Sunday, September 30, 2012

At the end of my hallway--September

My younger sister took some family pictures for us just recently.  Let's just say it was pretty chaotic, and she even brought her husband for crowd control.  I debated on what to have everyone wear.  The day before I decided to make skirts for our girls from some Chicopee corduroy.  I'm participating in a little blog hop with Westminster/FreeSpirit later this year.  Due to a mix-up, I received the wrong box of fabric in the mail for my project.  Instead I received four different yards of beautiful Chicopee corduroy prints.  My correct fabric was resent just a couple days later, but they offered to let me keep the Chicopee, which I was thrilled about.   I learned this just the day before our pictures so I frantically whipped up simple skirts for the girls with two of the prints.  I must say I adore the skirts and want to make myself a skirt with the orange plaid.  The prints are really fun and perfect for fall.

I love October.  I think it is my favorite month.  Generally the weather is pretty reasonable, the leaves continue to change, and I get to start wearing sweaters again.  I have lots of projects to share this coming month that I've been saving up for a while including two finished quilts I'm taking to Sewing Summit.  I also just finished a quilt that will be heading to Market so I'll share pictures of that at the end of the month as well. I received my name tag in the mail just today for Quilt Market and am very excited. I'm definitely looking forward to the coming month.

So what is hanging at the end of your hallway this month?  Share your favorite project for September.  I may just pick a lucky winner from the links this month and send you a little package from Sewing Summit Shop Hop!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WIP Wednesday 9.26.12

I needed a little break from another quilt I'm currently working on, so I started sewing these blocks together as a little distraction.

I sewed the center section together and decided it needed a few more blocks.  Hoping to finish this project soon.  It's funny to me that I made most of these blocks about a year ago and let them sit in a box since then.  After doing them, I fell out of love with them.  Now that they are all sewn together with a few more soon to be added, I love this quilt so much.  All the blocks are made from Art Gallery Pure Elements.

These blocks are all foundation pieced.  Then I square them up with my flying geese ruler.

I'm getting really excited to finish this one up.

I also finished up this bee block for AnneMarie from GenX Quilters. She asked for improv hexagon blocks.

Finally, I finished up one last little project the other day that isn't my normal style.  Our cute babysitter turned 16 on Monday.  For her birthday her parents redid her room.  I made her a throw pillow to match her new room and bedding.  

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, September 24, 2012

Travel Handmade--The Bella Bag

Travel Handmade with The Sewing Summit

In preparing for Sewing Summit, I decided to make a new handbag to bring along.  I wanted something on the larger side for all the Sewing Summit loot and decided to try out a new pattern to Travel Handmade.  Don't forget to check out the other Travel Handmade ideas.  There is also a great Pinterest board with all sorts of ideas.

When I first saw pictures of the Bella Bag on ikatbag, I wanted to make it immediately. Lucky for me, LiEr just finished the pattern over Labor Day weekend. I was literally stalking her site all weekend anxiously waiting for her to post the pattern for sale. I bought it immediately and started getting right to work.

I chose some black and white houndstooth home dec fabric I've had for quite a while.  I ordered this fabric online months ago with the intention of making a bag with it.  The funny thing when it arrived is that I realized I have a dress from the exact same fabric.  I should have modeled them together.  I would look a bit too matchy though.  The dress has a red belt.  With the green trim on this bag, I would look all set for Christmas.

The grey fabric is Moonstone from Art Gallery's Pure Elements collection.  The green is a home dec solid from Jo-Ann's.  I had to add the pink zipper for a little pop of color inside.  

The piping on the bag was one of the things and initially drew me to it, but it about killed me.  I should have cut the fabric on the bias when making the piping.  The curves would have been easier.  Using the heavier weight fabric was also a poor choice, but I really wanted the piping green like the lining.  It was a struggle, but it all worked out okay in the end (as long as you don't look too close).

This bag could easily become "The Pit" like other purses I've had.  It doesn't have enough pockets inside.  Next time I make this bag, I will add a whole side panel of pockets.  I might even consider doing panels on both sides.  It needs pockets for my phone, pens, lip gloss, etc.

The handles actually contain vinyl tubing from the plumbing dept at Lowes.  The pattern calls for 3/8" tubing.  Be aware that tubing is sold by by the interior measurement as well as the exterior measurement.  I initially picked up 3/8" by the interior measurement, but 1/2" exterior.  This was the wrong one and was too big.  I didn't notice this until after I had cut it.  Double check before you cut the tubing to make sure you're getting the correct product.  Make sure you purchase the tubing that is 3/8" diameter for the exterior of the tube.

