Stitching Here and There

Crosses and Losses quilt blocks : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Only 10 days until Christmas, and I have only spent a bit of time here and there at the sewing machine. I did knock out a few more Crosses and Losses blocks. This has been a fun project on the last few rainy (but warm!) days. They certainly are bright!

Crosses and Losses quilt blocks : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I also have been working on Christmas gifts. Last week I shared my daughter’s Maker’s Tote with you (thank you all for your nice comments!!). This week I plan on taking pictures of my son’s tote. He’s a huge Star Wars fan, so the fabric choice was a no brainer.

Crosses and Losses quilt blocks : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Can I just say how much I love these Clover Wonder Clips for bag making? They hold thick layers together so easily. I first started out pinning all these crazy pieces together and after much frustration – and bleeding – I switched to the Wonder Clips. It made for a much more pleasant experience.

I’m planning on trying to make a couple zip pouches today to coordinate with these totes.

Are you making something handmade for the holidays? I’d love to hear what you have planned!

Maker’s Tote ~ A Finish

Maker's Tote, pattern by Noodlehead : Fresh Lemons Quilts

My first Maker’s Tote (pattern purchased from Noodlehead) is officially finished. I think my daughter is going to love it! Anna’s pattern comes with directions in two sizes, a small and a large. This is the small, but as you can see, it still fits a lot of stuff! I loaded it with things my daughter likes to take on trips – headphones, markers, a book, a sketchpad, a stuffed animal…no problem fitting it all and zipping it up. I also can just squeeze in an 8-1/2″ x 10″ coloring book. On my son’s tote, I’m raising the zipper 1/4″ to make it a bit easier to fit.

Maker's Tote, pattern by Noodlehead : Fresh Lemons Quilts

This was a fun pattern to make. I can always count on Anna to challenge me, in a good way. With this bag, I successfully completed two new-to-me zipper installations.

Maker's Tote, pattern by Noodlehead : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The first was this zipper in the middle of the outer panel. I was so nervous to cut into my fabric, as I had just spent a really long time getting it ready with all the quilting. But it worked!

The second was the top zipper, installed with zipper tape. It was much easier than I anticipated! One of the reasons I decided to do quilt-as-you-go on the outer fabric was I wanted to camouflage the two horizontal zipper tape stitching lines that appear on the outside of the tote. I think it worked – you can hardly notice them.

Maker's Tote, pattern by Noodlehead : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I left off the outer snap pocket on my Maker’s Totes. My kids seem genuinely confused by why they would need snap pockets on their Cargo Duffles. So I decided not to bother this time, even though I think they are adorable.

Maker's Tote, pattern by Noodlehead : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I mentioned a few details in my progress post earlier this week, but in case you missed that, here is a summary of the fabrics and minor changes I made to the pattern.

Fabrics
Outer : Carrie BloomstonPaint fabric line – Brushes in Inky
Lining : Carrie BloomstonStory fabric line – Stars in Hot Pink
Pockets : Carrie BloomstonPaint fabric line – Palette in Spackle
Trim : Carrie BloomstonPaint fabric line – Patina in Aqua

Modifications
1. Quilt as You Go for the outer panels. I quilted directly onto the interfacing specified in the pattern.
2. Added stitched lines 5/8″ apart on the inner flat pocket to create a marker holder.
3. Left off the outer snap pocket.
4. Finished the handles by stitching straight lines 1/4″ apart and leaving them flat.

Maker's Tote, pattern by Noodlehead : Fresh Lemons Quilts

This first tote probably took me about 8 hours total for cutting, quilting and assembling. This was my first time reading the pattern, so that always takes time. The quilt-as-you-go step that I added was a significant chunk of time, as was the stitched lines for the marker holder. The binding took an hour or so to stitch on as well.

I’ve made a second tote already for my son (will share next week), and it probably took 5 hours total So I’m getting faster! I definitely recommend the Maker’s Tote pattern if you have a few bags under your belt and are looking for a great handmade gift – for a friend or yourself!

