Friday, February 24, 2017

a tale of two quilts

Hello, happy Friday to you all!

I have not just one, but TWO quilts to show you today. I know, a total overachiever here :).  It wasn't planned that way though. The reason I have two versions of the same quilt is that I ruined the first one (thanks to my impulsivity and lack of patience) and then had to rush like crazy to make a second version to meet the deadline.

This is the first version of my Star Bright quilt for Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine. I love working with triangles and I was totally smitten with the design and colors in this quilt top (I used all Cirrus solids). 

And then it was time to baste the quilt. I use 505 spray to baste my quilts and have always loved how quick the process is. This time though, I made it a bit too quick since I decided there was no need to properly shake the bottle before I started basting and, to my complete horror, the glue left tons of tiny spots/ stains all over my quilt top.

I tried spot cleaning them but it didn't seem to help so I turned to my trusty google search and found suggestions to just wash the quilt once finished and stains would be gone, phew! 

Well, not quite! Ever since I designed this quilt I planned on doing some dense quilting as I knew Cirrus solids are less tightly woven than Kona solids I usually work with and I wanted to prevent any fraying. And then, all of a sudden, I changed my mind and decided to machine quilt around large stars only and tie the rest of the quilt.

It really was a bad decision, but I made it even worse when I had less than half the quilt tied (I planned on finishing that later) and I threw it in the washing machine to see if the stains would come out. Yes, the stains did come out, but when I looked closer I spotted some frayed and ripped up seams in quite a few places!

I can't even begin to tell you how mad I was at myself! Seriously!!!

And then I calmed down (mostly because I only had two days till I needed to ship the quilt to the publisher), looked through my fabric and found out I still had enough Cirrus solids for yet another quilt, so I got to work once again.

This time though I shook the 505 can for at least 10 min as I was so freaked out about ruining this quilt also, and I quilted it with straight lines about 1/2" apart.

I'm glad to say I made the deadline and the quilt was featured in issue 43 of Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine, yay!

Plus, I'd also like to think I learned a lesson or two as well :). I really, really hope I did because this was the most stressful quilt sewing ever.

I finally got over my frustration of ruining the quilt and decided it's ok to use it even if there are a few rips in it.  And Lola doesn't seem to mind even one bit. She totally made my day when I found her sleeping in this pile of quilts.

Thanks for reading friends, I hope I didn't bore you to death with my saga of these two quilts :).

Wishing you all a creative weekend. Svetlana

Monday, February 20, 2017

nina wristlet {new pdf pattern}

Hello, happy Monday to you all!

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

Nina wristlet is perfect for when you don't want to carry a bag with you, but still need a place for your phone, keys, credit cards, and maybe a few other necessities.

She comes in two sizes, large one is 5" tall x 8 1/4" wide and small one is 4 1/4" tall x 7 1/4" wide.

Can you tell I really enjoyed making these pouches? I kept finding new fabric I wanted to use and ended up with six prototypes (actually eight, but two didn't make it to this photo) :). I don't think I ever made so many pouches while working on a pattern.

Both pouches have super handy card slots in the lining (small one has three card slots and large one has eight).

I've been using my large Nina as a wallet as for quite some time and I couldn't be happier with it as there's enough card slots to keep all my cards organized, and the exterior zipper pocket is perfect to keep change in one place. Plus, the pouch fits my phone, and even keys easily.

I, of course, made some Ninas for my daughters as well. They both prefer a smaller size since all they usually carry around are their phones and some money.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

What do you say? Would you like to make some Ninas of your own?

I graded this pattern intermediate as some experience working with zippers and piping will make the process of making this pouch a lot more enjoyable.

Here's the list of materials you'll need to make this wristlet:
1 FQ (fat quarter) of fabric measures 18'” x 21”
fabric A (exterior + wrist strap) – 1 FQ
fabric B (non-directional fabric for lining) – 1/2 yard
Pellon 987F fusible fleece – 10” x 13” rectangle
SF 101 interfacing (or similar medium weight fusible interfacing) – 3/4 yard
one - 8” long metal zipper (make sure your swivel snap hook can fit through zipper pull hole)
one - 6” long metal zipper
piping – 19” long store bought 0.5” wide bias piping (I used Wrights bias tape maxi piping)
one - 1/2” swivel snap hook (I purchased this one)
optional – one – 6mm rivet
optional – one – zipper pull for exterior pocket zipper

You can purchase Nina Wristlet pdf instant download pattern by clicking on the button below or by visiting my etsy shop here. And, for the next 48 hours, I'm offering this pattern at a discounted price of $6.00, after that the pattern will cost $8.00.

