Monday, 5 October 2015

FMQ October

Now that it is October I am back to FMQ. Just blissful! I did notice with the last quilt however that I probably should be piecing a bit more regularly, as my accuracy was woeful.

Never mind. Did some practice for the upcoming October 2015 FMQ Challenge over at Quiltshopgal. This month expert is Lori Kennedy from the Inbox Jaunt. Got her Craftsy class and started some practising the other night

Not sure what I am going to produce yet, but rather like that square flower and probably will design something around this. Maybe a sampler pillow of the different designs...Lori had some very nice border designs in her class, one of them being the paperclip design (see on top of first photo)...very neat.

Apart from that I have been spending much time on Instagram. You can find me @the kids got me into this and I must say that I am rather enjoying this, particularly over the last two weeks as I have been super busy at work and also at home. With Instagram I was able to just quickly put up a photo and move on. While scrolling around I came across Hexies for Healing about Carrie of @gotchacoveredquilting who was asking for some hexies so she could pass the time following some major surgery. The cause is close to my heart and so I spent Friday night making this little number
Just need to send it of...

While doing this hexagon I also stumbled across the Hexie Down Under #2 swap run by Bendigo Lioness. I was so tempted and nearly signed up...40 hexies until the 31/12/15! After much thought though, I resisted...calculating this through this would have meant about 3 hexies per week which does not sound that much, but with work, FMQ and life in general that had the potential to become stressful. They are running another hexie swap from January to March which I decided was much more feasible for me. Sounds like great fun.
However, having stitched that hexagon the other day  I again felt that this was so therapeutic, sitting there, hand stitching. So I went to work and cut out lots of hexagon shapes in all sorts of blue and white to stitch together at my own leisure.

But for the time being, back to FMQ...


Thursday, 1 October 2015

WIP continued

Not much to report other than that I am working on my WIP. Quilt top is finished and I now only have the borders to do. Actually came out so much better than I thought. Always am surprised when the quilt looks just like on EQ7 which I use to design the quilts.
Bit of a close up...

I was rushing to get the quilt done by the beginning of October to set my machine back to FMQ. Have several things to FMQ....another pillow, my WIP: A Field Guide quilt and now this one...looking forward to this

Linking up to a new Linky Party by Zenia of A Quilted Passion

A Quilted Passion


Wednesday, 23 September 2015


Had an incredible 2 weeks...very busy at work and even busier at home. On top of that one of our cats needed surgery and needed more looking after than usual.

Finally I got back to some sewing...inspected the blocks I had done and  was not impressed. Accuracy was sadly missing. Started to doubt my piecing skills somewhat because no matter what I did they just did not end up the square measurement that they should have been. After much deliberation, I finally worked out how to press the seams for the flattest look and also re-cut my dark strips. This time I re-cut the strips on the lengthwise grain....that did the trick. This way they did not distort that much and I was able to get the blocks nice and square. Part of the problem also was that I did cut all the beige squares with the Accuquilt GO Cutter which gave me very accurate squares. However, I also must have placed a batch of the squares the wrong way around on the cutter which gave me a good 1/16 to 1/8" less on one side.

Anyway, spent some time today undoing some of the blocks I had done and putting it all back together. I am now back on track with half the blocks finished. This will be a small quilt...lap size, I reckon.

Linking up to Let's Bee Social over at Lorna's blog Sew Fresh Quilts


Monday, 14 September 2015

Another Finished Bag

And here it is...the second bag from the Victoria Tote Bag pattern by RebeccaMaedesigns found on Craftsy.
Love this fabric for a bag
Made it a bit bigger and stabilised the bottom a bit more as this is for my daughter who was in urgent need of a carry-all bag for uni. I made this super strong, reinforcing the handles, stabilising the bottom and double stitching some the seams. This baby should hold.

Not finished with my temporary bag obsession...will make another one. Learned a lot with this one as well, i.e. by accident I used Extra Loft Fusible Fleece which I did not actually realise until it was finished, all the while wondering why this appeared somewhat more bulky to sew together...while still ok it did make it a touch more lofty obviously.

I did a lot of researching on Interfacings while making these bags. found several very good posts at YouSewGirl!
Combining Interfacings for bag-making 
Comparing Vilene and Pellon Interfacings/Interlinings

and at Sew Sweetness: All About Bag Interfacing 


Saturday, 12 September 2015

More Bags

My sewing room is a mess...there is interfacing and batting, various quilts in certain stages of construction. For some reason I am completely immersed into bag-making at the moment.

Took the pattern for the Victoria Tote by Rebeccamaedesign that I found on Craftsy and played with the dimensions...needed it a little big bigger to make another bag for my daughter. Also changed the  stabilization a bit for the bottom, given its bigger size.
Exterior done and handles ready to go
It looks great! Bit worried about the size though. Here is a comparison to the first bag that I made
I am really impressed with this pattern and the way it described every step. Learned so much from it and as you can see was able to make some adjustments to fit what I needed. For the inside of the new bag I made a pocket instead of a zipper as this might be more useful for my daughter. Still attached the D-rings on the interior as well as the exterior as this looks quite cute and on the inside of the bag this is quite useful for attaching keys etc.
Will make another one after this as I still got heaps of fabric left from the first bag. So enjoyable!

