Monday, December 31, 2012

Holiday Gifts

Mom asked me to knit a few Christmas gifts for her boyfriend's daughter and two granddaughters.  This request came a bit late, especially for knitted items, so I almost said no.  But you can't tell your mom no.  So I put a few other things aside and got out my needles.  To facilitate the process a little bit, I used yarn from my stash.

Crazy Wavy Colors Scarf

Thanks to Mom for this great styling...
The first item is a scarf for Mom's bf's 11 year old granddaugther.  I picked this colorful yarn from Jamie's Rainbow Yarn that I've used for several previous projects (here, here, and here).  The three skeins I bought cost more than I typically spend on yarn, but considering that I was able to get four projects out of it, I'm quite pleased.  Anywho, for this scarf I used this pattern (found on Ravelry), sans the little ring tassel things at the ends.  I think that the colors striped relatively nicely, at least on one end of the scarf.  On the other, they got a little clumpy.  Also, I wish I'd had a bit more yarn.  I was only able to do five rows, and while it looks wide and thick on the Cat in Hat, it's a bit narrower than I had hoped.  I think since the recipient is young and skinny it should be okay, though.

Honeydew Hand Warmers

For the older granddaughter, I made these hand warmers, posted just in time on Purl BeeI used Blue Sky Alpaca Worsted Cotton I also used to complete this cowl.  Mom had originally asked for three scarves (and two pairs of mittens, which I quickly nixed with only 4 weeks to Christmas).  I really wanted to use this yarn for this gift - it's so soft and nice to work with, and I love this Honeydew color - but I was having trouble finding a simple pattern that I could finish quickly and that I thought would look nice.  I was so excited when Purl posted this tutorial.  I went home and casted on that night!  For my first hand item, I'm very pleased with how these turned out.  It took a few rows for me to get used to using double pointed needles (I'm usually a magic loop kind of girl), but once I got my rhythm these practically knit themselves.

I actually made three hand warmers.  My original plan was to add two strips on the wrist using leftover yarn from my Chocolate Orange cowl, just for a bit of contrast, but I did not like the way it turned out. The colors looked good together, but the joins where I changed colors were awful.  I really need to practice that so it's not so noticeable.  (Does anyone have any tips??)    

Slouchy Cowl

My favorite by far is this Slouchy Cowl. I had originally bough this yarn to use for a project with the fancy yarn Mom bought me, but I decided I didn't like that project (still trying to come up with something), so I had a brand new skein just waiting to be used (of course, I can't remember what it is anymore and I threw out the label. I'll try to remember to check the next time I go to the yarn store).  I really like the way the wide cables form this lazy, slouchy look.  It's a good length too. It's tight enough to keep your neck warm, but not so tight that you feel strangled.  It was also relatively quick to knit up, though the width did add a little extra time.  I might even make one of these for myself, though there's a long list of other projects I'd have to finish first...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Simply Quilt

Disclaimer: I apologize for the bad photos (and will until summer, most likely).  I finished this late at night and had to deliver it the next day, so there was not time for day shots. 

Here it is - my first-ever commissioned quilt!  My good friend Sabrina asked me to make a few gifts for some of her family members.  Apparently she's shown some of them my blog and they really like it (and might even check back semi-regularly...).

Anywho, this was a bit of a late request, so we decided to keep things simple and go with a (mostly) wholecloth quilt.  After scouring the interwebs, we narrowed it down to Simply Color Dotty Ombre from V & Co. in blue and Nature Elements in Ocean Breeze from Art Gallery.  Sab picked the dots.  I have to admit, I was pushing more for the nature elements.  I love the color and the pattern, and though the simply color is great too, I was nervous about making a primarily white quilt.  I'm still a little concerned about the white part - dirt is going to shine on this thing - but I have to say, I take back my hesitations otherwise.  I really like the wave effect of the pattern.  Also, the selvedges have a ready-made binding, so I didn't even have to worry about buying extra fabric for that.  So great!

