Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Sunflowers in a Vase Applique Wall Quilt

This is one of the applique designs from a series called Fiesta Vases, an applique designed by Susan R. DuLaney. I bought this pattern well over 10 years ago, so this was what I wanted to work on at my small applique group a few months ago.

I had the applique done for a long time and decided to sew a scrappy border. I sewed a scrappy background for a few quilts I have made before and my friend took my scrappy background idea and sewed a scrappy border like this one in black fabrics, only she add a tiny scrap of color in the center of her border blocks, which really pops on her black fabrics. Well I loved her scrappy border, so I used that idea and made my border in whites with an orange or yellow square in the center. Funny how I inspired her and she inspired me so between the two of us we got some great ideas, lol!!!

I did fusible applique with a blanket stitch on my quilt. I added an inner border of blue to define the sunflower in a vase and separate the white background from the white scrappy border. I love how it came out and so glad I finally go this one made!

The fabrics for the sunflowers and vase are batik or hand dyed fabrics.

Mostly batik fabric with the lighter green a hand dyed fabric and the yellow is hand dyed with a bit of orange paint and the profile orange sunflower is hand dyed fabric too.

The scrappy border is made in the same way as my Patchwork Scrappy Background tutorial, only start with a colored fabric square. My square is 1-inch.
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Monday, October 15, 2018

Convertible Tote with Dog Applique

I made this Convertible Tote (Sew Can She tutorial) with several changes. I have made a few of these bags before and I wanted to make this one with an applique on the front of the bag.  I also made even more changes than I usually do. This is a simple basic bag, but by making changes you can give it a different look.

So first I fused the applique pieces to the front and stitched them down with a blanket stitch. The salmon colored fabric is a fabric that I tie dyed myself a few years ago.

Since I used a dog applique, what goes better with a dog applique than a fabric with "dog" wording. I added the back zippered pocket, but instead of placing the zipper in the center of the top fabric band, I placed it in the main fabric instead.

I never liked how the strap tabs were sewn to the bag in the directions (no offense Caroline!), so I riveted a longer strap tab to each exterior side of the bag. I made a regular adjustable strap with a slider, which I find works better too. 

I also used foam instead of fleece on this bag and love the foam too! I love how this bag turned out!

A dog and bird applique on hand dyed fabric. The top band is dog words. The applique is a Bonnie Sullivan design meant for using wool, but I used cotton, from her series called You Lucky Dog Best Friends.

The strap tabs are riveted to the bag sides.

I added the zipper pocket to the main back fabric instead of the top accent panel.

Cute dog sayings.

Inside the bag is roomy for a smallish bag. I didn't have enough blue fabric for the entire lining, so I repeated the top accent inside and used the same fabric for the pockets. I actually like how that looks. I have made other bags that do this, so I may do the accent fabric inside again.

I made a divided slip pocket, the center is divided to hold a pen, with larger pocket spaces on either side of the pen pocket.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Spinning Star Quilted Table Topper

My blog friend, Vicki (of Vicki's Crafts and Quilting blog) has been busy making table runners and toppers and other things to sell at some craft shows. When she showed one called the Swirling Star Card Trick on her blog last month, I thought I wanted to try making one. Hers had 4 fabrics and I wanted to use more fabrics and narrower strips (mine has 7 fabrics) and so while I was looking around online I found a similar one. I used mostly scraps from my batik scraps and cut a few other strips. The sewing wasn't hard. I didn't want to have to add binding all around this, so opted to do the pillow/birthing method instead. That wasn't hard to do, but when I turned the whole thing, I did notice my points weren't perfect. Since I couldn't see what I was doing with the batting and backing, I guess I forgot about those points! Learning experience!! Oh well that's how it goes sometimes.

I like how it has an interesting look, but not wild about the Swastika look it creates when they all come together! Hmmm. Well I don't think I will be making any more of these toppers. I prefer to do an applique topper anyhow. But it was a good learning experience and glad I gave it a try. I will leave these kind of toppers to the experts like Vicki! LOL!!!

This is the backing fabric. My friend Tara gave me this fabric I think last year for my birthday.

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Sunday, October 7, 2018

Gracie Bag @ 80% with Hot Air Balloons

I wanted to try making another Gracie Bag (by Shamballa Bags), but reduce it in size. I reduced this Gracie Bag to 80%, which is still a nice size without being too large. I also thought it would look great with some hot air balloon fabric. 

I paired this Gracie with a multi-colored batik fabric and some green fabric I hand dyed years ago. Just barely had enough of the hand dyed fabric I needed for this bag.

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta started yesterday and I wish I could have taken all my hot air balloon bags with me to sell at the show, but the cost to sell in the huge arts and crafts tent there is way out of my price range. So this and the other bags will go to the shows in November, where I hope they will go to good homes and be loved.

I love how real these balloons look.

Okay this is funny. Now that I am looking at these photos, I realized I forgot to add the rivets to the straps! LOL! I will go and add them now, but I will have to add the updated photos to this posting when I get the photos later. Sometimes you see things differently in a photo than in person, lol! 

Back of the bag. I added a slip pocket that is really needed to have outside the bag and the back was the perfect place for a pocket.

Here is a closer look at the slip pocket on the back of the bag.

Still a lot of room for a smaller bag.

One zippered pocket inside the bag. I forgot to add my zipper pull before taking the photo.

Here is the zipper pull in this photo.
Got the rivets added to the straps, whew! Now it looks a bit better and more balanced, lol! Glad I caught that before I took it to sell at the craft show next month!

Back of Gracie with added rivets on straps.

