Modern Quilts, Home Decor, and Handcrafted Clothing

Category — Purse / Pouch

Paper Piecing, Log Cabins and New Fabric

This post is going to be all over the place. But that’s not always a bad thing, right? I’ve been busy sewing over the last couple of weeks. Not really finishing anything but making good progress.

First up, my Arkansas Traveler quilt. After lots of cutting, sewing diamonds, paper piecing those diamonds, trimming, trimming and trimming, I have 96+ blocks! It really feels like a huge milestone.

You can find a tutorial to make this block on Lee of Freshly Pieced’s site. Those of you with an eagle eye might notice my template is a little different than the one from the Summer Sampler Series. I’m trying out something new Lee came up with, less seams, but maybe a little trickier to assemble the final block, depending on how you feel about sewing together shapes other than squares.

I know I said I wasn’t going to share my final design until I was done. I guess I lied. Here’s the plan! This weekend/next week I’m hoping to finish the quilt top assembly.

As a bit of a personal reward for finishing all those components, I cut into the little pack of Liberty of London Lifestyle fabric I picked up at Quilt Con.

I knew I wanted to pair it with some Essex Linen in Natural. I thought it would look super cute as one of Anna’s Open Wide Pouches. Great pattern, as usual! I made the smallest size because I only had a 10″ zipper on hand. (I bought my metal zipper from Zip It on Etsy.)

The inside is Stamped by Ellen Luckett Baker for Kokka.

This week I also performed a little surgery on my local Modern Quilt Guild challenge quilt top. You can read up on the sadness of unmatching white fabric here.

I finished the top yesterday (happy dance!) and will share the finished quilt next week. That is a promise – it’s due Thursday!

I also have been lucky enough to receive some new fabric in the mail this week.

Windham was kind enough to send some of Lotta Jansdotter’s Glimma Canvas for me to check out. I don’t think I’ve ever worked with canvas so I’m pretty excited to try something out. They also sent a charm pack of Ride, Julia Rothman’s second collection. I seriously love the little bicycle wheels. My son has already claimed this for his own, so I’m thinking of using it in some way to make him a tote bag for the library.

I also had a very happy surprise from Moda Fabrics – three layer cakes of upcoming collections.

These are S’More Love by Eric and Julie Comstock, Simply Style by Vanessa of V and Co, and Honeysweet by Fig Tree & Co. (Seriously, I don’t know how I got so lucky!)

I decided to immediately cut into Vanessa’s fabric because, well, I think she’s pretty fun. :) I found a block in 163 Favorite Patchwork Patterns : Japanese Craft Book, an awesome book I purchased a few months ago from The Workroom in Canada.

I had some questions on Instagram about this book. It is all in Japanese. There are diagrams that help give ideas about block assembly, but there are no directions or sizes in English. If you like a challenge and are good at figuring things out, this is the book for you. I do, and really, what do you have to lose except a little bit of fabric? Keeps my old mind sharp. ;)

So anyway, I picked this cool design…

And started to layout a couple blocks…

And then something funny happened. I made these up at pretty much the exact same time Lee was writing up her post to announce her planned Bloom Bloom Pow Quilt Along with a very similar block! Yesterday morning we had a good laugh about how we must be totally on the save wave length after writing the book together. So! If you like the block, are interested in making the block, you are in luck because Lee’s about to start her quilt along and will have tutorials for you. Her block just has some great additional shading.

Phew! I hope some of you made it through all that! Next week is Spring Break here. (As I ignore the -4 degree wind chill and snow outside…) I’m not really sure if that means I’ll get more sewing done (not driving the kids all over the place) or less (more play time with the kids!). We’ll see. My newly 4 year old wants to put on a kid art show in the house, so we have big crafting plans. Very exciting! Have a great weekend everyone!

March 22, 2013   36 Comments

Farmer’s Market Totes ~ A Pattern

Today I’m excited to share with you a new tutorial, the Farmer’s Market Tote. Andover Fabrics was kind enough to send over some of Marisa of Creative Thursday‘s upcoming line Locally Grown for these bags. I am absolutely in love with the little sheep and strawberries.

It does feel a bit strange making bags for fresh veggies when it looks like this outside.

But I think that is partially what motivated me – I’m ready for summer! And anyway, it doesn’t need to be warm to need a big bag to carry our fabric around in, right? Let’s get started!



Farmer’s Market Tote

Please note, all seams are 1/2″ unless otherwise noted

Fabric Requirements
Outer Panel – 1/2 yard
Outer Pockets – 1/2 yard
Pocket Lining – 1/2 yard
Inner Lining – 1/2 yard
Straps – 1/4 yard (not a fat quarter)
Interfacing, (I used Pellon SF101) – 1 yard

Step 1: Cut your fabric.

