Thursday, October 23, 2014

October TLP & WIP - all rolled into one!

Once again, I'm running a smidge late the monthly update to The Library Project. I only seem to really get my butt in gear when there's a deadline! ☺ The last couple days have seen me working along on my Honey wall hanging...

I was pretty stumped on how to quilt this one. Where it's small, I wanted to push myself and do something  different with the quilting, but I didn't want to take away from the piecing by doing an overall design. #quilterproblems To get things going, I went for zigzags in the grey sashing sections.
 
It took me a little while to figure out exactly what to do where the three corners meet, but I think I found a good solution! Then it was on to the hexies... I didn't have any suitable thread, so off I went to my LQS.... only to realize I had left the quilt at home. Swiss cheese brain... ugh. So I bought every colour of turquoise-y blue they had. How's that for problem solving?!
When I sought the help of my MMQG guildmates, it was suggested a couple times that I do some sort of echo quilting of the hexie shape... so I did. I can't stand marking complicated patterns... even on something this small... so, I measured and figured out roughly how far apart the lines needed to be to make equal sized echos.
For the large sections of grey negative space, I opted to quilt ghost hexies. I marked where the sashing would have been and zigzagged it and then did echo-style quilting where the hexies would be.
I'm pleased to say that I should have this one finished completely by the end of the week-end! My master plan is to hand stitch the binding at this Saturday's MMQG Sew In. I couldn't be happier to be almost finished my Library Projects. But I do still have another month or two... perhaps I'll try for a bonus round!

J

P.S Since it's Wednesday, I'm also linking up with WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced and Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts. Apparently, I'm a link-up-aholic today!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Finish Up Monday! - Manly Yoga Tote

What you say? A Finish on a Monday? What I can I say... things are a little cattywampus around here these days. I'll take a finish any 'ole day I can get one! It also gives me a chance to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving! Today is also my Dad's birthday. To say it's been a long time since I made him anything would be an understatement. I won't get into all the gory details, but we haven't always had the easiest of relationships. 
So when he asked a couple days ago if I was still sewing much (apparently he doesn't subscribe to the blog ☺) and wondered if I might make him a yoga bag, I felt like an opportunity fell into my lap. I went searching for just the right yoga bag tutorial... not too plain, not too fancy, not the same as the one I made for Ms. M.  I decided to use Amy Butler's free pattern as a jumping off point (mainly for the sizes of pattern pieces) and modify as I went.

Sewing things over the holiday week-end (i.e. when the LQS is closed!) can be a little challenging. To the stash, my friends! I found some denim left from Ade & I's Sewing Circle Totes. Though I had originally thought to do the pocket and strap in an orange print (my Dad's not afraid of colour!), there wasn't anything just right in the stash. But this Robert Kaufman remnant fit the bill nicely! Where the denim is so heavy, I opted out of lining the tote.

Sometimes I buy notions without a clear idea of exactly what they will become. This 2 inch webbing (looks like seatbelt material) came in handy for making a nice, wide, durable strap. I can't stand when straps curl up and look shlumpy. Yup, shlumpy's a word.
I tucked it into an 8 inch wide strip that I had pressed into quarters. Worked like a charm!

Then my least favourite part, sewing that pesky bottom into the bag. I reached for my Wonderclips....
This is the sort of thing that happens when you leave Wonderclips out in the open. Did I mention that Himself is life-long fidgeter? True story. Anyway....
The Wonderclips are so much easier to deal with than pins in this situation. Thanks to Dominique from The Running Thimble for pointing this out to me on the last yoga bag I made!
I didn't think ahead of time and made the bottom the same fabric as the tote body. The pocket fabric might have been a better fit here, but it's not as sturdy.

More digging in the bin of random notions...
yielded these treasures, elastic cording and a pinch closure. The Amy Butler pattern didn't have a closure system, but felt like it needed a drawstring at the least.
And done! The height is just right for the mat and the pockets are super deep. I don't see keys or a phone getting out of those pockets!
When it was unwrapped, Dad pronounced it just right. He'll be heading off to yoga class tomorrow with it over his shoulder! Only now Mom's a little less enamoured of her less than fancy yoga tote - made sometime at least 10 years ago. A sewist's work is never done! ☺

So, what I am I thankful for today? Honestly, with very little thought, the list grows long... quickly. I am of course thankful for Himself and our much wished for Double Trouble (set to arrive very soon). But I'm also thankful that I was able to enjoy a wonderful meal and quality time with my Mom and Dad today. There was a time in the not so distant past that I never thought that would be possible. So very, very thankful. Here's hoping that you too had some thankful moments today. We don't have to save it for once a year!

J

P.S. Shamelessly linking up with Anything Goes Monday @ Stitch by Stitch. I mean, it's not every Monday I have something to blog about! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Finish Up Friday! - Open Wide Zipper Pouches à la Noodlehead!

A while back, I made some gorgeous Road Trip Cases designed by Anna Graham of Noodlehead. The pattern was well worth the 7$ price tag (and no, she didn't pay me to say that!) That said, if you're not into paying for patterns, she has some fab tutorials on her site as well - one of which is for the Open Wide Zippered Pouch. I've had this tut pinned for a dog's age and this week, I thought of the perfect reason to whip some up!

I won't go into all the details of how they're made - Anna's tut does that far better than I ever could! But I did opt to box the corners at 3 inches instead of the 4 inches given in the pattern. This is probably why my pouches turned out a little more squat than the ones on the Noddlehead blog. I have an odd feeling that I did something wrong in the construction of these, but I can't quite put my finger on what it is. Oh well... they still look good! ☺

These three medium sized pouches will be filled with goodies and packed in my hospital bag as gifties for the great nurses I know I'm going to have at our local women's and children's hospital. When I was hospitalized at the same facility back in early March, I had phenomenal care. I feel badly that I wasn't able to thank the nurses with a little something... I was just too sick.
I also went on to make a few of the small versions of the pouch... here's one pictured with the medium version. There's also a large pouch (which I've yet to make).
 Don't you just love Domino Dot?
And the smaller ones are for the receptionists at my doctor's office. These ladies have been so good to us through this long, long process!
Since it's Friday, I'm linking up with Finish Up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts.

J

P.S. In the interest of full disclosure, it may seem from a bloggy perspective that a lot of amazing things get done here every darned day. I will say here and now that there is a great deal of napping, eating of snacks, and general bleh-ness. Sometimes wanting to write a blog post about a project is the thing that keeps me going and makes me feel some semblance of normality is being maintained. Remember... not everything you see on TV or the internet is exactly like real life. Any one still trying to adopt a House Hippo?