Thursday, April 28, 2016

baby trip around the world

Last week, completely out of nowhere and without much thinking, I started making a Trip Around the World quilt. It was all so sudden, I just kind of looked at the enormous "stash" of scraps threatening to take over my studio and started cutting. Yes, I definitely need to work on my impulse control as I had neither time nor any need for this quilt :(.

At least I stopped myself after nine blocks, just enough for a baby quilt.

I used Bonnie Hunter's very popular tutorial to make my blocks and I absolutely loved how fun and relaxed it was to piece them.

I decided to tie the quilt as all these colors and pattern reminded me of vintage quilts and I thought
little white ties in the middle of each square would make it look pretty charming. 

Of course I totally underestimated how many little knots I'd have to make and my poor fingers were sore for days. I still think it was worth it though :).

finished size: 36" square
fabrics used: different scraps from my stash
batting: Warm and White

Talk to you soon. Svetlana

Linking up to Finish it up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

epp crosses {a very slow progress}

After months of not being in a mood for epp, I finally started making progress on my very neglected plus pillow.

Turns out, I have this love - hate relationship with epp. There are times when I absolutely love wrapping fabric around paper templates and using teeny tiny stitches to piece the blocks together. And then, out of nowhere, I suddenly get tired of it all, pack the projects and supplies away and shove them in the darkest corner of my closet, only to find them there months later and fall in love with epp all over again.

This time, however, I decided to give glue basting a try. I must admit, I was quite skeptical at first. I actually considered it sort of cheating to use glue instead of thread and needle to baste the shapes (I know, completely unnecessary and snobbish thinking) :).

Now that I've tried it though, I'm a convert (I used both glue sticks shown in the picture above and I like them both equally). Glue makes basting go so much quicker, and I absolutely love the beautifully crisp edges I get.

Let's just hope I'll be loving epp long enough to finish this pillow at last.

Here's a link to a free template in case you'd like to give these unique pluses designed by Mollie of Wild Olive a try.


Monday, April 25, 2016

scraps destash

Just a quick heads up, my lovely US friends. I'll be destashing ALL my scraps over on Instagram (I'm @sotakhandmade) at 4:00 pm central time.

This is just a sampling of what's up for grabs. Scraps are of different sizes (anywhere from 2.5" squares, up to FE) and they'll be divided into 1lb bundles which just about fit into a priority flat rate envelopes.

Each bundle will be priced at $13.00 + $7.00 shipping.

Hope to see you there. Svetlana

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

wall pocket organizer {a tutorial}

You guys, I'm super excited to show you my newest project ... 

...  a wall pocket organizer.

I've been in an organizing mood for quite some time now and one thing I really wanted to get was a simple wall pocket organizer to help me keep all the many piles of mail and bills from constantly spreading around my studio. 

I looked and looked, online as well as in stores, but I could not find exactly what I was looking for as I didn't want anything too bulky or made of plastic. In the end I decided to try and make one myself and I'm happy to say it turned out just the way I imagined.

And, I wrote up a tutorial for you in case you'd like to make an organizer of your own.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Finished Size: 13" wide x 24" tall

- use 1/4" seam allowance unless otherwise noted
- use non - directional print for main and lining fabric, if you use a directional one you will need double the amount stated in materials needed   
 - make sure your printer is set to “actual size” when printing your template (page scaling is set to “none”). Do not select “shrink to fit” as that would result in your template being printed incorrectly.

Materials Needed:
1/2 yard main fabric
1 FQ pocket fabric
1/2 yard lining fabric
1 1/4 yard Pellon Flex-Foam or Soft and Stable by Annie
1 package - 1/2" wide double fold bias binding
2 extra large eyelets

pattern template (click here)

eyelet setting tool
505 basting spray
walking foot for your sewing machine (optional, but highly recommended)

1. from main fabric cut: one 13" wide x 24" tall rectangle
                                       two 2 3/4" x WOF strips for binding
from pocket fabric cut: two 13" wide x 9" tall rectangles
from lining fabric cut: one 13" wide x 24" tall rectangle
                                     two 13" wide x 9" tall rectangle
from Flex Foam cut:  one 13" wide x 24" tall rectangle
                                   two 13" wide x 9" tall rectangle

2. Place one 13" wide x 9" tall lining rectangle right side down on a flat surface. Lay the same sized Flex Foam rectangle on top, place one pocket fabric rectangle right side up on top.Use 505 spray to baste all three layers together. (you can quilt your pocket at this point if you like)

3. Lay provided pocket template on top of basted pocket rectangle, align side and bottom edges. Trace around the top rounded edge.

4. Use 1/8" seam allowance and stitch slightly inside the drawn line along the top of the pocket. Cut along the line.

5. Unfold your bias binding, place your pocket lining side up and align binding's raw edge with pocket's top raw edge, pin. Stitch along the first fold line (picture below).

6. Remove the pins, flip the binding towards right side of the pocket. Use Wonder Clips or pin to hold binding in place. Stitch using 1/8" seam allowance.


7. Make second pocket following the same directions, only this time bind the pocket's bottom edge as well (please note, one pocket will have the bottom edge bound using bias tape, the other pocket will not). Set the pockets aside for now.

Main Panel:
8. Baste using 505 spray the three remaining 13" wide x 24" tall rectangles together (lining fabric rectangle is right side down, flex foam on top, main fabric rectangle is right side up on the very top). We'll refer to this basted rectangle as main panel. (you can quilt your main panel at this point, if preferred)

9. Place main panel right side up on a flat surface. Align one pocket along its bottom edge, clip to hold both panels in place (make sure you use the pocket without bottom binding). Use 1/8" seam allowance to baste pocket to main panel.

