Saturday, May 30, 2009

Summer Tote

I found this cute pattern called "Retro Groovy Bag from Lila Tueller for a purse and used some new summery fabric from the shop to make it up.

I love the fabric from the "Resort" collection from Michael Miller. It made up a much larger size bag than a purse... more of a tote! I cut out 2 of all the pieces so I could make one up as a sample for the shop in hopes of teaching it as a class later this summer, and then one for me for my summer purse.

This tote ends up being quite expensive to make up...with bamboo handles, 10 eyelets, 10 leather shoe laces and decorative beads... all in addition to the fabric, fusible fleece and interfacing.

As it ended up being so much larger than the purses I like to carry, I made some modifications to the pattern for my own version. I did not put in the side gusset, but just sewed the front and back together all the way around and then boxed the bottom corners.

I also changed how the handles were attached on my own purse. I did not use eyelets and leather laces and beads. Instead, I made little finished tabs and sewed them into the top seam.

I changed how the top of the purse was finished, as well. I did not use binding to finish it as the pattern required, instead, I sewed the outside and lining right sides together around the top and turned it all right side out through an opening I left in the lining.

I also sewed some lime green rickrack around the top edge before hand stitching the buttons onto each tab to secure the handles to each side.

I really like my version better than the original one. Without the 5" wide gusset, it made a better size for a purse.

Today, I spent in my sewing room, making the 42 blocks from the Kaffe prints for the "Insomnia" pattern. I've got them laid out on my design wall and will stitch them together tomorrow. When the top is done, I'll post it! The quilts in the Strip Therapy book One, each use the leftover strip pieces to make a table will make that up, too!

I am sad no one left me a comment with an idea of how to quilt the black fused garden gate quilt on my last post. I was so hoping for some good ideas.... I've had the top finished for over a year, but have not quilted it because I'm at a loss of what would look best... sigh!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Quilting Advice Needed!!

I am trying to clean off my sewing room tables, so need to get some UFO's that are laying around on them completed. I bought this fusible garden gate over a year ago.

I used my stash and fussy cut 3" squares and created a meandering garden walk with different sections of flowers and colors. After fusing the black garden gate over the pieced top, I never got any further! I couldn't decide how to quilt it. Do I quilt the edges around the black fused part? That will take FOREVER! But , I could certainly do that. I could also quilt OVER the black fused do a meandering ivy vine? Then do different looking flowers in the rest of the flower sections...

What would you do? What color thread would you use? I'd appreciate it if you would please leave me a comment and give me your suggestions.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No Text Tuesday- Late Spring

My poppy plant is blooming daily!!

This angel sleeps on my deck!

My peonies are blooming and falling over with the weight!

Yogi is sad and watching for Anthony who went back to

Virginia Tech yesterday.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bee Day!!

Today was our Bee day! :-) We were at my friend Lorraine's house and we had a lovely time! And what a great lunch- salad with fresh berries and chicken and mango cheesecake for dessert!!! I wanted to make and bring the girls something , so with the weather warming up finally, I went to Starbucks and got them each a gift card and asked the barista for 4 empty cold drink cups with lids and straws. I made a quilted sleeve for each cup using a cute summer beach print with lighthouses and sailboats.

The back was a red plaid and I bound the edges with red bias tape. It will help cold drinks stay cold and keep them from sweating down the sides, too. I like to only use cups and glasses with lids on them in my sewing avoid accidentally spilling drinks. I'm such a klutz!

I felt good that I got allot done at bee today!! One of my bee friend's, Linda, and I are both doing the American Jane Calendar Kids BOM quilt. As teachers, we both fell in love with this adorable quilt with paperdoll printed fabric that in each block is dressed for a month of the year and begins with September just like the school year does. Here's what it will look like-

We just got the first block (September) last week in the mail, so today at bee, we went through all the given fabrics and directions and decoded it all! Some parts are pieced and some are done with fusible applique. I think it will be so fun to make!! I got all the tracing done on the fusible, got it all ironed on the fabrics and cut them all out. So maybe tomorrow I can get the block all put together!

I also got a jellyroll cut into the pieces needed for this cool jelly roll quilt. This one is called "Insomnia" from the book Strip Therapy

and is shown made with a Balipop, but my jelly roll is all Kaffe Fassett fabrics. Each jellyroll will yield a nice lap sized quilt and you make a table runner with the leftovers! Cool idea! I love "two-fors"!!

