Tuesday, July 14, 2015

This Finish Brought to You by Gilmore Girls*

I have spent a good chunk of this year wrapping up some long-lingering projects. I’ve completed two holdover quilts from 2014 (here and here) and one from 2013 (here). Although it feels good to check these WIPs off my to-do list, I’ve been wanting to start something new and different—and something that wouldn’t be hanging around my sewing table forever.

Then last month, I won two Carolyn Friedlander patterns from the Fat Quarter Shop over on Instagram: Nest Egg and Social Tote. Receiving these patterns was the perfect excuse to hang out in my stash. I had missed that beginning part of the sewing process—the fabric pulls, the color-card consultations, and the time spent considering the possibilities.

I homed in on my last sizable chunk of Basic Grey’s PB&J (left over from the back of this quilt) for a Social Tote but was doubtful that I would find anything else in my stash to coordinate with it. PB&J has a washed-out quality to it. The colors are lovely; I just wasn’t sure it would play well with other fabric lines. And then I found, smooshed down between other fat quarters, a lone fat of Denyse Schmidt’s Hope Valley. Perfect!

Heads up: The Social Tote is surprisingly small, measuring in at 10 inches long, 7 inches wide, 3½ inches tall (10 inches tall with handles).

I’m pleased with the results of my first Social Tote! It’s hard to estimate how long it took me to make it, because I worked on it here and there and jumped to other projects when I needed a more mindless task to focus on. I can say, though, that it was a really fun sew. Early in the process, when I had all the pieces cut out and ready to go, it was hard to imagine that those rectangles would become much of anything, let alone a three-dimensional object that could hold and carry other objects. (Kudos to both Carolyn Friedlander and Anna Graham, Carolyn’s collaborator on this pattern. The way this project is assembled is nothing short of brilliant.) Watching it come together reminded me of my first Sew Together Bag, and I’ll be riding the sense of accomplishment from my Social Tote for a while.

The Social Tote features three compartments. There’s also a pattern for a pin cushion that fits in one of the smaller sections, which I opted not to make.

I definitely have another Social Tote or two in me. I didn’t veer from the pattern for this first one. For any future renditions, I may choose a darker lining fabric or figure out something to make the handles less floppy.

What are your most recent sewing triumphs? I’d love hear about them! Leave a comment or URL so we can celebrate with you.

* A note on the title of this post: I stream TV shows while I sew, and for the last few projects, I’ve been trucking through season after season of Gilmore Girls. After being jerked around by season 6, I was eager to get to the end of the series and see how the writers would resolve the various plot lines. I watched the series finale during this project, and now that it’s over, I’m a little sad. Sad and in need of another show to watch. : (

Linking up to Let’s Bee Social, Needle and Thread Thursday, TGIFF, and Finish It Up Friday ...

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13 comments:

  1. Cute! (If you need more PBJ, let me know, I still have some :D). My most recent triumph being I finished a queen size quilt top in under a week... still haven't blogged the triumph yet though. :) Need to venture outside into the heat to take pictures. Sigh.

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  2. Pretty project, but I am wondering how you use it? The sides are low like a tray with handles, is it for carrying light things like hand sewing supplies between rooms?

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    1. If this were my Social Tote (and it's not -- it's a gift), I'd probably store my current cross-stitch project in it. If the supplies were in such a pretty caddy, I might actually do some cross-stitching!

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  3. Cute finish! Almost as cute as Logan ;) I know I'm probably the only one, but I used to LOVE him! Miss GGs! I may have to cue up the Netflix myself! ps - what do you think you will use to make those handles less floppy? Just a stiffer interfacing? Very nicely done! Looking forward to seeing your next version!

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    1. I'm not sure how I would de-flop-ify those handles. Stiffer interfacing may help (I used Pellon Shape Flex but could try Pellon Decor Bond). Part of the issue is that the sides of the tote are just 3 inches tall, and the handles extend 7 inches above the top edge. So perhaps adding some interfacing to the tote sides in addition to the handles would help. (I used By Annie's Soft and Stable on the sides, per the pattern instructions. I'm not sure whether it's safe to use a fusible interfacing on that product; I'd have to check the manufacturer's instructions.) p.s. I heart Logan, too!

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  4. This is so adorable. It's like those fabrics were made to be used together! And what a special project to use such precious fabrics! My major accomplishment is that I survived while my husband was out for three almost back-to-back business trips. I'm pretty sure I'm never letting him leave the house again. :)

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    1. Also, I love me some GG! Let me know if you start something else good--I'm always on the lookout for a good show on Netflix.

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  5. I watch TV while sewing too. I've just gone down the rabbit hole that is Netflix and am working my way through Grey's Anatomy from the beginning! And I hear you on the satisfaction of checking longstanding WIPs off the list!

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  6. Oh what pretty fabric! I love it when you find something that just works perfectly!

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  7. That's really cute fabric, but I am going to have to find out what a social tote is for. I don't look for a lot of patterns, so it's not uncommon that I miss things. It feels good to finish those pesky loose ends, though, so congratulations.

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  8. Ooh, I love that fabric and how you've used it for the bag - just perfection! So glad you linked up to TGIFF!

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  9. I blasted through Gilmore Girls while sewing as well! Man, that last scene. Did you know its still rated as one of the best kisses on television? Go Luke!!! Anyway, I'm now watching the West Wing and loving it. And I'm going to need to make that Social Tote as well, great job!

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