Monday, September 30, 2013

Fresh Sewing Day

To say this past month has been full is an understatement, and I'm ready to move on.

City Sampler blocks were a brief respite in each busy week.

Bee blocks, on the other hand, were just finished, so you'll hear more about them {and see them better} one day soon.


There was an assortment of littles and quilts. And if I were to pick favorites, one would definitely be Chinese Checkers, the quilt in the center of the top row - it's my own design and I tried some new-to-me fabrics and quilting, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed. And then that little maple leaf mug rug in the second row probably took the least effort of it all, but makes me smile every day as I use it on my desk at work. Silly maybe, but true.
1. Triangle Patchwork Box Pouch, 2. "Chinese Checkers", 3. Vintage Pencil Case, 4. Mini Maple Mug Rug, 5. wonky log cabin potholders to swap; fabric is Nordika by Jeni Baker, 6. Seattle icon mug rug, 7. Handy Market Tote, 8. Fissues - a slice and insert quilt, 9. Sweet Trips Embroidery Pouch

Heading into October, the Patchwork Please sew along is winding down, I'm anxiously waiting to hear from my URHere swap partner, and of course I have a mental list of new projects started. Undoubtedly I'll find something unexpected to entice me too.

Linking up with Fresh Sewing Day.

Zakka Along 2.0 :: Week 18

Reading through your blog posts about the Handy Market Tote, it seemed like alot of you felt just like I did about this project - it was terrific and one many of us plan on using again!

Congrats to Cary of Creative Moments by Cary, winner of last week's project linky.

Four months into the Patchwork Please sew along, it's my turn to officially share a project! It's one delightful pattern, the Sweet Trips Embroidery Pouch, one of two projects in the final Crafting section!
Read through the materials list carefully before starting. Under the first category where it says "seven print with other background color," this is for the 4 corner "stars", so it's actually 7 for each corner star.
Another little detail to pay attention to is the 'no seam allowances added' note on page 135. So if you are using templates, be sure to enlarge as indicated and add those seam allowances. For accuracy sake, I chose to paper-piece my front cover. It was really helpful to lay out all my pieces before I started, and even mark on my papers what color went where. One of my favorite techniques in this project (also used in the Teabag Pouch project earlier in the sew along) was the 'flange' in step #6. What a nice easy way to add an accent.

I made a few tweaks to personalize my pouch a bit. First up was making the vinyl pocket flap out of patchwork. I used this method to piece those 1 1/2" squares and it worked wonderfully! (Note to self to do that again!) The one thing I wouldn't do again is use fusible batt on the flap. I thought it would be nice considering I was quilting the patchwork, but it did turn out kind of thick for that space. But sewing-wise, it all worked well. And making that vinyl pocket was a piece of cake! I was a little scared of it but my machine wasn't concerned at all. I didn't need to use a larger needle, or line with paper, or use any of the other tricks of the trade.
It worked so well that when my mom suggested adding a large vinyl pocket on the left side, I went for it! I think it's a fun look and just adds to the functionality of the pouch. Good idea, mom!
The last change I made was to create ties to close rather than a button and loop. What a fun project, start to finish!

The giveaways for linking up this week's project are 1 yard Pellon® 911FF Fusible Featherweight + a fat quarter bundle of Cloud9 iHaus.
You also have a chance of winning a prize package by commenting on this post - all donated by our generous sponsors!
And as a bonus, I also have 6 fat-quarters of ihaus that I'm adding in, left from my Handy Market Tote.

Wow. Be sure and let our week's sponsors know how much we appreciate them!

To link up your project, click on the frog below and follow the instructions. One entry per person, please.

