Sunday, April 29, 2012

"Melly & Me" Purse

I did something this weekend that I don't believe I've done since high school sewing class:  I put in a zipper!  Yeah, a zipper!  Quilts don't require many zippers and so I've managed to avoid it all these years, but today I made a purse.  There it was in the supplies list... 13" zipper.  Yikes.  But it turned out to be easy and the purse only took this afternoon to construct.  It's a pattern by Melly and Me called Raspberry Ripple.  You can search Google Images and see the original.  This is my version and I love it!  I used a laminated cotton for the bottom pleats (recognize that polka dot fabric from my big tote bag?) and the handles.  That was a bit interesting, but I like the effect.  And think how easy it will be to keep clean!

This really was fun to make and I like the finished bag, so I will probably be making it again in different colors. Pretty sure I need one with red poppies on it somewhere and, of course, I already have poppy fabric that will work.  For this one, I purchased the large, cheerful print (50% off!) just for this bag, but I had the other fabrics in my stash.  I can hardly believe I FINALLY found a use for the lime green and wavy purple stiped one!  LOL I'm not even sure how long I've had it.

I didn't attach the handles as far down on the top section as the pattern indicates because I decided they should be a bit longer.  Next time I'll just cut them longer before I put them together.  "Sew and learn."

I found the decorative buttons when I bought the large print fabric.  I couldn't resist because the colors are a perfect match.

Here it is:  a zipper!  Woo hoo!
The bag has a large zippered center section and open compartments on either side of the zippered section.  It's not a huge bag but it's pretty roomy.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

More Mini Quilts

I'm willing to admit my interest in miniature quilts has become an obsession.  I showed you the first two in the last blog entry; I've now completed 7, plus two that go with the teddy bears.  

Here's the current 7 that will be given to the quilt guild for the January 2013 quilt show.  None measures more than 20" on a side; almost all are embellished by beads.

I tried to use a variety of techniques, from paper piecing to applique (both raw edge and turned edge) to regular machine piecing. Here are some close-ups of the newest 5:

Raw edge iris applique.

Paper pieced pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness.

Paper pieced flower, with appliqued leaves and a wide border.  This one is all batiks, my favorite fabric.  The only embellishment is a thin line of an orange/copper metallic.

Little pinwheels and flying geese in William Morris reproduction prints.  Pearls (no, not real ones) used for embellishment.

A simple square-in-a-square pattern using 1930's reproduction prints and a bright white-on-white fabric.  I used a variegated thread for the quilting.

It's going to be hard to give these all up!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mini Quilts

Mini quilts?  In the past couple weeks I've often been asked what's a mini quilt and what do you do with one?  I'll admit I had the same reaction when I first saw them but I'm warming up to the idea.  First of all, a miniature is pretty much like a regular quilt, only it measures 20" or less on all sides.  It should have the same features as a regular quilt, just scaled back to make it look balanced and appropriate for the size.  Really skilled quilters can make them extremely small, but the smaller you go, the harder it is to get the details nice and sharp.  I've seen some at quilt shows that take your breath away because the pieces are so tiny and they are so perfectly made.

I decided to give it a try because my quilt guild has a show every two years and they use minis in an auction to raise money for guild projects.  They've asked each member to make twelve!  I don't think I can do that, but I can contribute a few.  Now that I've started, I'm having a blast with them and think I may do more than a few.  Maybe.  We'll see.  I've got until January 2013.

Oh yeah, I posted a two part question, didn't I?  The second part was 'what do you do with a mini quilt?'.  Honestly, I'm not entirely sure.  Maybe a cute little table topper.  Or hung on a wall, either with other small quilts or artwork, or in a small space all by itself.  Really small ones could be used in doll houses as bed quilts, wall hangings or even as tiny area rugs.  Adding a matte and frame would enhance any tiny quilt and show it off.  Of course, like any quilt, a mini would make a thoughtful gift.

I've made my first two and planning to do a couple more this month.  Both of these are embellished with beadwork and gold metallic thread for some of the quilting.   They were fun to make and I think I'm hooked!!!

This one is machine pieced and is 12 inches by 12 inches.

This one is hand appliqued and measures 19 inches by 19 inches.