Monday, March 30, 2009

It's My Happy Heart You Hear....

Yes, that's the song I had stuck in my head.  This one.  The Andy Williams version.  I guess it's only natural, since I've been working on Gerri's Z Bag - Gerri of Happy Hearts Cookies fame.  :)  The song was welcome relief, actually.  Prior to getting started on the Z, I was plagued by "I've Got Spurs That Jingle Jangle Jingle".  I don't know why.

Gerri chose the fabs in the last photo in the last post I put up.  It always seems to be the one that slightly pushes the envelope!  Here's how it's coming along:

Quilting one of the straps

I'm quilting in a variegated pink and it's making me smile.

Here are some various bag parts:

Straps, my tag taped on (it's the best way to hold it in place before I sew it), the pink rose is the interior pocket (with a single line of hearts embroidered along the top), the hot pink and blue is the loop fastener... and I think that's part of the body of the bag up at the top.

I actually started on the Hold the Phone! Bag, too, and had finished it before I knew what had hit me.  Here are the HTP! Bag guts:

Top of the photo is the bag, inside out.  Yes, I did machine embroidered hearts on it.  I think that explains why Andy Williams was singing in my head.  The pieced item at the bottom of the photo above is the inside of the bag.  The lining.

In this next photo, I'm sewing the Velcro onto the inside of the HTP! Bag.  I put interfacing behind it for added stability.

Here is the most challenging part to the HTP! Bag for me - sewing the along the top.  

Got enough pins in there?  
(Fear not!  I remove them before I stitch over them.)

I've tried other methods of finishing the bag, sewing lining to outside, but since I want some top stitching there anyway, it's a one-stop shopping experience.

I even chose some cool beads and put those on:

That part made me get the "Jingle Jangle Jingle" thing stuck back in my head.  ;)

On to the Z itself this afternoon!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fabric Frenzy!

Oh... not that kind of Frenzy.  But I am still working on that -- just not as quickly and frenzy-like as before.  Today's post is shots of fabric for a new bag.  The decision process!  Before I get started, Cecile sent me a couple pix of her modeling her new Ram-a-Lamb and they just have me smiling, ear to ear!  I put them up on the Bags by KZK Extras blog; please check them out!  I think the bag is a perfect "fit"!

I'm making a Z Bag for Gerri and wanted to give her some fab choices.  She gave me the general direction of blues, yellows, fuschia, lavender, greens... plaids and flowers, hearts and huskies.  :)  Here are some proposals for you, Gerri!

Here's a gorgeous fabric with flowers and veggies, fresh from the garden:

I could pair it up with just about anything.  It would make a smashing Z Bag!

Here are a couple playful prints:

A hearty "merci bien" to Shelli for the fab on the left!

Next up are some fun garden/sunflower themed fabs:

They could be used separately or together.

Here is a great blue & yellow sunflower fab:

I used some of it on a Mr. Green Jeans tote a few months back.  

Here is a lovely, softer print; it's the one that immediately came to mind when you mentioned your preferences:

I don't think the photo does it justice.  The fab itself is by Northcott Silks and has a lovely "hand" to it - very tightly woven and feels like silk.

Here are some fun, kicky prints that could be used together or separately:

There are hearts on the one in the top left corner.  The fab on the right is a border print.  That could be very fun in a Z Bag!

And to go a bit less "soft"...

The two fabs on the bottom left (above) were used in Trace's Z Bag; the others don't "go", I just grouped them together as they're all nice, saturated colors.

The main fab in this next photo is the same one I used in her bag, but a different colorway - more of a spa/aqua:

It would be very fun to pair it up with the hot fabs on the left of the picture!  :)

Those are the ideas I have right now, Gerri.  If you don't see something you totally fall in love with, I will be more than happy to pull more fab ideas!

Thanks for reading!

Cecile's "Sheared" Ram-a-Lamb

Nothing - nothing could have made me happier than to get these pictures of Cecile with her newly designed, de-fuzzed Ram-a-Lamb.  See the smile on her face?
The one on mine is even bigger!  Seriously.  

I love this shot, too:

I think you have a great modeling career ahead of you, Cecile!  :)  
Thanks so much for posing with your new bag for us!  Great job!


Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Ram-a-Lamb Gets De-Fuzzed!

I love a good challenge!  :)  I also love it when I get "returning customers", because I take it as a sign that they like what I've made for them in the past!  So when Cecile contacted me about a Ram-a-Lamb, I was just delighted!  Here's where the challenge comes in ...

She had two delightful appliqués she wanted me to include on the Ram-a-Lamb - if I could.  Sounds simple enough, but the catch came not only in trying to fit them onto the small panels of the RAL, but also when I read the laundering instructions!  The appliqués require gentle handling - and in order to fray out the RAL, it needs heavy duty wash and dry.  Hmm... what to do, what to do.  Then it hit me.  Large, solid panels to accommodate the appliqué pieces - and do a non-frayed version of the RAL!  A "groomed" version?  LOL.  I had been wanting to try something like this, and it just seemed like the perfect opportunity!

What a fun challenge - Cecile, I hope you're as please with the results as I am.  Without further ado, here it is!

I stitched the Siberian head appliqué to a large jeans pocket, then sewed that to the bag.  I put the banner above that.  I love having a functioning pocket on the outside of the bag - so convenient for keys or those "quick reach" items!

I needed to balance that out with something on the other side of the bag - and just a pocket didn't seem to do the trick.  I thought I'd follow the appliqué theme ...

...and "fussy cut" some Siberians from the accent fabs I used.  :)  And there's another functioning pocket!

Here's a peek inside:

Cecile mentioned that blue is her favorite color; I thought this fab would be perfect.  

