Sunday, November 23, 2014

Love From Canada

Look at this lovely package that arrived from Kristel at Wipgirl.
look scratch and sniff nail wraps, cool, hey!
I am very excited about this package you see she sent it as a secret and didn't tell me she sent it till the middle of October, she mailed it on September 12th.  It didn't come and I was so worried that her handmade gift had gotten lost.
With some yummy strawberry prints
Beautiful sweet strawberry prints, the one on the right is linen, love it!
and 55 - 5" charms of ALL DIFFERENT text prints, so awesome!  I can't even take a picture of each one individually there are so so many and did I say that they are all different!
Kristel also remembered the kids,
and totally adorable gifts for the kids, my son loves his zombie (that's what he is calling it) lego light, and Katerina is going around with her "hedgehog mou" (my hedgehog).  The text mooseage was for Nik too, but I really like it so I will be stealing that.
yeah, I have that kind of humor.
Kristel also remembered that Hot Tamales were my favorite candy and was so sweet to include them in the package also some candy for the kids, but I couldn't find them for the picture.
Thank you Kristel!  I am so glad this package was not lost and just took the sea route here taking 9 weeks instead of the air route that Emmaline's bags new hardware took, these big guys also arrived on the same day and she mailed them out on November 14th, taking only 8 days to get here.
I won 2 of her new Handmade hardware pieces, if you make any type of bags, you should check out Janelle's shop, not only does she make great purse patterns, but she has the best purse supplies EVER!
I'm going to see how this looks with my upcycled jeans suitcase.
Linking to Sunday Stash.
Thank you my Canadian gal pals Kristel and Janelle!

FMQ Feathers and Paint

I've been practicing my free-motion quilting skills (FMQ) eekk.. it is so exciting.  My foot still doesn't know if it wants to go fast or slow, this is when I really wish I had one of those fancy machines that has a stitch regulator, how cool would that be, well at least for my unwilling to co-operate foot.
The Challenge was put out by Amy of 13 Spools, to watch Angela Walters Free-Motion Quilting with Feathers Craftsy Class.
And since the majority of FMQ that I have done is because I have read and own her book In The Studio I thought it would be a great time to take a Craftsy course with her.  I admire the quilts she makes so much and they look so perfect, but as I watched her on Craftsy, I realized that she isn't perfect!  She makes "mistakes" but she reminds you over and over in the classes that it doesn't have to be perfect!  Sweet, I can do some imperfect Free-Motion Quilting!  Like the one below, woooohhooo, totally went over the line in that one, I actually did un-pick that one and restarted at the feather below it.
oops.. A little out of line.
 I did make one mistake and I wouldn't suggest doing this, since it was my first time sewing feathers, I marked them in with a Frixion pen.  Well it might seem like a good idea, but it really screws you up when you don't hit the line and then all of them look wrong, so I won't be doing that again, I will just mark the guidelines and make up the feathers as I go along.
I first did a basic feather and then did matchstick quilting in between

Next up came Lesson 6: Feathers in Blocks - Chapter 2:Squares, I did both the feather frame (top) with a feather meander in the middle and then I did the feather swirl (bottom)
And then I tried Amy's ZigZag "Classic" Feathers, I loved this design the moment I saw it and just had to give it a go, it was so quick and fast, next time I won't mark everything, I think it will work better.
Now what I have done with these test blocks is I have made them my interior fabric for some really cute clutches!  I did some FMQ for my Pantone bag and loved the idea, it is a great way to practice and you get to use your practice pieces with out someone really just eying up all of the imperfections, they are kind of hidden, plus it gives bags a little more structure.  Both the front and back pieces of fabrics that I used are with Oakshott cottons which are pretty thin, the blue pieces I just happened to have already cut in perfect sized rectangles as a mistake of an earlier project, so I just cut the tan ones so they would look good with the front of the "Paint" bags (Carrie Bloomston fabric)
I quilted those up using Paint and Collage charms and a couple of Allison Glass prints.
I had my quilted interiors, those needed to be trimmed down to size.
I got 1 pouch finished Friday night.
A snap button was added to the strap so it could attach to my bag.
but then on Saturday we had to go shopping for a TV.
All of Greece switched over to digital TV on Thursday so our TV and millions of other peoples TV's no longer worked you could only get the one Public channel (N, kind of like PBS in the states), you could either buy a 30euro converter (lots of people doing this) but thank goodness we had enough money to buy a new TV cause I need my English shows, or I would go insane here.
Patiently waiting and coloring in order to get our new TV.
Katerina's school also asked the parents to buy some school supplies, so we picked up a whole bunch of puzzles.
Making sure the puzzles have all of their pieces ;)
By the time we got home it was already getting dark, but I did finish up the other 2 clutches and will take picture of them in the morning to show you, here is the one that is complete and for me, the other 2 are gifts.
They look so cute together

