Monday, May 23, 2016

lately ...

Hello, happy Monday to you all!

It's been a while, hasn't it? Ever since I started this blog five years ago I never stayed away from blogging for this long. Lately I've been feeling increasingly overwhelmed as there didn't seem to be enough hours in a day to finish all the tasks I planned, so this little break from social media (and my manic need to create no matter what) was just what I needed to catch up a bit.

I didn't stay away from creating for too long though. I did a lot of screen and block printing and I'm super excited about the quilt in the picture above as I only used solids and my screen printed fabric to make it. A lot more photos and a full blog post on this quilt coming just as soon as the weather cooperates :).

I'm in the process of listing some of the screen printed fabric panels in my Etsy shop, as well. I'll let you know when it all goes live (possibly this Wednesday).

And, I'm kind of obsessed with sketching these fun mushroom looking line drawings. I'm very seriously considering turning that giant one into a screen printed pillow.

Oh, and I have to show you Alice (Singer 338), the newest addition to my studio before I go. I was originally looking for a Singer Featherweight (which is quite pricey these days), so when I came across this beauty for a measly $20 at Salvation Army store, I knew she was destined to come home with me. I think there are a lot of beautifully stitched bags in our future.

Off I go, still lots of things to be done as tomorrow is my children's last day of school. I think our school district might be trying to kill off all the parents by letting the kids out so early :).

Wish me luck. Svetlana

Sunday, May 8, 2016

#mayisformakers {necessary clutch wallet}

Hi everyone,

I'm excited to show you my newest wallet I made using a pattern I purchased as part of #mayisformakers campaign (read more by clicking here).

Here's my version of the Necessary Clutch Wallet by Emmaline Bags.

This is not the easiest or quickest wallet to sew, but definitely worth all the extra effort it requires. It's a super clever, well written pattern, and I greatly appreciated all the additional tips and ideas Janelle shares on alternate front flap (which is the one I decided to go with, stripe inspired by this lovely clutch) as well as adding a removable wrist or shoulder strap to one's wallet.

(second version)

(first version)
As you can see from the two pictures above, I made two almost identical wallets in the last few days. Now, my plan was to make just one. But there were way too many features I wanted to improve on once my first wallet was finished, I simply decided to rip it up, reuse the parts I could, and start all over. Yes, I do things like that on a regular basis :).

The thing that bugged me to no end on my first version was how terrible my side seams looked. There were quite a few layers of fabric and interfacing I had to deal with, plus it was really hard to get a good access with my sewing machine. And, to make things worse, I used contrasting thread instead of coordinating one. Definitely not a smart choice.

 Thankfully though I came across this gorgeous version of Necessary Clutch Wallet on Pinterest  and decided to copy the idea of using rivets instead of stitching. I love how it looks and I think it gives the finished wallet that extra little touch of special.

I also changed the way I installed the zipper pocket to reduce on bulk in the side seams, and added a removable wrist strap (you can find a free tutorial here) to my second version. And, I used a different closure because I wanted it to match my rivets.

I wanted my wallet to be quite sturdy, so I used 809 Decor Bond for all the exterior panels, and SF101 interfacing for lining and pockets. Plus, I added a layer of fusible fleece to my flap for added sturdiness and structure. Worked like a charm :).

I'm absolutely in love with this wallet and I'm super happy I decided to make a second, way better looking version.

Wishing you all a fantastically creative week. Svetlana

Monday, May 2, 2016

#mayisformakers {the circle box}

Hello friends,

I'm sure many of you came across Lindsey's campaign (#mayisformakers) to consciously support and thus show our love and appreciation to indie pattern designers through the month of May. Being a pattern designer myself, and facing many dilemmas Lindsey addresses in her blog post, I was more than happy to jump right in and purchase my first pattern for May.

 And, of course I had to try it out right away :). Thankfully it rained all day yesterday which made it a perfectly perfect day to do all this slow, very enjoyable and meditative hand stitching.

I used Cotton and Steel fabric for my little box and I absolutely love how it turned out. Pretty charming, isn't it? I can't wait for another rainy day to whip up another one of these cuties.

The box I made is a larger one - 6" diameter, and the pattern includes instructions for a 4" box as well. I think this one will be great to keep my thread organized while I do some hand stitching.

Hope some of you will be able to join #mayisformakers as well. Can't wait to see your pattern picks and makes. Let's show some love and support, shall we? 

Wishing you all a super lovely week. Svetlana

Thursday, April 28, 2016

baby trip around the world

Last week, completely out of nowhere and without much thinking, I started making a Trip Around the World quilt. It was all so sudden, I just kind of looked at the enormous "stash" of scraps threatening to take over my studio and started cutting. Yes, I definitely need to work on my impulse control as I had neither time nor any need for this quilt :(.

At least I stopped myself after nine blocks, just enough for a baby quilt.

I used Bonnie Hunter's very popular tutorial to make my blocks and I absolutely loved how fun and relaxed it was to piece them.

I decided to tie the quilt as all these colors and pattern reminded me of vintage quilts and I thought
little white ties in the middle of each square would make it look pretty charming. 

Of course I totally underestimated how many little knots I'd have to make and my poor fingers were sore for days. I still think it was worth it though :).

finished size: 36" square
fabrics used: different scraps from my stash
batting: Warm and White

Talk to you soon. Svetlana

Linking up to Finish it up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

epp crosses {a very slow progress}

After months of not being in a mood for epp, I finally started making progress on my very neglected plus pillow.

