Sunday, 1 March 2015

Yet another bag ...

I'm not over making bags just yet, but I think I will be taking a little break from them after finishing this one.  This tote is called the  Outta Time Tote  and is another pattern from Erin at Dog Under My Desk but only available at One Thimble which is an Australian online magazine.  The pattern is available as a one-time purchase or you may want to subscribe to the magazine, you can read more about it here.  

For this bag I used a couple of linen tea towels that I had stashed away plus some linen for the handles and some red scraps that I had. This bag took me a day to make although I didn't work on it constantly.  I think I prefer to cut out the pieces out on one day and then make the bag the next day.

With this bag I deviated from the pattern instructions slightly as I wanted to make the handles a bit longer so I could stitch the handle down more securely.  I didn't think it through properly and although the handles are stitched down quite securely, I would follow Erin's instructions next time.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Bagging it ...

I've been looking for a bag pattern for some time now and I finally saw one on Pinterest I thought would meet my needs (cross body strap, easy to access from the top, not too deep, and with a pocket or two on the outside).  I tracked the pattern down and found it was from Erin at Dog Under My Desk.  PDF patterns are a wonderful thing, you pay your money and seconds later the link for the pattern lands in your inbox and you are good to go.  (assuming you have everything you need like zips and bag hardware)

I didn't bother with printing the pattern out except for the layout page, I opened it in iBooks on my iPad and read through the instructions a couple of times before I started.  I also looked at a few reviews of the bag to see if there was anything I needed to be aware of before I started, but there were nothing but good reviews for this bag.

front zipper pocket, there is another pocket behind as well

I had the fabric, interfacing and zips for the bag so I started cutting out the pieces, making sure to label them all so I didn't get confused later on.  Once that was done I read through the pattern again and started sewing away.

bag interior,  two more pockets here

I started my bag on Sunday afternoon and worked on it for the rest of the day, (with a few breaks), then continued on and finished it up the next day.  I enjoyed making this bag, the instructions were very comprehensive and accompanied by plenty of photos. I only had to reverse sew once and that was my fault as I didn't read through that part of the instructions properly, my bad!

I'm very, very happy with how this bag turned out, I have always thought that a bag like this would be beyond me, and now I want to make another one, maybe in linen or a slightly heavier weight fabric.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Time has flown, yet again.

The intervals between my blog posts seem to be stretching, it has been almost a month since I last blogged.  I almost feel as if I should be making my confession  :)

I have been making things - like the little thread catcher (pictured above) made using this tutorial from Fabric Therapy blog, and another Sew Together bag, this one I personalised a little bit with some foundation pieced blocks (they finish at 3" although I chopped them a little bit to as I didn't like the spacing of the letters)

 I can fit most of the things I need for hand stitching into it, and the thread catcher fits nicely as well.

I've also slowly (very slowly) been adding to my Brigittte Giblin's Trip Around the World (BGTATW) quilt, just two sides left on Row 19, I think I'll be continuing on to Row 27 and finish off with half square triangles and then hand quilt it.  I will have to decide on fabrics for the next couple of rows soon, and looking at the photo I don't think my initial pull is going to work :(

Some links that I want to share - Quilt Con 2015 and The Modern Quilt Guild - some of these quilts I really like, some not so much.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Border crossing

When I bought my Sweet 16 last year from the Adelaide Sewing Centre, I was invited to attend the monthly Handiquilter Group which they hold for the people who have purchased a Handiquilter machine from their store.  It is a demonstration based group,  Heather usually runs through basic maintenance (oiling, de-fluffing etc) for our machines and then demonstrates a quilting technique, we also have show and tell, and sometimes there is homework which is optional, but is a great way to learn a technique on a fairly small project.

Last year one of the techniques that Heather demonstrated was Borders and the homework was to make a border quilt using measurements that were supplied but the choice of fabrics was left up to the individual.  I decided that I would make a 15" X and + block as my centre, I also decided that I wouldn't buy any fabric (apart from backing fabric) and straightaway I had a problem as I didn't have quite enough fabric for the second border so I decided to put small X and + blocks in each corner, which solved my fabric problem nicely.

I had enough fabrics for the other borders but decided to put a small + block in the fourth border and a larger X and + block in the final border.  Once the quilt top was finished it was time to start quilting and I found out that fabric choice is quite important if you want your quilting to show up on the quilt.  It would have been much better to use solid coloured fabrics, live and learn I say :)   I'm still quilting this and hopefully will finish it off in a week or two.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Red and white quilt

I learned a few things in the making and quilting of my red and white quilt last year.  I've never really bothered with trimming threads from the back of the quilt but as you can see from the photos below untrimmed threads can stand out.

The threads showing through is only really a factor if you are using a light fabric.  The other niggle I noticed was that there was some shadowing of the red through the white fabric (I don't have a photo to illustrate this) this was caused by not trimming the red fabric back adequately when I paper pieced some of the blocks.

With this quilt I decided to attach the hanging sleeve using this tutorial which was quite successful although the line from the blind hem machine stitching was visible.  In the large photo you can clearly see the line across the top of the quilt. 

I wasn't going to wash the quilt as I didn't want to risk any of the reds running (even though I had washed most of them previously).  The other thing I noticed with this quilt was that in some places you could see the shadow of the backing fabric (a red and white toile).  In the scheme of things none of this really matters because I think it is still a very a nice quilt and I'm happy with how it turned out.

