Strings and Things

I got back into the swing of things this Sunday, with a long overdue sewing day with my pal, Toni.  Toni finished up an ancient UFO, a baby quilt top…and I made a few Bee Blocks.

This one is for Susan, for the Fresh Modern Bee that, due to some things going on in my life, I had to drop out of early, but promised her I’d finish up her block:

Then I made these fun string blocks for Terri, for the One Block Over Bee:

Using a paper foundation, these blocks go together FAST and EASY:

Now, obligations fulfilled, I am on to sewing bags, starting with a few coin purses:

It’s great to be creating again…

Snap Happy…

….or Snap Crazy? I made seven more of these cute little snap bags this week. Six of them are thank yous from my small group members to the small group that hosted us for our Picture Piecing workshop two weekends ago. We made coordinating tissue cozies, and filled these with goodies to thank them for the day of fun they gave us!
This fabric came from the stash of one of our group members, it has little bumble bees, spools of thread, and the words “Quilting Bees” all over it, from South Sea Imports, it’s a release from a few years ago…cute, huh?!I made a seventh one as a birthday gift for a certain little glamour girl I know. Adding a shoulder strap to it, it makes the perfect little purse size for a six year old.
I have a huge stash of LakeHouse brights, and this was a great project to use a few of them on…
And finally, I thought I would show you the free fabric I received this week. That’s right, free fabric! I won a $25.00 gift voucher from Bunte Fabrics, through True Up, for participating in the Favorite Fabrics of 2009 carnival. Yvonne at Bunte carries European imported fabrics, these are from Germany, one yard of each poplin design (57″ WIDE!), and are now in my sewing studio:That pink cherry print may even make it into a Valentine themed project this weekend at retreat… Yvonne’s service was amazingly fast, I ordered on Thursday afternoon and had these in my mailbox on Monday! Go visit her shop

And one last pic, I thought you might like to see my sewing companion. Her favorite spot to rest/sleep/hide/groom herself is between the two quilts that hang on this quilt rack in my sewing room. She probably spends 18-20 hours a day in that spot. The other night I walked in to get something, and she was peeking out the side. I had to snap a picture. It’s almost as if I caught her in the middle of something…. hmmmmm…. The log cabin quilt she is sitting under is one I bought at an auction about 5-6 years ago in Cedar Falls, Iowa. I don’t know anything about the maker or provenance, but it’s a lovely, soft, treasure. The one behind it is a pink and white drunkard’s path, also an auction purchase.

Hip, Hip, Hooray!

A new bag! I made this bag over the weekend…
It’s a sample for the shop. It went together very quickly, even making coordinating piping…It’s a great size, not too small, but small enough to be an easy carry all for a day of shop-hopping, walking around a quilt show, etc.The fabric is all from the Whimsy line by Pillow & Maxfield for Michael MIller, the blues are stunning shades, and the coordinate prints are a lot of fun. Here’s the inside of the bag:
This one will be at the shop for several months on display (and kits are available!) so I may have to make another to use in the meantime!

I love the sense of accomplishment with these smaller projects. My quilts tend to be large and involved, so it takes a while to get to completion. How about you, have you made any bags? Any other smaller projects you like to do to get that sense of a “finish”, more often?

Happy Creating!


Gifts in a Snap!

I made several Snap Happy! bags for stocking stuffers and small Christmas gifts… The pattern makes three sizes, but gives instructions for making any size you want:

They are made using a piece of metal tape measure at the top, so the bag opens by pulling on the triangle tabs (prairie points) and snaps shut.
And, yes, that’s right, it uses pieces of a metal tape measure, like this:

I produced these assembly line style, and it did go rather quick.

And the options are endless for matching the likes/tastes/hobbies of your recipient, novelty fabrics are wonderful for these. I made several girl-y ones (I love that lingerie fabric!), a music oriented one, a sewing themed bag, and the matching set above that will go to my best friend soon!

I was the lucky recipient of a surprise handmade gift in the mail…from a “new in 2009” friend, who like me was striving to focus on the Advent season rather than the stressful holiday season, and thought I could use this token of her friendship to keep me focused.
It’s hanging proudly on my sewing room door, and it worked, it kept me focused on the reason for the season with every glance I took at it! The added bonus, I almost never receive handmade gifts myself, so this was a true treat!

Keep Christ in your heart, and have a very Happy New Year!

Bagged another gift

My little sister had a birthday on October 8th, she asked me a few weeks before that to make one of my bags as her gift. I delivered, albeit a little late, this handbag on Saturday:
She actually gave me four of these pieces of fabric back in July for my birthday, so I used a little bit of them as inspiration for her bag. It’s based on the 10-strip Wonder Bag pattern, available from here… But of course, I changed it up a bit, ’cause…that’s what I do!
The photos don’t really show it (it’s November in Iowa, folks, no more true color pics until April or so…) but the fabrics are a deep eggplant, pumpkin orange, goldenrod yellow, and moss green–LOVELY Autumn shades!I have fabric to make a few more of these, but I have some holiday projects ahead of them, so it may be a month or two before I show you more bags!

Do you have a favorite bag pattern? I really do enjoy making them, and I love the utilitarian factor…

Miranda Squared

When I listed my UFOs last year, two of them included handbags made from Lazy Girl’s Miranda Day Bag pattern. I inished them both, and showed them to the world here. And here. This is the one I made for myself.
It gets a lot of attention, and I’ve been asked by many people to make a bag for them after seeing this one. I made one as a store sample for the shop I worked at part-time:
It turned out really cute and is made from In the Beginning fabrics. I even had the chance to practice my stipple quilting on it…
And my Mom picked out fabric for a bag of her own…
The Moda fabric that makes up the main part of this bag was her inspiration, it is not my style, but I had fun quilting the design (sorry, no good photos of the quilting but it follows the clamshell shape and the paisley pattern).
This is a great bag pattern, it also comes in a Mini-Miranda size. I make mine “mini” by just reducing the pattern as I go. So of the four that I’ve made, each is slightly different in size and shape ’cause I make it up as I go. I could probably make these blindfolded by now. But I suppose using the rotary cutter blindfolded might be a little dangerous…