June 2, 2017

Big Ole Schlep Bag

I recently made this tote bag from Cotton and Steel black and white fabrics except for the lining. The free pattern is So Sew Easy Schlep Bag by Sentimental Stitches.  However, I wouldn't classify it as So Sew Easy.



It really wasn't that difficult, but the construction with on-point squares really made me think.  And to add it, I decided to enlarge the bag by using 10" squares instead of 8" and it's really just too big.  I must carry it on my shoulder or it will drag on the ground.


It took a little figuring to increase the size of the lining and I found this handy diagonals of a square calculator which I use a good bit.  You must try it out! Here's a screenshot, but all you do is drag any vertex (where the sides meet to form a corner) to the desired square size and it will automatically calculate the diagonal of the square.

In this case, I used 10" squares, so the finished square would be 9.5".  The calculations are to the nearest even numbers, but it's really close and I didn't have to do that calculation you see below using the square root of anything.


I pieced the lining using some fat quarters I didn't care for and added a band of the focus fabric along the top where it might be seen.



I even added a pocket in the lining seam.



Here's the schlep bag lying flat.  It measures 24" wide by 18" tall.



And I guess you've noticed my mistake by now...I sewed the label on side rather than the front between the handle straps.  Faye, vice president of the Greenville MQG, screen printed the labels with our logo for us attendees of the GMQG retreat we had back in April.  And it's my favorite color too!


 And a better close up of the quilted handles.


Based on my experience making the So Sew Easy Schlep Bag, I have a few recommendations or things to consider:

1.  Make the bag using the suggested size squares or you will doing more quilty math then you might prefer.

2.  The pattern called for just using interfacing on the 4 bottom squares, but I feel it needed it throughout the bag or perhaps a layer of fleece.  I used Pellon Shape Flex 101 (affiliate link), a woven interfacing.

3.  If I hadn't put in the pocket, I would have quilted the layers sewing along the edges of the squares adding to the stability.

4.  The bag really needed structure and I added a bottom by cutting an old plastic advertisement type sign to fit.  I may go back in cover it in fabric, but for now it's sitting in place just fine and ready for schlepping.

Linking to:
Finish It Up Friday with Amanda at Crazy Mom Quilts
Whoop Whoop Friday with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Show Off Saturday with Caroline at Sew Can She


and the next

Tips and Tutorials Tuesdays with Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl



May 31, 2017

Me-Made-May '17 (3/4 Length Sleeve Top)

One garment barely qualifies for Me-Made-May and while I didn't take the pledge, I thought I would share with you the first garment I've made in probably 15+ years.  It's a 3/4 length sleeve knit tee shirt that I totally hacked.  I cut apart a knit tee shirt that fit pretty well but was worn out.


I actually made this knit tee back in February and wore it for the first time at QuiltCon 2017 in Savannah, GA.

First thing that morning, I met Monika Huelsebusch on the boardwalk while waiting for the ferry to take us over to the convention center.  Monica and I 'met' while participating in Modern Quilts Unlimited year long challenge when I made Navigating to Pluto.


And then, while on the ferry ride across the Savannah River I sat right down by Sophie who blogs at Luna Loves Quilts.  Check out Sophie's posts about QuiltCon 2017 Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Notice my bag sitting on the floor...I could have a thing for limey chartreuse green.



After I cut out the bodice, I realized the neck looked too wide.  So what was I to do?  I decided to add at pleat or tuck to the neck line and hopefully it would end up being be a design element.



This is what it looks like with the tee wrong side out.  To reduce the bulk in the neck line seam, I snipped the tuck or pleat just a bit.



It had been so long since I had sewn garments, I found this neck band tutorial, How to Bind Knit Edges, by Colette.  I followed the directions for the Self Fabric Band and on my first attempt I made the divot in the band to deep, and rejected this one.  The purpose is to reduce the bulk in the back of the neckline so it will lie flatter. The second attempt turned out great.

Self band reject

I was even pleased with the top stitching around the neckline.



I should mention that the fabric is Alison Glass Jersey Knit in Lime.  I love the weight of fabric. Although it too thick for the heat of summer, it's great for three of the four seasons.

Although my eyes are closed, here's a fan girl moment taken with Alison at her demo at QuiltCon.




This bright lime green needed just the right thread and I found the closest match in a Gutermann 100% poly used for garment construction and top stitching.  Although I used a ball point needle, I still had a few skipped stitches.

I made vents in the sides and top stitched around the vents and the 1 1/8" hem.  For surging the raw edges, I used Aurifil 50 wt. 1147 (Light Leaf Green).



As if you haven't seen enough green, here's a picture of my varigated canna lilies just coming up.



Linking to Let's Bee Social with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts.



May 18, 2017

Pretty Posy Mini Goes To Market

I recently had the opportunity to play with some of the new Cotton and Steel thread when Kelly Nagel from Sulky sent me the Flower Shop thread box so I made a mini quilt, Pretty Posy.

Cotton and Steel thread

I wanted to do some machine applique and used the Thistle Indigo print from Alexia Abegg's collection by the same name, Flower shop as inspiration.  Cipher in Natural was used for the background.


I pulled fabrics from other Cotton and Steel fabric collections to match the thread colors in the Flower Shop thread box.  Aren't the spools cute?


My favorite color in the collection is No. 1815 Japanese Fern, the one I used to applique the leaves.


 The applique is all done, now how to quilt it?


I decided to free motion and echo around all the elements.


Here's a couple of close-ups.  Bow Ties in Grass was used for the bias binding.



And another look at all the colors in the collection.



I used the Indigo Thistle print and incorporated the label into the backing.


Here's a close-up of the label I created using the handwritten quilt labels tutorial I posted last month.


If you are going to Spring Quilt Market in St. Louis, look for Pretty Posy in the Sulky of America booth No. 2829 and Kelly will have Pretty Posy at Sulky's Schoolhouse session.

Linking to...
Show Off Saturday with Caroline at Sew Can She