Holiday Bag Order

Cluster of bags for the holidays.
Cluster of bags for the holidays.

This week I have been working to complete a large order of the fabric drawstring bags that I have been making for people.  I enjoy making these bags because I get to choose beautiful fabrics and put together different combinations that are certain to put a smile on the face of the recipient.

The bags come in various sizes and fabrics.  I always choose the primary fabric and then select a contrasting fabric for the top of the bag and then a third fabric for the interior.

I always try to make the interior of the bags as nice as the outside by creating an element of surprise with the fabrics that are chosen.  Here is an example of the lining of the bag with the personalized label sewn to the interior.

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Soft Pink floral print bag with orange gingham interior lining and pink drawstrings.

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Ab Five Mickey….. or should it be Minnie…. or even better- Jillian!

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Quilt design: Ab Five, using Mickey & Minnie fabrics with a splash of yellow, black and red. Jillian was appliquéd  using a blanket stitch. Hand stitched binding and quilting by Greg.

This is a toddler quilt that I made for my very dear friend Jillian.  I took the  Ab Five pattern, using their unique template, and created the quilt using various Mickey and Minnie themed fabrics, “Mickey Mouse and Friends” by Camelot Fabrics.   I also incorporated Red and Yellows to break it up a bit.

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Close-up of fabrics and Ab Five quilt design.
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Detail of blanket stitch appliqué and hand stitched binding

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Haunted Wishes!

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A distressed Halloween greeting comes your way!

This year Anson and I wanted to do something a little different than previous years. Just to give you an idea of a few of the steps-

We started off with watercolor paper and used Distress Spray Inks to created the magical background. We masked off the moon and then stamped the haunted house and raven. From there we stenciled on the skull and crossbones so that they were barely apparent.

The highlight of the card was the very intricate gate which was cut out with a dye stamp and then embossed it with gold and patina embossing powder.

Hope you will enjoy!

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“Witches, Witches, Witches”

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“Witches, Witches, Witches”, Halloween 2016 Tag Swap, using Character Construction stamp plates: Theatre of Dreams #1, French Laundry #6 & Mad Tea Party #2. Dress was trimmed with black lace and silk trims.

I belong to this tag swap group that is obsessed with Catherine Moore’s Character Construction rubber stamps.  Each year she creates a series of stamps, ranging from 6 – 24 sets that can have from 1 – 8 images per set.  There is a theme each year.  Some examples are:  Circus, Timekeeper’s Garden, Paris, Beekeeper’s Tea, Bird & Bee Paperie, etc.

Each month our group decides on a theme that typically relates to the holiday for the month (if there is going to be one).  We create 5 tags, keeping one for ourself and sending the other four to Cathy, our group coordinator.  She in turn sends us back four tags from different people from all parts of the US, Canada and Europe.  So much fun!

For Halloween the theme was “Witches, Witches, Witches” and you can imagine the end result.

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Close-up detail of face and coloring with Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils.
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Close-up detail of witch with broom and lace dress overlay.

 

 

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Lucy’s Disappearing 4 Patch Quilt

 

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Lucy claims the Disappearing Four Patch to be her quilt of choice.

Earlier this summer I took a class at Sewing Arts Center in Santa Monica with Susanne Cole.  It was a variation of the Disappearing Four Patch.  The class was a lot of fun and in the end I used over 90 different fabrics for this quilt, with each square having four different colors and they were not repeated in other blocks.

As you can see, Lucy claimed this quilt earlier on in the process. While I was sewing the binding by hand she was laying on the quilt and each time I moved the quilt she would get right back on it.  For those of you that have four legged kids- you know that they always get their way!

I was very happy with how the quilt turned out.  The white background help to give the eyes a bit of a rest from all of the colors that were used.

 

 

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New Discovery, OR Should I Call It a New Passion!

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This is very typical of the Aboriginal fabric designs.

Aboriginal fabrics are designed by a group of native Australians known as Aboriginals.  They have been designing these patterns and fabrics for generation after generation and there is so much symbolism with each design.

They have an extremely limited distribution in the US.

Australian Aboriginal Designs arise from a heritage that goes back thousands of years.  Aboriginal “Dreaming Stories” are passed on from generation to generation and explain life and are central to their culture and relationship to the natural world.  Aboriginal art illustrates their “Dreaming Stories” with a series of symbolic motifs.  Each design has a story and historical significance. The abstract dot and circle designs, based on these stories, have become a trademark of the contemporary Aboriginal art movement,” HeartSong Quilts.

