Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mama's Got A New Bag...Beach Bag

Okay, so a while ago I had made a fabric bowl (August 2009).  Well, I thought of making a handbag using the same technique.  Here is the result...
I started out with blue fabric for the base and bottom of the bag.  Then I continued with a fabric I loved for the top of the bag.  The best thing about this bag is that it is already fully lined.

I added an inside pocket, which was the hardest part of the process.  The bag is fairly stiff and it is hard to get it under the presser feet.  If you have a large sewing machine bed (which, of course, I don't) then it would not be as difficult.

I sewed 3 long pieces of cording for each handle and voila...front and back.

It will be my new beach bag.  Now to go back and make a smaller one that I can use during the summer.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Decorative Pins

I have always loved the look of decorative hat pins.  I did not know where to get the pins or how to make them, but a friend of mine (Caryn from Piecefulchaos) suggested that I use doll needles.  So last night while I was watching television, I made a few using a variety of needles.  Here is what I have done so far...

And this morning, I put it in my wool tea cup pin cushion.  New passion???

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Slow but steady

Remember the blue and red strip swap we had at the firehouse?  Well, I have been adding blocks to it from time to time.  I wanted to make as many blocks as I could from the fabric I received.  So, in total, I ended up with 20 blocks, I did have to add some fabric from my stash, but very little.  Here are the results...

I am planning on adding sashing and borders, but have to give it some thought.  I have some ideas, but am not ready to start.

Some of the blocks I made up as I went along, but most of them are from this little book I bought a long time ago.  It is called 1000 Great Quilt Block by Maggi McCormick Gordon.

The book has pictures of blocks with some cutting instructions, but I modify them.  For instance if they give instructions for a 6" block and I need a 9" block, I do some math and change the dimensions.  And if the dimensions do not convert easily, I add borders.  I cannot tell you how many times I have used this book.   The ironic thing is that I almost did not buy this book because I thought I had a great many quilt pattern books. That's it for now. I need to get back to work. 

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Hexagons? Me?

In the North Carolina Quilt Symposium goody bag, there were a set of 7 paper hexagons and small fabric squares with instructions.  They were donated by Paper Pieces and Blank Quilting.  On the top there was a warning "Addicting and Contagious!" and now I can see why.  I decided to give it a try while I was watching television the other night.  I finished all 7 hexagons in less than half an hour.  I sewed them together and then was wondering what I would do with them.  I finally decided on a pin cushion because I recently purchased glass head pins that needed a home.  I did not realize until I was finished that the glass head pins were yellow (lime green) and blue...they matched the pin cushion perfectly.

I filled the pin cushion with crushed walnut shells (I purchased a small bag from the pet store a while ago).   It has lasted a long time, but  I am almost finished with the bag...I guess I will have to make another trip to the pet store if I want to continue making pin cushions.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

North Carolina Quilt Symposium

Last Wednesday, I left for a long trip down to North Carolina for their quilt symposium.  I took two classes, one with Laura Wasilowski titled The Garden of Eden and one with Elin Waterson titled Fabric Journals.

In Laura Wasilowski's class I produced this beautiful wall hanging...

All the fabric used were hand dyed.  We basically cut flowers in any way we wanted, we needed 3 large, 5 medium, and 15 small flowers.  As you can see, I could not even follow those instructions very well.  We cut green bias strips for the stems/leaves and ironed them onto a background.  Then we placed the flowers on top and ironed them down.  I decided to frame my wall hanging.  It seemed a bit lacking, so I cut yellow triangles and randomly placed them on two of the sides.  I liked the way it turned out; I thought it added to the picture.  Now I am left with adding some beads and embroidering here and there.  Then I will quilt and bind it for hanging.  Since we were not following a pattern, each student's quilt was different.

In Elin Waterson's class I was able to complete 5 pages of my fabric journal.  I had picked a theme prior to going to the class, but not much else.  We learned about the basic construction techniques, but then we were left to our own devices.  I enjoyed being able to do anything you wanted without patterns or limits.  Here is the cover of my fabric journal; it is a picture of my two daughters when they were young...
The following pages are really cute too...

I loved creating these pages.  I made the hangers from paper clips, and the shoe charms are from an old bracelet I no longer wear.  The dress was so hard to make because I wanted it to be 3 dimensional.  I actually sewed it prior to hanging it on the hanger.  I also crouched down one side of a zipper in a curling shape.   Then I added buttons, of course.  So many ideas were flooding my brain, but there was only so much I could do. 

Here are the next two pages...

These pages still need some work.  I have added some beads, but not much else.  I look forward to finishing this fabric journal.  I have not yet decided on how many pages there will be and I am enjoying the fact that I do not have to make that decision.  After completing a few pages, I walked around the room to see what my classmates were doing.  Everyone was so creative! 

Well, so long for now...I have a few pages to create.