Sunday, October 13, 2013

Another Bag

I'm getting ready for a trip and decided that I just had to make this bag ... well, it's been on my to-do list for quite some time ... I originally wanted it as a 'quilt' delivery tote.  And then this trip came up and voila!!!   This is big enough to carry my clothes and toiletries and lots of other must-have-can't-do-without-stuff ... might even be able to throw in a project or two! 

My manta is (and has been for quite some time) ... the first one is always the hardest ... and it sure is true with this bag.  I'm pretty sure I'll not make another one like it.  I did learn a lot and maybe that's the secret.  With each item I make or quilt I learn something new.   Like I really don't like how the bottom was installed on this one ... or the handles ... I'd really change those up.

Anyway, it's not in my 'colors' but I do like it.  I bought this fabric this time last year while on my yearly trip so decided to use it and surprise my friends later this week ... "Look what I did with that fab fabric we bought last year!"  Cool beans...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Big Projects, Small Projects

I have spent a lot of time lately quilting some very big quilts.  Here's one that went home yesterday.  It is B-I-G!!!  So big that there is no way I can get a full picture.

This is a southwestern quilt that just works!  I love all the fabrics and that black inner border just sets it off!  Great job piecing also.  Have I mentioned how blessed I am by the excellent piecers that cross my path?  Makes my job so so so much easier.

While visiting the Georgia Quilt show I came across a vendor who specializes in purses and Japanese fabric.  I have a boat-load of Japanese fabric that I get from Primitive Gatherings and I've been wondering how I was going to use it.  I know there is a quilt that I want to do, but I came across this cutie-patootie purse pattern and grabbed it.  And today put it together ... the hardest part being "Which fabric do I want to sacrifice for this purse?"  THAT is always the hardest part, isn't it?  Anyway, this is very very subdued for me, but I like it.  I added the Asian buttons, and then put some bling on the embroidered flowers.  Cute!  

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sometimes it's just about the right tools ...

Sometimes it's just about the right tools ... 

Currently I'm working with the Kaffe Fassett Shot Cottons and this fabric is absolutely wonderful to play with IF you treat it with respect and use the right tools.  So as I'm working with this I'm thinking about how much I really love some of my basic tools that make playing with this fabric a joy.   Below is a pic of my most POWERFUL TOOLS that make me feel like Super Woman!

Like Magic Sizing.  A spritz of this and the Shot Cottons behave.  I also have Best Press but I've found that it really doesn't do too much.  I was expecting a little stiffness when I use Best Press but it just doesn't happen.   And I won't use regular spray starch because of the residue that starch leaves behind.

Now if you really want to have a POWER rush, grab those green-handled batting scissors!  I can glide through layers of batting without that pesky 'grabbing of batting' at the tips of the scissors.  Love love love these scissors!

Those blue-handled scissors?  Those are Karen Kay Buckley middle size scissors and those stay right by my sewing machines.  Sharp serrated scissors that just feel good in my hand.   I hate having scissors that my fingers get stuck in the handles ... 

That big cone of thread?  When piecing I usually only use one of 3 colors - beige, grey, and black; however, I added this chocolate color and have found that it goes with a lot of my fabrics.  And with these KF Shot Cottons it blends beautifully.  And buying the large cone is cheaper!  

My favorite rotary is the blue KAI rotary cutter.  The blade is never exposed.  When unlocked, the blade will glide through fabric when you apply pressure.  I never have to worry about having an exposed blade, falling rotary cutter cutting my foot, etc., etc.  Just a big safety issue.

See that leather thimble?  I have about 6 of those scattered about the house.  One with my hand-sewing in the family room, one in my tool chest, one with my applique get the picture.  I have found that this leather thimble can be my best friend.  
Another power tool is that blue tin of Iris pins.  Look closely and you'll see 3 of the pins next to the tin.  These are sharp pins that have worked so well with my latest piecing projects.  I started using them with a paper piecing project and then used them with the KF fabrics.  So nice and thin and long.  Love them!

And my latest find is that Beba's Rotating Cutting Mat.  I found them at the local quilt show a couple of weeks ago.  I got this large one and the smaller one.  I use the larger one on top of my cutting table.  I was afraid it would get in the way, but it's been a real Power tool.  I can cut pieces on this board and it doesn't 'rock' or become unbalanced when cutting and rotating.

So that's how I feel like Super Woman when I start cutting fabric for a new project,  sit down to piece, or cutting batting for a large quilt.  

Super Woman had her tools and we have ours too!