Fabulous all-purple quilt – part I

I wanted to make a quilt for my Aunt M for her birthday.

Her favorite color is purple, so I used all purple in the quilt.  Purple fabric, purple thread for the quilting, everything.

I have a quilting book for large star quilts, called “Big One-Star Quilts by Magic” by Nancy Johnson-Srebro.   I picked out block five.  I don’t remember why I picked that one, in particular.

The block

I then chose my fabrics.  The block calls for four fabrics, but as is usually the case with my quilts I don’t have enough yardage of my fabrics, so instead I used a variety of purple fabrics.

Fabrics, sorted into coordinating piles, on my couch

The pieces for the star, cut and laid out

The pieces are rectangular – the instructions in the book said to cut rectangles and then sew them diagonally, from one corner to another, creating a rectangle with two triangles and leaving two leftover triangles.  (I used the leftovers to make patches that I will use for some future project.  I want to make a crazy quilt for myself, but I have other projects on my to-do list right now, so that will have to wait.)

The instructions from the book – in case my description wasn’t clear (only this picture is also blurry)

I made a mistake with my sewing.  You’re supposed to sew half of the pieces diagonally one way and half of them diagonally the other way, to form a star that’s a mirror image of itself.  I sewed all of them the same way, so I couldn’t make the perfectly symmetrical star.  It came out looking slightly more like a pinwheel, but it’s still pretty.

The row of star points, in identical form rather than half with the point on the left and half with the point on the right

Two star points sewn together

Not the asymmetry

Now, I will stop pointing out my mistakes and point out what I did right.  The star looks so pretty!

The completed star

The star isn’t large enough to make the size quilt I wanted.  The book has instructions for queen- and king-sized quilts, but as I said I didn’t have enough of the purple fabrics I wanted to do that, so instead I made a small quilt with a border.

I chose a simple block from my “501 Quilt Blocks” book.

I don’t seem to have taken pictures of the completed blocks prior to sewing them into the quilt top, so this will have to do.

I sewed a border around the star and then added the blocks in a new border.  I added additional rectangular pieces between the blocks and solid squares at the corners.

The completed quilt top

Next post: The quilting!

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Costume Party: Dolly Levi

Recently the habibis had a reunion!  Said reunion included a costume murder mystery party.  After much deliberation, I chose Dolly Levi of “Hello Dolly!” as my costume.  I was going for the dress Barbra Streisand wore in the Harmonia Gardens scene of the movie, i.e. this fabulousness:

I want that dress.  I want to wear it to the grocery store and church and work and the subway and everywhere.  I grew up watching “Hello Dolly.”  It’s my favorite musical.  I want to be her.

I wanted a dress with that silhouette, but no maxi dress would’ve looked right.  I searched online and then I decided to alter one of my dresses instead.  I decided to pick a cocktail dress with the right silhouette and add fabric to recreate the skirt/train.  The original plan was to use this dress:

(Apologies for the weird cropping but I couldn’t find any other pictures of me in it on short notice.)

The dress is champagne-colored under black lace.  However, I realized that the dress was at my parents’ house and I wouldn’t have time to get it prior to our habibi reunion.  Instead, I went with this dress (I didn’t take a before picture so I decided to badly crop a picture after I’d added the lace):

The dress is an icy blue color.  I ordered two yards of silver lace and two yards of pale blue, since I wasn’t sure what would match better.  The silver matches nicely.  I doubled the lace and sewed it around the hem, leaving a bit of a train at the back.

It involved a little tweaking.  I doubled the lace again in the front so it was short enough to walk.  In the back I sewed one of the loose ends to the hem, too.  It’s not a bustle but it worked.  I had originally planned to take the skirt in around the knees to more closely imitate Barbra’s dress, but I ran out of time.

I could not afford/justify the expense of a giant feathered headdress, so I bought a modest pink feather fascinator.  I’d ordered a feather boa but it was real feathers, which grossed me out.  (The phrase “sanitized turkey feathers” does not describe something I want to touch my skin.)  Happily, Anlichan lent me a scarf her sister had knitted her that resembled a boa.

I bought elbow length gloves and I wore the dress with pearls.  I wore my hair in some kind of spiky bun thing.  I wore icy blue eye shadow and blue eyeliner, which did not look garish.  (Granted, as a Jersey girl, blue eyeliner is one of my favorite things and my definition of garish may be different than other people’s, but I think the habibis will back me up that my makeup looks pretty.)  Overall, success.

The question remains what to do with the dress now.  Although I love it as a costume, I actually don’t love the dress on its own.  I don’t think the bodice fits me properly – it’s a bit too loose.  I rarely/never need a costume, so I’ll likely remove the lace and give away the dress.

Barbra sets the bar high, and the habibis reminded me that her Harmonia Gardens was one of the most expensive movie costumes ever.  I didn’t feel quite as fabulous as her in my homemade costume, but I felt pretty fabulous.  It was the perfect costume for the event.