For the back, I really wanted to use flannel.  This quilt is for Sab's grandmother, whom she mentioned gets cold easily, so I thought flannel would add a nice touch of warmth without making it too heavy.  I did some searches and couldn't find anything I liked or that I thought would work well with the front...until Black Friday.  Despite the fabric buying ban imposed on me by Mr. T until I use my entire stash, I couldn't help combing through the sales.  That is when I stumbled upon Greenhouse Flannel.  Not only was it a perfect fit with the front of the quilt, it was 50% off and an additional 25% with the Black Friday sales. What a steal!  Also, despite my ineptitude, it pieced together really well so the seams don't stand out too much (I can also thank the busy pattern for that).

By the time I got this thing basted, I only had one day to quilt and bind it before I had to deliver it (Sab was getting on a plane to India the next day to visit her family).  With so much white space, I had a really tough time deciding how to quilt it.  I knew from the beginning that I wanted to do very little quilting to keep it extra soft, but otherwise I had nothing.  At first I was thinking randomly spaced straight lines in blue and green thread, but that just didn't feel right.  The front feels so dynamic, and I worried that straight lines would detract from that movement.  So, with some trepidation, I grabbed my free motion quilting foot and consulted this tutorial by Elizabeth Hartman.  I've had my FMQ foot sitting around since September, but haven't had the nerve to try it out yet.  Well, I'm hooked!  It was so much fun!  Definitely difficult, but also fun.  I originally had grandiose plans of doing a swirly figure eightish design a la Denyse Schmidt, but after a few practice rounds I realized that was a bit too ambitious, especially with my tight deadline.  Instead, I did some simple wavy lines (thus, the name of this quilt - simple - which also ties into the name of the fabric).

The quilting is hard to see because I used white thread (by design. I don't need those uneven stitches standing out too much), but I like the overall effect.  It was a challenge wrangling the quilt through my tiny machine, and I have no idea how I'll ever quilt anything larger or with any sort of intricate, non-linear design, but it was a good first FMQ experience.  By the end there was a marked improvement in my stitch length and the evenness of my waves.  I even rearranged my sewing area a bit to better support the quilt (well, I just moved the chair and the machine to the short end of the table, but that's about all my limited space allows).

As mentioned above, I used the selvedges for the binding.  This was a hint too short, so I added a short strip from the yardage as well.  Then I machine bound it for a quicker finish.  It ended up being about 54x55, so a decent lap quilt, especially for Sab's petite grandmother.

Overall, I'm very pleased with this quilt.  The quilting is by no means perfect, but I'm happy with my first attempt.  And unless you study the stitches, it's not overly obvious. Now I just need to figure out the best way to add labels to my quilts.  Suggestions are more than welcome.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Linen Tote

I really love making bags.  I inevitably mess something up because I don't read the directions carefully and have to break out my seam ripper, which makes me angry, but it's still always fun and the end product turns out well.  Plus, after quilts and yarn-related projects that take forever, the (relatively) instant gratification is great!

Thanks to my model, Sabrina.

I made this bag using the Madras Tote pattern from Noodlehead.  As always, the pattern was great and easy to follow.  I did make a few changes.

I didn't have any cotton webbing on hand, so I used fabric to make the handles.  I did it just as Anna directed in the Sidekick Tote pattern, also adding interfacing to the lining fabric to stabilize it a bit more.

As is my habit, I also added a zippered pocket inside as well as a slip pocket.  I really can't handle a bag without an interior zip pocket.

The outer fabric is the same linen I used on the Sidekick Tote I made for Mom, and the interior is a Denyse Schmidt print from JoAnn.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Lucky Stars BOM

luckystarsbuttonwhiteI just signed up for the lucky stars block of the month club that Elizabeth at Don't Call Me Betsy is hosting.  I've never tried foundation paper piecing, so I'm excited.  This should be a good introduction, and I'll have a stellar quilt at the end (haha, no pun intended! It actually took me a few re-reads to realize there was a pun at all)

I'm also on a fabric buying ban, so it will be interesting to dig through my stash and see what I come up with...

