Owls and hearts and all the fun stuff

So – how ya doin’? It seems like a  L O N G  time since I’ve been here. Not that I’ve been idle or anything. Nope. Been busy. Very busy.

My friend’s son got married in AK, and she let me take part in her gift to them. I was so blessed. She wanted to give them a quilt with the double ring pattern, but instead of rings, she chose entwined hearts. She asked another friend to hand-embroider the 24 squares, and that lady did an exceptionally beautiful job. The squares are roughly 20X20, and there was a LOT of embroidery.

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this is what the squares look like (this is one of the finished pillows)

She then asked me if I’d put those squares together in a quilt top, using some lovely heart-pattern fabric she found at JoAnn’s. She got all there was to get, so I had to be judicial in how I cut it – plus, it was a directional pattern. I think it came out very nice.

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put together and ready for quilting

After I got the quilt top (and two pillows from the last 4 squares) done, my friend took it to another lady who did the quilting. It was a community effort – and her son and new wife liked it very much. I wouldn’t mind having something as lovely and full of love myself!

After this was done, I wanted to do something for my friend. So while they were in AK at the wedding, I looked at what I had left of the fabric. Guess what – I discovered the leftover fabric was EXACTLY the right size to make my friend two pillows for her guest room – a ‘sort of’ birthday gift, as she flew to AK on her birthday for the wedding (the day after). I just thought that since she had bought all the supplies for this quilt/pillow gift, she should have something of it for herself.

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But that’s not all.

I have some owl fabric I’ve been meaning to use for a purse for myself, which I finally got started on. I had a little scrap on the cutting table that another friend saw one evening and fell in love with. She asked if I could make her a little zip pouch for her upcoming women’s retreat, so she didn’t have to take her purse – just the essentials that would fit in her coat pocket. Well, of course I can! That little scrap was the perfect size for this.

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cheerful little pouch – fits a cell phone, cards, and even cash if you have any

Hmm…doing all this for other people…sounds like a saint, eh? Well, let me fill you in on a not-so-well-kept secret. I’m not all THAT unselfish. I made something for myself this weekend too. 🙂 Finally finished that owl purse, to replace my other one that I’ve literally worn out. I used some of the fabric I got from Crafty Staci in her giveaway for the lining and the pockets. I love it, and will be making a matching zip pouch soon – one that I’ll keep. 🙂

 

What’s black and white and red all over? A fashion statement, of course!

Fashion statement purse, that is.

This is the second in a series of black/white purses I’m making from that reversible vest. There’s enough fabric for another one – and maybe even a small zip clutch. Besides all the scraps (just about zip-clutch size), almost the entire back of the vest is still there. That was a BIG VEST!!

I see another purse coming!

The doll gives an idea of how big this vest was

I used Simplicity 2201, view D. This pattern calls for reversible quilted fabric – bingo! There were a few things I liked about this, and a few I didn’t. I like the size and style: not too big, with a pleated front, lace & ribbon accents, and a cross-body strap. I don’t like the no pockets and the partial lining. And what happens when I don’t like something about a pattern??? Yup.

the pattern

The instructions had the zipper installed after the lining and outer were sewn together. Only the upper part of the front/back and the side/bottom pieces were lined (see the illustration above). The pleated bottom part was unlined, according to the pattern; I think that was to show the reverse side of the fabric on the inside. I wanted it completely lined, and I wanted pockets.

How to do that? Well, first of all, I scrapped that top lining piece, but kept the one for the side/bottom. I finished the outer front and back pieces per the instructions, and traced around one of the completed pieces to make a new lining pattern. I then added a zip pocket to one lining piece and a phone/pen pocket on the other.

I decided to just follow the original instructions, as though installing a partial lining. According to the pattern, the lining pieces were sewn directly to the outer pieces, and then the purse was assembled – with the seams encased in bias binding. That worked; since the lining is black, the seams really aren’t noticed.

Overall, I really like this purse. I love the red accents, and the fact that it keeps its shape well. And it holds all the stuff I usually carry!  Can’t wait to get the next one started now – just need an idea. Whatcha think?? Any ideas?

Oh, and that first purse? I liked the red on this one so much, I added a tiny pop of color on it too. Today a button, tomorrow a ribbon – the next day, who knows!! It’s a fashion statement in the making.