Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 {looking back}

Hello, happy Tuesday to you all!

Can you believe 2015 is around the corner? I must admit, I'm not that sorry to see 2014 go. It was a full, many times incredibly stressful, sort of a roller coaster kind of year with ups reaching high and lows plunging me to new, unknown lows. I learned a lot about myself and life in general though, so hopefully it was all worth it :).  And, I definitely would not mind if 2015 was a little bit more balanced (fingers crossed).

Before I start looking to 2015 though, I thought a little recap of my sewing/ quilting year was totally in order.

I did a lot less quilting than I did previous years, but looking at my mosaic I still quilted plenty :). I think I was a bit more focused and quilted with more purpose in mind, I hope to take that with me into the next year as our house is "slightly" overflowing with quilts and quilted pillows at the moment.

I did, however, bring my "more is more" mentality into making bags and pouches, it seems:)...

...as well as lots of other little, almost instant gratification, projects.

What can I say? Sewing is fun, and a stress reliever for me,  and I enjoyed making each and every one of these projects immensely.

Sewing each day definitely keeps my crazies away :)

Thank you all so very much for your support and encouragement. Thank you for coming over, reading, commenting, and sharing this creative journey with me.

Here's to a blessed 2015 full of new adventures and experiences. Happy New Year friends! Svetlana

Sunday, December 28, 2014

chubby pouch

Yes, I made yet another pouch :). I simply can't help it these days. This pouch has been on my to do list for ages and I'm glad I finally found time to make it (pattern from Ayumi's book Patchwork, please!).

This is my second pouch using Ayumi's pattern for Triangle Patchwork Box Pouch. I made this pouch for my partner in Sewing Room Swap ages ago and I loved how gorgeously cute and chubby it turned out so I knew it was just the matter of time before I made one for myself.

Now, this is not one of those super quick instant gratification projects, this pouch took some time to sew together, especially the front and back patchwork. All that work, however, is totally worth is, even the hand sewn lining. 

I must admit, hand sewing anything when it comes to making pouches is not my favorite, but this was the best way to make the lining fit the pouch nicely - I used home decor weight fabric for the lining since I wanted the whole pouch to be sturdy and hold the shape on its own.

I think it turned out really cute and can't wait to fill it up with lots of odds and ends.

Thanks for stopping by, friends. Svetlana

Thursday, December 25, 2014

merry christmas

...merry christmas !!!

Hope your day is full of love, laughter, and joy.


Sunday, December 21, 2014

more pouches

Lately I've been kind of obsessed with making pouches. Especially the ones with metal zippers.

I made these super simple pouches to fit my 6" metal zippers which I bought here. And, just like with the pouches I made for my daughter's friends, I didn't follow any specific pattern. I simply cut my fabric 1" wider than the length of zipper x 4.5" and rounded the corners using a cup as a template. Very scientific, I know :).

I also added a 2" tab and a ring to the side of the pouch because I like the extra added detail. 
 Turns out it's a perfect size for my new favorite seam ripper and thread clipper, yay :)

And, while we are on topic of pouches, have you seen Chase's new fantastic tutorial for window zipper pouches? I gave it a try a while back and absolutely love this fun unique pouch. 

Chase's directions are well written with tons of clear pictures which made making this pouch a breeze. The only thing I changed was the way I attached the binding - I prefer attaching the binding first to the back and then finishing it off on the front.

I'm pretty sure I'll be making more of these cuties as they are perfect for storing lots of different supplies. I do hope you give it a try, too. You won't be disappointed.

Hope you all have a very lovely rest of the weekend. Svetlana

Friday, December 19, 2014

modern machine quilting {blog hop}

Hello, happy Friday to you all! Welcome to my stop on Modern Machine Quilting DVD blog hop.

I've long been admiring my friend Catherine Redford's quilting skills (we both belong to Naperville Modern Quilters Guild), especially her flawless spirals, and I was super excited when Catherine told me she was working on a DVD teaching walking foot quilting.

