Monday, April 29, 2013

Trial and Error

So. Some info on the summer bag.

I got the fabric from Joann's, the white and solid pink are duck cloth, and the ikat chevron type print is decorator-weight fabric.

I put the panels together first, basting the pocket fabric on. This is where my first mistake was, because I first cut the fabric not thinking about the direction of the print, so I had to piece some more duck cloth on the back of one of these pocket panels to make up for it. Oopsie.

I got to use the super-cool basting stitch on Bridget. It's so nice having a multi-talented machine! ;-)

I put the interior pockets onto one of the lining panels, using some stash fabric. I made the pockets too big at first, but instead of re-cutting and sewing again, I just made a really big hem on the top. I was being lazy. It worked though!

I made the handles out of the pink duck cloth. I have to say, that was fun :-p

Ooooh! It looks like a purse! ....a very flat one...

So. This is where things got hairy. The handles were supposed to be lined up at the bottom of the bag for the two sides to get sewn together.

Umm... nope. I was using a jeans needle, which was getting through the fabric fine, but once I got here, the needle would go in, but then when the needle shaft would go UP, the needle would stay in the fabric. Yep, the fabric was so thick that the needle was getting stuck in it and getting pulled right out of the machine. And yes, like an insane person seeking a different outcome, I tried it several times.

I really wish I had taken a picture of that. I was a little miffed.

BUT - onward and upward, right? I just ripped a little and cut a little, and then used the leftovers from the pink handle fabric to cover the bottom of the bag. As it turns out, I like how it turned out way more than what I planned. It made it look such more finished and more cohesive.

After that, I just boxed the corners and it was ready to turn!

Is it just me or does turning bags right side out make anybody else think about childbirth? You're shoving this big bag through a really small hole, and you're really excited to see how it turned out?

Just me? ok.

Obvs I don't have kids...

And finished! I think she's pretty :-p

Friday, April 26, 2013

Getting adventurous!

I got brave. I made a real bag!

I'd been looking for a summer bag that was fun and that I could take to work. It needed lots of pockets, a long-ish handle, and a zipper. I couldn't find one that I liked, so I decided to just wing it and make one myself!

I used the construction skills from the Noodlepouches I've been making, along with some inspiration from the numerous Vera Bradley bags that I have. I luuuuurve it.

This is me, however, so you know there was a lot of trial and error involved. I wasn't working from a pattern, so I had to adjust and modify my plans as I went along. I've never made a purse (I honestly never thought I'd want to!) so I really was just playing it by ear!

I'll be back soon with some of the construction process, and more details of how I went about it!

It's got 6 pockets on the outside, and three on the inside!

The pretty zipper might be my favorite part!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I love it when things go well...

There is nothing more gratifying than points that come out like this... Especially in the middle if the night!

When piecing turns out like this it helps combat the almost-done-with-this-quilt-but-I'm-kinda-done-with-the-repetition doldrums.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Quilt Fatigue

Do you guys ever get that? When you've been working on a piece that you really like, and you're really excited about it being finished, but you just don't want to work on it? I guess that's why we all tend to have piles of WIPs, I suppose.

As an aside: this is the 100th post!! Whaaaaat??

I love this quilt. I'm *soclose* to finishing it. But it's gotten a little tedious. I know what I'm going to start next, and there are a couple other things things that I could (should?) be working on as well. But I'm in one of those moods where I need to "finish what I start... in that order(ish)".

I think that's why I've been doing pouches and whatnot and quick little one-sitting projects (I'll share more of those later this week!). It makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something.

I have six blocks left on this quilt. Yes, that's all. I need to just hunker down and get them done. And I will. I guess I just feel like griping about it in the meantime...

See, it's all ready to go. No excuses!!

Empty plates mean progress, at least!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Last one, I promise

For a while, at least ;-)

Something really hilarious happened with this one, though. I didn't trim the zipper before I sewed around the edges. Which means I sewed the zipper into one of the boxed corner seams.

