Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Super Tester!


I sort of, kind of, hinted to Anna that I would love to test her upcoming pattern, the Super Tote!  She sweetly emailed me and gave me a sneak peek at the pattern.....and I absolutely love it!  I'm a sucker for big bags.  I tend to lean toward Amy Butler patterns since she knows how to make big 'ole bags!  Anna has really struck the perfect balace with this bag--it's large enough to tote around more than just your wallet, but not so big that it's luggage! :)  

Since I'm no stranger to bag making, I couldn't help but alter the pattern to suit my personal tastes.  The pattern called for one exterior open pocket.  I made the exterior open pocket and I added this exterior zippered pocket too!  I used a 14" metal zipper and it was the perfect fit with the pattern pieces!  

The patch work handles were a total "make it work" moment.  I cut the gussets before the handles and, in the process, destroyed any hope of getting the required length necessary for the straps out of the purple dot (Mirror Ball dot) fabric.  I had a few scraps left of the multi-floral print (Weekends) so I just added a bit to each strap I cut and, voila! perfect handle length!  I also use a double stitch method for top stitching my handles to add a bit more detail.

Another change I made was to fully line both exterior pockets.  Anna's pattern has you use a facing to finish the pockets, but I like mine to be fully lined.  Just a personal preference! 

 Also, as you can see from this picture, I did not use piping along the top of my exterior open pocket.  Instead, I cut the pocket lining a 1/2" longer than necessary, then, when I attached it to the exterior of the pocket, I left 1/4" of the lining showing on the front.  I stitched in the ditch to keep it in place.  Again, this was a "make it work" moment.  I couldn't find premade binding in the right color and I didn't have the right size cording to make my own piping (plus, I hate cutting fabric on the bias), but I really love the hint of color at the top of the pocket!  So I came up with the lazy girl's way to achieve the same effect.  **update, Anna kindly pointed out that the piping fabric doesn't have to be cut on the bias since the piece it is being attached to is straight! Duh! silly me!


I really love the gusset on this bag!  It elevates it from a simple, flat tote (or one with boxed corners) to something way more polished!  Plus, it gives you way more room inside the bag!  You can also see my double top stitching along the top of the bag (like on the handles).  This is simply a detail that I like.

My largest pattern change was to omit the interior pockets and a method of closure all together.  No matter how many times I put interior pockets in my bags, I never use them!  Everything always ends up at the bottom of my bag!  So I decided to save myself the fabric and just leave the interior plain.  Also, I never close my bags!  Whether there is a zipper or magnetic closure, I don't use it!  So, again, I saved myself the time, effort, and fabric and omitted a closure.   You can also see in this picture that I reinforced the handles all the way through to the lining of the bag.  I'm super paranoid about a strap coming loose so in addition to Anna's instructions, I reinforced the handles after I assembled the bag.  

So there you have it!  My Super Tote!  I think someone needs to make a bag that looks like a Wonder Woman outfit because I keep envisioning this bag with a cape and super powers, don't you?  Ok, maybe that's just me! Anna has really outdone herself with this bag.  The pattern is awesome, the directions are easy to follow, and the finished project is perfect for a summer tote!  Keep your eyes peeled on Anna's blog at the end of this month for her new *SUPER* pattern, the Super Tote!!!!


Fabrics used for this tote include:
Melody Miller's Ruby Star Sparkle Telephones
Michael Miller's Mirror Ball dots
Lizzy House's 1001 Peeps
Erin McMorris' Weekends




Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Winner and Stash Bash


I meant to post this before I left for Stash Bash, but I crammed in a last minute sewing project so I didn't have time!  The winner of the Micro Mod FQ bundle and the Green Bee pattern (according Mr. RNG) is 


I really get excited when someone I know wins!  It's almost like I won.........ALMOST.  ha ha!  Congrats Jenny!  I'll get your fabric in the mail soon!  Don't forget about the rest of the sew along: 
April 2 - Alexia & Rob Green Bee

April 3 - Kelly at Kelbysews
April 5 - Amanda at the Craft Junky
April 6 - Rachael at Imagine Gnats
April 8 - Heather at alamode
April 10 - Holly at Bijou lovely
April 13 - Alexia, Michelle & Rob Green Bee  
April 17 - Faith at Fresh Lemons
April 18 - Katie at Swim Bike Quilt
April 19 - Deborah at Whipstitch
April 20 - Jacey at Jaceycraft
April 22 - Krista at Krista Withers Quilting
April 24 - Jenny at the Southern Institute
April 25 - Amy from sukie don't ya know
April 26 - Jen from Betty Crocker Ass
April 27 - Sara from Sew Sweetness
April 29 - Katy from I'm a Ginger Monkey
April 30 - Amber from One Shabby Chick
May 1 - Alexia & Rob Green Bee GRAND PRIZE



So this weekend I went to Stash Bash!  It was held at what could only be described as an empty summer camp, just south of Atlanta.

