Pack your bag n.5 (May): Weekender bag

May’s pattern for the Cotton & Color Project of the Month program was a really complex one, with lots of pieces (zippers included) and a terrific result: a huge handbag with different sets of interior and exterior pockets (and even a strap to hang it in the retractable handles of a small suitcase), really useful for going a weekend out or, in my case, for carrying the knitting projects around.

With so many components, it took me a long week to finish it. While putting the back together, I noticed that with some care I could patternmatch the back strap with the underneath fabric, so there isn’t a break on the overall image. It took some patience, but it was absolutely worth it! (and yes, I just love that print from Cotton+Steel!!).

Project: Handbag
Size:
13 3/4″ x 15 3/4″ x 4 3/4″ / 35 x 40 x 12 cm (aprox.)
Date:
June 2017
Pattern: Weekender, Cotton & Color
Exterior fabric:
Les Fleurs (canvas), by Rifle Paper Co., Cotton+Steel
Lining fabric:
Grunge (Vert), by Basic Grey, Moda Fabrics
Batting:
Flex Foam Stabilizer (Freundenberg), Thermolam TP971

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A pillow envelope

Last month I attended a course about foundation paper-piecing at Cotton & Color. Although FPP is not new to me, there are always new tricks and tips to be learnt, and I really profited from that class.

So, in order to put the new techniques into practice, I tackled a pattern that had been on my to-do list for some time now, and that turned to be the perfect birthday gift for my brother. On this one I used a non-woven interfacing as a foundation, which tore away rather easily afterwards (I know I could’ve left that, but the idea was to try new things). Also, I used glue to keep the first piece into place, instead of pining it… I must admit that these past weeks I’m using glue more than I have done before, and with great results, so I should revisit my own opinions about that…

For the quilting, I decided to play with the diagonals of the succulent plant and quilt a 45º grid following them, but excluding the border. It just seemed the right choice and I really like the contrast the quilting gives between the block and the border.

I reinforced the backing of the pillow envelope with heavy stabiliser, which helps to give some structure to the pillow.

Project: Pillow envelope
Size
: 40 x 40.5 cm / 15 1/2″ x 16
Date:
May 2017
Pattern:
Fröliche Kakten, by Amanda Castor, published on Simply Kreativ Patchwork + Quilting nº 8 (German edition).
Top fabric:
L’s modern basics, Lecien
Mod Basics 3, Birch Fabrics
Cookie Book, by Kim Knight, Cotton+Steel
Grunge, by Basic Grey, Moda Fabrics
Modern Background Ink, by Zen Chic, Moda Fabrics
Bluebird, by A. Marcelle Abegg, Cotton+Steel
Background fabric: Bella Solids White 98, Moda Fabrics
Border:
Hey Dot!, by Zen Chic, Moda Fabrics
Batting:
Thermolam TP971 Fusible, Pellon
Quilting: machine-quilted, Isacord Thread 40, col. 0010

EPP Party #1: Hexie’s Madness

As if I hadn’t enough projects running right now, there’s always something new popping on my social media feed that catches my attention. I’ve been able to resist to join several QAL since the year started, and when I saw that Mister Domestic and Pat Bravo were launching an English paper piecing QAL, my first thought was “I need to progress on my Stars-quilt”. Then I found myself wondering which of the fabric bundles I already had could be used on such a project.

And the rest is history.

So here is my version for the first block, “Hexie’s madness”. 68 1″ hexies on this one. I tried glue basting, and I changed the cardboard I’m using on the Stars-quilt’s templates for paper. I think that, for this smaller size, paper works better, specially taking into account the amount of folding needed to put the hexies together. However, I’m not seeing myself trying to baste with thread using paper as a base, and so far I’m pretty happy on how the glue is working.

For this QAL I’m using a fat-quarter bundle of “Succulents”, by Heather Givans for Windham Fabrics. I had this bundle sitting on a drawer for more than a year, and it seems that it was meant for this project. As solids I’m using Grunge, by Basic Grey, for Moda. This collection is becoming my favourite to use as a solid print, although they really aren’t. That’s what I just love about them!

So in the following 21 weeks I’m going to grow a garden of succulents. It looks like this year I’m going to do lots of hand stitching!

(The party is on Instagram under the hashtag #EPPparty).

(Easy) Table runner

This year Moda Fabrics is running a 12-month contest, featuring a different designer each month. March is turn for Me and My Sister Designs, and I couldn’t resist to take a break from all the quilting that’s going around here and spend some afternoons working on the featured pattern, a table runner.

One of the requisites for entering is that all the fabric used must be from Moda (that makes sense, doesn’t it?). I do have several collections and prints from Moda in my stash, but I decided to play with a Moda Scrap Bag and just go with what was inside (this bag contains left-overs from cutting other pre-cuts, and there’s no way to know what’s inside each one… it’s a lottery!). So, in a sense, I didn’t choose the fabrics for this one… I added some Grunge as a contrasting solids, and a favourite from Zen Chic for the border.

For piecing the strips together, I cut them ½” longer than required, and alternated the direction of sewing (one up, one down) to avoid ending with a curved piece. I broke the main panel into three sections, sewed each one, trimmed to size, and the sewed them together. It worked quite well!

It’s a pretty quick project (I managed to have it completed in four afternoons, quilting included!), and I really like this summer-ly look it has (the weather also helps in that feeling…). It makes me think of picnics with sandwiches…

Project: Table runner
Size: 16″ x 50″/ 40.5 x 127 cm
Date: March 2017
Pattern: Easy Table Runner, Me and My Sister Designs
Top fabric: Coral, Queen of the Sea, by Stacy Iest Tsu, for Moda Fabrics
                  Grunge (several colours), by Basic Grey, for Moda Fabrics
Border, Backing: Hey Dot!, by Zen Chic, for Moda Fabrics
Batting: Fusible Thermolam TP971, Legacy
Quilting: machine-quilted, Star Thread 30WT

Flower Festival Mystery Quilt: fabric selection

2017_01_02

This year I’m determined to learn to quilt. From straight-line quilting to free-motion quilting, I just want to finish a quilt top and not feel overwhelmed by the thought that the next thing that needs to be done is to quilt it. Moreover, after all the love and care I put into piecing, just quilt anything because I need that quilt finished doesn’t feel right. Hence my big goal for this year. I’m going to quilt.

And nothing seems more right to me to join the Flower Festival Mystery Quilt by Leah Day. I followed her video tutorials during 2016 (I already had so many projects on my table to actually sew them), and this year I’m taking the plunge.

As this quilt will be densely quilted, and as I need to see my stitches, I knew I needed solids. I’m not a fan of batiks, which would be another option. And I’d kept an eye on the Grunge collection by Basic Grey for Moda Fabrics for a long time, and it seemed the perfect fabric for this project. I’m not following the colour palette Leah Day is using, so here is my selection:

From top to bottom, all are fabrics from Grunge, by Basic Grey:

1. Ash
2. Peacoat
3. Bachelor
4. Boysenberry
5. Cream, for the background
6. Saxony, for block borders

The backing will be a light grey – 1000 Colours Collection (501), by Lecien-, the same I’m using in the Star-Sampler quilt-along.

(A picture of all the fabric together can be seen in the 2017 goals post).

For the batting, I’m using a 80/20 cotton-polyester mix; “Natural Blend” by Legacy.

I still have to decide which thread I’m going to use for the quilting, it looks like that some practice-sandwiches are in order!