Friday, May 29, 2015

Fabric Friday: May 29

Man, jet lag is real. I always try to convince myself otherwise, but I am exhausted. Maybe I'm just tired. My current strategy for beating jet lag doesn't really help with strategy (for traveling east, like to Europe...) is that I try my best to sleep on the flight there. When we arrive in Europe, it is mid-day, and my philosophy is that I need to stay awake until a reasonable bed time to reset my clock to Europe time. Thus, it's important to sleep on the plane there. But...for returning home...well, we typically arrive late at night. Our flight this time landed at 11pm. If we've slept on the plane, it will be more difficult to sleep at night when we are supposed I do my best to stay awake on the return flight. That means that by the time I actually get to go to sleep, I've been awake for nearly 24 hours...and I'm just not good on very little sleep. It's not pretty. So, although I'm mostly reset to Mountain Daylight Time, I'm still trying to catch up from my exhausting day of travel.

It was totally worth it, and we'll go again as soon as we possibly can. :-)

I've been slow to get back into quilting, mostly because I've been exhausted. But, I trimmed up my girls' quilts so they are ready to bind, and I have some ideas for my around the world craft swap partner. And, my youngest today demanded her own library book bag, so I've got to get on that, too.

While I haven't turned on my sewing machine yet, I have picked out a new fabric Friday bundle. I wanted to do something bright and summery with pink. And surprisingly, the two florals here play really nicely together! I was pleasantly surprised.

So, top to bottom: Trassel by Lotta Jansdotter, Color Theory by V and Co., Metro Living by Robert Kaufman, Wallflowers by Allison Harris, Trassel by Lotta Jansdotter, and Wallflowers by Allison Harris.

I have to admit, I always feel a little bit like I'm cheating when I have more than one print from the same line....but they play nicely together, so I shouldn't. And as long as it's only 2 and there are a variety of other prints, it won't look too matchy-matchy. Still. Also, I'm not sure why I feel guilty at all about fabric choices. Weird.

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Italy Inspiration

I returned home from Italy a couple of days ago, and we had a fantastic time. So amazing. I'll probably post some more photos later, after I have time to go through them all, but I've been dying to share the quilt inspiration I found there!

I was absolutely blown away by how much quilty inspiration there was. So many tile mosaics inspired by the Eastern tradition, and so many geometric designs in the frescoes. It was amazing.

And, you'll have to excuse the quality of photos, please. Churches are often dark, the mosaics/frescoes may or may not have been in a convenient spot to photograph...anyway, the photos are mostly for reference anyway.

I'm so excited to start planning quilts, though! I came back so inspired. There were familiar patterns, and patterns with slight twists, and new ideas (to me) altogether. One of my favorites was in a the crypt in Siena with no photography. So I sketched it out, but no photos today.

These are from San Marco Basilica in Venice. The floors were amazing, and the walls and ceilings were covered in gold glass tile mosaics.

I loved this medallion and hope I can figure it out.

These are all from the floor: it was fascinating to have so many different designs all on the same floor.

This is the gold tiled ceiling.

I had forgotten that Doge's Palace is covered with quilt blocks. It made me smile when I saw it. :-)

Friday, May 22, 2015

Fabric Friday: May 22

This will be my last automated post, I'm hoping to get back to normal next week. Thanks for your patience while things have been crazy!

I know coral is totally in right now, and I thought I'd try it out with my go-to colors: navy blue and gray. I think this bundle is really graphic, and it's really unlike most of what I go for. I can't really decide if I like it. I go from really really liking it, to not being in love with it. I guess I don't know what I would make with it, even if I do like it.

From top to bottom: Little Ark by Carena Gardner, Miss Kate by Bonnie and Camille, Blomster by Lotta Jansdotter, (my selvage is missing the information), Metro Living by Robert Kaufman, (my selvage is missing the information).

Have a great weekend, and I'm looking forward to getting back to normal next week!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Fabric Friday: May 15

I'm in the midst of craziness here, but I knew it was coming and was able to get a couple of Fabric Fridays ready in advance. I will post about the craziness after it's all wrapped up, but until then, I'm a bit AWOL. So this is automatically posting for you! Love automation.

For this bundle, I wanted to try something more muted. So often, I end up with really bright bundles with lots of colors, and I love color. So much. But, I thought I'd try gray.

And of course, a pop of red. The two multi-colored prints both have red and I thought red would make a great pop.