Pattern Piece Size Number to Cut
Outer Panel 17-1/2″ x 20″ 2
Outer Pockets 14-1/2″ x 20″ 2
Pocket Lining 14-1/2″ x 20″ 2
Inner Lining 17-1/2″ x 20″ 2
Straps 4″ x 26″ 2
Interfacing 17-1/2″ x 20″ 2
 

Step 2. Iron your interfacing to the wrong side of your outer panel fabrics according to the manufacturers directions.

Step 3. Now we are going to do a bit of trimming. Take your 17-1/2″ (tall) x 20″ (wide) Outer Panel rectangles and trim a diagonal line from the top left corner to the 1-1/2″ marking on your cutting mat, as shown.

Step 4. Repeat on the right side of the fabric, cutting from the top right corner to the 18-1/2″ marking on your cutting mat.

Step 5. Once your fabric angles are trimmed, cut 2″ squares out of the bottom left and right corners. This is for your gusset later. Because there is a slight angle from steps 3 and 4, you won’t be removing an exact square. Just be sure to line up your ruler as shown below.

After cutting out the squares, this is what your Outer Panels should look like.

Step 6. Repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 for your Inner Lining.

Step 7. Now it’s time to trim the Outer Pockets. Just like you did for your Outer Panel, we are going to cut the fabric at an angle on the left and right sides. Line up your ruler from the 17-1/2″ marking on your cutting mat, to the 1-1/2″ (when cutting left) and 18-1/2″ (when cutting right) measurement on the bottom of the cutting mat, as shown. This will get you the same angle you cut on previous pieces.

Alternatively, you could use your previously cut Outer Panel as a template and trim along the already cut lines.

Step 8. Just as you did in Step 5, trim 2″ squares from the bottom corners. Your Outer Pockets should look like this.

As you can see, the Outer Pocket fabric has the same angles now as the Outer Panel fabric.

Step 9. Repeat for your Pocket Lining.

Everything is now cut – yay! Pat yourself on the back.

Now let’s sew it together!

Step 10. Take one of your Outer Pockets and one of your Pocket Linings. Pin along the top, right sides together. Stitch along just the top, using a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Step 11. Flip right sides out, and press. Top stitch along the finished seam.

Step 12. Repeat for your second Outer Pocket and Pocking Lining.

Step 13. Place your finished Outer Pocket Panel on top of your Outer Panel, as shown. Pin together along sides and bottom. Machine baste along the sides and bottom of the panel, using a 1/4″ seam allowance. ** Do NOT sew the cut out squares! **

Step 14. Now we are going to split the pocket into two sections. Using your ruler and a marking tool, measure halfway across the panel. Mark a sewing line lengthwise down the panel, as shown.

Step 15. Starting at the bottom of the panel and working your way to the top of the pocket, stitch your marked line. Cross over a bit from the top of your pocket onto the Outer Panel and backstitch. This will reinforce your pocket at the top.

Step 16. Repeat for the second Outer Pocket Panel and Outer Panel.

Step 17. Place your finished Outer Panels right sides together and pin along the sides and bottom. Take care to match up the top of the pockets when pinning. This sort of attention to detail will make your tote bag look professionally made.

Step 18. Sew down the sides and bottom of the fabric, using a 1/2″ seam allowance. ** Do NOT sew the cut out squares! ** Press your seams open.

Step 19. Now it’s time to sew the gussets! If you have never done this before, this is probably the trickiest step. I took a lot of photos to help explain.

“Open” up your bag in the corner where you cut the squares, and place the fabric back together matching up the side and bottom sewn seam, as shown.

Step 20. Pin as shown.

Step 21. Sew using a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Step 22. Repeat on the other side to make the second gusset. This is what your bag should now look like.

Step 23. Attempt to press your seams and flip your bag right side out.

Step 24. Repeat steps 17 – 22 to assemble your Inner Lining. **Leave approximately 5″ open along the bottom however, for flipping the bag right side out later.**

Step 25. Place your Outer Tote Section right side out, into the Inner Tote Section wrong side out, as shown.

Step 26. Pin along the top of the bag, and sew together along the entire top, using a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Step 27. Flip your bag right side out through the opening in the bottom of the lining.

Step 28. Stitch the bottom of the lining closed.

Step 29. Press your bag and top stitch around the top.

Step 30. Almost there! It’s time to make the straps. Fold the short edges of your strap fabric in about 1/4″. You can optionally stitch these down, as shown. Now fold your strap fabric in half, lengthwise. Iron to make a crease and then open.

Step 31. Fold your strap fabric in lengthwise towards the center crease line, as shown. Press.

Step 32. Fold in half again. Press.

Step 33. Stitch around each side of the strap. Repeat for the second strap.

Step 34. Measure 3″ on each side of the pocket line you stitched earlier. Place your strap ends at this point, 1-1/2″ down from the top of the tote bag. Pin in place.

Step 35. Stitch in place, around all sides and then diagonally, as shown.

Step 36. Repeat until all 4 strap ends are attached.

You’re done! Fill up your tote with all sorts of fun stuff!

