Weekend WIPs: Renfrew, Moss mini, and a 10-year-old quilt

Quilt in progress

It’s been forever since I finished something!  Sometimes that’s just how it goes, though.  Life and all that.  🙂  But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy sewing and serging and – gasp! – even quilting!  Here’s what’s been going down in my tiny sewing studio:

More new equipment: a walking foot!

Bernina walking foot Bernina walking foot - with attachments

After years of lamenting and longing, I picked up this Bernina walking foot when I purchased my serger a few weeks ago.  My local Bernina dealer offered a 15% discount on feet with the purchase of a new machine, so I took advantage of the opportunity.  What’s another few bucks at that point, right?  🙂

Let me tell you.  THIS FOOT IS AWESOME.  Totally worth the investment.  Honestly, I should have picked this up years ago.  The foot works like a dream, completely eliminating puckers and feeding multiple (so far I’ve tried 3) layers of fabric through the machine smoothly and evenly.  I’ve tried it with wovens and knits, and it works beautifully on both.

An ill-fitting Renfrew

Orange Renfrew in Laguna jersey

Over the course a few nights during the week, I made some minor fitting alterations to my Renfrew pattern pieces and whipped up this new top.  It was my first garment project using the new serger, hooray!  The serging went fairly smoothly, considering I’m still learning how to use the machine, but the top is a total FAIL.  My alterations actually made the fit worse.  Not sure if this top will be wearable as anything other than a layering piece under sweaters.

I’m still debating whether to do a proper post on this top.  I might wash it and wear it a few times and see what happens.

A well-fitting Moss mini muslin

Grainline Moss mini muslin

My quest to sew a Moss mini skirt forges ahead.  My second muslin fits like a dream!  I went down a whole size from my 1st muslin, and I took a 1/2 inch wedge out of the center back waist.  The piece of duct tape you see above is to hold the front opening together, since I didn’t baste in a zipper.  Will probably do this all the time now.  🙂

A quilt in progress!

Machine quilting in progress

That’s right, folks.  I’M QUILTING.  I’ll give you a minute to get over the shock.  🙂

I started this quilt over 10 years ago (I know!!), and I’m on a long-term quest to get it finished.  Maybe not anytime soon, but eventually.  I designed and started to hand-piece the quilt top in 2004, and then it sat untouched for 8 years.  When I got my sewing machine in 2012, I finished piecing the top and basted the quilt sandwich together.  Then it sat in a drawer for another 2 years.

With the recent acquisition of my walking foot, it’s finally time to quilt this baby!

Machine quilting progress - flower outline

With a free Saturday afternoon and my shiny new walking foot in working order, I got moving.  I decided to take a very simple approach here and just quilt straight lines, outlining the blocks, flowers, and birds.  Nothing fancy – I just want to get it DONE.  I’m not all that interesting in quilting anymore (unlike when I started this project), but I do want to finish what I started.

Machine quilting progress - leaves

It turns out that machine quilting is kind of a pain in the ass.  Above you can see the fruits of my labor – some crooked outlining and wobbly lines.  Gah!

Machine quilting progress - leaves back

The curved stitching around the leaves is particularly bad.  I increased the contrast in the photo above so you can see what I’m talking about (on the far right).  It’s ok though; I’m not aiming for perfection here.  Then again, it would be nice if my stitching improves with more practice.  We’ll see!

Quilt sandwich

I still love the design and colors of this quilt, even though it’s been 10 years since I made those decisions.  It’s very “spring” and makes me smile.  🙂

Assuming I ever finish it, this will be my 2nd full-sized quilt.  Check out the story of my first quilt here.

Maggie continues to be adorable

Maggie lounging in her tower Sweet kitty pawsLook at those sweet crossed kitty paws.  As the cool kids say, “I can’t even.”  🙂

How’s your weekend going?  Have you ever made a quilt?  Have you ever sewn a knit top, tried it on, and wanted to immediately throw it out the window?

