Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Open Wide Zipper Pouches, take two

I have been on a role since I got back from retreat in October.  I guess all I needed was a little extra time with my creativity and others like me to really get my sew-jo back.  This Sunday I worked on making a bunch more of the Open Wide Zipper Pouch by Noodlehead.  I made my first one back in May of this year and have been using ever since.  I love it so much and I thought that they would make great gifts this year (although to be perfectly honest my ulterior motive was to make more for me! Don't tell anyone.).

I have a bunch of canvas fabrics that I have been wondering what do do with for ages.  I found them again when I was cleaning out my sewing room post-retreat and left them out on the table figuring I'd make a bag or something.  on Sunday, I was having some trouble with the thread tension on a baby quilt I was quilting so I set it aside, picked up these fabrics and just started cutting.

The first fabric I used is Itsy Bitsy, by Heather Ross, which you can still find here.  The other is a fun records print by Melody Miller called Ruby Star from Spring 2012 for Kokka on an 85/15 cotton linen blend.  I have the color ambrosia, which is a lovely sage-mint green.  This is a really large scale print with the records measuring almost 7" across.  I made three pouches in these fabrics, one large in the records and one medium and one small in the the Itsy Bitsy.  I used a heavy weight Pellon fusible interfacing on all of these bags because I like them to have a little more structure and substance and I think they hold up better personally.  Overall, the added weight/bulk didn't impact my sewing.  They are also all lined with the same grey-brown Moda Grunge as my first pouch; perfect for hiding stains.

The second versions that I made are using a fun black and white forest animal canvas, that I think came from Spoonflower, and Essex Linen for the bottom.  I'm pretty sure the color I used is either Graphite or Black.  I made two large pouches and two medium pouches in this combination I love on these how the only color comes from the zippers.  I switched up the colors using various bright zippers.  Aren't they fun?!

My personal favorite is this Bear Boogie in Red by Kokka, a cotton linen blend.  I have no idea where I got this fabric but since it's just so darn cute I'm glad it ended up in my stash some how.  I only made one large pouch out of this one but would love a little set of them to use.  This one isn't completely done yet, I still have to sew the tag to the end of the zipper, but I was so excited to use it that I decided to do that part later.

While cutting/piecing this one I tried to make sure that all of my seams would line up around the bag  and was so pleasantly surprised when I flipped in right-side out and saw this perfectly matched seam!

I still have a few more to finish up before these are completely done.  And they're so fast and easy I might just cut out a bunch more for gifts and to list for sale sometime.  I think a fun modification would be to use laminate fabric for the inside for shower supplies or things that might leak.  I'll have to explore that further too.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday today over at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap - Sent

Shortly after signing up for my first instagram swap I saw the posts about round four of the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap.  I've admired the mini' that are made for this swap for a long time and immediately jumped on the chance to participate. 

I was paired with Joy, @J.Meadows, from Texas who said she loved bright happy colors.  In her free time, when she's not sewing, she likes to workout and spend time with Tiny, her Grate Dane.  I wasn't sure what I wanted to make at first and ended up pulling out the scraps from Two Birds, One Stone, my Pantone 2015 challenge quilt and playing with the leftover blocks.  I had a few small blocks left and started by chopping them up to piece a teeny-tiny star block.  This sucker finished at 2.5" square. 

After that I added two more rounds of star points to make the finished mini about 12" around.  It was fun to use of these little scraps from my favorite quilt.  I hoped that the bright, scrappy colors would translate to something that Joy would like.

I ended up procrastinating and getting caught up with work and other things and didn't get back to quilting my mini for about two months.  I finally sat down to quilt it two weeks ago.  I wanted to play with shapes for the quilting and started by outlining two squares, on point behind the largest and the middle stars.  Then I filled in the background of each star, starting with a micro-stipple, bubbles for the middle, and straight lines for the outside.  I'm really happy with how the quilting came on this.  Although I must say that the foot I used for my machine started to squeak really badly after a little while.  Any thoughts on how to stop that from happening again?

