Wednesday, October 31, 2012

craft fair sewing

I'm getting ready for my first ever craft fair and I'm quite excited and anxious at the same time. I have no idea what to expect and how to get ready. So, I've been sewing. A lot!!! I decided to concentrate on smaller items thinking that if I don't sell them at the fair they can make nice Christmas presents for my children's teachers.

I made a few pouchinis using some of my very favorite fabrics. This is my own pattern and once all the craze of the craft fair calms down I'll post a tutorial on how you can make one yourselves.

Then I made some simple pencil cases and promptly got sick of zippers. I mean, it would not be bad if I could get myself organized and work in sort of an assembly line way. That way I could have installed all zippers at the same time. Well, that's not me, so I ended up switching my sewing machine feet about a gazillion times, totally maddening.

I still have these two qayg panels wanting to become pencil cases but they will have to wait until next week.

I then came across this fantastic pattern by Michelle for a pleated pouch, so I got to work.

I love, love, love this pattern. It's easy, no zippers needed, and I really like its shape, too. These pouches are the small size (my favorite) from Michelle's pattern.

I also made these two big sized pouches from the same pattern, they actually feel more like clutches as they are pretty big. I'm not usually a huge fan of velcro but it really works here.

I wanted to take a break from the pouches and craft fair sewing the other night so I whipped up this qayg panel which will become my new tote bag, because one can never have too many scrappy tote bags, right?

For those living in the Naperville area, the craft fair will take place on 
Nov. 10th from 9:00 to 4:00
at Trinity Church of the Nazarene (1451 Raymond Drive, Naperville, IL 60563)

Hope to see you there. Svetlana

Monday, October 29, 2012


Some of you might remember this mini quilt inspired by the work of Yoshiko Jinzenji.

I made it a few months ago and as much as I like the way it turned out, I don't seem to have any use for mini quilts. There are piles of pillows and quilts all over our house and putting more quilts on the walls would be a total overkill. 

So, this poor mini spent the last couple of month sitting in my closet keeping a company to a few more projects that I made, liked, and yet didn't have any use for.

I finally fixed my dilemma this weekend. I cut off some parts of the mini to make it square and turned it into a pillow.

I love this penguin fabric and thought it would match the quilty front perfectly. 

I then installed the invisible zipper, which I'm very proud to say is really quite invisible, and that was it. Easy, peasy!

Phew, I feel so much better. I dislike clutter very, very much and having projects that are not being used is driving me crazy.

How about you? Do you make things that don't get used? 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

stars in your eyes {blogger's quilt festival}

Yay! It's time! Blogger's quilt festival hosted by Amy is here again. I love participating, as well as browsing through tons of unbelievably beautiful quilts submitted by other bloggers.

I had a really hard time deciding on which quilt to submit. At the end, I decided to go with Stars in your Eyes quilt I made in January this year. 

I used a pattern by Sarah Fielke from her book Quilting...from little things and I'm still in love with all these scrappy stars. 

It was not an easy quilt to make since all the inset seams can be a little tricky, but it was the first quilt where I did not self-impose some crazy deadline on myself and then rushed through the process. That's probably why I enjoyed it so much.

These are the two of my very favorite stars. I used a lot of different fabrics from my stash, so I'm not even going to attempt to mane them all here. You can see all the stars in more detail here and here. The only fabric I bought specifically for this quilt was the one I used for the border (it's by Amy Butler from her Love collection).

I used a Shabby Chic sheet I bought at Target a while ago for the backing. I've loved that sheet for such a long time, it was so tempting to put it on our bed, but I simply could not imagine what the expression on my husband's face would be if our bed was covered in pink flowers?!?!

I decided to quilt around the outline of the stars as well as the inset diamonds. I did not want to quilt inside the stars themselves, I felt like I would lose some of their charm so I used a white six strand embroidery floss and  tied it inside each star.

I had a very hard time deciding on the binding. I usually go with darker colored binding, but it did not work well this time. I pulled out almost half of my stash and finally decided to go with this white and green small polka dot fabric, and since the whole quilt is so scrappy, I added some white and purple polka dot to the mix.

Thanks for stopping by. Svetlana

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Stats
Finished quilt measures : 63″x 82″
Special techniques used : Y seams, machine quilted as well as tied
Quilted by : myself
Best Category :  Scrap Quilt, Bed Quilt, Home machine Quilted Quilt

Friday, October 26, 2012

wonky crosses {finished}

Phew, all finished, and on time, too. As I mentioned before, I made this quilt as part of the challenge at our Naperville Modern Quilt Guild meeting. The challenge was to make something quilted using orange, aqua, and grey colors.

