Monday, September 30, 2013

A Full Weekend of Sewing

or at least it seemed like it.  I'm going to do this chronologically so bear with me :). 

Friday night Hubby sent with a friend to a hockey game so Squeak and I stayed home.  I did manage to get some work done on my Autumn Sampler.  And then I actually finished Week 1 before I left for the OKCMQG's Sew Day Saturday Morning.

I got to the sit and sew late and then spent about an hour (ok, let's be real, it was a lot longer than that) just chatting and sorting through the flea market/swap items that everyone brought.  I didn't take any pictures, but I got some good stuff in exchange for some old Amy Butler fabrics that I was never going to use.

Then after I got all of that out of my system I sat down and actually got to work.  First I finished up a bag I've been making as a tester for one of Sara's new patterns.  Wait until you see this one!  And unfortunately you will have to wait because the pattern isn't quite ready for release yet.  Shouldn't be long though!

Then I moved on to work on making my Halloween Sampler into a pillow cover.  I need a bigger pillow form but I love the way it turned out.

After that I had planned on cutting and possibly piecing my Sudoku Quilt that was the Reader's Choice Project of the September but my rotary cutter seemed to be having some issues so instead I made a quick block for our newest charity quilt then helped a fellow guild member with a paper pieced block.  Somehow I seem to have been voted as the person to go to when it comes to paper piecing (not that I mind, just that I think they highly overrate my abilities!).

At home Saturday night I started a custom ordered clutch which I was able to finish up Sunday morning along with the Sudoku Quilt.  Great suggestion from The Colorful Fabriholic.  I still have quite a bit of those fabrics left so it I get to feeling ambitious this week I may try and make the suggestion from Laura C. as well.  I'll be doing a more in depth post about this quilt once it's actually quilted but until my supply buying ban is over it will have join the other completed quilt tops in the closet that are waiting for batting.  Tomorrow another set of fabrics is being put up for suggestions so make sure to check back and tell me what you think!

I seem to be all about Halloween this year.  So of course Squeak needed a handmade quilted fabric treat bucket for all of his goodies!  I used a tutorial I found on the Birch Fabrics website and just added a long strap so he can carry it easily.

This is the smallest version and look how much stuff can fit in it!  I plan on packing it full of Halloween goodies and giving it to him before school then that night he can use it when we go trick or treating.

(Look who made a rare appearance in the background!)

One of the items I picked up at the swap Saturday was a little kit for a Christmas Candle Mat.  It was my first time using a quilters grid and I think I may have been better off just piecing it normally.  Not everything lines up perfectly but I think it's cute none the less.  Not sure what I'll actually use it for, but I'll figure out something!

And last but not least, I finally got around to cutting the pieces for my Lithium Bag (yes, another pattern by Sara!).  I'll do a full post on it and the inspiration behind it when I have it completed.

Purse Palooza starts today and I can't tell you how excited I am!  I have several purses that I've been meaning to make for quite awhile now so we'll see how many I can get done!

Linking up to Weekend Do.  

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Behind the Scenes

I know things have been a little quiet around here lately but that doesn't mean I've slowed down any!  I've just been testing patterns and working on some other projects that I'm not quite ready to reveal yet.

I've got another bag tested for the wonderful Sara Lawson that I hope to be able to show you soon and a second on in the works.

And don't worry, I haven't forgotten about the Reader's Choice project :).  I have all of the supplies and plan to sit and cut everything and get it put together this weeekend in time for a Monday reveal.

I'm going to the doctor every week now and it's eating into my creative time a little.  

One of the most time consuming things that I'm working on at the moment is trying to put together a sew along.  This is not something I've ever done so before I officially announce what it is I'm trying to get everything organized and sponsors on board.  I can't tell you how nervous excited I am about it!!!

For pictures of my in progress works and a bit more randomness you can follow me on Instagram where I'm @SewingWithSqueak.

One thing I can show off this week is my finished Halloween Sampler.  

 I picked up fabrics for the borders yesterday and hope to have a pillow finished ASAP!  I'm loving Halloween this year especially since Squeak is old enough to have some fun this time around :)

Squeak is loving "school" and has already added a few new words to his vocabulary.  Before long there will be no stopping him :)

Wishing everyone a great Really Random Thursday!

Monday, September 23, 2013

What Weekend?!

I took my machine to sit and sew on Wednesday and would you believe that it is still in it's travel case?

