Thursday, July 29, 2010

Just in time

Finished just in time for the beach!  This is a second tote bag that followed the tutorial from  A few weeks back I was online shopping perusingYes, I wasn't intentionally looking at to buy fabric, but I just couldnt help when these half yard bundles caught my eye...

This set of fabrics is from various designers, I ordered a half yard bundle, and received all these yummy bright fabrics.  How terrible, I forget what half of them are, but I used some of the Heather Baily Pop Garden fabric I received, some of the blue/aqua dots for the lining and some Kona Chocolate for the bottom of the bag. 
I also ordered a half yard bundle of Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks line of fabrics.  I am just dying to dig into these!  12 different half yards...I'm still deciding on what project I will cut into these for...perhaps my mother-in-laws quilt for Christmas...we shall see.

This bag just screams "take me to the beach", I had initial plans to use it as a laptop bag carrier, but I think it will have dual purposes! 

Well, my vacation has officially begun, and we will be beach-bound as of Sunday!  See everyone in a week or so!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Adventures in applique

This project just kind of came together, and quite quickly at that!  I had been eyeing up this tutorial from Kellie over at DontLookNow for some time now, but to be honest was a little intimidated by the idea of applique.  With all the craptastic weather we had this weekend, I literally had ALL day on Sunday to sew!  I figured I'd give this applique technique a spin, and I have to say, I'm hooked!

I think there will be much more applique in my quilting future.  I love this pillow case size, small enough for a quick little project, but so much to look at!

It actually could double as a wall hanging/mini quilt, and measures about 20 inches x 20 inches.  I also thought I'd branch out and try some new filler quilting, so after about an hour of practicing swirls, I think I have it down!  This may be my new favorite...heres more of a close up of the quilting, definitly not perfect, but I really like the effect.

And here's my new pillow at home on the recliner!

I'm hoping to whip up another tote bag like the zebra tote within the next few days to hold my laptop while on vacation next week, so hopefully one more post this week and then I'll be soaking up some sun at the beach! 


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Zebra tote

We've had some crummy weather this weekend, so that meant I've gotten to break in my new sewing room!  A coworker of mine asked if I could make a tote bag for her daughter to use as a school bag this year, and her daughter's only requirements were that it was zebra print and bright fun!  I found this tutorial from and it worked just perfectly! 

It measures approximately 14 inches wide, 11 inches high and 3 1/2 inches deep.  With the superstiff interfacing, it is a very durably constructed bag, and I love love all the pockets this pattern includes!  Theres a pocket on the front in between the straps and then two pockets on the interior (one is a zipper pocket, which is great!) 
I do have to say the zipper pocket gave me a run for my money, I had a hard time following the directions at that point, but now that I've figured it out, I will definitly be using this method of a zipper pocket in many tote bags to come.

Here's a pic of the interior

I think I met all the requirements for her, and the monogram on the front pocket brings just enough pink to the exterior.  I think this size will work well for Paige (I believe she will be going into third grade).  I also have found that the size of this bag would also make a PERFECT laptop carrier!  I actually am planning on making one of these for myself for that exact purpose.  


I think Paige and her new zebra bag will be the talk of the third grade! 


Saturday, July 24, 2010

New sewing space!

I no longer have a dining room/sewing space, but now have a designated sewing space downstairs in our basement that I am able to keep all my sewing supplies in ONE central location, which also happens to be where I actually sew! 

This is what I was working with before...

Don't get me wrong, I love my dining room, it was just a pain in the butt to be doing all my sewing downstairs, but all my fabric and misc sewing notions and supplies were upstairs in the spare bedroom, and not to mention, everytime we had people over, I had to clean everything up so that we had a dining room again!
My only hang up for not finding a new space sooner, was not having a big enough/sturdy enough table for cutting/sewing.  I happened across a super cheap dining room table from Walmart (not the best quality, but for the purpose, I didnt really care) and from there my downstairs sewing space was born!

This is my table I bought and the size is great for sewing and cutting also.  The height was just right to fit some plastic storeage bins underneath the table to save some space.