Even though I like all these colors, I just could not decide on what to make. I wanted something simple and quick, and at the last minute I decided to go with these wonky crosses.

I really like how they turned out. I'm also glad I used sashing to frame all the blocks. I was not planning on doing that at first but when I put all the blocks next to each other they all seemed so chaotic and jumbled. I think this Kona Snow (my new favorite white) sashing brought just the right amount of order.

I quilted this little guy stitching straight lines about 1" apart. I was really tempted to do much denser quilting, maybe every 1/2", but decided against it since this is a baby quilt. I feel that quilting that's too dense makes for very stiff, and not very snuggly quilts.

And, to add to the snuggle factor, I used flannel for the backing. Oh, it feels heavenly.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Svetlana

Linking up to AmandaJean's Finish it up Friday.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

lately ....

As usual, I find myself  jumping from project to project, starting some, pushing others to my UFO piles, but thankfully managing to finish some, too. Here' s what I've been up to lately.

I started this baby quilt as part of our MQG challenge to make something quilted using orange, aqua, and gray. I'm glad I went with this wonky cross block, it was easy and fun to make and I've wanted to give it a try for quite some time.

I've also been making some Christmas stockings. Aren't they the sweetest? I'm using this fantastic tutorial by Fabricworm. I'm completely in love with these stockings and would highly recommend this free tutorial to anyone considering making Christmas stockings.

My biggest accomplishment this week, however, is finally finishing my Vintage Holiday quilt. Pictures of the finished quilt coming soon.

As you can see, my mind is totally skipping all the upcoming holidays and focuses exclusively on Christmas. Oh, I do love Christmas. Which reminds me, I'd better get moving on my FIL's quilt. 

So far I have this ONE block made. Just 19 more to make and I'm ready to baste! ha!

Have a wonderful day. Svetlana

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Hello, happy Saturday!

The other day I was in a mood for some quick, non - quilty sewing projects. You know, the instant gratification kind of projects. I wanted to make something fast as well as useful, and that's how these "pouchinis" came to be.

What? you don't know what "pouchinis" are? - that's what my daughters call these little pouches.

 Aren't they adorable? They are small (3"tall x 5"wide x 1.5"deep), just the right size to fit a few necessities my girls tend to carry around in their purses.

 I just love how perfectly adorable and happy they turned out, especially this one - using Tasha Noel's The Simple Life fabric.

I must say, working on these little pouches was such a nice break from quilting while still spending some fun time at the machine. Do you sometimes feel that way? Wanting to sew but not wanting to quilt?

Wishing you all a wonderfully crafty weekend. I'm off to get some more instant gratification projects done, Christmas stockings are so calling my name.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

more pillows....

You know how much I love making pillows, right? In my opinion one can't possibly have too many pillows, period.

I've finished this butterfly pillow for my swap partner in The Pillow Talk Swap 9. I do love this swap, and the amount of totally amazing pillows that people come up with is simply stunning. 

Here it is, all nice, and plump, and squishy. I did some straight line quilting about 1/2" apart, used this lovely Liberty fabric for the backing, and finished it off with solid green binding. I was not sure about this green color at first, but now that I see it all finished I think it calms all these colors and patterns so well and complements the whole pillow quite nicely. To read more about making these butterfly blocks and Rita's fantastic tutorial, click here.

And, in my manic need to make more pillows, I made this chevron one to match my son's Pow Wow quilt. I used HSTs that were left over from making the quilt, did some simple hand quilting, installed an invisible zipper (BTW the zipper is a little more visible than I would like, but I'll live with that), and that was it.

I think this penguin fabric I used for the pillow back is totally irresistible. How imaginative, right? Who wouldn't love penguins with newsprint bellies?

Before I go, here's a sneak peek of a pillow I'm working on for my friend Kristie. We decided to do a little swap, I'm making her a pillow and she's knitting a cowl for me. Yay! I'm using this tutorial to paper piece these tiny blocks. 

Wishing you all a wonderful rest of the day. Svetlana

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

a few new projects

I know I'm not alone when I say that I love, love, love starting new projects. I always get so excited, pull out too much fabric, make a huge mess, and start cutting. There are just way too many ideas floating around in my head and thus, I tend to start more projects than I manage to finish. 

