Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Umbrella Prints Trimmings Competition 2012

Do you know Umbrella Prints? Umbrella Prints is a little Australian textile house run by Amy Prior & Carly Schwerdt. They hand screen print their designs on natural organic hemp/cotton.  I love the look of so many of their designs and their color palettes are just luscious.

For the last two years, I've followed the Umbrella Prints Trimmings Competition.  Last year I may or may not have been squealing when I saw Nova's entry or this entry by pop-i-cok.  (Go, look at them, you won't regret it!!)  I'm not sure there is any way to top these, but after seeing this bag from LRstitched using a pattern from Michelle Patterns, I thought it would be a perfect way to showcase the Trimmings prints.  I ordered right away and started trying to figure out what neutral to use with the prints.

2012 umbrella prints - trimmings competition

I settled on Tobacco Chambray from the Lisette collection at my Joann's - when it was on sale for more than half off.  I love it ~ it's almost tweedy.

A week ago I made the bag to be sure I understood how the pattern worked.  It's a great pattern, very thorough and just perfect with loads of exterior and interior pockets.  Details on the logistics of bag making are on that post.

Umbrella Prints Trimmings Competition 2012

Umbrella Prints Trimmings Competition 2012

Umbrella Prints Trimmings Competition 2012

Umbrella Prints Trimmings Competition 2012

Umbrella Prints Trimmings Competition 2012

My favorite part is that it came together the way I imagined it would in my head - I adore simple patchwork and it's ability to show a variety of prints and/or solids.  I did some random/improvisational piecing with leftover scraps that worked out being on the front of the front pocket.

Patchwork Front:  Umbrella Prints Trimmings, 2 1/2 inch blocks
Pattern:  Messenger Bag Pattern, Michelle Patterns
Exterior Body:  Tobacco Chambray, Lisette collection for Joann's
Interior lining:  Coffee Buzz for Andover fabrics
Nickel hardware:  Michelle Patterns

Monday, May 21, 2012

SewMamaSew's Giveaway Day! 2012

It's GIVEAWAY DAY (and my mother's birthday)!!!  I'm so excited to participate this year - I've entered plenty of these in the past....  I love the idea of giving something back!

I have three half yard cuts of Anna Maria Horner's Loulouthi.  

Giveaway Day

To enter, tell me where you are writing from and one thing you are grateful for today.  This morning in Blacksburg, VA the sun is already shining, the kids are slowly waking up.  I have no milk, but I think I can whip together some french toast for breakfast!!  This is our last week of school!

I will ship worldwide, please make sure your profile is linked up and you are not a no-reply blogger so I can email the winner on Sunday, May 27.  (Hope I can figure out the Random Number Generator thing...)  Comments close Friday, May 25 at 5 PST (which is 8 pm EST where I am).

Don't forgot to check out all the other folks participating in Giveaway Day (which really lasts all week)!

Edited to add the winner!!!  Wow - over 500 entries on my little bitty blog!!  I'm amazed!!

The random number generator picked #75:
Sunny California and grateful for chili in the crockpot already - no cooking dinner tonight!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Amy's Creative Side

My entry to Amy's Creative Side's Blogger's Quilt Festival is the quilt my sister and I pieced more than 400 miles apart from each other.  We wanted to create something together for two major events going on in our Dad's life.  He retired from the Presbyterian ministry after 38 years and just before retirement he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

He retired officially in February, preaching his last sermon just days away from surgery to remove his prostate.  I'm happy to report he underwent surgery, has recovered quickly and is well.

Opa's Wonky Blocks Quilt

We decided on a pattern and a color scheme and we each made 15 blocks.  The front is made up of 25 of them and I used 5 in the back.  The pattern is from Block Party and is Oh, Fransson's Wonky Stripe Block.  Her's is here and she made another version here.  This was such a great and fun quilt to make - the blocks came together easily and nothing else really mattered!  It was a great quilt to do "long distance".  I was actually shocked at  how well our colors worked together. Finished size is roughly 60 X 60.

Opa's Wonky Blocks

Opa's Wonky Blocks

Entering for the first time this year!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Liebster Award.... huh?

 A few days ago I got a little comment on my itty-bitty blog saying that I had been given a Liebster Award.  Well, I had to dig around to make sure I knew what that meant!  To be honest, I didn’t know whether to “play the game” or not.  I’m still trying to figure out this whole blogging thing…  Why am I doing this exactly?  What is it I’ll write about?  I’m all over the place.  But, I do know that is meaningful and encouraging when folks compliment your work or when you can encourage someone else to try something new.  I think the blog gives me a place to do the new things ~ the things on my mental list.  So, most things will be sewing things, but to keep it completely real and honest there will be other things thrown in from time to time ~ my kids and my other loves of knitting, nature, hiking, photography….  I really am ALL over. 

