Monday, 30 January 2012

Boxy Pouch

Last week, I made some box shaped cases for my two little boys from the fabric I ordered from Sew Fresh Fabrics.
Stash builder 
The gray one is Cross Town in Slate by Alexander Henry. And the green one is Chartreuse by Caleb Gray from On the Road for Robert Kaufman Fabrics.

I made those pouches so the boys could carry some toys with them when we are on the go, particularly their growing collection of Hotwheels.

When looking for inspiration, I saw this tutorial that I loved because of the shape and more particularly because it was fully lined. But, I also saw a pattern by Kevin Kosab in Stitch Summer 2011 that I liked because its extremities and bottom fabrics were different than the ones on the side panels. So, I went from there and made those two pouches.
Boxy pouch

For interfacing, I used fusible fleece for the shell that I quilted with straight lines. I particularly love how the grey one turned out. The print size was perfect for the pouch size and the image on both sides are different.
Boxy pouch
For the lining I also used some quilting cottons, but without interfacing. Here is how it looks like.
Boxy pouch

Both my boys were happy to get those cases. Particularly the elder, who understood that I was making this for them and keep asking me if they were done.

It seems like I'm still on the Christmas beat, doing some little projects for the ones I loved. But, I can wait to jump on my quilt projects. I have the blocks from the Fat Stash Bee that I can no longer wait to assemble in a quilt top. Here they are.
Fat Stash Bee - June - Quilt 1
This was the first layout I had planned. But, I changed my mind. I hope to be able to show this to you by the end of the week.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Grab bag

When looking for tutorials/pattern for a bag to hold my sisters knitting projects, I found two that were interesting. Both are bags with two handles, one being longer than the other so you can slip it in the smaller one and than on your wrist. The first one is the Japanese Knot Bag by Helen Heath that I've used to sew my sister's bag for Christmas (see post). The other is a free pattern from www.allpeoplequilt.com named Grab bags. They are really similar in shape and in size except the Grab bags don't have a round flat bottom.

At Christmas, my aunt loved the bags I gave my sister and she requested one for herself. This was the perfect occasion to try out the second pattern. The instructions were clear and I preferred their way of joining the handle ends. Here is what it looks like.

Grab bag

I hope my aunt will like it. She didn't see the final result yet, but she did see the fabric. She is really the kind of person who likes cheerful color. But, I wanted to check with her if she liked this particular fabric. Like for my sister's bag I used home decor weight cottons. I hope she will find it useful for her knitting projects. She does some pretty original projects, take a look!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

do. Good Stitches - January blocks

For the month of January, Fiona asked us to do two nine patchs of snowball blocks following a tutorial on Cluck Cluck Sew. This will be for a quilt for Project Linus in the UK. It is intended for a little boy. So, we were asked to use cheerful colours and prints. I don't have that much boy's print in my stash, but I did my best to use colorful prints. The fabrics I chose are mainly geometric prints except a few. I hope Fiona won't be dissapointed.

After cutting all my fabric, I was a bit afraid it would be long to assemble the blocks seeing the pile of white fabric squares.
But, it when up pretty quickly with chain piecing. I didn't have the guts to try out, the masking tape trick suggested in the tutorial. So, I marked the sewing line on all the white squares before I started sewing. This was my first time for this type of block.  Maybe next time, I'll be more confident to sew straight lines and I'll try out the shortcut. I definitely like the design. I think this is a great block for quilting bees. Here are mines.

do Good Stitches - January block 1
do Good Stitches - January block 2

I can wait to see them assemble with the rest of the blocks. The quilt will certainly make a little boy happy!

Bag #1 using Nancy Zieman's Clover template

Last year, I started to sew two bags in a sewing course, both using templates by Nancy Zieman for Clover. This was my first posts on my blog (see here and here). Back in April, I had the lining and outer shell finished and ready to assemble, but I was missing some hardware for the straps.
Handbag Sewing CourseHandbag Sewing Course

I bought some in May but still, I left them sitting there. I wasn't sure what type of closure I would put for each bag. For the blue jean one, I already had a zipper for it. But, I was a bit limited on how I would sew it to the bag, since the lining and outer shell were already done. During the Holiday vacations, I decided it was more than time to finishe those up. So, I made out my mind for the blue jean one. I found out a series of 10 posts on Nancy Zieman's blog that are complementing the templates. This is the last one, at the end you'll find a link to all previous posts in the series. The one showing a easy zipper closure inspired me my solution. So here is the result.
Bag #1 - Nancy Zieman's template 
Bag #1 - Nancy Zieman's template 
Bag #1 - Nancy Zieman's template

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I love the patchwork of quilting cottons on the front. Both bags feature fabrics by Laura Gunn for Michael Miller. The ones on the blue jeans bag are from her Lanter Bloom collection, the other one is from her Poppy collection which I both love. It's one of the first designer fabrics I noticed. Unfortunately, I didn't have any specific projects in mind for those at that time. But, I'm glad I included the samples I ordered in my bags. It makes them a little bit more special.

