Whatever is lovely

June 30, 2016 § 6 Comments

pink-socks
foxglove

How ironic that my current sock knitting matches the foxglove blooms up in the mountains.

~ ~ ~

I must admit that even the slightest interest in blogging has disappeared. The best place to find me is over on Instagram. It’s quick. It’s easy. And it doesn’t require many words or preparation.

Jump into your scraps!

March 28, 2016 § 16 Comments

scrap-sorting

While I have loved going back to school, I miss playing with fabric. Last summer I slowly started ironing and sorting some of my scraps. I am * not * even * close * to being finished with that task.  (And this is not all of them!) Maybe I should move this up on my priority list? It sure would be fun to see how many scrap quilt tops I could make this summer!

Anyone else up for the challenge?  Let’s see what our scraps can do for us!  If you don’t have any scraps, let me know and I will share some with you. I have enough for at least a dozen quilts, I’m sure.  Let me just warn you that there are good, bad and ugly scraps in there along with the treasures and I am not into making discriminatory decisions. You get what you get. Feel free to throw away or share the ones that don’t work for you. When it comes to scraps I just throw them all together and usually the results are pretty acceptable.

By the way, last week was spring break and it went by way too fast!  Only six more weeks of the semester to go.

A Simple Little Pouch Tutorial

February 25, 2016 § 25 Comments

simple-pouch-16

Hello, lovely people.  I recently gave a demo at my local quilt shop on how to make this little pouch . Here it is for you to enjoy.  I made the first one back in December and then gave it away as a gift.  That yellow fabric was SO lovely, but it was a clearance fat quarter and I haven’t found any more elsewhere. Granted, I haven’t looked all that hard either.

The inspiration started with a photo I saw on Pinterest. I just really liked the shape. So I started playing around with a piece of paper until I found a size that I liked. You can do the same and make this pouch bigger or smaller. If you make it smaller, though, you will need to either find a smaller zipper or cut down a bigger zipper. I used the 14″ zippers that are sold in my local quilt shop.

With that, let’s get started. You will need 3 different fabrics, one for the outside, one for the lining and one for the binding, and a 14″ zipper to match.

simple-pouch-1

  • Cut the outside fabric approximately 11” x 13”.  You can go a tiny bit smaller and still use a 14″ zipper but not much more than an inch smaller. After that you will need to find a smaller zipper.
  • Cut batting a little bit bigger than the outside fabric.
  • Cut lining fabric the same size as the batting.
  • Quilt as desired. I used a walking foot to quilt the pouch. You may also have an even feed feature on your machine.
  • I quilted mine with vertical lines 1” apart and parallel to the shorter edge and then diagonal lines to make a diamond pattern all over the bag.  I like to use my Hera Marker to mark where I want to sew.
  • Trim the rectangle to square it up. But don’t trim it much smaller than 10 1/2” x 12 1/2”, otherwise you may need a smaller zipper.

simple-pouch-2

  • Using a fabric marker of choice, mark a 6” diameter curve on each corner of the rectangle. This just happened to be the size of my cereal bowl. But you can use a pencil with string or a compass. You may even consider making the curve from a piece of template plastic if you want to make a lot of pouches. Then you will always have it on hand.

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  • Cut along the marked corners to make the corners rounded.

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  • Cut a 2 1/2” x Width-of-Fabric stripe for the binding. Press in half lengthwise.  If you are cutting from a fat quarter, you will need two 2 1/2″ strips, one for each side of the pouch.
  • Start sewing the binding to the quilted pouch rectangle in the middle of the short end and on the lining side. No need to finish the starting edges because this will eventually be cut off.

simple-pouch-5

  • Sew the binding to the lining side, fold over, and stitch it down to the outside of the pouch. I stitched the binding entirely by machine.
  • If you would prefer to hand sew the binding, then start by sewing the binding to the outside of the pouch and hand sew to the lining side.

simple-pouch-6

  • Mark the centers of the long edges with a pin or a marking pencil as well as the center of the zipper.

 

simple-pouch-7

  • Pin the zipper to the pouch.
  • Make sure that the distance between the end of the zipper and the center of the pouch side is the same on each side. You may need to repin to make them nearly the same.

simple-pouch-8

  • Sew one half of the zipper to the pouch, matching the center of the pouch with the center of the zipper. Be sure to use a zipper foot so that you can stitch close the the edge of the binding.
  • Starting in the center of the short end, topstitch the binding, then continue stitching to secure the zipper to the pouch. Stop sewing when you have reached the center of the other short end.

simple-pouch-9

  • Repeat by pinning the other half of the zipper to the other side of the pouch, matching the center marks of the pouch and the zipper.
  • Make sure that the ends of the zipper on the second half meet at the same place as the first half. You may need to repin and ease the zipper around to get it to match the first half.

simple-pouch-10

  • Start in the center of the short end where you previously ended and topstitch the binding and then sew over the zipper to secure it to the pouch, ending at the end of the other short side where the stitching started.
  • This is probably the most challenging part of the bag. It can be a little tricky trying to squeeze your presser foot into that tight corner.  You don’t need to start in the exact center. You probably have about an inch of leeway to adjust your starting point. That little corner will eventually be cut away.

simple-pouch-11

  • Fold in the ends of the pouch to make a pleated bottom. Mark a 3” line across the fold with a permanent marker or temporary pencil. This will be your stitching line. Mark the other end of the pouch in the same way.
  • Stitch along the marked line on each side, then cut away the corners, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.

simple-pouch-12

  • Cut two 4” x 2 1/2” pieces of binding from the lining fabric.
  • Fold each one in half and press. You will use these to cover the cut corner edges inside the pouch.

simple-pouch-13

  • Sew the binding to each corner. Fold the ends in and then fold over the binding. Pin in place and sew it down. This makes the inside so neat and tidy.

