Monday, August 25, 2014

Sewvivor - Challenge Two - Quilted Bag

You underestimate the power of the Dark Side. If you will not fight, then you will meet your destiny.   -Darth Vader

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And folks, i can say after this challenge that making quilted bags is not my destiny! I lost count of how many ideas i tried to build on and how many bag options there are to work with. In the end i stuck with my original bag choice, the Dorothy Day Tripper from Swoon Sewing Patterns. I like that it's the same shape as the Weekender, just smaller. So there's still a fair bit of surface space to improv piece with, but not be overwhelmed. (which was nice for my first foray into quilted bag making!)

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After pulling stack after stack of fabrics i finally decided to work with my rapidly dwindling collection of Lizzy House Constellations. And what works perfectly with the starry prints? Star Wars of course! So a Storm Trooper was whipped up using Kristy from Quiet Play's fantastic and free Lego Star Wars pattern.
And what Dark Side Day Tripper would be complete without some wonky stars to run alongside the zipper!

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I matchstick quilted everything using Sulky invisible thread and i absolutely love that it's just complete texture without really seeing the lines from thread. 
Despite that fact that it blew up two of my bobbins and was an absolute pain to sew with!

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But when the light hits it right, it sparkles! And every bag needs a bit of sparkle, right?!

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Love my Hera marker!, seriously if you don't have one you should go right out and pick one up! For those that don't know what it is, it just leaves a crease in the fabric for you to sew on. Instead of marking with a pen that needs to be washed or ironed off.

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I eliminated the pocket on the back of the bag and replaced it with a caravan of AT-AT walkers that i appliqued on after the quilting was finished. Need i say more? AT-AT walkers people! You can never go wrong with AT-AT walkers!

And finally, what Star Wars bag would be complete without a patchwork Death Star zip pouch! 

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This little bit of awesome was made using Melinda from Quirky Granola Girl's Patchwork Death Star pattern printed out at 75% and hand sewn with Aurifil in Dove Grey. For my first time hand sewing curves i think i did pretty well!

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It sits safely latched behind the Storm Trooper for protection :)

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With that, i'll leave you to go and enjoy the other entries! I can't wait to see what everyone else has made :) And if you feel inclined to vote for my little Dark Side Day Tripper, thanks in advance! Here's a link to get you there! I would love to carry on to the third round!

High fives for the finish of round two,
and fingers crossed on making it into round three!
xo nicole


Monday, August 11, 2014

Sewvivor - Challenge One - Nautical

So yeah, summer blogging is pretty scarce around these parts. But for those that follow me on Instagram (@snippets101) you all know what i've been up to.  You'll remember my last post was my audition for Sewvivor over at Family Ever After, well... 

I GOT IN!!! I'm absolutely floored that i made it and have been nervously waiting to reveal my first challenge piece, which was to be anything we wanted as long as it was quilted and nautically inspired.

So without further ado...
                                 may i present, Hold Fast!


My first thoughts on hearing "nautical" go to two things - Peter Pan and his Neverland Pirates and old sailor style tattoos. We can all see what direction i took with this challenge! I love old ships with giant mast's full of sails, despite not being able to stomach being on any form of ship, or small boat, canoe, rubber dingy... who am i kidding, even the conveyor belt in the grocery store make me nauseous! So this was a chance for me to make the tattoo that i would love to have if i were a sailor pirate! (come on who doesn't want to be a pirate!)


I opted to use mostly applique for this mini, i like the look that it creates when layering piece after piece on top of one another. And i think for things like the waves it was the perfect application to use. I used all shot cottons for the waves, i love the way the colours change with shot cottons and wish it was something that you could see in photographs!
The roses (which i cut from my last piece of Anna Maria Horner's Social Climber print) were also another piece that i wouldn't be able to get the effect i wanted using another method.


I embroidered the hold fast banner with 12wt Aurifil in brass, my all time favorite colour! And doubled up the fabric (Essex linen in natural) so i could get the folded look of a scroll.
For those that don't know, the term Hold Fast (when used by sailors) means to bear down, grit it out, and stay the course. Such an appropriate term when working on a deadline!


The quilting was varied throughout. The waves were all hand stitched with a chunkier stitch in 28wt Aurifil in teal, i think the chunkier stitch gives great texture and movement. In addition to sketch stitching the ship and sails i also hand stitched a few stars in the sky (Lizzy House Twinkle Twinkle in black). And the brass band around the whole thing, that was done with my zig zag stitch with the length set just a hair over 0. You have no idea how long it took to make two laps around the whole thing!! Forever!


The rest of the quilting consisted of radiating lines in turquoise and brass 40wt Aurifil from behind the medallion, which were doubled up in the corners and center lines.
Backed in another of Lizzy House's prints, Constellation in teal and bound in the same Twinkle Twinkle i used for the sky.
This little mini finishes off at 27.5" x 35" and i have to say, for my third mini ever... i quite like it! 

