Handmade Gifts: More Sew Together Bags

Thursday, February 16, 2017


Happy Thursday! Today I have my latest Sew Together bags to share. I just can't stop making these bags. I love to give them as gifts, and I made and gave these both in December. See the other sew together bags I've made here: Dreamin' Vintage Sew Together Bags, Nordika Sew Together Bag, Geometric Bliss Sew Together Bag, Carolyn Friedlander and Paris Map Sew Together Bags.

Sew Together Bag pattern by Sew Demented can be found here.



The first bag I made for my friend Holly. She loves black and white, and we bond over our mutual love for purple. I knew I wanted to use one of the purple prints from her Brushstrokes fabric collection in her bag. I decided to use the purple only inside the pockets. So the entire bag is different black and white prints, except for the pocket linings.



I used the 2" gingham from Cotton and Steel for the exterior. I had fun digging through my black and white fabrics for this bag.



The second bag I made for my friend Anna. Last Summer she tried indigo dyeing at our annual retreat, so I thought she would appreciate a bag made from some indigo dyed fabrics. It was a great opportunity to use some smaller pieces of fabric I've dyed over the years.



I used dyed kona cotton fabrics for the inside, sides, and exterior. The pocket linings are a dyed white on white print, and it's bound in a textured cotton dot fabric.

I'm sure these won't be the last sew together bags I've made! At this point they come together pretty quickly, without too much trouble. 

Happy Sewing!

Scrap Lab: Half-Square Triangle Tote Bag

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


This past Summer I was given the opportunity to be a part of a fun feature in Quilts and More magazine called Scrap Lab. Three designers are given the same fabrics and asked to design I project using only those fabrics. It sounded like a fun challenge to me, so I gladly took it on. The first round that I participated in is in the Spring 2017 issue of Quilts and More, on newsstands now!


Used with permission from Quilts and More magazine. ©2017 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.
 
We were each sent a fat eighth bundle of Moda Grunge Fabrics. I had never worked with Grunge before. I have dabbled in all-solid projects, but not in semi-solids. Grunge has a really interesting painterly texture, which is not quite as intimidating or stark has total solids. I immediately thought back to my days in college, working towards my Studio Art minor. That inspired me to come up with a roomy tote bag for my project. The perfect size to carry around art, sewing or quilting supplies!



Of course I couldn't help myself, I had to add half-square triangles. What can I say, I can't stay away!



I wasn't totally sure how the finished bag would look in these fabrics, so I made a sample first in some semi-solid woven fabrics including various shot cotton, cross-weave and chambray fabrics from my stash. I liked the idea, so I went ahead with the design for the Grunge fabrics.


Used with permission from Quilts and More magazine. ©2017 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

In addition to my tote bag, you'll also find Scrap Lab projects from Sherri McConnell (pillows) and Christa Watson (quilt). This was a fun experience for me, and I look forward to sharing my future Scrap Lab projects!

Heart Crossed Throw Quilt Tutorial

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


I'm happy to share my first tutorial of 2017 with you today, for this sweet Heart Crossed Quilt! I made my quilt in a little over a week, so there's still time to make a pink one before Valentine's Day. Just sayin'.


Back in 2013, I made a wonky cross quilt to promote my Nordika fabric collection at quilt market. I had very little fabric when I designed this quilt, and was trying to maximize what I had. It is one of my favorite quilts I made from this collection.

Fast forward to last month when I was planning another monochromatic quilt. I really enjoyed making my all blue woven quilt, and knew it was time to tackle the next color. I quickly landed on pink based on my stash level. Jacey encouraged me to try to finish it before Valentine's Day. I decided to go for it, and I finished it up late last month.


The construction for both quilts was the same, it's just hard to tell in the photo of the original. In my new scrappier version, the pieced background is much more obvious. If you decide to use a single background fabric (you'd need 3 yards, cut into 5"xWOF strips, then cut into 168 squares), it will give your quilt some interesting texture. It's much easier than arranging your blocks and cutting all different sized background pieces. Once the blocks are made, it's simple patchwork piecing.

