Friday, July 31, 2015

Spooky's Trendy Tote

I posted my start of this tote on July 17th. Click here to read that one. It didn't turn out like I planned so I haven't put handles on it yet.

I ran out of the blue thread I was using. There isn't any where local that sells this thread right now so I had to finish with Aurifil, color 2000.

My goodness these totes use a lot of thread! The two white spools on the left were the blue. I had an almost full bobbin and about 3/4 spool of thread plus an unused second spool.  The two orange spools on the right were the Aurifil, color 2000. The large one was about half full when I started the tote. The small spool was also about half full but I also had a full bobbin stashed with the small spool. As you can see, I barely had enough thread to finish!

I wasn't real happy with how it turned out since I ran out of thread. It isn't bad, but not what I planned. I left it next to my sewing machine while I decided what kind of handles I wanted to use. I planned to use pre-made ones but was second guessing that choice. I came back to this.

Spooky has claimed this one for herself and I've decided to let her have it. I probably won't put handles on it now. The inside is slowly turning black from cat hair.

She loves it though.

It doesn't seem to matter where I put it in my sewing room. She finds it and curls up for a nap.

I'm glad someone appreciates it, even that some is a feline someone!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Wool Needle Book

I had to do quite a bit of searching to figure out how long ago it was that I made my first one of these. I posted about it on May 14, 2014. Click here to read that post and see the photos of my first one.

I finally got around to making one with my own applique and embroidery design.

For this one I use felted wool for the exterior cover and applique shapes. The inside is made from wool felt.

I dipped into my very small stash of Sue Spargo ribbons for the spine. The rick rack used for the loop is also a Sue Spargo purchase.

The pattern is called Flora Needle Book by mmmcrafts. Click here to go to the pattern designer's website for information about where you can purchase the pattern. When closed, the book measures about 2.5" by 3". They don't take long to make and are ever so cute!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Yet Another Clothesline Tote

I am teaching this class soon at my LQS. One of the ladies who signed up asked if she could make integrated handles rather than use pre-made handles. So I had to figure out how that would work. As it turns out, fairly easily once I figured out the proportions required.

For this one I used three different YLI purples: Plum 20V, Purples 09V, and Vineyard 15V. I purchased three more large spools of Aurifil 2000 which I find is a good color match for the clothesline I'm using. I shouldn't run out of it again any time soon!

Here is shot of the inside.

Personally, I prefer the pre-made handles, but I do like these too. It's a nice variation and a cheaper option.

The class is called Trendy Tote, if you are local and want to sign up for the class. Just call Kathy's Fabric Trunk to sign up, (719) 657-9314.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Twins :: A Finish

My sister sent me these two completed tops, I finished them.

I believe they were originally one quilt top, but she didn't like it for some reason. She included a yellow fabric with the tops. I found a purple with yellow dot in my stash. One has the purple for backing with the yellow for binding and the other has the reverse.

Both are washed and ready to donate to my local hospital's oncology department.

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Second Charming Handbag

Over the weekend I finished a second Charming Handbag. 

For the lining of this one I used a cute black and white shoe print. 

It has two interior pockets. I used the same invisible sew-in magnetic snaps for this one as I did for the first one. For this one I add interfacing to the lining. I like it and will interface the lining of any futures ones I make too.

Click here to see my first one

Click here to go to the free pattern on the Moda Bake Shop.

Friday, July 24, 2015

My First Charming Handbag

I bookmarked this tutorial back when I first saw it. It is called the Charming Handbag and is on the Moda Bake Shop. Click here to go directly to the tutorial.

I recently saw some of these on another blog I read, Happy Quilting, and decided that I needed to make at least one. So here is the first one. 

This is the project I showed you the quilted back side of yesterday. I'm really pleased with how cute the quilting is on this!

I say the "first" one because I'm sure I will make a few more. These are fun to make, aren't too complicated, a good size when finished and darn cute. This one used a Cuzco charm pack. I had a few fat quarters of Cuzco too and used three of them for the lining and handles - two for the lining and one for the handles and an inside pocket.

I used another pair of my invisible magnetic closures for this one too. They go in between the lining and the bag exterior. If you look closely at the photo above you can see the two small squares when they are sewn to the lining. Below is a close-up with an arrow pointing to it on one side.

I have a few more charm packs laying around my sewing room. I think it is time to dig them out and make a few more of these!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A New FMQ Book for Me

Earlier this week I purchased a new free-motion quilting book.

I own one of Christina's Craftsy classes. I like it so much that I decided to purchase the above book. Check out the index of all the various designs in the book.

I tried out "Mettle" from page 80 on a project. Here is what it looks like from the back.

I love this book! As the title says, she shows you step-by-step how to create the designs. Many of them require no marking but a few require minimal marking. The design above for example requires you to mark the bottom points for the "humps" of the first row. This is all the marking that is required as the rest of the design is based upon the previous row of stitching. However, I didn't mark mine. I used the piecing lines as my marks and it worked just fine, but I like a more "organic" look to my quilting as opposed to precision perfect quilting. With more marking I could have been more precision perfect.

In the first few pages of the book she details each of the nine basic shapes referred to on the cover. After that, the next few pages discuss various types of design (nestled, branching, edge-to-edge, etc.), how they work along with samples and page numbers of designs from the book that are of each type.

The majority of the book is laid out so that on the left hand page she shows you step-by-step how to create the design. On the right hand page the design is drawn out to fill the page so you can see what it looks like "stitched out" over a larger area. The list of design names is shown in the second photo above. There are lots! You can mix and match them to create even more designs.

All of the designs can be stitched with either a long-arm machine or a domestic machine.