At the time, I decided to take the bag sewing course, I was looking for a small bag featuring patchwork. I didn't find any at that time. But next time, I'll probably try out this pattern by Anna Graham from noodle head. I've seen it a few times in the Pink Chalk Fabric newsletter and it looks great.

I still need to finish my pink bag. I'll probably go and buy a nice zipper for this one also. Or I might just put a magnet closure just like a the lower pocket. But, I'm afraid things could fell out of my bag. Let see ... I hope I'll find the motivation to get to it quickly.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Stash Builders

During the Holiday vacations, I decided to order some fabrics to build up my stash a bit. I'd say it is rather small. And doing some blocks for bees using fabrics from my stash, I always need to go to the fabric store because something is missing. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of choice around here. At least not for modern quilting cottons. So, I decided to look online. I was mainly looking for geometric prints in different colors of the rainbow. I found this bundle at Sew Fresh Fabrics.
Stash builder 
I just received it this weekend. Yeah! It's Peg and Becca's Modern Basic Bundle - The Ultimate Stash Builder - 18 Fat Quarters. That was perfect for me. And during the Holiday, Sew Fresh Fabrics had a discount on shipping. It only cost 6$ to ship a flat rate envelope to Canada. So, I jumped on the occasion.

I took advantage of this and decided to order some more fabric to fill up the envelope. I chose this Black and White bundle, which is also great for building up a stash. I shouldn't be missing much for my next bee blocks.
Stash builder

I also ordered a fat quarter for each of my boys to make them some pouches for their Hot-wheels. Their collection is growing and they don't have anything to store them. I may do something like those zip bags by Elizabeth Hartman. They would be good for carrying them around or if we go out and the boys want some little toys to bring with them. The gray one is Cross Town in Slate by Alexander Henry. And the green one is Chartreuse by Caleb Gray from On the Road for Robert Kaufman Fabrics.
Stash builder

I also ordered 1 yard of Kona Cotton in Aqua for a quilt I have in mind for a while now. It is to go with fabrics from the Treetop collection by Tina Givens for Free Spirit. I ordered 1 yard of Kona Cotton in Olive for projects for my sewing room. I want to do some machine covers for both my sewing machine and serger. Also, a scrap bag to go next to my machine would be really handy to throw in all those cut threads. Something like this or this. I chose Kona in Olive to go with some fabrics from the Early Bird collection by Cosmo Cricket for Andover that have been waiting for me for a while now.
Stash builder

Let see by what I'll start with ... I have so much in my mind but not so much time. And I still have a list of current projects to finish!

Featured in Pink Chalk Fabrics Newsletter

It seems the Japanese Knot Bags (see previous post) I made as a Christmas gift for my sister are getting some interest. That's great.
Christmas Gift Sewing - Japanese Knot Bag 
These were made following this tutorial by Helen Heath.

This weekend I was featured in the newsletter from Pink Chalk Fabrics. I was really happy to see this when I received it in  my mailbox. Moreover, I got a 20$ gift certificate to spend on their online fabric shop. Thanks to Kathy Mack! I will probably buy some Kona Cottons for my future projects. I got to build a stash of solid color cottons. And, they have a great selection. In fact, I got my Kona Color Card from there. It such a great tool!

The Japanese Knot bag were also pinned a few times on Pinterest. That's the first time I notice people visiting my blog coming from Pinterest. It's fun to see that people are starting to read my posts. It's giving some motivation to continue writing this blog. Thanks everyone!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Christmas Gift Sewing

Happy New Year everyone! I was pretty busy in the past month sewing some little gifts for Christmas. This in between shopping, gift wrapping and being with the kids. Like most of you I guess... Now that I've given all those gifts, I can show them to you. These were all small gifts, quick to sew, because I wanted to make a little something to the most people I could in our family.

I generally love to design my own projects. But at this time of the year, I find it very usefull to be filled with inspiration from the blogosphere. So for all my Christmas projects, I followed some tutorials or an idea from one of you sewing out there. Thanks to everyone. I hope I'll contribute more to this in the year to come with patterns/tutorials from my own.

