Wednesday, November 25, 2015

WIP this week.

Our Valley Modern Quilt Guild has a new challenge, fire, for November.  So in the past week, I was thinking about this topic and wanted to make a big black quilt.  We went camping almost every summer when our children were young.  We camped all over Northern California, Oregon, Wyoming, Montana and Utah.  There are so many fond memories along the way and I wanted to express those feelings on a quilt.  Our favorite thing was sitting around a campfire after dinner and talked the night away.  One summer we were at Timothy Lake in Oregon.  Right after a hearty breakfast, we went hiking.  We missed the trail marks, took a wrong turn, and ended up hiking all around the lake which took almost all day.  We ate delicious wild raspberries for lunch.  We were very tired that day and went to bed right after our simple dinner.  We slept so well that night.

I love campfires and want to design a quilt that reminds me of the good time we had.  First, I drew the design in my design book, and then transferred it to the fabric.  I hung my quilt top on a design wall in my sewing room and started putting some strips of fabric on it to audition the colors. 

Here is the finished quilt.

What is your favorite thing to do with your family?  Do you long to express your fondest memories onto a quilt?  

Wherever you are, I hope you're having a great time with your family.  Make memories that will last a life time together. 

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 13, 2015

My new bags, part two

Hi There,

Last week I made some bags and I was having so much fun that I ended up making four of them.  I talked about the first two bags last week, you can read about them here.  I finished the last two yesterday and here is the third bag. 


You can't tell from the picture that the handles are navy blue. I have had these blue leather handles for sometime, but couldn't find a place to use them until now. I think they match the border of the crazy quilt block that I appliqued on the front really well. I hope you can see the interior, I have a loop to hang a key chain. I like that because I always have to dig out my keys when I need them. Having a place to hang them, I know exactly where they are. I put the loop in with the side seam of the lining. I also made a roomy inside pocket for my big phone too.

I used left over triangles from the other bag to decorate the pocket and purposely made the design asymmetrical just for fun.  Sometimes I was so obsessed with being perfect in sewing 1/4" seam, in placing my blocks and other things quilting related, so much that crooked things bothered me.  I think it's because of all those years of doing auto/furniture upholstery.  There is a lot of top stitching in auto upholstery and crooked lines are not tolerated.  We had to make every seam and every line perfect.  Now I can't help but examine the seams of car interiors, or pieces of furniture.  I will never buy anything that has a crooked seam.  I know it's weird, but that's me.  All in all I have to thank my upholstery teacher who trained me so well and gave me the foundation that I can apply to quilting.  Do you have this obsession?  Do crooked seams bother you?  

My last bag for this week is another tote bag.  I decided to piece the front of the bag using a crazy quilt block.  The front has a simple and minimalist look which I like.

I liked the idea of a key chain loop, so I put it in this bag too.  This time I sewed it on at the bag opening.  I want to see how this would work compare to the loop sewn to the side of the lining.

This break has been good for me.  I'm very happy with the way all the bags turned out.  I'll put two of them in my yearly Holiday boutique along with the other bags that I already had, and I plan to give away couple of them as gifts.  I found that while I was taking a break and worked on different things, my mind was more relaxed.  Now I'm ready to continue with what I was working on. 

Have a fun and productive week!

Friday, November 6, 2015

My new blog name

Welcome to my new social media home.  I've changed my blog name to MY quilts and crafts.  I hope everything will go smoothly and that all my friends and readers will be able to connect to this new site with no problem.  If there is any problem, please email me at  

Have a great week!

Link to my newest post:

My new bags, part one

My new bags, part one

I took a break from quilting to make some market tote bags.  I love making bags of all kinds; handbags, tote bags and clutches.  Once in a while I would get a special order to make a custom bag for someone which was really fun for me.  It's a nice break.  

I have been making black and white EPP hexagon pieces since Summer.  Since then I've tried to use them in many projects such as decorating t-shirts for my nieces, and I even made a key chain with them.  I'll share that another time.  Now I found another perfect application for them.  Here it is...

The Hexie market tote

I made my own pattern. The dimensions of the Hexie market tote are 18"x 16" x 3".  This bag is very deep to accommodate all the vegetables and goodies that I'll be getting from farmer markets.  I decided to put a small pocket for keys and wallet at the top for easy access.  The small pocket is made of faux leather which has a nice look and feel of leather.  I also hand stitched the leather handles for extra security.  To the front, I added hand stitched details and cute little wooden buttons to the hexies.  These are the closed up pictures.

The second market tote I made is a little smaller.  The overall dimensions are 18" x 14" x 5".  I made different handles for this one to make it washable. 

The front of the second market tote

I've seen quilts made with triangles in the design and always adored them.  So, naturally, I chose triangles to decorate my bag.  I didn't make small inside pocket for this one because I wanted to do something different.  I added an outside pocket and appliqued some 1" fabric squares on it.  I have postage print fabric that has cute stamp prints on it, so I fussy cut the stamps out.  It turned out so cute!!  The back looks as good as the front, if I may say so myself.  I got 2 bags in one, well, almost.  Then I divided the pocket into 2 sections with a silver button in the middle.  These pockets are so roomy that I can put a tablet in them.  Now I have a place to put my giant phone so I don't have to carry it in my hand.  These new smart phones, they are so great for a lot of things and they could almost replace my laptop but they're so annoying to take along when I don't want to carry a purse with me.

The other front of the second market tote

I have so much fun making these two bags, so I started two more.  I'll post them after I finish.

I found that taking a break to do different projects helps me with my design process.  I was stuck in designing a new quilt so I stopped and made these bags.  Are you the same way?  What do you do when you're trying to find a solution for your problems?  I think making some new bags is my perfect therapy.  :)

Have a perfect week!