Wednesday, January 21, 2015

drawstring bag



I made this drawstring bag using two practise blocks I made during the patchwork course I'm taking. We had an Amish patchwork theme for some lessons and were asked to bring several fabrics: some favourite colours, a neutral colour (I wanted solid black to go with the traditional Amish vibe I had in mind, but didn't have any so the text print was a great stand-in) and a colour we're not particularly fond of.



We all had huge fun guessing at which colour was the others' "least favourite" and realizing that a little bit of something out of one's comfort zone can add quite a bit of flair and contrast. Above is the first block I made and my not-so-favourite colour is the orange. Yes, you might think the same as my coursemates (and in fact myself now) that the orange actually "makes" this block. Another fun thing to notice was to see how the same colour can look very different according to which other colours are next to it. For instance the pink looks a lot darker in the small squares than in the bigger squares next to the black.



In my second block I moved the colours around a bit. It really looks different, but I can't decide which one I like better ... It really was a fun exercise and the more I sew the less colours there are I don't like all. It's all just a question of the right amount and context, I guess.



I've been wanting to make a drawstring bag for myself for some time now to store WIPs and other sewing stuff in and this was the perfect project to use up those blocks! I lined it and added a tunnel of pink with an opening on one side. I made a two-toned lining since I didn't have enough of either colour for the whole lining. I really like it and I think it goes really well with the look and "using stuff up"-theme here. I'm happy I got some use out of those blocks (and that string and closure had been in my crafting stash for years ...!), plus it makes me happy to see them on a regular basis.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Swappen auf Deutsch 5 completed

Washi Patchwork Tote

Now that the swap is completed, I thought I'd share a bit more information on the tote I made and of course show you what I got in return! :-)

Washi Patchwork Tote

My partner left me quite a lot of freedom for creating something for her, so I tried to figure out where to start from looking at her inspirational mosaic. Then I mainly used this, this and this picture to work from. So, there was the washi tape fabric which I had in my stash as well, then there was improv piecing and geometric forms plus a combination of bright colours and neutral backgrounds. The idea of trying to recreate the layout of the washi fabric in patchwork emerged and I started to work from there.

Washi Patchwork Tote

Since I wanted to make things a bit easier for myself I took the dimensions and general construction of the tote from the book Zakka Style (be sure to look at the errata before making the Zig Zag Tote from that book!!).

Washi Patchwork Tote

I decided to add a (nearly) solid panel on the bottom of the tote using the same fabric I used for the handles to pull it all together and make the tote less prone to stains if placed on the floor.

Washi Patchwork Tote

The inner pocket is made from the inspirational fabric.

Washi Patchwork Tote Innentasche

I quilted some individual panels in dense straight lines on one side of the tote, which I think looks really nice. On the other side I quilted in the ditch of the "tapes".

Washi Patchwork Tote

Washi Patchwork Tote

Washi Patchwork Tote

Washi Patchwork Tote

I'm really happy I took part in this swap again. Seeing all the others make such an effort to create something original really pushed me to come up with something of my own and get out of my comfort zone a bit! I think that's the most fun in a swap, you never know who you're getting to sew for and you'll have to come up with something that both pleases them and yourself. :-)

And now to the beautiful bag I recieved:

Swappen auf Deutsch - empfangen

Isn't it stunning?! I am so happy with it and as you can see in the pic couldn't wait to fill it up with my stuff and use it! It was made by Monika, be sure to check out her blog and her flickr account, she makes some amazing stuff!

Swappen auf Deutsch - empfangen

Monika really listened to my wishes when it came to colours and patterns and she put so much work in the bag, adding such beautiful details!

Swappen auf Deutsch - empfangen

Swappen auf Deutsch - empfangen

An especially lovely touch is my name embroidered on the other side of the tote! Such a great idea!

Swappen auf Deutsch - empfangen

Swappen auf Deutsch - empfangen

Thank you so much again, Monika!!! :-)


Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas preparations

Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014

decorating the tree

decorating the tree

decorating the tree

There have been some Christmas preparations going on. It's fun to share some traditions with V. now she can participate in some of them like decorating gingerbread cookies with sprinkles and decorating the tree. I finished her Christmas stocking in time for her second Christmas, yay! :-) Also, I finished one of four potholders I started two years ago. Well, I suppose it's nice to have some seasonal projects to pick up next year, too.

Today is the shortest day of the year in Finland. From tomorrow on we'll be moving back into the light minute by minute! To everybody a wonderful Festive Season/Christmas/solistice!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

washi patchwork tote and some quilting

Washi Patchwork Tote

The washi-inspired patchwork tote for my secret swap partner is finished! Yay! Well ahead of the deadline! Yay! I will tell you more about the finished project once the swap is completed (mid-december).

Now that I've finished this project, I'd like to make some Christmas-related stuff and something for ME. I've had the pieces for a Painted Portrait Blouse cut out and lounging around for a couple of months now ...

