Friday, October 24, 2014

Finish It Up Friday :: Gathered Clutch

Another Friday, another finish - I don't know about you guys but even having an imaginary deadline (like Finish It Up Friday) actually motivates me to get stuff done. And since I seem to start waaaay more than I finish anything that helps me get stuff checked off the list is a good thing.

So this week I have a sweet little finish to share: a Gathered Clutch, one of my favorite patterns from Anna Graham over at Noodlehead. Anna is updating this pattern and I was lucky enough to get to proof-read it for her and so of course I needed to make one. Since I've been in love with this pattern for a while and made it before I had the right zipper and hardware already on hand.

I also had, quite by accident these gorgeous fabrics piled near each and other and voila - the happiest kind of accident. The exterior is Avant Garden for MoMo by Moda and it turned out to be a lovely linen/cotton blend (think Echino) which I didn't realize when I bought it but was quite delighted with, and some Lucky Penny by Alison Glass. Don't you love it when things just work out?

Anna's pattern uses Fusible Fleece on the exterior pieces but I think with a heavier linen blend (or home dec weight fabric) I would probably just use Shape Flex on the exterior pieces next time - the fleece makes for a bag that feels padded and substantial but created enough bulk in the layers that not all machines would love sewing through it.

The pattern also has options for a card holder, small pocket and divider - of course I made them all. I changed the pattern just a bit by sewing the card holder to the divider (instead of directly to the lining) which made a nice sized pocket for paper money and left plenty of room for phone, chapstick and key in the middle. I added the small pocket to the other lining piece for extra bit of organization. 

This pattern is great for gifts and you know with the holidays fast approaching I'm already thinking that way. It took me a couple hours start to finish and I'm slow. It's also written well enough for beginners to feel good about trying their hand at it - don't fear the zipper people, you can do it! Oh and if you ARE a new sew-er just know that the cutting and interfacing is always about 75% of getting any bag done, once you get all the parts cut, sewn and interfaced the actual bag comes together in a snap (in my humble experience anyway). So don't get overwhelmed if you feel like the "prep" is taking forever - it'll pay off in the end :-)

So there you go, a quick and satisfying finish for the win.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sewing Snacks :: S'more and Caramel Pumpkin Pecan Rice Krispie Treats

I'm always happy to bake treats to share at our local quilt guild meeting and these were the yummy offerings from last night's meeting. I figured everyone loves Rice Krispie treats but I wanted something a little more special. 

S'mores Rice Krispie Treats

4T butter (1/2 stick)
1 10oz bag marshmallows
4 C rice krispie cereal
2 C Golden Grahams cereal
1 C chocolate chips
Marshmallow Bits to sprinkle on top

Spray a 9"x13" with cooking spray (or butter) and set aside.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat until melted, add the marshmallows and continue stirring until smooth.

Remove the pan from heat and stir in the cereals and chocolate chips. Press mixture into prepared pan - I use a piece of waxed paper to keep mixture from sticking to me or spoon.

Sprinkle with Marshmallow Bits and cool until set.

These are the other variation I came up with and they were rich but oh so delicious and full of Fall flavor - there's no pumpkin in this recipe but pumpkin pie spice!

Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats

1/2 C butter (1 stick)
1/2 C dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 C heavy whipping cream
1 T light corn syrup 
pinch of kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 C chopped pecans
2 C Golden Grahams cereal
4 C Rice Krispie cereal

Butter or spray a 9"x13" pan and set aside.

In a large saucepan melt butter (med-high heat) then add brown sugar, cream, corn syrup, salt and spice. Cook until thick and syrupy while stirring frequently (I pretty much stirred the whole time), about 5 - 7 minutes.

Add the marshmallows and stir until they are melted and smooth. Then remove from heat and stir in cereals and half of chopped pecans, mix well. Press in prepared pan and sprinkle with remaining pecans. Cool until set. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Happy Friday everyone!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Finish It Up Friday :: All the Small Things

Happy first Friday of Fall! I'm thrilled that my favorite season is upon us, the cooler weather, the pumpkins, the baking...bring it! I've been sewing up a storm over here so I have lots to share.

