Sunday, September 7, 2014

Seventeen Wallets, Seven Fabric Baskets And A Puppy

Seems like these days I'm making a lot of secret projects that I'm testing and can't show until the patterns are released. I just finished another today so in order to keep you checking in on me and not running away I stopped my testing for a couple of days and made these cute wallets and fabric baskets.

This has got to be one of the simplest and quickest wallet tutorials I've come across, ever.
The pattern is by Noodlehead and is a free tutorial for a boys wallet. I don't really have the need to make boys wallets so made mine in girly floral fabrics.

I chose four different floral fabrics for the outside of the wallet and three different pinks for the inside.


My leaning Tower of Pisa.





There's a slip pocket for cash and four card slots.



I also made seven fabric baskets that I originally saw on my friend Lorena's blog.




And if I didn't have enough on my plate, in between making all these, my son came home with a tiny puppy he found wandering around lost in the middle of the street. He put him in the car and by the time he got home the puppy was fast asleep on the floor with it's head under the front seat. I found a box for him and put in an old sheet, took him out of the car carefully and placed him in the box. It was pretty hot and humid that night so he was happier sleeping on the cool stone floor.




He woke, obviously very hungry and not knowing much about dogs got in touch with my friend Toby who has loads of dogs plus she's on a dog group. I gave her the details and was told to feed him rice and chicken. By now it was midnight so I gave him some digestive biscuits crushed with some milk. That wasn't a good idea becasue it went straight through him and when I woke in the morning after only three hours sleep he'd pooped all over the place. I cooked him his chicken and rice broth which he loved and couldn't get enough of and then took him to the vet. We had managed to find him a good home on a farm with another dog and a rabbit LOLL. My son had always wanted a dog and was hoping we'd keep this one but after one sleepless night and a load of poop everywhere I think he was more than happy to give him away.

It took me most of the morning to clean his mess up outside and was left exhausted by lack of sleep and worry for this helpless little thing and after I'd had a good two hours sleep I managed to get back to my sewing. I swear that looking after a puppy is harder than looking after a baby.

One last thing before I go, becasue of so much spam on my blog coming into my email I have changed the comments setting on my blog to 'Registered User includes openID'. I'm sorry if this causes problems for you leaving a comment but I don't want to put my blog on moderation unless it's absolutely necessary. After a while I'll put it back to how it was and see if the Anonymous comments stop coming in.

Thanks for stopping by.
~ Maria ~


Monday, September 1, 2014

August In Pictures

I can't believe it's September 1st already, where did the last eight months go!!!! Before we know it Christmas will be here.

August has been really busy for me although by the collage below you probably wouldn't think so but I have been sewing more it's just I can't show you what they are just yet. The scraps in the picture below are a peek at one of those secret projects, the other one I can't show is a bag I tested for Christine which I have used already and is fabulous and today I finished making a gift for a special friend. Guess it will be sometime during September when I can show you those three.


Just a quick reminder that today four blogs that I nominated on the Around The World Blog Tour will be doing their blog tour posts today so grab a coffee or tea and be ready to be entertained and inspired by these ladies.

Lorena at my way of

Bethany at Sweet Bee Buzzings

Naomi at Made by Nomes

Amy at Sew Incredibly Crazy

Thanks for stopping by.

~ Maria ~

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Nappy Bag Pattern Giveaway Winner

Time to announce the winner of the Nappy Bag Pattern. First of all I want to thank everyone who took part in the giveaway for their sweet comments and also a big thank you to Samantha for letting me do this giveaway and also for having me as her tester.

I'm not going to keep you waiting any longer becasue I'm sure that if you've come to this post the first place your eyes wandered to was the picture of Random Number Generator. LOLL

The lucky winner is comment # 15  

Great results Maria! I love how you repurposed the pants' pocket. This looks like a great pattern.

Congratulations Norma!!!!! I'll be sending Samantha your email so she can send you the pattern and I know you make beautiful bags so I'm really looking forward to see how yours turns out.



Happy Sewing 

~ Maria ~

Monday, August 25, 2014

Around The World Blog Tour.

If you're new to my blog then welcome. Over a week ago I was invited by Daryl to join in the Around the World Blog Tour, I'm always on the look out for new blogs to follow so thought this would be fun to take part in. Daryl is a very talented bag and quilt maker and has many other talents to so make sure you check out her blog tour post HERE.

As part of the blog tour we have to answer a few questions and link to three blogs for you to take a look at. You're in for a treat today becasue I have four blogs for you to visit.

So lets get started.

What am I working on?

It's all very hush hush at the moment. For the last 2 weeks I've been working on a quilt and as I'm testing the pattern I can't give you details until the pattern has been released. All I can say is it's beautiful, very different from what I've ever made in the past and the largest one I've made to date. I'm just doing the quilting on it, just half of it left and then I can bind it so hopefully it won't be long before I can share it with you. As I can't share a photo of it yet I'll leave you with this photo. These are the scraps that I've been left with from making it.