This quilt tutorial is written to take advantage of fat quarters or charm packs for the background, and fat eighths or a honey bun for the crosses. There are also piece totals included for working from scraps. The crosses would be a perfect opportunity to use up something precious, since they take such little yardage. You could of course make yours up in any colors you'd like, it doesn't have to be pink or monochromatic!


Sewing Level: Confident Beginner
Finished size: 54"x63"

Materials:
- 14 fat quarters of background fabric (light pink)*
- 8 fat eighths of cross fabric (dark pink)*
- 3 1/2 yards of backing fabric
- 62"x71" piece of batting
- 1/2 yard of binding fabric
- Coordinating thread

*Alternative: use 4-5 Charm Packs (168 total squares) for background, and 1 Honey Bun for crosses.

Notes:
Width of Fabric (WOF) = 42" assumed
Fat Quarter =  18"x21"

If cutting from yardage:
From each light pink background fat quarter:
- Cut (3) 5"x21" strips
- Cut each strip into (4) 5" squares for a total of 12 squares per fat quarter

From each dark pink cross fat eighth:
- Cut (1) 6.5"x21" strip
- Cut strip into (14) 1.5"x6.5" strips

If cutting from scraps:
From light pink background fabric:
- Cut (168) 5" squares

From dark pink cross fabric:
- Cut (56) pairs of 1.5"x6.5" strips for a total of 112 strips

Instructions:
*Use a 1/4" seam allowance unless otherwise noted.*


1. Each block is made with one 5" background square and two matching 1.5"x6.5" cross strips.


2. Start by making an angled cut across the 5" square.



3. Sew a 1.5" strip between the two square halves. Press seams towards the background fabric.


4. Make a second angled cut across the newly pieced block.




5. Sew a 1.5" strip between the two block halves. After sewing the strip to one block half, arrange the second half along the other side of the strip. It can be weird to get it lined up with the other half of the block, so flip it up and adjust the position to get it lined up properly. Press seams towards the cross fabric. (Not all of my blocks line up perfectly, but I'm okay with that.)



6. Trim block to 5" square. Repeat steps 1-5 to make 56 cross blocks.

Optional: I'd recommend stay-stitching around each block with an 1/8" seam allowance. The trimming will have chopped off any backstitching you may have done. Or, stay-stitch around your finished quilt top before quilting.


 7. Arrange cross blocks and remaining background squares into 14 rows of 12 squares each. Sew squares together in each row. Press seams in one direction, alternating direction every other row.

8. Sew rows together, press seams in one direction.

9. Basting: Using masking or painter’s tape, tape the backing to a clean, hard surface, right side down. Spread out batting on top of the backing, smoothing out any wrinkles. Carefully spread your quilt top on top of the batting, right side up. You now have a quilt sandwich. Starting in the center of your quilt sandwich, place your first pin, making sure to catch all three layers. Continue to place pins every few inches, securing the layers together.


10. Quilting: Quilt as desired, by machine or by hand. Trim away excess batting and backing fabric.


11. Binding: Trim off selvedges and sew your binding strips together to form one long strip, press seams open. Fold in half lengthwise, pressing with your iron as you fold. Attach binding using your preferred method. For a detailed tutorial on attaching your binding to both sides by machine, see here.


Enjoy! Share your progress and finished quilt photos using the #jenibaker hashtag on social media or add it to the In Color Order Flickr Group.

Happy Quilting!

Favorites

Friday, February 3, 2017


1. Another WIP by Anne de Waxholm, 2. Baby quilt by libellenquilts, 3. DGS Wonky Circle quilt by wombatquilts, 4. Mod owls by Deb Volkman, 5. Mother's Day Quilt by Kirsten Geyer, 6. Summer Solstice by Melissa Corry, 7. TPPEAR - Carefree Quilt by Elizabeth Williams, 8. Urban Trek Quilt by Heather Black, 9. Feathered star by berlinquilter.
Periodically, I go through my favorite photos on Flickr, and choose nine sewing/quilting related projects to showcase here. These photos and projects are not my own, you can find the original images and creators by clicking the coordinating links! If for any reason you do not want your project featured here, please email me and I'll remove it!

