Adventures in bag construction

While I am relatively new to quilting and sewing, I have been adventurous in the types of projects I have taken on.  One thing I really enjoy making is bags.  Over the next week I hope to chronicle the different bag projects I have finished over the last 12 months.

The first bag I want to share is a simple drawstring bag I made this past winter.  This is great to hold dice, buttons, or small toiletries.  In addition you can make custom gift bags.

ImageThis was a pretty simple design.  As you can see the bag is lined and has a draw string closure.

ImageStay tuned for more bags later this week.

 

— Jim

Photo Friday

Image

I have so, so many works in progress and here is just one, a giant hexagon project that I am (slowly) paper piecing. I am using some of my very favorite fabrics in this one (I seriously love those fuchsia dots!), including a lot of large scale prints. I don’t have a ton of these hexies sewn together yet, but with blocks this big, I hope this will make for a large bed-size quilt.

Image

We’re doing another craft day tomorrow, so I hope to have some more photos to post of progress of some sort this weekend! I am so close to having a hand quilting project ready to bind, and I also have some other projects more than halfway finished. I hope it’s a productive weekend for you, too!

— Christy

Back(b)logged — wonky log cabin quilt for Melinda

Hi again! I’m back with another quilt that I made quite a while ago, but hey, it’s new to everyone else, I guess.

This was a fun project for one of my friends as a wedding gift. I can’t imagine my time living in Texas without my friend Melinda. We had so much fun working together and hanging out. Sadly though, we both ended up moving away, and while it’s worked out great for each of us, I’m sad I don’t get to see her in person anymore. More than anyone I’ve ever met, Melinda loved college basketball, especially the University of Kansas, where she went to school. She also loves dogs more than anyone I know, so when I made this quilt for her and her husband, Robby, I knew I had to combine the two.

The quilt was planned around some KU fabric I found (here in Indiana, I think, which was kind of odd). From that, I got my color scheme, red, yellow, blue, black and white. I also used some dog fabric I had been collecting for another project, and then mixed in a bunch of other coordinating fabrics from my stash.

Image

These wonky log cabins were a lot of fun to make, but oh, did I underestimate the time it would take to make them. It probably didn’t help that the strips were cut really narrow, and the random piecing didn’t make the process any faster. I also remember that this quilt was one of the messiest and most disorganized I ever worked on, with piles of strips laying around, and me rooting through them looking for the right size, color and pattern for the next seam I planned to sew.

Despite the challenges, I love the way this turned out. Kind of wild, crazy and fun like my friend, Melinda. I really hope she and her husband are enjoying the quilt as much as I enjoyed making it for her!

Image

I quilted it with some wavy horizontal lines. I wanted to keep that part of it simple, so it wouldn’t distract from the craziness of the blocks. I used some spare blocks on the back along with a blue patterned fabric. I bound it with a cute red polka dot.

Image

I miss you, Melinda! I hope you’re doing well!

— Christy

From the back(b)log — quilted red pillow

I love to quilt and craft. There’s no question about that. And I love the idea of quilt/craft blogs. I love to read them, constantly finding new items that inspire me. I also love the idea of me blogging, but historically (and honestly), I suck as a blogger.

I mean well. I really do. I work on projects, I take photos, I download them to my computer, but that’s kind of where I grind to an all-too-familiar halt. Hence, I have a TON of backlogged quilts and projects I never got around to posting about. So forgive me if some of my projects for this new blog are kinda old. I hope I can get a more complete record of my quilting and crafting efforts and maybe become a more regular blogger in the meantime!

Anyway. Speaking of old projects, here’s the first of many.

I made this pillow on a whim, uh, quite a while ago. If it helps put a time frame on it, I think it was one of the first projects I machine quilted. (Oh lord, that’s been a few years. But at least less than 8. I don’t know if that makes me feel better or worse. Haha.)

Image

It was a really simple design, just some solid red with some small red scraps, that mostly came from a small roll of fat eighths I got at Joann Fabrics in a bunch of different colors. (Oh, those fabrics have been used in a LOT of projects over the years.) I quilted the body of the pillow in simple wavy lines, but used a different pattern on the strip of scraps.

Image

Image

The pillow is currently not being used because my couch is a dark red floral that really doesn’t go with much of anything, including this pillow. Sigh. Someday though, I am bound and determined to get a simple, monochromatic couch and I will have a nice backdrop for all the pillows I have made (and am dying to make).

— Christy

Life’s a Carnival

Hi again! I am so, so happy to be posting today about a finished quilt! I really do not seem to finish as many projects as I wish I did, so it’s always a thrill to put the final touches on a quilt. One of favorite moments of quilting is getting the newly finished project out of the dryer and either snuggling underneath it or packing it up so I can give it away.

This finish is a gift for my boss and his wife, who recently adopted a gorgeous baby girl, Caroline, their second. I was much better about getting a quilt ready for their first daughter, Pixie, but I guess I’m just glad to have this finished while Caroline is still a baby.

I previously posted about some of my process of putting together the top, but kind of quickly moved through making the back, basting it and then doing the quilting and binding. Or at least haven’t blogged about all those steps. Anyway, here it is.

Image

You can’t see it well in this photo, but I did a cool scrappy binding with various red and turquoise strips, including some fabric with a cross-hatched design that went perfectly with the panels. The fabrics didn’t come in the same line, but was just a lucky discovery in my stash.

I was really happy with how the back turned out (dare I say I almost like the back more than the front?), but happened to have it turn out a bit crooked. Whoops.

Image

I was able to use a few leftover animal blocks that Jim made for a baby quilt for one of his friends recently! The colors went great with what I was using and the size was perfect. I especially love the cute little monkeys!

Image

I also used a few scraps leftover from the quilt I made for Pixie! It was the yellow with hello in a bunch of foreign languages.

Image

Image

I quilted it with white thread in an all-over curly meandering design, and hand-stitched the binding down on the back. I didn’t take exact measurements (whoops again), but it turned out about 33 inches by 45 inches. And it all came from my stash, including a number of scraps. Yay!

On to the next work in progress!

— Christy

Owl’s well that ends well….

So in my previous post you will notice that I was far from content with the owl that I made.

Image

Christy was able to modify her construction as I discovered issues with mine.  The instructions were far from perfect, but one of the issues could have been a choice of materials.  By choosing design fabrics I may have been sacrificing one important inherent quality of felt – pliability.  Christy’s owl was plumper than mine and thus much more stable and also just looked less anemic.

Enter my need to modify the pattern to make a more stable end product given my choice of materials.

Image

Image

Image

As you can see the modified design is more stable.  I made the base of the front and back wider.  I also made the sides wider at the base.  Also the wings, eyes, and beak were all sewn on prior to stuffing and closing the body. I think you will all agree that the modified design will be more functional, though the original does have his own personality.

 

– Jim

 

 

 

More Craft Day Projects!!

So as this past weekend approached we decided to have a craft day to jump start our recent lethargy of crafting.  We have had a pattern for this pin cushion…

Image

We had some different fabrics.  I chose a mix of sample decor fabrics and Christy was using some felted sweaters … Keep this in mind as you see the end results.  :-\  Christy’s turned out much better than mine though I claim the right to be the sacrificial owl so to speak as I was ahead of her in destruction.  😛

Image

I have been craving some wings…

Image

Image

The body comes together

Image

Image

Image

Percy!

Image

Image

And the winner is… Penelope.

Image

— Jim & Christy