Sunday, July 20, 2008

A bit more weekend sewing....

I did a bit more sewing this weekend. Whipped up some blocks for a project I am working on with friends. This pattern is called Dutch Nine Patch (found at It is a fairly easy block to make, although I think a couple of my centers are a bit wonky! That green fabric stretched a bit while sewing. Still.... I think they turned out pretty cute.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Charm Party Tote Done!

I was determined to finish this tote today! The pattern is great... easy to follow and easy to make.... and along the way I learned a few tricks that I will be using on other projects. I also plan to make more of these totes... probably adapting them a bit with smaller size or fewer charms.

The handles have fallen behind the tote in the picture... they are solid black fabric handles... long enough to tote the bag under by arm, but not so long that it bounces on my hip.

The interior has 2 pockets... one in large and open... the other is divided. The divided pocket ends up being 2 deep narrow pockets that will work fine for pens and an eyeglasses case. On the next tote, I am going to make that pocket shallower and wider... easier for me to "dig" things out.

I used this project to get a bit of free motion quilting practice... on the inside! I traced around the squares on the front.

There is a small front pocket that is perfect for my cell phone!
The pattern calls for buttons to be sew where the charms come together. I opted not to do that. It had no purpose other than decoration and I like the clean look without the buttons. Now if my points hadn't lined up pretty well, I might have added those buttons!

I bought very little for this project. I swap 5" square charms with a group of online friends and so have a nice size stash of them. I pulled the ones used here from that stash... all cut and ready to use! I also used charms for the outer and inner pockets... although the inner pockets could easily be created with a single piece of fabric. The lining came from my stash... as did the handle fabric and the fabric I used to cover a piece of cardboard in the bottom of the bag. Even the button on the front came from a can a buttons I have. The only thing I purchased was the fusible fleece. (Loved working with it!)

I have never had a lot of confidence in my ability to sew. I tried as a kid and later as a young adult and got very frustrated. I still avoid clothing projects! So I get a bit excited when I try something new and it works! And I love that this is for me... selfish I know... but I give away so much of what I make (and love doing that!), it's nice to keep something for once!

Now to get back to Orange Crush blocks... and other projects that are begging to be finished!


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Finally! Some Time to Sew!

I have been running in circles lately... going here... going there... doing this... doing that... and all this busyness has taken over my sewing time. But this morning I was able to jump into sewing central (a.k.a. the dining room) and get some things done. I worked on 2 projects.

I am working on a tote for church (I want to be able to take 1 bag... no purse... with all my stuff in it!) using the Charm Party pattern I bought a few weeks ago. I swap charms each month with a group on online friends, so I have lots! I planned to use black and white charms, but as I was digging through my charm stash I came across a black fabric with bright pink flowers... I love this fabric! and I am such a pink girl! So I decided to toss some pink into the mix. I have pieced the front and back panels for the tote (they look the same) and I have the inner pockets pieced. And now I am on hold. I need some fusible fleece for the next bit. I will get that on Friday when I am across town near Hancock's.

I have also jumped back into the Quiltville Mystery Quilt... Orange Crush. It isn't a mystery anymore since all the steps have been posted, but still... there is a tad bit of mystery in not knowing how my fabrics will look when all is said and done. I am working on the blocks created in step 4. I have 2 done... 28 to go! The "red" fabric isn't reading true... it is a dark magenta. It really pops in the HSTs with that bright tealish blue.

I realized today that this quilt is a tad reminiscent of some I have from my great-grandmother. She didn't buy fabric for those quilts. She used what she had on hand (usually from clothes or other sewing projects or feed sacks). And she made them for use... utility quilts. This quilt will be a utility quilt. Both my kids travel several times a year with church groups and such to camps and we need some quilts that can be hauled off with them. And all the fabric in my orange crush (which is orangeless) is from my stash. I might purchase fabric for the back.... or I might try my hand at a pieced back... I'll decide that when the time comes.

Back to the sewing machine.... "Belle"

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

B & W top finished.. finally!

I finally had time to work on my nephew's quilt this past weekend and got the top done! It is a very easy pattern -- Turn Twenty Again -- and I love the way it all comes together. Here is the center without any borders added:

I knew I wanted to add a little punch of color, so I added a small blue flange between the inner and outer black borders. It doesn't show up in the photo of the finished top, but I am posting a close up shot that shows it well.

Now to get the label done and back pieced... sandwich it.. and quilt away!
In the meantime I have pulled out my Orange Crush box and started working on it again. I have the first 3 parts done and am working on part 4.