Posts Tagged ‘heather ross’

20101023 017

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.

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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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Want a chance to win some Flea Market Fancy, Lush, Heather Ross, Uptown, and Katie Jump Rope?

Silly question right? Head on over to Lucy and Norman and check out her fabulous giveaway 🙂

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emmersons baby quilt 001, originally uploaded by Make it Modern.

The first, of what I hope will be many, handmade Christmas presents is done! Whew! I love how this quilt turned out, I was inspired by this quilt. I wasn’t comfortable going as wonky as that quilt though so other than the centers of the squares everything is straight lines and 90 degree angles.

emmersons baby quilt 003

When I first sewed the gray border on I was really uncertain how it would all work but by using the gray and blue border fabric and a variegated yellow thread for the quilting it all comes together nicely.

emmersons baby quilt 005

I skipped the batting and used a thick fleece as the backing. Lately I’ve been backing all my baby quilts with fleece because it’s so easy and so soft. I think the overall look is sophisticated but child friendly and will hopefully be used for many years.

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assorted aug 02 022, originally uploaded by Make it Modern.

So I have a secret or rather a confession to make, I’m not a huge Far, Far Away fan and honestly I’m not a huge fan of Hope Valley either. I know among modern quilters that makes me a bit of an outcast or freak but it’s the truth.

assorted aug 02 027

I think the Far, Far Away fabrics are cute but I’m not in love with the designs and the whole double gauze cotton thing- not a fan. It’s expensive (although rightly so) and it’s tricky to quilt with. When it came out I only bought a couple fat quarters (what can I say I do think the frogs are super cute…) I didn’t really have a plan on using them but when Castle Peeps came out I had the idea of making a blue, gray, and yellow quilt for my nephew Emmerson and I knew the frogs would be perfect with the blue castles. When I bought the Castle Peeps fabric the store had some of the blue unicorns left and well those colors go really well together too… So I bit the bullet and decided to try my hand at quilting the double gauze cotton and Kona Cotton solids.

assorted aug 02 021

The verdict after quilting is much the same as it was before although I now have first hand experience to base that opinion on. While beautiful the double gauze fabric requires a more delicate hand then regular quilting cotton. I didn’t prewash mine for fear of it unraveling in the wash. Unwashed it frayed along the edges rather easily and I didn’t think it worth the risk. As it was I messed up a couple times and had to rip out stitches and while it didn’t ruin or destroy the fabric it did unravel more then regular cotton would. My major complaint though isn’t with that aspect of the fabric but rather it’s stretchiness. Double gauze is supposed to be a bit stretchy, it’s just how it’s made but in quilting stretching is bad. It’s especially bad when trying to make precise angles which I wasn’t even trying to do. I was cutting wonky squares, trying to embrace the qualities of the fabric, but the cuts wouldn’t stay straight for the life of me. Part of it was my heavy hand with the iron. The more I tried to flatten it the more it spread and when it spread it didn’t do so evenly. It would also stretch out of line when I was sewing it to the Kona Cottons and again as I was doing the actual quilting. Since I was using small pieces it’s not too noticable and the overall look of the quilt is worth the effort but I don’t think I would use it again. It’s not hard to use and I’ve seen some beautiful quilts made with it but you have to be careful. No prewashing, very light hand with the iron and go slowly when piecing so the fabric doesn’t shift or stretch. As for quilting well I went light on the pins on the double gauze because I didn’t want to put any more holes in it then I had but but that also made it less stable during the quilting process so I suppose it’s a toss up.

And now it’s your confession time, what popular designers are you not a fan of?

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I started on a quilt for my nephew, Emmerson, this week. I’m using Castle Peeps, Far Far Away and Kona Cottons. The color scheme is blue, gray, and yellow. I liked the colors and fabrics stacked together but now that I’ve started sewing I’m thinking the yellow is too vibrant for everything else…. hmmm….

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heather ross quilt 013, originally uploaded by Indie House.

The last bit of grey fabric I needed to finish this quilt top came in the mail Thursday evening and when I had database trouble and couldn’t work from home Friday I decided to try and get this finished. At least I can say I accomplished something 😉

I have to say I was uncertain during the process how it would come out but now I’m in love and I think the aqua is the perfect counterpoint to the otherwise pink and grey color scheme. This won’t be gifted for a couple months but I hope the recipient loves it as well.

I backed the quilt with a charcoal grey fleece.

heather ross quilt 007

It was more a function of using my stash then a design choice but I think it works. And it will be super soft and snuggly for a baby! At one point I bought a ton of fleece thinking I could make my husband and I fleece jackets. That never happened and now I need to figure out something to use all this fleece for! At least I bought it all at 50% off and now that I know it works so well with quilts I imagine the rest will be used for quilt backs too.

heather ross quilt 001

I quilted with a shiny grey thread that’s actually supposed to be used from embroidery but I like the idea of the sheen against the solid fabrics. In the end you can’t really tell and I probably won’t try that trick again. I do love the grey thread though, I think it adds a nice element without overwhelming the lighter colors.

Although this is technically my second finish of the year (my first was this Red Letter Day quilt) it is the first that was started and finished this year! Now that it’s done I can get back to my Bee Modern Quilt.

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fabric 011, originally uploaded by Indie House.

I’ve really been chugging along on this quilt. I still need to add the outer border to bring it to crib size. I’m going to add a thin ( 1 1/2 in) border of the various pink/peaches and then another of grey. I think I’m going to bind it in the aqua but I’m not sure yet. I also have a tiny pink metallic dot fabric that would be really cool as well.

What are you working on this week?

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