Monday, November 9, 2009

Iditarod Bound!

Brevity is not my strong suit, but I'll try to set this up as simply and quickly as possible. For me. :) My friend Bonnie (or Bonz) contacted me about a fund-raiser she is holding for Blake Freking's Iditarod run. (Blake will be running an all-Siberian Husky team!) If I would be willing to contribute one of my bags (YES!), Bonz would send me some of the fabric she designed! What a COOL opportunity! I jumped at it!

The auction will start SOON on eBay - I promise to post about it here, on the Ao4 Digest and on FaceBook, so you'll be sure to know when it starts... and can bid on it! Without further ado, let's get to the bag!

It's a Deeve Bag with a coordinating Hold the Phone! Bag. I paired Bonnie's fabric up with a red, deep red, black and white homespun plaid. The strap of the Deeve is a re-purposed, new leash; the strap of the HTP! Bag is a re-purposed, new "little dog" leash, complete with the hook! I used a big, bold, black button to secure the bag.

How about a closer look at the HTP! Bag?

Bright red snowflakes accent the top of the bag, and appliquéd strips of the plaid homespun round it out. I embellished with a few glass beads and a sweet pewter paw print charm.

Here's the back of the HTP! Bag:

Note how the plaid wraps all around! Sort of like... leashes tangling you up when you're trying to walk a few Sibes. :) (Not that my angels would do that...!) You can also get a good look at the leash hardware in that shot!

I put a few surprises in the Deeve Bag itself - like a key fob:

I couldn't resist singling out one of those darling play-bowing huskies! Oh - and how do you like the chipped nail polish? A nice touch, don't you think? I really like it.

And how about a glasses case?

The outside is the larger scale husky print; the inside is the red homespun!

Let's take another look at the Deeve itself!

Not THE Deeve. The Deeve Bag. Sorry.

From Deeve Bag for Iditarod/Blake Freking Fund-Raiser

I quilted in a glistening white - and decided to call this "snow drift quilting". LOL. Use your imagination! :) How about a look inside?

TONS of room to carry everything! And two spacious pockets for your keys, lip balm, photos of your huskies, ETC! Have I mentioned I currently carry a Deeve Bag? It holds more than you can imagine!

And now... one more look at the Deeve. And the husky it was named for: Dave.

Again, I will let everyone know when the fund-raiser starts - please check here, on the Ao4 Digest or on FB. Let's help Blake Freking run the Iditarod! Auction starting soon on eBay. Siberian Husky not included.

Thank you for reading - and Bonz, thanks for the incredible opportunity!

PS: For more views of the bag, or to enlarge any of the photos, please visit the Picasa album I set up. The link is under each of the photos, or you may click here.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I've Got the Blues

Not really. I just thought it would be a catchy title! I've been so busy in the Studio, I once again am behind on blogging. Let's get right down to business!

I was contacted by Janet in Maryland about making her a couple of bags. She asked a Z Bag that I had on hand at one point - and was that still available!?!? YES! Love it! It's one of my very favorite bags, with fave fabs designed by a fave ... designer. Laurel Burch. She was interested in purchasing that and a Super Shopper. :)

Here's a look at the Z Bag:

And a close-up of the Hold the Phone! Bag:

Aren't the fabs just the BEST?!?! Let's look inside:

This bag has two pockets, and two different linings. Here is the other pocket:

I seriously ♥ this bag and everything about it!!!

Janet had also seen a blue fabric on my site and asked it that was available for her Super Shopper. It certainly was, and I thought it would be awesome in that bag! I tried pairing it with all sorts of other fabs, but they over-shadowed it. Then my trusty Guide Dog for the Color Blind inspired me - why not try black and white?

Perfect! They really let the blue take the spotlight - providing a great accent, but not taking center stage! Here's a look at the finished bag:

Aren't the black and whites the coolest? I've been wanting to use them with something in a Super Shopper for a long time - this was a GREAT opportunity! Here's the back:

How about a close-up?

That shows the quilting (done in a black to grey to white variegated thread) and the detail along the top of the exterior pockets. Here's the top of the bag:

Doesn't the lining look cute, popped up like that? Here's a look inside:

Two good-sized pockets in another black and white, and the lining in the blue. One of the pockets is sectioned into two parts.

This bag was a blast to make - loved playing with the black and whites! And I am so happy to find a good home for the Z Bag! Janet, I hope you're happy with your new bags and will enjoy using them! Thanks so much for your order!

Next post - a very special bag for a very special fund-raiser! Please stay tuned!

And, as always, thank you for reading!

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... 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 appliquéd (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!