I used a large scrap for the backing that I happened to have on hand.  It's not my favorite fabric but I though the colors did coordinate nicely.  I bound the quilt using a bright yellow strip I had on hand.  It was a littler narrower than I usually like to go for bindings but I managed to make it work by glue basting the unsewn side down before machine stitching it.  That's a trick I picked up at retreat earlier this year.  It's my new favorite method for perfect machine binding.  Let me tell you, those corners are tight!

For extras, I included a charm pack of V and Co's Simply Style since my partner mentioned that she liked their fabrics.  I also had a cute notepad and package of buttons that I had won previously at quilt guild but wasn't going to use.    Joy asked for notions in her extras so it seemed like a good fit.  Since I'm on a diet and I know that Joy likes to work out I threw in some yummy EPIC beef jerky instead of chocolate or sweets which was a win.  She's had to hide the jerky from her husband since they both really like it!

This was a great experience for me and I think I would definitely participate in this swap again.  Hopefully I'll be on top of things and catch the signup period on Instagram before it's closed for round 5!

You can find even more of the amazing quilts that were made 
for this swap by searching instagram for any of the following hashtags

Linking up with Sew Modern Monday.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Jen Goes to Retreat

This October I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a retreat for the first time!  It is sponsored by my local quilt guild and really quite affordable.  The last two years I haven't been able to attend because it actually fell on the weekend we got married and then our one-year anniversary and since I figured my then-fiance/now-husband wouldn't appreciate me missing both of those events to go quilting..... well, you get the idea.  But this year it was the weekend after, and damn it all, I was going!  

I think I brought every WIP I have to retreat to work on and even some soon-to-be-WIPs but did manage to get a lot accomplished.  I started with several mini quilts that I needed to baste/quilt/bind and a block for a sampler raffle quilt for a local charity.

When I was done with the mini's I moved on to binding a large quilt that I'd been putting off for ages.   Jane introduced me to glue basting the binding before I machine quilt it and I am officially now a convert.  I stopped at Keepsake on the way home to get some basting glue for myself.  It made finishing this large quilt off so much easier.  It's a gift that I hope to give at Thanksgiving this year so watch for pictures soon shortly after!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Nearly Wordless WIP Wednesday

package received

sneak peak of packaged received

finishing the quilting for my package to send

mini to send complete

All pictures are from my instagram feed.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Modern Hexies Wall Hanging

I have had this fun wall hanging done for awhile now.  I made it to demo my machine binding technique at our local quilt show this spring but it was born long before that.  My husband is on the road a lot: travelling to and from jobs, going to look at other potential work, or driving to find a great deal on equipment.  Since he usually does these long drives on the weekends often times I'll go with him.  Which presents a serious dilemma: I can't bring my sewing machine with me in the car.  I don't do a lot of hand sewing or quilting but usually try to grab my bag of papers so that I can make hexies while I wait.  Since I get car sick so I can't do much sewing when we're actually moving so it's not really that productive but since we're usually somewhere without service, hours of facebook/instagram/candy crush are out of the question.  

I started these hexies on January 10th of this year and slowly worked up to 40 of them in various shades of peach and orange (probably my all time favorite color combination by the way).  They finish at 1.5".  I had some yardage of Moda grunge in the color grey and used that for the background, spacing them a little less than 1/2 apart.  I really eyeballed the spacing relying on my obsessive detail about space and distribution.  The quilting was done using Aurifil 28w thread in a light pink.  I followed each hexie from corner to corner to create the distinctive diamond pattern you see on so many of these quilts.  Normally I wouldn't use such a heavy thread but I really love how this one looks and will probably be using the weight again for future quilting projects.  Martin Cat helped me square up the edges when I was done quilting and then it was a quick machine binding job to finish this one up.  I used Squared Elements in Cetrine since I couldn't resist adding a little more color to the quilt.

I used lots of favorite fabrics in this quilt making something with just enough "whimsy" to truly reflect me.  There are lions, butterflies, bicycles, sea horses, and tiny hearts.  The backing is this fun large scale floral print.  I don't have any of the salvage though so I don't know what it is.

Since I'm short on wall space at home I've hung this one up outside of my cubicle at work.  I'm pretty much convinced that my coworkers think I'm insane though.  This quilt makes the total number of quilts and wall hangings at my desk 8.  I love having it though.  It brings a little sunshine to my otherwise grey and beige cubicle. 

Thanks for visiting!!