October 5, 2011

Bag Lady... WIP

I finished Sara's Georgia Tech bag and I think it's looks fabulous!  I love how simple the pleats are and I couldn't be happier with the fabric choice!  Sophisticated on the outside, totally Ga Tech on the inside!  (kind of like the mullet of handbags?  Buisness on the outside, party on the inside?)

 I added a couple of fun features to the bag too.   The strap can be shortened to shoulder bag length (shown) or it can be let out all the way and be a cross-body bag-- perfect for wandering around a stadium hands-free!   This bag is a nice, big size-- big enough to carry everything you need an a jacket or sweatshirt, so keys can get lost easily!  I added a ribbon with a clasp on the end so Sara can clip her keys to it-- they'll always be handy!  No more digging through your purse!

I had some scrap fabric left over, so I made a matching clutch, key fob, and "Buzz" pin.  Sara can clip the pin to her purse or jacket for game day to show a little extra team spirit!

I've also been a busy make a suprise fall bag for my mom!  I made her a bag for mother's day last spring.  She had told me she wanted something to carry her ipad and two travel mugs to church with (my parents are hip like that-- no bibles or notebooks- use the ipad!  And they drink coffee in style!).  I made her a tote for it, and she's used it as her everyday purse ever since!  With fall here, she needed a purse with fall colors (she loves jewel tones) so I picked up some home dec fabric and got started. 
Because my mom carries her ipad with her all the time, I wanted to make her a purse that had an ipad sleeve in it.  I used this free pattern to make the bag and I think it turned out great!  I adapted it by adding an ipad sleeve... 
 (inside: ipad sleeve)

And including an interior zipper pocket and key clip thingy (I need a name for this-- key tether?  key line?  gonna work on that...).  Clearly I'm big on not loosing your keys in your purse. 

I got the fabric for a steal at Warehouse Fabrics too!  The fabric I used for the lining and accent I got at JoAnn's. 

This week's stats:
  • Sara's Georgia Tech bag
  • top secret bag design (mom's ipad purse)
In Progress:
  • Sugar's "Pip" of a doggy bed
  • various bags for etsy
In the queue:
  • Christmas Quilt
  • Baby B's blankets
  • Hope Valley quilt
  • Sewing Room accessories: sewing machine cover, string catcher, clip boards, quilt/design boards, embroidery kit

Completed projects - 2
Currently in progress -2
No Progress- 2
In the Queue- 6
Now head on over to Freshly Pieced to see what everyone else is up to!

  • Sugar's "pip" of a studio bed
  • new products for the etsy store!

September 21, 2011

WIP Wednesday

I don't know what it is about Atlanta and football, but it is huge!  Especially college football.   I grew up in North Carolina where college basketball was king.  (I'm all about some March Madness- go Blue Devils!). 

I didn't even understand the rules of football until I was in the high school marching band and actually watched games (mandatory).  So even after living in Atlanta for 5 years, I'm still amazed with how big football is around here! 

My friend Sara asked me to make her a Georgia Tech bag that "was Gerogia Tech-ish, but not screaming GA Tech.  The lining can scream it though!".  I'm using chauwall's Large Vinings Bag pattern, a Richloom fabric, and a Georgia Tech fabric. 

This pattern makes a nice roomy bag with cute pleats on the outside of the bag that give it a tailored look.

I'm making an extra-long adjustable strap so Sara can wear it as a shoulder bag or a cross-body bag.  I'm modifying the inside pockets too.  I made this bag for myself a couple months ago and although there are tons of pockets, it's hard to stay organized because my things tend to fall out of them.  It's the only annoyance I have with this bag. 

Instead, I'm going to put in a single pocket on the lining and a key chain strap so Sara can hook her keys to it and they'll always be handy! 

I have a couple other goodies I'm making to help her stay organized, but that'll have to wait for the final reveal post.

No farmer's wife blocks this week.  Guess I'm not actually a farmer's wife... more like a steady girlfriend.   Interested, but sometimes other things get in the way.  I'll get back to it soon though!

There's also been a lot of baking going on around here.  I love, love, love Starbuck's petite vanilla bean scones and I found this recipe and decided to try it last night.  It was my first time making scones and I think they turned out pretty good!

Light, airy, and most importantly: tasty!  

The recipe called for full-fat sour cream, but I used low fat and they still turned out wonderfullly!
This week's stats:
Completed: Baby A's quilt
In Progress: Sara's Georgia Tech bag
In the queue:
  • Christmas Quilt
  • Baby B's blankets
  • Hope Valley quilt
  • Sewing Room accessories: sewing machine cover, string catcher, clip boards, quilt/design boards, embroidery kit
  • top secret bag design
Completed projects - 1
Currently in progress -1
No Progress- 2
In the Queue- 7

September 20, 2011

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Baby A's Quilt

Baby quilt #2 is under my belt!  A sweet friend of mine is having a little boy anytime now and I wanted to make her something special:

I've gotta say, I'm getting pretty good at sewing squares together.  It's such an easy way to make something so personal and fun-- I really love this pattern for a quick and easy baby quilt.   I whipped it up in about 2 afternoons. 