In two weeks is our annual Quilter's Unlimited quilt show at the Dulles Expo! Yippee!! I wait all year for this! I'm considering purchasing an Alto's QuiltCut 2. Does anyone out there have one? Do you like it? Is it worth the money? Leave me a message and let me know!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

No Text Tuesday- College Graduation Weekend

Virginia Tech graduation 2009!

Worried it would rain at the stadium!!

My son Anthony and his girlfriend Leah both graduated!

The closest hotel room we could get was 30 miles away in Salem... with a bathtub next to the bed!?!

Where I hope to be some this week!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Where Does the Time Go?

I can never get over how quickly the days go... it's been days since I posted here! ACK!! But, I want to show you a purse I made with scraps! I'm calling it my Art Purse. It's made with scraps from this quilt I made my sister Patty a few Christmases ago!

See the first pieced border? I had lots of those little brick shaped rectangles leftover in my scrap drawer!! So, I pieced them together in row and added a strip of another Kaffe fabric in between!

I used fusible fleece on the back and free-motion quilted it with leaves and curlicues. I used that piece to cut out the lining. I ironed fusible interfacing on the back of the lining and added a pocket.

I had a periwinkle faux leather purse handle in my stash and used the same black Kaffe fabric to make fabric loops to attach the handle. I used the same periwinkle color as the handles in a batik for the lining. I like using light fabrics to line all purses to make finding things in it later much easier!

I folded the prepared quilted purse exterior into the desired shape with a flap to close just about into thirds. I trimmed the sides of the flap into a trapezoid shape. I sewed up the side seams and boxed the bottom sides.

Then I used the black Kaffe fabric loops to attach the handle on each side.

I used some other Kaffe scraps from my stash to fussy cut some flowers to fuse onto the front flap of the purse. I always use Trans Web fusible for applique as it is very light and does not gum up my needle when I stitch on it.

I stitched and embellished the appliqued flowers with Sulky metallic thread. Then, I also fused on some sparkly crystals to add some BLING!

I stitched the lining sides together and boxed the bottom of it exactly as I did the purse exterior- EXCEPT for leaving about 4" on one side open for turning. I turned the purse right sides out through the opening on the side and then stitched that opening closed. I top stitched around the sewn edges. I added a magnetic snap to the lining of the flap and to the front of the purse exterior where it was needed to match the other half on the flap.

And VOILA!! A cool fun artsy scrap purse!! And everything used to make it was already in my sewing room!! Love that aspect, too!! Hmmm....what else can I pout together with my stash of scraps! What do YOU make out of your scraps?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

I can't believe I haven't posted since Tuesday! YIKES!! Sorry, but it was a busy week for sure! Anyhoo... I hope all Mothers had a most wonderful and blessed Mother's Day today! It was such a perfect day here! The sun was out all day , 72 degrees and it was very breezy... I could hear all the wind chimes singing all day outside! So perfect for doing some planting!

I asked my dear husband for 2 spiral Juniper trees to put in big pots on our front steps for my Mother's Day gift! He brought them home from the nursery yesterday and I potted them and then today I went out and bought more flowering plants for the rest of the front.

I bought red and pink geraniums and coral petunias and yellow and orange marigolds and some other pretty drapey flowers that I can't recall the name... I cut back all the stringy dead stuff from the grass edging plants and now we just need some mulch to finish up!!

I really hate yard work usually, but it was so relaxing potting the plants today as the weather was just perfect!! NO SWEATING!! Although, the scratchy Juniper foliage has left a nice itchy rash on my forearms! They stopped itching with some topical cortisone cream, so no worries!!

My husband took me and my son and his girlfriend to a very nice Italian restaurant for dinner. I had chicken Alfredo and cheesecake for calories there!!! Did you go out to dinner, too, for Mother's Day?? Hope so!! You deserve to be treated like a queen today!!

I did sew allot yesterday and made a purse from some scraps from a quilt I made my dear sister Patty a few Christmases ago... I'll write about it tomorrow!! I did not get into the sewing room today, but hope to tomorrow after work! I want to get some more cool linen tops made as the warm weather will soon be here to stay!! Hope your day was as relaxing and productive as mine!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

No Text Tuesday- Pink "Snow"

Check out the pink "snow" on the school playground!

Here's some more in our neighborhood!

Our pink Dogwood rain has HUGE "flakes"!!

With all the rain, it will be gone in days!