Friday, April 30, 2010

April finish

Well, only one measly block to show for this month!  This Saturday Sampler block didn't go together easily since I had cut some of the flying geese pieces bigger by accident and it took me a long time to figure out what the problem was. Needless to say, my seam ripper saw a lot of action that night!  I have three more blocks similar to this one to make but by the time I finished this one, I just wanted a break from doing them.

I've been in the spring cleaning and reorganizing mood lately so I've been spending time doing that rather than sewing.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

First tote bag finished

After staying up pretty late Saturday night, I did mange to work some more on my rose print bag Sunday afternoon and finished it tonight.  Here it is:

I made this for my cousin's wife so I machine embroidered her initial on the tab:

One of the things that makes this tote so popular with the ladies that I give it to is that the sides are held in with magnetic snaps that open when more room is needed to stash stuff in the tote.  This is what it looks like with the snaps open:

The bag is made out of decorator fabric that my aunt found left behind in a rental house that she and my uncle own.  It's dated 1986 on the selvage so it's kind of vintage and it was made to co-ordinate with wallpaper.  I really like it because the print has a hand-painted look to it.  There was quite a bit of yardage so I'll probably be able to make some more bags out of it.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tote party-I'm beat

It's 1:15 am and I'm packing it in.  After spending some time with Eric eating dinner and watching a little TV, I headed back up to work on my lining panels.  Nothing major with these, just straight channel quilting which was a breeze after the fronts.  I then spent the rest of the night until a few minutes ago getting the handle done for the rose print tote.  This particular pattern has you sew a long tube about 120 inches long that you then pull cotton webbing through.  While not the quickest thing to do, I normally don't have too many problems with it when using regular cotton fabric because my fasturn tubes make it a snap and the webbing pulls through relatively easily.  Not this time, though.  This fabric is heavy decorator fabric and was too thick stack all the way on the fasturn tube so I had to turn it the hard way which took forever and then the webbing didn't pull through all that easily.  The guide kept pulling off the webbing and I had to pull it out and start all over again.  I finally ended up using the tacking stitch on my machine to attach the guide (using the slots on it) to the webbing so it wouldn't come off and it really worked like a charm!  I wish I had thought of that from the beginning.  I also wrapped some tape around it so that the edges of the webbing tapered down to the guide which was narrower.

OK, I'm off to bed and will be back at it later today and hope to get at least the rose print bag done.  I didn't think I'd get either one done Saturday but at least I've got all the time-consuming bits done which really helps.  This isn't the quickest bag to make but really is a good one.  My friends who've gotten one as a gift really like them and these will be gifts, too.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tote party #3

Panel 2 is finished!  I also cross-hatched this one but chose to do a more open 45 degree angle and used my serpentine stitch since the fabric design is so curvy.  I'm really happy with the result!  I took the time to mark out my lines which really helped because I could just put the pedal to the metal and guide the fabric through.  The last line was a thrilling race to get to the end before the bobbin thread ran out.  Heh, why is it that I think if I just sew faster, the bobbin won't run out on me?

Thanks for all the wonderful comments you all are leaving, they really keep me going!

Tote party #2

Oh geez, I can't believe that it's already past 2:30 and this is as far as I have gotten!  I just finished the outside panel for my first tote.  Because the background is so open, I chose to do a more dense diamond hatch to give it some visual interest.  Unfortunately, that meant tons of lines to stitch one way and the other.  On top of that, half way through, the lines started to bend so I had to rip out each one half way back and redo them.  Arrgh!  OK, on to my next panel!

Tote bag party!

10:30 AM:

Getting a late start here!  I am going to be working on two totes today, both from the same pattern.  I've made the tote before, so that will help speed things up a little bit.  Here are my fabrics:

OK, the first step is get the outside panels cut and quilted.  This part takes the longest to do.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Quick project

My co-worker is getting married this weekend in Las Vegas and we took up a collection for him in the office.  I volunteered to create a holder for the money and spent this evening working on it.  Here is the result:

This is the front side which I personalized with their wedding location and date, accented with doves.

The envelope back has a border using the same dove motif that is on the front.

All in all, I think it turned out pretty well.  There are a few things that I'd do differently the next time around but not bad for something right off the top of my head!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April projects

Just a quick post for my April projects since it took way more time than I anticipated this evening to set up my new printer in my sewing room.

First up, my Saturday Sampler blocks for this month. This time it's trees with a lot of flying geese in those trunks! There will be four blocks all together as I will be making two of one particular block. I haven't done too many flying geese so this should be interesting.

Next up will be to get started on the Wedding Ring quilt. I'm shooting for finishing 10 full squares and 5 half squares a month for six months in order to make this more manageable. I have to piece a lot of these arcs together before I can applique them to the squares and this way I won't get too overwhelmed by it. Unfortunately, this means I won't be able to give this to our niece right away but I'd rather give her something that is well made than a hurry up job full of mistakes (and I'm really prone to them, too, when trying to do something too fast.)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Some new toys

One of the things that I really enjoy doing aside from sewing is knitting. Most yarn that you buy in yarn shops comes in hanks that have to be wound into balls and usually that's not a problem as the shop is happy to wind the yarn for you. Not so long ago, I spotted a pattern for a lace stole in a yarn catalog that I really wanted to knit to wear to my niece's wedding in May. The only catch was that to get the pattern you had to buy the yarn as the pattern came with it. That was fine by me so I ordered and didn't give it another thought until the yarn arrived and I realized that it would have to be wound. Now, I really hate winding balls by hand and it would be really pushing it to go to my local shop and ask the proprietor to wind them for me seeing as how I didn't actually buy the yarn from her. I finally broke down and got myself a swift and ball winder. Tonight I set them up and put them to work:

The final result- a nice tidy yarn "cake" all ready to go in minutes: