Wednesday, January 21, 2015

FF: Tote for a Friend.

Friends, there is something about having a list. I feel the immense need to conquer it. Vanquish it, even. When I check something off of it, I feel invincible. And like I pretty much rock. (Because, ahem, I TOTALLY do.)

I present to you, item #1 to be checked off my super awesome (and long) Q1 FAL list, a super awesome 241 tote for my friend Kim. It is a late Christmas present, and while I don't love it quite as much as the 241 tote that I made for me, I was sad to give it away because I would have totally rocked it. You know, when I wasn't rocking mine. Or my Tula raccoon bag. Or my beloved, special-occasion-only Tenshi Neko bag. Or one of the other many awesome bags that I own. (I own a lot of bags.)

This color palette had me singing. (Floral fabric is from Blend Fabrics...Global Bazaar, I think?) The floral was so bright and cheerful, and I don't think I ever would have picked it off the shelf, but when my friend Kim did--I let her help me fabric shop because I knew it would be a late gift--I was so excited about it. We teamed it up with the turquoise print and that navy solid-looking fabric which is actually a blender by Moda called Weave. It looks almost like a shot cotton. And y'all know my thoughts on shot cottons---yummmmmm.

This is the first time I got fancy-pants with this pattern. Kim had seen my bag (and liked it, of course) but mentioned that she would prefer a longer strap. Now...I could have just made a longer strap, but why not make an adjustable one instead? And out of webbing. That way I don't have to make a strap. (I really REALLY hate fusing interfacing, you know?) I used this tutorial, which was super helpful. I could only find webbing and hardware for 1", so that's how wide my strap is. (The pattern strap is a bit wider.) And the store only had gold hardware, which looks okay on this bag, but won't look okay on every bag, so next time, I might be ordering materials online. I also left off the magnetic clasp because the clasp on my bag kinda annoys me. (And by kinda, I mean really a lot.) Looking back, I wish I had made some kind of closure for it, but I'm hoping it won't be a big deal.

The inside lining is hot pink, which makes my pink-deprived heart so happy! I've been working with a lot of yummy blue lately, but it doesn't speak to my heart like pink. I'm happy to report that the bag has been delivered, and its new owner likes it.

I've probably said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again, but I really really love this bag pattern. I recently washed mine because of an unfortunate coffee spill, and the bag held up perfectly in the wash. And I already know who will be the recipient of my next one. (And it will be pink!!)

Items #2 and #3 from my FAL list are already finished, but you'll have to wait a bit for their reveal. One is my secret project of awesome, and the other is (another) late Christmas gift that I just dropped in the mail today. Soon, Friends, I promise.

I'm linking up with Michelle at From Bolt to Beauty for TGIFF. (And she better watch out, or I'm totally going to steal her new Sew Together bag.)

Friday, January 9, 2015

A bit of tidying.

I am out of batting. I am also out of interfacing, cotton webbing, and I never had the proper thread I need to quilt one of the tops on my to-do list. I need bag hardware. A trip to Joann's is certainly in order...except the wind chill is -4 degrees F, and there is no way I'm leaving my house unless it catches on fire, and it would have to be a pretty big fire at that.

So I've been tidying. Piecing quilt backs. Prepping binding. Putting fabric away. (Even throwing out my pile of pretty shot cotton trimmings, which hurt my heart a little.) Once I have some batting in my possession, the plan is to attack those three quilt tops and get 'er done. (I'm thinking a marathon basting I even have enough basting pins? Note to self: get more basting pins.)

I've done as much on these bags as I can without interfacing, bag hardware, and the cotton webbing. And while it's nice to have a clean sewing area, and all of those projects are stacked nice and neat and ready, I'd like to be checking some of these things off my list, you know?

SO! The plan is to get to Joann's tomorrow. Buy all the things. Hurry home! Baste, quilt, and bind the secret project of awesome! Maybe baste some other stuff! Fuse all the interfacing! Maybe some other stuff too!

What are you up to this weekend?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Q1 2015 FAL List.

I missed the sign-ups for the 2014 Q4 FAL because I was traveling and had no internet--yes, there are places without internet--and I have no intention of missing out on the Q1 sign-ups for 2015! I really missed having that list of awesome to give me a good kick in the pants. Let's jump right in!

