Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hobo Bag

It's a snowy, rainy, drizzly LEAP DAY here in Pennsylvania, but despite the lack of sunshine I was able to get some decent pictures of my latest creation. It's a Hobo Bag, and the pattern is by Nicole Mallalieu of You SEW, Girl! I love the orange color and the fun polka dots - it will make a great new spring bag for someone, I'm sure! Check out my Etsy listing for more information. (edited 3/2/12 - SOLD)

By the way - don't forget to join in the Leap Day Blog Hop going on today only - lot's of giveaways!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tasting Table Tuesday, Pennsylvania Mountain Quilts

Today I finished the Hobo Bag I showed you on Sunday, but not before the sunlight was gone. I'll try and get some pictures tomorrow.

My Tasting Table is a mess right now, and I don't have anything organized well enough to share with you today, so here are some pictures from a previous project instead.

This is a series of three quilts I made, all for the same customer. She wanted quilts to give as baby gifts to new mothers who had moved away from this area, and wanted the quilts to remind them of their hometown. So each quilt is done in a different color scheme, but each depicts the beautiful mountains here in the Pennsylvania Wilds.

For each quilt, I started with a batik fabric for the border that incorporated the colors requested by my client. Then I pulled in various light fabrics for the sky, and medium/darks for the mountains. I arranged the colors from lightest at the top, to dark at the bottom. My client was very pleased with the results, and I hope the new moms and their babies were too.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

What's New...

Some new goodies arrived in the mail this week! Zippers, strap hardware, and four new awesome pieces of fabric. Joel Dewberry's "Sparrows" (Aviary II Collection), Kate Spain's "Lantern Flower" (Good Fortune Collection) in taupe & periwinkle, and a grey large-scale floral twill called "Harmony" (Emma Collection from Premier Prints), with bright turquoise and red flowers. Love that one! And I've started a new bag - a Hobo Bag from You SEW Girl!

I've had this pattern for quite some time now, but never got around to trying it. I think it's going to look great - especially in this fun orange twill with polka dots. I'm lining it with magenta Kona Cotton and putting an ORANGE zip on the inside pocket. So fun and cheery! Hope you all had a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tasting Table Tuesday - Hipster style!

Last week I saw a great-looking bag over at Poppyprint's blog and I knew that I just HAD to have this new pattern! It's called the Two Zip Hipster by Dog Under My Desk, and because the pattern is offered as a PDF, I was able to purchase it and download it almost immediately - love these instant downloads! The pattern is very clear with lots of detailed photographs, so I didn't have any problems making this one. It's intended as a Hipster-style cross-body bag, but the strap has lots of adjustment and if you shorten it all the way it can also be used as a shoulder bag. It has a zippered top and two front pockets. One with a zipper closure, and the other is a slip pocket directly behind the zippered one.The inside has a double slip pocket. The one on the right is sized for an iPhone, and the other is slightly larger. The inside of the bag will hold an iPad too! Great for people on the go who have to have their gadgets with them. (Please pardon my mock-ups for the gadgets - I don't have an iPhone, or iPad, so I use these hand-made props instead. Works for pictures and the batteries never run down!) The pattern is shown using one fabric for the entire outside of the bag, but I like the contrast of a 2nd fabric for the pocket section on the front. Both fabrics are quilting cotton.
I also added 5 rows of top-stitching to the strap, just because I like it that way. Now I have to decide (as they say on HGTV) whether to "Love It, or List It". As much as I'd like to keep it, I'll probably list this one on Etsy soon. I have some new fabric coming in the mail later this week and I just might make one for myself with that...

What's on your "Tasting Table" this Tuesday? Any new projects started? I'd love to hear about them!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

"Cube Mates" Completed

Today I finished binding my quilt and the weather cooperated, so I was able to get some quick pictures outdoors before supper - (well most of them were outdoors - this first one was on my living room floor.) Don't you just love the late-afternoon sun? It was almost around the side of the house by this time so it didn't hinder my photography, but you can still see the yellow glow in the background.

I quilted this one with straight-rows of stitching 1/2" away from each seam, using a light grey cotton thread.

