Maker’s Tote {a finish}

Friends and I have gotten together for two sew days to make Noodlehead’s Maker’s Tote. While others start theirs, both times I avoided it. I was apprehensive for a couple of reasons:

  • It’s my second bag I have ever made, and the first was 3 years ago.
  • There are several new techniques that I have not done before.
  • I wanted it to be good (funny how this stops us making things).

Finally, over Easter weekend and the following week, I managed not just one but started two Maker’s totes (a large and a small). I really wanted to have one for myself and one for a gift at Sewtopia Denver (this past weekend). Yes, I decided to try a brand new pattern the weekend before I needed it….Procrastination in my middle name :-).

Overall, the bag pattern is really not that complicated. Anna (@noodlehead) really walks you through the pattern step by step. I really enjoyed making them. There were a lot of lessons learned which you will find as tips below.

For the Large tote (which is the one I am keeping), I decided that I would finally cut into the Cotton Steel bug print which I have been hoarding and paired it with a Carolyn Friedlander print, pinks and Citrus.

The small tote, is made with this fabulous strawberry print from Cotton and Steel. The inner lining is the metallic Lizzie House Asterix,  the accents in various red prints and Art Gallery Denim.

I decided to quilt both bags. I liked the finish of them quilted. I used Aurifil 50 wt to quilt the bags.   Tip: Glue baste the fabric to the soft and stable. The first one I pin basted and I still got movement and the fabric shifted as I quilted.

I loved the bug fabric so much, I almost decided not to include a pocket. I did add the front pocket, but to keep the fabric the focus, I matched the print the best I could. I loved how it turned out.

Tip: Remember the 1/2″ seam allowance when trying to cut and match the print. This one landed up being a little lower that I would have liked but it still works.

On the back is a zipper pouch. On my large Maker’s Tote (the first one I was making), I found that the pins for the inside pouch did not stop the fabric from rolling/popping out when top-stitching around the zipper. Tip: For my small Maker’s Tote I glue basted the fabric to the soft and stable to hold it in place. It was easy to peel off when I needed to stitch the pocket seams.

I had a hard time with this zipper pocket on the small tote, I managed to stitch the pocket lining all the way through the zipper stitching, the handles, the joining of the bag layers (inner and outer), and the binding. The pocket lining was not down but landed on being flipped up. I unpicked all the offending stitches to free the pocket lining and re-stitched.   Tip: The lesson learned, make sure you have your pocket lining is facing down before any other step.

The inside lining and pockets were a breeze. If you have made Anna’s Carry-All pin cushion then the pockets are very similar instructions. I had some difficulty installing the zipper binding. The stitching appears on the outside so you will need straight lines. Tip: I  landed up glue basting both sides, drew a straight line using a marker, then stitched these two lines.

The gusseted ends were easy to make, but the hardest part of the making of the bag. I used binding clips as recommended in the pattern. This worked well for placement as I did have to play with moving the gusset around the bag to make it even and finish at the same height on both sides of the bag.  Tip: Use the binding clips to get placement and then glue baste it down. The clips get in the way of turning of the gusset as you stitch it in. Also, use a walking foot, I used a zipper foot as proposed which worked ok, but I think the walking foot would have handled the thickness better. No-one will see your seams when you are done….they are covered by the binding.

Final Tip: For the binding, stitch on the inside binding with a machine, but hand-stitched the binding to the front. Press the binding. I think it gave it a nicer finish.

I still need to finish the binding and handles of the large tote, but the small tote is finished and gifted!!

I can highly recommend this pattern. I loved making it and it is such a great finish. The small tote (after working out all the gotchas in the large tote) only took ~4 hours.

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April’s progress report {WiPs}

I am one of those folks that need a list to get things done. It helps me in two ways, keeps everything in order that I can no longer keep track of in my head, and also helps me celebrate when things get checked off the list. Additionally, posting my “to do” list here, provides me a level of accountability.

The list of things that are currently active is probably a little crazy at the moment. I finally have realized that I am never going to be a one project kind of girl ;-).

Almost finished, is this piece, NY High Line. The straight line quilting is progressing, and I see the light. This has been the project that I have avoided and severely procrastinated over. The 1/2″ quilting lines are color thread matched.

Some of my book projects are also coming along. I started the rainbow medallion quilt this week and I love how it’s already coming to life. I decided to break out my Carolyn Friedlander stash for this one.

I am loving traveling with this needle turn applique project (Manicured Garden). It’s perfect for all the wait-times in the airport and flying time.

