Monday, April 25, 2016

My Fave Fabric Quilted Weekender Bag


It's been 2 years since I started the Weekender Bag (pattern by Amy Butler), and I can't believe I haven't blogged about it yet! It is considered by many quilters, "the holy grail of all quilted bags." It's a challenge, but such a great achievement when you're finished! I wanted my bag to be really special, so I used all of my fabric fabrics that I had in my stash... quirky, bold, colorful prints. I was living in Ohio when I made it, and one of my favorite fabrics is the fussy cut "Ohio Star" at the top of the bag. It's splattered with Eiffel Towers, horses, arrows, anchors, triangles, hexagons, and a tiny little swoon block too.

(photo by Justin Hackworth)

I love this bag because its roomy, sturdy, and a great conversation piece! It travels with me to church every Sunday, and is the perfect size for all the supplies I need to teach singing time to the kiddos. Every so often, I clean it out and take it on a fun trip with me. 

(photo by Justin Hackworth)

We had family pictures taken while we were on vacation in Utah, by one of my favorite photographers, Justin Hackworth, and he was so nice to snap a few of me with my newly sewn bag.



A big shout-out to my bestie Ashley for encouraging me to make this bag. I'm not saying I couldn't have made this bag without her help, but I'm saying I wouldn't have! It seemed like sooo much work, and I was afraid of tackling such a big project. But after seeing so many amazing bags on the internet, I was convinced I needed to join the Weekender Bag club. Ashley encouraged me every step of the way, and even came to my house on the night I began to assemble the parts to share her pointers. Boy am I grateful for her!



Here's a behind-the-scenes peek at the construction process of my bag. I made a few modifications, including all of these tips from Ashley, plus a few of my own:

-I used the quilt-as-you-go method, using my FAVE fabrics. Be SURE to use a walking foot if you try this method.
-Added a few personal touches- a swoon block and some hand stitching.
-I overlock stitched the sides of the all the raw edges, including the main panels, large pockets pieces, side pockets, top panels (all the pieces where you did the scrappy quilting).
-I used "seam a steam" on the piping instead of basting it.
-The pattern doesn't add piping to the top of the side pockets, so I added some.
-Per Ashley's advice, I made the handles 8 inches longer, so worth it!
-Added extra stitching to the handles, for extra reinforcement.
-I used oil cloth for the bottom, its so perfect because its a smooth fabric that can be wiped off, preventing it to get dirty and worn. Beware, once you sew though oil cloth, you can't really unpick and restitch since its a non-forgiving fabric.
-I used a home dec or canvas weight for piping, handles, and lining instead of a normal weight fabric.


This is a miniature Swoon Block, sewn with my favorite Liberty print. Thanks to Amanda from Westwood Acres for helping me figure out how to condense the measurements!


To make the panels of the bag, I used a quilting method called Quilt As You Go. This is the most FUN part of the project. It allows you to incorporate all your favorites and quilt them in different directions.

A look at my progress of the panels and side pockets... I hand quilted the hexagons for one of the side pockets.

All my finished quilted pieces.

With the piping and handles sewn on, the bag is ready for the zipper and assembly!

This is where it gets tricky... use pins and wonder clips, sew very slow, and keep going!!! It's totally possible to make this on a regular home sewing machine.

I had quite the adventure when I took my Weekender out for its official photoshoot. There I was snapping away, when all of a sudden a HUGE flock of turkeys snuck up on me! They minded their own business, thank goodness!

They are some of my very favorite creatures here in South Dakota. We see them almost every day. They were so close, I could have snatched one for dinner!

One last look at this side...

I'm not sure which is the front or the back. I like them both equally!

Thanks for joining me on my Weekender Bag journey! I'm off!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Mini Quilt- Sewing Machine in a Log Cabin


I've finally finished my first sewing project of 2016! I made this mini quilt for Shari of Doohickey Designs, as part of a swap called the "Uplift and Inspire" Swap created by Samantha of Aqua Paisley.


Lately I've been obsessed with red, pink, aqua, and navy. Ahh such a beautiful color combination. I used a mixture of fabrics designed by Bonnie & Camille and Tasha Noel.


For the sewing machine, I used a pattern by Sew Lux called the Machine Sewn Mini. I've made it before, and I think it makes a really quick, cute, and fun sew.


I recently moved into a tiny yet charming log cabin, and since this was my first sewing project since moving, I thought it would be so fitting to design the sewing machine into a log cabin border. I had a little too much nostalgic fun sewing a log cabin while sitting inside a log cabin. :)


I look forward to taking lots of pictures of sewing projects at our new place.
Here's a few more shots...