Once I finish this quilt I'll have a couple of test bags to make and of course some more of those lovely Necessary Clutch Wallets. Oh yes, I also promised my friend Karen I'd make a quilt from one of her patterns. There I've written it in black and white so I'm committed to do it now. LOLL

Here are the wallets that I'm addicted to making at the moment. It's the Necessary Clutch Wallet by Janelle at Emmaline Bags.










 When and why did you start your blog?

My first post was on 12th November 2011 and cringe when I look at it now. I had no idea what I was doing I just knew I wanted to keep a record for myself and as I had started bag pattern testing wanted to be able to give credit to the designers or rather designer as I was only testing for ChrisW Designs at the time. I didn't have a decent camera for taking photos, just an old cell phone.

This was the first photo I posted to my new blog, I didn't even know how to add links and on my very first post didn't even introduce myself LOLLL I just dove in and learned as I went along.



The best thing that came out of blogging was getting to make so many friends from all parts of the world that shared the same interest.

How does my work differ from others of it's genre?

I don't think it does actually. I love making bags and would love to make them in beautiful bright colours like I see on other blogs but I make them mostly for customers who prefer browns and neutral colours. I tend to stick to what the pattern says rather than experiment with it. The only thing that comes to mind is no matter what the fabric suggestions are in the bag pattern I will nearly always use upholstery fabrics. Having said that there was just one occasion when I tested the Convertible/Reversible bag by Sarah Gido at Cosy Nest Design. This one just wasn't going to work with upholstery fabrics. This was my first cotton fabric bag.

 
I love working with pleather. These are two bags I particularly like.

This is the Uptown Girl bag by Christine Welsh at ChrisW Designs



And this one is the Retro Rucksack by Sara Curtis at Radiant Home Studio.



Why do I create what I do?

Simply becasue I love doing it. If I didn't sew the things I love then I think I would go crazy. One day the electricity went and I was forced to sit and do nothing. I was twitching and fidgeting constantly and hubby said, just relax for a moment. Sitting doing nothing is not my idea of relaxing, it's stressful. The only thing that relaxes me is being in my room, sewing away and chatting with my bloggy friends.

What do you hope to achieve in the near future?

I love my bag making and testing patterns for wonderful designers and I also love making table runners and toppers especially Dresden Plate toppers like this one I made for Christine.

   
 And log cabin toppers like this one I made for myself.



Just recently I've started quilt pattern testing and really love doing it.
This is the first one I tested, The Watkins Star Quilt by Amy.



The thing I would most like to achieve next is to be able to be a bit more adventurous with free motion quilting. I'm still very new to it and find it a bit of a struggle on larger quilts. Hopefully I'll be able to make more quilts and get plenty of practice in.

Now that you've read a bit about me I'd like to introduce you to four very talented ladies.

Lorena is a relatively new found friend who blogs over at My Way Of.
She's a talented bag maker and tester but also makes the most adorable crochet toys. She writes her blog in both English and Spanish so that in itself is a talent. I find it difficult enough just writing mine in English.

Bethany  I have known for some time and you can find her over at Sweet Bee Buzzings.
Another very talented and funny lady who I think can probably do anything she puts her mind to. Crochet, quilting, paper piecing, bag making, the list goes on and on. Bethany has done some bag sew alongs in the past on her blog that you can check out by clicking on the sewalong tab at the top of her blog. She's absolutely fabulous at it.

Naomi is one of my oldest friends. We met on a yahoo bag group years ago and you can find her over at Made by Nomes
Naomi is another very talented and funny person. She makes bags, crochets and quilts.

Amy is the fourth talented lady who you can find over at Sew Incredibly Crazy. I've been following her blog for some time and love her creations so was delighted when she sent out a post asking for testers for her quilt pattern shown above, The Watkins Star Quilt. It was the first quilt pattern I had ever tested. Amy quilts and crochets and her cross stitched pieces are just so beautiful.

These ladies will be doing their blog tour post on 1st September but make sure you pop over to their blogs before then and don't forget return on the day of their blog tour so you can see which bloggers they've tagged for you to check out.

Hope you've enjoyed your visit here and hope you'll be back to see what I've been working on.

Happy Sewing

~ Maria ~

Thank you all for stopping by.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Nappy Bag & Pattern Giveaway

I tested this Nappy bag about a month ago and now the pattern has been released I can show you mine.

This is Samantha's from At home with Mrs H and she's keeping it becasue she's expecting a baby in a few weeks time. Isn't it just gorgeous.



When I first saw the bag for testing I was going to pass on it as I'm way past the age of having kids, my customers are the same and I'm not likely to be made a gran for years to come yet but as I looked at it I thought this would make a great overnight bag and as I was going to visit my daughter it would be ready just in time.

As I'm not using it as a nappy bag I made some modifications to mine to suit me.
Here's mine. Not as pretty as Samantha's but does the job perfectly.

