Thursday, March 16, 2017

Quilted Scrappy Tote Bag

This scrappy tote bag is now my go-to shopping bag! I found the tutorial on the blog of Jedi Craft Girl.

I got the idea for scrappy panels from Andy at A Bright Corner. I love this version!

Since this was my first time making a bag I had to go slow and re-read instructions. That being said I had trouble understanding how everything went together and sewed the handles in wrong. Then I got to rip stitches - lol!

I had a piece of Echino Buck with Glasses by Etsuko Furuya for Kokka in canvas that I had been saving for a long time, and I pulled fabrics from my stash to coordinate - teal grunge, purple-pink batik prints, and a long-hoarded piece of yellow print Japanese fabric I purchased in 2014 (which I love and cannot find now!) The inside fabric is Urban Garden by Alexander Henry. I love the funky vibe of the fabrics.

Inside are custom-sized pockets for my glasses, pen, keys, and iPhone. I put them a little too low and will make them closer to the top next time.

The bag is wider at the top and finished at 13 inches tall by 18 inches wide at the top and 13 inches wide at the bottom. I purchased a magnetic snap closure for it but decided against using it for this bag.

I already have plans for another bag and although I love this one, I might make a few alterations and add interfacing to help hold the shape.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler Block #6 - The Seasons

It is already week #6 of the Sewcial Bee Sampler Sew-Along, sponsored by Sharon Holland or Maureen Cracknell. I am enjoying this sew-along more than any other in which I have participated and look forward each Wednesday to seeing the pattern for the new block. The blocks have been simple to sew, and I usually spend more time choosing fabric than sewing.

I am getting a real work-out in HSTs (half-square triangles) and even with careful cutting and sewing there are still a few mis-matched points. I am trying to have a more relaxed attitude about that, but if it bothers me too much, I will take out stitches and redo until I get it right.

I still haven't decided on a fabric for framing each block, and I keep going back to this Kona. There are going to be a lot of bright colors in this quilt, and the gray might be a nice neutral contrast. I would like to make a final decision soon so I don't have to "catch up" on framing each block. The sashing will be a light cream.

Download instructions for this block as well as for all the blocks is here. If you are on Instagram, search for #sewcialbeesampler for an amazing display of all the blocks.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Hello, Bear Toddler Quilt Finish

The quilt for my 3-year old great-great nephew is complete! His name is River, and when he was born my great-niece sent me (at my request) photos of his room, which featured a neutral woodsy, nature decor. I purchased a fat quarter bundle of Hello, Bear (by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics) - a perfect match for his room - but only recently picked out a pattern and started cutting. Procrastination and Distraction = my enemies!

I was attracted to the Akito pattern by Villa Rosa Designs because it allows the fabrics to shine through in a pleasing design. It was simple and fun to piece. I did some fussy cutting to show off the cute little bears, foxes, owls, raccoons, and deer. I used a tiny gray and ecru check for the borders and sashing between the blocks. The online shop where I purchased it labeled it by Andover fabrics, and I got the last bit they had. I want more!

I pieced the backing with Hello, Bear Adventure Springs, which is teal with white arrows, and White Grunge, which has hints of mint green. I made a scrappy binding from leftover fabric.

Instead of my usual wavy lines quilting, I did a more linear design to complement the arrows.

Now I just need to clean off stray cat hairs and get it mailed!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler Block #5 - July Fourth

Week #5 of the Sewcial Bee Sampler is titled July Fourth. Although it looks complicated, it was a fun block to sew and a new-to-me way to make four Flying Geese units with no waste.

Again I used fabrics from Maureen Cracknell's gorgeous Garden Dreamer line - Twinklestar Berry and Bumble Beez. I pulled the sage-y gray fabric from my stash and don't remember what it is, but I wish I did because I want more of it.

You can find more information on the blogs of Sharon Holland or Maureen Cracknell, download instructions for this block here, and for all the blocks here. If you are on Instagram, search for #sewcialbeesampler to see how many variations there are for these blocks!

I am almost done with Hello, Bear quilt for my great-niece's little boy. The quilting is done, and today I am finishing it with a scrappy binding.

BUT I'm not sure Jack wants to give it up!