Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Quilted Tote Bag for Mouthy Stitches

The 2nd round of the Mouthy Stitches swap proved to be quite inspired!  Lovely swap mamas Cindy, Hadley and Susan picked a simple tote bag pattern which we all had to make to and it was so much fun. Such an interesting swap to take part in where everyone was following the same pattern.

Once I got my partner details I got down to a little bit of stalking. My mama chose well, because my partner's likes were quite close to my own.

I decided to go with a Drunkard's path pattern and a scrappy look and pulled out some of my brightest and prettiest scraps to work with. I played around quite a bit before settling on this layout which I mentally dubbed the "pacman" look - those incomplete circles really remind me of the game for some reason.

I then pondered how to quilt it, and what type of back to do. Eventually I decided to echo the circles on the back but to change it up a little, placing it within a scrappy square frame.

That decision about the back led me to the quilting decision for the back - echo quilting inside and outside the square, with some hand stitching around the circle. 

This in turn gave me my decision on the front quilting - I went with quilted circles travelling outward on the front.

When it came to putting it together, the dimensions worked out better than I could have hoped. The outer circles sat just on the corners on the front (its hard to see in the photo!), and the outer line of quilting on the back sat just on the back corners.

For the lining, I inserted a flush lined zip pocket (thanks again to The Bag Making Bible) using a strong teal fabric with contrast orange for the pocket lining. I carried the lining fabric through to the straps, to finish off the scrappy look for the exterior. All in all, I was pretty happy with this bag!

Last thing to be done was the little key fob. For this, I decided to do a mini circle in a circle and handquilt around. I found a scrap of one of my favourite prints and used a variegated perle cotton to finish it off.

The package is gone off in today's post and I'm hoping my partner will love it as much as I do....all that remains is to watch obsessively for the postman now to see what I get in return!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Some more swapsies

My friend Geraldine and I decided back in August to do a little private swap, for a little fun. She made a doll quilt for my little lady, and I made some placemats for her kitchen table.

Geraldine went for a pink theme for my pink-mad little girl. When this arrived in the post, E was utterly thrilled. She never let it go all day and went to bed with it that evening. It gets used the whole time in her games and is never far from her. While she loves its colours and the fact that it has her name on it, I love the clean lines, bright colours and the beautiful stitching - the pebble quilting is fab and its just gorgeous as a mini quilt. It really appeals to my taste in design and colour! So thank you Geraldine, it really was and is a big hit!

In return, I made some placemats for Geraldine. I mused over what to go with design wise - I knew brights would be a hit, and I wanted 2 pieces that were complimentary but not the same. I found some linen/cotton mix in my stash and decided to piece it in alternate strips with some colourful prints, one warm colours and the other cool. I used paper to piece the linen in a similar manner to piecing a string block as I was afraid it would distort too much with all the pressing and it worked great.

In addition to light machine quilting in the linen, I did a row of hand quilting in matching perle cotton in it too and felt that it really lifted the whole thing.

I backed them in some complimentary prints and used Kona solids for the binding. I love the backs as well to be honest, I think they could be used this side up too!

These have gone off to their new home where I think they are very happy :-)