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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Weekender Bag - Progress

Oh my, I've actually made some progress on my weekender bag!  I didn't get it done in time for Vegas with the girls, but it WILL be done in time for our Oregon Coast trip!  I have to say that I think my new Juki has made ALL the difference in the ease of this process.  I do <3 that machine!

Just about halfway there.  Just need to stitch the bag together and then the lining.  I'm getting excited and already planning Weekender #2!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sweet Pouch Swap

Woot! I got my sweets and pouch in the mail from Leigh (South Wales) and I love it!

 Simple and sweet indeed, she used my favorite -- NEON -- for the inside. 

And check out her sweet top stitching! This is one of my favorite parts of the pouch:

She filled it with UK sweets that I can't wait to try. She even included Turkish Delight, which I've been dying to try since the first time I read The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. 

Thanks Leigh!  I'm excited to see what you think of yours ( hurry UP, USPS!). 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Lucky Post Number THIRTEEN!!

What to post, oh what to post?  I don't want to waste lucky #13 on something drab and boring, I want it to be spectacular, awesome, full of the amazing.  So much pressure...

I suppose I will introduce the most recent additions to my Happy Sewing Family and blather on and on about all their glory ;)

#1 - my birthday was last week and although not planned as a birthday gift, coincidentally I purchased my brand new Juki TL-2010q.  I was initially looking at a Juki due to my foray into the Amy Butler Weekender bag.  I was sure none of my current machines would handle that baby.  As I continued to research, I realized all the other great benefits of the workhorse that is the Juki.  
I think my 2 favorite features (I can't choose just one!) are first that when you stop sewing (lift you foot off the presser foot) you actually stop sewing.  The machine stops on a dime.  I don't get those extra stitches past where I thought I'd stopped that you sometimes (read: ALWAYS) see on the computerized machines.  

My 2nd fav feature is the knee lift.  Oh. Me. Gee.  I had never used one before but it is a seamless addition (for me) and bursting with the awesome.  Imagine stopping (on a dime, mind you) and being able to lift the presser foot (up to 12mm) while adjusting the fabric, with both hands, at the same time!  It's magical.

#2 - labor day was also last week(end) and that means sales.  Lots and lots of sales.  It's no secret that I've wanted a long arm machine FORever.  I blogged about it here, describing my LAQ class experience and lust for a machine.  Wellllllll, they were on SALE last weekend!  36 months with zero interest to be precise and I bought one!  Not the top of the line, like I wanted, but rather the middle of the road, with some room to grow.  

Say hello to my new Tin Lizzie 18, LAQ machine!

I'm so excited about this baby that I just might pee my pants!  I got her with the Phoenix frame, which is the sturdier IMO and has room to grow, should I decide I need more throat.  I don't yet have possession of this beauty but am told she will be delivered some time next week.  I can't wait  *Swoon* 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

BFF Birthday Gift GIFTED

The Indian Summer Lone Star wall quilt is DONE.  Finally.  I made this with a fat eighth of Indian Summer from Westwood Acres (LOVE that shop!).  I knew when I saw it that I had to make my BFF Ms. ChiefEagle something for her upcoming birthday.  I knew I wanted to make something that related to her Native American heritage but was modern and fresh.  I used the tutorial by Janice at Better Off Thread as inspiration, using the diamond method taught by the Craftsy course Diamond Quilt Designs.  More about the beginning of this quilt here.

I was planning on making a pillow for her couch.  Yeah, right up until the finished "top" was over 24"x24".  There was a momentary pause at that point where I had to decided WTF I was going to do with it now.  Wall quilt came to mind and I went with it.  Frankly, I love how it turned out.  Quilting was done on my new Juki TL-2010q (more on that later :) ).  I think it turned out well too (much better than the results I'd gotten on my Viking QDII) but YOU be the judge ...

Back complete with Quilt Sleeve (oooooooooh-aaaaaaaah)
Close up of the Quilt Sleeve & some of the quiliting

Friday, August 9, 2013

Weekender Bag Baby!

I am SO excited.  Guess what arrived in the mail yesterday?  My Amy Butler Weekender Bag pattern!  

I know I'm kind of late to the party, but I look at it from this perspective: so many have gone before me so there are gazillions of tips/tricks and recommendations out there, which should make me less likely to 1) cuss like a sailor (hm, maybe not), 2) toss my machine across the room and out the window and 3) waste $$ and time then quit before it's finished.  Wait, who am I kidding, I'm not a quitter!  1 & 2 for sure although I already curse like a sailor so I guess just 2.  Yes, "waiting" to attempt this pattern will surely save my machine.

I've got my pattern re-printed (so I don't have to cut the original) and all of Amy's corrections noted:

I've purchased the cording, scads of interfacing required and home dec fabric (though I'm still awaiting it's delivery - c'MON Fed Ex!).  The last item that I need to acquire is the zipper.  I found one at Joann's, but don't want to buy it until my fabric arrives (so it can be matchy-matchy, yanno).  I'm physically & materially ready, but am I MENTALLY ready??  

I've decided to make the first bag using the peltex, even though most who have done it have complained bitterly about it.  I'm hoping the pattern mod which calls to cut it 1/2" smaller than the rest of the pattern really will eliminate most of the bulk in the seams and make it easier to sew.  Then I think I will make a 2nd bag (bwahahaha) using the QAG method that Elizabeth of Oh Fransson documented.  I guess we'll see how the first one goes, eh?

Here's some eye candy of Those That Have Gone Before (in blog land).  These bags make me drool a little.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend

It's true!  Especially after you've taken the Craftsy Diamond Quilt Designs class to learn all the practiced techniques.  These were easy peasy.  The most difficult part was deciding which fabric to use!  Ok, not really - I'm working on this for a friend, for her birthday, and I wanted a design that was traditional for her ethnic background.  Come to find out, that design was a star!  Shut the front door, I LOVE stars!  It was fun-tastic and convenient.  I probably shouldn't post these pictures, it might ruin the surprise, but I can't resist (resistance is futile...)  

I made this with a fat-eighth of Indian Summer fabric from Westwood Acres.  Check out their shop, they have an awesome selection and are super to work with.

See the triangle taped to my sewing machine?  Yep, tricksy insider idea from the Craftsy course.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Forget Christmas, Halloween!! In August

The other day I was at The Joann's, helping a friend pick out some children's knit fabric (for an awesome charity event) when these sale, Halloween prints jumped into my cart! Imagine my dismay when I arrived home a realized I needed a new project in order to use them. What to do, what to do ... Triangles!! It just so happens I have a girlfriend whose birthday I may have missed who LOVES Halloween. I decided to make her a mug mug for her work desk. It turned out to be sort of ginormous HA! But I think she'll like it.

And the back, with a quilted spiderweb: