Metro Hipster Bag

This week’s finish is the Metro Hipster Bag – the pattern (by Betz White – hopefully I’ve remembered/spelled that correctly!) was a find from the Wisconsin trip last summer, and the material from the fall shopping trip. I’m quite pleased with the results!


I love the blue leaf print in the main body of the bag, and while it’s not a perfect match to the solid blue duck cloth, I think the overall effect is not too bad.

The pattern was fairly easy to follow and the instructions were clear with one exception – I had some trouble figuring out how the zipper was to be inserted, because it’s a bit different than the way I’ve done them before. I had to do some ripping out a couple of times before I figured out what was meant by the instructions here, so some extra diagrams might have been helpful (or maybe I didn’t have my thinking cap on that day?). Overall though, the bag was fairly straightforward to put together.


The inside is simple, with only the one extra cushioned pocket intended to safely carry an iPad. I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of trouble finding things in bags with dark coloured interiors – and that seems to describe most of the bags commercially available. So I chose to line the interior of my bag with this lighter beige – it might get dirty, but at least I’ll be able to see everything!


My only disappointment is that I may not have entirely caught the front flap piece in the seam :(. This may have happened because of the number of layers involved, but I’m usually more careful than this and of course I didn’t notice the issue until after the bag was finished. I’ve decided to wait and see how it wears, but if it’s looking worse after using the bag for a few weeks, I may have to open the side seam and try to reverse engineer to fix it….


I’ll have to see how I like this bag over the next couple of weeks, but I’m already thinking about another one in a different colour way. I have A LOT of trouble finding bags that I like, especially cross-body bags like this one, in colours that aren’t the standard black and brown all the time. So overall, pretty pleased with this finish!

Now I just have to transfer all the stuff I carry around over to the new bag…..

Happy Friday!


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String Quilt Finish!

Here it is – all finished :).


And on the back, lions!


You’ll notice (if you look closely) that some creative patching needed to be done to ensure enough lions to cover the back. In the end it was tight, but definitely worth it to match the pillowcase already finished for Grandson L. Hoping he likes it for his upcoming birthday – obviously, a game will need to be included along with the quilt since he will be just five years old! Maybe a zoo-themed game?

Here’s a close-up of the lions, in case you can’t see them:


Aren’t they cute?

This project has used up so many bits and pieces that were hanging around the sewing room. I would include a new picture, but unfortunately, there are still so many bits and pieces that you wouldn’t notice a difference from the previous picture! The strings are from the many scraps that have been building up over the years; the setting triangles and gold border/binding were remnants acquired from a trip earlier in the year; the wider, paisley border was a remnant found at a sale last summer; and, the lion flannel backing was from a trip to Joann’s a couple of years ago.

A big thanks to Scraps Monday over at A Quilting Life for the inspiration to get this one complete and off the books!

I’m also linking up with Finish-it-up-Friday over at CrazyMomQuilts since it’s Friday and the String Quilt is finished!

Happy Friday!


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A Day Late

…but I think worth the wait (not to mention a couple of better daylight photos :)).

This is the way the string blocks looked last Sunday just before leaving on the latest work trip.


And as of this afternoon, they are a complete top!


I really like this little quilt top and once I got going on the string blocks, it came together fairly quickly. The original pattern from over at Quiltville suggested 5 inch outer borders, but I had less than a yard of the blue/gold paisley I used here, a sale find last summer, so I decided to cut the outer borders at 3 1/2 inches wide. Using up what I had on hand seemed more in the spirit of the string quilt than going out and buying more fabric.

Here’s a different view (yes – that’s a lot of snow under that quilt top :)):


I think that with the leftover lion flannel (to match the pillowcase from a couple of weeks ago) on the back, it will make a very nice little quilt for Grandson L. who has a birthday coming up in March. I can only hope that he doesn’t think there is too much pink in the mix.

With the day off for the Family Day holiday on Monday, maybe by this time next week it will be a finish! In the meantime, I’m linking up with Scraps Monday over at A Quilting Life.

Happy Valentines Day!


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98 String Blocks!

It’s been another slow week around here, but the string blocks are done!


Here are 98 blocks [late day winter photo – sorry!] – just enough for the Basket Weave String Quilt from over at Quiltville that I’ve been planning on making forever. Each safety pin represents a group of 10 blocks – except for the last group on the right end of the upper row. You’ll just have to take my word for it that there are 8 blocks in that grouping :).

I can credit the Scraps Monday link up over at A Quilting Life for jump starting this project again (I also see from Sherri’s post last Wednesday, there is a quilt along in the latest American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine that I will have to check out since I’ve been looking for a new QAL!). Surprisingly (or not), there are many, many scraps and strings remaining in ever diminishing sizes that still need to be used up – hmmm…

I hope to have these blocks put together as a quilt top by the end of the weekend so that I can share on Scraps Monday (if it happens to be a Scraps Monday week). Otherwise, it’s another travel week for me so I will have to hope that I can get some knitting done in the evenings. That way I will have another project ready to share by the end of the week!

Happy Friday, everyone!


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We have a Winner!

I’m late this week due to travel. So it’s past time for the charm squares give-away! Thanks to all of you for commenting!

Because there were less than 10 comments (exactly 9 :)), the draw was done the old fashioned way.


Everyone’s name went into a hat.


