Pickled Mushroom Anyone?

Start with possibly the coolest fabric, arm yourself with a Lazy Girl Pattern and start cutting. What do you get? A big fat cultured cotton, directionally challenged MESS! I have decided that true lazy girls can only cut squares and they DO NOT ever use directional prints. This one does whip up rather quickly, provided you use something with a tiny pattern or something so hideously ugly that nobody would notice the recipe for pickled mushrooms was not only upside down, but perfectly placed on the bottom of the bag. Grrrr...so it's rip rip rip, break out my higher math skills I've long forgotten and figure out how in the world to fit this pickled mushroom recipe on the SIDE of the bag. Alright, mission accomplished on to the lining. One thing I have learned is that Lazy Girls love to read instructions. I apparently am flawed in this regard and pretty much neglected the entire section on lining and pockets and just chose to look at the pictures instead. I don't recommend this method as you will no doubt end up as I did, with raw edges that were suppposed to be finished and ripping at least 14 lines of stitching. Read the instructions and finally succeeded in a perfect lining and pockets. On to the flap which definitely needed something directional. Obviously I like torture. This wasn't too bad as I have a see through ruler and so just lined it up and zip zip with my faithful rotary cutter and ta-da...gold artichoke. At this point I do believe I heard that music they play in movies when something is perfect and there were definitely twinkles around the corners of the bag. I chopped up a lot of veggies for this bag, does that count as cooking? ...Rena

Not so Lazy Girl

I work faster under a deadline because I know that what I am working on must be finished. Unlike the garments for my kids that I have moved around for years. I missed the deadline for the first child and thought well, I'll finish them for the next. The youngest passes the size and I just don't have the heart to throw them out so I keep them, half finished, in a box with all my other half finished garments. I keep hoping that someday the sewing fairy will come along and finish the hem, or sew on the buttons, or find the other sleeve that I have strategically placed somewhere. Is it against the rules to give partially finished garments to Goodwill? Half the fun of a sewing project is getting started right? Choosing fabrics and a pattern, cutting and sewing enough that you can see what the finished product would like if perhaps it actually got finished. So on to my current deadline at hand. .. Lazy Girl purses, totes, and wallets (oh my)! How bad can they be with a name like Lazy Girl?

I started with the Sassy Bag. A bag that I have made half a dozen times so it should be easy. What I love about the Lazy Girl patterns...no pattern. What I hate about Lazy Girl patterns...no patterns. It's easy enough rotary cutting out rectangles but you have to be really on the ball to know which way to turn the fabric to get your directional prints right side up. So that said, Poodles were marching the wrong way across my flap and pocket. Shooooooot, re-cut. The only instruction I changed was to make the flap with no cut to turn it. I just left part of the seam open and turned it and then stitched up the seam. Looks better in my opinion.

I'd gotten myself warmed up so on to something new and exciting! With the temps warming up, the Summer Tote seemed like a winner. Armed with several yards of coordinates and a whole lot of Wonder Under, I set to work. I wasn't quite sure how the Wonder Under would work as the instructions call for Steam A Seam 2. I had some but not in a large pieces. For those that have not made Lazy Girl patterns, the instructions are something to behold. The pictures are great but the wording is a little odd at best! Step one, fuse these two pieces together. Ok, how hard can that be? Well, for starters, they are 20 x 16 and don't quite fit on my ironing board. I pressed onward (get it!). Half an hour and an ironing board full of Wonder Under, an iron coated in gooooo, and my fabric firmly fused in spots to my ironing board, my pieces were perfect. Did you know that you are supposed to let Wonder Under cool before removing the paper backing? Let me just say, read and follow the directions.
Honestly, I loved the weight the fused fabrics gave to the tote. But let me say a few things about cutlets and notches. Lazy Girl decided to name the little squares and rectangles that are cut out to make this tote such a wonderful shape. The squares are cutlets and the rectangles are notches. I decided to just name them Harry and Annie after my daughter's twin Bitty Babies. Of course you could also call them squares and rectangles. Conveniently there is a template included in the instructions for the rectangles. I guess true Lazy Girls cannot make anything other than a square because those pieces are left out even though you will use them later. Bag construction went together beautifully and I spent more time reading the instructions and calling all my friends and quoting them, than actually sewing. I
sewed everything as is except the handles to which I added some batting and upholstery cording for stability. This is a BIG bag and if it were full, it would need that stability! Let me just say there is nothing "Lazy" about the instructions. They include LOTS of words. I love the patterns though so it's off to my sewing room to giggle through another pattern. After all, I am on a deadline! ~Rena

The Swan Glimmer Quilt

How the swans got into the garden.
The tale of the Swan Glimmer Quilt Kit.

Sometimes when fabric arrives my children commandeer it. I tend to indulge their need for fabric and cut off a couple of inches so they can wrap it around their dolls. When the Glimmer line from Free Spirit came in last year my oldest child wanted more than just fabric, she wanted a quilt. Occasionally the world meets in a perfect place and I can give her what she wants. I also fell in love with the Glimmer line, full of swans, dragonflies, cricket, cattails and koi, in wonderful art deco style with great colors. The fabric line only had one flaw; most of the fabric is directional. Most of my quilts are designed for fabric with allover patterns. I put the fabric aside and waited for inspiration. Inspiration arrived during a visit to my mom. She has a subscription a Clotilde’s Sewing Savvy, a magazine I like but since most of my sewing is quilts I have never subscribed to it, and I have a subscription now. Well last summer they had a great cover quilt; I loved the design but thought the colors were too soft. I “borrowed” the magazine from my mom and put it up in my studio. It took another couple of days and I subtle hint from my daughter that I NEEDED to get started on her fairytale quilt.

Every time, she walked past the fabric she would add to her quilt’s story. It started with a princess, as all 6-year-old’s stories do, who lived in a castle, the quilt is her garden. Every morning, she would take a walk and during her walk she would stop and see her swans and watch the dragonflies. The story changes now every time she looks at the quilt.

The pattern in Clotilde’s was perfect for the fabric. I could easily keep all the directional fabric going in the right direction, super easy to piece. I started and finished it in a week.

Of course, these days if I make something it has to "do time" in the store. The quilt went traveling in March, started in Athens, GA. It also had the singular honor of hanging in Mittie’s closet (toilet) at the Bulloch Hall Show. This summer the quilt will be in Alabama & North Carolina. We sold most of the kits in March and J is hoping that we sell out of kits in June so she can have her quilt, free & clear.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

We all have our "things," one of my BIG "things" is imagery of the Virgin Mary. I have the double whammy of attending Catholic school and a minor in Art History. So when I notice two of my favorite fabric manufacturers, Robert Kaufman and Timeless Treasures, had our lady of Guadalupe fabric it was a must have for the store.
In two weeks, SAF goes mobile for the month of June and our first stop is Saint Benedict’s monastery, home of the Ave Maria Grotto, the holy land in miniature. The Alabama Quilt Symposium starts on June 7th.
So the fabric came in on Thursday, I put some up in my studio. I wanted my projects to be quick and fun, so I decided on pillows and totes. The Kaufman fabric has 4 panels, approximately 10 x 11. I had the perfect fabric to go with it, Florentine by Peggy O'Toole. Both lines are full of metallic gold accents, the solid fabric with dots is Fusion, one of the Kaufman’s Basics.
The pillows use a 12 x 12 pillow form, but I made them 17 x 17 to create the border. Fast and easy and no ruffle to catch while you sew around.
The Kaufman tote is a bit bigger than I thought it would be. Watch out for the math you do after 11 at night. It is about 17 x 22.
The Timeless Treasures fabric is an all-over pattern, so I centered up one of the images and cut a piece about 16 x 21. I was trying to get them to match exactly so I took the first piece I cut and laid it on next identical image and I realized that the Lady motif shifts across the fabric. I finished up with buttons. I wanted Milagros but I have button, so I tied them on with embroidery floss.
Any who, on both of the totes I used Pellon Fusible Fleece for body.
I would have done some quilting but my walking foot walked away, which led to a huge cleanup of the studio and a recovery mission that netted over 6 seam rippers, tons of pins, a cording foot and a doll tee-shirt that went missing 6 months ago, but no walking foot.


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