Walking foot is my best friend when it comes to quilting but I knew there was tons I could learn from Catherine. So, as soon as my instant download showed up in my Interweave account I watched the whole DVD and I was impressed. Even better, I was instantly inspired to give some of Catherine's techniques a try. Want to see?

I made myself a set of placemats and I went to work.

I could not believe my eyes how perfectly perfect my spiral turned out when I followed Catherine's directions. Seriously!!! I tried spirals before but my center stitches were never so beautifully smooth and perfectly spaced out.

I also did some simple straight line quilting. This, however, was the first time I dared to make stitches go in different directions. I was always afraid of all those stops and turns and how to bury the thread so it does not show and such, but Catherine explained it so well that I had no problems at all. 

In fact, I enjoyed this kind of quilting so much I did even more "stops and turns" on this placemat. 

I can honestly say that thanks to Catherine's wonderful teaching and expert advise I have been able to expand my quilting skills beyond simply stitching from one side of quilt to another :).

But the DVD is not only about straight line quilting. There are also tons of useful tricks and tips on square spirals, serpentine stitching, as well as advice on thread, needles, and basting the quilt.

So, what do you say? Are you ready to check out the DVD (or instant download) for yourself? You can purchase your copy here.

Also, Catherine is giving away two free copies of this fantastic DVD. Just hop on over to her blog and leave a comment.

Hope you'll follow along with other hoppers to hear what they have to say about Catherine's Modern Machine Quilting: Straight Lines, Spirals, Serpentines, and More! DVD (video class).

Monday, December 15th: Faith Jones at Fresh Lemons Quilts
Tuesday, December 16th: Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville
Wednesday, December 17th: Cheryl Sleboda at Muppin
Thursday, December 18th: Maddie Kertay at Bad Ass Quilters Society
Friday, December 19th: Svetlana Sotak at s.o.t.a.k. handmade
Saturday, December 20th: Julia Wood at The Hexie Blog
Sunday, December 21st: Laura Wasilowski at Art Fabrik
Monday, December 22nd: Pokey Bolton at Pokey’s Ponderings
Tuesday, December 23rd: Susan Brubaker Knapp at Blue Moon River
Wednesday, December 24th: Catherine Redford

Wishing you all a very lovely weekend. Svetlana

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Apparently my middle daughter did not get the memo in which I decided not to make Christmas presents and she was disappointed that her friends (and teachers) will have to get store bought presents only this year :( .

Turns out, as much as she complains about my sewing, she actually is really proud when she can gift something made by me :). So, I decided to whip up these simple pencil pouches for her friends. I must say, I really enjoyed making the pouches - they came together super fast and the pretty fabric was such a joy to work with.

They were inspired by Krista's lovely pouches I spotted on Instagram the other day. I didn't use any specific pattern, I just made sure my fabric was the right size for these metal zippers. I used fusible fleece to make them a little bit more sturdy (and slightly squishy) and added a ribbon tab to the side.

I love this combo of metal zippers and happy fabric both on the outside of the pouches as well as the lining.

I'm glad to say my daughter was quite happy this morning as she packed the pouches in her backpack deciding which one goes to which friend :)

How about you? Are you making any last minute Christmas gifts?


Monday, December 15, 2014

christmas-y this and that

Hello friends, how have you been? 

Thanks to my earlier decision not to make many Christmas presents I've been quite enjoying this festive season. Yay for online shopping and free two - day delivery :)

Our super eclectic, sort of homespun-y Christmas decorations make me so happy. By the way, you can find my tutorial for this sweet little tree bunting here.

I've also been enjoying a little bit of sewing. New place mats with tons of straight line quilting were on my mind for days now. I'm so glad to see they are turning out just the way I imagined :).

I'll have a lot more on these place mats and quilting on Friday when it's my stop on Modern Machine Quilting blog hop.