FMQ practice

During the patchwork course I'm going to, I've had the chance to practise my FMQ skills a bit more. This was all totally a result of encouragement and inspiration from our teacher. I was all set on quilting dull wobbly lines and this was much more fun!

FMQ practice

This is for the back of the Loulouthi pillow cover I started this spring. Our teacher came up with the idea to imitate the floral pattern in the print. I really like how it came out and I've had such fun quilting. I didn't worry too much about perfection since it's "only" the back and it was cool to try out some different patterns. And actually it was much faster than quilting lines! Sometimes it's so good to get out of your crafty comfort zone.

Monday, October 27, 2014

washi patchwork progress

Washi patchwork Fortschritte

This weekend I made some progress on the washi-inspired patchwork project I'm working on for a swap. I made a big panel of patchwork and then cut it up again. I was a bit scared of that step, but I thought it would be necessary for achieving the effect I was hoping for. I won the ruler some years ago in a giveaway online and had never used it before. It seemed like a useful tool for this project.

Washi patchwork Fortschritte

As you can see I cut up the panel quite randomly, some pieces a bit askew, some straight and I took care to cut some in both directions, so the text fabrics would stay more or less the correct way up when put together again. Of course this process has left me with a certain amount of scraps, but I don't mind. I think I'll use those to make a little pouch for myself.

Washi patchwork Fortschritte

I think I will add in some more of the "tape" stripes in between these pieces, let's see if it works out the way I imagined!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Washi-inspired patchwork - project beginnings

Stoffauswahl für Swappen

Above you can see a number of fabrics I've been playing around with for a swap. I decided to use the Washi tape fabric as the main source of inspiration for both colours and shapes of my project for my partner.

Swappen Anfang 2

 I wasn't quite sure if I could recreate what I had in mind, but so far I like what came to be. The largely improv nature of sewing, planning and constructing this project has been quite meditative. It will be interesting to see how the project will turn out in the end!

Swappen Anfang 1

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

the beginnings of a new quilt and I bought some fabric!

quilt in progress

When I was working on this EPP hexie rosette I got the idea for this quilt. I started the rosette with no particular plan, I thought maybe it might become a pillow cover similar to the one I made for a swap last year. More and more, however, I thought that it would be perfect as a feature in a little quilt for V.! As Kirsty pointed out in the comments on my last post, I'm really drawn to these colours and this quilt includes many of my top-of-the-list very favourite fabrics. Also, several fabrics have been bought while I was pregnant and/or I've made something for V. from them before. So, it's just meant to be. My idea is to surround the hexie-square with simple patchwork squares. This will probably slow going (as are most my projects right now ...), but I don't really mind. And I've got no hurry, since V. already has Kirsty's beautiful quilt! I cut some of the squares one naptime, others the next and even already pieced some rows. Let's see where it goes!

About the fabric buying, well, I hadn't bought any fabric for a year, so I'm quite excited about this. Also, I love seeing what kind of fabric purchases other people make, so I thought I'd show you what I chose.

Hadley

Firstly, I got Denyse Schmidt's Hadley in FQs. I love the blue colourway, the mustard yellow and browns, and the nostalgic seventies vibe. Also, I like the orange in this line, which is not very typical for me. I've been looking at her book Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration a lot these past months and love the retro feel of it, so I thought if I really liked her next collection, I'd get some of it.

Hadley favourites

These are my favourite prints from the collection and the ones I was first drawn to. (No surprises there ... ;-)).

Hadley

And these are the ones I really like now that I've seen them in person. Don't you think that that check would be a great idea for a quilt layout?

carolyn friedlander

Secondly, I got some Carolyn Friedlander prints. I was tempted to get a Botanics FQ bundle, but I stayed strong and only got my absolute favourites in half yards, as well as this crosshatch (I don't have a lot of black and white fabric, so this is a great addition to my stash).

woodgrain

Then I got these woodgrains, because I love the print and I love the colours. Also, I thought they'd be quite useful.

stashing

These last ones were more "just because". I really like that shade of purple and the prints are lovely (plus, they were on sale ...) The flag print is so pretty, cheerful and it reminds me of Frida Kahlo, so I bought it. And I'm glad I did, I really love it.

Well, those are my purchases after the big fabric diet ... What did I learn? The truth is, I could have gone on without buying any more fabric for a while, since I've got enough to keep myself sewing for another year ... or five ... On the other hand, it's a nice boost of inspiration to get some new supplies every once in a while. When I decided not to buy any fabric for a while, I started writing down the fabric lines and prints that I really liked instead of buying them. Not all of them were a priority anymore when I made the order after some time had passed. It also motivated me to pick up and finish some WIPs and to cut into some extra special fabrics instead of just letting them linger and take up space in my stash. Also, I took part in my first fabric swap. I noticed what my stash really needs in my personal opinion (more chocolate brown !?! and blenders) and that the fabrics that stayed on my wish list the longest were the more understated and classic prints. I guess most of this is just common sense, but there were some things I noticed about my sewing process and fabric choices that were inspiring and motivating to me.

How about you? Do you have any fabric-buying wisdom to share? :-)