Showing posts with label Patterns. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Patterns. Show all posts

Monday, December 17, 2012

Bee Blocks Almost Done

I didn't get nearly as much as I wanted to get done this weekend, but I'm okay with that. Saturday I only left the house once, and spent the rest of the day curled up on the couch, with a fire and the dog catching up on my TV shows and doing some hand sewing. There was so much sewing I actually had to do, but I opted to laze on the couch instead. Yesterday I had a holiday brunch with my friends in the early part of the day any by the time I got home in the mid afternoon I resolved not to leave the house again. This time I did get some face time with Hepburn to catch up on some bee blocks to get me through to the end of the year. 


I've got next week off work so we're taking a little trip (to Alaska! I'm so excited!) so my sewing time between now and the New Year will be virtually nonexistent. I was behind on some blocks for November so I wanted to power through and get them off my plate. For the Hope Circle, Janet asked for some Garden Lattice blocks in Tangerine using this tutorial



Then, Flaun asked us to paper piece some amazing solid blocks in the Sewn Together Bee. We used the pattern "It's a Stretch" found in the book "Modern Blocks". I am so excited about these. I absolutely cannot wait to see this quilt completed. It is going to be absolutely amazing. 




My last block ever for the Sew Fun Bee was a low volume, traditional block for Dolores. She wanted each of us to use modern, low volume fabrics but do a different traditional block. I picked the Quatrefoil block because I love it so much. I really need to make a low volume quilt for myself someday soon.


I'm really going to miss sewing with that group, but at least that's one bee off my plate. I still have two outstanding bee obligations to finish out the year, one for November for the Bee a Lone Star(burst) and one for the December Hope Circle. Speaking of the Hope Circle, we're looking for two Stitchers to join our circle in the new year. If you're interested in joining us to make charity quilts for Threading Hope with do. Good Stitches, please contact me. We'd love to have you!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Happy Little Pouch Hop

Good Morning everyone! First of all I just wanted to thank Elaine and Emily for inviting me to participate in the Happy Little Pouch Blog Hop. Don't you just love a little bag? I'm not really a purse person in my everyday life, but I adore little pouches and bags of all sizes, especially for storage and travel purposes. And I travel a lot. Recently I decided to test out one of Ayumi's patterns for her little fabric basket and I was instantly addicted. These baskets make a great addition to any swap gift you might be cooking up.


Her pattern is super easy to follow and the basket comes together very quickly. There are also a bunch of modifications you can make to personalize it and make it your own. I made another one of these for a friend (and I forgot to take pictures, ugh!) using Echino. I didn't want to cut up the print so I just cut two 9.5" x 3.5" strips instead of making the patchwork square strips.



Another way to easily personalize these baskets is by using a decorative stitch instead of an edge stitch around the top of the basket like I did here. 


Just make sure you're lining is lying flat when you edge stitch our you could get a pucker like I did. (Boo!)


Although Ayumi's pattern is for small baskets (perfect to hold a few fat quarters or your collection of buttons) it's easy to modify her pattern to make larger baskets. And these come together so quickly and easily that I think I'll be whipping out many, many more of them in the near future.

Want to see more Happy Little Pouches? Check out the rest of the Blog Hop Participants:

Monday 11/26: Emily from Mommy's Naptime and Elaine from Dashasel Sews
Tuesday, 11/27: Courtney from Mon Petit Lyons and Lucy from Charm About You
Wednesday, 11/28: Hollie from Undercover Crafter and Katie from Katie's Korner
Thursday, 11/29: Lindsay from Lindsay Sews and Michelle from I Like Orange
Friday, 11/30: Sara from Sew Sweetness, Cindy from Adventures of the Singing Quilter, and Jennifer from Ellison Lane Quilts

Monday, 12/3: Holly from Bijou Lovely and Heidi from Fabric Mutt
Tuedsay, 12/4: Elizabeth from Don't Call Me Bets and Emily from Mle BB
Wednesday, 12/5: Shruti from 13 Woodhouse Road and Liz from Dandelion Daydreams
Thursday, 12/6: Beth from Plum and June and Kaelin from The Plaid Scottie
Friday, 12/7: Emily from Mommy's Naptime and Elaine from Dashasel Sews

Thank you for stopping by! And please join us in the fun and share your pouchy makes in our Flickr group. The Flickr group is also where you can upload your pouchy makes, and at the end of each week we will have some great prizes to award!

Prizes have generously been donated by:


Friday, October 19, 2012



So you know that amazing package I received from Whitney in the Pretty Little Pouch Swap last month? Well, I got to return the favor because she was actually my secret partner too. Fancy that! Unfortunately I don't think I was able to do nearly as good a job on her package as she did on mine. There was no way to top it. 


