Thursday, September 29, 2016
Today I'm sharing a really exciting quilt finish, my Vintage Sheet Scrappy Trip Quilt!
I started cutting out this quilt in July 2013, so this quilt was in progress for just over three years. In late 2012 there was a Scrappy Trip Quilt Along on Instagram (see the hashtag #scrappytripalong) using Bonnie Hunter's tutorial. I've long admired traditional trip around the world quilts, but it took me a while to come around on the scrappy version. That Summer, Jacey and I decided to both start one and bring it with us to our retreat to work on together. Well, Jacey finished two scrappy trip quilts (here and here) in the three years it took for me to make one!
I pretty quickly decided to make mine from vintage sheets. I love working with my sheet stash, and I knew I had enough prints to have a really nice variety. I made 42 blocks, and each block takes six strips. I didn't repeat any strips, so there are 252 different vintage sheets in this quilt.
Check out my post on how to identify, shop for, and sew with vintage sheets.
This was one of those projects that I would pick up every few months and do a little work on here and there. Most of the sewing happened in the last year. I had a little trouble getting a hang of where exactly to unpick, but some guidance from Holly at the Stitch Supply Co retreat in January put me on the right track.
When I went home for two weeks in June, I was determined to finish up the blocks and come back with a finished quilt top! After that it was smooth sailing.
I knew I would quilt this one myself. I quilted diagonal lines in both directions in every other square. I love they way this type of quilting looks, and it's easy!
For the backing, I used a vintage sheet I had recently found unopened in the original package. I used a striped sheet to match for the binding to finish it off.
I managed to get the quilt finished in time to take to our sewing retreat this year to take photographs, which only seemed right since I started sewing it at our first retreat! I love the quilts and projects I've made with vintage sheets, they're all so soft. You can see all the vintage sheet projects I've made at the end of this post. This one is definitely a favorite!
This quilt ended up being a bit of a memory quilt for my sheet stash. It's a catalog of many of the different sheets that came through the Etsy shop I ran during college and my personal stash. For some of the prints, I remember where I found them or who I was with (usually my Mom, Hi Mom!). It makes it really fun to look at!
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Happy Tuesday! One of the mini goals I set for this month was to make some lined drawstring bags using my canvas/home decor fabric stash. I have a few made from canvas, and I'm always grabbing for them. They're just a little sturdier than the quilting cotton versions. I love collecting canvas prints, so I had no shortage of prints to choose from for these bags. And of course, I couldn't make just one! :)
I decided to make two each of the Everything size (same size as the tutorial version), and the Project size (available in the pattern). These are the sizes that I use the most and they have so many uses. I use them to separate things when I travel like power cords, socks, shoes, etc. They're also my go-to bags for my knitting projects. The Everything size is great for hats and smaller projects. The Project size is good for shawls or anything with more than one skein of yarn.
First up, an Everything bag! For this bag, I used up this cool Nani Iro canvas scrap that I snatched off our fabric table at retreat last month. There was just enough to squeeze out a bag! I used Essex cotton/linen for the accent and a teal print from Imprint by Katarina Roccella for the lining.
I pulled fabrics in pairs, so I have two somewhat coordinating sets. The Project bag to match uses this cute tiger print from Hatbox by Alexia Marcelle Abegg. I've been hoarding this one for a while! A favorite Hope Valley print for the accent and the lining is a print from Gramercy by Leah Duncan.
This Japanese mushroom print was screaming to be a cute little drawstring bag! I wanted to keep this bag fun and playful, so I continued to pull bright colors for the rest of it. A Cotton & Steel basic for the accent and a Good Folks by Anna Maria Horner print for the lining.
For the second Project bag I used this adorable Kokka print. The accent is from Etno by Pat Bravo and I used more Essex cotton/linen for the lining.
Making these bags from canvas or home decor weight fabrics couldn't be easier! I do try to avoid using anything heavy for the accent pieces, so that it doesn't interfere with the drawstring. With that being said, on the first Everything bag I used Essex for the accent which is heavier than quilting cotton and it's fine! I still wouldn't use anything too thick though. I finished off all the bags with some natural cotton twill tape. I buy mine from here.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Happy Wednesday! It's time to introduce my second new pattern, The Elemental Tote.