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14 thoughts on “Weekend WIPs: Renfrew, Moss mini, and a 10-year-old quilt

  1. Such a shame about your renfrew, tbut he finish looks great around the neck tho. I’ve recently bought a walking foot and love it, except it’s a bit noisy. I leave it on now for all my sewing, unless I need a special foot such as my zipper foot. 😀

    • I think I’ll wind up leaving mine on too – it’s so versatile and feeds the fabric perfectly every time. The Renfrew came out pretty well in terms of the stitching, but yeah, the fit is awful! I can’t believe I wasted good fabric.

  2. That Renfrew looks great! So sad that it doesn’t fit! The last knit top that I zig zagged instead of using my double needle for the top stitching turned out rippled and horrible. It’s definitely one I wanted to throw out the window. But once it fits me again it will probably be a workout shirt or pajamas. And I really wish I could afford to send out my two in process quilts to have a professional do the quilting. That is the part I don’t love about making quilts!

    • Yeah exactly! Professional quilting is the way to go, if you can afford it. My quilt has been dragging on for so many years now – a few extra years for quilting is no big deal, ha. 🙂

      Have you tried zig-zagging knits with a walking foot? I haven’t tried it yet, but I bet it would help with rippling. I always have that problem, except around necklines. I think all the extra layers (the top itself and a folded neckband) stabilize the fabric a bit. Hope your top is at least wearable around the house! Mine might be relegated to indoor duty too.

  3. Yes to both questions! I have machine quilted, and I have made alterations to a Renfrew that made the fit worse (I made new alterations on top of old alterations made when I understood a lot less about flat pattern adjustments!) And I’ve used the exact same walking foot and most likely the same machine to quilt straight lines on a quilt. I feel for ya – it’s a real arm workout! What fabric will you sew your Moss up in?

    • Haha, I’m glad you know exactly how I feel about all of this. I did the same with my Renfrew – there are so many layers of pattern adjustments on top of each other that I’m starting to confuse myself. Maybe I should just start over at this point!

      I have 2 pieces of fabric lined up for Moss minis: an orange twill and some medium-weight denim. I’ll be lining both with leftover Bemberg rayon to avoid the dreaded sticky-tights situation.

  4. such a bummer about the t-shirt! it’s so frustrating when a simple make turns out all sorts of wrong. maybe you can salvage some of the fabric? at least the moss looks fantastic! can’t hardly bring myself to put together a quilt, even though i’d really love to have one! oh well, someday 🙂

    • A quilt is such a huge project, even if you do it all by machine. I was really into quilting in my younger days, before I realized I could use those same skills to sew my own clothes. There’s no going back now. 🙂

      We’ll see what happens with the Renfrew. I might wear it to work tomorrow just to give it a test drive…

  5. the colour of your renfrew is lovely – its such a shame it isn’t wearable! I am kind of tempted by quilting – there are so many amazing quilts out there and I vaguely think I might save my scrap fabric and have a go but I suspect I never will as it requires such a lot of precision and the quilting process itself looks like hard work!

    Louise

    • Well said on all points! The quilting world is huge and full of amazingly talented sewists/artists. I really admire their work, but I’m not sure I have the patience for it anymore. Even a complicated garment is a quick project compared to a quilt!

      As for the Renfrew, I do like wearing orange tops, so we’ll see. It’ll be pajamas at the very least. 🙂

  6. Wow. You have been a busy bee.
    Walking feet are sooo great. I probably don’t use mine half as much as I should, but oh boy is it handy when I remember.
    Too bad about your renfrew, but hey you tried and now you know for future. I still consider projects that don’t quite work out as wins. I generally still wear things I made that haven’t worked out around the house. My housewear wardrobe is quite extensive 🙂
    Great idea with the duct tape instead of a zipper.
    Cute quilt too. I’ve only ever made one quilt and I think the struggle to wrangle the thing through the sewing machine put me off.
    Thanks for your comment on my blog 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by, Vanessa! I do the same thing with my projects that don’t quite fit right, especially knit tops. My pajamas are definitely a bit more colorful than they used to be. 🙂 I wore the new Renfrew to work earlier this week, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I’m still curious to see what happens after a few washes though.

      Wrangling the quilt through the machine is quite a challenge. Hopefully I’ll power through and finish this project!

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