Monday, May 30, 2011

Goodie Bag Swap/Take Flight Bag Review

I was so excited to sign up for Angela and Kaelin's Goodie Bag Swap on Flickr!  I love making bags and since I've made a few, I signed up for the advanced category.  After receiving my {secret} partner, I knew I wanted to make the Take Flight bag from Amy Butler's most recent bag book.  Here are the results!

I did make a few changes to the pattern:
1.  I only put the petals on one side
2.  I didn't use the bias trim on the petals.  Instead, I make a second petal out of scrap white fabric, sewed right sides together, clipped curves, turned inside out and appliqued them on.
3.  I made the pockets differently.  I used the method found in Amy Butler's Sweet Harmony pattern to put full length open pockets on both sides of the back.  I could have added a zippered pocket (see my tutorial), but, frankly, this bag had enough steps already. :)  
4.  I interfaced the lining.  The pattern calls for home dec weight, but since I used a quilting cotton on the inside, I interfaced all the pieces.
5.  The pattern tells you to handstitch the lining into the bag.  No way Jose!  I just stitched over the zipper stitching to attach the lining.  It was a little hard to maneuver since the bag is HEAVILY interfaced, but it turned out pretty good!

Overall, this is a great pattern!  I didn't notice any mistakes.  I would caution about trimming the heavyweight interfacing.  The pattern says to trim 1/2" from all sides, but for the bottom exterior panel, I'd trim slightly more because it was nearly impossible to sew the second long side.  The heavy weight interfacing doesn't bend at all so it was a bit tricky to squish it down enough to lay the second long side flat enough to sew together with the main panel.  Trust me, this will make sense if you ever make this bag.  Ironically, this is supposed to be the hardest bag in the book, but I found it WAY easier than the Cosmo bag that is supposed to be one of the easiest!  I love the shape and the fact that it can stand up on its own!  Gotta love all that interfacing!  I'm not 100% satisfied with the petals, but I think that's because I probably wouldn't have put them on had this been a bag for myself.  Hopefully my partner will love them!

Bag fabrics:  
Exterior is a heavy suiting herringbone with appliqued petals using Kaffe and Michael Miller dots.
Interior prints are all Alexander Henry's Farmdale

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Workshop Project

I conducted a workshop for my guild on Thursday.  It was a surprise/contest workshop so those who signed up didn't know what fabric I would be bringing, but they were allowed to make whatever they wanted.  At the next guild meeting, we will vote on the best project and that person will win a prize!  Since 99% of the guild members are traditional (think batiks, civil war, etc.), I thought I'd push them in a new direction and give them something really bright and more modern to work with.  I was somewhat limited by the selection at our local quilting stores, but in the end I went with a Sugar Pop charm pack and 1/2 yard of a Bella solid.  Most of the ladies really took to the spirit of the idea and loved working with fabric they would have never bought.  I did have one lady wrinkle her nose at me and say she didn't like it--she almost didn't take it out of my hand!  I was a little surprised at her manners, but what can you do?  I'm going to try and remember to take pictures at the next meeting so you all can see what they created.  One lady finished a beach/summer tote while we were there and it came out GREAT!  I think even she was surprised how much she liked it in the end!

Anywho, I decided to do a relatively small project and make a Dresden pillow.  I still have quite a few charm squares left over.  I also experimented with hand-quilting.  I have to say, I really enjoyed the process and I'm now considering doing a whole quilt!  I wouldn't quilt it as dense as I did the pillow, obviously.  If anyone has a great source for pearl cotton size 8, let me know.

I'm also (finally) feeling a bit better.  I'm way behind on a few projects so I'm happy to finally feel up to a sewing marathon! :)  Hope you all have a great holiday weekend!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Summer Stars

I've been super sick the past few days (think flu and double pink eye) so I felt like I needed to work on something I wanted to do rather than something I needed to do!  I'm trying to break away from using whole collections in my quilts.  I always like seeing a mix of designers and styles in one quilt, but I have a hard time trusting my own judgment (plus, collections are *meant* to coordinate!).  This quilt is a baby step in that direction.  I have an overwhelming number of fat quarters so I wanted a design that would let me use some up.  I got two blocks from each FQ, plus I have leftovers for a pieced back.  Hooray!  I used prints from Amy Butler, Lizzy House, Michael Miller, Kei, Heather Bailey, Erin McMorris, Patty Young, Tula Pink, Robert Kaufman, etc.  Quilt measures approximately 72" square right now.  I will add this quilt to my shop once it's complete!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Kelly's Vacation, Take 3!

