Friday, October 24, 2014

Patchwork 241 Tote

This bag has been on my "to make" list for so long, it's silly. I'm pretty picky about bags that I carry day-to-day. I think it's the plethora of fabric options that always stumps I go patchwork or not, this print or that print? And, then the quilter in me can get carried away, and I wonder if I've made something that I really want to carry all the time or take a nap under. Is that just me? 

241 Tote

Anyway, a few weeks back, I dumped a couple of Umbrella trimmings packs (find them here or here) on my cutting board and decided it was time to try out this tote. If you aren't familiar with Umbrella Prints, they are a fabric company out of Austrailia that prints beautiful designs on organic cotton and cotton-hemp. The trimmings packs are fun little scrap packs of their lovely fabrics. I picked one up with the intention of putting something together for their trimmings competition last Spring and a sweet friend gave me another. Unfortunately, I just didn't get my act together for the competition...maybe next year.

Back 241 Tote

Anyway, I loved finding ways to fit all of the pieces together and squeeze in even the tiniest of scraps. I was able to make both front and back patchwork panels for the bag - each completely unique! I love all of the unexpected pops of color. 


I paired the outer panels with this beautiful double cloth cotton (from Rachael's shop - out of stock now, but she does have it in black). I'm kind of obsessed with this stuff!! All of the exterior panels are quilted for a little more stability. I did not quilt the pockets, but just used some light interfacing (Shapeflex 101). I also interfaced all of the lining pieces with Shapeflex. And, I added a bit of trim to the top of the pocket to break up the sides a bit.

Adjustable Strap

I decided to add an adjustable strap to the bag after seeing a couple of versions that Anna made using them. I used the instructions from this pattern and it worked out great! It's so nice to have an option to carry it cross body, especially since I have a very wriggly 2-year old on my hands right now.

Stuffed 241 Tote

So, here it is all stuffed up. I've been carrying it for a few days now, and I love it. Anna's designs are so well thought out in terms of being practical and stylish. This tote is the perfect size for the things I carry now. And, I love the side pockets for my phone and keys. The pattern, not surprisingly, is super awesome! Easy to follow and sew, as are all of her patterns.       

Top 241 Tote

I just had to take these pictures outside, because it's been so gorgeous here all week...sunny, cool, crisp and glowing. We've been spending as much time outside as possible. Fall makes me so happy!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

WIP: Indian Blanket Quilt

I'm feeling very thankful for the heavy cool rain falling on this second day of Fall. It's enough to justify staying inside this afternoon and resting up a bit from what has been a very busy few weeks. We are on our last week of our 3-week track-out here (year-round schools, if you're confused) - my kiddos go back next week to start their second 9-week quarter. I love having them home, but without fail, this last week always seems to be the hardest. So, today we're having cookies and setting up a game of Sorry while Lyla naps.   


I think one of the things that has been preserving my sanity over the past few weeks has been picking away, row by row, at my Indian Blanket Quilt. I'm loving how the addition of each row changes the overall look of the quilt and my perspective on it. I was so excited to finally piece and layout that last red row, as I love how that color pops in this layout. I have to be honest, this was not one of the quilts I thought I'd make when I signed up for the class, but I'm absolutely loving it and how it's all coming together.   


Only a few more rows to sew up! My plan is to finish this quilt with some simple hand quilting. I say simple although I've never actually done any hand quilting before. Eh, we'll see...


I don't usually have a bunch of WIPs going at one time, but it seems I've been having too much fun starting new quilts. Along with this quilt I have my Drunkard's Path quilt, that I'd like to finish up soon. And, I have a pile of awesome tent blocks from my fellow Grace Circle ladies (do. Good Stitches), that need to be sewn up and made into a fun quilt for a little boy.  So that makes 3 quilts to wrap up this October! Eep...I've got some work to do!    

