Wednesday, April 1, 2015

My Art Student Tote

I have another finished tote to share!

Last fall, when Priory Square came out, I know I wanted to make a tote bag out of the Sunday Clippings print. I love the flowers and the birds, it's large scale--so perfect for a tote bag.

When we were in Denver @ Fancy Tiger Crafts, I found some, along with the Art Student Tote pattern by AMH. My husband ended up getting me both for Christmas.

At first glance, I found the pattern to be very confusing, especially the pockets. But I must have been overthinking it--after I put it down for a couple months, I was able to put it all together in a weekend. This pattern is definitely doable for a beginner, but it does take some patience. I also used a glue stick to baste the straps and keep everything in place while top stitching--I don't think I could have put it together without using a bit of glue.

I really like this tote because it has so many pockets! I also like the straps on the outside, and the extension panel. It makes the bag seem more complex, and a little less hand-made, which I like. I made version C, which is the largest size. I ended up making that extension panel a bit shorter than in the pattern (only 5"), but I do like having a zipper on the top.

I also ended up using heavy-weight interfacing on the entire bag. Because it is a larger bag, I wanted it to be able to stand up. I thought the zippers and d-rings might be too heavy with a lightweight interfacing. I haven't made a lot of bags, so I'm not sure if this was the right choice yet, but so far I'm happy with it.

I was able to measure the inside drop pockets, so they're able to fit everything I need--Kindle, wallet, pens, and lots of other things I don't even have :) I love having extra pockets. This bag is quite large, so I will be able to use it as a carry-on. Back when I used to use giant bags every day, this would have been right up my alley, but now I usually use a smaller bag from day to day.

Pardon the slightly blurry photo, I think I'll blame my photographer, who doesn't know how to use my old camera
We do have a trip coming up in May, so I'm looking forward to using this for my carry-on. I think it'll also be useful for those days when I'm running errands, and carrying around more than usual.

I am happy to have finish # 6 done for the Quarter 1 Finish Along, I think I'll make another bag soon, but I'm thinking of something smaller. I may make the smaller version of this pattern, as I do like the details and pockets on it, but I haven't decided yet.

 Any suggestions?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Finished Feather Cushion Cover

I'm back! I hadn't realized that I took a month off from blogging. I did finish quite a bit over the last month, I just haven't been blogging about it.

I have another finish from the Q1 FAL finish to share, my finished feather bed cushion cover:

I made these feathers using the AMH Feather Bed Tutorial. I made a few extra blocks when making bee blocks for Stephanie at Late Night Quilter. In hindsight, I wish I'd left a smaller gap between the feathers. The cushion is quite full, so the feathers don't really look centered. I quilted lines around the feathers around 1/4 inch apart. 

For the back, I used some fabric I'd won from Helen @ Till We Quilt Again. It was actually the first giveaway I'd ever won, and I have had a hard time deciding what to do with the fabric. It's quite large scale, so I couldn't find a way to incorporate it into blocks. I love the colors though, and I thought the backing really popped--It also looks great on my orange sofa :)

I still have a couple more cushion covers I want to make, or redo, so I'm waiting for inspiration to strike. I also told my husband he could make one. I took him to the Broward Quilt Expo a couple of weeks ago, and now he wants to learn how to quilt! I don't know how long that will last, I suggested a cushion cover first, so he doesn't lose interest. I'll be sure to share the results ;)

Linking with the Quarter 1 of the 2015 Finish A-long, I think this is #5. I actually have 6 done now, so I need to get writing!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

She's a Rainbow - Finished Mini

This March, my local quilting group, the South Florida Modern Quilters, was invited to hang quilts in a special exhibit in the Broward Quilt Expo. I'm not quite ready to start submitting my quilts to shows, but I thought it would be fun to participate in the exhibit with the rest of the group.

I decided to make a mini for the exhibit, as all of the other quilts I've made are being used, and I didn't want to send any of them away for the month.

This was inspired by the Fiesta Wall Hanging in Quilting Modern. I used the same process and measurements, but made it a rainbow. This is my first quilty project from a book, and I'm really happy with how it turned out.

My strips were from AMH's True Colors.

The finished enter panel was a bit fiddly. I pressed my seams to the side, but I think this made it a little stretchy. It was hard to keep it stable (and square) when quilting. I don't know if pressing my seams open would have made it a little easier, or if I just needed more starch....any tips?