When I first learned to sew on the machine at around age 11, a tote bag was the first thing that I made (shown above). For years, all I made was tote bags. I'd scour the clearance racks of the craft store for cheerful prints and turn them into simple rectangular tote bags. I usually made up the measurements as I went, so some weren't great proportion-wise! I sewed tote bag after tote bag, until I'd made enough to feel comfortable moving on to other projects. That's why I'm really excited to share this basic tote pattern with you today!
The bags in this pattern were originally developed alongside Sara Myers. Sara owned and operated The Sewcial Lounge (now closed), the shop where I taught sewing and quilting classes for the last 4 years. She offered a tote bag class, but with the development of the other totes we expanded it to three different classes. The original tote was too difficult for some, and not challenging enough for others.
With that in mind, each of the three totes in this pattern add a new skill. You'll learn how to make handles, insert gussets (boxed bottom!), add a slip pocket, and sew with laminated fabrics. If you've never made a bag before, this pattern is for you. Let's look at the three bags!
The first bag is the Easy Tote. This bag features home decor or canvas weight fabric for the outside, a quilting cotton lining, and cotton or nylon webbing for the handles. It's pretty much as simple as it gets, and if you've never sewn a bag before, this is where to start! There is a bonus tip included on how to add an interior slip pocket. For my sample tote, I used a canvas from Miss Matatabi paired with a newspaper print lining (Authentic by Sweetwater) and cotton webbing handles. I dyed the natural colored webbing hot pink to match!
The second bag is the Simple Tote. With this bag, there is interfacing to give the tote extra structure along with gussets to give the tote a flat bottom. Plus you'll learn to make your own handles! An excuse to add in another fabric or color. For my sample tote, I used prints from my Curiosities collection for the exterior and handles. The lining is another paper themed fabric from Cosmo Cricket. Plus a fun bike print by Erin McMorris for the slip pocket!
The third bag is the Laminated Tote (my favorite of the three!). It features laminated cotton fabric. You'll learn to work with this fabric and make a big, functional (and wipe-able) tote bag. For my sample tote I used another Erin McMorris print, this time from her Greenhouse collection.
I am so grateful to the sewers who tested this pattern for me, their recommendations and feedback helped me make this a better pattern. A big thank you to them! They made some really lovely bags. From left to right, these bags were made by Leah (@scampers_sews), Robin (@rzmakerie) and Kendra (@Threadyforanything).
Tricia (@mcpattys) went above and beyond and made all three bags in the pattern! Here are her Easy Tote, Simple Tote, and Laminated Tote.
In the end, these are sturdy totes you can stand-by. They make wonderful gifts, and are a great way to get your feet wet in terms of making bags. Like the Triplizip Zipper Pouch Pattern, this is a pattern designed to teach you new skills!
The Elemental Tote PDF Pattern is available in my shop now, and the paper version can be found here!
Monday, September 19, 2016
Happy Monday! I am so happy to be sharing the first of my two new patterns with you today! It's been a while since I've released anything new, so it feels really good to get these out into the world. Today I'm introducing you to Webbed.
This quilt has been floating around my head for a couple of years. I've long admired traditional spiderweb blocks, but never got around to making one. The main reason is I didn't feel I had the patience. I made a spiderweb mini quilt once and the time it took to make that put me off a little. I've played around with big blocks a few different times in the last few years, and super sized spiderweb blocks seemed like a great solution!
The first version of this quilt pattern that I made features my Curiosities collection (I'll share it soon!). I finished and photographed it over Christmas last year, but I always knew I would make a Halloween version. I had every intention of letting the original quilt be the feature for this pattern. Once I finished this one though, I couldn't turn back. I really love how it turned out.
I've been collecting Halloween fabric piece by piece for years. It was so fun to finally cut into my very favorites from my collection. I made this quilt from various yardage, but it's all 2.5" strips, so it's a great use for jelly rolls! Many of the prints in this quilt are from Spooktacular by Maude Asbury and Guising by Lizzy House. For the background I used Mauvelous Pure Element solid by Art Gallery Fabrics.
There are five different quilt sizes including Baby, Throw, Square Throw, Twin/Full, and Queen/King. My Halloween version is the Square Throw, which is 80"x80". The instructions include strip totals, yardage, and individual piece counts so you can cut from scraps. The blocks are foundation pieced to keep things nice and simple. You'll want to be keep this in mind when selecting fabric, I recommend sticking with quilting cotton. This will ensure the seams don’t end up too thick.
