Tuesday, November 25, 2014

pencil pouch

Hello, happy Tuesday to you all. 

This pencil pouch (free pattern by Gwenny Penny) was on my to do list for ages. I've always thought it was just such a fun idea to make a pencil pouch that looked like a pencil.

My choice of text fabrics for the exterior was inspired by this totally amazing pouch I found on Pinterest. Super fun, isn't it?

And then I used this ledger fabric by Carolyn Friedlander for the lining, I think it's a perfect fit for this pouch. (by the way, I'm really excited about her new fabric line Doe and can't wait to get my hands on it)

The pouch itself came together rather quickly - there are no corners to box so this makes it a beginner friendly pouch and I would very highly recommend you give it a try. Plus, I think these pouches would make cute Christmas presents, too.

Speaking of Christmas, have you started any Christmas sewing yet? So far I've only made two small presents and knitted two pairs of socks. I'd better get moving :)


Monday, November 24, 2014

thread catchers

I so love pretty little almost instant gratification sewing projects, don't you? I usually go for pouches when I don't have much time or don't feel like working on a very time consuming project. This afternoon, however, I decided to give little thread catchers a try. They've been on my to do list for ages and I'm so glad I finally made these little cuties (they finish at about 3" x 3.5" x 4").

I used a great pattern by super talented AmandaJean (crazymomquilts) and I could not even believe just how quickly these little cuties came together. I probably spent more time choosing fabric than sewing these babies up :)

I love the way these thread catchers are constructed and since I wanted mine to be a little on the sturdier side I used SF101 fusible interfacing for both the exterior and the lining. I think this gives it just the right amount of 'body".

Hope you all are having a lovely Sunday as well. Now I'm off to do about a hundredth load of laundry :) Svetlana

Thursday, November 20, 2014

large scale improv {a finished kantha quilt}

Many, many moons ago (all the way back in June) I made a large scale improv quilt top. I loved its simplicity and modern aesthetic, it was such a perfect canvas for some serious hand quilting.

I planned to turn it into a sort of hand quilting sampler. Unfortunately, though, the more progress I made the less I liked the quilt :( I was more than two thirds done quilting when I decided to set it aside, hoping I'd start liking it once again after a little time apart.

And then I read an article by Lucie Summers on kantha quilting and I knew what to do. I ripped out all the previous hand quilting - it took quite a while and my fingers were ready to fall off, but when the old stitches were out I saw the potential in this simple patchwork and got excited about it all over again.

I decided to follow Lucie's advice and use simple turning method to finish the quilt, no binding needed. I used a combination of pink and white and black and white dots for the backing and pearl cotton #8 in gray for quilting.

My quilting lines are about 3/8" apart. As you can imagine, it took thousands of teeny tiny stitches to quilt this guy. I have never done quilting like that before, and I really don't see myself doing it any time soon either :)

But the texture!!! Oh, I just wish you could touch and feel the amazing texture this kind of kantha stitching gives the finished quilt. Pure heaven.

This quilt finished at 49" x 58" and it's definitely one of my all time favorite quilts.

Thanks for reading friends. Svetlana

Linking up to Finish it up Friday.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

super tote

First off , thank you so very much to each and every one of you for the amazing support and encouragement and for making the launch of my first pattern a success. Thank you, thank you, thank you - you guys are the best :)

* * * * * *
I made myself a new Super Tote. I've been planning on making one for quite some time but I simply could not decide on not just what fabric to use, I also was not sure what interfacing to go with. You see, I made two Super Totes before. The first one ended up being too floppy and shapeless as I only used SF101 interfacing for both interior and exterior. Let's just say it earned its place in the failure pile in the darkest corner of the closet :(

My second Super Tote was a lot more successful but I "slightly" overdid it with interfacing and fusible fleece so the bag turned out a little bit too sturdy. Seriously, I feel like Goldilocks with these bags. One was too floppy, next one was too sturdy. Go figure :)

So, I did some research. I found a few very useful blog posts reviewing Super Totes and, after reading Amanda's post, I decided to follow her lead and use SF101 interfacing for the exterior of the bag and fusible fleece for the lining. And you know what? It worked. I finally ended up with the tote that was not too floppy and not too sturdy either. It's just perfect and I'm in love. ♥♥♥

It's a beautiful tote bag. I really love its shape, and zipper closure, and all those handy pockets on the inside. I even made one extra zipper pocket in the lining.

Oh, and I also adore this fabric combo.

The tote fits tons of stuff. I was able to fit my water bottle, knitting, magazine, two books, couple of pouches full of "necessities" and I still had room to spare :)

Now, this tote took some time to make. It's not one of those instant gratification quick finish projects, but so worth the extra effort. So, if you're looking for a super fantastic tote to make I would very highly recommend you give Anna's Super Tote a try.


Linking up to AmandaJean's Finish it up Friday.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

two in one pouch {my first PDF pattern}

Yay!!! I am so happy (and quite nervous too) to be able to show you my very first PDF pattern. Ready? Ta - daaa!!!

Two in One pouch.

You know I love making pouches, right? So it was only natural that I decided to design a pouch for my first PDF pattern.

I designed this unique two in one pouch in two sizes. Large one would be great to keep pens, pencils, make up, or even craft/ sewing supplies nicely organized. Small size is perfect for holding credit cards and spare change. Or how about keeping all those little odds and ends that clutter our purses nicely organized?

