Friday, November 25, 2011

A Fall bag all my own to Celebrate Color!

A few weeks ago, I thought to myself "self - you should pick a couple of fabrics from your stash and try out that free bag pattern you saw awhile back. The one that's reversible, just 2 pieces kinda dumbell shaped to make the bag and handle all at the same time." The construction intrigued me - so simple, but I couldn't quite picture it until I tried it out.

Well...that simple thought turned into a much bigger process of making a bag that I would actually use myself as a handbag. But first I started with some recycled denim curtains and a bright Valori Wells deco weight cut from my stash as the lining - oranges of course.   What speaks Fall color more than denim and orange with some brown ultrasuede thrown in for good measure (the ultrasuede has a separate story as you'll see).

I used a basic pattern as the springboard that I printed off of All People Quilt (can't seem to find it on their website anymore!)

Then fused some interfacing to the denim and did a little scribble embroidery to echo the orange print.  I chose several vintage buttons to sew onto this weedy flower (my favorite kind of flower!) - most of which came from my grandmother's stash (of which I procured a fraction after her passing a year ago).

My favorite button from her stash on this bag is on the back by my signature - I remember her collecting owls when I was little. Then it was roadrunners...after that who knows. But the 70s Owl collection is still my favorite memory of those little vignettes. And I have proof of the owl collection right there! Because other than stashing fabric (which she did with a hoarders obsessive way), Grandma tended to get rid of stuff rather unceremoniously at random - or at least that's how it felt to a youngster.

Anyway, I added a pocket and a U-ring tab just in case it would ever come in handy to the lining.

And all would have come together peachy except I messed up the final construction steps, boxed my corners on the wrong sides, and had to do a fair amount of ripping back and adding a bit onto the bottom to fix it.  That was where the ultrasuede hit me - not only to extend where I'd cut and messed up, but it would add a nice bottom to the bag. I like it!

Last problem that had to be solved - I didn't like the way the bag gaped open unless it was tucked neatly under my arm (like only happens about 12% of the time). I couldn't find two halves of a sew-in snap in my stash, and so I surgically inserted a magnetic clasp. I would not recommend this method - for a variety of reasons - not the least of which is that the heavier side could probably use more reinforcement behind the prong attachment. But so far so good.

It's fun to pull off a pattern or concept without a hitch - but it is true that you learn more from making mistakes while constructing projects.  And this one was customized every hitch of the way to make it more fun (in my opinion) - and somehow doesn't distract from the overall workmanship impression anyway.  It's a solid bag, and fun to carry!

So, I'm slipping this in last minute to Celebrate Color! for November over at Stitched in Color!

Celebrate Color

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bloggers Quilt Festival entry - the Christmas Quilt!

YAY! I finished this quilt in time to enter into the Blogger's Quilt Festival!

So just a year later than I had intended - not so bad I guess.

Although the quilting wasn't as nice and smooth as I would have liked, the overall effect after washing the quilt is nice. I'm pretty happy with it and it won't be long before it'll be draped over the sofa for the holidays!

I used a layer cake of Kate Spain's 12 Days of Christmas plus an aqua solid for the front.  The pattern was called "Piece of Cake (2)" by Thimbleblossoms.  It was pretty much a piece of cake to put together.

I pieced the back to include the 12 Days of Christmas Panel and 2 of the prints (the top and bottom say Fa la  la la la...). The binding is from the red swirl print in the collection.  I think this is only the 2nd time I've made an entire quilt using only fabric from a single collection.  

And the final touch? The Wild Thing seal of approval!

So head over to the Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side - yowza! There are more than 500 entries!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

198 yards of loveliness...

In honor of the colors of fall, I give you my first official "lace" project. 

This is a color I always gravitate to in the fall, along with oranges and greens - the berries last in, grape harvests, deep red wines. I love the light of the days during this time of year the best. 

This pattern is called "198 yds. of Heaven" by Verity Knits on .  I found the pattern looking for something to make with these 2 skeins of cranberry Noro Cash Iroha (yum!).  I ran out before the pattern called for, tried to bind off in time, and then had to do something creative with 3 strands of kidsilk haze in the same color, but over all I'm really pleased with this little shawlet. 

I've done some "easy" lace patterns before with basic repeats, but so far a but chicken to try the real charted patterns (ADHD?).  Plus I really really had no idea how one blocks lace. Blocking to me is getting a sweater nice and sudsy, rinsing gently, rolling in some sweaters to get the extra water out and then painstakingly shaping and reshaping the sodden mass into your lovelly measured sweater shape. 
That works, right?  That's what it says in Stitch and Bitch, and that's what I'm sticking to~

So here, I found a rack big enough to stretch it over, then I pinned like crazy!

Every little point got pulled and pinned...

And pretty much every yarn over required opening up and pinning every here and there to stay in a nice lacy way. Pretty fun in the end because the result looked so much more polished than I expected!

Go checked out Stitched in Color - there's been a color party going on since September - I'm just a little late to join with the goods!

Celebrate Color