Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Charley Harper Swap pt 2: Outgoing

The #charleyharpersewnstudio swap wrapped up at the beginning of April. My partner finally got the package yesterday (it took 3 weeks to get from Winnipeg to Tennessee - ridiculous!) My partner said that her favourite prints are Foxsimilies, Family owlbum, and Mice Invasion. So I incorporated all of them into the package I sent.
A Charley Harper label to hint at what's inside!
First, the mini quilt. I waffled back and forth about what I wanted to do, until inspiration hit in the shower (where I do all my best thinking). I decided to recreate Family Owlbum as the main feature of the quilt. 
The original artwork

The owls were pretty challenging. I combined a few different techniques to achieve the final project. I used English Paper Piecing to make the large eyes and the baby owls. I used machine and hand applique to attach all the small parts, and embroidery to draw around the eyes. 
The owl family
I used needle turn applique to attach the portrait to the centre of a cream panel, and added four circles of the feathers fabric around the owls. Then I framed the whole thing using the twigs fabric as the corners. 
The front, before quilting
On the back, I attached a label made to look like a Charley Harper nest. 
This is my favourtie label ever
I wanted to make the circles really pop, so I left them unquilted, and did some free motion stiples around them on the cream fabric. And I did straight line quilting in the frame. I attempted machine binding for the first time for this project, because I wanted to try using a decorative stitch on the binding.  I prefer hand binding.  Maybe I'm just not very good at machine binding, but I wasn't thrilled with how it turned out.  
After quilting
Free motion stiples
Binding closeup
Love the pop!
In hindsight, I wish I would have centred the quilt label on the back to coincide with the owl on the front. It ended up half in and half out of the stiples, which I think is less than ideal. 
The back, post quilting
I made a few extras to include with the mini quilt. I made a needle book featuring Foxsimilies during my stay at 52 Quilters.
Those elephants were perfect for the inside!
I made a needleminder from the ladybug fabric.

And I made a pincushion/jar from the Mice Invasion fabric.
Jar and button courtesy of Grandma's hoarding!
I loved putting this package together for my partner. I enjoy Charley Harper's artwork so much, so it was a lot of fun to get to interact with it like this. Thanks Sewn Studio for hosting this super fun swap!

If you liked this post, you may be interested to see what I received in this swap!

Charley Harper Swap pt1: Incoming

And if you love reading about my love for Charley Harper, here's a few other gems for you.

Feelin' Good on a Wednesday: Charley Harper Love!

The Charley Harper Conundrum

The Charley Harper Resolution

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Charley Harper Swap pt 1: Incoming

The #charleyharpersewnstudio swap wrapped up on the first of the month, and I received my parcel this week!
Eeee! Happy mail day!
I was blown away by the beauty of the mini quilt I found inside. 
The front
I love way she laid out the giraffe
And the fantastic hand quilting!
And these amazing cross stitched birds!!
The back
The label
The full package
She also included a few extras for me! She made a beautiful pin cushion and scissor fob, and she painted a magnet for me with one of the quotes I used for #wordsofwisdomwith52q during my stay at 52 Quilters. Her calligraphy is just gorgeous!
So beautiful!
She also sent some chocolates, which lasted a hot minute. So delicious. 

This package was such a delight to receive, and I am so happy that I participated in this swap. I've said it before (and I'm sure I'll say it again), I love Charley Harper!!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Just keep zipping: another pouch and a free pattern

After loving my last zippy bag, I realized I should probably make one for myself. I need a pouch to keep my knitting/crochet notions in to replace the ziploc bag currently in use. I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again, but isn't it funny how us crafty people make nice things for others, but neglect ourselves?
Nice and big for all my knitting needs
I decided to treat myself. I wanted to feature a Tula Pink raccoon on one side, but I couldn't find a pattern that worked to keep the whole animal intact (who wants to cut off a raccoon's tail?!). So I made one! This was my first attempt to design a foundation paper pieced pattern, and after lots of false starts, and some drawing in the steam on the shower door, I figured out what I wanted to do. 
I love that little face!
Then I chose fabrics that coordinated, and set to work sewing. When I finished, I was so proud that it worked!
It's perfect!
With the front side done, it was time to think about the other side. I was thinking originally to do another postcard, but this bag is larger, so the stamps looked dwarfed on the page. I decided instead to use a print from the Brambleberry Ridge line, paired with a cream solid on which to do some embroidery. I embroidered my name, and appliqu├ęd a little Lizzy House cat. 
It has my name on it.... I guess I get to keep it!
Then: I installed the zipper, but forget to top stitch over the zipper.  I sewed up the outside shell and liner before realizing I had missed a step.  I debated just running with it, but I really think that top stitch is the difference between a professional final product and an amateur final project.  So I had to rip stitches (and fabric-oops!), repair fabric holes, top stitch over zipper, re-sew up outside shell and liner, turn right side out, stitch closed hole, and then... Voila! Done!

This couldn't have come together better
And of course, when in doubt, put a bird on it!
An adorable zipper pull
I've very happy with this bag, and just keep petting it. The little details just make it so special to me. 
Hand embroidered name
Applique cat (my favourite!)

Look at that precision!
If you like the pattern for the raccoon side, good news! I am sharing it with you! Click here for a printable template with dimensions. If you use the pattern, please tag me in a picture on Instagram (@_LT_Smash), comment below, or direct me to your blog! Id love to see what you make with it!