This space is just perfect for me, its a little too small to use it as a living space, but when we bought the house it came with those beautiful built ins, which work perfectly as storeage!  Theres bascially double the storeage that I have pictured here (mirror image on the other side of the big TV opening) but the other half of the shelving isn't cleaned out yet, as we had been using the unit for storeage up until yesterday.

While I was taking pictures, I figured I'd take a pictures of my fabric stash...I want to get some clear plastic bins to sort by color a little better, but for now, piles will do just fine. 

I'm just so excited to have a dedicated sewing space (with TV for background noise/entertainment) AND to have my dining room back, for its actual intended purpose, dining and entertaining!

I've been sewing away down here this morning, and almost have the zebra tote bag completed, pics to come soon!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oh baby!

I've been working on all things baby this week so far!  A good friend of mine's (the soon to be owners of the flying geese quilt) baby shower is comming up in a few weeks, unfortunately I will be away on vacation and wont be able to attend, so I wanted to put together a really awesome gift to ship out to her.  I'm going to put together a diaper wreath like this one I made a few months ago, only a gender neutral jungle animal theme.

I still wanted to put together some handmade baby stuff to attach to the wreath.  Soooooo....


I found some online tutorials from chickpeastudio for a cloth diaper burp cloth tutorial and sewshesews for a quilted patchwork bib pattern.  Both of these tutorials were super easy to follow and I feel that there will be many more burp cloths and bibs that I will be making in the forseeable future! 

For the burp cloths I used a fun yellow bee print fabric, some Penn State fabric and a turquose/green/brown paisley print

I'll put up some pics when I get the diaper wreath put together before its shipped off!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Girlie tote bags

A coworker of mine had asked if I could make her 7 year old granddaughter a set of tote bags, one a beach sized towel type bag and one a smaller purse sized bag that she could carry around.  Of course I said yes, and coworkers request was that it had her name on it and said granddaughter liked girlie colors.  Woohoo for free reign!  My mind went to work, and this was what I came up with...

The bigger sized bag measures about 16 inches wide and about 14 or so inches high and is about 6 inches in depth.  I had been thinking about trying some hexagons for some time now, and since I really despise hand sewing, I found this tutorial which is a video tutorial from Ladyharvitine that shows how to machine piece hexagons, and I thought I'd give it a shot.  I figured this would be a nice small project to just get my feet wet.

I must say, there is definitly a learning curve to this, but once I got the spacing down (you have to leave a precise 1/4 inch unsewn on each end to join them together) they went together quite easily.  Its definitly not perfect, but I really like the effect here.  I then machine embroidered her name on the hexagons, and pieced the hexagon portion with some white canvas, and then applied some heavy fusible interfacing to give it some weight. 

The back of the bag is white canvas and I lined the tote with a pretty girlie pink cotton solid.

As for the smaller tote, I kind of followed this tutorial from Rachel at p.s. i quilt however adjusted the dimensions to fit my need. 

I used 2 1/2 inch strips and used 6 on each side and made them about 10 1/2 inches high.  After I pieced them together and then cut a 12 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch piece of white canvas for the bottom, the finished dimensions measured about 8 inches wide by 10 inches high and the depth is about 4 inches.  It acutually makes a nice lunch sized tote or a small bag/purse for a little girl.  I just used some white 1 inch cotton webbing for the handles on both bags (i.e. the lazy way :) ) instead of cutting and making fabric handles. 

Here's a pic of the back..

I like this smaller bag, I'm already thinking of adding strips and making them taller to make a tote bag for myself!  The cotton batting just gives it a really nice weight and feel to it. 

I have one more ordered bag to make for another coworker, her daughter wants a bag with her initials on it to be her school bag this year, and she has requested zebra print fabric and pink!  So fun...check back soon!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Finished Jungle quilt, part 2

I've finished the flying geese jungle themed baby quilt!

I really enjoyed putting this quilt together, I think my quilting skills are actually improving, even I was impressed that most of my points were pretty much right on.  This makes me want to tackle another half square triangle quilt sometime in the near future.

