Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Take a Stand, large size

My goal this month, with Elm Street Quilt's One Monthly Goal, was to take the two pieces of needle turn applique work that I did as part of the QuiltCon class Everyday Applique with Sarah Fielke, and turn them into a large size Take a Stand tote.  Take a Stand is By Annie pattern that includes two sizes.  I made the smaller size during my winter break and I use it as my every-day purse.  I frequently take hand-sewing projects in the car and on trips.  The bag I've been using is falling apart and I thought the large size would make a nice replacement.  And I love using a hand-stitched project as the feature for my bag to carry hand stitching projects!

I mentioned in my goal-setting post that my husband was very concerned about the lack of eye on the bird.  I added a lovely little bead for the eye--no way was I going to applique a tiny eye! All the fabrics are Island Batik.  The main fabric/applique background is a basic called Mystic, the accent elements like the strap and bindings are Peacock, another basic, and the lining fabric is from the Glacier View collection last year. The fabrics in the applique designs are essentially scraps and many, though not all, of them are from Floralicious, also from last year.  

You may notice the floral trim on the heart side.  While I think it works as a design element, it's really an Oooops camouflage!  When cutting the quilted fabric, I didn't center it properly and cut off too much on one side.  I had enough extra that I could have left it off-center, but I knew that would bother me.  So I zig-zag stitched it back together and wanted to hide the stitches.  I found some fun trim in my trim bin and added it on the sides. To make it look a little more coordinated, I added trim around largest of the hearts.

I am super-duper in love with this bag!  I took it on our annual family trip to a cabin in the mountains and it was PERFECT!  When I'm not driving, I like to sew binding in the car.  In addition to my supplies, I was easily able to fit the quilt I was binding -- Harvest Vines!  I couldn't have fit a bed-size quilt in there, but most lap or child size quilts will fit easily.  Then once I got to the cabin and Harvest Vines was finished, I switched to more needle-turn applique and added my lap-app to the bag.  That kept everything together and it was easy to move to the wonderful big porch during the day and in to the couch inside when it was too dark (or too buggy!) to stay outside.

The mesh pockets inside are great for lots of supplies.  I had two small pouches (the lovely gray & colorful one was made by the beautiful and generous Preeti and held my threads), two different types of glue sticks, pin cushion, headlamp, small ruler, needle book, scissors, safety pins, and everything I thought there was any chance I would need.  I put my pattern booklet and blocks I was working on in the outside zippered pocket on the outside--the one with the heart, because I am working on Boho Heart 💗


I cannot stress enough how much By Annie's bag patterns have been a game-changer for me.  I had a miserable time with bags in the past and almost never finished bags I started because I would get frustrated and/or ruin my supplies.  Annie's patterns are so detailed and through, and many have video extras that walk through the hardest parts.  I'm completely obsessed and now I want to Sew All the Bags! I know I'll use this large Take a Stand for years!

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Harvest Vines, an Island Batik & AccuQuilt challenge

June's Island Batik ambassador challenge is sponsored by AccuQuilt.  Each ambassador was sent a BOB die for the challenge.  BOB stands for Block on Board, which means all the pieces needed for one quilt block are on the same die board and can be cut in one pass through the cutter.  


The products featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik, Accuquilt, Schmetz, Hobbs, and Aurifil.

Our assignment was to combine the BOB die with the 8" Go Cube to create a new design.  I was sent the Snail's Trail die which makes an 8" Snail's Trail block, perfect to combine with the 8" cube.  I knew I would want to play around in EQ to create my design.  I had previously learned of this etsy shop that is authorized by both EQ and Accuquilt; she sells the files for the blocks you can make with the Go Cube, to be imported into EQ.  Perfect excuse to buy it!  After playing around, I chose two blocks to combine with Snail's Trail, Windmill and Mosaic #15.  


I had a 10" stack of Sundance by Kathy Engle, a collection from last year.  Sundance is not my normal colors and I thought it would be good to venture out of my comfort zone!  I played around with a few different background colors and as soon as I tried Frog from the Foundations line, I knew I had a winning combination.  The green just made those yellows and golds pop.  The whole thing looks like the harvest to me, and the green weaving between the blocks looks like vines so I named this Harvest Vines.

I find black thread on black fabric hard to see, so I used Aurifil 2784 dark navy for piecing and for quilting.  I started with a brand new Schmetz chrome needle.  I still had quite a few squares left of Sundance so I pieces a back with some 10" squares, smaller scraps, and Island Batik's solid black.  I layered the quilt with Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 black batting.  I love the black batting with dark quilts!  


Part of the assignment is to give this quilt as a gift of comfort. I have not yet determined a recipient.  Quilts will frequently tell you where they are meant to go; I know the right person or cause will make themselves known.  



I had a great time playing with the Snail's Trail die and I know I will use it lots and lots!  I've already got at least 2 quilts in mind that use this die! I love how easy it is to cut all the pieces!

Monday, June 7, 2021

QuiltCon Class: Everyday Applique

Back in February, I took three (virtual) classes at QuiltCon together.  The only class I have yet to report on is Everyday Applique with Sarah Fielke.  Needleturn Applique has been on my quilty bucket list and I've heard great things about Sarah as a teacher so I was excited to sign up for this class.  And it did not disappoint!  Sarah is a fabulous teacher.  I really enjoyed her pre-filmed footage, she was very thorough and anticipated lots of questions.  The live sessions with her were great as well.  She just has this very gentle, reassuring nature about her. 

Sarah's design for the class had many different elements.  She designed it to be able to be the focus of a large tote bag, and she included the pattern for the tote.  Since I have only recently learned that I can, in fact, make bags, I decided I would use my class sample for a bag.  But rather than use Sarah's tote pattern, I wanted to make a large size Take a Stand, a By Annie pattern.  I made the smaller size Take a Stand over winter break and wanted to make the larger size.  So I separated out the elements into two different scenes.  I still used most of the elements from Sarah's designs so I could practice all the techniques from her class.  Though admittedly, I took out the smallest, fiddliest parts. 

Sarah's design for the class (screenshot from the filmed part of class)

It took me a while to finish all the hand stitching.  I don't think I am going to start doing huge hand appliqued projects, but I did enjoy it more than I thought I would, so the occasional small project or element may well creep into my future projects.  I at least don't feel I need to avoid it.

My plan is to turn these two pieces from the class into a Take a Stand tote, and I have set this as my One Monthly Goal with Patty of Elm Street Quilts.  I love these pieces and I'm so excited to turn them into something I can use!  All fabrics are Island Batik.  My husband is quite concerned about the lack of eye on the bird, so I do plan to use a bead.  The one technique from Sarah's class that I skipped was how to applique a teeny tiny eye.  Nope!  Fabric marker or bead for me, please!