Monday, March 31, 2014

Colored Pencil Roll Up Case

For the longest time I have wanted to make my kids a "Quiet Kit" to bring to church each Sunday- full of things to entertain them that are quiet
I have some really great ideas for things I would like to make to go into the bag, but somehow other projects always take precedence and the "quiet kit project" gets put on the back burner... 
 Last weekend, I decided that it was time to start making things little by little to go into the quiet kit. 
  So I made a colored pencil roll up case. It was just kinda one of those cut and sew as you go projects with not much of an overall plan. 
 I have seen lots of roll up cases for crayons, markers, and pencils over the years. The thing I notice with almost all of them is how BIG the pocket is for the pencil to slide into. I wanted to make mine a bit more snug so that once the pencils were in, they stayed put. But as I have learned a time or two while late night sewing- sometimes my brain is ready for bed before my eyes are, and calculations seem harder than usual.... thus when it was time to stitch my pockets, I realized that they were actually going to be too snug! ha ha (just my luck)
So I went with Plan B and made wider pockets for 2 pencils to fit into.  Problem solved!
I used a stack of lovely solids from the Hawthorne Hues collection by Hawthorne Threads for the background of the case (I had to use 4 other random solids from my stash to match the pencils in edition to almost every solid offered in the Hawthorne Hues collection). Then I used some fabric from my stash (Handle with Care collection by Suzy Ultman) for the main part of the case as well as the wrap around ties. 
In the end, even with the measurement mix up, the case turned out exactly how I wanted- FUNCTIONAL. 
It works great, my kids love it, and it is a good start to my "Quiet Kit".

Happy Sewing!
xoxo, Ashley

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Quilt As You Go Suitcase

The #1 reason (if not the only reason) I started sewing, was to make things for my little girls. 
I fell in love with the idea of being able to make something they could wear, use, or play with- and it was the driving force that made me step out of my comfort zone and try something new and learn to sew. 
 It has been so rewarding to be able to create something that my little gals dream up and help design. When they get an idea and start sorting through my fabric cart (a turquoise Ikea Raskog cart - full of all of my smaller cuts of fabric) for the "perfect fabrics" to use in their project, it just makes my heart swell! :)
 They love to sit on my lap as I sew, sit by my side as I cut fabric, pick up all of the loose threads strewn about my sewing area... Anything to be in on the action and participate in creating their "project". 
If you follow me on Instagram, this project is old news to you, but a few months ago my daughters were playing with their dollies and they decided they were "going on a trip to Utah" (where both of their grandparents live). Much to their dismay, their babies didn't have suitcases! What in the world were they going to put all of the clothes, diapers, bottles, etc. for their trip in, they wondered? The wheels started turning and before I knew it, there was a pile of princess fabric in front of me with a request for "a princess baby suitcase". 
 I picked a few of the coordination prints from the very large and very colorful  selection they had presented me with and we got working. This is what we came up with. I don't currently have a pattern for this suitcase, but I used the same method to make them that I did for the quilted ukulele cases... So if you are interested in making this, just check out that tutorial and make the tweaks necessary.
The girls were pleased as punch! All set for the "trip to Utah". Now they have requested another matching suitcase- Each baby needs her own of course. ;)

Happy Sewing!
xoxo, Ashley

Friday, March 7, 2014

Quilted Weekender Bag #5

I had the opportunity to do something that I have never done before over the last couple months. 

I taught my very first real life sewing class at a darling local shop in my town! 

It was such a great experience for me. I decided to teach a class on how I make my quilted weekender bag. It was a super intense project for my first time teaching, but all in all I think it went really well. I had 4 wonderful ladies as my students. We had so much fun together! 
My Leopard Print Weekender Bag was the class sample and it was so fun to walk into Sew to Speak and see MY bag in there on display for a few months! 

I love doing tutorials on my blog teaching how to make some of the things I make, so I knew I would enjoy teaching a sewing class in real life. It really pushed me out of my comfort zone though. I don't like having the spotlight on me and tend to be a little on the quiet side until you get to know me, but it was great for me to push myself a little bit and put myself out there.

I figured it would be beneficial to show my students step by step instructions- just like I do on my tutorials. So I decided to make a bag along side my students. Each night I came to class with what we would be doing already complete on my bag so they could see and visualize what their bags needed to look like. It was a good teaching tool for me- plus I had already planned to make a bag for my other little sis, so it gave me the motivation to complete it.  

Here are all of our finished bags together!

So here is how my weekender bag #5 turned out.
I used a kitchen utensil print that I found at Sew To Speak called Scandinavia Style (which I think is manufactured by Westex Fabric) for the Main panels but I have had a hard time finding somewhere that sells it online to link to- so if you are interested in this print, you could call into the shop and I am sure Anita would be happy to send some your way via mail if they still have some in stock. 
I loved all of the colors in the main print and just grabbed various coordinating fabrics from my stash for the patchwork portion of the bag.
It is definitely a loud and funky bag- but that's the fun of it in my eyes! I love putting together something that I know is one of a kind- unlike any bag out there... This one fits the bill! :)
If you are a regular reader of my blog, or follow me on instagram, you will know that I kinda have a mild obsession with this pattern- well maybe "mild" is too mild of a word... This is the 5th version I have made! BUT- making #5 and teaching this bag in a class has helped me kick my habit- at least for a little bit.
I don't wanna make this bag again for a very LONG time! 
Don't get me wrong... I love it with all of my heart... but 5 times making this puppy- plus teaching it has me worn out- mentally and physically! ha ha 
I used the Amy Butler Weekender Bag Pattern to make my bag, but followed a Quilt as You Go method inspired by Elizabeth of Oh, Fransson
If you are interested in some of the other modifications that I make to my weekender bag, here are links to other posts that I talk more about that in:

Happy Sewing!
xoxo, Ashley