Friday, January 29, 2021

Back to Being a Bag Lady / Beauties Pageant 114

Before I started quilting, I sewed bags and home decor items. And although I’d rather carry a bag of my own making or sew some window treatments instead of buying them off the shelf, it can be hard to change gears. These days, it’s usually all quilting all the time.

So when a friend and I made plans to go for a walk, it was the self-imposed deadline I had been missing. I had promised her a handmade backpack, and our date to walk was what I needed to get it done!

The result is pictured here. It’s a simple, straight-forward drawstring backpack with a single pocket on the exterior. I used the Lionel Drawstring Backpack Pattern, by I Think Sew. It was fine for the five dollars I paid for it. If you are interested in making something similar, there are plenty of other options—including free tutorials—online.

I chose to quilt the exterior panels to give the bag more body; otherwise, I didn’t do anything fancy. Heck, the pocket doesn’t even have a zipper.

For me, the hard part of bag making is finding the necessary notions. I found the gray synthetic drawstring from a nice selection of colors at Crosscut Sewing Co., a local fabric shop.

I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome here; the final product was much nicer than I was expecting. In the past, I’ve sewed certain bags patterns ad infinitum. (For real. Plug “Jane Market Bag” into the search function in the right-hand sidebar, and you’ll see what I mean.) This backpack may be my next serial sew—it would make good end-of-year teacher gifts.

What I really want to work on next, however, is a new quilt that I designed with huge blocks. I’m super excited about it, and the background fabric should be arriving on Monday. Yahoo! Now that I’m in this home dec mode, however, I should bang out a few more projects I’ve had planned, including a pillow and two pouches, first. After those are done, I have two in-process quilts to finish and then I can start the new one. Darn you, self-discipline!

A quick public-service announcement: Love Boldly, my most recent pattern release, is still available at Quilt Pattern Mart at the introductory price of $7.50. I’ll be sure to share tester projects in next week’s post! In the meantime, check out some pics on Instagram.

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Friday, January 22, 2021

Two Rainbow Quilts, Done and Done! / Beauties Pageant 113

With the pandemic keeping life at a near stand-still, I suspect I’ll be as productive in 2021 as I was in 2020. (Heck, what else do I have to do?!) To prove my point, I have two finishes to share today. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that has never happened before!

The first quilt, shown in the photo above, is perhaps the most obnoxious palette I have ever worked with: pink, rainbow, and more pink. It assaults my adult sensibilities, but the intended recipient—a little girl on her ninth birthday—will, I think, adore it.

This pattern is my Ridiculously Easy Jelly Roll Quilt in the child size. The rainbow fabrics come from stash; I tried to strike a balance by using mostly geometrics and two-color prints and adding an occasional multicolor print here and there, something I accomplished without venturing to my local quilt shop. : )

The background is mostly Kona Pink. Because I didn’t have enough yardage for the entire background, I supplemented with a darker solid pink and a pink Moonscape print from Dear Stella. To make the multiple background fabrics more cohesive, I used the Moonscape for the binding as well. I think it works!

The back (see photo below) is composed of a few selections from the front. Like almost all of my projects, I quilted this one myself. The quilting design is my current go-to for this pattern: a simple chevron across the foreground fabrics.

 
 
The second finish of the week is almost identical to one I made a year ago. It’s a simple strip-and-flip baby quilt from Cluck Cluck Sew (read the free tutorial here). 
 
 
The fabric pull was time consuming to assemble, so as I collected the fabrics (in November 2018!), I cut enough pieces for two complete quilts, tops and backs. I quilted this version of the strip-and-flip with an allover stipple, as I did the original. The result is not perfection, but the experience bolstered my confidence to free-motion-quilt something bigger. I hope to share that with you next week!
 

How is your 2021 going so far? Are you like me, sewing to stay sane and forecasting a productive year at your machine?

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  • Post your finish in the linky tool. (No links to your own giveaway or linky, please!)
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Friday, January 15, 2021

Love Boldly Pattern Release / Beauties Pageant 112

I’m thrilled to announce the release of my latest pattern: Love Boldly!