1. Baby E's quilt
Top is done; backing fabric is purchased

2. Secret Quilt Project of Awesome
Top is done, but can't show any pictures because it's a secret

3. Tote #1
Pockets are cut; Fabric is purchased

Most of the tote is cut; some of the interfacing is fused

5. Project Linus #1 of the year
Top is done

6. Project Linus #2 of the year
Top is done; need backing

7. Banzo's Quilt
Have fabric; have a vision

8. TP City Sampler Quilt
Need a few more blocks, then to set the blocks

9. Gypsy Wife Quilt
Need a few more blocks, then to set the blocks

It's an ambitious list, that's true, but an ambitious list is my very favorite kind. I know some of these aren't going to get done. (I'm okay with that.) But time to get to it! I'm linking up with the 2015 Q1 FAL linky with Adrianne at On the Windy Side!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Sunday, January 4, 2015

SS: Latest Acquisitions

Before the death flu descended on my house, I squeezed in a quick visit to the LQS. From left to right: purple star fabric to back Baby E's purple quilt, tree batiks (my fave batik ever) for a birthday gift, and the last four will be used for another birthday gift. I did not look at selvages because that would have been responsible. I do know the dark navy is a Moda weave, and I really like the look of it. Subtle texture, but awesome nonetheless. Wish I had picked up more of it.....

I'm linking up today with Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash, woo!

Molli Sparkles

Thursday, January 1, 2015

It's 2015.

FRIENDS. Unless you've been living in a cave without a calendar, then you probably already know it's 2015, but it's still a bit of a kick in the pants to me. While I haven't been in a cave for the past few weeks, I have been dealing with the flu to end all flus, and OMG, I am so over it. I spent three days in bed, which is unheard of, and my husband has spent seven. (I've yet to see if today will be day eight or if the poor man is feeling well enough to be up for a bit. Just in: he's out of bed! Woohoo!)

Before I got waylaid, I was working on this stack of yummy delicious shot cottons. (Secret project of awesome, coming soon to an awesome blog near you! Or, you know, this one.)

This pile is slowly growing. Lots and lots of trimming. But you know what that means? Super sharp corners of yummo. That's what.

I finished my Stash Bee block--and more importantly, my "tutorial"--just under the wire. Block is based on the Glorious Autumn block by Fresh Lemons Quilts.

I finished this quilt top earlier in December for my newest niece, who decided she just couldn't wait to meet me, so she came three weeks early! Meaning I have to get this quilted pronto. Luckily for me, I picked up backing fabric recently, and now I just need to get batting.

Stupid flu. Wrecked all of my well-laid plans. It's day 1 of 2015, and I'm already behind. UGH. Alright! Off to work on the secret project of awesome. Because, you know, it's awesome.

Friday, December 12, 2014

FF: The Ranch Quilt Top.

Two hundred and eleven pieces later, this quilt top is finished. (I love it.)

It's made with a mix of Kona, Bella, and AMB solids. I've worked with both Bella and Kona solids in the past, but this was my first time working with AMB. They were...interesting. Not in a bad way! But they were definitely different from their Kona and Bella counterparts. AMB solids have a high thread count, and they worked fine with Agatha and my Aurifil thread, if I was making a project only using AMB solids, I would switch to a different needle. (For the record, I almost always use an 80/12 Schmetz needle.) I could definitely feel a difference when sewing through them.

Now I'm left with a do I quilt this bad boy?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Small Steps.

I am slowly checking things off of my Christmas to-do list. And, you know, only sixteen more days to get it all done. Because that makes me feel better! Sheesh. The other day, my oldest asked me if I'd make him a scarf. Oh, son. You know I will because I am helpless to say no when you ask me to make you something. BUT, it won't be until January. (At the earliest.)

My absolute must-do-before-Christmas task is completed. I needed to make another stocking for the baby. Last year, I made four stockings for my family, and even though a year had passed, I still hadn't forgotten about how annoying they were to make. The thought of making a fifth was super daunting. However! I had saved my template from last year--bravo, Audrey, you occasionally make smart calls--and I remembered that I needed to cut my cuff 1/4" smaller to ease it into the stocking. Thankfully, those two things saved me about a kajillion years of trouble, and this stocking came together with relative ease, proving once again that being prepared and knowing what you're doing can save so much time. The oldest boys decided that Fava's stocking should be yellow. Hopefully next year he doesn't protest and demand an orange or purple one.

I also needed a birthday gift for my BFF, so I sent her the largest size of the open wide zippy bag from Noodlehead. Of course, it was stuffed with goodness.

And here is the finished yellow stocking among its comrades. My sons demanded to have their stockings next to the baby's, so he's sandwiched. I love how much they love their brother. I had my husband hang another nail this weekend for his stocking, and now there are five, so envision a fifth red stocking next to the blue one, okay?

I've finished the top for the baby quilt that has to be done next month, and I'm working on other Christmas/birthday gifts. I'm not going to get everything done. I know that. But I'm trying! :)


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