Friday, October 30, 2015

aster wristlet {purse palooza review}

Happy Friday, everyone!

Today I'm over at Sew Sweetness reviewing a super lovely  Aster Wristlet by Michelle Patterns as part of Purse Palooza. Hope to see you there :).

And, happy weekend to you all. Svetlana

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

my christmas quilt

I finished my Christmas quilt over the weekend and what better time to show it off than few days before Halloween, right ? :)

I know I say it a lot, but I really, really love how this quilt turned out. Especially considering I had no clear plan when I started making it. It all started with these sawtooth star blocks I made way back in August. And then I didn't feel like making more of these blocks, so I decided to make a few tree blocks using AmandaJean's Trees! pattern. And then I sort of improv added whatever needed to be filled in :).

 My main inspiration for this quilt was this beauty made by Mary (Molly Flanders). Such an adorable, perfectly perfect little Christmas quilt, isn't it?

I really loved how Mary hand quilted hers, but I was not really in a mood for a major hand quilting project. So, I copied yet another one of Mary's fantastic ideas and combined machine quilting with just little touches of hand quilting. I can't even begin to tell you how very much I enjoyed this part. Pure joy, I'm telling you :). It's like putting sprinkles on a beautiful cupcake.

This, by the way, is my set up for hand quilting. I don't use any frames or hoops, I just spread the quilt on this large table and go for it (but I do try to remove the cats before I start quilting :)). Oh, and yes, I did the hand quilting once the binding was finished. It wasn't planned like that, but in my rush to see how binding would look with the whole layout I totally spaced out and forgot about hand quilting.

I used red and white perle cotton #8 for these lovely chunky stitches and did some randomly spaced long rows of white stitching plus some red stitching around christmas tress.

Oh, and minky backing, of course. To make it all nice and warm and super cozy. (I'm hoping my post on backing quilts with minky will be ready next week).

The quilt finished at 52" x 68", so a nice throw size. Now just to patiently wait for Christmas to come so we can enjoy lots of snuggles under this cozy pile of loveliness.

Thanks for reading, friends. Svetlana

Ooops, I almost forgot. I'm adding my Christmas quilt to Blogger's Quilt Festival - small quilts category over at Amy's creative side.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

jenna tote {new pdf pattern}

Happy Tuesday to you all!

I am super, super excited to show you my newest pdf pattern.

Jenna tote is a medium sized zipper tote bag (12" wide on bottom/ 15 1/2" on top x 12 1/2" tall x 4" deep). It's sturdy, not too large but roomy enough to carry a project, a book or two, and definitely a few other essentials.

I love the large front pocket, it's perfect for showing off my favorite fabric. By the way, I'm head over heels in love with Bound fabric collection by April Rhodes. Have you seen it? It's fantastic for all sorts of bag and pouch making :).

And, because I'm a firm believer that every bag needs at least one zipper pocket, I included a pretty large one on the back of the tote.  There's also a slip pocket in the lining, but one could definitely follow instructions for exterior zipper pocket and install one in the lining as well.

I think you will also like the zipper closure and the way handles are sewn in as the top of the bag forms a sort of gusset which makes it a lot easier to stuff this baby to the brim without any trouble zipping it up :).

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

As always, I tried to make sure the pattern is as user friendly as possible, so I enlisted help of a few super talented ladies to test it for me. They all did an amazing job, I'm sure you'll agree.

This beautiful Jenna is made by super talented Lynn. I so love the fabrics Lynn chose, and like that she used magnetic snap closures since she didn't have heavy duty snaps on hand. It's all about making do with what we have, right?

Bethany made this stunning tote bag. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love these colors and graphic prints together. And you know what? This was Bethany's first time doing boxed corners and installing snaps, wow!! Way to go Bethany!

 Ready for yet another super pretty tote? This one is made by Stephanie who cut into her hoarded fabric to make this beautiful Jenna.

 I'm totally crushing on this contrasting orange zipper and a super fun fabric combo Nancy went for with her Jenna. I like the webbing handles and the little tag on the back, as well. Such fun little touches.

This pretty pink and black tote is made by Robin. Beautifully made and super sweet, isn't it?

Mariana went all out and made this super colorful beautiful Jenna. She even added some sashiko stitches, leather pulls, as well as key fob.

Last, but definitely not least, is this gorgeous tote made by Gina. Isn't that background fabric amazing? It works beautifully with solid linen and webbing handles.

Beautiful totes, aren't they? Thank you for all your help, ladies.

 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

What do you say? Would you like to make a Jenna of your own?

Here's the list of materials you'd need

¾ yard main exterior fabric (main exterior panels, facing)
½ yard contrasting ext. fabric (exterior pocket, pocket flap, zipper tab, linings for exterior zipper pocket)
½ yard lining fabric (main lining panels, inner pocket)
¼ yard fabric for handles
3 yards SF101 interfacing (or other medium weight fusible interfacing of choice)

one 18” long metal or nylon zipper
one 9” long metal or nylon zipper
two heavy duty snaps - size 24 – 5/8”
Jenna tote pattern is available worldwide as an instant download pdf pattern. You can purchase your copy by clicking directly on the link below or by going to my Etsy shop.

Have a great day, everyone. Svetlana

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

fabric stamping {plus a shop discount code}

If you follow me on Instagram (I'm @sotakhandmade) you might have noticed my excitement about giving stamp carving and printing on fabric a try. Oh. my. goodness !!! It is so much fun!

I'm totally, totally in love with the idea of being able to carve my own stamps and make unique, one of a kind fabric.