Linking up to the Creative Goodness Linky Party over at Quiltshopgal


Sunday, 6 September 2015

Victoria Tote Bag Finished!

Finished my tote bag 'Victoria Tote' by RebeccaMaeDesigns. Found the pattern on Craftsy.

I had been looking for bags for a while. I find bags quite hard to look for as they are very individual. I was looking for something that was not too floppy with some structure in it. Also needed to be not too big but also not too small...just right. I liked the pattern by RebeccaMae Designs as it used coordinating fabrics with additional outline quilting...again adding to the stability of the bag. In looking at bags I am somewhat limited, so the bag needed to have some hardware, but not too much, otherwise it would be too difficult for me. So this one had a zipper pocket inside, a magnetic closure and some D rings...this sounded do-able. A little bit of challenge, but not too difficult. In purchasing this pattern I also checked out what the designer was using for this case it was fusible fleece and interfacing. Having completed some boxy bags with fusible fleece, I quite liked working with it. Also the bag pattern had additional options...a patchwork option and another bag with additional hardware (swivel clips for the handles).

Making it was thoroughly enjoyable. The pattern was easy to follow with a photo for every step, so off I went...
Exterior Panels done
Exterior completed
The structure of the bag is just right for me...firm but not stiff and as you can see it nicely holds its shape.

Have no pictures of making the lining as I got totally immersed in doing it. Here was the zipper pocket and I must say I was somewhat nervous about this. The pattern said 'You can do this!'...cutting a slit into my panel filled me with horror, however followed the pictures and managed to insert the zipper on the second attempt and it is looking pretty good. Similarly with those magnetic trouble at all! Also like the fitting of the lining...fitted like a glove.
Inside of bag
The completed bag looks fantastic
11.5"H x 11"W x 4"D
The length of the handles is just the way I like it

Beautiful tote...I still got fabric left over for a second tote...bonus!

Made some hilarious mistakes during this bag-making exercise. Somehow, inexplicably, fused a dark thread into one of the panels. As I had taken my time with the fusing, there was no way I could remove this to retrieve the thread...had to prey the thread out from the front without causing a disaster. Could not believe it!
Second issue occurred during the final stages late at night. Had turned the bag through the lining and had spent some time, neatly sewing the lining close...then discovered a pin on the inside of the upper section...WHAT??...had to undo some of my lining and retrieve the pin. Anyway, all worked out, but did have some anxious moments with this.

Until next time


Saturday, 29 August 2015

In the mood for bags

Don't know about you, but I find that bags are extraordinarily difficult to choose. I have been looking around for a simple tote bag for some time and let me tell you there are hundreds of free patterns on the would think that I would find one relatively quickly. So far I narrowed it down to about three bags. Lucky for me I am not that skilled in sewing hence have to look for those that are more simple to construct.

There is a lovely Market Tote Tutorial over at Bijou Lovely, also another one at the Pellon website by Amy Smart

Then I found a pattern on Craftsy that I really liked, the 'Quilted Tote Bag' by RebeccaMaeDesigns.
Quilted Tote Bag Sewing Pattern  Victoria by RebeccaMaeDesigns, $8.00: Patterns Victoria, Bag Sewing Patterns, Bags Sewing Patterns
RebeccaMaeDesigns: Quilted Tote Bag

So I decided that I needed some special fabric for that...

Could not find anything in my stash...actually finding that my taste in fabric is somewhat changing, influenced by the many bright fabrics that are around. My fabric stash carries mainly darker, more muted colours, so off it was to the fabric store. Here are the supplies that I purchased:

Gorgeous bag fabric
Gorgeous mix of fabrics...all on special, of course, and also bought some hardware. The bag has a magnetic closure and also a zippered pocket. This will be very interesting.
Also had a look at some duck cloth the other day and purchased some modern Cloud9 fabric (they had some great designs!) and went ahead and whipped up the Twenty Minutes Tote bag by The Purl Bee for my daughter. She has been running around with this awful canvas bag, so I wanted to quickly trial this bag. 
The Twenty Minute Tote by The Purl Bee
This took me about an hour and a half and was great fun to put together. The bag has no lining andI spent most of my time overlocking the exposed seams...the pattern uses a zigzag stitch but I thought I may as well use what I have on the machine...this worked really well! Also using the Stop/Start function on the machine (Pfaff 4.2) more and more...just pressing a button and then have the machine go at a constant speed, allows you to fully concentrate on keeping the line of sewing nice and straight. Planning to do another one or two of these (of course I bought more of this duck cloth) and making the bag a little bit bigger...find it very hard to judge what size of a bag I need/want. Having done it, I am more able to judge how much bigger I do want it in width and length.

No wonder I am not getting any quilts done...I continually get side tracked. For some reason, this year has been particularly bad for this.