Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My CQJP 2014 February block is now a purse!

I finished this purse late last night and thought, "Look what I did!"

My Crazy Quilt Journal Project goal this year is to make 12 crazy quilted purses using the blocks from each month.

This is quite a bit of a challenge for me...  As I have said in the past, sewing is not my strong point.  In fact, if you look closely, you might notice... never mind.  I'll keep my opinions of what I need to improve on to myself today.  I am still basking in the fact that I made a purse without using a pattern for the first time, and I am thrilled with how it turned out!

(For larger views, click on the photos.)

I had several ideas in mind for this purse.  Then, I stumbled upon a book at Powell's and decided it was just what I needed to put those ideas into action.

After buying The Bag Making Bible: The Complete Creative Guide to Sewing Your Own Bags by Lisa Lam at Powell's, I spent the evening reading and jotting down notes on how to add the pockets I wanted to make, how to make the handle the way I wanted to, and ideas on what kind of fastener I wanted to use to close the purse.  (The link above will take you to Amazon to see the book.  I am not affiliated with any of the books, beads, flosses, etc. that I share with you.  If you go to Amazon from my blog and make a purchase, I earn credit... toward a gift card, I think ~ it has been ages since I set it up and I do not remember.  I just like sharing the links so you can easily find details about items I like.)  Lisa Lam also has a website where purse making items are available for purchase, and she has a blog at u-handbag.com.  (I have only made a brief visit to the site, but look forward to checking it out more in the future.) The book has patterns for purses, too.  I just focused on the tips and sections related to my plans.

I was gung-ho and ready to go after finding this book.  However, as I began cutting fabric and gathering my supplies together, I felt a little intimidated.  So, I set it aside.  I suppose that worked out for the best.  My sister surprised me for my birthday.  She was WAY too generous and sent me a personalized mini i-pad.  So, I decided I should make sure one of the interior pockets would hold my new toy.

Then, life got crazy.  On the 16th, I awoke just after 5 a.m. to a phone call letting me know my mom was in the emergency room.  I was there before 6 and learned she needed to be admitted, but the hospital had no beds available.  So, I followed the ambulance that transported her to another hospital that is a 45-minute to an hour commute from my home.  She had surgery on the 19th, and I brought her home with me on the 20th.  On Sunday, the 23rd, we got her all settled in back at her house, where she is recovering well.

Yesterday was really my first chance since the 16th to even think about my purse.  After finishing it, I must admit that I am not quite sure why I was so intimidated. (Okay, maybe because I was not quite sure what I was doing.  Next time, the D-ring I added will be smaller so it is not so heavy and the magnetic snap will be slightly higher, but overall, I am thrilled with how it turned out!)
Close up of the front.
The denim is from a pair of jeans I wore until parts were threadbare. The purse is about 8-inches tall and 10-inches wide.  I turned my CQJP 2014 February block into the front pocket.
Back of the bag
The back is very simple. Just denim.
Interior pockets and magnetic snaps.
This was my first time using magnetic snaps.  They were so simple to use, I felt silly for being nervous about it!  (My husband assured me these small magnets would not be a problem with my mini i-pad, but I just had to ask.)

The pocket viewed on the top is sewn into 3 sections.  The two larger pockets on the side sections hold my checkbook and my cell phone perfectly.  The skinny part in the center is perfect for my pen.

The pocket viewed at the bottom has a pink fleece lining, to add more protection for my mini i-pad.  This pocket extends the length of the purse.
Close up of loop with D-ring and clasp.

And, I added a small loop with a D-ring. (I plan to flip the key chain with the clasp around, I was just too tired to monkey with it last night.) I thought this would be a perfect place to hang nail clippers.  Even better, I can clip my car keys on here.  That way, there is no risk of them falling out of the semi-open top.  And, I will not have to worry about them getting lost in the bottom of the purse.  I hold no illusions that it will remain this neat - lol!

Thank you for letting me share my excitement with you!

(Now, maybe I can transform my CQJP 2014 January block into a purse. I am not quite as terrified that I might ruin it!)

Updated April 13, 2015:
This post has been linked to the Stitchery Link Party at Super Mom - No Cape. And photos of how it looks after nearly 14 months of use may be viewed here.