I've worked hard to make sure all the step by step instructions are clear and easy to follow (pattern also includes 23 color photos). It's not a very hard pouch to make, but a basic knowledge of installing a zipper and working with fusible fleece and interfacing is recommended.

A big thank you goes to my lovely pattern testers who not only sewed up some super amazing pouches, but also gave me lots of useful notes on how to make my pattern more user friendly.

I'm so excited to be able to share their beautiful makes.

Monika beautifully combined denim and strips of patchwork into this fantastic pouch. Love the addition of contrasting stitching, too.

My super nice, long time bloggy friend, Judith made this gorgeous pouch. I so adore the combination of fabric and zippers she chose.

I love how Debbie, another one of my long time bloggy friends, used two different zippers for her pouch. What a great idea.

Julie used Urban Chick Boho fabric collection (one of my very favorites) to make this sweet pouch.

I'm totally jealous of this gorgeous patchwork + stitching pouch Tara made. Beautiful, isn't it?

Karen made this super cute bunny pouch. Adorable !!!

These two beautiful pouches were sewn by the lovely Yvette . What a great idea to do an all patchwork pouch, too.

Thank you again ladies. You totally rocked this pattern :)

If you'd like to make one of these pouches for yourself or someone special - I think they would make great Christmas presents for young and old :), hop on over to my Etsy shop.

I'm offering this pattern at a discounted $6.00 price for the next 48 hours . After that it will go back to its regular $8.00 price.

Have a very lovely day friends. Svetlana

Friday, November 7, 2014

mara shawl

I've lost my quilting mojo for the moment :) Somehow, the idea of taking my beautiful fabric and cutting it into pieces does not appeal to me at all. I'm sure it's just a temporary thing and I'll be obsessively cutting and quilting in no time, but for now I've been doing some knitting.

I made this so very "me" Mara shawl (free pattern can be found here). It was such an easy and super enjoyable knit.

I so love the simplicity of this shawl and I've been wearing it every day since I finished it :)

I then made a second Mara shawl, this time using a little thicker yarn so the whole thing came together even quicker.

Can you tell I really like this pattern? Only this time I sort of spaced out on the edging and ended up with a slightly different shawl :)

And, I'm still thinking about making one more of these shawls, but in some brighter color. Maybe something yellow or red??? Or I might try this shawl instead. After all, I still have two more weeks of very limited walking allowed :( Yes, this ankle surgery recovery has been a lot more difficult than I expected and I'm so ready to get rid of the ugly giant plastic boot I have to wear.

Have a wonderful weekend friends. Svetlana

Monday, November 3, 2014

whole cloth quilted pillow cover {a tutorial}

Do you remember these whole cloth (no patchwork) quilted  pillow covers I made a while back?  Some fabric, I think, simply looks better left whole rather than chopped up into little pieces. Plus, no patchwork and no seams makes for a lot more comfortable pillows for napping, too :)

This is my absolute favorite whole cloth pillow cover. I just adore this gorgeous fabric and I'm happy I found a way to admire it every day.

So, when I wanted to make new covers for two small pillows on our bed (which are my husband's favorite "sleeping pillows") I knew this whole cloth method was the way to go.

I so love this pretty coral color of the main fabric which I think works perfectly with gray background and striped binding. It really adds such a nice pop of color to our bedroom. (I try to keep crazy and girly colors to a minimum in our bedroom)

I really like how quick and easy to make these pillow covers are, and I thought some of your might enjoy a little tutorial.

Ready? Here we go. (my pillow covers fit 16" square pillow forms)

Materials needed: pillow top: one 16" x 16" square of main fabric
                                                  one 18" x 18" square of batting
                                                  one 18" x 18" square of fabric for pillow top backing
                                pillow back: one FQ of fabric
                                binding: 4.5" x WOF (width of fabric) strip of fabric
                                1 nylon zipper 16" or longer
                                basting spray or basting pins
                                hera marker or disappearing fabric pen
                                optional - walking foot for your sewing machine

Step 1: pillow top
a) Layer a pillow top backing fabric right side down on a flat surface, then batting on top and main fabric right side up on top. Pin or use spray to baste all three layers together, mark your quilting lines and quilt.

the second picture shows my pillow top backing and how I quilted it

b) Stitch all the way around your pillow top using 1/8" seam allowance to secure all the stitches. Trim all the excess backing and batting off.

Step 2: pillow back
a) Follow this tutorial to make a pillow back with a zipper closure or use your own favorite method to make a pillow back of your choice.

I added a strip of contrasting fabric to my pillow back for a little pop of color

Step 3: pillow assembly
a) Place pillow back (right side down) on a flat surface. Place pillow top (right side up) on top. Align all the sides and pin the two layers together.

b) Trim off extra zipper tape and backing and stitch all the way around using 1/4" seam allowance. (I like to use walking foot for this step as well as for attaching the binding as I find there's less bunching and unevenness this way)

Step 4: binding
a) Place 4.5" strip of binding fabric on your cutting mat and cut into two 2.25" x WOF strips. Prepare a double fold binding as you would for a quilt (there's lots of binding tutorials online if you need help with that).

b) Bind the pillow your preferred way. ( I like to attach binding to the back of the pillow first and then flip it to the front and attach it by machine)

Step 5: finishing
Press your pillow case to make it nice and smooth, stuff the pillow form inside and admire :)

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Please let me know if you have any questions.

And, as always, if you make a project using any of my tutorials please add it to my Flickr group. I always love seeing all your amazing creations.
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