You can always use another purse

Yes you can. You know you have this weakness for a cute purse. They are fabulous accessories and you have to have different styles and colors to go with your wardrobe. What? Did I hear you say that your wardrobe is bland and one purse or pocketbook or bag goes with everything? Well that’s a topic for a different blogger. I am here to show you how you can spiff up your presentation with a lovely variety of purses.

I have a new pattern for a Pocket Clutch that is soooo cute I am in love with it. DSC00593It is based on my Fat Bottom bag, not so fat bottomed, and has a zippered pocket on the outside. Same zip across the top. Added a lovely detachable wrist strap. And it’s easy to make. Here’s another one where I did some quick machine fancy stitching on the solid brown to add some pizzazz.

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Here is another black beauty (to go with everything in the winter)!DSC00523

Very cute, right??

You can get a pattern for this adorable clutch on Craftsy.Craftsy.com

That’s right. For a mere pittance you can download the pattern and make one today (or tomorrow if you’re busy).

Go here to look at the pattern.

And I wish you a very Happy New Year, filled with sewing and happy projects, and purses.

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Back in the Saddle

That would be the comfy office chair that sits me in front of my sewing machine!

While you’ve been reading about the antique quilt I have actually been doing some sewing in the background. I finished 2, count ’em, 2 quilts this week and it’s only Tuesday! Off to a great start. They are 2 lap sized quilts for each of my guilds’ charity projects. One will go to the Project Linus and one to David’s House. Here’s one…DSC00369

I’ve made this style before because it is easy and looks nice. And here is Laura modeling it for me…DSC00363

No smiles on cue today.You’re lucky I didn’t post the one of her having a big cough.

And here is the other quilt, a more traditional style, and the model in her glory again.

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Looks lovely next to her blue flannel sheets. BTW, these quilts are made of flannels. Some I had as left-overs from backs of other quilts and some from donated fabric. The backs of these are not flannel. I quilted them myself, which is a whole ‘nuther story. (I had some thread difficulty. I know, don’t blame it on the thread.) The bindings are flannel. I used a single fold binding method which I have never done for a quilt. I wanted to this time because the flannel is so thick. So that was, er, diferent. Anyways, they are pretty and soft and warm and perfect for those deserving kids.

 

Spring for the fall

Here we are smack dab in the middle of autumn, Halloween just days away (along with a hurricane), and I have finished a very spring-y quilt. Notice it is hanging on a tree devoid of leaves. They are calmly waiting for me or the wind to move them.

This is Lynne’s quilt. She won a basket of quilting supplies in a raffle and she doesn’t quilt. Also in the basket were these bright fabrics from a Micheal Miller line, all samples and of various sizes. So I offered to make her a quilt from them. Actually… I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them they are so pretty!

I had to be careful taking the pix because the birds are eating all the crabapples off the tree and I certainly don’t want bird poop on the quilt.

The back of the quilt uses the remainder of the sample fabrics that didn’t work on the front. (I used every piece of that bright fabric). I added the white and blue solids to the mix.

My biggest challenge was quilting with white thread on the top and blue in the bobbin and trying not to get blue “spots” on the top. (showing bobbin thread on the top). I also put one bobbin in upside down and had a brutal thread tension mess. I had to carefully pull out a whole row of quilting because of course I didn’t notice until I had rolled the quilt. That was very annoying. But it’s all better. I washed it once (and ironed it) to make sure it didn’t fall apart!

It’s all good, I like it, and it will soon be with Lynne … along with the rest of the contents of her quilting basket that I didn’t pilfer.

 

City Gardens

It is done and I like it a lot.

I’m calling it City Gardens because it reminds me of sidewalks and curbs and the

Flower Pots at Korbel Winery

Flower Pots at Korbel Winery (Photo credit: clkohan)

 

occasional patch of flowers or veggies that a city dweller might cultivate for the summer. It reminds me of window boxes and pots on steps and sidewalks with a bright splash of color.

English: old handmaded marble/gneiss cobbelsto...