TAST #98 Beaded Shell Chain Stitch

It is Take a Stitch Tuesday (TAST) on Sharon Boggon's Pin Tangle blog!  For this week's stitches CLICK HERE.  I have fallen a bit behind, but that is the beauty of TAST, you can take it at your own pace.  I also skipped Stitch #97, the Shell Chain Stitch, but hope to have an example to share next week.

Here is my first attempt at the Beaded Shell Chain Stitch, TAST Stitch #98.  It was another fun stitch that I see myself using again in the future. (To learn how to make this stitch, click the link with the stitch name above.)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

TAST #96 Beaded Link Chain Stitch

TAST #96 Beaded Link Chain Stitch
On January 21st, Sharon Boggon at Pin Tangle provided Take A Stitch Tuesday (TAST) stitches 95, the Linked Chain Stitch, and 96, the Beaded Link Chain Stitch.  I did not have a size 26 tapestry needle, so I only completed #95 last week (which you can see if you click here.)

For a closer view, click on the photos.

This week, I picked up a size 26 tapestry needle.  I also bought the size 28 tapestry needle, as it looked a wee bit daintier and I wondered if I could fit a petite glass seed bead over the eye.  (I doubt it, but I will get to that soon enough!)

I used 1 strand of DMC size 12 perle cotton and Mill Hill 00358 glass seed beads.  These seed beads may not have been the best choice.  My first bead went on like a charm.  However, by the time I fit 7 beads onto the link, I had found more than 20 that would not fit over the eye.  So, I managed to thread my size 28 tapestry needle and finished the rest of the link with only 5 of those 20 being too small. Yay!

My links are not quite consistently sized, so I definitely need more practice.  That should not be a problem, though.  I love this stitch and look forward to using it again!

Here is the view from the side.
TAST #96 Beaded Link Chain Stitch - side view
This was my first seam on the Dream block I need to embellish from the CQI Winter/Christmas DYB Round Robin.

Finishing this block and putting my wall hanging together will be my Work in Progress (WIP) Wednesday project.  So, I hope to have more progress to share with you tomorrow!

Oh, and the Heart DYB Round Robin is full, so I will have another round robin to share with you all soon!

Thank you for stopping by.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

CQJP 2014 February Block

End of Day 9
This has been a fun week, meeting new bloggers through the Grow Your Blog Party, hosted by Vicki at 2 Bags Full.  (I strongly encourage you to check out her Pink Scarf Project that ran from October of 2012 through 2013. She dedicated a Pinterest page (CLICK HERE) to photos, and they are lovely!)  My GYBP post may be viewed HERE.

I enjoyed working on my January CQJP 2014 block so much.  I had no idea February would be even more fun! (CQJP 2014 stands for Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2014 - CLICK HERE to check it out, but be prepared to spend some time viewing some amazing eye candy!)

I finished this block in 9 days spending as little as 30 minutes to just over 10 hours a day (*blushing* I really wanted to finish yesterday and my family was having a total relaxation day, soooo...)  In total, you are looking at just over 34 hours of my life and I enjoyed every minute of it!  (Well, almost.  Removing waste canvas is a chore and takes me FOREVER.  Of course, I opted to use it on two sections - lol!)

One of my favorite things about crazy quilting is watching the bare block transform.  For this block, I took daily photos to share those daily transformations with you.  I cannot decide if I should bore you all with what flosses and stitches I used.  I think I will add photos of specific areas with a "What I added" section.  If you are interested, the information will be there.  If not, you can skip it.
End of Day 1
End of Day 2
End of Day 3
End of Day 4
End of Day 5
End of Day 6
End of Day 7
End of Day 8