So, I am supposed to nominate 5 other bloggers with readership under 200.  Here are several I started following recently… 

Sew Brunswick ~ Leith sews in Australia and I found her on flickr searching for photos and advice on sewing the Renfrew top.  Her work is fantastic ~ she’s been blogging for a little more than a year although I suspect she’s been sewing for much longer than that!  Leith's flickr stream.

Bubala Jo ~ Another Aussie who sews clothing.  Found her work through flickr as well, searching Sewaholic patterns and clothing for kids.  She has sewn up quite a few lovelies there, including a lovely Minoru Jacket and some Tova tops.  Her kids clothes are absolutely darling.  Her flickr stream here.


Improv Diary ~ The blog of Nicole Blum and Debra Immergut.  Their newly published book Improv Sewing is really inspiring me to repurpose and sew with knits.  The clothes, especially in this book are fantastic ~ there are some good tutorials on their blog and there are more to come.  Here's their book trailer.

Then I was stumped.  I looked through my reader and saw most of the blogs I read have a very large readership – so again I went to flickr and found two great blogs.  This time I looked through the Modern Quilts group. 

Cora Quilts ~  This gal lives in the backwoods of Cananda (so she must be cool) and she has a lovely family of boys.  Her newest quilt made with crosses and using the new line from Parson Gray is what caught my eye - actually she's done one in green and one in blue.  She has done some fabulous quilts and I’ll be adding her to my google reader ASAP!  Carla's flickr stream.

Curious Nature Crosses, Woods

crosses quilt on flickr

The Berlin Quilter is from Berlin!!  Her flickr stream caught my eye long ago.  I have her as a contact so I keep up with her quilting there, but her blog is lovely.  She’s sewn some clothing, too – two great Tova tops.  Her work is fresh and lovely.

So, there you have it – those are my Liebster Awards.  Feel free to play the game or not – it took me a while to decide!  

For acceptance you can (if you so choose):

1. Thank your award presenter on your blog and link back to him/her
2. Copy and paste the award to your blog
3. Present the Liebster Award to 5 blogs that you think deserve to be recognised.
4. Let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
5. Have faith that your followers will spread the love too!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Messenger Bag from Michelle Patterns

The long story on this pattern is that I bought this pattern long ago when then Keyka Lou was having a sale.  I never printed it out and forgot about it!!  Then I ran across this lovely...

from Lindsey of LRstitched!!!  It is so amazing!!  Check her blog post for more details.   

I knew that I wanted to make one like it! I started with making 2 1/2 inch patchwork squares of mostly AMH (LR's are probably 2 inch).  I laid them out on lightweight interfacing, using Oh, Fransson's tutorial for making postage stamp blocks.  This is genius, because it makes sewing up your small squares so easy.  I did not make a grid, I just laid them out carefully and ironed. Snipping the seam is not a step to skip, it will make everything lay flat and be easier to stitch over.  I added batting and sewed about 1/4 inch along all seams.


Like Lindsey I made a strap instead of using webbing ~ cutting fabric salvage to salvage 6 inches wide and then folding it in half and ironing, then opening it back up and folding in to the center.  The final strap is 1 1/2 inches wide, then and fits perfectly in the 1 1/2 inch hardware, which I also bought from Michelle Patterns (she carries this nickle version and a plastic version).  (KeykaLou is the former name for Michelle Patterns.)  The exterior is Kona Ash and the lining is a bird print from Ikea and an unknown yellow from my stash.

Messenger Bag

Messenger Bag

Messenger Bag

This is a fantastic pattern!!  It is very thorough and detailed.  There are so many pockets ~ one nice one inside and several outside.  It is always amazing to me that written directions can translate into something three dimensional.  Watching that process happen never fails to make me fall in love with sewing!!

Messenger Bag

This is actually a prototype (muslin!) for my next project, which for now is still top secret.  (Sewing contest, anyone?)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Yellow and Gray (Grey)!

Babies are all over the place where my husband works.  I've been meaning to sew up another baby quilt, but all kinds of other things were going on (in the form of Spring Tops, and Kids Clothing). 

 Namoo does incredible work and I love watching the baby quilts that pop up in my flickr feed. (Her flickr here:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/namoohandmade/ ) This one with greys and yellows stuck with me and because I LOVE the colors and had some of the same fabrics stashed away.  

I went with four solid blocks (10 X 12 or so) and pieced them with kona snow on top and kona ash (maybe) down below.  The back is a favorite print called Cherry Blossoms.  (Sadly I could only find a yard on etsy, but nowhere else.)  It's so lovely and I think it ties the whole thing together very nicely.  It's bound with Kona Charcoal, using the zigzag method.  Finished size 39X37.

Yellow & Gray

Yellow & Gray

Yellow & Gray

Yellow & Gray