Friday, October 16, 2009

The New HTP! Bag and Some Great Questions!

How about the Hold the Phone! Bag first? Andrea wanted one using a beach theme! Here's what I came up with:

Sea shells, water, smooth stones.... gorgeous! I embellished with a beautiful glass fish bead; it was a great fit! The straps are some planking (for the boardwalk!) and a sand fabric. I also used those fabs on the interior of the bag!

What a fun, fun bag to make! Hope you like it, Andrea!

I also got some wonderful comments/questions on yesterday's post that I'd like to address! Let's get started!

First, Trace said, "I love the tulip one! At least, I hope they're tulips. Otherwise please delete this comment :)" LOL! Yes, they ARE tulips! They're sweet, pastel tulips in lovely shades of pinks, purples and lavender. Having said that, I like to name all of my quilts, or have them named. My husband has quite the knack for tagging things so... he has named many of my quilts. This was among his first. And what did he call my precious garden full of spring-like tulips? Here's the label:

"Shields and Arrows". Sigh. Well... he does have a point. You know... the tulip leaves are like the feathers on an arrow and the tulip blooms do resemble heraldic shields. Sort of. Sigh. So much for my sweet, pastel tulips! :)

Maxx, an extremely handsome Siberian, asked, "Mommy says they're beautiful. She can't wait to get started on quilting! She'll be going to the quilt store next week. She wonders if you have any suggestions on what to start with, for beginners? Thanks!!" How exciting!!! (And thank you!) The very best advice given to me when I was picking out what to do for my first quilt was - pick something you LIKE. Simple is great, but if it's not interesting to you, you won't be as likely to stick with it.

Mine was a Cake Stand, made in Amish fabrics. Was I crazy choosing a pattern with lots of triangles? Points to cut off? Probably. But I really was drawn to it! I mean, hey. A friend chose Double Wedding Ring as her first pattern - and made it queen-sized. Talk about CRAZY! :) But it was gorgeous. A group of us helped her hand quilt it (it was a wedding gift for her daughter). To thank us, she made us each a MINIATURE Double Wedding Ring out of scraps from the "big" quilt. Wow, was that special. Insane, but special! (I'll show you my mini eventually.)

My point? You can do ANYTHING for your first quilt; just make it something you like! There are some pretty cool simpler quilts out there, having said that. A lot of people will start with a Log Cabin - none of those aforementioned points to cut off. I did a tutorial for a "Magic 9-Patch" when I was blogging for our local (now gone) Bernina Shoppe. No triangles and really hard to mess up. I imported it to this blog, but the photos vanished. I'll have to add new ones, and will. Click here for the link; I'll shoot new pix of the process and get them up as soon as I can. What I like about it is that it's a simple pattern, with some fun "twists" to it. The one I made for the Bernina Shoppe, oddly enough, is also in my dining room, so it's next on the tour. LOL. Let's get to it!

I took it out on the deck for a better photo:

For whatever reason, these fabs are really hard to photograph; the true colors just don't come through! Here's a close-up:

That's probably a better look. I did all of the quilting on my Bernina - my first attempt at quilting something that large by machine! I love how it came out! I even experimented and made up my own quilting designs. Loved the whole process.

Here's the back:


I mean, you might as well have fun with that, too - right?

And ... the label:

The name for this one was a joint effort. :)

So... Maxx's mom - there's one idea for you! I'll work on that tutorial and get it polished up - just in case!

Here's a question for you all ... I made the quilt as a store sample for Bernina, to showcase some new fabs they got in. It was "mine" after being displayed in the store for a while. If I was thinking about someone the entire time I made it, thinking the fabs reminded me of her, that I thought she'd really like it... is it a cop-out to give it to her rather than making a quilt specifically for her? What do you all think? Does that even make sense?

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Back to the Tour-o-Quilts

I finished an order for a Hold the Phone! Bag the other day, but it's been so dreary outside I don't have any really nice photos to show you yet. I'll be able to shoot some soon, I'm sure! In the meantime, how about we get back to the quilts? We're still in the dining room - in fact, here's the dining room table:


It's a paper-pieced Spider's Web, made from a pattern I found on the ...web. LOL, that was too fun. I just used scraps that have been hanging around the Studio for years and years. And years. I did a lot of machine quilting for the table runner, using up a couple "spool ends". The back is also scraps:



Too fun! I'll be replacing it with a wintry runner before too long.

On the wall is a wall-hanging I pieced in 1993 and hand quilted in 1995:



OK... so it takes me a while to get to the quilting sometimes...

This quilt is from a pattern called "Chop Suey":



It was one of those "sew things together, then cut them up, then sew them together in a different manner" quilts. A little confusing, but the pattern was well-written; I just had to pay attention and not "wing it" like I usually do. Here's a close up of the hand quilting:



A friend of mine quilted it for me. I did this years before we adopted the Guide Dog for the Color Blind. I made one Chop Suey quilt, intending it to be the soft blues and pinks you see above. Only... it was actually green and peach. Oops. Fortunately, my friend Carol LOVED it - so I gave her that top, in exchange for her quilting mine. :) We made it in December of 1992. Here's the back:



I turned a left-over block into a label. :) Carol chose her quilting to mimic Chinese coins and a wall paper border that she saw in a local Chinese restaurant. It's perfect!