The matchstick feathers pouch interior.
The basic matchstick feather panel was the most imperfect because it didn't fill the whole interior of the bag, so it's for me, but the Feathers in Squares and the ZigZag Feathers fit the whole interior, which one of those do YOU like best?  Who knows it might just land at your door step, tell me and perhaps I will send it your way ;)!!

Feathers In Squares

or ZigZag Feathers
One pouch is going to my friend along with a bracelet that I made for her.

What's your favorite feather pattern, have you quilted feathers or are you new to FMQ, like me?

Linking up to Feather Free-Motion Quilt Along

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I've got the blues..

...Blue Bags, that is..
all of these bags are on their way to Texas.
And I am a little blue that next week is Thanksgiving in the States and all of my family will be together but I we won't be there, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, because it has always meant family time.
Now you are also probably going holy moly Mara, how many bags have you sewn up this month, A LOT!  The 3 pictured above: from left to right: Chris W. Designs "Sugar and Spice" (it was completed in June), Chris W. Designs "Serendipity Hip", and Sara Lawson "Chandelier Swing", both sewed up this week.  But I do have to be honest with you, they were in "incomplete" stages before I started them.
The Serendipity hip was originally going to be the Lucky Denver from Sara Lawson's book "Big City Bags", but I read some of the reviews and wasn't really excited about the way it was going together.  My Sister-in-Law had picked it out last November as the bag that she wanted me to sew up, but I love all of the zipper pockets in the Serendipity Hip and as you can see they are pretty much the same shape, so I give you the Serendipity Hip.
I will be making more of these bags, it was quick and easy to put together, and I love that it has a zipper pocket in the front and one inside as well as the bag being closed by a zipper.  People with cell-phones will also like this bag, since she provides a handy pocket within reach behind the zippered pocket, but open at the top, genius construction.  Of course I don't have a phone, so I am glad this is on it's way to my SIL.

The smaller bag is for my other SIL, and it was almost complete, with the exterior finished except the bottom wasn't sewed on yet, I just had it wonder clipped, I stopped making it a couple of months ago because I screwed up the strap and well, you know you just kind of set it aside for when you feel like working on it again.  The great part is that, because I changed the bag from the Lucky Denver to Serendipity I had the extra fabric to make the strap for the Chandelier Swing out of the same material.
My daughter takes better pictures than I do.
This is my 3rd favorite bag from the book, it is small, but cute for a party dress or if you don't need to carry much.
There are pleats on the front, but they are so small and you really can;t see them.
I did hand sew in the 2 top panels together, the interior to the exterior, because it kept separating and I wanted it to stick together when I unzipped the bag.

I quickly sewed up these 2 Perfect Petal Purses, yesterday for my nieces, LOVE, LOVE this pattern, go get and make a few if you have any girls that need gifts.  I am thinking of even making one just for me :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

OMG! Vote for me Please!

Oh my Gosh, Oh my gosh! So Sew So very excited and well thrilled and honored and ooohhh.. I got the shivers.  My Piccadilly Circus Bag made it into the top 22 out of 250 plus bags entered.  I am way down almost to the bottom, #21, just barely made the cut.

At the Purse Palooza, just in case you are wondering what I am blabbering about, I wrote about the bag here.  And some more photos, below, I would greatly appreciate your vote!  Go Here to Vote
I do give you permission to look and vote for any other bag that takes your fancy ;) but would really love it if you voted for mine, hehe....

