Thursday, June 11, 2009

So much to do!

Once my mom saw the Margaret bag I made for my sister's birthday, she demanded, I mean requested that I make something for her as well. She wanted a tote that she could use casually throughout the summer - going to the lake or on vacations. It's not exactly my style, but my mom is the most patriotic person I know, so I thought this seasonal fabric I found at JoAnn's would be just perfect for her.

It's a very large bag, perfect for carrying a couple of towels, some bottles of water and a bag of snacks! The bottom is quilted for extra stability.

The next time I'll see my family is Father's Day weekend. That's nine days to finish the following projects:

+Resize the hooded towel to fit a toddler
+Lengthen the strap to my sister Amanda's purse
+Quilt and bind Amanda's quilt that was intended as a Mother's Day gift
+Finish quilting Mom's quilt that was intended as a Mother's Day gift
+Finish binding Nikki's quilt that was intended as a Mother's Day gift
+Cut, piece, and quilt Dad's quilt and hope that I can give it to him on the day for which it's intended!

Yes, I'm a month behind on gifts. Shhhh. I'm already tired just thinking about all of the stuff I have to do. Thank goodness I've decided to use the birthing, or turning, method on Mom and Dad's quilts.

I've never completed a full quilt before, but I have six "in progress" quilts and three others on my to-do list after that. I am either very ambitious... or a dang fool!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Birthday boys

I have two nephews with birthdays later this month. Andrew is turning two, and Reed will be one!
For Andrew I made this cute little crayon roll.

This was made using the tutorial from Skip To My Lou and some scrap fabric. The closure is just a hair tie. My sister, Nikki (Andrew's mom) is due in August with her second little boy and I figured the rubber band would be the easiest thing for her to manage with her hands full of precious boys!

For Reed I made this big-boy hooded towel, modeled by Oscar the Ikea lamp.

The towels are from Target. They are super soft, reversible, and they have really cute stripes: no embellishments necessary. Now the problem is... this thing is huge. HUGE! I'm really not looking forward to taking a seam ripper to these plush towels so I keep trying to convince myself that A) he'll grow into it. I mean, my brother-in-law is nearly 7 feet tall and Reed already seems to be taking after his dad. And B) he'll look really stinkin' cute being swallowed by this enormous cloak.

Not convinced, huh? Ok, I'm going to have to make some edits.

Now, this probably wasn't the smartest idea, but considering that my entire to-do list consists of items to make for other people, I figured it couldn't hurt to work on a little something for myself...


I've had these fabrics for about a month and I finally started to cut into them last night. I think I spent a good three hours picking these out on sew, mama, sew! and that's exactly how many hours a day I spent staring at these longingly. It was so hard to cut into them, but I just had to keep reminding myself that I'll still get to stare longingly when it's a finished quilt on my lap.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Lots of firsts!

This is my very first blog post and I couldn't think of anything better to start with than my first commissioned project. One of my internet friends is getting married (congrats!) and I made three purses with matching wristlets as gifts for her bridesmaids. This was also my first experience working with commercial patterns, and I've got to say, they didn't exactly make the best first impression.

Using this Vogue pattern (far left and right bags) produced purses nearly two feet wide! Obviously, some editing was in order and the end products turned out like so:

(Please pardon the shoddy iPhone pictures. This phone is good for many things, photography not being one of them.) This bag was made using the All Cotton Sage Alexander Henry fabric. It was my first time to use the button hole feature on my sewing machine, an experience I am not in a hurry to repeat!

The fabric used for this bag is Tapestry Cinnamon from the Del Hi fabric collection by Valori Wells for Free Spirit. I left off some of the embellishments from the original pattern because, quite frankly, I thought they made the bag appear a little too "old lady" and not in a good way.

The third bag was created using this Simplicity pattern (bottom left.) I didn't make any changes to this pattern, and I actually wound up liking the end result much much more than I thought I was going to.

All of the bags have interior pockets, but the pocket in this one has a zipper! And it was surprisingly easy to install. Go figure.

The fabric for this bag is no longer in stock at Sew, Mama, Sew! so I can't find the exact designer, but my account summary lists it as Flower Field Summer ~ Night and Day 2.

And the wristlets!

The one on top isn't really that much smaller than the other two, this picture was just taken at a weird angle. I didn't use any particular pattern for these, they're just very basic pouches with a zipper and small strap.

This was a really challenging project considering that everything I had made prior to these purses was using tutorials I found online on other people's blogs, like the Margaret bag tutorial I found on Oh, Fransson! I wouldn't have opted to use commercial patterns had it not been for the fact that these items were being sold for profit. Given that everything else I make is solely for personal use or for gifting to family and friends, I think I'm going to stick with the online tutotials. A) The tutorials are usually easier to follow, and B) I prefer to link back to another crafter's blog than to a commercial website.

Here is my rendition of the Margaret bag that I made for my sister's birthday last month, which was also my first homemade purse (if you don't count the purse I made in highschool using a karate belt, place mats, and safety pins.)

Aside from my desperate need for some better quality photos, I think I'm off to a great start.

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