From top to bottom: V and Co., Noteworthy by Sweetwater, Oh, Clementine by Cluck Cluck Sew, Oh, Clementine by Cluck Cluck Sew, April Showers by Bonnie and Camille, Dumb Dot by Michael Miller.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Swoon Ramona Mini Hipster Bag (pattern review)

I've been sewing a lot of quilts. Just since January, I've made a lap quilt as a wedding gift, two twin-sized quilts for my daughters' beds (still waiting to be bound...), a lap quilt with a pattern I've experimented with (and will hopefully have a tutorial for's currently being quilted), a Swoon quilt top (ready to go off to the quilter as soon as I piece the back), and a mini quilt for a friend's birthday. I know a lot of quilters out there do a lot more, but this is a lot for me! And, lately, I've been sick (very literally) and tired, and just wanted a quick project that I could finish in a few hours.

I found this Swoon Ramona Mini Hipster bag pattern for free on Craftsy, and it looked like something I could handle, so I found some fabrics in my stash (some of my all-time favorites from the Hometown line by Sweetwater), gathered the rest of the materials, and set to work.

I have to admit I was really nervous. Piecing is pretty easy for me to figure out (not always easy to execute...), but three-dimensional sewing isn't my strong suit. I read through the pattern a few times and hoped that once I had the pieces cut and I was following along, that it would click.

And you know what? It did. The pattern was very easy to follow, and I finished up the bag on a Sunday afternoon. Maybe five hours of sewing, but since this is the first bag I've made (with the exception of simple library bags that are little more than squares sewn together), and I had to keep pausing to make sure I was on track, I'm sure the next one won't take as long, and if you've ever made a bag before, I'm sure it will be quicker for you.

I was unable to find all the hardware I needed at Joann's (big surprise, right?), so I ordered the strap slides from Strap Works. They were one of the first results in a Google search and had good pricing, so I ordered six, in three different styles. I like the cast slides the best, even though they're the priciest. At 60 cents a piece (for 3/4 inch), they're still VERY affordable. And, they arrived really quickly! Like within two or three days of ordering. I'll definitely order from them in the future.

I made a few changes. I changed the strap connector piece to the same width as the strap and used D-rings in the size to match. I also omitted the swivel clips as they seemed unnecessary, since there's no other strap/place to secure the strap on the bag. I also added a simple pocket inside for my cell phone.

I had a hard time with the zipper (it's only the second zipper I've ever installed) but it's functional, and looks okay.

I started using it this week and I love it! It's maybe a little deeper than I need, but it's deep enough for my wallet (that just happens to coordinate!), so that's really nice. I made the wallet last year from my friend Cynthia's tutorial. The depth, though, makes it a little difficult to reach stuff way in the bottom, as the opening isn't very large.

I love the adjustable strap, and it's a great size, even with the issues I just mentioned. I don't tote a lot of stuff around and don't need a huge bag. Next time, I would make one of the bottom pieces the same fabric as the exterior, but that's a personal preference. I also, obviously, elected to use a solid inside instead of the contrast fabric I used for the strap and the stripes (and I only put the stripes on one side). I'm really pleased with it, and if you're looking to get your feet wet with a bag, you should give it a try! I'm already thinking about what fabrics to use on my next one...

Friday, May 8, 2015

Fabric Friday: May 8

I signed up for the Around the World Craft Swap on Instagram, and I'm really excited! It's my first swap ever. The next few weeks are totally crazy for me, so I won't have a lot of time to post on the blog or Instagram, but I'm looking forward to getting back into everything in a few weeks and jumping in to brainstorming for my partner.

So, Europe has been on my brain, because it's my favorite destination. I have a few Paris prints I've picked up because I have a hard time saying no to Paris...and I really love the colors in this one, even though it's a cream background. But since it has white in it as well (The clouds, Sacre Coeur, etc), I felt like it was okay to add prints with white. And I loved these colors I pulled from my stash; I'm pleased they are pretty close matches.

Yep, I should have ironed...

Top to bottom: Lost and Found 2 by My Mind's Eye, green polka dots are missing their selvage, Wallflowers by Allison Harris, Hello Paris by Mo Mullan, and Metro Living by Robert Kaufman.

I thought about including a red print, but wanted it to stand out in the focal fabric. Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Fabric Friday: May 1

This week, I decided I like stripes. I love stripes, but I often avoid buying them because I hate lining them up. I'll do my best with cutting, and still manage to muss things up. They can look so great, but I need more practice. And who doesn't love a striped binding? I mean, really.

I saw a Monster's Inc inspired mini quilt on the Disney Mini Quilt Swap hashtag on Instagram and fell in love, and decided to make one for myself. I pulled a bunch of fabrics for the doors, including these stripes. And I thought maybe a bundle of just stripes would be fun and interesting.

Top to bottom: Best Day Ever by April Rosenthal, Pimatex Basics by Robert Kaufman, Oh Clementine by Allison Harris, and Color Theory by V and Co.

Have a great weekend!