Modern Quilts, Home Decor, and Handcrafted Clothing

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

Candy Pinwheel Quilt

Candy Pinwheel

My daughter trying her hardest to hold up the quilt

As promised, today I’m sharing the finished Candy Pinwheel quilt, made from my Candy Pinwheel block of the Festival of Half Square Triangles. (To see more on the block and quilt assembly, check out my Candy Pinwheel tutorial.) A few of you asked how I was planning on starting and ending my rows. As you can see, I decided to use a solid turquoise fabric. I really love this color, it’s probably one of my current favorites – FreeSpirit Designer Solid in Light Jade.

Candy Pinwheel Corners

For the corners, I left off one half square triangle to give this angled look. I thought that was pretty cool…my daughter (the recipient of the quilt) almost starting crying because “my quilt is missing the corners!” Well, I still like it.

Candy Pinwheel 1

As I mentioned on Wednesday, I decided to make the Candy Pinwheel blocks either all warm or all cool colors. Mostly…there are always exceptions to the rule and I do have a few that used a warm/cool combination.

Candy Pinwheel Detail

I quilted this with straight lines, 1/4″ down each side of the diagonal seams. I was actually a bit nervous to quilt this, because my daughter wanted minky on the back. I followed many people’s advice to just use a lot of pins and my walking foot (which I already use anyway) and really, the quilting proved to be a non-event. No issues whatsoever. And the end result gives a nice, poofy look to the quilted squares.

Candy Pinwheel Back

The quilt measures 39-1/2″ x 47″. It is bright, happy, super cuddly, and already much loved. And on a very random side note, does anyone know what kind of daffodils these beautiful flowers are? :)

Daffodils

April 6, 2012   63 Comments

Loulouthi Crosses

Loulouthi Crosses Front

I’m so excited to share my latest quilt with you, Loulouthi Crosses. This quilt is made up entirely of Greek Cross blocks from the Summer Sampler Series. I love that you can take one unsuspecting little quilt block and make such an interesting quilt from it.

For the quilt front, I used about a fat quarter of each of Anna Maria Horner’s Loulouthi fabric in the Isabela palette. I used Moda’s Bella Solids Stone for the sashing. Not to be confused with Kona Stone. Which I did confuse when reordering after I ran out. Twice. That was not a cheap mistake.

Loulouthi Crosses Back

I am pretty excited about the back. Do you have any fabric that you bought a long time ago with no immediate intention of using, but just loved too much to pass it by? That was me with the Anna Maria Horner Drawing Room fabric you see at the bottom of the back. Originally I thought I would wrap canvas with it and hang it on the wall, but my wall has been filled with other handmade items. So it sat, waiting for the right project. I just love that AMH’s fabric collections continue to coordinate.

The top fabric on the back is an out of print Amy Butler piece, Pink Coriander. I had stocked up on that awhile back and I think I’m finally down to my last yard.

Loulouthi Crosses Drape

The binding is another Anna Maria Horner fabric, this time from her Good Folks line. That one I am almost out of, and boy will I be sad when I use my last piece.

Loulouthi Crosses Quilting Detail

I quilted this in a free motion meandering style. I had some tension problems on the back that I discovered once I was finished that required me to spend a lot of time with the seam ripper. I’m hoping some of you can relate.

All in all, I really love how this one turned out. It measures 48″ x 60″ and is listed in the shop!

July 28, 2011   40 Comments

Kaleidoscopic Kites

Kaleidoscopic Kites Front

I am very excited to have this latest quilt finished to share with you. I planned this one last month and instantly knew this would be a great choice as my second free quilt pattern to offer on my blog.

Kaleidoscopic Kites Hangs

It really is a rainbow of color. Although my 4 year old is quite disturbed that I did not include purple. Honestly I just don’t have a lot of purple fabric. No fear, you can always replace the brown with purple if you’d like.

This is a great quilt for beginners. The cutting is easy. Each block only has 4 pieces so they go together rather quickly, especially if you are chain piecing. I used a variety of fabrics from my stash in order to have a scrappy look, but I think this pattern would look just as nice with solids, or all fabrics from one collection such as Denyse Schmidt’s Katie Jump Rope.

Kaleidoscopic Kites Back

The backing is my new favorite style of giant randomly placed blocks of fabric. I dug into my out of print fabric stash that I have been hanging on to – it felt good to really use it in large chunks. Kind of like spring cleaning for the fabric soul. The binding is an old print from Anna Maria Horner’s Garden Party line. This was the only print I had from the line and have been wondering what to do with it for awhile now, so again, it was good to see it in action. I quilted this one free motion style. The final size is about 63″ x 72″. It will be listed in the shop shortly.

Kaleidoscopic Kites Flies

I am finalizing the graphics and details for the pattern for this one and will post it probably no later than tomorrow! I hope you will come back and make one yourself. As always, you can find links to my patterns on the right column of this page, or by clicking on the Quilt + Patchwork Patterns tab at the top.

Update – the pattern is now available!

April 21, 2011   24 Comments