March 1, 2013   33 Comments

A Popsicle Tote

Posicle Tote

I’m not sure if I said my Weekender was the last bag I’d make for awhile. If I did, I guess I lied. ;) While I was at Quilt Camp, I was lucky enough to sit across from the very talented Amanda of Sasikirana Handmade. Everything she makes is so.stinking.cute. She has such great talent when it comes to fabric selection and fussy cutting prints perfectly.

Posicle Tote

So as I was sitting across from her, I decided I just had to make something cute. I have been looking for an excuse to make Ayumi Takahashi’s Popsicle pattern for awhile now and decided to use it to make my daughter a tote bag for Christmas. Ayumi blogs at the Pink Penguin and has created a ton of amazing paper piecing patterns.

Posicle Tote

Paper piecing the popsicles wasn’t too hard, although I did mess up a couple components and had to redo them. That little nose is super tiny! Overall though, it was a huge success. I added a bit of fabric from Tasha‘s fabric line The Sweetest Thing above and below the popsicles and to the back of the tote.

Posicle Tote

I used another print on the lining. It’s really, well, the sweetest thing! The straps are a stripe from Bonnie & Camille‘s Marmalade fabric line.

Posicle Tote

I sort of just made up the tote pattern as I went along. I felt like I’ve made enough bags that I would be successful. I added little gussets to the bottom so it stands on it’s own.

Posicle Tote

I managed to sew this entire thing, with my daughter in the room, and she never once came over to see what I was doing. I think it will be a great surprise under the tree on Christmas!

December 13, 2012   18 Comments

The Weekender

Weekender

This post is going to have a lot of pictures. Because when you spend a week making the daunting Amy Butler Weekender Bag, you take a lot of pictures. Those of you that follow me on Instagram got to watch this bag come together a bit more each day. That was a lot of fun, instant support group!

If you aren’t familiar with this bag pattern, it’s kind of notorious for being a {naughty word} to put together. Many people are starting to make this bag using the Quilt as You Go (QAYG) method to avoid all the interfacing required. I might try that next time but for starters, I wanted to stay true to the instructions (with a couple minor changes that I will talk about below.)

I have had this bag on my to-do list for awhile. I almost consider it some sort of sewist rite of passage. I heard it was a challenge and I wanted to see if I could do it. My only holdup was I could never find a fabric I wanted to use. The pattern recommends home dec weight and that is pricier than quilting cotton, so I wanted the fabric to be something I loved. Fast forward to the Sewing Summit. Joel Dewberry was a speaker one afternoon and he brought samples of his new line Notting Hill. As soon as I saw this fabric, I was in love. And then he said it was a Cotton Sateen/Home Dec weight! I knew immediately I was going to use it for my Weekender.

My choice for the lining and piping was a bit of a surprise for me. I know almost everyone out there seems really excited about all the plaids that are coming out in fabric collections lately. I’m not really a plaid person. (ducks for cover) But I just felt like it really complimented the floral print, so I stepped a bit out of my comfort zone and decided to use it.

When I first opened the pattern and cut out the pieces, I thought “Only 4 pieces? This is going to be so easy!” LOL Don’t be fooled. Not only do you cut out multiples of each out of your outer and lining fabrics, you also cut multiples out of 2 types of interfacing (not pictured). I spent several hours cutting.

Based on Stephanie’s weekender, I decided to cut my handles a bit wider (6″).

I was really lucky to have been loaned a cording foot (#60c) for my Bernina by the wonderful Catherine Redford from my local modern quilt guild. This made everything involving the piping SO much easier! I highly, highly recommend using a cording foot rather than a zipper foot for your piping. I’m actually going to buy my own now, it was that awesome.

Also, a general note: I used the pattern-recommended jeans needle for my machine. You have a lot of layers to sew through, and you need the extra strength.

The side panels came together easily, even if applying all the interfacing took forever.

For my second change to the pattern, I once again followed Stephanie’s example and used a shorter zipper, 24″. It was easily available at JoAnns and works just fine for the bag.

So, up until this point, I wasn’t sweating this bag. You make the large front and back. Then you make the top/sides with the zipper and sew that piece to the bottom to make a big circle of fabric. Then you have to sew this circle to the larger front and back panels. I know I’ve read of other people having this problem…they weren’t an exact fit. Now I’m not sure if the problem was I wasn’t using exact seam allowances or maybe the pattern is wonky, but it was a bit frustrating. Add in the fact you are sewing through a LOT of stiff interfacing, well you can see where one might start cursing. ;)

I highly recommend getting some binder clips to hold your pieces together rather than pins. I only had 2 binder clips on hand so I was forced to use pins and now they are all bent and ruined.

Again, I used the cording foot to guide my sewing and it worked great!

Weekender Lining

So I’ve finished the bag. I’m not sure if I’ll ever make another one. LOL But I’m super excited to have it and I’m very happy with my fabric selection. As my husband told me when he saw it “they certainly will see you coming with that.” Yep, it’s not subtle. But I love it.

November 29, 2012   70 Comments