Sunset Star

 

Sunset Star

Here’s the finished Doll Quilt Swap 13 Mini!  I decided to call it Sunset Star.  I based my color choices on a sunset photo taken by one of my friends and used the 3 Layer Star paper piecing pattern by Mommy’s Nap Time.  My partner, who I can now reveal was Paula, asked for modern quilting and bright colors.  I found out through the message boards that her favorite color was purple, but that she’d also been into the pink/orange combination and that she loved paper piecing.  A match made in heaven? Maybe… :-)

Enough about that, though.  What I really wanted to talk about was the QUILTING of this beast:

Sunset Star label

Starry (can I call you Starry?), Starry and I did NOT agree on its quilting.  This was a battle to the death and I did not come out on top.  I really, REALLY wanted to do something different than my usual, and settled on “Feathered Hearts” from Leah Day’s 365 free motion project.  I had the perfect thread for it too: a pretty peachy-pinky one that went perfectly with the star. I did a little scrap test and adjusted my tension. I got myself all comfortable. Then I started. My thread broke. I re-threaded and picked up where I left off. It broke again. I checked the tension – the thread seemed awfully tight in the machine. I adjusted the tension again. The thread broke AGAIN. I thought it must be because I was starting the middle and there was a lot of seams right there in the center (you know, since the star pieces all meet there).  I decided to tackle the feathering parts and leave the hearts for later. Skipped stitches. MORE skipped stitches. Another thread breaking incident.

At this point, I didn’t know if I could recover the quilt.  I mean, it was pretty dense quilting since I was going so slow. I pulled the whole thing out of the machine and walked away.  When I came back to it, I started the long, long process of picking out the quilting I had already done. Luckily, with lots of picking, spritzing (with water) and pressing, the quilt recovered almost completely. Except the center. It was then that I decided the star needed a literal focal point at the center, both to cover the battlefield and to complete the piece.  I was super worried that it would just look thrown on there, but in the end, I think the little circle does complete the piece.

After that, I changed out my thread for some yellow in a different brand, gave up on the feathered hearts and got down to the business of stitching that sucker in happy, flowing little loop-de-loops in the star and echoing angles in the blue areas. Some much more relaxed!  Of course, this was too good to be true…as I reached the outer edges it quickly became apparent that my blue thread was running dangerously low, so I made a quick switch BACK to the yellow for those little loop-de-loops along the sides.

For a piece that really DIDN’T WANT to be quilted, I think it turned out alright. But I am going to get those feathered hearts right if I have to die trying.

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday!

I received my amazing mini from Uberstitch last night! Isn’t it beautiful?

Look what arrived in the mail for me today!

She can’t possibly have known how well it would fit in with my collection of pink-ish flowery quilts that I have received in swaps over the years. Seriously! Amazing. I need to reorganize my wall of quilts but when I do I will definitely post a picture of them all together.

Velocity Girl Bag from Sew Sweetness

Recently, Sara of Sew Sweetness sent out a call for pattern testers for her Velocity Girl Bag.  I really enjoyed the process of working through a pattern and taking notes on where things could be improved or spots where the instructions became confusing.

Velocity Girl bag from Sew Sweetness

What a lovely bag this is, though!  I made mine from an upholstery remnant and a coordinating solid (for the lining).  There’s a small touch of coordinating fabric across the front too, in the form of faux piping.  I used Pellon Thermolam, a fusible batting, to give the bag the body it needed.  I also quilted the main body pieces to help with stability (according to Sara, Thermolam gives a slouchy result).

There are a total of 9 (yes really, NINE!) pockets in this bag!  Three across the front, one in each side placket, another 3 open pockets on the inside and a large zippered pocket, also on the inside. The purse closes with a magnetic snap and has an adjustable strap.

Velocity Girl pattern

You can see more examples of this an other purses on the Sew Sweetness flickr group or you can buy the newly released pattern from Sara here – it’s just $8!

Birthday Bag & Matching iPad Cover

birthday bag & matching ipad cover

A few weeks ago I attended a special birthday party for a friend of mine.  As adults, we don’t get parties and special gifts as much as we did when we were kids, and I always think that’s sad.  Enter: The Birthday Bag.

I bought this pattern several years ago in A.C.Moore – it is actually called the Serendipity Bag.  It’s meant to be used with a jelly roll and at the time, I had a jelly roll that I wasn’t sure what to do with.  Needless to say, I have made quite a few of these bags and I still have that jelly roll…

birthday bag

The pattern is simple to translate to a solid piece of fabric and makes such a great impact!  Plus it only takes a couple of hours to complete, if that.  You need just over a half yard of the outer fabric and just a half yard for the lining.  You could use a bit more and add a pocket to the inside if you like.  It’s large and deep, so if you wanted it as a purse, it would probably be a good idea to add a couple of pockets.  I like to use an upholstery/canvas remnant for the outer fabric so that it’s nice and strong and has a little body, and a coordinating cotton for the lining. I always fancied it as a shopping tote – but not for stinky, leaky groceries…the kind of shopping that you want to show off.  ;-)

At the last minute, I remembered that this friend was set to receive an iPad from as her ‘big’ gift this year and I thought, wouldn’t it be nifty to make her a matching iPad cover as well? After a quick search for a pattern, but found just the right one:

ipad cover

Even with the quilting, this took me just an hour to whip up.  I can’t remember the name of the blog where I found the pattern right now, but I will remember and I will post it!  It has double thickness batting for extra padding and extra room in case the iPad in question has a hard cover.  The flap secures with  hook & loop. Perfect!

Edit: I found it!  The awesome tutorial can be found at one shabby chick.

ipad cover

Resolution Review: January

Since we’ve reached the end of January (ALREADY!) I thought it would be a good time to check in and take stock of what I’ve accomplished this month.  I think the resolution to blog more and sew more is going rather well…don’t you?

12 blog posts:

  1. Whew! Well, that happened…
  2. So many palettes, so little time
  3. And the winner is…!
  4. Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey…Stuff
  5. Timey Wimey Shark Block of the Month? No, that’s not right.
  6. Nintendo DS Carry Case (a project from the summer)
  7. Warning: House Under Quarantine
  8. A passion for (1920s) fashion
  9. Work in Progress: Zakka Style Baby Quilt
  10. Skill builder BOM update
  11. Fabric Delivery!
  12. Work In Progress Wednesday

11 Projects started:

  1. Zakka Style baby quilt
  2. Zakka style black/floral quilt
  3. black/floral wallhanging
  4. Soundwave block for BOM
  5. Magnum block for BOM
  6. Doll Quilt Swap mini quilt
  7. Poo-Bah costume for Caleb
  8. Carpet bag birthday gift
  9. Ipad cover birthday gift
  10. crown for Caleb
  11. Dr. Who quilt series

6 Projects completed:

  1. Poo-Bah costume for Caleb
  2. Carpet bag birthday gift
  3. Ipad cover birthday gift
  4. crown for Caleb
  5. Soundwave block for BOM (I am counting this as a ‘completed’ because I finished the step)
  6. Magnum block for BOM (Ditto for the Soundwave block)