Monday, December 17, 2012

More iPad cases

Apparently iPads and cases are all the rage this year.  After seeing the case I made Mom, three of my friends have asked me to make one for them/their family member.  So get ready to see a slew of cases over the next few weeks.  For the first batch, I made a slightly more simplified version than the one I made Mom, just leaving off the front zippered pocket.

These will be Christmas gifts for one of my good friend's aunts.  I can't decide which is my favorite...  The purple one is Leaves in Purple from Whistler Studio's Chelsea collection, paired with Kona Chartreuse.  The blue one is Stained Glass from Lanikai by Dear Stella, paired with Kona Navy and Coal (lining).

I really like making these cases.  They're super fun and quick, and are an easy way to add a dash of homemade to daily life.  I'm thinking about making one for my nook.  I also found a tutorial for quilted ones on Craft Buds, so I'm going to try that next.

Friday, December 14, 2012

iPad Case

This year we all chipped in a got Mom an iPad for her birthday and Hanukkah present.  Naturally, one needs a case for such a nice gift, so I made one and gave it to her for the first night of Hanukkah while Mr. T and I were visiting last weekend.  I used this tutorial from Faith at Fresh Lemons, which was great. (Sidenote: I did get a bit confused at the final stage when nesting the outside into the lining to join them.  There are a lot of layers to work with and I started sewing the outer cover closed.  Oops.  The directions are very clear; I was just hurrying along and not paying close enough attention.)  I used batting scraps that I had on hand for the padding.  I was thinking about using two layers for extra protection, but after assembling the entire case, one is definitely enough.  Two layers would have been combersome.  I also added interfacing (SF-101) to the lining pieces and the strap for some extra strength and durability.

I absolutely love the outer fabric.  It's Critter Community Trees in Retro by Suzy Ultman that I bought on a whim and it's become one of my favorites (you may recognize it from this earlier project).  I thought Mom would really like it too.  She loves going camping and bike riding, and her house is on a two-acre wooded plot where she enjoys bird, deer, and turkey watching.  (In fact, she woke me and Mr. T up at 8am Sunday morning screaming like a banshee because there were 30 turkeys and 6 deer in the yard.  We then proceeded to circle through every window in the house, upstairs and down, following them around the perimeter.  [I mock, but it always is pretty neat to see the wildlife so close, especially now that I live in a city]).

For the inside pocket, I used Joel Dewberry again.  I really love herringbone, and this color is great.  The color combination is reminiscent of the sky above the woods, without being super literal.  Plus it's called Pond, so it fits right in with the outdoorsy theme.

The owl and snail really get me.  So cute!  I just wish I hadn't sewn the owl upside down, though I do like that the tree in the center is right side up.  I thought the tree was more of the focal point, so the owl had to be inverted.  Oh well.  He's still cute.

Ahhh! That dastardly wrinkle! No matter how much I smoothed and ironed I could not get it to go away, or even move!

I've become better about adding my label to things too.  I admit I forgot on this until the entire thing was complete, so I only ironed it on and was not able to reinforce with stitching.  Hopefully it stays...

Mom was using the case all weekend, so I'll take that to mean she likes it.  Her boyfriend also got her one, though it's more like an iPad-specific purse than just a case.  She was using both together, so she'll have one well-protected iPad.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Herringbone Coasters

Just a quick post today to show off the coasters I made my mom's boyfriend for Hanukkah.  I used Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow Herringbone in Pond (LOVE!), with some Kona solids in coal, navy, and royal (the navy and royal are on the backs). 

