Saturday, August 15, 2009
Ponyo, Bag-Making, and Dipping My Toes in the Waters of Embroidery
Happy Saturday, everyone! I hope you're enjoying your weekend.
Before I get to any sewing pics, just wanted to share that we took the kids to see "Ponyo" today. What a beautiful, sweet little movie. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, and I wasn't sure if it would hold my kids' attention -- we've never seen a Miyazaki movie before, despite all of the good things I've heard -- but they sat through the entire thing! I thoroughly enjoyed it, too ... so I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it! Is it weird that I saw great ideas for quilt fabric colors and patterns throughout the entire movie ... ??
Quilt blocks took a bit of a backseat this week to some bags. It all started when my sister-in-law asked me to make her a bag. She is getting ready to start taking golf lessons, and she wanted a pretty, feminine bag to carry her golf shoes in. I said "sure", but wasn't really sure what to make. I haven't attempted zippers yet, so I was looking for something to help me avoid them.
Then I came across the Charming Drawstring Beach Bag tutorial over at the Moda Bake Shop. It seemed perfect! I had a charm pack of Soiree on hand, so I quickly pulled this together:
I think it turned out great! It was super easy to make. And I appreciate the fact that it's machine-washable, since those golf spikes will undoubtedly get a bit muddy from time to time.
I was also inspired recently by Kathy of Pink Chalk Studios' blog post about the "Easiest Accessory Bags Ever" pattern by Fig Tree Quilts. That Kathy is a marketing genius ... it didn't take long for me to have that pattern (and some Aiden Natural Linen to go with it) in my shopping cart.
I had already made a smaller sized bag from the pattern as a thank-you gift for my mom for watching the kids a few weeks back. (Bummer I didn't get a picture of it -- I made it out of "Patisserie" and it was really, really nice ... if I do say so myself!). This time I decided to make the large laundry bag. I found 2 fat quarters of some orange "Summer in the City" prints in my wife's pile of fabrics that she had purchased a while back for her bag-making and decided to put them to good use.
Finally, because I was on such a tear, I decided to make another little Bake Shop bag, but this time I adjusted the pattern a bit. I happened to have 18 charm squares of "Neptune" laying around, and adjusted the dimensions of the bag to make it a bit narrower, a bit shorter, and I used some cuts of linen for the bottom instead of a row of charm squares.
I love how this one came out. It might just become a special carrier for my Doll Quilt Swap quilt!
There wasn't just bag-sewing going on at Casa Quilt Dad this week. Here are two little 5.5" square blocks that I made this week for Sudi-Laura, the winner of this month's "Baggie Bingo" draw over at the Mini Quilt in a Bag swap group:
Gotta love that Deer Valley!
Finally, I mentioned in my last post that I've been experimenting with something new -- embroidery! I've been really inspired by folks who incorporate embroidery into their quilt designs (see this and this and this and -- especially -- this), so I thought it might be a good skill to add to my repertoire!
I thought I'd start out small with a pillow. I asked my daughter what she might like on a pillow, and she said a cat. So I pulled this pattern from the "Sublime Stitching" book and got to work.
Not too shabby for a first-timer, eh? I think I cut the fabric a little too close to the yellow border, but oh well. The funniest part? As soon as I finished, my daughter informed me that she doesn't like cats anymore. Now she wants a unicorn. With 2 daughters, I guess I'd better get used to that. I think there's enough space in between the cat's feet and the yellow border to embroider a little girl's name. Maybe this will become a baby gift ...
(Great free embroidery patterns here, by the way.)
Before I get started on the unicorn, I have to finish this. Yes, I've already started a second embroidery project. No intended recipient in mind yet ... just want to keep practicing. I was TOTALLY inspired by this (and this and this). Free pattern here.
How about you? Been itching to try anything new lately?