Sunday, February 24, 2013

Charmed Bag and is it spring yet?!

In my last fabric order, on impulse I bought a charm pack. I really like the Mama Said Sew line and when it arrived in the mail I spent more time than is reasonable just looking at the little squares of yummyness. While this may seem reasonable for a quilter, I am most assuredly not a quilter. What on earth was I going to do with a bunch of five inch squares? (42 to be exact). 

I asked myself that same question every time I would look up on the shelf above my sewing machine: "why on earth did you buy that? What are you gonna do with it?!". I'd pick it up, look at the pretty squares, and set it right back on the shelf. 

Until last weekend. A friend of mine made a request for a black and red bag. I cut out all the pieces for her bag and thought, " I kinda want a black and red bag too." Then the lightbulb, I can use the charms for a bag! Perhaps if I had any experience quilting, I could have done some fancier piecing but I was not wanting this to turn into something I couldn't get done RIGHT NOW. Once I get started on something, I have a hard time stopping so I was impatient to get my bag done. 

Initially my plan was to have a recessed zipper, but I ended up liking it on the top of the bag above the exterior. Can a bag have a popped collar? This one does. I added a pocket the length of the bag inside so I could use it as a divider, as this was initially planned as a work bag. I also added a "C" appliqué on the front. 

I love how it came out and I'm so happy I found a proper usage for the charms! I have about a third of the pack left and I may use them in an itty bitty hexie project. 


I can never leave well enough alone. Just when I seem to have enough things to fill my brain and my time, I start something new. Enter hexies.

These awfully cute fellas are deceptively addicting. I sat down with some paper hexie templates and a couple tutorials right after the holidays but quickly put them aside for other projects. At that time, I didn't see what all the fuss was about. Sure they were great scrap busters but much too time consuming.

Then one of my favorite things in the world came back, The Walking Dead. Yup, I'm a complete sucker for zombies and I look forward to Sunday nights like a kid longs for Christmas. I'm that dork. The show has movie like suspense and to keep my palms safe from my fingernails I must have something to do with my hands. I usually crochet but right now I'm infatuated with knitting. Unfortunately, I'm also not very good at knitting and it requires a lot of concentration for me still. The solution to this dilemma? Hexies! 

My hubs is having knee surgery tomorrow, so my day will consist of a lot of time sitting around. I'm hoping I can start sewing these together into something potentially useful. I've tried various conglomerations of placements and I think I like the random the best. Maybe I'll just start sewing them up and see hoe it turns out! What they will end up as? I have no idea yet! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Paper pieced clutch

Earlier this month, I had the privilege of testing a lovely pattern by Sara from SewSweetness. It was my first attempt at paper piecing and I was a little apprehensive about it initially. The pattern is suitable for someone as a first time paper piecing project but there were a couple of emails back and forth to Sara for some help getting me started and she was wonderful about helping me out and giving me some more resources to get the process down. Ultimately she directed me to a series that she had hosted on her blog about paper piecing and there were some great tutorials there, especially one writen by Sara herself.

After the process clicked with me, I kinda felt like a dunce for it seeming so difficult at first. I guess I have a tendency to over complicate simple things some times.

Since this was a Sunset clutch, I wanted the fabrics to be reminscent of an actual sunset. I dug around in my stash and found some yellow polka dots I had picked up from Hobby Lobby and a Thomas Knauer print that seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

Once I got the process down, it came together quickly and I ended up with the four panels for the clutch:

After a trim:

Now that the "hard part" was overm it was time to actually construct the clutch. Sara mde some great recommendations for interfacing choices, but I went a little rogue and decided that I wanted a bag with a LOT of structure and I went with some Peltex 71. I wouldn't say that it was a terrible choice, but it wasn't one of my best ideas. The stabilizer is so rigid that when working with a smaller bag like this, it was the equivalent of wrestling a baby alligator to negotioate some parts of the bag through my machine.
I ended up ripping out all the top stitching at the top of the bag because it was virtually impossible to get a clean even top stitch with the small nature of the bag combined with the peltex 71. After all was said and done I decided to do some by hand with some embroidery floss (not pictured), which did turn out well but my poor fingers hurt for the whole next day.

However, I am overall happy with how it turned out. I love the fabrics together and it is really a GREAT pattern. Even though I tested the "rough" draft, it was so well done! Easy to follow with great pics along the way, this was such a fun project, I can't wait to do another one.

Valentine's Swap

Wow, it's already February and Valentine's day is right around the corner! I feel like we just recovered from Christmas! Valentine's is never a big holiday round here, the hubby and I typically just keep it low key but with a little one around, it's fun to get a bit more into the festivities.

This year I signed up for the Valentine's day hosted by Sew Caroline and Rags to Riches

I had seen several other swaps in the past but never was able to participate either to not having a blog or simply being too shy to sign up. So, when I ran across this post about a Valentine's mug swap, I knew I wanted to give it a shot!

I was given Chrissy from Hoot Designs and once I saw that her favorite candy was twizzlers I wanted to put together a totally pink and red valentine's basket of sorts.

I Started with some festive heart fabric and some plaid I had in my stash. I knew that I wanted to make some festive but functional gifts, so I decided on some scrappy pot holders and a tea towel. I found this cute embroidery patten from Hudson's Holidays and made an embroidered tea towel backed with one of the fabrics from the pot holders.

Since the whole theme was about mugs, what better than a pink travlers mug?! Add in some candy and fun pair of socks and you have yourself a valentine's basket.

This is what arrived for me in the mail today!!! How awesome is this mug?! Chrissy sent me this adorable package with the cutest mug, some chocolate, a beautiful journal, some flower embelishments, mod podge
and the essential lip balm! I was so excited to get my swap package and I LOVE it!!! Thanks so much Chrissy :)

I had so much fun putting this together and getting my goodies! I will certainly be participating in more swaps!

Happy V-Day :)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Valentine's Pouch

After participating in the Valentine's Swap hosted by Sew caroline and Rags to riches, I wanted to also put together a little gift for our sitter. She is abosultely wonderful and she throws prties for the kids for each holiday and b-day and I thought it would be nice to put together a little something for her.

I had some V-day fabric left over and whipped up a quick pouch to stuff with goodies! I haven't decided to stuff it with candy or maybe some candles and smelly stuff yet.

To make the pouch, I just made a basic zippered bag, which there are about a gazillion tutorials for and I just boxed the corners at the bottom. I did interface the exterior fabric so it has a bit of structure to stand up on it's own.