There is no information about basting or thread, this is a book of designs. If you need the basic information of exactly to how free-motion quilt, then this is not the book for you. If you want a nice, well-written and illustrated book of free-motion quilting designs, then I highly recommend this book!

I plan to get this project finished today so come back tomorrow to see the front side.

Disclaimer: I purchased this book with my own money. I have no affiliation with the publisher or the author, I just really like the book and wanted to share that with you.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Hand Embroidered Wool Covered Notebook

I made another covered notebook using my tutorial for covered notebooks. By the way, if you haven't visited my tutorials page lately, I've updated it recently.

This is my first one made from wool. I started this as a teaching project for my wool bag class at Kathy's Fabric Trunk. Here is the cover opened out before it was trimmed to become a notebook cover.

The applique, embroidery and quilting were all done by hand.

Here is what it looks like finished.

The Front
The Back

The Inside Front Cover
The side flaps and lining are cotton fabric. The same fabric that I used for the cotton square on the front. I'm very pleased with how it turned out!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Another Clothesline Tote

I tried two new things with this one.

First, I used a single thread for this one. I had an unused spool of Signature variegated thread. The spool had 500 yards on it and I used most of it for this tote. It gives a different look to the finished tote to use a single thread for the whole thing. It also goes much faster because you don't need to keep changing thread on your machine. This one took about 2 2/3 bobbins on my BERNINA 380.

Second, I tried adding the handles as I was making the tote. I like this idea, but they didn't turn out as I had hoped. The spacing and shape isn't quite right. They work just fine but I will adjust things with the next one. 

This one used all but about 18" of a 100 ft. package of clothesline.

Monday, July 20, 2015

A UFO Finish

I started this bag about a year ago as a store sample, before the owner of my LQS told the staff she was closing.

I don't remember the name of the pattern now. All I had left to do was sew the ties down to the sides, attach the pre-made handles, and make the inside bottom piece.

I don't have a use for it now which is one of the reasons why it has taken me so long to finish it.

It measures 13" wide by 10" tall by 5" deep. It has a magnetic closure, one exterior pocket and lots of interior pockets. It has three interior pockets on one side, two on the other and two smaller ones on each end for a total of nine interior pockets.

Anybody want to buy it? I've thought about setting up an Etsy shop in an attempt to find good homes for some of the things I've made but no longer want or can't use. As most folks do, I struggle with how much to charge for things. And setting up an online shop seems like a daunting task. I'm seriously thinking about it though.

If you have any advice or thoughts on my setting up an online shop, please leave me a comment. If you have an online shop of your own, what did you wish you knew before you started? What, if anything, would you have done differently at the start?

Friday, July 17, 2015

A Blue One This Time

Today I'm using up my second 200 ft. package of clothesline. This time I making a "blue" tote.

I will use another package of pre-made handles from my stash for this one too. You can see them in the photo above to the left of the tote in-progress.

Here is a hint I came up with for dealing with 200 ft of clothesline as you work so that it doesn't get tangled.

When you open up a package it is wrapped nicely around itself. Once you have used up that portion however, things start getting tangled. I took another package of clothesline and put it through the loops. A dowel or broom handle would be perfect for this but the package of clothesline was handy for me. This kept the tangles to a minimum. I did get a small tangle toward the end, but this trick saved me from the huge tangled mess I've had previously.

I took my red tote with me on Wednesday to my scrap group at Kathy's Fabric Trunk. A class has already been scheduled for August for this project. Kathy will be ordering clothesline and pre-made handles. If you are local and want to take a class from on this, call Kathy's and sign up for the class. The class is called "Trendy Tote." The first class is scheduled for August 5, 2015. I'm sure there will be other dates added in future months.

I'll leave you with one last photo. Another Spooky photo. She found another use for my red tote.

I had to use my lint roller inside the bag after she was finished with her nap to clean up the black cat hair. I've put the tote in the closet so she will have to find another place to nap next time. She loves to nap inside things more than any other cat I've ever had.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Stacks :: A Finish

I finally managed to get Spooky off this one long enough to finish it. Doesn't she look sweet?

Here it is all quilted, bound and labeled.

I have to hang it sideways to photograph it on my fence because it is 73" by 81". I love that I had enough left over from the print fat quarters to make most of the binding. The other fabric used for the binding is the backing fabric.

To read the two previous posts about this project click the following links: post 1 and post 2

Friday, July 10, 2015

This is Getting Serious

I just finished sewing the handles to my newest clothesline tote.

For this one I used the 200 ft. package of clothesline I ordered last week. Here are some photos of the package. I ordered this from Amazon because I couldn't find 200 ft. packages of clothesline locally.

The finished tote measures 8" by 17" by 11.5" tall. I used pre-made handles for this one rather than making handles from the clothesline as I did for my first one. Click here to see the first tote I made. The thread I used for this one is Aurifil 50 wt. color 2000 and YLI 40 wt. color "Sunset 22V."

This clothesline is very similar to the 100 ft. packages I have been purchasing from my local Ace Hardware. Here is a photo of it.

Both brands are 7/32" in diameter. The Ace brand package has a 12 lb. load limit while the Koch brand has a 13 lb. load limit. Both make nice, sturdy items but aren't overly stiff.

The first package I used (and I wish I took a photo of the packaging before throwing it away but I had no idea how addicted to this process I would become at the time) was 3/16" in diameter and if I remember correctly had a 10 lb. load limit. I found it to be a bit too "floppy" for my tastes. 

This tote bag took me about four hours to sew. I'm guessing because I rarely get to sew continuously for that long. Sewing on the pre-made handles took longer than the clothesline ones I made and used for the first tote. I like them both. I may try fabric handles for my next one.