Friday, August 14, 2015

Scrap Happy Sewing: Craft Tote Pattern

 This week my son started kindergarten and my husband began his first (of many) work weeks of forced overtime.  I've needed sewing as therapy desperately!

I turned to Scrap Happy Sewing (by Kim Kurzich) again and made this "Craft Tote."  I don't work with scraps as often as I'd like and I was curious what kind of "look" I could create with pinks, greens, yellows, and blues from my scrap bins.  I altered the pattern slightly in making the straps and bottom linen rectangles a bit wider than what the pattern called for.  This is my favorite side:

Somehow, this side (picture below) ended up with a lot more yellows and it's not as balanced.  Good to remember to watch that for next time.

Before I sewed up the lining, I took this picture to show this fun combination of prints inside the bag.  That bird/floral print was one of the first "modern" fabric prints I bought several years ago.  The house print isn't from the same fabric line but they go together so perfectly.  I love it when that happens.  Aren't bag linings a good way to use fun multi-colored fabrics that might be hard to use otherwise?

I love making bags so much and have decided to stash such projects for future birthday or Christmas gifts since I already have so many for myself.  It feels good to be ahead of schedule with gift giving!

Linking up with Finish it up Friday and Super Online Sewing Community Match at Sew Mama Sew.

Total stash fabric used in this post: 1 yard
Total stash fabric used since 1/1/15: 76 yards
Total stash fabric used to date: 77 yards

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Ongoing Projects

I have three pre-baby WIPS haunting me, one of them is the Weekender bag.  I recently completed this paper pieced section for one of the large outside pockets:

to be placed on the outside of this quilted main panel:

But when I put the two together, I didn't like how they looked at all.  The problem is that the deer fabric is printed on a very brown linen, and I chose bright white prints for the patchwork piece.  Normally I try not to fret too much about white and off-white going together, but this bugs me too much!

This whole Weekender debacle has made me feel like I am making a lot of creative mistakes and not catching a lot of simple problems that could be avoided with more care.  I have also been thinking that I am definitely motivated to sew, but I am having a hard time coming up with projects and fabric combinations that I am really excited about.  I think my mental block is definitely related to sleep deprivation/interruption and having so little time to sew lately.

I came across a blog post, from Gnome Angel, recently with this quote, "Life is too short to make things that make you unhappy. I would rather not deliver on something then take the time away from my family to make something that’s sub par. Life’s too short for bad quilts!"  

I completely agree with Angie.  I don't need to put so much pressure on myself.  I don't have to create a masterpiece with everything I make.  So I am going to give myself a break and just work on some simple projects.  Projects with patterns.  If I follow a designer's fabric print/color suggestions, it's okay, I don't always have to reinvent the wheel every time.  I almost always try to throw in my own twist on projects, but if I want to make an exact duplicate of something from a book or tutorial, so be it.

Over the weekend, I had a bunch of sewing friends over to work on projects together.  I only had the baby to look after, so it felt like a vacation!  I spent my time visiting and cutting up squares for the Color Dive quilt.  This is exactly the kind of "easy" "no brainer" project I need: charm squares and half square triangles made out of Anna Maria Horner fabrics.  It's simple and I know I will still be happy with it because I love her fabrics and the pattern.

I also finally cracked open my City Weekend bundle I've hoarded for years.  I usually don't love pastel fabrics but this collection has been one of my long time favorites.  I am pairing it with blenders from my stash to make 9" churn dash blocks.  It's another simple project that will hopefully result in a pleasing vintage style quilt.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Scraptastic Tuesday: A Few Projects in the Works

Like a lot of quilters, I have a lot of scraps.  I enjoy working with them but don't do so often enough.  Here's a few recent projects I've been working on:

Apple potholders, a pattern from the book Scrap Happy Sewing.  I love how they came out.  The insulated batting shifted a lot within the project, but that was the only trouble I had in making these:

I had the perfect backing fabric:

This is the last project I completed recently in completing the decorating of my sewing room.  The mat and frame came from a yard sale and I spray painted the mat bright pink.  The mat was originally a dark, dusty blue.  Sorry about the poor picture- it was difficult to photograph.

To fill in the letters, I simply glued scraps of my favorite sewing themed collection, Sew Yummy, to the back of the mat.

Over the weekend I started working on another scrappy project, more details (and hopefully a finish) coming later this week:

 Linking up to Scraptastic Tuesday at She Can Quilt:

Scraptastic Tuesday

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Pajama Softie Bears: Scrap Happy Sewing

I have been eyeing the "Pajama Softie Bear" pattern for months and finally got my hands on a copy of Kim Kruzich's Scrap Happy Sewing for my birthday.  There are lots of cute patterns in the book (today I will finish up a second project from its pages) but I would've bought the book if only for the cute bears!  My regular readers all know I love peg bears and this is right up my alley.

So I made three bears, one for each of my kids.  I really just wanted one for the baby, but of course, I ended up making one for each of my older children.  They appreciate them, which is good, because I don't really love "assembly line sewing," aka, making several of the same thing over and over.  (If I had a dollar for every time someone encouraged me to do a "craft show" or "open an Etsy shop."  I know they mean well, but no, thank you).  But I'm getting off topic.....

This pattern is cute because it has several sweet details.  My oldest son insisted I didn't add a collar, buttons, or the adorable "butt flap."  But the other two bears got the full works:

Here's my crew with their softies.  Pretty sweet shot that was made in haste, as the baby was nearly overdue for his morning nap.  Got to love my daughter and her mismatched outfit and shoes.

Linking up to Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.