Monday, January 19, 2009

Snowy Weekends and Corporate Snobbery

When the weather is like this:THIS, is what happens in my house:

Above, is the quilt top I made out of Heather Bailey freshcut fabrics from the "Hip Baby" pattern I found at a quilt store when I was in UT for a friend's wedding this past fall. It was A LOT of cutting (probably the first quilt I have ever made that wasn't "strip" piecing) but it was pretty easy. I am going to save my pennies to get this longarmed because I am too proud of it to ruin it with my very poor machine quilting skills (or lack thereof).

I made these two purses yesterday, same pattern of the one I made my sister for Christmas. Can you notice the difference between the two? (The one on the right has a shorter lip than the first). Which one do you like better?
And finally, Amy Butler's "Birdie" Sling pattern, this is the outside:

Here's one side of the inside:
The fabric is Heather Bailey's Pop Garden- a kind and generous gift from my hubby.
I know, I know. I have been making a lot of purses lately but I cannot help it. They are so fun and a lot more sewing than cutting (hello quilts!).
Onto disappointing news: I just learned that Westminster fabrics is putting a price hold on all of their fabrics. Basically, starting Feb 1, all of their fabrics cannot be sold for less than 9.50 per yard for a full year. They are not increasing their wholesale prices, their reasoning is to make their fabric a "premium brand." It's a way to take away the competitive edge online retailers have, most specifically Their prices are generally 7.50 a yd, whereas local quilt stores sell for closer to 9.50. I have to say that I would LOVE to buy my fabrics from local quilt stores but I do not because:
a. they are few and far between (the closest one to me, that doesn't sell 'country' fabrics, is a good 45 minutes away.
b. their hours are impossible to accomodate (hello people, I have to work to be able to afford to buy the fabric)
c. if they by a very small chance, happen to carry the brands/designs I prefer, it is usually in the least attracive color pallette because they get so picked over.
Anyway, I am also disappointed because I have been planning and scheming to open up my own online fabric store. I guess when I do, I probably will not be carrying Westminster. (Another negative aspect of their policy is that retailers have to hang onto stock that isn't selling, rather than trying to unload it fast through a sale. Who has the space for that?!)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Margaret Bag

I made this purse over the Christmas break, you can find the free tutorial here
I really liked making this bag and have to say I am pretty happy with the way it turned out. Th only problem is that the fabric is so light in color- I will probably use it sparingly in order to prevent it getting really dirty. I will at least wait till spring- given all these constant winter storms we've been having. The hardest thing was doing the pleats on the exterior- but it definitely adds a lot to the look of the bag.

I really liked the tutorial- it taught me some valuable things when it comes to making a purse. You can't really tell from the pictures, but this bag has some serious structure, thanks to 2 layers of interfacing and 1 layer of cotton flannel to reinforce the bag.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

BTR Clutch

The night before my sister-in-law left to go back to Texas, we decided to do a "simple" purse and each make a Bend the Rules clutch. Of course, we couldn't make it simple and decided to put beading on the outside. I sent the one I made off to a friend before taking a picture, but this is the one Missy made. She kindly left it for me- thanks Missy!

I did about 1/4 of the kind of beading she did- she was much more talented and ambitious than I was.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Coffee Cozy and Cash-less Wallet

Hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year's. My husband graciously gave me lots of fabric for Christmas- but I will try to refrain from more fabric pictures and show you some of my latest projects. I have been sewing up a storm on this snowy weekend. I am working on a baby quilt today and I am cruising right along. I find it REALLY hard to stop doing a project I am in the middle of- but I needed to take a break. So I am posting a couple of posts from crafts from the holidays- those will appear this week.

In the meantime, I made these last night for Heather, one of my coworker's, for her birthday that is coming up this week.

On the left is a "cash-less wallet." I think next time I make this, I will make it wider in order to fit business cards more easily. The pattern is from, you guessed it, Bend the Rules.

On the right is a coffee cozy from a free tutorial on I found online here. I still need to test it on a cup to see if it will fit right.

Both of these are made from Amy Butler's Lotus fabrics that I received for free from an order of fabric from my favorite online fabric seller. Finding fabric I like where I live is not easy- all of the quilt stores have odd/impossible hours and very "country" type selections. Plus buying fabric online is $2-3 cheaper a yard than what you find in the stores, which more than makes up for the cost of shipping.....