I had to pack up my Single Girl Quilt for now, it just wasn’t coming together the way it should and I really need to pull out the seam ripper. I’m not feeling up to it so I packed it back up and decided to switch gears.
I already made my sister an apron for Christmas but a single apron, no matter how cool, is not enough of a gift in my mind. Since she’s trying to eat healthy and brings her lunch to work I thought a lunch bag was in order. The pattern is called the Simple Bag and it is from “Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts.” It was designed to show off large scale modern prints and I have to say it does so beautifully. My sister loves large black and white graphic prints and I love how these two go together.
It’s a little larger than your average lunch bag but it is tall enough to hold a reusable water bottle and a book or a magazine to peruse when she has a break at work. Although not nearly as robust or large as Amy Butler’s Everyday Shopper between the home decorator weight inner and outer fabric this bag can handle lunch, a trip to the library or a small trip to the store with no trouble.
The whole project took less than an hour to complete and I really love the look of it. The example in the book uses contrasting upper and lower fabrics and I actually think the contrast would be more appealing then the single color scheme I chose. But I made this for my sister so I chose the fabric and design I know she will love best. This bag will also serve as the “wrapping” for her apron so I can put it under the Christmas tree without giving away the suprise inside :).
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TH’s and my favorite cooking blog is Smitten Kitchen. Usually we will go to their recipe archives if we’ve got something particular in mind but I also follow their blog through Google Reader and some recipes just demand to made. And really what better sweet treat recipe for fall than apple cider donuts?
You can find the recipe here
We made these with vegetable shortening and I should warn you it takes A LOT of vegetable shortening (as in a couple of the giant Costco containers!). And though TH was a skeptic after tasting them he was won over to using shortening instead of vegetable oil for frying donuts.
The recipe is easy to follow and the results are amazing!
TH cut some of the donuts out of dough less then 1/2 inch thick and they tasted just fine but I would recommend sticking to the directions as it made cooking them easier because they cook at a consistent rate. A couple of the thicker donuts didn’t end up cooked all the way through (we still ate them of course…)
My favorites were the donut holes. The taste isn’t any different it is just a personal preference. Thankfully the donuts were almost as good the day after we made them since there is no way two people could eat all of them the first day. Even after eating them for two days we had to throw in the towel and TH gave the rest to some of his classmates.
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I’m not sure how I’ve just found out about Quilt Home since their selection is right up my alley but I’m sure I’ll be purchasing from them quite a bit in the future.
While the price per yard of traditional quilting weight cotton is a bit higher than I would like to pay where Quilt Home excels is their selection of non quilting weight fabrics. They have a fabulous selection of home decorator weight fabric, laminates, flannel, fleece, cordouroy and knits that I have not seen at any of my other go-to online fabric stores. While they don’t sell Kona Cottons they do sell a decent selection of shot cottons (my personal favorite solid fabric).
Quilt Home aims to meet all your modern fabric buying needs so they stock all the most popular designers and all the most popular collections. In and of itself that isn’t hard to find, where they excel is all the supplementary collections that designers come out with in laminates, fleece, flannel etc. Many of these collections are hard to find especially this wide of a variety. I don’t know about you but I will rarely buy 1 yard or 1 print from an online store, I just don’t think the cost of shipping is worth it. To justify spending my money a shop needs to have a couple “must haves” and Quilt Home does that perfectly.
Price by the Yard:
1 yard of quilting weight cotton = $8.95
1 yard of home decorator weight cotton = $13.95
1 yard of flannel fabric = $9.95
1 yard of laminate fabric = $19.00
Like I said before the cost per yard of the quilting weight cotton is more than I usually pay but all of the yardage costs are competitive with most online fabric shops.
Right now they are offering free shipping for orders over $50 shipping within the U.S. It doesn’t look like this is a limited time special so perhaps it is a permanent perk.
You can find the rest of their shipping prices here.
They have a newsletter with coupon codes (always a plus in my mind) but you can also get coupon codes off their homepage. They don’t have a blog but you can follow them on Twitter. I’m not sure what they post on Twitter since I don’t tweet.
I heard about Quilt Home on an online forum and I’m really glad I decided to hop over and check them out. Their selection of non quilting weight fabrics is really hard to beat!
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I’m a huge fan of this quilt, it is definitely going to go up on my wall once it’s sandwiched and quilted.
I mentioned before that the quilt along isn’t picking up again until after Quilt Market so I went ahead and made my own back design. I knew I wanted something simple and graphic and I think this fits it perfectly.
