Review: Quilted Hexie Pouch

Quilted Hexie Pouch

When I initially viewed this pattern on Sew Tara’s Friday CreateAlong, I thought it was really cute and I have a drawer of hexies I made last summer that needed using.

To be honest, I sew by the seat of my pants. I feel I’ve made so many patterns, both craft and garment, that I’m able to anticipate the next steps and NEVER read a pattern from beginning to end prior to starting. In fact, I pretty much cut fabric as I go. Despite my loose methods of construction, let me just defend myself by stating that I found several errors in Microsoft’s  tutorials which were confirmed by teachers who had never noticed them before.

My confusion with this pattern started when I was installing the zipper, I worked it out but not before ripping out stitches and calling Tara to discuss. If I were to make this pouch again I would jazz up the back by insetting more hexies or using a different fabric. I would also shorten the strap as I find it a tad too long.

This zippy pouch is a great size, I don’t typically make my pouches with straps but I think I’ll be adding them in the future.

If you’d like to give this pattern a try, you can find the free tutorial on OCD’s blog by the Plaid Scottie.

Next on Sew Tara‘s Friday CreateAlong is the Melinda Zipper Pouch from I Think Sew.

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I Heart Craftsy!

A few days ago I received an email from Craftsy announcing that they were producing FREE Craftsy Block of the Month online video tutorials with hostess Amy Gibson. You bet I’m joining in the fun! No needing a flicker account to join, you don’t have to prove anything to anyone (except yourself), no limits on how many people can join and you don’t have to belong to a quilting clique to join, what’s not to love?!

Sewing Machine Cover

Yesterday was sadly my last full time sewing day, I was back at work today. One of my goals was to make a cover for my new Bernina 550 QE. Now that I’m comfortable FMQ swirly daises, I wanted to use that skill in this project without overdoing it. And since I have so many hexies made, I thought it would be fun to use some of them.

I measured my Bernina including the extension table  and cut some Kona Ash for the background then blanket stitched the Hexies onto it. When I started quilting the front, I decided I didn’t want the entire piece to be quilted and I really love the results!

I didn’t bother quilting or embellishing the back of the cover because I was running out of time and just didn’t have the energy . I rounded the corners using a drinking glass then sewed the middle strip to the front and back — the corner curves were a bit tight but I managed to do it without puckers. When I put the cover on the machine, it was loads too big. I’m not going to alter it for now but I do want a do-over in the future.

This vacation was tremendously successful and I would like to do more sewing after work in the future without commitment or pressure. There’s enough stress in life without enforcing sewing goals. Sure, there are many things I’d like to try like the drunkard’s path but I don’t want to feel like I failed if I don’t get around to trying it.

I started cutting 6″ x 6″ squares for our bed quilt, I adore half square triangle quilts, they’re so simple but the posibilites and visual impact pack a big punch. This is a project I can work on a little at a time without pressure.

Three more days till the weekend, I think I’ll try some paper piecing and that Craftsy BOM!

A little beading

I’ve done a little beading in the past and have picked a zipper on a skirt and thought it would be a nice touch for a tablet case (click on photos for close-ups).

Hand picked zipper with beading

 

The zipper is hidden. Unfortunately this did not work for a tablet sleeve so I’m going to make a squarish pouch instead, I’d hate to waste that zippered beading! The tutorial for a hand-picked zipper is here, it really isn’t difficult, is just as strong as a machine sewn zipper and soooo much prettier!

 

Happy (early) Birthday to Me!

Oooh, what could it be?!

Remember a few weeks ago I mentioned that my birthday was a couple of months away and I wanted a Sizzix Vagabond fabric cutter? Well, not 10 minutes later, dearest hubby sent me an email stating that he had purchased one for me, how awesome is he?? (He reads my blog. 😉 We received notice today that it had been delivered to our home successfully. Alas, we were still at work!

The whole kit and kaboodle!

I selected a few dies to go with my Vagabond, a Sizzix 2″ hexagon and 2.5″ hexagon so I can cut the fabric AND the templates.  I purchased mylar separately specifically for this reason. I also  ordered GO! Baby tumblers and diamonds which I can use with the Sizzix using a shim — seen in the photo above to the left the Vagabond. That’s right, you can use Accuquilt dies in Sizzix machines but you cannot use Sizzix dies in Accuquilt fabric cutters. Let me tell you, this little beast weighs a TON and it is a SOLID brick house! But not only is it solid, it’s very, very quiet!

First I tested it on fabric scraps which were basted to batting then 3 layers of fabric only.

They are perfectly formed but as you can see in the image above, there were little strings not yet sliced. I’d heard of this phenomenon and apparently, the more complex the shape, the more likely this is to happen. This is a minor issue compared to the amount of precious time I’ll be saving! And not only can I cut fabric but I’ll be able to emboss paper (or even fabric!) and cut other materials like card stock and mylar.

I didn’t think I’d buy square or straight cut dies but now I’m rethinking it! This little machine (and it is little — it won’t take up any room in your sewing space!) is going to save soo much time cutting fabric for projects.

I’d like to give a shout out to the Canadian online shop we ordered it from, Stitch in the Ditch, who were extremely helpful, they had the best prices I could find in Canada and the shipping was surprisingly fast considering we live at opposite ends of the country, not to mention the outstanding customer service!

There was another little package in the mail today, from my favorite online fabric shop…

Feast your eyes on this goodness! That’s right kids, Anna Maria Horner’s LouLouThi Needleworks;  Crossing Paths Dapper & Visions in Pangaea fabrics as well as Seafaring and Radiant Egyptian mercerized embroidery floss, YUM! I was pleasantly surprised that this fabric is so big, 60″ from selvedge to selvedge! However, I really wish someone would have told me I had read the description better, because the repeat is 24″ and I should probably have ordered a full yard of each. No matter, the idea is to have fun and ultimately cut the fabric into sections for various projects and cross stitch that section. Should I wash the fabric before stitching??

LouLouThi Egyptian mercerized cotton embroidery floss

My apologies for the number of exclamation marks in this post, I’m sure I’ve exceeded my allotment for the next few posts but can you blame me?

Hand Quilting Sunday

Hand Stitching Tula Pink's Parisville

Yesterday I decided to make something for myself, DH ordered a Touch Pad for me when HP had a fire sale, it arrived last Thursday and it’s all mine, I don’t have to share! 😛  Tula Pink’s Parisville is one of my very favorite prints, especially Cameo in Sky so I cut out a vignette and put some cotton batting behind, secured it with my cheap wooden hoop and drew a design directly on the fabric with pencil. The fabric design itself is just too detailed and intricate to trace each and every element. I didn’t quilt over the lady’s face but instead outlined it, as well as the ship and her mask.

After quilting around the woman, I turned the hoop around, cut a small slit in the batting and stuffed her face with tiny pieces of batting. It doesn’t really show up well in the photo and it is subtle but I had fun and like it nonetheless.

Keeping it girly, I’m using Melissa Averinos’ Swoon Waves in Cherry {love} on the back and am going to scatter a few of my favorite Parisville Damask Dot in Pomegranate fleurs (an odd number of couse). I have a light pink 14″ zipper I can use, not sure if I’m going to insert the zipper by hand or machine. I love the control I have when I do things by hand.

Another hand sewing project I’m working on is a Dresden Plate table runner for my Mother-in-Law who lives in Bremen, Germany.

Dresden Plate table runner

Because today was so lovely, DH wanted to go for a drive to take photos of the changing leaves so I prepared this project to bring with me. I cut the yellow centers, pressed and pinned them down then sewed them by hand as we drove. I attempted to quilt by hand on either side of each blade but I wasn’t happy with the back. Although my stitches appeared to be straight and even on the top, they were tiny and scattered on the back. Unhappy with the results, I cut the knot and tried again. After a second unsuccessful try, I drew lines on one of  the blades  and attempted to hoop it but my cheap wooden hoop was too small to accomodate the quilt sandwich. For now, this project is on hold until I can make it to our local fabric shop.

Yesterday we met Emily for the first time and gave her the quilt I finished last week. I was able to embroider a circular label and hand stitch it to the quilt in time. Mom and Dad were over the moon and we couldn’t be happier! Emily is absolutely adorable and what a good little girl! She came to the Royal Tea House with us for some delicious dim sum and was an absolute angel. Dad is going to send me a photo of Emily with her quilt for my blog. 😀

To Embroider or not to Embroider?

Embroidered Hexies

Well, what do you think? I like the turquoise herringbone stitch, not so much the fuchsia but maybe it’s just the straight stitch? I also like them without embroidery…

SewTara and I are planning to get together once a month this winter, to sew together, it was Tara’s idea and I’m looking forward to it!

This is Winston (and DH in the background) whom we adopted from Peachy Pug Rescue. He joined us when he was 6, he’s 14 years old now and healthy with the exception of (easily controlled) food allergies. He’s been a wonderful companion and I hope he’s with us for another few more years. We adopted another Pug a year after we adopted Winston, Cookie, she was two at the time. She’s 9 now, full of beans and a little on the chubby side, like her Mom. ;D Adopting a mature dog is great, they come pre-trained and our two have had no problems bonding with us.

Winston @ 14 years old

What do you think of the new camera?

Tula Hexies

Tula hexies are my favorite hexies! When Parisville Damask Dot in Pomegranate arrived, I wasn’t crazy about the print but when I used it to make hexies, I fell in love!

Side A

Side B

I created the two hexies above then sewed them together with batting in between using a tiny whip stitch around the edges. I think I might do some black outline embroidery. Coasters? Dunno but I’m going to make more.

Click for larger image

I’m feeling like the queen of hexies lately, haven’t been anywhere near my sewing machine for THREE weeks now! 😦