The complete list of projects and stages is:

Project Dates Current Status
 NY High Line  April  TOP, BACK, BASTE, QUILT (Underway), BIND
 Medallion  May  TOP (Underway), BACK, BASTE, QUILT, BIND
 Project 1 (Secret)  June  TOP, BACK, BASTE, QUILT, BIND
 Project 2 (Secret)  July  TOP, BACK, BASTE, QUILT, BIND
Project 3 (Secret) August TOP, BACK, BASTE, QUILT, BIND
Graveyard August TOP, BACK, BASTE, QUILT, BIND
 Trellis  September  TOP, BACK, BASTE, QUILT, BIND
 Manicured Garden September TOP (Underway), BACK, BASTE, QUILT, BIND
 Abstract Triangles II & III  May  Pattern Release
 Phased Circles & Lunar Lines  June  Pattern Release
 Square Dance  July  Pattern Release

That’s my progress this week. I’ll check in each month here on my blog but you can always catch-up on my Instagram feed (ml_wilkie). How do you all keep track of your projects? Are you a one project or multi-project kind of person?

Re-engaging Mental Pathways {Quilt Design a Day}

Even though, I have been administrating Quilt Design a Day, it has been a while where I have been practicing on a regular basis. It was time that changed, time to get my brain re-engaged.

Here are my recent quilt design a day designs. There ones I like and more I don’t like, but that’s what I like about the challenge.

Inspiration: Succulent Leaf


Source: Design Seeds https://www.design-seeds.com/in-nature/succulents/succulent-tones-4/

Design:

Inspiration: Easter Eggs


Source: Design Seeds https://www.design-seeds.com/edible-hues/sweet-tooth/color-pick/

Design:

Inspiration: Center of the flower


Source: Design Seeds https://www.design-seeds.com/seasons/spring/spring-hues-2/

Design:

This one had a few iterations before landing on this one:

Below are Iterations 1 & 2:

Inspiration: Seaside Pools


Source: Design Seeds https://www.design-seeds.com/wander/wanderlust/mental-vacation-9/

Design:

Inspiration: Group of Succulents


Source: Design Seeds https://www.design-seeds.com/in-nature/succulents/succulent-hues-23/

Design:

Inspiration: Paint Powder


Source: Design Seeds https://www.design-seeds.com/studio-hues/collage/color-create-6/

Design 1: Lines

Design 2: Lines & Curves

Inspiration: Doorway


Source: Design Seeds https://www.design-seeds.com/wander/wanderlust/a-door-tones-4/

Design: Final Design was rotated from the literal representation of the door way.

Original Orientation and design:

It’s been fun getting back into it and getting the mental pathways for designing working again. This week (starting tomorrow) is our Medallion Week Challenge, where folks build on their design each day until they have a Medallion quilt (center + 6 rows). The theme is going to be architecture.

Come by and take a look at what folks are coming up with. For more of my designs from QDAD check out my page.

Please Note: If you would like to make or use one of my designs, please email me (ml_wilkie(at)hotmail(dot)com) or leave a comment below. I am happy to talk with you on options and provide the relevant measurements etc. or have you test out a pattern. Also, if you use one of my designs, please use the following text to credit me the design: “Designed by Michelle Wilkie @ Factotum of Arts”.

 

Reigniting Creativity + Giveaway

I am excited to see the progress in some of my projects at the moment. Things are finally moving forward. I am traveling a bit for work at the moment, which has led to a great opportunity to diversify my projects. I think it has reignited my creativity.

I took a great class with Season Evans on hand quilting small stitches at QuiltCon. Since taking that class I am now confident in tackling the hand quilting I want to add to Orange Creamsicle quilt top. Luckily, I have a trip scheduled next week, so with my 28wt Aurifil thread in hand, I can start adding some of those lines.

The other travel project at the moment, is an applique project for my book. The blocks have been a lot of fun and I have found them relaxing. I have really enjoyed playing with selections of fabrics from my Alison Glass stash.

The bottom right block is all basted and ready for stitching. I now have plenty of choice in thread colors with my new box set of 80 wt threads, that I picked up this week from the Fat Quarter Shop. It’s fantastic for applique, you hardly see the stitches.


(FYI…I am using #ideadesigncreatequilt if you want to check out progress of my book projects over the next year).

Giveaway

UPDATE: Giveaway closed, winners have been contacted (Emily + Wendy).

Since, I bought my new box of threads of 80wt Aurifil,  I have some duplicate spools from a previous purchase. I would love to share these with a couple of people who are interested in trying it out. I have two “collections” of 5 spools (one neutral, the other multi-colored). I will randomly choose 2 winner’s next Monday at 10pm EST.

To win one of these “collections”, leave a comment below letting me know your favorite applique tutorial and/or technique.