The first project I made were 3 Japanese Knot Bag for my sisters.
Christmas Gift Sewing - Japanese Knot Bag
I had this in mind for while, but finally took the time to make them. Those bags are for her different knitting projects. I used the same fabrics (Joel Dewberry's Ginseng collection) I had used for her knitting rolled-up case (see tutorial). I followed this tutorial, but I also had found this one that I'll try out sometime. Both are made with two handles, one longer than the other one so you can slip it in the smaller one and carry it over your wrist while knitting.
  Christmas Gift Sewing - Japanese Know Bag
My sister has tried them and she loves it. Much better than her Ziploc she says!

For my father-in-law, I sew him a kindle case. The same as the one I made as a giveaway for the event hosted by Sew, Mama, Sew! before the Holidays. I was pretty happy to see that the fitting was perfect. I was a bit worried since I didn't get a chance to actually try it before. Thanks to the recommendations on this post. I had looked over the internet for some inspiration. There are plenty of tutorials out there to make e-reader cases. Here are two that caught my eyes (post and post). But, I wanted something a bit more manly.
Christmas Gift Sewing - Japanese Knot Bag

For my mother who loves photography, I made her a camera strap. I followed this tutorial (using fabrics from my scraps rather than cut with Accuquilt). There is a myriad of those tutorials online as well. This project was really a quick and easy one. My mother was really happy it. She loved the fabrics I chose for her.
Christmas Gift Sewing - Camera Strap

For my mother in law, I made a case for her reading eyeglasses. I free-motion quilted it following the flower circles and I attached the binding using embroidery floss with a running stitch. My inspirations were this tutorial and this case for sell on Etsy.
Christmas Gift Sewing - Eyeglass Case

For a gift exchange in my mother's family, I bought a tea cup with some white tea and a tea stick infuser. I decided to make a little mug rug to accompany it. It's my sister that picked up my gift thinking that it would contain something sewn by me. She wasn't disappointed!
Christmas Gift Sewing - Mug Rug

For my husband, I wanted to make him a fabric tray for him to put his iPod, wallet and spare change. I had seen this tutorial about a month before Christmas and thought it would make a great gift for him. Finally, I mainly followed another tutorial by Elizabeth Hartman. The most challenging part was assembling the inner and outer box. It's not as neat as the one shown in the tutorial. I think my seam allowance for the outer box's corners was a bit to small, so I had to much fabric when I folded the fabric acting as the binding over the inner box. I also think I made a bit to deep. But, my husband was still thankful to receive it and I'm sure he will make good use of it instead of putting everything loose on his chest of drawers.
Christmas Gift Sewing - Fabric Tray

Finally, I made some pot holders for a gift exchange in my husband's family to accompany a recipe book. I made a block I loved from Elizabeth Hartman's Pratical Guide to Patchwork book.
Christmas Gift Sewing - Pot Holders
I assembled the pot holder using the pattern from Malka Dubrawsky's Fresh Quilting book. It has a pocket on the back to slip the hand into. It's one of my sister-in-law that got my gift. She seemed to be pleased.
Christmas Gift Sewing - Pot Holders

I was pretty proud to make all this projects with fabric from my statsh. I didn't waste much time going at the fabric store. The only thing I went to buy was some heat-resistant cotton for the pot holders and mug rug as this was the first time I did such projects. I love giving gifts made by my-self on Christmas time and I hope the recipients were glad to receive them.

Happy New Year once again. I wish you all the best in the year to come!

Member of do. Good Stitches {a charity bee}

Since December I'm a member of do. Good Stitches {a charity bee}.

We are a group of modern quilters that does quilts for different charity organisation. I'm very happy to be part of this group. It's great to be able to contribute helping people in need. At the same time, I love doing blocks, but not necessarily to do a whole quilt on my own. I love trying out new blocks each month and working with different fabrics, colors and prints. So, I find it's a good way to have fun and be helpful.

do. Good Stitches has now grown to many circles. Each circle makes a quilt each month. I'm in the Joy circle. Our circle makes quilts to benefit foster children through My Very Own Blanket, as well as quilts for cancer survivors through Canadian-based Victoria's Quilts. I'm in the circle as a stitcher. This means I get to sew two blocks for each quilt made. Some members of the circle are in as quilters. They are the ones who design the quilts, assemble the blocks and do the quilting and binding.

For my first month, Elaine asked us to do airplane blocks following a tutorial at badskirt. We were asked to do the planes in primary colors and used a blue-ish color for the background. For do. Good Stitches we generally use fabrics from our stash. I didn't have much in those colors, so I did a little stop at the fabric shop. Here are what my airplanes looks like.

do. Good Stitches - December block 2 do. Good Stitches - December block 1

I finished them up yesterday, just in time for the end of the month. I hope they will fit nicely with the other ones. I can wait to see what the entire quilt will look like. I do hope it will make the future owner happy!