Click the links to find out more about the sew along, Ayumi, and how to order the book. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Fissures was first started in an Improv Slice and Insert class I took with Katie Pedersen and Jacquie Gering several months ago, and is loosely inspired by "Shattered" in their book, Quilting Modern.
It began with these 9 blocks, 7 of which I had made in class. Fabric-wise, I used a background of Kaufman's Carolina Chambray in Natural, slicing and inserting with the additions of Anna Maria Horner's Field Study multi-colored butterflies and Kona Olive. Eventually the small blocks (7" finished) were grouped together and 'bordered' with more of the Olive.
For quilting the center blocks, I used Aurifil 50wt #2000 (Beige) and did small, squarish spirals in each little section. This was alot of fun, and I'm super pleased with the interest it adds to what I considered the focal point of the quilt.
In quilting the border, I switched to Aurifil 50wt #2910 (Foliage Green), and began by following all of the solid green inserts out to the edge. From there I echo-stitched, using those lines and any seam lines as guides, with lines about 1/2" apart.
Quilting as I did gave quite a variety of angles and actually made the solid green quite busy. I had a few issues with puckers with all the turning I was doing, and I was temped to wash this one up to hide some of that. But for the sake of full disclosure and sharing process, I opted to just put it out there as is.
For the back, I pieced the last of my Field Study {bummer} with large blocks of In the Beginning's Dit Dot. Yes.
This quilt is one of those that was pretty much satisfying from beginning to end. And I'm gonna come right out and say that one of the things I love about it, is that when I was back in the class and showed Jacquie the fabrics I was planning on using for my slice and insert blocks, she commented something like, "nice fabrics but I've never done this technique with prints."
But by the end of class, she was encouraging me along with a smile and a hearty, "It works!"

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Table Tidbit

Sewing posts have been so rampant of late, Tuesday at the Table took an unplanned hiatus. So I figured since we experienced a little foodie moment today, I might as well tell you about it pronto.

Hubby and I were in the city for a bit this afternoon, and when I realized we were quite close to Tom Douglas' newest venture, Assembly Hall, I asked hubby to drive by on our way to the freeway. It probably wasn't the best idea, as it was pouring rain Seattle style, but when we got there and drove by, I couldn't resist asking hubby to park, so we could take a quick peek.
Totally unplanned is sometimes the best. And though we got a bit wet walking over, it was totally worth it.
We were only there 15 minutes or so, but were able to see the lay of the land so to speak. In short, Assembly Hall is a downtown complex that includes Assembly Juice and Coffee, the restaurant TanakaSan, a tiny little garden shop in Zinnea Garden Bench, and Home Remedya specialty market and takeout shop.
 Let's just say it was all quite inviting and interesting, and we'll be back.
For today, we just grabbed a pack of TingMomo Tibetan dumplings to go, though there were lots of other tempting pre-mades from Tom's various restaurants among other culinary delights.
I'm a fan of just about anything TD, and am in awe as his empire continues to grow. So it was a treat to be able to check out the latest, if only for a moment.

Friday, September 27, 2013

City Sampler Quilt Along :: Blocks 52, 53, & 54

The first block this week was just a fun one to put together, and I was happy I had a charm of the same pink/orange fabric as in the book. It just made a simple block that much more striking.
Block 52

For the next two blocks I used some of my new Acacia - possibly my favorite Tula line yet.
Block 53

This last block was especially fun!
Block 54

Some of you are commenting that you have given in to temptation and want to join in the sew along and that's great as we've got months to go yet! Here's the book we're sewing from. And I updated my block grid right here!

Linking up with Sew Sweetness.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Deja Vu and Other Randomness

Last week's random linky was quite fun! I really enjoyed seeing all of your most-viewed flickr photos! While we're on a roll, I thought we'd do it again. But this time, how about linking up your very first blog post? {Mine's here.} It's good to take a glance back now and them, not just to see how far you've come, but also as a reminder of what prompted you to start blogging in the first place. I love the hopefulness and innocence in these posts. And if you aren't a blogger, link up your first flickr photo or any other first for that matter.

Hard to believe quarter 3 of the Finish-A-Long is almost over!! The FAL is always a great motivator for me and I'm excited to be sharing a tutorial in this round up! I'm also quilting like crazy in an effort to finish just one more w.i.p.!
she can quilt

Interesting new books by authors I 'know' are more than abundant lately. What's enticing you? This one popped into my cart this week (on preorder), a dictionary of sorts by two awesome quilt bloggers, Lynne Goldsworthy and Kerry Green.

And so did Delancey: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage by Molly Wizenberg of Orangette.
Molly's first book, A Homemade Life, is one of my favorites, where she "recounts a life with the kitchen at its center". I can relate to that.

