Friday, September 26, 2014

Fractal Quilt Block

I find so much inspiration on Instagram - I still go to Flickr occasionally, but IG is full of new ideas and swaps.  I just take a screenshot, and I can scroll through my photos later to pick a new pattern or fabric line or something to discuss with other sewists.  

And I found this one day

And I went straight to Craftsy to purchase this pattern.

There are two sizes you can make your block 12" or 16" - for my first one I went with the 16" size, as I wanted to make it into a mini quilt wallhanging.

Using Indelible and a few solids.  
This was one of my favorite lines that came out earlier in 2014

This is a paper pieced pattern, which sometimes creates road blocks when you can't quite figure out how large that next piece of fabric should be

Over two nights I completed the block - I just did not have a lot of sewing time available

I love how this one turned out!

I used two layers of batting in this one, I wanted the quilting to pop off the top.  Aurifil 40 wt was used in the quilting.  

Sadly (for me) this mini is off to it's new home as a swap gift.

Keep Calm and Quilt On!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Messenger Bag

A girl can never have too many bags.  Or totes.  Or fabric.  Or pillows.  Or patterns. Or ideas for making things.

I designed a Messenger Bag back in April and I love it, however it is just a little too large.  I made another, using the same pattern, just going smaller.  I love this one as well.

I didn't take any progress photos - I must have been in a hurry to use this Charley Harper bag!
I used waxed canvas (available on Etsy) for the bottom and side gussets, and on the back of the strap. I have started using waxed canvas on the bottom of bags so I don't feel like I can't put it down anywhere.  The waxed canvas is water proof, and I like the leathery look

The exterior pieces are canvas as well as inside the closing flap.  I prefer canvas on the exterior of bags, it is sturdier and more durable than quilting cotton.  I did use quilting cotton for the lining.  Adding a slip pocket inside, which I discovered I needed using the other Messenger Bag - a place for the phone so it isn't lost in the bottom of the bag.  

I like a good large bag that I can use cross body or hanging off my shoulder.  

I made this bag a couple of months ago and I use it almost daily.  I think it's time to make a fall themed messenger bag now. 

Keep Calm and Quilt On!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Quilts Equal Love

A great member of the Virginia Beach Modern Quilt Guild runs the charity committee of our guild and she tirelessly arranges for us to make blocks, gets them made into quilt tops, arranges for donated backing and batting, has the quilts quilted and bound by members.  I can't say enough good things about my friend Chen Wu, who doesn't have a blog - but is on Instagram as @mushyhed

This one is a tough one to write.  Only about six weeks has went by since the death of my Aunt from liver cancer.  We all love and cherish our families, and it is difficult to write about the ending of ones life by something as insidious as liver cancer.  These photos are so recent, and it still stings.  I only occasionally use a photo of a family member on my blog or on my Instagram account, being respectful and mindful of privacy.  But I do want to let all of you know how much a quilt can mean to a person and their family

January 31, 2014

My Aunt received her diagnosis of liver cancer, which was metastasized breast cancer at the end of January 2014.  She remained in good spirits and tackled her chemo like a champ, never once complaining.  

Chen went into quick action and arranged a charity quilt for Linda to take to chemo with her

This photo was taken April 3, 2014 when I gave Linda the quilt made for her before one of the chemo treatments
She also is wearing a hat knitted by Kristen Danis (KD_Quilts) of our guild.  Linda lost her hair quickly and she liked to wear the knitted hats

When Linda was in the hospital for hospice care in July 2014, I asked her if she would like a quilt on her to brighten up her room and have a bit of home.  She asked for this quilt to be brought to her.  I have made Linda a couple of quilts and my Mom also made her a couple, so she had several to chose from, but she chose this one from the guild.  That really made me happy that our guild had made this quilt for her, the quilt meant something special to Linda.

July 2014

My Aunt had a special place in my heart and life, I included her in all of our family activities.  She had a love for family, church, Elvis, puzzles, animals, and her work.  I found out later that she had bragged to the ladies at her job about the quilt that was made for her.  

Mothers Day 2014

June 28, 2014 Baby Shower for my granddaughter

I have made and given to family and friends many quilts.  So much of my creative soul goes into what I make, it is rewarding to hear from someone that they use the quilt I made or that it means something to them.   I hope that my quilts are treasured half as much as this one for Linda is treasured, and I asked the family if I could keep Linda's quilt.  I'm not using her quilt yet, I will one day, and I will make sure everyone knows the quilt story.  

Thank you Chen, and other member of Virginia Beach Modern Quilt Guild for your kindness and generosity to my family, from the bottom of my heart.  