As I was stalking Whitney I quickly learned that mermaids made her swoon, so when I saw the new Sarah Jane "Out to Sea" line I quickly snatched it up for her. Then I had a hard time cutting it up since it was so super cute. And I guess that's where I was getting hung up. I had this nagging feeling that the pouch was too simple, especially after the awesomeness I received from her. 


But I couldn't resist. I kept it simple and let the fabric speak for itself, choosing to embellish rather than piece. Originally I was going to make her a bento box bag but she specifically requested a zipper closure so I switched things up and used a pattern from an old issue of Stitch Magazine, with some modifications.


I embroidered starfish and kelp onto one side of the pouch and then designed and pieced a sailing ship to appliqué on the other side of the bag. 



I also fussy cut the side panels to capture my favorite mermaids at play.



Sadly, I had started piecing a smaller pouch to go inside, but I was given 36 hours notice to be on a plane for work, and knew I wouldn't return home before the shipping deadline so it did not make it into the package. I did, however, fill the bag with lots of other little goodies, including a mermaid embroidered tea towel and a pocket hoop for her sewing space storage.




I wish I could live up to the greatness she sent me, but in the end I opted to let the fabric speak for itself. I loved having Whitney as a partner - both ways! She totally rocks!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

do. Good Swap Angel


And then there were swaps. Holly and I hosted a blind swap for all of the do. Good Stitches Circle Hosts. Unfortunately, someone had an unexpected turn of events and was unable to complete her gift so Holly and I jumped in as angels. Amanda was such an excellent swapper and we couldn't let her go empty-handed. Her surprises arrives well past the deadline, but at least she arrived.


When it became clear that her partner was MIA Holly and I got to work. Being friends with Amanda, Holly knew she would love some knitting accessories since she had a baby on the way and probably not much time to sew when her bundle of joy arrived. I started stalking her and pulled fabrics from my stash from some of her favorite designers in colors she loved. 



As I continued to stalk her, I discovered that she might like a bag of some sort so I found an adorable pattern in an old issue of Stitch Magazine and got to work. The bag came together quickly. I actually enjoyed this pattern more than the last one I tried from Stitch. But I did make one huge mistake. And, unfortunately realized it too late. Can you tell?



Yep. I put one of the pleated pockets on backwards. Oops! I don't think it looks horrible. Or am I just trying to make myself feel better? I was rushing and that's really my only excuse. Ugh. By the time I realized it (during this photo shoot in fact) I tried to think of a way I could fix it but couldn't come up with a concrete solution, aside from ripping the entire thing apart, which seemed extreme.


As I tend to do, I did make some slight modifications to the design. I will admit, on this project the design modifications were largely in part due to the fact that I used the last bit of this AMH Innocent Crush print that I had in my stash. It's a personal favorite, but I was so glad it was being used for someone who loves it as much as I do. I added coordinating Kona Solids on the pockets and the handles to make the AMH print go a long way. And I really love how the solids sneak in and break up the print.


I also made her a little pocket hoop for some cute, sewing space wall storage and included a bunch of extras in her package. So, Amanda, I'm sorry that your package came so late. Thank you for being so patient and such a great swapper! Congrats on your new baby girl, too!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Quilt Marathon: Month Two

I just had a total brain fart and accidentally deleted the entire blog entry I was about to post with no way to recover it. So sad! Ugh. I think I just taught myself a valuable lesson. Sigh. I'll try it again. I'm officially two months (as of yesterday) into my quilt marathon, as I've started calling it. I spent so much of the first month getting organized, basting all of the intersection pieces and starting to baste the internal ring pieces. And I felt like I made a lot of progress in the first month.


June was a different story. It's not that I didn't make a lot of progress this month. I did, in fact, but I wasn't able to concentrate on this quilt as much. Work was crazed, which did allow me to take some hand sewing with me on the road. I was shooting a new project all month, and I like to get to location early so I'm not late, so I take hand sewing with me to work on in my car when I have time to spare. But I also had a lot of projects with impending deadlines to work on and since my City Weekend Quilt has no deadline, it's easy to push it aside. Much of my downtime was spent hand sewing two Joseph's Coat Blocks I'm making for a swap. Coincidentally, learning how to baste these curves is really helping me in my Double Wedding Ring piecing too.


That's not to say I didn't have any time to spend on this quilt. I continued to baste the ring pieces until they were overflowing the ziploc bag I'm using to separate them. Part of me considered continuing to baste the remaining ring pieces, but I was also getting a little antsy and was ready to move onto something new. I'm nothing if not organized, so even though it wasn't entirely necessary, I split the outer ring pieces (that connect with the intersections) in half. These are the only pieces that are directional - half need to point one way and the other half point the opposite direction. I didn't have to do this, but sometimes I just don't have the energy for anything else so I did. And I basted one piece in each direction so when I start making more of these I know which way they should go.