Apparently my cat is a fan too…
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I promised myself when I finished the Flying Geese Quilt that I would start working on my Single Girl Quilt again. I had cut most of the fabric pieces for the arches weeks ago but hadn’t touched it since. Friday I finished cutting the pieces for the arches and started to sew them together. Saturday I finished piecing the arches together and started cutting the inner and outer background pieces. Since I had to cut out 48 of each I alternated between cutting the background pieces out and starting to assemble the quarter ring blocks.
Sunday I pieced together 12 quarter ring blocks and 24 arches to their inner background piece. You would not believe how long it takes to pin each arch to the background pieces! I had some puckering which was frustrating but I pressed on (literally, I stopped sewing and switched to ironing). I love how the rings look as they come together and I adore the background fabric I found but I’m starting to wonder about the sizing. I decided to make the twin sized quilt which is three rings wide by four rings long with a small border on the top and bottom. But as I look at one partially pieced ring it just doesn’t look like it is going to be wide enough…. I thought about going back and cutting more pieces to make it queen sized but the thought of cutting out 128 more pieces for the arches is just too daunting.
My original goal was to have this whole top pieced this weekend but the pinning really slowed me down so now I’m shooting to have it assmebled by Friday.
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As part of my handmade Christmas gift giving I decided to make a “gift bag” for each recipient. I could easily make simple fabric bags for everyone’s gifts but they would probably end up in the back of a drawer or stored away somewhere. Since my intention is for everything I make and give to be something the recipients will use on a regular basis, I thought of making resuable grocery bags/market totes for each person using different patterns found in books and online.
Named the the “Everyday Shopper” (from Amy Butler’s new book “Style Stitches”) this bag seemed the perfect choice to serve as a reusable grocery bag and I suppose it can serve in this function. Since it is HUGE it will fit a lot of groceries, it just may be to heavy to carry very far!
The pattern calls for 3/4 yards of one fabric and 1 5/8 yards of another but I wanted to use the 1/2 yards of a couple Heather Ross Far Far Away 2 prints that I already had on hand. In order to make it work I used four different fabrics- 3 prints from FFA 2 and a yard and a half of a deep purple micro cord that I purchased at JoAnn Fabrics.
Each pattern in Style Stitches is rated by level of difficulty, the shopper is rated easy and I would definitely agree. The bulk of the time required for the project is in the cutting and fusing of the interfacing. Once you get to the actual sewing it is a breeze, the project is after all just a bunch of rectangles sewn together!
The Everyday Shopper is well designed and constructed to handle the weight of a regular grocery trip but I personally feel it is just too big for a trip to the farmer’s market. I “test drove” this bag at a local craft fair, after carrying it for three hours filled with two sweatshirts, two wallets, two water bottes, a container of lotion, and a bag of cinnamon roasted almonds (yum!) my arm started to go a little numb. After an hour I was ready to leave it behind. The temptation, because of it’s size, is to fill it with stuff but if you do that your shoulder will start to hurt from the weight. On the other hand, if you use it for a trip to the grocery store you only have to carry it from the store to your car, and your car to your house. In that case the bag can hold (without strain) a ton of stuff and you only have to carry that weight for a short period of time. That isn’t a particular flaw with this design since any large shoulder bag would cause the same problem.
There are countless patterns for similiar bags where the Everyday Shopper stands out is it’s reversible design, sturdiness and shear size. Personally I would prefer it to be smaller but I cannot complain about its construction and I do really appreciate the reversible feature. I made this bag for a friend who has a ton of clothes and bags, she is always telling me she “needs” options. Since I used the same main fabric on both sides the overall look isn’t that different but she loves purple so that was a no brainer. She also loves Sleeping Beauty but may not always want to advertise that fact so the flowers are a nice alternative. While I think she will love this bag I doubt I will make it again because of it’s size.
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I have a slight obsession with license plates and I’m not really sure why. But I want one of these in the worst way (well not enough to pay thousand of dollars for one)
For awhile I was collecting license plates to make one of these but I lost interest when I realized I would have to start paying more then a couple dollars per plate. Many of the ones I found online cost $10-$20 and when you are trying to make a map of the US that adds up pretty quickly.
Of course it would also be neat to do this-
But I won’t be able to find those plates so that’s out… I have enough plates for this
but we live in an apartment so maybe I’ll make one of these
There is even a tutorial here
But what I’ve really alway wanted was a purse like one of these!
And if I really wanted to go overboard I could do something like this-
and a close up
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