I used an array of yellows, oranges, greens, browns and just a splash of some light light aqua, and about half of my squares were a jungle print, one with a green background and one with a cream background.  I think the colors work very nice together as a gender neutral baby quilt (I was quite unsure of how this was going to turn out when I started).  As I was putting together my geese, I realized that the green jungle print was a directional print, but decided  I didn't mind that some of my animal heads point to the right, left or upside adds charater!

The final product measures about 42 inches wide by 36 inches high.  This is by far the smallest quilt I've done, but I think its still large enough as a baby/crib quilt.  As for the quilting, I thought this quilt deserved some straight line zig zag quilting that followed the pattern or the colored part of the flying geese block.  I just the presser foot part of my walking foot and stitched two lines 1/4 inch outside the color part of the block, and the third line is 1/2 inch outside of the second line.  This picture I think shows off the quilting the best.

Here's a pic of the back of the quilt...

I like it, I dont think I'm in love with it though.  I actually meant for both blocks of flying geese blocks to point in the same direction, but to be honest, by the time I realized my mistake, I just decided to go with it. 


And another pic of the back, this again shows off more of the quilting. 

Since I finished this so quickly, I'll be posting to Lit and Laundry's Finished for Friday and AmyLouWho's Sew and Tell. 

I think I'm going to take a quilt making break for a few days...I have a few tote bags that have been requested, and I'm kind of excited to work on some one or two day projects!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Into the jungle

The quilt top is complete! I was really hesitant about what this color combination was going to come out looking like, but I'm pretty pleased with the completed top.

I seem to be drawn to the bright bold colors, so to use colors that were much more muted made me unsure, but I think they work nicely as a gender neutral baby quilt.

Usually by the time I have the my quilt top completed I have a geneal idea as to what I want to do for the quilt back, but this time I'm at a loss. I suppose I'll sleep on it and raid through my stash to see what I can come up with...Check back soon!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Extremely slow progress

Forgive my extremely slow progress on the beginnings of this next quilt...housework, a broken air conditioner and gorgeous sun shiny days this weekend have kept me away from my sewing machine a good bit of the time, but...

I've started on the second gender neutral baby quilt, how funny 2 sets of friends who are due about two weeks apart and neither are finding out what they are having! Most of this fabric has come from my stash, the only fabric I bought new are the 2 main prints I am using. I ordered them from a while back, and since have forgotten who they are designed by.

The fabrics in this quilt aren't nearly as bold and vibrant as the the previous jungle quilt, but knowing the parents and the theme of the baby's nursery, this more subdued palate will be a hit.

As mentioned, I'm going to do all flying geese blocks and will probably do some straight line quilting. I used the No Waste Flying Geese method described here I really like using this method and this site gives directions that allow you to pick how big you want your finished blocks to be and then gives you the dimensions that you need to cut your fabric to get the end result.

It's not much to look at yet...

Just a stack of half finished flying geese (more like lame ducks at this point-haha-that was a joke :) )
I did finish 2 blocks to make sure they came out the way I wanted, and they did! A perfect 3 1/2 x 6 1/2 inch block, so then when they are finished will be 3 x 6 inches.

Check back soon! Hopefully things will start moving along a little more quickly. Hubby, myself and out two water-loving monster dogs are off to enjoy the sunshine at the pool for the day!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Finished lions and tigers and bears!

I can't believe how quickly this quilt has come together, but I'm so so happy with the result!

It's kind of a mish mosh of fabrics from Joann's with some solid Kona fabric for the backing and sashing. I found the green jungle print first and then just found some bright greens, oranges, yellows and blues to make up the rest of the blocks.

I can't wait for baby to get here so he/she can enjoy their jungle quilt!

Here's a pic of the back, I used some yellow and turquoise solids and then pieced a row of the focus fabric from the front with smaller pieces of the other fabrics from the front.

There's nothing I love more than a pieced quilt back! I think it just makes the whole quilt.

Here's more of a close up of the back that shows off the quilting a little better. I used my good ole faithful stippling/meandering. Everytime I think I'm going to veer away and try something new, I come back to it, but always love love the result.

Now I must stash this quilt away and wait for the little one to arrive! Next up is yet another baby quilt, but this time I have flying geese stuck in my head, nice and simple a la this only with some more super fabulous jungle prints I found on tuned!