31 December 2014

Goodbye 2014, Welcome 2015

It has been a great year that has truly flown by.  I want to thank all of you for stopping by my blog and visiting.  I love sharing my creations and so glad that I have some followers who enjoy my creations.  Really never thought that would happen.  

2014 started out with a winter that just would not end for my family in Midland, Michigan and has ended with us soaking up the sun in Brisbane, Australia.  

In 2014 I was finally able to get some of my backlog of quilt tops quilted and also added a few more to the pile.  Our family sold a house and a lot of our possessions, moved to a two-bedroom apartment for 3 months.  Then moved the whole family including our two four legged members half way around the world at holiday time. Crazy!  

At the end of the year I like to have a look at what I have done, since by the end of year I forget how much I have actually accomplished in the year. 

12 Completed Quilts - Including the Southern Cross Quilt that I deigned. 

3 Small Finished Quilts - One my own design for the Michael Miller Challenge

6 Unfinished Quilt Tops - 

5 Commission Projects - Everything my own designs accept the Two Zipper Hipster. 


17 Various kinds of bags - Including a Canvas Briefcase that I designed myself.

6 Random Projects - 

I love reminiscing about all the projects I have done over the past twelve months and can't wait till my sewing room arrives in Australia in February so I can get back to sewing. 

So much has happened throughout the past year and I can’t wait for the New Year to begin.  My family is starting a new life in Brisbane and is really enjoying our new home.        I hope I can make some sewing friends in my new town.  

Here is to a wonderful new year and the adventure of 2015. 

Cheers, 
Abby 

29 December 2014

Drawstring Bags Rock!

I know I am late to the boat on the lined drawstring bag craze but I have to say these bags are so much fun to make.  I wanted to make a few for my dress shoes to be stored in so they did not get scratched in the move.  I started out with a free tutorial for one at In Color Order by Jenny, thinking oh that sounds about the right size.  I cut out all the pieces sewed it together and then realised nope too small. 

Now I have a super cute lined drawstring bag that I am thinking will be cute to put my lunch in when I go back to work.  The outside fabric is from a vintage sheet and the inside in a fat quarter that I pulled from the stash.  

The tutorial is so well written that I went right to Jenny's shop and bought her pattern that has instructions for 8 different size bags plus a little tool to help you figure out any other size your heat could desire.  So clever!

I ended up making two project size bags for my shoes.  They traveled safe and sound. :)




Seriously this pattern is so addicting I ended up making the Everything Bag size for my husbands camera and added some interfacing to the bag to give it a bit of padding. 


Thank you for stopping by and visiting. 

Cheers, 
Abby 




27 December 2014

Faster Fourteen Pattern Review

Well 2014 is coming to a end and I still have a few projects that I have not shared with you.  So today I want to share with you a pattern by Sam Hunter at Hunter's Design Studios called Faster Fourteen.  I tested this pattern for Sam back in September and it was released at Quilt Market in October.  

This pattern is very beginner friendly and goes together very quickly.  I used fat quarters from my local quilt shop Park Bench Quilt Shop to make this top since my stash was in boxes and just did not have the energy to dig fabric out.  Well that is my excuse anyway anything to be able to go fabric shopping :)

I used Modern Elements mixed with Toscana both designed by Deborah Edwards for Northcott Fabrics.   



The pattern says the size is 54" x 68", mine is still on a boat to Australia so I can not confirm what mine ended up.  I want to try this pattern again but with black and white but I think it could be tricky if you don't have enough mix in scale to give the top some dimension.  Could be a good challenge for the new year.  

If you would like to make your own you can purchase the pattern from Sam either at Craftsy or Patternspot.  

Thank you for stopping by and visiting. 

Cheers, 
Abby 


09 December 2014

A Weekender Bag

Wow I have not blogged in a while once again.  Sorry about that.  Things got really crazy at the end of November with our relocation to Brisbane Australia.  We are here and finally have a place sorted to stay for the next year so I thought I should jump on and share a few things that I finished up right before my sewing machine got packed up.  

I am not sure what I was thinking when I choose the Weekender Bag to make and carry on the plane. Should of started it ages ago but nope waited to last minute.  I have to say this is the hardest bag I have made to date and I am so happy that it turned out.  I was sure it was going to look really bad but it turned out that the pattern just looks intimidating.  I followed the pattern step by step and did not try to rush (even through I have been in a rush all week).

