Friday, May 30, 2014

Sew on the Go

I finally did it!  This bag has been the product of my imagination for at least a year.  On paper for months. But now it is real!
I've wanted a bag that zipped closed and could store my Engish Paper piecing Projects or any smaller hand project I might have. 

I've used picked which work nicely but tend to be small. I've used baskets which tend to get knocked over in my car and just aren't convenient in a plane.   I've used plastic storage and they just aren't flexible enough when you are stuffing one carry on bag to go through security. 

It actually ended up a bit deeper than I planned. About 4" to the zipper.  

However, it is perfect for my next EPP project that has larger templates. 

I also managed to make a pocket. 

Upside down.  Whoops

But, hey. I'm always a work in progress. I definitely plan on making another that is less deep for my normal 1" side hexies. 

But for now, I'm just happy to be able to take this along during the summer months. Quite a bit if traveling. 

What's your favorite EPP to-go solution?  

Friday, May 23, 2014

Quilted Apple Potholders

Guess what time of the year it is?

If you don't have a lot of time left, like I didn't. These potholders did not take me very long. 

They are constructed very much like the quilted leaf potholders here.  All you need is an apple pattern (I will post one soon. Have to deliver these first.  I'm blogging on the go)

Two coordinating fabrics for front and back. 

Small scraps for leaf appliqu├ęs and the stem loop. Bias binding. 


I love this fabric. 

Looking for something different?  

I made these mug rugs last year. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sorrento Quilt {Blogger's Quilt Festival}

My second entry for

A hand appliqued quilt.

This quilt was for my husband's parents this past Christmas.  They are world travelers and the pattern I found in one of my older American Quilt and Patchwork Magazine issues seemed to fit the traditional European look.

I chose the really bright yellows/golds, greens and reds because they have decorated their home with those colors.  It actually reminded me of Sorrento, Italy and the amazing textiles you see there. Even the buildings are painted in bright colors!

Hubby and I had taken a Med Sea Cruise about 10 years ago and it was one of our stops.  Ironically, they had visited it on a long bus tour of Italy that same year and had raved about the town. 

I started with the center medallion.  However, ithe original pattern dimension was too small for a nice throw.
It was at that point, I turned it "on point" and added a second inner border and large yellow triangles.  Just that small change made the quilt transform from 40" square to 70" square!

As you can see, I used the original leaves and dots for the outer border, but decided to play with them more to fill in the yawning negative space.   I included vines to extend the look. Otherwise, they looked like sad little leaves.

The one thing that was new for me was that I decided to use the pattern's technique for the applique.  I usually do needle-turn applique or machine stitch applique and then add embroidery. However, the pattern designer encouraged quilters to use the embroidery floss to not only enhance but stitch it straight to the background.

I have to admit, it made it faster, but I felt like it had more of a folk art feel to it, which was interesting.  I am not sure I will do it this way again. 

I did have fun with the quilting.  Swirls in the dots, vine and squigglies in the leaves.

Meandering in the outer border, s-curves in inner borders, swirls.  You name it.  We won't mention to them that I was literally quilting it, right up until 10 minutes before they pulled in the driveway. Just in time to unpin it off the longarm rails!

The medallion part was my favorite.  I echoed around the flowers and vines.  And then in the triangles around the medallion, I did a fun free emotion peony-like flower. 

I decided to go with the check binding to reflect the inner borders.  I snuck in bindig stitching late in the night after they headed to the hotel. 

I'm not thrilled with the backing. I had really wanted to have one solid color for them because they are traditional. It was this moment that I realized that I have been doing a great job of using stash only and just do not have significant yardage to do complete backings!

I did have fun with the label.  I really am digging embroidered labels.  The label went on Christmas Eve.  Wrapped and under the tree for Christmas morning.  

However, I did warn them when they opened that I knew I had to do a few snips here and there and wash it...I was in urgent care with Button for the flu Christmas Eve evening!

Quilt Stats
Measures: 70" square
Pattern: A Fresh New Attitude from AP&Q magazine.  
Fabrics:  Stash buster.
Quilting: myself on Avante 18 longarm 

I sure hope they don't just lay it on the back of a definitely is a good size to cuddle under!

Now I just want to make it in more modern colors for myself.

If you stopped by from the festival...Hiiiiiiii!!!!  I'm off to go visit the other entries!!!

P.S.  My other entry for the festival is a more modern ROYGBIV quilt HERE.

Rainbow Starstrip Quilt {Bloggers Quilt Festival}

 It's that time again.

 This will be the sixth time I have participated and always enjoy the festival so much!

My first entry is the November's Imagine Circle@ Do.Good Stitches Bee quilt I coordinated!!