Saturday was spent at a craft show.  Despite many, many obstacles and near disasters we made it and actually did pretty decent.

My booth is still a work in progress.  When I got there they actually gave me a space twice the size of the one I had reserved so I wasn't really prepared.  I borrowed a table from them but didn't have anything to cover it.

Lots of crates and boxes to create varying heights.

I definitely need to stock up on some of my smaller items.

I did take my little helper with me.  Squeak and I had a picnic on one of our quilts.

He deserved a nap :)

But he was up and ready to help me load when it was time to leave.

And Sunday was spent dealing with the aftermath of the show...

When I'm not using the crates at a show they are used for storage in my sewing room so in order to take them I create a huge mess!  It seemed like as good of a time as any to do a little rearranging and reorganizing.

It's actually got worse as I've gone along (how DOES that happen?).  After several hours in there yesterday I haven't made enough progress to take more photos.  Hopefully tonight will be productive :)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Aaragon Bag from Sew Sweetness

Another wonderful pattern from Sew Sweetness is being released today and I was one of the lucky ones that got to test it!

This one was perfect for me since Little Miss is due in about 3 weeks.  It is the ultimate diaper bag!  I originally had plans to do a patchwork version but when I went to pick up some supplies one of the workers showed me this fabric and I couldn't resist :).  It's the perfect gender neutral fabric and it coordinated wonderfully with the fabric I had pulled from my stash for the lining and accents.  Plus it's got cute woodland critters on it!  I still have plans to do a patchwork version but it's been put on the back burner until I get caught up on a few other things.

Since I'm going to be using this diaper bag for a toddler and a newborn I decided to skip the interior zippered pocket in favor of another elastic pocket.  My thinking was that I can use one side for each kid and hopefully keep things a little more organized than I usually do!  Two sets of diapers, snacks, cups, pacifiers, toys...well you get the idea.  This bag is loaded with pockets.  Mine ended up with four exterior pockets and six interior.

The instructions for the pattern were great although constructing it did have its challenges.  I wanted my bag to be super sturdy so I used a layer of batting with dense quilting plus a layer of fusible fleece on the exterior.  That made it a bit difficult to sew through all of the layers when attaching the lining with all of its thick pockets.  But I managed to get it done and get the binding attached (and I didn't even break a needle!).  I did finish the binding my hand though just to be sure I didn't mess up the bag at the last minute.  On the next version I might try to trim the fusible fleece so that it's a 1/2" smaller than the exterior pieces to help eliminate some of the bulk.

After all of that would you actually like to see some pictures of the completed project???

 I didn't get a photo of them, but I actually used purse feet!!  And they were as easy to install as a magnetic snap!  You will definitely be seeing more of them on my future purses.

 I think I will use the front and back exterior pockets for my items and leave all of the others for kids stuff.

And I absolutely LOVE the pop of color from the binding!  For the lining I used a solid gray  and for the elastic pockets I used a darker, gray with a cross hatch type print.  I do still want to add a "false bottom" to my purse to give the bottom more structure and prevent it from sagging.  Sara included instructions of how to insert one between the lining and exterior but I wasn't paying as much attention as I should have been and  missed it :/.

The exterior zippered pocket has another fun burst of color thanks to some fabric I pulled from my LQS's remnant bin on a whim a couple of weeks ago.

All in all this pattern is highly recommended!  Be sure to check out Sara's post for more photos of finished bags and details on where you can find the pattern.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Star Surround Quilt

I have a finish to show off this week!  It's actually been done for awhile but a quick trip to the park with Squeak was the opportunity I had been waiting for to get some decent photos of it.

This is my Star Surround Quilt.  I have to say a big thanks to Melissa for hosting the QAL and for all of the encouragement.  HSTs and Flying Geese are not my favorite things and this quilt had a LOT of them.  If she hadn't been there encouraging and pushing me to finish this might have gone in the WIP pile for a long time.

The top was made from a fat quarter bundle of Rock n' Romance that I purchased on a whim when Carnaby Street came out.  It is definitely not as bright and colorful as my normal fabric choices but I love it non the less and it will be our main living room snuggle quilt and the center of the redecorating that will be going on in there.  Thankfully I still have enough of the fabric left for another quilt and maybe a pillow or two.

For the back I used a purple varegated pearl cotton.  I simply hand wound it onto the bobbin and left it loose in the case instead of threading it through the tension.  It worked wonderfully!!!

Squeak has gotten over his fear of slides and now goes down it on a loop when we're at the park.  Maybe he'll like swings before too long...