I used a brown companion piece for the side pieces (and to line the Hold the Phone! Bag) - here's a look:

I also used blue for the strap on the Hold the Phone! Bag:

Yes, a re-purposed leash.  I love the little paw-print charm - it's a great fit.  Here's a closer look:

I hope you enjoy your new bag, Cecile.  Thank you so much for your order; you should have it by the end of this coming week!

Let me know what you think of the new style!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Deeve Goes to Dubai!

I'm so excited!  My bags are all over the States now; at least one lives in Australia; one Deeve Bag got to vacation in Aruba.  And NOW...

Please check out Angus Mhor's blog post today.  The Deeve Bag I made for his mom has now been to Dubai and back!  I was so happy to see photos of "its" travels.  LOL!

Thanks, Angus and Chrissie, for a fun post!  And thank you for reading!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Frenzy on the Floor

So... where was I?  Oh, right - all the 6.5" blocks are pieced.  Once they had been approved by Dave, Guide Dog for the Color Blind...

...I laid them out on the floor to get a general idea what they'd look like together - and so I could start sewing block to block.  Here's a look at them all:

I'm very excited!  Even standing on my wicker coffee table, I had to shoot it in two parts, then "sew" those pix together.  How quilty!  :)

I prefer to use a design wall to audition lay-outs,  keeping everything up off the floor - but (a) paper-pieced blocks won't "stick" to what I use, (b) this quilt is larger than my design wall, and (c) I have a security guard who keeps wayward Siberians off of any quilt pieces I lay on the floor.  Seriously.  

Amber looks (and is) all things sweet and innocent, but I trust her completely to keep her brothers (Dave and Zim) away from the blocks.  Siberians are in the Working Breed Group, and this is one of her jobs.  She is quite serious about her work.  (For the record, her sister Stormy wouldn't think of disturbing them.) 

Now we sew block to block:

See how I just have to line the papers up with each other?  It's amazingly easy.  Just make sure your "rails" are going the right way and GO!

I have this much into "two-sies" (block to block):

The plan is to do "two-sies", then "four-sies".  I couldn't resist doing a "four-sie", though, just to see how it was going to look.  Take a peek!

I'm really thrilled with how this is coming together.  Here's another look at the line up:

After a quick hug from Dave:

I got back to doing "two-sies".

And sweet Ammy continued to keep watch:

She's paid in Happy Hearts cookies and long walks.  :)

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Frenzy Questions

Hi everyone!  I'd like to thank all of you who have been leaving comments or are sending emails about the process of the Frenzy quilt!  Today, I thought I'd address a couple of the questions!

Easy one first - what am I going to use for the back?  I've been thinking about that one.  Honestly, I have so much yardage of some of the scraps I used, that it will probably be chunks of what's on the front.  Pieced.  Same goes for the binding.  Unless I change my mind.  :)

The other question I want to try to address is why I cut up my phone book and am sewing on it. Oh, that's easy, too.  Nancy told me to!  LOL.  Just kidding.  Sort of.

I cut my pages 6.5 x 6.5" - the size I wanted my unfinished blocks.  Those papers now serve as a temporary foundation, so things don't get "wonky" or pulled out of shape.  It's basic paper foundation piecing; you can find more info here if you're interested!  Here's a shot of a typical "inner ladder" on one of my blocks:

See how I don't have to be too careful about trimming?  It's very freeing.  :)  Just so you cover all pieces by a quarter inch with the next "rail" -- like so:

Since I was adding a dark strip in the block above, I didn't bother trimming the excess.  If it was a real light piece, I would.  There was a time when I'd trim them regardless... but that would be un-Frenzy like behavior.

So just line a bunch of those babies up and GO!

Your outer "rails" don't have to be exact, either.  After all my rails were sewn on, and the blocks were given a nice pressing, I just went at the blocks with my 6.5 by ... whatever-inch ruler.

And look below to see how nice and square they come out!

This is way too fun!  

Over the weekend, I'll show you what I've got so far!  

Thanks for the comments!  Thanks for the emails!  And thank you for reading!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


More later, but I finished all 120 of the Frenzy blocks yesterday!  I'm so excited and can't wait to start putting them together!!!

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Even More Frenzy!

This might be two days' worth of blocks - in the foreground, on the right.
 I can't remember.  It's all a blur.  A frenzied blur.  :)  Here's how the blocks currently stack up:

I'm getting there!

Like the ruler?  I do have some nice ones, but this one is rather nostalgic, in an odd way.  "Curt Z", if you can read that, is my brother.  Big brother.  I think he did his little engraving job there during high school - maybe even earlier.  That would be in the early to mid 70s.  I'll leave the "how many years ago" to you.  I did mention he's my older brother, right?  LOL!  Anyway, I get a kick out of having it in the Studio with me.

Here are the blocks laid out:

Yea!  If I count right, I'm standing at 70.  My friend in Overland Park asked me how many I need for the finished Frenzy Quilt.  I hadn't really thought about it until she asked... I just cut up my phone book, grabbed my scraps and started sewing.  Probably good to have a plan, though.  I think I need 120.  I'm currently aiming for a 10 x 12 block layout, which would make the quilt about 60 x 72 inches.  5 feet by 6 feet.  That should be an adequate throw quilt.  I'll be quilting it myself, so I don't want this to be huge.  We'll see.  I've changed my mind before!  :)

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

More Frenzy!

It's totally addictive.  And the blocks are taking over my dreams.

Working away.

Here's my progress as of COB (close of business) Saturday:

And Sunday:

And Monday (yesterday):

(Pay no attention to the last two blocks in the line-up; they're going the wrong way.)

I hope to get back to my blocks this afternoon.  Here is a look at two individual blocks, so you get a better idea of what I'm doing:

The stack so far:

They're calling me.

Thanks for reading!