I asked the lovely ladies if it was all right if this one time we could give to another good cause, an auction!  The luncheon is for Special People In Catholic Education (SPICE) and being a mother of two dyselexic sons, I can't thank them enough for saying yes!

I love this quilt so much and I KNOW I will do another in the future....maybe for our regular charity!!

Now to the quilt stuff.

The blocks are using the Starstrip Block Tutorial that I worked up.  Each bee member was assigned a color.

I asked them to use coordinating low volume centers for the "stars".

They pieced together easily since the blocks were a nice size.

When it came time to do a border I really debated. Just white or a lot of color. I think the postage stamp border was the best of both worlds!

I knew I needed a quilt pattern that meanders but was interesting just the same. I decided to try my hand at "ribbon" quilting.

Definitely fun!  I basically travelled a path one direction and the traveled closely back. Letting it get wide to thin and even crossing.

For the backing, a simple black and white crosshatch. Binding small black and white dots. 

Quilt stats
Measures: 60"x60"
Fabric: scraps, scraps, scraps
Backing: crosshatch from Joann's.
Binding: dots from Whindam fabrics
Quilted: by myself on Avante 18" 

All set up for the auction!  With a quilt card to the winner so they know who worked so hard on it!

 I'm not sure of the final bid, but I know it was doing well when I checked on it midway through the luncheon!! My one regret was not bidding on it myself.  I was busy talking to some prospective parents that were looking into joining the program.  Thanks my dear do.goodstitches friends!!!

If you stopped by from the festival...welcome!!!!!!
Off to check out other entries.
 P.S.  My other entry for the Festival is an Hand Applique Quilt HERE

Friday, May 9, 2014

Ironing Board Cover for the Little Guy

 I know.  An indulgence really.

There are a million more important and practical projects to be done.

But sometimes whimsical projects are the ones that get you through the trudge and drudge of the boring.  

Lucy's Crab Shack is just the fabric line to bring that whimsy and fun.  

My favorite thing is that it isn't even the fact that Button likes it. 

 It's just that it is one of the first things I see when I walk in the room. 
Puts a grin on my face immediately.

P.S.  I ALWAYS get asked, so I will post it again.  The ironing board set is one by Wooden Toy Junction.  I have purchased a few items from them and can only say good things about them!  The items are sturdy and precious!!!

Friday, May 2, 2014

It's Bad When.....

1) Your Facebook page reminds you that you haven't posted on it in a month.

2) When your friends ask you what is wrong because you are so "quiet".

3) Your email box is filled with inquiries and requests that have been neglected.

4) When you see your to do list and wonder if there is a special governmental department you can make an appeal to.   My proposal would be to extend the year 2014 several weeks past December 31st.   I mean, a extra month every year would be nice, right?  We could call it Catchyourbreather. 

Ironically.  I have no sad news to share.  No amazing story that has kept me away.  No fabulous trip to keep me away from the studio.

The studio ITSELF has kept me away. 
  The very organized soul in me just could not see past the massive clutter, chaos, and disorder to work on anything.  My computer was unhooked.  I didn't know where anything was.  Or rather, I did?  But it took about 6 hours to get all of my stuff out, I knew it was going to take longer to get back in.

However, the GOOD news is that is 98% complete.  A few fixer-uppers are needed here and there.
   I also found time to focus on some projects for the studio itself.  Especially my scrap bins.

They are COMPLETE!  
My lovely scrap bins.

In case you've missed my past post, these buckets are from the book, Sunday Morning Quilts, by Amanda (co-author) at Crazy Mom Quilts

I could not leave them in their original size, however,  I needed them to fit inside my cabinet.  So skinnier, longer, and taller were my goal.  

I also skipped her vinyl pocket to put the color of the bins.  I just pulled out my embroidery machine and played around.

The things I love about the project are:

They are custom made for my cabinets. 

I could take off the doors to my cabinet and look at this beautiful sight!

I used up strictly stash for this project.

Even the some of the interiors are pieced so I could stick to scraps/stash.

 I have been able to stick to my pledge of no new fabric because I already had so many stash busting projects to complete this year!

However, I must be completely honest. They seemed like they would be a really quick project.  I could not understand why so many quilter friends were not getting them done in a speedy manner. 

Project started in October

Twenty-eight weeks later,  I finally have it all figured out.  Approach them as if you are putting together a nice sized quilt.  Improv pieced blocks, quilt-as-you-go, construction of fabric, and fabrication of inserts are time consuming. I recently timed how long it took me for the last three and they took about an hour and a half each.  HOWEVER, that was including the fact that I already had all the fronts done, batting cut, and inserts prepared and fabrics chosen.  Otherwise, my guess is upwards of 2- 2.5 hrs each.  

Can we reiterate?  

All my scraps are inside scrappy bins!

As for the rest of the studio makeover....stay tuned.


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