Cotton and Steel Quilted Purse

This week I managed another finish for my Second Quarter Finish Along.  This purse was pretty far along already, so it really didn’t take too long to finish, and I am thrilled with the result.

Cotton and Steel purse exterior view

I had made a similar quilted bag last summer and have been carrying it ever since.  I liked the design pretty well, but I did make a few modifications this time around.  The new bag is slightly wider and deeper, although the height is the same.  Depending on how things would shift within the previous purse, it could be difficult to remove larger items such as my wallet, so the size change has helped immensely.  The last time around, I made the exterior pockets almost exactly the same size as the base bag, which meant that it was sometime a bit tight getting my keys or phone into those pockets.  This time I allowed for more ease, and it seams to be working well- nothing is falling out, but is much more easily accessible.  The interior pocket of the new bag is also sewn in so that there is an additional pocket created behind the zippered pouch.

Cotton and Steel purse interior

All of the fabrics are Cotton and Steel.  I could hardly wait to get my hands on this Viewfinders fabric from Melody Miller’s Playful line, and I paired it with the Hotcross Buns print from Rashida Coleman-Hale’s Mochi line.  The interior pocket is made of a Kimberly Kight Homebody print and lined with a red print from the Cotton and Steel Basics line.  I found this fantastic trim at a quilt show to finish off the exterior pockets, but it had been cut and packaged, so I’m not sure who designed it.  Does anyone recognize it?  I love that it incorporates so many colors that are in the viewfinder print.

Cotton and Steel purse detail

 

The quilting design is concentric circles which were randomly placed around a large fabric sandwich.  Once the quilting was done, I then cut out the individual pieces for the purse.  The main sides of the purse, the exterior pockets and the bottom of the bag are all quilted using Warm and White cotton batting.  The handles are strengthened with woven iron on interfacing, and the top of the purse and interior pockets are lined, but have no additional support.  The top and bottom edges of the bag are finished with bias tape which helps the bag keep its shape.

I have been carrying this bag for a few days now, and I am really loving it.  There may be more bags like this in my sewing future!

 

Goal #15 is Finished!

Goal #15 is Finished!


National Sewing Machine Day

Today is National Sewing Machine Day- and I almost missed it!  I thought I would take a moment to introduce you to my machine.  She is a Bernina 1008 that joined me in December of 2013 shortly after the Singer I learned to sew on as a child sewed her last stitches.  I am a big fan of the basic mechanical machines.  Most of the electronic machines I have used over the years seem fussy, but I also haven’t been using high end electronic machines, so that could be part of it!

Bernina 1008

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about what it takes to get fabric to the point that we are ready to cut it up to make quilts, clothing, bags, etcetera.  I am working in Connecticut right now, and one of the things that fascinates me about New England is its rich history in textile manufacturing.  While I am here, I am trying to visit as many important places related to textile history as I can.  So far, this summer, I have visited Old Sturbridge Village, The National Quilt Museum, and The American Textile History Museum.  These are all wonderful places to visit, and I hope that you will make the time to go if you are ever in the area.  One of my next stops will hopefully be The Windham Textile and History Museum which is right down the road.  I have been there before, but it has been quite a few years.  Below are a few photos of very early equipment and machinery which has been developed over time to streamline the process of creating fabric.

Fiber Preparation

Cotton Gin from The American Textile History Museum

Cotton Gin from The American Textile History Museum

American Textile History Museum

American Textile History Museum

Spinning

Small Spinning Wheel for Flax and a Larger Wheel for Wool.  Old Sturbridge Village

Small Spinning Wheel for Flax and a Larger Wheel for Wool. Old Sturbridge Village

Spinning Wheels at The American Textile History Museum

Spinning Wheels at The American Textile History Museum

Spinning Mule at Old Sturbridge Village

Spinning Mule at Old Sturbridge Village

American Textile History Museum

American Textile History Museum

Weaving

Old Sturbridge Village

Old Sturbridge Village

American Textile History Museum

American Textile History Museum

The American Textile History Museum has a room the demonstrates textile production.  Here is a panoramic shot of the space- I would love to see this in action!

Textile Production ATHM

Topsy Turvy: Mini Quilt #19

This week, I looked back over the mini quilts I have made so far for Mini Quilt Mania, and I realized that one thing I haven’t done yet is a block based mini quilt.

Topsy Turvy front view

Earlier this year I was lucky to win the Citrus Tattersall fabrics featured in this quilt from Judy at Quilt Paradigm.  The colors in the fabric are bold, but softened by the amount of white surrounding them.  I liked the idea of using these fabrics in a diagonal spectrum to create a quiet rainbow of color across the piece.

Topsy Turvy detail

I started out creating these simple little blocks by sewing a strip of Citrus fabric to a strip of white Kona cotton.  I then cut the strip at 45 degree angles resulting in triangles, half of which have the larger piece white, and the other half have the larger portion Citrus.

