Monday, June 29, 2015

Luxurious weekend sewing

Oh my, it felt good to sit down at my sewing machine this weekend! I haven't had much sewing time as of late, with work being so busy and crazy preparing for QuiltCon registration, but this weekend, I finally carved out some sewing time to just sew. For fun. Just because!! It felt so, so nice!

I've been coveting all the fun Trail Tote bags that I've seen popping up on social media as of late, so I decided to make myself one - and one for my mom! I ordered the supplies a week or two ago when I decided I might just want to make one, and I grabbed a few fabrics from my stash on Saturday and hopped right to it.

Two Trail Totes! photo IMG_4355rt_zpsgzfkclhl.jpg

It was nice to see that I can actually follow directions once in a while! Bag making is always a challenge for me but this one came together quite nicely. I skipped over the piping - too many flashbacks to making and installing loads of evil piping on my Weekender! - but did everything else just as directed. Well, except that I apparently ordered circular O rings instead of rectangular ones, but I decided to just for it and keep on trucking anyway. Naturally, the biggest challenge was installing the recessed zipper, and while it's not the most professional looking zipper installation in the world, I can live with it.

X Plus blocks photo IMG_4349_zpsgexwxxom.jpg

I also started a new quilt project, which is so addictive it's entirely possible that I might just finish it this week. I've made a few X Plus blocks for bees, but never one for myself, and wow, they are fun to make! And so fast! I dug into my scrap bins to make these blocks, and am having so much fun with it. Goodness, it feels good to sew again! Happy Monday to you all :)

X Plus Progress! photo IMG_4352rt_zpsljmeprku.jpg
Monday, June 22, 2015

A little swap with some of my favorite fabrics!

I wrapped up my project for the super fun Cotton + Steel Mini Swap that's been running on Instagram  (#cottonandsteelminiquiltswap) over the last few months this weekend. It should land on my partner's doorstep today, and I'm excited to see what she'll think! It's my first swap in ages - since the days of Flickr swaps, I think! Made me think about all of the fun swaps I've participated in and the amazing things that I've received from people. Swaps like these are one of the reasons I really love the quilting community - the way people get excited to sign up to make something wonderful for someone they don't necessarily even know. It's that kind of amazing giving spirit that I really appreciate in our community :)

C+S Swap Mini - Detail photo IMG_4303 2RT_zpsadytbpsk.jpg

For my partner, I waffled. A lot. The last couple of months have been super crazy and I spent a lot of time thinking about what to make for my partner, and what fabrics to use, and not committing. I even created a little mosaic of several of my design ideas (and there were more!) and shared it on Instagram, hoping to garner a response from my partner. The feedback helped, and ultimately led me down the path I ultimately chose, which was a mini medallion quilt.

 photo IMG_3989_zpswlkr0dng.jpg

I pulled together some great Cotton + Steel prints, primarily from the basics line and from Melody Miller's collections, in aqua, gold, true blue, green, and mint, with pops of pink and coral. All nine blocks in the mini are paper pieced, including the Star Crossed block in the center. My original Star Crossed block tutorial results in a 10" finished block and I wanted a 12" block without having to use crazy math (like 1/8's of an inch, which I despise!), so I created some simple paper piecing templates and went to it. I will be sharing those templates and the cutting information to go along with them later this summer.

C+S Swap Mini - Done! photo IMG_4302 3RT_zpssb8ux4po.jpg

Swirling around the Star Crossed block is a new paper pieced block, which I'm calling the Twirl block. This is another forthcoming tutorial that will be out in late July. It's a fairly straight-forward block to assemble, but based on which colors you opt to put where in the block, you can come up with a lot of different looks and repeats with the block, so it' s a lot of fun.

Look, I even remembered a label! photo IMG_4285RT_zpsixydsdjm.jpg

For the quilting, I kept things pretty simple - using my favorite mint shade of Aurifil, #2835. A simple stipple on the center block, and some nice straight line quilting around the perimeter. I was tempted to stick with white thread, as I so often do, but I'm glad I went with the the mint, it really blends nicely.

Partner, this little mini and some other goodies for you should be arriving today, so I can't wait to hear what you think! I also can't wait to sit down and do some more sewing soon, I've got a Trail Tote on the brain that I can't shake, so I think a bag is in my near future :) Happy Monday everyone!

Welcome! I'm Elizabeth, mom to a very busy nine year old boy and a one year old baby girl and I sew for my sanity. Let's get to quilting, shall we?
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