Saturday, January 31, 2015

Mini Patchwork Purse | Scripture Case

My girls love taking their scriptures to church every Sunday. 
3 years ago, I made a little pleated purse for my oldest to carry her scriptures in. At the time, my youngest was just a toddler so I didn't bother making one for her. Since she has gotten older and started taking hers to church too, she has just been using random oversized bags to carry them in. Poor thing begs me every Sunday morning to make her scripture bag when we get home from church, but somehow that project always got shoved to the back burner and forgotten.
This week I decided it was time to just buckle down and do it. It only took about 2 hours to make, and that's just because I just kinda made it up as I went along. Now that I've made it once, I think I could whip one in no time. (Why didn't I do this sooner?!;) 

I started by making a "Mama Block" (a mini version of a granny square block) that was inspired by these blocks I saw on NanaCompany. I used 2x2" squares of fabric to make the block. After I trimmed the points off and squared up the block, I added the strips of fabric to the side of the block to make the panel more rectangle. Once I had my front panel completed (6x8"), I cut one for the back and then cut two 1.5x6" strips for the side panels and one 1.5x8" strip for the bottom panel and applied fusible fleece to each of those. Then I assembled them to create the exterior of the bag. Then I cut coordinating sized pieces for the lining and assembled those. I made some straps for the handles to tie at the top and then put it all together. As an afterthought, I added a button and strap to the top to keep the purse from gapping open once she had it all filled up.
(this purse was constructed pretty similarly to the pleated purse I made my oldest {minus the pleated part}- so you can check out the tutorial for that here and make any necessary changes to create your purse how you would like.)
My girls just use the regular sized, paperback version of the Book of Mormon- so this purse fits the book with a little extra room for lipgloss or whatever tidbit they are bringing along to church.
 
When I gave my daughter the purse, she said sweetly, that it was the "best thing I've ever given her". Of course that melted my heart and I am kicking myself I didn't just do it sooner! haha!
At least she will have it just in time for this Sunday though, right? :)

Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!
xoxo, Ashley

PS: If you would like to learn more about what I believe, click here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Mini Quilt | Kaffe Fassett Pickle Dish

Do you ever get an idea in your head, and even though you have a million other things you should/need to be doing instead, you just can't seem to shake it? THAT was totally me for the last couple weeks! I have been wanting to make a pickle dish quilt ever since I saw one in my local quilt shop {Sew to Speak} by the amazing Mary Dugan of Molly Flanders
My photos are courtesy of my phone and instagram... sorry they aren't the greatest! 
 Then my friend Rachel started making one. She would bring it to work on when we would get together and I fell in love with the idea of making one myself! Obviously I couldn't add another WIP {work in progress} to my growing pile, so I decided to make one block and turn it into a mini. I had package to send Rach that I had been putting together for her and figured that a pickle dish mini was the perfect thing to finish off the package. 
 There are 3 patterns for a pickle dish quilt that I am aware of. There is a fabulous {and free} tutorial with step by step pictures and templates by Aneela Hoey. Then there is one called Gypsy Kisses by Sarah Fielke in the Material Obsession 2 book. And the last one is by Kaffe Fassett in the Quilt Romance book 
The Sarah Fielke and Kaffe Fassett pickle dish look very similar to my eye. I am sure if you had one of each quilt side by side, you would see that there are definitely differences in them, as they are assembled using different techniques, but at a glance they look the similar.
The one that I have seen by Mary, and that my friend Rachel is making is the Sarah Fielke Gypsy Kisses version. I haven't read the pattern, but I am pretty sure it involves hand applique and machine piecing. I have never done applique before so that kinda scared me! So I did a little research and found that the Kaffe Fassett one is all machine pieced. That seemed a little safer for me to try, but I have to admit- the curved piecing was kinda freaking me out! I have never sewed with curves when it comes to patchwork! So I tried to muster up the confidence needed and ordered the Kaffe Fassett book.
 I started working as soon as the book arrived. The pattern is great and very straight forward. The only changes that I made to it was I didn't add the final piece to the outside of the block to make it "square". I liked it curved around the edges since it is just a mini quilt. I also made my own center template by taping 4 of the "template B" pieces together to create one center piece of fabric instead of 4 separate pieces. 
(I cut the seam allowance off of the 2 straight edges, but left the seam allowance on the curved edge and then taped them to create one template.)
I was super excited to cut into my Liberty Bloomsbury Gardens stash and I knew they would pair perfectly with some of my Cotton + Steel and Anna Maria Horner stash. I used Kona Charcoal as the background, backing, and binding of the quilt. Then I hand quilted it with Valdani pearl cotton. I pin basted the layers together for quilting but I didn't use a hoop to stretch it out as I quilted it. I just wanted it to have a loose, soft, puckery feel to it and I really loved the result! 
(I definitely wouldn't use this method for a whole quilt, but since it's a mini and is just hanging on the wall, I figured it was ok.)

Now that I have made one block, I feel like I can go on with my other WIP's and I don't have a pickle dish quilt in the back of my mind....ok... ok... who am I kidding?! Now I want to make another pickle dish more than ever! 
I definitely need to make a mini for myself to hang on my mini wall and I'm totally adding a full pickle dish to my bucket list for sure!! I'm afraid I've awakened a pickle dish monster inside me! ha ha ;)
I hope y'all have a wonderful week!
Happy Sewing!
xoxo, Ashley

Friday, January 9, 2015

2014 in a glance

2014 was a good year... We made a lot of changes as a family- hubby graduating school (from THE Ohio State University), leaving best friends and moving from the Midwest to the South, bootcamp for the hubby + a new job, oldest starting kindergarten, plus just getting adjusted to the South and settled in our home! Somehow through it all I managed to squeeze in quite a bit of sewing! ;) 

Here are a few of the projects that I worked on over the year!

 I just want to say thank you for following my sewing journey and for taking the time to leave comments, tagging me in your posts of projects you are making with my tutorials (I love to see what YOU are making!), and for just being so supportive! I can't tell you what it means to me! You are all so sweet and I am grateful for each and every one of you! You inspire me to keep creating!

I can already tell that 2015 is going to be a great year! I am looking forward to lots of sewing and hanging out with y'all on the blog and Instagram along the way! 

Happy Sewing!! 
xoxo, Ashley