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  • Where there is a hole between the zipper and the corner seam, hand stitch the pouch binding together with a ladder stitch.  I stitched it twice for extra strength.

 

simple-pouch-15

This completes your Simple Little Pouch!

You can play with the size, or even adding a wrist strap or small handles to the top.  Make it your own!

Simple Little Pouch

December 20, 2015 § 12 Comments

yellow-pouch-side
yellow-pouch-front
yellow-pouch-open

Only five more days until Christmas! Are you ready? I am, but I’m not. Where does the time go?  I finished up my first semester of grad school last week and I was dying to get into my sewing room and create. All I’ve been doing, though, is laundry and errands and baking and napping. I have been knitting on one final gift that doesn’t need to be done until after Christmas.  All I want to do is escape to a cabin in the snowing mountains with some snowshoes, a fireplace and some handwork. Instead, we will pretend that our house is in the snowy woods, make a day trip to the mountains, build a fire at home and imagine that we are somewhere else.

This little pouch was inspired by one that I saw on Pinterest.  It may end up as a gift… or it may not. I haven’t decided. I was thinking about making a tutorial but I don’t have the energy at the moment. Instead, here are the basic measurements in case you feel like tackling one on minimal information.

  • Start with an 11″ x 13″ rectangle, layer with batting and lining and quilt.
  • Trim the corners with a 3″ radius (6″ diameter circle)
  • Bind all the way around.
  • Apply the zipper to the long ends of the rectangle.
  • On the short end, fold to make box corners, stitch at a width of 3″ and trim.
  • Bind the raw edges of the corners and slip stitch from the zipper to the corner to close.

I know those are pretty rough instructions. Maybe I will create a better tutorial later, if anyone is interested.

Merry Christmas! May you experience the true light and peace of Christmas this year.❤

Modern Building Blocks

December 8, 2015 § 10 Comments

MBB-whole-1
MBB-detail-1
MBB-detail-2
MBB-back-1
MBB-back-2

I finished the Modern Building Blocks quilt a week ago and it is now hanging up at my LQS, Gathering Fabric.  This was a fun block-of-the-month that we did through the shop.  We decided to make the quilt with dots and small prints instead of solids like the original Moda quilt.

When it came to finishing the back, I decided to  use up a few scraps and make a pseudo label.  That’s about as close as I get to labeling my quilts, I’m afraid.

Ten more days left of school and then I can play! Hurray!  I have been missing my sewing machine.  My husband has the misfortune of being forced to take some days off before Christmas or lose his vacation days. Not really a misfortune for us!  We are looking forward to relaxing over the holidays and enjoying ourselves.

Quilt Stats:

84″ x 94″
Batting – wool
Quilted – by Richla of GotKwilts

The lone quilter

October 10, 2015 § 18 Comments

rocky-trail

Going back to school as an adult later in life is not easy. I have been so busy! And I need to learn how to study all over again. I also miss my sewing machine.

I thought I would pop in for a moment and chat about this portion of a statement in a book that I recently read,

at many times along the way we will feel the inevitable loneliness that comes with doing good work: [ ] the artist who works alone on a quilt that in the end will be enjoyed by many, but no one will fully appreciate the lonely hours of tedious work that lies behind the completed project.”

The author was talking about the necessary time spent alone to improve & perfect a task or job. He listed athlete, teacher, business owner, artist & quilter as examples of people who out of necessity spend time alone to improve their game, instruction, business or craft.  I wonder if he consulted any quilters about how they feel about their time spent making a quilt?

mushroom

I rarely find that time alone to be lonely.  While working alone I am not lonely. As an introvert, I use that time to think, listen, process and renew my energy. Sometimes just the process of strip sewing pieces of fabric together is just what I need to de-stress and relax. Without that time spent alone I tend to feel rushed, tired and grumpy.

What about you? Do you find time spent sewing alone refreshing? Or do you feel lonely?

whiskey-jack

The photos are from a trip we took to Whistler, BC back in September.  It was gorgeous up in the mountains! I want to go back!

Everlasting love

September 8, 2015 § 15 Comments

Mini Hearts

Between trying to finish this quilt, going back to school, and dealing with my rib all summer I know I have been a less-than-present blogger.  I’m happy to say that my rib is now A-Okay!  Hurray!  And…  I’m a happy to announce that this quilt is finished!  Hazzah!  And… the two classes I am taking are falling into a new sort of rhythm in my life.  Maybe there will be some resemblance of blogging again.  I found a few drafted blogging ideas that I had been working on, so we shall see how this goes. So many ideas, so little time.

Mini Hearts

The heart blocks in this quilt were made by the ladies in the Faith Circle of the Do.Good.Stitches Flickr group.  They did a fantastic job!  Thank you ladies!  While my hubby is replacing the wood on the deck, there is way too much stuff in front of our shed for a decent photo shoot. So I walked over to the elementary school near us to take some photos. Late afternoon sun makes for some interesting shadows.

Heart quilting

I’m quite happy with the way this quilt turned out.  Although my quilting is less than stellar, once washed the quilt transforms into that crinkly, cozy goodness that I love so much. I decided to free-motion quilt long strings of hearts on the quilt.

Matching Plaids

And the plaid on the back was a sale fabric acquired some time ago. It worked perfectly.  I even made an effort to match the plaids in the center seam. As always, click on the photos to see a bigger version.

Mini Hearts Back

This quilt, as are all made by the ladies in the Faith Circle, go to Restore Innocence, an organization that rescues girls from human trafficking.

The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
~ Jeremiah 31:3 ~

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  • Jesus said, “ Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
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