New quilt designs {QDAD}

At the moment, I am currently focused on making. However, I managed to get some time in creating some new designs, over the last month. Here they are, including today’s design (the last one).

Spark: Design Seeds via @zoepower

Design: I loved the shape of the plate and the color mixtures I used below. I am not a pastel person but I can definitely see me using this color palette in future.

Spark: Design Seeds via @piiipsy

Design: I loved the angles that the mountains provided and the reverse present in the reflection of the lake. I used those angles in the design.

Spark: Design Seeds via @mylamoments

Design: The common shapes present in the coffee cups and floor tiles at Caviar & Banana’s Restaurant (in Greenville, SC), lead to these designs. I used the black to highlight the graphical nature of the design. The brown, however, might bring a softer feel, if used in the curved plus (outer rings).

I played around a little more with the design above and added a center to the circles. I love how different it made it feel, though it was just a slight change. I would love to see this also made up in bold colored non-neutral solids.

Spark: Design Seeds via @diana_lovring

Design: Still inspired by the floor tiles, and this flower remind of drunkard path like blocks. I really enjoyed playing with the color placement in this block and movement the colors bring to the design.

Spark: Design Seeds via @thebungalow22

Design: Designing the obvious stripes in this one, but using a smaller squared block at various positions and direction to add interest and movement. Reminds me a little of floor tiles. It was also a strange color palette for me. Not a fan of the design, but I can’t think what I would do differently….maybe convert to the triangles based on the edge of the umbrella??

I definitely loved the circular designs. I can see me making a couple of these in future. More to come.

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”.

 

 

 

Traverse Bag {a finish}


Recently, I traveled to Denver for a weekend of catching up with some sewing buddies and fun. In other words, Sewtopia. This is my favorite event and I look forward to it each time. This time, we got to have a class with Anna Graham from Noodlehead.

We made her Traverse Bag, a recently released pattern. Spending time with her, talking about her work, her patterns etc. was such a memorable event. Corrinna, my Sewtopia roomie, by fluke, chose the exact same fabric for the back, but in different color ways. It’s a Japanese print we both found at Bunny Designs at our last Sewtopia in Austin.

I love this little bag, only my third I had ever made!! This was the first time using actual bag hardware to make that strap. Strap and piping is a mint Cotton + Steel basic.

Lifting the front flap reveals two fantastic slip pockets. I lined all the pockets with Tula Pink’s Owl fabric.

There are two zipper openings. One revealing the opening to the main pocket at the top of the bag.  The other zipper opening is on the bag where a pocket is perfect for storing my phone.

I really enjoyed making this bag. It can easily be done in 3 hours (if all your fabric and prep work is done before hand – add about 2 hours for the prep work).

So, this was my only finish at Sewtopia. On the last day, things wrapped up around 12pm. This gave me time to walk around the downtown, before catching my flight home. I bumped into this guy peering into the convention center 😉

 

Fun + May goals

Getting back in the zone of making is important for me, and I am making it a priority this month. After all, it is all May is about making. So, every day this month, I plan on sewing for 1 hour.  Hopefully, that will land up being more than just 1 hour.

I have some deadlines coming up, so to balance the must do projects one day a week should be dedicated to a fun project. I am thinking of items like finishing my makers tote, playing with a couple of ideas, throw in some improv. projects like this one:

Including this time for play, provides me an avenue to get the ideas in my head out. I tend to over think things and if I can’t release them then I start not sleeping and getting stressed. I am sure I am not the only one, right?

Here is my current active projects or known projects I am working on, not much has changed but all of them have moved forward.

Project Dates Current Status
 NY High Line  May  TOP, BACK, BASTE, QUILT (Underway), BIND
 Medallion  June  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
 Triangle Quilt  July Pattern Release
 Square Dance  July  Pattern Release
Abstract Triangles II & III  August Pattern Release
Phased Circles & Lunar Lines  August Pattern Release

What are you all making in May? What are your goals? Do you all have those slumps and how to you get out of them?

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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