Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Perfect Summer Bag


I really love a good, big bag for summer time. I have been on the look out for one that was just right, so when I made the Field Study Reversible Sunday Sling for my sister, I knew that with a couple changes it would be just perfect for my needs! 



I need a summer bag that has a wide opening without a closure so I can fill it to the brim with beach towels, sun screen, snacks, etc when we are headed to the pool, park, or wherever- which is why I loved this bag pattern so much. It is so easy to throw stuff in and go.



I think it is pretty safe to say I have a mild obsession with anchors and all things nautical. When I saw this anchor fabric by Premier Prints, my heart skipped a beat. I ordered 2 yards of it before you could say "Ahoy Matey" and waited with baited breath for it to arrive on my doorstep!

It did not disappoint! I LOVE it!

(I got my anchor fabric from fabric.com and with a coupon code I got it for just under $8 per yard but when they get a shipment you have to jump on it because it sells out so fast!)

I paired it with the Premier Prints Stripe in Salmon and I absolutely love it.   


I made my bag without the pockets inside the bag that it calls for and it really feels big and roomy- which is what I was hoping for. 


I absolutely love it!! It's totally the perfect summer bag!


Friday, July 19, 2013

Camera Cozy Tutorial

I originally shared this tutorial over at U Create.

I love my DSLR camera, but sometimes it's nice to  carry something smaller when I am out and about and don't want to add too much weight to my purse or worry about my gear getting snatched if I set it down at a park. So I decided to invest in an inexpensive point and shoot camera that I can throw into a bag when I am running out the door. 

Instead of buying a case for my camera, I decided to make one.


This project is really simple- I made mine in about an hour (but I made my own bias tape so that took up a bit of the time).


What you will need is:
1-2 fat quarters (depending on if you want your interior fabric to be different that your exterior fabric)
1 yard of 1/2 wide double fold bias tape (store bought or homemade)
fusible fleece
1 large snap (velcro could be used as well)
*Optional: 1 button (I used a 1/2 fabric covered button)


Ok... to start you will need to measure your camera. For the purpose of keeping things clear and understandable- here is a picture of how I got the measurements of my camera and calculated for my pattern.


The width of my camera is 3 3/4 inches.
The height of my camera is 2 1/4 inches.
The depth of my camera is 3/4 inch.

To create my pattern, for the front panel, I made mine 4 1/2 inches by 3 1/4 inches. So to calculate yours, you will take your width measurement and add 3/4 inch and then take your height measurement and add 1 inch.
For the back panel, I made mine 8 inches by 3 1/4 inches. This accounts for the back and also the flap that wraps over to the front and snaps. So to calculate yours, you will take the width measurement and add 4 1/4 inch to it and then take your height measurement and add 1 inch to it. (it will be the same measurement as the height in your front panel.)
For the side panel, I made mine 1 1/2 inches by 12 inches. So to calculate yours, you will will take your depth measurement and add 3/4 inch to it and then you will take the measurements you used in your front panel and add them together and then subtract 1/2 inch. (ex: width+width+height-1/2 inch).
I hope that makes sense! It kind of helps to draw a picture to keep it straight! :)

If your camera is pretty close to the size of mine you may not need to change any measurements for your camera cozy. My cozy doesn't fit like a glove- there is a bit of extra room- so if you want yours smaller or bigger for your camera, just make the necessary adjustments in your measurements.

Step 1: Once you have your measurements, you will need to cut 2 front panels, 2 side panels, and then 2 back panels. In my case I cut one of each in the blue floral fabric and then one of each in the red polka dot for contrast, but like I said, this project can totally be done with one fat quarter.
When you have your panels cut out, you will need to apply fusible fleece to each panel you have cut (you should have 6 panels total).


I opted for a rounded flap but you could totally keep it square if you would like. If you want it rounded, use a bowl as a guide and cut the top on both back panels so that they are uniformly round.


Step 2: Take your two back panels and put them wrong side together and baste them together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance and your machines longest stitch length. Set aside.



Step 3: Take the interior side panel and front panel and pin them together starting at the top and working the fabric down and around the two bottom corners. Repeat with the exterior side panel and front panel.


When you are finished they should look like this. Sew along the pins on each panel with a generous 1/4 seam allowance.


Step 4: Take your inside panel and put it into your outside panel and line up the raw edges and pin in place. I didn't choose to trim the seam allowances after sewing in step 3- just to give it that extra padding, but I did have to kinda cram the lining in to get them to match up, so do whatever works best for your needs.


Step 5: Set your stitch length to the longest your machine has and baste along the top, sides, and bottom of the case with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Step 6: Apply bias tape to the top of the case by pinning it to the interior and sewing and then folding it over to the exterior and sewing in place. If you need a good tutorial on how to apply bias tape- here is a fabulous one! 


Step 7: Pin the front of the case onto the back panel. Baste with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.



Step 8: Apply bias tape to the front of the case, joining your ends of tape at the base of the case.


Step 9: Fold bias tape over to the back and stitch. Be sure to be extra tidy when stitching because your stitches will be visible on the front of the case.

Step 10: Sew on your large snap for the closure.

Step 11: Sew your button to the front of the flap.


That's it! Easy peasy right?!?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Hexies.... A method to my madness!

Hexies (or hexagons) are probably one of my favorite sewing projects to work on right now. I think they are fun to put together- but I mainly love making them because I do not have to be tied to my sewing machine and can work on them anywhere! 