 

 

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March Madness {Hope not}

March is usually a crazy time of year, in my world (and not due to basketball). I am hoping it is not the same this year. It’s been a month since I blogged last….wow where did time go. I have been super busy with various projects…

QuiltCon 2017

mosaicc18f5405bf03c72368b0fb1e6de098feea1ee233
1. Sunday Best; 2. Rails; 3. Negative Crosswalks

QuiltCon 2017 happened last week. Three of my quilts were accepted, which was so great to see in the show. Sunday Best (first quilt on the left) was also in the QuiltCon Magazine and was the feature quilt for the section introduction of “Quilts of the Show”. I was thrilled.

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I also organized a showcase for Quilt Design a Day that had some amazing quilts from amazing people.

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The whole weekend was so amazing, as I got to meet old friends and make new friends and got to try hand quilting for the first time. Overall, a fantastic and memorable weekend.

Other News..

I published my second article for the MQG  (you need to be a member to view the link) on Improvisation: Shapes and Lines.

Also, the other big news item, is….I am self-publishing my own book (with help from a great technical editor and graphic designer). The book will be on the process of Quilt Designing. I hope to have it for sale late Q1/ early Q2 2018. I am so excited and can’t wait to share more.

I hope to be blogging a little more this month (shouldn’t be hard to improve from 0 posts in February ;-)).

 

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Pink Sherbet {a finish}

What feels like forever ago, I posted a secret project out on Instagram.

Pink_Strip_Piecing

Well, that project had its reveal to on Love Patchwork and Quilting Instagram and Facebook accounts. “Pink Sherbet” is a pattern in this month’s issue of LPQ #43.

lqp_43_p36-40_projectsherbert-front
Photo Credit: Love Patchwork and Quilting

This is a huge project for me, as its only the second time I have made a twin size quilt.  I am also not a fan of pink, so getting the right balance was important for me. I loved playing with the improvisational strip piecing and seeing some of my favorite prints in the mosaic of pink.

A couple of design decisions, included adding 3 areas of scrappy grey piecing into the sashing – the bottom left corner was just some strips, the right middle was a variety of quarter triangles, and lastly (which is almost hidden) top second left strip has a few flying geese (also in the first image above).

The other design decision was to add a bright yellow binding, which I think offers a great complementary warm color, balancing the silver grey. This yellow is also in the back with some great Alexander Henry 60 looking prints.

michelle-wilkie2
Photo Credit: Love Patchwork and Quilting

Details

Name: Pink Sherbet
Design:
Original Design
Fabric: Pink Strips of variety prints, Kona Sliver
Backing: Alexander Henry (mostly)
Dimensions:  72 x 90″
Quilted: Large Circles by Cathy Kirk @ The Quilting Cowgirl

The best news is that LPQ are starting a sister TV channel (Sewing Quarter – coming soon..tomorrow in fact) and you may see this quilt in the backdrop of the set sometime.

Fractions {a finish}

I loved the collaboration with my son on this quilt. He actually designed it based on his 3rd grade math fraction homework, last year. He was also the one who decided on the scale – he wanted it “big”.

fractionquiltinthewild
Due to the large-scale size and not wanting to buy additional fabric, lead to the fabric combinations you see – Kona Pickle, Highlight, White, Sliver, and Stone.

There were actual several other design choices:

  • Irregular width border
  • Color Placement – Stone (which is in the bottom right corner) was too over powering to be a big triangle, so I replaced it with White and made the stone a smaller triangle. Also, I didn’t want the border to look as an additional, so the white triangle on the top right was purposely placed to break that definitive line.
  • Quilting – The big decision other than the overall design was to again address the incorporation of the border. I extended the quilting lines from the small triangles through the border. The direction for each of the quarters through the border were defining the diagonal quarter lines of the square.quiltingdetail_2
  • The thread color matches each of the fabrics and that color continues through the borders.
    quiltingdetail_1
  • Lastly, the binding was mostly white but add color balance, I add pickle to the top of the quilt which is matched to the bottom pickle triangle in the bottom left edge. I repeated this balance on the right side binding by matching the stone triangle.

fractionquilt

I love how the quilting turned out and its going to look amazing once its washed.

Details

Name: Fraction
Design:
Original Design by my son
Fabric: Robert Kaufman Kona – Pickle, Highlight, White, Silver, Stone
Backing: Various Carolyn Friedlander prints
Dimensions:  60 x 60″
Quilted: Straight line Machine quilted. Used Aurifil wt 50 – #2021, #5022, #2600, #2325, #2110

Linking up with Amanda @ Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday.