Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Drawstring Bag + Divider Zipper Pouch

My latest contributor post is up at the Imagine Gnats blog today. As I mentioned last month, I had the opportunity to collaborate with the very talented Jeni Baker of In Color Order. With her blessing, I was able to take her popular Lined Drawstring Bag and show how to add a fun modification to the pattern to make it even more customized.

I'm happy to say that I am now the proud owner of three new drawstring bags, each equipped with a handy divider zipper pouch. I'm using them constantly too. I'm have the smaller ones stocked up for sock knitting and the larger one for embroidery, currently. 

Even with the zipper pouch addition, these bags are still really quick makes. I found myself finding more and more fabrics pulls to make bags with as I was putting together my materials, so I ended up making three bags. I used several Cotton + Steel prints from Imagine Gnats along with some other bright prints and solids from my own stash. 

The lovely herringbone denim that I used for the lining on two of the bags is by Robert Kaufman, also from Imagine Gnats. By adding a little interfacing (Pellon SF 101) to the thinner chambray, I was able to give it the structure that it needed for this type of project. Interfacing really is magical.

To read the full tutorial, head over here, to the Imagine Gnats blog.

This project was also my February, A Lovely Year of Finishes goal 
and one of my 1st Quarter FAL goals

I'm linking up with those gals too. :)
A Lovely Year of Finishes2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Friday, February 20, 2015

A Few Quick Things to Share

Have you been enjoying all the posts from QuiltCon on Instagram? Quite a few people from my local guild and lots of friends from online had the chance to attend this year, so I've been stalking their feeds. While I wish I was there in person, I've really been enjoying scrolling through images from the quilt show, and I feel like I have about a year's worth of inspiration stored up now.
While I didn't have the chance to attend myself, a couple of quilts that I had the opportunity to contribute to did make the journey to Austin. The Love Circle, that I sew with through do. Good Stitches, has two quilts that we made together that are hanging in the special do. Good Stitches show. These were designed, compiled, and quilted by Natalie at Greenleaf Goods and Ara Jane at You Know What I Love?, respectively.

watercolor quilt
Watercolor Quilt by the Love Circle of do. Good Stitches, quilted by Natalie 
sunset stripes
Sunset Stripes by the Love Circle of do. Good Stitches, quilted by Ara Jane
Not attending QuiltCon does have its perks though, like having the time to be able to go through one's stash and finally pull some fabrics that need to go on to new homes. :) I had a quick Instagram destash recently (at my new seller account @echinopsasterdestash) and only sold a few things, so I've been moving the unsold listings over to Etsy to try over there. That means my shop has reopened! Feel free to drop by to check out the listings, plus I'll be adding more periodically over the next week too.

Finally, I also heard recently (through my friend Diane) that there has been a resolution over at Etsy to the VATMOSS (i.e. #VATMESS) debacle. Etsy has decided to collect and process the needed taxes that go along with this new EU resolution, so small business owners can get back to selling their digital goods. I've been contemplating reopening and expanding my pattern shop this year, so the removal of this barrier means that it would be so much easier to do so. I'll keep you updated on how that goes. :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

WIP Wednesday / February Goal Setting

Last month I successfully finished my sewing goal for the "Lovely Year of Finishes" January link-up, but as it's a new month, it's time for new goals to keep the momentum going. 

Drawstring Bag Fabric Pull #1

Happily, I do feel like I have more sewing momentum, and a renewed interest in tackling my unfinished quilt tops! I plan to steadily work on those throughout 2015, however for this month, I'm going to choose a goal that is a little less intensive than finishing a quilt to give myself a little breather. I have a pretty full month with work and other commitments, so my upcoming contributor project for Imagine Gnats seems like the perfect goal. 

Drawstring Bag Fabric Pull #2

I'm making a few of Jeni Baker's Lined Drawstring Bags using her pattern, only mine will include a special modification twist. ;) I'm excited to have the chance to work on this mini-collaboration with Jeni, and I'll have the full project tutorial to share at the end of the month.

My photos show the fabric pulls that I put together for this project, but thankfully I've since had the chance to sew up a prototype (that actually works!) and get the other bags prepped for sewing. 

On a side note, have you ever had to reverse-figure-out how you sewed something? I made one of these bags last spring, but for the life of me I couldn't remember how I made my modifications. Thankfully, I got it worked out ok, but man! Whose brain was I sewing with? ;)

Linking up with:

A Lovely Year of FinishesWIP Wednesday

Friday, January 30, 2015

Parterre Jardin / Quilt Finish

I started piecing this project at the end of 2011. To say that it has been my longest standing work-in-progress is definitely most accurate. I'm happy that now I can official check this one off as "done". :) 

Parterre Jardin

Going back into my blog archive, I was actually a little surprised to realize and remember that this is the second quilt top that I made. Yup, right after finishing my first quilt top in October 2011, I started on this. (We're reaching way back now!)

Parterre Jardin

It's also the very first quilt that I designed. I remember putting together a mockup in Photoshop and figuring out the block dimensions, while thinking "this is fun, I can actually design my own quilts!". That excitement still hits me whenever I start working on a new pattern. It never gets old.

Parterre Jardin

I began making this quilt as gift for my husband's aunt, who we really owe so much to. When we first moved to Seattle, she gave us a home. We lived with her for a number of months as we looked for work and a place to live in a brand new city, during the height of the recession. It was tough and there weren't a ton of opportunities around, but she never faltered in her support and belief that we'd figure it all out. And I guess in hindsight, we've done ok. :) 

Parterre Jardin

I started working on this quilt while we were living with her. I was sewing on top of moving boxes and just making due with the limited space that I had, but I knew that I really wanted this quilt to be special. That intent was my inspiration for sure, and yet it became a little paralyzing when it came time to quilt the top. I just didn't want to mess it up. 

Parterre Jardin

So I waited, and I considered, and I let the quilt sit unfinished for quite some time, until recently, when I decided that it didn't matter how it got finished, just that it did. So it became my finish-along goal to get this done by the end of January. I decided to straight-line quilt it fairly simply, and bind it in a subtle striped, coral-colored print (actually left over from my first quilt). And it was done. Once I quieted all the mental indecision, it was simple enough to just do the stitching and let the quilt come together.

Now that it's finished I feel relieved and excited to finally have the chance to share this with the person who really helped my husband and I to feel like Seattle could be home. I plan to embroider a quick quilt label and find a fun way to present the quilt (wrapped box or not?), but it feels amazing to have this project completed and ready to go into the wash.  

Parterre Jardin    

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: "Parterre" / Original design
Size: 60" x 60"
Fabrics: Prince Charming by Tula Pink, backing is organic flannel from Cloud-9
Batting: Pellon Legacy Wool
Quilted by: Me

This quilt was one of my 1st Quarter FAL goals and my A Lovely Year of Finishes, January goal.

Linking up with:

2015 FAL at On the Windy SideA Lovely Year of Finishes
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