Completed block - end of Day 9

Buttonhole flower seam - Day 9
What I added: Using 1 strand of EdMar Iris 079 rayon floss, I added the buttonhole "stems" and lazy daisy "leaves."  The "petals" alternate from 2 lazy daisy stitches to 2 straight stitches, using EdMar Lola 093 rayon floss.  (I have found the EdMar flosses at 2 quilt shops that sell Brazilian embroidery supplies.)  To dress the seam up more, I added seed beads.  I alternated between Mill Hill blue 02026 seed beads attached with 1 strand of DMC 794 floss and Beader's Paradise 10/0 Czech glass "rose" seed beads attached with 1 strand of DMC 963 floss. (The links will take you to Amazon to view the beads.  I found my rose beads at JoAnn Fabric for $3.99.)
Linked Chain Stitch Seam - Day 3
 What I added: Linked chain stitch using 1 strand of EdMar Glory 083 rayon floss.
Cloud filling stitch - end of Day 9
 What I added:  First, I stitched 14-count waste canvas into place, lining it up with the seam line between the blue and pink fabric.  One strand of EdMar Iris 218 was used to make the little pink securing stitches and EdMar Iris 100 was woven between them to create the cloud filling.  On Day 9, I dressed this section up with more beads.  I alternated rows between Beader's Paradise 10/0 Czech glass "rose" seed beads attached with one strand of DMC 963 and Beader's Paradise 10/0 Czech glass "lt. blue" seed beads attached with 1 strand of DMC 794. (The links to the beads go to Amazon.  Note: I found my beads at JoAnn Fabric for $3.99.)
Mauve ribbon - Day 9
 What I added:  First, I stitched on a section of mauve ribbon using 1 strand of DMC S800 (blue satin floss.) Next, I added three flowers using 4 lazy daisy stitches each, using 1 strand of EdMar Iris 018 rayon floss.  On Day 9, I added a Mill Hill 02026 seed bead to the center of each flower, attached with 1 strand of DMC 794.  The blue straight stitches above the ribbon were added on Day 8 with 2 strands of DMC S800 satin floss..  On Day 9, I added 4 Beader's Paradise 10/0 Czech glass "rose" seed beads attached with one strand of DMC 963.

Cretan stitch seam & heart - end of Day 9
What I added:  First, I stitched 14-count waste canvas into place, lining it up with the seam line between the blue and pink fabric.  Next, I used 1 strand of EdMar Iris 169 and the Cretan stitch.  Next, I added another row of Cretan stitch using EdMar Iris 100.  (I am not sure which took longer, figuring out how to line up the stitches so they would work the way I wanted them to, or removing the waste canvas - lol!)  Originally, I planned to have 3 small hearts in a row beneath the Cretan stitched rows.  However on Day 5, I realized the heart I began the day before was slightly over my seam line.  So, I took it out and sketched a larger heart onto graph paper.  I used a single strand of EdMar Iris 100 and cross-stitches to make the center heart and added the 2nd row of Cretan stitches.  On Day 9, I added pink bugle beads (from a set of beads and bugle beads I picked up at Michaels with a 40% off coupon a while back) to the rows of Cretan stitches.  And, I added 2 beaded flowers.  Each "flower" includes  hot pink seed beads (from my stash - unfortunately, I do not have the specific details) attached with a single strand of matching DMC floss and 1 Beader's Paradise 10/0 Czech glass "lt. blue" seed bead attached with 1 strand of DMC 794. (Again, I purchased these beads from JoAnn Fabric for $3.99.)

Spider web - end of Day 6
I told my 14-year-old, "Mutt", I planned to add a heart to my spider web.  His reaction?  "Mom, spider webs don't have hearts in them."  So, I asked, "What if it also says the word, "love"?  It would be like Charlotte's Web."  To which he replied, "Oh, that would be fine."

What I added:  Using a single strand of Finca size 8 perle cotton #1724 (light pale geranium - I found this at a local quilt store) for the long stitches, and a single strand of EdMar Iris 169 to couch them down, I created the web.  Then, I stitched in the word "LOVE" and the heart.  On Day 6, I added the spider (inspired by spiders in J. Marsha Michler's book: The Magic of Crazy Quilting: A Complete Resource for Embellished Quiltingusing 2 strands of DMC E317 metallic floss.  I loved that it matched the shiny blue denim material on the block.
Herringbone seam - end of Day 9
What I added:  Using 1 strand of EdMar Glory 043 and a Herringbone stitch, I covered this seam.  On Day 9, I dressed it up with Beader's Paradise 10/0 Czech glass "lt. blue" seed beads attached with 1 strand of DMC 794 and with Beader's Paradise 6/0 Czech glass "pink pearl" seed beads attached with 1 strand of DMC 818. (Again, I found these beads at JoAnn Fabric for $3.99.)
Seam of center section - end of Day 9
What I added:  Using 1 strand of EdMar Lola 093 and a buttonhole stitch, I created stems.  2 lazy daisy flowers were then stitched in Edmar Iris 018.  On Day 9, I added two of the hot pink beads from my stash with a matching floss.

