Last week, I blogged about my progress on my new laptop bag.
The front flap snaps closed with a magnetic snap. The strap has a slider on it so that I can shorten or lengthen the strap as needed.
This pocket will be so handy during travel for storing important items that need to be accessed easily, such as airline tickets, ID and a small wallet.
The mouse and power cord stay in place in the pockets.
The fabrics used to make this bag are from my growing stash of hand dyed experiments. I had enough of the gray fabric for the entire exterior, but all of the other parts were made from random pieces that were big enough for the part I was working on at the time. I even had to “build” enough fabric for the interior side pockets by stitching some smaller pieces together.
This pattern went together easy enough since I have made bags before and pretty much understood what I was doing.
As the bag was closer to being finished, the bulk was a challenge to handle, but in the end, it turned out just as I hoped it would.
I did finish it in time to tote my computer to our girls sewing day and show it off.
Two days ago, I blogged about a drawing I entered for a $25 gift certificate to Superior Threads.
The give away was hosted by Leslie at MarvelesArtStudios .
I originally entered the usual way, by commenting on that particular post. I also noticed the opportunity for an additional chance to win by sharing her blog, so share I did!
My extra chance was my lucky chance.
I won! Yeah, Me!
I do have to say that Leslie is quite the salesperson when it comes to thread. Every time she blogs about a particular thread and shows how beautifully it stitches and describes in vivid detail the almost magical qualities of said thread, it is THE thread that I want. That is, until the next blog post when she entices me with yet another great thread.
I do Love thread!
If you would like to see how I organize my threads, HERE is a blog post I did 2 years ago.
Since that time, I have really settled into my sewing room (ie: filled every nook and cranny) and should post updated photos of the changes, but that would require me dealing with my SIPS disorder first.
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While walking through the airport, between flights, on the way home from Ohio last winter, the strap broke on the bag that I used for carrying my laptop. What an inconvenient time to have this happen.
It was not a real computer bag, it was just that it was the right size and had zippered pockets for accessories. My husband offered to buy me a real computer bag, but I told him that I really wanted to make one myself.
Well here it is almost a year later and I am finally making one.
As soon as I saw this pattern, I knew it was exactly what I wanted to make.
The flap was the first bag part that I quilted and assembled. I am wishing now that I had quilted the meandering feathery design on this piece, but I saw this wavy columns design on Flickr and thought I would give it a try. The surfaces of all of the quilted pieces have an interesting, fun feel to them.
This is showing both sides of the front panel. I had not done a snap closure before and it was really a snap to do!
The back panel has a zippered pocket.
The quilted strip on the left is the outer side panel.
The carry strap, on the right, should be much more sturdy than the strap on my last bag. It will also be fairly comfortable since is is lined with batting.
I still have a few pieces to cut and then it will be time to assemble everything. I am excited to see this finished, it will certainly get used a lot. I will be getting together with girlfriends for a sew day later this week, and I always take my laptop with me. I really want to have this done by then so I can show it off .
Do you love thread?
Do you love fabric?
Do you love tutorials?
Do you love creative inspiration?
If you answered yes to even one of these questions, you are going to LOVE Leslie’s blog, MarveLes Art Studios.
I found her blog a couple of years ago and it is one that I visit regularly.
Leslie’s beautiful creations have been a huge inspiration for my attempts at creativity. I especially love her table runners that are machine quilted with the most awesome feathers.
She inspired me to make this table runner with some fabric that I hand dyed. I quilted it on my Baby Lock Tiara. I truly love how this turned out and am anxious to make more.
Leslie is very generous in sharing her creative process in great photographic detail. She also has some great tutorials on her blog.
She is currently hosting a give away for a gift certificate to Superior Threads. She will draw for the winner on Monday, Veteran’s Day, so hop on over and comment to enter yourself.
I failed to meet my goal for the day, yesterday, there were just too many other distractions. I did make great progress, though.
This is my first experience with Y-Seams and there were plenty there to learn and practice on.
After I got the center diamonds and squares all together, there was a bit of a mountain where all of the diamonds met in the very center, so I decided to block it and then my husband and I ran some errands and went out for lunch.
This was my first time blocking a quilt and wow, what a difference it made. When we returned, the piece was dry and flat. The borders are still just laying there, nothing happening with them yet.
By time I got back to working on it last night, it was getting late and I was having a more difficult time getting those Y-seams for the side background pieces to cooperate, so I called it a night.
This morning, I un-stitched one of the side pieces because something was just not lining up right. After re-stitching, it was much better.
Through out the day today, I added the larger corner pieces.
The corner and side pieces were a bit wavy when I finished, and it is getting late again, so I decided to block it again and leave it over night this time.
I still need to trim the edges, add an inner border, add the embroidered borders and corner squares, and then a final outer border.
I guess I bit off more than I could chew when I made the goal of assembling the entire top in just one day. I am anxious to get this finished and on the wall, but I really want to focus on the details that will make a difference in how the quilt looks and lays when it is finished.
My version of Go! Be Dazzled started as my take along project for our quilt retreat back in April of this year. Even though I took along about a million different emboroidery threads and did a TON of prep before leaving for the week end, this really was not a good choice for the event because it requires a bit of concentration for planning the thread color choices that will run through out the quilt, multi-hooping, etc. Next retreat, I will take something that can be stitched more easily while chatting and having fun with the girls.
When I got home from the retreat, this project found it’s way into the UFO pile, where it stayed for about 4 months.
In August, I needed a project to work on at our monthly girls sewing day at my friend Carole’s house, so I decided to re-focus on this one. It took some time and thought to figure out where I was and what I needed to do next, so again, not the best project for a gathering, so I did more visiting than stitching that day.