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Over at Imagine Gnats: A Bess Top

Hello, friends! I'm over on Imagine Gnats today sharing a new top I sewed for myself as part of Selfish Sewing Week! It's a fabulous Bess Top sewn up in knit and a double cloth cotton. Think cozy and cozier people! Seriously, I'm pretty smitten with this pattern and top! Check it out, if you like!

I haven't shared any of my recent adventures in garment sewing here, but I have been dabbling in it more and my confidence is slowly growing. I sewed a couple of great pieces over the summer, and wear both of them quite a bit.  I never got around to sharing them here, because....I'll be honest...I'm still pretty awkward and uncomfortable and generally stressed out by the photo shoots. 

There's the setting and the timing and the lighting that are never quite right, and my poor husband who's trying to advise me on how to stand while our two year old is practically hanging from his shirt tails screaming bloody murder. Really, hats off to people that do this on a regular basis. I think they many of them use this ingenious device called a camera remote (ha!) that I haven't pulled the trigger on yet (pun intended). 

But, seriously, sewing garments is fun! It's a nice break and change of pace from my regular patchwork and quilting projects. I love that I can create a completely unique piece of clothing, and, I do think I'll be doing more of it.

Feel free to pop over and read more about my Bess Top, if you like. Also, be sure to check out the Selfish Sewing Week giveaway, other featured stitchers, or browse some projects on Kollabara, or instagram (#selfishsewingweek). You're sure to be inspired!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Prepping for "Angled"

Recently, I signed up to take an online class all about sewing and quilting angles. It's called "Angled" and taught by Rachel of Stitched in Color...and it starts tomorrow! I've been a long time follower of Rachel's blog and an admirer of her work - she always, always wows me with the originality and pure beauty of her work. I tend to be a stubborn, independent learner when it comes to sewing (well, most things really), but this class came along at the right time...when I was yearning for a bit of direction and focus in my quilting. Not to mention, the quilts that we'll be learning are all amazing! I've sewn with angles before, but I don't doubt for a second that I still have a lot to learn...and I have a feeling that I will learn a lot in this class!

Angled Class: Indian Blanket Quilt Plan

The class includes 5 quilts total, but I plan, or hope, rather, to make 2 over the course of the next couple of months. Today, I pulled some fabrics and started planning for the first quilt, "Indian Blanket". I'm envisioning a Fall picnic blanket...something I can throw down at soccer practice or for a picnic in the crunchy leaves. I picked some bright striking reds, some deep blues, and mustard yellows, along with a bunch of low volume cream and white prints.

Angled Class: Indian Blanket Quilt 

I LOVE that Rachel included coloring sheets for each of the quilts. Particularly since Maggie came over and volunteered to do the coloring for me - score! If all goes well, I might take a shot at hand quilting this one. So, if you'd like...stay tuned...I plan to check in here and keep you all posted on how things are going!  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Drunkard's Path Quilt Top

Last week, thanks to several looong naptimes, I finished up a quilt top that I began quite a while ago. It'd been a while since I worked on a new quilt, and it felt wonderful!

Drunkard's Path Quilt Top

This one seems so different from my usual quilts (to me at least). I'm honestly not much of a pink person - I tend to love seeing it in others' quilts, but I don't often make it a focal color in my own work. Also, this design, with curves, was totally new to me.

I believe it was the idea of pairing olives and pinks that originally got me going on this quilt. That, and the crazy cool racoons

Closeup Drunkard's Path Quilt Top

I'm excited to finish this one up. I have the perfect flannel (from my stash) for the backing. But, I'm still undecided on the quilting. Originally, I thought I'd just do straight lines, but now I'm thinking about trying a new free-motion quilting design - maybe baptist fans or wavy lines.

Details Drunkard's Path Quilt Top 

This quilt, even with all of it's bright features, just seems destined to keep me warm on a cool Fall night, admidst the crunchy pine needles and mossy wood cuttings. Not that I'm done with Summer or anything! What are you working on these days?