I call it "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles". 

The thing I love about making baby quilts is that I get to use some really cute fabrics!  This one is made completely of Robert Kaufman prints:  Remix Argyle and Zig Zag, Ready, Set, Go! Airplanes, Helicopters, Trains, and Traffic, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas- Lime spots in cotton and flannel.

The backing is flannel and I.LOVE.IT!   So perfect for snuggling your baby on a crisp, fall night!  It's also super-soft and will be great for "tummy time" or play time or whatever-- 

This was also my first time making my own binding.  It was super-easy and affordable and gives it all that custom look.  I will never buy binding again (if I can help it).

I really like how the zig-zag fabric did with the binding.  I didn't necessarily try to create a color progression around the perimeter, but I love that it happened naturally.  The other fabric up for grabs was the aqua with white dots.  I think that would have looked really nice too, but I was worried that back would be too dotty. 

I didn't put the letter "A" on the back because this baby hasn't been born yet and what if they don't name him what they think they will!?   I also couldn't bear to cover up any of that soft, snuggly flannel.   

I am so pleased with the way this quilt turned out and I hope baby A and his family love it!

Next up: I need to make some girl quilts!!

September 14, 2011

Feeling Stitchy

Lately I've gotten into embroidery and I needed something to keep me organized.   I really loved what Nova did over at Cuppa and a Catch Up to keep herself organized and I was really inspired blatantly copied this lovely kit.   I have been obsessed with gray and Denyse Schmidt's Hope Valley collection (i know, about 2 years later) and I felt like it would be a perfect fit!  I also had to throw in the lovely green scissor pattern by Cosmo Cricket that I picked up at Whipstitch the other day. 

The largest pouch is about 12"x12"- perfect for carrying everything I need to get stitchy- and has my initials embroidered at the bottom.    I love the quilting too-- kind of a modified chevron.  I think I'm going to use the same process for some flannel blankets for Baby B. 

A floss bag.  I have another in the works as a catch all for pencils, doo-dads, and anything else I might need but don't want tangled up in thread.   The floss skein embroidery is based on Wild Olive's drawing.  (love her little characters and drawings!-- everything looks better with a little smile). 

And finally, a needle book.  Based on these two tutorials by Ever Kelly and Jamie at Sew She Sews.   I modified the case a bit from what Jamie instructs- completely leaving out the bias tape and snaps.  I like the ribbon closure and it adds a little pop of color and texture.   The pockets are perfect for floss and things, but my snips tend to slide right out.  Next time I make one of these I'm going to include a separate, triangle pocket for the snips (or attach Velcro to the top of one of the pockets?).   I also forgot to stitch "needles" on the outside of the book- I got too excited to see how it would turn out!- but no one knows that but you and me. 

Confession: bright zippers make me happy.

This week's stats:

Completed: embroidery kit

Stalled out:
No progress: Baby G's Quilt

In the queue:
  • Christmas Quilt
  • Baby B's blankets
  • Hope Valley quilt
  • Sewing Room accessories: sewing machine cover, string catcher, clip boards, quilt/design boards, embroidery kit
Completed projects - 1
Currently in progress - 9

Now head on over to Freshly Pieced and see what everyone else is up to-- There's a ton of creative types over there!

September 7, 2011

I'm a Farmer's Wife!

I'm officially a farmer's wife:

The Farmer's Wife Quilt-a-Long has been wandering out the sewing blogosphere all summer and had piqued my interest, but I've got to admit I was pretty turned off by the historic fabrics and colors.  Don't get me wrong, I think traditional quilting is gorgeous and the reproduction fabrics are really amazing, but it's just not my style (not that's I've been doing this long enough to have a definitive style- 1 month- but I'm definitely attracted to modern fabrics, styles, and colors).

Then I found the flickr group and saw how well modern fabrics blend with the traditional quilt blocks and I was hooked!   I know this is a pretty ambitious project for a beginning quilter, but I've always been a jump into the deep in kind of girl anyway.   I've already learned a lot just this week!  For instance-- half square triangles-- who knew that you had to cut the triangles larger than the template for them to fit?  Not me!  Luckily, Lori Holt to the rescue with her fabulous tutorial!  I have a feeling I'll be referencing her other tutorials before this project is over. 

Another handy tip I learned from Lori: design boards!  
Add caption
These are a definite must-have for any project with intricate blocks and were so easy to make:  foam board, scrap batting, and fabric strips.   Add hot glue and you're organized and ready to sew!  (tutorial here).  These will come in hand for a while.