I also started basting some center pieces and the internal ring pieces settling on Kona Snow for these. There was a lot of debate about which Kona I wanted to use for these pieces. Ash is a personal favorite, and usually my neutral of choice. I was also considering Kona Natural. The white shades tend to be a little too stark for me. But after careful consideration I decided that Snow was the way to go with this one.


One of my many faults is that I can get distracted very easily, often moving from one UFO to the next before completing anything. And I do have a fear in the back of my head that working on a project of this scale for so long will start to bore me. Thankfully, so far that's not the case. But I did have an overwhelming desire to see one block completed before the end of the month. And, at this point, I have more than enough pieces basted to start making blocks. In fact, from here on out, I think I'll be doing a mixture of basting and piecing at the same time just to help keep things fresh and be able to see some progress.


There are thirteen different prints I'm using from the line to make up the rings (not including the intersection pieces) so I played around with them until I came up with a layout that satisfied me. I strung these pieces together to create a reference strand I'm using as I work. Because of the number of fabrics I'm using and the way the rings intersect I feel like this reference chain will help me control the chaos.


These blocks are not for the faint of heart and they are time consuming. The first block took me a couple hours. But the result is so worth it. My husband may think it's too girly, but I am in love and since this is for me I don't care. Hopefully I'll still feel this way six months from now when I'm still working away on it!

Friday, June 15, 2012

"A Year of Making Life Beautiful" Blog Tour


Do you know Melissa of Lilac Lane? If you don't, you really should get to know her. I "met" Melissa a could of years ago, both through her wonderful blog and also as a member of the charity bee "A Dozen Quilters". I saw that they were losing a couple members and asked Melissa if I could join, especially since they were turning their focus to charity projects. She gladly said yes. It was a pleasure to work with her through a year of projects to help those less fortunate than us, but an equal pleasure getting to know her better as well.

I am sure some of you remember me mentioning a couple of secret projects I was working on this Spring. Well, they were for Melissa. The first you saw a while back - her super cute "Picnic In the Park" quilt pattern, which she released this Spring and was also recently featured at her booth at the International Quilt Market. And then came the second secret project... Imagine my surprise when she asked me if I would also be willing to make a quilt for her new book, "A Year of Making Life Beautiful: 45 projects to bake, grow, craft and sew throughout the year". I was honored. Seriously? I'm not worthy!
Melissa sent me her elegant, yet easy, "Make Life Quilt" Pattern along with a beautiful array of Hello Luscious fabrics by Basic Gray for Moda. This gorgeous quilt can be made from pre-cuts. I don't usually work with a lot of pre-cuts but, let me tell you, it made life so much easier not to have to worry about cutting all that fabric. It makes for a quilt top that comes together quickly, yet all your friends and family will think you labored for weeks! She also entrusted me to quilt it too. Whoa! Talk about pressure. It was actually the first quilt I quilted on my new machine, and despite it's size it quilted like a charm! But I'm proud to say it's being featured in the month of April in her book, and also was at her booth at Market. My picture can't even do it justice. The sun was at the wrong angle when I had to take the picture!

Make Life Quilt

That's not even the best part. I got an advance copy of the book, and let me tell you, the whole thing is simply delicious! Melissa has such an amazing sense of style and grace. And her warm and gentle personality shines in each and every one of the projects featured in "A Year of Making Life Beautiful". And each project really does help beautify your life even more.

(Make Life Quilt)

Melissa taken her gift for making life beautiful and translated it to the page with all sorts of fun and yummy projects to create. Each month she cleverly features a variety of sewing, cooking, gardening and craft projects that you can make in your own home. No matter your walk of life or where you live, there's something in this book bound to call out, "Make Me!"

(Stars & Stripes Quilt)

I, personally, can't wait to try making the Memory Bag. I mean, how genius is that? I wish I had seen that before I left Chicago and threw away all of my bulky sweaters!

(Memory Bag)

Just flipping through the pages gives me a sense of calm and peace, so rarely found in my hectic life.
Be sure to get your own copy today! They're available directly from Melissa or on Quiltwoman in either spiral bound or hardcover editions. BUT one of my lucky followers and win their very own copy! Melissa is generously donating a copy of her book "A Year of Making Life Beautiful" to one of my lucky readers. So I'm hosting a giveaway! All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment. You can tell me anything but if you're at a loss, tell me what you would like to do to make your life more beautiful. That's it. I'll keep the giveaway open until Monday, June 18, 2012. One comment per person. International Entries welcome. But please, if you're a "No Reply" commenter make sure I have a way to contact you. Good luck!