Saturday, January 25, 2014

So..... I Knit

some of you may or may not know that i knit. i took a class about 9 years ago and have never really ventured past scarves and dish cloths.  a few months ago my SIL showed me how to knit with the 'funky yarn' (my term because i can't remember the real name).  so for Christmas i knitted 6 of these scarves as gifts for people.  the 6th one is a solid soft grey.  i didn't get a picture of that one.  i think i finished it the day after Christmas and gave it to my mom.

i also knitted two other scarves or should i say cowls for Christmas gifts as well.  i kept seeing them on instagram and found a couple patterns that i could do.  again no pics.  however, i am pleased with how they turned out.  with that being said i am wanting to venture out of the 'safe zone' of knitting and so on my recent trip to

New Orleans
to see

play here

i discovered an super cute yarn and needlepoint shop in the French Quarter.  its called Quarter Stitch and it is filled with color and inspiration and so many things to look at.

the staff was super friendly which is always a plus.

they also gave us a great lunch recommendation.  i love to eat where the locals eat when i travel.

here are two of the three yarns i bought.  the other is a light weight solid black.  i think the purplish blue one will become a hat.  i know.  venturing out of my comfort zone.  the green one i am not sure about yet.  the shop isn't online but the gal gave me her card and said just to call her up and tell her what i am looking for and she would be happy to help me out.  which is great since the closest specialty yarn shop is 2 hours away.  

on my trip i worked on some embroidery

as well as my Tula Pink hexi project.  i am almost a quarter of the way through it.

i will post more about my trip soon but now i have to get back to work.  being gone for 10 days makes a girl get behind.......

happy sewing

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I Finished Something

one down many to go......  i got my Cargo Duffle bag finished.  it was one of the last items on my 2014 Quilty Goals list.  i had most everything cut and ready i just needed to sew.

i quilted the panels using warm and natural in the middle and duck cloth as the backing/lining.  i used duck cloth in a couple bags i made for Christmas gifts and love how it holds its shape and gives durability to the bag.

using the duck cloth does make pinning a challenge so i used Clover clips and i love them.  they worked well on this bag.

having made several bags i tend not to always follow the patterns as well as i should.  i know.  i know.  practice what i preach.  read the directions.  my lack of reading came back to bite me in the ass on this bag.  oh well.  i made the handles for this bag how i like to make handles.  using interfacing and some fusible fleece as well as nylon webbing.  i find that it turns out a really sturdy handle that doesn't stretch out as much.

putting the zipper in was fairly easy with the gusset and such but this is also where i messed up and ended up with the gusset opening being a little bit smaller then the side panels.  rather then un-sew and fix the problem i just modified it and added a few pleats to each side.  

the inside seams are bound and the duck cloth is the lining on the bag.

as you can see the bag has really nice shape and structure to it with two outside pockets which are nice.  i doubt the bag is big enough for me for a weekend getaway bag.  maybe an overnight bag.

right now i have all of my knitting in it.  it is working out great for that.  this is a bag that i will make again and yes i will read all of the directions and get the next one right.

i have also been working on an old WIP using Origins.  i have all of the blocks trimmed and the layout is ready.

this isn't the final layout.  i did a little switching around with the help of some instagram friends (i love you gals) and my quilting buddy Denise - love you too.  so next up on my sewing list is getting the middle of this quilt sewed up.  but......  it will be awhile before i get it done.  because i am headed to....

The Big Easy

yup.  checking off another bucket-list item and taking a non-work related little vacation.  i am super excited about it.  i have heard great things about New Orleans and can't wait to experience the city for myself.  me being me and getting the most bang for my buck this trip did not just jump into my head.  it was prompted by......

Dave.  i blame him and i thank him all in the same breath.  

Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds are playing at the historic and newly renovated Saenger Theatre for not 1 but 2 nights and yes by the grace of God i have tickets for both nights. when these shows were announced last year my wheels (aka my brain) starting turning to see what i could make happen.  i will save you the drama and just say that i made it a possibility and now i am going.  if you are a regular reader you know of my love of his music.  i love the band in concert as well however him with Tim is my favorite.  so i will escape reality for a bit because i know it will be there when i get back and i will enjoy every minute of my Dave inspired vacation.

happy sewing

Friday, January 3, 2014

2014 Quilty Goals

in hopes of getting some quilt related things accomplished in 2014 i decided to make a list.  one of my favorite things to do.  list making.  doesn't always mean that everything on the list will get done......  but at least i have a list.  i once heard the saying 'if you track it - it will improve' i hope that applies to quilting.  i put my list in my journal.  i thought that would be the best place for it considering the likelihood that i will be looking at in on a fairly regular basis.

not a very good pic because i wrote with a metallic pen and then re-wrote over it in purple.  not the prettiest but its a list and in the end that is what matters.

first up on the list is

the Single Girl quilt.  i have had this pattern for a year +.  i have my fabrics selected and the background fabric as well.  templates are all cut and ready to go.  next step is to cut all the pieces out and start sewing.  this isn't a quick quilt at all.  it will take time to cut and piece it all together.  as you can see i have chosen my favorite color for this quilt because this one will stay with me.  i figure if i am going to put this much effort into a quilt it should go to someone who will appreciate it.  lol.

my next quilty goal for 2014 is

too finish my Quilter's Journey quilt from Leann's House.  with one exception (i think) this is my oldest WIP i have.  i started it about 8 years ago.  it was a block of the month from The Buggy Barn.  they sent a pattern and fabric each month with the idea being i would complete a block a month.  i apparently thought i had super powers back then as i was to piece the block and get all of the embroidery finished before the next block showed up.  lol.  i now happily refer to this as the block of the year quilt.  there are 9 blocks total and i am currently in the middle of finishing block #7 pictured above.  if i can get blocks 8 & 9 done this year then i can finish the top and get it quilted and bound in 2014.  which means it took me 9 years to get it done.  fingers crossed that i accomplish this goal.

my 3rd quilty goal for 2014 is a big one.

i want to quilt my current stack of quilt tops that need quilting and stay current with quilting tops that i finish in 2014.  some of you may be saying 'good luck' - i am even saying that to myself.  however, i am going to try.  its a goal not a must do.  at the bottom of that pile is my oldest WIP - a quilt that i have been working on since......  the beginning of time and it just needs to be quilted and bound.  it was a block of the month from Thimbleberries.  funny how my tastes have changed.  i still like the quilt but i think it will be a gift for my brother - not that brother but the other one so don't worry Angie if you are reading this.

going from the bottom to the top of the pile after the Thimbleberries quilt is my Toes in the Sand quilt made with Tula Pink's Prince Charming fabric line.  next is my Swoon quilt made with Tula Pink's Parisville fabric line.  then there is a drunkards path quilt, a bee block quilt and last but not least my own pattern quilt made using the Bliss fabric line.  

so 6 tops in total that need to get quilted. in addition to whatever tops i put together in 2014.  if i am being honest here this is the one goal that might not get accomplished.  i hope to get these 6 done but i don't know if i will be able to stay current on 2014 quilts.  time will tell.

the next goal on my list is to use as much fabric from my stash as possible this year.  i didn't take any pictures of my stash because its all in plastic drawers behind closet doors.  i moved it from my house and got it organized into its new home here at my mom's just before Christmas.  i prefer to keep my fabric stored out of the light as i have seen fabric fade from light exposure.  to each their own but mine is kept in hiding with hopes of it shrinking in 2014.

my next goal is a quilt i want to make out of

Reunion from Sweetwater.  i want to make a granny square quilt.  i have had this layer cake for awhile and i have some Kona navy that will be my setting color.  this quilt has been on my list for awhile and i think that 2014 is the year for it.

i would also like to make a dresden plate quilt using

this lovely fabric from V & Co.  again i have had this on my list and think that it will be a fabulous quilt using the dots and ombre fabric for the dresden plates.  besides its green and green makes me happy so why wouldn't i want to make this quilt in 2014?

the last item on my 2014 quilty goals list is to finish this

my Cargo Duffle bag.  its a pattern from Noodlehead that i cut out the fabric for in November.  don't laugh i know its ridiculous.  one would think that i would just have continued on and sewed it up.  but i didn't so its added to the 2014 list.

that is all that i put on my list for 2014.  i know its ambitious to some and to others it might be a piece of cake but for me (like Goldilocks) its just right.  i know that other projects will jump in.  two already have.  i thought i had quilting ADD but i am beginning to realize that i do not just have to sew on one project at a time but that i can have several going and that its ok if my sewing area looks like a bomb went off in it.

do you have any quilty goals for this year?
i would love to hear what they are.

happy sewing

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Word Of The Year

having a word of the year is something that i have decided to do this year.  my life has been chaos and constantly changing for the past 18 months and things have finally slowed down a bit for me.  i like the idea of having a word of the year for 2014.  i just wasn't sure what word it would be until this morning when i was reading somewhere and saw this -


a light bulb went off and i knew that my word for 2014 would be.


my mind started spinning thinking about 2014 and all of the possibilities it holds for me.  thinking that anything is possible if i believe.  

the definition of 'possible' according to Merrian-Webster is a :  being within the limits of ability, capacity, or realization b :  being what may be conceived, be done, or occur according to nature, custom, or manners.

this year is want to push myself to make things that i want to happen in my life possible.  i don't want to be guided by fear or failure or what others think.  i want to be driven by courage and by the idea that anything is 'possible'.  i just need to believe in myself and push myself past the point of doubt to the point of possibility.

last year i was given this journal.  i hadn't written in it until this morning.  i plan on holding myself accountable using this journal to keep my goals in focus and to help make 2014 the best year it can be for me.

now every time i open my journal i will be reminded that...

 all things are possible  

up next i am going to make a list of some quilty goals that i want to accomplish in 2014.  those goals will be the next entry in my journal which i will happily share with you all.  maybe i can figure out how to make a list on the side of my blog so i can also be held accountable by all of you.

do you set sewing related goals for yourself?  if so, what are they?  i would love to hear what they are.

happy sewing

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Sewing and other things

now that Christmas has been here and gone i can share some of things i sewed for gifts.  starting with a Super Tote which is a pattern from Noodlehead.  i went to a camp in October and had everything cut and ready to sew together.  i have made another one of these Super Tote bags and i blogged about it here.

i also decided to make a wristlet that coordinated with the bag.  wristlets have become one of my favorite things to make.  they are quick to sew up and so handy to have around.

for both of these projects i dug into my Make Life fabric from Sweetwater.  

i also made gift card holders for some of my friends this year.  they are a fun and quick gift to make up.  it took me a couple times to get the location of the snaps right but once i did they went together quick.

i put a Starbucks gift card in each one.

a couple years back i did a Mystery BOM from the Fat Quarter Shop.  i love the quilt and all of the blocks in it.  i ended up having enough fabric scraps leftover from the quilt to make some additional blocks that i turned into pillows for my niece's.

doesn't every little girl need a special Christmas pillow?
i think so.

at the camp in October i got the Halloween quilt on the right quilted and then bound both of these quilts.

i love the quilt on the left.  its from a pattern that is from the Missouri Quilt Company and its called Double Slice Layer Cake.  You can find the You Tube video here.  Its made with a layer cake.  

lastly, i worked on a super old WIP that i have had for years.  i had been collecting Bliss fabric for awhile and had no pattern that would use most of the fabric.  i had a few fat quarters, a Moda Candy Bar and some yardage. 

i made up my own pattern and i am very happy with how it turned out.

originally it had another row in it but it was to long so i will put that row on in the backing of the quilt.  not to shabby for making up a pattern.  at least i think its made up.  i didn't search for a pattern online i just sketched one out.

i have more to share with you all including some more City Sampler blocks that i have been working on.  now that the Holidays are over and my house is sold i am hoping that life will slow down a bit.
fingers crossed.

happy sewing

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My New Bag

awhile back i bought some fabric with the intentions of making a bag out of it.  it was so far back that i can't even tell you if i had a pattern in mind for it or not.  i don't remember.  then somewhere along the way of Instagram i started seeing pictures of a bag by Noodlehead called the Super Tote.  it was showing up on blogs as well.  i got the pattern.  it looked so cute in all of the pictures and it looked like it would be a good size.  i couldn't resist.  again, not remembering if i had fabric in mind for the pattern or not.

then........  my brain started working again and the fabric and the pattern all came together in one magical moment.  not really a magic moment but more like a light bulb moment.  i am sure you know what i mean.

comma by moda + Super Tote = LOVE

i put pockets on both sides of the lining.  both with elastic at the top for ease of use.  making sure one of the pockets was big enough to hold my ipad.

i also added an extra smaller pocket to the lining for a pen and my phone.

lots of pins were used when assembling the bag gusset to the front and back of the bag.  i am normally anti-pins however i followed the instructions and this part of the bag construction went very smoothly.  probably because i pinned.

at this point in the process i was sure that i messed something up.  i was at the stage of 'oh crap.  time to get out the seam riper' and 'no, no i think i am doing this right'.  i proceeded with caution.  the outside of the bag made sense to me but the zipper on the lining threw me for a loop.

i wanted to make the bottom of the bag stiffer. so after constructing the bag and before i sewed the opening in the lining shut i cut a piece of double sided fusible stuff.  its by Pellon.  i marked the center of it and started the fun process of getting it through the hole and in place.

my goal was to line up the center of the Pellon with the seam in the bottom of the bag that way i would have roughly the same amount on each side of the bag and it wouldn't be wonky.  once in place i ironed the heck out of it and that sucker isn't going anywhere.

the finished bag.
the pattern allows you to use several different fabrics if you wish for the bag.  i however kept it pretty simple with mainly black on the outside.

i added a small pocket on outside of the bag that ended up being inside the exterior pocket.  an additional spot for my phone or keys or whatever.

here is the inside of the bag with all of the lovely pockets.  i love the pop of color on the inside.  
it makes me smile.

i took this bag with me on a recent trip and i really like it.  its a great size - i got all of my necessities in it and it didn't feel stuffed - its really roomy.  i have continued to use it as my everyday bag.  so sometimes forgetting the purpose or plans for something isn't always bad.  sometimes it just takes my brain awhile to get caught up with things and then great things like this happen.

happy sewing