Monday, September 27, 2021

Fabric Fun - Peacock Plumes

 Thanks so much to Tammy for making room for me in her blog hop featuring her signature collection by Kathy Engle for Island Batik!  I love this collection, the colors are so rich and fabulous!  

I'm just in love with these glorious pinks and purples!  I must say, I could play around in EQ8 for hours with these lovely fabrics - and I did!

Just for fun, I recolored some of my quilt patterns using my favorites from this collection - this is Daisy Garland.  I used a light purple (Opalescence) from the basics line for the background.  I really like this quilt in batik!

Then I thought it would be fun to see what Prairie Wings would look like using this collection - I love this as well!  This quilt has a crazy amount of triangles, but I think it's really worth all the sewing!

I was also really happy with the way my Sweet and Simple pattern looks in these wonderful rich colors.  Can you tell that the pink is my favorite color in the collection?  But that piece with the green is calling my name as well!  This quilt is bright and fun!

For my last quilt I decided to play with a design that I would probably never make - after all this is a virtual hop, so no sewing involved!  This block is called Daffodil Ring, and I think it's just stunning!  It almost makes me want to try sewing it.  

Thanks for taking a look at my designs featuring Peacock Plumes!  Make sure you check out the rest of the participants to see what they have done with the fabrics!  

Making a Switchback Bag with Free to Fly from Island Batik and ByAnnie

I was excited to find that one of the Island Batik Ambassador challenges this year was another bag using a pattern from the ByAnnie collection! 

 I made the Round Trip Duffle bag last summer, so when we were asked to make a choice for a pattern this year, I decided that I would like to make a backpack - the Switchback pattern looked like a fun choice, so I decided to try it out.  For fabric, I selected some pretty blues, with green, orange and yellow from the Free to Fly collection.  Everything I needed to make this project was provided in my July Ambassador Box from Island Batik, including the pattern, all the hardware, soft and stable plus interfacing and webbing for the straps.  

When you make one of these bags, the instructions can seem a little overwhelming as there are many pages with lots of steps.  But this actually sets you up for success, because as you do one step at a time, everything comes together perfectly in the end!  Plus the add-on video is a great help with the tricky bits!

There is a detailed cutting chart, then you quilt your sections, and cut those into the required pieces.  Quilting the Soft and Stable is really easy - I find that using my walking foot and doing straight lines goes quickly and gives the bag a nice finish.  I love the great definition it gives!  For the quilting I used used 50 wt Aurifil thread, and for the bag I used a combination of 50 and 40 wt threads, depending on the color I needed to use.

I loved how cute and tiny this shoulder strap is!  A little tricky to add the binding, but I got it done!  After that was finished, the straps were made, then it was on to adding some pockets and creating the bag flap.

The front of the bag has a zipper pocket, plus two rings so that the front flap can be secured.  I love the color blocking used on this bag, it really gives it a fun touch!

I was a little mystified by the little flap that had to be sewn to the sides and bottom of the front pocket section of the bag, but when I got to the part where it got sewn to the body of the bag it made perfect sense, the flap allows this part to stand out from the bag so you have a nice roomy pocket!  I was so delighted with the results, it was a really neat way of doing this!

Once I got to this point, I was so into the process that I forgot to take any more pictures until the bag was finished!  Isn't it pretty?  

This bag features a long strap that you can wear over your shoulder or as a backpack.  When sewing the back to the flap there is quite a bit of bulk where the strap loops are and I had some skipped stitches, so I just changed to a brand new Schmetz needle size 16 and that took care of it perfectly! 

It has a clip for keys, that can also function as an extra safety feature to keep anyone from reaching into your bag when it's on your back, as you can hook this into a loop on the other side and draw the sides together.  It's perfect for holding my house key; since my jeep has a keyless entry, I usually have to hunt out my house key in the bottom of my purse when I get home - now it's super handy and I know right where it is!

That front pocket is perfectly sized to hold my Kindle Fire tablet, so I can have a book to read when I go out!

Now I just need to make a matching case for the kindle!

It can actually fit sideways as well!  

There are also two pockets with elastic at the top, as well as an interior zippered pocket.  The top flap zips, you can clip the sides together, and then clip the flap down so it's very secure for using as a backpack as well.  The bottom of the bag is wider than the top, so it can hold a lot of stuff, if you need to stock up for a full day out and about.

The shoulder pad is stitched to the strap so you don't have to worry about it shifting around - it's the perfect length, plus the strap is adjustable, so you can easily lengthen or shorten to your preferred length. I used this on my trip last week, but I think I'll use it as my every day purse for a while - I love how organized I can be with those handy pockets!  No more digging around the bottom of my bag looking for something.