Here is the zipper on the back of the bag.  I love how big this pocket is.  The only drawback is that it's hard to open the zipper because of the top gathers.  It's not exactly easy access.  I would still choose to put it in the bag though just because it's nice to have a big pocket like this.

Here is the back all zipped up.  You can barely see where the zipper is.  I'd like to take credit for this, but it was pure luck that the fabric lined up so well.  Those big side pockets are perfect for a large water bottle.

This is a big bag.  Here is it compared to my current purse I'm using.

And here is my current purse inside the Bella Bag.  It easily fits.  I'll have plenty of room to fit all sorts of goodies from Sewing Summit!

This pattern was fabulous.  I've never made a bag this complicated before, and each step was well illustrated and clearly described.  It's a 30 page pattern which seemed overwhelming at first, but each step goes relatively quickly. It's definitely not an afternoon project, but was something fun and different as I don't make many bags.  I definitely have plans to make it again.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tutorial--Cutting Diamonds

As part of our Sewing Summit class, Faith and I are asking participants to precut their fabric in order to save time in the class.  To make sure everyone has ample opportunity to do so here is a quick tutorial on cutting diamonds. Diamonds are simple to cut with a standard ruler.

Don't forget to save the pieces that are not full diamonds.  These can be used on the top or bottom of a quilt layout.

**For those attending Sewing Summit:  If you plan to make the practice block shown in Google Group you will need to cut 2.75" 45 degree diamonds.  You will need 8 of fabric A, 3 of fabric B and 18 of a white solid.  If you just want practice and don't plan to make the block, you can cut your diamonds any size.  I recommend cutting about 25 for practice. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Giveaway Winners

I'm finally getting around to drawing our giveaway winners today. I'll divide the loot among the three winners and send you each a package.   Send me an email with your info, and I'll get your packages out!  Have a great afternoon!

187 Amorette said...
great advice to be had- i will be leaving your page up while i attempt these! so nice to have someone work through it first ;)

108 blue.crab said...
These are so cute! It makes me want to sew something Christmasy.

16 Jenny Wren said...
Kati,I love your boxes - I'm wanting to make some for the kids toys and wonder if they would hold up to the rough treatment that the kids will give them.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Some bee blocks and a new book!

Another month of bee blocks ready to ship.

This first one is for Corey from Little Miss Shabby.  She posted a tutorial here.  This block was a rough one.  It was a lot of work.  When I first saw the block I loved it and thought it would be great to make a quilt from a bunch of these blocks, after doing just one block, I think I'm good.  I don't know that I'll be doing it again.  I love how it turned out though.  She chose such pretty colors.

The second block is for Megan from Canoe Ridge Creations.   She asked us to use this tutorial from Six White Horses.  I love this block.  I actually did this same block last month for Brioni in my Stash Trad Bee.  I love this star and I think I could make a whole quilt from them someday.  It's a great tutorial and fairly easy paper piecing. 

Finally, I have some fun news I can finally announce--I have a quilt in a book that will be released in December.  It's officially on Amazon!  You can see images of every quilt on the Amazon listing.  There are some fun ones.

Source Martingale Publishing
Here is my quilt for the book.  I sent this quilt off to Martingale last December so I haven't seen it in a very long time.  It was a stressful process, but I'm glad I had the chance to do it.
Source Martingale Publishing

Monday, September 10, 2012

Nesting Boxes--The final week of the Zakka Sew-Along

 Zakka Style Sew Along
This week is my turn for the Zakka Style Sew Along put together by Lindsey from LRstitched.  This is also the final project in the book!  We have seen so many great projects that people have created using this fun book.  I admit I was especially excited about my project.  I originally planned to use some fun bright orange and green Essex linen I received from Robert Kaufman for this sew along.  I sewed these little boxes in the hottest part of July and was feeling the itch to sew with some Christmas fabric in my stash.  Having never made fabric boxes before, I wasn't familiar with how they would be constructed.  I expected I would put these together just like a handbag or tote.  There was a quite a bit of hand sewing involved when putting the final boxes together. Not being a pro hand-sewer, this was a bit of challenge to me.

