Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Embroidery of the Month

I've been working on SO many embroideries, and finally finished a few of them recently.  I am not sharing all of them cause there seem to be a lot of topless ladies in them and/or they are neat but not impressive in my opinion, but I wanted to share this one.

This is from an art piece by Magicomora at deviant art.  He's a Spanish artist who has a lot of cool stuff, if you like that sort of thing, which I sure as hell do. It's titled "Innocent Bomb".  I plan on doing a second one with pencils and oil pastels for a lot of the coloring to save some hours.  A young lady of my acquaintance requested one without a bomb in it.  I think that's just asking for Bambi, but I'm not going to argue semantics!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Birch Bay Spring Quilt

I've been starting and making lots of things, as well as finishing plenty of small things, but I finally put together and finished my Birch Bay lap quilt from this shopping trip fabric buy.  And felt like writing about it, so here I am!

Not too much to say, it's prettier in person, one of my cats made it into a bed within minutes of the finish and me putting it down on the coffee table so I know it's a winner.

 Here is the truth.  I had to take it off my quilt wall mid assembly to take photos of something else and I didn't keep track of what went where so the rows did not go together in the way they were supposed to. Whatever, I don't care,  it's bright and cheerful and I have it wrapped around me this very moment.

I put most of my Heather Ross' Mendocino scraps in it since it matched the colors I was using which makes me happy, no more hoarding them in a drawer, I get to look at the mermaids and seahorses and octopi every day.

Backed with remants from the front & a vintage sheet.  The binding is Rashida Coleman-Hale's Koi in plusses.  I admit it, I love this print more than almost anything, already made a shirt out of it, want to by more yards so I can hoard it for no good reason except sometime the world might end and I'd be proud to leave a super awesome stash behind.

Main fabrics -
Alison Glass Bike Path in Chartreuse
Lizzy House Pearl Bracelet in Meyer Lemon
Kaufman Interweave Chambray in Sorbet
Denyse Schmidt's Chicopee Ladder Dot in Fuschia
Lizzy House Pearl Bracelet in Chat Noir
Moda's Comma in Black and Chalk

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Ellie Bag

I've been sewing, but also having a nice busy life.  Well, that and I'm on my third round of antibiotics for strep this year, as well as suffering through some colds and 24 hour viruses gotten from some evil children!  Anyway, I'm going to focus on the fact that I'm busy with fun stuff so haven't been writing.

Awhile back I saw and pinned this cute bag tutorial, the Ellie travel case tutorial from over at Fabric Mutt.  I took a day to sit down and make it because I ...need more bags?  The tutorial is pretty fabulous.  Thanks to my practice making the Aeroplane bag from Sew Sweetness I had better success with sewing a zipper in this way, and added an interior zippered pocket.

I used two prints from Pat Bravo's Carnaby St collection, Go Go London in Powdery for the exterior  and Psychedelia in Gold for the lining.  I also used Essex linen in Ivory for the exterior and handle.  The only real problem I had is that I SUCK at attaching handles without ending up with lots of extra sewing.  I don't know how people make them look so neat and tidy, and maybe I wouldn't be so aware of it if I hadn't used pink aurifil for it ;)

This was a fun bag to make, and I'm going to make another too. I actually used enough batting and interfacing so that is stands up and holds its shape, I guess there is a first time for everything! 

Linking up to SewJo Saturday at My Go-Go Life. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Gifty Lap Quilts

A few months ago I decided to make lap quilts for three lovely children of my acquaintance for Christmas.   I've figured out why making things without patterns is a bad idea!  I don't particularly love any of them, but I am happy to say they are done ;)  I also get to say that all three of these were made at least partially with fabric I won, which made it less risky if they didn't turn out.

The first was made mostly with a pretty Kona Cotton Bundle from Canton Village Quilt Works that I was lucky enough to win from Alyssa at Pile O' Fabric.

It really ended up looking like I think it's the 70's still.  No idea what a 12 year old is going to think of that, but I won't worry about it, there are two dogs that can use any of these if the kids don't like them!  Her favorite color is pink but I still think I went overboard.  It's not quite as bright as the picture implies, but it's sure...pink.

The second was made with a combination of Kona solids and some Robotic fom Birch Organics given away by Fabricworm through Sewcanshe.  I went with the sexist slant of boys like robots (and his Dad said he'd like the robot and sciencey prints, which makes it slightly less sexist?  I know his daughters are just as interested in science as anybody).   It's my favorite of the three, maybe because it's the least busy.

 The last one had a good amount of Monaluna's Fox Hollow organics that I won from Moona Fabrics through a giveaway from Maureen Cracknell last year,.  This was a hard one, I decided to make it around the Fairy Tale Castle pattern I tested for Blossom Heart Quilts.  I made side A too busy, had to cut it apart and simplify it.  Side B was mostly a gathering of 12.5" blocks.  When I got "done" I realized it was way too small and had to add on, and now the 7 year old has the largest quilt.

When I started the quilt her favorite color was purple, but as of last night it was pink, sigh! She has surprising taste in fabric, picked out the prints for this ball I made and didn't choose the prints I thought a young girl would.  I'm still banking on her standards being lax if there are animals involved though, and hope she will just start singing about foxes and what they say.

I'd just done straight stitching on the first two quilts, after it taking less than an hour to stipple this one, I'm wishing I'd done that for all of them, it was actually easier than all the repositioning.

OK, long post, big pictures, wish I'd gotten outdoor photos, and glad they are done so I can get back to the other holiday sewing projects I have!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Sew Sweetness Greenbacks Wallet

What a BIG photo!!!