English: old handmaded marble/gneiss cobbelstones in Kutná Hora (Czech Republic) and road side curb of granite Deutsch: altes handgeschlagen Marmor/Gneis-Pflaster in Kutná Hora(Tschechische Republik) und Bordstein aus Granit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been wanting to try the square stippling for the quilting. It wasn’t as hard as I psyched myself. Considering my quilting machine rolls along on a square frame it helped me out. It looks like concrete sections on sidewalks or cobblestones in Boston.

The background is lavender and the dark “curbs” are dark purple.

Here’s the back of it. I used the extra strips of color blocks and a different purple.

Now that I look at it, most of the left overs were blues and greens. Huh.

So there we go. My best modern quilt so far. 😉

Cat in a flower pot

Cat in a flower pot (Photo credit: YaelBeeri)

This is a REAL challenge for me

I wanted to try something very modern and contemporary. Wanted to use solids. Wanted to have an architectural look in the quilt. I’m part way there.

I started with a stack of 5″ squares I got last fall. “Terrain” by Kate Spain for Moda. Nancy F was with me and might remember how my eyes widened when I saw them and how they just HAD to come home with me. Bright colors, modern patterns. I turned them into blocks with the Disappearing 9-patch method. Then they were put away so the thought could ferment. I bought a whole stack of solids at the guild auction for only 14 bucks and that added to the brew.

I cut them up and sewed them back together kind of randomly into long strips.

I thought that I would try them in long stripes with the other blocks but I didn’t like it.

Then I came up with a new block. Its really a rectangle. That has added a ton of challenge to figuring out how to pull the blocks together in a quilt. I see lots of partial seams in my future. So here’s the new block. Starts with the fancies and then adds the color block strips around. The light lavender is the plain background color.

When I had some together I went to my design floor and tried out a few arrangements. I don’t like the straight lines at all.

I think I am settling on something like this and will play with it some more.

Yes, there’s a hole in the middle!!! Looks like the perfect size for one of those fancy Terrain blocks.

Red Berry Wreath is Done!

Berries

Berries (Photo credit: KilljoyDivine)

There has been radio silence on this blog for some time now because I have been very busy.

I am very happy to report that I have finished my challenge quilt for the show with nearly 7 days to spare. I wasn’t too stressed about finishing it but for me, this is the last minute. For projects such as this where it is a creative process with an unmapped path to the hidden treasure (the finished quilt), I don’t know how long it will take me to walk the path. Some things take longer because they need more thought or an extra step creeps in. If you remember my Laura Angel challenge quilt from 2 years ago, I finished one month ahead and that was good. Anyways, enough of the chatter. Here it is…

If you recall in my last post I showed you the raw wreath and asked for input on quilting techniques. And I heard…. crickets. With no help from you, gentle reader, I managed to scribble my way through this project. That’s my artistic technique … “thread scribbling”. Some of you may have heard of “thread painting” which has given certain quilters their star on the walk of fame. My invention (because I’ve given it a name) is a more free form, avant guarde method. In addition to the fabulous scribbling on the berries and leaves, this method allows creation of leaf and berry “ghosts”. Are they really there? Am I only imagining them? Can you find them in the pictures?

If you look closely at the picture you might be able to make out some tiny crosshatching on the lighter colored pieces. That is the tulle that I put over the wreath to hold down the raw edges. Believe it or not, I used brown tulle. I tried out different colors and brown worked best. I wanted the dark color of the berries to stay rich. Dark tulle achieves that. A lighter color washes out the red and fades it. I tried red tulle and that just made the background look pink which turned my stomach. In these closeups you will also observe the tiny shiny gold pieces. Yup, that’s the beading I did with gold seed beads. Delicate little things a little larger than impatien seeds. If you’ve started your own flowers, you’ll know what I mean. The greeting card had splotches of gold on it all over the wreath so I did that too, more delicately. It took about 3 hours just to do the beads.

Back to the thread scribbling. Yes, I could use more practice but I do like how this came out. I used a dark red thread mostly and 2 shades of green for the leaves and ghosts. The other quilting on the background was with a cream matching thread. I tried a new stippling pattern for the background that is a collection of arcs with points that change direction. You have to see it up close to understand me. You quilters will take a sharp breath when I tell you that I used about 4 bobbins of thread on this little thing.