We're already in the final stretch of the Zakka 2.0 :: Patchwork, Please sew along. {snif}
I hope you'll stop by next Monday and see the project I get to present! Here's a little sneaky peek!

And fabric has shipped out for the Modern Quilt Guild's Basics Challenge with Riley Blake Designs. The Seattle Modern Quilt Guild will be participating - any one else?
Well that's about it for this week!
Linking up with Random Thursday.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Patchwork Please! :: Handy Market Tote

This week's project was another that caught my eye at first glance through Ayumi's book. But when I read through step #1 this morning, I was stumped with the 'folded strip.' So I conferred with Amber, our sew along blogger who had already made the tote, and she set me straight. It should read 'folded strip of elastic'. Ah ha. Once I got that little detail, it was smooth sailing!

I really loved the combo of fabrics I chose for the tote: Essex yarn dyed in blackiHaus by Cloud9architextures, heath, and some classic dots. And construction was a breeze. Though one other thing to note is that if you want your bag to look like in the book, add "top-stitch along top edge" to the end of step #3.

In the interest of time in a busy week, I did take a couple of short-cuts that I thought wouldn't affect my enjoyment of the bag. I omitted the interior pockets and also the button closures on the large exterior pockets. With the heavy interfacing (I used Pellon 809 Decor-Bond), I didn't think the pockets needed the closure, and I'm perfectly happy with my choice. Since I was using fat-quarters for the pockets, the sides of the tote coordinate, but are different.

One of the features I really like is the handles. For one, they are good and strong and wide. Another - the pattern has you 'double them up' right where you'll hang on to them, a feature I think I'll find very useful, and I'm glad to have tried this method just for the sake of trying it.

Though I had a bit of a stumble-start, I am thoroughly pleased with my finished bag. It's a keeper!

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

W.i.P. Wednesday

Yikes. It's been two long months since I've linked up with W.i.P. Wednesday. I've been busy co-hosting and sewing along with Patchwork, Please, managing to stay on track with the City Sampler quilt along, and stitching up sundry other quilts, totes, and littles. There's also been Falling for Modern Maples, a flickr group with no agenda other than to gather folks together as they make a variety of Modern Maples. If you're inclined at all, join us! I dare ya!

Current projects
City Sampler Quilt Along - Three little blocks a week is quite doable and they are so satisfying! I'm enjoying mixing up what Tula bits I have in my stash. And every few weeks I make a block grid to see how things are coming.

September bee blocks - I'm half done and working against the clock.

Improv Slice and Insert Quilt - Below is the top prior to quilting. I'm a good third done, but it's time consuming.

Patchwork, Please
- I have fabric cut out for this week's Handy Market Tote.
Be sure and check in next Monday when I'm finally presenting my sew along project, the Sweet Trips Embroidery Pouch!

Star Bright quilt for 100 Quilts for Kids charity quilt drive - With a bit of a delay receiving my backing fabric, I'm behind on finishing this. But the top is done, and even if I don't make the deadline, I'll be finishing and donating this quilt soon.
Star Bright 

Upcoming projects
* Q4 Finish-A-Long tutorial
* prepping more City Sampler blocks
* a Nora Clutch
Mini Quilt Swap project
Polaroid Quilt
* pillows for Mom
* another scrappy quilt
* two-color quilt challenge for SMQG

Linking up with W.i.P. Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.


I'm not sure what possessed me to join the URHere Swap, but I did!
New Swap Group 
Sponsored by Amy/Sukie, I knew it was bound to be fun! Basic premise? Swap a Starbucks "You Are Here" mug plus something sewing related, either notions or handmade. I opted for the latter, and a mug rug seemed the obvious choice. 

Making my own paper-piecing pattern is not something I'd ever attempted. But I came up with a little something inspired by the Seattle mug, and gave it a shot. HERE is what I began with . . . it's not quite what I ended up with and it certainly isn't a complete pattern, but help yourself if you want to give it a go and make your own version. Meanwhile, this cool mug and its rug will be winging their way to a destination TBA!

Linking up with {Big} City Girl QAL.