I designed these two-tone hearts back in 2019 for the stripes challenge at QuiltCon 2020. Even once Love Boldly was displayed at the show, however, I couldn’t say goodbye. So I revisited the design and streamlined the construction to make sewing the block faster. (The new-and-improved construction requires less than half of the pieces of the original!) 

Size Options

The pattern provides instructions for three quilt sizes: baby, small throw, and large throw. But if you’re game for a single block—perhaps for use in a pillow or tote bag—there are fabric requirements and instructions for that, too.

Skill Level

Love Boldly is an intermediate pattern. Why? The way I consolidated the construction process is by sewing flying geese blocks, cutting them down, and then resewing them. It’s not rocket science, but it helps to have some good experience under your belt. (If you’re more of a beginner, I recommend my Warm and Cool Coin Quilt or Ridiculously Easy Jelly Roll Quilt as more suitable patterns for you.)

The technique doesn’t require as much precision as you’d think. First of all, there is just one set of points to match in the entire block. And if you make a cutting mistake, I’ve got you covered: The pattern includes a row-by-row breakdown so you can remedy any rotary-blade snafus.

Bonus Block

The pattern also includes an American flag heart block, just for fun. I plan to use the version I posted last week in a pillow.

Love Boldly is available at Quilt Pattern Mart at the introductory price of $7.50, which is good through February 14 (of course!). I have a lot more to share with you about this pattern ... My testing crew sewed some beautiful samples, but I will save those for another Friday post. : )

I hope you all are doing well and have been having fun at your sewing machines. Got a finish this week? Please share it with everyone in the linky below. Thanks!

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The pageant rules are simple:
  • Post your finish in the linky tool. (No links to your own giveaway or linky, please!)
  • Point your readers back here with a text link or use the button above.
  • Visit and comment on other participants’ finishes.

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Friday, January 8, 2021

A Long Time Coming / Beauties Pageant 111

Hello and happy new year! I hope you are doing well and staying healthy and finding some time to create at your sewing machine these days.

I’m starting to plot out my sewing goals for the the next few months, and it feels good to plan. I intend to finish my Gypsy Wife quilt (finally). I am going to design and sew new window treatments for my kitchen (not fun, but necessary). And I will release my Love Boldly pattern (see some pics here). That last one is imminent. After all, a quilt featuring stripey hearts needs to be sent into the world in time for Valentine’s Day sewing!

When I first decided to write and sell patterns, I thought the process would be pretty straightforward. It would probably go something like this: design a quilt, make the quilt, write and design the pattern, release the pattern. That should take just a month or two, right?

Love Boldly’s journey has been much longer. It was more like this:

* Summer 2019: I design and make a quilt for a QuiltCon challenge.

* February 2020: That quilt is shown at QuiltCon Austin.

* March 2020: The world shuts down, and I pretend to have an education degree for my two elementary-age kids. This continues through June. It isn’t pretty.

* July 2020: I start writing the pattern and then stop because I can’t think or write coherently with my children in the house. 

* September 2020: I start writing again and realize I need to learn a vector-graphic program. I teach myself said program.

* October 2020: Life comes to a stop as my family gets sick because even a simple cold isn’t simple during Covid.

* November 2020: I design a bonus block to include with the main Love Boldly pattern. (See the picture at the top of the post.)

* December 2020: I finish the pattern and send it off for editing and testing. (Amen! Alleluia!)

Now, that’s much longer than a month or two, but I think the lengthy timeline will make the pattern release that much sweeter. 

Update: Love Boldly is now available exclusively at Quilt Pattern Mart! And through February 14, it is available at the special introductory price of $7.50. Thanks for all the love for the design and encouragement to wrap up the pattern! Love Boldly will debut exclusively on Quilt Pattern Mart over the next few days. I’ll be sure to share more details in next Friday’s post.

What have you been up to? We would love to see your finishes from the past month. Go ahead, post one, two, three—whatever you’ve squared away in the past month!

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The pageant rules are simple:
  • Post your finish in the linky tool. (No links to your own giveaway or linky, please!)
  • Point your readers back here with a text link or use the button above.
  • Visit and comment on other participants’ finishes.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter