May 23 2016
May 20 2016
Back when I was in 8th grade, you could still take home ec. It was the BEST class. We got to cook and sew and learn about color theory and did I mention, sew? Yeah, we got to sew for school.
At that point, I had already been sewing for fun for a while so it was like someone told me I could just have fun in school for a period. One of the projects was to pick a softie from a catalog of softies the you would make for a grade. You were allowed to buy extras if you wanted (of course, I got one — they were only $5 each for each kit!!). But this was the one I did for my school project. I got an A+++ (yes, three pluses) on it. 😀
Would you look at the detail and hand embroidery on that thing? All those little felt pieces were sewn by hand. Only the body was machine sewn. I’m quite proud of my little 8th grade self. And also pretty psyched that as a girl, I chose to make a computer. Although we had a computer at home, computer science wasn’t really on my radar as a possible field of study, but maybe the universe knew something I didn’t. 🙂
May 17 2016
So, I’m a tad behind in posting. As usual, getting pictures from my camera to my blog always takes longer than expected. Here’s the block from Chapter 4 for April.
For this one, we did reverse appliqué. Above is after I based the green pieces to the back using quilt basting spray. I also starched the heck out of the top piece and the little pieces to make them easier to appliqué. I used some embroider thread to do the edging. I used the default width of 3.0 but next time I’ll definitely go larger. I had a hard time catching the fabric at times.
And here’s the block for May. She’s making them a bit easier for the summer months because people have more going on. And I totally appreciate that 🙂
In other news, Meadow Mist Designs has announced another mystery quilt for this year. I had such a fun time last year and learned so much that I’m definitely planning on doing it.
May 14 2016
Admittedly I’ve been on a bit of a bag kick recently. It didn’t help that I signed up for the Bag of the Month Club 🙂 But this one isn’t from that club — although coincidentally the bag for May is also from Swoon Patterns.
This is the Swoon Bonnie Bucket Bag. I really liked the shape of it because I figured it could hold a lot.
Per usual, I added some details that made it my own — a place to hold pens, IDs and others and key fob. I’ve loved having a key fob in my Backgammon bag so I had to put one here, too.
Here are some views of the lining before I inserted it. As you can see this bag has a lot of structure — even without the outside. For the lining, I used some metallic Michael Miller dots fabric that I had. I’ve had it a while and it was good to finally find a use for it!
The bag picture shows it in a combination of quilting weight fabrics and leather/faux leather. But I love my totally worn out silver leather bag so I wanted an all silver one. It did make for some really thick seams as you can see above where I put the extra bottom panel on. In the future, I would only make that part one layer instead of two, but it sure is sturdy!
I’m really proud of how my top stitching turned out. This was really only the second leather thing I made after the Polaris bag last month, but that’s exactly why I like the bag of the month club — it has forced me to try new materials and techniques!
I used some existing hardware that was a bit wider than the pattern called for so my handles and tabs are a bit wider to compensate. I think the wider straps complement the all silveriness of it though.
The inside zipper pocket was by the pattern.
For the top zipper, I actually used a separating zipper that I closed up. I like the way the plastic zippers handle better. It’s smoother than most of the zippers I can find in the store. If I were to make this bag again though, I would put tabs on the end of the zipper so it’s not sticking in the corners. I don’t think it looks bad, but sometimes it’s hard to pull the zipper out.
And the bottom. See what a nice round shape it has?
Another shot of the inside. Overall I’m really happy with this bag. I may switch over to it, but I’m really loving my backgammon bag at the moment so it might be a little bit. Maybe when the right occasion forces me to.
And one more shot showing how bucket-y it really is:
Mar 26 2016
This snazzy little gift is for my cousin. I was sending her hubby something and wanted a little something for her. I had this crazy zebra faux suede and it made me think of her so I thought perfect. The pattern is the Filigree Double Zip Pouch by Sew Sweetness.
As the name implies, there are two zippers on this pouch. Each one goes to a different compartment. They are different colors so it’s easy to tell which compartment is which.
And I also made the inside fabric two different colors. Those are from two Tula Pink fabrics that I had.
The pattern itself is pretty simple and well written. All the pieces go together very nicely. Look how nice those corners are!
You may have noticed that I just recently did another Sew Sweetness pattern, the Polaris Bag. It’s really just coincidence although I am a huge fan of her bags and patterns. I’ve got both her books and found her Craftsy class very helpful.
I decided not to quilt the outside (I thought it would look bizarre with the more funky fabric), but would consider it in the future. The only thing is that the bag came out much larger than I was expecting. I mean, I supposed I should have figured how big it would be when I cut out the pieces, but it never really dawned on me . . . this size would be really good for lots of stuff or large items. I’ll let my cousin figure out that part 🙂 I would also use this pattern with just one zipper and it would be just as nice. It’s a great shape.