Finishing off the hand-sewn edge of the box was a bit frustrating for me.  When finishing the binding, I folded it under--even with the edge.  When sewing these corners together it was hard to get a smooth finish with stitching the binding together.  If I were to do it again, I would finish the binding slightly longer than the side so it would be easier to finish these off.  The pictures of the boxes in the book are beautiful, but none of them show a good shot of how the hand-sewing should look.  This would have been very helpful for an amateur like me.

I opted not to do the leaf detail because it didn't match the fabrics I chose.  I also chose to do a little different machine quilting detail than the pattern called for.  It was fun to come up with some designs that were more Christmasy.  I started doing the hand-stitching shown in the pattern using some Cosmo floss from Lecien, but again didn't feel it fit with the overall look I was going for so I opted not to.

There were a couple things I felt needed to be a bit more clear in the pattern, but that could just be me and my lack of Zakka experience.  I figured it all out, but did have to reread some sections of the pattern a few times.  It was a great little pattern, and my daughter loves our new Christmas boxes.  I love how they turned out.  I've realized that one of the secrets to using a pattern is making those tweaks that result in a project that I love. 

Finally, I have a fun giveaway for you this week! CLOSED

 Aurifil, Robert Kaufman, and Lecien provided products for the Zakka sew-along.   Since I changed my mind on this project twice mid-stream, I have some goodies I didn't use.  Aurifil sent sample packs to giveaway, but I also have some extra 1/2 yard cuts of Essex Linen, an Aurifil card, and some Cosmo Floss samples to give away.  Three winners will each receive a fun bundle pulled together from some of these products.  Just leave a comment.  Please remember to leave contact info if your email isn't connected to your profile. Giveaway will close Sept 13th. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A new month

I love the beginning of each month.  So many new possibilities.  I realized I've become much less regular about posting recently.  This is partly due to some of the projects I've been working on--ones I can't share right away.  I've missed blogging regularly about my ongoing quilting projects.  I got myself in a bit over my head with everything I "had to do".  I'm almost finished with my outside projects I've committed to and am looking forward to doing my own sewing again.  Some of the projects I have on the table were ones I committed to months ago, and it's now crunch time.  Since then I've become much more careful about committing to the extras.  It sounds all fun at the time, but I have decided to be more selective about where I spend my quilty time. I'm a much happier quilter when I'm just doing my own stuff.  

I am finding a bit more quilty time now that school has started.  My oldest kiddo started kindergarten this week.  It was a strange feeling to drop her off at her new school with all those older kids.  She loves it and is so happy when she gets home each day.  It's only 1/2 day which I'm really happy about.  I think full-day would be too much for both of us right now.

Three mornings a week I have an empty car after dropping my twins off at preschool.  I'm really liking this break idea.

Yesterday during my break I worked frantically with this pile of fabric.  I just finished a very fun bag for Travel Homemade for Sewing Summit which I'll be sharing in a couple weeks. 

I chopped my hair last weekend and love it.  The hubs made me get a "before" picture.  This wonderful picture was after my unfixed old hair had been in bun all day.  Lovely, right?

And the self-portrait in the bathroom mirror after my friend chopped 8+ inches off my head.  Soooo much better.  I know I'm not a long hair person.  I'm not sure why I try.

Here are my "special" projects all finished and bound.  The bottom two quilts are my samples for sewing summit (one of which will also be a Christmas present for someone special).  I decided if I was going to make samples I might as well start checking off my Christmas list.  The top rolled quilt will be shipped off soon for other plans.

In slightly sad news I shipped off my Pixelated Color Wheel quilt the other day.  I am really going to miss it.  I was having regrets about entering it in the Modern Quilts display with the International Quilt Festival as I packed it up.  But now that it's gone I honestly want to remake it only smaller.  These are 1.5" finished squares.  Wouldn't it be so great with 1" finished squares?  I might have some sort of sickness.  If you see it in Houston will you take a picture for me?

Finally on the design wall today-- I switch up my design wall all the time even if I'm not really planning to work on the project I put up.  It's like my own personal art wall.  I love having something on there.  This project is the predecessor to the quilt I made for Modern Quilts Unlimited Magazine--the one on the cover next month (okay, I admit I'm really, really excited about that part)!  I made these blocks about a year ago and haven't shared them here or done anything with them.  I think it's about time they were made into a quilt.

Hope you're having a great week!