Chevron seam - End of Day 9
 What I added:  Using 1 strand of EdMar Iris 018 and a chevron stitch, I embellished the seam.  On Day 9, I added Blue Moon Beads from a 6" strand of beads found on clearance at JoAnn (I could not find them on-line to share a link.)  They are attached with a single strand of DMC 604.
Heart fabric - end of Day 6
 What I added:  I stitched on 5 Mill Hill 60479 glass seed beads with 1 strand of DMC white cotton floss and made stem-stitched roses around each using 1 strand of a different pink EdMar rayon floss for each rose.  The leaves were made with 2 lazy daisy stitches and 1 strand of EdMar Glory 403 rayon floss.

Upper right corner - end of Day 9
What I added:  Using a feather stitch and 1 strand of EdMar Lola 034, I embellished the seam.  3 lazy daisy stitches were added with 1 strand of EdMar Glory 004.  A straight stitch in the same floss filled each loop. On Day 9, I added two flowers using a Mill Hill 00358 glass seed bead attached with DMC 824 and 5 lazy daisy stitches using 1 strand of EdMar Glory 071.
Flower vine - end of Day 9
What I added:  Using 1 strand of EdMar Iris 079 and a linked chain stitch, I created the vine.  Then I twined 1 strand of EdMar Glory 071 (variegated blue) and 1 strand of EdMar Glory 083 (variegated pink), I made flowers using 5 lazy daisy stitches for petals and filled each with a straight stitch as I went.  On Day 9, I used  the bright pink beads from my stash attached with a matching strand of DMC floss.  (Note: I worried that the colors in this section contrasted too much with the lighter colors within the block.  My choices were to remove the entire section, or to add the colors elsewhere in the block to balance things out.  I chose to balance it out.)
Center flowers - end of Day 9
What I added: 3 bullion stitched roses.  I added 3 Mill hill 00358 dark blue beads with a strand of DMC 824 and encircled them with increasingly large bullion wraps with a single strand of EdMar Glory 083.  For the other two flowers, I attached Mill hill 02026 cobalt blue beads with a strand of DMC 794 floss.  I encircled one with bullion stitches with EdMar Glory 043 rayon floss and the other with EdMar Iris 0218 (the smaller, light pink rose.)  For the vines, I used 1 strand of EdMar Glory 403 to create a chained feather stitch to act as leaves and a vine.  For flower "buds" I added size 11/0 metallic pink seed beads with a strand of DMC 718 cotton floss.  (The link will take you to see the beads on Amazon.com.  However, I purchased mine for less than $4.00 at JoAnn Fabric or Michaels.)  This added more of the dark greens and vibrant pinks to balance out the flower vine.  (Note: The bullion stitch, which I have heard referred to as "that" stitch, was much easier using a Milliners needle, but I still had problems with it.  CLICK HERE for some tips with the bullion knot. Sharon Boggin at Pin Tangle suggests a straw needle.  Perhaps that was my problem?  I wish I had read her notes about the twist of the floss before I made these flowers.  For the record, my hubby really likes my flowers made with "that" stitch, but found the amount of time they took me to complete a bit insane - lol!)
Butterfly - end of Day 9
What I added: Using 1 strand of invisible thread, I stitched on this butterfly pendant.  (I think it was a Bead Gallery item I picked up at Michael's, but I am not certain and could not find it on-line.)  The day before attaching it to the block, I set the butterfly out on a piece of plastic wrap and coated the front and, later, the back with clear chip-resistant fingernail polish, as I did not know if it would tarnish and I plan to use this block to make a purse.

Thank you so much for visiting!