Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Every once in a while I crave the precision of paper piecing. It's fun to work on a project like this (at least for a little while). I felt this way a while back and started a new project. I had a bin full of scraps from a previous project that needed used.

I opted for a pattern that has been floating around Instagram a bit. This is a variation on Grandma's Surprise from Then and Now Quilts by Joyce Giezler. This little guy is just 18" finished. I recently completed the quilting and am currently considering a binding. I'll likely go with navy to frame it. 

Mini quilts are a great way to try out a new technique or get something out of your system. I personally wouldn't ever want to paper piece an entire quilt, but I love it for small projects. It would never finish a whole paper-pieced quilt. This mini alone took me a couple months to actually complete. Now that I've done a little paper piecing, I'm ready to get back into a project that's more satisfying for me and a little less rigid.

Friday, September 4, 2015

New Pouches!

Just a few new pouches!

I made these framed clutches using Diane Stanley's (random thoughts...do or di) pattern. I went a little light on the interfacing. Next time I'll certainly use something with more body.

These are both made with velveteen from Anna Maria Horner. It is perfect for these clutches.

I've been itching to use some of my selvages I've been saving for years. I finally pulled out some of my Cotton & Steel pieces and made this wide open pouch.

I sewed the selvages to cotton duck. The base is navy linen with some metallic accent stitching.

It goes perfectly with my new Super Tote!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A New Super Tote

I caved about a month ago and started a new Super Tote. I wasn't intending to to make a new bag, but I really wanted to give it another go. I don't use it all the time, but it's a great large back for certain occasions.

It was also a bit of a test run for my new machine. Because I used quilting cotton on the exterior, this bag has layers and layers of interfacing. My machine handled it like a champ! I again used faux leather on the gusset and strap. This certainly complicated things a bit, but I love the functionality of this material. It's easy to wipe clean and holds up so well.

One of my greatest frustrations with the first bag I made were the interior pockets. I followed the pattern and disliked how they came out. They are puffy pockets with elastic at the top (similar to those in many diaper bags). It wasn't functional for me. I found all they did was hide the bottom of the bag and make it difficult to find anything. They also got in the way when I attempted to put larger items like a binder or my laptop in the bag. This time around I chose simple panel pockets and cut them the same shape as the lining pieces. They are approximately the same height as the pattern pockets. I like these pockets so much better! I sewed dividers in each panel to fit my personal needs--pens, lip gloss, phone. etc.

I used all Cotton & Steel fabrics, with the exception of the lining. I've found I prefer a simple, light colored lining fabric for large bags. It's hard enough to find things in a deep bag, but it's even harder against a busy, dark background fabric. Everything seems camouflaged. I used Essex linen in flax for this lining.

I added a couple pops of color inside like this green zipper and green key fob (neither of which are included in the original pattern, but I find them completely necessary). 

The evening I was working on the front pocket snap, I realized my stash of magnetic snaps was depleted. Luckily, I had one pink one left from a previous project. I wouldn't normally have chosen this, but it really worked out perfectly!

I was working only with fabric and materials I already had on hand to make this bag. I had exactly 1/2 yard of the outer viewfinder fabric. I would have preferred extra fabric to match the fabric pattern better. Next time I will order extra to allow for this.

Love it! It's already been used multiple times.