First up a batch of birthday messenger bags from Zaaberry - a great free tutorial and one of my favorite gifts to make. Fill with an assortment of cute goodies and you're set.

Next up, pillows for market. I sew samples for Blend Fabrics which is based here in Atlanta and I feel really lucky to get to play with all their fun new collections. This is the new line from Cori Dantini. These are big panels that feature 4 different animals - love them all. My child has of course put in an order for one of her own.

They also come in this smaller size - also completely adorable. And now I can throw away the kleenex box I was saving with her artwork on (yes I am crazy like that).

I made a couple Sprockets pillows using Alison's free tutorial over at Cluck, Cluck, Sew. This pillow looked like it would be fussy to make and it was NOT. So easy I licked myself for not making one before this. This line is called Luckie by Maude Asbury.

The rest of the line from Cori Dantini - check out that wood grain!

And those acorns - super mega love.

Finally a batch of Lazy Days skirts from the free tutorial on Oliver and S. This is one of my kid's favorite items of clothing lately and I couldn't be happier about it.

Plus the liberty knock-off and Halloween stripes were about $4 a yard on sale at Hancock's - score!

Hope everyone is enjoying the start of a new season and finding some time to make something you love. Happy weekend all! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

RJR Solids Supreme Giveaway Winner!!

First of all let me say a huge heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who left such kind comments about my quilt, they made me so happy! I love quilting and sharing here and it's so wonderful to be part of such a kind and supportive community.

So Mr. Random Number Generator picked #54, pippirose who said 
"What a gorgeous quilt! The colours are so vivid and rich. Beautiful!"
I'll be passing your info along to the generous folks at RJR Fabrics who sponsored this giveaway. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

RJR Supreme Solids Blog Hop and Giveaway!

Happy Friday everyone! Last month I was contacted by RJR Fabrics and asked if I wanted to be a part of their Supreme Solids Blog Hop and it took me about 2 seconds to say YES. I love solids anyway and the projects I'd seen people doing with these had shown me a gorgeous range of colors that I was thrilled to play with.

As I thought about my design I kept coming back to an Autumn color palette - I'm so ready for cooler weather, changing leaves and pumpkins I can't even stand it! In addition to color I'm always drawn to large blocks that make a big impact design wise, which led to this jumbo sized flying geese quilt. I'm calling this one Flying South and I am delighted with how it turned out.

The colors were just as rich as I'd hoped and when they arrived I couldn't wait to cut into them. After combining all the color pairs to make the individual blocks I laid this out probably 5 or 6 different ways and finally settled on this after some *very* helpful suggestions from a friend. Aren't quilty friends the best?! I love the movement from the random chevrons and that the chevron pattern isn't obvious, but kind of comes as goes as you look at the arrangement.

I love how all the colors of play together and glow when you put them next to each other!
Because these are large blocks they sew up very quickly - I had all the cutting and piecing done in one morning. If you're busy, big blocks are your friend!
I used masking tape to mark straight vertical lines randomly spaced for quilting.

See the color on the very tip-top ends of those leaves? No? Look closer. It's there, I swear.

So this is the high tech way I plan out my blocks and quilts, starting with a graph composition book and a pen. I wanted these blocks to be FQ friendly so I made sure my layout would work even with FQ's that might be a bit wonky - I think this gives you the biggest flying geese block possible with a FQ. You'll need 2 FQ's to make 2 blocks. 

Measurements for cutting EACH block are: cut TWO 8.5" squares and ONE 8.5" x 16" rectangle.

If you use half yards instead (like I did) you'll get 4 blocks from 2 half yards.

I like this tutorial for flying geese blocks - I used the traditional method for this block.

For this quilt I used 18 half yards, making 4 blocks of each colorway. 
My layout was 4 blocks x 9 blocks and the finished size was approximately 64"x72". 
I used flannel on the back and I had a piece in my stash that was about 4 2/3 yds that worked great.