Thanks to Island Batik, ByAnnie, Schemtz Needles and Aurifil thread for the supplies I used to make this great project!

Sunday, September 26, 2021

What a week!

 I was really happy to be asked to go up to Washington for a week to help Dog-sit for my daughter while she and her family took a fun birthday trip to Disney World!  It meant taking a week off from my usual activities, but going up with another daughter and grand-daughter to spend a week with a cute dog sounded like a great opportunity to relax and enjoy some fun time while helping out.

Here is Portland, laying on the quit I gave her Mama - isn't she a cutie pie?  She is a golden doodle, and is a fun goofy dog.  She loved Juliette, and we had a lot of fun with her.  She loves to snuggle on the couch, play tug of war with a bone, and take walks!

This is me with Juliette!  I laughingly call her the monster baby - she loves to roar and bite and zoom through the house in her walker!  She'll be one year old in two weeks, has six teeth and a big personality!  You have to be quick to take a picture because she is always on the move, and her favorite thing is to grab the phone and try to bite it!

This is Juliette with her momma - Catie.  Nap time - and she is all about looking at me instead of snuggling in for a sleep!  Needless to say, I didn't get much done last week, but it was well worth it!

We mostly stayed at home, but did take a trip to a park for swinging!  She had a fun time, and saw some girls practicing on their long boards - she was fascinated, and they thought she was the cutest thing ever.  So, now I am back at home and ready to get a fun week started!

Tammy Silvers of Tamarinis has put together a fun virtual Blog hop with her new fabric line by Island Batik!  The colors and designs are so much fun in this line, I think you are going to see some awesome quilts!  I've been enjoying playing with them in EQ8 and can't wait to share them with you on Tuesday.  Make sure you check out all the other designers and see the possibilities!

Sept 27: Tammy Silvers - Tamarinis (our wonderful hostess!)

I'll also be showing you my Switchback bag that I made as my Island Batik challenge in September - it was super handy for my trip!

Here's a teaser for you - I love the handy pockets!  

Have a happy Sunday :)

Thursday, September 09, 2021

New Pattern - Candy Corn Twirl

Yay - I can finally share my big project that I've been working on for the last several weeks - Candy Corn Twirl!

 This quilt was inspired by that crazy witch in the panel - Witchful Thinking by Blank fabrics.  The little candy corns in the panel combined with a glance at a nearby sample from a table runner resulted in the fun idea of twirling candy corn blocks and I was off and running!  

It was sure fun to play with these bright colors!  And I love that with the addition of the borders, that this panel makes a nice size lap quilt.  Of course, if you don't want to use this panel, my pattern is easily adaptable to use with any size panel, whether it is horizontal or vertical.  Plus, I've included directions to make a fun table runner with the candy corn blocks, which is great for anyone who wants to decorate for the season!

The candy corn blocks are made using foundation paper piecing.  I've included some tips to make the process easier, but you do need a basic knowledge of the technique.  I have figured out the dimensions of the pieces needed, though because I find that to be very helpful, especially when making multiples of the same block.

The PDF version is available in my Etsy shop, and you can purchase the print version at Threads That Bind along with this fun witch panel!  The shop has a great selection of Halloween fabric this year, and we have been having fun making samples - yesterday I changed out the shop windows so everyone can see what we have been working on - here are the other new quilts we are featuring:

I also made this sample, but it's not from a pattern I designed.  This is a placemat panel that is combined with pieced blocks and is Basic Table Topper # 5 from Wilmington Prints using their Fright Night Placemat Panel.  Threads that Bind has this as a kit!

Dawn made this spooky quilt!  This features a pattern called Ladders, which is perfect for this panel!  I love the way the orange makes the pumpkins pop in the panel.  I didn't write down the info on the panel so will add that later, but this is also available at Threads That bind along with a kit to make this easy quilt.

And here is another table topper quilt made by Dawn using a different placemat panel.  I love this one, it's perfect for fall!  This is Autumn Day by Wilmington Prints and the pattern and main fabrics are by Nancy Mink.  We added our own twist to the fabric selections, and think this one is definitely a winner!  I love to encourage people to branch out in choosing different fabrics for a pattern - you don't have to make your quilt exactly like the pattern illustration - make it your own and use fabric from your stash, or add your favorite color instead! 

Are you getting ready for fall, yet or still hanging onto summer?  Now that we've started changing the shop up for the fall season, I'm feeling the urge to pull out my fall quilts at home, too!

