimes the feed-dogs reached up and sucked my fabric down into the gears. I think for the next block, I am going back to my standard foot. I'll just have to go steady and slow.

Flea Market...but not exactly Fancy

I like shopping at Nordstrom and Banana Republic like the rest of you...but there is something to be said for "upcycling."  So yesterday my husband and I took the baby "thrifting." We found this great block that has about 6-7 little thrift shops all in a row. There's a little indian grocery store squeezed in between the last thrift store and the used book store where we got some spices for tonight's dinner.

When poking around second hand stores, most of the stuff is truly junk.  Sometimes there are treasures like solid, well-made furniture that just need a new finish.  I didn't see any of that yesterday, but I did find some fabric bins filled with all sorts of bargains.  I paid $1.00 for all of these lovliles.

There was a pretty piece of blue velvet that was really tempting, but I decided an important rule of "Flea Market" fabric is that it has to be washable.  I need to be sure that way-ward fabric is nice and clean before it lives on the shelf with my other fabrics.

The top black and white print has already become part of my latest project.  See if you can spot it later this week when I post on my works in progress.

This bottom one is intriguing, it is called "Liberty of London" and is 36" wide vs the standard 44"   

But my favorite is this stone colored woven, with teeny red crosses on it.

I wasn't expecting to find fabric at the thrifties, but it was a wonderful surprise.  Do you have any other good ideas about where to find good deals on fabric?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Lets start with some beautiful fabric inspired by ocean, waves and kelp.

I get to be "Queen Bee" for September for the Sew Fun sewing bee. I am asking my friends to make wave-runner type improvisational blocks based on this  tutorial by Victoria.

I wanted to use an analogous color scheme, but I am hoping I have enough contrasting tones that I get the modern look that is so fabulous in Victoria's original quilt. You need to see it for yourself here. I cannot wait to see what the ladies come up with for their blocks.

Speaking of blocks, I am working on August blocks for Natalie. I thought I'd do two blocks that were pretty different from each other. The first is an improvisational block, I like to call it Jacob's ladder.

For the second, I thought I'd stretch myself and try something new, so I decided to paper piecing this block.


Really, paper piecing sounds intimidating, but I found it a very handy way to do intricate blocks. This is a great technique to have in the arsenal. I hope Natalie likes them!