I did matchstick quilting with a guterman variegated green thread, and used Kona Emerald and Grass for the borders. I can't remember which gray I used. I do like the green with the rainbow. I could turn it into a St. Patrick's Day themed quilt, but I don't really do holiday decorations, so I won't :)

I had a lot of fun doing the strip piecing, and I really like making this mini. I can't wait to get it back and hang it on my wall. Has any one else tried this, or any other quilts from Quilting Modern? What was your favorite?
Linking this week with Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story,  NTT Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and the Weekly Inspiration Linky Party at Nini and The Sea 
This is #4 on my 2015 FAL list, nearly halfway there! I don't think I'll make it through all 9 this quarter, but it's nice to have goals!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Two Finished Totes

One of my goals this year has to been to learn to make new things, like clothes and bags. I thought tote bags would be really challenging, especially because I like a lot of pockets in my totes, but I've been pleasantly surprised.

My first tote from this year was the 241 tote by Noodlehead. I asked my husband for the pattern for Christmas, and I've wanted to make this tote for a long time. I love the different shape, and the side pockets.

I don't really have any great photos of this one, but I have been using it every day. I am happy to say I made this all from my stash. I do have another one planned, in more solids, but I am happy with how it turned out--I'm also glad I had coordinating fabrics and a zipper on hand.

My second bag is one of my 2015 FAL goals. I made a beach tote for my mom and sister to take on their cruise last month.

I made this one up as I went along, and I was relieved it turned out as well as it did. This was another one I made completely from my stash. I do wish I'd bought a matching zipper for the front pocket, but I don't think they notice as much as I do.
I made this bag with some quilter's linen and charm squares from Zen Chic's Barcelona. I added an external zipper pocket along with a drop pocket on the inside.

I also learned how to do a ladder stitch to close up the lining. I've been really lazy with all of my bag linings so far, but I'm glad I took the time to figure out how to do a ladder stitch, because it's really a lot easier than I thought it would be.

I am happy to say that this bag did survive their 10 day cruise, and I hope they do get a lot of use out of it this year. My 16 year old sister told me both of my bags are very 'high tech' because they have zippers, magnetic snaps, and pockets in them. It's lucky she feels that way, as I predict that she'll be getting another one of these 'high tech' totes for her next birthday. I also think I'm ready to start my Art Student tote next week.

Hope everyone is surviving the winter! It's been colder here than usual, but 'cold' here is around 60 degrees, so I can't complain. I am looking for some warmer weather and barbecues this spring!

This is another one of my finished for the 2015 FAL...I think I've shared three so far...just 6 more to go :) 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Finished Supernova Swap Quilt

I finally finished putting my supernova swap quilt together: 

My partner Amy and I swapped 5 blocks over 5 months to put this quilt together for the Supernova Friendship swap (organized by Stephanie of Late Night Quilter and Sandra of One million stitches -- based on a Quilt-Along from Lee at Freshly Pieced.)

I tried to get some nice, sunny photos on the coast this morning, but it was a little to windy and sunny.

We both used a bundle of AE Nathan's Quiltology, along with our own scraps to make the blocks. Our color theme was aqua, blue, green, orange and gray. It's hard to tell in the photos, but we used Lizzy House's pearl bracelet in sandbox for the background fabric. I'm glad we went with the sandbox, it looks great against the bright colors we used without being too stark.

I hand quilted around and inside each block segment using black perle cotton. I was a little nervous using black thread against such a light background, but I think it really pops! I think any other color would have gotten lost, and there's no point in spending 3 months hand quilting something if it's not going to show up!


You can really see the hand quilting on the scrappy back. I bound this with a Denyse Schmidt print I got at Joann's. I went back and forth on the binding a lot, I was afraid this was too light, but I think the coral and blue does fit perfectly with the colors in our blocks.  

I loved the process of making this quilt, and the bright colors make me so happy! I have been enjoying looking at everyone else's finished quilts, and I can't wait to see how my partner Amy's quilt turns out!

Because we swapped for 5 months, and the top only requires 9 blocks, I did have an extra block which I turned into a cushion.

I'll be linking up my finished quilt on the Supernova Swap Flickr group.