Now, without further ado, the five blocks I made this week:

#16 Calico Puzzle

#21 Contrary Wife

#71 Puss in the Corner

I will probably remake this one-- the corners don't quite line up and I'm not in love with the busy-ness of the corners-- they blend in with the pink dot DS Quilts fabric.

#81 Snowball
I am going to remake this one-- I like the fabrics, but I messed up the top-- I want the corner stripes to be turned opposite and that didn't happen.  Need to pay better attention to that when I'm sewing... like I did with....

#84 Spool
I modified my "spool"-- I wanted thread on it.   I like the way this one turned out.   I especially like the way the "Hometown" fabric looks as the body of the spool.

I'll be keeping up my progress over in the side bar. 

This week's stats:

Completed: design boards

Moving Along:   

No progress: Baby G's Quilt
In the queue:
  • Christmas Quilt
  • Baby B's blankets
  • Hope Valley quilt
  • Sewing Room accessories: sewing machine cover, string catcher, clip boards, quilt/design boards, embroidery bag

    Completed projects - 1
    Currently in progress - 10

Now head on over to Freshly Pieced and see what everyone else is up to!

August 31, 2011

This is not good.... and WIP #6

Well, I'm back. This summer has been crazy! My sister moved to town, various vacations, work projects ramping up, etc, etc...

I'm getting back into the swing of things and I've got to tell you, this is not good. You see, I've discovered a little something called quilting.

I can already see the life long love-affair blooming. If someone told me five years ago I'd become a quilter, I would have laughed in their face! But then I actually made one and wowza! Where have you been all my life?

I've been flirting with quilting for a while now-- a little patchwork in a purse or pouch here or there, but I had never assembled a quilt. Then baby C came along and I thought "I could make him a little play quilt" and I did! And it was sew fun!

I had a blast picking out the fabrics! C's nursery is jungle themed, and I knew Central Park would be the cutest back for a quilt and I just went from there. I added a little Metro Living, a little wood grain, some flutterby, even a Dr. Suess print! I used Amy's beginner quilting series and it was perfect. Her instructions are so clear and the quilt came together like a dream! There were a couple places where my seams didn't quite line up, but for the most part, it went smoothly.
I quilted the baby blanket going across each of the squares making an X in the middle. I started off with the masking tape method, but by the time I finished all the lines one way, I realized I could eyeball it without needing the tape as a guide. I actually did better on the side where I didn't use tape! I now have plans to make 2 more baby quilts, a Christmas Quilt, and a quilt using Denyse Schmidt's Hope Valley (drool!), and am even going to join the Farmer's Wife Quilt-Along! (I know, late to the game and I have a lot of catching up to do!). I ordered my book and it should be here on Saturday- exciting!! I just have to figure out what fabrics to use-- I've found a lot of inspiration out there, like this one Amelia made using just solids-- gorgeous!!!
Or these using vintage-ish looking fabrics (blocks created by the fabulous Lori Holt):
I don't know how I'll choose, but it sure will be a fun process!
So without further ado, the tally for WIP #6:
Baby C quilt (front)

In progress: In the queue:
  • Christmas Quilt
  • Farmer's Wife Quilt
  • Baby B's blankets
  • Hope Valley quilt
  • Sewing Room accessories: sewing machine cover, string catcher, clip boards, quilt/design boards
Now head on over to Freshly Pieced and see what everyone else is up to!

June 20, 2011

Patchwork Messenger Bag

When I started sewing, one my first projects was the Patchwork Messenger Bag by Ali Foster. My sister (MC) loves messenger bags and I thought I'd make her one for her birthday! She helped me pick out the fabric and away we went. At the time, it was hard! Deffinitly the toughest thing I'd ever made. There were so many layers and things to think about. It was also my introduction to quilting techniques. In the end, I made it twice b/c I sewed the flap on backwards and the fabric we chose for the flap outside was her favorite (it wouldn't do to have it on the inside!). There were lots of mistakes and I decided to just chuck it and start over. The second attempt went much more smoothly, but it was still diffucult.

MC is a professional flute player and she's worked with the same teacher for years. Her teacher loved MC's bag and often commented on how she's love to have one. MC asked me to make one for her so we chose the fabrics and away I went. A year later, I sailed through this pattern! It was really awesome to see how much I've grown and how much more skill I have now. I remember telling MC when I gave her the first purse "if I can make this, I can make anything!". And it really was true-- that project was the confidence booster I needed to get out there and try it. I mean, what was the worst that could happen? I'd already failed and survived.

I really hope MC's teacher likes her new bag. It was a great collaboration with MC!

I love the purples and patterns MC chose! I especially love how the diamonds tie the purples and greens together!

The green from the strap goes all the way around the edges and bottom of the bag, giving it a really pulled together look.
The back is so pretty! I can't choose a favorite fabric in this bag!

I added a zippered pocket to the bag for little things that could get lost in the bottom of the bag (don't you hate it when that happens!?)

What was the hardest thing you've ever tried? Did it get easier with time?