(sorry for the middle-of-the-night iphone photos...)

And I inadvertently made a little handle. Oops.

Honestly, if it had been anywhere close to centered, I would have left it.

It was not.

But I fixed it! Like the last ones I made, I used fusible fleece instead of the 911 interfacing, which made it a little too thick, especially for this size. Live and learn.

It's still cute.

All three of my little lovelies!

You can see the size differences here the best.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Who's going?!?

I worked up the nerve!

I'm pretty stoked about this. And nervous. I'm going alone (as of now), and I've never been to a sewing conference/retreat or anything. I've only taken 2 classes ever. I considered skipping it, but I figured I would really regret it if I did. After seeing all the QuiltCon awesomeness on Instagram and Blogland, I really wished I had been there. So I decided I'm going this time.

I'm hoping to start grad school (again...ugh) in the fall, so as long as there aren't any big conflicts with school, I'll be good to go!

Are you going? Have you been to this kind of thing before?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sisters Ten BOM - April

I did the April blocks of the Sisters Ten BOM the other night. (Here are January, February, and March) I think this first block is my favorite one of the whole thing so far.

The second one I did with really scrappy outer hsts. I like this one a lot too, but the solids are just really striking I think. But hey, we know I love solids, right?

Here are all the blocks I've done so far. When I first started this I thought that the gray might be too dark, but seeing all these together I like the balance a lot. I'm looking forward to seeing where this is going!

Friday, April 12, 2013

My first commission!!

I showed a picture of my noodlepouches to a friend of mine from work, and she asked me to make  her some. So that counts as my first commission, right? I think so ;-)

So we went to my LQS the other day, and she picked out some fabric. (In Syracuse and UVa colors!) I put them together that night, so she could take them on a trip with her. I was planning on just making the big one, but there was enough fabric left over to make the little one too.

I also used fusible fleece for the first time, instead of the mid-weight interfacing that I have been using. It was ok, maybe a little too thick for bags this size. I ended up using the regular stuff for the little bag.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Skipped a season

So apparently spring has come and gone already, and I missed it.

It was 90 degrees today. No joke. I hate heat. I don't particularly love freezing cold, either, but you can always put more layers on. There is only so much you can take off! Spring and fall are my favorites, and i guess i don't get to enjoy moderately warm days this year. Hopefully the last couple days have been a fluke and I'll get to bask in some mid-60s wonderfulness soon.

Yesterday evening I mowed the lawn for the first time this year. It grew like 6 inches in two days. Can you spot Charlotte in the doorway? She's such a good watchdog. Right.

The weather is even more annoying considering it looked like this just a couple weeks ago.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Bye Bye Google Reader

I heard that google reader was going out July 1. Alas, it's no longer there when I log onto gmail. Oh well.

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Honey Honey progress, and another first

I made some progress on Honey Honey last week, chain piecing like its my job again. I really like how this is coming together - this is a great pattern to showcase some really beautiful prints.

But then I had to take a break. Remember when I did my first ever zipper?

Well, I've had another first.

I've never scorched fabric in my life (except, of course, for the cover of my ironing board). This pretty much broke my little heart. I think it happened after I had put the block together completely and was giving it one last press. I had to stop then and there. Those three blocks on the bottom row in the first picture aren't put together.

I need to mourn first.

Then I'll get out the seam ripper.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Take Two

I couldn't handle my super cute Noodlepouch being all sad and lonely alone. So I made her a friend. Also out of Luxe in Bloom (I can't get enough of this line!) This time with a different pink interior and a limey green zipper. This one is a great size. I can't say enough good things about this pouch tutorial!

Ok so this picture makes them look like the same size, but I promise they're not. I'll have to make the smallest one so I can show how the sizes compare.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Skill Builder BOM - March

Here are my march Skill Builder BOM blocks (a touch late). These are beautiful patterns, but they were crazy tedious to put together! It was worth it though. :-)