This is also one of my finished for Q1 of the 2015 FAL. I've actually finished 5/9 of my projects, but haven't posted the rest of them. Better get on it!

Happy Valentine's Day!

This week I'm linking up with Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story,  NTT Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and the Weekly Inspiration Linky Party at Nini and The Sea

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Harvest - My Modern Maples Quilt is Finished!

Success! I finally managed to steal a few hours during the daytime this week to take pictures of my finished maple leaf quilt. I have been calling this one November Rain, because I thought I'd finish in November...ha! I'm now calling it Harvest, but it's not labeled, so I guess I can call it whatever I want.  
Last October was my month to be Queen Bee for the New Quilt Bloggers Bee (we all met during Plum and June's New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop). I asked the group to make modern maples blocks finishing at 12 or 18 inches, so I could add additional gray to fill in areas and wouldn't have to worry about everything lining up as much.
It took a couple months for me to figure out how to piece everything together. The plan was to piece them together with some plain gray solids to even things up. I ended up with 9 big blocks, and 13 small blocks, so I couldn't exactly split up the top into quadrants and piece them together that way.

I cut up some graph paper, and played with the pieces until I came up with a layout which I thought was fairly balanced (I love puzzles!). It took a while to get it all together, but now I feel like I'm practically an expert with y-seams! At least they don't make me nervous any more.


I quilted it with wavy horizontal lines every couple of inches or so. I didn't measure anything, but just filled in the spaces until it looked like there was enough quilting.

For the binding I used some Cotton and Steel basics, leftover from a couple of the blocks I made on the top. I used mammoth flannel for the back, and I really love it! It is super soft, and I think the plaid fits in with the fall-theme on the front of the quilt. My husband has requested that I use flannel to back all future quilts.
We've gotten a lot of use out of this for the last few weeks--it is "cold" here in Hollywood, and we need quilts to stay warm in this 60 degree weather. It's not quite bed-sized (around 80 x 80) but it works as an extra layer of warmth on our bed, or the sofa. I was glad to finish it while the weather here is still cool.
As you can see, my wavy quilting had a bit of an influence on the plaid backing, and the nice straight lines of plaid are a little wavy now. Oh well--this was made for snuggling under!
This is definitely my new favorite quilt. I loved the variety of blocks, and having different sizes to work with made things a lot easier for me--I am realizing more and more that I'm much more comfortable with improv style piecing.
A big thank you to the ladies who helped piece this quilt--My first bee has been a success! I hope you're enjoying it as much as I have. I can't wait to see everyone else's finished quilts.
Blocks pieced by:
Also, this is my first posted finish for the 2015 FAL. 

This week I'm linking up with  NTT Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and the Weekly Inspiration Linky Party at Nini and The Sea

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bee Block Round-Up

Happy Sunday!

I've had a very productive January so far, and have been able to finish up a lot of my goals for the 2015 FAL (more on those soon, weather permitting).

I also finished my bee blocks for this month over the weekend, while binge-watching the entire first season of Outlander on Xfinity (I'm already on the 5ht or 6th book, and I love it!)

The first blocks I made were for Nela, our swap mama for Stash Bee, hive 6. Nela requested swamp angel blocks, in complementary colors.

I also finished up Christina's blocks for our New Quilt Bloggers bee. These two were the most challenging bee blocks I've had so far--they each had 20 flying geese in them! I love how they look though, and I love her inspiration. I can't wait to see this one finished, maybe one day (when I feel like making flying geese again) I'll make some more of these blocks, I think they look great together. If you're interested, she has a tutorial on her blog.

Cheryl (our Queen bee for February) requested a super-sized scrappy tiles block, from her own pattern. This one was a lot of fun to make--and it was super quick. I love mixing up my blue scraps to get the perfect arrangement. I've been into scrappy blocks lately, so this was right up my alley. This block was 24 x 24, so she'll end up with a bed sized quilt.


I love being in bees and swaps, but it is always a relief when I finish my blocks and send them off (it's also exciting to finish some ahead of time!).

I am hoping for better weather next weekend, so I can take photos of some of my bigger finishes in the daylight. It's still dark when I get home from work--I am ready for spring time! (but dreading the rainy hurricane season...there is no pleasing me, ha!)

Thanks for stopping by :)