Sunday, July 24, 2011

Challenges and Swaps and challenging swaps!

My Sunday installment of Stashtacular round ups, swaps and although not a swap, our next guild challenge. "Sew" I mentioned last Sunday my Sewn Spaces Swap, needle book cover, Mr. Mouse. Well, this week, I received (and scored the jackpot!) my needle book cover- from Suzettra.

My chosen color was turquoise and I actually commented that I loved this one, but thought it couldn't possibly be for me because it said "Pinks" on the front. Sneaky, sneaky. Suzettra did some awesome stalking because, although she used some pink fabric, the "Pinks" refers to flowers not the color and one of my other favorite things to do is garden. The center of my needle book holder has a wee hedgehog and a squirrel and beautiful hand stitching. Lots of fun, fun fabrics are pieced on the outside and my package also contained a wee pincushion and some turquoise and red floral fabric and "thread". I loved everything about it and will use it.

Which brings me to some of my thoughts about the Needle book swap and my guild challenge. Initially I toyed with a sewing case and not a needle book, but it seems that the overwhelming majority of folks were doing the needle book and what had in my mind (for a sewing case) I just didn't have the time to execute properly. (There were a few design details I had to ponder and work out). So, using my quilt guilds' Jay McCaroll Habitat Fabric Challenge (Habitat for your Habitat) as an opportunity- free fabric, 1/4yd by 1/2 the width of the fabric (fat eight's) chosen from what was so generously donated by Freespirit Fabrics- my guild sorted and cut and gave everyone 6 random pieces…….
The quilt guild fabrics, I used the three on the right. 

 …..and send us off to make what ever we wanted. The only "rules"were that the Habitat fabric be showcased in the project we chose. Have you seen this fabric? It's pretty edgy- I'm still trying to figure out how some of it goes together- Here is what Generation Q Magazine had to say:

Habitat by Jay McCarroll (FreeSpirit/Westminster Fibers)
Jay McCarroll of Project Runway fame is getting tons of attention these days with his new line from FreeSpirit, Habitat. These edgy, bold prints are definitely not fussy and matchy-matchy, as you’d find in many collections with lesser punch. Instead, each print is unique and stands strongly on its own, yet plays nicely with its sister cuts. There are three colorways in Habitat, and we picked the boldest teals and plums to share with you here. Plus, there’s a very soft pink and beige combo that feels much more girlie and a dark pink and olive collection that will give us something crisp to cling to, after weathering the summer’s heat. We can  envision some incredible, creative bedding from these highly energetic prints, but there’s also a life beyond patchwork here. Can’t you just see these stretched over canvas and hung on the wall as art? Move over, Marimekko!

So, you see, it's not just me- anyway, I chose 3 of the 6 that I though looked best together (there was no requirement that we use some of every fabric this time), added one additional Habitat fabric
my fabric addition, also habitat
 ( a safe polka dot) and a Kona coal (med-dark gray) and decided I would make my sewing kit. My "design" (still in my head and still in my head)
one side, with the Kona coal

the other side

 featured a zip around zipper that when unzipped would lay the sewing case flat, for easy access to its contents. Small enough to travel with, yet big enough to hold sewing supplies.
interior without supplies, yet
My finished piece is around 8.5" x 4.5"x 2.5". And the BEST thing is that it easily fits my Oh So Lovely Needle Case and pin cushion (from Suzettra) as well as a few other vital sewing supplies.
Interior with scissors, measuring tape, threads and needles

interior with my lovely needle case and pincushion
I still have fabric left over from the 3 Habitat fabrics that I didn't use. I still could make something from these. I'll let you know if I do.
Finished sewing kit with habitat fabrics pieced on the sides and pieced around the zipper.

Lessons learned:
1. I need to plan ahead slightly better. I get on a roll and the next thing I know I wish I had done something that I did not.  Now that I have made one, I can make my life a whole lot easier making the next one with what I learned.
2. I used some of my stash to finish this case (Kona coal and a zipper)
3. I'd need to make hundreds of these to make a serious dent in my stash. (so, what's new).
4. With minor modifications to the size and zipper placement this would be a great bag for make-up and a great size for travel.
5. The zipper was much easier to put in than I thought it might be.

Additional thoughts: I still have Habitat fabric left over- I should participate by making some of the tutorials in the STASHTACULAR. So, more Habitat for my habitat that's STASHTACULAR and Fancytastic too boot!- to go with my sewing case-
Habitat fabrics pin cushion, STASHTACULAR tutorial by Kelly. Don't know about you (and I did do this on purpose) but the fabrics and the color contrast remind me of those "radiation" symbols they put up in hazardous places…… Photographed on a piece of Habitat fabric I had yet figured out how to use.
And then, my Habitat apron with a STASHTACULAR tutorial by Jenna. Hope Jenna doesn't mind, but I made the border smaller (working with the Habitat fabric I had) and added a double welted pocket. (I need a pocket in my apron).

Lessons learned:
1. make the double welted pocket BEFORE you sew the pleats and put the waist band on the apron.
2. always practice this pocket finish before you dive into your project (I don't usually do this, but did this time and was very happy I did), My first attempt wasn't as precise.
3. I like the topstitched pleats- makes it a bit more "industrial".
4. Always try and photograph your finished projects in good natural light (not late at night when you finish them in a dimly lit basement).
Used the orange Habitat fabric (yay- thought I might actually have to wait till Halloween). Pieced the waist and the bottom border/hem. The pocket is made "double-welted" from a tutorial HERE. Apron background fabric, Kona coal from my stash.

Pocket close up, just big enough for my phone. 

 Hope your weekend is what you had hoped it would be!!!


  1. What wonderful goodies you received from your swap partner!! I love the little hedgehog and hand stitches on your needle case. I also love your sewing kit!!

  2. Great job on the use of all those fabrics!! Can't wait to see it in person!


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