Now THIS is how you travel handmade! A Weekender, a Birdie Sling, a duffel, and a Jane Market tote! #thestashbash
I packed up all my stuff in some stylin' handmade bags!

At subway with @stephaniefinol and then it's on to #thestashbash We're only about 20 minutes away!!!!
I drove down with this sweet lady (Stephanie) who lives just down the road from me!

@annamariahorner Field Study linen @amybutlerdesign Birdie Sling complete and ready for #thestashbash
I even managed to squeeze in time to make this Birdie Sling from the recently released Field Study linen!  Thanks to Amanda at Westwood Acres for her lightning fast shipping!!!

The picturesque location of #thestashbash I ÔŁĄthe South!!!
Seriously, look at how gorgeous this place was!!!!  What's more unbelievable was the food!  A former chef from the Ritz Carlton works there part-time and the food was truly stellar!  We were all shocked.  To be fair, it wasn't necessarily HEALTHY, but it was yummy! :)

Really, this was our view while we worked!


Katie (on L) was a work horse the whole time she was there and the Amanda, Jacey, and Safieh were so much fun to sit next to!!!



Elena was always smiling!

Our little station

Cherie is flexing her awesome triceps for us! :)  

My purchases/goodies from @stashfabrics !! #thestashbash
Beth from Stash Fabrics was there and we all raided the huge pile of fabric she brought!  I got these goodies right away and I *may* have gone back for more! 


We also took a field trip to Scarlet Thread (a local quilt shop)  

They had a cool display of paint stir things hanging from the ceiling!

Amylouwho is sexy at the cutting table!

Neato pearl cotton display!

Finished a little pouch with some of the screen printed swag that @amandahall25 gave us at #thestashbash
We even got swag bags!  Amanda Hall donated this screen printed pouch kit which I immediately whipped up into an adorable pouch!  

Thanks for teaching us about screen printing @amandahall25 !!! #thestashbash
She even took hours out of her own sewing time to show us all how to screen print and let us raid her supplies and screens to make our own!  I printed these arrows and I printed some Harry Potter glasses onto a tote bag!  It was so fun and I can't thank Amanda enough for being so generous with her time and supplies!  She was a fabulous teacher!

Hanging with @hotpinkstitches the Cuban hottie while she uses my @babylocksewing machine #thestashbash
While my sweet friend, Elena, used my BabyLock (we have the same machine and she was flying so I told her she could use mine and I'd bring other projects), I managed to baste this monster:

MY AMH quilt top is done!
I'm going to attempt to hand quilt it.  Wish me luck!

@annamariahorner Field Study linen picnic top complete!!! #thestashbash
I whipped up this linen picnic quilt top while I was there too!  Again, using the Field Study linen.  This line is cooky and fun, I love it!  I plan to hand-tie this quilt--a first for me!  I really love Anna Maria Horner's prints in a simple patchwork style like this. They're just so pretty and unique!


First 5 blocks for @annkelle custom quilt! This is 1 of 6 block styles I'm using. #thestashbash
I'm also working on a custom quilt for Kelle Boyd (Ann Kelle).  This is 1 of 6 styles of blocks I'll be making.  The cutting is a nightmare, but I think the sewing will go really quickly!  I may even get motivated and write up the pattern.


Going to miss my girls @a_2_w and @hotpinkstitches !!! We all matched in our stripes today!
I was sad to leave on Sunday!  I'm especially going to miss my fellow striped ladies, Ali and Elena!  

Can't wait for Stash Bash 2014!!!


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

MicroMod Giveaway!!!!!


I'm so happy to be a part of Alexia and Rob's Sew-Along!  I adore Micromod (check out the full collection here) and I knew immediately what I wanted to make for this his/hers sew-along....Boxy Bags!!!  In preparation for this post, I asked Alexia and Rob a question, Newlywed Game style, and here are their answers:

Question: What 3 non-clothing items would your spouse pack for a trip?

Alexia says: "Rob would pack the book he's currently reading, his ipad and coffee for the trip because you can never trust that you can find good coffee when you're out of town!"

Rob says he would REALLYpack: "books, music, and sunglasses (I'm always looking for the perfect, cheap, pair), a great source of affectionate teasing from my wife!"

