August 18, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Hello, World!
It's my turn to introduce myself
in the Around the World Blog Hop!

I was invited to participate
by the lovely blogger Donna

{Here's what Donna made for her partner in the Need a Little Needle Book Swap...stunning!}

Question #1: What are you working on at the moment?

My head is spinning at the moment.
I've got lots of ideas in there, waiting to become patterns!
Watch for a new zippered pouch pattern coming out
in the very near future, called Double Exposure!

{Want a sneak peek? Of course you do.}

If I can't get to the sewing machine
or if I'm too tuckered out for writing,
I enjoy sitting down
with my stacks of hexagons.

{Soon I'll be using these for some pillows...and more!}

Watch for more swaps...

 and free tutorials, too!
I love to guest blog
and would welcome more opportunities
for an occasional post.

Question #2; How does your work differ from others of your genre?

Hmmm...I am still working on this one, I think.
My main goal would be to have a "look"
for my projects.
I love it when someone says that they 
could tell that I made something,
even before they are told.

I used to make dozens of purses,
and my coworkers could recognize an "Amy"
purse from a mile away.

and I've been satisfied with that image ever since.
That pillow has elements of many things I love:
polka dots...bright, clear colors...
quilting for texture...
smooth, cushy areas...geometric prints...
scrappiness from many fabric lines...updated classic blocks...
all highlighted by a clean white background.

Question #3: Why do you create what you do?

I just can't NOT sew,
no matter how busy I am.

Now might be a good time to reveal
that I've gone back to working full-time
as a medical technologist in a hospital lab.
Even though I don't have as many hours
free for sewing,
I depend on my sewing time for relaxation.

Because of time constraints,
I tend to choose smaller projects,
like pincushions or pillows,
knowing I can actually finish those.

Question #4: How does your creative process work?

There isn't really a method that always works for me,
but I think it all starts with the fabrics.
I have quite an embarassing and disorderly stash!

{No photo available!}

I plan my projects when there is no time for sewing,
and I often collect the fabrics and notions
ahead of time.
I love to cut everything out,
ready to sew it later, 
especially when I'm making purses or pillows.
It feels like I'm using a kit, which is really fun!

Another way my creative process works is to
collaborate with other bloggers
and admire their works.
I've especially enjoyed meeting many
inspiring friends through
sewalongs and swaps!

And now I'd love to invite you to meet one
of my most favorite bloggers in all the world:

Susie of Susie's Sunroom,

{See her Around the World Blog Hop post any time after 8/28/14.} 
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August 9, 2014

Hexie Flower Tutorial and Summertime Pouches

Today I'm blending two of my latest fascinations:
hexagons and zippered pouches!

Pop over to visit
where I've guest-blogged in detail
about these Red, White and Blue

While you're in the neighborhood,
shop around at Bear Creek Quilting Company...
you never know what goodies you'll find there.

Besides yardage and pre-cuts,
in any color you want.

I used a few spools of Aurafil thread
when I made my summertime pouches,
and the stitch quality was just gorgeous.

The stitching is
just as pretty on the back as the front...
a true sign of a good quality thread,
along with the right tension on my sewing machine.

I used a Honeycomb pack of Midwinter Reds
by Minick and Simpson for Moda
for two of the summertime pouches.

{Midwinter Reds really work for midsummer stuff, too!}

Would you like to see a detail of 
how to make the hexie "flower"
on the flag pouch?

{Yes, I thought you would like that!}

Start with a hexagon of any size...
mine came from a Honeycomb pre-cut,
so they are 3" on each side.

{They measure 6" from point to point, according to the package.  That would be from one point to the one directly across from it.}

Begin by turning the hexagon over,
wrong side up,
and fold every other corner
to the center,
pressing with a hot iron as you go.

Here's the first corner folded...

and the second...

and the third.

{All three corners meet neatly in the center. It's okay to have a wee bit of overlap.}

Now you've got a triangle.
Take each of the three points,
and fold them to the center,
pressing them into place with that hot iron.

That's so easy, right?
Now tack those center points together
and use a little button to finish it off.

Starting with a hexie that measures 6",
the flower finishes at about 1 3/4" on each side.

I place my hexie on the front of my flag pouch.

I'm sure I'll use this accent for many more projects.
I hope you'll try making hexie flowers, too!

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August 7, 2014

A Hexie Flatware Pouch for the Across The Pond Sew Along

I shared photos of some little hexagons
I made using a mini charm pack
of Glamping by Moda.