Now when I picked this pattern up months ago I so wanted to make it all patchwork like I have seen all over the Internet but I don't know if I will be able to make it look as lovely as everyone.  For my bag I used a home deco fabric from Joann's and used pre-made piping since I was on a very tight deadline.  The lining is High Society by ModKid Studio for Joann's.  I love the pop of pink on the inside and the handles.



I did not find the layers to be to bad to sew through.  The instructions tell you to cut away a lot of the bulk from the seams (which I did) and I think that made a real difference.  I used Annie's Soft and Stable for the main panels and it gave it great structure.  The worst part of the project was hand sewing the lining mostly because I don't do a lot of hand sewing but over all it was not really too terrible.

Now once I am all set back up in Australia I think I will have to make another one of these and try my hand at a patchwork version and see if I can make it look as pleasing as some of the other bloggers; like Elizabeth @ Oh Fransson or Angie@ Gnome Angle.  These are two of my favorite versions of the Weekender.

I have a few other projects to share with you but I will have to save them for another day as it is time to take the pups for a walk.  They just got released from quarantine and are stressed and tired. 

Thank you for stopping by and visiting. 

Cheers, 
Abby 

16 November 2014

Messenger Bag For The Boys

Sorry I have not posted in a while (12 days).  I have been working like a crazy lady to finish up a few last projects that I will share over the next couple weeks.  We are down to 11 days till we fly out and our household items will be picked up in a couple days. ekk!  Just finished the inventory list for the shipment yesterday, lets just says over 75% of it is my sewing room. J

Today I wanted to share with you my finished November goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes.  Now as you can see I have had a couple set backs (see original post) and I had to change the pattern I was using but I am happy to say that I finished the messenger bags for my boys to carry there entertainment on the plane.  So glad I finished these in time.  I ended up using a tutorial by Zaaberry. This is a very easy and quick pattern.  I did make a few changes to make it mine.  The size was just a bit to small for my kids so I increased the size by 3".  


The fist bag is for my youngest and he picked out the fabric and insisted that the giraffe had to have a mustache.  He is very happy with how it turned out.  Instead of using magnetic snaps to hold the flap down I used buckles that I picked up at Joann Fabric.  I really love how this turned out.  The inside is mustache fabric but the pictures did not turn out. 




For my oldest son I made his strap adjustable and really wish I had done that to both bags since my youngest is growing like crazy.  They can at least use them for a while.  

I used Soft & Stable to give the body of the bag some structure.  Soft & Stable is awesome.  The finished size is 12 1/2" x 10" x 2 1/2".  



Now to fill them up with goodies to keep them busy on the long flight since there tablet will not last the whole way to Australia.  

Thank you for stopping by and visiting. 

Cheers, 
Abby 


03 November 2014

A Lovely Year of Finishes November Goal

Yeah, goal time again!  November will be the last month for me to set goals for A Lovely Year of Finishes.  I do have some crafty things up my sleeve to keep me busy while I wait for my sewing stash to arrive on the other side of the world. 

For this month I will be completing my messenger bags for the boys to carry on the plane with all there electronic devices and what not.  I completed the flaps on Friday now I need to quilt them and cut out the body.  Not much left to do just have to get focused and get stuck into them.  





I still have to select fabric for my carry on bag that I am making from the Amy Butler Weekender pattern. 

We are down to 15 days till our household goods will be picked up and my sewing room will be packed into many boxes for the long sea voyage. I will be inching to sew by the time it gets to the other side.  I am already itching to use my longarm since it has been packed away since August.  :(

For the time that I am without my machines I will be learning Electric Quilt 7 software.  I picked it up a few months ago but have not had the time to sit and figure it out.  I would love to be able to design some patterns next year hoping Electric Quilt will help me get some of my ideas sorted out and maybe some will become actual quilts in 2015. 

Thank you for stopping by and visiting. 

Cheers, 
Abby 


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28 October 2014

High Tea Quilt Top

A couple weeks ago Adianne @On the Windy Side put out a call for pattern testers for her pattern she is calling High Tea.  I love testing for others, mostly because it forces me to follow a pattern.  Some times that is easier said then done.  Plus I needed another distraction instead of doing things I am suppose to be doing for the move.  Quilting is so much more fun then moving. 

Here is my bed size version of High Tea. 


This quilt pattern is very easy to put together and is very pre-cut friendly.  I used a layer cake by BasicGrey called Persimmon.  It has a lovely tiny bird print that I think I will have to pick a yard up for my stash.   For the sashing I used some purple Moda Grunge and a grey dot print but it is hard to make out in the picture.  

Adianne released the pattern yesterday on CraftsyEtsy plus she shared on her blog all the wonderful tester quilts.  