Sorry, the photo is a bit blurry.  I forgot to take one before gifting these, so Mom's bf sent me one from his cellphone (Thanks!)
The last coaster I made I used one layer of batting and it seemed pretty thin, so this time I used two and I liked the end product much better.  I think Mom's boyfriend liked them as well.  As it happens, he was in the market for some coasters, so this was the perfect gift!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pajama pants

Well, things are crazy around here!  Work is busy. Crafting is busy.  Life is busy.  Despite the radio silence here, I've actually been crafting like mad.  I just can't show most of it because it's all holiday gifts.  I do have two things I handed out to Mom and her boyfriend last weekend for Hanukkah, so I'll be sure to get those up in the next few days.  For now, here's something that I mentioned months ago and am finally ready to show.


I first mentioned these pants a few months ago when I was making the one's on the left for Mr. T.  I've since completed both his, which are now well worn, and a pair for myself!  This past weekend we were visiting Mom, so I made Mr. T bring his pants so we'd match and then had Mom take a few (bad) photos.  So simple and comfy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Vote for me, please!

So, things have been a bit quiet around here.  I've been crafting like crazy, but it's all for surprise gifts so I can't post my progress.  I do have one thing to share and will do so as soon as I get around to taking photos - maybe that will happen tomorrow...

For now, please go vote for my pillows in the Fall for Solids contest on Threadbias hosted by Pink Castle Fabrics. (If you don't have a Threadbias account, you'll have to join in order to vote - it's free.)

Aren't they pretty!  You can read more about them here.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Taking Inventory

As the end of the year draws closer, a lot of people have been posting lists of WIPs and must-finish projects.  These got me thinking about my WIPs and want-to-makes, so I decided to take my own inventory.

1) Boyfriend Sweater - just started on the sleeves.  Might actually be able to finish before the one year mark in January.
2) Spectrum Socks - legs complete; need to start turning the heels. Set these aside to focus on the sweater.
3) Sweater for Mr. T - bought that pattern and yarn when my LYS was having a sale at the beginning of the year.  Been in the closet since.
4) Tie for Mr. T - supposed to be a Hanukkah gift; maybe next year... He braved the store to help me pick out yarn, so I definitely have to get this done at some point
5) Herringbone cowl - Started this one at jury duty in October, but the needles were too small, so I took it all out.  And now Purl has posted two new scarf patterns that I love, so I'm not sure which I want to use anymore.
6) Assorted gifts for a newbie due in January
7) Undetermined project with the fancy yarn Mom bought me in February
8) New hat for Mr. T - he lost the one I made him last year, though it was made with cheapish yarn so I was going to have to make him another one anyway; need yarn

1) Gift for newbie due in January (same as above) - plan made; top about 1/3 complete
2) Pseudo commission for Sab - plan made; now need to pluck up the nerve (and find the time) to start cutting
3) Bag for me - need something casual yet durable to carry stuff (i.e. shoes, water bottle, lunch bag) to work
4) Pajama pants for me - have pattern and fabric; just need to do it
5) Schoolhouse tunic for me - this one is in limbo until I go visit Mom in December; I need in-person help
6) Elephant quilt for Tits - I've been stocking up on elephant fabric, but I still don't have a clear idea what I want to do for this one.

Plus at least 5 other items that I can't mention here because they're surprises.

Whoa, this is a lot longer than I thought it was going to be.  I definitely need to take Mr. T's advice and stop buying yarn and fabric until I use what I have and complete these!

And because no post should be pictureless, enjoy this adorable one of my kitties helping me quilt!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Free fabric!

I think I enter an average of 10 contests/giveaways each week.  Every time I do it, I tell myself I will never win, but it only takes a few minutes to make a comment, so I do it anyway.  Well, a few weeks ago my luck turned and I actually won!!!  I entered a contest for some Art Gallery fat quarters on Rachel Griffith's blog  ps i quilt.