And The Husband picked one of the names.

Coincidentally (and it really is a coincidence), the last comment from Shelly is the winner – congratulations, Shelly! The draw was blind and random, and The Husband had no previous knowledge of the entries, either names or order of comment. I will contact Shelly separately to see where to send the charm squares. I wish I had something for everyone who made a comment – you were all so nice! Perhaps another give-away in the future….

Because of travel, there wasn’t too much sewing this week, but I do have to share the 61 string blocks that are now hanging on the bulletin board.


I do them in groups of ten – the reason for the extra block is that I found some strips sewn together for a backing and realized that I could them down to size to match the other blocks (yeh! extra string block!).

Hope everyone has had a great week, too!


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More Pillowcases

Some small finishes here this week – but first a celebration! This is my one-hundredth post! I know – I can’t believe it either :). As you know, I’m not a professional blogger, and there are no sponsors here. But it does seem appropriate to have a give-away on an occasion such as this. So here’s what I’m offering:


A charm pack of 44 – 5-inch squares from the stash. There is no theme here – some of these squares are from fabric acquired a long time ago, some more recent; a few of these are from a charm pack, most are cut from fat quarters and yardage; and a couple are repeated, but most are unique. I’ve done my best to cut accurately and on the straight of the grain. I can guarantee these fabrics are from a smoke-free home – but not a pet-free one, so if you have allergies you’ll have to take that into account (not that they are covered in dog hair or anything, but in the interest of full disclosure…).


So here’s the deal – leave a comment before next Friday and tell me what you would do with these if they were yours. No geographical restrictions – I’ll mail them to you where-ever you happen to be. If there are only a few comments, I’ll throw the numbers in a hat and have The Husband draw one; if there are many comments, I’ll figure out the random number generator thingy that is so popular and use that to determine a winner; and, no relatives will be allowed to enter (unless there are no comments at all :( and then one of the lurkers will get charm pack). As I will be travelling again for work this coming week, you’ll have the entire week to leave a comment before I determine a winner.

(01/31/15 – Edited to add: the give-away is now closed! Congratulations go to Shelly who won the squares in a random draw :).) 

Now, on to the finishes for the week!


First up are – pillowcases! I love this sheep patterned flannel and, inspired by the pillowcases for grandkids last week, I decided to make a couple of fun pillowcases for myself.


These make me smile :). For these pillowcases, and the ones from last week, I used French seams. I really like doing seams this way, especially for something like a pillowcase, as it gives a really nice finish. No photo of the seams (sorry) but if you’re not familiar with the technique, you should check it out. I’m not sure where I first read about French seams, but a quick Google search comes up with many tutorials, like this one at Tilly and the Buttons. For the pillowcases, I used smaller seams than she suggests – 1/8th of an inch for the first seam and 1/4 inch for the second – but the technique is exactly the same. The French seams have also made me think about the fact that I tend to use the same techniques again and again. It makes sense in a way, because everyone is comfortable with their tried and true methods of doing things. But it’s also good to stretch once in a while and try something new – so I will have to seek out some new things to try over the next few months!

Also finished is a little pillow for Sister #1 to match the quilt-along quilt from a couple of weeks ago. It’s also made of that same soft, rose chenille fabric from the backing and should help make a nice, snuggly spot for an weekend afternoon nap (you know what I’m talking about!). Even The Dog’s Friend thinks it’s a good idea.


And those are the finishes for this week, so I’m linking up to Finish-it-up-Friday over at CrazyMomQuilts. I’ve made progress on the string blocks, too, but I’ll show you more of those on Monday (if I have a wifi connection – otherwise, it might be next week :)).

Have a great weekend!


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Pillow Cases and Scraps

Over the weekend, some progress was made with the scrap bin – although there are many, many scraps still left. I’m now up to a total of 30 string blocks for the string quilt.


I tend to sew them in groups of 10 since it helps me keep track of how many are complete without having to recount the blocks constantly. That having been said, there are 11 of these little scrappy log cabin blocks that were also completed over the weekend.


Not sure why – but that’s what I had when I stopped sewing. I used the tutorial from over at Red Pepper Quilts and learned a few things in the process.

1. I’m not very patient (okay, maybe that’s not news :)). I want all of these blocks done now! But at a tiny 4 1/2″ it will take some time before there are enough to make a complete quilt top.

2. Sewing these little blocks requires a lot of precision; big blocks are much more forgiving.

3. I’m not very precise! Or at least I could and should make an effort to be more precise with my seam allowances and measurements. The tutorial mentions sewing the “logs” oversize and trimming back rather than cutting each to size – I may find that the end result is a little better for me that way so I’ll have to give it a try.

4. There isn’t a lot of variety in the “low volume” fabrics in my stash. Most of them appear to be beige. Hmmm….

I also made a couple of pillow cases over the weekend for Granddaughter G. and Grandson L. Word was that it was bit of a tough week all around last week, so I thought a couple of new pillow cases might cheer them up.


Hello Kitty! unfortunately was met with criticism (we don’t like Hello Kitty! anymore and it’s all about Ever After High these days – oh well, apparently Gran needs to keep up with these things). But the lions were greeted with enthusiasm which was nice. The plan is to make a couple of pillow cases for myself as well – I have some yummy flannel with a cute sheep print I can’t wait to sew up!

Happy Monday!


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