I'll be working on improving my sewing skills in 2014 so I can make higher quality items, things that have little to no chance of falling apart in the same calendar year, things that people will say "No way, you made that?  Compared to the crap you turned out last year, that's fantastic!"

Cough..  OK, no really, I'm just waiting for a compliment on something I've made.  It's been two years, and that was clothing, so I'm waiting for that craft sewing flattery.

cell phone holder on back of wallet
That said, I thought I'd try something totally new to me, a wallet.  Sara at Sew Sweetness has a pdf for a variety of wallets of varying difficulty -  beginner/intermediate/advanced, more or less. I didn't really have a need for wallet #1 which is about credit card sized, and attempting wallet #3 scared me, so Wallet #2 it was.

I wasn't quite sure what size it was going to be, I figured it'd be similar to the clutch I made from the patchwork pencil pouch tutorial at LBG studio.  What?  The tutorial specifies on the first page that it will be 5" by 7"?  I just didn't read the directions until now because I'm lazy, but Bam!  Her tutorials are complete, so if you're not lazy like me you'll be very happy!

The fabric is from timber & leaf by Sarah Watts.  I'd coveted Fawn in Birch Blue print and missed out on the last of it.  Hawthorne threads finagled some bolts that turned up in the manufacturer's warehouse, and I luckily saw their FB post about it, and ordered these three prints.  
Interior of wallet
I may have gone overboard on interfacing after my floppy purse fiascos of a few weeks ago.  I didn't trim it 1/2" smaller than the fabric, resulting in lot of layers. 

Deviation - I altered the pattern.  I have a spiffy  pouch I put all my seldom used cards in, it's the only "madebysomebodyelse" item I didn't throw out like yesterday's trash once I realized I could make my own shit, and I love it. Therefore no need for that many credit card holders in the wallet.  Luckily making lots of zippered bag in the last year came in handy, and I just add a zippered bag onto one side.  

The only problems I ran across were 1. when sewing the credit card area into three slots it didn't work - I needed just a wee bit more room (was wondering if I'd needed to add a seam allowance but that didn't seem to be the case).  Instead I divided it into two, resulting in 6 slots.  2. I had trouble following the directions for the wrist strap, and although it's not a direct result, I feel it's too long - a few inches longer than I'd like, too long to feel secure if I'm carrying it solo in public.

With a zip pouch on the other side (and I HIGHLY recommend doing this, I feel kick ass - not only do I have a place to stash change and bills - who am I kidding?  I don't carry cash since debit cards were born.. but there's room behind the pouch to stash a small notepad or your checkbook) this pattern ticks a lot of my wallet needs.  I'll throw it in my purse because it feels stealable despite the wrist band, but I'm pretty happy with it.  Damn urban living!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Winter Anybody? That & A Mini Quilt

I'm linking up my winter fabric choices for Ali's (yes it IS the best name ever isn't it?) winter Stash Flash.  My husband and I take turns decorating the tree each year, during my years its a tasteful (;) blend of silver, turquoise, green and purple, and his years it's that plus whatever will stick to the tree.  It doesn't help that we give each other ornaments each year, and while I usually receive something pretty & feathery, I keep giving him things with tentacles that just don't really coordinate well with anything...

That said, my idea of winter mainly combines the limey greens I love with the classic red I associate with the holidays.  In my bundle are lots of prints that make me think of ornaments, stars & wrapping paper.  That koi print? yeah yeah, it just includes two of the colors I find Christmasy, AND every winter I worry about fish in ponds freezing to death.  Mmmhmm.  You have until the end of the month to link up!

I also finished binding a mini quilt I'd been working on.  I was looking for a pattern that would work large scale, and though it would be fun to start making test minis to try them out.   This block pattern was from EQ5, and I made it with 2" squares that ended as 1.5" squares.  The end product is just under 12.5" square.  I am just amazed as many points line up as do!   This just won't work for what I had in mind, however my machine pedal has been slipping all over the place and I put this down today between it and the carpet, and it's keeping it in place so I'm pretty content!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Self Drafted Tote

Somebody needs to use a lint roller before taking pictures.

Now that I've made a couple of bags I thought I would try my hand at making a simple one myself (as both bags are too huge to carry as a purse).  I had an amazing purse that I bought for a trip to Italy some years back, it was ugly but GIANT, so I could carry all the normal things, a bottle of water, a book, a hex paper piecing kit, and still throw in whatever else I might need.  It got splattered with painty water a few weeks ago and I had to get rid of it.

My dress form was kind enough to model the tote for me so I could take some pictures (although she did bitch that I haven't finished the shirt she's wearing yet).  I think the storage inside is just about right, with one zipper pocket and two interior pockets for my keys and compact.  I put an exterior pocket on it for my phone and it was nice to be able to customize it to just the right size, deep enough so it doesn't peek out and get snatched by a crazed phone thief, but not so deep I'm digging for it if it rings.

lining, it stands up on it's own, yay!
Eventually I'll have the perfect bag, but for the moment, this is a great general tote. The only thing I don't love about this is that the fabric next to the zipper should be stiffer, but I made it right after the Aeroplane bag & before I vowed to the heavens above to never skimp on the proper interfacing again. 

AND I should not be lazy, I should've switched my black thread out for something peachy to topstitch the interior zipper. Other than that, the only thing I would change is to insert some elastic or an elasticized pocket along one edge to slip my water bottle in so it can be upright instead of lying flat at the bottom.

Next on my table is a more purse shaped purse, we'll see how that goes, then I'll get back to other people's patterns, cause there are less headaches that way ;)