Thank you for stopping by and visiting. 

Cheers, 
Abby 






25 October 2014

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Fall 2014 - Original Design Category

Blogger's Quilt Festival time once again.  Amy at Amy's Creative Side does a great job putting this festival together.  It is so nice to see so much creativity in one place.

For my second entry I am entering my Southern Cross Quilt into the Original Design Category


I designed this quilt for my oldest son's best friend for his birthday.  I designed the pattern and turned it into a paper piece pattern to assemble.  You can read more about it here

Thank you for stopping by and visiting.  Be sure to go check out all the lovely quilts entered into the festival.

Cheers,
Abby


Blogger’s Quilt Festival Fall 2014 - Modern Quilt Category

So exciting it is Blogger's Quilt Festival once again.  Amy at Amy's Creative Side does a great job putting this festival together.  It is so nice to see so much creativity in one place.

I am entering my Michael Miller Quilt that I created for earlier this year for the Modern Quilt Guild Challenge.


I can not tell you how much I love this quilt and can't wait to hang it up.  Everything from design to quilting is all by me and I am so happy with how it turned out.  You can read more about my quilt here.

Thank you for stopping by and visiting.  Be sure to go check out all the lovely quilts entered into the festival.

Cheers,
Abby


20 October 2014

Globetrotting Top

I am winding up some of my quilting projects before I have to pack it all up.   I have about three weeks before I need to put it all away for the movers to pack.  I had planned to have all my projects caught up but it was just not realistic.  Oh well there is always next year.  When I unpack my sewing stuff it will be like Christmas morning.  Can't wait!

My latest finish is my Globetrotting BOM quilt top.


This finished off at 59" x 59".  I put my own spin on the quilt and I am really happy with how it came out.  I just wish the sun would of been out so the picture could of been a bit better.

Thanks Pat Sloan for putting this together and hosting a great BOM.

Thank you for stopping by and visiting.

Cheers,
Abby 


15 October 2014

Document Holder

With the big trip around the corner, less then 2 months away now.  I am really trying to stay on track and actually get some projects done.  So one of my fourth quarter goals was to recover a travel document holder I found at the thrift store.  

This was such an easy project.  I used Tim Holtz fabric Expedition Map from his Eclectic Elements fabric line.  I cut the fabric a half inch bigger then the holder and folded the raw edge over an eighth of an inch.  


It was to thick to stitch through so I just used liquid stitch to tack the fabric down.  I did the sides first and then tacked down the top and bottom.  

Now time to load it up with passports and tickets. 

Thank you for stopping by and visiting. 

Cheers, 
Abby

13 October 2014

Globetrotting BOM - Sydney, Paris & Barcelona

I am feeling so productive this week.  I finished piecing my last three Globetrotting blocks this week.  

Sydney - 



Paris - 



Barcelona - 


Now to finish piecing the top.  

Thank you for stopping by and visiting. 

Cheers, 
Abby

10 October 2014

Canvas Briefcase 2.0 - Goal Complete

Finished my A Lovely Year of Finishes October Goal today so excited.  My goal was to make a canvas briefcase for my husband.  He is extremely particular so really I am not sure why I said that I could make him one.  Now I have to say making your own bag pattern is not as easy as it looks.  I took the dimensions of the bag that he liked and jumped from there.  It was 17 1/2" x 13 1/2" x 3 1/2".  This made for a BIG bag and it was kind of floppy.  Really it was as big as my sewing machine! 




Of course I showed it to my husband and before he even said anything I knew he did not like it.  Then he started telling me all the things he wanted (not sure why he did not say anything in the beginning) would of been easier.  Ok the things he wanted did make sense but come on I just created a pattern on my own for a bag.  I was totally on a high and then bottomed out. :(

So I stewed on it, really I was having a tantrum if we want to be honest.  

I did not want to waste the original bag materials so I cut the original bag apart and went to work on making the modifications.  I only ended up having to by another 1/2 a yard of fabric as I was not the most carefullest cutting it apart. I am happy to say I think this one is a keeper.  Well my husband is happier with this version except when the laptop is in it and you have the strap on your shoulder it tends to flop.  I think this might be due to the placement of where the long strap connects to the bag but I am not positive.  Maybe another day I will make another version and place the strap higher up the sides and see what the results are.  For now though he can use it so that is all that matters. 

The finished size is 15" x 10 1/2" x 3".  