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Finishing Touches

I admit it, I have a problem finishing projects.  Before I'm barely started with one, the next one is calling me out.  I have more ideas, fabric, drawings, patterns and tools that are waiting to be used.  
One of the reasons I like making bags, pillows, and minis is that they are projects that are finished quickly so my ADD doesn't kick into overdrive before I can get the small item finished.

One of the things I'm slow to do unless there is a deadline is the binding.  I had a quilt sit for 3 years with no binding.  Then when I added the binding it took all of about an hour (I usually machine bind).

This wall hanging just lacked the binding for 3 months, and then it was probably only finished because it was intended for my granddaughter's nursery and she was due to arrive.

I'm not one of those people who neatly roll their binding on to an old spool or something.  It just lays there in a puddle, waiting to be added

And voila it's finished, even added a label (another thing I often don't get to, but I'm trying to be better at)

And up on the nursery wall

The bed skirt matches the Elephant wall hanging

Nursery sewing I have to say, is quite rewarding.  I love to dress up the room with color

Keep Calm and Quilt On!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Cargo Duffle / Camera Bag

I showed you how I dressed up my camera strap in this post. Next up I wanted a snazzy handmade bag to carry around my equipment.  
I chose the Cargo Duffle by Noodlehead, this is a free pattern.  I laid out the measurements of the bag and hoped it would be the right size, even if it wasn't I knew I wanted to make the duffle, and it would be used.  

I chose Mochi Dot by Momo and a Paula Nadelstern print for the exterior and waxed canvas for the bottom gusset and sides.  I like to use waxed canvas on the bottom of bags so I don't have to worry about setting them down on the ground.  
Here is the Etsy shop where I purchased the waxed canvas.

The two exterior panels finished

If you want a crinkly aged look to your canvas you just wad it up in a ball and squish it around to get the wrinkles

I used waxed canvas on the pocket flaps and also around the cotton webbing I used for the handles.  I think the waxed canvas wears better than quilting cotton for handles.

I used a different color Mochi Dot for the back of my cargo duffle

I did add some quilting lines to the bottom gusset, I don't usually add quilting to the waxed canvas, but I had a seam I wanted to hide.  If quilting the waxed canvas, space the quilting lines further apart than you normally would

The Cargo Duffle is a bit larger than I thought for a camera bag - but I remedied that by adding smaller bags and pouches for my lenses, charger, and miscellaneous supplies inside the duffle.

This pattern does not have a lining, but there are several blogs on line who have added a lining.  I didn't add a lining to mine, the interior is canvas.  I used fusible fleece as my batting and added D links to the side so I can make a detachable longer handle for over my shoulder.  The only other thing I added was a strip of velcro on each side interior for padded dividers for my camera equipment.  

Keep Calm and Quilt On!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Camera Strap

I've had a DSLR for six years - and I bought it used, so it was approximately 10 years old.  This camera has served me well on vacations, family gatherings, holidays.  I have been wanting to upgrade for a couple of years, but didn't want to spend the money when I had a perfectly good working DSLR.

And then the camera froze up while in the delivery room after the birth of my granddaughter.

This is what she had to say about that:
Grandma, get it together!

Informing my very patient better half via text that a camera had been ordered - 
Preparing for the camera by reading the manual (I'm all the way to page 60! of something like 400 - 
and of course preparing to make a camera strap, because everything needs pretty clothes

 Scraps from my Fields quilt 
Because I am a scrap hoarder, I keep all the scraps left over from finished quilts, just in case I need them for something like a camera strap.

Ironically taken with my iPhone

I measured the length and width of the webbing portion of the strap that came with the camera and sewed together scraps

Added fusible fleece to the back of each strip

The fit was tight, I should have allowed a little extra for slipping the strap through, but now I'm glad it fits tight so the handmade strap cover doesn't move around.

(once again taken with my iPhone)
And then I very bravely trashed the rest of the scraps from Fields 

Next up, handmade Camera Bag!

Keep Calm and Quilt On!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Putting it in writing

I finally remembered to link up with my friend Shannan of Fiber of All Sorts for her monthly goal setting party.  I need to get things checked off my list and fast.  Quilt tops are piling up and gift giving season is fast approaching.  

Quilt my Feathers quilt top
Make two Messenger Bags (which have been cut out since June)
Work on my Herringbone QAYG, I have worked on this off and on all summer
Make 2 divided baskets for gifts

Boom.  There are many other things that will be fit into the cracks of this sewing month, bee blocks, zip pouches, a few projects started but not ready for the finishing list.  
Now let's start this finishing party

Keep Calm and Quilt On