British Beauty

My brother has been dating a wonderful young lady from the UK.  They have recently become engaged and will be married next month.  We are all very excited that this beautiful woman will be joining our family and moving to the states.  

Any celebration gives a quilter the opportunity to create a fabulous gift.  So, of course, I had to make her a Sew Together Bag.  They do make the perfect gifts.  I had found this fabric bundle on Craftsy.  It is Bristish Invasion by Riley Blake designs. 

I had to figure out an exterior design that would feature bits of the fabric but still keep it contained.  I didn’t want it to be very scrappy.  I also chose this background fabric from my stash to play nice with all the colors.  It has a Moda selvedge but no name. I recently bought a mini charm pack that came with a mini tumbler ruler and chose that tool to cut that bundle apart.  I interspersed the prints with the grey.  I love the way it came out!  I horizontally straight line quilted that panel and set it aside while I pieced the bag. I used the plaids for the interior lining pieces and the crowns for the inside of the pockets.  Three different zipper colors make it easy to indentify which pocket holds what stuff. My sewing time, not including the exterior, has decreased for this bag and I didn’t have to look at the instructions this time, other than for the cutting directions.  I will admit to sewing two sections backwards because I wasn’t paying close enough attention but that was easily fixed.  I was struggling while deciding between a red zipper or a charcoal grey one for the exterior zipper.  I’m very happy that I went with the red one!      I will be bringing it with me to the wedding and plan to give it to her when we finally meet for the first time.  So exciting!

Stash Enhancment:

This week I picked up some mini charm packs to use for whatever comes to mind.  I love the Paradisio line and you can’t go wrong with the texty goodness that Sweetwater puts outs in the Feed Company line.  These should be fun to dig into this summer.

A Solid Start

A friend of mine from high school was the first of our group to have children and her eldest daughter will be graduating from high school this month.  Now, that cannot be true because we met in high school so there is no way that she has a child that is older than we were when we met.  Crazy!

Look at this child.  She is not graduating high school – she’s just a darling little girl…. 

What a sweetheart!

 Well, I am making that child a Sew Together Bag to use as she embarks on her adult life.  She wants to audition to be Belle on Disney Cruise Lines and do that for a little while.  She’d be great and I hope she is able to accomplish that goal.  She is still determining what she wants to do after graduation and I hope she finds something she loves and goes for it with all her heart.

The fabric pull for her bag looked like this: Her completed bag looks like this:    I love the ‘Be Happy’ fussy cut appliqué on the front.  That is exactly what I wish for her future.

I lined one of the pockets with laminated cotton so she can use it for make-up if she chooses.   The zipper pull was included with my order of zippers from Zip-It.  If you need zippers you need to order from this shop.  The service is fast, the selection is broad, the prices are fabulous, and they have always included a color card and zipper pull with every order I’ve received.  That zipper pull was absolutely perfect for this bag.  

I have another Sew Together Bag in the works.  My future sister-in-law is moving to the states from the UK and I have the exterior of her bag ready.  I think the minimalist approach of this exterior will be perfect for her.  I hope she’ll love it!

Stash Enhancement – the Solid Edition:

I’m trying to add some solids to my repertoire because I do love how they look in quilts that I have seen.  I tend to lean toward blenders or tone-on-tone fabrics when I need to add some color to my designs.  (Ex: the gray fabric pictured above.  😊). Lately, anytime I am in JoAnn Fabrics I will take a look through the remnant bin and have been coming across some Kona Solids.  The remnants are always 50% off the current sale price of that item so it is quite the deal.  I now have these three in my stash:  Pool, Buttercup Yellow, and Tangerine.  They are such beautiful and vibrant colors.  All are just a bit under a full yard. 

I have also added a few Kona Solids from a recent Craftsy sale.  They are sold as backing fabrics for some kits they were selling.  So, I do not know the actual color name.  The lighter one is called ‘Breakers’ and no color name is listed for the darker teal.  All I know is that I find these colors very appealing and I had to have them!  Also during that sale, I ordered a Free Spirit assorted fat quarter box.  About a third of the box was these very muted florals that I may never use (all were from the same line as well), a third included some great modern prints that I will show in another post, and a third included some solids.  All but the two blue ones came from that box.  It’s a nice array of colors.  The two blue ones came from a Scrap pack that I got at The Intrepid Thread when I visited a few weeks back.  (I didn’t see them on the website so the scrap packs might just be available in store.)  Now I need to decide how I want to start incorporating these solids into my quilts or other projects.  This will be a challenge for me but I feel that as I get more confident with my quilting then I will feel more comfortable adding these solids in.  

Any suggestions on how I can get started with that?

Sewing with Friends

While visiting friends I was able to get a tiny bit of sewing in.  First, I was able to give the joy of sewing to a 6 year old.  She is losing her first teeth and we needed to make a tooth fairy pouch to hang on her bedroom door.  She chose the fabric from what she found during our trip to The Intrepid Thread.  It is a sweet purple flower pattern called Hothouse Flowers – Scattered Violetes in Lavender.  We grabbed some mini charm squares that we had on hand and made a pocket for the front of the bag.  This little one sewed the pocket together and attached it to the purple fabric. 