A Maker’s Tote in Progress

Maker's Tote, pattern by Noodlehead : Fresh Lemons Quilts

This week I’ve taken a quick break from my Crosses and Losses blocks to work on a handmade gift for my daughter for Christmas. A couple weeks ago, Anna of Noodlehead released her latest pattern, the Maker’s Tote. As soon as I saw it, I knew it would be perfect for my kids. They love to take their markers, doodle books, and little toys with them when we go on trips. I went in search of the perfect fabric for my 9 year old daughter. She is growing up so fast and quickly rejecting anything that she thinks is “for little kids”. Sniff sniff. 🙁 When I came across Carrie Bloomston’s fabric, I knew it was perfect. I used prints from both her Paint (Brushes in Inky, Palette in Spackle, Patina in Aqua) and Story (Stars in Hot Pink) line.

Maker's Tote, pattern by Noodlehead : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I really wanted to use the quilt-as-you-go technique for the outside. I checked in with Anna to make sure that it wouldn’t ruin something further down the pattern. She gave me the ok so I got stitching!

Maker's Tote, pattern by Noodlehead : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I spent about 6 hours yesterday assembling. Don’t let that scare you away. I am very slow when it comes to making 3D objects. Especially my first time following a pattern.

Maker's Tote, pattern by Noodlehead : Fresh Lemons Quilts

When I share my finished Maker’s Tote, I will go over all my modifications (not a lot). But in case you are in the process of making one too, my favorite change was adding stitched lines to one of the inner pockets to hold their markers. Spill proof! These markers are Stabilo 68, and my small Maker’s Tote fits 16 markers. My lines are stitched 5/8″ apart.

You can find Carrie Bloomston’s fabric at my sponsors below:

Fabric Spark
Gotham Quilts
Sew Modern

Now to make a second tote for my son. This time in Star Wars prints. It looks like my days of using licensed fabric aren’t quite over yet. 😉

Cargo Duffle ~ A Finished Weekend Bag

Cargo Duffle, Pattern by Noodlehead : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I finished my Cargo Duffle over the weekend! As I mentioned last week, the Cargo Duffle is a free pattern by Anna over at Noodlehead. I just love Anna’s bag patterns. They always have a store-bought look to them.

For my bag, I used Bare Nopal in Gloom from Morning Walk by Leah Duncan as my feature fabric, Essex linen in natural for my solid, Raspberry Jam from Basic Grey’s PB&J collection for my pockets and Miniflores in Sunbathed from Morning Walk by Leah Duncan for my lining (more on the lining later).

Cargo Duffle, Pattern by Noodlehead : Fresh Lemons Quilts

This pattern was released 2 years ago, but there are benefits to being late to the party! A lot of people have made this duffle bag. Doing a quick Google search, I was able to see quite of few modifications and work some of them into my bag. The biggest change I made was widening the bag. What can I say? I travel with a lot of stuff. I used the wider dimensions over at Coconut Robot for my duffle. It was a pretty simple change and I’m happy with the increased space.

Cargo Duffle, Pattern by Noodlehead : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The other major change I made was lining my bag, rather than using bias tape on the inner seams. I chose an orange print by Leah Duncan that really pops! You can find tips on making the lining over at Skirt as Top. I hand-stitched my lining in along the zipper as well as the seams that connects the top of the duffle to the sides.

Cargo Duffle, Pattern by Noodlehead : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Finally, I made just a couple other minor changes…I added fabric zipper covers to the ends of my zipper (not sure what those are called) and leather to the zipper pulls.

Cargo Duffle, Pattern by Noodlehead : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I’m so happy with how this bag turned out! My kids have told me they want this same size for their cargo duffles. It took me about a week to make this one (working here and there) – quilt as you go can take a bit of time. I expect theirs to go faster though, as now I know what I’m going. They have both chosen some fabric by Lizzy House, and I can’t wait to share them with you once they are finished.

Cargo Duffle, Pattern by Noodlehead : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Overall, this was a great pattern for experienced bag makers. If you have a few bags under your belt, you shouldn’t run into any trouble. And be sure to look online for some great inspiration as many others have made this cargo duffle over the last two years!