If I were to make another quilt like this then I would consider using two layers of batting as this would  make the quilting stand out really well and there would be no shadowing from the backing fabric.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Of bags and other things ...

Before Christmas I caught up with Amanda's Chocolate Marshmallow sampler blocks, and put the flying geese sashing on all the Threads of Memory blocks so they would be ready for a quick finish in the New Year, alas I forgot about the flying geese that I needed for two of the sides so there was no quick finish for me.

After receiving this lovely Boxy Pouch (the one on the right) from Sheila I thought I would have a go at making one too.  The tutorial is here, I also looked at this tutorial here as well.  It took me about 2 1/2 hours to make once I had decided on my fabric, I used a Parlon iron-on batting and used grosgrain ribbon for my tabs at each end as I couldn't be bothered making them the way the pattern showed, I also made mine an inch longer.  For some reason my bag ended up slightly larger than the one Sheila gave me.

While the bag making mood was in full swing I also decided to attempt the Sew Together Bag (a digital pattern available from Craftsy.  In addition to following the pattern instructions I followed the Quilt Barn sewalong and I also put tab ends on the pocket zippers as shown here.  I didn't time how long the bag took to make as I spread it out over 3 days, I cut the fabric and interfacing one day, constructed most of the bag the next day and finished it off today, probably at least 8 hours all up.

Surprisingly, I enjoyed making both bags, it was a bit of a change from machine piecing and I think another couple of bags are on the sewing horizon.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas to all

 This is a poem that was shared on a Facebook group I am a member of, it made me smile when I got to the end :)

 Twas the night before Christmas, I'm glued to the tree.
I'm wondering what Santa brought just for me.
Could it be fabric or patterns or more?
Or a new set of rulers, That I would adore!
And that's when I heard him,
"Hi Santa" I said.
"you know.... good little girls
Should be in their beds"

"I know I should Santa and now I've been caught.
But I was just so excited to see what you brought."
"Well let's take a look
in this room where you work"

He shook his head quickly and left with a jerk.
I heard him exclaim as he put it in gear.
"You've got enough crap
I'll see you next year

May Christmas be the day you need it to be, perhaps that is filled with people and festivity, but if you need a quick, quiet, or restful day I hope that is what it brings for you. May you have all good things including good health in the year to come.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Feeling good

because I finished the Frame quilt top off today, I started it end of October 2012 when I won the centre panel in a giveaway on Miriam's blog.  I did about one and half of the first borders and then it was packed away and didn't see the light of day until early this year when I had a new lease of life and decided to work on it a bit more.

I had originally decided to do an applique border and had stitched one border then decided I didn't like it so put it away until inspiration should strike, which it did (on one of those sleepless nights that seem to plague me every full moon) in the form of a chevron border which I liked much better than the original idea. After finishing the chevron border I just had to make 4 more corner applique blocks and add the borders and I had a finished top, quilting is another story.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Slow Stitching ...

Things have slowed down a lot here, I'm slowly working on the TATW quilt, round 16 is now finished, it measures about 35" across,  fabrics for rounds 17 and 18 are in the top right hand corner.  I really like how this quilt is starting to evolve, I'm still not sure how big I will make it, I think a queen size has 30 rounds plus some extra rows top and bottom and then triangles to make a straight edge.  I'm still enjoying the stitching on this one so I guess I'll just keep going for the time being.

I bought a lovely striped double gauze (Kokka Joielinne Random Stripe) from Hetties Patch a couple of weeks ago but had no idea what I would use it for, I just liked the fabric. Last weekend I made it up into a skirt, I already had my skirt pattern  drafted (although it did take me a little while to find it as I couldn't remember where I had put it). I had only bought a metre of fabric which wasn't quite enough for a skirt so a bit of a search through the stash brought up some Nani Iro double gauze which I used for a yoke on the skirt.  It was only after I had cut the fabrics that I had the bright thought that I could have gathered the striped fabric and then attached it to the yoke, it probably would have been a more effective use of the fabric, never mind.

At the quilt guild meeting in December 2013 we were all presented with a hexagon template for a Hexagon Christmas Challenge and encouraged to make a project with it, then bring the project along to the December 2014 meeting. I originally thought I would make a pincushion and then came across the bag handles stashed away so decided I would make a handbag using Kaffe Fassett fabrics, it turned out really well. There were a lot of projects made, both small and large, click here and scroll down a bit to see some of them.

Sunday, 30 November 2014


I've been busy catching up on my blocks in the Threads of Memory BOM.  I haven't been doing much piecing lately so it was a bit of a change of pace for me, it also meant I need to dip into my sewing machine manual a couple of times to refresh my memory.

 Block 9 - Lancaster Star

Back in October when Bernina had a 20% off accessories deal, the Mister bought me a couple of accessories - Patchwork foot #97D with patchwork seam guide and a straight-stitch stitch plate. I think it has made my piecing more accurate, I was having trouble keeping the foot lined up with the fabric edges and the seam guide combined with the #97D foot (which is wider than the #37D foot I was using previously) has solved that problem. (This link  explains it much better)  I think that Bernina should be including the #97D foot with the 7 series machines rather than having us buy it as an extra.

Block 10 - Britain's Star

Now that these blocks are completed I need to make more Flying Geese units so I can finish off the sashing on the blocks, then I will be all ready for when the last block comes out at the end of December and it won't take too long before the quilt top will be completed and I will be able to get stuck into quilting it.

Block 11 - St Charles Star