This week, however, I was good, so good. I finished some of my wips (more on those later this week) and, as a reward, I let myself start a few new projects. Want to see?

I had a grand plan of making a quilt featuring my favorite quote. I was using a fantastic book Word Play Quilts by Tonya Ricucci to lead me through these free pieced letters. Notice how I speak in past tense? Well, the quilt is definitely not happening any time soon. I just did not enjoy the process, so for now I'll be happy with my "think" block which I'm going to turn into a pillow for my girls' room.

I've also started sewing and trimming these HSTs for a new Churn Dash quilt. I think it will make a lovely Christmas present for my FIL.

This pile of 2" Christmas fabric squares makes me so happy. I feel like singing Christmas carols just looking at these lovelies. 

And, staying on the topic of Christmas, my Vintage Holiday quilt is begging for some love and attention.

How are you doing with your wips? Any Christmas sewing yet?

Monday, October 15, 2012

low volume quilt {finished}

Hello, happy Monday!

I hope your weekend was good. Ours was rainy and dark, perfect for staying inside and quilting all day long (well, I actually could not just quilt for two days straight, but I got a few good hours of uninterrupted sewing, and that felt great). Fortunately sun managed to peek in from time to time, too and I was able to get some decent pictures of my low volume quilt.

I love this quilt. I've wanted to make a strip quilt for a while now and I think all this low volume fabric was perfect for such a simple, not fussy at all design. I wrote more about how I made this quilt top here.

I was also planning on doing some very minimal straight line quilting. I just wanted to machine quilt it along the horizontal lines and be done. Well, I did that and hated the way it looked. My idea of "minimalist" quilting made it look very blah! Out came the trusty seam ripper and after what felt like a very, very long time I was back to a plain quilt sandwich and no idea what to do. 

I've done a lot of hand quilting lately, so naturally, when I felt stuck, I just started hand quilting using 2 strands of light blue embroidery thread. I quilted in straight lines about 3" apart. I liked it so. much. better!!!

The quilting goes really well with the backing, too - I used Bari J.'s Garden Rocket in turquoise. I adore this fabric, it's so beautiful and has such a wonderful feel.

This was my first time cutting the binding on bias, I love the look of it and I'm happy to say that it was not that scary at all. Plus, it adds just the right amount of interest and frames the whole quilt very nicely.

Finished size of the quilt is 50" x 57" and it's going to live in our family room. It will be perfect for snuggling while reading or watching TV.

Linking up to  Fresh Poppy Design

Thursday, October 11, 2012

circle time...{ plus a giveaway}

Do you remember this lovely fat quarter bundle of Laurie Wisbrun's new fabric collection Don't be Crabby! I showed you a while ago? Adorable, right? I especially love those houndstooth crabs, how clever!

 From the moment I saw this collection I knew I wanted to make a baby boy quilt. I went through my stash and added some fun polka dotty fabric to the stack and then I got stuck! I didn't want to cut all these lovely creatures into small pieces, yet I was not keen on keeping large blocks of fabric uncut, either.

While browsing online for some ideas, I came across Amy's amazing tutorial on how to make really gorgeous, perfectly round circles and I knew that was the way to go. The circles are large enough to showcase the pretty creatures, plus kids like circles, right?

I used baby text print fabric in green and light blue for the background. I then stitched the circles to the background using a regular running stitch and embroidery thread.

I like the way this quilt back turned out, I just took pieces of leftover fabric and "played puzzle" until  it looked just right. 

I then did some simple triple straight line quilting to make sort of a grid and frame all the circles. I especially like the way quilting makes these circles pop a little.

This quilt finished at 36" x 36". I had a lot of fun making it and loved the challenge of coming up with a design for this specific fabric collection. (I usually start with a pattern and decide on the fabric later, so this was like walking backwards for me.)

This fabric collection will be available in stores in December, but thanks to Laurie Wisbrun and Robert Kaufman I have one FQ bundle to give away to one lucky winner.

To enter, leave a comment letting me know what you'd make using this fabric. That's it, easy peasy.
!!!!!This giveaway is open to US residents only!!!!!!

Mr. Random and I will draw a winner on Sunday night. Good luck! Thanks for stopping by!


A huge thank you to everyone, all 90 of you, who participated in this giveaway.

Mr. Random has chosen a winner: #34
Valerie, who said:
I love what you did with this fabric! And I have a nephew coming in February... hmmm...... :)

Congratulations, Valerie! I'll email you shortly.

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