We haven't quite wrapped up the dining room. Tune in again soon for more of "the show"! And if the sun comes out, the latest HTP! Bag!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Super Shopper & LapPack!

Lots to tell you about today, so let's get to it!

When I last showed you progress on the Super Shopper, Dave, my Guide Dog for the Color Blind, and I had chosen the fabs, then I got started quilting and building! Here's a look at the interior pocket:



I opted for a nice long one, divided, with a little "pen" section.

After I got the bag "built", I needed to choose a strap color. I asked my FaceBook friends and Dave for input.



Dave liked the red. The red?!?! Crazy. I was veering toward the green. The blue looks better in the photo than in real life; it just wasn't the right blue. The pink never quite worked. FB friends were totally helpful - and after much thought, I decided to go with the green. As I told Dave...



...you snooze, you lose. The green is good!

Once I finished the Super Shopper, I got to work on a LapPack. We had an unpredicted line of thunderstorms rip through the other night. As I sat up with my storm-phobic Siberian, Stormy, I chose the quilting thread - then once she settled down for a light nap, I quilted the whole bag. I chose a sort of "lightning" looking design - how apropos! :) Here's a look:



I used the book to help gauge the right size for the specific laptop.

Here are the finished bags! The Super Shopper:



Up-close and personal with one of the outer pockets:



A FaceBook friend said the quilting looked like "Space Age" quilting. I LOVE that description! Here's a look at the top of the bag:



I love how the colors came together! Here's a look inside:



I made a little "extra" for Veronica:



I can't resist that fabric!

Here's the LapPack!



Pinks and greens and oranges! Very fun! The inside is pink camo. :)



And a touch of the camo on the outside. Just ... because!

Here's a close up of the button:



It's a hot green, sewn on with the variegated pink quilting thread!

These were a delight to make! Veronica, I hope you enjoy your Super Shopper and that your niece likes the choices Dave and I made for her LapPack! Thanks so much for your order!

And thank you for reading!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Work in Progress and Quilt Pix

Dave, Guide Dog for the Color Blind, and I are hard at work on a new Super Shopper. He graciously weighed in on my preliminary color choices, made a few changes, and the two of us came up with this mix:

I think he might have chosen that blue on top because it matches his eyes... but since the recipient is also a Sibe owner, I don't think it will be an issue.

I quilted the exterior pockets yesterday and got the outside panels pieced. Here is a look at the pockets:


I love the icy blue and hot green mix! More on the Super Shopper in the days to come!

I thought I'd take today to start my virtual quilt show. I'm going to start with what's in my dining room and make my way around the house. Here are two to start!

This is an original design - a Korean Hanbok mini!

Korean Hanbok Mini Quilt, approximately 7.75" x 10.5"

While living in Korea ('94-96), I attended a special function where I got to wear a traditional hanbok. If you're thinking they look like loose, comfortable gowns - think again. At the time, I was about a size 8 (sigh....) and it was all I could do to breathe. Honestly. The undergarments are lung-crushers. It was a great experience, though; all the silks were so beautiful and soft and oh, the COLORS! And a great way to learn about the Korean culture.

Anyway, I made a few different minis from my pattern and gave them to some special friends while there. At the time, I was also starting to experiment with bias press bars, seeing how small I could go, and some of my quilting buddies and I were also playing around with yo-yos - so I thought I should see how small I could make a yo-yo. When I made myself a Korean Hanbok Mini... I incorporated both:

The bias strip (black with gold stars) is about an eighth of an inch, finished, and the yo-yos are just shy of a half of an inch across. I think I won the unofficial "how small can you go" contest. :)

The Korean Hanbok Mini is hand appliqu├ęd (using a blanket stitch on the Korean woman) and hand quilted.

Hanging right below that quilt is another I made while in Korea. I call it Pansy Star:

Pansy Star

I didn't use a pattern, just played around with how I chose the fabrics while making some paper pieced "square in a square" blocks, put them together, then set that on point. The whole (mini) quilt is about 14 square inches. I love pansies and just fell in love with the pansy fabric in the quilt! The dark purple fabric of the center star and the first border is a favorite fabric I bought in Korea - you've seen it in a few of my bags! :)

Here's the back:

I wish I'd used a plainer fabric on the back, so my stitches show more. Oh well. Live and learn. It's hand quilted. I designed the label and hand inked it.

That's all for now. Off to the Studio to sew and watch college football!
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Deeve is Done!

...and in the mail. Joni, you should have it by tomorrow!

I took it outside for a photo shoot before I shipped it. Let's take a look - front and back!





Sigh. I need one of these for myself. Here's a closer look at the buttons and placket:



I did double-stitching along the top, in keeping with the whole "jeans" theme, and used a golden-colored thread. Here's a look at the quilting:



Incredibly fun to do!

Here's a closer look at the beads I put on the Hold the Phone! Bag:



The square wooden ones are over 50 years old! They used to be a bag my mom bought in Panama when my dad was stationed there. I saved them and they've made their way into lots of projects through the years!

Here's the back of the Hold the Phone! Bag. I love how it came out.



I'm not sure why I took this next shot, but I like it:



Who knows. Let's take a look inside the Deeve Bag, shall we?



Room for EVERYthing. I currently carry a Deeve (not half as cool as this one...) and I love how "pick it up and go!" it is.

Joni, I hope you love your new bag! Thanks for your order!
And thank you for reading!