I did an extra step of putting on a facade backing. I didn’t like the guts of my scribbling hanging out all over the back of the quilt so I covered it with another fabric back. This is something that I tried for the first time here and it was brilliant. I made the label and sewed it onto the facade and then used spray adhesive to attach the facade to the real back. Voila! It worked like magic.

One more pic at an angle to try to show the background quilting. You will also notice the precise, knife-edge piping on the edge before the binding. Beautiful. The binding is of the cream background. This picture shows the slight contrast of the binding versus the background which is the tulle doing its job. My machine’s walking foot got a workout sewing through 9 layers to attach the binding. Binding finished by hand of course.

I am proud of this wreath, artwork for sure. It’s small, 25″ across and 21″ down. It will reside in the private collection of Sheila D someday… when I’m really done with it. 🙂

Now I leave you with a picture of the disappearing cat. The fat part in the middle disappeared when touched by sunlight. Oh for it to be true for us girls!

 

Just One More…

English: A box of 52 gallon Ziploc bags.

Image via Wikipedia

I couldn’t resist showing you the bag I made today. I wanted one to take the place of the plastic ziploc bag I use when I take Laura’s meds and liquids with us anywhere (especially dr office). The 1 gallon ziploc bag can fit inside this fat bottom bag if I need it to be waterproof. It’s soooo cute and Valentineee!

I appliqueed the red hearts on top of the fabric design. And it has that cute fat bottom!

It is intended to slip inside the Laura’s wheelchair backpack after it is filled with the sundries I mentioned above.

Then I found that, totally a happy accident, the handles of the bag fit over the wheelchair

A person in a wheelchair icon

Image via Wikipedia

handles and the bag could be used by itself! Woohoo! Quite the invention. Now both Laura Angel and I have a present!

This Fat Bottom zip bag is made the same way as the others found here. The materials were cut at 12″ x 12″ and the zipper was 16″ (14″ would work too). I’m thinking that this bag should win a prize over at the Sew Mama Sew blog in their True Love contest!

Don’t you think so?

Fat Bottoms

 

Fat bottom zip bags!! What did you think I meant??

These cute bags with sleek zippers have unusual fat bottoms. Most bags I see have narrow bottoms (very stylish but not user friendly). These bags can hold larger items and still hold their shape. They are fully lined of course.

Each bag uses one fat quarter of fabric. For the 4 bags you see here I used 4 fat quarters and mixed them up a little. Gray and yellow is such an IN color combo these days. See that one on the left, I put a retro bow on it.

See that bottom? No, that’s not a butt crack, but there is a full 4 inches of width there for all kinds of sundries. I made a turquoise one to store my assortment of pins and needles, IN THEIR BOXES! Then I went wild with this pack of coordinated fabrics. I found a great place online to buy zippers cheap, Stan’s Sewing Supplies, and received them in the mail quickly. I plan to write the pattern for these cuties so stay tuned. I bet you’ll want to make a couple.

Remember the needy

I’ve been very busy with holiday preparations and celebrations. And I’ve had this aching shoulder for a long time and am finally going to physical therapy for it (tendonitis). Tomorrow I will get a shot in the arm, literally, just what the dr ordered. So that’s why I haven’t posted in awhile and also why I haven’t shown you this reaaaallly happy, bright, fun quilt. It was so easy to make. Babies on the beach. It is a small quilt for my guild’s community service project this year. The Pregnancy Care Center in Haverhill is the organization we are making quilts for.

Six inch blocks, 3×6″ rectangles, 6″ strips top and bottom, and 3″ strips in the middle. So easy. Do you see the babies that I fussy cut? Very cute. And it was quilted with an under the sea pattern of shells and sea weed. I’ve been looking at it for a couple of weeks now and just love it. I’m sure the young mother and her child will too.

In this holiday season we do our best to remember our friends and family; to tell them we enjoy their company, love them, and hope the best for their future. I am also thinking of the family that will be blessed next year with the birth of a child and hoping this quilt will make them happy.

Speaking of happy, here’s Mom singing her heart out with her Senior Chorus! Just one of the events I attended recently. (She’s in the back behind the tall guy,to the left.) And I certainly couldn’t let this post conclude without mentioning how tickled I am that this blog was chosen Blog of the Week by the American Quilters Society. Woohoo!!