Wednesday 14 September 2016

WIP Going Into Storage

After having a crisis of faith in a bundle I pulled years ago, I reworked and went ahead to make the pattern, using the FREE tutorial for the Squares and Strips Bed Quilt put together by Cluck Cluck Sew.

The pattern itself is fantastic. Like all patterns by Cluck Cluck Sew, it designed to look more complicated than it is and the top comes together very quickly. The only blip I had on my radar was that I really needed my fat quarters to be 21" tall and they were not. As in, all but 3 of my 12 fat quarters were too short. What the heck is that about?
Too short meant I had to do some improv.
And I got the blocks made in no time and I put the top together and...
Orange, turquoise and teal in real life.
...I don't dig it. It's okay. The pattern is great. It isn't ugly, I don't think, but it just isn't me. Despite the use of many fabrics I love. Despite that fact that turquoise and teal are so my thing. I just don't really like this quilt top. It is intended for someone in my family, and I will finish it, but nothing in my stash works for the backing and I just don't have the heart to work on it anymore. This is the first time ever, I think, that I'm putting a finished quilt top away in the closet and shrugging my shoulders over getting it done. It can stay a WIP longer. My heart just isn't in it.

Which taught me a lesson. I had some other bundles I put together ages ago, with fabric I probably would not buy now. And seeing how this top turned out and how I just don't love it, I'm breaking up those bundles and putting the fat quarters I like back on the shelf and the rest in the "Maybe someone else will like these fabrics" box in my closet.

Like this penguin bundle here. No idea what possessed me. I might fussy cut a penguin or two, though.
It is those beiges that kill me. Just no.
And for a long time I was planning to make a rainbow circus sort of quilt. I built up this combination over many shop hops:
But no. Too much. Too bright. No. I don't want to make this quilt.
Do you have any bundles languishing somewhere in your stash? I have more that I haven't reviewed yet that are going to get a hard look very soon. Why make things you don't love?

Monday 12 September 2016

Halloween Treat Bag: Playing with the Pattern

I, like many people, enjoy Pinterest. My sewing boards are rather robust. And while I pin many things, I definitely don't get around to trying them all that often. However I knew that I had a pin for a Halloween bag by Ellison Lane, and after picking up some ADORABLE (mostly Cotton+Steel) Halloween novelty fabrics at Pink Castle Fabrics I knew I wanted to make my girls some trick or treating bags.
The second from the bottom are Lizzy House ghosts but the rest are from Cotton+Steel's collaborative Boo! line.
The things was, when I actually started using the pattern (one that many people had commented on and many people had pinned) there was a MAJOR error in the cutting instructions. (The dimensions for the batting were way off!) And then the instructions for the handles seemed waaaaaaay more complicated than they needed to be. So I made up the handles.
Folded them in half and pressed well.

I then pressed the edges in about 1/4" and put a piece of batting in the middle to make the handles cushier.

I sewed down each side and once down the centre to give it some strength and because it looks pretty.

This is the first bag, for my youngest.

Ghost lining=awesome. The french seams are a nice part of this pattern.
BUT I knew what I wanted to change for my second. The measurements were just a little tight for my liking since things tend to shift when you quilt them. And I wanted to be able to see more of the accent fabric on the bottom. I suggest you cut your main outside fabric at  14" x 13" and the accent at 14" x 3.5" so you can see more of the accent. I also found that I didn't like the look of contrasting thread on the binding around the top of the first one so I used one that blended in the second one. And, as I said, no need to go the insane route for the handles that are in the tutorial. 

Thank goodness I made the size larger because look what happened on the lining of one of the sides of the bag when I was quilting the second one! Instead of this being a disaster I had enough wiggle room to trim it and no harm was done!
I said bad words when I saw this.
The end result was super awesome and my older daughter absolutely loves it (and she's not easily impressed). There's something particularly satisfying about making useful things for your children that will become part of their childhood experiences. I highly recommend putting a quilt aside and putting together one of these bags!
Bag #2

Friday 9 September 2016

Sew Together For A Friend

After completing my first Sew Together Bag, I knew I would be making several more, including for myself. When quilty and bloggy friend Jenn at A Quarter Inch from the Edge commented on my Instagram picture that she sure wished I would make her one, I knew I needed to move hers up my priority list. Considering she has some significant changes in her life right now I thought a Sew Together Bag would be a nice reminder that the world is a wonderful place.

I selected fabrics I love because we have very similar tastes. I knew this Carolyn Friedlander print would be perfect for the lining, and the Lizzy House Mini Pearl Bracelets, Alison Glass and Heather Bailey all worked really well with the outer fabric, a Washi print that I think Jenn commented she loved about three(?) years ago.
This stage is always so satisfying!
Here is the finished bag:
Isn't that a fun print? And an Alison Glass for the binding too. I'm running low on those arrows and will be sad when they're all gone.

Look at all those pockets!
I really need to prioritize my Sew Together bag next!
The end result was a bag that surprised her and that she loved. Well worth the effort to both construct it and pick the perfect fabrics for her.

Now if only I could find even five minutes to sew these days...