Thanks for reading and happy sewing everyone! Svetlana


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

♥ ♥ ♥

Happy Valentine's Day, friends !!!

I simply couldn't resist and had to whip up this sweet little wristlet using super adorable fabric I printed a few days ago. The pattern is my newest Nina Wristlet which will be available for purchase early next week.

Hope you all are having a lovely day. Svetlana

Thursday, February 9, 2017

boxy pouch {a free tutorial}

Hello friends, welcome!

Most of you know by now pouches of different shapes and sizes are one of my very favorite projects to sew and today I'm happy to share a new free tutorial for a boxy pouch with you today.

Pretty cute, aren't they? These pouches finish at 7" wide x 2" tall x 3" deep and would work great as pencil or make up pouches.

 And, to make things easier for you I even turned this tutorial into a printer friendly pdf file. Just click on the link below :).

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Ready to start sewing? Here we go!

Click here for printer friendly pdf file of this tutorial.

Materials needed:
main exterior fabric: two - 5.25" tall x 10" wide rectangles
contrasting exterior bands: two - 1" tall x 10" wide strips
lining fabric: two - 5.75" tall x 10" wide rectangles
raw edge binding: two - 2.5" tall x 4.5" wide rectangles
fusible fleece:  two - 5.75" tall x 10" wide rectangles
SF101 interfacing: two - 5.75" tall x 10" wide rectangles
9" zipper (metal or nylon depending on your preference)
two - 0.5" wide x 2.5" long ribbon for side tabs

You will also need:
disappearing fabric pen, ruler, zipper foot for your sewing machine

Use 1/4" seam allowance unless otherwise stated.

Exterior Panels 
1. Stitch contrasting exterior bands to top edges of both main exterior panels. Press seams towards contrasting bands, topstitch along the seam using 1/8" seam allowance.

2. Follow manufacturer's instructions to adhere fusible fleece to wrong side of both exterior panels.

3.  Follow manufacturer's instructions to adhere interfacing to wrong side of both lining panels.

4. Center zipper right side down along the top raw edge of exterior panel. Align zipper tape with exterior's top raw edge. Place lining panel right side down on top, align top raw edges, zipper is sandwiched between the exterior panel and lining.  Pin to hold in place. Use the edge of your zipper foot as a guide and stitch along the top pinned edge taking the pins out as you go. Press both exterior and lining away from zipper.

5. Attach second exterior panel and lining to second zipper tape following the same directions. Press the panels away from zipper.

6. Use 1/8" seam allowance to topstitch along both sides of zipper, stitching through both exterior panel as well as lining.

7. Fold both side tab ribbons in half, center each along one edge of zipper as shown in picture below, baste using 1/8" seam allowance.

8. Open zipper half way and keep it that way! Align exterior panels on top of each other and lining panels on top of each other, pin along both long edges as shown below. Stitch along the pinned edges backstitching at the beginning and end. Press the seams open.

9. Turn the pouch lining side out, align zipper over bottom seam. Use Wonder Clips to hold zipper in place.

10. Use disappearing fabric pen to mark A points as shown below.

11. Use ruler to measure and mark 1" away from both sides of point A, mark those as point Bs. Do the same marks on each side of the remaining three points A.

12. Align points B over each other, point A is hidden inside (make sure all the raw edges are aligned). Use Wonder Clips to hold each edge folded as shown below.

13. Use 1/4" seam allowance to baste both side edges. Check on the exterior side to make sure all the panels and folds are caught in the seam. If something got out of place in the process go back, rip out the seam, and redo the folds.

14. Fold and press both binding strips in half lengthwise. Align one binding's raw edges with pouch's raw edge, use 1/4" seam allowance to attach binding to pouch (about 1/2" of binding will be sticking out on each side, don't attach that to pouch at this time).