10. Align second pocket (the one with bottom edge bound) 2" up from the first pocket. Attach pocket to main panel by stitching along the sides and the bottom edge using 1/8" seam allowance.

11. Stitch the two binding strips together to form one continuous strip. Fold the strip half lengthwise (wrong sides together), press.

12. Attach binding to your wall pocket organizer the same way you would to a quilt (attach to the back first, flip and attach to the front).

13. Mark two points 1 1/2" away from top and side edge for eyelets placement. Use small sharp scissors to cut a hole through all three layers of main panel. Follow directions on your eyelets packaging to attach them to your organizer.

14. Give your wall pocket organizer a good press if needed, remove any stray threads and you're all finished. Congratulations!

Hope you give this project a try and enjoy making and using it.

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

Wishing you all an amazing day. Svetlana

Monday, April 18, 2016

pretty little mat

Hello everyone!

Did you have a nice weekend? Our crazy Chicago weather didn't disappoint once again and in the span of 3 or 4 days we went from wearing winter coats to wearing shorts and t-shirts. Totally insane, but so greatly appreciated as we were all eager to soak up as much of that glorious sunshine as we could. I just hope we won't be back to coats in a few days. Fingers crossed :).

So, of course there was not much sewing happening here, but I did manage to finish this simple little patchwork mat. It was inspired by this beautiful mat I came across a while back.

I started off by cutting my fabric into 2.5" squares. Isn't that top Liberty print the sweetest? I had just a small piece left over from making Liberty Coin quilt , I think it makes this mat extra special :).

And, I used sashiko thread to add a bit of hand quilting. I must say, I'm in love. This was my first time using sashiko thread and I just adore its "chunky", natural look. I think I like it even better than Perle cotton I usually use. 

I loved making this mat. It was a perfect almost instant gratification project.

Here's to a week full of lovely sunshine and beautiful fabric. Svetlana

Thursday, April 14, 2016

one more ...

... just as planned, I have yet another Nightfall tote to show you today.

I loved using Nightfall canvas and AGF denim for this version of Jenna tote. Such a pretty combination, perfect for an everyday spring tote, I think.

I must say, this was a super fun bag making week for me. I hope Maureen loves these bags as much as I do. And, in case you find yourself at Quilt Market next month, you can see them in person in Maureen's Nightfall booth.

Thanks for reading. Svetlana

Monday, April 11, 2016

nightfall megan + lola

This past weekend I had a great pleasure to play with Maureen Cracknell's not yet released fabric Nightfall. I absolutely adore the prints and colors in this fabric collection. So, of course I was more than excited to say yes when Maureen asked if I'd make a bag or two using a combination of AGF denim and Nightfall for her Quilt Market booth.

And thus on Friday evening, just about an hour after the mailman dropped off the fabric, I was already excitedly stitching up this Megan bag. I think she is gorgeous, wouldn't you agree? 

I didn't have much fabric to work with (as the strike offs designers receive aren't that huge), so I decided to go with a patchwork top. And, I love it so, so very much. 

And then, since I had a bit more scraps left over, I decided to make a pieced Lola pouch. These little patchwork squares finish at 1" so they were quite fiddly to work with, but definitely worth it.

I used some more AGF denim for contrasting bottom band, zipper binding, as well as the lining. This was my first time working with AGF denim fabric and I was pleasantly surprised at how soft and not at all stiff it is. I'll be definitely getting more of this denim for my future projects.

I have one more bag using Nightfall canvas in the works, I'll be sure to show it to you soon.

Oh, and in case you'd like to make a Megan tote or Lola pouch of your own, both patterns are available  for purchase at my etsy shop.

Wishing you all a wonderfully creative and happy week. Svetlana

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

qayg patchwork mat

I had no plans for sewing today. In fact, I specifically planned this to be a day devoted to catching up on my housework and cleaning everything in sight. Yes, I do get ridiculous and totally unrealistic ideas like that on a regular basis :).

I didn't manage to stay away from my sewing machine for long, though. In fact, after just a bit of sweeping I suddenly noticed how messy the floor around our kittie's food bowls gets. Which, of course, meant I needed to make a mat for them asap.

So much more fun than cleaning, don't you think?

I simply dumped one of my scrap bins on the floor, pulled out an array of strings, and used a quilt as you go (qayg) technique to make this easy to make mat.

Once I had a large enough patchwork, I trimmed it to a 13" x 22" rectangle. I then placed backing fabric right side down on a table and lay finished patchwork right side up on top. I smoothed the layers out and pinned all the way around the perimeter to prevent the layers from shifting. I used a 1/8" seam allowance to baste the layers together, trimmed the backing, and attached the binding the same way I would for a quilt.

Easy - peasy.

I love the way it turned out. And, since this was a pretty quick project, I still managed to get quite a bit of cleaning done as well. All in all, a pretty successful day.

In case you'd like to learn more about quilt as you go technique, you can check out my tutorial for qayg trivets by clicking here.

As always, thank you all for stopping by and reading. Svetlana

Monday, April 4, 2016

going for it ...

Hello, happy Monday to you all !!

Last week was my children's much awaited spring break and we all thoroughly enjoyed no set schedule and lots of free time to play and relax. Which, of course, meant almost no time to work and sew for me. No complaints, though. This little break was a great chance to recharge for me as well :).

I did, however, find a little bit of time in the evenings to give making screens using photo emulsion a try (I used Diazo emulsion that came with Speedball screen printing kit I bought at my local art supply store months ago). Yes, it's taken me months to finally go for it.
I used my finished screens to print a few panels of fabric right away and I'm absolutely loving the way they turned out. There will definitely be a lot more screen printing for me in the near future.

In case you'd like to give this technique a try, I'd highly recommend reading through very helpful and detailed instructions in Krista's fantastic book Beyond Cotton.

Thanks for reading, friends. Svetlana
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