  She did a fabulous job!

After her bedtime, I was able to finish the bag up and added a few embellishments and some ribbon for hanging. 

 The next day, her mom and I put together an Hour Basket but in a smaller size to use as a thread catcher.  It turned out to be the perfect size for that task.

That tree fabric was in the remnant bin at the Intrepid Thread and looks so great in this project.

Stash Enhancement:

Also, while I was away I placed an order with Craftsy during their fabric blowout sale and came home to a few very well priced bundles of goodness. 

 British Invasion by Riley Blake designs – 14 piece bundle.  I really love those plaids.  My future sister-in-law will be moving to the states from the UK and I wanted to make her a little something.  I’m not sure what that will be but I only have a month or so to get it together before the wedding. 

 Hipster Pop and Crimp -10pc bundle.  These are just great blenders and I’m sure will get used in many different projects. 

 Lazy Day by Riley Blake – 12pc bundle.  Hot air balloons, great blenders, cherries, and flowers!  These bundles were only 10 to 15 U.S. dollars each.  I just couldn’t pass up that great of a deal.

I also got this grouping of Chevrons in the Ruby colorway. Each color is 1 yard of fabric and was also at a super sweet sale price!

 I’ve got a lot of plans up my sleeve for the next few months and cannot wait to share them all with you.

I saw this on Instagram this week and felt it very appropriate for all of my crafting friends.😊

  

Stashing Memories

I went home this week to visit some great friends but before that trip I was able to start cutting fabrics for a Sew Together Bag for an dear friend’s daughter.  She will be graduating high school next month and I wanted to make her something useful.  We all know how incredibly useful the Sew Togther Bag is!  Her likes are the color green and photography and art and pottery.  I found a small Riley Blake Snapshots bundle that had some camera prints and used that as my jumping off point. 

I was able to get most pieces cut out before my flight.  I had a bit of time between when I was ready to go and when I should actually start heading to the airport.  :-) 

These pieces are for the interior and pocket linings.  I was able to decide on the exterior piecing and get started on that but I failed to take a pic before I left the house.  This will be fun to work on when I get back home.

My friends live in the San Francisco Bay Area so I just had to make a stop at The Intrepid Thread in Milpitas to see some of the awesome new lines in person.  The selection did not disappoint!  Here’s what we walked out of the store with:  

Now, that’s a bag full of loveliness!

  Okay – this is not all mine.  Mine is the Mini Pearl Bracelets bundle and everything to the right of that.  Here are some close-ups: 

 Hello, Natural History Butterlies in Blue.  The color is just so gorgeous and vibrant.  I don’t know what I’m going to do with it but I really love it.  The text is Color: FULL patterns in Natural.  Such a great background fabric! 

 This little grouping is just so pretty!  We’ve got some Wood Grain by Joel DewberryCherie Les Points in Rose, script – another from the Color: FULL line, Flowers in Rose by Jeanean Morrison, and Studio Stash 2 Crossed Grid in Smoke by Jennifer Sampou.  It reminds me of my cross-stitch roots and I just had to have it.  They all meld so well together that this might just make it into a quilt by themselves.

Then of course is that Mini Pearl Bracelets bundle.  So rainbowy and adorable.  Such a great blender for just about any project!

I have been hanging around with my bestie and her fabulous 6 year old who has been coloring stickers for me when we are not out craft shopping or having lunch.

 Such great creativity in this one!  The rest of the fabric from that bag is for them and it will be fun to see what they create with them.

Today is for hanging out with more of my besties with great food and wonderful company!  It’s the best way to refresh my soul!

Trail Tote

Last week I had pulled some fabrics for the Trail Tote designed by Anna of Noodlehead Designs.  It is a free pattern on the Robert Kaufman site. 

 Teal for the exterior, scissors for the interior, mustard for the accent pockets, and grey for the strap.  All but the teal are from the Maker line by Art Gallery Fabrics.  The teal is Dottie’s Cousin in Teal by Cotton + Steel.  I had decided on the small tote as I wanted it for an everyday bag.  I used Soft and Stable for the interfacing of the exterior instead of the interfacing called for in the pattern.  I wanted a bag that was more sturdy than floppy and I heard that product was fabulous for that result.

I quilted the exterior in between the lines in the design on the fabric.  It’s very subtle but effective.  I felt like a rock star when I got the inset zipper placed and top stitched down. 

 Once everything was prepped and interfaced it came together pretty quickly.  I had ordered my hardware from Etsy via Purse Supplies R Us.  The prices were great and the shipping was fast. 

 I skipped the piping step as I forgot to buy the cording for it but I love it all the same.  I made a few errors along the way but was able to unpick and fix the issue without any problems.  Once the bag was complete I also attached the lining to the inside of the exterior with a few tacking stitches in each interior corner within the seams.  Next time, I would make the strap just a little bit longer so that it would sit in the perfect place for my frame.  I tend to like longer bags and always use them as a cross-body so I can stay hands-free while out and about.      I love the mustard accent against that teal of the exterior.  This whole bag is just awesome!

