Friday, June 24, 2011

Carmen's Practical Bag

Last week I made a bag for my friend Carmen. She was looking for a cloth bag that was big enough to fit in some specific items.

She looked at several stores without luck, so I offered to make one for her. She came over and picked out some fabric at my "store." (You know you have too much fabric when you refer to your stash as a store).

I used the Practical Bag pattern by Grand Revival Designs. I made one of these bags for myself in the fall and I really enjoyed the pattern. It was easy to follow and well laid out. I think the design is really clever too.

I made the lining out of two different fabrics for fun and added in a couple pockets made from scraps. I didn't add interfacing to the lining but I think that next time I will. It would make the bag just that much sturdier.

I top-stitched in a turquoise thread for some contrast and I am very pleased with the outcome. The most difficult part of making the bag was getting the 'v' to lay flat. Hopefully next time they will look a little better.

I also bought a purse pattern (called Flea Market Bag) by Grand Revival and have yet to try it out. I hope it will be as simple and clever as this bag. Have you made either of these bags?

xo Nicole

Monday, June 20, 2011

some quilts to share

This first quilt is one that I made for my nephew Paul. He's so adorable and I really love him. I wish I lived closer by. I started making this quilt before he was born, before any of us knew if my sister was having a boy or a girl. I wanted to make something gender neutral. I found the pattern in a book called Great Little Quilts that my great-aunt gave to me. The pattern is called Single Wedding Ring, but it's also known as Crown of Thorns.

The book didn't really give very specific instructions, so I just made up my own size block. Unfortunately, I forgot to add in seam allowances. I cut all the fabric before I discovered this. Luckily, it still sewed together nicely, just a little smaller than I anticipated. Which also meant that it took longer. I think I also underestimated the complexity of each block. The quilt has 12 blocks, each made up of 25 squares and 16 of the squares are HST (half-square triangles). Each square ended up 1.5" finished.

I eventually finished it up and added a couple borders to make it a little bigger. I was only going to make one border originally. I took some time to think about how to quilt it. I didn't want to take away from the beautiful blocks or to be too densely quilted. I ended up doing straight diagonal lines that brought out some of the secondary patterns of the blocks. I also chose to do a fun binding on an otherwise traditional quilt. Don't you love the backing fabric?

This is a quilt that I made for my sister Frances (Paul's mama) on her birthday last year. I forgot to take any pictures of it before giving it away, so it has been unblogged until now. I think that I bought it as a quilt kit, but can't remember where. It's made of fabulous, bright batiks and a white on white fabric. The design is from Atkinson Designs called Lucky Stars.

It came together quite quickly because the blocks are 15". The quilt ended up being 45"x60" - a nice size to snuggle on the couch with. I quilted it with a loopy meander - my go-to free motion quilting.

The back is just a solid green with a few scraps thrown in. I like the simplicity of the design.

The last quilt to be featured today is one that I made with Cherry House Quilt Along. She called it the Socken quilt. It was quite simple to put together. The little squares finish at 1". I was inspired by the quilting on another of her quilts, and attempted to do something similar. I really like how it turned out. I gave it to a special baby in our church a few weeks ago. I hope that he loves it and gets lot of use out of it.

Thanks for stopping by!
xo Nicole