Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Quilts As You Go - Patchwork Bags!

I made a bag! And I loved making it.
I have made many quilts, some pillow covers with zippers, as well as a few zippered  pouches and that is about the extent of my sewing experience and exposure to various techniques.  I tentatively like the idea of stepping outside of my sewing comfort zone and even have grandiose plans to one day sew clothing but .... One step at a time.

Browsing Craftsy I stumbled upon Tara Rebman's - Quilt-As-You-Go: Patchwork Bags online class.  This bag - the Tinker Tote -  is made as part of the class using several techniques that I am already familiar with ( such as quilt-as-you-go and patchwork) as well as techniques and products - like interfacing -  which are new to me, and so this was a good transition class for me.  Nothing too daunting.
I purchased the class several weeks ago and have since been sourcing the required materials including a magnetic snap, Decor Bond by Pellon and a fruitless search for Utility Cloth which just doesn't exist in Australia (and which I substituted with a linen/cotton blend fabric slightly heavier than quilting cotton).  Prior to making the bag I spent quite some time watching the class just to familiarize myself with the bag making process.  I again watched the online class as I was making the bag, repeating lessons when needed and carefully watching Tara in action.
The bag is fully lined, with an option for two different style pockets one of which is a zippered pocket hidden in the lining of the bag.  A heavy/firm iron-on interfacing is used to stabilize the bag and the corners of the bags are boxed. The edges of the bag are finished with bias binding with an second option for a hidden binding.
The online class was very comprehensive. Tara showed every step of the process, and made a whole bag from scratch during the class.  The trickiest (most fiddly) part was attaching the bias binding, but it is a technique with which I am familiar, and not unlike binding a quilt but with awkward curves.

The back of my bag (pictured above) is made using the Quilt As You Go technique.  I wasn't immediately taken with the look of this bag panel and made the other side of the bag in a more traditional patchwork style (pictured below) which I spray basted onto the batting and then quilted as a whole (rather than quilt as you go).  Now that the bag is finished I actually really like the Quilt as You Go side, maybe even prefer it!

  • The Tinker Tote pattern forms part of Tara Rebman's Quilt-As-You-Go: Patchwork Bags  online class.
  • the fabrics used are Flea Market Fancy and Katie Jump Rope by Denyse Schmidt.  Feature fabric is Echino Decoro by Etsuko Furuya - Buck in Black
  • I used a 14mm Magnetic Snap (the only size available at my local store).  A larger snap - 18mm diameter - is probably a better size for this tote.
  • There seems to be no equivalent of Utility Cloth in Australia.  Utility Cloth is used as an additional  bag lining which I have substituted  with a handkerchief linen.  If I were to make this bag again I would probably substitute the Utility Cloth with a light weight canvas fabric for a firmer finish - a personal preference only.

I always enjoy time spent tinkering about with fabric and sewing but this project was a little different for me and I had the most wonderful time making it.  I am already planning another!

Thank you for stopping by,

Tara Rebman's - Quilt-As-You-Go: Patchwork Bags

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Stash #192 - Squared Elements - Art Gallery Fabrics

Squared Elements - Art Gallery Fabrics in
 (from top to bottom)
Noir, Lemongrass, Watermelon, Rosewater, Turquoise,
 Shadow and Seafoam. (Honeycomb not shown)

My Squared Elements fabric order arrived just in time to finish off my Checkerboard Quilt earlier this week. I think this design is rather perfect for quilt binding - and a great fabric stash basic.  These colors are in addition to Pat Bravo's Carnaby Street collection which also included three colorways of the Squared Elements design which I have previously used and posted about here. 

Squared Elements - Art Gallery Fabrics is now in stores and available from:
Pink Castle Fabrics
Stash Modern Fabric (Etsy)
Fabric Worm

I also went to the Melbourne Craft and Quilt Fair this week and enjoyed a day spent with like-minded family and friends. As always there were many amazing quilts on display made with varying techniques and demonstrating skill that is truly awe inspiring.

1.  Mary Josephine by Pat Leviston.  Quilted by Profressional Long Arm Quilter Vicki Jenkin
2.  Best of Show Fiore Della Vita by machine pieced and quilted by Pamela Brockwell. Designed by Sharon Schamber.
3.  The Cosmos in Vigor by Sugy Kim - original design. Hand and Machine Pieced.  Hand Quilted. First time entrant.
4. Double Cream by Karen Terrens from Quilts on Bastings.  First prize in Long Arm Quilting Category.   Excellence in Long Arm Quilting Award.  Runner Up Best of Show.

Of course I did not walk away without some show goodies.

It seems I was in search of red fabric - or a variation thereof (red fabrics can be hard to find!). Having purchased fat quarters several of the fabrics are without selvage and as such I am not what collection they are from. But I can tell you the following:
  • top fabric (left)  is Heart Toile  from the Pam Kitty Love collection by Pam Kitty Morning.
  • the Diagonal Gingham is also from the Pam Kitty Love collection
  • Kids with Kites (pink) by Holly Holderman for Lakehouse Dry Goods 
  • The bottom two fabrics are both new season Liberty Tana Lawn

And for fun some patchwork letters from NoChintz (www.nochintz.com) and some Washi Tape for packaging.

Enjoy Sunday!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Finished Checkerboard Quilt

A PICTURE POST and a week in stitches.
Low Volume Checkerboard Quilt - Red Pepper Quilts
I really like how this quilt has turned out - a mix of scrappy fabrics, colors and prints but still cohesive, with an organized - light/dark - layout.  I love working from my scrap bins .... even if it looks like there's been a small fabric explosion in my sewing area (the whole house)  .... even if it hasn't made a noticeable difference in my scrap bin.  Situation normal.  

Low Volume Checkerboard Quilt - Red Pepper Quilts

The finished quilt measures 60 inches x 70 inches and is towards the larger end of what I call "comfortable for quilting".  The finished size of each square is 2.5 inches x 2.5 inches and I have outlined all of the seam lines as well as crosshatched through all of the light colored squares of the checkerboard. That adds to almost 200 meters (600 feet) of laborious quilt wrangling, although I think it is worth it for texture that it adds to the quilt.

Low Volume Checkerboard Quilt - Red Pepper Quilts

Low Volume Checkerboard Quilt - Red Pepper Quilts
For the quilt binding I have used a soft grey/white fabric from the Squared Elements range by Art Gallery Fabrics. These prints are perfect for binding and come in a great range of colors.

Low Volume Checkerboard Quilt - Red Pepper Quilts

I love that this quilt is a "I-Spy" of fabric as well as a modern "I-Spy" of creatures, animals, characters, notions, accessories etc. There's a lot to see! Just like old quilts can take you back to a time and a place, so does fabric.

As usual I have updated my Etsy Store.

You can see all of the listing details here:  Modern Patchwork Quilt

Low Volume Checkerboard Quilt - Red Pepper Quilts
This quilt is ready for shipping.

Thank you for stopping by,
Low Volume Checkerboard Quilt - Red Pepper Quilts

Monday, July 22, 2013


A Checkerboard Scrap Quilt

With overflowing scrap bins and quickly running out of storage room (as well as patient and obliging family members) it was time to make a scrap quilt in an effort to be seen to be "working on it" - the issue of the overflowing bins that is. 

I am rather fond of my fabric scraps and continue to add to the scrap bins with every quilt I make.  Having made numerous low volume quilts recently means that even low volume fabrics are well represented among my scraps.  A checkerboard quilt (light/dark layout) was the obvious choice.

I have used my own Postage Stamp Quilt Tutorial to piece this quilt top - strip piecing and cross cutting to make blocks with seams pressed to ensure that the quilt top comes together with ease.  I have alternated light/dark fabrics this time to create the checkerboard effect and I have also increased the width of my fabrics strips to 3 inches (3 inches x 10 inches fabric strips).  

I do admit to occasionally dipping into my fabric stash to balance colors and add even more variety which did not go unnoticed by the aforementioned family members. Unfortunately the overall impact on fabric scrap reduction was negligible. The simple solution may be to invest in yet another scrap bin or continue to make more scrap quilts. Probably both.

Happy patching.