15. Fold the part of binding that was sticking out in previous step around the side edge, hold in place and fold binding over to cover raw edge. Use clips to hold everything in place.

16. Wrap and bind second corner the same way. Use 1/8" seam allowance to stitch binding in place.

17. Follow the same directions to bind second side raw edge.

18. Turn the pouch right side out, adjust the sides to make your pouch rectangular and boxy, add zipper pull if you wish, and you're all finished. Congratulations!!

I'd love to see your lovely makes. Please share your finished pouches in my Flickr group
(sotak handmade inspired) or on Instagram using

Happy sewing! Svetlana

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

new alice purse

I made a new Alice Purse. And this one is for me, yay!

I went back and forth a bit on which fabric to use, of course. In the end I decided to combine this beautiful Foliage in Black by Sarah Watson for Cloud 9 with black wool for the exterior, and I chose another Cloud 9 fabric I had in my stash for the lining.

This was the first time I worked with wool. It wasn't that different from working with cotton, but I did have to remember to adjust temperature of the iron as too much heat can ruin wool.

And, since I was going for chic and classy with my purse, I used leather handles instead of fabric ones and rivets instead of stitching to attach my adjustable strap. Both of these upgrades actually made the whole process quicker and I absolutely love the final look.

This bag finishes at 11” wide x 10” tall x 3 ½” deep and is just a perfect size for my everyday needs as I no longer have to tote around a ginormous bag as my kids are older now (insert a very, very happy face here). Plus, I really love all the zipper pockets.

You can purchase a pattern for this purse by clicking here if you'd like to make an Alice Purse of your own.

Happy sewing, friends. Svetlana

Monday, February 6, 2017


Hello, happy Monday everyone!

I've been feeling super creative lately and have been happily jumping from one project to another. Would you like to see?

:: sock knitting ::

I love having a knitting project for when I watch Netflix or listen to podcasts in the evening. My go to projects are usually simple socks or a shawl.

:: pattern designing ::

I've been working on some prototypes for my newest pdf pattern. I hope you will love these wristlets as much as I do.

:: new coasters ::

I also made these qayg coasters. I love projects like that as they don't take much time to make and are a great way to use up some scraps of fabric as well as batting. I have a free tutorial on how to make these in case you'd like to whip up a few coasters of your own.

:: sketching ::

I'm a strong believer in one's ability to learn new skills and greatly improve with practice, so I've been reminding myself to do a bit of drawing and sketching few times a week. I'm obsessed with barns and cats, as you can see :).

And, I decided to make myself a new Alice purse. I hope to be able to show it to you soon.

How about you? Have you been working on any fun projects? I'd love to know.


Thursday, February 2, 2017

orange surprise {a finished quilt}

One of my goals for 2017 is to make a quilt each month to donate to my local homeless shelter. So, when a few days ago it suddenly dawned on me that the month of January was almost over and I did not make a quilt I planned, I started panicking a bit.

Thankfully though I realized I made an HRT quilt top months ago and never finished it, so I quickly dug it out of my wip pile and got to work.

Since this is not a huge quilt, I decided it was time I gave pin basting a try. Can you believe I only pin basted my very first quilt (which turned out pretty bad since I only used about 20 !!! pins for the whole quilt), and all my other quilts were glue basted? I don't even know why I suddenly decided to swap pins for glue, but to my great surprise, I didn't really hate the whole pin basting process. I actually found it kind of relaxing and therapeutic ??? We'll see how long this love affair with pin basting lasts :).

I used this Marimekko orange linen for the backing as I thought it would add a super lovely pop of color and surprise to this otherwise muted quilt top. (I pre-washed the linen to prevent any excessive shrinkage or color bleeding)

I used the edge of my walking foot as a guide to quilt along both sides of each seam and I absolutely love how soft and snugly this quilt turned out.

 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


finished size: 47" x 54" 
fabrics used: cirrus solids + prints from stash
batting: warm and white
pattern: my own HRT quilt in issue 42 of Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine

Can you believe these two quilts are made using the same pattern? I made them both when I worked on my HRT quilt for Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine, the only difference is the one on the left does not have any border added. I'm always stunned to see how fabric choice and placement makes such a huge difference in the final look of the finished quilt. 

Hope you all have a creative and inspiring day. Svetlana

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