I mentioned before that the top is pieced entirely from oxford shirts I collected from my co-workers in the 1980's, and you might think "Free Fabric - Great!" - right??? Well, it might have been free, but what I didn't spend in cash, I spent in time. It's definitely a labor-intensive process. After washing & drying the shirts, you have to cut the sections apart, remove all the buttons (ok - I could have just thrown them out, but I love to collect buttons!), discard the stained and/or worn areas, then starch them all before cutting. The old fabric was so soft that I thought it would be easier to work with if I starched it first, and it made a huge difference! Definitely worth the time! Of course, that meant I had to wash the quilt when I was done, to remove the starch, but that's ok.

Using newly purchased fabric would have been much faster, but wouldn't have that "well-worn/loved" look that I love. And if you know anyone who worked at Wellsboro's Glass Factory in the 1980's, you just might find a piece of their shirt somewhere in this quilt! :)

For Sale at - click here to see more.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cube Mates

I'm a little behind schedule, but "Cube Mates" is finally pieced and here's how it looked right after I finished the quilting. It's a little rumpled yet, but will look much neater after I finish the binding and give it a good press. I hope to finish it tomorrow and will post the final finished pictures in the next day or two.
Makes me want to buy a beach cottage to go with the quilt! But this one is destined for my Etsy shop, so I just have to make another one - or two - or three...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tasting Table Tuesday

It's been a productive day today in the Cotton Cellar. Vintage Shirts have been Slashed, Starched, Stripped & Stitched. (Of course, they were washed & dried before I even started - but that was on Sunday, so it doesn't count.)

I've had this collection of men's oxford shirts since the mid-1980's, when I asked my co-workers if they would kindly donate their used shirts to me. I was just learning how to quilt back then, and I thought it would be neat to make a quilt with all these shirts, but of course, they got packed away in a box in my sewing room with plans of using them "some day". Well, I just decided that "some day" had waited long enough and it was time to use them, or pitch them. So far, I've only used the backs of the shirts and I have enough pieces cut to make two throws or baby quilts, plus there are still enough unused strips to make two more (or one twin). That's not even counting the fronts of the shirts!

The color palette is very soft - kind of "shabby-chic-ish" - like something you'd see at an old beach cottage and the pattern I designed is very simple. I hope to have at least one done by the end of this week and I'll share it with you as soon as it's finished. Maybe I'll even continue right on and make a few more!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

International Quilt

Take a look at this fabulous quilt made by my friend Diane! Diane lives in Canada, and her family is originally from Holland. She made this quilt for her daughter, who now lives in Germany. So that's why you see Dutch Flags and German Flags surrounded by Canadian Maple Leaves. The perfect International Quilt! Great job, Diane! Your daughter is a lucky girl!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tasting Table Tuesday

Lots going on in my Cotton Cellar right now - my newest quilt is bound and finished - I hope to have pictures to post tomorrow. Hope you're enjoying the projects on your "tasting table" today!

Just for fun, here's a picture from one of our past camping/fishing trips. We fish in the morning and evening, but here's how I spend my afternoons!

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Reward

I promised myself that I wouldn't start another sewing project until I finished all of my bookwork for our income tax return. It's a chore that I really hate, so I promised myself a treat when I got it done. This is it - aren't these color swatches just yummy? I've been planning a new quilt on EQ for about a week now and after about 20-some-odd versions, I've finally decided on a layout that I love. And no - you can't see the layout yet - you'll have to wait and come back in a few days for that - the swatches are just a tease! :)

Do you plan your quilts on EQ? I really like how I can search out my specific fabrics on the internet and save the swatches into EQ, so that I can see my actual fabric choices in the planning phase. These solids are from Maywood Studios and the selvedge says "Basically Beautiful" (very appropriate, I might add!) but they are coordinates to their Dandelion Daydreams collection. They have a very slight sheen to them and the colors are so soft, yet rich. I fell in love with them when I first saw them at my LQS, but couldn't decide what to do with them until now. The batik shown with them is a perfect match to these colors, and it's one I found in my stash. I think it's a Splatter Dot by Hoffman.

I just finished cutting this afternoon and might even start sewing the blocks tonight.

So glad my tax work is done! I love rewards - and this one is almost as good as a glass of red wine and some dark chocolate - maybe even better!!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cotton Addict Meets Yarn...

I started crocheting Neckwarmers for some Christmas gifts this year and just loved how they turned out. But I needed more large buttons, so I started making these free-motion quilted fabric covered buttons from my collection of batiks and decided to try and sell some on Etsy. Pop on over here if you want to see the listings!
Here are the first two, and hopefully there will be more colors available soon! You know I just had to work some Cotton into this project somehow!