Here is some of the symbolism that has been used over the centuries:

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Other Aboriginal fabrics:

 

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By Plane, by Train, by Car, by Boat… Away James Goes!

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Wave quilt using Dear Stella!, “On My Way” fabrics. There are waves of transportation that go across the quilt: airplanes, cars & taxis, boats and his favorite of all- trains!

This is the quilt that I made for James for Christmas 2016- shhh, don’t tell him!

The Dear Stella!, “On My Way” fabrics were perfect for this quilt, featuring different modes of transportation:  planes, cars, taxis, boats and his favorite- trains!  The backing of the quilt was this very comforting cloud print.

I find that binding the quilt by hand is very soothing and gives me great satisfaction that the recipient will hopefully understand the difference- maybe not at 3 years old, but some day.

This was my first time tackling a wave quilt and making it flat in the end- as opposed to a curved mess!

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I quilted it using a wave pattern that kept with the mood of the quilt.
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Fabric Swatches of the Dear Stella!, “On My Way” collection.

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Checkmate

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Cotton & Steel line of fabric, “Checkers” was used for my design, playing off of my childhood memories of gingham prints.
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When I first saw the Chckers line of fabric it reminded me of a board game with all of the boxes and strategy that is involved. I am really looking forward to constructing this quilt.

Today I started working on a new quilt that I designed myself.  I titled the quilt “Checkmate” because I used all of these new fabrics by Kaufman that are various sizes and colors of checks. … it actually reminds me of the gingham prints that I have always love.

Let’s see how it turns out and I hope that you like it.

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For That Very Special Person In My Life…

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A special quilt for that special man to keep him warm at night and close to his heart.

 

Over the summer I started taking quilting classes and really enjoyed it- always thinking of my mother and grandmother, as both were great quilters.

I chose these fabrics for Anson because they remind me so much of him and his taste in clothing and design.  Even the sashing in the quilt has writing on it with formulas and calculations throughout the design.  Many of the fabric designs were very organic in feel- and no one loves organic anything more than Anson.  (I’m somewhat concerned that he might try to eat the quilt because he is always seeking out organic foods.)

This is a quilt that I really enjoyed selecting the fabrics for.  The women at the shop were concerned that it would never work out because there wasn’t enough contrast, however that didn’t stop me.  I’ve really taken to the whole Steampunk movement and this is very reflective of it.  When I took the quilt back to the shop they couldn’t believe it and nothing could have pleased me more!  Many of the shops are very set in their ways and not receptive to  breaking tradition.

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Here is a close-up of one of the blocks to give you an idea of the fabrics that were selected for Anson’s quilt.
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Larger sampling of the quilt squares, showing how the various fabrics worked in shades of beige, tan, ivory, gray, taupe and a few hazy and steel blues.

 

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What a Special Day!

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This is the quilt that I designed for Kim for her birthday using a lot of batiks and other designs in all of her favorite colors.

Oh such pleasure I had making this quilt from start to finish.  While in North Carolina I went with my niece, Kim to buy some fabric.  I know the type of patterns and colors that she likes so we had a lot of fun selecting a few pieces.

When I returned to Los Angeles I went to a few of my favorite shops and built upon what we had started with and ended up with 32 different fabrics that are all in the same palette.

The next part is where I really started to enjoy quilting.  I had previously purchase a quilting software, EQ7, and with that software I was able to completely design a quilt for Kim from start to finish.  The program takes into account the dimensions of the squares, the border, sashings and bindings.  It even gives you the template dimensions and estimated yardage needed for each piece of the quilt.

This is what I drew for Kim in EQ7:

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This is the pattern that I created in EQ7 quilting software.

And this is what it looked like after I added the fabric selections:

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This is the template of the pattern after scanning the fabrics and uploading them to the EQ7 pattern.

After piecing the quilt I also added a monogram to it so that she will always remember the occasion that I gave it to her.

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Close-up of the blocks that were assembled for the quilt.
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I embroidered a very subtle monogram on the front corner of the quilt so that she will always remember the occasion.

It means so much to have someone as special as Kim in my life- and even better that she is my niece.

Happy Birthday Kim!

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