Turns out, I have this love - hate relationship with epp. There are times when I absolutely love wrapping fabric around paper templates and using teeny tiny stitches to piece the blocks together. And then, out of nowhere, I suddenly get tired of it all, pack the projects and supplies away and shove them in the darkest corner of my closet, only to find them there months later and fall in love with epp all over again.

This time, however, I decided to give glue basting a try. I must admit, I was quite skeptical at first. I actually considered it sort of cheating to use glue instead of thread and needle to baste the shapes (I know, completely unnecessary and snobbish thinking) :).

Now that I've tried it though, I'm a convert (I used both glue sticks shown in the picture above and I like them both equally). Glue makes basting go so much quicker, and I absolutely love the beautifully crisp edges I get.

Let's just hope I'll be loving epp long enough to finish this pillow at last.

Here's a link to a free template in case you'd like to give these unique pluses designed by Mollie of Wild Olive a try.


Monday, April 25, 2016

scraps destash

Just a quick heads up, my lovely US friends. I'll be destashing ALL my scraps over on Instagram (I'm @sotakhandmade) at 4:00 pm central time.

This is just a sampling of what's up for grabs. Scraps are of different sizes (anywhere from 2.5" squares, up to FE) and they'll be divided into 1lb bundles which just about fit into a priority flat rate envelopes.

Each bundle will be priced at $13.00 + $7.00 shipping.

Hope to see you there. Svetlana

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

wall pocket organizer {a tutorial}

You guys, I'm super excited to show you my newest project ... 

...  a wall pocket organizer.

I've been in an organizing mood for quite some time now and one thing I really wanted to get was a simple wall pocket organizer to help me keep all the many piles of mail and bills from constantly spreading around my studio. 

I looked and looked, online as well as in stores, but I could not find exactly what I was looking for as I didn't want anything too bulky or made of plastic. In the end I decided to try and make one myself and I'm happy to say it turned out just the way I imagined.

And, I wrote up a tutorial for you in case you'd like to make an organizer of your own.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Finished Size: 13" wide x 24" tall

- use 1/4" seam allowance unless otherwise noted
- use non - directional print for main and lining fabric, if you use a directional one you will need double the amount stated in materials needed   
 - make sure your printer is set to “actual size” when printing your template (page scaling is set to “none”). Do not select “shrink to fit” as that would result in your template being printed incorrectly.

Materials Needed:
1/2 yard main fabric
1 FQ pocket fabric
1/2 yard lining fabric
1 1/4 yard Pellon Flex-Foam or Soft and Stable by Annie
1 package - 1/2" wide double fold bias binding
2 extra large eyelets

pattern template (click here)

eyelet setting tool
505 basting spray
walking foot for your sewing machine (optional, but highly recommended)

1. from main fabric cut: one 13" wide x 24" tall rectangle
                                       two 2 3/4" x WOF strips for binding
from pocket fabric cut: two 13" wide x 9" tall rectangles
from lining fabric cut: one 13" wide x 24" tall rectangle
                                     two 13" wide x 9" tall rectangle
from Flex Foam cut:  one 13" wide x 24" tall rectangle
                                   two 13" wide x 9" tall rectangle

2. Place one 13" wide x 9" tall lining rectangle right side down on a flat surface. Lay the same sized Flex Foam rectangle on top, place one pocket fabric rectangle right side up on top.Use 505 spray to baste all three layers together. (you can quilt your pocket at this point if you like)

3. Lay provided pocket template on top of basted pocket rectangle, align side and bottom edges. Trace around the top rounded edge.

4. Use 1/8" seam allowance and stitch slightly inside the drawn line along the top of the pocket. Cut along the line.

5. Unfold your bias binding, place your pocket lining side up and align binding's raw edge with pocket's top raw edge, pin. Stitch along the first fold line (picture below).

6. Remove the pins, flip the binding towards right side of the pocket. Use Wonder Clips or pin to hold binding in place. Stitch using 1/8" seam allowance.


7. Make second pocket following the same directions, only this time bind the pocket's bottom edge as well (please note, one pocket will have the bottom edge bound using bias tape, the other pocket will not). Set the pockets aside for now.

Main Panel:
8. Baste using 505 spray the three remaining 13" wide x 24" tall rectangles together (lining fabric rectangle is right side down, flex foam on top, main fabric rectangle is right side up on the very top). We'll refer to this basted rectangle as main panel. (you can quilt your main panel at this point, if preferred)

9. Place main panel right side up on a flat surface. Align one pocket along its bottom edge, clip to hold both panels in place (make sure you use the pocket without bottom binding). Use 1/8" seam allowance to baste pocket to main panel.

10. Align second pocket (the one with bottom edge bound) 2" up from the first pocket. Attach pocket to main panel by stitching along the sides and the bottom edge using 1/8" seam allowance.

11. Stitch the two binding strips together to form one continuous strip. Fold the strip half lengthwise (wrong sides together), press.

12. Attach binding to your wall pocket organizer the same way you would to a quilt (attach to the back first, flip and attach to the front).

13. Mark two points 1 1/2" away from top and side edge for eyelets placement. Use small sharp scissors to cut a hole through all three layers of main panel. Follow directions on your eyelets packaging to attach them to your organizer.

14. Give your wall pocket organizer a good press if needed, remove any stray threads and you're all finished. Congratulations!

Hope you give this project a try and enjoy making and using it.

And, as always, if you make a project using any of my tutorials please add it to my Flickr group or use #sotakhandmade if posting on Instagram. I love seeing all your amazing creations.

Wishing you all an amazing day. Svetlana

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