Friday, January 30, 2015

Fresh Cut EQ Block Challenge

I saw on From My Carolina Home about a new block design challenge from Electronic Quilt using the Fresh Cut collection by Basic Gray for Moda.  I love designing blocks using EQ so I hopped right over to the challenge page and started playing around with the fabrics in the collection.

I decided to use a paper pieced block I already had designed in combination with the Fresh Cut fabrics.  It is a fun design that produces a some great secondary patterns when used in quilt top.

Here is my original design:

Here is my design using the Fresh Cut fabrics.  I love to see blocks in different colors, it is always so amazing to me how a block looks so different in bolder solids compared to softer prints.

Here is the Fresh Cut block and the original block in a quilt. (I love the bold graphic design of the original colors.)

I hope you have a chance to design a block and enter too :)

Sidekick tote

I have been getting my packing list together for QuiltCon next month and I want to travel as homemade as possible so in addition to the one top I have made (see Tova Top in Chicopee), I decided to make an across body bag so I could have my hands free for all the shopping and fun.

After much searching on the internet for bag patterns, reading comments and reviews, and searching for pictures of people's different versions, I settled on the Sidekick Tote by Noodlehead.  Every review I read about Anna's patterns talked about the wonderfully clear written and illustrated instructions and now having used one, I definitely agree.

I made the small version of the tote with the bias trimmed pocket combining Essex yarn dyed linen with a few of the fabrics from the Meadow Mist Designs bundle from Pile O'Fabric:

  • Essex yarn dyed linen in black (Robert Kaufman) - outside of bag and strap
  • Midnight Flora in Navy (Cloud 9 Fabrics) - outside of pocket
  • Script Watermelon (Art Gallery) - lining of pocket and recessed zipper area
  • Line Scratch in Blue (Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman) - inside of strap
  • Sketch in Fog (Timeless Treasures) - bias trim on pocket
  • Branches in Blue (Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman) - lining of bag
There were a number of firsts for me in the making of this bag including:
  • recessed zipper
  • magnetic snap
  • bias trim
  • purse strap hardware

The tote actually went together better than I had expected, the only real problem I had was that I repeatedly put the magnetic snaps on the incorrect sides of the pocket and pocket top.  Having to redo the pocket many times at least gave me some practice adding the bias trim around the pocket so that by the 4th time I got pretty decent at it :)  I was the most scared about the recessed zipper installation, but happily the zipper went in with absolutely no problems.

I made a just a few changes to the pattern, the biggest change being the interfacing.  The pattern calls for Pellon 101 (I did not have any of) which gives the bag a loose slouchy feel.  I really like a well structured bag so instead of the 101, I used Pellon 808 and Pellon fusible fleece on the outside of the tote and lined all of the other parts of the bag with Pellon 808.  I really like the stiffness in the finished bag (no slouching here), but it did make for some really thick seams to sew over.  The only other change I made was to add an additional pocket on the inside. 

I am very happy with how my new bag came out and am proudly using it at work and around town.  I hope to meet as many of you as I can at QuiltCon :)  

Monday, January 26, 2015

Etsy Store Highlight - MzSweetpeaStudio

Today I would like to share with you a new Etsy store from one of my sewing friends.  I met Laura Casey about a year ago through my local quilt guild's quilting show.  She shares my love of pincushions and awesome modern fabric.  She has been making and selling purses and totes locally in Asheville NC and just opened an Etsy store this month called .  

I just love how she combines different fabrics, trims, and hardware in her creations.  Her bags are perfect for carrying knitting projects, quilting notions, or just using as your everyday purse.

Laura has been kind enough to offer Meadow Mist Designs readers a 15% discount on everything in the store from now until January 31st using the code quilter1.  In addition, she also offers free shipping within the US for all her items in the store.

I hope you have a great quilting week!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Tova Top in Chicopee

I decided that I was going to try to make some clothes and bags for QuiltCon and after much searching on the internet and reading pattern reviews I decided to try making a Tova Top by Wiksten.

Confession time...I am a quilter and like to deal with geometric designs and two dimensions.  I have made a total of 3 articles of clothing in my entire life, two Geranium dresses for my daughter and one Washi dress for myself.  The Tova Top is marked as intermediate, but I really liked its lines (a lot of the other patterns out there have empire waists which tend to look maternity on me) so I figured I would give it a try.

I used some yardage of a Chicopee fabric by Denyse Schimdt that I had purchased for $3.50 a yard in hopes to make a wearable muslin.  Prepping the pattern took a while as most pdf patterns do, having to tape all of the sheets of printer paper together and then trace the pattern pieces onto pattern paper.

I was measuring an XS in the bust area and a M in the hips (can you say pear shaped :), but I had heard that the shirt could run snug in the shoulder area so I went with a straight M.

I must say that once all of the pieces were cut out and marked, the shirt went together more quickly and easily than I had thought it would.  The only really difficult part was getting the corners of the placket correct.  My corners are more rounded than they are supposed to be, but I am okay with that.

After putting the placket in, the shoulders and sides are sewn and you get to try the shirt on for the first time.  The top was gaping at the arm pits and billowing around my middle.  I took off an inch from each side under the arms and 6 inches total off the middle area. I then added the sleeves and hemmed the bottom.

I am very happy with the way it came out and am already planning my next Tova using some DOE yardage that I just purchased.  Even my husband really liked it (he did not have as many nice things to say about the washi dress).  The fit is overall pretty good, I think that the shoulder area is a bit wide so the shoulder seam actually sits off of my shoulders.  For my next Tova, I am going to go with a XS at the top and grade out to a M on the bottom.

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New Blogger's Bee Blocks August through January

As part of the New Blogger's Hop back in the summer of 2014 hosted by Beth of Plum and June, a number of bees were created by the members.  I joined a US based bee that we are calling the New Blogger's Group Bee.

For this bee, the queen of the month sends out block instructions and we make two blocks from our own fabrics and send them to her by the end of the month. I have not posted any bee blocks in a while so here are some from the last few many months...

I blogged about the July blocks and finished quilt by Pam @ Sewing Wilde previously here.

For August, Pam @ Quilting Makes My Heart Sing wanted some dash churn blocks using medium value prints.  My blocks are shown below and you can see her finished quilt here.

For September, Marcia @ Cozy Capatiller wanted some 9 patch blocks.  I totally forgot to take pictures of these before I sent them away.

For OctoberKate @ Thread Everywhere wanted either two 12" maple leaf blocks or one 18" maple leaf block.  I used some Free Spirit green fabric on a gray background for the larger version of the leaf.  You can see her finished quilt top in this post.

For NovemberJill @ Pie Lady Quilts wanted some free pieced trees on a neutral background.  I have not done much improv sewing so these blocks were a lot of fun for me.  They wound up measuring about 12" x 18".

For DecemberStephanie @ Late Night Quilter wanted some feathers using jewel tones.  She is going to applique them onto a quilt so we did not have to make a background for the feather blocks.

For JanuaryChristina @ Wips and Tuts wanted what she called the $2,000 dollar bee block.  This was a fun, but complex block to make having 20 flying geese in each block.

The bee has been a great way to meet new wonderful quilty women, I am looking forward to being the "queen bee" in next month!

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