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Recent Finishes – Photos Finally!

Anyone who knows me well knows that I have a thing for bags…in particular, tote bags. I’m totally buying into this whole BYOB (bring your own bag) to the grocery store, Target, etc. Because I get to have bags. :) So when I saw the Day in the Park Backpack Tote somewhere on someone’s blog, I knew I had to make it. So I jumped onto Purl’s website, which is also where I found the magical pinky girlie airplane/rocket/helicopter fabric. Anywho, I LOVE this bag! The pattern was actually on tissue paper, like clothing patterns. But I just took my handy acrylic rulers, took measurements, and cut w/out the patterns using the good ‘ol rotary cutter. The bag does have curved bottom corners, so I made a corner template from an index card, which worked very well for these purposes.
See, it’s a tote…
…it’s a backpack…
There’s only a few things I would do differently from the instructions. First, when making the straps, I would use my preferred method of making straps (which I hate doing, BTW), as taught by the fabulous Nancy Greene of Pink Sand Beach Designs. Basically, Nancy’s method involves ironing the strap fabric in half, then fusing a strip of DecorBond on one side, and Pellon Fusible Fleece 987F on the other side, plus a strip of twill tape snuck inside the folded over strap. This combo gives a really sturdy strap, and it is soooo much easier to edgestitch the open side. Now I know just to go with what I trust and know how to do. The other thing that I would do differently is the inside zipper pouch, also using Nancy’s fab techiniques. She has taught me to create an inside zipper pouch in a manner which completely disguises all raw edges of the zipper. Plus, my metholodogy of just measuring the pieces to rotary cut worked out so well! One other tip: pin the pieces together and label when cutting. I would have gotten confused, and spent a lot of time figuring out what was what if I hadn’t.

Did you notice my recent obsession with owls heavily influenced my choice of fabric?? Apparently, the love of owls is a quilter thing, but since I’m relatively new to fabrics that aren’t sold just by Joanns, that’s fine by me. I was super-excited a couple of weeks ago to score an entire fat quarter bundle of Tula Pink’s Full Moon Forest on ebay – the line is impossible to find, and I adore the owl paisley print in this line. I think some of the line will be part of my 5″ squares to swap – I just have to work up the courage to cut into those awesome fat quarters.

Here is the Christmas tree skirt, which I talked about here. The backing fabric is just cream stars on navy from Joanns.

The “neck” of the tree skirt – oh, this was not fun to sew with all of the layers in such a tight little circle with bulky fabric/batting seams to go thru (even with the seams pressed open). I made the ties with leftover scraps of the fabric used – mostly because I didn’t have the backing fabric at that time, and didn’t want to sit around idly. So I just randomly strip pieced onto muslin. The conclusion here is that I need to go buy a fabric turner – it was hard to turn the tubes of the ties (wow, that sounds weird, huh??) inside out using my poly-carbonate straws, which are my normal turning tools (no chopsticks in this house, we eat Chinese food with forks).

The finished product – I love it!
Yes, I’m 26, and completely adore the country shabby look. Don’t get me wrong, I like bright modern colors, but the country look makes my heart beat a little faster. Now that I’m working at a company that imports furniture, I’m trying to define my decorating style. For the living room, I would say the style if Modern French Country (modern because of the relatively clean, non-ornate lines of my furniture).
OK, enough babbling for today… I don’t really enjoy reading long blog posts, so if you suffered through this one to the end, I commend you!

1 comment to Recent Finishes – Photos Finally!

  • Rey Kids

    I’m SO jealous of all the cool things you do! I wish I could be crafty! Everything you have made (that I have seen!) is so awesome!

    Hey… once the baby comes, would you make me a crib quilt (the one you made for Jac was a little small to use in the crib) if I bought all the fabric for you?

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