Monday, June 20, 2011

Two Bags and a Book

It was a productive week here at the Bugglet Quilts sewing cave. I managed to crank out 2 bags and a book for my sister to take with her on vacation to France. Remember this combo?
Soon to be Smarty girl
I made it into a modified Smarty Girl bag by Heather Bailey for my sister. I made it the same way I made DiscoJen's bag since she loves it so much and said it was fantastic for her worldly travels as well as every day use.
I made a flange instead of the 3 ruffles because I didn't think the material lent itself to ruffles and because my sister isn't a ruffley kind of girl. I made the handle long enough to wear it across you, which is better for safety and keeps your hands free to attempt to keep your two year old child under control.
There are pockets on the front and back for tickets, passports and other items that need to be kept safe, yet readily accessible. Too bad I didn't watch the pattern better when I cut the pocket out, I should have lined it up. It looks like you are seeing double on the back now!
I also installed a magnetic snap closure on this bag, just as a precaution.
This is hard to photograph, and my editing software seems to have disappeared during my last 'upgrade', but this is the quilted divider that I made inside so she can put her e-reader in there and have it protected from harm.
The other side of the divider is lined with pockets and features a key clip. I figured it would be good for hotel and rental apt keys while traveling. Or for your own keys so that you don't lose them in the bowels of the purse, the way we all do. I wasn't sure about the way the divider snaps itself against the back wall of the purse, but DiscoJen assures me that it's better that way because when she's not carrying her e-reader, it's out of the way and she can use the whole inside as her purse.
I also interfaced this one more than DiscoJen's, so it's less slouchy. I may have used different interfacing in DiscoJen's too. I'll have to check out her bag again and see if I can tell what I did differently. I should have taken better notes if I was going to alter a pattern so much. Ah well, lesson learned.
The book I made is from the Alfabeto Italiano Collezione by Micheal Miller Fabrics.  My sister is fluent in Italian, so I thought I should make it for her little guy so she can teach him Italian. I thought it would be good to travel with as well since it's soft and can be squished into a small bag. He's almost two years old now and we spent some time during our Father's Day dinner trying to get him to say 'Bonjour!' He just laughed at us.
 I put some batting in between, and sewed around the outside colored border and a quarter inch in from that to help hold the batting in place. Then I used a star/circley stitch on my sewing machine for the hole to put the ring through.
I only screwed up one, which was the very last one of course! I put the hole on the upper right side instead of the upper left, so now there's a superfluous hole in the 'Z'.
I made yet another 'Sweet Simple' bag by Late Bloomer. I really love this pattern. I can get them done quickly and it really showcases the fabric. This one is a chocolate bag for my sister's French friend, Natalie. She loves chocolate, and is really neutral in her clothing taste, so I was thrilled to find this 'Confections' chocolates fabric by Robert Kaufman.
I like the Moda dots for the gathered part, I think it looks like cream filling with chocolate on top!
Of course I lined it with pockets too. You can't have too many pockets. Ever.
That's all the projects from last week!
Happy Quilting,

Monday, June 13, 2011

It's a bird, it's a plane!

No, it's.....SUPERTOTE!!!
My lovely assistant, Kate, is modelling her fabulous new Supertote. I made this for the mother of a friend who happens to live in the town where they are filming the new Superman movie. She works on the main street where they will be doing much of the filming, so I thought she needed a Supertote to show her Supersupport. I made the little yellow band to mimic Superman's yellow belt.
The inside has pockets, made from the Superman comic book material, all the way around and a key fog to boot.
I fussy cut out an 'S' from the comic book material for the button.
 To add to the fun and excitement of having a movie filmed in your small town, Kevin Costner is apparently playing Superman's dad!
My other finished project this week was an all Minky graduation quilt. The young lady in question Loves, with a capitol L, bright colors and all things Minky. I saw this kit and knew it was perfect for her to take to college. She's going to attend the University of Michigan, where it can get rather chilly, so I used Thinsulate batting in between the Minky layers. It was a little bit difficult to quilt due to the puffiness of the regular Minky quilt top, the Thinsulate batting and the super fluffy Curly Minky on the back. I quilted it with overlapping wavy strands, kind of like a DNA model.
I tried to bind it in Minky, but it did not go well at all. Unfortunately, I didn't realize how badly the binding was going until I was 3/4 of the way done! For the first time in my quilting life, I had to cut the binding off! It was horrifying, I have to tell you. I wasted a whole yard of Minky in the binding fiasco. Luckily I had the perfect cotton fabric in my stash. The black with hot pink polka dots worked out wonderfully.
It makes you want to pet the quilt, doesn't it? The graduate was so thrilled. Several of her friends also gushed over it. It's pretty gratifying to have some 17 year old approve of what you do, since they are so often not approving of adults' taste.
I asked the graduate if she knew it would be a quilt, and she said "No, but I knew it would be something you made so it would be awesome!" That made it all worthwhile.
May all of your handmade goods be just as appreciated,

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

That Old Black Magic

I finally got a chance Saturday to start planting flowers and such. It's been such a bizarro spring here in Chicagoland that we haven't had much time to plant yet. It was literally heat one day, air conditioning the next. Repeat for a month. I really just want the windows open! And since my uppermost temperature limit is 82, there has been much whining and bi%$#ing from me. I'm loving my sewing cave in the ice cold basement this week.
I was at the nursery and saw a preplanted planter I liked, so I was going to replicate it. They were out of most of the plants though, so while looking around, I found this beauty:
I was smitten! I usually go with hot pink geraniums since you can't hardly kill them, and it's a western exposure, which requires a stronger color. Once I saw the magenta/black mini petunias, I went with an all new and exciting color scheme.
I found black regular sized petunias, dark magenta, black small leafed potato vine, the tall lighter purple and to add a little sparkle, the white Crystal Frost. I'm just so pleased with how they turned out! I'm calling it 'Black Magic'. Everything's better with a name. I learned that from Michelle.
I love that Crystal Frost plant. It really looks good all summer.
And this is the one in front of Grandma's buggy seat. I need to oil the wood and do something to help the iron, it's looking pretty weathered and my dad already rebuilt it once many years back.
I'd love to put some of those Pottery Barn mercury globes or string lights in them for nighttime drama, but they're a wee bit pricey.
My friend TJ told me she saw black and white striped petunias. I think a black and white planter would totally rock. Next year, I'm going to try to find them and do a Black Tie planter.
I also tackled a dinky triangle patch of dirt between my driveway and front walkway which I filled with Snapdragons and Dianthus in various pinks. I love the smell of the white Alyssum, so I edged the bed with it.

I dug in at the tip of the triangle and it ERUPTED in ants. It was beyond disgusting!!! I felt like they were crawling all over me the rest of the day. Ick. I ran inside and got the cornmeal. My sister did some research a while back and found out that plain old cornmeal is toxic to ants. They bring it back to the nest, and it kills them all off. We've been using it for over a year now and I have to say, it really works.  It's good to have non-toxic options when you have a Husky and a Golden who both lick everything.
I almost forgot in my remembrance of the icky ants, I also got a little snail friend for the garden! Isn't he cute? And the best part? Someone put a bird on it!!! (Seriously, if you haven't seen the 'put a bird on it' you really, really should. It's freaking hysterical.)
I think I need to name him. Suggestions? Hermy maybe?
I took these pictures this morning at 6:00am. I like how the magenta's glow in the early morning light. The temp today is in the 90's with a heat index over 100, so I really hope they can handle it.
Happy Gardening!