Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Finish

I was scrolling back through some previous posts and I realize something. It seems that I often talk about things that I am starting, but not so much about when I finish them.
for instance I may have mentioned one time that I got some fabric to make a bag.  
well I did actually make the bag. And so I want to show it to you.
I used a pattern by Abbey lane called the Beatle Bag
i'm not sure why it has that name. I thought maybe it was because it looks like a beetle, but it is not spelled that way so I don't know.
The pattern included the plastic inserts. 

 One of the reasons I procrastinated in  making the bag is I wasn't sure how these things were inserted. However I just followed the instructions and sure enough it all worked out fine.
there are several pockets to put things in, and they are see through, which is great.  they are very sturdy, so I think they'll be durable.  
I am using it as a travel case for my english paper piecing project.  
each of the large blocks has its own pocket and I am using one for the equipment such as scissors and needles and thread, and glue stick for basting. also, one section to store receipts!
I have photos on my ipad to refer to for the pattern placement, like this, 
and like this....

there is a pocket on each side of the cover, but I havent used those.  they are the right size to store a rotary cutter. 
this is it rolled up and fastened
All in all, I am pretty happy with it!   
I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!  Don't you love summer? 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Eclectic Elements

Eclectic Elements is the name of a fabric collection designed by Tim Holtz.  
He is a very popular designer in the scrapbooking world who has made a very successful transition into fabric. 

We have carried lots of his fabrics from eclectic elements for the last year or so, but now he's got eclectic elements 2.. and we just received some of these!
to add to these..
( I think we are still waiting for a few reorders, like the amazing map fabric and the musical notes)

I have really been intrigued by his designs, but I haven't sewn anything with them yet. that is all going to change now. I have been thinking to myself what sort of design would these fabrics lend themselves to. I think that if I blend in some neutrals like beige, brown and charcoal then the fabrics will have a chance to shine.  

I made a little inspirational mosaic to keep track of some ideas that I've seen online.
however, in addition to a quilt, I've been thinking they would make an amazing slouchy bag to carry around. also, maybe an apron. 
  I think the main thing is to just start playing with some cutting and sewing sample blocks things to get used to how some of the prints act alone and in combination with the others.
so far, I can tell you that they have some great fussy cutting potential!  

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Millefiore assembly is starting....

I had the rosettes for my millefiori quilt stuck to my design wall. The problem was that every time I entered the room it's sucked me in and I would become engrossed by that project.
  I realized that I had to get this monster off of my wall. So a couple of nights ago I started to assemble the separate elements into one piece. This means I had to commit to a layout
after a little bit more tweaking, this is what I have finally settled upon.
I knew that it would take a long time for me to assemble this by hand stitching, so I used the machine. I had come across a wonderful tutorial by Carole Carr, which you can find here, and had practiced it a little bit, and had quite like the results. It is particularly useful on those long edges. It uses a teeny tiny zigzag stitch and monofilament thread on top with regular piecing thread in the Bobbin.  I had used this similar technique years ago to appliquĂ© stems in a flower border. Very similar technique.  I tried assembling the smaller elements in the individual hexagons using this technique as well, and that worked okay too, except that I was more limited in how the seam allowances were directed on the back of the work.  so, I have settled upon hand stitching the hexies, and machine piecing the larger units.  
this shows the back as I was starting to piece together and take out the extra papers where the edges of the rosettes now are joined
I was quite surprised at how many papers I removed!  this photo doesn't really give a good indication, because I think by the time I had assembled the top section of the quilt, I had a few hundred papers that I had removed.  The only ones remaining are those in the outside perimeter.
so, there it is, the top section, all together.  It is now neatly folded up and tucked out of sight.
the part remaining on my wall is the bottom section, about a third of the quilt,
sorry about some of the photos being a bit blurry- I've been using my ipad to take all my photos lately and the lighting isn't that great in my room either.
I drew a red line on my plan to tell me what is already done, and what I have yet to do.
So, that is that for a while.  I have lots of stitching yet to do, but after making a concerted effort on this quilt for the past few weeks, I think I will now have a bit of time to work on some other projects as well.....  
By the way, Has anyone else who is doing this quilt thought about how to do the quilting on it later? 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Millefiore moving along...

for the past few weeks I have been mostly working away on my Millefiore Quilt, 
this is what I've got up on my design wall, 
I wandered away from the original plan, as set out by Katja, since I wanted to make the rosettes more fully round in places, 
then, I modified it again, making it more rectangular and filling in background spaces with a blue diamond pattern,
the rosettes are quite a lot of fun, and I've even designed a few of my own, which makes me even more impressed by all the wonderful designs Katja has done!

someone asked about the way I made the paper templates.  The advantage of making them yourself is that you can modify designs and make new shapes. Plus, you could make as many or as few as you need. 
so this is how I do it, it is actually very simple.
I just go to a site called which is a free graph paper generator. You can print off graph paper of equilateral triangles in any size.  Choose the .5 inch size. then, print off a stack of this paper on to 67 lb cover stock.  (. Some people may need to turn off the option in Adobe's Acrobat reader "shrink to fit" which may resize the grid slightly to fit your printer's printable area.). 
 then, it is easy to just cut the shapes you need, 
i keep all my previous shapes organized in a booklet that has clear plastic pockets, 
this is the start of the rosette for May!
(You can see earlier posts about his project by scrolling back)

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