Now, the week that Rachel announced the winner, I happened to be out of town for a conference and did not have regular internet access and thus was not reading my daily blogs as usual.  One evening I was just perusing on my phone when I came across the announcement post.  I was completely caught off guard and did two things:  1) I checked the "jess" hyperlink about 4 times before I was convinced that it was actually linking to my blog and 2) I came across this post about 5 days after is was published, so I immediately started freaking out that I had taken too long to respond and they had picked a new winner.  I sent Rachel a rather frantic and overly excited email right away, as I sat fist pumping and jumping up and down on my hotel bed.  I really had to restrain myself from calling Mom and Mr. T - I was on the west coast at the time and, as much as they support my crafting, I figured they wouldn't share in my excitement to the level I deemed appropriate if I woke them up at 2am just because I won some fabric.

My cat, Cashmere, was very intrigued by this photo shoot!
The package came over the weekend, but I wasn't able to get it until yesteday morning when my apartment building office opened.  I ran down first thing in the morning to get it.  Isn't it pretty!?  Also, based on the original post, I was only expected to get 8 FQs, but I actually got 10!  AGF included the three solids, and left out the gray flowery one.  Thanks, Pat and Rachel!

This isn't a very good fabric photo, but Cash looked so cute I had to include it.  There can never be too many cat photos online!  She absolutely loves napping on fabric, which I think is a characteristic of most cats.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Schoolhouse Tunic - HELP!

As I mentioned a few months ago, I participated the Sew Liberated Schoolhouse Tunic Sew-Along that Rebecca from Sew Festive Handmade was hosting.  I kept on track with the cutting, but with work and business trips, I got a little behind. Rebecca's tunic was complete - tailored and all - and I hadn't yet sewn a stitch.  So I buckled down last weekend and constructed the entire thing - AND IT'S AWFUL!

Now, the instructions were great - I had a little trouble in some places, but mostly because I wasn't reading the directions carefully and/or because I'm new to garment sewing.  Also, I decided to be fancy and use french seams throughout (I'm actually really pleased with this part).  So I think overall that it is well-constructed, and for the most part I had a good time making this (though I did have to break out my seam ripper more than I liked). The main problem with the garment is just that it's HUGE in the waist.  I can't believe I'm actually about to post the following pictures online, but I feel like I have no choice.  I'd really like to be able to wear this dress (oh yeah, I extended it into a dress), but I absolutely cannot do that in it's current state.

A disclaimer before we begin - I have not yet tailored the garment.  I feel like I need to get the fit correct before I'll be confident enough to go hacking a bunch of fabric off the sleeves and skirt.

Okay - deep breath - here we go:

As you can see, it doesn't look all that bad from the front. It's definitely a bit reminiscent of my grandmother's housecoat, but I feel like removing some fabric from the sleeves and skirt will help with that. Also, I've only finished the left sleeve (more on that below).  It's definitely a bit roomy in the top, but I don't entirely mind that.  I'm not really a tight-clothes kind of girl.

Here is where the problems start coming in.  From the back, I look like Miss Trunchbull from Matilda. If I gather the fabric in the back, there's about 6 inches too much.  But I can't really take the waist in any more because - as is with no elastic or closures of any sort - it just squeezes over my shoulders, which are quite broad.

And more heinousness.  The left-hand photo shows the side-view as is.  There is just way too much fabric.  I have enough volume in the hips - I do not need my clothing to add more.  The photo on the right is what it looks like if I gather the fabric in the back.  So much better.  And definitely less frumpy and nightgownish.

So, those are the problems.  As I've said, I have zero garment-making experience, so I really have no idea how to fix this.  Just from reading through blogs and wearing clothing on a daily basis, I have come up with a few possible remedies, but again, I have no idea if any of these are even feasible, let alone how to execute them.

1)  Remove the pleats in the skirt - okay, this one I do know how to do and will be doing.  The pleats just add too much volume for my body.  I need a straight skirt.