This quilt was quilted by Melissa of Sew Shabby Quilting. I am obsessed with the quilting! It's the "Spiderweb Variation 2" pattern on her site. It's exactly what I envisioned for this quilt.
For the backing, I used yardage of one of my all-time favorite Halloween prints from Spooktacular. Look at those cats dressed as ghosts! I can't even handle it. It's bound up in a newspaper print from Mama Said Sew by Sweetwater.
I want to extend a huge thank you to the four quilters who tested this pattern for me. Their recommendations and feedback were invaluable, and they made some really beautiful blocks! The first four blocks on the left were made by Angela (Decorating the Dorchester Way + @angelamhunt), the next two blocks were made by Carrie (@carriebeecreates), the top far right block was made by Holly (hollygetsquilty.com + @hollygetsquilty), and the bottom far right block was made by Erika (@pinksuedeshoe). I love how different they all look!
There's still time to whip up a spooky quilt in time for Halloween! It doesn't have to be made in holiday fabrics though, it would look beautiful made up in all different fabrics!
The Webbed Quilt PDF Pattern is available in my shop now, and the paper version can be found here!
I'm entering my Webbed Quilt in the Blogger's Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy Ellis!
Friday, September 16, 2016
1. Skirting The Issue - Im Feelin Crafty by Louise Wackerman, 2. Flying Flamingos by Corinne Sovey, 3. Fun fall mini by Chatelaine1, 4. Fall aspen leaves quilt by Rachel Stevens, 5. Swirling Stars quilt in front of glass houses by Lotje, 6. Cotton Boll Baby Quilt by Matt Macomber, 7. Untitled by Deb Volkman, 8. Busby Berkeley Inspired Popsicles by Heather Black, 9. Cinched by DeeRoo G
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!
Thursday, September 8, 2016
Happy Thursday! I have been trying to get this post written all week! I made a split second decision Saturday morning to road trip to Ikea and the Container Store (my favorite). I spent the weekend making a huge mess and reorganizing the entire apartment. I'm happy to say that everything is put away and I think it's better than it was before!
Last month didn't include a lot of sewing, so perhaps that's the other reason I've been putting off this post. We ended up having an incident with a neighbor that almost resulted in an emergency move for us. It was stressful and left both Michael and I feeling uneasy. Thankfully it will be resolved later this month (with us staying put), but in the meantime our day-to-day has been different and I've been distracted from my regular activities. Cleaning and reorganizing has been a nice way to refresh and take my mind off things.
I am getting geared up for Fall knitting, and last month I worked a decent amount on Drachenfels. I was really excited to start the third color, which is really beautiful Moonrover. This is the first time I've knit with it, and it's knitting up amazing.
As I've mentioned, to keep myself accountable I'm tracking my yardage for both yarn and fabric. Here is how I did in August:
Used up: 183 yards
Brought in: 29 yards
Net: -154 yards
Year to date: -187.875 yards
Used up: 0 yards
Brought in: 237 yards
Net: +237 yards
Year to date: +1324 yards
I am SO happy with my yardage totals this month! There is obviously some explaining to do. We had our annual cabin retreat last month, and oftentimes we bring fabric or other crafty goodies to share. I went through my stash and was pretty ruthless. I pulled 165 yards of fabric to take with me. It was fun to share, and what was left went to a guild's freebie table. I only brought 8.5 yards of fabric back home with me! Another good chunk of August's yardage is a quilt back and some 108" wide Kona I'm going to dye and turn into a shower curtain!
Looking at my goals, I pretty much completely missed the mark. The only sewing I did other than my Stowe Bag, was to finish up sewing for my two forthcoming patterns. Most of my time was spent on the computer, rather than behind the sewing machine. While I may not have met any of my sewing related goals this month, I am going to be ready to release two patterns in September, and I'm really happy about that.
I did start a new long-term project that is on my goal list! I didn't include it in my goals post, but it's on the full-list. That project/goal is to make a quilt from my Liberty of London stash. I've decided to make 180 churn-dash blocks, using just Liberty. The blocks can be found in my friend Christina's book, Quilting Happiness. I have three done and I'm loving them. I'm pairing fabrics and cutting as I go, which is not how I usually work, but it has been fun.
George the bunny is in a flopping phase! He goes through phases with his relaxing. Right now his favorite spot is on the mat between his little box and little basket. And he has been flopping over like crazy, much to my delight! :)