So by Friday night we had a full house with the addition of Jen, Jill and Pe'tra arriving. I'd put on a pot of chili earlier in the day so that evening all we had to do was fill our bowls and our bellies. Who wants to cook when you're having fun?! After dinner we had a quilters Christmas in July. There was a gift exchange and it was super fun to both hand out the goodies I'd been working on for everyone all month long, as well as get a pile of neat stuff too. Heather took some great photos of the exchange so I'll borrow some of hers... I was too busy Ooooing and Aweing everyone's stuff! lol
I made tote bags using Sonnet of the Moon's Tote Bag Tutorial. I liked that I could really vary the style depending on fabrics and whatever block I chose to make for each one. I tried very hard to choose patterns, colors and fabrics I thought the recipient would enjoy. I think I did pretty good - only missing one persons taste by a long shot. Ooops! More on that later...
Here's Heather's bag. She'd given me a bit of Mendocino to use on another quilt and I thought since it was her fabric to begin with wouldn't it be nice to make a small project using it? It's such an awesome line, every little thread deserves to be made into *something*. So I designed a block that utilized hexi's and showed off the mermaids. The front of the bag is all hand pieced.
The lining on her bag - I do adore all those mermaids!
Jen's bag I did first, cause it was easiest. She's got a big personality and you pretty much always know what she likes and doesn't like so it was pretty easy to pick fabrics and colors and style and get gettin'. I made some "3D" Flying Geese See tutorial here so they're textural and make little pockets. She can tack them down later if she likes. Orange is a good color for her, warm just like her personality!
Barbara has this awesome red leather handbag that *I love* and so I just let that be my color inspiration. Plus she's a happy bubbly summery kinda gal... I just went with that feel and came up with this for her tote. I did see another bag that was similar and was inspired to try it (but now I can't remember where, so not totally my design). Anyway it was fun to do a raw edge applique which I'd never tried before. The bottom of the bag says SUMMER!
Colleens bag was more of a challenge since I don't know her all that well and she doesn't keep a blog for me to poke around on to be inspired. I asked Heather a couple of times what she likes and she said brights. So while I was shopping for fabric for another of the bags I noticed the fun paisley and the pretty aqua. I'd originally picked them up for myself to make something with but then thought they'd be perfect for Colleen. I even used a bit of left over orange from Jen's bag to finish it off. Five years ago I'd also bought templates to make a drunkards path quilt and never got around to it. While I was brainstorming for pattern ideas for this bag I'd remembered the templates and was really happy when I found them buried in my sewing room under a bunch of stuff. I didn't have to buy them - woop! I really like the way this one turned out too.
Jill on the left.
Jill's bag was probably the hardest for me to design. She has a bit of an eclectic style so it wasn't easy to nail down any one aesthetic. She'd recently shown me a bag she'd received in a swap using Mendocino fabrics and linen. She loved it. I didn't want to do a copy of it but I wanted to keep in the spirit. I used linen for the background and did use Mendocino in the bottle portion... cause I thought it was kinda funny to have mermaids swimming around in a beer bottle. I'm friends with her on FB and this summer there'd been a few posts about drinking beer on the porch and it just seemed summery and fun and appropriate. I stitched some song lyrics on the bottle, "Get up and dance, get up and smile, get up and drink to days gone in the shortest while." I used these words because summer is short, the Sister's quilt retreat weekend is even shorter and one should enjoy it all while it lasts. =)
Pe'tra on the right.
Pe'tra had mentioned on her blog that she really liked yellow and linen together. Okay! That makes it a lot easier. Then it was just a matter of coming up with a pattern that I thought was modern and kinda cool. I was surprised at how much I really liked the combination of these fabrics. I thought the yellow might wash out too much next to the linen but it really didn't. It's a great summery, sunshiny pallet. It was fun too because the PMQG had a scrap swap in June so I was able to grab a ton of little yellow scraps for this project to make it charming... no two fabrics are the same.
I had originally made the pink bag for Charissa because she was very enamored of a pink triangle quilt in last year's show. I also figured since she's got a husband and three boys, no one would dare borrow her pink bag. Ha!
I made this bag for myself as I'd wanted to try Cathedral Windows for a long time. I didn't really want to commit to a huge project so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to give it a whirl without committing a ton of time and energy into a whole bed covering. I figured if it came out a little wonky I wouldn't mind but wouldn't consider giving away anything shoddy. Well as it turns out, Charissa does NOT like pink. Ooops! She told me later that she liked the pattern (of the triangle quilt she was looking at) but pink was way too girlie for her tastes. She did however LOVE the green/grey bag I'd made for myself. So, what the heck, I traded her. I'd rather she have something she really loves then something I think she should like and or have. I do like the pink one, so no skin off my nose either. Though I might have to make myself another Cathedral Windows tote for myself sometime soon. ;^)
One of the key people that makes my Sister's trip possible is my own sister, Kiki! In order to keep Snooky from being too heart broken that her Mama's gone (OH she *LURVES* her Mama) I try to keep her extra busy. One of the ways I do that is to send her over to her Auntie's for a few days for a slumber party with her cousins. She loves it and it's a special time they all get to have together. It wipes my sister out, since her kids are both pretty mellow and Miss Snooky is a spitfire. So as a thank you to Kiki, I made her a bag too. She likes beachy colors so blues, aquas and a light washed yellow seemed right. I also liked the pattern from the pink bag so I just went ahead and used it again. It's kinda funny that my sister and I wound up with "matching" bags... except for the color. That's always how it was when we were kids, we'd get the same thing but in different colors so we could tell them apart.
Christina was supposed to join us but injured her finger and had some other personal stuff come up and just really couldn't get away for the weekend. It was sad that she had to back out but Heather took her bag and will give it to her the next time she sees her. Christiana likes Denyse Schmidt's Flea Market Fancy and I had a bit of green so I used it up and she'd also mentioned that she wanted to make a quilt out of the modern log cabin book by Susan Beal. It wasn't too hard to figure out the pattern so I just whipped one up. I dunno why but I felt a strong desire to stick a giant orange button in the center of the the block, so I did! Ha.
In return I got a pile of awesome stuff! Barbara made the really cool framed graphic in the back left. It's now sitting in my sewing room under my clock where they fight for how early I should go to bed (Stay up and sew! No, it's late!) Next to it, to the right is the little wrist strap bag in yellow and red that Jen made. I love the little people in the fabric, very adorable. To the right of that is the little pink box that Colleen made filled with chocolate, a candle, and a little notebook. I will have to say that has now been completely absconded away with by my daughter. lol. If it's pink, it must belong to her, right?! Pe'tra made the bird and I've tried to pu it up high so Snooky can't claim that one as well. The little green flowery bag at the birds feet was made by Heather. She also made us all bracelets to boot. I love it but not sure how to best put it to use yet. Jill made the templates for the quilt pictured just above Heather's bag. It was on my "to do" list already so, how fantastic that I now have the templates for easy cutting?! Charissa made the little bag in front of Jen's. I'm thinking I'll use it for punch cards as it has a lot of sweet little pockets inside. And lastly the bag on the far left was also made by Jill (it's where she put the templates) I love the fabrics!
I just love all of Pe'tra's little birdies all lined up for their portrait.
To be continued...