High fives for all my awesome competition this round! It's been so much fun getting to know you all!
Good Luck to all of you!
xo nicole

Make sure to pop on over to Rach's to see the rest of the entries, and vote for me! Or you know, someone else... but really, you should vote for me ;) Just kidding, I've been watching the sneak peaks on Instagram and let me tell you , the competition is tough! So many amazing bits and pieces, so while i'd love to make it to the next round, vote for the project that you love most and if it happens to be mine, thanks ;)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sewvivor - snips snippets

Welcome, welcome new friends and old. I would like to take a quick minute to show you all my entry into this season of Sewvivor. Fair warning, picture overload is about to commence!
 Enough chit chat already!!


BLAM!!

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There she is, in all her unfinished glory, my proudest quilty achievement! My Gypsy Wife!
That's right, still not finished. I really underestimated how long it would actually take to hand quilt this. I was positive it would take a month or two tops. Wow, so wrong. I've been at it almost four months now and i still have quite a ways to go yet.

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I did however manage to get enough quilted to finally put the binding on. I was hoping to have it finished in time to use it as my entry for Sewvivor 3. (that was after i was hoping to have it finished for Bloggers Quilt Festival!) So on a whim, i thought i'd email Rach at Family Ever After (superstar host of Sewvivor) and see if it was okay to use semi finished projects. You have no idea how ecstatic i was when she emailed me back and said it was okay! I hustled and bound the half of the quilt that was fully quilted and thought i'd be fine with it. Nope. No way i was going to post my very first full shot of my Gypsy Wife with only half a binding on. So i pulled out my tools of the trade and desperately tried to get as much stitched as possible!

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I did my best to get at least some of the bigger blocks partially quilted so there would be minimal movement once they're fully quilted.



Fingers crossed it doesn't all go to pot when i finish the quilting!!

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I've really, truly enjoyed hand quilting this. Though i should have timed it better so the quilting portion was being done in the winter. Sitting under this sucker in middle of the summer is like wearing saran wrap in a sauna, blech!

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I probably would have been done the quilting had i gone with a simple design or even just straight lines. But all the Anna Maria Horner prints were begging for special treatment!

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But where some get the royal stitchery treatment,

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Others are left to shine without the grand details.

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For my very first foray into hand quilting, i think i'm doing pretty well.

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My stitches could definitely be better, but slowly i'm getting there. And i think by my next hand quilted project (and believe me, there will be more!) they will be better yet!

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I wish you all could feel the texture that the quilting is giving this, so awesome!

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And the mix of super dense quilting with random embroidery work and sparse quilting is making for a pretty interesting back!

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Which of course has been kept pretty simple as always ;)


And you can see on the left hand side of the above shot is where all of my blocks have been finished. The right, not so much. And i love how you can see where the strips at the bottom of the quilt are on the back. Quilting them was some of my favorite work.

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That strip of AMH with the little squares, how could i not fill them with cross stitches! I'm envisioning a whole canvas of that print, cross stitched like crazy. Hmmm. Yep, adding that to my to do list ;)

So i guess you all want some details (probably not, you're all here for the eye candy right?!)

The pattern is the fantastically crazy Gypsy Wife by Jen Kingwell.
And if ever i was to design a pattern that best shows who i am, this would have been it!

Most of the fabrics were gloriously fussy cut Anna Maria Horner prints, from multiple lines.

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Mostly Field Study and Dowry, but there are some bits of Hand Drawn Garden in there as well. (You have no idea how badly i wanted to start over when i had Pretty Potent in hand!) And for the most part, most of the low volume prints are Carolyn Friedlander, goddess of the low vol prints!

I used AMH Cracking Codes in Petal for the binding and i definitely want to add yardage of it into my stash!

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All of it was pieced by me on my little old Ken, using whatever colour of Aurifil i had loaded in at the time.

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Mostly Dove Grey though, that colour is the best neutral thread ever!

But winner of the best thread ever in the history of the world...

aurifil #2975 brass

Aurifil #2975 - Brass. I love this colour so very much! Gypsy was quilted entirely in this shade in 12wt. Though i do also have it in 40wt as well and used that for hand sewing the binding down. I want to quilt all the things in brass!

So yeah, i guess that's it. I'm unsure of the overall size, though i'm guessing it's pretty close to what the pattern states it is, 59x68. I will do a final measurement after washing and drying. (which i'm terrified of doing, so any tips on washing and drying hand quilted dealies would be greatly appreciated!)

I have my fingers crossed that i make the cut for Sewvivor but i guess we'll have to wait and see! Though even if i don't make the cut, you can bet that i'll be there following along with those that do! Lots of awesome entries!



High fives for finally kinda, almost, finishing my Gypsy Wife!
And double high fives (or would that be high tens?) for bravely getting out of my hobbit hole and actually daring to do something so very out of the norm for me!!

And here's one more shot for the road ;)

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Monday, June 30, 2014

Flying Geese by Four Tutorial

Just thought i'd pop in today and share this little tutorial i whipped up. I've been working on what has been temporarily dubbed my brilliant nut bag quilt and the first requirement was 156 geese. So while making the geese i figured i'd take some pics along the way and share how i like to make geese. Four at a time! Enjoy!














And this is the fruit of my labour, 156 of the most glorious geese i've ever made! I think i'm in love folks.

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High fives for a fabulous start to my brilliant nut bag quilt, which i'm hoping to rename soon!
xo nicole