Hubby gave me a pair of his jeans that I don't think he'd ever worn because they were too small so used those to make the outside pockets, front and back.
I actually made a mistake when sewing this part becasue I took the pocket off the jeans and sewed it onto the bag pocket only to find that the strap had to be sewn on which would have covered the opening of the pocket so I had to unpick it, sew the straps on, then put the pocket back on.


 As I didn't do the elasticated side pockets like on Samantha's bag this front pocket is ideal for my cell phone.


And behind the slip pocket on the front is a hidden zipper pocket.


The other side of the bag also has a large slip pocket.


I used a small flap to keep it closed rather than a large one.


This photo doesn't show the inside very well but there's a zipper pocket on one side along with four slip pockets, two on each side. Again this was a modification, Samantha's bag has elasticated pockets inside as do most nappy bags which are useful for carrying nappies and bottles.


The bag also has an adjustable strap that can be taken off if you don't want to use it. The main straps are fairly long and the bag can be carried comfortably on the shoulder.


 When I finished my bag I still thought it would be a bit small but I stuffed it with things I needed and was surprised at how much it held.


Samantha's Nappy Bag pattern is now on sale on her etsy store HERE and if you use the code ATHOMEWITHMRSH10 you can get a 10% discount on any purchase from her store, patterns and hardware.
GIVEAWAY

If you think you can wait a while before you get your hands on the pattern then maybe you'd like to try and win it. Samantha has very kindly offered a free Nappy Bag Pattern for this giveaway to one winner.
I'm not going to make it hard for you to enter, all you have to do is leave me a comment below and PLEASE LEAVE YOUR EMAIL WITH YOUR COMMENT so I can get in touch with you if you win. Many people use google+ which means you are probably on no reply, if that's the case I can't get back to you. If you don't get a reply to your comment then you're one of those people. The winner will be picked on Wednesday August 27th 2014 which is also my wedding anniversary.

If you'd like to increase your chance of winning then pop over to Liz's Blog where you can see her version of the Nappy Bag and also enter the giveaway there.


Before I go just thought I'd show you what a messy sewer I am LOLL and this is tidy, you should see it now.


Best of luck to all of you and happy sewing.

~ Maria ~

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Introducing Numbskull Patterns

First of all sorry I haven't been around for a while, I went to visit my daughter so had a few sewing days free which was nice, I can't believe I said that LOLL. We did six hours of fabric shopping and I also bought a press for rivets and grommets which I'll show you after I've introduced you to a fairly new designer, Sarah Goodall.

I've known Sarah for a while as we're on the same FB bag group and we're also administrators of the group but I obviously don't know her that well becasue it was on there that I found out quite by accident that she designs bags. After checking out her patterns I was amazed at how beautiful they were and me being me couldn't pass up the opportunity to ask if I could be her tester. I did a little begging and she accepted, thanks Sarah. LOLL

Sarah has been really busy since January building up a collection of retro style bag designs and I can't wait to make them. There were a couple that caught my eye and to my delight Sarah sent me the pattern for one of them. It's called the Mississippi Bag

This is Sarah's Bag, isn't it just gorgeous.


The collection is called 50 State Bag Range and if you go HERE you'll see which states have their own bag design. I thought that was a clever idea.

All the patterns are PDF downloads and come complete with a list of materials, cutting list, clear step by step sewing instructions with illustrations and the pattern pieces. Sarah also offers full support if you should have any difficulties.

The bag above has already been tested and I just read through the pattern last night. It was clearly written in an easy to follow format and I can't see me having any problems with it but once I've made it I'll let you all know how I got on.

By now you're possibly thinking this is just advertising for Sarah's designs but I can assure you it's not. I'm very picky who I test for. I only choose designers who write clear patterns with photos or clear illustrations. I'm too busy to be wasting time trying to figure out what on earth a bag designer is talking about and also I just don't have the patience. If I don't get it when I read it the first time then it's no good to me. So go over to Numbskull Patterns and take a look for yourself, even if you don't buy any they're great eye candy.

Now time to show you some of my purchases. I'm using some of these fabrics at the moment. I can't tell you what it is as I've been sworn to secrecy until the pattern is released. All I can say is I'm doing a test pattern, it's BIG and I have to try and finish it by the end of August. Keep an eye out for this one.


 I also stocked up on some hardware.


These are small grommets that I'm planning on using on my Necessary Clutch Wallets along with the rivets.


I also bought larger magnetic buttons for the wallets and some key chain rings.


This is the press I bought to install the rivets and grommets. The good thing about it is you can use it to press anything so long as you have the right attachments. Next I want to get the attachment for making fabric buttons.


 These are the attachments for the rivets and grommets.


This is a fabric hole puncher.


And I found some great fusible interfacing which is really stiff, just 10 meters LOLLL to test it out.


Ok I must dash now. I've got loads to sew and little time. If you don't hear from me in the next couple of weeks it will be becasue I'm drowning in a sea of fabric. It's the only way to go, right. LOLL

Happy Sewing to you all.

~ Maria ~