I have a craft show in a couple of weeks and decided I need a new banner since I've changed the name of my shop.  It's now done and waiting for another trip to the park :)

I not only finished up my Halloween Sampler frames before the next part was released but I also finished up the frames for the Autumn Sampler and got started on the July block of the Woodland Sampler (no photo of this one).

 I've also been pattern testing for Sew Sweetness again.  I have one of the bags done and the other in the works.  Although I can't show off the finished one yet, this is the exterior of the second one.  The lines are a little rough, but I'm really liking this guy!  A trip to the store on my lunch break to pick up fabric for the handles should get me back to work on this tonight.

And last but not least, someone seems to like my new quilt :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Reader's Choice

Alright, it's a couple of days later than I planned but I'm ready to give this thing a try.  The first ever Reader's Choice (dun, dun, dun).

And I've decided to go ahead and jump right into the deep end instead of easing in.  Today I have for you 11 fat quarters of Mama Said Sew that I bought with another project in mind.  Sadly that project never got off the ground so they've been in my stash for quite a while.

So, let's go over the rules:
  1. At the first of every month I will post a photo of some fabrics that have been in my stash for quite awhile or that I just can't figure out what to do with.
  2. Take a look at the fabrics I have pictured above (keeping in mind the amount of fabric available) and leave a comment recommending a specific project that YOU would like to see me make from them.  I am willing to add a background fabric or a fat quarter here or there if necessary but the whole point of this is to work from stash as much as possible.
  3. Be sure to be specific about the project.  Don't just tell me you want me to make a quilt.  Tell me WHICH quilt.
  4. Be nice :).  Try not to give me something that is impossible to complete.
  5. At the end of the week I will pick one comment via a random number generator and that will be the project I tackle.
  6. Not all projects will get finished in one month's time but I will do my best to get as far as possible without neglecting previous commitments.
  7. Link up and join in the fun if you feel up to the challenge.
  8. Link up again at the end of the month to show off your progress.
  9. There may even be a small prize for one random, lucky person that joins in ;).
  10. HAVE FUN!!!
Alright here we go...

Linking up with Really Random Thursday and Thursday Threads.

PS this is my first time hosting a link up so sorry for any kinks.  Anyone know why it automatically linked up my own post?!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Hand Sewing Holiday

I did spend a little time at the machine but it seems like the majority of it was spent in a chair, needle in hand.  I have a few deadlines I'm trying to make.  First is the parade of quilts for the Star Surround QAL.  I have the quilting done and about 1/4 of the binding sewed on.  Second is the frame of the Halloween Sampler from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery which is about 2/5 of the way done.  And third, is the frame of the Autumn Sampler from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery which is about 4/5 of the way done.

As for machine sewing:

I finally tackled the custom order wallet.  The customer picked this print from an ad on Etsy and when I received it I realized that the scale of the print listed in the ad was WAY off.  I did my best to make it work but I'm sending her pictures today to see what she thinks.

The inside has two envelope pockets, an accordion pocket, a zip pocket and six card slots.  It was my first attempt at doing the zippered pocket using this pattern and the pattern left a lot to be desired.  I had to "jimmy rig" it in a couple of spots due to faulty cutting directions.  But you'd never know unless I told you ;)

Next up on my list was one of the newest patterns I've signed up to test for Sew Sweetness.  She asked for testers for two new patterns last week and I managed to get them both!  I'm waiting on supplies for one but in the meantime I figured I'd get started on the other one.  This is the quilted main exterior panel.  I had originally planned to do a quilt as you go style exterior for this bag but when I saw this cute print at JoAnn's Friday I couldn't resist (and it is for a diaper bag...).  The bag is now only waiting for me to bind the exposed interior seams (ugh, more hand sewing!!!).

And last but definitely not least, a new pouch for ME!  This pouch was made using the Noodlehead tutorial and was inspired by this one over at Missy Mac Creations.  When I left a comment asking where she had come up with her templates she was nice enough to e-mail me the pdf so I could make my own.  I can't decide which I like better, hers or mine.  But I definitely see myself making more of these in the future so THANK YOU Erin for the template and inspiration!!!

Be sure and check back tomorrow to see my first Readers Choice post where I show you a stack of fabric (or scraps) and YOU pick the project I should make with them :)

Linking up with Free Motion Tuesday, Fabric Tuesday, and Sew Cute Tuesday.