Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ballet Bag for Bailey

My daughter is four and a half. She's the girliest tomboy I've ever met. When we were making plans for what to do over the summer break, she wanted to take ballet classes. Since her ballet classes are on the same day as swimming lessons, we knew we wouldn't be able to make it home to change into her dance clothes. It seemed a very good excuse to make her a little ballet bag!

This is the wonderful Bento lunch bag tutorial from Ayumi. It's really a perfect little bag. Cute and stylish with some lovely details in the construction that make the whole thing sew up like a dream. I especially like the drawstring cover that lets things stay securely inside even when a certain four and a half year old swings the bag like a lasso.

The cute ballet fabric is a Japanese cotton canvas print from Cool Cottons. Handles and drawstring cover  are Alexander Henry farmdale and heath. The blue dot is an unknown from my stash.

This is the third or fourth time I've used this pattern and I love it. Go make one for yourself!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

April *ahem* Cocorico block

Finally made my house block for Charise in the Cocorico bee over on Flickr. Yes, I know it's June. Call me a slacker, or a perfectionist, or obsessive. I promise it won't hurt my feelings.

Actually, I had about five different designs drawn up but nothing that I wanted to commit to fabric.

And then I designed a block I really loved, started sewing, and trashed the whole thing because it. just. didn't .work.


Finally, I decided that less is more, radically simplified the design and came up with this.

The original (crazy, overly ambitious) design had a pieced house inside the key. I mean, really? Who do I think I am? Besides, this little polka dot number is way cuter than anything I could dream up.

And the original (again, crazy, overly ambitious) house was a fancy schmancy Victorian with turrets and who knows what else. As it turns out, a few beautiful fabrics and a simple, clean design made for a much more visually appealing block (that didn't involve cussing or crying - bonus!).

I think that this process, as difficult as it was, actually taught me quite a lot. I will definitely aim to simplify my block designs and try to keep things cleaner and less muddled with "extras." There are so many amazing fabrics out there that can do a lot more than my piecing skills ever could. But I will definitely keep playing and learning! And I really hope that Charise likes her block!

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Awhile back I was invited to do a pattern test for Sonja over at Artisania. She creates beautiful and fun paper piecing patterns, so naturally, I jumped at the chance!

This pattern, I Love Sushi, will be available in her shop soon.

The blocks are fun and perfect for a confident beginner. The instructions, templates, and diagrams are all clear and easy to follow.

Can you believe I already had this sushi fabric? I was going to make pajama pants but it was too perfect not to use on this project.

Check out Artisania for some beautifully styled pictures of this quilt on the actual pattern! Thank you Sonja, I'm so flattered that you chose to feature the quilt on your pattern!

And now I'm craving some sushi!