Happy Weekend!

January 2017 Report

Wednesday, February 1, 2017


Happy Wednesday! It's time for my first monthly report of 2017. See past reports here.

Print by Little City Love.


We took a trip up to our favorite antique mall (in Columbus, WI) last weekend. I found this little paper cutter. I took it completely apart, cleaned it up and had the blades sharpened. It's working good as new now! So satisfying to fix things up.


A cold to start the year meant I had a slow start creatively this month. I didn't get a ton of sewing done. I did make a quilt from start to finish this month though. I will be sharing a tutorial for it next week. Here is a little sneak peek!


Last week my Fantastic Quilt Voyage blocks came back to me in the mail! To read more about this project here. I'm excited to make a few more blocks and start figuring out how to put it together. So many beauties in there.


I did get some knitting done. I finished a cabled hat for myself and knit my first pair of socks. It was a fun experience and they fit great. Plus both projects have taken me closer to my knit "1000 yards of worsted weight goal" for this year, so yay!


To keep myself accountable for my stash goals, I'm tracking my yardage for fabric and yarn each month. Read more about how I track my here. Here is how I did in January:

January Fabric
Used up: 9 yards
Brought in: 7.5 yards
Net: -1.5 yards
Year to date: -1.5 yards

January Yarn
Used up: 467.5 yards
Brought in: 0 yards
Net: -467.5 yards
Year to date: -467.5 yards


My big fabric purchase this month was the yardage for the Kelly Anorak jacket I'm going to make. I ended up choosing a Robert Kaufman Ventana Twill. I'm excited to get started on the project. I hope if I start soon I'll be done in time to wear it this Spring. I used up yardage with the quilt I made this month plus two new pillowcases I made yesterday. I also used some long stashed Leah Duncan voile, plus some even older Anna Maria Horner Pastry Line voile. Felt really good to use both of those.


I worked towards two of my goals by working on two baby quilts this month. See more about those projects here. I have been thinking more about my works in progress list. It is so big because I've included groups of leftover blocks and half-square triangle units. While talking to Jacey yesterday, I started to think that including those (especially since I have no project in mind for them), might be discouraging my progress. I'm going to think more about this in February, and I may remove those from my list to make it a bit more approachable. We'll see!


George the bun, looking as cute as ever, working on his log!

Have a great month!

What I'm Working On

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Happy Wednesday! I had planned to share a finished quilt today, but the photos I took of it over Christmas didn't turn out as planned. Always a bummer when that happens. Instead, I thought I'd share a few projects I'm working on right now. I actually haven't finished anything yet this month, so I need to get moving to keep my stash spreadsheet in the negative!


One of my goals for this year is to build up a stash of baby quilts to have ready for gifting. I've started working on two, both made using orphaned blocks from my book. Two birds with one stone! For the first one, I simply added borders and cornerstones in coordinating colors. I am not totally sure how I want to quilt this one. I have a backing picked out that needs pieced, but then I can get moving towards finishing it.



For the second baby quilt, I decided to experiment with a pieced border. Instead of using something solid, I extended the half-square triangle pattern with units made from the same fabric. I wanted to give it some texture, and this will also make it easier for me to quilt. It's subtle, but I like how it turned out.


In 2014, I finished a quilt top using some of my indigo dyed Essex linen. That same year I dyed up some pieces for the backing. It's been sitting in the closet since then. So I pulled it all out, pieced together a backing and got this quilt in the mail to be quilted. It's all Essex linen, so it's going to be a nice heavy picnic quilt.


Last week I pulled fabrics for my next monochrome quilt, this time it's all pinks! I got it all cut out this weekend, and I'm hoping to get it finished by the end of the month. I will be sharing a tutorial for it next month.


On the knitting front, I'm working on my first pair of socks. I used to say I'd never knit socks. Well, now I'm eating my words. These are a pair of worsted weight socks, so they're going really fast. They've been fun so far. Pattern is Rye by Tin Can Knits.

I still haven't quite gotten into a groove this year with my crafting. Hoping to get back on track soon!

Happy Sewing!

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