Tuesday, May 31, 2016

new address, same blog :: sewbylorna@blogspot.com

Same blog, new address:   http://sewbylorna.blogspot.com 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Drawstring Quilt

My family and I recently visited my brother and his family in Hawaii. My brother and his wife were super-hosts and planned such a great visit for us. I wanted to take a gift and decided on a quilt for my two sweet nephews.  Over the past year or so, I collected i-spy charms - 5-inch squares of novelty fabrics. Most were found and purchased on Instagram via the #thegreatfabricdestash hashtag.  I may have purchased a few on etsy.  The remainder of the fabrics were in my stash or were picked up as remnants here and there. There are at least eight Heather Ross in here. Her little animals and images are perfect for i-spy.  
drawstring quilt tales of cloth
Drawstring Quilt : Rainbow i-spy style!

Rather than make a standard quilt, I used the Drawstring Quilt pattern by Tales of Cloth. This is a great pattern with a clever binding method that adds a drawstring casing around the perimeter.  The quilt is perfect to use a playmat or a picnic blanket that can be cinched up and taken along as a bag, toys and all. The instructions were detailed, clear and easy to follow. The included pictures were very helpful, especially for the binding steps.   The pattern makes a hexagon quilt using strips, but was easily tweaked to use charm squares.  My layout kept growing and growing and eventually became a fairly large octagon.
i-spy drawstring quilt

For the drawstrings and backing, I used Essex yarn dyed linen blend by Robert Kaufman. I love the durability and stain-hiding that the Essex adds, especially since this quilt will likely be used outside.

drawstring quilt

The binding is a new favorite of mine - tiny black and white stripes set on the bias. It's from the First Crush collection by Sweetwater for Moda fabrics.  I'm glad a have another yard for future projects.

i-spy quilt

Choosing the fabrics (and raiding my stash for more), tweaking the color gradient, and then endlessly swapping and moving squares around was so fun.  I can't count how many times the layout changed.  My girls and I loved playing i-spy along the way.  I can now easily point out every marble, elephant, piece of sushi, and sunglass-wearing pig on this quilt!! The good news is, I still have plenty of i-spy charms left to play again and make more quilts!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Messenger Bag from Little Things to Sew

At the same time that I was waffling between a few different bag patterns for a new bag I had promised my oldest daughter, the Oliver and S blog featured a new school bag for S.  I was reminded of how much I loved the Messenger Bag pattern when I first bought the Little Things to Sew book by Liesl Gibson.

messenger bag pattern little things to sew

What a clever pattern this is, with all of the little design details and great curves.  I've made several bags, but never used bias tape to enclose all of the edges like this. Liesl's patterns are so well written and flawless in finishing details.

The main fabric is Mochi Linen Dots by Moda which adds some durability to the outer bag.  Also, since the dots are a natural linen color (vs. white dots), any dirt is nicely hidden! The lining is a fun print I picked up at JoAnn a year or so ago. I love the punch of color the lining adds when the flap is opened! For ease, I used pre-packaged bias tape and love the contrast added by the navy.
messenger bag handmade

As I researched pattern notes and reviews of several bloggers (thank you!), I followed the lead of Bartacks and Single Track blog to slightly enlarge the pocket flaps and am glad I did.  I chose not to apply any closures on the pockets or the messenger flap.  So far, that has not been an issue.  My daughter uses a backpack for school, so this is her weekend bag.  It is perfect for our library trips and I am amazed at how many books she can fit in this bag!  Not having a closure on the messenger flap allows the bag to stay flexible.

I made this bag over several days, so the time and various steps were spaced out. I wish I blogged right after I finished in order to capture some more details and notes.  I followed the pattern as written, other than enlarging the flaps.  I did add some fusible fleece that was not called for in the pattern to add some heft and body to the bag.  The pattern offers both large and small options, and I made the large size for my 10-year old.  The smaller bag would be perfect for my 3-year old!

Friday, May 13, 2016

2015 Swaps

I dabbled in a few swaps in late 2014 and 2015.  It is an interesting process which allowed me to try some new things and actually finish some projects given the deadline and hopeful partner waiting on the other end of the swap.

My first swap was the #merrymodernswap.  After considering a scrappy Christmas tree mini-quilt, I landed on this tree table runner that pairs natural linen with some colorful prints.  A few years ago I made a similar pillow and my swap partner had a similar project on her inspiration collage.  I won't lie, I felt a little pressure when my partner was revealed as a super-talented pro in the swap game. She nails every swap - project, extra goodies and packaging.  I love how this turned out.  I considered binding but thought turning out would maintain the simplicity and modern feel of the project.  I'm glad I went that direction.  An edge of binding, even in the matching linen, would have distracted from the simplicity of the trees.  And I do love that sole red tree :)

Handmade Christmas table runner sewn in linen

For a local meetup, I participated in a zipper pouch swap.  Ellen mentioned loving the new (at that time) Doe collection from Carolyn Friedlander.  I purchased a charm pack and paired some of the prints with other fabrics from Carolyn that I had on hand - gray crosshatch for the exterior and a white/orange Botanics leaf  print for the lining. I kept things simple and let the fabrics shine.  To add some interest, I quilted random straight lines in coordinating thread colors. Those colorful lines are my favorite part of the pouch.

Carolyn Friedlander Doe fabric

My favorite and most colorful project of 2015 was a Raspberry Kiss Mini made for the #lovewinsminiswap which celebrated the Supreme Court's wonderful decision for marriage equality. How gorgeous is this bundle of Karen Lewis Textiles screenprints?  The colors are a highly saturated take on the rainbow and worked well with assorted low-volume gray and white prints for the background and sashing.  The rainbow kiss blocks from Wooden Spool Quilts  are so fun and easy to make.  I was challenged a little on layout once my blocks were made, and after at least 20 trial layouts, I decided on the 3 x 3 layout with sashing.  I really love this project not just for the beauty and meaning behind the quilt, but also the challenges it offered me in color and layout and my first hand binding.

Raspberry kiss rainbow mini quilt

Toward the end of 2015, I participated in a bag swap at the #OHcraft sewin.  I followed the drawstring bag tutorial by Jeni Baker which is very easy to follow.  I absolutely love these Cotton + Steel fabrics paired with Essex linen.  At the last minute, I made the accompanying mini bag in a Denyse Schmidt fabric that matched perfectly!

Drawstring Bag by Jeni Baker