Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wide Open Zipper Pouches

I made a couple fun Wide Open Zipper Pouches this past week. I love them! It's a great tutorial and probably the most functional pouch I've made because the zipper allows it to open completely. I'm not sure I'll go back to making zipper pouches the standard way.

I made this first one as a trial run. I am participating in Ellison Lane's Stitch It Swap. I wanted to try out the pattern first before using my precious typewriter. 

I purchased some suede from LRStitched a while back. I used that for the contrast bottom. I love how it turned out, but boxing the corners turned out to be a little much for my machine. I couldn't quite stitch over the complete seam. I added a little liquid stitch where I was unable to stitch, and you can't even tell.

 Once I knew I liked the pouch design and tutorial, I jumped right in and started my second. I love this one. A LOT.

Sadly for me I'm shipping it off to my secret swap partner for the Stitch It Swap. I might be making myself another one.

I tried really hard to make this pouch complicated. I kept pulling additional fabrics to make it scrappy, but in the end I felt it needed to be very simple. I know my partner will love the typewriter, and I wanted to keep the focus on that print. I added matchstitck quilting to add texture.

I braved Tandy Leather and headed over there to buy my first official piece of leather in person. The navy base is from a small goat hide. I love the contrast of the shiny leather. This piece was much thinner than the suede and my machine had no problem at all stitching through it.

I used metallic and Auriful 12 wt thread in additional to standard weight sewing thread to add some fun variation to the stitching.

The best part about swaps is the fact that you stretch yourself and try something new. I see many more leather projects and bags in my future!

These fabrics are next on my list to chop up!

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Geranium Dress

After making this little baby quilt, I had half of the panel print leftover. Of course it would make the perfect skirt, but I wanted to try my hand at making a dress for my daughter with it. I decided on the Geranium Dress from Made by Rae. I made a size 4T for my little girl which ended up being fairly true to size. She generally wears a 4 or 5. It's slightly large on her, and I hope it lasts her a while.

The skirt is slightly less gathered than the pattern suggests simply because I didn't have enough fabric. It still worked out just fine.

 My daughter likes longer dresses so I added a wide hem in Pure Elements Verve Violet. It coordinates perfectly with the Wee Wander fabric.

I struggled a bit on the neckline, but the scallop neck adds such cute detail.

The pattern was well written and easy to follow. I bought the bundle of both size sets. Hopefully I'll be making one of two more of these dresses in the future!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My first 241 Tote

I have seen many people make the 241 Tote by Noodlehead and finally decided to join the crowd. I used some Cotton + Steel fabrics. I adore their basics line. I purchased a FQ bundle, but have been really tempted to buy a 1/2 yard bundle. I can see them becoming my go-to fabrics for many projects. The designs are subtle and go with nearly everything. The colors are beautiful, and all coordinate. It's a perfect substitute for solids.

The main reason I made this bag in the first place was to try an embroidery idea. I wanted to do some embroidery on the front panel of a bag. I chose part of a design from the Just Add Color: Botanicals book by Lisa Congdon. I love this book! I want to use more of these color pages on designs down the road. The main panel is Yarn Dyed Essex in Grey by Robert Kaufman. I used Finca Perle size 8 for the stitching.

My only regret is choosing my lining fabric after finishing the embroidery. I stuck with fairly traditional colors for the stitching. Looking back I wish I had incorporated more navy in my stitching and chosen some non-traditional colors for some of the flowers. Maybe on the next bag, right?!

This bag is smaller than my other everyday bags, which is perfect when I'm out on my own. It's not big enough to carry all the kid-related paraphernalia, but it's fun one to add into the rotation!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Embroidery Bug

I have recently started to really enjoy embroidery. This is something I never expected. I don't like hand binding my quilts, and have always said I don't like hand stitching anymore. Before I became obsessed with quilting, I was obsessed with cross-stitch. I used to create some pretty intense designs on projects that would take me more than a year to finish at times. Until one day, when I just stopped. I have two projects in process that I never picked up again--nor do I have any desire to. That is why this embroidery thing surprised me so much.

Earlier this year while I attended Sew South, we had an embroidery class from Alison Glass. Honestly, I wasn't overly excited about class itself. I went in with the assumption that it wouldn't be my thing. I was so surprised. I really enjoyed it and found it calming and fun--especially while chatting with other attendees. I finished our needle book project in just a week or two after returning home.

I also came home from Sew South with these books which helped me learn a few more stitches and techniques. 

My next project was for the Modern Quilt Guild Michael Miller Challenge. Obviously, I didn't make the deadline as this is still the state of that project, but it was a great project for a summer road trip. It was a fun experiment. I simply traced my stitching pattern directly from the larger pattern on one of the fabrics. I used the Jaybird Hex n' More ruler to cut the shapes for this quilt. The project is now on the "someday" list. With no deadline, it will probably remain like this for a while. I didn't want to use interfacing on this piece because I planned to use it in a quilt. Instead I stitched on two pieces of white, secured with 505 in the middle. This spot will definitely be thicker than the remainder of the quilt, but it will be much less noticeable with fabric vs. interfacing.

My next "road trip" project was stitching some designs on the hem of one of my favorite skirts. It's subtle and on the side so it doesn't scream, "Crazy Embroidery Lady", or at least that's what I tell myself. I used the Clover Sunshine Flowers pattern from Alison Glass on this design.

By this point I was starting to run out of the thread I received at Sew South for my needle book project and decided to invest in some thread. I used regular DMC floss on the guild challenge project and didn't love it. I really loved the Finca Perle Cotton Size 8 so I finally ordered some colors. Isn't it pretty? I just need a color card now!

Finally, this is my most recent project. I'm created a stitched panel for a 241 Tote. Again I didn't want it to stand out and look crazy. I wanted it more subtle, so I chose not to fill in the flowers. Hopefully, I'll be able to share this finished bag very soon!

For the pattern on this piece I used a portion of one design from Just Add Color: Botanicals by Lisa Congdon. I love her work. I went with a pretty simple design on these flowers. Next time I am going to branch out and use one of her more quirky designs. In another post I'll show the process of actually transferring these designs onto dark fabric.

Have a great Wednesday! I'm off to get a little sewing done before picking up my kiddos from school!