You can check out all the gorgeous RJR Supreme Solids right here. You can find a good selection of RJR Supreme Solids at Pink Castle Fabrics. If you're interested in seeing the other amazing projects in this series you can find them all on the Blog Hop facebook page.

RJR Supreme Solids colors I used in Flying South:
130 Pumpkin
198 Cocoa
341 Stormy Night
199 Chocolate
285 Golden Topaz
131 Carrot
229 Mahana Beach
342 Peridot
282 Gale Force (also used for binding)
351 Pewter
267 Boxwood
219 Pinot Noir
201 Espresso
314 Oriole
92 Golden Rod
110 Red Wagon Red
318 Craft Paper
343 Martini Olive

RJR Fabrics has generously offered a Fat Quarter Bundle of ALL the fabrics I used to one reader (US and Canada only please)! Just leave a comment on this post - giveaway will be open until Midnight next Tuesday (9/9/14) and I'll post the winner Wednesday morning :-)

RJR Fabrics provided me with the fabrics for this project and giveaway but all designs and opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Finish It Up Friday :: Zipper Edition

Happy Friday everyone! I have some finishes to share this week that I'm just so happy with. First up, the Senna Tote by Vanessa at LBG Studio and Willow and Co. Pattern Collective. I took this class the Fabricate Atlanta, taught by the super talented Diana Taylor. Now I feel like I've made enough bags that I can figure out just about any bag pattern BUT I hadn't taken the time to try the zipper foot that came with my new Juki yet so I thought this class would be a great reason to break it out. And yes, the "new" part was really in March! So it was time.

 Diana made it completely easy, she's an amazing teacher who just has gift for understanding construction and communicating it to others. Plus taking a class with friends is just fun and you learn all kinds of little tips and tricks that you wouldn't just working on your own. So I love the bag, it's a great size and I think the pockets (one big inside that you can sub-divide how you like) and two outside are just right. I used canvas for the exterior, quilting cotton for the lining and I put SF101 on everything. The only change I'll make next time is to significantly lengthen the straps. 

Then since I was on a zipper foot high I made a couple Noodlehead Open Wide Pouches - again just a great free pattern. Anna knows how to write and photograph her steps so they seem completely easy. On the pink and yellow one I sandwiched some rick rack between the top and bottom pieces when I assembled them to add a little texture and contrast.

A little pop of color on the interior of each. I know I'm late to the party with these but I can see this pattern turning into my go-to birthday/holiday gift, they're just so quick and cute.

Finally no zipper but still an adorable and fast project - this is the large fabric bin from the Birch Fabrics website - it's a free tutorial! Score! This pattern has one piece you guys. One. Totally my speed. I will warn you that this size will hold a boatload of candy if you were thinking about using it for Halloween.

I'm trying to will Fall weather to hurry up and get here which is pretty laughable at this point in Georgia but still, I can dream. 

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Finish It Up Friday :: Really Late or Pleasantly Early?

Sooooo I may or may not have started this for last Halloween...but at this point I figure rather than saying how long it took me and how late it was, I'm just going to go with "YAY! Early finish for this year!" Way more positive, right?

St. Louis 16 patch with loads of Halloween goodness going on. I will admit though that the combinations of warm browns and stark black and whites  never completely came together for me. I loved all the components but I loved them a little less all together. Plus the cat print from Spooktacular turned out to just be too large a scale to work cut up at this size. I'm not the only one who spends the time working on finishing and simultaneously thinking about what you'd do differently the next time, right? And then bam, another quilt top has been born in my head, so don't be surprised if a new and improved Halloween quilt shows up here.

But back to this baby: I quilted across from side to side (you guys must know by now how I love my straight line quilting) and it pleased me. It just seemed really quilty and good.

Fun orange and white chevron flannel on the back that I found at JoAnn's. Again, backing *everything* with flannel from now on. I know it's the South and it's almost 100 degrees in the shade all summer but personally I'm dreaming of cooler weather. Thanks for stopping by!