Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sewing and Pattern Testing

Last spring, after an almost 15 year break, I started to sew again. My cousin had shown me a purse she made, the pattern was by Amy Butler. It peaked my interest to sew some purses. (Amazingly I have yet to make that particular purse!) My first google search of 'purse patterns' lead me to Anna's blog.  Finding hers and subsequent sewing/quilting/purse making blogs has me full throttle ahead into sewing again!

First pattern I tried from Anna's blog was the gathered clutch pattern. It was for a long time friend who received it and a box filled with various patterns I was trying out at the time. This was my first sewn in zipper clutch!

Then I made Anna's Runaround Bag as a gift for a friend. Quick, easy and fun! Wish I took a photo of it before I gave it away. Next was her Go Anywhere Bag. I made several of these.

The first Go Anywhere Bag was for me, made with Japanese fabric, piped and lined with shot cotton, and leather handles. This is my favorite bag to date!

 My daughter Amy saw this and wanted one too.   Her's was made with fabric from my stash, and corded handles.

Not wanting to be left out,  my older daughter Mylissa, mother to twins and a 2 1/2 year old, wanted one but 'Mom, could you make it a diaper bag?   A BIG Diaper bag?"  I added some width,  a gusset all around,  a zipper top,  zippered some of the pattern's pockets, added more zippered pockets, and heavy duty handles to the original pattern.

I need her to take a photo of the finished diaper bag, I though I had one!

update: Finished bag photo! 

Last month Anna posted some photos of her current in-the-works pattern and I emailed her and offered to help test the Envelope Clutch Pattern for her.  So here are they are!

The Small Envelope Clutch made in  Washi fabric fabric by Rashida Coleman Hale,  linen, lined and corded with hot pink kona cotton.  I made a wristlet strap and an adjustable shoulder strap for it.

The Medium Envelope clutch, using the Washi Fabric line inside and out.

                       And finally, the Ipad case, Amy Butler 'Martini' and some Sweetwater fabric.

Anna's patterns are easy to follow and make wonderful gifts too! I'm already working on another small envelope clutch in ivory linen with plans for another ipad case (yes, I have my eye on the Ipad 3 and it will need a case, the one above is the dear hubby's)... the possibilities are endless! 

Time to go have our corned beef and cabbage and make up another new pattern I just downloaded from my other favorite pattern maker.... stay tuned!

Monday, March 5, 2012


I am not sure if I am cut out to be a blogger yet, so busy sewing and with family things. But I won't give up. I was encouraged to read another blogger admit she did not really start blogging regularly until after a year of being online!
I just signed up for the Sewing Summit in Salt Lake City in October. Right before my birthday. I always do a trip, a concert or three, something special around that time. So this year, it will be Utah, never been there and look forward to playing tourist in the city, meeting new people and SEWING!

I wanted to share the quilts I made this past fall for our grand twins Kate and Eli. I used two charm packs of Lilly and Wil, paired them with some 'cotton cool',  fabric I purchased a full bolt of back in the early 90's. I separated the pinks and the blues, divided the browns and greens up between the two, and used a simple hour glass block. There are many tutorials for the hour glass block so I won't even attempt to explain LOL!

I did border them with a coordinating Lilly and Wil fabric, backed with another, and did the plaid binding on the bias to get the plaid on the angle. Simple small arcs machine quilting,  cotton batting and good machine wash and dry to get that wonderful crinkly aged look.

Each quilt was 9 x 9 blocks, so if you are counting, that's 41 prints matched up with 41 of the solid to get 82 hour glass blocks (with one extra) per quilt.  Charm squares being 5", makes the finished block 4" equals 36"  square plus  2" borders and binding for an approximate 40" square quilt.

I hope this has inspired you to try making an hour glass quilt. Play with block size, use your scraps, your favorite packet of charm squares you have no clue what to do with. This size would also make a great table topper! One pack of charm squares? Alternate with solid blocks to still get the same size!

Wow, that wasn't too bad, I thought this blogging thing would take a while! I might have to write again tomorrow... 

have a great day and happy sewing!