About 2 or 3 weeks ago, in the quiet of home, where I could focus on my project, I did finish the embroidery.
A major thread nest chewed a hole in this piece. After I finally got this dug out of the machine, I fused some of the applique fabric and additional stabilizer onto the back side and restitched the area.
I was really trying to inspect each embroidery closely before removing them from the hoop.
Not sure how this one slipped by unnoticed, but it had to go back into the hoop for the for the final color stop, the outline satin stitch (the upper right heart).
I got things lined up pretty close. Right here is where I knew the outline stitch would be off just a bit, but at this point, I was more interested in getting it done than getting it perfect.
The embroidered quilt parts and pieces have been laid out on my design floor for the past 2-3 weeks. The sashing and border strips are all cut and ready. I still need to prepare and cut the “filler” background fabrics.
I am committing publicly, that I will assemble this top TODAY.
I guess I need to step away form the computer and go do some stitching.
I had an extra long, 2 hour lunch one day this week, so I decided to go hang out at the library.
As I was walking in, I noticed this display. I just had to take a few photos so that I could share.
(sorry for the overlap, I didn’t have one full view of the display, so I morphed these together.)
This display is at the Foothills branch of the Glendale (AZ) library. Although September is almost over, I would love to find some time to visit a few other local libraries/branches to see if they are also celebrating National Sewing Month.
Over a year ago, I signed up for an online class with Candy Glendening, of CandiedFabrics.com
Dyeing 101-Controlling Color is a Low Water Immersion Fabric Dyeing Class .
The class is broken down into several sessions of excellent, written and video instruction, followed by a section for Q&A. There is a lot of information in this class. Candy is a great teacher ~ it appears to come naturally for her.
So far, I only managed to complete the “Dyeing Tints” session, but that was last summer. Aren’t they pretty?
Thankfully, once you purchase the class, access to the class does not expire. Now that it is over a year later, I am finally ready to pick up where I left off.
The session I am working on now, the “Brights Triad”, consists of dying a total of 66 five inch swatches, each a different color gradation, all made from combining only 3 primary colors. This process is repeated in the next session, the “Natural Triad”, using a different set of 3 primary colors, for a grand total of 132 swatches.
The swatches will ultimately be attached to a background fabric, forming the “Candiotic Table of Elemental Colors”.
I thought I had all of the dyes recommended for the class, but realized this morning that I don’t have the right red for the “Brights” and I don’t have the right yellow for the “Naturals”. I decided to go ahead and do a 66 step gradation with the colors that I do have. Mine will be different than Candy’s, but I am going to “just do it”.
My altered set of 3 primary dye stocks are mixed and my “dye studio” is all set up, ready to mix the gradations.
I am going to order the missing colors before I dye the second set, but that gives me a good reason to also order a book that I found on the Dharma site today.
Yesterday, I shared how I made and plan to use my new pressing boards. Today, I am posting an update to these boards.
The very first time I spray starched and pressed a piece of fabric on my big board, I realize that the way I like to starch my quilt parts and pieces, I will ruin my pretty fabric in no time.
I had a large piece of white canvas in my stash, that I will use as a removable, replaceable cover. The canvas was cut to size and pinned in place on the back side of the board.
My original plan was to make a drawstring edge, like on regular ironing board covers, but this is as far as I got.
Maybe, when I have some “extra time” I might do the drawstring so that the cover is smoother on top. But then I am sure just using it will smooth the excess canvas on the surface.
I need to cover the small one, too.
As a design wall, the solid color visually works better as a background, too, except that you can still see the pretty print underneath. I always have the option of removing the canvas cover and having the pretty cover “just for show”.
(The piece on the board today is made up of some of my hand dyed fabrics.)
My boards will be getting a lot of use as I begin to get my Go! Be Dazzled quilt ready to put together. I have not blogged any updates since March, but will do so soon.
Like so many other quilters/sewers/stitchers, I find my regular ironing board to be more narrow than I would like for pressing larger pieces of fabric, and the narrower end makes it difficult to keep things neat and straight. Many have bought or made “Big Boards” that fit/attach to their regular ironing boards. I wanted my own “Big Board” so I bought the supplies to make my own.
The plywood board is from Home Depot. It measures about 24 x 48″.
A Craft Size package of Warm and White is large enough to provide 2 layers to cover the board.
The two layers of Warm and White were trimmed to about 2-3 inches wider than the board on all 4 sides and stapled into place with a staple gun.
I repeated the process with the fabric. A hammer was used to be sure that none of the staples were sticking out.
Cute Pressing Board!
I decided not to attach it to the ironing board. I like how much more stable it is on more sturdy surfaces. It is on the cutting table in this photo.
(The cutting table is actually a desk in the office. We don’t really use the office as an office, so it has become my cutting and pressing room.)
It sits nicely on top of this filing cabinet, right by the cutting table. This is where it will be most of the time.
The pressing board can also sit on top of a portable table in the sewing room if I need it closer by while I am sewing.
If the big pressing board is busy doing something else, I also have a smaller version that I made in the same way, using a wooden TV tray top.
The big pressing board can double as a small design wall. The cotton fabric won’t hold the pieces in place like flannel or batting will, but pins work well to hold things in place.
The mini pressing board takes less room on a portable table near the sewing machines, when I just need to press smaller pieces.
I am glad that I decided to keep the boards portable so that they can be easily moved to where they are needed. When I need to put them out of sight, the big one will fit behind a door and the little one will fit on a shelf in the closet.
BTW: the pieces attached to the board are from my Go! Be Dazzled quilt, which I will blog about soon.