More soon,

Postage Stamp Quilt Tutorial

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday Stash #191 - Echino Ni-Co 2013 and Hipster by Shannon Lamden

Echino Ni-Co 2013 by Etsuko Furuya :: 

Echino Ni-Co 2013 :: bold and graphic (and fun!) designs in saturated colors again printed on a beautiful 45% cotton, 55% linen (light weight canvas) base cloth.

Also this week I received a bundle of quilting cottons from Australian designer Shannon Lamden (also known as Aunty Cookie).  The collection - Hipster by Shannon Lamden for Riley Blake Designs - features both sewing and needle work inspired designs in great colors.
Hipster by Shannon Lamden for Riley Blake Designs
Hipster by Shannon Lamden is in stores now and available from:
Edited: no longer available.
Hipster - Rulers in Blue, Gray and Teal - by Shannon Lamden.
Enjoy Sunday!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Retro Half Square Triangle (HST) Quilt and New Quilt Pattern

Late this week I finished my Retro Half Square Triangle Quilt and I am really pleased with how it turned out. This was a great fabric play project as well as some serious time at the machine, both of which I love doing.

I have quilted the quilt with my usual straight lines, outlining all seam lines as well as a single line diagonally across all all of the half square triangle units. For the back of the quilt I have used one of my favorite fabrics by Aneela Hoey - from the Posy collection.

It made me sad and happy at the same time to use so much of this print from stash but I think every quilt deserves a great quilt back, and this fabric was perfect for this quilt. 

Binding fabric:  Mama Said Sew : : The Bias in Black by Sweet Water for Moda.

This quilt is now listed in my Etsy Store.

You can see the listing details here:  Retro Half Square Triangle Quilt

I have also written a quilt pattern for this quilt.

The pattern is comprehensive - 26 pages - and suitable for beginners as well as more experienced sewers. The pattern includes step by step tutorials and many photos to ensure successful completion of the quilt. I have also written clear seam pressing instructions to ensure that all seams in this project "lock" together  thereby taking any frustration out of sewing together the quilt top.

The Retro HST Quilt Pattern (pdf file) is available here:

Red Pepper Quilts Etsy Store - available for immediate download

Red Pepper Quilts Pattern Store - pdf file sent by email.

Oh, I also made a matching pillow cover.  The Pillow Cover is listed separately in my Etsy Store.  

You can see all of the listing details here:  Retro Patchwork Pillow Cover.
Love the back!  Home Dec fabrics by Heather Moore - Skinny LaMinx

Thank you for stopping by!


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Tuesday, July 9, 2013


I am re-visiting an old friend this week - the humble half square triangle (HST). I really love this versatile unit and have made numerous quilts in various designs from this simple block (see Half Square Triangle label to browse through all HST projects).

This time I have used a traditional block - featuring nine the same HST units in a nine patch arrangement.  The HST units each feature a dark fabric and a light (low volume) fabric.  The dark fabrics that I have selected for this quilt generally have a retro feel about them.  

Several of the large scale fabrics are indeed reclaimed vintage linens as well as authentic feedsack fabrics.  I love that these pre-loved fabrics from another era blend so well with our "modern" fabrics.  All of the fabrics are from stash, although I had to dig deep to audition and find the right fabrics for this project.

30 HST nine-patch blocks
270 Half Square Triangle Units
each and every unit over-sized and trimmed for accuracy.

Now ready for basting and quilting.

Thank you for stopping by,

Retro HST Quilt - A Finished Quilt and Quilt Pattern (pdf file)

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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sunday Stash #190 Bake Sale by Lori Holt

Bake Sale by Lori Holt for Riley Blake Designs

I tried to resist these, but it was futile; the colors are just too happy and the designs are so cute.  I have already cut into this bundle - for more than one project and you may have noticed several of these prints used in the quilt that I made last week. 

The Bake Sale collection consists of 18 prints (6 different designs each in 3 colorways).  In addition, there are a further 3 panels.  

The 1 yard panels are divided into four quarters (like traditional fat quarters) and
 feature four designs in three colorways.  Love!

Bake Sale by Lori Holt - Panels 
(below from left to right) in Green, Grey,  and Blue

Bake Sale by Lori Holt is now available from:

Enjoy Sunday!

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