Sunday, May 29, 2016

May is for Makers week 5 - Bendy Bag

Finally, we wrap up the month of #MayisforMakers with week 5. I have made hardly a dent in the patterns that I have purchased, but I have plans for all of them!

May Is For Makers |

As I mentioned before, I am an absolute sucker for a good zippered pouch or useful basket or bag, and while I was having a hard time finding another quilt or clothing pattern that I *really* wanted to buy, I had no trouble finding another zippered pouch pattern! I ended up choosing the Bendy Bag by Lazy Girl Designs, and honestly I really can't wait to try it out. It is offered as part of her Craftsy class, Zip It Up: Easy Techniques for Zippered Bags, but you can purchase the pattern separately. I got the class (on sale, woot!) and will be jumping into it as soon as I can.  

Image courtesy of Lazy Girl Designs

The pattern seems quite interesting... you put the zipper in flat and then a fold is sewn in on each side, origami-like, to bring it into the bag shape! I like the square-ish shape of this bag, I'm sure I'll be able to find plenty of uses for it. 

So now that I have all of these new things to make, I had better get working! I hope you managed to show your support for an independent maker/artist/craftsperson this month... and if not, it's not too late! Get out there and show them some love :) 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

May is for Makers week 4 - Rebel Quilt

At the beginning of the year I had told myself that I would spend this summer making some progress on my heap of projects waiting to be done. Thanks to the #MaysiforMakers project, my heap has grown significantly rather than shrinking... I think my 'stash' may have finally exceeded my life expectancy.

May Is For Makers |

Being something of an art geek, I have wandered through many museums and galleries, flipped through many art and art history books, browsed many design blogs, watched many art documentaries and so it does not happen often that I gasp aloud upon seeing a piece of art or design. But when I came across Libs Elliott's Rebel Quilt while browsing modern quilt patterns a while back, I gasped. It is so pleasingly chaotic, yet balanced, and the colors she chose are so wonderful that I spent a long, long time looking at it: 
Image courtesy of Libs Elliott

In March, we were lucky enough to book Libs for a workshop with the MMQG in which we learned Y-seams and worked on a giant hexagon pattern. Mine is still partially finished (yet another item on the project pile), although it inspired me to go outside my comfort zone and choose a mustard yellow palette that I ended up being quite pleased with! I'm not sure what I'll do with this one... unusually for me, I'm actually tempted to use the same palette as in the above image, I find it *that* striking! Then again, who says I can't make more than one!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

May is for Makers week 3 - Tiki-tastic!!!

I have a confession to make... I'm having a really difficult time not getting carried away with buying patterns. And it's only week 3... I need to pace myself.

May Is For Makers |

Buying patterns and supplies for any project is a dangerous thing for me... I get carried away and buy too much ("But that way I'll have extra if I need it!") or I commit to more than I can get accomplished. My "To Do" pile of fabrics and patterns is seriously staggering. 

But! I had promised myself I would work my way through some of my 'stash' this summer, and spending a little on some new patterns is a good way to motivate myself to do that... it's all for a good cause in the end, right? ;) 

So, for this week's pattern I decided to go with some clothing. Summer will be here soon and my wardrobe is sadly lacking in summer dresses, so I remedied that by buying the Jacaranda Plus-size Dress from Tenterhook Patterns on Etsy.

Photo courtesy of Tenterhook Patterns

Why this pattern? Well, I just happen to have the perfect fabric sitting around waiting to be put to good use:

It will be tiki-tastic! All of my other projects can wait! :D 

Some days you're the windshield...

Some days you're the windshield, some days you're the bug. Today I was definitely the bug.

It's been a very long week for me... one of our cats unexpectedly spent last weekend at the emergency vet for a serious urinary problem, so we spent most of this week having to wrangle him to administer medication, try to convince him he liked the new special diet he'll be on (he is not convinced), and worriedly monitor his recovery to make sure things were improving (they seem to be). Add to that my boss surprising me with the news that he was taking the rest of his paternity leave starting the beginning of next week and my work load would be instantly doubling, and the MMQG is wrapping up for our summer break starting in June, so yeah... I'm pretty worn out.