2) Add shirring or elastic to the back.  Would probably have to remove some fabric as well.  I'm not 100% sure what shirring is, but I think it has to do with elastic thread.  No idea how to do it. As for the elastic, maybe I could somehow make a little casing in the back because I don't think I'd want it around the entire waist, but not really sure how to do it in a way that wouldn't be completely obvious.

3) Add a zipper.  At first I was thinking a side zipper, though I'm pretty sure that would involve taking most of the garment apart, and then I'd still have the problem of too much fabric and figuring out how to get rid of that in the proper proportions.  Then this morning I had the bright idea of adding the zipper to the back rather than the side seam.  Still would need to remove fabric, but hopefully not deconstruct the entire garment...  Also, I'm great with zippers in pillows and bags - not sure about clothes...

Okay, so I guess I really just have two ideas - elastic and zippers.  Any other suggestions?  Or tips/tutorials on how to actually add elastic/zippers?

As for the finishing.  I originally cut the sleeves to be long, but after trying it on it was just too much fabric.  You think it looks like a nightgown now, imagine long sleeves!  The sleeves (well, the left sleeve) is currently hemmed to just past the elbow:

But I'm not sure I like that.  It either needs to be a bit longer (it's a pretty deep hem so I can let it out another inch at least, maybe even more) or shorter:

I think the idea of short sleeves, but I'm I'm not convinced that they'll look right.  I rolled this one up a bit, but I think even shorter would be better, no?

And I'm definitely going to take the skirt up quite a bit.  It's much better shorter.  I think I really just need to get the waistline/fit issues sorted out to better judge the rest of the dress.

So, can you help me?  Any suggestions would be amazing.  Links to tutorials would be even better.

Also, to end on a less complainy, woe-is-me tone, check out these amazing (and delicious) pretzel rolls Mr. T made.  The recipe is here.  I found it on In Color Order - Jeni has some great tips and tricks for getting the bread to turn out well.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


If you've been checking back, you've probably noticed that I shifted the end date around a bit. I was originally going to give until the end of the day today, but I haven't had any entries in the last 36ish hours, and I had some free time, so I decided to go ahead and just pick now.  I figure it's my blog, I can do what I want!


"I love the colors you used to make the blocks! I'd make more blocks and make a lap sized quilt. And it would be neat to have some reverse blocks made into pillows to go with it. I'd love to try this quilt! Thanks for a chance to win! :)"

Congratulations Carla! I've given the email address in your profile to Kristy and she will be sending you your INDEX pattern.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

INDEX Blog Hop and Giveaway

Today I come to you with my first ever giveaway! 

A few months ago, I volunteered to be a pattern tester for Kristy Daum from St. Louis Folk Victorian. I had only been quilting for 3 months at the time, so I sent her this long (and probably unnecessary) email offering my services and explaining the values of having a new quilter as a pattern tester.  I practically jumped up and down when Kristy wrote back and said she'd be happy to have me participate.  I waited in anticipation for her email with the pattern, refreshing my inbox every 5 seconds (well, maybe not quite that often) on the expected day of delivery.

And boy was I pleased when INDEX showed up.

INDEX, a new quilt pattern from Kristy Daum, available at her Etsy shop in both PDF and paper versions.
INDEX is a great pattern.  Kristy wrote it specifically for use with jelly rolls, which I think is wonderful because I always have trouble deciding what to do with jelly rolls.  

Though you can certainly use any cut of fabric (except charm squares), so the possibilities are endless.  

The pattern is so clear and easy to follow. It includes:
  • Materials Needed
  • Cutting Instructions
  • Detailed Step-by-step instructions along with helpful diagrams
  • Information (Material/Cutting) for 3 quilt sizes including Lap, Twin and Queen.

And, my favorite part, INDEX comes together very quickly.  I made the six blocks below using a variety of Kona yardage in no time, including the cutting.  The pattern lends itself perfectly to chain piecing, so you'll have a finished quilt top faster than you can even say "INDEX."  (Well, almost).

{Giveaway closed}
Now, for the giveaway!  Kristy has generously offered a free INDEX pattern (PDF version only) for one lucky reader.  To enter, just leave a comment.  Any comments are welcome, though I would appreciate suggestions as to how I should finish my test blocks.  They're still just 6 lonely, separate blocks waiting to be pieced together, but I'm having trouble deciding how to combine them (i.e. If I do a mini quilt, what shape should I do? Should I make more blocks and go for a lap size? Or maybe pillows for holiday gifts?  I've also toyed with the idea of making these same blocks but reversing the colors, so the coal would be the I shape and the colors would be the background.  But that still brings me back to how to complete the overall product.  You see my dilemma?).  The giveaway will be open until midnight (EST) Monday, November 5.  I'll try to remember to announce the winner on Tuesday, but please be patient with me if I forget.

And remember to check out the other blog hop participants for more chances to win:

Sunday 10/28 – Kristy Daum
Monday 10/29  – Annie at A Little Vinaigrette and Andi at Our Epoch
Tuesday 10/30 – Shelly at Prairie Moon Quilts and Nancy at Blogging, Near Philadelphia
Wednesday 10/31 – Halloween (no giveaway today - go get some candy!)
Thursday 11/1 – Beth at Plum and June and Jess at The Crafty Roach (you're already here!)
Friday 11/2 – Sara at Army Quilting and Jacey at Jaceycraft

And, as always, if you don't win INDEX during the blog hop, you can purchase a copy from Krisy's Etsy shop, KristyDaum.  The pattern is available in both PDF and paper versions.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom!

Yesterday was my mom's birthday.  My brother and I are planning a larger gift for her, but in the meantime I decided she needed a new bag.  She currently uses what I consider a shmata purse, something you would take camping, not out to dinner.  (She disagrees with this assessment).  Naturally, I turned to Noodlehead for a pattern.  Anna had just published her Sidekick Tote pattern, which I was planning on buying anyway because I also need a new bag (very displeased with Kate!) and cross-body's are my preference.

I used linen home dec fabric for the exterior and some Denyse Schmidt for JoAnn for the lining.

Naturally, I made a few changes.  I made the small size bag, but used the large pocket.  I also replaced the velcro closure with a magnetic clasp.

I changed the inside pocket to a zippered pocket instead of a slip pocket.  And added batting to the strap to make it a little softer.

I attempted to add a zipper pull (you can kind of see it at the top right of this photo), but I didn't do the best job.  I gave Mom permission to cut it off.  Oh, and she's a big fan of my homemade labels, so I sewed one in for her (and told her to show it off to her friends and drum up some commissions).

Mom opened the bag when she got home from her birthday dinner last night - she loves it.  Hopefully I'll get a picture of her using it over Thanksgiving.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Quilts donated!

Swim, Bike, Quilt
Well, after sitting on my 100 Quilts for Kids donations for about 3 months, I finally donated them!  I had a few unsuccessful attempts to include them with the DC Modern Quilt Guild group donation, so instead I did a little research and found my own organization: Mary House. With several centers throughout DC, Mary House provides transitional housing services, shelter and support programs to homeless and struggling families. 

I dropped of my two quilts on Wednesday, and they were so pleased to have them!  They'd even just had a little boy born to one of the families, so the Zig Zag ROAR! quilt will be perfect!

Four Square

Zig Zag ROAR!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

WIP Wednesday

In addition to the few projects I mentioned in my update on Monday, I have one other almost WIP.  I say almost because I have the plan, but I'm still building up the nerve to make the first cut.

The goal is to turn this stack of fabric:

Heaven and Helsinki by Patty Young, plus some coordinating solids
 Into this quilt:

Thanks to Mr. T for all of his help in figuring out Illustrator (first time user).
Using this pattern from Elizabeth Hartman's The Practical Guide to Patchwork:

 We shall see...

Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced