Monday, December 30, 2013

Medallion Update

The Marcelle Medallion QAL might have ended weeks ago, but I'm still working away at mine. I've finally finished my fifth border. It took longer than I'd expected because I kept making little mistakes. First, I didn't cut enough bricks. Then my strips were too short because I thought the border had cornerstones. I almost went the easy route and used cornerstones anyway, but in the end I cut more bricks, because I'm nothing if not a perfectionist!
It took a full month to get this border done. I know this because I started my cutting at Quilt Sunday in November and I finally attached it yesterday at the December gathering. In retrospect, I wish I hadn't included low volume prints and gone with only saturated colour, because I really wanted this border to read "turquoise" and I think the lighter bricks muddy this a bit. Ah well, live and learn.
I went to my Instagram friends to help me select the print for border six. I think this border should offer somewhere for ones eyes to rest, but I wasn't willing to use a solid or muted colour. My initial choice was the chartreuse seashell print from Tula's Acacia, but then I held up Anna Maria Horner's haystacks and I was swayed.  My IGers, however, were overwhelmingly in favour of the Tula print, proving once again that I should always go with my first instinct. The AMH will be my final border.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Super Tote 2.0, with videos!

Making a Super Tote as a gift is a labour of love. It's a time consuming project and the bag has a ton of features, but the end result makes it totally worth the effort.
I made my first Super Tote this summer to use as a diaper bag (you can read about it here). This has become my everyday bag and I love it so much! Even though I made it at only 85% of the full size, I can generally fit in everything I need for a day out with Lila.  So, when I learned that my sister was pregnant, I decided I'd make her a Super Tote diaper bag too. I bought the fabric for the bag (Parson Gray linen/cotton canvas from the World Tour line) and then put it aside. Well, my nephew was born last month and then bag was yet to be made.  My sister's birthday was in early December and had a visit planned for the end of December so it was definitely time to get to work!

Rather than taking a bunch of photos, I made videos instead! I didn't dress up, rehearse or even edit these videos so please don't judge me on their quality!

First up, have you heard of an app called Flipagram? It's really cool. It takes your Instagram photos and turns them into a slideshow.  I Instagram (yes, I'm using it as a verb) my sewing projects obsessively (and as a result blog much less frequently of late). The Instagram sewing community is extremely supportive and I've made new friends through the app. Here's a video of my Supertote progress, as posted on Instagram:

I always find turning a lined bag a bit nerve-wracking. Did I sew it correctly? Did I remember to slip the straps inside? Did I leave a big enough opening? Moment of truth!

And finally, a tour of the features I included in this bag:

Having made the bag twice, and having used version 1.0 for many months, I now believe I've identified what specifications and modifications I'd choose for my next Super Tote.
  1. I would make it full size.
  2. I would make the straps slightly longer.
  3. I think I'd add strap clips on either gusset to allow for the addition of a removable cross body strap so that the bag could be worn messenger bag style.
  4. I'd put exterior pockets in the front and back, instead of just the front. I might make one zippered (I got this idea from Kelby Sews) and continue to use velcro for the other. While I like the idea of using a magnetic snap, I find they eventually rip my fabric.
  5. I'd include two zippered pockets in the lining, one on either side.
  6. I'd use a slightly longer zipper. I waver on whether to include a recessed zipper at all, because I rarely close the bag, but I think it's probably worth adding, if only for aesthetic purposes.
  7. I wouldn't add any gathered elastic pockets because I'm just not good at keeping the insides of my bags organized. I like my totes to have one large space.
Have you made a Super Tote yet? I'd love to hear in the comments about the features you like to add or remove when you make your own bags, as I'm always interested in new ideas!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Little Bundles of Warmth

The staff at Levi's daycare are fabulous and the holidays provide a great opportunity to thank them for taking such good care of our little guy. My first thought was to make zippered pouches and fill them with sweets, but I decided to troll Pinterest for ideas, just to see what else I could come up with.  I'm so glad I did, because I found a great tutorial for homemade hand warmers by V and Co (which includes warming instructions). The best thing about these are how little fabric they require, which makes them a great scrap-buster.
I cut 3.5 by 6 inch strips of fabric and sewed the three open sides closed, leaving a one inch hole for turning the pouches right-side out. Then I used a piece of paper as a funnel and filled the pouches with rice. I overstuffed the first pair; filling them 3/4 of the way works best. I hand-stitched the first few closed, but it took way too long so I machine stitched the rest of them. This method isn't quite as pretty, but I was able to finish 12 of them in less time than it took to hand sew 4 and time is precious around here!

I plan to print out instructions and wrap each pair with a package of hot chocolate. Little bundles of winter warmth! Now what could be sweeter than that?
It's been a loooooong time since I've had a finish  on a Friday, so I'm linking up with TGIF this week!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Bandana Bibs!

Newest crafting obsession alert. I give you...Baby bandana drool bibs!

I used the purl bee tutorial to make these. They are so fast and easy! Keeps drool at bay and baby looks oh so fashionable. The two above were gifts for a new baby in our circle. I've made three for Lila and have a couple more in the works.