Sunday, September 05, 2021

Monday Musings - Perseverance

 Not entirely quilting related, but don't worry, this topic definitely ties in!  You have also probably had one of those projects that just refused to come together no matter what you did.  At some point it is always tempting to just give up and either quit altogether, or hand the project off to someone else.  Or, you can give it another try and see what happens!  This project has required a bit of perseverance for sure -  the Switchback Bag by Patterns by Annie that I am making for the September Island Batik Ambassador challenge has definitely been testing me!  

But connecting the water to our new refrigerator has really been the test for me! I even tried to hand the project off to a professional, but then the project got handed right back to me!  I was absolutely at the end of what I thought I was capable of.  I resigned myself to paying a plumber to add a proper valve to the water supply so we can finally enjoy the ice and water from the refrigerator.  Truthfully, I was relieved to think that someone else could take of it, and looked forward to the appointment.  To my surprise and dismay, when the plumber saw the situation he told me that it would be a very simple matter for me to finish the job on my own.  He marked the pipe, provided me with a written list of the parts needed, and even gave me a small piece of pipe that I would need at no charge.  All I had to do was trust in my ability to take the needed steps, and he assured me that if I needed him, he would come back and rescue me.

So off I went to the plumbing supply store.  I was pretty nervous to try it, because the frustration of all the prior problems made it seem like I would not be successful.  But, as they say - nothing ventured, nothing gained, and so I began.  It was pretty scary to cut the copper pipe, but adding the valve was really a piece of cake, and when the water was turned on, it all worked perfectly!

So, what does this have to do with quilting? I just want to to encourage you to seek out helpful advice, and try again!  There are lots of places to get information on the technique that you are struggling with.  Video tutorials abound on the internet.  Google is a good source of information.  Go visit your local quilt shop, they can often help with information and recommend products.  

I'm persevering on this project - almost ready to figure out a border for it!  I have something in mind, just need to work out the details.  And finish appliqueing down the edges, just a few more and I'll be done - time to go do some research and nail down the border I want to finish it with and figure out how to accomplish it!  

I promise I'll be blogging more regularly in September - I have lots of projects in progress to share!  

Friday, August 27, 2021

Don't Worry - I've Just Been Busy Sewing and Other Stuff!

 I ran into a dear friend the other day, and she had been a bit worried about me since I have been quiet on social media lately, so I thought I ought to catch you up on what's going on around here!  I'm working on some fun fall projects, one of which that I'm really excited about, but not really ready to share yet - but here is a bit of a peek at what I'm doing:

I've been working on getting caught up on some other projects as well - I had some overdue alterations, and am making good progress on getting those completed.  This has definitely been the summer of weddings - so many gowns have passed through my sewing room that I have lost count. I think there were two summers worth of wedding crammed into this season!  Looks like things are slowing down on that front, so I am breathing a sigh of relief for sure.

We are still working on summer house projects.  This lovely little chandelier has graced our entry since we purchased this house nearly 27 years ago.  The downside has always been that it is hazard for taller people and just not really the best light for this room.  I managed to replace it with a much more practical modern fixture that we are very happy with - but I didn't get a picture of it yet.  I'm tempted to keep this and put it in my bedroom, but I think I'll be offering it up for sale instead.  Dusting things isn't my strong suit, after all!

For fun, I've been working on a jigsaw puzzle!  This is the 10th anniversary Up puzzle featuring Carl and Ellie.  My daughter brought this back for me from Disneyland this summer, so we started it on my birthday last week.  It's a double sided puzzle, so we can do the other side when we finish this one!  It's been challenging because this side is pretty muted in color - the design shows up much more in this picture than it dos in real life!

 I've been picking green beans and tomatoes from my garden, too!  And we have lots of crab apples on the tree this year.  DH and Juliette enjoyed munching on one last week - so cute!  She loves trying all kinds of food!  She has 6 teeth now and is putting them to good use.  I can't believe she'll be one in a few more weeks!

So that's what's been going on in my life the last couple of weeks!  Time to catch up on this weeks Island Batik Blog Hop posts - some gorgeous fabrics and projects have been featured, you'll definitely want to go take a look at them:

August 23:

Jane Hauprich, Stitch by Stitch Custom Quilting
Maryellen McAuliffe, Mary Mack Made Mine

August 24:

Megan Best, Bestquilter
Janet Yamamoto, Whispers of Yore

August 25:

Claudia Porter, Create with Claudia
Michelle Roberts, Creative Blonde

August 26:

Leah Malasky, Quilted Delights
Andi Stanfield, True Blue Quilts

August 27:

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 3 and Giveaway

This week Island Batik is doing a giveaway featuring this last collection - Sticks 'n Stones!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don't forget - leave a comment on my Blog Post to be entered into a special surprise drawing next week!  Hope your life has been full of good things as well!