I used an old weaved belt for the handles. I used home decorator fabric from Joann's and Annie's Soft and Stable to give the bag structure.  I could not use the soft and stable around the zipper so I made the zipper unit and then ironed on deco bond to give it some structure.  I also used pre-made bias to finish off the seams on the inside which I did not sew in just used instant stitch. I hope they hold up.  I also added deco bond to the outside pocket and velcro to keep it from flopping open.    


Shot of inside before stitching it all together.  This is the pocket for the laptop.
The back side has to large pockets just to catch the smaller items he might carry. 

Since the outside fabric is light colored I am spraying it with fabric protector so it will not get dirty so fast.  I double this goal up with my fourth quarter finishes just to push myself to really get it done. 

Thank you for stopping by and visiting. 

Cheers, 
Abby 

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08 October 2014

Finish Along 4th Quarter - Goals

 Last quarter I only managed to get one of the there quilts completed that I have marked as my finishes for the third quarter.  I am OK with that since there was good reason.  Selling a house and making for an international move takes a lot of time.

For the fourth quarter I am going to make it easy on myself since I only will have a sewing machine for about a month and half of the quarter.   All of my goals are going to be related to things I want to make for taking on the plane to keep everyone organized.

1)  Recover & Reuse - This passport carrier. 

It is totally boring so I picked up some great map fabric at Joann's that I am going to recover it with.  It should be just big enough to hold all our travel documents. 



2) Canvas Briefcase - This will be a finish for my husband.  He saw one online that he really liked but it was $150.  I told him I could make one for less then $50.  I am leery of this project as my husband is very particular.  He did not like my sewing pants I made him for Christmas a few years ago so I am not sure about making him things.  I have all the pieces cut out just need to finish sewing it together.  I really want to get this done so this is also my goal for October for A Lovely Year of Finishes.  I also had to create a pattern for this since I could not find a pattern any where online. 



3) Messenger Bags - I need/want to make two messenger bags for the boys to carry there electronics and maybe a couple snacks in for the trip.  They already picked out fabric I just need to cut and put together.  Not sure why they both are so in love with mustaches. Must be a boy thing. 




4) Weekender Bag - Now you don't think I was going to forget myself do you?  I bought this pattern ages ago and had it sitting by my rulers to remind myself that I really need to make this.  I have not picked out the fabric yet but I will get one done as I have to be able to carry my laptop on the plane along with a few other essentials.


So this is my goals for the fourth quarter might be a lot for me to do in a month and a half but I will push myself to get them done.  Determination and a deadline is a real driving force some times.

I finished organizing our move this week so I should be able to spend the few hours a day that I am not playing taxi driver completing these final goals for the year.  

Thank you for stopping by and visiting.

Cheers,
Abby

03 October 2014

A Lovely Year of Finishes - October Goal

Well I failed to finish my September goal so I thought I would try again to see if maybe October will be my lucky month to finish a planned goal.  I have started other things but just not my goal.  So for this month my goal is to finish my husbands canvas breifcase.

I am also piggy backing is as one of my fourth quarter goals so the pressure is on :)





I am so close to getting this done I am not sure what is taking me so long.  

Thank you for stopping by and visiting. 

Cheers,

Abby

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27 September 2014

Round Robin - Kathy's Quilt

I did some sewing this week!  Shocking I know. :)  I did test a pattern for Hunter Designs last week but I can't share till after Quilt Market in October.  Here is a tiny peek ;)  Darn.  



I can show you my addition to Kathy's quilt for the Round Robin I am participating in.  Once again I was totally over thinking the add (like the other 3 I have added too) and getting totally stressed out.  I put a picture out on my Instagram feed and my friend suggested to remove a few of the drunkard blocks (I had a lot of them to begin with) and it really helped me move on with the project. 

 I think some times you just have to put it out in the world and see if other eyes can help you.  So this went in the mail to the next in line so I won't misplace it with the craziness around here.  

This week I also cut out the pieces for the three blocks that I am behind on for the Globetrotter BOM but cutting and laying out is as far as I got.  Hopefully this weekend I will be able to find some time to get them pieced so I can share next week.  

I would of had them done this week but my husband was showing me canvas briefcases that he liked but did not really like the $100+ price tag.  I really think I must love him as I said "Oh I am sure I could make you one of those for way less."  I could not find a pattern anywhere just my luck.  Not sure what I was thinking since I have not made many bags and nothing without a pattern.    Here is a peek at what I have come up with so far in one day.  



I am kind of proud of myself for being able to work this project out all on my own.  Can't wait to share once I finish it up.  

Thank you for stopping by and visiting. 

Cheers, 

Abby