Mar 20 2016
Mar 16 2016
For February for Mighty Lucky Quilting Club, the focus was on improv quilting and “less is more.” I hadn’t really done improv quilting before, so this was a fun exercise, although I’m not sure it’s really something I’ll spend much time doing in the future.
First, I picked out some fabrics. The green is my focus fabric and the yellow is my coordinating fabric. The whites are my background.
I picked out a number of pieces that I thought would work. And then I played around with them . . .
First try . . .
Second try . . .
Third times a charm . . .
Then I removed two pieces (as instructed). I may have cheated a little by removing two of the attached pieces, but I think the effect was the same.
And then I filled in the background. I think the little swatch of linen in there is my favorite part of the background
Stitched & trimmed . . .
Basted . . . and quilted with some simple straight line stitching so as to keep focus on the improv pieced aspect.
And done. Bound with some more of the leftover white fabric. I’m actually quite happy with how it turned out . . . although not sure what to do with it. Perhaps it will be a placemat?
It was a fast project and a good skill to practice/try, but I prefer to think and plan out my quilts. In fact, I think the planning and designing is half the fun!
Mar 13 2016
Earlier this week we got the next chapter — and the next block — in the murder mystery quilt. Grabbed some scraps and whipped it up pretty quickly. It’s so fun to see the story unfolding!
Mar 09 2016
One of the many things I signed up for at the beginning of the year was a subscription to the Lucky Spool Mighty Lucky Quilting Club. Each month they send you an exercise to do to expand your quilting abilities. I had so much fun learning new techniques from the Meadow Mist Midnight Mystery Quilt that I figured this would be a fun way to learn even more. I’m a little behind (surprised?) but I’m getting caught up . . . at least for now. I’ll be posting February soon.
The first month was on bias tape. They have a recommended project where you make a bunch of bias tape and make blocks with it. In fact most of the techniques they give could be repeated to make quilts and even a whole quilt with them. I’d do that if I had more time because it would be a good way to get really good at a technique.
But since I don’t, I decided to just apply the bias tape to a smaller project. I’ve made bias tape for sewing projects before but not with the intention of using it for a quilt.
I made up some bias tape with some fun rainbow fabric I had bought originally for quilt binding but then never used for that. Check out the matching on that seam. Dang 🙂
I knew I wanted to spell out letters so I tested it first on just a single letter. I was testing everything:
- applying the bias tape using wonder tape to hold it in place
- how much of a curve I could put in the bias tape before I got wrinkles
- the stitching down of the bias tape — I wasn’t sure if the wonder tape would hold it or if it would catch on my presser foot (it was fine)
- the outline and straight line quilting I wanted to do (also happy with how that turned out).
I decided to bind this mini-mini for completion sake and also to test out stitch-in-the-ditch seam binding which I had wanted to try. I like how it looks.
For the actual project, I spelled out “Believe” on some Essex linen.
I quilted around each letter using my home machine and then did vertical straight line quilting. I bound it with some black and white dot fabric I had laying around.
I’m so happy with how this mini turned out and looking forward to hanging it to remind me to believe 🙂
Mar 06 2016
It’s done! I completed the Meadow Mist Midnight Mystery Quilt!
Doing this quilt was such a great experience. Here’s why:
- I got to try so many new techniques and the instructions were very clear for each of them so I feel like I learned so much.
- This was my first time for many common quilting constructs including:
- flying geese
- square in square
- courthouse steps
- half square triangles
- I got great practice keeping a scant 1/4 inch seam.
- I used a ton of my leftover backing stash.
I quilted it on the longarm back in January, but only had a chance to take pictures this weekend — just in the in the nick of time since we were supposed to post them by March 8. I tried some new techniques on the longarm for this, like using rulers in the white star sections. Definitely something I need to keep working on, but happy with how it turned out. Interestingly, I also learned about color blending. This actually uses a pale pink thread for the longarm quilting which blended well with all of the fabrics. (Except the black, of course, which it contrasts with. In hindsight, I do wish that I had done that with black thread. Ah, well, live and learn.)
I bound it with some of the gray fabric (yay for using more of my stash!). Usually I tend to favor a nice contrasting binding so it’s like a picture frame, but I like how it turned out in that it doesn’t distract from the rest of the quilt.
The only part I bought for this quilt was the backing — a pretty light widleback in a purple pattern that ties into the purple on the front — and the batting (since I prefer to get that at the store where I do the longarm quilting.
I’ll admit, I was a little nervous at some points as to how it would come out based on how I cut out my pieces, but I’m really happy with it! Already looking forward to next year’s mystery quilt 🙂
Quick edit: Check out all the quilts that folks submitted here. Seeing it in different colorways is really cool.