Sunday, February 16, 2014

Riley Blake / MQG Fabric Challenge

Here is my entry for the Riley Blake fabric challenge hosted by the Modern Quilt Guild.

Riley Citrus
Measures:  15" x 19.5"
Fabrics:  The Orange and Yellow - Riley Blake
The Solids - Kona
Designed & Quilted by me on my home machine

Members of the MQG who particpated in the challenge were given a set of fat eighths of various Riley Blake fabrics, with the rules of being able to use only Riley Blake prints, any solids, and your item had to be quilted.  I was smitten with the orange print, and loved how it looked with the yellow, and from that point it just sort of evolved to sticking with fresh, spring-like colors.  Given how cold it's been here lately, no wonder I'm dreaming of spring!  For the quilting, I went with ascending curves, which reminded me of a slice of citrus fruit.  I'm so pleased with how it turned out!  A huge thank you to Riley Blake and The Modern Quilt Guild for providing the fabric and the platform for this challenge. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Review: South Park Bag


Welcome to my stop on the Crafty Traveler Blog Hop Series!  I am so excited to share my thoughts with you on the South Park Bag by Jennifer of Ellison Lane.  Let me first start off by saying I am not the biggest suck-up because I am reviewing a pattern designed by my friend and the host of this series.  Really, I'm not.  I truly do love this bag!  I had the chance to see the original version of this bag in action during a visit with Jenn last summer, and I was smitten with it's curved lines, ideal size, and structure.  When she asked for some pattern testers, I couldn't respond fast enough.  

Now, time for true confessions:  Prior to this bag, I had NEVER made a bag by myself (and only a couple with some serious hand holding).  Patterns scare me.  There always seems to be a lot of steps - lots of words to read, seemingly really important steps that I feel sure to mess up.  Even with quilting, my true crafty love, I very rarely use a pattern.  So I knew this was going to be a challenge for me, and I felt ready to tackle it.  

And look - I did it!  Whoever left this fantastic Ikea fabric on the Freebie Table at Sew South last year, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.   To be sure there is a special spot in heaven for you and I'm guessing you are smart and beautiful and gifted with many talents, such are the ways of a person generous with fabric. 

The other side:

 My favorite parts about this pattern:

* The steps are clearly written, make sense, and are broken up logically (meaning, there's not really 18 steps in 1).
* It was easy to understand and execute the steps even for a newbie bag maker.  Beginner friendly!
* The inside pocket.  Oh, the inside pocket!!  It is so simple, so polished looking, and the absolute perfect size with a slot for my cell phone and another for my sunglasses.  I LOVE that about this bag.  In fact, I have thought I would use this pocket in other bags I make (yes - there will be more!)  because I am always digging for my phone and glasses with other purses.  It is the perfect pocket.  Try it - you'll see what I mean!
* The handle.  One handle, cleverly attached with rings for a smart look, that is just the right size to always stay on my shoulder.  Love.
* As I mentioned earlier - the sloped shape of this bag feels very contemporary to me - it is simple and elegant at once.  The single handle complements this shape perfectly.
*The size of this bag is great - roomy enough for what I need without being too big to allow me to carry more than necessary.
*It really went together very quickly.  I am not a super fast sewer but was still able to complete this in just a couple of sewing sessions.
The Perfect Pocket

I get compliments on it all the time when I'm out, and people can't believe I made it.  I had such a sense of accomplishment when I finished.  And just like that, I became a maker of bags.  

(You can purchase the South Park Bag pattern here, you'll be glad you did!)  

OK, on to some details about the blog hop.  Be sure to check out all the stops in the series and link up your own handmade crafty traveler item on March 6 for a chance to win some great prizes!

This is the Crafty Traveler Blog Hop Schedule:

3/6: Link-up opens at
3/13: Winners announced!

A special thank you to these wonderful sponsors for the great prizes!
CT sponsors

CT prizes

Monday, February 10, 2014

Circle 7: Courtney

Time for another Circle 7 update!  This one is Courtney's quilt, and her theme was "Favorites. "   I absolutely love what everyone has made for her! 


This is the panel I added:
I started with the coffee pot - I happened to have the same black dot print she used around her mugs in her starter panel, so I thought that would tie in nicely.  I scanned the internet for inspiration and made up this block to get the scale right.  

Then I added these economy blocks with some of my favorite things that I also thought Courtney would enjoy - a recipe print, some HR, homey images...all in happy, bright fabrics.  

I met Courtney at Sew South last year and was instantly drawn to her warm and sunny disposition and great sense of humor.  And the girl can SEW!  Every time I looked up, she was finishing yet another awesome project as I was laboriously trying to finish The Duffle.  I should probably mention she was like 8 1/2 months pregnant at the time too...You can check her out at Mon Petit Lyons.  I'm so thankful to have had the chance to get to know her better in this bee, and look forward to seeing her again soon!