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When turned together, these triangles create a block with alternating colors.   I’m sure that someone, somewhere, has made this block before, but I couldn’t find it referenced, so I’m going to call it a Topsy Turvy block.

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Edge to edge quilting is not something I have much experience with, but I tend to like it when I see it used on other peoples quilts.  I thought that this project would be a good time to try out an all over clam shell quilting pattern.  I am so glad I gave it a try because I love it!  I received a set of batting samples from Hobbs batting at a quilt show and this mini was the first chance I had to try out one of the battings.  Since this quilt is mostly white, I knew I needed to go with one of the bleached battings.  I decided to try out the 80/20 batting, and I was quite pleased with the result.  When I first touched the batting, I thought that it felt sort of rough (I’m assuming that is the 20% polyester), but it quilted up beautifully and the quilt has just the right amount of poof!  I think I will be buying more of this batting to use on bigger projects.

Topsy Turvy back view

The binding is bias cut pieces of several of the Citrus fabrics.  I just love plaids and stripes cut on the bias!

Quilt Stats

Title:  Topsy Turvy Spectrum

Size: 10″x14.5″

Techniques:  Machine Piecing

Quilting:  Free motion clam shells done on a Bernina 1008

Fabric:  Citrus Tattersall by Another Point of View for Windham Fabrics and white Kona Cotton

Batting:  Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 Bleached Cotton

Thread:  Pieced using white Gutermann Mara 100, quilted with white cotton machine quilting thread

Binding:  Citrus Tattersall fabrics, cut on the bias in 2″ wide strips, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched to the back

What was New:

A block based mini

Hobbs 80/20 batting

Quilt 19 / 50

Quilt 19 / 50

Goal #5 is Finished!

Goal #5 is Finished!

 I’m linking this post up with Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and Mini Quilt Monday at Modern Cozy.  Please drop by to see all of the awesome work being created!

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day: Zippered Pouches

Today, in conjunction with Sew Mama Sew‘s Giveaway day, is the first giveaway I have done on this blog.  My blog is about five months old now, and I am excited to offer the chance to win these zippered pouches to all of my visitors.  I am very grateful for the kind words and support offered by those who have joined me in these early months, and I am excited to welcome new friends as well!

SMS Pouch Giveaway

I am trained as a theatrical scenic and costume designer and technician, but this blog focuses on my life outside of the theatre- The (not so) Dramatic Life.  Most of the work I share here is quilting related, but other sewing projects pop up from time to time.  My big project for the year is Mini Quilt Mania, for which I am creating a new mini quilt almost every week of the year for a total of 50 quilts.  I have done 18 so far, and I am thoroughly enjoying the process!

Pouch Lining

Pouch Lining

There are two zippered pouches in this giveaway.  They each have a blue denim exterior and are fully lined and trimmed with a cotton print from Amy Butler’s Violette fabric line.  The larger pouch is 6″x10″x4.5″ and would be a great container for carrying small projects or corralling toiletries when you travel.

The smaller pouch is an octagon measuring about 3.75″x3.75″ and is grommeted for use as a key ring.  This is perfect for carrying a little money, a phone charger, or thumb drive.  I have written a tutorial for creating this cord/coin pouch if you would like to make your own!

Would you like to enter to win this pair of pouches?  It’s easy- here’s how:

  • Leave a comment on this post telling me what project(s) you are working on right now and/or what your quilting or sewing goals are.  Is there a pattern you want to make? A technique you would like to try? A fabric line you are eager to use?  Is there a tutorial you would like to see made?  I love hearing what you are up to and interested in!
  • Followers, both long time and new, get a bonus entry!  Near the top of the sidebar there are several options for following me including Bloglovin’, Instagram, and Pinterest.  To get the bonus entry please leave a comment telling me how you follow.

This giveaway is open through 5pm PST on Sunday, May 10.  All comments on this post received by that time will be included in a random drawing.

I will email and post the winner on the blog on or before Wednesday, May 13.  Once I have the shipping address for the winner, your package will be in the mail by Friday, May 15.  (Should the winner not respond with a shipping address by Friday, May 15, I will draw a new winner and contact them via email and the blog)

There are lots more fantastic giveaways of both hand crafted items and supplies at Sew Mama Sew, so be sure to check those out as well!  Good Luck!

Update from May 11, 2015:  The winner of this giveaway is Catrin Lewis- Congratulations Catrin!  

Here are some other posts you may enjoy!

