Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Small Things

One of my sisters just graduated from High School!

In a few weeks she'll be heading off to Basic Training and then to "Nuke Power School" in South Carolina as part of the Navy's prestigious Nuclear Power program.  Because she's going into the military and not off to a civilian college, she really has no need for any extra "stuff," so it was a challenge to think of something that I could make for her.  It occurred to me that she still has to pack things like clothes and toiletries so why not make her some small bags and pouches?

I scoured Pinterest for small bag tutorials and I ended up making her three!

The first was a rectangular zippered bag from the Purl Bee.

It's called a "dopp kitt" apparently, which is "an old fashioned term for a toiletry bag."  I found some cute upholstery fabric for it in lime green, my sister's favorite color.

Then I found a wonderful tutorial by Kelby on her blog kelbysews for these cute little zippered pouches.

These were quite fun and very simple to make!  Kelby made an excellent tutorial and these pouches are even lined on the inside.  I used contrasting zippers to add a little extra flair.

I hope that these little things will be useful!  Even if she can't take them to boot camp at first, they should come in handy at some point!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Wit Beyond Measure

I finally finished a birthday present for my youngest sister who is a huge Harry Potter fan.  She's a bit of a bookworm and is convinced that she would be sorted into the Ravenclaw house if she was accepted to Hogwarts.  So I made her a Ravenclaw messenger bag!

I followed Jennifer's messenger bag tutorial over on Fandom in Stitches and used the Ravenclaw Crest from their pattern collection for the front flap.  I'm quite happy with how it turned out!  

I just did some simple outline quilting around the eagle, but I dressed up the strap with some fancy stitching!  


I used various blue fabrics for the underside of the strap too.

I think my sister should be able to fit a couple days worth of books into this bag.  :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Cathedral Winows

For my mom's birthday this year I wanted to make her some pillow shams that would coordinate with the quilt she keeps on her bed.  This quilt is full of curves and arcs in soft pastels.  Now, I have done some curvy quilt piecing with the Double Wedding Ring pillow shams that I made last year... but while I was researching curvy patterns I found a tutorial for beautiful Cathedral Window blocks.  This particular pattern is elegant and graceful and yet it is made from folded squares!

I found a great tutorial here by Shruti from the blog 13 Woodhouse Road.  I made 24 squares per pillowcase, and with each square being 4" they were easily combined into queen-sized shams!

Folding and ironing all 48 of those squares proved to be a very time consuming task... I think I watched nearly an entire season of Downton Abbey on Netflix!  But once I had the squares sewn together, sewing the arcs around the colored patches went rather smoothly.

However, not all of the points lined up perfectly, and being a perfectionist I decided that adding buttons to each point would hide any imperfections and add some additional interest and texture.  I found a variety of white and off-white buttons in my stash and decided that the randomness would complement the handmade, patchwork design scheme.

Of course, I didn't realize how long it was going to take to add buttons... sewing on a total of 78 buttons took about 7 hours!  But the end result was definitely worth it and my mom loves her gift!

...and Noel loves them too!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Not All Who Wander Are Lost, Part 5

It's the fifth installment of Fandom in Stitches "Not All Who Wander Are Lost" block-of-the-month quilt!

Here are my finished blocks:

"The White Tree of Gondor" designed by Jennifer Ofenstein

This was by far the most difficult paper-pieced block of the series, to date.  All of those tiny little branches drove me crazy!  The final block is only 7.5 inches square, so you can imagine how tricky it was!

"Gandalf"  designed by Michelle Thompson

"Helm's Deep"  designed by Regina Grewe