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Orchid Raccoon

I should call this bag, "The bag that wasn't meant to be", lol.  Let's start at the beginning, I wanted to make this bag for the Pantone Challenge, last March , I had just gotten my charm square Orchid fabrics in a swap and knew that I wanted to do something with them, so I was thinking a 2.5" patchwork exterior with some Tula Pink's Acacia Raccoon print, but the Etsy shop that I ordered the fabric from, forgot to put that print in the order.  The owner of the shop was so nice that she resent that 1 yard of fabric, plus she included a Quiltsmart Interfacing Panel, now she is closing shop, but she still has a few of these panels left.  They are grided with 2.5" squares on them already, perfect for patchwork projects.  Then get this, the package got lost in the mail, and she was so nice and so sweet, she RESENT IT, it finally arrived but to late for the Pantone Challenge, so entered another bag and put this one on the side to do later, well later is today!

This is the Wonderland bag, the 4th bag in the "Big City Bags" book by Sara Lawson.
I made it a little bit blurry, so you could see the face, can you see it?
I was inspired by several things to do the front panel with 2.5" X blocks, the first came from this months Le Challenge calls for all things X, if you haven't heard of Le Challenge, you should check it out, it's really fun and very relaxing, the due date for your handmade makes is on the 15th of each month, and every month is a different Challenge.  Next came this fun piece, if you haven't seen it, pop over and take a look, you won't regret it, plus all of my links take you to new windows, so you can just click away with out worrying about loosing your place on my awesome blog.
Can you see it now?
 Even Alyssa of Pile of Fabric wrote about it in her tutorial about the block Cross Stitch Block Tutorial/Slice and Stitch method.

Exterior: Tula Pink Acacia - Racoon Canyon
The back and the bottom

Piping (piping got lost in another package and that is also why I was calling this "The bag that wasn't meant to be", but that package just ended up being very late 5 weeks late and it showed up last Friday) 
Interior fabric: Joel Dewberry - Bungalow - Lavender Chevron 
There are pockets inside, but they are very hidden and way at the bottom.
Front Panel: various Kona Greens,  various green Art Gallery Fabrics and various purples 

Emmaline Bags, Handcrafted Metal Zipper Pull, Love these!

The Pattern is pretty easy, I made only 2 changes, I omitted the handles (didn't want them to interfere in the pretty front panel) and added a strap instead and a hidden handle on the side panel.
Flat Handle on the side panel
I also put the bag together differently and sewed the interior to the zipper by machine instead of hand sewing, I am not very good at the hand sewing thing.
This bag is cute, but the zipper portion is so small and the interior is so big, in fact it is perfect to put one of those miniature toy dogs inside of,
oh look, there's one now!
You need a flashlight to see anything inside, so I added this cute little felt Orchid Raccoon and she hides a key-chain flashlight in the back.  

This little cutie idea came from my friend Mary of Mary Moon Designs, she makes the cutest foxes and other felt stuffies, Thanks Mary for being such an awesome swap partner.

Linking to Purse Palooza
and Le Challenge 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Black and White

The Black and White bag

With a Little Dash of

Red Inside!

This is the 11th bag in the "Big City Bags" book, by Sara Lawson, it is called the Piccadilly Circus Bag and is also the bag on the front cover.

Exterior Fabric: "Indian Summer-Menagerie Onyx" by Sarah Watson for AGF
Handles: "Architextures- Scribble Notes Charcoal" by Carolyn Friedlander
Interior Fabric: Thank you Shirley for the fun Lobster print by Alexander Henry
LR Stitched Genuine Leather Seude was used for the exterior corner accents and Handle Tabs.
Bottoms: on the exterior a random piece of black on black fabric and on the interior a random piece of red batik. 
Metal Bag Label "Handmade" from Emmaline Bags 

Once again Sara did not include a zippered pocket, so I made one instead of the regular pockets, I just like zippered ones better.  And I also sewed it up a little differently in order to avoid the whole slip-stitching the interior to the zipper thing, so bad at hand sewing of course if I did all of the bags that she has in this book that way I might actually be a pro by now, but I would rather just avoid the whole thing if possible.  I like this bag size and would be willing to sew it up again, I will probably had a detachable strap that is long enough to go over my shoulder since that is the way I like to carry my bags, but if you just like short handles or are a short person then the handle size suggested in this pattern is a great size.  I also did a different handle tab shape, just because I like it better.

Linking to Purse Palooza
and since this is the 11th bag and it is the 11th month I will be linking it to the Big City Bags SewAlong that is going on over at Sewing with Squeak with Angela, you have the rest of the month to sew along if you want to join in on this month and she has changed things and you can sew bag #12 too, that is actually my favorite one, and I have sewed up pretty much all of the bags.