Monday, November 5, 2012

Two New Totes

I have two totes to share with you today!

The first is this simple reversible tote bag made using this tutorial from Skip to my Lou.
Swap Goodies for Lynn - Tote BagSwap Goodies for Lynn-Tote Bag (inside)
I made it for Lynn (fellow bee in the do Good Stitch's Wish Circle). She said she liked pink, blues and red, and I really like this combination! It was a good way to make a dent into my huge box of charm squares. Hope she likes it! 

It's been a while since I sewed something for myself. I think it was worth the wait....
I had to throw out my favorite purse a few weeks ago. I was using a big canvas tote as a temporary solution.
before tote
After two months of being annoyed that the straps were too long and everything sunk to a tangled mess in the bottom, I decided to give it a face lift.

Okay, maybe it was more than a facelift. It was a total reconstruction.
Finished Leaf Tote

I used the same basic construction/piecing from the Skip to my Lou tutorial.

I added a little hook for my keys, a pouch for my cell phone and divider in the center to hold pens and cards.
Finished Leaf Tote (inside)

It's my mona lisa.  Okay that might be a stretch, and it took a fair amount of trial and error, especially on the back pocket.
(see the blue 'extension' to the zipper ends?
It wasn't a mistake, it was a creative opportunity... cough cough)
Finished Leaf Tote (back) ww
but it's all mine and it makes me smile!

Leaf Tote Label

Does anyone else get this excited about having an organized purse?? 

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Mini Box Pouch (aka the webcam bag)

Some of you know that there have been some big life changes around here, not the least of which is that my hubby is working (and living) 170 miles away from me Monday-Friday.

We spent alot of time anxiously thinking about how this change would affect us and ultimately decided to try it for a year, so that we can each move closer to what we want to be,  professionally. 

We have "Skype dates" almost every night, so that we can see each other and talk to other about our day. Cute right? It's been a great tool for us... there was just one problem.

Or webcams didn't come with a case, and we didn't want them to get dirty or broken during his travel or around the apartment.

Enter a sewing solution!

I found this great tutorial from Sew Like My Mom.

{photo source}

Look at her cute bag!
Her pattern finishes at a useful sized cosmetic bag (9″ long, 5″ tall and 5″ wide).

I used the methods and construction techniques but I scaled it down, and used only cotton fabric (no vinyl).

I used a 7 inch zipper, scaled the exterior/interior pieces to 7" x 11.5" and cut out 1.25" squares.
It finished at a fun little size, apx. (4″ long, 3″ tall and 3″ wide).

I had hubby pick out his fabric and it was kind of adorable to watch him walk around the store looking for the perfect combination. He did pretty well, I think. Don't you agree?  

So... I kind of love our his & hers webcam bags. And I love that we we can keep in touch during our time apart without having to worry about scratched lenses or tangled cords.

Have you modified or resized an already awesome tutorial? Or do you always play by the rules?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

This is what catch up looks like...

So here I am. On the 2 months mark from the move and starting the new job.

you know what?

There are still random half-unpacked boxes scattered throughout the house,
and I am still not quite current on my sewing commitments.

 But I am happy with where my life has taken me in the last 10 weeks.
More on that later.... for now, I will share my new sewing space and some of the blocks that have zoomed out of here at a crazy rate now that I am set up and and have time to indulge in my crafty endeavors.

I got my sewing space set up. I am not blocking a doorway or windows, and I have a real desk!
Gosh feel like I am moving up in the world.... LOL!

Sewing/Office Desk

Sewing nook all set up. Time to get my craft on ;)

Here are the first of many goodies I hope to sew in my new home.

July Wonky House - OYG Bee Teacup quilt block for Cat Bowtie Block Boxed In Block Arrows Block Chutes and Ladders Block  Antique Tile Block

Pennant Blocks

It feels good to be home, with a cup of pumpkin spice coffee in hand and squishy fabric all around.

Have you been sewing your way through your transition into fall?
Perhaps like me, you are just happy to leave windows open while you take care of weekend chores.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The three stages of packing

 Officially in the process of moving (sewing table is packed... booooo)

I believe there are three stages to packing:

 1- excitement , 2- frustration, 3-distraction... want to hazzard a guess as to which stage we are in?

packing day 3

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Getting back to normal... maybe.

It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks!
I sent out fabric to two bees and a swap....

charms stacked

cosmic blue basket weave block

maroon and orange scrappy x block 

Wooh! My living room floor is clear again and I am done trekking to the post office with laundry basket full of squishy envelopes.

I won't be hosting another swap round right away (I promised hubby at least a few weeks of postal normalcy) but it was a huge success and I want to thank everyone who participated.

Just look at the beautiful variety we came up with! Charms

And somehow I did manage to get a bee block sewn for someone else in the fabric frenzy.
Moody Blues for Susan
This block was super easy, and only required two 10" squares each of the print and the background.
I like the movement of the dots in it, don't you? Here is the full tutorial if you would like to check it out.

I don't love the color on its own, but it will look great with the other fabric Susan has chosen.

How has your June been? Are you getting into summer craze or summer laze?

Monday, May 28, 2012

1000 ( x 8 ) words

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I don't know who 'they' are, but let's say they are right.

Here, in "8000" words, is why you haven't heard much from me here in blog-land.

escalator block for Lisa

stacked coins block for shawn

monkey wrench/churn dash

Basket Weave Blocks - for Solidia

square in square blocks

Gone Quiltin Bee May 2012

MBB May Wonky Star

In addition to sewing I've been getting fabric and instructions out as June host for 3 groups!
The lady behind the counter at the post office has no idea what's in store for her tomorrow ;)

I have to say, May kicked my butt- the heat and stress made for a very cranky, unproductive vibe for alot of the last few weeks. 

A & T at Buttermilk FallsFortunately, I got to clear my head a bit with a 26 mile bike trail ride along the Lehigh Gorge last week.

Here's to an equally productive (and hopefully less stressful) June!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Basket Weave Block: (free) Pattern Review

Hey Folks!  It's FRIDAY!!!
I have a few more things to do today before I can officially give into weekend indulgences, and one of them is sharing a little pattern review with you!

basket weave block

I saw this stunning purple block from Nydia a few weeks ago. I became obsessed with it, and would seriously 'visit' the photo every couple days. I am not telling you this not to make you think I am a freak, but because it was one of those blocks that made me think 'that is way to gorgeous and hard for me to make!'

Neural or Not Bee - braided star
 Well I asked Nydia for her pattern, and she was generous enough to share it. She has posted a FANTASTIC (FREE) tutorial on her website.

Here are a few things I've learned:

  • It is a dramatic looking block, but it is not hard to piece! Speaking as someone who is terrified of paper piecing, this is the perfect block for the first time pp'er or newbie. 
  • It can be time consuming, if you are new to it and only work one quadrant at a time, but it has no weird angles, and is easy to do.
  • Do a practice block. Once you get a feel for it, you can easily 'pseudo' chain piece and work on several quadrants at the same time. This reduces the trips to the ironing board- and makes it go a bit more quickly.
  • I recommend using real foundation piecing paper, or a light weight craft paper. Copy paper can get a bit thick in some of the seams. The craft paper is easier to tear off at the end too, which means you don't have to shorten your stitch length quite so much. I used a fisher price 'Doodle Pad' that I got from a dollar store at a whopping $1.  It's just slightly heavier than newspaper and I printed the template straight onto it. Easy!
  •  It is very scrap friendly.... but don't get too skimpy with your scraps, if your fabric moves you will have to rip a seam.  If you give yourself a little extra fabric to play with you can trim it neatly, and it will looks very crisp once complete.

Still scared? Don't be! I asked a few others what their first time with this block was like. They echoed the sentiment that it can be slow going at first, but is easy to do, and well worth the time!

Basket weave
(Nydia's color wheel interpretation)

A start for Solidia :) 
(Katy is working on a beautiful aqua and green version) 

 basket weave block

Give it a try- you won't regret it! Thanks for sharing this block Nydia!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

WIP Wednesday (4/25/12)

I have been absent from the weekly WIP linky lately... but it's time to catch up!

I gotta share some major fabric loot with you. I haven't bought fabric in a while (times are tough and I've been trying to keep all my projects stash friendly) but I did score these pretties for $2/ yard!!
It's okay to hate me.. I would.
In my defense they are going to be cut into charms for swaps. That makes it okay, right?

I've been sewing up a storm over the last few weeks, but feel like i don't have much to show for it.
Maybe I do? Let's take a look.

Bee Blocks for March & April count as progress, even though they aren't for me, right?

April was my host month for the Gone Quiltin' Bee, so I am now getting wonderful blocks back from my bees. The quilt will be going to my sister, for her college graduation. I know she doesn't read this so I'm safe talking about it :)  It will be a blue and yellow version (her school colors) of the quilt pattern by Nancy Rink (pattern in Quilt magazine June/July 2011 page 45).

Sample Bee Simple Block

I also made some major headway on my Made in Cherry Quilt - 4 more points down, 3 to go. 
I just have one problem, it has no name.. Made in Color? eh.. Color Wheel Cherry?  not feeling it.

pretty points
Any suggestions?