That said, the MMQG stuff has been the one enjoyable part of the week... we have some fun things in the plan for the last two meetings before our summer break. Plus planning out our schedule for next year will be exciting... I do enjoy spending time with that group!

So this weekend I planned to stay in and just relax, and to take my mind off things I put on a few episodes of my favorite podcast and settled down to work on a few little sewing projects that needed doing.... And absolutely nothing has turned out how I wanted it to.

The first thing I tried was a quilted cover for a notebook for which I took careful measurements and made a pattern before starting, checking it as I went only at the end to have it just that fraction too small to fit the notebook. So I set that aside and tried a boxy zippered pouch I wanted to make for my various USB cables, instead. I used a pattern and followed the instructions carefully only to get to the end and find... I didn't like it. I had done it right, it looked exactly like the picture, only the zipper opening was so awkward I knew it would drive me nuts so I undid a few of the seams and tried to correct/improve it. Well, of course all I could do was cut it down further until I got the zipper opening to work how I wanted it only to have the pouch itself be so small as to be unusable for the original purpose I had in mind. *sigh*

I was eyeballing a third small project in the hopes of salvaging some of my sewing mojo, but at this point I think I'm going to call it a wash, go make myself a cocktail and relax a bit with the cats and boyfriend. Here's to this coming week being much less eventful... tchin tchin! ;)

Sunday, May 8, 2016

May is for Makers week 2 - Bionic Gear Bag

So here we are in week 2 of the May is for Makers... campaign? Challenge? Project? Whatever you want to call it :)
May Is For Makers |

Last week I bought the Starfall quilt pattern from Fresh Lemons. Of course, I haven't done any work on it yet, but that's ok... it will be my summer quilting project. I did get the pattern printed, at least, surely that counts for something! ;)

My pattern for this week is a little more functional: I chose to buy the Bionic Gear Notions Tote by RipStitcher. One of the ladies in the MMQG had a version of this bag at one of the sew-ins a few months back and, being the complete sucker that I am for a zippered pouch, I loved it.

Photo courtesy of

This bag will be just the thing to drag my stuff to and from quilt meetings and sew-ins! :) I'll have to have a rummage around in my stash for some fabrics and zippers... I'm sure I have a few orphaned fat quarters that can be put to good use!

So... what have you done so far for #MayisforMakers?

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

May is for Makers week 1 - Starfall Quilt

Lindsey Rhodes has started a campaign to bring attention and support to the makers out there... the people who spend a lot of time and effort to make beautiful things; things that people often aren't willing to pay a full and reasonable price for.

May Is For Makers |

She has set herself the challenge to support a different maker each week for the entire month of May. Not only will she have some awesome new projects to work on, she will also be helping to encourage and support independent makers and designers by buying their patterns/goods and showing them that their time and talent are valuable. 

In her case, and mine, it is sewing-related, but I extend the challenge to you in a wider context: this month, whether it is just once, or once a week, spend a little bit of time and/or money and support a maker. Whether it is a local musician, a road-side pie stand, a small scale food producer or an independent artisan... pick something that you love and support it. Buy something that they produce, spend some time talking to them about what they do and why they're passionate about it, and then tell someone else about them. 

Personally, I have been wanting to make a scrap quilt to use up some of my stash, so I chose for my purchase this week to buy the pattern for Fresh Lemons' Starfall quilt. I love the idea of having a bunch of different sized star blocks... it looks like it will lend itself really well to my weird array of scraps! Plus it's a great exercise in scale... I have scale on the brain right now as the MMQG charity project for next year is going to be centered around that theme. 

I'm not sure what I'll do next week, but with summer right around the corner, maybe I'll look for a few nice summer dress patterns. A big thank you to both Izzy and Shannon, fellow MMQG members, who both posted about #MayisforMakers this week... I'm glad I heard about it! :)