Mini Quilt Mania

Mini Quilt Mania

Rainbow Roundabout Mini Quilt

Rainbow Rotary

Marsala Mini Quilt

Marsala Mini

Winter Trees Mini Quilt

Winter Trees

Cord/Coin Pouches

Cord/Coin Pouches

Create Your Own Tote Bag Tutorial Series

Create Your Own Tote Bag Tutorial Series

Marsala Mini: Mini Quilt #13

Pantone’s color of the year for 2015 is Marsala, a warm red with brown undertones.  Every year, I look forward to finding out the color of the year, and I knew that this year I would explore the color in the form of a quilt.  I was even more excited when I heard about the Pantone Quilt Challenge at On the Windy Side and Play Crafts.Marsala Mini Front View

The Pantone website features a quote by their executive director, Leatrice Eiseman, describing marsala as a color which “enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability. Marsala is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us into its embracing warmth.”  The challenge for me was that marsala isn’t a color that I’m particularly drawn to.  However, I learned long ago that there is no “ugly” color- it is all in how you use it.  I certainly wouldn’t label marsala with the U-word, but it is skating a bit to close too brown for my taste, and so many red-brown fabrics can look depressing or even dead.  Fortunately, last fall I picked up several fat quarters of marsala-like fabrics from a clearance bin.  Maybe my subconscious is better at picking up color trends than the rest of my brain, but I was sure glad that I had these when the color of the year was announced!  I mixed those with a few other marsala-y reds to come up with my basic palette. Marsala Fabric

When I am not immediately inspired, I will often do some sort of free writing or word association with the topic or theme.  For me marsala is associated with things like wine, curry, tomato sauce, roses, lipstick-  sensuality, volume, and curves come to mind.  The more I thought about this color, the more I thought that marsala calls out to be used in an Art Nouveau inspired design.

In looking at some Art Nouveau research, I landed on this tile design.  For me, the curves of this design seemed to be the perfect match for marsala.ANTD-080_i

I popped the image into the computer to create three graphics that would help in the creation of this quilt.  The first was a line drawing for the main pieces of fabric.  I printed this image on freezer paper so I could cut apart the image, iron the pieces to fabric and press the seam allowances around the paper.  This allowed me to assemble the quilt top using English Paper Piecing style techniques.Marsala Mini line drawing a

Over the line drawing I added a layer showing the smaller pieces of fabric that I would later add using wonder under.  I also printed this off on freezer paper to make it easier to cut these shapes.  (Hint:  Freezer paper won’t stick well to the paper backing of wonder under.  I ironed the wonder under to the back of the fabric and the freezer paper to the front.  It was really easy to cut these fairly small shapes, and you could even leave the freezer paper in place to add stability to the fabric after the paper wonder under backing is removed.  Once the fabric is ironed in place you can peel back the freezer paper.)Marsala Mini line drawing b

The final graphic I created was a color image which I used to help determine general fabric placement.  After quite a bit of experimentation, I decided that marsala paired beautifully with oranges and deep, muted violets, blues, and greys.Marsala Mini color

The main construction of the top was done entirely by hand.

Main Marsala top construction with tan appliqués in place

Main Marsala top construction with tan appliqués in place

With the main construction complete, I adhered the smaller pieces to the quilt using Wonder Under before using a machine blanket stitch to sew around the edges of the appliqués.Marsala Process B

Here is the back view of the quilt top- I just love seeing “behind the scenes” on this sort of construction!Marsala Process B back

The quilt back is improvisationally pieced using marsala colored fabrics.

Marsala Mini back view

Marsala Mini back view

For the quilting I decided to do fairly heavy quilting echoing each shape in the design.

Marsala Front detail

Marsala Mini front detail

Marsala Mini back detail

Marsala Mini back detail

I am pretty sure that this is my favorite mini I have done in this series, so I am really glad that I went out of my comfort zone to embrace marsala!  What do you think of marsala?  Are you making a project using marsala this year?

Quilt Stats

Title:  Marsala Mini

Size: 13″x17″

Techniques:  English paper piecing, machine appliqué, improvisational piecing

Quilting:  Echo stitching done using a walking foot on a Bernina 1008

Fabrics:  Kona in wine and charcoal; Alison Glass prints; Basketweave, Whisper, and a couple other prints from Riverwoods Collection by the Troy Corporation; Carolyn Friedlander Botanics print; several prints and batiks from unidentified fat quarters.

Batting:  Warm and White Cotton Batting

Thread:  Pieced with Gutermann Mara 100 color 245 (a warm clay/taupe color), Machine appliquéd with Gutermann Mara 100 in color 257 (a dark plum sort of color), Quilted with Connecting Threads Essential cotton thread in Red

Binding:  Strips cut on the bias in 2″ widths, machine sewn to the front, hand sewn to the back

What was new:

Using English paper piecing techniques on irregularly curved shapes

Quilt 13 / 50

Quilt 13 / 50

Goal #12 is Finished!

Goal #12 is Finished!

I’m linking this post up with Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt InfatuationFabric Tuesday at Quilt Story, Pet Project at Pink Doxies, Show Off Saturday at Sew Can She, and Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.  Please stop by to see all of the lovely work being created!