I went on a quilting retreat this weekend with some of my Flickr peeps who live in New Orleans!  Angela (Cut To Pieces), Kaelin (The Plaid Scottie), Karen, and Lana all got together at an awesome condo in Gulfport, Mississippi.  It had three bedrooms, three bathrooms and lots of sewing space!  We had a blast! 
Angela and me at The Shed--a yummy BBQ place.  Cherie came for the first night too!  Sorry Cherie, the only pic I had of you wasn't fabulous for either of us, so I thought you'd appreciate it if I left if out. :)
Kaelin really enjoyed the ribs!

This guy really enjoyed unbuttoning his shirt, but we thought it would be better if he just unbuttoned it all the way.  I mean, really, what good are those last two buttons doing anyway?

Angela opening her surprise birthday cake!

It was a super tasty cake from Whole Foods

Kaelin decided to throw Angela a little surprise birthday party.  Her birthday isn't until July, but she's moving at the end of the month so this was our only opportunity to celebrate.  We all got her (surprise!) a gift certificate to Hawthorne Threads!

Angela doing a little shimmy shake.

Angela took a break from booty shaking to work on a quilt (shhhh!  It's for Moda Bakeshop!)

View from our condo living room

View into the condo living room.  That's Kaelin making her unbelievable tacos for lunch on Saturday!  She'll be posting the recipes on her blog soon!  I made Giada's chicken carbonara for dinner Saturday night but I left out the lemon zest and walnuts.  It was pretty tasty if I do say so myself!

Kaelin decided to work on her pouch for the Pretty {little} Pouch swap.  Later I found out it was mine!!!!!!!  I was so so so so so excited and happy!  How rare is it to be able to give your partner their swap item in person?  I love it!
I took my pouch on its maiden voyage fabric shopping on Saturday.  Unfortunately, the fabric gods were against us and only one shop was open!  We looked like a bunch of starving children peering into the window of a bakery at the last closed shop.  They had tons of great stuff locked behind plate glass windows.  We even looked around for a brick to throw through the window! 

I was still pleased a punch with my pouch and beautiful Katie Jump Rope fabric from Kaelin!  I also got this STUNNING organizer that Angela made--which was recently published!  She swapped me for a Heather Ross pouch and some fabric.  I still think I got the better end of the deal!

Me and Kaelin!

All the ladies!  We had a wonderful time filled with fabric, dirty jokes, and lots of yummy food!  These gals are feisty and fabulous and I'm so grateful to have been invited their (slightly crazy) party!

My finished project for the weekend was this quilt top for a friend of mine.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Kite Quilt Progress

I finished my Kite quilt top!  Pattern can be found (for free) at thanks to the fabulous Faith!!!
Kite quilt top complete
Kite Quilt top complete

Sunday, May 8, 2011

What I Did On My SECOND Vacation

My best friend got married in the Keys this weekend!  Unfortunately, my hubby couldn't go because he had to stay home with the kiddos.  I had an awesome time!  I'm so happy for them!  Here is my trip in pictures:
View on the drive down to the Keys from Miami!

When I got there I hung out on the deck and read.

My best friend, Stephanie, showing me around the resort (Hawk Cay)

The Lagoon swimming area

The kid/adult pool.  There was also a pool for adults only and that's where we hung out.

Another shot of the Lagoon

They had a dolphin enclosure where you could swim with the dolphins.  So cute!

On our way to the welcome dinner.

Butterflies were her theme and the welcome dinner was held at the Butterfly Cafe--a happy accident!

My "date" Sara.  Her hubby couldn't make it either so we paired up for the events.

My room

My bathroom

my deck

View from my room

Steph getting ready for her big day!

Say cheese!

Tim waiting for his bride with the minister

He looks excited!

He finally sees her!

Here she comes!

This one is my favorite!  So happy!

If I didn't love her so much, I could really hate her--so pretty and skinny!

I did my part my making sure her dress wasn't messed up in the back

pretty flowers!

He kept rubbing her hand during the ceremony.  It was so sweet!

putting on the ring


Then they released live butterflies.

Steph had some trouble getting hers out of the box

My "date"

Love this one too!


The pink table!  Each table had a color scheme.

Paper butterflies which were released during the first slow song.

Rum punch!  They also had a mashed potato bar with three different types of mashed potatoes and lots of toppings to choose from.  Super yummy (as was all the rest of the food)!

First dance

Cutting the cake

Last dance.

What happens to my kiddo when I'm gone for two days--hubby decided to give him a mohawk!  At least it will grow back!
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