Look, I even have some fun fabric to show for all those hours spent carving and stamping. Now, I'll be the first one to admit there's plenty of room for improvement here :). I have tons to learn, but I really like the challenge and it feels great to finally give it a go.

I'm sure you can tell by the pile of printing books I've accumulated over the years that this really was something I wanted to try for quite some time. So glad I finally took a plunge :).

I'm planning on making a post on supplies and resources I'm using in the near future, so stay tuned if this is something that interests you.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Before I go, I wanted to let you know about my flash sale. Take 20% off EVERYTHING (handmades as well as pdf patterns) in my etsy shop with discount code OCT20. Please note, this coupon code is valid for 24 hours only.

Have a super lovely day. Svetlana

Monday, October 19, 2015

handmade sale #2

As I was trying to bring some much needed order to my sewing room over the weekend, I noticed my finished projects cabinet was bursting at the seams once again. So, I thought it best to get right to it and list all these lovelies in my Etsy shop.

As you can see, there are pouches, pincushions, bags, pillows, quilts, and even patchwork rugs here. All lovingly made, in need of finding a new good home where they will be used and enjoyed :).

Wishing you all a super lovely Monday and thanks for your support. Svetlana

Thursday, October 15, 2015

wonderland pillow

Hello, welcome to my stop celebrating the release of Katarina Roccella's adorably whimsical, while at the same time quite sophisticated newest fabric collection called Wonderland.

As soon as I saw these fabrics I knew I wanted to make a pillow. Surprised? I didn't think so. I seem to be on a serious pillow making spree these days so bear with me :).

 My Wonderland stars finished at 6" square and I used Essex Yarn Dyed Linen for sashing and borders. Such a match made in heaven. I must combine cotton and linen more often as it gives finished projects the most amazing texture and feel.

I did straight line quilting about 1/4" apart (my absolute favorite quilting these days) on my pillow top. Oh, and I used the most wonderful Wonderland Feathers canvas for the back of my pillow and installed an invisible zipper. Love how invisible it actually turned out :).

Be sure to check out other stops on this blog hop for some absolutely stunning projects. Here's the line up:

1. ERICA TOOLE - October 5th
3. DANA BOLYARD - October 7th
4. RACHAEL GANDER - October 8th
5. HEATHER and MEG of QUILT STORY - October 9th
8. ERICA JACKMAN - October 12th
9. KATHLEEN RIGGINS - October 13th
10. MARIJA VUJČIĆ - October 14th
11. SVETLANA SOTAK - October 15th  (you are here)
12. KYLIE KELSHEIMER of SEW KYLIE - October 16th
14. MICHELLE WILKIE - October 18th
15. HEMAMALINI - October 19th
16. LYNNE GOLDSWORTHY - October 20th

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


To my family's surprise (and delight) I've been slowly working on replacing the many very colorful pillows in our family room with more muted colors and simpler patchwork. 

This is my newest addition to a more grown up family room and I really, really love how this simple triangle patchwork pillow cover turned out.

I started out by picking this lovely stack from my stash and cutting it into isosceles triangles. I used this ruler for all the cutting and highly recommend you get one if you're planning on doing any triangle patchworking. 

Once I arranged my triangles though, there was something about all these colors together I didn't quite like. I think it was too much pattern and too many saturated colors with no breathing space, so I decided to get rid of some fabrics completely, use less of others, and add more low volume and whitish solids to the mix.

This was my second layout and while I still like the original stack of fabrics, I think this version feels way more "me".


And, in the name of keeping things simple, I did and all over straight line quilting for the front, and used Ellen Baker's origami paper cranes linen for the back of the pillow.

This pillow cover finished at 18" square.

Now, I know sewing triangles into patchwork is more tricky than squares or rectangles might be. So, if you want to give it a try but are unsure about how to do it so your points match up, I recommend you give Adrianne's tutorial a try. It's fantastic, you'll love it!!


Thursday, October 8, 2015

scraps {a finished quilt}

I started this quilt way back in August, completely on a whim, deciding one evening to just dig into my scrap baskets and making some improv pieced blocks.  I had no real plan for the blocks, I didn't even know if they would ever become something useful, but since they were fun to make I didn't mind :).

I did like the blocks though. I liked them a lot, which meant they totally needed to become a quilt. I used lots of low volume scraps to join them into one continuous patchwork and then I got stuck. My patchwork was not big enough for the lap sized quilt I was going for, and I didn't feel like making more blocks, so I set it aside for a while to have time to think. (I don't do this very often as I usually want to finish my projects right away and I'm glad I forced myself to be patient and took time to think over what the next step should be)

At the end I added scrappy low volume borders and brought the size of the quilt to 51" x 68". I wanted to keep this quilt for our home, so I went with minky backing as that's the only kind of quilts my kids like. I can't really blame them, minky makes for such super soft and snuggly quilts.

I did an overall straight line quilting about 1" apart to bring all the scrappy goodness into one cohesive quilt. And, I didn't even have to mark my lines. I actually flipped the quilt sandwich minky side up and used minky chevron pattern as my quilting guide. Worked like a charm.

 Now, I've always been a huge fan of Mary's beautiful quilts where she combines machine and hand quilting, so I decided it was finally time I gave it a try. I did a few random lines along the width of the quilt and I couldn't be happier with the result. 

Red and white striped binding seemed like an obvious choice, so I didn't fight the obvious and went with it. Such a bright, happy way to frame all the scrappy goodness.

Thanks for reading. Svetlana
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