I'm not sure if anyone really still comes around this blog... I used to be very active here and post lots. It's turned into more of just a place I come to when I've completed a project, just a hobby blog at this point. If you're still here, thanks for stopping by and I'll be back soon with another finished project!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Farmer's Wife Quilt Along, Block #43 Hope

Welcome to the tutorial for Block #43 Hope, from the Farmer's Wife 1930's Quilt-Along! This project involves sewing 99 blocks within one year- starting September 2015 and running through September 2016. Members (and there are over 7,000)! are encouraged to follow along, but also sew at their own pace and enjoy the process. This Quilt-Along is hosted by Angie of Gnome Angel, and sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop and Marti Michell.

I have been MIA from this blog for several months- due to a cross country move last summer- and then another move across town. I've been buried in boxes and organizing, and we've thrown ourselves into school, activities, church, etc. To top it off, I'm pregnant with our fifth baby! All this is WONDERFUL and I'm grateful for where my life is at. But, I've sincerely missed blogging- and more so- quilting! I'm so grateful that Angie from Gnome Angel asked me to participate as a guest blogger in this amazing quilt-along. She has done an amazing job organizing this world-wide quilting event. It gave me a reason to lay aside my unpacking and organizing for a morning and get back to my long lost hobby. I don't think I've ever enjoyed sewing a quilt block as much as I did Hope. It came together easily, and helped me realize that while sometimes its necessary to put aside our passions for a time and season, that if they motivate you and make you happy, then they are worth pursuing. I can't wait to get back to more regular sewing.


My color scheme for this entire project is a mixture of my favorites- aqua, navy, red, pink, and white. I'm using fabrics designed by Tasha Noel, Camille Roskelley, and Pam Kitty Morning, and using Aurifil thread in white, 50 wt.

 To get started, decide how you'll be sewing this block... Hand Sewing or English Paper Piecing, Foundation Paper Piecing, or Machine Sewing. I decided to machine sew, so that's how I'll present this tutorial.

Here's what you'll need:
~the book, which can be purchased hereThe Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt
~printed paper templates found on page 202 of the disc from the book
~3 different fabrics
~the norm- sewing machine, thread, cutting mat, rotary cutter, ruler, iron, etc.

Step 1
Choose your fabrics. I used the image of Hope in the book as my inspiration. I used a dark solid for the larger triangles, and lower-volume print for the middle square and smaller triangles, and a darker/bolder print for the perimeter of the block.

Cut out the fabrics. I used the paper templates as my guide and cut with my rotary cutter and acrylic ruler. Arrange the pieces to make sure everything is directionally correct. I fussy cut a few little strawberries for my center square.

Step 2
Divide the block into 5 different sections- the square + four rectangular units.

Step 3
Let's begin sewing. *Place fabric right sides together at every seam. I use a scant 1/4 inch seam, usually press my seams open unless otherwise noted, and I always backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam. Please assume the I press and backstitch for every seam. I do not pin my seams but you certainly could!

Tackle one group at a time, or tackle one step and repeat for each group at the same time. 

Sew the smaller triangles together at the hypotenuse.

Next, sew the larger triangle to the smaller set to create a square. 

Now attach the rectangular piece to the square.

Repeat for each of the 4 sections in this block.

Step 4
In this block, we get to try a fun and handy technique, one that attaches the middle square to the rest of the block. The technique is called a partial seam. I will explain it in this tutorial, but also check out this helpful partial seam post from Marti Mitchell. It also contains information on conversion charts.


To begin, use the bottom left unit, and place the small center square aligned at the top.

Place it right side down on the rectangular unit, and sew a sea just a little over half-way down the side.

Now, finger press the square open. Rotate your work 90 degrees. Place the original top left unit at the side and line up the edges.

Place right sides together, and sew a complete seam. DO NOT press this seam open; press it up toward the rectangle.

Your work so far:

Now rotate 90 degrees to the left and take the original upper right unit and place next to the edge of your work.

Place right sides together and sew a complete seam.

Rotate 90 degrees to the left and put the last unit in place.

We will finish the partial seam in this step. You will need to move the bottom unit out of the way in order to line up the seams of the current unit.

With the bottom piece moved out of the way, sew a complete seam from top to bottom.

Last, place right sides of the unfinished seam together. You will sew from the outer edge of the block to the middle of the square to complete that partial seam.

Et voila!

Here's a look at the back of my block.

I trimmed my block using Marti Michell's 6 inch "My Favorite Squaring Up Ruler."

And there you have it! Done!
Not only is it a fun and relaxing process to create the Farmer's Wife blocks, but what I love most is the history behind the quilt. 

To create the blocks for this quilt, you'll need a copy of the book.


To see other tutorials by guest bloggers for the month of March, check them out below!

Sunday Link Party

Don't forget if you're making blocks as part of the sew-along please come and link up on the Sunday Link Party at GnomeAngel.com

FAQ's

The page with all the Frequently Asked Questions (and answers) in relation to the sew-along can be found by clicking here.

#hashtag

The hashtag for this sew-along is #FQS1930FarmersWife and #fw

Facebook Groups

Flickr


GnomeAngel.com