I first discovered them about 2 years ago when I came across one of my favorite blogs: nanaCompany. Aaaannddd... if you haven't been sucked into the hexie-ing world... you will soon be sucked in after checking out the darling little things that Amy makes with hexies. I stumbled across Tasha'sand Kerri's adorable blogs shortly after and they sealed the deal... I was set on learning how to do english paper piecing.


I learned how to make hexies by following this tutorial on Chasing Cottons and I was hooked from the get-go. I picked up some 1 1/2 hexagon papers from Paper Pieces and started using all of my favorite "cutesy" fabrics from my stash. I was determined to make a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt for my girls to share. I figured that to make the size quilt that I would like (full sized) I will need just over 1200 hexies! ha ha ha 
It's pure madness- I know!
I plan to use solid white hexagons around the patterned "flowers" to break up the colors and really set each flower apart. And... since it will all be completely hand pieced it just wouldn't seem right to quilt it with a machine- that would be preposterous! ;) I will probably be using pearl cottons when I hand quilt it.

I started working on it last October. Since then I have taken my hexies on 2 road trips and just try to work on them here and there. 
It is slow going, but I just love it and I am slowly building a stash of hexies to work with.



For a while, my hexies were kinda scattered and didn't have a specific place to be gathered, but a couple months ago, I came across a letterbox at Target and knew it would be perfect for my hexies.

So this is how I store them all now... It is handy when I am on the road too because everything I need can just sit right in my lap.


These are my favorite tools/items to make my hexies... 

Paper pieces: I get mine already precut from PaperPieces.com
Acrylic template: I like to use fabric that is shaped like a hexagon so that I can center my fabric and the paper to make sure I have enough seam allowance on all sides. Plus it is see through so I can fussy cut hexagons if I want. (I got mine at paperpieces.com and it allows for a 3/8 inch seam allowance)
large paper clip: to hold the fabric to the paper template while basting
John James needles: I really love this brand of needles for everything.
50 wt Aurifil thread: I love Aurifil thread and the 50 wt is the perfect weight for piecing my hexies together. I am using tan for piecing  the colored fabric and will probably switch to white when I work on the white hexies.
a spool of cheap contrasting colored thread: this is to use while making your hexies- you want a contrasting color so that you can see where to clip the threads once you have pieced your hexies together and need to remove your papers

I picked up this paper clip trick from Lori and it has saved my life!  The trick for me is not to push the paper clip all the way down because the sharp ends of the paper clip really tugs at the fabric when you pull it off- which is why I like using a large paper clip- I can push it halfway down and it still really holds the fabric in place and then it slips off easy when it's time to remove it.


This is what the front and back of my hexies look like when I am done. I like to stitch through my papers (just a personal preference) and I can still reuse my papers because I find that when I use them a second or third time I almost always stick the needle into the same exact hole that I had made the first time...


I know this project will be an endless work in progress, but it's kinda nice to have something to work on when I am watching a movie, or sitting at the park, or riding in the car places....


Happy Hexie-ing!!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

15 % off Bloomerie Fabrics

 I recently came across the cutest online fabric shop... It's called Bloomerie Fabrics. It is run by Donna and Jess- a mother daughter team.

(all images are courtesy of Bloomerie Fabrics)

One of the things that really drew me to this darling shop is that they take actual photos of a lot of their fabric- which is a huge plus for me! I like to see real photos of fabric so I can compare colors and get a better feel for the fabric when I am ordering online and can't see it in person.
Their site is very easy to navigate and I love the clean set up. You can search for fabric by collections, colors, manufacturers, designers, etc. so finding what you are looking for is a snap.


Another thing I love are their Bloomerie bundles- which are custom hand picked fabrics that work together put into a bundle for you. How darling is this Take Note bundle?! I am loving the bright colors!

They have a coming soon page so you can see what they will be getting in their shop in the coming weeks/months and they also have a page that lists all of the new stuff they have gotten in...
One thing I can not wait to get my hands on is some Baby Jane- you know me... I am a sucker for red, aqua, and yellow paired together! :)

So are y'all ready for the exciting news?! Bloomerie is offering all Mommy by day... Crafter by night readers a 15% off code for your entire order (even sale items) from July 7-15, 2013. Just use the code: 15Mommy

So head over and have a look-see at this darling shop... You will be so happy you did! :)


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Marcelle Medallion Pillow

A few months ago, I decided that I wanted to make a Marcelle Medallion quilt- even though I had about a million other projects going on at the same time. 
I am kinda weird about finishing things when I start them, and I tend not to have too many W.I.P. (work in progress) projects lying around. Instead, I try to work on something until I finish it before starting another project..... but this time I threw caution to the wind and started my Marcelle Medallion since I was so excited and everyone else was doing it! ;)



I loved making my center medallion for the quilt, but once I finished it, other projects took precedence and I was forced to put my budding Marcelle away. For months it was eating at me that I had such a beautiful WIP that I couldn't get to and knew I wouldn't be able to get to for a while. So, one afternoon, I decided to turn her into something smaller than originally planned and got to hand stitching...


I knew a pillow would be the perfect project and I had a dear friend that moved across town, so a house warming gift was in order... 



I used double fold bias to finish the edge of the pillow and give it a pop of pattern/color. I opted for an envelope closure. I used a cute little twill tape label that says "stitched with love" that I found at this darling etsy shop.


I definitely have plans to make a full Marcelle Medallion quilt in the near future. I love, loooove the pattern and I have been so inspired by the other quilts I have seen in the land of sewing blogs. I can't wait!