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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Flower City Potholder Set

I recently tested the Flower City Potholder set by Radiant Home Studio. The pattern is a set of 3 potholders, with one being an oven mitt. I made the square potholder and the long casserole potholder. I made a goof in the oven mitt (my fault!) and didn't have any more of the same fabrics left, so I will only show you these two.
These two are the easiest to make and go together fairly quickly too.

I used some fabric I had around for a while that I knew would make a nice apron or potholder, but not needing an apron, I hadn't used this fabric. So it was the perfect fabric to use for this set of potholders.

The vegetable fabric was actually the border on both sides of the orange plaid fabric and the other coordinating fabric I had was the purple plaid. So I cut out the vegetable fabric for the pockets of these potholders.

Okay I am not that good at staging a photo, especially when taking these outdoors.

The empty Fiesta bowls look lonely without something yummy to eat in the bowls. A food magazine photographer I am not, lol!!!
Pop over to Radiant Home Studio while this pdf pattern is on sale, if you want to make some quick gifts for the gourmet chef in your life or the simple cook. You can even sew a patchwork version, which Sara includes the instructions for doing the patchwork version as well in the pattern. These could be a great scrap busting project as well. uses cotton batting and a thermal batting as well.
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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Amber Bag

As a bag tester for Shamballa Bags, Sammy (the designer of the bags) has her testers choose a number from 1 to whatever (usually about 21) then she randomly picks a number and whoever chose that number gets the next bag named after them. Well this time Sammy did the number picking, but it was to choose a name for a secret bag pattern that she was selling for a low price for a certain number of days. You didn't know what the bag looked like and the pdf pattern would be emailed to those who pre-purchased the pattern. 

Well I was the lucky one who got chosen to name this bag (I didn't test this bag though). I asked Sammy if it should be a female name too and she said yes, so I named it after my beautiful daughter, Amber. The pattern will be released to anyone wanting to purchase it on October 15, which just so happens to be my Amber's birthday, so it was meant to be, lol!

Since Amber my daughter, was born in the Pacific Northwest, I thought I would use the rest of this NW bear fabric with the NW Native Indian motif that my sister had gifted me years ago. I made a table runner out of the fabric and had just enough left to make the Amber Bag.

If you click on the link for the tester's Amber Bags, you will see that there should have been two front pockets with flaps. Well I started out making the flaps in that red accent color, but messed something up and didn't have enough red fabric to do them over. So I decided to just make one large divided slip pocket and accent the top in red instead. I was able to just fussy cut the last of the bear fabric so that it fit in place on top of the print exactly (well almost, I see now that one bear behind is a little off on the left there, lol!)

My original plan was to have red pocket flaps on black pockets. I didn't have buckles, so I was going to do what I saw one of the testers do and add a rivet in the strap on the flap. While I do like the look of the pockets, I thought one divided slip pocket would be easier to access. I figured my daughter who is quite picky wouldn't even want this bag. I knew she wouldn't use it as a purse, but thought maybe as a weekend bag or carry on bag to have more things with her on the plane when she flies. 

She finally came over a couple of days ago and I showed it to her and she did like it, but as I said not to carry every day. But she actually wanted it! Shock!! She did like the pattern's original pockets, but it is what it is now. It is an easy bag to sew and as you can see the tester's bags are all so different and great looking too.

Here is my Amber Bag version~

The Amber Bag with a divided slip pocket instead of  two dimensional pockets with flaps.

Side view. I didn't add any strap tabs on the sides for a cross body carrying strap.

Back of the Amber Bag.

Bears, bear paws and Native NW Indian motifs on the fabric.

Roomy interior. The bear paw print accent was also leftover from the fabric that my sister gave me years ago and went with the bear fabric and she also gave me some totem pole fabric too, but of course I didn't use it on this bag.

Inside I added a zippered pocket.
Here is what the Amber Bag is supposed to look like in case you didn't click on the link with the tester's bags~

This is the Amber Bag made by designer Sammy Valencia of Shamballa Bags. See the cute front pockets? Since I do not sew in vinyls or leathers, I was going to use fabric for the flaps and that's when I got my flap messed up because I didn't pay attention closely enough for the fabric version and got confused as to when to sew the strap and add the magnetic snap. I didn't have buckles anyhow, so I was going to put a rivet on the strap like one of the tester's did in her all fabric version. We all make mistakes from time-to-time.

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Brookfield Bag with Boxed Corners

I wanted to play around with a few bags that I have made before and make even more changes, so I decided to try boxing the corners of the Brookfield Bag (by Sew Sweetness). I really like how this one came out. It gives the bag a bit more room inside. I added an accent strip on the bottom instead of the 4 corner patches. I really like the sweet look of the four patches, but I thought it would be nicer to provide more space. It's still a small-medium sized bag measuring 8 1/2" wide x 8 1/2" high x 3" deep. (Which could be small to some and medium sized to others depending on your point of view).

Since I chose to make another hot air balloon fabric bag, I didn't want to add any exterior pockets on the back to interfere with the design. The next Brookfield with boxed corners I make will have a back exterior pocket; either a zippered pocket, a slip pocket or a welt pocket. See I still need to play around and see what I think looks best, so I may need to make 3 more Brookfield Bags and try a different pocket on each bag.

Brookfield Bag made with boxed corners.

Instead of adding the 4 corner patches, I boxed the corners and added an accent strip where the 4 corner patches would have gone.  By boxing the corners, the bag is a bit roomier inside.

Back of the bag.

The bag is slightly deeper with the boxed corners.

A slip pocket with a pen pocket inside.

Seems a bit roomier with the corners of the bag being boxed.
This one will be going to the local shows(s) in November to see if anyone loves it enough to want to purchase it and take it home with them. 

I am making some changes to another bag design that I making right now to see how it turns out. I will be posting that one later this month.
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