My mom was quite taken with the cute
little 1" hexies,
so I decided to use a few of them to make something for her.
But what should I make???

I turned to a comment by The Patchsmith
for inspiration.
In my post for this month's
Amanda suggested using a single cutlery pouch
for a breakfast tray or a Mother's Day present.

{Brilliant! No need to make an entire set!}

I made up a single one-of-a-kind pouch,
just as a special gift for my mom...
for no reason at all.

I chose three of the prettiest hexies,
and used white Kona cotton
as a glamorous backdrop.

I stitched around each hexie by machine.
So easy, actually!!!

{I shortened the stitch length to 2.0 on my sewing machine.}

For the lining of the flatware pouch,
I selected a piece of Sunshine Roses
by Tanya Whelan.
I love the aqua polka dots in the background.

This little flatware pouch
will brighten any day, don't you think?

Enjoy, Mom!

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August 4, 2014

Addicted to Hexies!

For a long time 
I've been staring at all of the gorgeous 
hexagon photos
I can find on the internet.
I search for them on Flickr and on Pinterest.

{I've got an entire Pinterest board called Hexagons.}

Pincushion by Fabadashery 
I keep telling myself that I'm going to make 
some hexies of my own.
It has finally happened!!!

I printed out a bunch of paper templates

There are plenty of free templates out there.
I found one somewhere...but I accidentally printed it as 
"Fit to Printable Area", so it was a wee bit smaller than 1".

But guess what?
That size was PERFECT for my Moda mini charm pack of Glamping!

{Thank you, Bev, for including the mini charm pack in my swap gift!}

Hmmm...check out those teeny hexies on the skinny pinnie!
The 1" measurement refers to the length of one side.
The entire hexie is 2" across, in my example.

Even when I printed out new templates,
sized exactly 1" on each side,
I was able to use a mini charm 2 1/2" square.
I came upon this tutorial at Sometimes Crafter,
illustrating that you really don't even have to cut
the fabric into a hexagon shape at all!
Just line up two edges of the paper template
with two opposite sides of the square.

{Visit the post, and you'll see more photos of the process.}

Photo from Sometimes Crafter blog
TIP: If you are making a large project,
print out all of your templates from a single source.
There are minor variations from one to another, 
even if you do print them using the "None" option
for Page Scaling.

I keep the little hexies in my lovely pouch
that I received from another lovely swap package,
made by Gabrielle.

{There's room for many more in there, and it's a perfect showcase.}

I showed these to my mom, sister and niece.
We couldn't keep our fingers off of them!
We made a flower...

and then another one.

Mom said they remind her of poker chips.
No wonder I find them addicting!

Wouldn't it be fun to use them on a quilting retreat
as "chips" for playing poker???
Bigger hexies could be worth more, etc.
You could keep the ones you win!

Come back soon and find out what I'm going to make 
with these lovely little hexies!

Yep - I'm officially addicted to hexies.

{Are you?}
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August 2, 2014

August - Across The Pond Sew Along - Cutlery Pouches

Have you missed me?
I'm rejoining the Across The Pond Sew Along!

{Since I've gone back to work fulltime, I've cut back on monthly commitments.}

as this month's theme.
She has taken this table decor project
to new heights, adding seasonal applique details!
Visit her blog post for more innovative ideas.

Christmas Cutlery Pouch by The Patchsmith
Find another sweet Christmas pouch
There's no need to stick to the rectangular shape.
Susie used wintery scraps to make
a mitten-shaped pouch!

Scrappy Mitten Pouch by Susie's Sunroom
You might have seen the Flatware Pouches
{and matching placemats}
I've made from Terry's Fabrics home dec prints,

Yesterday I managed to whip up a new set
of flatware pouches,
using regular quilting cotton
and a touch of lace.

I used 1/2 yard each of two coordinates
from an older Moda line by 3 Sisters...
Aster Manor.

{Pretty for any season, actually!}

{Like The Patchsmith, I added fusible fleece to the back of the outer fabric,
to add stability.}

If you'd like to try making some sweet table settings,
check out these interesting ideas
for flatware pouches.

shows a darling pouch,
made with jelly roll strips.

Design and Photo by Little Lady Patchwork
you can find the most fabulous party pouches
for summertime and beyond,
made from jeans pockets!

Photo from Hoosier Homemade blog
Burlap is very trendy,
and I love the rustic beauty
of this pouch, dressed up with lace,

By Littlewhiteboutique on Etsy
We hope you'll make something along with us
this month, and share it on our Flickr page.

It's always more fun to sew when your
best friends are sewing along!

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