And, the other day I simply had to make this tree block. I love how super minimalistic and modern it looks. I'm thinking of turning it into a mug rug or something like that. Normally I'd think of making it into a pillow cover but lately I've been feeling like we just might have enough pillows for right now. Let's see how long this feeling lasts :)

Hope your Christmas season is merry and bright as well. Svetlana

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

drawstring bags

My Christmas sewing list is quite short this year since I finally realized that I am not required to give handmade gifts to everyone all the time simply because I can sew.  Now, I did not discover anything new here but it felt good to let myself off the hook :)

I did, however, make these drawstring bags for my nieces and nephews. 

I so enjoyed choosing fun novelty prints and pairing them up with colored hemp string (bought here). Now just to stuff them with fun little goodies and they'll be making their way across the ocean :)

I followed my own tutorial, which you can find here, in case you'd like to make a bag (or twenty) for yourself. They are super simple and easy to make, I promise :)


Monday, December 8, 2014

sew, mama, sew! giveaway

Hello, happy Monday to you all!

Welcome to my Sew, Mama, Sew! giveaway. I'm so glad you came by.

I'm giving away 9 FQs of medium weight designer cotton fabric (I've included two of my long hoarded, tricky to find these days Aneela Hoey's swing girls as well as Little Apples plus seven coordinating FQs).

The winner will also receive a pdf copy of my brand new sewing pattern for Two in One pouch.

 This giveaway is open worldwide (U.S. as well as international entries welcome) and will close on Friday Dec. 12th at 5 p.m. PST. I will announce who the random winner is by Sunday, Dec. 14th.

So, what do you say? Would you like to play?


Thank you so much everyone for entering. The giveaway is now closed!!!

 Congratulations to June D who is the winner!

Here's how to enter this giveaway:
* leave a comment on this post
* to get a second bonus entry let me know that you are my follower, or become one and then let me know

Good luck everyone. Svetlana

Thursday, December 4, 2014

christmas duvet {all finished}

I'm so very happy with the way my Christmas duvet (yes, I'm no longer calling it a quilt :)) turned out. 

It's simple (made of 168 - 6" squares) and reminds me of some lovely vintage quilts I spotted online. My duvet, however, was mostly inspired by this adorable baby bunting.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I used 3/4" loft polyester batting and I did minimal hand quilting through the middle of each row and column to keep the duvet as squishy as possible. Oh, and I also did a few short back and forth stitches in each block corner (not pictured here) because my batting needed to be quilted every 2-4".

I used two twin flat sheets for the backing which worked out really great as I only needed to do one long seam and my backing was ready. And yes, a queen sized sheet would have been even better, but I had none on hand.

I also decided not to go with a binding and finish the duvet with turning method (tutorial coming soon). I'm loving these "binding-less" quilts lately, I think it really adds to the homespun look to this duvet.

And here it is, all washed and dried, perfectly soft and snuggly, already claimed by my son as his own :) ♥♥♥

Thanks for reading friends, Svetlana.

Linking up to Finish it up Friday.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

christmas quilt/ duvet {in progress}

Hello friends, can you believe it's December already?

Only 22 more sleeps and Christmas is here, yay! I love Christmas. It's my favorite time of the year. And so, when I woke up on Saturday morning with the feeling that I have to start a new quilt or the world as we know it will end :) I knew it had to be a Christmas quilt.

As you can see, I didn't have a huge Christmas fabric collection - I actually prefer just a few of these fun novelty fabrics with the addition of lots of coordinating prints from my stash (I ended up not using that dark blue text print as it stuck out too much).

I have not felt like quilting in months (ever since I had my ankle surgery in September), so I knew going with anything too complicated was out of the question. At the end I cut my fabric into 6" squares and I do really like how "old timey" this quilt top looks :)

As I kept thinking about how to quilt this guy I decided to go more of a duvet route - no binding, super squishy high loft polyester batting, and very minimal quilting. So far I'm loving where this is heading.

I hope to finish handquilting in the next few days and then I'll share a tutorial on how to make this puffy duvet/ quilt. Stay tuned :)


Linking up to Lee's WIP Wednesday.
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