Rob says: "Alexia would pack lip balm, travel size toiletries - which are an essential purchase for EVERY trip, and it is a mystery to me what happens to them after the trip, and lastly, snacks for the trip."

Alexia says she would REALLY pack: "my current knitting project, snacks for the trip and my watercolors."

Each of them got one thing right so I guess this round is a tie!

I make these all the time for gifts, but finding fabric appropriate for men is always a challenge.  MicroMod is very man-friendly.....my hubby didn't even turn up his nose at this bag! 

I have two favorite tutorials for these.  One is from my sweet friend, Kaelin at The Plaid Scottie.   Her version is all neat and tidy with no exposed seams.  The down and dirty, exposed seams method can be found on www.sewingmamas.com (sorry, I cannot get the direct link to work!)

I'm super in love with metal zippers these days!  Just be warned, you can NOT sew over those metal teeth!  I hand-turned my machine when I got near the zipper so I wouldn't break a needle!

I would highly suggest adding a tab at the end of the zipper or a handle of some kind to make opening and closing these types of bags easier!

As you can see, I left my seams exposed--I zigzag stitched over them to prevent fraying.

These bags hold a ton!  I'm talking full size shampoo bottles!  I cut my fabric 14.5"x18" for both the interior and exterior piece (if using Kaelin's tutorial, just cut the large piece into two 14.5"x 9" pieces).  Since the fabric is quilting cotton and I like the bags to stand up on their own, I used ShapeFlex (Pellon SF101) on both the exterior and interior pieces.  You can also use batting or fusible fleece for a softer feel.  


Now, about that sew-along!  You can sew along by tagging your projects on Instagram with #microMod , posting on the Green Bee Patterns Facebook page, or adding to the microMod flickr group. You can keep up with the stops on the sew along by checking Aleixa's blog or on the Cloud9 Facebook page!
There will be prizes at each stop, and at the end of the month you can enter to win an amazing grand prize: A fat quarter stack of microMod by Rob Bancroft from Cloud9 fabrics, the entire Green Bee Patterns collection, a microMod sewing bag, and a Singer Heavy Duty Sewing Machine! (Open to contiguous US residents only.)
April 2 - Alexia & Rob Green Bee
April 3 - Kelly at Kelbysews
April 5 - Amanda at the Craft Junky
April 6 - Rachael at Imagine Gnats
April 8 - Heather at alamode
April 10 - Holly at Bijou lovely
April 13 - Alexia, Michelle & Rob Green Bee  
April 17 - Faith at Fresh Lemons
April 18 - Katie at Swim Bike Quilt
April 19 - Deborah at Whipstitch
April 20 - Jacey at Jaceycraft
April 22 - Krista at Krista Withers Quilting
April 24 - Jenny at the Southern Institute
April 25 - Amy from sukie don't ya know
April 26 - Jen from Betty Crocker Ass
April 27 - Sara from Sew Sweetness
April 29 - Katy from I'm a Ginger Monkey
April 30 - Amber from One Shabby Chick
May 1 - Alexia & Rob Green Bee GRAND PRIZE




For my part, just leave a comment on this post and enter for a chance to win a FQ bundle of MicroMod and my favorite pattern of Alexia's, Lots of Dots!  Seriously, it's so cute!  You have until April 11th at 10pm Central to enter!  International entries are welcome for my giveaway!  Oh, and check out my Instagram feed (kelbysews) for a chance to win the 2 boxy bags!!!



Monday, April 1, 2013

The Case of the Trashy Novel

I have been seriously lax in the sewing department recently!  I've been buried in a pile of trashy romance novels and have barely peeked my head into my sewing room!  I did manage to FINALLY put together My Precious quilt top!

I really am in love with this quilt!  Truly, it has some of my most favorite fabrics--a few of which I have no more of!  I used the last precious scraps of a few gems in here!

I decided to sash it with Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Flax.  It's so soft and is a nice, neutral contrast to all the rainbow-y goodness going on.

I'm pretty sure I know how I'm going to quilt this, but since it involves straight lines, I'm not too excited about starting the quilting process. :) ha!

I'm also trying to work up the nerve to use some really precious fabric for the backing--think yards of pink Heather Ross camper vans.  I'm not sure I have the nerve, but this top deserves something special.


I've also been working on a custom pixelated quilt for Miss Kelle Boyd (Ann Kelle fabric).  Love all her sweet fabrics!  

Here's hoping I'll put down my Kindle soon and finish up some of these WIPs!  Oh!  Stay tuned for Thursday, April 4th!  I have a nice FQ giveaway from Cloud 9 fabrics!

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