Friday, May 17, 2013

it only took me four years and four months to finish what i started

if it hadn't been for this blog, i would not have remembered my plans for this lap quilt never mind that i had started it back in january of 2009! really?! oh my. life was a bit chaotic for a while, things up in the air at times, but obviously i've done quite a bit of sewing. what took me so long?

i know i was stumped by how to border this lap quilt. i considered my friends' preferences, but couldn't match up my triangles all the way around.

and i feared quilting and binding. the very first quilt i made, my mother and i sewed buttons to tie it down and i used the envelope method.

but tee and me have recently moved into a new home and we've re-painted the rooms in these amazing, bright, springlike colors.  he kept suggesting i make a quilt that would match "sweet mimosa."

that's when i remembered the lap quilt started so long ago. no way, no how would i start a new project with this one sitting there. i needed practice before tackling something queen size.

the wait was good because i saw it with new eyes.

i went in a new direction with the border.
and used those original triangles in hourglass blocks for the back.
(these are instagram photos in case you're wondering why they're in square format with borders and so saturated.)

before i go into the details, let me show you the completed quilt, front and back. it'll make it easier for me to explain.
lap quilt, front
lap quilt, back

i didn't match the single row of blocks on the back to any one on the front, so i decided to quilt and tie.

on the bottom three rows of the front, i quilted squares around the 8" x 8" blocks and squares in the solid 4" x 4" blocks of the hourglass.
had i continued this pattern in the tops two rows, it would have not aligned to the back and i just didn't like how it looked.

using DMC embroidery floss, i tied in the center of the 4" x 4" squares of the top two rows and all the 2" x 2" squares of the border.
the knots are barely visible on the back. besides that, i learned how easy it was to use a curved needle and how to tie a surgeon's knot.
i went store bought for the binding, having purchased it here in this color. it was familiar since i used double fold bias tape to hem before. so it would match and the mistakes would be less noticeable, i used yale blue machine quilting thread, too, that i picked up at my local jo-ann's.
though the binding bunched a little so it doesn't lay super flat, particularly over the length, i'm proud of my imperfections and feel super accomplished.

i've many ideas churning for more quilting projects starting with a wall hanging for the hall, that "sweet mimosa" quilt, some table/mantle runners and more lap size for gifts! i've already been practicing with designs. fun!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

pocket purse

i don't know about you, but come summer time, i don't really want to lug around a huge bag unless i'm going to the beach, on a picnic or have a specific activity to attend.

perhaps i want to take my sketchbooks and tangle amidst the beautiful flowers of my neighborhood museum gallery gardens. In that case I'll carry my art student tote.

the saturday market tote is perfect for shopping at the farmers' market.

obviously i have bags for many occasions!

lately, however, i've noticed i just grab my smartphone and wallet to dash around town doing little errands like mailing off some letters or picking up a few groceries. and when we walk to meet up with our friends for a nice cold one...or two...i certainly don't want to carry a big, ole purse to lay on the floor or sit on a crowded counter. i've a small leather purse i bought years ago. the only problem with it is that i have to take my phone out of its protective case and i can only carry my driver's license and some cash or credit card. i just don't like that.

i searched through my pattern stash and came across this one.
perfect.

i used Wrights double fold bias tape quilt binding for the strap. it's the same width as what the pattern calls for. because it's already seamed and folded, it's quick and easy to attach. cut it to a length that fits your frame and you're good to go.
besides the zippered front pocket, i added a pocket to the back. it's not necessary unless you're like me and you want your individual items securely separated.
the bag can be made in sizes ranging from 4" - 7". this is the 5". of course, you can make it any size you want. 5" is perfect for a smartphone in an otterbox case and a small credit card size wallet like mine.

it lies nice and flat against my hip and is lightweight. i can wear it comfortably, unencumbered, and carry plenty of camera equipment when I'm out shooting. sweet, sweet summertime. i'm ready for you. bring it on!