Stash Enhancement:

I picked up some fabric for another mini swap that I am in and it will work perfectly for what I have spinning around in my head. 

Sweet Serenade by Basic Grey for Moda, yellow is unmarked, Violette by Amy Butler,stones are unmarked,Spot On, gold is unmarked, Studio 8 , Stitch Square,Painter’s Canvas

 

I have a little while until I need to get this one done but I am excited now that I have the right fabrics!

Spring has Sprung

I love when the sunny, warm weather comes around.  I get so much energy and tend to get a lot more done.  I have some great plans for this spring – sewing related and otherwise.

Stash with a Plan:

Happy Mail this week included this sweet bundle of Pieces of Hope 2 by Riley Blake Designs. My plan is to make a fiddle or sensory mat for a family that goes to my church.  Their son is autistic and I want to do something to try and help.  I have some textural fabric to use – fur, lambs wool, denim – and still need to get a sampling of a couple more and then decide how I want to go about making it.  These fabrics will be used for the backing and maybe a tote bag or pouch for his mother or sisters.

Storage Additions:

I picked up a 360 degree storage cabinet from JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts that they had on sale last week.  (I just looked for the link to the product but could not locate it on their site today). It is called the Sewing and Crafting Storage Cube Table.  It has shelves on three sides and hanging storage on the fourth.   The hanging side is supposed to be for thread but this is the best use for me.  It holds the rulers that I don’t use quite as often.  This is the side I have facing the wall since I won’t need to access this area as much as the others.  The cube is on casters so it is easily movable for when I do need one of those rulers.  As you can tell, it is already in great use as a stash holder.  I didn’t really organize it yet.  I just picked up stuff that was lying around and put it in there. I have a few fabric pulls for different projects up on the top right now.  I think I’m going to make a basket to put in the bottom shelf to hold the batting a little more secure.  The ribbon holder is great and makes it all a bit more convenient to get to.

MQG Facbric Challenge:

The spring weather was the perfect inspiration for the Modern Quilt Guild Fabric Challenge for Spring 2015.  The fabric from The Cottage Garden line from Riley Blake Designs is just gorgeous!  It is full of greys, teals, and pinks.  Such a lovely combination.  This picture is what was sent to me for the challenge.  They are fat eighths of 6 prints in the collection.  I wanted to bring out those red bits in the bird print so I picked up some pinks and other coordinating prints from the same line.  I had the idea to do circles as if you were looking through binoculars.  Part of the Fabric Challenge is to ‘make something you have never done before’ and ‘learn something new’. I have not yet tackled circles and have been wanting to give it a try.  Circles allowed the opportunity for some fussy cutting of the bird and flower fabrics.  But first I had to decide on a background,  here’s what I came up with:   I took these pieces and flipped them in different directions to create this background piece. I appliquéd the circles onto the two text colors in the line, made some smaller ones using the same technique, and placed them wonky-like on the background piece.  I folded the edges of those pieces in and then appliquéd them on to the grey piece.  Then I matchstick quilted the heck out of it.      The two challenges for me were working with the circles and doing appliqué that was not just raw edge appliqué. I absolutely LOVE how this turned out!  The deadline is not until July so everyone has plenty of time to get supplies and get one entered.  You have to be a member of the Modern Quilt Guild in order to participate.  The first photo shows the rules for the challenge.  This was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed thninkg a bit differently about design.  These types of challenges are great to help you learn and get outside of your normal quilt designing and planning.  

By the way – this is my hundredth post and I wanted to thank everyone for reading and helping me learn and grow in this fabulous quilting community!

Sunnyside for Sunny Days

Sunny, spring days have finally hit my area of the country and I could not be happier!  It’s supposed to rain and storm all week but I don’t care because I finished my Sunnyside nine-patch quilt.  And it’s new home will be my bed! 

 I started this top in late March of last year – here’s that post.  It used 2 layer cakes of Sunnyside by Kate Spain and some random blenders that I had in my stash.  It was initially pieced during a sew-in for the Memphis Area Modern Quilt Guild.  After it was pieced it just kind of hung out for a while enjoying the scenery within the realm of my sewing room.  It saw me discover Swaps on Instagram and Sew Together Bags and a ton of other projects while it languished in my Work-in-Progress pile.

I knew I wanted it on my bed for the summer season so I knew that I had to finish it up soon.  It has actually been basted for 5 months.  I had wall-basted it which I believe really helps me to keep it a bit more taut than anything I’ve ever been able to get done on the floor. 

 The cats have been using it as a bed while it sat on a chair in my sewing room waiting to be quilted.  They like to watch me while I sew.  It took quite a bit of lint rolling to get it ready to put through the machine.  Luckily it was only a small section that they had access to. 

 I quilted it using a meandering square random design. 

  The backing is 3 strips of the main directional fabric from the Sunnyside line that I bought specifically for this.  I bound it using 2 of the backing prints. 

  

 I’m going to wash it and get it all crinkly and put it on my bed.  This is the first queen-size quilt (it’s 80×80) I have made and I’m really excited to begin to use it every day!